Elevating Your Broken Foot and Other Foot Surgery Recovery Tips

Foot surgery recovery can be a lot like walking into your favorite casino. You could end up getting lucky in your experience, have the time of your life, and walk away from the whole episode feeling like a million bucks…

Or you could end up feeling like your mind, body, and wallet have been drained from your foot surgery recovery!

When it comes to making the most of your healing time, you don’t have to wallow on the couch and count down the days to when you’re better.  To speed up your foot surgery recovery, here’s what you need to do:

  • Elevating your broken foot is one of the most crucial techniques for recovering faster.  But don’t just prop it up on your coffee table (your mom taught you better than that!).  Get a nice long pillow and place it under your knee.  You see, many people make the mistake of placing the pillow under the foot, but this can place a great deal of stress on your joints.  Keep it under the knee, and your body will thank you for it.

Elevating broken foot

  • Get your hands on a stability mobility device.  A knee walker can help you get around the house without putting weight on your broken foot – a crucial part of healthy recovery.
  • Make sure that your mental and emotional health is just as prioritized. Take your recovery time to read up on your favorite books, spend time with family members, or get back into that painting hobby you haven’t indulged in since college. It’s a great way to come out of your healing process feeling healed, relaxed, and rejuvenated.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice!  Many patients let their medications lapse, especially after the first month of their foot surgery recovery.  Take notes when meeting with your doctor, and don’t be afraid to call his or her office with any questions you might have.  Remember, it’s your foot – take care of it!

By elevating your broken foot, keeping busy, and having a mobility device on hand, you should discover that your recovery period is like smooth sailing.  So what suggestions do you have for recovering from a foot or ankle injury?

Crutch Replacement Options You Didn’t Know About

You’re sitting in a cold and clinical doctor’s office when suddenly, the doctor walks in carrying the thing you’ve been dreading most: crutches.

 As if it’s bad enough that you busted your ankle or had to go through foot or ankle surgery, you had to get your broken foot strapped into a lumbering cast. And to make matters worse, your doctor is dangling wooden crutches from his hand, wearing an evil grin that should only ever be seen on a Bond villain.

 You don’t want to use crutches – end of story. They’re hard to maneuver, difficult to use, and they give you arm blisters (ugh). Additionally, crutches make it difficult for you to isolate your broken foot. You still remember the time in summer camp when you had to walk on crutches for the entire time, and you kept bumping your foot into every object (even ones that seemed to be hundreds of miles away).

 If you want to give up on the crutches forever – and let’s face it, who doesn’t? – then here are the crutch replacement options you didn’t know about.

Knee Walkers

Knee walkers are unique mobility devices that make it possible for you to walk like a human again (something crutches can’t exactly promise you). To use a knee walker, you simply need to strap the leg with the broken foot into the walker. To do this, you’ll kneel into the knee walker (hence, the name) and your weight will be support by your knee and upper thigh. A padded seat makes this easier to handle, which means you won’t have to deal with the discomfort associated with crutches (again, armpit blisters…not exactly the most enjoyable side effect).

 Wheelchairs

 

If you’re really intent on avoiding crutches altogether, you might want to see if you can get away with using a wheelchair. These are great mobility devices that completely take the weight off of your broken foot and ankle, as well as make it easier for you to get around. If you’re considering getting a wheelchair, you need to make sure that your home and office can accommodate this mobility device. After all, you don’t want to be staring up at your third-floor apartment with the horrible realization that you can’t even make it up to your home.

 If you want to choose any of the alternatives to crutches, you should look into what coverage will be provided by your health insurance. Some insurance companies won’t necessarily like the idea that you’re avoiding crutches (they’ve probably never been on them), so they may not cover all of the costs of buying a knee walker or wheelchair. Talk to a representative to see what mobility devices you can get without putting too much of a dent in your wallet.

 If your doctor is sauntering towards you with crutches, put him in place by asking about these alternatives to crutches. And don’t wait – you don’t want to end up feeling like a giraffe with wooden legs for the next couple of months.

