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Broken fibula recovery? ankle hurts? (Page 1)

Hello

I broke my fibula playing football on the 01/10/11 and even though i thought it was just a really bad dead leg, after walking on it a week i went to doctors who in the end xrayed it and said it was a mid shaft fibula break!

Anyway i was put in a full leg cast (hip to toe) for 2 weeks, then a leg cast below knee for another 4. I have now had the cast taken off (last week) and just have a brace to put on when walking. The doctor didnt tell me any exercises to do or anything but i want to speed up the recovery time as much as possible.

What worrys me is that considering i broke the fibula all my pain i am getting today is in my ankle, it feels so weak! anyone know why? What exercises would you recommend? How long till im playing football again?

Thanks in advance

Jack
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First Helper User Profile Gaelic
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replied November 24th, 2011
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penkwolf,

Your ankle pain is because it has been immobilized since the beginning of October. The good thing, is that since it was not injured, it should come around fairly quickly.

Wow, all that for an isolated midshaft fibular fracture. Usually, for an isolated midshaft fibular fracture we might place the patient in a splint and on crutches for a couple of weeks, then allow the patient to begin weaning from the crutches as tolerated.

Usually, in an isolated midshaft fibular fracture, there is no joint which has to be worried about. And the fibula is not a weight bearing bone (a little less than 10% of the weight goes through the fibula). So, you had the max treatment for this.


Now, you have to get your muscle bulk back and the range of motion in the ankle, knee, and foot. The knee should be pretty well there already. Once you have your strength and full range of motion, then you can start doing sport specific exercises.

Remember, you do not just break the bone. The muscles and other soft tissues around the fracture site are also injured. The muscle heals, but with scar tissue. Scar does not stretch as well as regular tissue. So, it may take some time to stretch out the muscles on the lateral (outside) side of the leg. Massage sometimes helps with the scar tissue.

Good luck. Hope you return to football very soon.
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replied November 24th, 2011
Hello, when i was reading these forums i really hoped you replied as you have helped so many people so thank you!

Well if your from england,lets just say my "local" hospital is one if not IS the worst around and always talked about in the media!

Well anyway i thought it was all a bit much, but well couldnt really argue! i have been out of cast for a week now, and then go back to the hospital in 2 for a check up

My leg has a bump in it on the bone where it was broke and i understand this is the bone healing, the thing which worrys me is my ankle, it feels so weak, im still limping when walking and if i twist it or anything wrong way it really hurts?

considering it was a mid shaft break i didnt think it would damage much tissue by my ankle, but obvuously has! could their be ligament damage? or am i just thinking the worst here?

Also what exercises would you recommend me to do between now and 2 weeks when i go back to stregthen my whole leg?

Many thanks!
Jack

P.s What is the usual recovery time from fibula break to returning to activity? thanks
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replied November 25th, 2011
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Jack,

You do not say how the fibula was actually broken. Was it due to a blow directly to the outside of the leg? Or, was it due to a twisting injury?

If it was due to a direct kick or blow to the outside of the leg, then the discomfort in the ankle is probably from the prolonged immobilization. And it sound come around with some therapy and time.

If the injury was due to a twisting mechanism, and you continue to have significant ankle pain (more than you think is coming from immobilization), then you really need to have the ankle examined thoroughly by an orthopedic surgeon. There is an injury called a Maisonneuve Fracture. And, unfortunately, it can be overlooked by someone not used to looking for it.

In a Maisonneuve Fracture, there is a fracture of the fibula (midshaft or higher), but the big problem is actually in the ankle. The talus (one of the ankle bones) has acted like a wedge between the tibia and fibula, torquing them open, rupturing the syndesmosis ligament between the two bones, and finally breaking out through the fibula (high up).

Anyone who has an isolated fibular fracture must be evaluated for a Maisonneuve, especially if they have ankle pain. If your ankle pain does not get better fairly quickly, you should really have someone take a look at the ankle.


In terms of ankle exercises, first you have to get your range of motion back. Write the alphabet with your toes in the air. That's one good exercise. Once you have the ROM, then you can strengthen the ankle.

Toe raises help the calf muscles, but you also need to work of the muscles on the sides, the inverters and everters. The best way to do that is with an elastic type of band. You can buy the TheraBand, but a bicycle inner tube can work. Make a loop of elastic tubing, put it around a table leg, and put your toes also in the loop. Then work on moving the ankle outwards against resistance, then inward against resistance.

