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Athletic Training

High ankle sprain - serious or not?

10/30/2006

Question:

I seem to have suffered a high ankle sprain while playing soccer, my foot was stomped on from directly above while I was in a sliding position with my foot extended forwards (the standard baseball slide). The stomping pushed the foot straight downwards. The foot did not turn to either side or rotate.

There was a lot of swelling but I`ve had no difficulty putting weight on the ankle.

In just a few days I`ve had no trouble jogging on the ankle and there is no pain and close to full range of motion even before the swelling hs fully subsided.

However, I`ve been reading that high ankle injuries can be quite serious and difficult to heal. Would it be risky to resume playing in just a week? I have not seen a physician - should I seek a physician because the injury is a high ankle spain?

Answer:

The description that you are giving doesn't match with the typical high ankle sprain.  They typically do not have as much swelling and weight bearing is quite painful because it separates the tibia and fibula that the injured ligaments connect.  

Without pain and full range of motion I think returning to play would be reasonable.  It would be a good idea to work into it slowly.  Start with running and progress to sprinting.  Start with easy short passes and move to long balls or crosses.  If all this goes well see how it responds that evening and the next day.  If you don't have an increase in pain or swelling I would say you should be ready to play again.  Icing after participation is always a good idea.  If you have persistent swelling or pain you may want to seek the advice of a physician.

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Response by:

Jamie   Birkelo, MA, ATC Jamie Birkelo, MA, ATC
Assistant Athletic Trainer, Department of Athletics
Instructor
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University