Have you ever faced the sudden shock of twisting, rotating or jumping from a height and got your ankle broken? It simply takes three seconds to break your ankle three times. lets discuss about how to Start Walking After a Broken Ankle. A broken leg can prevent you from going somewhere or to get involved in your work or school from weeks to months and the journey of life can really be hard with a broken ankle. But, do not worry, we got you. Here is all the essential information you need to know about the recovery process and techniques to make your healing endurable.
What is a Broken Ankle?
A broken ankle also known as ankle fracture is one of the common lower leg injuries. It needs to be healed with the help of a physician as it can be severely painful if not handled properly. In the United State of America more than 5 million people face ankle injury over the year though far less than the broken heart.
No, they are not blind instead it is often due to some sports activity e.g., playing rugby or being hit by something while looking at the phone. The most severe injury can be the result of a serious car accident or putting too much stress on your ankle. It can equally affect people of all ages. However, over the past few years, active old baby boomers are seen to be more vulnerable toward severe ankle damage.
Types of Fractures you Might Get
The ankle joint is made up of three bones. For patient education, A physician usually refers an ankle as having three sides and a roof and any of these sides or combinations can get fractured. The lower end of the tibia makes the top and inside called as medial of the ankle. Lateral or posterior part of ankle is shaped by the lowest part of fibula.
This is the most common type of ankle fracture in which the lateral malleolus (A knobby bump on the outside of the ankle) disrupts. Risk of long-term joint damage raises with the increase in fracture mark.
Complete disruption of ankle ligaments occurs. This further is linked with the fibula fractur at knee level. This type of fracture might not be seen in X-ray as the actual bone fracture is above the ankle. Such ligament injuries can only be seen through other forms of imaging e.g., MRI Fracture at ankle level can be non-Displaced or placed Ankle Fracture. If the bones are still in correct placement and alignment after injury,
it is called non displaced fracture. In displaced ankle fractures the broken or the affected part of bones loses its alignment and placement. Only your physician can tell you the severity and the treatment of broken ankle. There are several imaging tests for your foot and ankle to confirm the injury. The type of imaging used depends on your physician choice and knowledge. X-rays imaging, for example, is done in order to determine whether the bone is broken and displaced or not. It also shows the total numbers of broken bones.
Another technique is stress test. Do not worry it’s not about taking stress on your mind. It is performed by a physician on your leg to know the intensity and whether the bone needs surgery or not. If the fracture is extended to the ankle, CT scan imaging is used. The high-resolution imaging of bones and ligaments may be done by MRI imaging in order to determine ligament in the ankle
What Can Be The Treatment
The severity of the injury varies from sprain (when ligaments collapse and slit) to broken ankle. Physical movement with a wrecked ankle can cause more deteriorate. if there is a confirmed injury, Consult with a doctor as soon as possible.
There are numerous ways to heal a broken ankle depending upon the sternness, kind and location of the fracture. Typically, it takes 6-10 weeks to fully recover from the ankle break.
Physical therapy is the most widely use practice for the healing of broken bones. Physical therapists also known as movement experts would correct your ankle movement. They enhance life quality and posture through patient education and hand on care.
If you have a cracked ankle, stay to remain in touch with your physical therapist throughout the period of recovery. Most probably a therapist would help you with critical injury care using RICE formula (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Injured Ankle is immobilized with the help of ace wrap or stirrup brace. This would limit the movement as well as swelling of the area. Ice is then applied in order to eradicate distension. Wrapping or compressing the affected area would be helpful in the eradication of swelling. The injured ankle is then elevated on the pillow and is treated with ice therapy.
A physical therapist would usually suggest you to take rest and use crutches or knee scooter or any other assertive device for walk in order to avoid pressure on the effected ankle. If the injury is severe, you may have to consult the emergency department or orthopedic physician. Physical methods or mediators can also be used to help enduring the pain. In some cases, Electrical simulation is used to correct the muscle functionality.
If the fracture has disrupted the placement of your ankle, it has to be healed with surgery. During this process, the bone is first corrected back to their normal alignment and then kept tighter with the help of special screws or metal plates till they get back their organic strength. If there is a need for a surgery the ankle would be placed in a fracture boot or a cast to generate post-surgery stability.
A physical therapist would help you be seated and then standup after surgery. Once the fracture is healed and the ankle repairment is confirmed by x-ray, a physical therapist would help you with the intensity of the weight to place upon your ankle and assist you in regaining the normal ankle movement.
Things to Do at Home With a Broken Ankle
In addition to the consultation with the physical therapist or orthopedic, if you got an ankle fracture there are certain actions you can perform within your home premises to manage the injury. Avoid resting for a long period it would do nothing good to your ankle or weight. Instead, your recovery phase would be improved if you stay as active as possible. Some suggested measures in order to avoid trip or falling are given below.
