Ankle dislocations occur when the bones in the lower leg (tibia and fibula) are twisted or pushed away from the talus bone in the foot. A great deal of force is required to separate these bones, and usually dislocations occur with fractures (see Ankle Fracture). Most commonly, the malleoli (the bony lumps on either side of your ankle) are fracturedduring dislocation.
This Image shows the shin bone (tibia) moving forward and off the bones of the foot (talus and others).
The rare occasions of ankle dislocation without fracture are usually due to high-impact sports or car accidents. In these situations, the very strong ligaments surrounding the ankle are stretched or torn. This may effect the medial ligaments on the inside surface of your ankle, the lateral ligaments on the outer surface (see image below), or the strong syndesmosis that holds the two bones in the leg (tbia and fibula) together.
Dislocations in the ankle are extremely painful, and the rapid swelling that follows can be very dangerous. For this reason, the first-aid treatment of ankle dislocation includes elevating the foot and applying ice. The doctor or surgeon at the hospital will need to rapidly put the bones back in place to prevent long-term to your foot.
Rehabilitation after dislocations usually lasts 6-9 weeks and is a key component to recovery. Despite this, dislocations around the ankle can cause long-term problems, including instability and arthritis.
Image of the Ankle showing the ligaments that support the sides of the ankle (Lateral Ligaments). These are often injured in ankle dislocation.