Broken Ankle – Pictures, Symptoms, Treatment, Recovery, Rehabilitation

What is a Broken Ankle?

A Broken ankle is defined as any fracture that happens in the distal end of the tibia and the fibula, and the talus bone of the foot. These three bones form the ankle joint and the talus is the only bone that is a part of the ankle joint. The tibia and fibula are parts of the lower leg.

A Broken ankle is a very common injury and the severity of the fracture varies. Ankle fractures may be partial, open or closed and may be as a result of a fall, collision/impact, or accident. Thorough assessment and an x-ray examination and/or CT scan is done by an orthopedic doctor to review the injury and the extent of any damage to the nerves and surrounding tissues.

Broken Ankle Symptoms

The common signs and symptoms of a broken ankle are:

  • Painful to touch with limited movement of the ankle
  • Swelling and/or bruising of the affected area
  • Inability to walk or stand/bear weight on the ankle
  • Numbness or tingling sensation in the affected ankle
  • Deformity around the ankle
  • Broken skin with visible bone particles

Broken Ankle or Sprained Ankle?

In a broken ankle the bone is fractured. In a sprained ankle, the ligaments are over-stretched or torn. The signs and symptoms are often similar. Here are some hints in distinguishing the difference between the two:

  • What caused the injury? If your ankle gets twisted or if you lost your balance as you stepped on an uneven surface, it will probably be a sprain. Heavy impact causes bones to break, not twisting.
  • If your ankle swells but you are still able to stretch it, it is most likely an ankle sprain.
  • If the pain is severe, accompanied by swelling, bruising and tenderness, it is most probably a broken ankle.
  • Numbness is indicative of a broken bone.
  • Stand up and try to take a few steps. If you are able to walk, it indicates that you have a sprained ankle.
  • Look at the affected area. If the joint appears kinked, or uneven, the bone must have been broken.
  • Try to move the joint. A broken ankle cannot be moved, a sprained ankle can be moved even if it is painful.

Treatment for a Broken Ankle

Anyone with a broken ankle must be checked by an orthopaedic doctor for the treatment to be established.

The first aim is to minimize the swelling to control the pain and minimize any damage to surrounding tissue. After the X-ray, the doctor can tell how bad the fracture is.
Splinting of the ankle is done initially to immobilize the fracture and it will be kept in place for a few days to give room if the swelling persists. The ankle will be aligned properly prior to splinting.

If the swelling subsides, casting will be done. Casts are made either of plaster or fiberglass. A plaster cast molds better with the skin and is widely used to hold the fractured bone in place. However, if the fracture is unstable and some healing has already taken place, a fiberglass cast may be used. It is lighter and tougher.

Crutches are used to assist in bearing weight as the ankle can not be used for weeks or months depending on the fracture. For severe cases, surgery may be required. The maintenance of the proper alignment of the fractured ankle is of utmost importance for the ankle to heal correctly.

Broken Ankle Surgery

  • A general anaesthesia will be given to the patient and then a cut on the skin near the ankle will be made.Special screws and plates will be used to put the two parts of the bone together and hold it in place while it heals.
  • Then, the incision will be closed using stitches. A temporary plaster cast will be molded from just below the knee down to the toes to secure the ankle in proper alignment and keep it immobile.
  • The wound may be painful and the doctor may give painkillers to ease the pain as well as antibiotics to prevent infection. The surgeon who performed the operation will give instructions as to when the ankle may be moved.
  • Some prefer to get the fractured ankle moving before sending the patient home in around 2-3 days. After 10 days, the stitches are removed and the ankle will remain in the plaster cast for approximately six weeks. For the first two weeks, the affected leg should be elevated at rest several times a day to minimize the risk of further swelling as the cast may impede the circulation once the ankle swells.
  • Crutches may be used to give support when moving around, avoiding weight on the fractured ankle. Once at home, care should be taken with the fractured ankle. The plaster cast should not be allowed to get wet, cut, or be pressed on. Nothing should be put underneath the cast and the skin inside should not be scratched by anything.
  • If the toes turn blue, swollen, and cannot be moved, or if there is numbness or severe pain, go back to the hospital immediately. The screws and plates may or may not be removed but if it becomes uncomfortable, they may be removed 18 months after the operation. If the plaster cracks, or becomes soft and loose, it should be taken back to the plaster technician.

Broken Ankle Recovery

If the broken ankle is clean, there is no shifting of the bone and it doesn’t require surgery, the broken ankle will heal within a six week period with proper medical management. In the case of invasive surgery the broken ankle will heal in about eight to ten weeks. For this long period of recovery, you will need:

  • a lot of patience
  • entertainment
  • emotional support
  • lots of pillows
  • easy access to food and drinks
  • lots of strength
  • pain medication
  • bath chair
  • to remain immobile unless your doctor told you otherwise

Rehabilitation (Physical Therapy)

Rehabilitation is very important when your physician says that you may start moving your ankle again. Physical therapy and home exercises are available and you should start doing them regularly. Eventually, you will also start doing exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles of the ankle. It may take several months for the muscles around your ankle to become as strong as before the injury took place. Even after the fracture has healed, an ankle brace may still need to be worn for several months. Both of your ankles support almost all of your body weight, so it is very important to get the broken ankle back to full strength again. Here are some therapeutic exercises for the recovering ankle:

Ankle Rotations

This exercise helps move the ankle joint, aids good circulation and loosens ligaments that have been inactive while in the cast. Sit on a chair and take hold of your leg just above your injured ankle, crossed over your healthy leg. Slowly rotate your foot at the ankle, turning it in circles. Only do as much rotation and stretching as you feel comfortable with. If you feel pain, stop and rest.

