Broken Ankle (Fracture)

Question:

Please share your experience with recovery time and rehabilitation for a broken ankle. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Jennifer , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 09

Unfortunately, I broke my tibia and fibula in 4 different places along with a long spiral fracture. I am 8 months post-surgery and now recently began feeling loss of feeling in my ankle. Seemed like everything was going well. I will know soon why this is happening. Wonder if there is anyone else in this position.

Comment from: LAT, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 02

I broke my left fibula (spiral fracture) on July 9, 2020. I was non-weight bearing for 4 weeks but the bone moved. I had surgery with plate and seven screws, on July 27th. I was non-weight bearing again until cleared to bear full weight on August 29. I did physiotherapy for six weeks. Range of motion is decent but I still have swelling in my foot, and pain where the plate is, if I walk a lot (especially stairs). I was told it will take time for the swelling to go away. I have final follow up with the surgeon on November 5th. Fingers crossed.

Comment from: Lori, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

I dislocated my right ankle, broke bones in my tibia and snapped the fibula on September 1st when I fell down the stairs in my house. I had extreme dislocation to the outside of my ankle and needed to call 911. They put me in a temporary cast (hard forming material) until surgery on the 9th. I got a plate and screws to reduce the tibia, but apparently the snap in the fibula aligned up well after they played the tibia. I've been in another hard material cast with crutches, but I've put some weight on it. Wonder if that is bad.

Comment from: ClumsySam, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I slipped on the 30th June. I ended up with partial dislocation, a few hairline fractures and in a spiral 1/3 up my leg, a separation of my bones needing to connect my ankle on the inside. I had a plate, 12 screws, one going through both bones and 2 on the inside of my ankle. The operation was on the 7th July, discharge on the 9th, staples out in 2 weeks and out of plaster at 6 weeks. I can’t get the screws out because of COVID but now 2 months after the operation and with no boot, I’ve started walking on it with crutches; painful!

Comment from: Leedle, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 02

I was hit by a large dog running full out. Broke my left ankle (fibula in 4 pieces, tibia in 3) and dislocated the ankle. I had ORIF (open reduction internal fixation) with syndesmosis repair 4 days later (July 2). Spent 4 weeks in a splint, then 4 weeks in a Cam boot, all non-weight bearing. Now, I am 1 week into starting to walk in the boot with crutches. Walking at about 25 percent body weight and it gets very sore. Looking forward to getting out of the boot in 3 more weeks if all goes well. Will have hardware removed (2 plates, 12 screws) in 6 months.

Comment from: Dory , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 09

I broke my ankle and had a trimalleolar fracture for which I had surgery on 9/24 (injury on 9/12). I had screws and a plate or 2 placed. I had my 2 week follow-up appointment today. No x-ray was done. Stitches and staples came out, I was put in CAM boot and told I can be full weight bearing, 2 weeks after surgery. This sounds crazy to me! So far I am using crutches to assist. I can’t put weight on it though. Wonder if anyone else was told to weight bear so soon.

Comment from: MPMC, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 01

Twelve weeks ago, I slipped and broke my left fibula at the knobby part of the ankle. Surgery was not required. I was on Aircast boot for 10 days. Started physical therapy at week 7, now with 7 sessions and still counting. I am able to walk with one crutch and learning to walk without the crutch and boot. One step at a time... listen to your body. I get swelling and stiffness when overworked. Be kind and patient with yourself and persevere with the exercises.

Comment from: Vonyastar, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 31

Four weeks after my ankle fracture I was told I had to get surgery. In total it's been 55 days I haven't been able to walk. I have been in chronic pain as well. I also have kids at home and a very horrible lazy husband, who yells and calls me names. I have been through agony, and trying to find hope now. In three weeks I am supposed to be able to start weight bearing in my boot. I'm afraid, I have nonstop fear. I need to walk again. I want to clear out and file a divorce. Wonder what it is like to start bearing weight again.

