Broken Ankle Experience – Part 4 of 5

This edition of my blog series on my experiences with a broken ankle will focus on the healing process.  What happens once you can start putting partial pressure on a broken ankle?  How long does it take to get back to “normal?”  What exactly happens in physical therapy?  When can you drive?

First, let me just state that at the time of this writing, it has been almost 12 weeks since I broke my ankle and 11 weeks since I had the cast placed.  It’s been about two weeks since I stopped using crutches and the boot totally and I am probably only at about 75% of my normal ankle function.  So I have not yet totally moved to “healed” but I am definitely a thousand percent better than I was when I heard that fateful “snap.”

Also, let me say that having a broken bone truly brings home the adage of, “if you don’t use it, you lose it.”  Muscles and tendons that worked just fine for the last 51 years all of a sudden are totally useless after just two months of being immobile.  They have to be slowly warmed up and stretched in order to get them to work again.  They have to relearn their functions.  So just because the boot is removed does NOT mean you will be able to walk again immediately.

So to backtrack just a bit, at cast+7 weeks I was told I was not yet ready to wear shoes.  I was instructed to start putting partial pressure on my foot, which was in the camo boot.  My instructions were to continue to use the crutches, and to start putting one foot in front of the other while using the crutches and while wearing the boot.  I repeated the instructions several times before I left the office.

Me: “So you mean I can start putting pressure on my foot?  You want me to put pressure on it?”

Medical Professional:  “Yes, with the boot on and using the crutches.”

I repeated it twice because I wanted to make sure they were really saying I could put pressure on it.  And the answer was “yes.”  So I went home and immediately started practicing putting pressure on my foot, with the boot and crutches.

I’m going to say here, that I’m sharing MY story.  You should definitely listen to doctor’s instructions and don’t take any of what I say as any kind of medical advice.  Also, you may feel differently than I did.  But this is how it felt to me.

Also, through all of the following, my ankle hurt.  Not in a sharp way, but it ached almost all the time.  At the beginning of this process, it hurt on the top of my foot, where the foot meets the leg.  After those muscles started getting stretched out, it hurt on the side where I broke the bone.  It was also tight the entire time.  I have been working though those aches and didn’t let it stop me.  In addition, it was (and still is) swollen.  The swelling is dramatically reduced, but it’s still a bit swollen.  So there were many nights I fell into bed with my ankle throbbing.  Bottom line, each day the pain/aches were a little bit less, so I just kept going.

On the Road to Recovery – Week One:

So my goal was that in three weeks when I went back to the doctor, I would be walking in on my own two feet with no crutches.  So every day for the first week after I came home, I walked all over the house with the boot on.  I told myself I was NOT going to actually crutch anywhere and I would only move with both feet on the floor.  The boot actually makes it somewhat easy since you don’t have to put a lot of pressure on your foot to move it, since the boot is big and flat and relatively easy to move with little pressure.  But I pressed my right foot into the boot so I WOULD feel it.  The sole and heel of my foot were kind of tingly, like lots of little electrical pinpoints.  I wanted to work through that weird feeling, so I walked around and around, from one end of the house to the other, making sure I pressed my foot down.  The weird feeling was especially prevalent when I’d been sitting for a while.  After the first few days, the tingly feeling was disappearing.  Around the same time,  I put on sneakers and walked with the sneakers and the crutches when I was in the house.  I only used the boot if I had to go out.  I also iced my foot about three times a day, trying to get the swelling down.  After about 4 days I walked very slowly around the house with no crutches at all.  My leg and foot and ankle were very weak, but I was able to walk slowly.  At the end of the first week, I decided it was time to get rid of my crutches and boot, and I placed them in the back of the closet where they remain.

On the Road to Recovery – Week Two

During week two, I continued to walk as much as I could, mostly in my home.  I also went for my first physical therapy assessment, and I attempted to drive.

Physical Therapy:

Listen to your doctor on this one.  Mine originally prescribed 3x a week therapy but when I indicated I was only going one time a week he said something to the effect that walking around will also help you heal, it just takes longer, and it’s fine not to use therapy.  In my opinion, going a few times for formal therapy is great because you will get familiar with the various exercises you can use to strengthen your ankle, AND because it’s great to hear an objective, trained, person tell you what kind of shape your foot is really in.

The first time I went was for a 45 minute assessment.  Both of my ankles and feet were measured.  I was asked to attempt various feats, for example, I was asked to balance myself on my good leg for 30 seconds (which I did).  Then to try it with my bad leg (couldn’t even balance).  Then I had to raise myself up on the balls of my feet 20 times in a row.  They wanted to see how much work was needed and where my strengths and weaknesses were.  I left and made an appointment for the following week.

On visit #2, the work started in earnest.  I’ve only been three times so far, but here is the general gist of what happens in therapy.

  • Since I’m still swollen, we start with a massage of my ankle (ahhhhh).  This lasts about 5 minutes.
  • The massage is followed up by stretching exercises, which can also be done at home.  Pull your toes toward you, and then away and do it slowly 20 times.  Then bend your foot to the left and right (heel faces away from you and you’re trying to bend the entire left side of your foot up towards you, then the right side of your foot).  Then circle your foot 20 times clockwise, and then 20 times counter clockwise.  Sometimes we then stretch with a belt – i.e., put the belt under your arch, and pull the foot towards you.  Sometimes we do the abcs.  Yes, that’s right.  You use your toe and spell, in capitals first, then small letters, the alphabet.  This makes you move your foot in many directions and because it’s kind of silly, it doesn’t even feel like exercise.  Also, one of the biggest issues is calf muscles that are tight.  So to stretch the calf muscles, you can put both feet on a stair, and drop your heels until you feel the stretch in your calf.  Hold it for 30 seconds, then repeat 3 times.  OR you can put your hands against a wall, bend your good leg, and keeping your “bad” foot flat on the floor, push your leg back as far as you can while keeping your foot flat.  You should feel the stretch in your calf.  Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
  • Stretching is followed up by harder exercises.  I stand on both feet and raise my body on the balls of my feet 30 times, repeated 3x.  This week I did this entirely with my weaker foot/leg, with my other foot raised off the ground.  Then I might put both feet on a round blue mushy mat, and I have to push my feet front then back 20 times, then left and right twenty times.  This week I did this with my weaker foot only.  This week we added an exercise where I stood on my weaker leg for 30 seconds, repeated five times.  That means I had to balance on that one leg with the other in the air.  All of these exercises were followed up with 10 minutes on the treadmill – at home, just walking down the road would accomplish this part.
  • Those exercises are followed up with an awesome 10 minute ice wrap, sometimes with electrical stimulation (which are pads placed on the swollen areas which are supposed to help scare the swelling away).

Most of the exercises are quite possible at home.  I have been doing as many as possible every day, at least twice a day, and I also walk somewhere as often as possible.   If I’m watching TV or reading a book, I do circles continuously with my foot.  If I’m standing at the counter getting dinner ready I might push my body up and down with the balls of my feet.  If I walk down the stairs, I might walk back up and then back down again just to get those muscles moving better.

Driving

When can you drive?  Again, make sure you check with your doctor.  If you broke your left ankle, you can probably drive anytime you feel comfortable getting to your car and getting in and out of the car.  However, if you broke your right ankle, as I did, you have to be able to press hard on the accelerator, hard on the brake, and to be able to move your foot back and forth between the pedals easily.

In the middle of week two, I started sitting in the car and pressing the pedals, just to see.  Quite frankly, I was so sick of not being able to go where I wanted when I wanted and I was anxious to be able to drive.  But the first time I sat in the car, I knew by the pain in my ankle that I simply would not have fast enough reaction time, nor would I be able to come to a stop or accelerate safely.

The third day I tried it, I decided I would back down the driveway and stop, and then drive back up the driveway just to see how it felt.  After doing that twice, without much problem, I said, “hmmmmmmmmmmmm.  I bet I could back out onto the road and drive to the end of the road.  That’s all I’m going to do is just drive that little way.”  So I backed out, drove to the stop sign, and realized I was doing ok.  I continued on to my local store, which was a distance of about 2 miles and required use of both brake and accelerator.  I was sore, but felt firm on the pedals and realized that I was now FREE!!!!!  I drove home and kept the trip short.  The next day I went out again, about the same distance.  The next day again, and then I couldn’t be stopped!

On the Road to Recovery – Week Three:

This is the week I find myself in now.  I went to the doctor’s, and walked in on my own volition, although still with a limp.  He pronounced me fit, set up an appointment in a month but told me to cancel it if I was still doing fine.  I am continuing to exercise every day, usually starting before I get out of bed.  I just stick my foot straight up in the air and do all the stretching before I rise, so when I stand up, I won’t have a problem walking.  I walk down my road or elsewhere every day.  I ice my foot daily.  I am still slightly swollen and still slightly sore, but I can see a HUGE improvement.  I’m not being called Gimpy anymore.  I’m not limping.  I can do stairs.  I still cannot run and I have to be very careful to ensure I don’t trip.  But my progress continues every single day.  Three weeks after I was given the green light for partial pressure, I am using both legs and I am even dancing around my living room!

Overall thoughts to help the healing process:

The following will help you progress faster:

  • Ensure you have a pair of sturdy sneakers that fit properly with any swelling.  I purchased a pair of sneakers that were ½ size larger than I normal buy and they work great.  I bought black so they’d look okay with my work pants.
  • Don’t miss your exercises, even when you start feeling better.  Do them every day at least twice, but three times is even better.
  • Put your foot up, higher than your waist, at least three times a day with ice.  This should help reduce the swelling.
  • Do not wear tight socks.  Tight socks will not allow the swelling to dissipate.  Ensure you are wearing socks that fit well.
  • If you can, try formal physical therapy.  This gives you great insight into how you’re really progressing.

That’s it for now!  In my next (and final) part of this series, I’ll share my thoughts about difficulties in public areas, and will also cover what kind of work I was able to do while injured.

3/7/12 UPDATE:  At six weeks after I was told I needed to keep the boot on for three weeks, and at about five weeks after I stopped using crutches and the boot, I am walking normally, the swelling in my ankle has decreased significantly, and I speed walked 1.8 miles in 24 minutes with no pain at all.  Keep exercising regularly!

3/24/12 UPDATE:  Two and a half weeks after my last update – I ran.  I jogged and walked for 2 miles up and down hills.  With no pain. So it is now 3 1/2 months post broken bone, and I jogged.  Not for long and not too hard, but I did it.  Whoo-hoo.

Following are all my ankle related blogs:

Advertisements

308 thoughts on “Broken Ankle Experience – Part 4 of 5

  1. Hi Kat,

    Thank you for posting your blog. I broke my ankle (Tibula and Fibula) on 8/17. I had surgery and have some new hardward in my ankle. I have enjoyed reading your recovery notes, particularly the driving. I am an Assistant Principal of a high school and a mother of two school-aged children. As you can imagine, I can’t wait to be able to drive again. I am still several weeks away, but it is comforting to read about someone else’s experience. I appreciate your straight forward style and positive outlook.

    Thank you!
    Tricia Puglisi

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to write! It’s nice to know someone is getting something from the blogs. Breaking my ankle was really one of the most annoying, but insightful, times I can remember in the last decade or so. Being dependent on others drove me CRAZY. But you’ll be happy to know, I am back to hiking, running, zipping up and down stairs, so you’ll be back to normal eventually! I’m thinking of you!

  2. Hi kat,
    I too have found your blog great. I had a horse riding accident on the 5th of sept broken ankle tib/fib v badly. Had plates and screws put in during surgery last week. I have been home from hospital since Saturday on the lovely crutches with my cast and was delighted to come across your blog. It’s so well written with lots of practical advice and tips. I’m delighted to see you have recovered so well. Best wishes, dee.

  3. Hi kat,
    I too found your blog great and so helpful it is nice to hear others stories especially when you have made such good progress and a great recovery. I was in a horse riding accident two weeks ago.i badly shattered the ankle and broken tib/fib I had surgery last thurs and mow have 3plates and many screws in the ankle. I’m home now on my lovely crutches starting the recovery process. I am a teacher so I am not insured to be at school so won’t be working while I’m recovering. I would love to be back for new term in jan 🙂 wel c tho!!!!anyway thank you for writing such a great blog and for your tips and advice. It really cheered me up. I hope your still doing your jogging 🙂
    Dee.

    • Dee- OW! That sounds painful. If everything goes well, January should be doable! I just came back from a 2 mile jog this morning! Well, I didn’t actually jog the entire thing but that wasn’t because of my ankle; just my lack of energy. Take care of yourself!!

      • Hi Dee and Kat

        I am off to the dr today. I hope to get advanced to a new boot and maybe able to drive. That may be wishful thinking!

        Dee. I work in a school. I got a knee scooter that worked great for getting around a huge building. I also use it at the mall. Much safer than crutches. You can rent them at a med supply shop. If you put a basket on the front, you can carry things! Good luck. I am in the same boat with new ankle accessories—-plates and screws.

        • I also have a broken ankle. I did rent the knee scooter what a God sent Know I can have full weight bearing what do you think of a walker to use

          • Hi Debbi-
            If a walker works well for you, go for it! Whatever gets you up on your two feet and walking. This is the exciting part because the next part is being able to walk without any help at all.. You can do it!
            Kat

  4. Thank you Kat and Tricia I know you both understand, I will never take walking for granted again 🙂 how I wish it had not happened but what can you do!!! A two mile jog is great well done.

    Tricia how long did the docs give you for estimated recovery from when you had surgery? I may be a bit optimistic about January but I have to be hopefull 🙂 I have been told not to weight bear for three months. Unfortunately I am teacher Ireland which means I am not insured in the school at all I won’t be returning to work til I am walking 😦 raging because I haveca lovely class this yr. But thank you very much I will enquire about a knee scooter for other places.I hope u got good news at your doc appointment.

    • Hi Dee,

      I had a plate and 6 screws on one side and a large screw on the other. I have been 6 weeks non-weight bearing, I have two more weeks to go. I go back to the doctor then. I still can not drive. I feel terrible for you that it will be three months! Hang in there. It is unfortunate that you can’t get to school. Working in a school I realize how difficult that is! Getting to be able to get into the building has been a blessing to me. The kids have been very supportive. They like the scooter.

      Hang in there!

      Tricia

      • Hi Tricia,
        I have had the exact same injury & surgery as you. I am just over 4 weeks out from surgery & have my fibreglass cast off in 2 more weeks. Hopefully I will then go into an airboot & start to weight bear. I am hoping to go to Europe at 12 weeks and my surgeon says this should be possible. I’m aware that I may still be limping around but I so need to have something to look forward to!
        Can you tell me about your progress and outcome.
        Many thanks,
        Emily

  5. Just ran across your broken ankle blog. Thank you and glad you recovered well! I’m beginning wk 6 since my ankle break at roller derby practice. I had 3 breaks (tib/fib) & dislocation with 1 plate & 10 screws. I go back to ortho in just over 2wks & he said we would talk PT, weight bearing & driving. So i am so encoraged when I came across pt 4 & 5 of your blog. I hope my next phase goes as well as yours did. Thank you again for your helpful insight.

    • Shelley – Thanks for your note, and best wishes towards phase two! I was soooo thrilled when I could drive again – you’ll be smiling a mile wide during that first ride!

  6. Hi Kat from Melbourne, Australia. I broke my tib and fib on Christmas Day 2012 and have a plate and screwsm which I intend to get removed at the right time. I was cleared yesterday to weight-bear. My question is about my toe flexibility – do I just have to be patient and wait for the benefits of my exercises and the swelling to go down before this comes back?

    • Hi David! I would definitely ask your doctor if your toes aren’t moving at all or if they’re too concerning in any way. If it’s just that they are still swollen so there’s no room for anything to move, I’d give it a few days of icing/raising the foot/and stretching your toes as much as possible in a downwards and then upwards direction as many times as possible. See if a few days helps. Best wishes!

  7. A great big thank you Kat for your inspirational blog, your experience gives insight and hope and determination. I am working in healthcare in the community and on Monday 11/02/2013 I returned to work after a two and half week off period for recovery from an operation to my upper right arm. I was returning to my car in the treacherous snow covered surfaces and exercised precautions when walking but within the depth of the snow was an icy surface that I slipped on uncontrollably and broke my left ankle, I heard the pop/break twice and sprained the left thumb. At the A&E ex-rays were done and the radiologist confirmed the above, left leg is in cast, crutches and Dr to assess me in a week and inform me as to whether surgery will be required. I am usually very independent and this has devastated me and made me so reliant on my family, it’s so upsetting. Finding it quite difficult to weight bear on my crutches as my thumb is injured as well. Just been a few days and began losing hope over the lengthy healing process and circumstances all this entails. After I read your blog it has inspired me to be more positive and I hope that these weeks will go by as quickly as we find the entire year going by. Thank you again Kat and I hope that by now you are well and enjoying everyday life with vigour.

    • Shubnam- I feel for you! Being dependent upon others when you’re normally not is very upsetting, and not being able to use the crutches correctly with your broken thumb must be so frustrating. The weeks will go by, then you’ll be off your crutches and walking again. My ankle is absolutely fine now and I run, bike, walk, hike and do everything else I normally do. Just listen to the doctor and do all the exercises when you finally get off the crutches. Best of luck!!

  8. Thank you for your blog. I broke my ankle 7 weeks ago and got my walking boot yesterday. For me I had to drive to the doctor and from for weeks in my non weight bearing cast. No help and have a toddler. I walked into physical therapy today to sign up and have my first appointment Thursday. I am hoping to walk into physical therapy without crutches. IDK how that will go but seeing your blog means I should be able to do my half marathon this time next year like I planned. It gives me hope.

    • You sound as though you have been handling a lot, while on crutches, so I have no doubt you will do great in your half marathon next year. I’ve been doing everything I did before I broke my ankle, and I can honestly say 99% I forget I even had a broken bone – that’s how well everything works. The human body is amazing. I wish you the best in your recuperation!!

