Broken Ankle Experience – Epilogue, a few years later

In December 2011, I broke my ankle while walking the dog in the woods in the dark.  It was a ‘clean” break, requiring no surgery, but it still required months of a cast and crutches, no weight-bearing, followed by therapy, and recuperation.  As a normally very active, independent and self-sufficient woman, being incapacitated resulted in my being at times depressed, anxious and bored to tears.  As I was moving through the healing process, I thought perhaps it would be helpful if I shared some of my experiences with others who might be in the same situation.  I had no idea whether anyone would even read my saga, but I hoped some of the things I dealt with would be helpful to someone.

Wow, was I surprised!

As of yesterday, my five ankle-break related blogs have had nearly 26,000 views and a few hundred comments. I am thrilled to know that my trouble has helped others. But your comments have helped me as well. I reread all the comments, and wanted to share a few things I’ve learned from you:

You can break your ankle by just breathing!

OK, that’s not really true, but it has become evident we can break our bones in unexpected ways and there’s really no way to prevent an accident. Some of you broke your ankle by rock climbing, horseback riding, practicing for a roller derby, falling off a ladder, doing plyometric exercises, falling off a Segway, falling over a dog, running, getting hit by truck, bicycle riding, motorbiking, walking down a hill and falling off a bicycle. Some of you broke your ankle on vacation and some while at home. Obviously, if you’re active, there’s always a chance you could hurt yourself. There’s no common or expected or “normal” way to do it. It doesn’t really take much to crack those bones, so don’t feel bad if it happened to you.

People like to help people.

When I wrote my ankle blog, I wanted to make sure you knew what to do if you had to travel, and what to expect when you went to the doctor or physical therapy. I wanted to share my thoughts on when you can drive and go back to work and to provide guidance on simple things like how to make it from one end of your house to the other without falling over furniture. But not only did I want to share my story with you, many of you shared your ideas with others as well. You suggested different methods to help heal; things I hadn’t heard of before you wrote about them. I hadn’t looked into a knee-scooter when I was healing but several commenters indicated this helped them tremendously to get around. Also, one of you thought that using hydrobaric oxygen therapy was helpful in healing, and another recommended using an aircast. It warmed my heart to see people helping people. So thank you to those of you who have provided your insight to help others. It’s truly appreciated.

The world is a small place

“It’s a small world” is a saying that is a bit overused, but it’s really true. I broke my ankle in a small patch of woods in a suburban area of New York. The experience I shared was read by people all over the world; including the United States of course, but also the UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Malaysia, Philippines, New Zealand, Singapore, and many more locations. The bottom line is that if you have something you think may help others, share it. Even the one person who read from Cameroon, or the one from Herzegovina, or the one from Paraguay must have been looking for some ankle-breakage insights, and because of the Internet and the immediate access to world-wide information, they were able to find something that may have helped. That is just too cool.

Feeling depressed is normal

I heard from several of you privately, and also read in your public comments, that it’s evident that having a broken ankle and being unable to do your usual activities can be depressing. When it happened to me, I thought I was just being silly feeling blue. But I have found that depression when dealing with any health issue is a totally normal feeling. When you’re used to doing what you want, when you want, how you want, and all of a sudden you have to rely on other people, it’s not only aggravating, it’s stunting. It’s stunting to your normal way of life. You can’t hop in the car and go to the store if you forgot to buy milk. You can’t wait till the last second to use the bathroom if you are at work because it takes time to get there. For crying out loud, you can’t even easily shower or shave or put your clothes on or cook or do laundry or walk from one end of the house to the other. You have to do everything in a different way. And not only that, the not knowing when you’ll be able to walk again without the crutches is nerve-wracking. So don’t get depressed about being depressed! Just understand it is definitely a normal reaction, and know that eventually you WILL be back to normal.

A virtual hug really does seem to help

As one who has been there, I know how frustrating having a broken ankle can be.  I know how confining it is to be stuck at home, and to not be able to easily do any of your normal things without help.  If I could be there to give you a real in-person hug, or to hold your hand and let you know that eventually you’ll be rocking & rolling in your usual style, I would do so!  But since I can’t fly around the world doing that, I instead provided a real look at everything I could think of, and wrapped around that entire description were my hugs to you!  I wanted anyone else in the same situation to know that they will eventually heal, they will eventually walk, and they will eventually run and do whatever else they were doing pre-break.  I wanted to send that virtual its-gonna-be-fine-don’t-worry message across the Internet wires.  And from some of your notes, I do think that hug was reassembled on your end and was received.  🙂

So keep the comments coming – they are helpful to all who stop by!

All previous ankle blogs can be found at:

Part 1 of 5 – Dealing with splint, cast, crutches
Part 2 of 5 – Coping with work and home issues
Part 3 of 5 – Healing timeframes, cast removal, travel tips
Part 4 of 5 – The healing process and physical therapy
Part 5 of 5 – Getting around in public and working real estate
Emergency Room Visit
Lessons from an Invalid

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212 thoughts on “Broken Ankle Experience – Epilogue, a few years later

  1. Thanks so much for this blog. I broke my ankle in 3 places on 9/21. I had surgery to put in a plate and some screws on 9/25. In 2 days I will be going to the Dr. To be put into a boot. I actually start PT next week as well. I was told no weight bearing for 4 weeks, but will most likely be in the boot for 8 weeks. It has been so helpful for me to read about everyone’s experiences. I do have the knee walker which has been a life saver. I use the crutches when I leave the house and I fell the other day coming into the house. I am so thankful that I do not have to depend on the crutches! It so good to hear that so many other people have been through this and are back to normal activities. It does make me feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you

    • MJ – Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Wow, that’s great that you can start weight bearing after only 4 weeks. Hopefully it won’t be as hard to get all your muscles working again! There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel – really, I can’t even tell I ever had a problem! Best wishes in your recovery.

    • Hi thanks for lovely replies from all different people. I broke my left ankle in 2 different places on 10.08.14 in Scotland, it was wet day and slipped on cobbles. This was my waste nightmare. Was taken to hospital and was told needed surgery. After the 2 more xrays where taken Dr said was lucky just needed cast on for 5 weeks. Less pain been in a cast which will be removed in 3 weeks hopefully. Hurt crutches but have no choice but to use them. I come down stairs on my bum and go up on bum lot easy and saver I find. But check with Dr before trying to do this. I do the cast makes my heel hurt little bit as anyone experienced this? All the comments has cheered me up and given hope.

      Thank you
      REGARDS HARMEET.

      • Harmeet-
        Hopefully in three weeks you will have no more cast! My heel felt strange when the cast came off but I don’t remember it hurting when the cast was on. But everyone feels different and it seems as though everything is normal!
        Best wishes on your recovery!
        Kat

    • Hi, i broke my Tib and Fib on 13/9/14 (UK) had surgery two days later, in a cast for 6 weeks then straight to weight bearing with no boot. I developed a grade 2 pressure sore under the first cast, applied in theatre, and this slowed my recovery down as i couldn’t walk on it when weight bearing. It’s now 4 weeks post cast removal. I have a constant ache in my ankle which gets worse the more my ankle frees up. Ive been told by my physio that this is normal. Im walking well but find uneven ground difficult, i still need a bannister to walk down stairs but walking up is fine. My whole leg from foot to hip aches when i wake up and it takes a good 10 minutes of moving to get going. I still limp without analgesia. I try to walk at least 2 miles daily as i find walking strengthens the whole leg not just the ankle, i take walking poles with me unless i have the dog in tow, then i take just one. Im starting to do more hard core physio including balancing on the “bad” foot and raising up on to my toes which is very hard. Its amazing how just 6 weeks of none use causes such a decline in functionality. Im 48, female and usually fit and healthy.

      • Lynne B –

        I feel your pain! It is very amazing how fast lack-of-use can result in an inability of the muscles to work. When my cast came off and I was able to walk again, I couldn’t believe what a blob my foot and leg had become.

        You seem to be doing everything right in terms of working as hard as possible to get your foot/ankle/leg back to normal. It sounds as though you have seen quite a bit of improvement in the last four weeks, so keep on doing what you’re doing!

        Hugs,
        Kat

    • 5 weeks ago my puppy got under my feet in my house and I fell slowly, breaking my left ankle in three places and dislocating it. Thank God I have excellent health insurance thru Kaiser, which covered pretty much everything 100%! The worst part of this story, is that my condo was on a second story walk up and I couldn’t get down or up to drive or even take a small walk w/ my knee roller. I had to have surgery which wasn’t as bad as I thought. I can’t use my crutches since I’m a complete klutz. I banged my cast hard just now and freaked out when my foot/ankle/calf started to swell in my cast. I took one pain pill, went to bed and put my foot up. I was in a complete panic, thinking I reverted back to day one, forgetting I had screws and titanium in my ankle. Blessedly, after a few hours the swelling started to slowly go down. I’ll be getting my walking boot on in 2 1/2 weeks, along with PT. I thought I’d be able to walk out the door and be set free, what a fool I’ve been. The doctors have already warned me that my ankle will never be like before, so my question to you is…….how long did it take you from the first break to where you shed all support equipment, to get to that point: my ankle doesn’t hurt anymore? I really am an active hiker/walker and has been awful because I’m so inactive stuck up on my second floor condo. Any good advice?

      • Hello there. I’m sorry to hear about your frustration about being stuck in the condo ,but glad to hear you are going to be okay after smacking your cast. As for how long it took me, I first broke my ankle on December 1st. I did a 5K, speed walking, on March 31. I don’t remember exactly when I started walking without the crutches but I think it was the beginning of March. So I would say 3 months from break to walking and maybe 3 1/2 months till I was walking fairly well, 4 months till I was good to go.

        I hope that helps!
        Kat

  2. Hi
    I am now six weeks into the broken ankle between boot cast and free leg yipeeee
    I am practising to walk again
    Your journey had been great to read and really helped me to check in to see if what I have been going through is normal
    Thank you

    • Sue- Yippee is right! Getting that cast off and having a free leg is like getting out of leg jail.

      As to your last comment about seeing if what you were going through was normal, I just hope what I went through was normal!! (I have no idea if I did have a normal experience; I just know it was the way it went for me!)

      Best wishes with your recuperation and thank you for stopping by.

  3. It was great to read your blog. I broke my left ankle 9/12/13. Fortunately, I have 3 daughters who took great care of me through the first couple of weeks. I am now living with my youngest daughter (she’s a RN) until I am more mobile & can live on my own again. Who knew you had to plan ahead to get to the bathroom? I tried crutches – nope!! A walker works the best for me. I also have the knee scooter. I highly recommend it. Scooter has a basket to carry “stuff”. Raised toilet seat a must. I get x-rayed tomorrow to see IF I can be put into a boot. Fingers crossed! One of the hardest things I had to get used to was sleeping on my back. I know that sounds trivial, compared to all the other challenges, but it’s sometimes the small things that bug you the most. I wish everyone out there in our predicament a speedy, safe recovery.

    • Vickie,

      Thanks so much for your comments, and thank goodness for those wonderful daughters of yours. Having assistance makes the entire ordeal so much better.

      That’s funny you mention sleeping on your back. That was a problem for me also, but I forgot all about that! And you’re right, it IS the small things which wind up to not be so small after all.

      Best of luck with the x-rays tomorrow — I couldn’t wait to get that cast off – it was so clunky. I’ll be thinking of you!

      Kat

  4. Wow, so glad I found this – thanks for writing! Your break incident was almost identical to mine: walking with my Husky after work – then twist & pop, scoot on my butt back towards home. Your break sounds almost identical to mine, too. (Although I never had a cast, I got the camo boot right there in the emergency room.) I’m at the 6 week point and trying to wean myself off of the crutches- it hurts a lot – my follow-up appointment isn’t for 3 more weeks so I’m wondering if I’m pushing it. I’m 55 so not expecting a miraculous quick healing but I was in pretty good shape & very active before this.
    Anyway, thanks for taking the time to write down your experiences and thoughts! 🙂

    • Karen- Wow, that’s so weird that we had the same experience with our huskies! I’m in my 50s also and was in good shape before, and am very active again, but it did take a lot of work and time to get back to my usual self. Be patient with your progress — before you know it, you will be back to normal.

    • Hi…I just broke my ankle two weeks ago…still using crutches and in a boot…no cast. Am hoping I get good news on monday that my unbroken bones have not shifted and I don’t need surgery. I’m wondering how long it took you to fully recover and if your ankle continues to feel weak? Thanks.

      • Hi there Sue!

        Wow, no cast – you are one lucky person!

        My ankle does not feel weak at all – it feels strong. I run about 4 miles at least 3 days a week and it doesn’t even twinge. I’ve hiked and biked as well. The only thing I haven’t attempted yet is skiing.

        My biggest problem, even after I was walking again, was with the swelling so I couldn’t wear my normal boots/shoes for a while. I’m going to say (but my memory is now a bit fuzzy about the details) that it took about 6 months until I felt I had recovered sufficiently.

        Hang in there. Before you know it, this should be just a memory!

        Kat

        • Wow…thanks…can i ask if the swelling was just by the bone where you broke it or on both sides of the ankle. The inside of my ankle is swollen even though i broke the lateral malleous fibula bone…not sure if inside swelling of the ankle is normal or not? thanks.

          • Sue-

            Actually, the swelling went up my calf – it was the ankle on both sides, the foot, the calf. Eventually it was only the ankle and it was mostly on the side that was broken. One thing I’ve learned from other’s stories – there doesn’t seem to be normal! Everyone seems to have different healing processes. Of course, if you’re worried, I would give the doctor a call, but just know that swelling is definitely part of the healing process.

            Kat

  5. As a PS: it took me a couple of weeks to figure out crutches. The biggest help was videos on Youtube. Just search for “how to use crutches”.
    On trying to carry anything, which is so difficult:
    Lose the designer purse: adopting a backpack instead helps a lot – you can carry things!!
    On the crutches: the heels of my hands hurt like crazy after the first week or so. My hubby got me some of that foam stuff you wrap pipes with in the winter, and wrapped it on the crutch handles with duct tape. That simple fix helped a lot!
    🙂

    • Karen –
      Thanks for the tips! I wish I had known about the foam wrap for the crutches; they really were a “pain” and I totally agree about the purse. I would just use a fanny pack or throw stuff in my pockets. Who needs the extra bag banging around?
      Thanks again!

  6. Hi, huge thanks from me also, I’m 5 and a half weeks in from breaking 2 bones in my ankle, cast but no surgery thankfully. I have a hospital appointment in 2 days, on Thursday, when hopefully the cast will be removed. I really enjoyed reading your blog especially the recovery after the cast comes off, I’m also in my 50’s (52) and concerned about my age, fitness and will I make a full recovery. It gives me confidence when I read your story, many thanks, x

  7. It’s been enlightening to find your blog..finally realised that I am not alone with all the frustrations I feel in not being able to travel at my usual speed.I too fell whilst walking my dogs..2 newfies..and they took a while to let the paramedics touch me…one sat on me (dog,not paramedic!) to protect me.I am at the 6 week stage,next hospital visit in 1 week .Thanks for sharing your tips and recovery…gives me hope.