Towel Scoop

To help achieve better range of motion in your foot, sit barefoot on a chair and with a hand towel on the floor in front of you. Use your injured foot to scoop the towel from side to side, keeping your leg still. Do this several times a day.

Wall Stretch

Wall stretches can help the ankle and the muscles associated with it. Stand in front of a wall and extend your arms until your hands are pressing on the wall. Imagine you are going to try to push the wall. Place the injured foot, keeping your leg straight, on the floor behind you and bend your other knee as you lean into the wall. You should feel a stretch in the back of your leg (which has the damaged ankle). Hold and stretch for 10 to15 seconds. Stop if you feel pain.

Broken Ankle Pictures

Broken ankle anatomy picture Picture 1 – Pic of broken ankle anatomy

Image source –

Broken ankle showing swelling redness

 Picture 2 – Broken ankle showing swelling, redness

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Broken ankle x ray

Picture 3 – X-ray showing broken ankle (tibia, fibula)

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Broken ankle fixation

Picture 4 -External fixation of broken ankle (x-ray view)

Broken ankle treatment

Picture 5 – Ring fixator for Broken ankle

Marsus proofread this article on 24/8/2012 at 1.00 am.

Also read – Bone Stimulators: A New Way to Treat Broken Ankles That Won’t Heal

More information

67 Responses to “Broken Ankle – Pictures, Symptoms, Treatment, Recovery, Rehabilitation”

  • Bharat Mandava says:

    Recently my friend met with an accident and his ankle got twisted like this only. After several surgeries, he’s now able to walk now. Nice informative post :)

    • admin says:

      Thanks dude :) You are welcome

    • Sandi says:

      Hello people. I broke my ankle 2 weeks ago and the ER put me in a soft cast, gave me pain meds, ibuprofen and gave me crutches. 6 days later I went to the orthopedic doctor and he told me I not only broke my ankle I also tore all the muscles from the bone. He says no surgery because the bone could break into little pieces and then those pieces would turn to dust and it would be an “interesting” surgery. All he did was put me in a boot without a cast, told me I could walk on, elevate it, ice it and I go back in 5 weeks to see him. I think he should have put me in a cast. My ankle is still swollen and now not only hurts on the ankle itself but also on the bone in the front. I still am taking the pain pills at night cause I had to go back to work and also the ibuprofen but I’m all most out. I don’t know what to do.

  • Sheila says:

    Hi, I fracture my ankle and tore legiments this past December 16th. Last week I finally got out of the boot and been walking on the foot. I am doing exercises and walking in and out side of the house. Is it normally to have contiuous pain? I am taking Motron and Relafen (for arthritis) with no relief. The pain is not from the arthritis because I know the difference. Also had nerve damage at the beginning of the adventure and it finally went away until the boot came off. Now the nerve damage pain is driving me nuts. Can you tell me what I can do to releave the pain? Thanks so much.

  • Sheila says:

    Sorry also had plate and screws put in right ankle. Thanks again

  • Kirkwest says:

    I felt from a story buildin and ima ankle got completely broken buh I was treated wid herbal medicine in Africa buh I’m now able to walk buh I can’t squart I small swollens too…please help me out…

  • jon says:

    i broke my tibia and fibula in may of 2012 and its july 18th 2012. i had surgey on jun first with plates n screws the whole nine. i have only been in splints untill three weeks ago n my doctor put me in a air cast. at about a week and a half into having that boot. i tried walking on it though my doc said no weight baring. currently as of now i can slightly walk on my foot with very little pain but a slight limp.i do stretches and all that. but my question is if i don’t feel much pain does that mean my ankle is getting better. i hardly wear the boot and see slight swelling but i can wiggles and bend my toes and rotate my ankle does this mean its healing fine or should i stay in the boot?please help me with thi. im worried but it feels great to get around by myself.

    • Ny lady says:

      hey how u doing you know last may i broke my tiba and fibula bone too and now I am walking.. I think yes you should be in that boot for 4 weeks till u can put some shoes on.. keep that leg elevated ok and put ice on it. and keep on doing your exerice ok. well I hope you will fell better ok. And then you will graualy go into a shoe. I think you should go and put on some flip flops than some nice shoes with a cusson ok.