  9. I fell off a ladder Feb.17th and broke my tibia in the ankle, and fractured my fibula up near the knee. I have been very concerned about the swelling, pain and rate of healing, but your story has reassured me that it is going to be ok. I am a runner, and was planning to run the Gasparilla 15k in Tampa 6 days after my fall, now I have no idea when I will be able to walk, let alone train for any races. The bright side is that all the nagging muscle and solf tissue injuries that are so common with running should be all healed up by the time I am able to get back to running. Thank you the information it has helped my a great deal.

    • Matt – Good thing you didn’t hurt more body parts with the ladder fall! Unfortunately, it did seem to take a long time to heal, but there did come a day where I realized I forgot all about the fact that my ankle had been broken, because I didn’t feel any pain at all for the entire day. It must be incredibly frustrating to be ready for a 15K and now not be able to walk. I’m sending you good vibes! That and lots of exercises should have you back in running form soon.

  10. Great blog!! I wish I would have found this 8 weeks ago when I broke my right ankle (slipped on ice). I was very depressed during the time I was in a cast and I think this blog would have helped my mindset. I am now doing minimal weight-bearing and exercises, it’s slow work, but I am thrilled just to be standing!! Thanks for sharing your story….

    • Jules – thanks so much for writing. I was depressed as well but was ecstatic when the cast/boot came off! I’m so happy you’re on the road to recovery. Pretty soon you’ll be running down the street and will have forgotten all about the crack in your bone! Best..

  11. Hey Kat — First off, thanks for posting your experience for others to read and lift spirits. Quick background – I broke my ankle on March 27th with surgery on the 28th. I have a plate with 7 screws on fibula, 2 screws through tibia, wire with button hooks to pull together bones and 2 other screws in there. I was supposed to be competing in Ironman Lake Placid in July which I realize isn’t happening albeit difficult to swallow.
    So I recognize this season of TRI is over but I am trying to answer a few questions or at least get an idea from others experience — looking at your time frame it looks like its been 6 months – are you able to run regularly with no pain and a normal gait? Do you feel the screws/plates? Have you thought about getting the hardware out? Do you feel as though you’ll eventually resume to your normal lifestyle, particularly physical activities?

    Thanks again for sharing your experience?

    Jason

  12. Jason, HI! I’m sorry to hear about the Ironman – that must have been quite a bummer to realize after all your preparation, it wasn’t going to happen this year. You must be in great shape – those are grueling challenges.

    Actually, I broke my ankle in December of 2011, so it’s been a year and a half. It took about 6 months after I broke my ankle before I really started to feel normal”ish” but I still wasn’t comfortable doing everything the same way I did before it was broken. I had to be careful, place my foot carefully, not take any crazy chances, etc. But once I started walking around and doing constant exercises for my ankle, I really improved quickly. At this point, I can’t even tell I broke my ankle. I run, jog, walk, hike, bike, without any twinges, hurt, aches, or any other reminders of the ankle issue.

    One thing that’s different for me though, is that my break was “clean.” The bone broke straight through,so I didn’t need hardware and can’t answer your questions about the screws/etc. If anyone else reading this can, feel free to chime in!!

    Best wishes getting back to your normal self – perhaps we’ll read about you in next year’s Ironman!

  13. I know these are old posts but I stumbled across them when researching healing times for broken ankles. Your posts made me laugh but are informative. I recently broke my ankle and I’m in week 1 of the cast. I’m a runner and love going to the gym so this is a big change for me. I know this will be a long road but I think the ability to laugh and supportive family and friends with get me through.

    • Allison- I feel for you! Being active and then (slam) not being able to do anything is quite frustrating. I looked for exercises while I was out with my ankle that I could do from a seated position. Well they all required use of feet or legs. Maybe you could find something that I wasn’t able to!

      Keep laughing.

      • moira from london england i really enjoyrd reading your blog page i am 69 years old been nearly 9 weeks since i broke my ankle,at 6 weeks had plaster cast off and now i have a boot on’another 5 weeks i go back to the i go back to hospital’it was a clean breck,should it be heal then.

  14. Enjoyed reading your blog, as I broke my ankle on vacation in the Dominican Republic 8 days ago. It was a bimalleolar (tib/fib) fracture and I had surgery and was in the hospital while my friends were enjoying the beach. Pretty scary! Not to mention that there were few mobility options (non weight bearing) and very poor accessability there. I was pretty much stuck in a ghetto wheelchair that was too small when released from the hospital because I felt so unsafe with the crutches on all that uneven surface, gravel, inclines and sand. Home now and learning how to regain as much independence as I can. I can’t believe you stood in the shower! Sounds dangerous. I’m glad you are all healed up. Can’t wait.

    • Stacey – WOW, I would NOT have wanted to have to get that all taken care of while out of the country on vacation. It would have been even worse knowing your friends were having fun while you were out of commission. At least you made it home safely, so now you’re on familiar ground (literally!).

      By the way, I stood on my good leg in the shower, not my bad one, but it was stupid of me. I’m really so lucky I didn’t hurt myself. A chair is definitely a lot more sensible.

      Best of luck in your recovery!

    • Stacey, I recently broke my ankle overseas as well (in Ireland 2 months ago). It’s hard enough sustaining the break, and even more to do so in a different country. Having surgery there must’ve been scary! I just went to the ER (or the A&E as the Irish call it). Best wishes for continued healing!

  15. Thank you so much for this. Your blog has really made my night. I recently broke my ankle doing plyometrics during the middle of my move, on the last day of school recess and right before a vacation. This has been a depressing experience to say the least. I am very active and exercise regularly so it’s terrible to me that I cannot get in the gym or even outside with the kids and the dogs. Thanks for helping me realize that things will eventually get better. Very helpful information also.

  16. I just wanted to say thank you for your blog. I have broken my ankle 7 weeks ago and Im hoping for my walking boot soon. Thanks for telling all of us what to expect. I hate the unknow. Lol hope all is well. Thanks 🙂

    • Kimberly – thank you so much for writing. You are sooo close to the end. Enjoy the freedom once you are walking on your own feet again. It’s a great feeling!!!!! Kat

  17. Thank you for your blog, I am 1 week into breaking my left ankle, I have had pins and plates put in, it is funny, but when I read your blog it gave me hope as I have been suffering a lot in the first week, (useless pain meds) and a lack of good sleep, but I feel I can see a road to recovery now thanks to you. Well done, David in the UK

    • David, thank you for writing. I know, it really does stink not being able to get around, especially if you’re still in pain and not sleeping. IT WILL GET BETTER!!! Hang in there. Kat

  18. Kat, Thank you for your blog. Next week is week 8 and time for physical therapy, I was happy to read how determined and strong you are. Thanks for not sugar coating how much work and discomfort it will be. I’m a waiter in my mid 50’s and with all this time off my foot I’m a little concerned when the Doc will release me to work. Really appreciate your experience on this matter. Tom

    • Tom- Thank you for writing. It is a bit surprising to see how quickly our body parts stop working correctly! You’ve used those feet for 50 years, and a few months off of them and they just have to be retrained. Best wishes in the therapy!

  19. HI

    I am in week 7 of a broken ankle which I got by falling off a Segway ( they don’t have brakes). I was in a cast for 3 weeks before the trauma surgeon said I needed surgery- so the clock reset on May 1, 2013. Now 7 weeks out I will see the surgeon this week and hopefully will only have 4 more weeks in the boot. I was in a cast and had a cast cover for showering .before the surgery. and used it after the surgery while in a dressing and splint. Now I am in a boot and can take off the boot and shower without it. I got the scooter and it has been a lifesaver. Luckily I teach online and so have the summer to at least do something productive. I put a basket on the front of the scooter and get out of the house with the help of my husband. I can use crutches to get down the stairs into the garage and into the truck. I am 67 so hopping on crutches is not an option. I sleep without the boot now and do exercises that the Dr. recommended. Take heart- this does get better, but it takes time and the good news is that you have time to catch up on books you always wanted to read

    • Sarah-
      Wow, that schooter sounds awesome! The fact that you can put the basket on and carry your own things is great; I wish I had one of those!

      Thanks for sharing your story – pretty soon you will be back to normal!

  20. Just back from the surgeon- everything is looking good and I can get off the boot when at the house- no weight bearing for another 5 weeks and then if all is going well- can slowly put weight on the foot in the boot and walk with cane or crutches. He is a trauma surgeon and told me that many people walk on the broken ankle too soon and he is the Dr that has to fix the ankle- so he is adamant that 12 weeks from surgery is his policy. I knew this – so not a surprise. Still on the scooter, but boot is off and I think I will be able to take a bath soon- miss my bath. No surgery – thank goodness.
    By August I should be walking. It will be 4 months on a scooter- 3 months after surgery – thank goodness for a good husband and the scooter.

    • I love the scooter idea! It sounds as though you are progressing just as the doctor expected, so keep that optimism! August is right around the corner an before you know it, you’ll be back to normal. Give your husband some extra kisses for all his care! 🙂

  21. I absolutely love this blog and wish I had found it 6 weeks ago. On May 19th, I broke my left foot (Cuboid and Navicular bones) while rock climbing. I am now almost 6 weeks in and find out on July 11th (5 days before my birthday) if I can start putting pressure on my foot. I have not been able to find anything about a person’s experience with putting weight on their foot for the 1st time–until now! I am still a little nervous at the thought of my foot holding me up. I had had almost complete muscle atrophy and nerve damage. My foot is so weak, I cannot wiggle my toes and if I want to move my foot w/boot up and down I have to physically lift it with my hands…My foot just hangs there like a dead fish. When it is out of the boot for bathing (Dr .said it was okay) it begins shaking uncontrollably. I just can’t see 2 more weeks of muscle deterioration and weakness being good for putting weight on it? I am so nervous, I’ve had daily panic attacks thinking about that day. Do you have any advice, or know what I mean with my foot feeling like a “Dead Fish?”

    • I should also add, my foot has not been healing at a 90 degree angle…because of how the ER put my foot in a splint and the Orthro put it in a cast. So my heel does not touch the floor, instead my toe points downward slightly. When I was put in the boot (I had been wearing the cast for 1 week) I was told not to put weight on my foot, but the doctor’s assistant said it would need to be at 90 degrees. I decided to follow the doctor’s orders foremost and not put weight on it, but then realized that the achilles was bent and that it may be harder to heal in Physical Therapy that way, so I slowly started lowering my heel down. Now, the trouble is it won’t move any more than where it is as I am writing this. It is about 80% back to 90 degrees. I hope this doesn’t impede my progress because I was given 2 different answers at the doctor’s office. I also get small “electrical shock” sensations throughout the arch of the foot. If I am not mistaken, I believe those are the nerves re-firing again?

      • Jessica-

        When they told me I could put pressure on it, they started with partial pressure. There’s just no way I could walk on it right away. It wasn’t like a dead fish; maybe more like a block of cement at the bottom of my leg! They did tell me that if it heals at a 90 degree angle, it’s easier to resume walking; I think that means you’ll definitely need lots of physical therapy to make sure the muscles are slowly eased back into use (I was surprised at what a big role the muscles had in recovery – I just assumed once the bone was fixed, I’d be back to normal but it took a lot of work!).

        Keep me posted on how everything goes. You can write to my personal email address as well if you’d prefer – kam903@aol.com.

    • Jessica, I am sure of two things,
      1. Given time you will heal as good as new, just don’t try to rush it or it will take longer.
      2. The nerves are coming back to life (so to speak) and eventually they will settle down and you won’t feel anything untoward.

      I damaged my nerves when I broke my ankle, for the first 3 weeks I got terrible shooting pains running up my leg when I woke up and yawned, (of all the things). I am due to have my cast off next week and I am much more confident about the rest of my recovery.

      Keep your chin up and I totally agree with you about the Kat’s blog, it was so helpful to read her experiences.

      • David- Thanks for your input. That’s crazy that yawning caused leg pains – I guess the jaw muscles or something are somehow linked to your leg muscles. Our bodies are really amazing…..

        • Blimey Jessica, you are really doing lots to get back onto your feet, I can’t think of anything to add, I feel a really lazy Brit now 🙂

          My yawning meant I stretched my legs and toes, that’s what was causing my shooting pains, but as I said earlier, 3 weeks down the line, that had cured itself.

          Thanks to Kat for such a great blog.

          • Hi David,
            I’m not trying to make anyone feel lazy! 🙂
            I have always been active and just want my return to physical activity to be as fast (but as slow as needed to prevent further damage) as possible.
            I experience the very same issue with the yawning/stretching. I feel it shoot all the way from my hip to my toes. It was annoying at first to “feel” the pre-stretch need, but now I wake up and immediately stretch the BACK of the leg where my calf & hamstring muscles USED to be. HAHA 🙂

  22. Thank you both so much for responding so quickly. Is there anything I can do to speed healing (or at least make me feel better)? I have been taking Magnesium supplements 2X per day and notice my legs do not twitch at night as much. I try to get a lot of sleep, drink a lot of water, eat a ton of organic fruit (bananas are my legs best friend) and vegetables. I have also started (very gently) raising my left (bad) leg up in the boot (the boot is so heavy now it is like an ankle weight) and lowering it back down to make my muscles ‘wake up’. I only do this 3X once per day. I do some Yoga-type stretches in bed before going to sleep, and as soon as I wake up to get rid of that stiff “on the edge of a cramp/need to stretch” feeling. I meditate once a day for at least 3-5 minutes. I massage what is left of my muscles daily. I soak in an Epsom Salt bath (I was non-surgical) 2X per week. I am completely off my pain medication and only take Tylenol when I am fatigued after work.
    I work in Real Estate as well leasing apartments for a property management company! 🙂

    • Jessica- I am impressed! I know of nothing else you could be doing in preparation for getting the boot off. You are really on top of your health. Kudos!!! It’s very hard doing real estate with a broken ankle — hopefully you have a lot of support so you can continue and won’t lose any business. Unfortunately, I basically “lost” 3 months!

      Keep going with your sleep/water/organics/stretching/yoga/etc.

  23. Hello … and thank -you for taking the time to pass along your personal experience. It was refreshing to hear.For me it was about allowing some of those negative, darker thoughts to creep in there occasionally, more than i admit actually. I broke my ankle on April 7th, plate on one side, 2 screws on the other. I was in a hard cast for 10 weeks, partial weight bearing after 3. The cast now has been off for just over a week, it has been painful. I have not taken anything for it, I do my exercises and am close to losing the cruthes. Using just the 1 half of the time.I will be going to my 3rd physio appt tomorrow, sounds like it’s going to be some more massage/ manipulation followed by ice and electrodes and ending with a little bike work. Looking forward to getting my life back. Once again thanks for helping me with those little demons … all the best things …

    • Paul – Hugs. It sounds as though you are definitely making progress – 13 weeks ago you had screws and plates installed, and now you are almost ready to get rid of the crutches. The pain will eventually wane. Hang in there!

      • Thanks, off to that rehap appointment now. Knowing that it does get better is really important, getting over the horror that something could have gone wrong. Looking forward to the wane of pain…

  24. Thank you for your blog. It’s comforting to see there are other klutzes in the world! I too broke my ankle March 3, while running. I was in a boot 5 weeks and managed to worsen the break by walking too much. I was hard casted for 4 more weeks. Physical therapy was very helpful once the cast came off. I am happy to say I am able to run 4 miles a day now and I am no spring chicken! For those dealing with the dark thoughts that creep in you may find reading the book “After the Fall” authored by my friend Craig DeMartino uplifting and helpful…also helps put things in perspective. Keep at it…slow and steady wins the race!

    • Juliet- Slow and steady does it, and knowing there IS going to be discomfort, but moving through that discomfort does bring you to the other side..Thanks for stopping by.

  25. I broke both my fibula and tibula on May 2, 2013. Currently, I am still in the “Frankenstein” boot, but off the scooter and crutches. I am in week 3 of physical therapy which I really enjoy. I broke my right ankle and severely sprained my left ankle. Both of my feet are still swelling during the day while I am at work. I put my feet up immediately when I get home and after a good nights sleep, all my swelling is gone and both of my feet look normal….

  26. Hi . I had my ankle fractured on 25/5/13. Am still on a boot n am trying to put slight pressure on my bad foot. Still have to use the clutches n it hurts using them. My whole body is aching due to the clutches. Cant wait to get of them.your blog was wonderful. Looking forward to better days.

    Sonia

    • i never really used the crutches, I just used the scooter for the most part, then one crutch to help get around in the boot for a week, then no crutch, just boot. PT is helping me tremendously, going to the doctor today to finally get out of the BOOT. I am so excited! I can’t wait to start to feel normal again 🙂

  27. hi there. brilliant blog helped a lot in the past few weeks. I fractured my ankle 7th may and pot came off 27th june, wearing a brace on and off and start physio next week. Hospital Dr wrote my sick note stating no driving for 6 weeks, work.. light duties no driving, didn’t tick unfit for work. I work 14 miles away and need to drive to get there and as part of my work role… I’ve got to go to occupational health to discuss my situation. Has anyone else had any problem like this and also if I drive would it be illegal as it is on my medical records?? any advice would be welcome.
    thanks

    • I was told that if you drive and you get in an accident you are automatically at fault since you are considered “disabled”. I wanted to drive using both feet and that was the warning I got from the tech putting my cast on. I ended up getting rides from friends and coworkers. Attempted to bicycle it but not a good idea with a cast either! Hope you find a workable solution!

    • Gill, you don’t say which ankle you have broken, I broke my left ankle, I was allowed to drive my automatic once I came off the painkillers.

      I had confirmation from my insurance company that as long as my Doctor was happy then they were happy, if your right ankle is broken then no doctor is going to let you drive, but of course it doesn’t always stop you from working depending on what your work is.

      I am UK based but I can’t imagine it would be much different in other countries.

    • Gill- I don’t have any experience with this either. I would think Juliet’s on the right track (if you DO get in an accident, you would be at fault). However, as David mentioned if you have an automatic, and it’s your left ankle that is broken, you may be able to drive anyway. But I do know that when driving, if you see something that causes you to slam on your brakes, we all use BOTH feet (I know this sounds nuts, but you just automatically slam both feet down as though that’s going to help stop the car!). So while you probably CAN drive, it’s still not a great idea.