    • You are not alone!! Wow, that must have been some scene with the dogs protecting you. They were probably worried :-).
      Best of luck next week when you go to the doctor – hopefully they’ll give you good news!

      • One thing i learned was after one breaks an ankle you probably have swelling for sure, you must listen to docters by using crutchs and possibly use a wheel chair around your house.Let it heal well ,dont push it, bones heal slowly..I hate to wait yet i must be patient…

  8. Hi Kat and so glad I found your blog. Its been therapeutic to read your experiences. My break sounds identical to yours but it’s only been 1.5 weeks since my fall (fell while hiking) so I have a ways to go. Sleeping (I’m in a boot) is the biggest problem for me so far.

    A helpful hint for others – you can wrap a piece of rubber kitchen drawer liner around one side of each crutch (right above the rubber hand holds) and secure with duct tape. This keeps the crutches from slipping and falling on the floor when you need to rest them up against a counter for a minute.

    • Laura – What a GREAT idea! I found those slipping crutches to be sooo annoying. As to sleeping in a boot or a cast, those things are pretty heavy and it’s so hard to find the right position, but eventually you’ll either get used to the weight, or find the right spot. 🙂

      Best of luck as you heal, and thank you so much for sharing.

  9. Many, many thanks for your blog. As another reader wrote, reading your stories has been wonderfully therapeutic. I slipped and fell on a patch of ice exactly 4 weeks ago. Just got a hard cast 6 days ago because of swelling. So I have been using crutches for about 4.weeks. I’m very overweight but am using them well. This experience has taught me to never put myself in this kind of predicament again! Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.

    • Birdee-
      Thank YOU for taking the time to write. I’m glad to hear you are getting around with the crutches okay – I found the crutches to be so frustrating! Hopefully you will be back on both feet soon!
      Kat

  10. Thank you for your blog. I broke my ankle 3.5 weeks ago – snow came off an industrial steel roof on top of me. I am very lucky it wasn’t fatal. The ER doctor sent me home in an air cast and said I could weight bear with crutches. Thank goodness I didn’t as I returned 2 days later due to huge blisters and the new Dr said it was bad. Sent me to an ortho surgeon and the following week had a plate and 9 screws. I was a very active woman and learned quickly that your life can come to a grinding halt. My husband has been a saint and inherited the responsibility of looking after my 4 horses. Have had some low days but reading this makes me see that the emotion and frustration is normal and it will eventually heal. I plan to do everything I am told so I can get back on those horses. For those who have room, get a wheelchair for the house. At least you can carry your coffee and let the dogs out if no one is home!Thanks for sharing.

    • Kelly –

      Thankfully the snow sliding onto you wasn’t worse!! And it’s also great you didn’t listen to the first doctor (that goes to show it is sometimes important to get a second opinion).

      It is totally normal to be discouraged and frustrated and depressed, and it’s great that you have such a helpful hubby. I know that being active and then all of a sudden being forced to stop is so limiting — but before you know it, you’ll be out with the horses again (and 4 horses and dogs sounds awesome!).

      Best of luck!

  11. Kat – I thank you for the blog, too. I can’t believe how current it is. I’m almost at 4 months after the fall. I did it stupidly in the shower, getting my foot with a flip-flop on stuck in the bottom of the shower door (I’m in southern FLA). My healing was very much like everyone else’s – I have a plate with 7 screws on one side, 2 big screws on the other. I’m wondering if anyone else was/is getting shooting, tingling pains. My surgeon said it is the nerves healing, but I haven’t seen any mention of it in all my reading. It startles me at times. He also told me I would have the swelling for a year, year and a half. As long as I can walk and wear my flip-flops again, I can deal with anything. BTW, I purchased a wonderful plastic thingy with a washer-like opening that I could wear in the shower so I wouldn’t get the injury wet.

    Thanks for letting me vent.

    • Barbara-

      I was getting tingling but it was on the bottom of my foot so that might not be what you are feeling. The tingling went away after I kept just pressing the area on the ground to get rid of the feeling (it was so uncomfortable).

      I had swelling for a while, but it did eventually go away.

      Thanks for stopping by– and be careful in the shower!

      🙂

  12. Thank you so much for this series! I’m currently at Week #4 post-ankle break (like you, it was a clean fibula “snap” with no surgery — I got it from slipping in snow) and getting antsy. In my case it was also my right ankle and I simply *could not* reach the accelerator on my car with my left foot. Fortunately, it’s possible to rent a portable left foot accelerator online — I’ll post the link if you want but this isn’t an advertisement comment. I BEGGED the doctor not to put me into a cast so that I could keep clean and wear my own clothes, and thank goodness he didn’t, instead he put me into an air boot and crutches.

    One thing I discovered is that pharmacy drive-thrus are my friend and that you can do grocery shopping, after a fashion, if you have a large backpack. It may mean several small trips instead of one weekly large one, which is a pain, but it lets you do it independently.

    Also, if you have a sprayer attachment on your sink, many hair places can cut your hair into an attractive style that can be sink-washed. It’s pretty basic, but can mean you at least keep yourself neatly groomed which can mean a lot.

    I also wish people understood that you have good days and bad days. Yesterday I was doing well but today I feel like a Mack truck ran over me.

    • Catherine –
      Kudos to you for finding things that help you feel “normal!” Being independent (shopping/washing your hair) are so important to remaining “up”. I hope that Mack truck drove on out so you feel better now. It’s so true about up and down days; some times it feels as though the lack of movement and freedom will never end (but it does!).

      Sure, you can absolutely post the accelerator here. I never heard of it – that would have been such a help. I was stuck in the house for months and couldn’t wait to escape and that might have helped me be able to drive faster than I did.

      Best of wishes as you continue to heal. Before you know it, this will be just a memory. Really!.

      • Thanks! I apologize for the cutoff there — was having browser issues. But the link for the accelerator is http://www.plfa.org. It only works if your car is an automatic and has a carpeted floor board (or a carpeted floor mat). But it has been a lifesaver for me. The other thing I’ve discovered is that it helps to use a desk to neatly stack your laundry instead of trying to put it into a drawer/closet. When you live alone, who’s there to complain? 🙂

  13. Hi Kat, I broke my ankle four weeks ago, it’s a similar break as yours. It’s the lateral Malleous (fibula). I missed my last step and crack and pop!! It was so painful. Went to ER where the Dr. Put a backslab on first for one week because of swelling, then back again in one week for a fiberglass cast that I was suppose to have on for 4 weeks, but after one week I went back and told the dr that I was going on vacation for one month and that I needed him to put the boot on me and take the cast off.

    So now I’m just starting my fourth week of broken ankle, but week two of the boot. I’m still not putting any weight on it yet!! I’m out of my country away from my dr and have no idea when to start weight bearing!!! It’s still swollen some and bruised, but the bruising is fading. It swells and kinda turns a little blue while hanging down. Did you have a lot of bruising and when did the swelling go away?

    Thankful for me that I have a wonderful husband who have been pampering me every since I broke my ankle, I wouldn’t know what I would have done without him!!

    • Connie –

      Wow, a month vacation! That is simply awesome…

      When my cast was taken off, I was still bruised and swollen. The swelling took quite a while to go away – I don’t remember exactly how long, but for weeks after the cast came off,I was still icing my foot and putting it up. I couldn’t wear my normal shoes and sneakers for at least a month after I started walking around. So I’m going to estimate it might have been about three months after I initially broke my ankle before the swelling was gone.

      Have a great time enjoying the rest of your vacation!

      Kat

    • Hi Connie

      I broke mine at the beginning of November. I think it was at least 6 weeks before I was allowed to put weight on it – soft cast for a month, one-legged hopping with boot for 2 weeks (I had a walker), then could put weigh on it still with boot on. I think mine was broken a little more seriously – both sides. My doc says it will be swollen off and on for a year or so – and it still swells up often. I get tingling, shooting pain every now and then (nerves healing). It still looks bruised once in a while, too.

      So be patient. And don’t put weight on it too soon. I am walking fine – wearing flip flops (adjustable) with no problem. A little discomfort now and then isn’t so bad.

      Vacation sounds wonderful!

      Barbara

  14. I’m 6 weeks post surgery today. My ortho doc told me I can walk without crutches today but in the boot. I’m scared to do so. How do you go about walking without the things that I used for 6-7 weeks? Any tips?

    • Tanisha-
      Good morning! This is a great time because you are on the road to being able to walk, run, and do everything you used to do, but it will take time so patience is key.
      What I would probably do (if it were me) is use the crutches for support until you get used to walking without them. So maybe stand on both feet, as flat footed as possible, and then still holding the crutches under each arm in case you have trouble, leave your “bad” foot on the floor and just try taking one step with your good foot. See how it feels. It might take a while to get used to using your feet again.
      Let me know how you do!!!

  15. Broken fibula (on icy sidewalk), in hard cast for 7 weeks and on day 3 after cast removal. No surgery, minimal displacement. In a lace-up ankle brace now because I may have also torn my meniscus (MRI next week) and doc thought a boot would aggravate the knee. Having a LOT of pain – the kind that brings tears. Worked a full day today, limping around with a cane, using my knee scooter for long distances. Tonight having burning at spot where the bone broke, and the tendons/muscles that connect my foot to my ankle hurt like hell. I’m annoyed at the lack of info from my Ortho doc – are my ligaments stretched? Torn? The stupid lace up brace requires flexibility that I clearly don’t have yet. Doc says to baby the ankle but to walk on smooth ground and be careful not to twist. What the heck? I’m tired and frustrated and in pain 😦
    Made appt with physical therapist – soonest I can get in is next week. Grrrrrr.

    • Susan-
      I can feel your frustration! I’ll bet a lot of doctors haven’t ever actually BEEN in your position; if they had, they would know what kind of information and guidance would really would help. I don’t think I’ve seen one of the lace up braces but that sounds a bit cumbersome actually.
      I had a problem with the muscles that connect my foot to the ankle also — apparently, because they havent’ been used in nearly two months, they “freeze” or forget how to work, and you have to retrain those muscles that it’s OK to bend! Hang in there Susan, it WILL get better. Hopefully once you can get out of that brace and get to physical therapy things will improve relatively quickly.
      Vent anytime!
      Kat

  16. Sorry for the whine – just frustrated that I have to educate MYSELF on this – would have made sense to get the phys therapy appt for right after the cast came off, for example, or be taught how to use a cane, or how to get a brace on when your ankle doesn’t move like that anymore!

  17. Well, there seems to be no shortage of people who just keep breaking their ankles! I looked at all the dates and realized I am just one of many, and may more to follow me, unfortunately. Interesting that my doctor put me in the aircast from day one and never said anything about no pressure. I live in a 3 story house, so I have been clunking my way up and down the many flights of stairs for the past 3 weeks. Hopefully, I am doing what is correct for my situation. I asked my doctor if I should avoid using it or try to use it, and she said that my ankle would let me know what was too much. I do try to rest it, but I am not the most patient patient. Keeping your mind busy is key. I read a few books I haven’t had time in years to read, and finished a family tree project that I had in a filing cabinet for 20 years! Thanks for giving me hope for the future and all your helpful hints. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were handed a pamphlet or a link to save us all the frustration and struggle? I did find this great article written about nutrition and the healing process, for anyone who is interested. http://www.betterbones.com/bonefracture/speedhealing.pdf I have avoided all coffee, alcohol, sugar, and took vitamin D and C, as well as tried to increase my protein and calcium intake in my meals. Good luck to everyone and thanks for the virtual support!!

    • Ellen –
      Thanks so much for sharing that article! I guess I did it all wrong with my daily coffee and wine! 🙂 Oops.
      Best wishes on your recovery — if you’ve been walking on the foot for weeks and it’s not too painful, it’ll probably be easier when you get the boot off.
      Kat

  18. I have been reading and rereading your blog for weeks now…it’s been almost 10 weeks since my dislocation and trimalleolar break of my right ankle after falling on ice. I had surgery, and now have two plates and 9 pins in my ankle. Your site has the best info as for what to expect each step along the way, so,THANK YOU! I haven’t driven anywhere in all this time, which is frustrating, but I think I’ll be driving soon. My big problem is that even after 6 weeks of PT I am having difficulty getting any motion in my ankle due to one if the breaks going through the joint. We really got aggressive in yesterday’s session and I finally hobbled without crutches for the first time last night. I noticed the same pins and needles in my heel that you experienced.

    For future readers of your blog and these comments, the biggest takeaway for me is just how debilitating an ankle break can be. I had no idea until it happened to me, and going forward, I won’t hesitate to offer my assistance for someone else in the same boat. If you hear of someone who has broken their ankle, offer to help. Take food! Many friends and coworkers brought us food for a couple of weeks and it helped tremendously. If you know the person well, offer to do laundry or help with cleaning. Both those things were impossible for me – and still remain very difficult even at 10 weeks. While I am grateful my husband is here to take care of everything, he works 55-60 hours a week, and lots of things simply won’t be done until I am mobile again. Someone living alone likely would be very grateful of whatever assistance is offered. Even after you start to feel better, it’s still really difficult to get around – everything you do takes so much more energy and time than normal.

    One last comment, as I know this has gotten long. After a bone break, it’s important to have your vitamin D and calcium levels checked. I found my D was extremely low, and I’ll soon have a bone density scan. I am 48 and bone health is a concern. My doctor feels that if I had the right levels, my injury wouldn’t have been nearly as severe, and my bones might not even have broken at all. Thanks again for the blog!

    • Kim –

      I totally agree with your suggestions; if we know of people who need help, just offer. I didn’t realize how debilitating and tiring it was to be unable to walk properly but I am definitely sensitive now. And I agree about the Calcium also – I didn’t get my levels checked, but the doctor did ask me to start taking calcium daily which I’ve been doing. I don’t want to go through this again!

      Thank you for commenting, and I’m happy to hear you were able to walk without crutches finally. 🙂

      Kat

  19. Hi Kat,

    Wow your blog has been so helpful and informative! I broke my ankle (tibula fracture) when on holiday in the States 2 weeks ago. I had to fly home to the UK and luckily I didn’t need surgery. Like you, the cast went on on day 5. It is now just under 2 weeks since the break and I went back to the surgeon today. It’s all looking good and I have an appointment in 4 weeks time for the cast to come off, and – if all goes to plan – I’ll have a boot on.

    The only thing is, a week after the cast comes off and the boot goes on, I’m supposed to be travelling to 6 weeks to Ghana (alone) on a scholarship. My surgeon doesn’t think this will be a problem. He thinks I’ll be able to go in the boot as I’ll be weight baring by then. But I’m not so sure about how well I’ll manage. Could I ask you how easy you found it to get out and about alone and unaided in the walking boot?