Knee Walker Insurance Coverage Essential Lingo

 Knee Walker Insurance Coverage

If you need a knee walker, you would probably want to check and see if your insurance carrier can help with coverage. You may think it will be as easy as picking up the phone and dialing your provider, but you may find that there is some confusing language involved. This is why it helps to speak the essential medical lingo. Once you understand the terminology, you can understand exactly what your insurance representative is saying, instead of scratching your head and wondering if you need a master’s degree in health administration to get a grip of the information.

With this is mind, here’s the essential lingo you need to know to determine if your insurance can cover your knee walker:

  • Deductible: This is the fixed amount of money that you’ll need to pay before your insurance will reimburse your expenses. Your deductible may apply to your knee walker purchase, so double-check to see what your deductible may be.
  • Co-Insurance: This is the amount of money you’ll have to pay after you’ve met the deductible. If you have a zero or low deductible, this will be immediately enacted.
  • Co-Pay: This is the amount of money that you’ll need to pay for a service that your insurance will partially cover. This usually applies to seeing specialists, getting prescriptions, and going to the hospital. You may also discover that your knee walker will require a co-pay, so be sure to ask an insurance representative what your co-pay would be.
  • Out of Pocket: This is the amount of money that you’ll be required to pay each year before your insurance will cover your health care services.

Once you can speak the insurance lingo, you may be delighted it takes no time to discover that your knee walker may be covered by your health insurance.

What To Know About Knee Walker Rentals

If you’ve broken your foot or your ankle, chances are that you’ve heard about knee walkers. These unique mobility devices represent an innovative approach to getting around, as they completely take your injured foot out of the equation. Think about it as a normal scooter – one that’s designed to take your weight off of your injured foot and transition it to your knee.

Knee walkers are becoming a very popular choice for people who need to spend the next three to six months in a cast. Unlike crutches – which can often be unstable and lead to a greater chance of re-injury – knee walkers are much more stable and allow you to move around with greater ease. Knee walkers allow you to move forward with your good foot, while balancing the weight from your injured foot onto the kneepad of the scooter.

knee scooter

While knee walkers are becoming even more common, there’s no denying that many people still have questions on how to rent a knee walker. And when you’re suffering from a foot or ankle injury, you don’t want to waste your time trying to figure out how to get your hands on a knee walker…

You want it as soon as you hobble out of the hospital!

Knee Walker Rental

Fortunately, this article will detail what you need to know about renting knee walkers. From checking with your insurance company to finding the best deals, you’ll find everything you need to know right here:

  • Before you even begin looking for knee walkers, be sure to contact your insurance company to ask about how payments will be handled. Depending on your insurance company, you may find that you will need to pay the rental fees upfront in order to be reimbursed by your insurance. Your insurance may handle the entire process yourself – or you may even find that your deductible applies to your rental fees. Be sure you have a crystal-clear understanding of your insurance coverage, as you don’t want to receive a nasty surprise when your rental bill is rejected by your coverage.
  • Once you’ve cleared out this information, you’ll want to conduct a thorough search for a knee walker rental in your area. Keep in mind that your hospital or doctor might have a referral in mind, so don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Check out knee walker rentals online. You may find that there’s a national brand that can provide you with a high-quality knee walker rental and even delivery it right to your front door (bonus!). As with using any new service, be sure to check out the vendor online before investing any money in the rental. You want to be sure that you’re using a vendor with a long and happy history of satisfied customers – and that you won’t get ripped off!
  • Finally, be sure you understand the terms and service of working with a certain knee walker rental service. Be sure you understand how the knee walker rental will be delivered and picked up, the weekly fees, any taxes and surcharges, and penalties for damaging or destroying the knee walker.

Now that you understand how to rent a knee walker, it’s time to get your hands on the coolest mobility device around!

The Best Broken Ankle Surgical Recovery Diet – Revealed

Admit it: you thought that laying down on the couch for a few weeks recovering from your broken ankle surgery would be a welcome break. Since your days are spent hurrying from the home to the office and back again, it seemed like catching up on your favorite TV shows and surfing the web would be a fantastic idea.

But now you’re not only getting bored – you’re noticing that you’re not exactly feeling your healthiest.

