Physical Therapy and Ankle Fracture
August 29, 2023
A freak accident or weird fall can result in a myriad of injuries. One of these injuries can be an ankle fracture. Your ankle is composed of three bones, the tibia, the fibula, and the talus. These three bones can result in a variety of fractures and injuries from a fall. Most of these fractures do require surgery and/or physical therapy.
After the injury you will be placed in a CAM boot. This boot has its pros and cons. It allows for earlier motion and mobility which can decrease your recovery time. However, it is hot, heavy, and can cause issues with being able to drive or be independent. Physical therapy can help to address all these issues. During your initial appointment we will work on evaluating how the boot and the restrictions of your injury are currently affecting your life and what needs addressed to get you back to 100%.
Initially physical therapy will focus on your mobility, flexibility, and non-weight bearing muscle strength. We will design a plan of care that works within your MD restrictions. These restrictions could include weight bearing status, a CAM boot wear schedule, etc. The more mobility and flexibility you can attain before the boot comes off the easier it will be to start walking as soon as you lose the boot.
Once you’re able to bear weight outside the boot we will start to work on weight bearing muscle strength. We often call this functional strength, and it leads right into your balance and proprioception. At this point you are often starting to feel better and working back to normal. However, it is important to address the balance and proprioception of your ankle to improve your overall stability. This step is often missed but can have lasting effects on the future of your ankle when on unstable surfaces or faced with another fall situation.
After you have completed all these steps you can get back to your normal life with renewed confidence and strength in your ankle and its ability to handle what you put it through!