    • EJ-

      Hello there. I’m happy to hear you didn’t need surgery!

      Once I could do weight bearing, using the boot was pretty easy; it keeps your foot flat so you’re not really moving your foot/ankle around too much. I assume the doctor will give you a plan on when to stop using the boot – maybe he’ll want you to wear it the entire time you’re away and then he’ll look at you when you get back, but maybe he’ll suggest trying to get along without it after a few weeks.

      Best wishes with your Ghana trip.. It sounds like something that is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so enjoy it!

      Kat

      • Thanks so much! Of course I’ll take my doctor’s advice, but it’s so great to get reassurance from someone else who’s been through it! Thanks again for the blog!

  20. Dear Kat,
    A big thank you to you from Cheshire in the UK. I broke my tibula on Monday evening at Tae Kwon do training. My 7 year old daughter has been retraining my kicking method ever since. Anyway, I am due back in Hospital next week to understand if I need an op or not (may have ligament damage too).
    Your blog is very informative and reassuring, that my very active life will return.
    I have wonderful family and friends, but it can feel quite a lonely experience when you have to be dependant on others. This is why your blog was a bright light for me this afternoon.

    Gwen

    • Gwen-
      Thank you for commenting, and my sincere wishes for your speedy recovery. It can be a bit lonely and depressing to have to rely on others for things you’d rather do yourself and it can be very frustrating hobbling around on crutches and/or whatever means you need to use to get around. Eventually you’ll be back to yourself and it will be just a memory!!!
      Best wishes,
      Kat.

  21. Wow, I wish I had found this sooner! I broke my fibula just above the ankle six weeks ago from a fall while hiking. I was put in a temporary splint in the ER, and the next day my orthopedist put me in a boot. I was non-weight bearing and on crutches for 4 weeks, and was told to start bearing weight and to wean myself off the crutches for the past 2 weeks. I am walking fine with the boot and without crutches, although my hip on my good side is starting to bother me due to the unevenness between my boot and my sneaker. I go tomorrow and hopefully will lose the boot, and I go back to work next week! It’s been a long road, but I am definitely starting to see light at the end of the tunnel! To all of you just starting out on this journey, it definitely does get better! Best of luck and speedy recovery to all. Thanks Kat, for starting this blog 🙂

    • This site is a great resource for all things broken ankle. I also found a Facebook group that has been invaluable for my broken ankle recovery, “Broken Ankle / Foot / Leg Recovery – On a Quest for Normal.” I have found lots of helpful info and commiseration there, too.

  22. I broke my right ankle (fibula) and sprung my left ankle on June 9th. I was working out at a boot camp class and fell down bleachers. My husband came to the rescue that morning and carried me around all day since I was unable to walk at all. After the bad news at my urgent care visit, I was seen by the Orthopedic specialist. I was lucky that the Orthopedic specialist said I didn’t need surgery. Been home for 5 days now with an aircast and go back Monday for more x-rays and a re-eval. Initially both my ankles were sooo swollen. It literally looked like half baseballs on each side of my feet. Now my left ankle already looks pretty good and can bare weight. But my right one, not so much. I have some ugly bruises on each foot. I pray that my right ankle magically heals really fast. I know I am lucky that I didn’t break both ankles or anything else. I sympathize with everyone and cant imagine what they have gone through. Being laid up, feet elevated, for as long as some of you have will make me crazy! I know my fun has just started. It is very frustrating. The thing I hate the most is not being able to go about normal activities. I know that this will soon be a memory! I’m ready to tell my story like its in the past.

    • Jackie –

      And it will! (be a memory).

      Ouch! Falling down the bleachers must have been painful. Thankfully, you didn’t break both ankles. I can’t even imagine how rotten that would be – just one was tough enough.

      Good luck with Monday’s doctor visit. Hopefully they will say everything is looking great!

      Best wishes,
      Kat

  23. Jackie, so sorry about your fall! I broke my left fibula 7 weeks ago from a fall while hiking, and I know the initial couple of weeks are the hardest. The boredom and helplessness can be overwhelming! I also went to boot camp 3-4 times a week, and I miss it so much! But things will get better over time, and you will be getting around better very soon! If you are on Facebook, there is a wonderful support group called Broken/ankle/leg-the quest for normal. It is made up of people from all over the world and is a wonderful place to commiserate, ask questions, and get support throughout your recovery. Best of luck to you!

  24. Hi ! nice to see this here. Broke my right ankle – fibula – on July 4th trying to rescue my dog from a porcupine in the slippery wet woods. Clean break. No surgery. A ‘spiral fracture’. I was put in a splint and then a fiberglass cast which will take 5 more weeks before it comes off. I had to cancel my trip to Europe and my whole summer (i’m a teacher) suddenly very different. I drive with my left foot. I couldn’t not be driving. I’m single so I’m staying with family for most of the summer. Thank goodness! Wonder if anyone else with a ‘clean break’ fibula has had to spend 6 weeks or more ‘non-weight bearing’. It seemed extreme from my annoyingly unsympathetic orthopedic surgeon. And then at least three weeks with crutches after that in a boot. I would really like to go back to work without having to ask for ‘special treatment’, or a new classroom assignments only on the first floor. (Tore my ACL first week of school last year…. and had a detached retina this past Spring… seriously.) It’s only my third year at this school and I hate the impression I’m giving. Well, a great deal of frustration here.
    I put weight on the ankle in the cast and it doesn’t hurt. I think the surgeon was overly cautious.

    • Sara-
      Six weeks non-weight bearing isn’t that odd; it takes a while for the bone to start healing property. Your ankle is probably being held in place by the cast (if it’s tight enough) so when you step on it, the cast is probably bearing the weight, not the ankle. That’s my thinking anyway – I think once the cast is off, you’ll know for sure whether you can stand on it. I definitely understand your frustration, especially at work since you’ve had a few things go wrong, but hopefully this is the last thing and you’ll be back to normal. Hang in there; right now it must feel as though you’ll never get that cast off, but you will!
      Thinking of you,
      Kat

  25. I have been reading your blog with interest and enjoy all your positive thoughts. I fell down stairs 7 weeks ago, dislocated my ankle and broke 2 bones. Surgery followed and I now have a couple of screws on one side of my ankle and a plate with screws on the other. I started partial weight bearing 5 days ago and feel like a baby learning to walk again! I am finding my ankle is very tight and it is just not flexing like before. Am trying to do physio exercises at home every day and going to a couple of physio sessions a week at the moment. My foot is still swollen and of course gets worse after the exercise and being up and around. I am a naturally impatient person so the immobilisation for the past few weeks and now the slow progress has been excruciating! Trying to stay positive as I know after reading your blog and everyone’s experiences that eventually it will improve.

    • Karyn-
      OWWW! That must have been a painful fall.
      Everything you mentioned sounds so familiar – the ankle will be very tight; it definitely takes a long time to heal, little improvement by little improvement. I know it’s so hard to do, but being patient with yourself, and celebrating the little things (a little less swelling, bending your foot a little bit more). It’s definitely frustrating once the cast/boot comes off and the darn ankle/foot doesn’t work well right away. Hang in there! Before you know it, this will all be in the past.
      Kat

  26. Thanks so much Kat,
    This has certainly been a roller-coaster experience, not to say extremely challenging! From working out how to shower and keep the leg dry, to moving things – and me – around the house, and dealing with lots of frustration – it has certainly been an interesting few weeks! I would recommend to others to try to take pleasure in the things you CAN do and know that by taking it easy, and keeping that leg elevated, that you are giving your body time to heal. I re-started some unfinished needlework that had been sitting in the cupboard for 20 years, read lots of books and watched 4 seasons of Game of Thrones! And slept quite a lot in the first weeks – it was unexpectedly exhausting doing almost nothing! I do wonder how long it will be until my ankles are the same size and I can wear all my shoes again – trying to be patient!
    Karyn

    • Karyn-

      When I first started walking, I had to buy a wider pair of sneakers because none of my shoes fit. My goal was to get to a point where I could wear my cowboy boots, which were always hard to get on. I don’t remember how long that took, but I started by switching from the wide sneakers to my normal sneakers, then to shoes, then to the boots. Whoo hoo! That was a happy day.

      Patience is tough!

      Kat

      • So eleven weeks after surgery for my 2 broken bones I am getting ready to throw away the crutches! I am hobbling around at home, doing as much PT as I can stand and only taking crutches (or my new walking stick!) when I go out. I live in Thailand and the pavements and access to places is not great so the stick just gives me a bit more confidence. My hard tiled floors are SO hard underfoot and it is one of the rare times I wish I had carpet! Feels like it has been a long slow road but FINALLY my foot is looking almost like normal – still a bit of swelling but things have improved so much during the last 10 days. Swimming is fantastic and it is so nice to get some exercise. I still worry that my range of motion is not back to 100% – the upward flex of my foot is still limited but I am going to persevere and hopefully it will return. Good luck to everyone on the forum for your recoveries – it is a tedious process but there is light at the end of the tunnel!

    • Karyn – there is a wonderful product – here’s a link to one in Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Brownmed-SEAL-TIGHT-Original-Bandage-Protector/product-reviews/B001G0N6D6. I got mine at a local medical supply store – it was perfect. I got the shorter one (I’m short) and it fit just above the knee – what a life-saver (shower-saver).
      I started the broken ankle experience 9 months ago. My surgery was similar to yours. It is still somewhat stiff and I get shooting pains (nerves healing?) every once in a while. It still swells pretty often – my doc says to expect swelling for a year, year and a half. Hang in there – Barbara

  27. Thank you, Kat for sharing your story! I am 6 weeks post-surgery and was told to start bearing weight on my right ankle 4 days ago. Last night I was frustrated because I felt like I wasn’t making any progress and then I found this blog. I am adding some of the PT exercises you suggested to what my ortho gave me to do at home. I also put my fitbit back on today to encourage me to move more. I’d love to make it as far as you did by week 3 – walking in a running shoe and driving again.

    My best to you and everyone who visits here!
    Suz

    • Suz-

      I hope the PT exercises help!!!!

      I honestly don’t even feel anything different in my previously broken ankle than in my non-broken ankle. Yesterday I ran 4 miles and then in the afternoon biked 10 miles. And I didn’t feel a twinge. Just keep working it!!!!

      Wishing you fast healing,
      Kat

  28. Hi Kat, it is very thoughtful of you to share a medical experience to the many that have begun this process, and what to expect over a general time frame.
    For me I had forgotten although this is my 3rd time! I,m 55, and 20 years ago I broke my tibia and had a rod put in. Then 10 years ago I broke my calcaneus. Now I,m 6 week post surgery with a broken ankle. Plate and screws on one side and 5 screws on the other. The only thing that I can recall from the past two experiences was how frustrated I was not being independent. Writing down your experience and posting it on the web is a reminder to me when I can expect to gain my independence back and for that I thank you!
    Best wishes,
    John

    • John-
      And thank YOU for your comment. Let’s make #3 your last!!! Broken bones are absolutely no fun at all and I hope the rest of your recovery period speeds by.
      Best wishes to you also,
      Kat

  29. Twenty six days ago I fell off my bicycle ( with my dog’s help). I broke my right fibula at the ankle joint . No surgery, just an initial splint, then hard cast and in 6 days I am getting that off and graduate into the boot. My doctor said no weight bearing, and elevate continually. Initially he prescribed a wheelchair and use of a walker for trips to bathroom.
    I was really surprised to read that you were on crutches from the beginning. Perhaps my situation is compounded with the fact that my left hip was ready to have hip replacement and the weight bearing that I must do when using walker, aggravates the left hip. I have tried using crutches now but cannot go very far. Hopping on my left foot is not friendly to my left hip!
    I was searching the internet hoping to find some info on “how long will I have to wear boot after cast is removed “,when I found your blog. My hip surgeon says that I must wait until ankle is healed enough for weight bearing before I can have surgery. I wanted to have hip surgery before end of this year, but am just wondering if I can meet my deadline working around the thanksgiving and christmas holidays too !
    My toes still swell if I put my leg down, my leg muscles have turned to jello and I know there are a couple extra pounds around the middle.
    I can’t stand on one leg long enough to fix a meal and tried washing dishes hanging onto countertop,but found that hard on my back. I am 69 years old . My husband is totally confined to wheelchair ,so I can’t help him anymore. Fortunately our daughter has been a tremendous help and our friends haved also come to our aid.
    This experience has given me a renewed awareness of how to help other people in similar circumstances. “Let me know if I can do anything” is not helpful. Just err on the side of doing and fix a meal or ask’ What specific thing can I do to help you’?
    I have enjoyed reading your experience and those of whom have shared on this blog.
    Who would ever have thought a simple little break in a bone could so disrupt the day hings of life we take for granted?

  30. Thank you for your comment!

    The really crazy thing is the breaks in the bones are so TINY. A teensy little crack and life as we know it grinds to a halt!

    Regarding the fixing meal and washing the dishes problems, do you have any stools in the house? (or could you get one?) If you could use one to lean on or sit on while you’re trying to do stuff in the kitchen, that might be helpful.

    I do think that having both a hip issue AND a broken leg could definitely make the healing process a bit more lengthy and problematic, but you have a goal so hopefully keeping focused on that will somehow help the healing process move along a little faster.

    I wish you the best in your recovery and enjoy your holidays!!! 🙂

    • That’s a great idea about the kitchen stool. I don’t have one ,but know where I can get one. That will make all the difference in the world , I won’t feel so helpless! Thank you so much for the suggestion!

  31. I fell on October 8,2008 walking up the 2
    steps to get into my house. I was turning to throw the dog a bone and went down. I dislocated my ankle and broke my fibula. I had a plate and 6 screws installed. In May of 2009 I had to have the plate and screws removed and they had to reattach the muscle to the fibula. I wish I had had a place like this. Pain and depression are so much better when you’re not alone. I found out in 2013 that the surgeon who did the first surgery had been “let go” from the hospital and the practice after the dr who performed my second surgery filed a report. A nurse was reading my file aloud to me while I was in the same office for a shoulder injury. Of course it was too late to file any claims. And I will never know the whole truth. But every day I am reminded of it. Some days I almost don’t feel the pain anymore. Between the initial injury and second surgery I gained 30 lbs. feeding depression and lack of mobility are a bad combo. So here I am. 6 years later. It still swells. I sometimes lose circulation in the foot. And of course it hurts. I also developed severe plantar fasciitis due to the immobility. Doctors don’t want to discuss anything related to it with me as it involves a controversy. But nothing else can be done. They didn’t even send me to therapy after the 2nd surgery. I am grateful to still have the foot though. I was told at one point I could lose it. Thanks for this place. I don’t mention the pain. I only have to tell people when they see the 6″ scar on my leg. I will never walk or run the same. But I can walk. I have an appreciation for those in wheelchairs, on crutches, in boots, in casts, and with canes. I fought for accessible restrooms at our church. I was so glad to read about someone else not tolerating heavy sheets or covers on their foot. I still do that and my hubby thinks I’m nuts! But here you actually understand! Thanks!
    Shelley

    • Shelley-

      Wow, you’ve really had a rocky road with your ankle injury. Not only with the break (what is it with dogs and broken bones?) but with the botched surgeries. I know it’s six years later, but is there any kind of therapy you can do now? Maybe even something you can just do yourself at home? It seems a shame that you need to live with someone else’s mistake.

