Dislocation is the most serious joint injury with the loss of contact between the two surfaces forming the joint. It can be accompanied by the rupture of a joint capsule, ligament tear or bone fracture. Arteries and/ or nerves may be compressed as well. With dislocated ankle, the fractures of the distal ends of the tibia and fibula (called the malleolus) are a commonplace. This, unfortunately, affects the joint over the entire lifetime.
severe pain, joint deformity, the limb below may get cold if an artery is compressed and a blood flow disturbed It poses a risk for the limb if nerves are compressed, causing abnormal sensation and paraesthesia. Long-term compression may cause irreversible damage to the nerves distally to the dislocated joint.
directly after injury:
Immobilise the affected limb in a position which causes the least pain. If you do not have a board, a stick, bandage or a triangular bandage, you can attach your leg to the healthy one or your arm to the trunk. Do not performed forceful movements. Immobilise the limb and immediately go to hospital.
In hospital, you will be assessed by the orthopaedist. If an x-ray confirms a dislocation, it will be reduced (you will be anaesthetised so as not to feel any pain) and your affected arm/ leg will be immobilised for 4-6 weeks depending on the dislocated joint. If dislocation is accompanied by fracture, this will be reduced and fixed at the same time.
An MRI scan will be ordered at 2 weeks following reduction to precisely assess the damaged peri- and intraarticular structures. Based on that, further management will be recommended. Dislocation will often need a number of surgical procedures.
To sum up, joint dislocation requires long-term treatment (weeks or months) including surgery. Comprehensive rehabilitation and regenerative treatments are used at different stages.
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