broken ankle - ok to go without ankle boot 6 weeks after surgury???

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So I broke my ankle pretty bad about 6 weeks ago and had surgury to repair it.  Today, I went to the doctor and had the cast removed, and he told me I could start partial weight bearing.    I thought he would put me in an ankle boot for the next few weeks.  But he told me it wasn't necessary.   In fact he told me that I don't even need to wrap it in an ace bandage,  He also told me that physical therapy isn't necessary either rolleyes and that I should just take it slow.  

Does this mean that I'm healing quicker than normal, because according to everything I've been reading it seems that I should be in an ankle boot for at least a few more weeks.   

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    It seems everyone on this site including me then went into a boot and had PT.  Without PT I don't know what I would have done. I would certainly question this very seriously.

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  • Posted

    they say the bone heals in 6-8 wks, especially in young fit people. Were you advised to do any exercises?. If not you can find some good ones online (those published by barts nhs trust for broken ankle are exactly same as my physio gave me...I just like to print them out to remind me) ....How does your foot feel? Do you have another appointment with doc?
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    • Posted

      Thanks  for the support guys <3  

      Although, the doctor said that it looks like its healing pretty good- Im young but not exactly "fit"  (I was diagnosed with osteopena about 3 years ago).  And he didn't extend my sick leave which also worries me because at work I generally walk about 6000 to 8000 steps on an average day.  

      Unfortunatly - a second opinion isnt really an option for me right now becuase of insurance etc.    In this case does anyone have any thoughts about purchasing my own boot and wearing it anyways or perhaps wrapping it with an ace bandage.    My husband seems to think that I should follow the drs. orders exactly and just start wearing my regular shoe - but my foot is too swollen right now to do that. 

        

       rfoot - do you happen to have a link to the excercises that you mentioned.   Im thinkinng that at least I can check it out and work on that in the meantime since my next appointment is about 2 months out. 

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    • Posted

      https://www.bartshealth.nhs.uk/patient-information-leaflets

      look for the foot ankle leaflet and down load pdf.

      To start with my physio said to to the first two. ie toes /foot (incidentally I can't get my ankle onto my knee in that position! Just do what you can) It is OK to take pain killers (eg paraecetomol not aspirin or ibruprofen) before hand. Some people bathe the ankle in warm water...all helps to loosen movement. I was told to push as far as I could...a bit of discomfort to be expected. After 2 weeks, at my next visit she added the others. A fortnight after that, I was encouraged to join a specific exercise class at the hospital with even more exercises. It is OK, indeed normal, you feel achey after the excercises...don't forget to elevate and rest as well! Good Luck (I do appreciate the NHS in UK much more after reading problems others have with inurance in other countries)

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    • Posted

      I hope someone can advise you about work, buying a boot etc .I fear you will suffer if you have to walk/stand all day. Make sure you wear good supportive shoes, maybe compression sock? and rest whenever you can. I feel for you.

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  • Posted

    Wow I'm surprised to hear this, I'm almost 6 weeks post op, had my cast off today for a short time, I could not move my foot at all!! I'm going back on Monday to see consultant I was assuming I would go in a boot too or keep my lazy s cast on which can be removed. I guess I'll know more Monday 

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  • Posted

    aa.... 

    If your ankle was broken pretty bad and you just came out of a cast in just six weeks I can't understand why you aren't in a boot and or a brace. Or PT! It baffles my mind. 

    I don't think I've read anything here from anyone that hasn't required some PT or a boot/ brace. 

    I'd call again just to make sure.  

    Maybe someone else will pipe in with something different than me. 

    Good luck!

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  • Posted

    I think you should go back to the doctor. It's been 12 wks for me, and I'm still in a boot cast. I can do partial weight bearing, but I'm still not healed at all.

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  • Posted

    HI there

    That doesn't sound very right - I would take up a 2nd opinion if I were you. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Aa,

    I wanted to chime in with the rest of your responders to your post.

    Your story about the odd doctor who wants you to jump out of a cast and into regular shoes a mere 6 weeks post-op sounds like a joke-- if it weren't for real. What kind of doctor is he/she, and do they see busted ankles much at all in their practice?

    Yes, bones usually are healed enough for some weight-bearing by 6 weeks-- but the bone-knitting continues for months and even years. Not to mention any soft tissue injuries you may have incurred in your accident. After 6 weeks of immobilization such soft tissue is still fragile and is not 'raring to go' back to a normal active lifestyle.

    You did not mention any pain, swelling, or other difficulties since your practitioner set you loose into shoes, and I thought that was rather odd. The typical patient here has an assortment of issues to varying degrees with pain and swelling, as well as difficulty with regaining a normal walking gait.

    Sometimes patients need to consider common sense as well as doctors orders.

    Good luck.

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  • Posted

    kpower's comments make a lot of sense...it seems to me that the soft tissue injuries may take much longer to heal than the bone itself. Even if the bone is supposedly healed (as mine is) the range of movement is still very limited (11wks post injury), my gait is very uneven, I use one crutch outside but none in the house, I still have frequent swelling. I would not be fit for work unless in a sedentary job but I gather from physio that my recovery has been pretty good.

    Good healing to you!

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  • Posted

    There's no damn way that is okay after surgery and a bad break to jump from cast to any kind of weight bearing. You are asking someone who went from no weight bearing and no load whatsoever to partial weigh bearing with NO SUPPORT? I say don't do it. My insurance needed no referral for physical therapy-check with a physical therapy office and they can check your insurance for you. Mine gave me 30 visits with no copay but I would happily have paid the copay, They can guide you but for sure you need at least a second opinion. 

    This is a recipe for disaster and a bad healing after all that work. Wow.

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