ChiroACCESS Clinical Review



High Ankle Sprain: Prevention

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Published on

May 25, 2008

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The high ankle sprain (HAS) is also known as an ankle syndesmosis injury. Some authors consider it a relatively rare occurrence, representing only 1% or less of all ankle sprains (1;2). Others consider it a much more common injury, especially in athletes (3;4). No studies were located that discuss prevention strategies or risk factors. However the mechanism of injury may provide some insight into risk factors. Several authors have reported a common mechanism is external rotation of the foot with the lower leg fixed. The potential for injury is increased when the ankle is in extreme dorsiflexion or plantar flexion. High risk activities include contact sports such as a American football and ice hockey (4;5). Competitive skiing has also been identified as increasing risk due to movements commonly encountered, dorsiflexion, plantarflexion and external rotation of the foot (6).

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References

1. 

Fallat L, Grimm DJ, Saracco JA. Sprained ankle syndrome: prevalence and analysis of 639 acute injuries. J Foot Ankle Surg 1998; 37(4):280-285.



2. 

Hopkinson WJ, St Pierre P, Ryan JB, Wheeler JH. Syndesmosis sprains of the ankle. Foot Ankle 1990; 10(6):325-330.



3. 

Williams GN, Jones MH, Amendola A. Syndesmotic ankle sprains in athletes. Am J Sports Med 2007; 35(7):1197-1207.



4. 

Wright RW, Barile RJ, Surprenant DA, Matava MJ. Ankle syndesmosis sprains in national hockey league players. Am J Sports Med 2004; 32(8):1941-1945.



5. 

Norkus SA, Floyd RT. The anatomy and mechanisms of syndesmotic ankle sprains. J Athl Train 2001; 36(1):68-73.



6. 

Fritschy D. An unusal ankle injury in top skiers. Am J Sports Med 1989; 17:282-286.