  • re says:

    I recently broke my ankle, two weeks tomorrow. My ER Dr. Took care
    of my fracture. They put it back into place. I had broke all three bones. The Dr made sure I was admitted that day and have surgery the next day. They kept me for pain management. Eventually I went home. My ankle at home is in so much pain. My appt is this week hope all the swollen, cuts staples, and dead skin heeled. I have my brace on which when I went to the er & they changed it. Opened it up found dead skin. Now in still hurting and come to find out it will be six months before I’m able to walk again

  • gezzy18 says:

    I broke both my fibula and tibia at the end of dec last year, i had surgery to repair it 13 screws and 2 plates. It is now middle of sept and i am still having problems walking and the pain sometimes is unbearable! I am getting use to it though! I am actually now on the waiting list for an operation to remove the metalwork as i am not happy, i have trouble sleeping i can only walk for 20 mins tops before im in agony not just normal aching but pain. I have had a real bad experience and i just want an end to the pain and feeling im feeling totally miserable its really knocked me my accident i fell awkward that is all! Just cant wait for all the metalwork to be gone i have enough!

    • Jules says:

      Can understand what you’re going through Gezzy, my son who’s 28 and was a very fit active guy is going through the same thing, yours sounds very similar, it happened when on his mountain bike just coming home from work, and his foot just slipped off the pedal, as simple as that, but the impact it’s had on his life has been catastrophic, it was exactly 6 months ago, It affects every thing, he might have to consider changing career, as he’s an engineer, which requires walking, lifting etc all day long, but it’s important to try stay positive, and like he still says, there are people worse off than me, Write back, I will get him to reply to you. best of luck!

      • jemora says:

        hi i have had 2 plates and 13 screws in my ankle as well.I took the dog for a walk and i dont no what i did but i broke my tibia and fibula and had a bone graft as well in feb12 and have had nothing but prolems.went to the hospital yesterday and might have to have one of the plates out as i have a open wound that wont heal.This has been going on since november11 as nobody took a x ray they said it was tendernitis on three visits to the hospital not once was it x rayed and that makes me very cross they are the doctors .My own g.p said i will x ray it as my ankle had collasped.the specalist said i was flat footed then he looked at the x ray and said it was not broken.Iam so angry i have spent 4 hours having a opperation 11days in hospital 16 weeks in air cam boot none weight bearing for 12 of those on crutches until last week now have a stick but will have to go back to crutches when they remove metal work so goodness nos when i will be able to take my labrador (winafred)out again.That feels so good to get that off my chest and to no its not just me moaning .I wish you the best and hope things get better for you.

  • gezzy18 says:

    Hi Jemora
    Sorry to hear of your experience! I didnt have any problems like yours, mine was a diagonal break of both fibula and tibia and scarring is kind of what id expect feeling little tight. I was encouraged to not use the cam boot so much but i was non weight bearing for 7 weeks in plaster and i used the boot for about 3 weeks or less than that. I am suppose to be getting the metalwork out but have problems as my local hospital might not have the alloted time available for the operation so im upset at the fact i could be putting up with the pain indefinatly. I was told it is not such a major and i shouldnt need crutches?
    Sometimes i wish i didnt sign the consent form for the dam metalwork!

  • jemora says:

    hi gezzy i no what you mean it just goes on and on.the pain gets me down it will never be right i think some days i must be more posative.hope things work out for you sooner rather than later and i wish you well.

  • CarolGlenn says:

    I broke my tibia and fibula and blow out my ankle Aug 20, had 3 surgeries, three plates and 15 screws later, I m still in a boot, no weight bearing, still swelled been doing physical therapy for three weeks and its now Nov 8th go to dr tmr hopefully get to put weight on it, it will be ten weeks Nov 9th but I have no pain!! Never had any pain only the day I had my accident until they set my leg and foot after that no pain!! But not being able to walk or put weight on is driving me crazy!!!

    • gezzy18 says:

      Hi well tuesday i actually had my metalwork removed! At the moment im partial weight bearing for 2 weeks. It was very painful when i first came round cause the pain block they gave me didnt work! I cant wait for the bandage to come off and i can weight bear but obviously im nervous as i dont know whats gonna happen am i gonna be able to move about any better, i have been told that there was so much damage i now have severe artiritus so now im thinking have i done the right thing? I know that in myself i sort of feel better and apart from the obvious discomfort i can actually lie on my ankle more that i did before its just the walking aspect now. i suppose i gonna have to get use to the fact my ankle is never gonna be the same again.

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  • Michael says:

    I broke my foot over 2 years ago and plates on both tibula and fibula bones. I still have some slight discomfort in the ankle and was curious if I decided to get the plates removed will it help with the discomfort

    • gezzy18 says:

      Hi there Michael well i had plates in both sides of my ankle and 13 screws holding it all together, it was causing me a great deal of discomfort and pain and i had it all removed 2 weeks ago! I feel a lot better for it as well, i broke my ankle less than a year ago though so it was pretty easy for them to get all the metalwork out but i dont know whether you would have trouble after 2 years as i heard it is slightly difficult if metalwork been in more than a year. As for recovery it not to bad but bad enough! I was part weight bearing for 2 weeks now im full weight bearing, some days i feel great and others i know when i done to much on my ankle and im still using crutches which i hope to gradually to wean off them by christmas!