Comment from: ALG, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 31

On August 6, 2020 I slipped on my patio (it had just rained) and dislocated my ankle with a trimalleolar fracture. The emergency room doctor was awesome and put me in a splint. I declined surgery as it seems to be more painful based on the research I’d done. Now at three weeks I’ve been in a boot and can walk without crutches but there is some pain. Fingers crossed, at six weeks I’ll be good as new.

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Comment from: Janet, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I had surgery with 2 plates and 9 screws for my broken ankle, just a week out of boot, and can't weight bear as they've told me to. No physiotherapy and no help whatsoever. I am 63 years old very scared of not being able to walk again. Excruciating pain is reducing me to tears all the time.

Comment from: Anne, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 18

It’s been 2.7 years since I broke my ankle and upper tibia and fibula bones. I had a titanium rod along the tibia and fibula. I was still having pain while walking and standing and the screws seemed to irritate my ankle. So the surgeon removed all the hardware 3 months ago. I’m able to bend my knee normally at this point. But the foot and ankle have the same chronic pain as before. I can’t walk or stand very much before my foot and ankle get really stiff and painful.

Comment from: Shae ankle journey, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 27

On July 2nd, 2020 I fell and broke my ankle in two. I went to the emergency room, they assisted and wrapped my broken left ankle, and then put in a splint. I followed up with the orthopedic doctor on July 7th and had surgery on July 8th. I now have a plate and 12 screws in my ankle. I was discharged after surgery, non-weight bearing. It was wrapped in soft bandages, and a wrap and a boot must stay on at all times. Two weeks post operation, July 22nd, I still can’t bear any weight on my foot. Wonder how long the process for a healing ankle is.

Comment from: Pn Glasgow , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 17

I broke my ankle 6 weeks ago. My fibula and tibia were both broken. I had surgery to repair my left ankle. My ankle was placed in a walking boot and I managed well resting with this and walking in it. I attended the hospital today and I was told to start trying to walk without my boot now, as from the x-rays it seems to be healing ok. I feel I wasn’t given much advice from the doctor just told to rotate my ankle.

Comment from: Carrie , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 30

I had trimalleolar fracture on 16th May, 2020. I literally only cockled off a patio step. I had my foot facing the wrong way. I was given morphine whilst my foot was straightened, then put in a splint by the ambulance team. Then Accident and Emergency put me to sleep to reduce the broken ankle. I had 10 days for swelling to go down, then surgery. The surgery meant I had two plates and 13 screws. Non-weight bearing, but had stitches out at two weeks. On 9th July I will have X-ray and hopefully be able to weight bear. I am in a CAM (controlled ankle motion) boot.

Comment from: Mojavewolf, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 29

I broke my ankle in March, I decided not to have surgery as I was scared of the COVID epidemic. I had a bimalleolar closed fracture. It is the end of June now and I have been trying to weight-bear fully. The doctor said my alignment was good. I still have a small fracture along the top of my foot. But I was told not to be afraid to weight-bear. I have a lot of pain sometimes, after I weight-bear with crutches. I am going to be fitted with a brace on July 1st to help me with my walking. Hope I will walk again.

Comment from: Mojavewolf , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 23

I’m discouraged and feel like I’m never going to walk again. One girl in my group had surgery for a broken ankle 7 weeks ago and she is already walking in her boot without crutches. I’m 12 weeks and still can’t do it. I just got the ok at 9/10 weeks to partial weight bear for a week and then try to full weight bear. That’s within two weeks. I thought I was doing good but last night my foot was hurting badly. My leg was sore too. So I’m taking a few days off to get it soothed. I see the doctor on Tuesday, the 23.

Comment from: Faedominae, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 09

I fractured my distal fibula and ankle on April 26th. I saw the surgeon 1 week later. He was on the fence about surgery, so I declined. I saw him 1 week later for the weight bearing x-ray. I declined surgery again. He scheduled our next appointment for June 26th and wanted me to be non-weight bearing until then. No thanks. Three weeks in, I was walking with the boot just fine. I am now doing foot exercises and practicing walking without the boot.