      I totally agree about having a different appreciation of others with crutches/etc and kudos to you for fighting for accommodations at church and for staying grateful for what you DO still have. You rock!

      Thanks for your comment.

      Kat

      • Hi from Bordeaux South of France. Thank you for this blog. I am very worried. We had a new puppy 3 weeks before Xmas. He is amazing and my children fell in love with him immediately. Then on the 26 december, I fell over whilst walking with him in the woods. I have a clean break, no displacement, and am currently in a cast ( for 4 to 6 weeks they say). Here’s the thing, I had to ask the breeder if she would temporarily take the puppy back until I can take care of him properly. (He is a golden retriever, very lively and takes a lot of looking after). She has agreed to take him back for a month. Reading through all these posts I am now thinking that I am totally unrealistic in thinking that I will be mobile enough to look after him in a month when the cast comes off? I am so so worried. If he does not come back my children, especially my daughter who is very sensitive, will be heartbroken. Other than my heartbreak about what I am going to do with my puppy… a practical tip that has helped me no end is to use a solid office chair, on wheels, height ajustable to move around the house using my crutches as paddles! I have tiled floors and am on one level so if I am careful I can move about quite comfortably and adjust it when in the kitchen etc. I am in my late 40s, my children are not really “into” helping me out, and I am single. I am also overweight so the crutches are a bit tricky. Sorry don’t know of this is a question, or a moan. But I will stop there. Best wishes for 2015 to all.

        • Jacqueline-

          Hello! Is there any chance the breeder can keep the puppy just a little longer for you? Perhaps you could pay extra? I do think it’s going to be tough to run after a retriever in four weeks but perhaps you could come up with some other way to take care of the dog when he comes back. Maybe a neighbor could come help you out with the dog? Perhaps a veterinarian would have some ideas? I don’t really have any answers for you, but I do think it’ll be tough to take care of an exuberant puppy in just a few weeks from now. 😦

          Best wishes,
          Kat

          • Thanks for taking the time to reply Kat. The Breeder has said she will keep him for longer. Just had my four week xray and thay said although everything is lined up and in the right place the fracture is healing slower than they (or I!) would like. They don’t want to see me for another 2 weeks, hoping that the bones will magically mend by then! The Dr said I expect it still hurts when you put weight on it but actually is doesn’t really hurt at all… So In the meantime Puppy is back with his Mum and brother and seems to be enjoying life! I have decided that whatever happens I am taking him back at the 6 week point so I may soon be posting tips on managing a puppy whilst in plaster and on crutches! A suivre…!

          • Jacqueline –

            Your tips on how to manage with a lively dog would be great!!! Hang in there; you are healing, it’s just taking a little longer than expected. You are on the right path…

            Kat

  32. I broke my left ankle in two places on 9th December 2014. I jumped out of my daughter’s car to push a Christmas card through a door and caught my right foot in the strap of my handbag! I flew out and landed on my front, turned over clutching my knee when my daughter shouted “don’t look at your foot mum”! Nearly at a 90° angle. Ambulance service couldn’t come straight away but my husband was able to come to the scene in the car. Some gentlemen had stopped to help so they helped lift me into our car. I went to the local hospital where it was x-rayed and put in a plate, due to NHS cuts they don’t do orthopedic surgery there so was transferred to a bigger hospital where I had surgery. This is a pain! I am 66 years old and I used to childmind my youngest grand-daughter, now I can’t which means my daughter has had to make other arrngements. Next appointment in two weeks for x-rays (cast been on four weeks now), this is certainly going to be a l..o..n..g job! Won’t bore you any more, I could go on for ever!

    • Janet –

      OWWW. That accident sounded horrible. I bet afterwards you replayed it in your mind a bazillion times. My ankle was broken three years ago now, and I still am soooo cautious when I walk the dog in the spot where my accident happened. I do not want that to happen again.

      It will be a while to recover once your cast is off and once you are able to put pressure on your foot, but eventually you will be back to your normal life. Stay positive!

      Thinking of you!
      Kat

  33. Popped back on Kat, next Wednesday, x-rays & discussion re mobility. Just mentioned to hubby this could be a long job even when the cast comes off after reading some further comments on here! Fell of crutches again Monday, hope no damage done there. I get painful twinges sometimes (not because I fell). We go to Majorca at the end of May just hoping I will be OK by them. Really miss not looking after our grand-daughter (as does our daughter, the other Grandma is looking for a job!) Will pop back on here next week with update. Going to look up FB page and the link, got plenty of time whilst sat here on my bum! Janet.

    • Janet-

      Oh, good, hopefully you will get positive news next week at your doctor visit. If I was a betting woman, I’d bet that by May you will be ready for that trip! (Which sounds wonderful by the way).

      It’s easy to fall with the crutches — the hard part is staying up. 🙂 I fell several times. One minute I was up and the next minute, not. That was no fun but no damage was done, and hopefully that’s the case on your end also.

      And just sitting on one’s bum can be quite depressing and frustrating. Especially when you’re usually running around chasing your grandaughter — this will all be over eventually!!!

      Would love to hear an update on what the doctor says.

      Best wishes in healing!
      Kat

      • Hi Kat just an upate, was at Manchester Royal Infirmary yesterday and they removed my cast, x-rayed which showed all was healing well and was sent home with just a stretchy white tube dressing, no boot, nothing! Was given some physio exercises to do whilst waiting for appointmentwith physio. Am starting to to put weight on my foot gradually, walking on my toes at the moment on crutches which is alot easier. I actually crawled up the stairs and slept in my own bed the first time in six weeks, I actually woke at nearly mid-day today – wonderful! Not managed the bath though yet, we have a overbath shower not a cubicle one, so have got to work on that!

        • Janet-

          Oh my, that is WONDERFUL news! If you can put weight on your foot, then you are sooo close to walking on your own two feet. You must feel great.

          The bath is coming!

          Best wishes!
          Kat

      • Hi Kat, it’s Janet from the UK with my update. Went to hospital last Wednesday with my very swollen foot, which I didn’t think about really, just thought it was part of the healing process doh!! I have been able to hobble about without any crutches, looking like a “pregnant duck”, but managing it, which is why I thought the foot was swollen because of the weight I was putting on it. Plus I had family saying wasn’t I “putting weight on it yet” and “shouldn’t I be trying to walk”!!!!! I think that did more harm than good in the long run. Had another X-Ray, then in to see the Consultant. HE WAS NOT HAPPY! Very swollen, warm/hot to the touch, so prescribed double dose of antibioctics & had to have a blood test. Got to go back this Wednesday after a week’s worth of antibioctics to see how I am getting on, they are working at the moment as the swelling is gradually going down. I have physio on Thursday too, I have had to wait five weeks for that! I keep “twiddling” my foot about and doing some exercises people have told me to do. I WILL GET THERE, I WILL! Took the twin grand-daughters to Blackpool yesterday so hubby took me a walk up the prom! Will update you further. All the best Janet X

        • Janet –

          Thanks for the update!

          Ouch — the doctor must think something is infected. You are definitely determined to get back to normal if you were walking on that swollen leg – it must have hurt!

          I guess the moral of the story is that if swelling isn’t getting better with icing/etc, then it might be time for a doctor visit just in case something else is causing the swelling.

          There’s still plenty of time before your May trip to get past this — good luck with physio and your doctor’s visit next week. Hopefully by then there will be big improvements!!!

          Thinking of you,
          Kat

          • Thursday 26/02/2015. Hi Kit, Janet from the UK, quick update. Hospital yesterday, no infection and next appointment is in six weeks, hopefully I will be able to give my crutches back then. First Physio session today, just showed me some more exercises to do and back in two weeks. When I mentioned to him the swelling he read from his letter from the hospital I was (or should have been) on half weight loadbearing, obviously I missed that and was trying to walk fully on it. It’s getting easier and easier so hopefully I will be able to finally walk and wish you well and leave you in peace lol!! Thanks again. Janet X

          • Hi Kat, I was S..O getting there! Got signed off from the hospital on 8th April, even surrendered my crutches! (was asked did I want to keep them as a souvenir – wish I had now). Week before last I got up and had a jive at our local club, then fell on the way home on my new fold-up walking stick! Was OK, but in the morning I COULD NOT MOVE! I don’t know if it was dancing on my toes or the fall, It was nearly a visit to Accident & Emergency but by Monday I could move it a little. It’s the toe area & top of the foot that’s sore, I can move and wiggle everything so don’t think anything is broken, probably sprained & bruised, feel daft having to admit I fell AGAIN. I feel as if I have gone straight back to the beginning and undone all the hard work. I’m at Physio on Wednesday and will have to own up to what I have done, hopefully it won’t be too long before I am right again. Was pleased to read another comment on here being ten months, I am four months so don’t feel too bad myself, it’s other people who think I should be skipping down the road now!!! Janet U.K.

        • Janet –

          Ugh, your April update sounds painful! Hopefully you just overused your foot with all that dancing and it’ll take a few days of rest to get back to where you were. Rest and ice and see what the therapist says. I bet you’ll be back in shape soon.

          That must have been a heck of a night!

          Kat

  34. Hi…so glad I found your blog,I have re-read it so many times!! I broke my ankle in 3 places on 5th Sept. I was walking with a friend and our dogs in the New Forest, the 2 dogs ran into the side of my right leg, and knocked me over sideways, such a simple stupid thing to happen. It wasn’t really that painful…..I just could’nt stand!! We had to get an ambulance onto the forest, and off I went to hospital, where xrays showed the damage! I was supposed to have an operation to pin my ankle, but when the temporary caste was removed, I had developed 2 huge fracture blisters….. Something I had never heard of! After a few days, it was decided to fix an external fixater to my leg, to hold the bones together from the outside. This was awful, but not too painful, I had it on for 3 months, then on 12th Dec. had a small operation to remove it. It was wonderful to get rid of the thing….stupidly I thought I would just walk again….wrong!! First of all it was so painful to bear any weight on my bad ankle, and going up or down a step was impossible, but exactly one month after the fixater was removed, I took my first steps without my crutches!! Wonderful!! That was 2 weeks ago. I am now walking fine, with a limp, without crutches all the time. I can go up and down stairs, one foot in front of the other without crutches with no difficulty, and now go up and down stairs for this and that all the time I was told that once you take those first steps, as long as you are determined, things move very quickly. My foot and ankle are still very swollen, but I know that will go down eventually. So all of you who are struggling and think that you will never get back to normal…..you will!!!!

    • Lesley-

      Thank you so much for writing! What is it with dogs and forest and broken ankles? Those things seem to go together! Anyway, I’m sorry to hear you had a tough time with the blisters and had to have an external fixater. No one prepares us for the removal of all those devices — walking simply doesn’t happen right away — but I’m thrilled for you that you are now walking without your crutches and can navigate stairs. Thanks again for sharing, and enjoy the freedom of being able to get around on your own feet!!!!

      Kat

  35. Many thanks for your reply Kat. Here is a message for everyone who has broken their ankle. However low you feel, please keep positive. You WILL walk ok again, and once you take those first tentative steps, you will be delighted at how quickly things improve!! It will be painful, but you must work through it, every day will be easier and less painful….I now, have no pain at all, my ankle aches sometimes, it is still swollen and I am limping a bit ( that is also improving) but I feel I am nearly there. Just need to drive and walk my dog again!! This will be a joy for my husband who has been such a support. Well good luck to you all from the UK…. you WILL get your lives back!!! xx

  36. I broke my ankle in two places on 19th October 2013 and this blog was my bible at the time, I checked in with others and Facebook pages etc but the support I got here was the best…….the information on the blog was clear and concise and the comments from all so supportive and calm. It’s lovely to see others are still getting the support I got here, well done Kat I’m sure you didn’t expect so many to drop by, I was self employed then so financially it was a difficult time as well…………you do get better and I’ve made a 99.9% recovery, just the odd twinge…….I’m now in permanent employment which is better for me, best of luck everyone, you will recover, xxx

    • Sheila —

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I am so happy that you are back to normal and have permanent employment — another example that a broken ankle isn’t the end to life as we know it — just a temporary setback.

      My best to you!
      Kat

  37. Thank you for your blog. It has been an encouragement and given me some light through this trial. I slipped on the ice Feb 9 on my way to physical therapy for bilateral trochanteric bursitis and broke my right ankle (tibia). I did the crawl back into the house thing also. I’m 52 and teach high school English. I had my cast put on Feb. 16. I’m lying in bed commenting at 1 AM because I cannot sleep. My cast seems to be loose (swelling has gone down), and whenever I move my leg, it feels like my ankle rolls. Unlike you, my Dr. doesn’t see me again until March 30. I fell three tumes on crutches within the first week. They are torture. I returned to teaching my classes Feb. 12. My students tolerate my teaching from my desk. Anyway, your story gives me hope as I’m discouraged right now. I do have a husband and son to help and a wonderful church family to support me on this journey. If I could only get some sleep . . . –sleepless in Toledo, OH

    • Janice,

      I’m sorry to hear you are not sleeping well. With a good night’s sleep, everything is easier… without one, argh!!! I totally agree; the crutches are awful and even with help of family members, it can be so frustrating that we’re so dependent. As for waiting another 5 weeks to see the doctor, perhaps you can call him and at least let him know your ankle is moving within the cast. Maybe you need a new one!

      Hang in there! It will get better.

      Kat

    • Hi Janice,

      I found a walker much easier to use & much safer. Of course, I had to get past the “old lady” image. Also, a knee scooter was great & my kids thought it was cool. Good luck to you on this journey.

      Vickie

  38. Kat,
    Thank you for this blog. I didn’t break my ankle, I broke the 5th metatarsal of my right foot, but after reading your posts it seems the experience is very similar. Because my break is very close to the joint the doctor has me on total NWB. So I’m using crutches and my neighbor let me borrow his knee scooter- which is great when I want to carry a cup of coffee, etc. I’m in week 3 of and am in a boot which I’m supposed to have always except for bathing. Thank god we never got around to remodeling our bathroom – we still have a tub I can use. Today I was using crutches to go in and out of the bathroom (too small for scooter) and our puppy got under my feet knocking me off balance. For a split second I came down on the injured foot, when I lurched backwards to lift it back up I ended up on my butt on the floor, crutches everywhere. Sigh. Interestingly my foot didn’t hurt at all at first. But after an hour or so it started to ache. I’ve taken the boot off several times today to look at it and it hasn’t changed, no swelling or color change. Of course it is Friday evening so I figure if it still hurts over the weekend I’ll call the doctor on Monday. But I’m hoping it’s ok since I was wearing the boot.

