A Fractured Ankle Recovery Guide

A fractured ankle is a very serious injury, one that will leave the sufferer unable to stand or walk for some weeks. Fractured ankle recovery begins once the injury has been diagnosed and initial treatment has been applied. If you suffer a break in ankle you need to know how fractured ankle recovery happens, what the symptoms are that require treatment and then what the treatment is. This short guide aims to give this information and more.

Selection a Section:

What is Fractured Ankle Recovery?

Broken ankle pictures show that fractured ankle recovery involves the patient wearing a fractured ankle cast for several weeks until the bones have mended. The patient then enters a period of rehabilitation and physiotherapy.

Fractured Ankle Recovery Key Facts

A fractured ankle is a very common injury. Each year there are over 5 million ankle injuries treated in UK hospitals. Of these, around 700,000 are a broken ankle. Therefore, at any time, there are a many thousands of people in the UK recovering from a break of ankle bones.

Your ankle carries all of the weight of your body as you stand or walk. Therefore, whilst you are in broken ankle recovery, the answer to the question, can you walk on a fractured ankle? Is generally no. You will be in fractured ankle recovery for several weeks.

The ankle is a crucial joint, attached to the bottom end of the two long bones of the lower leg, the tibia and fibula. It plays a key role allowing the foot to pivot and flex whilst walking, as well as assisting with keeping balance. Whilst you are in fractured ankle recovery, you will likely have to wear a cast, similar to the one pictured below.

Broken Ankle Recovery

What are the Signs and Symptoms Requiring Fracture Ankle Recovery?

Before you can begin fractured ankle recovery, your symptoms need to be diagnosed and the relevant treatment applied. The details below describe these symptoms. Broken ankle symptoms vs sprain symptoms are very similar, although, with a broken ankle, they will usually be more severe. fractured ankle symptoms include:

  • Pain – actually on the ankle itself, or close to the ankle joint on the lower leg.
  • Bruising and swelling – of the ankle itself or the lower leg.
  • Discomfort – when attempting to move the foot, or when trying to stand.
  • Misshapen – your foot my stick out at an odd angle or be visibly twisted to the left or right.
  • Snapping noise – if you heard a bone snap when you hurt your ankle, this is one of the primary fractured ankle signs.

If you exhibit one or more of these symptoms after hurting your ankle, you may need treatment, and then will have a period of fractured ankle recovery.

What Are the Most Common Causes Leading to Fractured Ankle Recovery?

There are a number of common causes of fractured ankle symptoms, which when diagnosed with a broken ankle will lead to treatment followed by fractured ankle recovery. The most common being:

  • Sporting injuries – which overstress of overuse the ankle, can cause a hairline fracture. These are also commonly caused by a large muscle group contracting and actually chipping or flaking a section of bone away.
  • Car/bicycle/motorcycle/pedestrian accidents – the trauma caused by a road traffic accident can easily break the ankle.
  • Direct impact – such as dropping a heavy weight on the foot. This is particularly common with industrial injuries that happened at work and cause a broken ankle.
  • Slips, trips or falls – if you fall while walking, wrenching your ankle, this can cause a fracture. This is the single most common cause of a broken ankle requiring significant recovery time in elderly people.

When Should You Seek Medical Care Before Fractured Ankle Recovery?

If you have suffered an accident such as those outlined above, and you are exhibiting any of the fractured ankle symptoms already discussed, then you need to seek medical attention so that you can get the right treatment and begin your fractured ankle recovery.

You will not be able to walk on your fractured ankle, so you will need assistance in getting to the hospital. If you have nobody to help you, then you will need to call for an ambulance instead. You may also be in shock, and if this is the case, you are definitely going to need to call an ambulance, and in this case, you should dial 999 if you are alone.

How to Get a Free Expert Orthopaedic Assessment for Your Broken Bone Report

As part of the treatment of your broken ankle at the hospital, before you receive treatment and start your recovery, your doctor will take a fractured ankle x-ray. The results of this x-ray are used as the basis for creating a broken bone report. In turn, this broken bone report is used to discern the correct treatment for your injury, to get you on the road to recovery.