If you’re eating anything less than the best foods, you might as well point a blaming finger at your diet. Like with recovering from a sickness or a disease, a broken ankle surgical recovery diet should emphasize healthy intake and avoid tons of processed junk food.

Recovery - Diet

So if you’re been living off of microwave meals and Doritos during your broken ankle recovery – hey, no one would blame you – it’s time to revamp your mealtime choices with the best broken ankle surgical recovery diet.

Get Your Fair Share of Fruits and Veggies

You heard it during middle school health class, and you’re about to hear it again: if you want to feel unhealthy during your broken ankle surgical recovery, you need to get your fair share of fruits and veggies. We’re talking your leafy greens, your colorful fruits, and your seedless grapes (yum!).

Okay, we know that not everyone likes to eat their fruits and veggies. But if you want to expedite your ankle healing time, you need to get as many vitamins and minerals as possible. Consider stocking up on all-natural smoothies (or having someone run out and get some for you) or eating preserves (they may be coated in sugar, but at least it’s fruit!). Many fruit Popsicles even contain a fair amount of fruit juice, so consider stocking it in your freezer.

If you’re not getting five servings of fruit and veggies each day, buy a multi-vitamin and take it daily. Make sure you take it in the morning since that’s when your body is able to absorb the most nutrients. This way, you can be sure that you’re getting some of the essential stuff you’ll need to heal your body.

Eat Lean Meats

Your body needs protein to heal itself after a traumatic injury – and no injury is more traumatic than a broken ankle surgery. If you want to expedite the healing process, you should stock up on lean chicken breast and lean steak. Lean meats can provide you with the protein that helps your muscles grow, which is important in helping support your broken ankle. You also want to avoid eating too many fats, as this can be bad for your heart.

Consider having a loved one cook up some grilled chicken with spinach and walnuts for a delicious serving of meats and vegetables. Or combine shaved steak with delicious hummus and sprouts for a lovely lunchtime meal you’ll crave each day.

Go Light on the Carbs

Since you’re sitting and recovering from a broken ankle surgery, you don’t want to go too heavy on the carbs. This means avoiding refined pasta and breads, as these can surge your insulin levels and make you quickly gain weight. If you’re going to eat your carbs, be sure that they’re whole wheat or whole grain. And don’t go for seconds, no matter how delicious your wife’s chicken alfredo may be.

These broken ankle surgical recovery diet tips will have you back on your feet in no time!

Here’s a recipe to get you started on the right track:

Chicken Breast with Peaches

Peach - Chicken

Sprinkle one 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast with a pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper. Place in a baking pan and top with 1 sliced fresh peach. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

How Long Does It Take a Broken Ankle to Heal? 3 Tips For a Speedy Recovery

Suffering from a broken ankle can be an excruciating experience. No matter how it occurred – hey, even if it happened when you were wearing those dangerous six-inch platform heels on an icy winter night – healing a broken ankle should be your primary concern. After all, you don’t want to spend all of your time indoors recovering…you want to get out and enjoy life like you used to do.

 

Broken Ankle

Unfortunately, rushing your broken ankle to heal is one of the worst things you can do for your injury. Your ankle needs a great amount of time to heal, and if you push it before its ready, you could risk re-injuring yourself again. Typically, it takes a broken ankle about six to eight weeks. Therefore, if you want to help your broken ankle heal, you might want to consider taking the following steps:

1. Take a good hard look at your diet. It’s safe to say that if you’re filling up on junk food, you’re not getting the nutrients your body needs to efficiently heal your broken ankle. To give your body a kick-start, consider taking a calcium and magnesium supplement. The calcium is crucial for building strong bones, while the magnesium helps your body absorb all of the calcium. You can find these supplements at drugstores everywhere.

2. Give yourself time to rest. We know it can be boring just hanging out on your couch day after day; however, if you want to speed up your broken ankle healing time, you need to cut yourself some slack. Turn your recovery time into productive time by working from home, starting a blog, or learning a new skill like designing websites.

3. Isolate your broken ankle as much as possible. Instead of using crutches – which come with the risk of bumping your broken ankle – consider using a knee walker instead. This handy mobility device isolates your ankle and makes it easier to move around. You can’t get that kind of promise from a wooden mobility device that causes armpit blisters (ugh).