    • Tracy-

      It does sound similar! You might have hurt the foot a little from the dog experience, but it’ll probably feel okay after a few days of rest. I bet most of us fell at least once onto the bad foot and were still okay.

      It sounds as though you are coping well!

      Best wishes with your healing,
      Kat

  39. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I broke my right ankle in 3 places January 22nd while in Cancun on business. It’s now been 12 weeks; the first 6 in a cast, the next 6 in a removable boot. I’ve been able to do heel-only weight-bearing in the boot.

    I agree that with planning, travel is possible. 4 days after my cast was taken off, I had to travel to a conference in Orlando and speak in 5 sessions. The conference coordinators were terrific and it all went off without a hitch – but with: wheel chair at the airport, mobility scooter on site at the conference, chair lift to get to the stage, etc. It just takes planning.

    I’m 60, not as fit as you and every break is different. At 6 weeks, the metatarsal break was still separated, hence the 6 weeks in the boot. I’m trying not to be upset that at 12 weeks you were driving!

    This week I’ve given up using the wheelchair and just use a walker or cane. I have an appointment in week 12 and am hoping I go to full weight-bearing. I have to go out of town at week 13 and I’m hoping it will be in a sneaker. Wish me luck 🙂

    • Sheila –

      Wow, you are my hero! To be at a seminar giving talks just 4 days after you had the cast off, is quite a feat! I hope you are able to do a sneaker at your week 13 trip; Best wishes, and TONS of luck!

      Kat

      • Hi Kat,I am now 10 months post-break and can do pretty much everything I did pre-break! A couple of months ago I climbed a volcano in Bali to watch the sunrise and have returned to the gym, sailing and stand-up paddle boarding. Recently I saw some new equipment in a pharmacy supply shop – mobility scooters and knee scooters – which weren’t there last year! (I am in Thailand.) I would totally recommend having something like this and I wish they had been there when I had my injury! It would have made my life so much more comfortable! I would like to ask if anyone else still has the sensation that their ankle doesn’t feel exactly normal and maybe the range of-motion – particularly upward flex – is not quite back to 100%? I have also had 2 different medical opinions about removing the screws and plate – one doctor said only if they give me trouble, and the other said after about 2 years.
        All-in-all though I am doing well and so relieved that I can walk normally again, with no limp. Your blog was so supportive and I send my best wishes to everyone going through the breaking/healing process. It is very frustrating but concentrate on positive thoughts, take care on the crutches and do your physio!
        best regards
        Karyn Walker

        Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2015 01:27:56 +0000
        To: karyn045@hotmail.com

      • Kat,

        Thanks for the good karma.

        6 week in a cast, 6 weeks in a boot and now the next 4 weeks in an ankle brace. I’ll take it!

        The 3 breaks in the ankle have healed nicely and I got in my first physical therapy session today. Pretty sore but it feels good to be using muscles that haven’t been used in months.

        Today I got back my right to drive, saw my 2nd floor kitchen for the first time since January 18th and can wear 2 sneakers again.

        Sheila

        • Sheila-

          You can read your happiness in your comment – Getting to drive, wearing TWO sneakers, walking in your kitchen — happy happy day!

          Eventually this entire experience will be just a memory.

          Best wishes for your continued recuperation!

          Kat

          • Kat,

            An update for you and all those wondering how long full recovery takes. I’m now 6 months post-injury. I did my first plane trip without a wheel chair this week – Tokyo to LAX. That meant about 1,000 steps at each airport. Slow, but I did it.

            I would say I am about 80% recovered. Can’t walk more than .5 mile at a time without the beginning of pain. Ankle is still swollen and foot swells under the toes when I walk more than 500 steps at a time. I’ve had 14 physical therapy sessions and will decide when I get back home at the end of the week whether to have a few more.

            Bottom line, it no longer keeps me from getting around, working and traveling but I can’t walk normally yet. 3 more months? 6 more? Not sure. But where I am now is a whole lot better than I was 6 months ago.

            Thanks for keeping the tread alive Kat!

            Sheila

        • Sheila-

          I just read your six month update. I’m so glad to hear your ankle is not getting in your way of life – it does take some people longer to fully heal but you are definitely on your way! Driving, flying, being able to travel – are such wonderful improvements!!!

          Thanks for writing,
          Kat

  40. Really glad I found this blog! I slipped on ice, and broke 3 bones in my left ankle on Feb 22. I had surgery, and have been in a splint (not cast) for 8 weeks now. Going to the doctor tomorrow and will hopefully move to the boot and start physical therapy. The swelling is still driving me crazy…and the fact that my ankle is so much bigger than my other one, it looks weird. I hope that changes, but my doctor told me he wasn’t sure! ugh. Everything is harder…nothing is easy anymore…I’m over this.
    I did get the knee scooter which has been a lifesaver at home with 2 small kids. I know there is a light at the end of this crappy tunnel, but I’m not seeing it yet.
    Caroline

    • Caroline –

      There is light at the end of the crappy tunnel!

      Yes, the swelling stinks – it did seem to take a long time for that to go away. I remember icing my ankle many times a day – I bought one of those wrap around blue things that can get velcroed around the ankle so I didn’t have to stay in one spot. I don’t remember how long it took but I do remember the first time I was able to put one pair of my boots on – I was thrilled!

      Hang in there!

      Kat

  41. Thanks Kat! I actually went to the Dr. today and he told me I could lose the splint, and start walking with my crutches, and start PT! Very stiff, and atrophy on my calf, but I’m ready!! He did tell me it could be months until I lose the crutches 😦

  42. A little over 6 weeks ago, I slipped going down my stairs at home and rolled my right ankle. Thought it was a sprain so didn’t go to urgent care until 2 days after my fall. The xray confirmed I had a mildly displaced distal fibula fracture. They put a pretty hot pink cast on me that went up to my knees, gave me a pair of crutches and referred me to an orthopedist.

    Got into the orthopedist the next morning and they cut the cast off and put a walking boot on but was told to not put any weight on the boot and come back in 2 weeks. Two weeks later the xray showed the fracture was healing well so they let me start walking on the boot and to come back in 4 weeks. The doctor also let me take the boot off to drive to the train station so I could go back to work. I only drove to get to work because it was such a hassle taking off and putting on the boot. At first it was sore and I probably overdid it but after a while I was getting around pretty good in the walking boot. It felt good to not rely on family for everything, but my husband would get mad because he felt I was doing too much.

    Four weeks later, the xray showed improvement but still not fully healed. My doctor said I can get rid of the walking boot and wear a brace for the next 4 weeks, but to be very, very careful to not walk on any uneven surfaces. I was really upset and let down with this news. I was hoping I could get back to my normal life, enjoy the Summer weather and work on getting back to running. I really miss running and working out so this was not what wanted to hear right now. After feeling sorry for myself and a good cry on the way home I pulled myself together and looked at the bright side.

    Being able to wear gym shoes and drive without having to take off and put on the walking boot was heaven. It is a little stiff and sore but it feels good knowing my calve muscles are coming back and I hope in 4 weeks I will be rid of the brace.

    Hopefully, I will be able to run again before the cold weather comes back.

    • HI Becky-

      It is so disappointing when we’re expecting one thing and we’re told something else! It actually sounds as though you’re doing well and I bet once you can do full weight, you will be way ahead of those who didn’t have the boot. Your calf muscles are already coming back, which is a great sign.

      I bet when you are able to run again, it will be one of your best days ever!!.

      Feeling sorry for yourself from time to time is totally fine — you have a lot to deal with, but luckily, it’s temporary.

      Thinking of you,
      Kat

  43. Great blog site! Thank you.
    I rolled my (right) ankle memorial weekend… Shopping for flowers (I need a better story)… I had a plate and about a billion screws put in. Per the doctor, i “shattered” my ankle.
    I will be non weight bearing eight weeks.
    I spent so many hours online trying to determine if the cast is too loose, too tight trying to determine if the aches, pains, tingling, zings, “sweating… Or is it bleeding…no, it’s sweating” were all normal questions and fears…. I’m only two weeks post op so it’s all new, and I don’t have advice to look back on, yet.
    That said, I work in healthcare and immediately went into action. Living at the top of 16 stairs and fracturing my right (driving) ankle.. And being NWB… I am considered home bound and thus qualify for home health services. PT came in and taught me exercises to strengthen my good leg and ankle and some exercises to help maintain some quad strength on the good leg. We also worked on mobility options. OT worked with me on upper body strength and activities of daily living. Home health aide has been helping me with hygeine until I am
    Independent. I now have a bath bench, knee scooter (bless that thing!!!), walker, raised commode for bathroom safety. I also have a gait belt for stair safety/support.
    I would add home health to your advice, for sure – why muddle through unsafely if professionals can teach you to manage in your “cage” safely and help you get the equipment you need to manage safely

    • Mell-

      Thanks for writing! It sounds as though you really did a number on your ankle (those flowers are so heavy!). If someone can get home services, I totally agree that sounds like the way to go. My mother-in-law broke her ankle also and the immediate therapy and in-home services were a huge help. It truly is important to work on the good leg as well because it does need to be a lot stronger than normal.

      Best wishes with your healing! You have a great attitude.

      Kat

      • Hi Kat, it’s Janet from the UK with the final comments on my broken (now mended!) ankle. I had five sessions of Physiotherapy at my local hospital doing all sorts of weird & wonderful exercises, he then put me forward for a six – one hour sessions – of Lower Limb Recuperation, which was in a fact gym sessions but concentrating on my needs. I had my week in Majorca and have my last LLR session next Tuesday. My broken bones are healed wonderfully, my problems seem to be trying to bend my toes! I still limp and have a very “thick” ankle area on the opposite side of the break, but I WILL GET THERE! I’ll keep exercising my toes like I am being taught and I will get back to normal. It’s six months now and different people have told me it can take one/two years to get completely back to normal and them they say they still have twinges and arthritis.

        Many thanks for your blog, it has been very interesting reading peoples stories and I ALWAYS make sure now that my handbag goes in the back of the car & not in the car-well so I don’t go through all that again!!!!

        Janet Marsh

        • Janet-

          Thank you for your update. I am so happy to hear Majorca worked out well for you and you are healing wonderfully. Keep working those toes! Maybe buy yourself a toe ring so you can keep looking at it and moving them a bazillion times a day.

          Best wishes,
          Kat

      • Kat, thank you for keeping this site alive….. This broken ankle thing is scary and stressful if you’ve never had an injury before! The internet is full of horror stories and failed hardware. I love that I found a site that talks about the positive side of recovery…..or at least offers it!

        Update: I am now 10 weeks post op… I was released about a week ago to start weight bearing. I kept wishing I would be the exception and be on two feet in three days…:-) I’m about 80% weight bearing!

        It’s not been significantly painful, except the top of the foot as you described as your experience, and the ankle bone (where 4 of my 11 screws reside)…. But nothing feels wonky or unstable…and most pain is superficial…cast rubbing. So I am pushing through! I’m so thrilled at the balance I have on two feet…. And that I can actually bend down and pick things up.

        Your site has been so great to read and know that there is life after a broken ankle. Additionally, it’s so great to read posts from people who really understand what it’s like to hobble on one foot. You truly have no idea until you live it.

        My advice to readers, on this side of things… Do exercises while you are NWB…heel toe raises on the good foot, arm strengthening, stretch the wrist (dear god the wrists)… Knee lifts.,,,,..you will need that strength later!….

        • Mell-
          Thank YOU! You are so right that doing exercises even when you can’t put weight on your foot is a great idea – to strengthen all your other muscles so you will be ready. It’s great to hear that you aren’t experiencing a lot of pain and nothing feels “wonky” (love that word.).
          Best wishes as you continue to strengthen!
          Kat

      • Hi I wanted to loop back. I feel like i spent a lot of time during recovery (lots of time on my hands) but as a patient i really wanted to see more of this side of recovery. So, i thought i would follow up with you and also tell you the outcome on my end.

        Next week I will be six months post op and about 3.5 months weight bearing. Its so great to finally be on this side of recovery. I had a pretty bad break, but I am plugging along. I found, even a month ago, i had to really concentrate on NOT limping. But i could walk without a limp. I find now, at nearly six months, i really dont think about it, I just dont limp. (I do if i have been sitting a while or the first few steps in the morning).

        My ankle rarely has that sensation of having a metal cuff on it, which is so great.. having that ankle freedom.

        I only get pain when I work it hard in PT, and honestly its not really pain as much as muscle fatigue. I run around and drive and do all kinds of stuff, but realized a few weeks ago that the gym or walking or stretches is an essential part of getting past that muscle fatigue pain.. I can see the potential for someone getting stuck at a 2 hour activity limit or pain limit (or whatever their limit is). You have emphasized it, and its really true, you have to exercise… you have to walk, do your stretches etc.

        I find the easiest way to do my stretches and exercises is to just make a rule that every time i walk past my front door, i stop and do a 30 second stretch. When I am washing dishes, brushing my teeth, etc.. I stand on one foot and balance or go up and down on my tippy toes to strengthen that (I lost so much).

        At any rate, i could go on and on, but i just want to share that I finally see what you have said about it. I am starting to think less and less about my ankle as days go by, I dont panic if i trip over something, or walk on wet pavement. I am cautious but I trust my ability and the PT that i have done…… (and PT is GENIUS!! I have had so many moments out in the world where i have thought “I trained for this!!”)

        I do have my plate in (and 11 screws) and i feel it sometimes, if i wear boots it rubs a little, but no major issues and I doubt i will need it removed.

        I hardly swell. The ankle is a little larger, but it is no longer a cankle. Its almost sexy again!!

        Thank you again for this great site, what encouragement and support you and your readers have provided. I can see where they say it can take a year to get back to or up to your new normal, but I am loving life at 6 months! I have a ways to go, but its sure great to be where I am.
        …and two feet rock!!!…..

        Have a great holiday

        Mell

        • Mell-

          Thank you so much for providing an update!

          Six months afterwards, and you don’t even think about your ankle! You are doing really well, and I’m so happy for you.

          Doing all the exercises, and stretching, and working it, is often what it takes to return to “normal”.

          Thank you again for stopping by, and I hope you have a wonderful holiday also! We have reason to be thankful.

