A fractured ankle can significantly impair your ability to do fundamental functional duties such as jogging and walking. This severe injury can result in lower extremity strength, range of motion, and discomfort. These limitations might make it difficult or impossible to carry out your usual daily tasks.
After a fractured ankle, you may benefit from physical therapy to avoid rotator cuff surgery in Philadelphia to help you fully recover functional mobility and return to your prior level of activity.
Ankle Fracture Symptoms and Causes
The ankle is a joint that connects and moves the foot’s talus bone with the tibia (shin bone) and fibula of the leg. Trauma in this area can result in a break in any or all of these bones, causing considerable discomfort soon after the accident.
Ankle fractures nearly always happen as a result of a severe incident to the body. Ankle fractures can occur as a result of car accidents, falls, or sports injuries. Ankle fracture symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, and the inability to bear weight on the broken ankle.
Your healthcare practitioner may attempt to decrease the fracture while in the hospital following an ankle fracture. Fracture reduction is the phrase used to describe how a fractured bone is repaired or set.
The bone fragments must be placed near one another for healing to occur. Fracture reduction is critical to ensuring proper bone healing and avoiding irreversible functional loss or deformity.
After your ankle fracture has been minimized, it will most likely be cast. The ankle is restrained, allowing the bones to recover appropriately. After an ankle fracture, you may need to use an assistive device to walk.
You may also be restricted in your weight-bearing capacity. Ensure to ask your doctor how much weight you can put on your ankle while it recovers.
After your fracture has been reduced and immobilized, you may be directed to physical therapy to learn to use an assistive device such as crutches, a cane, or a walker. Your physical therapy for fractured ankle should also be able to explain your weight-bearing limitations to you.
Gentle exercise for the knee and hip muscles may be undertaken to ensure that the muscle groups that help you walk do not become overly weak while the fracture heals. If you wear a cast or a brace, you will most likely not be practicing ankle workouts.
Your healthcare provider will remove the cast and enable you to bear greater weight on your fractured ankle after it has healed. You may be using an assistive device like a quad cane or crutches to walk.
At this stage, your physical therapist can thoroughly evaluate your ankle and recommend the best treatment for you. The ankle evaluation may include the following components:
- Motion amplitude
- If you have open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) surgery, your scars will be evaluated.
Your physical therapist will be able to begin treating you after a thorough evaluation. To address swelling or discomfort around your ankle, they may use therapeutic modalities such as heat, ice, or electrical stimulation.
The significant component of your ankle rehabilitation after a fracture should be an ankle fracture exercise program. Follow your physical therapist’s instructions carefully and ask questions if you have any.
Ankle fracture rehabilitation exercises may include:
- Exercises for improving ankle range of motion
- Exercises for strengthening the ankles
- Exercises for the hips and knees (to help improve walking ability)
- Exercising your balance and proprioception
- Improve your functional mobility and walking abilities by exercising.
For a broken ankle, you will almost certainly be forced to follow a home exercise regimen. This program may continue for several months after physical therapy has ended, and it may play a significant role in your long-term recovery success.
According to Wolff’s law, bone develops and remodels in response to the stress imposed on it. Your physical therapist can assist you in prescribing activities that apply the right amount of stress in the right direction to ensure that your fractured ankle heals appropriately and functions effectively.
How Long Will Physical Therapy Last?
Everyone heals differently, and each ankle fracture injury is different. With your ankle fracture rehab, your physical therapist should review your overall prognosis with you. This prognosis is generally determined by how well your ankle moves when you initially begin therapy.
Keeping up with your home exercise routine is an essential part of your rehabilitation. Being consistent with it might assist you in regaining function and returning to the activities you have been missing.