You can request a copy of this broken bone report, and in some cases, we can arrange for people to receive a free expert orthopaedic assessment of the broken bone report. This helps you to understand if you are receiving the best treatment for your broken ankle recovery. Call us now to find out of a free expert orthopaedic assessment of your broken bone report is available in your area.

How are Injuries Requiring Fractured Ankle Recovery Diagnosed?

Before you can receive treatment for your injury, and begin your broken ankle recovery, the damage to the ankle needs to be diagnosed. Diagnosis begins with a medical examination, during which, your doctor will take all the key facts of your injury, and judge whether they believe your ankle is broken. If they do, then further tests will be done to help with ankle fracture classification, including:

  • X-ray – an x-ray is used in the case of simple and compound fractures which will show up well in this kind of image.
  • CT scan – if the damage to your ankle does not show up on an x-ray, the doctor may try and CT scan. Although not as good as an MRI scan, it is a quicker procedure and helps to uncover damage to tissue, ligaments and nerves at the same time.
  • MRI scan – if the doctor believes you have suffered a hairline fracture or damaged some of the nerves and tissue around the ankle, and MRI scan will be used, as this kind of damage does not show up on an x-ray.

How are Injuries Requiring Fractured Ankle Recovery Treated?

The fractured ankle treatment you receive before beginning your recovery will depend upon the seriousness of the injury. However, regardless of how serious your injury is, you will always be stabilised first. Your ankle will be immobilised, and you will be given painkillers if you need them. Then one of two types of treatment will be given:

  • For minor fractures – your ankle will be put into a broken ankle in cast, and then depending upon whether your doctor thinks that your injury is minor enough for you to be able to walk on it, you may be given some crutches. You will then be sent home from the hospital to begin your broken ankle recovery. During your recovery from a broken ankle at home, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
  • For serious fractures – if the bones in the ankle need to be realigned before they heal, then this will be done either by hand or by broken ankle surgery. Surgical fixings such as pins, screws, rods and plates will be used to keep the bones in place as they heal. Your ankle will then be put in a broken ankle in cast. You may be given some painkillers to see you through the first few days, and then you will be sent home from the hospital to begin your fractured ankle recovery. You will need assistance to get home from the hospital, as you will be unable to walk. If available, the hospital will provide you with a suitable wheelchair.

What Free Private Treatment Can I Qualify For?

Some people may qualify for some type of free private ankle fracture treatment. Whilst there is nothing wrong with NHS treatment, private medical care is generally much better. However, it is also usually very costly. Or is it? There are many offers of free private medical care in the UK, depending on the region the patient lives.

If you would like to find out if you are eligible to claim any free private medical care in your area, then just give us a call and tell us your postcode. We will be able to let you know almost instantly if we believe there is free medical care you could be claiming.

Managing Your Fractured Ankle Recovery at Home

One of the most important factors in your fractured ankle recovery is how well you take care of your injury when you have been discharged from the hospital and sent home. The broken ankle recovery tips below will help you to understand how best to go about this:

  • For the first few days, be sure to rest your ankle keeping it propped up above the level o your heart. With broken ankle swelling how long it lasts can be reduced by doing this. The best way to do this is to lay prone and prop your feet up on a pile of soft pillows.
  • Don’t put any weight on your ankle at all until your doctor says it is OK to do so. Even if there is no pain when you try it, you could still be causing further damage, which will slow down you fractured ankle recovery.
  • Make sure you follow the guidelines given to you at the hospital with regards to how to take care of your cast. Especially try not to get it wet.
  • Keep an eye on your injury to make sure you don’t show any signs of infection, or that the skin colour around the ankle changes. If either of these things happens, contact your doctor immediately.
  • After a few weeks, ask your doctor how to start walking after a broken ankle? If they think it is safe, they will give you simple stretching and strengthening exercises to do to get your ankle ready for when the cast comes off.

Is There Any Other Good Treatment I Can Get for Free?

Many people are able to claim some form of free medical supplies to assist with their broken ankle recovery. For example, you might be eligible for a free broken ankle brace, or some high-quality crutches to help you as you recover from a broken ankle.

To find out if any free medical supplies are available in your area, just give us a quick call and tell us your postcode. We will then be able to tell you of any free medical care offers open to you.

