Getting mobile again

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I'm 9.5 post op for a severe ankle fracture and 2 weeks in a boot after my cast. In 2 weeks I'm cleared to start walking in my boot. I'm really nervous about getting back on my feet again. What advice do you have? What worked best for you to get range of motion back? How was the pain?

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  • Posted

    Take it slow, I was so sad I thought I would take right off when given the go ahead. I didn't and It was painful. Rest when tired, ice and elevate often. Good luck. It is a process.

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  • Posted

    It actually didn’t really hurt walking in the boot. Have you been on crutches with the boot- have you been partial weight bearing yet? If not, start with just a little bit of weight on it, and gradually add more until you’re full weight bearing with it. Still keep your foot elevated when you’re not up and around. I found it easier to put the ace wrap on before the boot. 

    I’m about 4 weeks ahead of you. The boot walkingcwas a lot easier than in shoes. The boot disperses the weight . You can look up exercises for post ankle surgery on Youtube. The flexing and extending ones plus the alphabet with your foot are good ones to start with.

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    • Posted

      Oh and get an Even up from Amazon. It’s a lifesaver and a back saver.
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    • Posted

      Thanks so much😊 It's a relief to hear you didn't have a lot of pain when walking in the boot. I've been doing the flexing and extending and just very light weight. I get nervous about knowing how much is too much weight. I'm only crutching while still keeping my leg up. It's hard to get up to do that frequently because my 10 month old likes to chase me =)

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  • Posted

    I didn't even have a boot I had a cast for six weeks after surgery and was told to start walking with crutches. Listen to your body do as much as u can, follow the exercises given to u. Keep on top of your pain killers. I'm 10 weeks post op, I'm now able to drive again, so I feel like I'm heading into a new chapter. 

    Off swimming later which really helps

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  • Posted

    Karli,

    I'm sorry your practitioner did not give you clear instructions on weight bearing.

    Generally, at 4-6 weeks (depending, and if x-rays clear you to bear weight) you go to partial weight bearing (usually about 50%, depending) in boot, then about 2 weeks later go to full weight bearing in boot.

    Managing partial weight bearing is an art not a science. You can gauge what 50% weight bearing feels like be standing evenly on both feet-- then each foot bears 50% of your total body weight. You can manage this with crutches or a walker (frame).

    Remember, each person's recovery, while they may rhyme with a typical patient's experience, will be different for a myriad of reasons.

    One patient may get lucky and notice minimal pain and yet the next one may feel excruciating pain when going to weight bearing and walking (the secret is the amount and type of soft tissue injuries they sustained in fracture injury, plus any ankle joint alignment issues that may crop up).

    It is absolutely essential to start appropriate and progressive ankle rehab exercises as soon as allowed, not only to get 'range of motion' back but to strengthen and stabilize the entire ankle to prepare you for stresses of normal mobility.

    Rehab and physiotherapy are not 'one and done' activities but should continue for a long time after you are back on your feet-- to prevent backsliding and also to condition a compromised ankle for complete recovery and avoid pitfalls of chronic ankle instability and ankle arthritis coming to surprise you later in life.

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