Try to reorganize your furniture. If required, shift your bed and equipment’s to the ground floor to skip on a staircase. keep your surroundings lighted to avoid walking in dark. If you are all by your own keep your phone with in reach to contact your doctor or emergency department. Ask someone to do grocery for you or you can order things online just as we are doing during pandemic. Go for already chopped veggies and healthy food. While preparing the food, do yourself a favor by making it as easy as possible.
Do not vacillate in requesting friends or family for a ride or go for any online cab booking service. Psychological activity is also necessary to help you get through the period of recovery. Play games or watch movies of your preferred genre. You can also read books or start writing about your own experience of the broken ankle and name it as the amazing adventures of a broken leg guy or I survived a broken leg. Another option can be to Do cross word puzzle to make your recovery time endurable. Try to stay socially active on phone or by inviting people at your place.
Some supplements specifically painkillers can help relieve or numb the pain of broken ankle if it is at the stage of early recovery. This painkiller includes acetaminophen (Tylenol)or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB). Be safe with the dosage and intake of medicines. Avoid becoming your own doctor and never take any medication without the physician’s consultation and prescription. Your doctor would suggest you the medication based on your intensity of pain intensity. So before initiating a medication consult to your medic to certify that they are harmless for your sole medicinal requirements.
Exercises For Broken Ankle-Not a Life Threat
There are certain exercises which you can try for rehabilitation in order to improve range of motion and strength. Keep in mind to follow your physician’s instructions regarding exercise or else you would regret your decision of moving out of your bed. Do not put too much stress on your leg and mind as well, as it is the trash of modern life.
Once the soreness and pain are reduced, start stretching and then increase the intensity gradually. Exercises which can be done after ankle fracture includes calf stretch (knee straight and knee bent), ankle plantar or dorsi flexion, ankle inversion or eversion and heel raise. Stop where you find it difficult to move ankle or start getting unbearable pain.
Got a Broken leg? Walk it Off
Walking too early after an ankle fracture would upsurge the ankle discomfort and the time period of recovery. But you don’t have to worry, there are fortunately some devices that can be of prime importance to maintain mobility during this challenging phase. Here we mention some devices which can be a blessing at the time of recovery.
Crutches-Your Cardio During Broken Ankle
Traditional crutches are cost friendly as well as easy to get a grip. Many people find them easy to use after a broken ankle. They come at different prices depending on your need. They can be used for a short span of time during injury or for long term use if someone has a lifelong disability. There are three types of crutches including underarm crutches, forearm crutches and forearm support crutches. They come with some limitation e.g., they are tiring and can cause pain in body as they require effort of your hand and arm.
I-walk Hand Free Crutch
A special form of crutch known as leg support crutch or I-walk hand free crutch can be used if the injury comprises of only effect one leg. Instead of hand and arm, in leg support crutch, the affected leg is fixed and rested on a knee pad. It is secured with the straps touching the thighs. The bottommost of the crutch elongates the ground and permits you to walk by functioning as a temporary leg. It is equally effective on stairways, slants or rough surface. It involves the movement of upper and lower body by immobilizing the foot motion.
Knee walker or knee scooter is yet another assistive tool which can help you to maintain mobility during your recovering period from the broken ankle. They are more beneficial relatively to the crutches and requires less upper body effort. Knee scooter works efficiently on a plane surface and helps you move from one point to another easily without making it look like catch-22.
They also have some limitations. They are bulky and this factor makes them quite challenging for the conveyance. Moreover, they cannot cross the close-fitting surroundings. They necessitate the use of your hands for operating, so you cannot carry things.
Breaking Ankles Is Not Fun
Ankle fracture, sometimes may cause severe functional debility and damage. It is, however, crucial to take a physician help or physio therapy whenever you come across such injury. The disability of the ankle can be temporary or permanent depending entirely up on the nature and location of the injury.
Some other factors that affect the healing process include the age, and the diet of patient. The main goal of the recovery period should be to regain the strength and ankle movement. To get the optimum functionality within short span of time, it is necessary to undergo physical therapy once you got ankle injury.
FAQ About Broken Ankle
What is The Fastest Way to Recover From Broken Ankle?
Typically, a broken ankle takes 6-10 weeks to heal properly. Your physical therapist can tell you the accurate time period to heal from a broken ankle depending on your medical history and requirements. During this course you physician would ask you to wear a cast or boot. Do not ask someone does this cast makes my leg look fat. The answer may disappoint you.
What Helps Broken Ankle Heals Faster?
If the injury is not severe, the time to regain the normal walk and resume the daily life activities is three months. Healing would be improved once you recover your bone strength.
How Much Time is Required To Walk Normally After The Injury?
You would perhaps need to wear boot for a week even after the removal or cast in order to put weight again on your ankle. The amount of time to walk normally after a broken ankle varies and depends upon the severity of injury.
If you are a diabetic patient or a smoker this can worsen the situation and the amount of time required for healing can become double.
You should avoid putting weight on your broken ankle for at least 6-8 weeks. Mostly therapist recommend assistive device i.e., knee scooter or I-walk hands free crutches for mobility even after the healing period.