Broken fibula, no surgery - When can I walk again?

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On July 25, I slipped on a deck and rolled my foot, breaking my fibula at the ankle (an oblique distal fibular fracture, to be specific). I thought I sprained it at first, but turned out to be broken. I went to the hospital, they gave me crutches and an AirCast boot and sent me on my way. A follow up appointment with the OS told me that I won't need surgery, but to stay off it completely and always wear the AirCast boot. I'm now almost five weeks past the accident, and I'm so eager to walk again. The bruising and swelling is completely gone and I feel no pain at all. 

I've read lots of posts from people who have had surgery, but I'm hoping to hear about experiences of broken ankles that didn't require surgery. My doctor gave me no indication of when I can bear weight on my foot again. What are your experiences? I am paranoid about re-breaking my fracture, so I'm staying off my foot until the Doctor clears me.... but I'm going crazy not knowing how much longer this is going to be! 

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  • Posted

    Wait until your fracture has healed to weight bear, an X Ray will show this. People say a non united fibula causes no problems as the bone doesnt take full weight, the tibia does that. My non united fracture 40 years later led to horrendous problems. Then an ankle replacement and 10 years later a fusion and bone graft. Don't rush it and be 100% even though you want to get mobile asap. Good luck. Keep us all informed.

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  • Posted

    UPDATE: (Replying to my own post in case anyone out there is in a similar situation and wondering about prognosis!) I went back to see the OS today and he said the bone is healing well (it's been 5 weeks since the fracture). He cleared me to start full weight bearing on it - so the good news is no more crutches! He told me to wear the aircast boot whenever I'm walking far or anytime I'm out of the house, but I'm able to take it off for short walks inside the house. I was a bit bummed out when he told me I need to keep the aircast boot on my ankle for another SIX WEEKS (it's hard to wear the boot with a suit at work - not a good look!).... This is just precautionary so that I don't roll my ankle and re-break the bone as it's healing. I know this is important, but I'm really tempted to graduate out of the boot before the six week mark. A broken ankle is an exercise in patience more than anything else!

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  • Posted

    I had similar hairline ankle fracture last weekend and am in a cast till next week. They will replace it with walking cast. I like to ask you were you were high or low aircast boot? As I am thinking of putting on aircast boots in place of cast. Thanks
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    • Posted

      The aircast boot is definitely better than a plaster cast. I didn't have a choice about the size of mine, so I have the knee-high boot. I would say that if you're able to wear one that is only ankle-high, that would be much better. The big downside of the knee-high boot is that it is really ugly!

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