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Ankle Dislocation


Ankle dislocation is when the bones in your ankle joint move out of place. A joint is an area where bones meet. You may also have an ankle fracture (break in the bone). An ankle dislocation and fracture may need surgery.



  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or bone specialist within 2 days:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Rest your ankle:

You will need to rest your ankle for 6 weeks after your injury. Do not put pressure on your ankle for long periods of time. This will help keep your ankle safe from further damage, and help it heal faster.

Ice your ankle:

Apply ice on your foot for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.

Compress your ankle:

  • You may need to wrap an elastic bandage around your ankle. An ankle wrap will compress (put pressure on) your ankle to help decrease swelling. Compression also helps support your ankle, and allows it to heal. Wear your ankle wrap for as long as directed. Ask for instructions about how to wrap your ankle.
  • You may also need a brace, short leg cast, or splint to help protect your ankle. A splint is a type of brace that keeps your ankle stable. Ask how to care for your brace, cast, or splint.

Elevate your ankle:

Elevate your ankle above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your ankle on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.


Ask your healthcare provider how active you should be, and when you may return to your normal daily activities. Movement and activity are helpful for healing. After 6 weeks, practice walking as directed.

Use crutches as directed:

You may need crutches to help you walk while your ankle heals. Crutches help you keep your weight off your ankle, and help prevent more ankle damage.

Walking with Crutches

Physical therapy:

A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.

Contact your healthcare provider or bone specialist if:

  • You have trouble walking, or more swelling, pain, or stiffness in your ankle, even after you take your medicine.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • The skin around your ankle begins to feel hot, tight, or is shiny or pale.
  • Your cast or splint feels too tight.
  • Your ankle, foot, or toes feel numb.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2019 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.