  • Zehra says:

    I had a bad fall 2 years ago wen I trip in a coal hole ever since. Of right stil waiting for operation

  • Dr. Amarendra says:

    Hi Zehra! I hope you will have a safe operation. Don’t forget to inquire all things to your doctor so you will have better understanding on the procedure.

  • Vern says:

    Wow – reading all the above is making me very depresses… I broke my tibia and fibula is a slip and fall about two weeks ago. I was taken directly to the hospital, admitted and had surgery within 24 hours. Two plates and screws. Anti inflammatories have been my savior. Anyway – here I am with a soft cast, in bed, not in a lot of pain but not able to really do anything .. not able to even drive… I’m an adult who lives alone… its Christmas holidays so there isn’t much guidance out there for me. My next appointment is in about two weeks. Stitches have been removed and I’m in a soft removable cast. Question: am I going to have to be put in a hard cast at some point? Is this going to take mints and months to heal?

    • Nicole says:

      Hi. I broke my talus bone Aug 22nd 2012 and on Aug 24th 2012 was scheduledto have sugery and, was informed I was also 2months pregnant and, would have to endure surgery awake. They gave me a spinal block and, I was on my way… I was put on bed rest due to pregnancy complications… Anyways, Its Feb 15 2013 and I am not walking on my own yet ; due to my set back. My ankle swells the size of a tennis ball! I work it pretty hard and still cant bend my knee very well in certain positions. Worried, Ill never walk right or bend again. Anyone out there have a positive outcome? Also, can you do to much? They said its healed and to try walking without my boot being more weight bearing and, thats what Ive been doing… Although it hurts like HELL and my ankle swells to the size of a tennis ball!

  • Rebecca says:

    Vern I am with you. I fell on tile in my bathroom Christmas Day and broke both left and right side of my left ankle and the
    tibula and fibula bones and am waiting for surgery Jan. 7. I have been reset now twice and have fallen twice since being reset. I cannot walk on crutches at all and I have a walker and wheel chair. But I live alone and have stairs. I am not in a cast but splinted. I am in severe pain and not taking any pills at all. I am counting the days and wondering why if I need a plate, screws and pins why wait so long. I am worried about recovery and depending on people for appointments as I cannot drive myself and my hospital is over a hour away.

  • judy22 says:

    Wow reading all your coments really made me feel more depressed i broke my ankle in 3 places on december 3 while at the park playing with my kids i went to te E.R and i was put in a splint but four days later a little bubble started to grow on the top of my foot so it exploted by its selt two days later and it got infected that i had to go back to the E.R and was there until i had to get surgery the dr told my parets that he had to put 2 screws but he never explaind anything to me and my parents they didmt quite understude the dr so am waiting on the holydays to pass so i can go to my first appoinltment he said he would see me in 3 eeeks now my consern is my foot is really swollen and the cuts r still bleeding and its been 2 weeks and 3 days since i had the surgery what should i do am scared am on painkillers but they dont do anything it still hurts that i cant sleep at night and havent had much rest i have a toddler and a 4 year okd that goes t school and need me to be after them i cant count on the dad because he left me and he doesnt help at all and my parents they can only help me a lttle bit what should i do should i go to the E.R or wait till i get the appointment

  • Lisa says:

    I broke my ankle 12/18/2012….had no idea how serious it is.I am going CARZY not being able to get from place to other place…like to bathroom ,bed,it sucks!!!! I keep praying and telling myself its going to get better. I go to doctor in the morning hopefully , the cast comes off and I take off running (LOL). I need HELP,what happen next no one explain anything to me, about this recovery. This is some HEAVY SHIT mentally .

    • Mari says:

      How did your appointment go Lisa? I’m sorry to hear and am in a similar place… It’s terrible having to rely on others to help you out. That’s when someone is home with you… I’ve taken up reading again, since mommy hood leaves little time for it… God bless and I wish you a speedy recovery as well as sanity…:-)

      • Lisa says:

        Thank YOU:) I have a boot still can’t put weight on it. I am tell myself I blessed… But as the day go by I am getting more depressed. Can’t work because my job requires me to be on my feet . No work no money , thank God for family. Tomorrow I am to see a doctor for my mental state. You keep up the good work keep thing happy;)

  • Mari says:

    Hi all,

    Very depressed reading these comments… I broke my ankle in two places and suffered a dislocation on December 13th. Kids freaked when my foot was facing the wall to my right. I had a plate, 9 screws and a pin to hold in place. I also sprained my left ankle a second time in three weeks. I’m terrified I will wind up breaking my semi good ankle, since it supporting most of my weight aside from the crutches. I have an appointment tomorrow with my ortho. Should I have him check ankle and place me with an ankle brace for added support? How about working out again? I was in the process of losing weight and getting fit when this happened… The pain and depression is unbearable and the soonest I will be returning to work (seated) is march 13th, thanks to the severity… Any advise?

