The ankle is one of the most injured areas of the human body. Specifically, one of the most common ankle injuries is an ankle sprain injury. However, ankle sprains vary in severity. One of the most severe ankle sprains is the dreaded high ankle sprain. A high ankle sprain is a lot different to an ordinary ankle sprain due to the different ligaments concerned with the injury. High ankle sprains, involve damage to the ligaments joining the lower leg bones to the foot and ankle bones.

High ankle sprains consequently take a longer time for the patient to recover from. The reason why the higher ankle sprain takes a longer recovery period is due to a higher strain being applied to the surrounding ligaments compared to a normal ankle sprain, and so these ligaments need a longer time to heal. Normal ankle sprains take less time for a person to recover from and when a person has fully recovered, they can expect to return to an active sport in just a few weeks. In comparison, higher ankle sprains can take up to a month for a person to properly recover.

Risk Sports

If you participate in sports that rely on a lot of movement within the feet and ankles, then you can be at a higher risk of suffering a high ankle sprain. Sports like football and basketball, where a player twists and turns on their feet and ankles, can mean a higher risk of ankle sprains developing. If you enjoy active sports then be vigilant and wear protective foot and ankle supports.

High Ankle Sprain Characteristics

Generally, ankle sprains are characterised depending on the severity of the tissue injury.

Level One: Slight discomfort, sensitivity, inflammation. A patient will experience a stretched ligament but not a torn ligament.

Level Two: Heavy swelling and bruising is experienced and the patient’s ligament is partly ripped and the person also finds it hard to walk.

Level Three: Severe discomfort, inflammation and sensitivity. The person will experience severe sensitivity and suffer a complete ligament tear.


  • Firstly a patient should rest for at least a day after suffering a high ankle sprain. Next it is recommended a person applies a cold ice compress for twenty minutes during the initial twenty-four hours.
  • Cover the ankle area with a protective wrap, from the bottom of the toes to the highest point of the calf muscle during the initial thirty-six hours.
  • Ensure that the high ankle area and the leg is elevated to help reduce inflammation, repeated up to three hours each day.
  • Pain relief such as ibuprofen is also recommended should discomfort continue.


Dr Usuelli is one of the world’s most prominent and respected orthopaedic surgeons. Dr Usuelli has effectively treated so many English speaking patients suffering from a range of various foot and ankle related issues and injuries. If you want an unrivalled level of care then visit Dr Usuelli’s clinic in Italy and receive the treatment you deserve. Contact our foot and ankle clinic now for a consultation!