  28. Hi Kat,
    Thanks for your blog. I have a trimalleor fracture of the right ankle due to being hit by a truck while riding my bicycle. This happened on May 10th, 2013, had surgery on the 17th of May and a plate with 9 screws to stabilize the ankle. By June 19th, 2013 I was back in for a second surgery for debridement of a serious bacterial infection and am currently on IV antibiotics for 6 weeks. All NWB and a splint to stabilize in 90 degree angle with daily dressing changes and all sorts of stitches. The worst pain I’ve ever had!!! The isolation, loss of independence has been the most traumatic for me and I cry at the drop of a hat……..I’m 67 yrs old and thankfully have a devoted husband and wonderful family and friends to support me but it is still the hardest thing I’ve ever encountered in my life. Thank you for your inspiration……..I’ll need all of the support I can muster as I face yet another surgery in 4 weeks……3 major surgeries in 12 weeks is way to much…….I can’t wait to be able to walk on 2 feet again no matter how slow……turtles always make their way…
    Kathy Warfel [AKA another Kat]

    • Kat – Thank you so much for writing. Ugh, I feel for you. It sounds as though you’ve really gone through the wringer. Three surgeries, infection, stitches. Thank goodness for your husband and family and their support, but it certainly is so frustrating being dependent upon others. The end of your experience will eventually come, and you will walk again on two feet (your two feet!) 🙂 Hang in there!!!

      • Hi Kat,

        Well, I’m scheduled for surgery again on Friday morning. Infection is still present though I am on IV antibiotics. Doc says the hardware has to come out now and hopefully I will then be on a road of recovery to physical therapy. My hope is I will be able to use 2 feet by my birthday in October. That will be the best birthday present ever!! I so look forward to the walks along the river and getting back to rowing too [I really do miss that]. Thanks for the encouraging words……….

        • I broke my left ankle 5 weeks ago, i was on crutches and fell 2 weeks ago and broke my right wrist. I have a 6 year old daughter and my son(who just got over the chicken pox) turns one today. My husband works 50 hours a week so this whole thing has been an extremely hard time for our family. Our friends and extended family act as though I’m “milking it”, that i could walk if i wanted to with the boot. But my Dr told me no weight bearing for 6 weeks and I’m so afraid to screw this up and cause permanent damage. My parents are furious that i said i can’t go on this trip to Colorado to go hiking August 3rd. They say I’m over reacting. My husband has been really supportive but when he’s home, he takes care of the kids and the house (to the best of his ability, we eat allot of pizza hut lately) so i feel bad asking for help. This whole situation has been really depressing. I know I’m rambling at this point *sigh*just wanted to say thank you. Your blog has helped me allot.

          • Also, recently at night I will wake up in excruciating pain due to my calf cramping…anyone else have this happen to them?

          • One more thing…my sister’s wedding is Nov 23rd and I’m the maid of honor.she has picked this adorable retro dress for me to wear. She found these gorgeous authentically vintage 3 inch heels to match my dress perfectly. She its a bridezilla and i know it will break her heart if i tell her i can’t wear them …am i crazy to think i will be able to wear them at least for just the ceremony and pictures?

          • Kayla- Also, I have heard of others who have had calfs, or other muscles, contract or cramp, although I didn’t experience that myself so I that’s probably normal; if it bothers you, just ask your doctor about it.

            AND, November is still 3 months away so perhaps you will be able to wear 3 inch heels, BUT that means your ankle/foot will have to be totally un-swollen and will have to be totally normal. Which may or may not be true by then. It took me a long time before I could get my cowboy boots on. So, maybe you can tell your sister that you love her and hope you will be able to wear those heels and they are just gorgeous, but on the off-chance that you are still healing (which could be true), perhaps she’d agree to your looking for some cute shoes/boots with no heels. ???

          • Hi Kayla

            Hang in there and DO NOT WALK or PUT ANY WEIGHT on your ankle. Have your parents login this blog or do some research on their own– you are not “milking” this. My doctor will not let me put any weight on my ankle until 12 weeks after surgery. If you can rent or buy a knee scooter. It helps to get around the house and you can even cook and do minimal housework. It is worth it. Good luck and stay positive
            Sarah

    • Hi Kathy,

      I broke my ankle, Trimalleor or Weber C fracture on the 15th June and have 2 large screws holding things together. I’ve got to have them taken out again 12 weekspost injury.

      Anyway, I was going to suggest you try and get some hydrobaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) at a local MS therapy centre. It costs about £10 a session and could really help speed your recovery both the fracture and from operations. My fibula hasn’t healed well enough after 6 weeks and I’ve been another 4 weeks NWB, have just started HBOT and am hoping it will help me heal more quickly.

      Great blog by the way.

      • Hi Karl,

        I would be very interested in hearing how well your experience with the HBOT goes. I so sympathize with you as it is a painful experience those first few weeks. I just so happened to have the complication of an infection and at 3 months today I’m still struggling with the surgical incision, bones are healed and look real good. I am still NWB until the incision seals. I see an Infectious Disease doctor next week to see what else might be going on. Be sure to follow doctors instructions as that is one of the most important things you can do toward a good recovery. Good luck and stay well.

        • Hi Kathy
          I had my screws out on Fri 13th Sept, and was sent home with permission to WB as comfortable. The information from the hospital is hopeless and contradictory, however that is another story. Anyway, I’d definitely recommend HBOT, which helps with healing, reducing swelling and is also really good for infections. It reduces pain also in my experience.

          I hope you are now doing ok and don’t have any more problems on the infection front?

          Another windsurfer recommended HBOT to me, though he is a pro for a living, and he had private care and the benefit of other physio but thought HBOT was the best by far. Anyway, he broke his ankle similar to mine 3 weeks after, and has competed again last week. Unbelievable how quick he has healed! I guess everyone is different.

          • Hi Karl,
            I’m glad to hear you are doing so well and have made so much progress. As you said everyone heals differently and the timeline for each of us is different. There certainly have been many experiences and lessons learned through this experience.
            As for me on September 5th the Infectious Disease doctor notified me that I was infection free!! Yes good news since I was just shy of 4 months of dealing with infection by 5 days. September 20th the surgeon said my bones had healed and I was finally in perfect alignment and could be WB and to wear a “real” shoe [no more boot!] and to begin physical therapy. September 27th was my first PT appointment and it was quite the challenge trying to reteach my brain and body to walk. The main focus will be balance and my gait and of course strength building. The PT was great and supportive encouraging me to do as much as I can tolerate and as he said moving will encourage bone strength. I’m still a little wobbbly but overall it feels really good to be “on my feet”. I’ve added for myself chiropractic care to help with my back and hips and massage therapy for all over good health [insurance isn’t covering this] but I do feel it will help me to regain both physical and mental health so I can return to my active lifestyle. I am so looking forward to walking, biking and rowing once again!!!
            Stay well!
            Kathy

  29. Kayla- I’m mad at your friends and extended family and parents for you!!!!! It’s really critical that you listen to your doctor’s input. if he said no walking for 6 weeks, that certainly means no walking and it also means travel will be difficult, especially with children, and it absolutely means no HIKING! You’re not over-reacting at all. Having a broken bone is definitely something that can be overcome, but it takes time and effort. Geez.

    And being depressed by this entire situation is normal. And not wanting to ask for help is also normal, but if you need it, just ask! There are simply things you can’t do yourself right now, no matter how much you want to do them.

    Hang in there – it’s really just a matter of time and this will all be behind you.

    Hugs

  30. I am at 11 weeks recovery time, in an air cast now and able to take it off and on and put weight on my ankle. If you want to heal properly please follow your doctor’s instructions and don’t listen to others. I have gone strickly by the book and am doing great. The knee scooter saved me, no crutches for me, I never felt steady on them so I just relied on the knee scooter. Best of luck and thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences.

  31. Kat,

    I will be sorry to see your blog go. I’ve enjoyed reading each of the posts and have been encouraged and discouraged and encouraged……..If any of that makes any sense. Every day seems to be a different challenge. I’ve faced my 3rd surgery and am resting with my foot elevated, napping when I can, doing stretches while lying in bed and trying to eat right but not overeat. The ache as you described varies in intensity depending on the the day, the meds help but I hate taking them. I am on 2 antibiotics now with a couple of weeks to finish up and looking forward to the infection finally clearing up. The infection has really been the biggest challenge for the doctor to work with and he is really doing his very best. I have had no weight on my right foot now for almost 10 weeks and I still have stitches and more healing of those for another 10 days. I cannot wait until I can try to stand on both feet and walk however, slowly but with purpose and pleasure. I truly miss the simplest things in life like a walk to the park just down the road. Thanks for all your contributions.

    • Three surgeries, two antibiotics, stitches, ten+ weeks without walking – you have a lot to deal with! You will definitely enjoy your return to simple things – even a year and a bit after the removal of my cast, and I’m still appreciative of being able to walk, put shoes on, stand on one foot, etc. Having to deal with the broken bone definitely made me appreciate being well! Hugs. The end is in sight.

  32. Kayla,
    I have had cramps in the calf as well being in a splint cast for 4 weeks. Mostly at night even though I have been drinking plenty of water and but the lack of excercise is a part of the problem. So massage and stretching does help and eating bananas he doctorhas helped me too. Holding my leg upright while lying on my back in bed also does help. Mention to the doctor so he is aware of it….
    Kathy

    • I too have enjoyed the comradery on your blog. It has been helpful and encouraging. I am 18 weeks post break and can run 6 miles in a row now. So, to all you others still working on standing on your bum ankle…it will get better…I was once at the point thinking it wouldn’t but persivered and I can even stand on tip toes now!. Do what your doc and physical therapist says…they’ve done this before!

  33. hello
    thank you for your blog was very helpful to read! I wish I found it earlier! I broke my ankle 9 weeks ago (fibula only) during a motorbike accident and was in a backslab cast for 6 weeks (i had a wound also therefore no full cast due to dressing changes) immobilised and now in a walking boot for further 4 weeks allowed to weight bear and started my physio. My range of motion is still not as good as my other foot I was wondering how long from your experience did yours take fully to return as well as the calf muscle mass? thanks 🙂

    • Aiysha,

      Hi! About two months after I was able to put full weight on my foot, I walked a 5k race. I was still a little sore but everything worked fine. It seems as though its different person to person, but I think in a few months, you should be just about back to normal. Best of luck!

      Kat

  34. Many thanks for your wonderful blog. I have been sent home from the hospital with no idea of what exercises to do, how long getting better should take so your blog has really helped! The fact that you are now running has shown me that there is light at the end of the tunnel! Thank you!
    Elaine, Holmfirth , North of England.

    • Elaine. Thank you so much for your note. There IS light at the end of the tunnel! I just spent 10 days in the southwest USA and hiked almost every day. My ankle feels great. There will be days where it feels as though it’s just NEVER going to be better, but eventually it is. Hang in there!!!!

  35. It is now four months since breaking my fibula, five screws and a plate on my right ankle. Is anyone else having pain on the right side of the ankle going downstairs. That is my main problem, other than that it is coming along OK though some days are a bit more painful than others. I do a lot of stationary bike riding and now leg presses and squats.

    • Hello Christine … My surgery was April 9th, so just under 4 months. I broke both the fibula and tibula, 2 screws on one side and 6 screws and a plate on the other. I was in plaster for 10 weeks and have been rehabbing for almost 6 weeks. There is still swelling everyday and it aches from time to time specially doing some of the exercises. I have been crutchless for about a week now and believe the process to be about normal. It sounds as if you are doing well … Keep it up and soon you will be free …

    • Hi Christine. I agree with Paul – it sounds as if you are doing well. The pain I felt was mostly on the top of my foot where the muscles are; not too much the side, so I can’t comment specifically on the pain you are feeling. I would give it a certain amount of time (a few days?) and if it’s not getting better just give the doc a call.
      Best, Kat

  36. Hi Kat
    This may sound like a silly question but have you been able to wear heels post fracture? Its my sisters wedding in about 8 months and I was hoping to wear heels for it 😦

    • the whole “standing on your tip toes” thing took me a while. It’s been more of a weak calf issue with me. There are PT exercises that have helped with that. I still haven’t tried heels yet…I am 19 weeks post break.

    • Aiysha- nothing’s a silly question! Yes, you can absolutely wear heels post-fracture, but as Juliet mentions, it may take a while before you can do that. I think based on your last blog, it’s almost time for the boot to come off.. I’m thinking 8 weeks from when the boot comes off might be a little fast for heels… But maybe you’ll heal a lot faster than I did!!!

  37. Hi Kat,
    I finally had all the stitches removed on Friday. I had them in for a whole month following the 3rd surgery. Still on antibiotics as I still have infection to deal with. I have been NWB for 3 months and have just been told I can gently with my boot use a walker and take some steps not full weight but about 20%. I’m really nervous but excited to try. I am suffering some tightness and swelling in the foot and leg, is this normal? I’m not having pain but the tightness from the foot to the knee is ever present even with elevation. Is that normal? I have good range of motion and can flex my foot without pain for which I am most grateful. Maybe by my birthday in October I’ll be walking..
    Kathy

    • Kathy- Wow, three months with no weight bearing, and you can flex your foot without pain and have good range of motion? That sounds awesome! Yes, I had tightness and swelling for quite a while; I just kept doing the exercises, etc., and icing and eventually both went away.

      I’m excited for you that you can gently put a little pressure on your foot. Before you know it, they’ll give you that green light for full pressure and you will be on the way back!

      • Hello Kathy … I still get tightness and swelling … 4 months in, as i build strength, range of motion and overall stability is gets better all the time. Can’t stress enough to keep doing the exercises … all the best

  38. Well, 3 months and 6 days and finally got my screw out, 3 more stiches, but I get those removed this Thursday! I am walking normally and in tennis shoe with no support of any kind. Never thought I’d see this day. The end is in sight! Color me a happy girl 🙂

    • That is SOOOO great!!!! I’m happy for you! When we’re stuck in the casts, dependent upon everyone, it does feel as though we’re going to be stuck forever, but then one day we’re FREEEEEE

  39. Yes, I’ve been in 2 casts, 2 airboots, splints, you name it because I broke both my right ankle, fibula and tibula and severely sprained my left ankle. So glad this is finally coming to an end. For me, I will never take going up and down stairs for granted!

    • Hi Donna,
      I so empathisize and sympathize with you. I cannot wait until I can walk up and down stairs but like you I will never take for granted the simplest things in life. Those months when you are totally dependent on others to meet your every need are a bit challenging. Like you I am finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am not walking just yet but finally after 3 months all hardware is gone and the stitches are finally gone too. Now the incision site needs to heal a bit more and then I too can begin a new path. YEAH for you…….as I know how exciting all this must be for you.
      Stay well.
      Kathy Warfel

  40. Hi Kat,

    I’m not much of a blog reader, much less commenter (is that a word? hmm), but your writing is so much fun to read! I couldn’t pass up a comment.

    Like you, I broke my right ankle. I’m 24 and work in a very active career (zookeeping), so I’m out of the game until I can walk fully. Right now I’m 5.5 weeks post-break, and I’m on my second fiberglass cast. I have an appointment in a little over a week to see if I need another cast or a boot…I’m hoping for the boot!

    My break was pretty ridiculous. I was an unpaid intern in Oregon state, and was simply walking down a hill when, all of a sudden, the grass decided not to keep traction with my tennis shoe and I slid. The whole thing is blurry to me, but next thing I know I’m sitting on the ground, both legs in front of me, hoping I didn’t do anything too severe. Trying to act tough, I drove myself back to the intern house and told myself it was just a sprain. Well, an hour goes by and I knew I should go to the ER. An x-ray technician told me I had broken my ankle, but didn’t show me the image or explained any more than that. They splinted me but DIDN’T give me crutches on my way out!!! They said I should pick some up on my own time…to this day I still don’t understand that. I ended up putting pressure on the break for a few days since a.) I didn’t realize how bad it was, and b.) it was now the weekend and the place that would accept my insurance for crutches wasn’t open until Monday.

    I saw an orthopedist 5 days later who told me I needed surgery because I had broken my tibia and fibula. This was a shock, since I couldn’t believe they’d send me home without crutches when the injury was enough to warrant surgery. Long story short(ish), I had to fly home to Wisconsin (on self-injection blood-thinners to avoid a clot) where I would have the surgery.

    An orthopedist in Madison told me I had actually broken all three bones in my ankle (new x-rays were taken), but the miraculous part is that they didn’t recommend surgery! I had to go in for weekly x-rays to make sure nothing moved even a mm, but if it all healed how it had broken, surgery wouldn’t help it heal any better! I never knew how differently two doctors can see the same injury. In my case, a second opinion saved me more weeks of recovery and possible life-changing risks. I realize that my case is extremely rare (my orthopedist shared the case with two trauma surgeons to triple check the treatment plan, and they were all shocked), but if you can afford a second opinion, the results could be life-changing.

    It’s been such a cultural shock to have to be back home for a number of months, since I have been self-sufficient since I left home for college six years ago. Your blog has given me a great idea of what to expect in the coming weeks (though each case can be so different), and I’m so ready to be driving again!

    I’m starting to see that there’s a light at the end of this tunnel of recovery, but if I knit one more scarf, I’m going to lose it. 🙂

    Thanks for the good reading! Take care,
    Christine

    • Christine-
      Thank you so much for your note! (I laughed about the knitting one more scarf!)

      I’m right there with you — I’m aghast that they sent you home with no instructions, crutches, etc. You are so lucky you didn’t move those bones out of alignment in the week you were putting pressure on it. And i’m so glad they found you didn’t need surgery. I still find it amazing what our bodies can do all by themselves to heal.

      The end is within reach and soon you will be back to being independent and self-sufficient. Will you go back to your zookeeping career? That sounds so unique..