  • Susie says:

    I had surgery on jan. 7 and will have my first post surgery appt on the 22. Had a plate and 8 screws in a spiral oblique tibial fracture ( I twisted a weak left ankle and fell down som stairs). I have had 8 surgeries/procedures on both knees and this is by far worse than any of those because of the inability to resume a normal life relatively quickly. I am feeling twinges in certain places on my leg (I currently am in a fiberglass splint -was in plaster prior it surgery) and am wondering if this is normal or something I should be worried about. I must admit that hearing these scary personal testimonials have given me pause. Having rehabbed from all those knee surgeries was no walk in the park (one in particular required two additional surgeries) but I will now have numerous questions to ask my surgeon. I am prayin for a boot just to get out of this heavy splint and make personal hygiene easier. Best of luck to all.

    • LayedupinMO says:

      I have had twinges and electric shock feelings in my foot, ankle and running up my calf. Did some research and found out it is the nerves and tendons trying to heal. Mostly it didn’t hurt just felt odd. Had major stabs of pain in ankle and foot occasionally right after surgery but that went away around day 4. Just had my surgery so can’t tell you how long it lasts, only that it’s happening to me too. Sorry.

  • LayedupinMO says:

    Hi guys,
    I suffered a trimalleolar fracture and dislocation at work on Jan 10. Had my ORIF for bimalleolar repair on the 23rd. There was a delay in my employer filing the claim limiting my access to a secon opinion The ER surgeon said this was most likely a career ending surgery (on my feet all day, no scheduled breaks, up and down stairs which is how i fell) he was going to put the plate on the inside if the ankle and use 8 screws and a long screw for the ligament, overnight stay etc. 12 weeks non-weight bearing. The Workmans Comp surgeon put the plate on the outside of my ankle as outpatient and was home in 3 hours and she said I would be back to work in 7 weeks. I was never told how many screws yet as my surgeon was gone when I woke up and my husband didn’t think to ask. I also severly sprained the other ankle and am supposed to be using a boot for it. A boot on one leg and a hard splint on the other are impossible to get around on with crutches. Am confused about such differing opinions and think I got myself in a whole world of shit with this injury.
    Was able to ween myself off the pain meds 4 days ago cause they made me sick and am just using ibuprofren until today. It was working and I was doing ok with continuous elevation and ice, My appt to get the stitches out and recasted isn’t until the 15th and my stitches started bothering me so bad yesterday (burning felt down to my heel and sticking to the inside of the cast) that I am back on them. Did anyone have to wait so long for their stitches to be removed or wound looked at? Or have any problems with their stitches? I can barely sleep now and what I can only describe as cold chills run up to my knee. I know the nerves are trying to work again with the electric like shocks I feel. This sux big time
    P.S. for those of u that lived alone or had stairs I have no idea how u did it. I can barely get my 1 yr old a drink or change his diaper.

    • LayedupinMO says:

      The workmans comp dr doesn’t know what I do or the physical requirements of my job since she never bothered to ask. Said I could go back at week 4 until I asked her what exactly I should do in a restaurant when I can’t be on my feet and then she said 7-9 weeks. She still never asked what I do. I am a line cook. Prep kitchen, supply room and cooler downstairs and the line is upstairs. I probably go up and down 20+ times a shift. There is no handrail, no lights and no tread on those stairs. I am gonna end up killing myself if I go back with a boot on

  • Jen says:

    Hi Ya’ll. 7 months ago I had broke my leg with a spiral fracture in my tibia and fractured my fibula in several places. I had surger and have a rod, plate and 13 screws. I am wondering how others at this point (7 months) have been doing. Today I have an extremely large swollen spot on the upper part of where the incision is be the ankle. And am in huge pain. I don’t know if I shoudl be conerned or figure this just happens. Anyone have any advice? FYI – I hear all of your pain!

    • Marie says:

      Hi Jen –
      I broke my tibia and fibula in several places also in a fall June 2012. I have a metal plate with 8 screws on the outside of the ankle & two large screws on the inside. Have been experiencing swelling, redness and some pain all along, but the other day after a rough night trying to sleep, when I got up I noticed I have a large swollen spot at the upper part of where the outside plate is, just to the right of my shin. I’ve been taking 2 aspirins in morning and 2 at night. This seems to help with the swelling, redness and pain. As soon as Memorial Day is over I’m calling my surgeon and getting an appointment, Will let you know what happens. I’m concerned too. My husband wants the metal out….I’m not so sure as it can result in bone fractures. What a pain.

  • Yolanda says:

    Hi, my name is Yolanda. I broke my ankle, and dislocated my foot on 1/26/2013. I had surgery the next day. I have 11 screws and 1 plate. I am truely depressed, it is so hard, I feel helpless. I had my dr. appt. on valentines day, they removed my hard cast, and gave me an aircast. It feels much better, but still have pain from time to time. Feels like I’m having a bad dream and I will wake up and be able to walk again. Can someone come and pinch me so I can wake up.. :). Trying my best not to get depressed, but it is hard.

    • Jay says:

      I hear you loud and clear. Welcome to our broken ankle society. My broken ankle stopped me dad in my tracks. I am learning to live with the pain, learning about how to rehab as best I can by myself by reading up on the Internet. I take time out (about a half hour) to meditate each day at the same time. I call a few people on the phone and ask them to listen to me a while just to get stuff off my chest. I now know tha I need to change my life somehow, maybe this is why this happened to us.