Follow Up for Fractured Ankle Recovery

Once you have been discharged from the hospital and sent home, during the course of your recovery you will have to visit your doctor every 2 or 3 weeks.

At these follow-up appointments your doctor will check that your fractured ankle recovery is proceeding well and that no complications have set in. They may send you for more broken ankle x ray tests to be sure of this.

Towards the end of your broken ankle recovery time, you will begin to discuss with your doctor how your rehabilitation will proceed once your cast comes off.

How Long Does Fractured Ankle Recovery Take?

The answer to the question, how long does it take to heal a fractured ankle? Is that for healthy adults, it takes around 6 weeks for the bones of the ankle to heal. Although at this stage, your broken ankle recovery is not complete. You will need a period of rehabilitation, using physiotherapy to get your ankle back into top shape.

Elderly people may have a longer fractured ankle recovery time, sometimes up to as long as 12 weeks before the cast is ready to come off, followed by a long period of rehabilitation.

How Can I Recover Safer and Possibly Faster?

Once you have completed your fractured ankle recovery, and are ready to begin your rehabilitation, then you will be sent for physiotherapy. NHS physio is good, but private physio is much more effective.

You may be able to get some free private physiotherapy to help with your rehabilitation from fractured ankle recovery. All you need to do to find out if this is an option for you is to give us a quick call. We will take your postcode and be able to let you know whether there is any free private physio in your area.

What is the Prognosis for Fractured Ankle Recovery?

Typically, for healthy adults under 65, the prognosis for recovery from a broken ankle is very good. In most cases, the patient will spend around 6 weeks in a cast, and then 1 to 2 months in rehabilitation before they regain the full use of their ankle.

For older people over 65, the prognosis is not as good. It can take up to 12 weeks for the bones to heal in the elderly, and then even after a period of rehabilitation it is likely there will be some loss of mobility.

There are a number of complications that can set in during broken ankle recovery, and potentially serious long-term health effect.

What are the Possible Complications During Fractured Ankle Recovery?

One of the most common reasons why fractured ankle recovery time can take longer than expected is the onset of one or more complications. As with any serious injury, there is a likelihood of complications setting in for a broken ankle, including conditions such as:

  • Compartment syndrome – this complication occurs when the blood flow to the leg is restricted by the broken ankle cast or brace, causing the leg to swell painfully. This complication needs medical attention so that it can be cured, and broken ankle recovery can continue.
  • Nerve damage – a complication that can occur when the break itself damages the nerves of the foot. This results in a pins and needles sensation or numbness in the foot and toes.
  • Infection – common after surgical procedures have been used to realign the bones before recovery, it is treated with antibiotics and in some cases further surgery. A very serious complication during fractured ankle recovery if left untreated.
  • Rotation – this is a term used to describe the situation which occurs when two parts of a bone come out of alignment before they begin to knit back together.
  • Nonunion – a medical term used to describe the situation where two parts of a bone are too far apart to begin knitting back together.

Do You Think Your Doctor Might Have Missed Something About Your Injury?

If you have been treated at an NHS hospital for a broken ankle, and you believe your recovery has been hindered by incorrect or badly administered treatment, then you need to inform yourself about the nature of your injury and its recovery. If you believe medical malpractice has taken place, then all of the websites below offer far more detailed information about fractured ankle recovery than this short guide:

Broken Ankle Information – NHS

Ankle Fracture Advice For Patients – University Hospital Southampton

Physiotherapy following an Ankle Fracture – Leicestershire Partnership

Contact Us to Find Out if You Qualify for Free Private Treatment

If you have recently been through broken ankle recovery, then you may not be aware that you might be able to claim some form of free private medical care.

This free private care could take the form of a free expert orthopaedic assessment of your broken bone report. It could be some tangible aid such as a free broken ankle brace or some high-quality crutches. It might even be something to help with your rehabilitation such as free private physiotherapy.

If you would like to find out just what free private medical treatment might be available to you, then we make the process extremely simple. All you need to do is pick up the telephone and give us a quick call. We will ask you to explain your injury, and then take your postcode. We will then attempt to find any free private medical care available in your area, and give you the details.