It can take a few months for a broken ankle to heal, so use these tips to ensure that your broken ankle recovery is a speedy one.

Recovery Guide: Lisfranc Fracture

What Is Lisfranc Fracture?

A Lisfranc fracture describes a fracture of the midfoot that can range from mild to very serious. Sometimes an injury can occur at the midfoot that does not break any bones. This is known as a Lisfranc injury. The midfoot is comprised of many tiny bones that are held together by ligaments, a type of connective tissue. Ligaments connect the two ends of bones together to form a joint. The ligaments that cross the midfoot connect the midfoot bones to the metatarsals (the long bones that connect to the toe bones). These joints form what is known as the Lisfranc joint complex and spans across the entire midfoot. It is essential for maintaining the shape of the foot and providing it with stability.

Lisfranc fracture

Unfortunately, with so many little pieces it makes the foot prone to injury. Lisfranc injuries can be caused by low-energy impacts, resulting from something as simple as a twist in the foot. The injury therefore, can result in fractures, tears in the ligaments, or both. This can cause the bones to displace and the joints to be dislocated. If left untreated, a flat foot deformity can develop as well as arthritis and other medical conditions.

Lisfranc Fracture Symptoms

The first symptoms that appear are usually bruising and swelling at the site of injury. Bruising along the bottom aspect of the midfoot is highly indicative of a Lisfranc injury. Pain might be so extreme that the patient may have difficulty weight bearing. The only real way to diagnosis a Lisfranc injury is through clinical evolution. Your doctor will most likely perform a series of test to identify a Lisfranc injury. One such test called the piano key test places stress along the midfoot by pulling the toes up and down. Sharp pain is a positive sign of injury. Radiographic assessment is the most surefire way to confirm an injury. An MRI might be required to confirm if there is any damage to the soft tissues. It’s important to identify the number of joints that are afflicted and the extent of their damage. Some injuries can be so severe that it causes displacement of the toes. Surgical intervention will be required to realign them in their normal anatomical position.

Lisfranc Fracture Treatment 

If there is no displacement and only minor damages to the soft tissues, then conservative treatment is the most likely course of outcome. Casting and/or splinting will be used to immobilize the bones. Patients will be non-weight bearing for about 6 weeks. During this period it is critical not place any weight on the foot. Since the midfoot is comprised of many small bones any type of pressure can cause them to shift around and prevent healing. Even worse, bone displacement can occur. When you progress to partial weight-bearing, some sort of orthotic or shoe/boot will be provided to ease you into activity. If there is any evidence that the bones have been shifted during recovery, surgery will be needed.

Lisfranc Fracture Recovery

If it is apparent right when you present with your injury that you have displaced bone and torn ligaments, then surgical intervention is a must. Your surgeon will set the bones in place using internal fixation such as a plate or screws. This will not only realign them, but also fix them in place to prevent movement. If the joints and cartilage are badly damaged, they might need to be fused to eliminate pain (known as an arthrodesis). Fusion might also be an option down the road if midfoot arthritis occurs as a result of the injury. Post-operative recovery is similar to conservative treatment. The patient will experience 4 to 6 weeks of non-weight bearing in a cast or splint followed by a transition into a boot/shoe or orthotic when the patient returns to weight bearing. Again, it cannot be greater emphasized how critical it is to remain non-weight bearing when instructed. Once weight bearing is established, you might be instructed to wear your protective footwear for a further 4 to 8 weeks. This is followed by transitioning into a stiff shoe for a further few weeks. The recovery time from a Lisfranc injury can be long and some individuals may not retain their pre-injury levels of activity.

Disclaimer: The information compiled in this guide was taken from sources made available to the public and from consultation with orthopedic surgeons. We are not medical professionals and do not regard ourselves as experts. Always listen to the instructions given by your doctor first and foremost. However, we encourage patient education and recommend that you research your injury further. Your medical institution website may have further useful information. Otherwise please check our list sources for more detailed reading.

Sources

1.)   http://www.hss.edu/condition-list_foot-ankle.asp

2.)   http://www.footeducation.com/foot-and-ankle-conditions

3.)   http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/menus/foot.cfm

 photo credit

Recovery Guide: Calcaneal Fracture

What Is a Calcaneal Fracture?

