15 weeks post break

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Hi I broke my ankle badly on November 25th. I had it plated and pinned and was in a cast 8 weeks and now been in a boot for 7 weeks. I can walk on it unaided but it is still so swollen. Any idea how long it will be like this? I want to start driving on Tuesdsy after the boot comes off but I can't even get a soft shoe on. Is there anything I can do to get this swelling down? It's the entire foot and ankle.

Thanks in advance.

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Debbie. My doctor told me right away not to keep asking about swelling on every visit as it will take 6 -9 months for it all to go away.  I broke both my tibia and fibula a year ago and I must say the surgeon was correct.  The swelling will eventually go away but you will have a purple leg and some swelling for quite a long time, at least that was my experience.  Ice and elevate as much as you can.  The saying "toes above the nose" really applies here.  Good luck


  • Posted

    Hi Debbie,

    When I got my cast off (plaster, never had the boot) my doctor mentioned that he could give me a perscription for some sort of tensor sleeve that apparently takes down the welling. He said it is very itchy and annoying, so recommended I don't fill the perscription unless I really felt it was needed. My ankle and foot was also very swollen after getting my cast off, more swollen than usual apparently.

    Some things that will help are icing it!! A lot of trauma happened, at least twice a day for twenty minutes each. Also getting your foot moving and wiggling your toes might help, you could even gently massage it. Once I started moving mine around more I noticed the swelling went down. The doctor told me swelling is natural as you haven't been using your muscles in a long time- need to get things circulating.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery and stay positive! We still have a ways to go but having the right mindset definitely helps the process along.

  • Posted


    I wish we could say the swelling will be down very soon, but I don't want to give you false hope.

    For some patients, edema (swelling) is a long, drawn-out affair-- but for others not so much. There are too many variables involved to figure out in advance who will fight swelling a long time and others that get off relatively scot-free.

    15 weeks post-op is relatively short for beat-up ankles, so be patient in recovery.

    Please do your ankle and physiotherapy exercises religiously-- they will help with swelling and help strengthen and stabilize the ankle bits that are damaged.

    Gentle foot massage (with or without essential oils) helps many people with swelling. Also, alternate application of hot and cold packs can help stimulate circulation down there, and get toxins and lymph moving (some even like Epsom salts foot baths). Try doing the 'gas pedal' pump exercise as much as you can tolerate (that is, tilt each foot alternately forward towards toes and then back up towards knee). This activates a powerful circulation pump in the calf that gets foot fluids moving up and away against gravity.

    Good luck.

  • Posted

    Thanks all for replying. Looks like time really is a healer then! 🙁


  • Posted

    Hi Debbie, the swelling is the last thing to go down.  Keep it elevated whilst watching TV, ice it and my physio used kinesiology tape also.  Good luck!

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