Broken ankle recovery time can be difficult depending on where the ankle breaks and the extent of the ankle injury. Broken ankle is a common occurrence especially with seniors due to seniors living a more active lifestyle. Broken ankles are not all the same injuries; some ankle injuries require a cast and heals in a short time. Or, in the case of a bone shattering injury, it may need surgery to heal.
The ankle comprises of three bones: the fibula, tibia and the shinbone. Breakage of any of the three bones may occur due to a twist or awkward rotation of the ankle or a roll. The ankle can sustain breakage due to accidents such as a fall from a bike.
When someone sustains a broken ankle injury, the pain usually comes with mild to severe throbbing pain, bruises, swelling, bone protrusion due to open wounds, tenderness and a deformed appearance.
A broken ankle that is chipped or cracked is referred to as a clean break because the ankle is still in place. With this type of injury, most doctors stabilize the ankle and the stabilization lasts approximately six weeks. During the six weeks recuperation, your doctor may suggest that you avoid placing any pressure on the foot and will tell you when you can start placing pressure on the ankle. A broken ankle that affects the ligament or tendons may take longer than the six weeks.
There are different ways to stabilize a broken ankle. Your doctor may choose to use a short leg cast or he may give you a removable custom-made brace that comes with Velcro that can attach to the area. The Velcro brace is removable so you can take it off when you shower.
Your physician may suggest that you use an ankle brace several months after your broken ankle heals to support the ankle especially if you play sports. It is very important not put weight on your ankle until your physician says you can. Adding weight to your injured ankle too early may cause the fracture fragments to move, or your surgery to fail necessitating a second surgery.
If you had surgery to correct your broken ankle, your doctor may suggest additional X-rays to make sure the bones are healing satisfactorily and that the bones have not shifted during your six weeks recuperation period.
During the time that you have a broken ankle, you may not be able to drive for up to twelve weeks depending on the extent of the injury. In some instances, patients may take months to return to their normal activities prior to their injury, especially athletes. Most medical providers recommend strengthening exercises to build muscle around the ankle. This helps you walk normally so you can perform your normal daily activities, or they may recommend physical therapy and home exercise to help you regain mobility.
Warning: Even though your broken ankle may appear healed, it is important to continue following your surgeon’s instructions. If you do not, you may end up with infections, deformity, and chronic pain.