Did you know that nearly a quarter of a million ankles break every year in the United States? Whether from falls, motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, or other causes, it’s one of the most common injuries that we repair surgically.
If you’ve ever had a broken ankle, or know someone else who did, you know surgery is just the first step of treatment. If you want your recovery to be as fast and effective as possible, following your surgeon’s directions for post-operative physical therapy and rehab is critical.
Even after the bones have healed, it will take time for your ankle to regain its former strength, range of motion, and flexibility. Furthermore, muscles in the leg, knees, and hip may weaken during your convalescence; since you won’t be able to walk for a little while, you won’t be needing them as often.
Usually we’ll start you with a series of gentle exercises for your upper leg, even before the cast or brace comes off. Later, once the fracture itself has healed, we’ll evaluate your ankle and give you some additional stretches to work into your routine. Common exercises may include:
- Heel raises, in which you slowly step up on the balls of your feet and lower yourself back down
- Step-up exercises, which incorporate stairs to build strength in your injured foot
- Calf stretches, such as standing facing a well and stepping forward with your healthy foot
- Range of motions exercises, in which you gently pivot your foot up, down, and sideways
Remember, every case is different. Our experts will carefully evaluate your condition before tailoring a rehab plan that’s right for you—do not attempt to start any stretching or exercise routine without our approval.
If you’ve fracture your ankle, you need Cincinnati’s experts to help repair the damage and get you back on track. To schedule an appointment at one of Family Foot and Ankle Center’s 6 Greater Cincinnati locations, contact us online or call toll free at 888-689-3317.