The calcaneus is the bone that makes up your heel. Calcaneal fractures usually occur after a high-energy accident, such as in a motor vehicle crash or a fall from a great height. Because of this calcaneal fractures tend to come with other problems that vary with the extent of the injury. This is usually related to the amount of force that was used to cause the break. The worst case scenario is that the calcaneus shatters resulting in many fragments. This is known as a comminuted fracture (a break that results in three or more fragments). Because calcaneal fractures are usually the result of a high-force impact, there is a chance that the bones can damage soft tissue and puncture the skin as well.

Calcaneus_Fracture

Breaks of the calcaneus can be very serious since they can affect the subtalar joint; the joint that is comprised of the calcaneus and the talus (the ankle bone). This joint is responsible for the side-to-side motion of your foot.  Therefore, a severe break in the calcaneus can also result in a stiff ankle, limiting movement. In addition, the calcaneus is also where the Achilles tendon joins from the calf muscle. Tendons are connective tissue that connects muscle to bone and allows us to perform our movements. The Achilles tendon allows us to point our foot down when walking and running. It also helps our heel to support our body weight. A fracture in the calcaneus can disrupt the union of the heel and the Achilles tendon, thus destabilizing our foot and ankle. Lastly, since it typically takes a lot of force to break the calcaneus, other bones in the foot and ankle can be broken as well. All of these features can attribute to instability, swelling, and pain. If a fracture is really severe, it might limit or prevent the patient from walking or even weight bearing all together.

Calcaneal Fracture Treatment Options

Calcaneal fractures that present with a displacement of bone can result in the formation of deformity if not properly realigned. The bone also risks not healing altogether if not taken care of. Therefore displacement fractures or fractures that result in many broken fragments (such as comminuted fractures) are treated operatively. Surgery will require internal fixation, such as the use of plates, nails, and screws to realign the bone and fix them in place. Any damaged tissues will be fixed, such as reattachment of ligaments or the Achilles tendon, if separated. The difference between conservative and surgical treatments all depend if there is any displacement of bone or not. If the bones look intact and the soft tissues are relatively undamaged, then casting and immobilization will be the primary means of treatment. Any fracture that results in puncturing of the skin will require immediate surgery to clean and sterilize the wound. Calcaneal fractures that result in an avulsion of the Achilles tendon (the bone that connects with the Achilles tendon breaks away and detaching it from the main body) would also require immediate surgery to reattach the tendon. A non-weight bearing scooter is almost always recommended.

Calcaneal Fracture Prognosis

Because they can be pretty severe, breaks of the calcaneus take quite a bit of time to heal. Recovery time is about the same for conservative and surgical patients.  It takes about 10 to 12 weeks for the bone to fully heal. During this time period patients will be expected to be non-weight bearing. This is followed by a period where the patient will transition from partial to full weight bearing. Physical therapy is key because the subtalar joint will be stiff and will need to be conditioned back into mobility. After about 4-6 months patients will start seeing some real progress, though it could take up to a year or a year and a half to achieve maximum recovery. However, there is no guarantee that patients will achieve the same status that they were in prior to injury.

Disclaimer: The information compiled in this guide was taken from sources made available to the public and from consultation with orthopedic surgeons. We are not medical professionals and do not regard ourselves as experts. Always listen to the instructions given by your doctor first and foremost. However, we encourage patient education and recommend that you research your injury further. Your medical institution website may have further useful information. Otherwise please check our list sources for more detailed reading.

Sources

1.)   http://www.hss.edu/condition-list_foot-ankle.asp

2.)   http://www.footeducation.com/foot-and-ankle-conditions

3.)   http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/menus/foot.cfm

Recovery Guide: Ankle Arthrodesis (Fusion)

What Is Ankle Arthrodesis (Fusion)?