      Best wishes,
      Kat

  41. Hi Kat,
    Still hobbling around on crutches 9 weeks after the break but really heartened by all your bloggers. Things do get better every single day!!

    • Hey fellow bloggers. It’s been 5 months since I broke my ankle. I am back to running +20 miles a week and biking +50 a week. Still wearing my MalleoTrain everyday. Today, I spent the majority of my day sitting in meetings so I didn’t wear it to see how my ankle would fare. There was some swelling and pain still. So, once my students return to school and I am on my feet all day, I am certain I’ll still need it! Wonderful compression sleeve that I highly recommend.

  42. Hi,
    I was told I didn’t need physio by the hospital! I have just started and believe me, I did and I do. For anyone thinking they can manage without, don’t listen. Find a good therapist – worth their weight in gold!

  43. This was great to read. I broke my ankle in 2 places and had surgery but now in physical therapy. I should be in a tennis shoe by nest week and I am so glad. Having to depend on someone else ALL the time was so painful for me (I have always been pretty independent). The only thing for me was- once I started putting weight on the ankle, the boot irritated me. I am so ready just to put on a shoe and go- but I am 40 too, and I know better and will heal correctly. Also, physical therapy is the best and all should try and go as long as you can. Another thing was crutches hurt me alot, so I was sent a round-a-bout (a scooter for your knee) and that was a life saver. Thanks for this- you really gave me that extra piece I needed. Sometimes you can get down or depressed about healing time and pain and dependency, but this is a great outlet!

    • Felecia- I bet you are so excited about next week. The feeling of being in your own shoes just can’t be beat. Getting down about healing time and being dependent is a very normal and frequent feeling — but soon you will be back to normal and loving it. Thanks for writing.

  44. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However I am having difficulties with
    your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to
    subscribe to it. Is there anybody having similar RSS problems?
    Anyone who knows the answer will you kindly respond?
    Thanx!!

  45. Hi Kat, it’s really give me hope reading your blog, I’ve just had my none weight baring cast removed yesterday after 6 weeks, having a bimalleolar fracture to my right ankle, they have given me a moon boot to wear but what they haven’t told me, do I leave it on while I sleep or do I take it off.

    Thanks

    • Susan– Did they tell you it was okay to start walking on your foot? When I started using the black boot, they told me to treat it JUST like a cast and to ONLY take it off to do some stretching exercises and get a little air while I was seated, but basically I was supposed to use it all the time, including at nighttime when sleeping. I didn’t quite listen, but I did wear it at nighttime for a while. I didn’t want to roll over and get tangled or something in the middle of the night. 🙂

  46. Went in for my 6th month post break visit. I’ve been training for a half marathon that was to be run last Sunday but due to the flooding in Colorado it was postponed. My foot has adapted to my running on the newly healed ankly badly. I am hitting on the outside of the foot and rolling in Plus I am an elementary school teacher that never sits down all day. So I now have a very sore bump by my pinkie toe. The orthopedic Dr. gave (ok, sold) me inserts to correct that and I have to wear them for 3-6 months. I also have “frozen cast” syndrom in my calf and hamstring, that didn’t go away. I am going to physical therapy for that and it will involve acupuncture and massage. This has become a long process but I am thankful I can run 25+ miles a week again.

    • Juliet – wow, you are one determined person!!!! You are running a lot, even though it’s uncomfortable. I’m in awe. Physical therapy really does help; just keep stretching your legs also and hopefully it won’t take too long to feel better. I did this exercise where I put my toes on a step, and then dropped my heel and that really was useful in stretching the muscles.

      PS – A half marathon! Wow, you rock!

  47. Yes, thank you for your blog, it has given me insight as what to expect -broke my tibia/fibula Aug. 17, 2013. Cast came off 9 days ago, I am in a cam boot with no weight bearing as of yet.but no PT. I am waiting on the doctor to address this matter. I have Kaiser for my insurance . In the meantime do I try to walk on it without PT? I am getting anxious about walking on both feet again.

    Than you once again, your blog helped me in so many ways that I cannot out into words. Great Help.

    Wishing everyone other there a speedy recovery

    • Ruby-
      Thank you for taking the time to send your comment. I would definitely give your doctor a quick call and just ask him/her if it’s okay if you start putting pressure on your foot. You must be getting very anxious about getting started on the healing process.
      Before you know it, you will be standing on two feet!

      • Thank you for the encouragement, and I will give her a call on Monday, first thing. Yes all I want is to get back to walking and back to work, currently I am on furlough due to the government shutdown.

        From your experience how long did it actually take you to walk on both feet?

        Thank you once again

        Ruby

        • Hi Ruby.

          As SOON as the doctor said I could put partial pressure on it, I started trying to walk. It took about a week of practicing several times a day, and of doing exercises with my foot every time I could, before I could walk with no crutches. But I was VERY VERY slow and awkward for a while afterwards. I walked down the road about a hundred feet, and turned around and came back and I was EXHAUSTED! But I just kept at it.

          Good luck with the call to the doctor on Monday!

          • My PT showed up this morning, but he did not understand the work order, he never heard of Protective weight bearing, but he said to put a little weight on it and he will call the doctor to inquire about the work order.  It felt good to walk on both feet for a short time.

            The doctor wants me to come in on ovember 26, 2013 to remove the rod

          • The PT showed up this afternoon.  He had me walk a short distance, next week he said he will teach me to walk down the 3 stairs leading into my house.

            My doctor wants me to come in on November 26,2013 to remove the rod from my ankle, I am a little scared but if it has to come out I have no choice, it does not require me to be out to sleep, only to numb my leg.

            What do you think?

            Ruby

  48. Update….Today is exactly 11 weeks since I broke my ankle.Last Monday,my Dr.cleared me healed,can do everything(in moderation) that I did before the injury !!
    Hang in there people,it does get better and I am proof !!!

      • Glad to hear you are doing better.  That is wonderful.   The doctor took out the rod from my ankle on November 26, 2013, tomorrow I am going back to the doctor to have my stitches removed.  I willl start PT soon.  Praying I never have to see the doctor again under these circumstances.  It does get better – it just takes time.

        Praying for everyone out there.

        Ruby

  49. It was so refreshing to read something positive. So many of the question/answer boards are filled with horror stories about people who do not recover. I’m a few days post surgery and was terrified, until Inread your story. I was terrified that a year from now I’d still be idle and not be able to jog or bike or perform the activities that I did.

    • Jimmy-
      I’m glad you are less terrified! I know everyone heals differently so I can only share my experience. I currently have no physical reminders of the broken ankle- no aches, pains, limits to use, etc. I run, bike, hike, with no problems at all. I’m wishing you an excellent healing process!
      Kat

  50. Thank you for sharing your experience! I broke my fibula and tibia a month ago. It seems that my tibia healed but my fibula has not and they are looking into surgery after all this time. If my ankle hasn’t healed much since my last visit i will have to have surgery. I am walking without a boot for 3 weeks and i am still limping. Not only i’m scared i won’t be able to walk normal again i am scared to have surgery if needed. I am so upset as i am writing this because not only will i have to start all over again but i don’t know where life will take me cause i won’t have a job to go to after surgery. My right ankle is the one broken so that means i won’t be leaving the house much either. I’m praying for the best outcome so that i can walk and be back to normal as possible.

    • HI

      Do not be scared about the surgery. I broke my ankle in April and I am a college professor, so I wanted to finish the semester. There were different opinions from the doctors about needing surgery or not needing it, but the trauma surgeon prevailed and on May 2 I had surgery and could not go back to school until the Fall semester. I was on a knee scooter for 12 weeks and it was difficult because I could not function as I always had. In August I started walking again and now I am going great, No pain, no limitations. If I had not had the surgery there was no guarantee that I would walk this well again, These doctors know their stuff. Trust them. Bye the way I am 67 and would do this again in a heartbeat. Good Luck!

    • Stay strong, and remain positive. If the doctor thinks surgery is necessary, then once you have it, you should be on the road to recovery. It may take longer to get back to normal, but it sounds as though surgery is what’s needed to GET you back to normal. Hugs! You will be fine.

  51. Hi Kat,
    I read and still am reading your # ankle blog.
    I broke mine on Boxing Day whilst out riding- it got tangled in a gate .if I had not been wearing sturdy riding boots it would have been an open fracture..
    I chose the boot from Day 1 instead of a cast based on the radiographer a comment as she took the X-ray.
    Looking back I think a cast is better in some ways.
    By week 3 I was starting to take it off at night and today it’s week 5.

    I worked the last 2 days walking like a grandma.
    Not too surprisingly my beastie boot leg as I call it has got quite swollen so I have relented and put the boot back on for a while.
    I see the orthopaedic doctor next week and have an X-ray.
    I bumped into an ED doctor on the day that I felt I couldn’t stand that boot any more and he said sometime prolonged boot wearing has a worse effect as it reduces the range of movement of the ankle- hence me ditching it, for a while anyway.
    Like you I am active , dogs , horses and suddenly pole axed by this.
    Thank you so much for keeping me going.
    Did your leg still swell after the boot came off ?
    Keep the faith everyone- I know how you all feel.
    Best Wishes
    Diane ( UK)

    • Yes! Mine still swells some and it’s almost 11 months post break. Not a great deal but enough to make my shoe tight… my orthopedic Dr. said that could be normal due to my age for at least a year…don’t know your age so that could be a factor for you!

    • It’s so hard to know what to do! Wear the boot? Don’t wear it? It’s so hard not to be active so I can definitely understand you wanting to push progress…

      To answer your question, my foot/ankle and part of my leg was swollen for a while, even after the boot was off. I would have to put a cold pack or ice on it a few times a day for quite a while. So the swelling is definitely normal. Make sure your socks are not tight – that can make them swell even more.

      It sounds as though you’re actually doing quite well, so pretty soon you’ll be back to normal and can enjoy your dogs and horses!

      • Wow – that’s soo helpful ! I found it very tiring walking in last few days hence am in PJs and ready for bed by 9pm. I will let the broken ankle community know how I get on when I see the doctor next week. I may get a big knuckle rapping( lol). Diane

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

  52. Hi. I wanted to say thank you for this blog. It has been a godsend and I only wish I had found it earlier… it was refreshing to find somewhere that people have shared their experiences of a broken ankle but show that there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel (which for me seems a long way off still).

    I broke my ankle on 6/11/13 while horse riding. I sustained a dislocation and pilon fracture of my left ankle for which I had an ORIF surgery 3 days later. The tibia was smashed up and the fibula was out of line quite badly. The doctors have told me it would have been an open fracture if I didn’t have good riding boots and chaps on at the time. I have been non-weight bearing for 12 weeks with 1 re-alignment of my ankle and 4 different casts to gradually get my foot to 90 degrees, I also had to use underarm crutches throughout these 12 weeks. I experienced many similar problems to others that have commented like cramps in the muscles and bad swelling, but I also have nerve damage in my foot (?from surgery) and also developed Guyon’s Canal Syndrome in both my hands from using the crutches (this is where you get numbness, tingling and pain in your hands along the outside of your hand and affects mainly the ring and little finger).

    I finally got out of a cast on Monday and now have a walking boot and elbow crutches which I can touch weight bear in for the next 3 weeks. I am to practice the walking motion with the crutches and roll from heel to toe on my bad leg using the boots rounded sole. It certainly has been very strange moving onto the boot from being in a cast for so long. It is great to be able to take it off and wash my leg and also gently try to move it (at the moment the movement is very limited and I can just wiggle my toes and move my foot very slightly). However, I do finally feel like I am getting somewhere and have taken my first step forward in the recovery process. I am told by the orthopaedic consultant (I am in the UK) that I am not getting any physical therapy until I am full weight bearing, and the nerve damage will take ‘months’ to resolve/heal. Is there anyone else that has experienced nerve damage in the foot following the ankle break? My foot feels very strange with limited use of my toes, the foot swells up a lot and the skin changes colour a lot and continues to look red/bruised but will then change to white. I also still have to take pain medication for the continuous nagging pain I have in my ankle at both fracture sites.

    Like many others, I want to say that I have found it hard to adjust from being an active independent mum of 2 who worked as a teacher to someone that needs to rely on others (husband, children, family members, friends) to enable me to do things in the house and get out to the myriad of appointments I have had but also for essential retail therapy and meals out that help keep me sane. But I have had to slowly accept this change and be patient ……. A couple of things I have found helpful are: 1) A stool in my walk in shower that I sit on and the Limbo cast cover for the covering the cast helped keep everything dry (it was great to shower independently) 2) Thanks to a wheely office chair I can now spend time cooking and baking in the kitchen when my family are out. This I have found therapeutic because I can do this independently and it gives me something to do by planning recipes and trying out new things. 3) Having a very comfortable reclining chair with footstool that I can sit in with my leg elevated on pillows and do a range of things like read, complete crosswords/puzzles, spend time on the internet on my iPad and even snooze!.

    From reading this blog it seems essential not to push things and follow the advice of the professionals with regard to what you can and can’t do at the different stages of recovery. My husband has booked me a holiday in April to Majorca so my aim is to be walking in some way by then (I have 8 weeks) – it certainly gives me something to aim for and for me to keep motivated with the rest, elevation and exercises (when they come!). Hopefully within a few months I will be able to become more independent, get out and about and enjoy some spring weather including being able to walk my dog again.

    • Mo –
      Thank you so much for sharing your story as well. It sounds as though it has been a long road so far but you are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel which is great!! I didn’t experience nerve damage, but perhaps someone who has will see your comment and respond.
      I love that you have motivation (your trip) to help you work through the issues and get yourself back in action. I am sure you will be walking the dog within a few months!!!!
      Best wishes,
      Kat

  53. Hi Mo, and Kat, I posted here last week. I too fractured my fibula horse riding – on Boxing Day . Luckily I avoided an OP but the last 6 weeks has been a struggle!
    I had three different types of boot and could not bear to inflate them or have the front panel on.
    I ditched the crutches last week and the boot last weekend . I wore jodhpurs boots earlier this week to work, I have had to work since 20 days post injury.
    I saw the orthopod yesterday and he told me there is new bone growth so discharged me to Physio.
    The OP was very quick and I forgot to ask about my discoloured foot and numb toes.
    My own theory is that my two numb middle toes are from my third boot which was a small- maybe a little short for my size 5 feet and my injured leg is a different colour from the knee down compared to my good leg.
    I attended Physio today and it was quite harsh so now I feel I have gone back over- he moved my foot holding over the fracture which was excruciating and since then the arch and ball of my foot are really painful when I put them to the floor.
    Still early days – on a plus note- the swelling is miles better out of the boot.
    I hobbled around the yard at the weekend and hope to ride again by the end of this month.
    I am planning to drive or try to tomorrow.
    I am in the UK and it’s my left foot do AI think using the clutch will be a type of Physio .
    I felt a bit down tonight as I now had all this new pain in my foot but guess it’s from walking on bits not used for a while .
    Get better soon!

    Diane

  54. Dear Kat,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I am currently three weeks out of surgery. Unfortunately, I had a trimalleolar fracture of my ankle along with multiple torn ligaments and multiple displacements. I am currently still in a hard cast and very depressed. I will not be able to even walk for at least 4 months. Also, I need to have another surgery to remove the syndismosis screws in my ankle. I also have a large plate in my leg complimenting the 12 screws in my foot. All of this from one snow mobile accident. I will never be able to play sports again competitively. Any tips for me or just an encouraging response would mean so much to me. Thanks for your time.
    Sincerely, Ryan

    • Ryan,
      WOW, that must have been a serious snowmobile accident. It sounds as though you have been very active in the past, since you mentioned you played sports competitively. I can understand you being depressed; the change in your lifestyle must be very disheartening. Not only the long term outlook, but even now having to deal with a hard cast and all that does to your life on the short term. But the good news is that it sounds as though you will be able to start walking in 4 or so months, which I know must sound like a lifetime but it’s the “end” in sight. And once you are able to start walking and doing therapy and stretching and getting your muscles and bones working again and getting rid of any swelling and getting your freedom back, you will feel a billion times better. The end IS in sight (even though right now it probably seems as though you need binocolars to see it!!).
      Hugs,
      Kat

    • Hey … I shattered my ankle april 9th. … a plate and 8 screws(tib & fib) … I was in plaster for 10 weeks … and was not able to work for another 8 weeks (restaurant).I played a round of golf yesterday and it was fine and it will be fine. I still have slight swelling and some discomfort, but it continues to get better. I will say that I have rehabbed like a champ … done ALL of the exercises religiously … I came up with my own rehab routine after listening to my surgeon, physio doctor and chiropractor … Granted I will not be joining a lacrosse league, but thats ok … I’ll golf on …

    • If you are able Ryan, get your hands on the book “After the Fall” written by my friend Craig DeMartino. I think his story will uplift you and inspire you.

    • Hi Ryan
      I posted here last week. This blog has lots of advice and positive outcomes to help you. I had surgery following my dislocation and bimalleolar pilon fracture in November. I like you, have a plate with 10 screws on my tibia plus other screws. no screws on my fibula but tibia was smashed up. I quite understand how depressed and low you can feel. When you are in plaster it is uncomfortable to sleep, sit and move around, well just about everything. I found it really hard to adjust but as I said in my previous post I have found a few things that have helped make things that bit easier like the limbo cast cover so you can shower, using a stool in the shower to sit on, and my wheely chair in the kitchen so I could cook and bake. There are plenty of other tips in the other posts too. Do look back. It is important to find a few things that suit you…. Support from friends and family is also important. I finally got out of plaster last Monday after 12 weeks and now have a moon boot in which I can touch weigh bear. I have found that I am slowly getting some movement back in my ankle but still have a lot of pain and ongoing issues with nerve damage. But as Kat and the others have said the time in plaster is the first stage in the healing process before the lengthy period of rehab. I injured myself horse riding and don’t know if I will be able to return as the doctors still aren’t sure how much movement I will get back. My first aim is to get back walking, then driving and getting away on a holiday. I am hoping having these goals will help me keep positive…. ( I have to admit some days it is really hard…. like since getting the boot every time I have to put it back on it is agony and I end up crying). you will get there…… Good luck!
      Best wishes Mo

  55. Thank you for your blog as it has provided great insight. I dislocated and fractured my right ankle at work on january 28th and had surgery february 5th. I am nwb for eight weeks. Luckily my surgeon put me in a boot before leaving the hospital, so it is more comfortable. I had two plates and 14 screws between the two bones. Your blog has answered so many of my questions about the healing process. The most painful part of this is dealing with workmans comp!