          🙂

          Xxxxxx

  44. Thank you so much, for all the information. My doctors didn’t give me half the insight you have.
    I broke my ankle on Memorial Day weekend.
    I was on vacation in up state NY and walking in the dark without a flashlight and rolled my ankle. I thought it was just a sprain so of course I walked on it for 5 more days until I came home and a friend of mine suggested I go to the doctor since it was still swollen and turning purple.
    I went and told him “it isn’t broken I didn’t hit anything. He said let’s just be sure and get it x- rayed. Mean while here i am driving a stick shift over to get it x – rayed. They give me a CD and tell me to go back to doctor. Get there and they say they are making appointment with orthopedics. Yes It is Broken.
    I get a purple non walking cast for 2 weeks. Use crutches and knee scooter to get around and plastic sleeve from Medical supply place for taking showers.
    Standing in shower on 1 leg difficult but got through it.
    Time to get x-rays 2 weeks later. Doing well so get “walking cast” and Cast Shoe on a Friday. Don’t make appointments for Friday if something goes wrong who are you going to call?They are closed for the weekend.
    Well in my opinion something wasn’t right. My toes were tingling. Called Orthopedics and went back same day. They cut each side of cast and put in spacers. Ok I thought then through weekend still had tingling in toes. Monday called & made appointment. They took that cast off and Senior Cast Tech put on new one. So far so good with this one. Did what you said and walked with crutches for a day.
    Thought I am ok so went without them for next day. Mistake. could feel swelling. As Ron the Sr cast guy said – remember you walked on it for 5 days? Just because you think it is ok it may not be. Watch and feel what your body is telling you”. Ok, so elevated it and it was a small set back but now I know.
    I find it difficult to get cold through cast. I put a cool pack on my toes but just doesn’t seem to cool my ankle.
    1 thing i did do that helped when walking in cast shoe was to put elastic medical tape around bottom part of cast so the cast shoe would not slip as I put pressure on it when I moved laterally.
    It is a waiting game until Mid July when they x- ray it.
    Thanks again,
    UG

    • Glenn-

      Wow, what an adventure! I hope when you go in Mid-July you will be dramatically better – it sounds as though you are dealing with everything with good spirits.

      Best wishes!
      Kat

  45. Thank you Cat for sharing your story and for keeping the blog alive to help all of us who follow in your urrm footsteps. I broke my tib and fib mid june, slipped on stones while walking the dog. I have progressed from a temporary cast to an external fixator and now to internal screws and plates with a fiberglass cast which comes off in two weeks when i hopefully move to partial weight bearing in a boot. I havent been able to get on with crutches. I use a frame and a wheelchair and am sleeping downstairs. I’m extremely thankful to have family around most of the time and friends who know how to make themselves at home. Thank you for the virtual hugs and reassurance that its ok to feel a little sorry for myself.

    Jenny. Xxx

    • Jenny-

      Here are more ((hugs))…. What is it with us and dogs and broken ankles?

      I’m glad you might be able to do partial weight in a few weeks – that’s really the start to walking independently again. It’s also great you have family and friends to help you; that makes all the difference.

      Wishing you a speedy road to recovery!!!
      Kat

  46. Okay for one I’m so glad I found this blog and was able to read it. It made me feel a little better. 2 months ago I fell down ONE stair and broke the navicular bone in my right foot in 2 places . Got put on no weight bearing for the next month while trying to see if it would heal by itself or if surgery would be required. Luckily for me surgery was not needed but in the process of the month I had sprained my left ankle as well. So not only was I sentenced to another month of non weight bearing on my right foot but since I hurt the other one I spent the next 6 weeks in a wheelchair. Today I got my cast off and was allowed to put weight on it but only while wearing a boot. I can take it off while sitting but that’s it. I suffered from depression a lot durning all this because I’m 25 and work 2 jobs and had to quit everything and stay on a couch. While trying to plan my wedding which is 2 months away from today. Hopefully I can walk down the isle without help. But walking today has brought me joy but some pain as well. No pain where I broke it but I get the little jolts in my heel when I get up to start walking and I also get the stiffness. I’m going to start with some excersises on it tomorrow but I’m a little scared I have to admit. I’m afraid I’ll do something wrong and damage it , or put to much weight on it and cause more problems. I’ve never lived scared , but will all this that’s happened I’ve gotten used to constantly being scared and constantly worrying. Reading this blog showed me that things won’t miraculously get better and thanks okay. It takes time. But I wanted to thank for just proving that it’s hard , it sucks, but it ends.

    • Candice-

      Thanks for sharing. Dealing with two feet with problems, and losing your jobs – it is no wonder you have been feeling blue. I would have been also.

      The fact that you went from a wheel chair to standing up is a huge improvement. The little jolts in your heel and the stiffness will eventually go away especially when you first start moving are totally normal. Soon those will be a memory.

      I worried for a long time about re-injuring my ankle. I was very careful, and even now, especially when I walk my dog at night, I keep a careful eye on how I’m walking because I don’t want to get injured again either. But eventually we have to trust that it healed properly and just “do it!”

      Best wishes with your healing, and I also have to say – your wedding with be fabulous and fun. Enjoy it!!!!

      Kat

  47. Oh how all of this sounds like me. On Mother’s Day Weekend here in Myrtle Beach, we had a small tropical storm come ashore on Saturday. In the middle of dinner, I decided I needed to bring in some small decorations from the deck….almost finished picking them up when BOOM…down I went. A board on the deck broke and my right leg went crashing down about 2 feet to the ground….my left leg went out behind me at a crazy angle. Now the rain has started and the wind is blowing and I am outside alone. I managed to drag my right leg out of the hole but my left ankle was in severe pain. I couldn’t get up…so I managed to drag myself to the front part of the deck and my husband finally came out to see about me. He could not get me up since I am a rather large 65 year old lady. So we had to call the ambulance….oh oh oh….and the guy said ma’am I haven’t touched it yet. In the emergency room…all the crazies were out, we had the tropical storm and it was Mother’s day weekend and Myrtle Beach biker weekend. Finally x-ray and of course it was broken. Put in a splint…here are some crutches…a prescription for pain meds…and released…3 a.m. with the blowing rain from the storm. They took me out to the car and said “get in” Were the crazy? But we did manage to get me in, get to an all night drug store and finally home by 5:30 a.m. (still blowing rain) Now we had to get me in the house….5 steps up OH HELL NO! So my husband backed up in the yard to a side entrance where I only had to hop 3 steps. He rolled the desk chair over and I sat down….rolled me to the door, where I managed to stand up inside…hop a couple of steps and sit back down onto the desk chair. We rolled in the bedroom where I collapsed on the bed, clothes and all and slept a drugged sleep. I had surgery…..cast…now I am in the boot walking. I go on Thursday AUGUST 11 to see if we can take it off and try to learn to walk with out it. I am a teacher and retired at the end of this past school year. I missed the last 4 weeks of school and all the fun. It has made my recovery easier knowing I did not have to go to work…but it has been soooo boring. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who has learned to grocery shop, do laundry, cook and help me shower. I stood in the shower by myself for the first time this week…only someone who has been though this knows how wonderful that was. Blogs and Facebook have saved my sanity…here is hoping for a better 2015 Fall Season.

    • Connie-

      Oh my, what a story! I laughed at the “Were they crazy” part! It’s true – no one knows how hard it is until you do it with no instruction. The person at the hospital who handed me the crutches did give some instructions but I didn’t make it out of the hospital before I crashed to the floor. It definitely takes lots of practice (which by now you should be a pro at getting around!)

      Taking a shower on two feet is simply fabulous. I still appreciate every time I am able to do so. 🙂

      Thanks for writing and best wishes for your continued healing.

      Kat

      • Well I got the boot off on August 11, 2015. I slowly began to “walk” with shoes on…it hurt!!! Warm water soaks helped. I was so happy I could finally get a pedicure…put on pants instead of a dress….stand in the shower…and many many other things. I am still limping and the top of my foot still hurts and swells. Not the part that I broke and had my surgery, the top of my foot. I can now drive my car and go to the grocery store alone! Praise God for seeing me through this. Last doctor visit in 2 weeks.

        • Connie –

          Yes! You are driving and wearing pants and showering. WHOO HOO!

          It does sound as though the healing process is underway. I know it hurts still, and you are still swollen, but you are definitely already a million times better and improvements should continue!

          Keep working on healing – every day will be a little better..

          Best wishes,
          Kat

        • Hi Connie, it was interesting to read that it’s the top of your foot that is still sore. I broke my ankle in two places last December, I had to have a metal plate & seven screws inserted. I have done very well, cast off after six weeks, no boot, just an elasticated bandage. Foot was still very swollen so I used one of them “foamy Velcro sandals” you wear on holiday. I had six weeks of physio & six weeks of Lower Limb Rehabilitation classes. I had to sleep on the settee for six weeks, I couldn’t get upstairs (luckily we have a downstairs loo), I couldn’t shower, it was all over washes & my daughter & daughter-in-law washed my hair for me. When the cast came off, it was wonderful! I crawled upstairs and had a bath, it was wonderful. I didn’t want to chance climbing into the shower I was still “none load-bearing” as we have the shower over the bath. I put a chair on the side of the bath & swung my legs over to get in, getting out was abit more difficult but the relief was great, also I was able to get into my bed to sleep! I am coming up to nine months (9th Sept) since I broke it, my broken ankle is absolutely fine, like you, it’s the top of my foot I have problems with (still), I’ve been told it can take a couple of years (!!!!!) or maybe never (!!!!!!!!!), I feel like I need to “crack” my foot, but as someone pointed out I’d already “cracked” my foot. Good luck, I await to read more of your updates.

          Janet – UK.

  48. Thank you for sharing, everyone.
    I am exactly 11 weeks after breaking the tip off my fibula, which is close enough to the ankle to make no difference. As an independant self employed mother of three children and an absolute control freak, I can honestly say this has been the most difficult time of my life and if anyone else says “it’s good for you to slow down and let your family step up” I think I will scream at them. But the good news is that after 10 weeks the piece had joined itself sufficiently that I could start walking without the boot and build myself up to driving again. Today (a Saturday) I was able to take a long shower on two legs and even managed to shave them for the first time in three months. Never take these small things for granted!! I too still have a swollen ankle but have never been advised to ice it. Starting physio next week, need to lose these extra six kilos I put in while being inactive. To those reading in the future, you will heal, but we all do it at a different pace. Thank God for the Internet and awesome bloggers!

  49. I broke my fibula on February 28 2015 . The cast was removed after approximately 12 weeks. I would like to warn everyone to be very careful after the cast comes off , due to the weakness of the tendons and muscles, I have fallen five times in the past three months ! Has anyone else experienced this problem?

    • My therapist had told me that it could be a long time before the bottom of my foot could feel the ground properly – I remember he was telling me to be careful while hiking. So your foot is probably just not feeling properly and it’s not quite back to normal. Patience is probably all it will take!!!

  50. Thank you for the advice and support on your site. I will try the patience bit, although it is definitely not one of my strong points !!

  51. I broke my left ankle on July 25, 2015. I was on vacation in Utah. I jumped from a small bridge into a river that I thought was much much deeper than it was. My left ankle rolled and my entire body weight came down on it. I heard and felt the snap! The most challenging part of this entire ordeal is the fact that I’m married with four kids. Ages 9, 6, 4, and now 7 months. I’m a stay at home mom and absolutely love what I do. I love being the one to take care of all 5 of them. My life as I knew it literally changed the second I broke my ankle. What you said about life coming to a halt in an instant is so true. I’ve been non-weight bearing for 7 weeks now. 6 weeks ago I had surgery to set my bone with a plate and 5 screws. I love to run. I’m so nervous I’ll feel the screws and won’t be able to run long distances anymore. I’ve gone through some sadness, anger, regret, and embarrassment. I’ve beat myself up about this because I chose to jump from the bridge. I have four little kids! What was I thinking? My husband has been so sweet and has defended my choice every step of the way. He says, It wasn’t a high bridge and people jump from it daily. I just happened to land in the shallow part. Lesson learned: Always check the depth before jumping. Too bad I had to learn this at age 36 rather than age 18 when I didn’t have 5 people who depend on me. Thank you for sharing your story. It has helped me tremendously. Next week I hope to begin to apply pressure! Fingers crossed.

  52. so enjoyed your blog an comments – am recouping from rolling right ankle and breaking both bones in right ankle. So wish I had a support group the first month after surgery – depression – not being able to do all for myself as is usual do / yard work / laundry/housework/taking care of hubby/dog all down the tubes – the feeling of helplessness is overpowering. We had bars installed in all bathrooms – we live in a tri-level – still crawling up doesn’t stairs – yuk! The worst was crutches – very few women my Age have upper body strength! When I fell – I hit hard on my left side – knee and elbow so although my right ankle was broken and put together w plate and screws my left side so sore could not manage well. Other thing to be very careful with – since my left hip was now carrying the majority of my weight on crutches – I found I damaged some support tissue of my left hip – so b careful! Am on third cast week seven and can’t wait to get this dam cast off – whole experience very humbling! Prayers for healing process to begin – by the way I have decided the ugly blue swilled thing called my foot must belong to someone else – Frankenstein? Lol!

    • Dear Retiree14,

      Haha, I laughed at your last sentence! Unfortunately, I think that blue swilled thing is yours! Celebrate it! Soon it will be carrying you all over the place.

      Yes, I know what you mean about the depression and helplessness and lack of upper body strength. The entire experience is, as you say, very humbling. It made me more compassionate for people who are having any kind of issues getting around or are stuck in the house with any illness. Independent people really don’t like relying on others…..

      My good thoughts are coming your way as you move through the healing process that is actually already in progress. When the blue foot returns to normal, it will be just a memory.

      Kat

  53. It’s 3 1/2 months since broken ankle. Just finished last PT after 21 visits. Doing the heel raise on balls of feet and cannot balance on one foot yet. I feel like I’m at 80% and I am so thankful. However I still get discouraged and frustrated. I was wondering if this is normal

  54. Linda-

    Hello, and yes! Totally normal, both the 80% and the frustration. Keep doing the exercises regularly, even now that PT is done. Every time you can sneak in some stretching and movement exercises, just do them. See how you are doing in a few weeks – I bet 90%!!!

    Kat

  55. I jumped off a curb landed on my left foot and my ankle suddenly twisted inwards 90 degrees. I was able to limp back to the house where i visiting a friend in lima peru. We took the bus to a local private hospital. They took an xray and found the bottom part of the fibula broken. The doctor stated the ankle was displaced and i would need surgery and two screws. This was in a lower middle class neighborhood. My friend’s sister immediately recommended we go to a better hospital. Doctor took better xrays; he actually stayed in the room with the tech. He determined that the fib was perfectly aligned and did not require surgery. They put a plaster splint on and wanted me to come back in a week. I live in guatemala so i emailed the xrays to my doctor there (I broke two metatarsal bones two years ago). He agreed that surgery was not needed. Three days later i flew home. I didn’t have any crutches so I wheelchaired through the airport. It turns out they have very small wheelchairs on board which I used. The doctor removed the splint and put me in a boot. I went back yesterday and the xrays showed the bone had not moved at all. The doctor recommended I not use the boot at all when just resting or sleeping. I’m still too scared to even consider sleeping without the boot although I have taken it off during the day and I move my toes and ankle up and down but not sideways. Has anyine else had this experience? I just received an Iwalk 2.0 today and while I’m still practicing it does seem like good option. I had a knee scooter with the broken foot and it was great for long distances but nearly useless in a house with stairs. The doctor says I should come back one month from the date of the fracture and should be able to begin PT. Sounds really fast to me as I’m 54 but hopefully he’s right. Anyone else been so lucky?

