Cornwall Air 999: Woman screams after having her dislocated ankle ‘clunked’ back into place

Gruesome footage reveals the moment a woman screamed after having her dislocated ankle ‘clunked’ back into place on Cornwall Air 999 

In tonight’s episode of Really’s Air 999, paramedics Jeremy and Martin rush to the side of 47-year-old Karen, who has fallen down the stairs and suffered ‘some kind of compound fracture.’  

As they arrive at a house, the scene of the accident, paramedics find Karen at the bottom of her staircase. Lifting up her leg, her injuries are plain to see, with her foot rotated at a 45° angle from her ankle. 

‘I don’t think it’s meant to look like that somehow,’ Karen says to Jeremy as he begins attending to her injuries. ‘It’s got pins and needles, I don’t know if that helps?’ 

Karen, 47, was getting ready to go to work when she took a tumble down stairs. Pictured, receiving medical assistance

Karen, 47, was getting ready to go to work when she took a tumble down stairs. Pictured, receiving medical assistance

Karen, 47, was getting ready to go to work when she took a tumble down stairs. Pictured, receiving medical assistance 

In tonight's episode of Really's Air 999, paramedics Jeremy and Martin (pictured) rush to the side of 47-year-old Karen, who has fallen down the stairs and suffered 'some kind of compound fracture'

In tonight's episode of Really's Air 999, paramedics Jeremy and Martin (pictured) rush to the side of 47-year-old Karen, who has fallen down the stairs and suffered 'some kind of compound fracture'

In tonight’s episode of Really’s Air 999, paramedics Jeremy and Martin (pictured) rush to the side of 47-year-old Karen, who has fallen down the stairs and suffered ‘some kind of compound fracture’

Karen was getting ready to go to work when she took a tumble down the stairs. Landing awkwardly on her foot, it is abundantly clear to Jeremy that Karen has broken her ankle. 

‘It’s obvious that Karen’s got a fairly nasty break in her lower leg which is dislocated as well and at the wrong angle which needs sorting out quickly,’ Jeremy recalls. 

Checking over Karen’s ankle, Jeremy soon discovers that there is little or no blood flow going to her foot, signalling something potentially serious is wrong. 

‘The fact that she has an undetectable pulse in her foot suggests that she has a reduced or a completely ceased blood supply to that foot,’ Jeremy explains. 

Without correcting Karen’s dislocated ankle there and then, her foot may be starved of vital oxygen required to keep it working. 

‘As human beings we need oxygen, but we need oxygen to every part of us to make us work,’ Jeremy says. ‘If we suddenly cut off an oxygen supply to wherever it might be, then that’s not ideal and eventually that limb can die.’ 

With the drugs taking effect, Jeremy carefully starts shifting Karen's ankle, causing Karen to scream and gasp (pictured)

With the drugs taking effect, Jeremy carefully starts shifting Karen's ankle, causing Karen to scream and gasp (pictured)

With the drugs taking effect, Jeremy carefully starts shifting Karen’s ankle, causing Karen to scream and gasp (pictured)

Ramping up Karen’s treatment, Martin administers Karen with ketamine, a potent form of pain relief, so Jeremy can manipulate her ankle back into place. 

With the drugs taking effect, Jeremy carefully starts shifting Karen’s ankle, causing Karen to scream and gasp.

Carrying on despite Karen’s screams, Jeremy eventually manages to pop her ankle back into place. 

‘You can feel it sometimes, it clunks back in quite significantly,’ Jeremy reveals. ‘When it gets back to the place it should be it suddenly becomes easier, like ‘oh I’m there now.’ 

With Karen’s injuries now less urgent, Jeremy and Martin make the decision to transport Karen to hospital via road ambulance.

Fast forward a couple of months, and Karen is thankfully back on her feet. Her fall down the stairs not only dislocated her ankle, but she broke it in three places as well. 

‘When I felt myself falling, and I knew that I’d missed the step,’ Karen remembers. ‘They say that you can hear the bones crack and it’s true, you do! I heard two bones go!’ 

At the time, Karen admits that she didn’t appreciate just how serious her injuries were. 

‘I honestly didn’t realise that my injury warranted getting a critical care unit out to me,’ she says. ‘Ketamine is not something I’ve ever had before for pain relief, so I had no idea how it was going to affect me,’ she continues. ‘I was quite shocked by how it did affect me. I sort of went off into a different world, if you like. It was a very surreal experience.’ 

Karen spent a week in hospital and following surgery she is now having physiotherapy to regain her strength. 

‘Breaking my ankle compared to childbirth. Two very different type of pain but I have to say breaking my ankle was a worse pain,’ Karen admits. ‘You don’t get something nice and squishy at the end of it!’

Cornwall Air 999 premieres at 9pm tonight exclusively on Really, or stream on discovery+

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