    • Deena-
      I’m glad you received answers to your questions about healing – a lot of the people who commented above had some good suggestions. I didn’t have to deal with workman’s comp, but I can bet it’s a crazy red tape process.
      Best of luck!
      Kat

  56. Hi im.currently wearing a boot not sure how long yet I havve an app for next wk.which would be 2wks having the boot I use a walker to help me get around the house but ive noticed one day taking the boot off to.shower&clean out the open wounds the swelling went down alot but my heel (which suffered no damage ) looked just dry which I contributed to the sock&friction grom wearing the boot all day the next day I noticed my heel was white and wrinkly almost like if u were in a tub or pool for along time…looks scary but im thinking its fromthe foot being contained In the boot moisture sweat etc …anybody else had any experiences as such ?? Like I siad the actual imjury looks better and better swelling going down almost gone and wounds looks like there healing well ive been taking my antibiotics as directed ..is this normal with the heel is it dead skin etc??

    • Bridgette-
      It sounds as though you are making progress, since you say your swelling is going down a lot and the wounds are healing. I didn’t experience the wrinkly/dry condition, but perhaps your foot just isn’t getting air? Is the sock/etc very tight? Maybe you can try a different kind of sock and see if it makes a difference.
      Or slather skin cream on there a few times a day and see if that makes it better.
      Good luck!
      Kat

  57. Today, my orthopedic took me out of my walking boot. I’m in an ankle brace. It’s hard walking. I feel as if my mind will not let me walk for fear of falling. I freeze everything I attempt to do so. At the office I had one crutch and the doctor was like he doesn’t want to see me on any crutches in 4 weeks when I come back. This process of going from 2 crutches to one crutch to no crutches is harder than I thought. Any suggestions? I’m just ready to start working again (I’m a certified trainer at Bonefish Grill).

    • Tanisha-
      All I can say is try not to let fear get in your way of healing! The doctor wouldn’t tell you it was okay to walk if it wasn’t. Are you going to do physical therapy? If anything will help you feel more confident, that will!
      You’re one step closer to being able to walk easily. Just keep trying.
      Kat

      • Just wanted to update you Mrs. Kat! I’m walking on my own! 🙂 And I started physical therapy last Wednesday. I’m walking slow and with a limp but I’m walking. My pt thinks I’m only walking with a limp because it’s habit of me being in the boot because I have no pain in my ankle. I just have to focus harder on walking through so I’m not limping. Thanks for your blog and all your encouragement! 🙂

  58. Thank you SO much for writing this! I was supposed to be out of my cast 3 weeks ago, but because I had two instances where I fell, another 3 weeks it was. Anyways, I find out Monday if I’m ready but I’m TERRIFIED to start putting weight on my foot again….I could totally cry. With a little bit of pressure I felt the electric shock you wrote about – scared the snot out of me! Is it like that with every step at first? I’m still scared, but your story makes it seem doable. lol

    • Kile529-

      Try not to be terrified! The doctor won’t all of a sudden take away all the tools (cast/boot/crutches) and say, that’s it, go! 🙂 They’ll make sure your foot is ready first. I had been envisioning that they would take off my boot and I’d just put on sneakers and walk on out of there but it wasn’t that easy for me. I went from no pressure no partial pressure and then to full pressure.

      When you start attempting to walk, it’s as though you’re starting all over again relearning what to do with your muscles. It might hurt a bit, you might be tingly, but those feelings will go away with time. The tingly thing would be strongest if I was sitting and then started walking around. Then it would go away after a little while, and would start up again if I sat or slept or something. But I seem to think it only lasted a few days or maybe a week.

      If you are on facebook, there is a great facebook group which is full of people in various stages helping each other. It’s called “Broken Ankle / Foot / Leg Recovery – On a Quest for Normal!” I bet that would be helpful.

      Hope that helps!

      Kat

      • That’s exactly what I’ve been envisioning! I think I’m mostly afraid of the possible pain. I have a high pain tolerance but I do much better when in thrown into the situation, like breaking my leg. Lol The anticipation of pain freaks me out. Haha! Thanks for the encouragement and for easing my fears! You’re such a blessing!

  59. Hey Kat,
    I just wanted to say thank you for putting this up. I’m a 20 year-old that severly broke his ankle a few weeks back and it has been hard ever since. I feel so weak. I was always very independent, now I feel more like a kitten, dependent on everyone for everything haha! I just got to read this page so my answer already might be in one of your previous blogs, but did your toes ever turn purple and ache when you lowered the foot to use crutches? It’s been like this for 3 weeks now and I have to keep propping it up above my heart on pillows to get the proper color back. I have almost completely stopped taking pain medicine, except when I go to sleep (for some reason it gets worse at night). It just annoys me that it has been 3 (almost 4) weeks now and its still like that. Thank you so much again. I look forward to reading the rest of your blog!
    God bless you!
    Sincerely,
    Christian Ortega

    • Christian –

      Kittens are overrated, aren’t they? (But cute!) I totally understand your frustration with being dependent on others. I couldn’t stand that either.

      I didn’t have the problem with the purple toes, although swelling and bruising lasted a really long time. Even for weeks after my cast and boot were off, so months after I broke my ankle I was still swollen. Have you asked your doctor about the toes?

      I just found a facebook site that is strictly for people with broken ankles and if you join and ask them about your toes, perhaps someone can provide insight. The facebook site is called “Broken Ankle / Foot / Leg Recovery – On a Quest for Normal!”

      Hugs!
      Kat

    • Christian – I asked my dr. about my toes turning purple and the swelling (which is still happening 7 weeks post-break) and he said it’s totally normal and will continue still for at least a few weeks probably longer. After walking a bit the swelling is pretty intense, but throw my foot on a pillow above my heart and it does go down quite a bit within 20 minutes. Shouldn’t be anything to panic about, but definitely check with your doctor.

      • Thank you both! I’m actually going in today so we will see what the Doctor says. I’m hoping I get off the cast and can maybe start walking on it.

        • Hi a few months ago i was in an incident that landed me in a boot with a walker.i didnt break ankle bone but had deep indents on both sides of ankle after a few wks i could take boot off they said a little at a time starting with taking off to sleep i declined a physical therapist to come to my house ..i can walk well now but if on my fert too long gets very painful and sweels still…but quest someone mentiomed athritis to me..how soon does athritis set in this happend in february this year but the past few days my ankle has been bothering me if sit too long or laying down its been gloomy&rainy

          • Hum…I’ve been experiencing funky “stabbing ” type pains lately in me Mende broken ankle…18 months post break. I’ve noticed more incidences of this when it is humid here in Colorado…which isn’t often! I’m in my mid fifties and wonder about arthritis. I still run +20 miles and bike + 40miles weekly.

          • Wow, Juliet – you ROCK! 20 miles a week and 40 miles biking a week — I am in awe.

            My guess is the humidity or maybe just the constant use is causing the stabbing pains. Would you be willing to stay off it for a week (i.e., not exercise), just to see if the pain goes away?

          • Hi Bridgette-

            I can’t comment on the arthritis but I can say that your ankle had a trauma, even though it wasn’t broken, and it’s going to take a while for it to get over it/heal. Hang in there – thankfully your bones were not broken!

            Kat

  60. I’m glad I found your blog! It has been truly insightful. What I read today about not being depressed about being depressed hit home for me. I broke my left ankle on May 25th-the fibula & it was also a clean break, no displacement & no surgery needed (I actually panicked when he mentioned he was taking the x-rays to see if I would need surgery). This is my 6th week and I am supposed to get this hard cast removed in 5 days. He didn’t tell me what would happen after that. For the first two weeks they had me in a soft cast that they had put on in the ER. This was to allow any swelling to go down so that they could put the hard cast on. However, I took a fall standing at the fridge, pretty much did a one-legged split and messed up my ankle again & went back to the ER because that pain was literally worse than the pain of having initially broke my ankle. I felt like I pulled every muscle in my calf.

    I didn’t receive pain medication when I broke my ankle, but after I fell I desperately needed it because the pain was so intense I couldn’t sleep-it was unbearable. They checked for blood clots-this was also a surprise to me-I didn’t have any thankfully. I don’t have a wheelchair, scooter, or walker. I just scoot around in my computer chair. My biggest problem is that I can’t make it up my steps on my crutches to get back in the house, so this means I am stuck inside the house, during summer! After having been locked up inside for a super long winter & I started getting super depressed-another thing I wasn’t really expecting. I am getting better at it though, but I just am too shaky to try an attempt going up the stairs by myself. I’ve still fallen even with someone there.

    When they put my hard cast on, my foot and leg was still super swollen. I’m thinking this was a good thing, because after the swelling went away (after my second fall), this gave me lots of wiggle room to sort of flex my foot and circle it. I loved the idea of drawing the ABC’s with the big toe!

    I still get stinging and burning sensations where the bone broke, but otherwise it feels pretty good. I can sleep like normal without pain.

    One thing I was wondering if anyone had experienced after breaking their ankle—is that now when I lay down flat on my back, or have my leg raised up on pillows, my left leg & thigh, all the way from my knee to my hip goes numb. I asked the doctor a few times why that is happening, but he wouldn’t or couldn’t tell me anything.

    Because of the way my foot was put in the soft cast-sort of pointed down and not flexed, when the doctor put the hard cast on, he bent it back to a 90 degree angle as much as he could, but it is still sort of pointed more down. I started to get ‘plantar fasciitis’ in the arch of that foot! If you’ve never had it before, thank your lucky stars. That is when I started to move and flex my foot around more, as much as I could anyways, and it made it go away for now. I’m glad I am not in an ‘air cast’ because those look really uncomfortable to me & reminds me of this plantar fasciitis boot that I got from a doctor, which only made my pain ten times worse it seemed.

    Thanks for writing this blog about your broken ankle experience! It has been very helpful. I am still slightly scared of what comes next, and being able to walk again-without pain, and without falling.

    • Jeannie –

      Good morning! To answer your question, I don’t remember experiencing numbness in my thigh when my foot was raised but there are a lot of people who had different experiences than I did so perhaps someone else will chime in; I have a feeling everything will be different once you get the cast off in five days — Hopefully that numbness will stop happening.

      When you go up the stairs, can you do it using one crutch? There’s got to be a way for you to go out/in so you get a change of scenery. How many stairs are between you and the outside?

      The healing process was scary but exciting — I couldn’t WAIT to be free!!

      Kat

  61. I sat on my fanny and scooted down or up the steps. oiong back first when you go up…facing forward going down. Just slide your crutches down first and drag them with you when going up.You can do it!
    Juliet

  62. Hi

    Found your blog interesting, and slightly depressing at the same time, realising i still have long way to go.I broke all three bones, dislocated it, lots screws and metal work. All being well i should have the cast off this friday. Every week the conusltant has taken my cast off and moved my foot around, hurts like hell, but hopefully will pay off in the long run. I have been using the knee scooter, theyre are brilliant!! I did manage to fall off of two days ago on uneven ground, into a load of stinging nettles and sprained my wrist and thumb. So thats all strapped up now and this has limited my mobility even more. I have found it so difficult not be mobile, i was so active, i would start the day with a 10 mile cycle, and most days the dog would get walked a good few miles.

    BTW the blog is great.

    • Jamie –
      Thanks for your comment! I imagine that hurting your wrist just makes it even worse dealing with the ankle – hopefully everything will heal at the same time I’ll bet the first time you go for a bike ride will be a day of celebrating in your home! Best of luck with your recuperation.
      Kat

  63. Kat, I have found this blog invaluable and refer to it daily in my recovery. I broke my fibula and had a 2mm wide posterior malleus fracture of my tibia just over 7 weeks ago, they didn’t find the tibia break until they did a CT and at 3 weeks after the break it was too late to operate without causing more problems. They took my cast off after 5 1/2 weeks and was told by my orthopedic consultant to gradually start to put weight on it in a boot and with crutches. I started physio 4 days after the boot and the physio said I can’t damage it now and it’s best to put as much weight on it as I can bear to encourage bone growth. So after first week I started walking around in boot only and no crutches. Kat in your blog you said you didn’t experience any pain just aches. Did you ever have any set backs that caused you to need crutches again for a couple of days etc? It sounds like you put crutches and boot away in week two. I do have strong pain in my ankle hinge area but don’t walk so much it’s aching at end of day like you did? Also after the second lot of physio I suddenly got terrible pain in heel that went up through bone that was excruciating and had to take all weight off foot again for couple of days has anyone else experienced this? I go on holiday in three weeks and wanted to be able to walk a couple of mikes by then, it would be 5 weeks after cast came off, do you think thus would be too soon?

    • Good morning Elizabeth.

      I hope you’re feeling better this morning!

      Did your doctor take another x-ray when the cast came off to make sure everything healed correctly? If yes, then hopefully in another week or two of walking, the pain will lessen. If it’s still that painful now, though, it might be very hard to walk miles in just a few weeks. It does take a while to be able to do that much walking.

      If your ankle is still painful in a week or so, you may wish to call the doctor or maybe even get a second opinion. It should be feeling a bit better each day.

      Hang in there!
      Kat

  64. Hi Kat, no he didn’t, he said it had already shown up on the 3 week CT scan that it was healing which was why they decided not to operate. When I saw him at 5 weeks he said no point in another X-ray as he had already seen the placement etc. This morning the pain in my heel has gone and I’m able to walk around just with boot on again and no crutches, it just hurts if I have put my right leg too far forward when walking and it causes too much of a stretch in my ankle. I see him again in two weeks which is a week before my holiday. Before the physio that set the heel pain off I was walking outside for 20-25 mins without any pain for several days with boot and one crutch and physio had said I could start to increase that so I am going to try 20 mins again today and if it’s ok tomorrow will start to increase and then try a sneaker around the house at end of week three. Thanks for your reply 🙂

    • YAY! It sounds as though today the pain is gone, and once you keep working your right leg by stretching/etc, that pain should go away as well. You are doing fine! I’m so excited for you and your upcoming vacation. I think all will be well. Good luck!

      • Hi Kat,
        Just want to thank you most sincerely for your wonderful blog. I “stumbled” upon it on day 49 of ye olde broken fib story!! & it was like back to the future! Great advice & I hope the good karma is coming back to you in spades! Family & good friends have seen me through all of this’! Thanks again. Mary 😉

  65. Hi iv been reading all of this from the UK with interest, I fractured my right ankle ( trimallour ) on 2nd July 14 while on holiday in Spain , not too impressed with the Spanish health care , had it x rayed told I would need surgery and advised to go home , ( they did put it in plaster)thank goodness we had travel insurance which was great , they arranged for my flights home with extra seats so I could keep my leg elevated and arranged for me to be taken from the airport to my local hospital, where I was reassessed.was x rayed again as they had no x-rays sent from Spain, told me I was going to be admitted so an alignment could be done and once the swelling has gone down I would need plates and pins, I am now four weeks postop had my stitches removed two weeks ago and am now in a plaster cast Non-weightbearing. My next appointment is in two weeks to assess the healing and of all is well I can have my cast removed and the boot fitted. Reading the blog has made me realise just how lucky I have been although it’s painful The hospital has given me crutches and a wheel chair , yes it’s very difficult to get around but one of the biggest things which has made me realise how lucky I am is all the local supermarkets do online shopping, they delivered to my house and even offer to unpack if needed. My care has been great and it’s free on the NHS , yes I have a long way to go I hope I make a full recovery and will be fully mobile again. Reading all of your stories has helped me know what I am going through is normal and I’m not the only one, thank you , I wish every body reading this a full and speedy recovery

    • Frances,

      Thank you for your comments. I agree about food delivery — we have a few local grocery stores that will deliver, and that was a huge help to me as well!

      Hopefully in two weeks once that cast is off, you will speed through the rest of your recovery! I’ll be thinking of you!

      Kat

  66. July 17, 2014 I broke my fibula and tibia and had surgery July 24. I get my cast off Wed Sept 3. I have to wear a boot and actually ordered a vacocast. My question is how long did it take you to go from getting the cast off to full weight bearing in a boot? Did you try acupuncture? I’m really nervous about re-injuring my leg. Also I have a 55 lb dog with a bad leg I lift into the car. When do you think I will be able to pick him up again? I love your blog and I think it’s one of the best on the net

    Nicole

  67. Hi Kat! Thanks so much for this blog post! I fell and sustained a Trimeollolar (sp) fracture in my right leg during roller derby practice. Syndesmosis, dislocation, three bones broken. I ended up getting surgery two weeks later and now have a plate and two syndesmosis screws (on the inside), and another screw on the other side. I’ve been in a boot, non weight-bearing, for two months, but I’ve finally been cleared for weight bearing and crutches. The thought of walking again without help (crutches or cane) is inconceivable. There are not a lot of blogs out there that talk about recovery (walking with crutches, etc), so huge thanks for writing about this and giving me hope. I’m 40 years old and I have to remind myself to go at my own pace, but not being able to drive has been rough.

    • Hi Cranky Girl-Gamer!

      Not being able to drive was the PITS. You do have to go at your own pace and try not to get too stressed when things are going slower (or you are going slower) than you want to. Everything will work out in its time!

      By the way, now that you are going to start weight bearing, you will see how fast you start to improve. Best wishes!

      Kat

  68. Hi Kat, it’s been a week since I fell of my bike and broke my ankle in two places. I’ve had a resin cast fitted. Your blog is great and very positive. Losing my independence is FRUSTRATING, my sixteen year old is a great help but they can only do so much. I’m hoping and praying that I recover quickly.