  56. Marc-

    They seem to be doing things a little differently today than a few years ago. My mother-in-law who is in her 80s was back walking quite soon after the break. I can say it is great you got a second opinion! You would have had totally unneeded surgery.

    Best,
    Kat

    • Great news. I was a bit concerned due to my age. When I broke my foot I had several different doctors’ opnions and I went with the one who recommended surgery. Horrible experience – on follow up visits he would spend less than 2 or 3 minutes in the exam room when I asked a question he had one foot out the door while answering. I should add this was a US doctor in Cincinnati. I can walk and run on the foot but it definitely does not feel normal. Fortunately this time I knew better to seek a second opinion. Is your ankle now back to the same or can you still notice a difference?

    • I finally was able to remove my air boot and start walking (the doctor prescribed no weight bearing but with the boot so I could bathe, etc.). I’ve noticed my foot is now more swollen than ever after walking. Ice does help. How long should I expect the swelling to last?

      • Hi Marc-

        Unfortunately, the swelling seems to take quite a while to go away. I don’t’ know an exact answer to the “how long” does it take question, but all of a sudden I woke up one day, did all my daily stuff, and at the end of the day said, “WOW, where’s the swollen ankle?”

        Just keep exercising, and icing, and putting your foot up, and all of a sudden, you won’t have to anymore.

        🙂

        Kat

  57. Hi I have been reading this to help keep me sane! August 4th I slipped down 3 stairs and broke my ankle pulling it apart and needed surgery and pins to get it sorted. I honestly thought it was a sprain, accepted the break but took need for surgery badly! Had surgery 3 days later and half cast added this then altered a week later to a full hard cast.

    7 weeks later I have had the hard cast removed. It’s hard because I had hoped to go into a book but instead I am still nwb as I need to have pins removed. My consultant feels my age (37) I will be better without as years later they can break. The sadness that I felt the day when I was still nwb but no cast it’s hard as it looks ok but you know you can’t, I agree with everyone go with the Dr they know what they are doing.

    Well good news I now have a date for the 19th October I cannot wait I feel that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I know things will be good. I think you need to take a break almost like the 5 stages of grief as you are grieving for your life. I went through anger and depression but finally you get to understand that it will get better and life will be good. I will be walking the dog soon and driving as well. I have a plan to walk into town and sit outside a nice pub and have a pint in autumn sunshine. I am lucky to have a great partner and family and friends but we all get through it and in the end it’s just another bump in the road.

    So thanks again for your blog and I will be eternally grateful for the nhs in UK as they are great. And think of me on the 19th when these bad boy pins are out

    Take care and good luck

    Vikki

  58. Vikki-

    It is so frustrating to think you’ll be free of the cast/boot/etc and find out you still can’t bear weight. Argh! However, on the good news side, in only 8 more days you will get rid of those pins and hopefully get much better news. And yes, when looking back on this, or looking at how it impacts your entire life, it’s just a small bump that had to get over so you can get on with everything else. But going over that bump can definitely be frustrating and depressing.

    Thanks for writing and I will think of you on the 19th!

    Best wishes,
    Kat

  59. Hi Kat

    Brilliant blog and very interesting hearing how everybody has gone about things and most of all their positive outcomes. I broke my fib and tib and they operated with 10 screws and a plate one one side of the ankle and 2 long screws on the other side, all for slipping on a wooden floor!! One thing I would advise when released from hospital. When going to sleep a quilt felt too heavy on my ankle for the first week or so and the ankle was in a back slab to allow for swelling . I just used the quilt cover and left the ankle uncovered. After a while the weight of the quilt wasn’t a problem but sleep was tough and it took a few weeks to get a decent nights sleep but once that happened things felt like they were clicking into place. I’m 6 weeks this Thursday post op and have my review, I’m in a fibreglass cast currently and like everyone else anxious to get into a boot and start physio. One thing that I have learned from your blog and everyone is to manage expectations but definitely stay positive so if the boot doesn’t happen Thursday it will in 2 weeks time. Humour helps I can’t emphasise that enough for anyone.thats starting to go through the process. Since I’ve been home I developed DVT due to inactivity and to top it off an abcess in my mouth so it all got a bit stressful and working from home but everything can be managed if you keep positive. I think everyone had ups and downs but laughing.everything off and seeing obstacles and turning them into challenges will help, hope everyone on.this journey is well and stay positive

    • John-

      You are so right. A great sense of humor is a MUST. Hopefully this Thursday will end up with great news for you — I’ll be thinking of you!

      Thanks for writing, and keep laughing!

      Kat

      • Hi Kat

        Thanks for the reply…I’m in a boot!! .. Very happy and very nearly got emotional and as we all know ups and downs are part of this journey.

        But just like to say to anyone this is happening to there’s light at the end of the tunnel… Patience is definitely a virtue and carrying on as best as you can will help I feel. However long it takes there will be good news, frame of mind becomes stronger and shere bloody minded determination will do loads. Better than letting it try to take you under on the bad days as there may be a few

        If it all keeps on schedule FWB in two weeks than I think I’m done. As hard as it gets at the beginning do your upmost to stay positive laugh when you can and thank anyone that helps as you’d be surprised that there’s lots of us that this has happened to and complete strangers who have had an ankle or foot surgery will back you all the way and always wish you well

        Thanks Kat and the same to everyone on the blog and hope you injury and progress is smooth and speedy

  60. I came across your blog after googling how long will my ankle be swollen after a fracture….I broke my ankle walking in the woods while camping on August 30, 2015. Reading your blog is like I wrote it myself! I had the cast on the for 5 weeks, then the beautiful bionic boot!

    I am 11 weeks out and still have swelling, but I am getting better everyday. The first time I was told to walk in the boot, it was like I forgot how to walk…and the pins and needles in my heel were horrible.

    I sponged bathed in my kitchen sink for 5 weeks, then when the cast came off, I was using a plastic chair in the shower…How glorious to actually have the water pouring over my body!.

    I loved your description of the feeling of the first night in be without the cast…it was amazing for me as well. I am on my 2nd week without the boot, but from all the hoping around for 5 weeks in a cast, my knees are killing me!

    I still have a limp, and hope that will also come to an end and after reading your blog, I know that it will be a thing of the past soon.

    I have the utmost respect for the handicapped now. I complained about not being able to do anything until I thought to myself, I am lucky that for me its only temporary!

    Thank you for this blog. It took me 52 years to break a bone, I hope it takes 52 more years for the next one.

    I will be out kayaking this Spring.

    Joanne

    • Hi Kat,
      I broke my ankle 18 months ago and am pretty much back to normal. My doctor has said it’s up to me whether I have the hardware removed – I have a couple of big screws and a plate with smaller screws – so I was wondering what the experiences of your blog readers are in relation to this procedure. Has anyone gone ahead and had the metal removed and what are the positives and downsides?
      best regards
      Karyn Walker

      Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2015 19:30:35 +0000
      To: karyn045@hotmail.com

    • Joanne-

      Thank you for writing! I love the thought of you in a kayak in Spring. I go out in my canoe as often as possible.

      I totally agree with having respect for the handicapped now,and I grinned at your description of the beautiful bionic boot. You truly are soooo close to being back to normal, and the swelling and limping and knee problems should slowly disappear. By the way, the one thing that sticks in my head about the limping was the therapist telling me I was walking wrong (Heel to Toe,Honey, Heel to Toe). It’s surprising how easy it is to forget the basics.

      Best wishes!
      Kat

  61. Hi Kat,

    I’ve just found your blog, what a God send, thank you. I broke my ankle in three places, when I fell down three shallow steps on the Bilbao to Portsmouth UK ferry on Friday 23 October 15, it was 26 hours before I could get to hospital because it’s a long trip with only a nurse in board and no facilities for such an injury, then a long drive to our local A&E. I was then in hospital for a week while the swelling went down enough for them to operate, then pinned and plated I could come home three days later, so I’m now 3 weeks plus, and in my fibre glass cast, another three weeks and I will hopefully have the cast off and go into the boot, and be able to start weight bearing. I’ve really struggled with the crutches, but have now hired a kneeler which is excellent, although I think years of yoga has helped with the balance aspect! It was most interesting and useful to have your insights on the physio, and how long it has taken you to recover. I’m lucky, my husband has been looking after me wonderfully, although it was scary at first when I was so shakey.

    Something that might help others has been eating the right food, we juice as a part of our every day diet, using Joe Cross recipes, I asked for some advice on what would help and was pointed here: http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/boost-your-immunity-with-juice/. This was from one of his nutritionists, she also advised, healthy protein, whole grains, nuts and seeds, also Vitamin D. Whole milk, cheese, whole milk yogourt at bed time is rumoured to help too, apparently the calcium works while you sleep.

    Again thanks
    Sue x

    • Sue-

      Thanks so much for sharing your story and your tips! Your “adventure” sounds like a week of your life you are likely to never forget. Your note is very upbeat, which is great, and you’re right – yoga probably has helped you.

      Thanks also for the juicing advice. Eating and drinking properly is really important and I think when those bones are growing back together, calcium HAS to help!

      Best wishes with your recovery,
      Kat

  62. Hi Kat:

    I have learned quite a lot reading through your blogs about broken ankles. I dislocated and broke my left ankle on October 21st after trying to run to catch a traffic light. I tripped and fell on the pavement. I didn’t realize how badly injured my ankle was until I got home. Fortunately, a lady saw me fall and gave me a ride home. I went to the hospital later and the doctors tried to reposition my ankle unsuccessfully so they operated on it the next evening and placed a slab/tensor on it (NWB), I went to the cast clinic at the hospital on November 9th and have a fiberglass cast now. It’s about 4 1/2 weeks post op and have been getting around with a walker as I didn’t feel very stable with crutches. I agree with the majority of commenters that time goes by ever so slowly.

    I’ve been out of work for the last 2 years in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (age 58), due to the oil & gas recession, and now realize that I will be unavailable to work for a while longer. I’ve been lucky to have my husband & son helping me with cooking, etc. my next appointment with the cast clinic is December 7 when I hope to switch to an air boot or similar, and hope to soon be able to start putting weight on it.

    Has anyone here had a left ankle dislocation/break and how soon can one expect to be able to drive? My husband will be going in for abdominal surgery on November 26 and my son doesn’t drive.

    Bev.

    • I’ve noticed quite a few of those that comment mention the difficulty of using crutches. I too despised them. Last year when I broke my foot I used a knee walker (scooter) but found it difficult to use inside and impossible with stairs. This year with my broken ankle I discovered thr Iwalk 2.0 (google it). You place your leg above the knee on it and it gives you the appearance of having an artificial leg. It is not perfect but it was great being able to climb stairs, cook, etc. It costs around $150 and my insurance even paid for it. It is not hard to learn to use but I did find myself stumble once in awhile although I never fell. I wanted to point this out because I had never seen one in public and it truly is infinitely better than crutches.

      I’m four days weight bearing but find the swelling much worse than I had expected.

      • Marc-

        Thanks for the tip about the Iwalk 2.0 – I did just look it up and it looks like a great solution. Getting up and down stairs was very difficult with crutches and it would have been great to have a good solution. Thanks for sharing!

        And yes, the swelling takes a long time to go away. Helping it with loose socks, raising your leg, icing it (or getting those freeze wraps that you can just velcro on) all will help.

        Best,
        Kat

    • Bev-

      First, I hope December 7th is the day you are able to start putting weight on your foot. That’s truly the start to the end.

      Second, I didn’t break my left ankle, but my right and I didn’t drive until about three months post break. If you have an automatic transmission and only need your right foot to drive, I’m thinking you can probably drive as soon as you’re comfortable getting in and out of the car, but I’d definitely hope someone who had a left ankle break would chime in.

      Best wishes with your recovery, and thank goodness for your husband and son! 🙂
      Kat

      • My December 7th appointment was rescheduled to the 10th. The doctor said to start walking on it and start physio therapy. I didn’t need a boot but could use one if I felt that I needed one, but no more than two weeks. I decided to go without it due to finances. I have been trying to move it around and standing on it when I am up and around. I will try to move it through the pins & needles, and try to arrange pt as soon as possible. I am so looking forward to being able to walk again.

  63. Kat, Thanks so much for writing. I’m 2 weeks into a broken fibula and still looking for any tips to make it easier. One thing I learned quickly is once I get well, I need to work on getting into shape. I’m 62 and at least 30 pounds overweight. I can’t take so much as one step on crutches–I can’t support my own weight. Just getting up from the toilet is difficult. I’m using a knee scooter but it’s exhausting. I’ve only left the house for doctor appointments. I’m on day 10 of my cast which the doctor said will be on 6 weeks and then I’ll get a walking boot. My husband has been wonderful about waiting on me but I’m tired of needing to be waited on! At least tomorrow I’m supposed to get the sewing machine I ordered – I might as well use these next 5 weeks learning something new.

    • Janet-

      Thank you for your comment! I think it’s wonderful that you will be learning to sew – I never would have thought of doing something like that, but what a great use of time.

      Also,it does sound as though this break might have made you pay more attention to your body, which is also a blessing. Life is a lot more fun when we can get around easily. I am thinking of you and hoping your time in the cast goes quickly from here on!

      Hugs,
      Kat

  64. Kat, thank you for your new comment today. I found your blog when I had just come out of hospital following ORIF surgery for my tri-malleolar fractures on 30th October. I left a comment at that time. My cast is due off this Wednesday 9th December, I’m hopeful/excited/relieved/anxious.

    Still in my cast, my leg is now almost pain free, I’ve developed a good sense of balance, I can get up and down the stairs unaided, I can shower, hair wash, dress etc unaided. I have excellent care from my husband, and a living family around me, I have the knee scooter, a wheelchair and have hired a mobility scooter for outings to a local country park. I’m fortunate in that my attitude has remained positive and my outlook cheerful. Although I can understand why depression could strike.

    I found your blog unbelievably helpful, and indeed, one of your other reader’s comments led me to a Facebook group ‘Broken Ankle / Foot / Leg Recovery – On a Quest for Normal!’ Which has supplied me with a wonderful fund of knowledge and the support of over 1500 other Brokenanklers world wide. As a result of that group I now have my post cast water therapy exercises ready to use, I’ve purchased some recommended ice packs and I have some idea of what life will be like.

    My one unknown is how a person of my age, 64 will cope with recovery, if it depends on strength of will alone I should fly, time will tell. I’m cheerfully optimistic!

    Love and sympathy to all you others out there in the ether!

  65. I broke my left ankle two days ago, am going in tomorrow to switch from temporary splint to cast, and found your blog today. Just wanted to thank you soooooo much for writing this; it has really given me a lot to think about and a way to have realistic expectations.

    • Paula –

      Good luck tomorrow in getting your cast on. If they give you a choice of colors, pick something that will make you smile when you look at it.

      I’ll be thinking of you!

