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Blackhawks’ Artem Anisimov Suffering from High Ankle Sprain

After missing the final 13 games of the regular season and an underwhelming performance in the postseason, Artem Anisimov’s agent recently revealed that the Chicago Blackhawks center had suffered a high ankle sprain against the Montreal Canadiens on March 14.

Artem Anisimov during his time with the Columbus Blue Jackets (Wikipedia)

Artem Anisimov during his time with the Columbus Blue Jackets (Wikipedia)

“As far as what he was dealing with pain-wise or injury-wise, probably wasn’t too bad,” Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville told reporters on Saturday. “But … it’s a tough injury to come back from to be at your regular effectiveness.

“He was limited in some ways as far as his quickness and his strength. It’s one of those that, hey, we needed him because he’s very important in what he brings and what he can do for us. But he was limited in some ways.”

When a high ankle sprain occurs, there is the potential for several structures to be damaged. These include the syndesmotic ligaments that connect the tibia to the fibula, as well as a tissue known as the interosseous membrane.

Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, has seen numerous high-ankle sprains throughout his tenure in medicine and can offer some insight into Anisimov’s situation based on the information currently available.

High ankle sprains are described as high because they are located above the ankle. They are caused by an outward twisting of the foot and ankle and comprise approximately 15 percent of all ankle sprains.

According to Dr. Goldbaum, the severity of this injury often depends on how many of these structures are damaged and recovery times can vary from a few weeks to a few months.

High ankle sprains are graded on a scale of 1–3 based on their severity:

Grade 1 (Mild): In mild cases, the ligaments are somewhat stretched, resulting in joint stiffness, muscle weakness or tightness with reduced balance and joint awareness. It takes approximately six weeks for ligaments to heal from a Grade 1 sprain.

Grade 2 (Moderate): In moderate cases, there is significant ligament stretching and sometimes partial tearing. It is far more painful than a mild sprain and can make it difficult to walk. A recovery time of 6 to 12 weeks can be expected.

Grade 3 (Severe): In severe cases, the ligament can completely rupture. There is severe swelling, extensive bruising, and immense pain felt with a Grade 3 sprain. In most cases, a patient will need a screw inserted into their ankle to stabilize the area while it heals. A recovery time of 3 to 6 months can be expected.

As a rookie, Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall missed eight weeks with a high ankle sprain, prematurely ending his season. In 2014-15, Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray missed approximately three weeks with a high ankle sprain of his own.

Given how much time he missed initially, it’s likely that Anisimov is suffering from a Grade 1 sprain and should be back to full health within the next six weeks.

Follow Delray Beach Podiatry on Twitter @Delray_Podiatry

The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from without seeking professional medical advice. If you live in South Florida and would like a consultation with Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, please see our contact information below:


16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33484



8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472





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