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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Not able to walk after healed ankle fracture

 timmy84 - Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:53 pm


6 weeks ago I fractured my right ankle (by slipping on a wet pavement). I was near a hospital at the time, so within a couple hours had a cast around my leg. 4 days later, I had my appointment with the bone doctor who decided I needed a new plaster, which would keep the foot in a 90 degree angle (I don't know why the first plaster wasn't done this way). He noted that the fibula bone was what was fractured.

Today (6 weeks after I had my first plaster put on, 5.5 if we're going by the second plaster), I had the plaster removed.

What worries me is that I am struggling to walk around. The doctor said my foot is just feeling sore, not having used it for 6 weeks and suggested that I leave the crutches behind in the hospital. I ended up taking them with me, however, because I could see that I was having trouble moving without them - at least, without the right one supporting my weak ankle.

I asked if perhaps an x-ray would be beneficial - but the doctor said that the bone would have healed, there was nothing to worry about.

I'm wondering if he could have overlooked anything? I feel exactly as I did six weeks ago (minus the appearance of a twisted foot) - I can stand on two legs, but trying to walk, putting weight on the right foot only makes it painful. If I try to put too much weight on the right foot, I have the feeling I will fall. Basically, without the crutch on my right side, I can't walk.

So should I be worried? To be honest the doctor didn't seem like he was paying much attention to my ankle in the first place. Or is this natural and I should just give it a couple days to see how things develop? I wasn't exactly expecting to be able to run from the moment the plaster was off, but not being able to walk unaided is a bit extreme too.

I'm 23 years old, male.


 tcpuccio1 - Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:31 pm

It took me 3 weeks to be able to walk half way normal again. I was in 2 fiberglass casts for a total of 8 weeks. It takes time scroll down a few posts to mine.
 waters - Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:47 pm

Hi I broke my tibia in December 2007 went 6 weeks that they decided that surgery was needed plate and screws two weeks later had blood clot go threw my system went for another 6 weeks and am still not able, They now say I have CRPS and it is painfull swelling coldness stinging ect.
Taking physo 3 times weekly and have had 2 sympetic lumbar block that only last 3-4 days (but feel good ) but still not able to walk without a crutch and forget stairs
 John Kenyon, CNA - Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:46 pm

User avatar Hello Tim -

It seems likely, based on your description of the injury, the initial and followup treatment, and the location of the fracture, that the weakness you're experiencing is fairly normal. A short course of physical therapy might be in order, but only if your doctor would order it and your insurance would cover it. If not, then you're probably going to have to practice, for brief periods several times per day, walking or at least lifting weight with the foot to rebuild the strength on the ankle area. You'd be amazed at how quickly muscle can decondition!

I think if you push things a little you will soon start to notice incremental improvement. Please let us know how things go.

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