Comment from: Roz, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 09

I fell off a 4 foot ladder 4 weeks ago breaking my tibia in 3 places, my fibula in 1 place, and destroying my ankle. The leg bones were displaced. I now have a rod in my tibia, and 5 pins and screws in my ankle. My ankle feels pretty good, but my knee and above, the areas in my leg are still so sore, that I can’t kneel on the knee scooter I got.

Comment from: Liz, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 27

I broke my ankle in two places in March and spent six weeks in plaster. I had a physiotherapy assessment over the phone one week after removal of the plaster. I am exercising with a ball but still unable to weight bear and spend a long time, especially during the night. I am worrying about this.

Comment from: Peggy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 26

I broke my ankle on the 28th of February. I had surgery on the 2nd of March. Cast was removed on the 14th of April. I was told to start exercising and put weight on the foot. Until today the ankle is still extremely weak and stiff, and my scars are painful on the inside. I still cannot walk on the foot properly, and the ankle is not bending properly. I'm worried, but have to wait to see my surgeon because of the lockdown. I wonder how long it takes for an ankle to heal to a point where I can walk unassisted by crutches.

Comment from: Catherine L, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 19

I'm 53 and broke my ankle 7 months ago. I slipped on my brother’s driveway and my leg went behind me. I broke both my major bones and dislocated them. I also tore some of my calcaneus bone off. I had a cast, then fixation and finally an operation with plate and screws, staying in hospital for nearly a month. I had a boot on for 6 weeks, then discharged and told to walk and do physiotherapy. I have done so many exercises and went to the pool every day. I've got good stretch and some strength. Constant pain remains.

Comment from: Scenicpower, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 15

I broke my ankle and have a plate on one side and couple of screws on the other. It’s been 18 days. I was put in a boot two days ago, non-weight bearing for 4 more weeks. I am able to take off the boot to shower and rest and was told to start flexing my foot back and forth twice a day. It’s not easy, I have very little range of motion. Looking for tips to increase range, early post operation.

Comment from: Anyone, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: April 09

I broke my ankle in three different places. I had to get ten screws total and a big plate. I was in soft cast for a little while after surgery, and then put in a hard cast for two months. I didn’t use crutches, I used a scooter which is way better, just a little bit harder to get around in very crowded places. After I got my hard cast off I was put into a boot which I could only take off to shower and sleep. I had to wear that for the next month, and then I was finally allowed into physical therapy.

Comment from: Cecile , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 25

I had surgery for a broken ankle 8 months ago; 3 torn ligaments, bone chip and ganglion cyst. My ankle still hurts and is black. My surgeon retired. Physical therapy does not help. I’m in trouble after going grocery shopping. Now I can’t get an MRI because of the Covid-19 virus bringing elective surgery to a halt!

Comment from: Bloodofthelamb143, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

On January 16 of 2020, I slipped on ice breaking my fibula. The fracture I have is a closed fracture. I ended up in the emergency room (ER) having a sugar tong splint for five days before seeing the orthopedic doctor. After seeing the orthopedic surgeon, he did a stress test on my ankle twice. Since then I had complications of the top of my foot and my toes going purple. I’ve been through two casts, four sugar tong splints and now in an air boot that ER supplied me with. It’s been a long journey.

Comment from: Badger1, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

My left leg was struck by a forklift at work causing my ankle to roll under the tire, breaking both ankle bones and causing damage to my heel and foot. They put in 10 screws and a plate. Two weeks post-operation, I have lots of nerve pain at night. Taking gabapentin to help.