  • Bree says:

    Hi, I broke my ankle 10 days ago and had surgery with a plate and screws put in, today I went in and had the splint removed. I am in a boot, no weight bearing, and it hurts bad!!! The metal piece rubs on my cut and it is just very painful to be in the boot. Is that normal? Does that go away? Any advice or stories with boot people?

  • Chhaya says:

    Hi, I have a lateral melloulous fracture in my left ankle on 30th Jan 2013. My foot slipped off the step, whilst doing a step class in Gym. I am off work since then. First week, I was in half cast plaster then doctor changed into full cast after 10 days and send me to hospital to seek second opinion from OP Surgeon. I was placed in a cam boot and was advised to have a review appt in 4 weeks. My ankle still hurts and I need to have pain killers to reduce the pain. I have been weight bearing every now and then for about 2 weeks now (ignoring the pain). I am moving my ankle and toes a little whilst I am sitting. I believe that more quickly I start the movement – I shall recover sooner. I may be wrong. Any comments welcome. At this stage, no surgery is required still.

  • Sirena says:

    Hi,I am 40 years old and broke my ankle on Feb.24,2013 I cry everyday, I had just returned to work on Jan.9 after being out for a year I have had a closed reduction, been in a splint, had my fibetcast removed on March 19, am now in a cam walker, I stopped my pain meds. and am having horrible pain, not only do I have pain in my ankle today Im experiencing cslf pain, what is this and when does it stop,I am non weight bearing but find myself sometimes stepping down, I am a mother cant stay in bed allday, my children help as much as expected their 9 and 16, just want this to be over, when will I walk again???

  • Dawn says:

    I fell down a couple stairs on March 14, 2013 and broke my ankle. I was placed in a splint at he hospital and told I would have to have surgery. I had surgery 5 days later and now have plates and screws. This has been the most difficult thing I have ever gone through. I am a pretty active individual and don’t normally miss work so to be told to lay down, elevate your leg, ice it and non weight bearing for about 6 weeks is killing me. I, too, feel like many of you in which I have totally lost my independence and now, I have to ask my husband or my mother to do everything for me. I’m very fortunate that I have them, but this is still so difficult. Now, just shy of 2 weeks post op, I have been transferred to a boot for the next month. Tonight is the first night and I am in so much pain that I don’t know how I’m going to do this. I am trying so hard to stay positive and my friends and family truly keep me going, but he pain that I am enduring is completely unreal. I will be starting PT in the next week but any advice on the pain from this boot is welcomed.

    Again, I’m trying to stay positive and look forward to pedicures, capris and sandles. So far now, I will continue to manage the pain an do exactly what the doctor orders for a speedier recovery.

    • Anonymous says:

      I broke my ankle and tore ligament on Feb 8, went to er they said just a sprain, couple weeks went by and they did better xxx Ray s and seen the damage . I had surgery March 8, plates and screws. I am now week three and cast . Off . In a air boot. This sucks doctor said 12 weeks no weight bearing…I’ve been doing exercises and some pain. Don’t know if I will have a job when this is done!!

      • Dawn says:

        I agree, this sucks. There is not one good thing about this whole situation. I have my consult for physical therapy today and that has boosted my spirits. From what I’m reading, everyone is different as to the length of recovery and the steps. Good luck and stay positive.

  • Anonymous says:

    I broke my tibia and fibula in November 2012..had surgery one week later..plate and screws…no weight bearing for 12 weeks.. Now I’m walking fine. My question to anyone that has had this injury is, when is it ok to start working out again? I used to lift weights, dance, and do a lot of group exercise classes including Zumba 3x a week. My doctor said just to take it easy and listen to my body.. I can’t go back to him, because I dont have insurance and it costs a fortune. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  • deeann says:

    I just broke my ankle on April 2nd I go into surgery on the 10th and I’m getting married on the 13th I was just wondering what I would be put in after the surgery I’m in a splint now

  • Cheryl says:

