Author | Bernard R. Bach Jr, MD


High ankle sprains require a high index of suspicion

December 01, 2008

ABSTRACT: High ankle sprains are not as common as low anklesprains, but they are a significant injury, and the diagnosis may bechallenging. The primary role of the syndesmosis is to maintain therelationship of the talus to the tibia under physiological loads.Toaccomplish this, the distal tibiofibular joint must maintain its stability.The syndesmosis is injured most often with external rotation at theankle joint while the foot is dorsiflexed and pronated. On physicalexamination, tenderness is located in the area of the anterior syndesmosis.There are several special tests for syndesmosis injuries.Radiographic assessment is helpful. The usefulness of classificationsystems is not well defined. The optimal rehabilitation programis unknown. Rehabilitation generally is divided into phases.(J Musculoskel Med. 2008;25:564-569)

Differentiating low and high ankle sprains

August 28, 2008

Differentiation between low and high ankle sprains iscritical to delivering appropriate care.The classic mechanism for a lowankle sprain is inversion and plantar flexion. A history of ankle ligamentinjury predisposes to recurring sprains. The ankle anterior drawertest may be used to evaluate ligamentous instability. Plain radiographsof the foot and ankle may be indicated in a patient who has an acuteankle injury. Clinicians often use the Ottawa ankle rules to determinethe need for radiographs. In the acute phase, the goals of treatment areto alleviate pain, reduce swelling, and protect the ankle from furtherinjury. NSAIDs and rehabilitation are important components of management.Primary prevention may be possible with strengthening andbalance programs. (J Musculoskel Med. 2008;25:438-443)