Sunday, November 2, 2014

Ankle Dislocation is not a quick recovery,that being said Robert Griffin III probable in Week 9 of NFL season!!!!! We will see.

First and foremost, I do not consider myself a negative Nellie, but there is no way RG3 could have had an ankle dislocation if he is expected to play this Week 9 of the NFL.

I was sad to see the Washington Redskins, Robert Griffin III, get hurt on Week 2  against the Jaguars this season. As the MRI reports came back that week, there were murmurs of relief that nothing was broke. I challenge that notion that it may have been better to have a fracture.  When someone has a fracture their is a predictable time period in which it will take for that individual to get better.  But when someone dislocates a load bearing joint like the ankle, I believe there is much more concern for the future of their athletic career.

If you are not aware of how serious of an injury this is refer to the ankle illustration.  Notice the ligaments that are around the ankle, these tiny little ligaments have a lot of responsibility.  The anterior talofibular, calcaneofibular and the posterior talofibular are crucial to the stability to the outside of the ankle.  On the inside of the ankle we have the Deltoid ligament for medial stability.  The ligaments just mentioned above are basically, in layman terms: the connectors of the foot to the ankle.  When these connectors are disrupted with a violent force, like the one RG3 supposedly had, the recovery is long and not always very straight forward.

When you look at the ankle joint itself without the ligaments, muscles, tendons and skin, you can truly appreciate its' fragility.  It is made up of three bones: the tibia, the fibula and the talus.  For perspective sake, the talus is about the size of a 3/4 eaten apple.  It is small but does so much for ankle and foot stability.  Disrupt the ligaments attached to the talus and your suffer a pretty significant injury. One, that for a football player on the professional level, may very well be season ending and can be career ending.

This is why we were so puzzled by the rush to return to playing this season for the Washington Redskins injured quarterback Robert Griffin III.  This is an injury protocol that is setting a very bad precedent for future NFL players(Dr. Henne would argue with me that this is already set due to the amount of money on line for both team and players).  Players in the future with this type of violent injury may feel compelled to rush back only to lead to the early exit from their NFL career.

I can only speculate that if RG3 steps on that field today and is running and passing like the good old days, that he indeed suffered a very severe ankle sprain but not an ankle dislocation.  Bad ankle sprains require time off like RG3 had.  A bad ankle sprain after a period of recovery can be taped and back on the field with somewhat less of concern of re-injury compared to the diagnosis of ankle dislocation.

Treatment for an ankle dislocation with no fracture and no impingement of soft tissue is often conservative, with a period of non-weight bearing followed by gradual increase in activity is a walking boot with physical therapy.  Physiologically, 8 weeks for the ligaments to heal with a bad ankle sprain.  In the case of the ankle dislocation the question of future instability arise especially with such an early return after such and injury.

The game today of RG3's team the Washington Redskins against the Minnesota Vikings will be the most anticipated game of the day in our house.(Mainly, because we have a bet about RG3 actually playing or not)  I am excited to see RG3's return and wish him the best of luck.  He is available in my Fantasy Football league and at the first sign of him playing well I hope to be the first person to add him as my backup quarterback, I have Cam Newton and he gave me only 18 points on Thursday, so I'm desperate!  UGH!!!

If you are interested in learning more about foot and ankle injuries go to the Center for Ankle and Foot Care at We are constantly updating our webpage to better help you understand your foot and ankle problem.  We also make suggestions for devices to maybe help you foot pain but they should in no way take the place of a doctors visit if you are experiencing pain!

Michele McGowan, DPM Owner and doctor of the Center for Ankle and Foot Care in Clermont Florida and Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.


  1. It really is interesting to be able to learn all the different things that go into having a healthy ankle. Something that really stood out was that you mentioned how there are so many different things that can be done to ensure that someone is able to keep being active after a long time of being active. Hopefully this will be something that ends up being a great help to those who are struggling. Thank you for sharing.

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