Dak Prescott of the Cowboys went down with what is certainly the worst injury we have ever seen in this NFL season and he is already on his way for surgery to his right ankle. The concern here is for an ankle dislocation that is more often associated with a fracture and could be an open fracture as well. As Dak was running out to the side trying to get away from a tackle, you could tell how his foot was starting to externally rotate and the inside of his ankle was already starting to fall inward leading to a dislocation.
When he comes down to the ground, the position is exacerbated even more. Right as he lands before even the defender makes contact, you could see how his ankle started to collapse inward leading to the events of his injury. At this point, his ankle was completely dislocated and his foot is severely externally rotated meaning his toes are pointing outwards.
If you go ahead and look at the anatomy, you will see that Dak was planting his foot and then the ankle was externally rotating outward and then just collapsing inward. What you basically have when this happens is that talus is sort of like a fist and the tibia and fibula kind of come around on top of the talus and so you have motion for the toes to point up and down but you don’t have enough motion for the toes to point in and out but when you excessively externally rotate where you point the toes out far enough, you spread apart that tibia and fibula to the point where you allow that ankle to dislocate and often when it dislocates you get the concomitant fracture.
The key point of an injury like this in the field is to first off look at the neurovascular structures within the ankle that could be injured and trying to get that ankle joint back in place as best as possible. This depends on whether the vessels are injured or damaged. When Dak actually noticed that something was wrong, he took his leg and tried to knock it back in place himself but was not successful. When Dak was leaving, he had a protective cast and boot on his ankle in order to protect the joint in route to the hospital before surgery.
Dak is definitely not the first athlete to go through this. There are also a number of athletes that went through this too. This is a serious injury but assuming that there is no major blood vessel damage and no nerve damage, this is something that guys can recover from and go back in the field and play.
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