Can I exercise my muscles while in a cast? And afterwards?

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Hi guys,

I fractured the one bone in my left ankle and was put in a cast. It is coming off on 26/8/16, after 7 weeks.

I have minimum pain by now, and the pain doesn't feel the same as in the beginning. Now it just feel stiff and uncomfortable, so I am thinking the bone has mended.

I am not weight bearing yet and are on crutches.

Will anything bad happen if I tighten my calf muscleto start strengthening it? I also vigorously move my toes around, also to build strength.

I guess my question is - are there any benefits to this?

I cannot see a physiotherapist, for various reasons, so will do my own rehab (I did my own rehab on my knee a few years ago when I severely damaged it. I am totally pain free and have full motion, so I am positive I can do my own ankle too).

Shall I do the same with my ankle and let me be guided by the pain, while doing the exercises?

Thank you for your insights.

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    My doctor said to wait until the cast was taken off when I asked him. He said it is so important to get the healing right for future possibilites of arthritis, that there was no reason to rush leg exercises until he gave me the green light. As soon as my cast came off I started. It takes a while to get the tendons and ligaments working again and it is a bit painful, but there is so much info on line that you can fine for rehab, that you will do fine. You sound very dedicated, and that is the most important thing. You have to do your excercises. And they told me wiggling of the toes is great to do in the cast btw.
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    • Posted

      Btw, I did arm workouts all the time in my cast and that was okayed early on by my doctors. 
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    • Posted

      My friend is lending me a moonboot! So the cast is coming off on the 19th. I am very relieved. I only need to know when I can start the exercises. Hopefully the orthopaedic surgeon can tell me, because I cannot afford a physio.
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    • Posted

      My arms and shoulders are soooo stiff from using the crutches. I tried exercises, but it got too sore....

      As soon as I can, I can start with spinning. Can't wait!!

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  • Posted

    Susan,

    I am in week 4 after surgery and still non weight bearimg. I have exercised every part of my body except the ankle and the affected calf. I was okay ed for leg lifts. I do leg lifts, side, and rear included. I do tons of ab work and upper body. I am hesitant to do anything with my broken ankle because I want it to heal properly. I think the risks for outweigh the benefits at this point.

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    • Posted

      I wish I was as dedicated as you!

      I had to battle depression too, so the thought of exercises was too much.

      But my mood lifted, so things will hopefully improve. I am at least a size bigger now!

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    • Posted

      Lol, do stretches then, maybe that will make you feel better a bit. It took me a few times to feel good doing the exercises. But now as I do them it does make me feel better. I hate the feeling of growing into the sofa. I turn the stereo up really high and just do them. Then I need a bath. It seems like it takes me all day to get up, make coffee, eat lunch, exercise, and get a bath. I actually started something for dinner in a crock pot today too. And for the first time got some laundry from the basket into tue washer, then dryer..all with crutches. I'm wiped out. Lol. Hang in there. My husband asks me what I do all day every day and I start with, "I got up" like it is an activity.

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    • Posted

      Yeah, that is very funny!

      I cannot fathom doing the washing on crutches - well done to you!

      In the beginning just getting up, was a mission. But it is amazing how my core strengthened and helps me get up or sit down, or even turn over in bed.

      I twisted my right ankle in the same fall where I fractured the left one - so the core had to step up quickly to help me turn in bed.

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    • Posted

      Omg, both ankles are sore! That makes things even harder. Hopefully the less injured one heals quick for you. I lean against the counter where the sink is so I don't have to hold myself up with the crutches. Also the same with the washing machine. But now That leg is more tired now so I am done for the day!

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  • Posted

    Hi -

    I fractured my tibia almost 5 weeks ago, and went to a boot at week 4.  The boot should come off next week, at week 6 (actually 2 days short of 6 weeks).   I did the same as most others, upper body exercises very carefully at first.  

    The PA said that I could move my toes and rotate my ankle when I take off the boot for shower, rest, etc., although still not weight bearing but i could certainly tell the ankle is much stronger.  Although certainly not pushing it.

    Told I shoud be WB when the boot comes off, seems a week early from what I have read, so will proceed cautiosly!

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    • Posted

      Gil,

      You and me both..... I was told I would be walking by the beginning of September and my rehab will be quick. I guess I will find out next week on the 25th how it is fusing. So we shall see. Next week will be 5 weeks after surgery when I get new x rays. I have a plate and 9 screws in.

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