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I’m a 22 year old female who destroyed her left ankle. I was indoor rock climbing, went for a reach, and fell straight down. I broke my ankle in two places, and tore ligaments. This break is called a bimalleolar fracture and happened on January 25th. I had surgery on January 31st and was in a cast. At first, the pain was bad, couldn’t sleep, felt hopeless, didn’t want to move so I didn’t. I was very sad through the beginning. Fast forward to February 15th, I got my staples and stitches out, and transitioned to the boot. I was also given a compression sleeve to reduce the swelling but it was cutting so deep into my skin and creating massive problems which I thought was the boot until two weeks later. Once I took the sleeve off for good, I had no issues with the boot. March 2nd starts physical therapy. Lots of ankle massages and light  stretches. For me, it didn’t hurt. I still wasn’t doing anything and it was still hard on me mentally. March 13th is where the real excitment begins, full weight bearing day!! I was super nervous but so excited because I knew everything was about to get so much better, and it did! At first, it hurt my heel a little, but that was the only pain. I walked with one crutch for about three days and then ditched it to walk only in the boot. My transition was very fast and easy. One week later I was out of the boot and into an ankle brace. I went back to work but since I was on my feet and walking back and forth nonstop I wore the boot to work. In the morning and night is when walking on my own two feet and nothing else gets a little sore, but it goes away once I do my stretches. It’s all been very positive for me, I walk well out of the ankle brace, and my ankle does not swell at all anymore. As soon as you get out of the boot, the transition is so quick. What I call the limbo stages (the healing process) were the worst for me. When I started walking, it’s almost like the whole thing never happened. All I can say is to stay positive, walking is closer than it seems!

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Count,

    Thanks for sharing your story with us. Always a pleasure to hear of another success story.

    Like you I had a bimalleolar fracture and severe ankle sprain on same side. You mentioned ligament damage but no sprain so I find that exceptional, indeed.

    My experience was similar to yours except that I had some lingering issues with an injured posterior tibial tendon that got beat up in my injury.

    It sounds like you did everything by the book and it turned out very well for you. Proper and intensive physiotherapy is the golden key to a full ankle recovery and you seemed to ace that as well.

    Best wishes for a pleasant journey from here.  Any more rock climbing in your future?

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    • Posted

      Thank you. I was determined to have a healthy successful recovery so I can yes! Climb again! I should be able to climb in May, or as soon as I strengthen up my ankle. I’m powering through my side to side motions. There’s of course still some pain in some areas that stop my in my tracks but all in all, I’m getting there. 
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  • Posted

    Hi, your comment offered me a lot of encouragement, thank you. I am a lot older than you but fit and healthy so I have to hope for a normal (whatever normal is)recovery.
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    • Posted

      You totally will. Especially since you’re healthy, I’m sure your recovery will go as expected. I’m not sure about yours, but my break and recovery was pretty standard. As long as you follow the doctor, there should be nothing in your way.
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  • Posted

    you have done amazingly well, your y outh and fitness will have helped a lot. Hope you are soon back climbing.
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    • Posted

      Thank you! I actually went yesterday, but my ankle isn’t quite ready to handle it. So hopefully by the end of April it’ll be strong enough.
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  • Posted

    Your post is very encouraging, I had ORIF surgery on New Years Eve so a bit earlier than you but can’t seem to ditch the crutches (although slowly getting down to one) so you positive reporting has given me so much inspiration to turbo charge my progress this week.

    I would love to return to work, do the garden and have a holiday somewhere warm, hopefully these are in touching distance.

    Thank you, Kenny

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    • Posted

      Thank you! You’ll get there in no time, don’t worry. As soon as it starts picking up, the recovery is quick and very uplifting. Good luck!
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