Dislocation of the ankle: symptoms and treatment( what to do with this injury)

Ankle dislocation is a very common trauma among the population, and it can be obtained either by a professional athlete or by a high-heeled lover or child. Ankle is called an ankle joint.

If you turn to anatomy, then every person has two legs - the lateral and the medial. The so-called distal parts of the small and tibia bones, which on both sides encompass the talus bone and form the ankle joint. On both sides of the ankle are strengthened with ligaments, which, when dislocated, are stretched or torn.

Causes of

Ankle dislocation can occur when the foot is turned upside down or inward. In this case, the ligaments are lateral or medial. The extreme severity of such a trauma is a fracture of the inner or outer bones.

The most common causes of ankle dislocation:

  • wearing high heels;
  • sports injury;
  • stumbling while walking;
  • sharp and jerky foot movements;
  • jumps;
  • running;
  • motor vehicle accidents.
Injury of ankle
The most common mechanism of dislocation of the ankle

Symptoms of

The basic diagnosis of this type of injury is a characteristic anamnesis and the mechanism of injury( the victim always indicates the circumstances under which the leg is turned inward or outward).

The main symptoms of ankle dislocation:

  1. Pain. Has the maximum intensity at the time of injury, increases with any active or passive movements. The patient often can not step on his foot due to increased pain.
  2. Edema of the foot.
  3. Subcutaneous hematomas, hemorrhages and bruises.
  4. Disturbance of ankle function, mainly due to pain.

The severity of pathological signs depends on the degree of injury.

Light or first degree

In this case, the ankle ligament is not torn, but only stretched. There is a trauma not very intense pain, as a rule, external signs of trauma( bruises, bruises) are absent. Such patients do not seek medical help, all the symptoms go away on their own, after a few days. The function of the joint does not suffer.

Injury of medium or second severity

In this case, a part of the fibers of the lateral or medial ligament is torn( but not more than 50% of the diameter of the ligament).Clinical signs are moderately expressed. The pain is intense, but, as a rule, the analgesic pill is well eliminated. Pronounced edema of the ankle, there may be external signs of injury. The function of the joint suffers. The patient can not step on his foot for some time. Such trauma requires special treatment with the use of immobilizing dressings or special orthoses. Sometimes surgical correction may be performed, for example, in professional athletes.

Severe or third degree of dislocation of the ankle

This is the extreme severity of the injury. In this case, the integrity of virtually the entire medial or lateral ligament of the ankle joint is lost. All symptoms are expressed as much as possible. Pain must be eliminated with injectable analgesics. Treatment initially can be both surgical and conservative with the imposition of a cast bandage.

Degrees of ankle dislocation
Degrees of ankle dislocation severity

How to establish a diagnosis?

As a rule, it is not difficult to establish a diagnosis, especially if the victim talks about the typical mechanism and circumstances of the injury. An experienced trauma doctor without any additional tests will determine the dislocation of the ankle. The only difficulty can arise with a severe injury, when the clinical picture is very reminiscent of a fracture.

How to distinguish: dislocation or fracture? A differential diagnosis between these two types of injuries will be assisted by the following symptoms. When the dislocation is limited to the amplitude of movements in the joint due to pain, but possible as independent active movements, and passive. With a fracture, the ability to perform active movement is lost, with passive ones, pathological mobility is observed instead of restriction. With a fracture, the lower limb is shortened. X-rays help in the final differential diagnosis. If the integrity of the bones on radiographs is not violated, then there is a dislocation.

Emergency help

The question "What to do with an ankle dislocation", probably, many people were crushed, because nobody is insured from such trauma.

It's important to remember! On how correctly and on time the first aid will be rendered, the further forecast and consequences of trauma depends.

To begin with, if a person suffers from pain, you need to give him a pill of an ordinary analgesic if this is at hand. Then you need to call an ambulance.

Cold should be applied to the damaged ankle. This will reduce pain, as well as reduce swelling and prevent massive hematomas.

Cold compress
Cold helps reduce pain, swelling and bruising

The foot should be immobilized with a bandage bandage. Such a pressure bandage will prevent unwanted movements, which can exacerbate pain and damage. It is also a method of preventing bleeding and swelling.

You can give the sick lower limb an elevated position. This will prevent further swelling and bruising. For this purpose, you can apply a pillow or platen of clothes.

At the stage of emergency care, it is mandatory to check the pulse on the foot and determine if the integrity of the nerves is damaged. To do this, ask the person to move their toes with their fingers. The fact is that in some cases the vascular-neural bundle can be damaged, which requires active and immediate surgical help in restoring their integrity.

Further treatment of

How to treat ankle dislocation further depends on the severity of the injury, the patient's profession, and personal wishes.

Orthosis for ankle
Immobilization is an integral part of the treatment and rehabilitation of

Conservative therapy includes:

  • directional dislocation in the hospital by a specialist under local anesthesia( if surgical treatment is initially indicated, this stage is skipped);
  • , after restoring to the injured leg, a plaster bandage or special orthopedic immobilizing devices are applied for 2-3 weeks;
  • drug treatment includes the appointment of painkillers, anti-inflammatory, hemostatic drugs, also use vitamins, calcium preparations, biostimulating drugs for rapid renewal;
  • physiotherapy treatment is prescribed at the rehabilitation stage( laser therapy, ultrasound, magnet, electrophoresis, UHF, etc.);
  • exercise therapy for recovery.
Also you can read: swelling of the ankle Causes of swelling of the ankle

Surgical treatment is prescribed in case of severe trauma and complete ligament rupture, with ineffective conservative treatment, as well as professional athletes. The operation consists in plastic( it is impossible to sew a broken bundle).As a rule, for the prosthetics take the middle part of the patient's own knee ligament. In the future, rehabilitation is carried out, on which half the success of surgical treatment depends.


Prevention of dislocation of the ankle is unspecific, but it can save you from injury in most cases:

  • shoes should be comfortable and orthopedic, be sure to fit the size, the heel should not exceed 3-4 centimeters;
  • should regularly engage in preventive gymnastics to strengthen the muscles and increase the elasticity of the ligaments of the ankle;
  • when practicing sports use special protective and supporting bandages or bandages for the ankle joint;
  • you can not start a sporting activity from the main stage, there must be a warm-up and stretching;
  • disposal of risk factors, for example, overweight, lack of vitamins, etc.;
  • observe the safety rules in sports and games.

When making a conclusion, it should be emphasized that everyone can get such a trauma, therefore knowledge of the basics of first aid in case of an ankle dislocation can be useful to all active people.

Bandage on ankle joint
  • Reasons for
  • Symptoms of
  • How to diagnose
  • Emergency care
  • Further treatment
  • Prevention