Wednesday, January 23, 2008

High Ankle Sprains Explained

I'll get to the high ankle sprain in a minute, but first I wanted to let our regular Friends of The Show know that I've created a resource center for all the updates posted here on TSCS regarding Sidney's ankle injury. I put it together yesterday because we're getting a lot of new readers who are finding the site by searching "Sidney Crosby injury." (I wanted to make it easier for them to search for the information they're trying to find.) You can visit the Sidney Crosby Injury Monitor by clicking on the picture of the bandaged ankle on the right side of your screen.

So what exactly is the difference between a plain old ankle sprain and a high ankle sprain, you ask? Well, Bob Newell of The Pittsburgh-Tribune Review created this graphic to better explain the difference:

I then found this article on that explains the high ankle sprain and treatments for the condition in much greater detail. I've quoted the most important points for you:
A "high" (syndesmotic) ankle sprain is caused by an outward twisting of the foot and ankle. This is opposite of a typical ankle sprain where the foot and ankle are twisted inward. Football, soccer and basketball are the most common sports associated with a high ankle sprain. Proper stretching and training may help prevent some "high" (syndesmotic) ankle sprains.


Most "high" (syndesmotic) ankle sprains can be treated in a manor similar to typical ankle sprains with PRICE. P: Protection from further injury via a splint, R: Rest, I: Icing, C: Compression wrapping, E: Elevation. Syndesmotic sprains, however, will require much longer to heal and will also need more physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the ankle.

Rehabilitation can begin a few days after the injury, when the swelling starts to go down. There are three goals to aim for in rehabilitation: 1. Restore motion and flexibility, 2. Restore strength, 3. Restore balance.


Return to sports only after you have met these goals:
  1. You have full range of motion in all directions (up and down, side to side, and in and out).
  2. You have good strength in all muscles around the ankle.
  3. You have good balance.
  4. You have no pain or swelling with exercise or activity.
Sidney is expected to be out 6 to 8 weeks, but don't be shocked if it ends up taking longer than that. These types of injuries are very unpredictable. Healing requires time and rest. It will undoubtedly test Sid's patience (and ours!), but the most important thing is that he doesn't come back too hastily. I'm pretty confident the Penguins' medical staff will not let that happen. And who knows - perhaps he'll surprise us all with a speedy 4-week recovery period! I know, I know: It's not likely, but a girl can hope, right? Just keep your fingers crossed...

Sid leaves yesterday's press conference without crutches or even a walking cast!
(Photo courtesy The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

The Pens face the Flyers tomorrow night at 7:00pm Eastern. GO PENS!!! Get another win for your sidelined captain!!! :)

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