    • Karen-
      I just saw your note; sorry for the slow response.
      Thank you for stopping by — the lack of independence is VERY frustrating. Relying on other people, for me at least, meant I would only ask for the bare minimum of what I wanted since I didn’t want to be a burden. Which is also frustrating!
      Are you doing any better now?
      Kat

      • Thanks for you reply. I’m getting used to it now, my family and friends are very supportive and helpful. My daughter is not so stressed, she’s a treasure! I’m trying to stay positive.

  69. Hey Kat Thanks for the over view it is very helpful being able to relate my injury to. I have one question; How long did it take for the swelling to go down?

    • Kyle-
      I don’t remember exactly how long, but I believe about three months after I started walking, the swelling was down enough to be able to get my pre-break shoes on. My ankle would still swell a bit, and I think by about five months or so, it was pretty much gone. I have heard from others who still get swelling years later, and I’m really not sure why it’s so different person to person.
      Kat

  70. Your story has been so informative and encouracing. I slipped off last 2 steps inside my home on 11.17. Broke right ankle 3 places 1plates 12 screws. Doing well walking with weith bearingbut tell me, how do u let the walker go and walk petrified

    I

    • Linda-
      Don’t panic! You will be able to walk without the walker. I tried one thing at a time. I was using crutches, so I tried using just one crutch first (on the side with the bad foot). Then I tried just standing on both feet next to something I could grab on to and took a step. It takes time and repetition, but once you are able to put pressure on your foot (it sounds like you are already doing that), then you’re ready!
      Kat

  71. Hi Kat, i have progressed ,went from walker to cane and was doing well in therap the therapists are bending and stretcohing my ankle to the point that i am now not walki g as well as i was. My heel is very sore from the stretches whichwhen waked on it causi g me to not do well. Ihave been doi b hot/cold to help it but so far,,,,not, should i mention to them not so hard on me? Thanks, linda

    • Linda –
      Could it be the old, “two steps forward, one step back” adage? I would definitely mention that your heel is sore — it might be a normal part of the healing process, but then again, maybe not. I was very sore when starting all the therapy and everything felt wrong, as though I was learning how to walk all over again. But definitely ask!
      Wishing you positive outcomes!
      Kat

  72. Hi kat, i did talk to pt and she said she had to break up scar tissue which this at at pt she said i had much bettrr mobility. I guess no pain, no gain. I have beeb doing well but still feeling the tightness but can definitely walk w/o cane much better. Thanks again.

    • Linda –
      I’m sorry to hear it’s still tight, but happy you are walking better! Keep at it – you’re definitely making progress, and thanks for sharing your update.
      Kat

  73. Hi Kat,

    (I apologize for the long comment in advance:) )

    I have found your blog extremely helpfully and hopeful due to the similarities of our injury. I broke my right ankle (fibula- spiral fracture) on December 3, 2014. I decided to not get surgery and was immediately put in a hard cast. At 4.5 weeks, i was given a new cast and a cast shoe and prescribed weekly vitamin D and told i could put mild weight on it. I was convinced I was healed because i could walk around my apartment with the cast shoe on and without crutches with no pain. However, at 8 weeks i was devastated when my doctor told me i was not healed yet and to return in –> f o u r <– whole weeks!!! (similar to you being told at your 7 week appointment to come back in 3). I was given an aircast boot and told i can gradually stop using the crutches. It is the beginning of week 9 and i continue to ice everyday and try walking in my apartment slowly with my crutches but no boot. I have mild pain where my actual injury is yet more discomfort on the front of my ankle and inner side of my foot. I am only 19 years old so I am hoping i will be able to recover well.

    – I am very stressed and anxious about getting back on my feet so i have about 3 questions.

    As a college student, it may be a bit shallow of me, but i am reallyyyy trying to be healed (walking normally on my own two feet with no aid) by spring break in about 5 weeks. I was just wondering how realistic do you think that time frame is? Because our injuries occurred around the same time and you were speed walking around the first week of March I am hoping so. I do understand that everyone is different but you're really giving me hope, especially being the only blog of personal experience i could find that did not get surgery. I'm nervous because in my opinion, my X-rays from 4.5 weeks and 8 weeks look the exact same. I also wanted to know if you began physical therapy while your bone was not quite healed yet, or if you had to wait until you went back after those three weeks? I haven't tried driving yet because i'm not comfortable with pointing and flexing my foot yet. I'm not quite sure how much i trust my orthopedist and kind of regret not getting a second opinion when i first was injured; I was thinking about going to the student health center on campus and getting my own xrays and inquiring physical therapy before my appointment with my orthopedist. My final question is if you did anything extra to aid with healing, like up your vitamin or protein intake, etc.?

    Thanks!!!!!,

    -Liv

    • Liv –

      Thank you for your comments and for sharing your “adventure.” Although I do understand how frustrating it is not to be given the green light when you expected it, please don’t beat yourself up about the healing process, as it’s different for everyone. And try to stay positive about your progress! I have to admit when they showed my my x-rays, I didn’t even know what I was looking at — and they had to direct me to where the break was, and I really couldn’t tell how they could tell it was healing. Anyway, to answer your questions:

      I did do physical therapy during the three weeks between those doctor visits; I think I only went once or twice, but I was there at my doctor’s suggestion, so as long as the doctor thinks you’re ready, go for it! Visiting your health center also isn’t a bad idea.

      I did not add any vitamins or change my diet to help aid in the healing process.

      And finally, there is nothing shallow in wanting to be healed and walking in six weeks — I wanted it NOW every single day!!! It sounds as though you are definitely making progress, if you can walk with no boot using crutches, so six weeks does not sound out of the question. Just make sure you work on it every single day!! I was pretty fanatical about exercising and stretching.

      I wish you the best in your healing process!!!

      Kat

        • Hi there – I understand you want to unsubscribe from the blog — Unfortunately, I can’t unsubscribe you; you have to unsubscribe yourself (since you subscribed in the first place). At the bottom of the email you received which indicated there was a comment, there should be a link that says something like, “Unsubscribe from all comments” — just click on that and it should eliminate these comments from your mail box.

          Good luck!
          Kat

  74. As soon as I posted, I remembered a question!

    Does your ankle still bother you or ever give out on you? Or have you reinjured since the initial break? People make me nervous by frequently saying because i did not get surgery it will bother me for the rest of my life..

    Liv

    • Liv-

      Good morning! I’ll answer this one first– The simple answer is NO! My ankle does not bother me at all, and I have not re-injured it. I run, jog, hike mountains, bike, and do all the things I did pre-break. The only thing I haven’t tried yet (it does make me a little leery) is skiing. But I really do feel quite “normal” again.

      Now on to your other questions!

      Kat

  75. I broke my left ankle a week ago. My x ray told there are two cracks on my ankle. I am on bed since then. Doctor told me it will take 4 weeks to recover. Last night I had severe pain. Can you tell me why am I having this much pain?

    Regards

  76. Hi so happy to find this blog, dislocated and fractured ankle in two places & find the recovery very lonely and frustrating at times having to rely on everyone but am glad to see other people feel the same it makes me feel more normal, two weeks to cast off and then at least two weeks to walking on it, really looking forward to getting cast off, can anyone advise how often one should have physio after cast comes off? They will advise in hospital but it would be nice to get other people’s experiences also, Thanks for organizing the blog Kathleen,it’s very cool and helping me get through the various stages of this recovery…but at least there will be an end in sight…

    • Ci O’b-

      Thanks for your comments. Dealing with a broken ankle that gets in the way of you being able to do everything yourself is definitely frustrating and you are not alone!!!

      When my doctor suggested physical therapy, he suggested going three times per week. I didn’t – I only made it about once a week for maybe three visits. But I did the exercises every single day at home. I’m not sure if that’s advisable but I was in a big hurry to get better so I just did it and did it and did it….

      There IS an end in sight!!!

      Kat

  77. Hi everyone, I’ve been coming to this page since my accident on 2/10/2015. I can never forget this day because it was my eldest daughter’s birthday 😦

    I stepped outside to get her off of the school bus, and my porch was covered in black ice. I just assumed it was wet and BAM! Felt the two snaps, broken fibula/tibia.

    Had to wear hard cast for 4 weeks, now in walking boot. I received two differeby set of instructions. Doc told me to apply slight weight, barely even. His asst told me to gradually apply weight, which I did.

    But just when I started to get the hang of it, for the first time since the fall, I started to feel pain in the actual bone and lots of swelling.

    I called docs back after remembering what doc said, I was instructed to do exactly what HE said. Now I’m soooo concerned that I pushed my recovery back or made it worse. These past few weeks have been the hardest of my LIFE. Having 3 small a children and a wonderful husband who works all day and is already overextended has made me extremely emotional and I feel guilty. I miss my shoes, I miss carrying my babies, and I miss being helpful.

    I need encouragement….

    • Alirenmc –

      You must be so overwhelmed by everything. Having three young children and trying to be everything to them, and with your husband helping but probably being a bit frazzled himself, you must be mega-stressed. So first of all, hugs! This time in your life really will pass, and will eventually be a memory. Your little ones won’t remember anything, and your husband will be happy the first time you walk across the room and you will be ecstatic to slip on a pair of shoes and walk in them.

      So first of all, the human body is amazing. Bones basically heal by themselves and just putting a cast on to help them stay in the right place is all our doctors can do. They don’t actually fix anything; our bodies do it ourselves. If the doctor and assistant both told you to put pressure (whether it was a little pressure or full pressure), they must have known the bones were healing and in place. If the doctor didn’t want you on the foot because there was an issue he would have told you to keep it as no weight bearing. So perhaps you were just going a little faster than your body wanted. Are you putting ice on your swelling, and putting your foot up for a while each day to help the swelling go down? Can you gently do some stretches to see if you can slowly alleviate some of the pain? It did hurt for me post-cast but eventually it went away.

      Anyway, stay tough. When’s your next doctor’s appointment?

      Kat

      • Thanks so much for the encouragement. It helps tremendously. My appt is this upcoming Monday which will place me at 8 weeks post the break. If things are looking up, I’m told I may be able to leave boot-free. Can you please tell me what to expect should this be the case…prayerfully.
        I.e, when will I be able to walk normally? When will I be back in my heels? Will it be painful or weird? I’m so anxious yet nervous.

        • Hi Everyone, I broke my ankle on Boxing Day 2014 and really appreciated this blog – eventually I was almost back to normal- walking my dog,riding my horse , I even did a Zumba class ! Then about 9 months later whilst walking along the road, I misjudged a step and broke the other ankle with the exact same injury that I had nine months earlier . However it was surprising how different my experience was- there was much less swelling and pain -( I had been riding a horse and it had trapped my ankle in a gate first time round ). I began to think that maybe I hadn’t really broken it but for sure I had. Anyway – long story short within one twelve month period I spent three + months in the dreaded boot, I. Was lucky that I didn’t need surgery but in some ways felt as if no one was interested because of that. I had good and some not so good Physio. I has the same quirky symptoms that others describe which varied from week to week. Being on crutches did my back in – it was quite a saga. I was back and forth to the chiropractor etc. BUT now down the line I am good and even though the last ankle didn’t unite properly – I am walking miles with the dogs, riding my horses, wearing high heels and in the last week I have started running without a problem. So guys- there is light at the end of the tunnel and this blog really fills that space that the medical profession can’t provide for us. I hope maybe that this might may some people feel more optimistic. Diane

          Sent from my iPad

          >

          • Wow Diane, you’re a soldier for
            Sure!! I can’t imagine ever going through this again. It’s enlightening to hear you got back to normal after an improper aligning. That’s been one of my fears. Only because doc was able to get it from 4mm to 1mm from his physically realigning it. He’s hoping the cast and the boot did the rest. I used to wear 6 inch heels effortlessly, and with my 5 “2 frame, it’s imperative to me I get back to them. Hahaha

            Thanks for the updates

        • Sorry guys – broken ankles obviously affected my brain- no 1 fracture late 2013, second one September 2014😊

          Sent from my iPad

          >

  78. My husband broke his fibula approximately 8 weeks ago and seems to be healing nicely. However now he is experiencing tingling in this foot and his toes hurt as well as the top of his foot, is this normal and does it go away? Hes also experiencing a spinning sensation when he lays down or sits up for the laying position could this be because he was immobile for 8 weeks and his body is weak.

    • Dayna-

      I’m glad your husband is healing nicely. I can say I had tingling in my foot (mostly on the bottom) and also my foot hurt on the other parts not where the ankle was. None of that surprised me after I realized all those muscles were complaining from not being used from so long! So I think all those aches are probably just part of the healing process. The spinning/dizzy sensation — if it doesn’t go away, he should probably talk to a doctor because that sounds unrelated to the foot and could be because he is weak or could be unrelated issue.
      Best wishes to your hubby (and to you for being helpful!!)

      Kat

  79. Hey Kat. Thanks for your blog…I’ve visited your page endless times over the past few months. It’s been almost 12 weeks since I broke my fibula near the joint…didn’t need surgery. I’ve been out of the cast for 5 weeks and can walk fine with Only a little pain. It still aches and swells but overall I think my progress is going pretty well. My question is…my foot hurts in the same spot as yours did during recovery…on the top where all those muscles are where the foot meets the leg. It’s been hurting there the whole time since being out of the cast. i have pretty good range of motion and can point my toes nearly as well as my good ankle. Just wondering how long yours hurt in that place for before it went away because its really frustrating!!! Did it linger for quite a while like mine is or did it go pretty quickly ?

    • Hi Sam-

      I think it took about 6 weeks or so before that pain went away – I just kept stretching and stretching and it finally disappeared. Hopefully it won’t be long before you wake up one day and after a few hours realize it’s fine! 🙂

      Kat

      • broke ankle 6/15/15. So happy that so many people have shared their stories as I’ve felt so sorry for myself. Cast for five weeks then low boot and crutches. Doctor said healed need therapy and no crutches on July 20. I am now just a cane but pain is horrible in my heel. Still icing and elevating but am discouraged. Back to dr on 8/27. Does swelling ever go 😂

        • Linda-
          Yes, eventually it will disappear. I know it’s so frustrating, but hopefully on 8/27 the doctor will give you positive news. Hang in there! Soon this should be a memory.
          Kat

          • Dr. visit went awesome totally healed. No cane finally walking with a slight limp exercising like crazy. Things do get better just keep the faith. This blog was awesome and got me through the last three months😉 when I’m back in heels I’m treating myself to a pair of Jimmy Choo Choo

  80. I am 6 weeks after surgery.. My foot is swollen and shakes a lot when someone comes near it or try setting it down…Is that normal??? I am very scared of all this that is happening and try not to cry but can’t seem to get a grip… thanks for any advice you can PLEASE give me…

    • Hi Kristy –

      Are you very stressed about the foot hurting if someone touches it? Maybe it’s shaking due to anxiety. It WILL get better! Please be patient and hang in there… You won’t always feel this way, and your foot won’t always feel the way it does.

      Hugs,
      Kat

      • Thank you for responding.. Iam TOTALLY sure it is Anxiety…. I will keep it iced and elevated to try and keep the swelling down so when I try the boot walking it will be less painful.. I will try to take this one day at a time. I am sure you will be hearing from me often since your words did cheer me up a bit… THANKS AGAIN FOR TAKING THE TIME TO RESPOND…

  81. Hi Kat,
    Thanks for you blog. Broke my ankle 6 weeks ago and they put screws and a plate in. Home from the hospital after 3 days and felt so hopeless. Was on a walking frame and couldn’t stand on my good foot long enough to make a cup of tea!
    Felt very sorry for myself and then I hit the Internet. Thank goodness for you and all the other tips I collected. Best one was the office chair, so at least I could get into the kitchen and make tea and toast and use the microwave, feed the dog etc
    I put texts out to all my friends that I would leave my side decking door open during the day (I live near the beach in Victoia Australia) and it has been amazing how many people drop in. My neighbours have been incredible, and if you put the word out there is usually someone every day and sometimes it’s been very busy! But you have to ask.
    I can’t get out easily ( crutches now ) but every time someone comes I ask them to do something. Take out a bag of rubbish or start my car.
    I keep a journal and try to make sure I achieve something every week, I’m cooking from a wheelchair now. And I can do washing, sweep and wash the floors, empty the dishwasher etc BUT in the six weeks I have never put any weight on my foot at all.
    So now I’m looking at my next stage in recovery and all the posts have been good to read in terms of what to expect.
    All I can say to everyone is do what you feel comfortable with and ask for help.
    I’ve found some of the people I thought would be most helpful have been nowhere to be seen, and others that I didn’t expect to help have been incredible. The dog has been very good company but still can’t make a cup of tea!!!
    Thanks again Kat,
    Annie

    • @Annie I also had a to put in 2 screws in my ankle plus a plate. I play rugby and My doctor advised for me to remover the screws in the ankle 2 months after putting them in. Im very happy I did because I know another fella in my club who opted to leave them in and the broke when he was running a day. Now it swells evertime he runs. In my case I’m up and running like normal and back at full fitness. I advise that your all your doctor if it’s possible you can remove them. If you can please do. At the end of the day you don’t want a broken foreign object in your ankle forever. But fear not you’ll be up and able in no time. The swelling goes down eventually and remember to do you therapy exercises everyday it speeds up recovery.

      • Kyle –

        Thanks for your insight on the hardware in the ankle and the agreement on doing therapy exercises every day.There are days it’s just such a pain in the butt to do them, but that really does speed up recovery.

        Glad you are doing well!

        Kat

    • Annie –

      Thanks to you for sharing your ideas – keeping a journal and making sure you try to achieve something new each week are great tips. It sounds as though you are coping well and have kept your sense of humor intact! Asking neighbors and others for help really can be a huge burden-lifter because we really do need assistance.

      I wish you the best as you enter the next stage of recovery.

