Ankle surgery recovery

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Hi everyone

Im 6 weeks post ankle op 7 screws & a plate. On Tuesday 20th Feb 18 I go back to have cast off.

Surgeons words were nwb for 6 week's then we take cast off and I have physio.

My foot doesn't hurt at all no aches no pains. I feel that I could walk on it but I'm not aloud.

Can any one shine a light on what to expect Tuesday exercise wise.. time wise.. How long before I could walk/drive again

Thanks in advance x

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    I can see the anxiety in you. I was the same way.
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  • Posted

    I can’t really help you with your question but bruuuhh that is a real speedy recovery I am sooo jealous right now.

     I just had my surgery on Friday and it’s been hell.

    Anyways Goodluck with physio I hope everything keeps going your way and you can do normal things again.

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  • Posted


    Good to hear that your recovery has been so fast. From what I’ve been advised, I would only caution you to not rush into weight bearing and to follow advice provided on rehab routines and excercise. 

    I’m two weeks post surgery for an ORIF on my right ankle after a nasty fall while hiking in the desert. I’m told that I will be NBW for at least 8 weeks... I’m 56 so I’m sure age plays a large part in expected recovery time. By biggest problem at the moment is extreme pain and pressure whenever my leg isn’t elevated and I so I’m frustrated at not being able to properly excercise my good leg. I tried one legged squats with my TRX bands and it took more than an hour for the pain in my fractured ankle to  subside. 

    Did you suffer similar pain two weeks in? 

    Also, how was the cast experience? I’m in a back slab now and will return to see the surgeon in a week when he will either fit a cast or a boot. 


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  • Posted

    I had surgery May 12 2017 for bimollear ankle fracture. As soon as I was weight bearing-July 1st ish. I started therapy. Like you I had very little pain and discomfort after surgery. Weight bearing, relearning to walk and therapy were extremely painful. Lots of swelling, nerve and muscle pain for weeks on end. At the 5 month point I returned to work. I ocassionally have. Aches and stiffness but am back normal life. Therapy consisted of a lot of ankle stretching and range of motion exercises. 3 months of therapy is what I did. Make sure to do them at home as well. Find a good pair of shoes after you have been in therapy a while.Hope that helps.
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  • Posted

    Hi every one

    Thanks for taking the time to reply to my discussion.

    Update as where I am at now is not he 20th the doctor told me i can weight bare straight away there and then infrnt of him I was like What!! Really??

    So I did is was told. No pain just weakness. I walked out of there in a boot with 2 crutches just for support. 2 days later I was one crutch. 4th day no crutch a week later walking in my trainers. With out any crutches!!! 🤗🤗

    I have swelling which is normal I suppose but can be uncomfortable so I know when to rest up. I still put foot up when resting in the house as I know my limits.

    I drove fr the 1st time yesterday in my automatic tried a manual today but it wasn't so easy in that.

    Im very shocked at the way recovery is going, scar is a pink colour almost fully healed. There was a bit of over granulation which I wore s plaster iver fr just iver a week.

    Other than that all's fine.

    Swelling does get me down I must admit & so does the aching 😡

    Hope every one is getting on okay now & sorry for the late reply.

    I dnt seem to be getting emails to tell me what people are replying to

    Kell x

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  • Posted

    Oh p.s no physio therapy as yet so kinda using my own initiative 🤔

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  • Posted

    Hey Kelly,

    Glad to hear your recovery is going well.

    Your physician really expedited your transition to weight bearing after major ankle surgery. Usually I think the standard timeline is to proceed from non-weight bearing to partial weight bearing (in boot), and then full weight in boot for a while before walking in normal shoes. But doctors seem to vary wildly these days in the protocols they use.

    What matters is how you feel and if you are making steady progress in recovery-- as shown by steadily diminishing pain and swelling, and consistently getting back to a normal, relatively pain-free walking gait.

    Successful ankle rehab is not for sissies, but physiotherapy is vitally important to reclaiming your normal ankle health. I surmise that too many recovering ankle patients take a full recovery for granted-- whether or not they do all the prescribed ankle exercises (and for long enough) to strengthen and stabilize damaged soft tissue and the compromised ankle joint.

    Anyway, proceed with rehab at a pace that is challenging (yes, pain is allowed) but do not overtax your weakened ankle until it is fit again. And you have to keep doing rehab exercises for long enough for your gains to 'take'. Depending on patient, that could be weeks or months or indefinitely.

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  • Posted

    Is it your right or left ankle. If its left, you can drive in the boot as soon as youre off narcotic pain meds. Physical therapy will get you first partial weight bearing with crutches, then 1 crutch, then just in the boot. I'm 9 weeks one day and I am full weight bearing, in my shoes again. I had ORIF with plate and screws. I too had no pain since about week 5 or 6.

    Good luck!

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