Four days ago I missed a step and fell and severely sprained my left ankle and broke my left fibula. I had a full leg plaster cast till yesterday when I got a boot to wear. My question is that I am exhausted. I take limited pain meds because I don't like them...just Motrin 800 as needed, but walking on my crutches even around the house exhausts me. I was not in great shape when this happened, but is this normal to feel such fatigue. I am also lightheaded off and on, which I am assuming is the trauma and the immobility. What can I do to not only speed recovery, but to make sure I am not completely a mess when I recover. I am 47 years old, and female, so I am sure that doesn't help with this injury as I am older. Any advice. When I walk I get out of breath and then my good leg just throbs. I cannot put weight on my injured foot yet, per doctor orders. Thanks!
Walking with crutches is hard work, the cast and the boot are heavy, and recovering from injury takes energy. You do want to keep the foot propped up as much as you can, and use ice to hold down the swelling.
However, if you keep using the crutches, it will strengthen your arms, core, and right leg. Doing simple stretches or chair-dancing can help keep the rest of your body functioning. Did you have someone show you how to use the crutches correctly? It's not easy.
The nurse showed me in ER, but I am not sure I have it down correctly. It seems like I am putting a lot of weight on the good leg, but maybe that is normal. That leg is really hurting. Maybe I am expecting too much after just four days? I just am sweating and panting after a short walk with them...and I am a bit overweight, but not extremely....
It is a lot of work. Small steps. Put the crutches down about a foot in front of you, then swing forward until the good leg is between the crutches. Keep your palms open as you press down on handles of the crutches. Your elbows should be close to straight, but not locked.
The crutches are there to bear your body weight. When you swing forward, all your weight should be supported on your hands on the handles of the crutches. When you move the crutches forward, then all your weight is on the good leg.
If you've been hopping around just using the crutches for balance, that would explain why you are tiring out!