The toes can also be built up, by doing things like picking up small objects with them (marbles, nuts, etc). Or you can put a small towel flat on the floor in front of you. Then using only your toes, schrunch up the towel, moving it towards you. If the towel is too easy, place a can of soup on the other end, and then try.

Proprioception is one of the hardest things to get back after a significant injury. This is balance and agility. One way to work on this is with a platform that has a half ball on its undersurface. But, this usually requires going to a therapy department. You can do something else at home. Take a big bath towel. Fold it into about a square foot. Then, using the bad leg, stand on the towel, holding the other foot off the ground (close your eyes also). You might want to do this next to a table for support. If one towel is too easy, try using two towels. The soft, moving nature causes you to move the ankle to stay upright.

Once you can do all of this easily, then start of sport specific activities. Gentle ball handling skills are great. Then when you don't have any pain, start jumping, kicking, sprinting, etc.



Again, if you think the ankle pain is more than just post immobilization discomfort, you might want to have the ankle checked out.

Good luck.
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replied November 29th, 2011
Thank you so much!

My ankle is now feeling alot better! I am into my 8th week of the healing process and the 2nd week of my weight bearing!

I am starting to walk without a limp aswell Very Happy but i still get a pain in my leg where the break was sometimes? or like an achey pain... is this ok? should it be fully healed by now?

also how long would you recommend till i start to try play football again?

thanks

p.s i am unsure how it broke if that makes sense, it could of been a direct blow, or a twist as it was a complex situation. if i had to guess i would say it was a direct blow
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replied November 29th, 2011
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Jack,

Usually, isolated midshaft fibular fractures are from a direct blow. And it is not uncommon for a patient to not remember exactly how or when the accident occurred, especially if it was during an athletic event or similar activity. The patient is caught up in the moment and the adrenaline is running and the body's fight-or-flight mechanism is in full force, so many times patients will not feel the pain of the injury until after the event is over. Again, it is part of the fight-or-flight mechanism, that kept our ancestors alive. But anyways...


It is also very common the the muscles and other soft tissues around the fracture site to ache. Remember, not just to bone is injured in a fracture. The periosteum, which is the outer covering of the bone, is torn and the muscles get ripped off of the bone in that location. The fascia, tendons, nerves, blood vessels, etc all get injured. Soft tissues heals, but with scar tissue. And scar does not stretch or contract as well as normal tissue.

It takes quite a while to rehabilitate all of the soft tissues. Getting the bone to unite is just the first step in recovering from a broken bone. Getting the soft tissues healed and rehabilitated actually takes the longest time. It is not uncommon for it to take 6 to 8 months before a final result is known in these injuries. That is not to say that you will not be able to do anything until then, but that it may take that long till you are fully rehabilitated.


As to when you can return to playing football, then depends upon how fast you can rebuild muscle and regain your balance and agility.

Once you have regained your range of motion and can walk about 2-3 miles briskly, without a limp or significant pain, then you can try jogging. At first, it is usually better to jog on a track, where you do not have to worry about uneven surfaces. On the track you may want to start by walking a lap, jogging a lap, walking a lap, etc for up to about 3 miles or so. When this becomes easy, then go to continuous jogging. Once you feel very comfortable jogging and you have regained some of your cardiovascular fitness, you can then start trying to sprint.

Once again, start off with jogging for warm up. Then do some short sprints to get used to the start and stopping again. Work in sprinting for a stop, then try varying the speed while running on the track. Go from walking to jogging to sprinting, try going from walking straight to sprinting. Get used to the start and stop actions again.

Then when this all feels really good, then you can add in the cutting and pivoting on an even surface first. Then go to working on an uneven surface such as a grass field with your cleats on. While you are getting back to the running, you can also add in some ball handling skills, to work on agility and balance.

So, you can see it will take a little time to get back to playing. But, if you work on it at least a little bit a day, you should get back fairly quickly. You are well motivated, and that is often the most important aspect in recovery.


Hang in there, you will be playing before too long. Good luck.
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replied April 7th, 2012
fibula
hi there

im 9 months post break fibula mid shaft i also had a significant tear in the achilles as a result of an impact while turning injury, I am still getting significant pain around the ball of my ankle i have done all the exercises been on the bike swimming but every time i try to go back running i have significant pain and am lame for a few days after... I met with the surgeon again last week and he now feels i need a plate to be inserted... What are you views on this????
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replied August 20th, 2012
Fibula fracture
Hello
My Rh fibula lower end has spiral fracture not misaligned(x-ray) last week and no pain in weight bearing,no swelling.
I am full bed rest with creep bandage .
Will it cure with rest of 3 weeks.