Comment from: Mandy, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 19

I broke my ankle on September 1. I had an operation to do the bones, then 6 weeks in a cast, and then a 2and operation to put pins in. I had crutches and boot. I went back to work before Christmas. My ankle still hurts, but today even after painkillers that normally work. It is like every time I walk I am being stabbed in my foot.

Comment from: Caribare, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 12

I broke my ankle and it was so swollen I could hardly fit the boot. After 3 weeks of foot up and crutches I can start to bear weight! Per doctor, at 4 weeks I can walk for as long as it feels ok. I walked 1 1/2 mile slowly in the boot and now it hurts to the point of distraction; today is just 5 weeks. I have no swelling and it feels good.

Comment from: Cheryl R., 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 31

I broke my ankle slipping on ice. Felt the crack and sure enough I broke my fibula and right ankle bone. I’ve been sleeping in a recliner keeping it elevated doing leg bending as much as possible; slow consecutive getting back in the recliner and elevating it, making sure the swelling stays down and blood circulates. When standing my foot still goes purple though it is after two weeks. Wonder if anybody else has had this problem. Pain is still there, not as strong though. Wondering if it is safe to fly, I have concerns about developing deep vein thrombosis.

Comment from: Lucyanne, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 23

I had a crush injury after a horse fell on me breaking my tibia, fibula and talus in the ankle in several places along with ruptured ligaments, etc. I had an open reduction, then two plates and 13 screws. One screw is now removed and I am meant to be fully weight bearing, however, the pain is totally unbearable. The physiotherapy waiting list is longer than both my arms and I am now experiencing bad swelling and a lot of clicking within the joint. If anybody has any experience, please let me know this will get better! Injury was 4 months ago.

Comment from: DJ, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 26

I broke my ankle 9 years ago and had surgery with 8 pins and screws in it. It is completely healed. However, I get extreme swelling quite often. Wonder if anyone else experiences this after so many years!

Comment from: Me, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

I was playing football with my kids and my daughter’s boyfriend fell on my ankle. I have an ankle fracture. I was put in an air boot for 5 weeks non-weight bearing. I went back to the doctor and he said I could bear weight and put me in a splint which really hurt, so I'm wearing a brace. I cannot walk. I still have pain on both sides of my ankle and my ankle is stiff. He said to come back if I had pain at 2 weeks. The whole process has seemed weird, as I wasn’t even told where the break was until the boot was taken off and I asked.

Comment from: Steve, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 03

I'm 6 weeks in after a broken ankle, and going by eggs, vitamins and beef. I had a trimalleolar fracture and it looks good. I have little pain and good movement. It was caused by a pothole grass. For 56 years no injury and this is a concern. I have a leg scooter. It is looking good so far even with screws and bolts.

Comment from: Sky, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 24

It’s been 9 weeks since my trimalleolar fracture happened. I had a plate and 7 screws put in on the outside of my left ankle and 3 long screws put in on the inside. I’ve noticed a very large bulge still on the outside of my ankle right where you should see my ankle bone. My ankle is still very swollen and I have no feeling on my skin on the left half of my left foot. I also cannot physically point my toes. Not because of pain, but because my ankle and foot won’t physically bend that way anymore.

Comment from: Stephinie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 13

I broke and dislocated my ankle. The first surgery was to put an external fixator on while the swelling was reducing. The second surgery was to remove the fixator and too add plates and screws. The second surgery was outpatient. The pain I have experienced so far has been mind-bending. I was not prepared for that. I am told that the best pain level I can have is a 5. I have 2 weeks before the incisions are released and then hopefully a boot. I don't envy anyone who is undergoing this process.

Comment from: Twopence, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 10

I dislocated and broke my ankle in 2 places. I had surgery on both sides of the ankle to put it back together with steel. I had a cast for two weeks, then a moon boot and started physiotherapy when I went into the moon boot. Six weeks post-surgery I am partially weight bearing on elbow crutches. After the next x-rays I expect to fully weight bear in the boot for another 2 weeks. The physiotherapist has really helped with the flexibility of my ankle, and the massage she showed me has helped reduce swelling.

