What should I expect !

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Hi, I’ve just been put onto a boot after 6 weeks in a cast ( broken ankle and dislocation surgery ) I see the doctor tomorrow morning for him to give me the heads up to walk. What am I to expect now in terms of physio ? What do they do and when ? 

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  • Posted

    Hi Christine, 

    Although my injury is a bit different from yours I did have surgery Nov 13th and came out of my cast yesterday.  I will say I had the same questions as you did about the physiological and the walking. Its so scary!! When the doc came in he asked me to stand on the foot and I looked at him like he was NUTS! LOL But I did it. I'm not going to lie, it hurts like hell with out the cast on it. Last night it felt like I had 20 toothaches in that ankle with out the support of a cast. I had the option of going into a boot or the brace and I opted for the brace. Not sure if its the right decision but it is so much more comfortable. As for physio..  I have the option again to go or to just do the exercises on my own with my husbands help. He said the majority of healing for an ankle surgery with that is at home once you get the exercises from the therapist. 

    Good luck!! 


    • Posted

      I would go to the PT if you can afford it as it is definitely worth it. I was going once a week (reduced now to every second week). I have a home exercise program that gets tweaked when I need more challenging exercises so I don't do mine at the PT (not once I've learned the exercise). At the PT she does release type massage techniques on my ankle that makes it looser and helps it to feel better and also some deep massage to help remove adhesions. This is the first week I haven't gone to see her, and I do notice a difference in the tightness I feel in it. Looking forward to my next session smile

  • Posted


    You should expect to start doing ankle exercises as much and as often as is appropriate!   confused  Ask, ask, ask the doctor what physiotherapy regimen is best for you (if he can't recommend one he should refer you to a competent physiotherapist).

    Physiotherapy includes ROM (range of motion) exercises, and progressing to more challenging exercises that strengthen and stabilize ankle soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia, etc.) that likely took a beating in your injury (and/or have been asleep and flabby while you were casted). Attention should be give to balance and proprioception skills, and improving body biomechanics that will give you a normal walking gait back.

    Some people prefer DIY physiotherapy and learn from the web and videos-- I was one. But if you are clueless or simply not the self-motivated type then by all means hire a really good physiotherapist to help get you back to normal ankle function.

    • Posted

      Very much agree with this. I've moved on to more challenging exercises now and I definitely appreciated having the PT advise me what was appropriate, as I don't think I would have been nearly so aggressive in challenging myself if I did not have her approving it. 

      I just use the ROM ones now as needed for stretch (as my ROM is basically back to my old normal... my ortho doc was amazed at my last and final appointment... she said the ROM in the foot that had the broken ankle is better than hers... lol).

      My current ones are:

      1) 3 sets of 10 squats on the Bosu ball

      2) 3 sets of 10 lunges onto the Bosu bell (landing leg is the injured one)

      3) balance on injured leg only while the other leg goes up and back and you lean forward; then transfer to have the leg out to the side; then send your good leg out to the front (its a bit like a ballet Grande Battement exercise, except more athletic as you are supposed to also lean your body away from your leg and you aren't hanging on to any ballet bar); repeat for 5 minutes elapsed taking breaks as needed

      4) theraband exercises (up to the blue level) - 30 of each (pulling toe towards you, aducting toe, abducting toe)

      5) I'm also doing jumps (two feet to two feet landing at the moment) because this is important for hiking (no other way to cross over obstructions sometimes).

      I'm having fun with it, and back to hiking on flat terrain (longest one so far was 13 kilometers two weeks ago). I'm at 13 weeks post fracture (Weber A stable, so one of the easiest to heal from... counting my blessings that was my fracture type for sure!) smile

  • Posted


    I see you pull no punches and take no prisoners when it comes to ankle rehab!

    I just wish more ankle patients would put their keisters in gear and go for complete recovery, no holds barred. You are a good role model for those ankle patients who are waffling or reluctant to put in every effort to get their ankles back.

    I had to look up Bosu ball-- never heard of it. It seems to be good for balance and strengthening for lower extremities, including ankles. Not cheap though, about $110 on Amazon.

    However, standing on Bosu ball's flat side is probably not highly recommended, unless you want a concussion  )

    Wobble (balance) board has served me well so far. And your foot balancing exercises are excellent.

    • Posted

      Thanks kpower!smile

      I suppose I should have explained I stand on the rubber dome part while doing the squats... lol. That's an important detail. I bought the ball years ago as part of my home gym (there's quite a lot you can do with it), unaware that it was also a great therapy tool.

      There are exercises you can do while standing on the flat side, but I've not had any prescribed for me. My daughter did some balances on the flat side when she was recovering from a growth plate injury to her ankle when she was about 7 or 8 - she's a dancer with excellent balance and even so she did not do that particular exercise without holding one of my hands smile



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