BKS
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replied September 10th, 2012
I broke my fibula two weeks ago. Still in hard cast. Pain has been getting better but yesterday I accidently tripped and put all my weight on it for a second or two. Last night alot of painful tingling and tonight it feels like hot fiery lashes across the top of it.
What is this? Is it nerve pain from putting my weight on it?
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replied September 11th, 2012
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wildfire47,

You have probably stirred up some of the inflammation around the healing tissues. You may have also caused a little more swelling, if the cast is feeling a little tight.

It is difficult to displace a fracture by just putting weight on it for a couple of seconds within a cast. This would also cause a great increase in pain directly at the fracture site, not over the top of the foot.

Occasionally, patients who are in immobilization for an injury will have random shooting or electrical pains. The reason for these is still not known, but the suspicion is that they are caused by the random firing of nerves in the area. The idea is that the nerves are not getting their usual stimulation, being in immobilization, so they just randomly fire occasionally. But, these pains are usually just brief pangs.

Aching is also common in immobilized joints. The articular cartilage is nourished by the synovial (joint) fluid. This fluid is moved around the joint, to bath the cartilage, by movement. So, many patients will develop some dull aching pains in the joints that are immobilized.


Usually, burning type of pain is from continued pressure to the skin or over a nerve (actually two different conditions). When sustained pressure is applied to the skin, the circulation is decreased, and a “pressure point” develops. But, these usually occur on the point of the heel or the sole of the foot, from pressure where the cast is resting. Patients will feel a burning pain when the skin is not getting enough oxygen and is beginning to break down.

Sometimes, pressure on a peripheral nerve can cause a burning type of pain in the area of skin innervated (supplied) by the nerve. The nerve could be being compressed anywhere along its course (from the spine all the way down to the foot).


As you can see, it is sometimes difficult to tell exactly what is causing discomfort under a cast. You should probably elevate the foot, wriggle the toes occasionally, and you can apply ice to the outside of the cast. But, if the pain does not decrease pretty quickly, you should contact your surgeon for advice.

Good luck.
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replied December 27th, 2012
hello,
I would also like to ask a question about broken fibula. About four months ago on Aug 12 2012 I was playing football on the semi pro level and had a collision which broke my fibula and tore two ligaments leaving my ankle dislocated.
I play right guard and the quarterback was tackled into my left ankle. I had immediate surgery on it putting a plate and nine screws two of which were longer and held the fibula and tibia together to allow the ligaments to heal. for the first two weeks I was in a hard cast then I was put into a boot for the remainder. At twelve weeks I went back in for surgery to remove the two longer screws so that I could begin walking again. It is now four months later I am walking somewhat normally, I have began to go running however it doesn't take long for it to start hurting so I do not push it. If I jump or land on my feet I feel pain in my lower leg around the area of the brake. Also I still have swelling only around the brake,the swelling is mostly gone in the mornings when I wake up however in the evenings when I get home from work the swelling is back.
My questions are 1. when is the swelling going to go away completely? 2. When should I start trying to play football again season starts in February is that to soon to return to the field?
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replied December 27th, 2012
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Biglou78,

You have had a pretty significant injury: a left ankle fracture-dislocation, which is actually a bimalleolar equivalent, Weber C, with disruption of the syndesmosis ligament.

In other words, the stress pattern of the injury went through the deltoid ligament on the medial side of the ankle (the inside), but rather than breaking the medial malleolus (the inside ankle bone), you tore the thick, very stout, deltoid ligament. The stress continued across the top of the plafond (the top of the ankle mortise), then went up between the tibia and fibula tearing the syndesmosis ligament. The stress then went laterally, fracturing the fibula. Because the syndesmosis ligament was disrupted, it allowed the mortise to widen, allowed the tibia and fibula to move away from each other (thus the dislocation).

The classification Weber C just means that the break in the fibula is above the level of the plafond (the top of the ankle mortise or ankle joint).


So, while most of these injuries end up having breaks in both malleoli (the ankle bones that stick out on both sides), you instead fractured the lateral malleolus (the distal fibula) and tore the deltoid ligament on the medial side. Thus, it is called a bimalleolar fracture equivalent.

Again, this is a pretty significant injury, with a lot of soft tissue damage. While it usually only takes around six weeks for the fibular fracture to heal, it can take a lot longer for the soft tissues to fully recover. As you have seen, it was 12 weeks before the surgeon felt comfortable enough to remove the syndesmosis screws.


