It’s easy to take the health of your ankles for granted, but if you suffer an injury you’ll soon realize just how important this body part is to your quality of life.
A dislocated ankle is a serious injury that requires immediate medical treatment. Neglecting to treat this injury in a timely manner can result in additional damage and complications, as well as a longer recovery period.
The most common symptoms of an ankle dislocation include:
- Severe pain
- Inability to walk
- Difficulty moving your ankle
- Bone that broke the skin
If you suspect a dislocated ankle, such as after a workplace accident, your medical team will run a variety of tests. An MRI and X-ray will provide a detailed view of your ankle and surrounding area, thus allowing for an accurate diagnosis.
In the event of a dislocation, your doctor will discuss a variety of treatment options based on the type and severity of the injury. Treatment typically includes the following:
- Closed reduction (when your doctor maneuvers the dislocated bones back into place)
- Pain medication
- A cast to keep your ankle in place while it heals
What about surgery?
It’s your hope that your injury doesn’t require surgery, but it’s possible in the event of a severe dislocation and/or damage to the surrounding area.
During your procedure, your doctor will realign your bones to ensure proper healing. They may also use screws, plates and pins to keep your bones in place. And if there was additional damage, such as ligament tears, they can also treat them during surgery.
Even if you don’t require surgery to repair your dislocated ankle, it will take approximately six to eight weeks to recover. During this time, you need to take it easy to ensure that your ankle properly heals.
If your injury was the result of a workplace accident, keep your employer up to speed on your treatment and recovery. Also, take the time to learn more about your legal rights, as you may be able to take action that allows you to obtain compensation.
For example, workers’ compensation can provide you with financial assistance until you can return to work.