An arthrodesis in the truest sense of the word means a joint fusion, hence why in lay terms an ankle arthrodesis is known as an “ankle fusion.” A joint is comprised up of the ends of two pieces of bone, ligaments (which hold the bones together), tendons (which attaches muscle to the bone), and cartilage (which cushions our joints). In a nutshell, it’s a surface where two bones connect. Joint classification and composition can vary, but this is the simplest description. The two main bones that comprise the ankle joint are the tibia (long bone of the lower leg) and the talus (the ankle bone). Together they form the surface which allows you to pull your foot up or down. The ankle joint however is actually quite complex and other structures help to provide stability while standing and with movement (such as the fibula and ligaments).

Ankle Arthrodesis (Fusion)

Most importantly, wedged in this gap between the talus and tibia is cartilage. Cartilage provides the cushioning in the joint and allows for ease of movement. Cartilage cannot be grown back so overtime it wears down. The more active an individual is the quicker and more aggressive becomes the degeneration of cartilage.  Degeneration of cartilage leads to arthritis, a condition of pain within the joints. Since there is no cartilage to cushion the bones, they grind together which causes pain, swelling and inflammation. Sometimes range of motion becomes limited as a result. Increasingly severe levels of pain are typically symptomatic of advanced levels of arthritis.

Different Types of Arthritis

However it is important to point out there are many different types of arthritis. The arthritis that is described above is known as osteoarthritis, but you might see it abbreviated as OA for short. There are other factors that contribute to OA, such as heredity and obesity, but OA is most significantly a mechanistic condition that results in the wearing down of cartilage overtime. Sometimes a patient develops OA due to a severe injury to the joint that damages the cartilage or destroys it entirely (also known as post-traumatic arthritis). In comparison, Rheumatoid arthritis (RA for short) is an autoimmune disease that results in the destruction of cartilage by the body’s own immune system. RA and OA are the two most common types of arthritis. If patients are signed up for an ankle fusion, it’s usually because they are faced with late stages of arthritis; typically OA. Therefore, patients presenting for an ankle fusion are usually in their mid forties and older.

By fusing the ends of the talus and tibia together, the joint is effectively eliminated. You lose the ability to move your foot up or down, but with no joint present the bones no longer grind into each other resulting in the absence of pain. In addition, some patients presenting for ankle fusion lack sufficient stability in their joints, which is remedied by fusing the bones together. The procedure varies with the surgeon’s technique, but typically the ends of the bone are first shaved off to create a flat surface. Then, the ends are fused together with internal fixation (such as screws, rod or plate) or external fixation, or sometimes a combination of both. Healing time for a healthy individual should be about three months, though age and other existing medical conditions can also factor into healing time. Smoking and diabetes for example are known to have an impact on healing. Therefore, depending on the forces at play, healing could take anywhere from 3-6 months. Sometimes factors like smoking and diabetes can result in complications such as failure to heal or misaligned healing. This could lead to the need for a revision of the fusion or more aggressive treatments, such as the injection of bone marrow to help stimulate healing.

Ankle Arthrodesis (Fusion) Recovery

Recovery is usually straight forward. Patients are expected to be non-weight bearing for the first few months of their treatment. Their surgeon will check on their healing progress periodically and will guide the patient to progress to partially weight bearing when appropriate. For the typical patient, this could be between one and a half to two months post-op, though again this varies per individual. For patients who have been fused with internal fixation, it might be possible to remove the hardware down the road. This all depends if the hardware becomes painful, or based solely on the patients preference. A lot of times the hardware can stay in without impacting the surgical outcome.

Another possible outcome of having an ankle fusion is arthritis of the neighboring joint. Fusing the tibia and talus together can have an impact on the other joints that make up the foot and ankle and could lead to arthritic changes. This varies with the patient’s level of activity. More aggressive patients run the risk of wearing the neighboring joint out. It is possible to fuse these joints as well, though again at the expense of motion. There are many types of joint fusions that are possible in the foot and ankle and all depend on the symptoms that the patient presents with. A patient may even need to have several joints fused at the time of their ankle fusion.

