Syndesmosis Injury

Syndesmosis Injury

What is Syndesmosis Injury?

Syndesmosis injury A.K.A “high ankle sprain”. Occurs in the ligaments in the higher ankle. The syndesmosis is the joint where the two leg bones connect using ligaments or connective tissues.

High ankle sprains are not common, but they are more disabling than a traditional ankle sprain. They are generally diagnosed at an early stage, and appropriate treatment is initiated, which differs from lower ankle sprains.

Syndesmosis Injury

What causes it?

When you plant your foot on the ground, and an excessive force twist your foot outwards, you will experience a high pain on your high ankle. The ligaments on the high ankle sprain when you load several or engage in high performing sporting activities like football and rugby.


Syndesmosis occurs following traumatic injuries. Most reports from patients are aligned with the following symptoms

  • Pain above the ankle while walking and often bruising and swelling across the higher ankle and not around the malleolus.
  • Calf pain and pain experienced above the ankle which increases with outward rotation of the foot.
  • Patients with a high Syndesmosis injury without the fracture can bear weight but will also have pain over the junction between the fibula and the tibia above the ankle.


Your physiotherapist will assess the ligaments of your ankle carefully. If they suspect that you have a strain on your high ankle, they will conduct an X-ray or MRI or CT scan to confirm their premise. Radiologists will also check if there is a gap between the tibia and the fibula.


It is essential to stabilise between the tibia and fibula at this level because of the force that is presently passing through this area when one is running or walking. When the fibula rotates on the tibia, it is allowed to do this by these ligaments

Once the high heel ankle ligaments are overstretched or ruptured, the bones on the lower leg move apart with each step, causing pain and loss of mobility on your ankle. Crutches or walking boots will be the most required items.

Regaining full support of the leg, strengthening of your ankle and calf muscles, restoring normal functioning of your ankle, and protecting any pain and controlling any inflammation.

When this is done, you will be able to walk, run, jump, land, and engage in other sporting activities.

Check out the following link for Syndesmosis surgery technique.

What can I do to speed up my recovery?

In the early stages of recovery, rest your sprained ankle. You will need to stop doing active engagements that provoke pain in the ankle.

Use ice to reduce any pain or swell for about 20 mins on each leg four times a day in the early phase of recovery.

Use a compression bandage to support the injured soft tissue and reduce a kind of swelling.

How long till I get better?

The rehabilitation of a severe ankle sprain takes between 3 to 6 months, but it is variable depending on the extent of damage caused. Visiting by our physiotherapist will help you get the appropriate specifics on the recovery period.


Balance training

Improving your balance, you will give your body the ability to control itself in all kinds of positions.

Ankle strengthening

One of the simplest ways to improve your ankle strength is to take a towel and wrap it around your foot to provide resistance as you move up and down your foot. If you experience a rolled ankle, or you are concerned with weak ankles, consult an athletic trainer, a doctor or a physiotherapist for a home exercise program.

Bracing and taping

Check out some braces are a sporting shopping centre near you and get advice from an athletic trainer and try tapping.

Enough pre-training workout

There usually are drastic changes in the activity levels, especially when you are doing an unskilled activity. Always learn to compete within your current limitations even though you can try exceeding, but to reduce your chances of getting an injury, progress slowly in activities.

Take Home Message:

– Seek the counsel of a physiotherapist on gears you can use when actively engaging in sporting activities
– Always engage in activities that your body can engage in
– Always stretch your body before playing games.

For all your High Ankle Sprain needs, feel free to give us a call on 02 9793 8840 or Book Online