RG III has had quite the experiences with injuries including two ACL tears but now deals with a whole new challenge. In the first half of the Redskins game RG III suffered a dislocated left ankle while scrambling out of the pocket. This injury was a non-contact injury and due to the severity might cost RG III to miss the entire season. Often with a dislocation of the ankle, a fracture of the ankle is associated with the dislocation. Although rare, a dislocation can occur without a fracture and no news has been released yet on whether RG III has an associated fracture.
Ankle dislocations can occur when a large amount of force is applied to the ankle causing the ankle articular surface to lose opposition. The ankle joint is an inherently stable joint so the force applied must be a large force and associated weakness in the ankle ligaments is highly probable. Again ankle dislocations are much more common with an associated fracture to cause a loss in congruency of the tibiotalar joint. Treatment for an ankle dislocation is immediate relocation by a trained specialist. After the ankle joint is realigned to normal anatomic position then immobilization is performed with a short leg cast or boot. Depending on the severity of the injury the ankle is immobilized for weeks after the injury while gentle rom exercises may be started. This immobilization period will allow the soft tissue structures to heal in the appropriate position. Once the patient is able to begin protective weight bearing on the ankle, a gradual increase in activity level is started. A physical therapist is often a critical member of the recovery to strengthen the ligaments and soft tissue surrounding the ankle after the injury. Prognosis for an isolated ankle dislocation is good and the patient can return to previous activity level usually within 2-3 months of the injury. Chronic problems can be a problem with the ankle after a dislocation. Ankle sprains and dislocations can become more common due to weakness in the ankle and if chronic injuries continue to occur, the patient may need to undergo a surgery to stabilize the ankle ligaments with rehabilitation program after surgery. After the injury is healed it is very important that the patient wears the appropriate support for the ankle including ankle braces and/or taping. Although we do not know the extent of RG III’s injury, it looks like he will be out for a minimum of a few months. If you are having any ankle problems make sure you get them checked out by a specialist so this doesn’t happen to you!