Because of the extent of the soft tissue damage, it is going to be quite a while before you fully recover. All of the soft tissue has to heal, which it does with the formation of scar tissue. Every patient is unique, some form just enough scar to heal the tissues, while other make an abundant amount of scar. If you are one of the ones who makes a lot of scar tissue, that can often cause problems in regaining range of motion. Some patients with the injury which you sustained, just form a huge scar ball, all around the ankle joint. Of course, these patients have a lot of difficulty getting their range of motion back. They do not have the problem of laxity after this injury, but rather the problem of not getting the motion they need.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have the patients who just do not form enough scar tissue (which is actually unorganized collagen fibers). Because of this, often they do not form solid repairs of the ligaments, tendons, and joint capsule. They end up rupturing the repair early in the rehab process, and often have problems with joint laxity and instability.


But, fortunately, most patients are somewhere in the middle, healing with just the right amount of scar tissue that they need.


However, every patient is unique and will heal in his/her own way. This is why it is not really possible to tell you when you will no longer have any more swelling after activity. But, it is not uncommon for patients to continue to have activity related swelling for many months after an injury such as yours.

You should probably get some of the athletic support hose to wear. Often there are advertisements, here on the eHealth website, for just such garments. They are a little different than the usual support stockings or compression hose, as they are a little more stout and durable. They also come in a variety of colors and sizes. Since you seem to swell every time you are up and about, the compression garments will really help to reduce the formation of this edema.

Ice/heat and elevation will also help. Use of the calf muscles will also help to pump the edema back to the body core. The venous blood, the lymphatic fluid, and any subQ edema have to have muscle action to help move it up the leg towards the body. So, while you are elevating the foot (above your heart level, way up in the air), you should do ankle circles and calf pumps. The contraction of the calf muscles squeezes the veins and lymphatic channels, pushing/pumping the fluid up the tubes.


As to when you can return to play, probably the ultimate decision will be that of your orthopedic surgeon and/or the football league surgeon. But, to get to that point, if your team has an athletic trainer, you should be working very closely with him/her. If not, you might want to get hooked up with a physical therapist who specializes in sportsmedicine.


But, in general, you first need to work on getting full range of motion of the ankle, in all directions. You should do it actively (using your own muscles). If you do have some problems getting the final few degrees in any one direction, you might need some passive motion. Passive motion is where a therapist, or yourself, actually pushes on the foot to get those last few degrees.


You also need to work on strengthening all of the muscles around the foot, ankle, calf, and thigh (basically the whole lower extremity). At first, the use of an elastic band/tubing (such as TheraBand) is probably the best way to begin to strengthen after an ankle injury. If your Google “TheraBand exercises for the ankle”, you can get a whole lot of links to videos of how to use the TheraBand (elastic tubing/band) to rehab the ankle.


Then, you need to just get out and walk. You should not have a limp. If you have a limp, you have to figure out what is causing it: pain, decreased range of motion, not enough strength, loss of balance/agility, lack of confidence, and/or habit. Again, you have to figure out what’s the problem, and then focus on correcting that problem.

Some patients with significant ankle injuries like to have the ankle taped when doing activities. If you cannot get it taped, then you should probably get an ankle support/brace. The ones that you lace up are actually the ones that most closely approximate a tape job. The “stirrup” ones are okay, but many times they are very bulky and tend to shift around. They are fine for immobilizing an acute injury, but during rehab and when actually playing, the lace up ankle braces have been shown in research studies to be the best type.


So, you are out walking, without a limp. Once you can walk briskly for 3 to 5 miles, then you can go to jogging part of the distance. It is usually best to start jogging on a track, where there are no obstacles or irregular surfaces. Once you are able to jog 3 to 5 miles well, without any significant problems, then you can progress to sport specific activities.

You need to get out on the grass surface and start doing starts and stops. Running in large circles, slowly decreasing the size of the circles, till you can do sharp cuts and pivots. You need to run backwards and side to side. Basically working on all of the movements you are going to need to do at your position when you are playing.

While you are working on the running aspect, you also need to be in the gym regaining your muscle strength in the calf and thigh. Toe raises will get your gastroc and soleus complex in the back of the calf. You can hold onto weights while you do toe raises, if just your body weight is not enough to give you a workout. Knee extension for the quads and flexion for the hamstrings. Proper squats, dead lifts, and of course, do not forget the upper body.