    3/23/11 I took a bad fall bending my ankle completely over to inside. I fractured both bones lower down, dislocated my ankle and tore all the ligament s and tendons surrounding my ankle.Ortho doctor said was the most seri ous break/injury you can have without bones coming through. Basically internal amputation. I freaked and cried my eyes out.. I had surgery 2 days later (4hrs) and spent 5 days in the hospital. Was sent home in a semi hard cast with a walker, pain meds and non weight bearing for 2 mo. I had plates and screws and syndosmotic screw. syndosm Over the next few months I had so much pain I had the syndosmitic screw removed, did several Weeks therapy, endured a DVT, still so much pain. Had the plates and screws removed. Still Weeks later although not as painful as when I broke it I was a long ways from normal. January 2012 I had MRI and found I had torn ligaments. I was referred to a ankle specialist who said yes torn ligaments but lots of scar tissue and siezed nerve. Nov 2012 I had to have my ankle rebuilt. Another 6 Weeks in hard cast and non weight bearing. After that got put into boot for 4 Weeks then a brace. Well it is now May 2013 and I still have a lot of pain, swelling, some burning, pins n needles, muscle spasms, cannot stand in one place for more than 2 min. so I shift weight to other leg and then that hip gets sore. I cannot stoop at all! Ihave a lot of trouble with coming down stairs. I get very stiff, I cannot walk great distances, I cant sit with my legs down for very long. I have not been able to sleep more than a couple hrs at a time in 2yrs.
    I do my exercises several times a day to help with stiffness and pain. I am not on pain meds but Tylenol, Advil, aspirin, and alieve do nothing! I elevate my ankle several times a day for pain and swelling. I can only wear shoes for a few hours, I cannit stand any pressure on that area of my leg. My lower leg looks like I stepped into a bear trap with the bear in it. With the spasms and pain I dont drive anymore. I cant do all the household and yard stuff I used to. My toes are atrophied so cant curl them under and my ankle wont bend certain ways at all as is atrophied too. I will be 52 in October and feel like I am 80. The Doctors keep saying with the damage that was done I will never be the same. I have to say the anxiety and depression is something else. I wish with all my soul there was something to eleviate the constant pain and spasms. I envy those who have been able to recover.

  • Anonymous says:

    I broke both my tibia and fibula on 1/20/13. The tibia did not require surgery, but the fibula has a plate and seven screws, one of which goes through both bones and will be coming out in a couple weeks. I was in a hard cast for 6 weeks and then the Frankenstein boot/cam walker for an additional 6 weeks. I have been in PT for about 6 weeks, and have seen improvement, but not nearly as much as I expected. I can finally walk up stairs somewhat normally, but still have do one step at a time on the way down. I have lost my arch, so my foot has a tendency to go out to the right, causing new problems with some tendons. I also am having a hard time with my Achilles Tendon. My calf muscle is basically absent, and I am losing faith that it will ever be normal again. Today at therapy I was asked to go up on my toes with both feet, and try to come down only on my right. I was actually afraid to try it, but did, although I was not able to do it. Very discouraging. My range of motion pulling my foot toward me is not very good, nor is rotating it to the left. I try to stay positive, but after failing the tippy toe exercise today, it’s hard. Since I had an aggressive session today after work (on feet all day) I think it is time to go ice and elevate. I had never broken a bone before, and have such sympathy for anyone who has, especially a broken ankle. I never really appreciated the amazing ankle before, but now can only hope mine will be normal again in time. Best wishes to all of you!

  • Michelle says:

    I broke both my tibia and fibula on 1/20/13. The tibia did not require surgery, but the fibula has a plate and seven screws, one of which goes through both bones and will be coming out in a couple weeks. I was in a hard cast for 6 weeks and then the Frankenstein boot/cam walker for an additional 6 weeks. I have been in PT for about 6 weeks, and have seen improvement, but not nearly as much as I expected. I can finally walk up stairs somewhat normally, but still have do one step at a time on the way down. I have lost my arch, so my foot has a tendency to go out to the right, causing new problems with some tendons. I also am having a hard time with my Achilles Tendon. My calf muscle is basically absent, and I am losing faith that it will ever be normal again. Today at therapy I was asked to go up on my toes with both feet, and try to come down only on my right. I was actually afraid to try it, but did, although I was not able to do it. Very discouraging. My range of motion pulling my foot toward me is not very good, nor is rotating it to the left. I try to stay positive, but after failing the tippy toe exercise today, it’s hard. Since I had an aggressive session today after work (on feet all day) I think it is time to go ice and elevate. I had never broken a bone before, and have such sympathy for anyone who has, especially a broken ankle. I never really appreciated the amazing ankle before, but now can only hope mine will be normal again in time. Best wishes to all of you!

  • Renee says:

    In August 2011 I had a distal fracture with contusion within the fibula talus calcaneus and a small compaction fracture of the anterior talus. My MRI also states there are multifocal areas of bone contusion and micro trabecular fracture within the talus, calcaneus ,cuboid,ans torso metatarsal regions. Mild peroneus long us tenosynovitis. I never had surgery. My injury is almost two years old I still have pain, swelling and discoloration. Should I be concerned and seek another opinion. This was a work related injury so I just have been going to the doctors worker comp sent me to. Please help I don’t know what to do is this normal?

  • rajnesh says:

    in dec 2012 I fractured my talus bone in a motor cycle accident. the doc count it as a soft injury. intial x-ray reports showed no fracture. I was advised to take 4 week rest in plaster cast. after this i again stared my daily activity there was small pain and sweeling on walking. after 10 week of post injury I again visited the doc. ct scan mri and bone scan were taken and was found that neck of talus is broken which is completely undisplaced also there is no sign of avn. doc recommend for surgery. for second opinion I visited 3 more docs two of them advised for surgery and 2 advised for immobilized plaster cast for 2 months. now 50 days have passed 10 days remaining. .. much worried what will be the result….