      Best,
      Kat

  82. Thanks for this, great article and listing the excersises too- I’m doing some now! Broke my ankle in the Easter holidays (around 6 weeks ago) had an op putting a metal thing in with screws to secure it. No weigt bearing- in cast. Cast was removed two weeks ago, still no weight bear, ankle sling and crutches. Yesterday the doc said I could just walk. So I have been trying and it is so painful. I can’t seem to do it it feels likemy bare bones are touching the ground, the pressure leaves me Iin agoby and I’m limping. He saidni could go back to work the coming monday but I don’t know how I’ll manage it. I wish he gave me a boot or singed me up for physio, any advice? Thank you

    • Paleblueeyes0-

      Good morning! I know it hurts now, but it will feel a bit better every day and before you know it, one day you will wake up and realize you don’t feel a thing!

      Do you have a job that requires walking around or sitting? Can you return part time for the first week or so? I limped for the first few weeks and the physio person said it was because I wasn’t putting the right part of my foot on the ground (heel first). So I kept practicing heel-toe, heel-toe, and I guess that started stretching the right muscles. I found the stair exercises (putting the ball of your foot on a stair and stretching the heel down) were really helpful.

      I really don’t have any great tips, though. Perhaps you could purchase a boot yourself?

      Just be good to yourself and do what you can do…

      Hugs,
      Kat

  83. Hi there ,

    I broke my ankle two weeks ago yesterday playing Gaelic football . It is very sore all the time unless it is elevated. Clear break of the fibula . Getting a bit worried as due to go on holiday on August 6th . Am I being too optimistic? Not doing anything adventurous . Family holiday by the sea .
    Loved reading your blog. Thanks Sheila

    • Hi Sheila-

      I wish you the best as you work through your healing. I’m not sure if August 6th is too optimistic – if you’re just going to be hanging out by the sea, you should be fine even if you’re still on crutches/cast/etc. But you’ll know a lot more by mid July!

      Good luck! I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

      Kat

  84. hi kat good to read so many stories of similar incidents i too have broken my left ankle in two places due to just going over on it on a night out had to have a op 2 weeks ago today it was a plate and screws dont know how many screws after these two weeks dont have a lot of pain just the scar i can feel rubbing on the inside of cast .hospital have given me 6 weeks with no weight bear going for a cast change this friday and hoping to return to walking in four weeks probably wont be as easy as that from what i have been reading but im hopeful that l all goes good it is a frustraiting time when u rely on others for help also hard to do things takes twice the effort just thought i would share my story and hope all other waking or not walking wounded get well soon .

    • Brian-
      Thank you for your story.
      It sure is frustrating relying on other people; it does take a lot of effort to do things we never thought of before! The first time I could take a shower standing on both feet was a day for celebrating!!!
      Best wishes with your upcoming doctor’s appointment.
      Kat

  85. Hadih Kat,
    I broke my left ankle on 5/13/15. I just got my cast off and my Dr. says i don’t need a boot. How it happened was just a huge fluke. I was coming down a 2 foot slope from a grassy knoll (not that one lol) to a gravel parking lot. But there was a protruding round rock in the middle of the worn out path. My husband was in front of me but was able to turn around fast enough to catch me as I fell on the second step down. My left ankle snapped to the left and I sat on the protruding bone. Then got up and re-stepped on it as I continued down the path. I was in so much pain but no bone broke through any skin. After 2 nights in the hospital awaiting surgery I found out that I had broken both the fibia, tibia and fractured a smaller bone in there. Not only that I had dislocated my ankle in two places. If that wasn’t enough I completely tore all tendons from my foot. Thank goodness I had the best foot surgeon in the area. My husband and I were in a level 3 first aid couse of all things….. But it is very good to see that others with similar breaks have recovered fully. THank you for sharing your experiences.

    • Oh my!!! I winced reading about your experience– that must have been so painful!

      You are lucky you don’t need a boot– it sounds as though you are already returning to normal– great job!!

      Kat

  86. Kat,Thanks so much for the detail of what to expect.I’m 64 and I surf and ply golf.A little overweight .So I had the try ankle break June 26,2015.Went to the doctor last Thursday.He said to wear the boot with 2 crutches for two weeks,then no boot for two weeks with two crutches.Come back in a month.Well here it is Sunday after the visit and I’m driving without the boot.Lol.Today I went shopping with my wife and wore the boot and put pressure like you say.Now I’m home icing and elevating.So,just wanted to let you know your blog is the best I’ve found and I hope I heal as good as you.It is the right ankle as well. Start pt next week.Thanks again,Kc

    • KC –
      Thanks for sharing! It sounds as though you are doing great, since you are already driving. It’s rough being stuck without being able to hop in the car when needed, so once you get that independence back, it’s all improvement.
      Best wishes with PT next week!
      Kat

  87. My bad,my break was May26,2015.One thing I would like to mention and pass on to others.A few weeks ago I got one of those knee caddis.They do help you get around when in the non weight bearing stage.But beware,one night I woke up to use the bathroom and the brakes were set on the caddy.Pushed off to go forward and went over the handlebars and landed on the floor twisted and turned my ankle.Ouch! Got over that but still wanted to let you all know to beware of the brakes.Good luck to you all.Kc

    • KC –
      Thanks for the warning about the brakes on the knee scooters. I never would have thought of that – thankfully you weren’t hurt worse when that happened.
      Best wishes on your recovery!
      Kat

  88. Hello Kat, thanks for sharing your broken ankle experience, it’s helping me ALOT to see how I
    m tracking 8 weeks on after breaking mine. I’m not sure tho when I read this how long after initially breaking your ankle you were when you got to this stage?
    3/7/12 UPDATE: At six weeks after I was told I needed to keep the boot on for three weeks, and at about five weeks after I stopped using crutches and the boot, I am walking normally, the swelling in my ankle has decreased significantly, and I speed walked 1.8 miles in 24 minutes with no pain at all.
    Thanks so much! Chrissy 🙂

  89. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply to me Kat 🙂 That’s amazing you were jogging at 3 and a half months after? wow! I think i’m doing ok at the 8 week mark, 2 weeks ago i decided myself to stop wearing the boot because I just couldn’t walk well in it, i was just hobbling along and it was very uncomfortable, i felt like i needed to move my ankle more normally to progress (was in a cast before that) and just walk “properly” with one crutch for support at work and walk slowly in small steps with no crutch at home. The orthopaedic Dr i see said he wanted me to walk as much as i could and do as much exercise of the ankle too that i could manage. There’s still pain and swelling at the end of the day and at each step across my ankle but i find a compression bandage helps with that, and even tho i haven’t been to a physiotherapist, i downloaded a great physio program written by a UK hospital that was put together by English orthaepedic consultants and an orthopaedic physiotherapist:

    http://www.royalberkshire.nhs.uk/patient-information-leaflets/physiotherapy-following-your-ankle-fracture-december-2014.htm

    It may not suit everyone as other people will have different types of fractures, but in my case it was the same Weber A fracture and has helped so much!
    i’ve learned so much from this experience and i have a real appreciation for not just permanently disabled people but just people in general who are injured and how even the smallest bit of help can make a huge difference to their day and struggle. And it’s been very heartwarming how much kindness i’ve experienced from not just family and friends but random strangers too. For which i am truly grateful.
    I have my final hospital checkup in a few days with final x rays and i hope to not have to use my crutch by about 2 weeks time, fingers crossed!!i think it’s a no pain no gain situation and the more i do, the more i can do (like yo going jogging when you did i guess!)

    Thanks again Kat and have a great day and good luck and best wishes to anyone else out there reading this with a broken bone 🙂 Take care everyone

  90. Hi Chrissy!

    You’re right; the best way for the ankle to improve is to use it. So walking as much as you can is probably the best therapy. And thanks for sharing the physiotherapy information – I’ll bet that will be quite helpful to others with ankle mishaps!

    I also totally agree that being disabled, even temporarily, really gave me a better appreciation for others in the situation. It’s really tough trying to get around when everything doesn’t work right. So for that reason alone, breaking my ankle was probably a very necessary part of my life.

    I wish you the best at your upcoming hospital checkup.

    Thinking of you,
    Kat

  91. Interesting read. I also have an ankle fracture on my left foot. I’ve been wearing a splint/brace to support my ankle for the past 3 months and as of Friday 18 September 2015. I was finally told to start walking on my left foot without the splint around the house gradually for the next 2 weeks to see if I get any pain or not and it was such a relief to hear that. If all goes to plan and I know it will differ from other people but how long would you say I should be able to going outside walking again as I miss it so much!

    • Oh my, you are getting so close to being able to walk outside again! I’m betting as soon as you are comfortable (i.e, feel safe) walking inside, you should be able to take a walk outside. Does it hurt to walk?

      Kat

      • Kat, I broke my ankle a year ago last June, I wrote to you about it, I was thankful to find your blog about your recovery. Here I am over a year after the break, a break to the fibula which mended easily and a break to the tibia at the back which is not healing well, to add to that I have bone spurs growing at the front of my ankle where by leg meets my ankle because of the trauma of the break and I limp everyday, I am on pain killers everyday and it is painful and difficult to walk downstairs and upstairs, I feel like a 90 year old when I have always been active and am 53 years old. I have an appointment with my consultant on Tuesday to talk about an Ankle Anthroscopy to cut away the bone spurs in the hope this will help. I hope things will get better for me:(

        • Elizabeth-

          Oh my, I truly hope things get better soon! Is there anything that can be done to help the tibia healing? From your explanation, that sounds like the real cause of your problems. I’m sorry to hear you are still in such pain; I haven’t experienced bone spurs but from reading what they are, they sound as though they could be awful.

          I wish you well – hopefully the anthroscopy will help, and they can figure out how to help the tibia…

          Best,
          Kat

      • Sorry if I posted twice don’t know if the comment got sent. Nope I don’t feel any pain when walking around the house just feels weird and have that tight/stiffness feeling but once that goes away I don’t know if I will feel the pain then.

  92. I broke my ankle exactly a week ago. Fortunately no surgery required and today fitted a moon booth. According to the doctor I (I am 63) must not put any weight on the affected ankle for another few weeks BUT I am planning to leave on vacation in 5 days which will involve 12 hours flying to destination where I will take it slow, though quite a lot of walking involved: obviously I will rely on my crutches.

    Should I have my mind read?

    • David-

      That’s good to hear that you don’t need surgery and that you can still go on your vacation. I would just caution you to listen to your body. Lots of walking on crutches is going to be a pain (literally) for your good leg, your arms, your underarms, etc. Patience with yourself and your progress is going to be needed in big quantities!

      Have a great time on vacation.

      Kat

      (PS, I don’t know anything about mind reading!)

  93. I had a bimalleoral fracture. I fell down two steps going into the garage on October 10. Two surgeries later I have two plates and 10 screws. The last surgery was 10 days ago. In a soft cast now and on Tuesday I am to have a boot. I believe that I need that for six weeks?I have no pain and minimal swelling. One year ago I had bilateral knee replacements and healed from that. i did excellent and was living a normal life after 10 years of arthritis pain and then this happened.I am a small business owner. I cannot believe this happened. I have no idea yet about what I will be able to do or when. On Tuesday. hopefully I will have some answers. And being that it is my right ankle, I cannot drive.
    This is very hard.
    But reading some of the posts, I am encouraged. I appreciate the sharing of information.

    • Maria-

      No pain and minimal swelling and proven ability to heal well from a bone issue… you are on a great path to healing well! And I can empathize with the fact that this is getting in the way of successfully conducting business. I hope you have a wonderful support plan in place for business issues..

      Hopefully you will get good news when you see the doctor next time – I’m sure they will let you know how long you will need the boot. The answer seems to vary greatly from person to person.

      Best wishes to you,
      Kat

  94. Dear Kat,

    You have no idea how much hope and strength I derived from reading your blogs. You have given me a realistic picture of what to expect. Thanks!

    I fell into a dark pit in a movie theatre while the film was playing and broke my fibula. I went to watch “Everest” and it certainly turned out to be a prolonged rest!

    It has been 8 weeks now – the cast came off at 6 weeks but I am moving around on crutches presently. I have been running marathons and it is terrible to be unable to even walk now! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences – I know I just have to wait it out patiently…..hopefully I will be able to run again in the not-too-distant future.

    • Sophia-

      I’m so glad you found this blog helpful. I like your “everest” play on words — Did you at least break it on your way OUT of the theater?

      I know it’s so frustrating to go from running many miles to not being able to even step on your foot. As long as everything is healing well and you do all your after-you-can-put-pressure-on-it-exercises religiously, you will be amazed at how different you will feel in the future. I rarely even think about the fact that my ankle was broken – I ran 4 miles today without a problem, and 6 miles a few days ago. Not even a twinge.

      Hang in there! If my good thoughts help, they are coming your way.

      Kat

  95. your words doo awesome..I am a bsc student. I broke my ankle 5 weeks before and now I am going to walk by boot..Your words made me enough confident that I can doo well…Thank you

    • I broke my ankle 8 weeks ago and cannot bear weight for one and a half more weeks. Then crutches and walking with the boot with physical therapy. I am so grateful for this blog. I will update progress. This too shall pass… 🙂

      • Maria –

        This too shall definitely pass! As long as you keep working on improvements, and putting “one foot in front of the other” when you can, you will definitely progress.

        Thanks for commenting!

        Kat

  96. Thanks so much for this fantastic blog, Kat. It’s been essential reading for me – in England we are given very little advice/help, thanks to a bankrupt NHS. I had the same break as you – 6 weeks ago, today.

    • Hi Kat,
      I’m in an Air Cast so I can take it off when I shower(hurray!). My cast was taken off as my toes went black (circulation issues) and I also have a known allergy to plaster but I think I would have felt happier with the firmness of the cast, if that makes sense. I’ve only been given one x-ray – the consultant said that, as it was a clean break and was aligned, I didn’t need him to x-ray it again. Trouble is, I have no idea if the bones are knitting together properly. It’s all about money in this country. I also haven’t been told whether I’ll have any physiotherapy, so I’m so grateful for all of the details that you’ve given about your rehab, THANK YOU. I think I may need to arrange to see a private physiotherapist, just for my own peace of mind.
      Alison

      • Hi Alison,

        Wow, I hadn’t heard of allergies to plaster – I wonder if you would have done better with fiberglass, although at this point you are far enough along and you have the benefit of cast-less showers!

        I had another x-ray before they gave me the thumbs up to put weight on the foot. They wanted to make sure it was definitely healing properly. I’m assuming if you start walking and have major problems, they’ll agree to do another x-ray. I agree about the rehab. If they don’t “allow” you to do it, you could benefit from at least one visit to a physiotherapist. What amazed me was their belief that I could do things I didn’t think I should do yet. The first time I went, they had me raising myself up on my toes and I couldn’t believe my bone would be okay to do that, but they said, yup, just do it. It definitely gave me confidence.

        Best wishes,
        Kat

  97. Hi Kat,
    Yes, I think fibreglass would have been the best option but … too late now. I don’t think the Aircast was supportive enough in the early stages although, as you say, it was nice to be able to shower without it.
    So, I’m now at week 7 and I can “hobble” around either with one or two crutches. My ankle is still very swollen and I can’t get normal socks over my foot – only bed socks. I’m trying to do some walking without the crutches but don’t feel very stable, yet.
    Your blog gives me hope that thinks will eventually improve 🙂
    Kind regards,
    Alison

  98. Oh shoot! I broke my ankle on december 12, andmydoctorsaidtogoback in12 weeks wit new x rays. I hoped that after three weeks I would go back to normal, but after reading your blog I realized I was being naive. I still hope my recovery won’t take as long. I have so many things to do, and after a few days I’m going crazy.

    • Liz-

      Hello! Are you going back to get a checkup in three weeks? Hopefully they’ll give you some estimate of how long it will take before you can try walking again. Unfortunately, it does take a little while for bones to heal and muscles to recuperate. Best wishes with finding ways to get all those things you want to do done and with finding things to do to keep active/busy/productive. Hopefully the next month or two will go quickly for you.

      Best,
      Kat

  99. I am so grateful for this blog. Thank you Kat!! It gives me hope when I wake up in the middle of the night and wonder what happened to my life!
    Broke my ankle October 10. I am 9 weeks post surgery from a bimalleolar fracture with two plates and 10 screws. I started physical therapy last week (twice a week) , am not wearing a boot anymore (thank goodness!) and am weight bearing with crutches. I said goodbye to being in the transport chair for 66 days!! I do my exercises every day.
    Since starting physical therapy, my foot aches a lot at the heel mostly and there is a good bit of swelling. I am taking ibuprofen. I am icing 2 to 3 times a day and elevating. I find taking magnesium before going to sleep helps. Massaging and visualizing healing energy into my ankle I believe helps. I still cannot drive since I broke my right ankle. I am hoping to drive in two weeks (my goal) as I am paying someone to take me to work. Very expensive.
    I don’t freak out and cry everyday anymore like the beginning…it is difficult to lose independence…now maybe I freak out once a week for a minute and then focus on moving forward. I am excited and so looking forward to driving myself to the grocery store at some point!!
    It is wonderful for us to be able to share our stories. Wishing everyone the best and quickest recovery…This too shall pass…

    • Maria-

      Thank you for sharing your experience! Think of how far you have come in the last nine weeks: Physical therapy, no boot, weight bearing with crutches. You are definitely on your way to driving and the freedom that entails. The visit to the grocery store is not far off.

      I think the biggest problem for many of us was the loss of independence. But eventually we get that back, and wow, what a relief!

      Best wishes,
      Kat

  100. You remember me sir…That bsc student.After one month I am being here..sir I was not supposed to walk on my foot by boot..After 6 weeks I got into hospital and cast was removed…And they said I can’t walk for next two months by foot until one of the seven bolts needa take out… That one bolt is required to join my teared ligaments and it may take 3 months to join those and need to take out…I was so much confident reading your blog dat I may walk after 6 weeks..Everything faded within a second..Now I am on the grip of losing my semester..That’s terrible..Rest of the things are manageable….
    I just shared my condition…Thank you

    • Rizwana –

      I am sorry to hear that you were hoping to walk after 6 weeks but now you have to wait another few months – that must be very frustrating for you. I hope everything works out better than you are currently expecting.