Comment from: Sadie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 09

I broke and sprained my ankle falling on black ice. It was a slow motion crushing tearing fall. I felt everything along the outside of my foot tearing as I fell. I have a stable ankle fracture (Weber B) that doesn't want to heal after almost 8 weeks. And I think I have torn ligaments judging from where my pain is, about which the doctor hasn't shown much concern. It's very frustrating as the doctor said it was ok to bear weight on the fracture, but if I have a high ankle sprain, which I suspect, I should not have done any weight bearing for at least 6 weeks. I am very worried about non-union of the fracture and needing surgery for ligament damage.

Comment from: SavannahJul, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 10

I broke both tibia and fibula after slipping on wet grass on 9/22/15. I had plate with five screws put on one side and one huge screw on the other side. That was 9/30. I was never in a cast, just an air cast. Two weeks ago my bones were pronounced totally healed and I was able to bear full weight again, with just a DonJoy brace. I have had one physiotherapy session and am trying to do exercises on my own. I have daily swelling but very little pain. I try to elevate my ankle an hour for every 3 to 4 not elevated, and ice it when I do. The swelling does subside quickly when I ice. Ankle looks almost normal first thing in the morning. It's depressing but the recovery on this ankle is not going to be fast. Doctor just doesn't like to tell you that since he knows you'll find out soon enough!

Comment from: Cidewoodr, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 22

I broke my fibula just above the ankle after a fall on ice. I had a plate and screws to hold the bone together and plaster cast for 7 weeks and had to be non-load bearing. When the cast was removed I was given a support boot and was able to put about 50 percent weight on the foot whilst using crutches. It’s now another 3 weeks on and I am able to walk carefully without the boot with a bit of a limp as the ankle tends to swell without the boot. The ankle is still quite sore, but is now starting to improve. I saw a physiotherapist yesterday and she has given me some stretching exercises to do on my ankle. She said the stretching would reduce the swelling and free up the ankle, as long as I do the stretching on a regular basis.

Comment from: Mojavewolf, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 09

I had a bimalleolar ankle fracture. Wonder if anyone who had this fracture did not have surgery. I’m in a brace now, weightbearing, just started. I broke it in a hard fall from wet cement floor.

Comment from: Esty, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

Wondering how long the pain lasts after ankle surgery. I broke my ankle last Thursday and had the operation last week. I'm in agony with it today.

Comment from: lucia, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 13

I have a distal fibula break. I am in splint until Monday which would be 5 days and then will see the orthopedist for a walking cast.

Comment from: B, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 13

I Broke MY ankle in several places. I had surgery and had a plate and pins put in. I was in bed most of the time. For two months, I used a walker or wheel chair. I though after I got my cast off it would be all better. I had gone to therapy, but my walking was not good so the doctor decided I need to have pins and plates removed after six months. I am now walking better after seven months, but I’m still really stiff.

Comment from: Beckii, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 02

I fell and had a trimalleolar fracture of the ankle and two fractures of the fibula over six months ago. I had a plate and five screws put in. I was non-weight bearing for 12 weeks and then had two of the screws removed. I had physical therapy for one month. I am still having trouble walking distances which is frustrating. From what I understand, this is an accident that occurs with Marines and athletes. I hope I’ll be back to normal in a few more weeks.

Comment from: Charlotte, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 11

I broke my ankle in two places about a month ago, and just had the opportunity to get rid of the moon boot yesterday! I required open ankle surgery on one side of the ankle and the other side was a straight fracture not requiring surgery. Both sides hurt! So I'm wearing sneakers and the foot is very painful, still, around the ankle and above the foot, and it feels weird if I stand on the injured foot without sneakers. I am taking Mobic to reduce the swelling and am not walking a lot to minimize swelling. I start rehab this week on the ankle and hope that I can regain range of motion and reduce the pain I now feel.

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