  • Liz says:

    Hi everyone. Just wanted to ask a quick question. Does anyone think that my ortho will be upset that I am putting weight on my ankle although he said not to? I am in no pain at all, I don’t take any pain meds either. I broke my fibula and I have a plate with six screws. When the doctors took my splint cast off, they were amazed that my ankle/foot wasn’t swollen at all. I’m not one to be patient and put my life on too much of a hold. I missed two of my finals and I’ve been without work.

    Anyway back to my question, has anyone started bearing weight before you were suppose to and did totally ok? I do plan on going to physical therapy as well. Just because I can walk with a limp in no pain doesn’t mean I’m 100% fixed.

    Any answers will he gratefully appreciated. & if you’re going to bash me, just keep the comments to yourself!

    Thanks :)

  • tyler says:

    Hi i have severe ankle pain now and then the past week has been unbearable some days there is basically no swelling and i can walk with only a small amount of pain, then other day it has swelled up like an absolute rock and has me shaking in pain! Im currently in horrendous pain that inhave just woken up to at 3.30 in the morning iam at a loss because i dont understand how it can be okone day then horrendous pain the next and then ok agagain hours later! Any ideas?

  • lois says:

    LAST June 2012 I Broke both ankles that come thru. and tore the tendon loose in the back of ankle. I broke the foot and leg in nine places. I now have screws and a plate . I have numbness in the top of the foot from half way down the foot to my toes. And now I am having to wear an AFO bRACE cause my foot will not pick up. as it suppose to. I think if I could get the screws and plate out it would be able to move a lot better .it is so uncomfortable and I hate the feeling I have with numb toes all the time. Help ? will having the scews and plate removed help any?

    • elizabeth says:

      I had the same thing with my left ankle only , 7 years ago!! I still have slight numbness but nothing like before!! I still have the plates and screw as they were unable to remove them for fear of re-fracture! it always feels a bit tight and it has some discoloration but other that that I can walk fine and I always say I have titanium in me!! ha ha

  • Elizabeth says:

    I’ve had a worry for a few days now..
    I had cleanly broken my fibula, did not undergo surgery and it has been in a cast for roughly 4 weeks now. It hasn’t hurt since the first few days of breaking the bone, but over the last 3 days or so I have been experiencing pain and uncomfort in my injured leg.
    I think it was because my leg was roughly shaken 3 days ago.. I am worried that I have moved the bone, or complicated the healing process. My appointment with the hospital is not for another week, but I am very worried.
    Can anyone give me advice?

  • Nursing Shoe says:

    This post were really good! It is really fantastic how smart you are. Would you mind to post more as I’m a loyal follower.

  • Karen says:

    Had broken both ankles on Aug 18th and one week later, my right one in a synthetic plastic was sending out contact shocks to 4th toe and up my body(the other ankle has been operated with a plate and screws….and no prob there).
    I certainly appreciated the info here….didn’t even have to consult my daughter doctor!!!

  • Joyc Letellier says:

    I broke my fibula,tibia, and talas and had immediate surgery. The dr said it take a full year for a full recovery. It a really was a really would take a full year of fragments of broken bone. He put in a steele plate and lots of screws. He also said it would take a full year for a complete recovery. I am bumed out.


  • jenn says:

    I recently broke my talus for most part was a clean break however had a chip and was on growth plate. I guess the growth plate had spread some so they were going to put a plate and possible screw in ankle. well a week and half later I got a bkiid clot in lung so now doctor said to high risk for surgery. did anyone else have a issue like this and what ki d of outcome they have with healing time of talus?

  • dennis says:

    ibroke my left ankle 20yrs ago and the dr. said all i had was just bone on bone, i cant stand on it very long at a time has anybody had there ankle fuezed to get red of the bpain so i can have a life, think you dennis fox, email me if you can help please, 1/7/14

  • elizabeth says:

    I have discoloration around an old ankle scar, I have the plate and screws still inside the doctors told me it is impossible to remove them! why do I have the kind of dark brown stain around the scar now?? I am 53 and this happened when I was 46 so its been a good 7 years plus. also if you know why this is happening is there anyway to stop it?? thanks in advance! eliza

  • Irene Jones says:

    Jan 16, 2014 during roller derby practice I broke my fib/tib at the ankle. I had dislocated the Tib big time (almost compound). I had also scraped off some cartilage and stretched out the tendons and ligaments. I had a plate and 6 screws installed on my fib and two screws on my Tib. I had shattered the bottom of my Tib and my ortho Dr said I had bone fragments floating about because they were too small to fix. It’s now been 8 months and my Fib feels fabulous. My Tib however is another story. I have discoloration, numbness and tight, dull pain where the screws were put in. I can’t squat and going down stairs is a treat because I look like a 2 yr old hanging on to the handrail while two stepping the stairs. I still have swelling around the area too. I mentioned this to my Dr at my last visit and he just said that I had a severe and traumatic injury and that it’s going to take a lot of time to completely heal. He also said that because I had scraped off cartilage I would have early onset of osteoporosis and arthritis. Yay me. Then he cleared me to skate again . Huh? I haven’t been back on skates because of my problems with my Tib. I would love to have an MRI done to really see what all is going on.

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