      Thinking of you,
      Kat

      • A disappointing new wrinkle in my recovery: I was just told that my ankle-fracture’s healing, after three months, shows no “bone-to-bone” growth. It’s scar tissue instead. Since I have little pain, my orthopedist says it may be best to leave things as they are. One alternative he mentioned, but doesn’t recommend, is to use a “bone stimulator,” an ultra-sound device that encourages bone growth. Have you or anyone on this thread heard of this treatment — or used it? I’m thinking of pressuring him to use it, although it’s expensive and we’re not sure my health plan will cover it.

        • Arnold-

          I’m sorry to hear that disappointing news. I’ve never heard of a bone stimulator, but perhaps someone else can weigh in regarding that process. I did a search on the web though and there is quite a bit of information out there that might help you decide. So is the scar tissue holding the bones together? Is the doctor okay with you walking? I’m not sure what I would do in your situation and I wish you the best in deciding next steps.

          Kat

          • Update; I told the doctor I wanted to try the bone stimulator, he agreed and set it up for me, and I’ve been using it for 12 days now. It’s very simple and takes only 20 minutes per day to use, in your own home. My health plan does cover it, which is a relief. I’ll be checking in with the doctor in about a month to see if the bone has been indeed stimulated! Yes, the scar tissue is supposed to hold everything together anyway. The fracture is located in a non-weight-bearing location, so that really helps. I’m done with my prescribed physical therapy, but now continuing it at home. I’d love to hear from folks who do their own therapy and whether it helps them.

          • Arnold –

            Thanks for the update. Do you feel any difference?

            I did my therapy at home and I definitely think it helped.

            It would be useful if you could give an update after the doctor checks the status of the bone – perhaps someone else will want to use a stimulator also.

            Thanks for sharing!

            Kat

  101. Dear Kat
    As I lay here at 3:30am unable to sleep from pain, I stumbled across your blog. What a godsend! Three weeks ago I slipped on black ice and suffered a dislocation plus trimalleolar fracture. I am a runner and in very good shape. I doubted I would ever be able to run again and have been so depressed. Now I see from your blog that it’s very possible that I will run again! I can’t tell you how encouraging that feels! I know it will take a lot of hard work, but I’m determined. The pain is still awful and I’m having to take narcotics to bear it. I hate that but don’t know what else to do. The top of my foot where there is no incision burns like crazy. The doc said that’s from blood pooled in there and suggested deep tissue massage. Normally I love deep tissue massage, but I can’t even touch the area without experiencing searing pain. I’m forcing myself to massage it at night. I wonder if ice might help? Anyway, thank you and your readers for all the wonderful advice and encouragement. It means a lot and will help me stay positive as I go through this awful phase.

    • Sarah-

      I am sending you a HUGE hug; while I know that doesn’t help your actual ankle, perhaps it will help you in other ways.

      While everyone heals differently, I do want to share that two mornings ago, I ran four miles without a single twinge and yesterday I went to the gym and did 50 minutes on Cyber ARC trainer and today I’m hoping to get in a little more running. So there truly is light at the end. Hang in there. When you’re in the midst of all this, it feels as though it will never end, but this time will be a memory at some point. Here’s hoping that time comes quickly.

      As for your pain, perhaps a second opinion? Or maybe a physical therapist would know? I don’t remember when ice is best and when heat is best, but there must be some way to alleviate your pain.

      Thinking of you,
      Kat

  102. I just fractured my ankle 2.5.16 and have an appt to either be casted or where a boot, It’s just a hairline fracture, so I’m hoping for a boot. Since you can take the boot on/off, did you drive when you started to where the boot? I have a business trip at the end of February, so I appreciated your tips on navigating the airports.

    Thank you for this blog

    Cheryl

    • I didn’t proof read before sending the above message. I meant wear not Where. Also to either get a cast on or wear a Boot.

    • Hi Cheryl-

      No, I didn’t drive while wearing the boot – I waited until I was back in sneakers. However, you should base your decision on how your ankle feels. If you can smash the brake if needed without too much trouble, perhaps you can drive a lot sooner than I did!!!

      Wishing you the best,
      Kat

  103. Thank you, your blog is helping me to see the months ahead.with a few giggles. I am 64, Never a broken bone. JA

  104. This is really helpful. I fractured my lateral malleolus about 6.5 weeks ago. While yes the healing’s about a week behind where they wanted it to be (supposed to be weight bearing this week, after xray they said wait another week) I feel much better knowing I’m closer, apparently, then what the doctor told me. He said he “expects” me to return to be seen with a limp in 6 weeks, which will be a total of 3 months post break. Mind you I didn’t even need surgery, the break was thankfully only very minimally displaced and in about three weeks I should be fully weight bearing in a regular shoe.

    Rather then being an encouragement and taking pride in my progress he seems to insist on being a downer and giving me the very worst case scenario even though clearly that’s not the track my injury is taking (was told I need surgery initially despite what I later learned was only very minimal displacement–obviously I did just fine without it, told I’d be in a cast for 4 weeks at time of injury–instead at 2 weeks he put me in a boot…I could go on). Clearly relying on him for reasonable expectations is a recipe for unnecessary depression so reading something like this makes me feel a lot better. As you said I don’t expect to take off the boot and run a marathon, but with proper PT and exercise it sounds like I’ll be walking almost normally within 3 months of the time of the break or at least not with some horrible limp. So thank you for helping me set realistic expectations, it puts me in a much better frame of mind!

    I think frequently doctors don’t bother to think about people’s mental health based on what they say and the expectations they set. Taking away someone’s freedom by taking away their ability to do their normal daily activities is extreme and while I know they’re not there to be therapists I think giving realistic and not overly doom-and-gloom expectations is essential, after all isn’t good mental health one of the keys to healing your physical malady more quickly?

    • Lisa –

      Yes, good mental health is a huge key towards overcoming any physical ailments!

      There are definitely doctors out there who are not exactly supportive or encouraging and I’ll bet the reason is because….. (drum roll) they never broke an ankle! So they say “here’s a cast and crutches and come see me in four weeks” and they don’t even think about things like, how can we work, and what kind of tools might be available to help us get around, and how can we shower without falling down, and how can we cook and take care of our kids and carry coffee, and who can we call with questions, and how we can deal with depression if it happens, etc etc. Some of them can see us as just a broken bone and not a person!

      I’m excited for you. If you can start weight bearing next week, you can start working on getting your flexibility back, get rid of the swelling, etc. It’s a process but at least you’ll be starting. Best wishes!!!!

      Kat

      • On May 13 I got up with my foot asleep and turned my ankle badly. However I managed to keep walking. I iced and elevated and saw it swell and bruise badly all over the place. Anyways I kept walking with and ankle strap and a limp. Finally after seeing no progress I went for X-ray on jun 2. I went expecting to see it clear and then I could go for physio for the tendons or ligaments or whatever. Turned out I had a fractured fibula!! Cast is on since then and I feel my life is on pause. I have no real discomfort, do identify with the stretch in the morning causing a twinge. The dr said despite my walking the bone was healing back in right place so no operation needed. He thinks three weeks in cast may be enough as it has already been healing three weeks. I am due to go to Italy on July 6. Do you think I’ll be walking ok by then?? Have never broken a bone before so do not know what to expect

        • Rowena-

          First of all, I am sorry to hear you broke your ankle and amazed that you walked on it for three weeks without knowing it was broken! Ouch!!

          There’s really no way to know whether you will be able to walk in another month. If I had to guess, I’d say I doubt it – after not using your leg/ankle/foot at all for the next three weeks, even if everything is healed it will take a while to get back to normal with the walking. I think it will take longer before you are back to normal, but perhaps you will surprise yourself and be just fine by then.

          I think Italy will be fun even if you’re not totally back to normal. Enjoy it!

          Kat

        • Rowena–trust me you will want one of those luggage carts with a driver for the airport. I am about 3-4 weeks weight bearing in a normal shoe, have been struggling with various types of tendonitis (very flat feet aren’t making this process any easier). Hopefully your recovery is easier but a week or two out from being cast-free I can’t imagine anyone would be comfortable walking a lot and especially moving quickly like you might need to do in an airport. Do yourself a favor too and get a really good ankle brace particularly if you plan to do a lot of walking in Italy–I have a Trilok brace and it’s great. I tried a cheaper drug store brace to start and it didn’t help and gave me a rash…so I think this is worth the extra money for the stability it gives you. Also if you will want good sneakers. My PT recommended going and being fitted at a running store–I’m not a runner so I had no idea they even carried shoes for “pronators” (us of the pancake-feet variety 😉 ) You and your physical therapist may be aware of your issues (no arch, high arch, etc), but if not if you go to a good independent running store they should probably be able to help you. And for sandals/dress shoes I have to recommend The Walking Store, I just bought a wonderful pair today for a beach wedding. I would definitely wait till you’re weight bearing and go try your shoes in person, WITH the brace you plan to use (if you decide to use one)–you will be surprised how different shoes feel as you’re recovering.

          And your physical therapist will hopefully be a huge help in helping you get through day to day tasks as well as this travel–if you can go prior to your trip I would make that a priority. The brace and sneaker suggestions I got from my PT. Again, your situation is really different then mine–I was in a cast/boot NWB for 7 weeks AND I have crappy feet to begin with….so you may not need therapy. But I would say make the appointment NOW just in case because it usually takes a couple weeks to get one. Then you can cancel it if you feel you don’t need it.

          I think you’ll have a wonderful time regardless and I don’t want to scare you, I just want you to be prepared. Europe is so different then the US I would just make sure you have what you think you’ll need on a hand–brace, good sneakers, OTC pain reliever (ibuprofen/Tylenol), just in case you can’t get it or get it easily/affordably while there. Enjoy and travel safe!

          • Thanks for reply

            Was back at outpatients today. After X-ray they said it is healing well but still has a way to go

            They took off cast and I am in a walking air boot. Due to fly to Athens this day two weeks!! So I’m back in the hospital the day before for another X-ray

            The doctor said I could start weight bearing about 30% from now and when boot is off to flex foot up and down.

            I’m in Europe so only taking one bag hand luggage to Greece. And am traveling with three others so will have great assistance. May do wheelchair thing in airport. Have transfers set up and the cruise should be ok for me.

            I’ll keep taking my calcium/zinc and vitamins. And keep resting ankle as much as possible. Please god the next two weeks will see a big improvement.

            Thanks

          • Lisa –

            Thank you so much for this wonderful information! I’m betting many future travelers will get great benefit from your assistance.

            Thanks again!
            Kat

  105. Great information, thanks for taking the time to share your story! Just moved to a walking boot after 7 weeks cast time, feel really lucky to have had clean breaks in both so I did not have to go through the surgery like some of the other readers. Anxious to get back to “normal speed” but have been hesitant about putting too much pressure on my bad foot ( broke two bones, ankle and bone just beneath it). I appreciate your insight and information. The scooter was Great! I recommend it highly. Now back on crutches with the boot, I miss the hands free option and speed the scooter provided. Even managed a work trip out of town which I could not have done on crutches. The airports, hotel and convention center were easier to get around than my own neighborhood. I do keep it near my bed so I can hop on instead of putting the boot back on for middle of the night restroom trips. Anyway, the slow and steady wins the race message is key. At the beginning I was thinking, ok, wear a cast for a few weeks and that will be the end of it. I now realize that this is a long process, with milestones to be celebrated along the way (having that cast off was awesome, first full shower in 7 weeks, heaven) Not one to take things slow, I am using this as a lesson in patience, and being thankful this is a temporary situation. I have a new understanding of what the disabled have to deal with, this world is not really as accessible as I thought. I won’t take this knowledge for granted. Thanks again for providing some encouragement for getting through this. Happy healing everyone!

    • Jody-

      Thank you for your comment. It sounds like we had many of the same learnings from this experience – I had to learn patience as well, which was not an easy thing to do! And I could not agree more about that first shower. I still remember how heavenly that was!

      I wish you the best,
      Kat

  106. Hi Kat thanks a lot for your blog. You can’t imagine how helpful it is.
    I broke my right ankle on the 18th April 2016, I fell while rushing to get the ferry boat. Unfortunately last year I had a knee operation and when I fell i came on my bad knee apart from a broken ankle. I had a cast on my broken ankle for 6weeks and 3weeks of not putting weight bearing. This is my 11th week and I have not been to work. I work as a sales assistant and I have to take the bus to go to work. I get a physiotherapist at home to help me. I am walking with 1 cruch indoors and i go for little walks with both cruches. I am hoping you can shed on some light if this is normal that it takes this long to heal?
    Virtual hugs from sunny Malta.
    Rita

    • Rita-

      Hello! I am sorry to hear that you broke your ankle and fell on your bad knee. One thing I’ve learned from reading of other’s experiences is there doesn’t seem to be a “normal.” I think still using crutches three months from the time you broke your ankle is not unusual. Does the physiotherapist indicate you are improving? You indicated you are not weight bearing yet – when can you start? Once you can, you should see big improvements…

      By the way, I’ve never been to Malta but I know several people who have and they said it was absolutely a beautiful place. If you have to recuperate somewhere, that sounds like the place to be!

      Hugs to you,
      Kat

  107. wow i wish id found this blog months ago. its been a very stressful and painful couple of months! broke my tibia and shattered my ankle. doc actually said some of it was just like dust. two plates with a rod and 11 screws to hold it together.id like to say that holding myself together was so easy. reading all of everyones testimonials has brightened my day and like seeing some doing so well. like there is light at the end of the tunnel. my 3 month visit is 8/24 looking forward to therapy. painful or not im gonna dig it in and work on it!

    • Charles-

      Thank you for your comment today! Wow, it sounds as though you did quite a number on your ankle – that must have been quite painful. Staying positive and optimistic in the face of such a challenge is NOT easy! I really felt that once I was able to put some weight on the foot, I could see the end in sight, and it gave me such a boost of adrenalin! I wish you the best through your therapy – stay determined and focused!

      Oh, and by the way, just another positive story to help you know that there is an end in sight – I went on a vacation last weekend to the White Mountains in New Hampshire and I went on four mountain hikes (up and down steep trails, and climbing up a pile of rocks) and I canoed for 5 miles on a river, and I then ran 4 miles when I got home. I did not feel so much as a twinge from my once-broken ankle.

      I am sending you good thoughts!

      Kat

  108. Hi Kat,
    I loved your blog! I just fell (I have no idea how I did it) last Monday, March 27th. So I am almost at a week. I googled burning and tingling in my ankle and found your blog. Thanks for the info. I now have an idea what to look forward to. It doesn’t sound good. I actually was able to walk on my injury and was told at first it was a bad sprain and strain. Wednesday The 29th I went to an urgent care center and they took X-rays. I have an avulsion fracture of the skinny bone in your leg. I stretched tendons so far they broke the tip off of the bone and I think fractured the rest. I am in a walking boot like you got after the cast. I still am having pain. I am doing the exercises you mentioned on my good foot. I am an avid walker. I typically walk an hour a day. I am obese. I am 5ft 7 and weigh about 225 and am a woman. I got no crutches. I am walking on the injury. Steps are hard. When I went down I only saw the end result which was my right knee on the ground and my left foot on the ground. I was out for my daily hour walk and only a block and a half from home. I managed to get up and limp home with my dog. I am bored out of my mind. I am living on the computer and watching tv as I am not supposed to walk except to get a drink or go to the bathroom which means upstairs. I will call tomorrow to make an appt with an orthopedic. Will see what they have to say. I also sadly suffer fibro myalgia and cervical vertigo. I know for a fact that crutches are out of the question for me……I am sore and hurting from reaching for things to save steps and holding onto things. I have arthritis in both shoulders pretty bad. Some days I can’t even lift my arms without bad pain. I was actually in vestibular physical therapy until the break…..I am glad you gave such good advice. I have back issues too. 2nd disc has a fracture which has healed but the fracture is still seen on X-rays. The first disc moved out from the other discs it barely touches the 2nd fractured disc. I was in therapy for my back and they taught me lots of exercises to do to strengthen it. At first, I didn’t do them. I thought haha I walk an hour a day I am in shape! Not! My back went out and I could barely walk from it. I was in agony. Ice was my best friend and ben gay! Heat didn’t really help. I learned to do those exercises that I can do. My life is better for doing them. I like how you say you do them 2 or 3 times a day…..I am lucky to be out of work right now due to vertigo. That is crazy and the Drs said there is no magic pill and no cure for it. I keep getting sent to therapy and just have to learn to deal with it. I usually have the sensation of feeling drunk at all times. Funny I never drank liquor because I never liked the feeling and did not find it fun. I feel like I could tip over at any given moment. I also get a sensation of riding a merry go round. Some days it is a nice slow ride and other days it is up to Gravitron speed! Yikes. It is hard to do things on those days but the Drs expect you to push though it. I am sitting here wondering if I will need a cast and crutches…..I have tried to practice on crutches with 2 healthy feet! I failed! Not sure I can do it with a bad ankle! Oh well thanks for writing this blog. Love it! 🙂 Take care!

    • Kris-
      Thank you for your comment!

      Wow, you have a lot to deal with. I am in awe of your positive attitude. If anyone can get through all of this, YOU can!

      Perhaps since you are also suffering from vertigo, a knee scooter might work better than the crutches or boot for getting around. Except of course for your stairs. I didn’t use one (or know of them when I was injured) but they come highly recommended from other commenters.

      Being physically immobile can definitely lead to boredom. I have no really good tips for boredom. I watched TV, did crosswords and cooked (that allowed me some creativity) but I had a lot of unused energy and was antsy. I remember trying to find some sort of exercises that I could do so I wouldn’t gain weight while not able to walk/run/etc. Even the ones that were seated used the feet in some manner. I was very frustrated. Are there any projects you might be able to do, or new hobbies to learn while you are stuck in the house?

      My thoughts are with you as you continue on your journey. Best wishes!
      Kat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s