Tibo-Talor Fusion

A fusion of the tibia and talus is also known as a tibo-talor fusion or TT-fusion for short. However, depending on the status of the talus (whether it’s healthy or damaged or not) it might have to be removed. This leads to an alternative type of ankle fusion known as a tibo-calcaneal fusion, or TC-fusion. This is a fusion of the tibia and heel bone, otherwise known as the calcaneus. This type of fusion typically results in a significant shortening of bone which leaves the patient with a leg length discrepancy. However, this could be remedied with a shoe lift. In addition, by fusing the heel, the patient’s range of motion is further decreased by eliminating the joint that is responsible for side-to-side swinging motion of the foot. If the patient’s talus is healthy, but they also have arthritic heel pain, they may receive a TTC-fusion which stands for tiob-talor-calcaneal fusion. Here all three joints are fused and eliminates all motion in the foot at the expense of being pain free.

Ankle Arthrodesis (Fusion) Healing Time

Healing time for a TCC and TC-fusion are about the same for a TT-fusion; somewhere between 3-6 months depending on the patient. Full recovery can take anywhere from 4-9 months. 

Almost always these operations require a non-weight bearing mobility device such as crutches or a knee walker.

Disclaimer: The information compiled in this guide was taken from sources made available to the public and from consultation with orthopedic surgeons. We are not medical professionals and do not regard ourselves as experts. Always listen to the instructions given by your doctor first and foremost. However, we encourage patient education and recommend that you research your injury further. Your medical institution website may have further useful information. Otherwise please check our list sources for more detailed reading.

Sources

1.)   http://www.hss.edu/condition-list_foot-ankle.asp

2.)   http://www.footeducation.com/foot-and-ankle-conditions

3.)   http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/menus/foot.cfm

Broken Ankle Recovery Time And Tips To Speed Up Healing

Lounging around on the couch waiting for your broken ankle to heal might seem like a dream. After all, who can resist the delicious temptations of watching your favorite movies and TV shows, all while resting on your couch with your favorite meal balanced on your lap?

Fast-forward just a few days later, and your “restful” recovery might begin to feel more like a prison sentence. You’re going out of your mind with boredom – and you’re anxiously looking for ways to speed up your broken ankle recovery time.

Before you resort to drastic measures, heed this warning: your foot is going to take its sweet time recovering. No matter what plans or desires you might have for your future healthy ankle, your foot is going to take all the time it needs to get itself back on track. So don’t pressure your ankle to start carrying its weight before it’s ready – because you’ll just end right back on that couch again.

Broken Ankle Recovery Time

If your doctor didn’t already tell you how long your ankle needs to heal, note that you should expect to cater to your ankle’s needs for the next year or so. However, you can expect to see the following from your broken ankle recovery time:

If the ankle was a simple break, you should expect to be healed in a minimum of three months. However, if you smoke, it’s important to note that healing will generally take longer. Therefore, if you’re a smoker with a broken ankle, expect healing time to extend for another month past the minimum three months.

If there were complications in your broken ankle (for example, other bones were dislocated or there were several breaks), you’re looking at a healing time of six months to a year.

Note that this healing time will include physical therapy and plenty of doctor’s appointments, so make sure you like your doctor – you’ll be seeing his or her face a lot!

Now that we’ve supplied a final definition of broken ankle recovery time, let’s focus on the tips you can use to hurry the healing:

Elevate your foot as often as possible. Invest in comfy and bright pillows, as these will lift your mood when you’re going through your broken ankle healing.

Buy a foot bath. Fill it up with warm, swirling water, and soak your foot in it as often as possible (this will be done once your cast is off, of course). After taking the warm foot bath, apply an ice pack to your ankle. The warm water loosens and relaxes muscles, while the ice pack eases any swelling that might occur.

Invest in a good bone supplement. Nutrition is key to healing, and a bone supplement will help hurry up healing time. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a high-quality bone supplement; Wal-Mart and Target both carry their own versions of popular supplement brands. Make sure your bone supplement has magnesium as well as plenty of calcium, as magnesium helps the body’s absorbency of the calcium.

Avoid foods that could rob your body of its healing powers. Many studies indicate that patients recovering from a broken ankle should avoid alcohol, sugar, and even pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen.

As previously mentioned, smoking can increase your healing time. Therefore, if you’re a smoker, consider quitting for good. You don’t want to do serious damage to your body while attempting to hurry up your broken ankle healing!

Use these tips for faster broken ankle recovery, and you’ll be back on your feet in no time.