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RyanMc 11-15-2011 10:02 PM

Walking after broken ankle
Hi, I just want to know if anybody has experienced the same issue as I have, and if it is normal.

I broke my ankle and required a fixation (2 screws) and 6 weeks non weight bearing. The doc took the boot off yesterday after looking at the xray's and checking the ankle out, moving it etc. and said to me "ok, walk across the room". I was a bit hesitant, as it is quite painful when I put the foot down on the floor with some weight on it. It is not sore in the ankle, but rather the whole bottom of my foot feels a tingling sensation - almost like stepping on a pad of nails (Painful, but not the end of the world kind of sore). I can imagine my daughter would explain it as feeling like sparkles in your foot.

I had a thick blue line running along the side of my foot, just above my heel after surgery and it was as if the whole pad on the bottom was bruised. Is it normal, or do you usually only feel pain in the ankle itself when putting weight on it for the first time?


janewhite1 11-15-2011 10:32 PM

Re: Walking after broken ancle
It's totally normal to feel pain and strange sensations in the bottom of your foot when starting to walk again after a long period non-weight-bearing.

Did the doctor discuss partial weight bearing with the crutches? It's usually a good way to get around at this stage in recovery. Basically, you still use the crutches, you just put some weight on the injured foot also.

Are you going to get physical therapy, or did the doctor prescribe exercises?

RyanMc 11-16-2011 12:49 AM

Re: Walking after broken ancle
No, he didn't prescribe any physio or exercises yet.
I just have to walk on it at home. I will see him again in 4 weeks, but am supposed to take the boot off in the evening and walk without it.
According to him the bone is doing extremely well, and there was no real damage on the actual joints so I can put weight on it, and exercise things to get it back to normal.

I just wasnt sure about the pain.

RyanMc 11-27-2011 08:26 PM

Re: Walking after broken ancle
Just and update and question:

It is now 2 weeks since seeing the doctor, and walking has become a lot easier. I took the boot off permanently as instructed by him, and can walk with almost no limp, but there is still some "hard" swelling around the ankle. It is not tender at all, but the ankle joint is stiff and range of movement is still a bit limited. Not from the joint, just feels like muscles are locked in position.
I was just concerned about the swelling around the ankle. It doesn't give me pain, but for how long should I expect it to stick around?

It seems to improve quite quickly from other posts I have read and I am just concerned I am pushing things a bit quick. I am not experiencing pain, nor needed any pain medication since 1 week after the surgery, so I am hoping it is just good luck that it is healing OK.

janewhite1 11-27-2011 08:48 PM

Re: Walking after broken ancle
How long it takes to recover can vary a lot. It depends on exactly what part of the ankle was broken, how badly, how much soft tissue damage there was, etc.

It might take a while to get 100% back to normal, but as long as you keep making forward progress, I wouldn't worry.

Hippety 11-28-2011 08:08 AM

Re: Walking after broken ancle
Hi Ryan -

I am 3 1/2 weeks since my fixation surgery. You had 2-screw fixation, mine is 6 on the plate and 2 more long ones in the ankle; but I can agree on those odd sensations you mentioned in your first post. I'm in still in my boot, non-weight bearing, and getting those sparkles/needle pokes in various places and times. I don't know about the bruising, as my ankle is wrapped in several ace bandages. Did you have numb-toes too during your boot time?
I agree with Jane; recovery is not a straight line on a graph, more like a oscillating line, and different for everybody.
Keep up the good work!

RyanMc 11-28-2011 07:01 PM

Re: Walking after broken ankle
Hi Hippety,

I guess I am "lucky" in that I didn't have any funny sensations or numb feelings while I had the boot on, it mostly started when I tried to put some weight on it after 6 weeks.

I just somehow expected to get a bit more information from the doctors, because it seems as if they are very familiar with the process, yet it is almost impossible to find any information on how the healing is supposed to progress. Things to look out for, or what it really means by "taking it easy".

Good luck with your break, sounds much worse than mine.

kare62 09-03-2012 02:47 AM

Re: Walking after broken ankle
Hi I got my plaster off last Thursday 30th August after 6 weeks.
I had surgery for a broken ankle I now have a plate with several screws.
I have been told to walk on it now with elbow crutches which I am not managing, I have not been referred to physio.
My concern is I haven't yet walked my foot is very swollen and I guess i have lost confidence.
Any advice would be appreciated is this normal after a break ?

janewhite1 09-03-2012 04:24 PM

Re: Walking after broken ankle
Yes, a lot of swelling is normal after a bad break. It might take a few months for it to go away entirely! However, once you get into physio, things should improve rapidly.

kare62 09-03-2012 04:44 PM

Re: Walking after broken ankle
Thank you appreciate your comment

Jrobinso 09-10-2012 06:56 PM

Re: Walking after broken ankle
My experience is much the same. The pain is mostly on the outside bottom on the underside of my foot but none in the ankle. I have no idea it takes for this to subside. I wish I could help more but I am in the similar situation. Good luck

fm736 11-08-2013 03:07 PM

Re: Walking after broken ankle
I am 57 of age. I broke my ankle while playing soccer. I had a surgery on the medial malleolus. Two 46 mm screws were placed.
My foot was put in cast for 4 weeks and I was using crutches. Then the doctor removed the cast and gave me an orthopedic shoe which I was wearing for 2 weeks together with crutches. After 2 weeks I underwent X rays. The doctor told me that the screws look fine from the lateral side view. But from the dorsal view, he told me that my bone looks funny and referred to the density of the bone problem.
The doctor told me to start physical therapy next week and told me to stay off office duty for 6 more weeks.
He told me to start using only one crutch and to put some weight on my foot. Now I feel strong pain around the ankle area and talus and calcaneus. The ankle area is a little bit blue.
The pain is so strong that if I do not elevate my foot, I will not feel well.
Is the pain normal ?
Please advise

jerry890 12-03-2013 05:30 PM

Re: Walking after broken ancle
I broke my fibula 2 years ago last August. I did not have to have surgery and the bone healed nicely in 8 weeks. However! I was in a walking boot for 4 full weeks after that due to the severness of the damage to my muscles & tendons. After 12 weeks full time in the boot, I was able to take it off for brief periods of time for the next 2 weeks whole at home only. So, a total of 14 weeks in the boot! I can tell you - even now, if. Am on my feet for too long or try to wear heels (most likely not a problem for you), it swells up pretty good and still gives me pain to this day. OS said it most likely always will. The damage was so bad.

I did have the tingling and pins & needles for a week or so after coming out of the boot. I ALS went to PT for 4 weeks!

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