Ankle very tight

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I had a plate and pins inserted after ankle surgery in July and was non weight bearing with a cast for 6 weeks. It's now almost 4 weeks since the cast was removed. I wasn't given any boot, just a support bandage and was told I'd be walking with just a stick by week 3.

Nobody told me how painful it would be, physio gave me exercises to do but I'm finding it very difficult to do them due to the pain. I feel as if I have a steel band around my ankle which seems to tighten as the days go on. If I manage to walk a few yards, my ankle really swells up more than usual and the pain is awful.

I've got some comfort reading other sufferers stories and realise my recovery could take months but does anybody else out there have this 'steel band' sensation? 

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18 Replies

  • Posted

    I agree with everyone regarding information from our doctors - if it was not for this blog, I would have gone insane!  Even friends of mine think I have been a total baby when it comes to this ankle so it is extremely reassuring that so many are suffering the same symptoms.  This blog has saved my confidence.  I am now 5 months post spiral fracture of fibula and doing ok but ankle still stiff and swollen at times.  I have heard that it can take up to one year to be perfect again!  Onwards and upwards friends and thanks so much for all the comments.


    • Posted

      A year is such a long time.... Only 5 1/4 mths dwn the line and feels like forever already. 😔 😔. Good luck everyone. Sx

  • Posted


    Your symptoms are probably not unusual but it is too bad you have to experience them.

    After effects of your surgery may have something to do with these challenges dealing with awful pain and the 'steel band' constriction syndrome. But it is nothing to be unduly concerned about at this early stage in your recovery.

    I was shocked that your health provider, after your 4 weeks in a cast, put you in a bandage (but not a boot) and apparently let you fend for yourself on weight bearing and further recovery.

    I agree with Roz (who also replied to you) about our doctors being closed-lipped about what patients should expect in recovery, helpful tips, and so on. It makes our job difficult-- as patients who want to get well as soon as possible and with as little suffering as necessary.

    It is a wake-up call to us to take responsibility for our own recovery. This means educating ourselves and acting proactively in our own self-interest.

    I wish you a speedy recovery.


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