During a physical, your doctor will examine your ankle, foot and lower leg. The doctor will touch the skin around the injury to check for points of tenderness and move your foot to check the range of motion and to understand what positions cause discomfort or pain.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRIs use radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce detailed cross-sectional or 3-D images of soft internal structures of the ankle, including ligaments. CT scan. CT scans can reveal more detail about the bones of the joint.
Diagnosing a high ankle sprain. Because syndesmotic sprains can be associated with lateral ligament injuries, medial ligament injuries, and fractures of the fibula, x-rays of the lower leg and ankle are necessary. If the athlete has a total syndesmosis rupture, separation will be evident in the x-ray between the tibia, fibula, and talus.