Whether you broke your tibia, your fibula, or both major ankle bones in a fall or other injury, recovering from a fractured ankle is no joke. It can take months or even an entire year for your ankle bones to fully recover, and in the meantime, you may experience pain and limited mobility. Luckily, there are things you can do to speed up the healing process and prevent delays. Here are three tips for recovering from a fractured ankle:
Get a Referral for Physical Therapy
One of the most important aspects of your healing is to get a referral to an experienced physical therapist and work with them to complete a physical therapy program. Your physical therapist will measure your range of motion, flexibility, balance and strength at different points during your healing process. They will give you exercises to complete both in their office and at home on a daily basis to promote healing and prevent future problems.
These exercises will not only help you walk normally on your ankle once it is healed enough to do so, but will also strengthen your muscles and hamstrings in both legs so that your body can accommodate the months when you are on crutches or in a boot. This will ensure that you do not inadvertently put too much strain on other parts of your body while recovering.
Incorporate Rest into Your Daily Life
It is important to rest frequently while recovering from an ankle fracture. You need to keep the injured ankle elevated and iced several times a day to reduce swelling and encourage healing. You also may find that you generally need more sleep and rest than normal. This is to be expected because your body is hard at work growing new bone and recovering from a major injury. Allow yourself to rest as much as you need during this time.
Find Safe Ways to Get Around
It's also important to find ways to get around your home as well as to doctor appointments, work, the store, and other places without risking re-injury. Have your physical therapist teach you the proper way to use crutches so you don't fall. Consider buying a knee scooter to allow you to get around without accidentally putting weight on your ankle. Knee scooters even come with all-terrain tires so you can use them outdoors.
Working closely with your physical therapist and orthopedic surgeon and following the advice on this list will help ensure your ankle is allowed to heal as quickly as possible.