Ankle Syndesmosis

What is a syndesmosis injury?

If you watched any of the 2020 National Rugby League (NRL) competition, it is highly likely
you would have seen, or heard someone talk about an ankle syndesmosis. There were at
least 7 Syndesmosis injuries in the NRL 2020 season, impacting: Raymond Fataila-Mariner,
Connor Watson, Brian To’o, Daniel Tupou, Will Hopoate, Valentine Holmes and Sione

A syndesmosis or ‘high’ ankle sprain occurs most commonly with extreme external rotation
or dorsiflexion of the talus (small bone connecting your heel bone to your two leg bones).
This injury stretches or tears the ligaments binding together the tibia and fibula.

How do I know if I have a high ankle sprain?
Different to a lateral ankle sprain, a syndesmosis sprain presents with significantly less
swelling. The initial presentation of a syndesmosis will likely result in difficulty to place
weight on the impacted side. You will also find it difficult to point your ankle down (plantar
flex). If you are unable to toe walk, you must consider a syndesmosis as part of your
differential diagnosis. Two additional tests conducted in our Camden clinic to assist in
diagnosis are the Squeeze Test, and the Kleiger’s Test.

How do you treat a syndesmosis injury?
The grading of the injury will dictate the way we manage your syndesmosis injury, here at
Reform Podiatry Camden. The initial phase of treatment will focus on decreasing pain and
swelling, whilst increasing range of motion. This will require you to use crutches and a moon
boot (CAM Walker) until we are comfortable enough to move forward with rehabilitation. A
series of manual therapies and therapeutic exercises will be prescribed to you once we your
friendly foot doctor has assessed and graded your syndesmosis injury.

If you believe you might have a syndesmosis injury book an appointment with your
podiatrist in Camden to accurately diagnose and effectively treat your injury.