After ankle surgery

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Hi

I had an ankle surgery 7 weeks ago and the cast removed last Tuesday...This Monday I began to do physiotherapy, but my ankle is still swollen and I can't walk without crutches. Is it normal, or should I be worried?

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    No need to worry. This is very normal. What kind of break did you have? I had a triple (trimalleolar) break, and it took 4 months before I walked very well. At 5 months I felt pretty normal and now at 8-1/2 months I feel great, but not perfect. I heard over and over that it takes at least 12 months with any major injuries to feel all perfect again. My experience seems "normal" from all the people I know who went through it. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. I had a bimalleolar fracture. Your ankle was also swollen after the cast was removed?
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    • Posted

      Sure was. Ankles take a long time for the swelling to go down. I was told a whole year, but mine has seemed normal since month 7-8 or so. The ankle always looks just a little slightly bigger, which I promise only you can see and tell though. Maybe it is because of the hardware or new bone, I have no idea, but I hear this all the time from ankle break survivors. One great thing I have noticed re. my scar, is it all but disappeared, and no one looks at the ankles anyway I have discovered. 

      I had my cast on for 8 weeks. After getting the cast off, you are entering the hard work phase of your recovery. It is all up to you. Measure your successes by weeks, not days. It took me 4 weeks to walk without aids, and months to walk without a limp. I think it disappeared about month 6 if I recall correctly now. Funny how you don't think you will ever forget, but you do! You are set free to move ahead now. Yay!

      Btw, I forgot to say this stay hurts during this phase. This is very normal. I am an anti-med person, but finally got smart and took a Motrin in the morning and one in the evening, so I could push forward in the day, and sleep at night. Best decision I ever made during this adventure, except for accepting this all with a smile, and purchasing a knee scooter!

      One more thing, take epsom salt warm baths in the morning. They are heavenly and helped me a lot and get a good massage cream you like. You will want that!

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  • Posted

    Agree with patti123, just go for physiotherapy ASAP, and follow what they say, The first 10 session you may go there every day, and after that 10 another maybe once a week. My doc was so serious about start walking ASAP. Physiotherapist knows what you should do...
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  • Posted

    I believe so.  I was in a cast 7 weeks- then boot for 7 more- I am now at 16 weeks and getting PT.  I still have a swollen ankle and I wear  a compression sock per my OS.  My swelling is definately better than it was but still there for sure.  By the end fo the day after work, I am ready to get home and ice and elevate.  I wore the boot on and off for several weeks due to pain w/out it.   My best visits w/ the PT are when she massages the joints.

     

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  • Posted

    Hi Isabel

    I'm 81/2 weeks since breaking my ankle and 2 1/2  weeks out of the cast. I'm sure it's normal and the majority of people get it. I believe the swelling and pinkish colour in the foot is just the blood trying to circulate round it again. I've not had any physiopherapy just told to walk which I am doing now, I can walk a distance outside with one crutch and I don't use it in the house. The swellings a little less each day.Try raising it up. I also iced it up to a couple of days ago. I think another week will make all the difference to you specially if you've been offered physiopherapy. Good Luck with your healing.

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    • Posted

      Hi Noreen,

      Thank you for the message. Now I'm not worried anymore.

      Yesterday I've started to use only one crutch...I hope I'll get rid of it in a short time.

      Good luck with your healing too.

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    • Posted

      That's brilliant Isabel each day is a tiny improvement. My main swelling is still the opposite side to the break (lateral malleous) which I believe could be soft tissue damage. When I first walked without crutches I found I had to concentrate just to lift each foot off the ground separately, but although I walk slow it's coming. Thank you for your good wishes.

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    • Posted

      Hi Noreen,

      How are you doing?

      Now I'm a little bit better.

      I can walk short distances without crutch, but very slow...I wanted to ask you something. How old are you? I'm 28 y.o.

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    • Posted

      Hi Isabel

      I am a lot older just had my birthday last week and I'm 65. So in some ways I've an advantage over you as I don't have to work. I am on holiday so with the good weather I'm getting lots of walks in. I too was very slow but suddenly find I am walking much faster. I can go down a flight of steps now not one at a time. Up steps I've been ok with a while. The stiffness is going out of my ankle and calf. I can stand on tiptoes and crouch down and up again. But my bad ankles not strong enough to do tiptoes with just the one leg. My limp seems to have gone. The swelling is much better as I have a rest in the afternoon and put my foot up instead of refusing stop. I am circling my foot, flexing it and all the other exercises from the Internet. I was offered no advice after the cast came off just walk as pain allows so I'm like you unsure just what I should expect. I may see my gp on my return and see everything's ok. You sound as if your progressing well. It all seems to come together at once. Let me know how you go on. Have you been offered physiotherapy?

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