      Kat

  66. Hi All

    It’s been 2 years since my break/surgery (plates and screws). I still read this blog and feel for all my other “brokenanklers.” I see so many of you try the crutches and knee scooter. I was not ashamed to use a walker (I’m 68 now and pretty spry). It really wasn’t bad hopping around on one foot for how ever long it was (it did seem like an eternity). May I also recommend a Waterproof Leg Cast Protector to use in the shower. I just lent mine to someone with a broken foot. Once in a while I have some pain, and the tingling really never went away, though it is not bothersome. Keep up the good attitudes. You never forget, but will so appreciate it when things get back to normal.

    Barbara

    • Today, 9th December, is exactly twelve months since I broke my left ankle in two places and had a metal plate & seven screws fitted! I can’t believe that twelve months has passed. I didn’t like the crutches but had to use them and we borrowed a wheelchair so my husband could take me out, he was a Godsend. I couldn’t go upstairs to bed, but we had a downstairs loo and I slept on the settee for six weeks until the cast came off. I wasn’t given a boot when the cast was removed, just an elasticated bandage. I had six weeks of physio and was offered a six week “gym” session at the hospital. My feet will never be the same, I had the nickname of “roadrunner”, I think arthritis is setting in and they are very stiff (I’m 67 now). I have no trouble from the side of the ankle where the plate is, it’s the other side of the foot and my right foot stiffens up, although it took alot of pressure I supposed taking my weight when I was NLB. I am now super vigilant when getting out of cars, going down steps, I certainly don’t want to break anything else! I actually got my foot caught in the strap of my handbag which was in the car-well and flew out of the car!

      Wishing you a very Happy Christmas & A Happy New Year. Janet (UK).

      • Janet-

        Thank you for writing. I’m sorry to hear about the arthritis and stiffening of your other foot and other side of your “bad” foot. I wonder if the muscles in that foot need more work?

        I am much more vigilant also – it’s scary after it happens once how easy it was to break the first time. We’re not as invincible as we often feel.

        Thanks and best wishes for a wonderful Christmas.

        Kat

        • After replying to me yesterday, I have decided that I will try and get the muscles going again! After the gym therapy I must admit I stopped doing the exercises, so at night now I will sit and “twiddle” my feet doing the exercises I was given at Physio. The damp wet weather doesn’t help with the arthritis but I just get on with it. I won’t let this get the better of me and I can have a Christmas this year, even put the Christmas tree up, which I didn’t last year. Good luck everyone & Merry Christmas. Janet (UK).

  67. On 10/22/15 I was heading down the stairs to walk the dog when my right foot decided to stay behind and my left foot kept going. In other words, I was doing the splits and sliding down the stairs, screaming at the top of my lungs and grasping for the hand rail! My poor hubby has severe anxiety disorder so when I heard the panic in his voice I had to calm myself. And then as he was trying to answer the questions the 911 operator was asking, I was helping him – all the while my ankle is killing me and I’m still screaming mentally (I don’t deal with pain at all)!
    The ER says I had a fracture, a couple of days later my PC says it’s a clean break and then a few days later the Orthopedist confirms my PC’s findings but says the ER gave me the wrong boot. (I have to say, that my life’s incidents are a comedy of errors usually)
    The Orthopedist kept giving me mixed signals about my treatment and I was told I could go back to work after 2 weeks. I finally called him and told him, many times, “I work at Starbucks and am standing for at least 6 hours. Are you saying I can stand that long in the boot?” When he finally understood he said no weight bearing for 4 weeks, then 2 weeks still in the boot but walking. Luckily (sort of) my short term disability advisor said Starbucks doesn’t allow employees at work with the boot. So 6 weeks I was at home, feeling the frustration that you wrote about.
    I’m now back at work and only for 4 hour shifts but I’m having a difficult time – shoe doesn’t fit so I have the laces very loose and barely tied along with wearing a brace, I can’t walk very well, and my leg is extremely swollen when I get home. So today I decided to do some research about icing my leg and found your blog.
    You have given some great tips on exercises plus I found I should still ice my leg (I was told to ice it for a couple of days after the break – remember, comedy of errors!). And I still have to walk the dog when I get home.
    My biggest thing was facing my fears about those stairs. And driving. And walking without the crutches. And walking without the boot. And standing in the shower (I sat on a chair for 6 weeks). Each time I had to talk to myself and say that everything was going to be all right, just take baby steps. And everything did work out all right. I don’t run down the stairs like I did (I have a healthy respect for them) but now I don’t have a panic attack when at the top.
    I did tell the paramedics that I was experiencing two firsts in my life – breaking a bone (after 50 years of life) and riding in an ambulance. No need to put that on my bucket list. 😉
    So even after a few years of you writing your story, you are still helping people. I’m so glad I found this blog. I’m going to get that ice pack out and I’m going to start doing those calf stretching exercises. Thank you!

  68. Sonja-

    Big Hug coming to you! You have your hands full, working a job that requires you to stand, getting “comedy of errors” directions, etc. It sounds as though things are improving and you are doing all the right things. Hang in there – you will improve bit by bit and eventually you’ll be doing your usual 6 hour shifts at Starbucks.

    Best wishes,
    Kat

  69. Hi I have been bed bound now for 5 weeks spent 2 of them in Hospital as I slipped on a flat surface on some moss I broke Tib & Fib and smashed it to bits took 4 hours constructive surgery to put it all back together I am on the 3 T s as my doc says tea toast toilet but like a lot of people on here I am suffering with my arms and back and shoulders so I have done a bit of research and found this Amazing piece of equipment it is from the US but there is a stockist in the the UK where I am from
    http://www.peglegs.co.uk/iwalk-knee-crutch
    Take a look I am now nearly back on my feet so it will not benifiet me but for others it would make life so much easier

  70. Gail –

    I’m sorry to hear you have been out of commission for 5 weeks – hopefully you will be back on both feet soon. Thanks for sharing the iWalk information – I wish I had known about that when I needed it also! it would have been very helpful.

    Best wishes in your continued improvement,
    Kat

  71. I had my first physio session in December and had my second session booked. I ended up sick from December 24th for over a week afterwards. I was diagnosed on the 29th with diverticulitis and was put on a 10 day regimen of horrible pills. I finally finished them last Friday. I’m still trying to get my strength back from being sick.

    Since I have been sick, I haven’t been to physio, but I have been walking slowly using both feet. I am close to 3 months now post op and have problems with sharp pains in my bad ankle after being off my feet. My doctor has said that my ankle may have been feeling worse during my illness. I’m considering seeing the surgeon (probably related to hardware sticking out) but am also considering getting back to physio ASAP. Does anyone have experience with hardware causing sharp pains in their ankle?

    • Bev –

      I’m sorry to hear you were so sick, and glad you are feeling a bit better now. I didn’t have hardware, so can’t directly answer your question. Did you have the same pain before you were sick? If you’ve been bedridden for a few weeks, it could just be like starting the healing process all over. I would definitely see if physio helps.

      Best wishes,
      Kat

      • I am now about 5 months post op now. I never did try crutches but went directly from a walker to a cane about a month or so ago. I’ve been walking without any assistance for about 2 or 3 weeks now. The ice is now all melted on our streets and back alleys due to our lovely weather here.

        I’m having my last physio session this Thursday. I still need to keep exercising to get the rest of my range of motion back. My doctor tells me it will take a full year for it to recover completely. My ankle still is swollen just below the ankle bone, but it is SO much better now. I can almost get into regular shoes.

        • Bev,

          Thank you for the update! Last time you wrote, you were sick and having some pain. I’m glad the sickness subsided. Has the pain gone away?

          It’s been several years and I still find myself spinning my foot around to make sure it stays as flexible as possible. Exercising to get and then keep the range of motion is a great idea.

          The swelling does seem to take a while to go away, but soon you will be able to put on shoes. The first time I could get my cowboy boots back on, I was thrilled!!

          Continued best wishes to you!

          Kat

          • I did make an appointment with the surgeon after I was sick. He seemed to believe that the pain would eventually go away. Physio has helped loosen the joint and that pain has gone away. I still know when I have overdid walking at the grocery store though.

            I am so happy to be walking around on my own again. Thanks for everyone’s comments. They helped me get through the down days. I’m still unemployed, but hoping something will come along soon.

            Bev.

  72. I want to thank you for your blog!!! I have a hairline fracture that happened 2 weeks ago. Still in pain, unable to sleep laying down, as the ankle has a burning pain when I do. I am sleeping sitting up. I try to elevate it, but it stings and hurts so leg down most of the time.

    thank you for the comment about depression. I am definitely feeling depressed and angry for not watching where I was going, and turning my ankle. Oh, and we’re on vacation too. We’re snowbirds who are in Arizona right now…heading home soon to my home Dr.

    again, thank you 🙂

    • Sue –

      Don’t be angry at yourself! It is simply too easy to break a bone and there are so many ways to do it. Not paying attention for a few seconds is how most of us get ourselves in trouble – it was just an accident!

      Even though it’s an overused sentiment, “This too shall pass!”

      Best wishes with your recovery!

      Kat xxxx

  73. Dear Kat

    I came here for an ankle post (2 1/2 years after incident) and found that your Dad had died. So sorry.

    Barbara

  74. Not sure where to post this question, but has anyone had the ankle NOT heal — specifically, where the desired and expected “bone-to-bone union” doesn’t happen? That’s my case. Scar tissue has melded the fracture together, but not real bone. Since the fracture is located at the bottom of the fibula, and I have nearly no pain, the recommendation seems to be, just leave it alone. The alternative is surgery, which would either insert some metal or would simply remove the “tail” (bottom part) of the fibula. I’m leaning heavily toward doing nothing. BTW, I’ve been using an ultrasound “bone stimulator” machine daily for 3 months, but it doesn’t help. My main worry is that the scarring isn’t as strong as real bone.

    • Arnold –

      If you post your question on the Facebook group “Broken Ankle/ Foot/ Leg
      Recovery – On a Quest for Normal” I’m sure you’ll get some fast answers. If you’re not a member of that group, you can request access.

      Best wishes with getting an answer!

      Kat

  75. This blog has been so helpful. Spot on. I’m 9 weeks post break. Broke my left Distal fibula. No fab story – rushing down stairs “to get a few more things done” before I had to grab my two young boys from school. Stupid mistake that altered my life in a matter of an instant. Three weeks cast/3 weeks air cast boot – all non weightbearing. Then two weeks just air cast boot w full weight. Ohhhhh that damn needle prickly thing in the heal bone stinks!!! You gotta rise above the pain to get to the healing. “Use it or lose it” is a motto needed at this point in recovery. I now was just released from boot and am walking unaided for the first time. It is HARD. Really hard. My ankle and foot are so very swollen.

    Kat, what kind of shoes did you wear throughout your healing? It is summer here in the states and it looks like I won’t be looking at a sandal any time soon?

    Also, I’m a skier — skied in Utah a month before this happened! I saw you said u haven’t skied yet since you broke your ankle. Are you nervous it won’t hold up? I’m scared as hell to try this upcoming season but I felt encouraged bc of the super strong boots one he’s to wear w while skiing. Thoughts ?

    • Lucky-

      Hello there. I’m sorry to hear you broke your ankle, but happy you are now walking unaided. It WILL get better!

      I bought a pair of inexpensive larger sneakers when I was healing. I bought black so they’d go with everything. They gave me enough support but were also easy enough to get on when swollen. I don’t remember how long it took for the swelling to go down enough so I could wear my regular sneakers, but I wore those after I could fit in them. It took a little longer before I was comfortable enough to fit in and wear all my shoes again.

      As for skiing, I would actually love to go and while I was nervous the first year or so afterwards, I’m not now. It’s more that circumstances / life have gotten in the way of my trying. Perhaps this coming winter I will do so. But no, I am not nervous about the ankle any more.

      Best wishes to you!

      Kat

      • You really are an angel that u continue to respond to us newbie ankle breakers so far out from your situation. You must be an incredible person! No- u ARE an incredible person. People simply have no idea what a game changer an ankle break is unless it’s happened to you. Thanks for still caring about clearly – so many – who find ur blog better than Doctor info!

  76. Wow! I have nothing but time on my hands the past few weeks and just stumbled across this blog. What a inspiration from all the blogs I have read. I slipped on the porch steps 6 weeks ago today and broke all the bones in my left ankle (not sure what all of them are called), sprang my right ankle, and fractured my left hand. I now feel like I am not in this boat alone. Will go back to the Dr. tomorrow and have a strange feeling he will X-Ray my foot and put a new cast on, we will see. I was in a splint the first 2 weeks and now this, I must say, “Lime Green” cast for the past 4 weeks which is very pretty if there is anything to say good about a cast. I am 64 years young and very active (or was) and have had my moments of depression since the fall but I am very thankful I didn’t break my back, I just have a good cry pity party for a few minutes and feel better. For me the worse part of the fall like most everyone else is having to be so dependent. I do get a lot of help from my husband. l have been lucky enough like another blogger to have a knee roller which is just fantastic compared to crutches or a walker, I tried the walker and fell coming out of the shower. I know you must have had it hard, alone trying to get things done. Well this is my first blog and not sure if it helps anyone but maybe I said something that may help someone else

    • Jackie-

      You are so upbeat! I love your Lime Green cast and your thankfulness that things are not worse. Breaking an ankle, spraining an ankle, fracturing your hand – ouch! That must have been quite a horrible day, but that day is already slowly receding into the past. Once you are able to get around on your own two legs again, it will become just a fuzzy memory.

      I’m glad you found the knee roller – I wish I had known about that when I broke my ankle. It sounds like such a help.

      I wish you the best as you continue to move forward, and hopefully at 65 you will be back to your active self.

      Hugs,
      Kat

  77. I have a titanium plate and screws to put my 3 broken bones back into place when I did a wretched slow, twisting fall and broke my once sturdy, reliable left ankle in my home 5 weeks ago. You mentioned you put full pressure on your broken ankle when you got your walking boot on. Did this make it worse or did it help strengthen your muscles? After 8 weeks, I’ll get my walking boot, PT, then four weeks after that, a strong ankle brace. How long do you think I’ll be able to go hiking again? It’s awful to feel so helpless. However, I do know it could have been a lot worse, so I’m grateful I’m retired with excellent health care to have the flexibility to go to PT 3x a week. Any advice?

    • Hi Mary. I’m sorry to hear about the 3 broken bones. It’s so frustrating when we hurt ourselves especially when it isn’t from something exciting like extreme skiing in the Alps! I can’t give any advice regarding timing because everyone heals differently, but for me, putting full pressure on my ankle helped me. That’s when I started really making a lot of progress. I’m glad you are retired and can do PT often – that will definitely help!
      Best wishes to you, Kat

  78. After breaking mine during my AFF skydive training I found these blogs a real help. Made the process go more easily as I knew my suffering was normal and it gave me a datum to measure against along the way. Medics do things a little differently in the uk but people heal pretty much the same it would seem. Many thanks. Danny

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