You can also get on the stationary cycle to help with range of motion and strengthening. It is also good for overall cardiovascular conditioning. You have probably gotten quite a bit out of shape, while you were healing the fractures. Muscles atrophy very quickly and you lose your overall conditioning very fast. It is a lot easier to get out of shape, than it is to get back into shape.

You also need to work on any ball handling skills that you might need or any other specific motions/actions that you need for your specific position on the field. Getting into and out of the three point stance (or whatever your team uses), blocking, tackling, recovering a fumble, and any sort of activities that you need to be able to do.


Once you can do all of this easily (without any significant discomfort), you should be able to return to the starting lineup. As to when this will be, depends upon how you heal and how hard you work in therapy. We usually tell the athletes that for every day they are out of practice, it takes two to get back to the starting lineup. So, if you have not been doing a lot for, let’s say 4 months, it could take another 8 months to get back into playing shape. This is why it is not uncommon for it to take a year to 18 months to fully recover from an ankle injury like yours. This is not to say that you will not be able to do anything for that long, but that it may take that long till you know your final outcome.

Recovery does not “just happen”. It takes a lot of hard work, time, and sweat in the weight room and out on the track/playing field. The more you put into the therapy, the more you will get out of it.

Unfortunately, many patients try to return to play before they are ready. This is when reinjury is most likely to occur.


Again, if you have a trainer with your football team, get in contact with him/her and get a rehab program outlined. If not, see if your orthopedic surgeon can refer you to a physical therapist who specializes in sportsmedicine. Get a program to work on, and stick to it. It is like a job. You have to do the therapy at least 3 to 5 days a week. And, you should actually be doing something every day, even if that is just working on range of motion or taking a walk around the block.

Get a compressive garment (support hose) to help with the swelling, you would probably do best with the athletic type. Also, you might want to look into a lace up ankle brace and high top shoes/cleats.


If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to speak with your surgeon.


Good luck. Hope you can get back to the line up in the next season. It will be close, as that is only two months away. It might be possible, if you have healed well, and you really work hard on your rehabilitation program. But, do not go out before you are ready. That is just asking to be injured again.


Wishing you the best.
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replied December 29th, 2012
Gaelic,
First I would like to thank you for explanation of my injury because of my Doctors schedule and/or impatience I have not received this level of understanding and again I thank you.
You mentioned the production of scar tissue around the lower part of the ankle that might restrict full range of motion. I do not believe my body has produced to much, on the last visit of my physical therapy which was at twelve weeks( a couple days before my second surgery) the difference between the motion of both ankles was one to two degrees depending on the direction. That was something I worked diligently at while unable to walk. My concerns were more centered around the swelling located around the break of the fibula which is about five inches up from the ankle. I am worried I might be pushing myself to much and might be causing more damage than good. when I try to run or land on my feet with any amount of force I fell a sharp pain in the center of swollen area. From the sound of what your saying I should have no swelling and no discomfort before I continue to get back on the field and this season may be an unrealistic expectation. I would like to know your opinion on these because my doctor refuses to even acknowledge the notion of me playing again.

Again I appreciate the time you have spent responding to me. Thanks
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replied December 30th, 2012
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Biglou78,

It sounds like you need to make sure your fracture is totally healed. You never state in either of your posts if the surgeon has taken x-rays which show that your fibular fracture is totally healed or not.

If there have been films which show that the fracture is solidly healed, then the swelling is probably due to the soft tissue damage which occured when the bone broke. Unfortunately, it can take a long time for this to subside.

But, it is concerning that you are having bone pain when you jump or run. While it is very common to have pain in the soft tissues and muscles around a recently healed fracture, patients usually do not have pain directly on the bone.

That is why it is so concerning that your fracture may not be completely healed.

If you really are having pain directly at the fracture site, you need to tell your surgeon and possible be a CT scan of the healing fracture, to look at the bridging callus.



As to getting back to play in Feburary, well, that may be possible, but it probably unrealistic, since you are still having so much pain and problems with your leg.

You really need to find out why you are having the pain around your fibular fracture. If it is healed, you should not be having bone pain.


And, while it is not uncommon for professional players to be shot up with corticosteroids and marcaine (a local anesthetic) so they won't feel pain when they play, it is not a really good idea to do that to one's body. You really want this injury to heal properly before you try to play on it.

Good luck. Do find out why you are still having bone pain. Wishing you the best in the new year. Keep us informed on how you are doing. If you have further questions, ask, I'll try to help anyway I can.
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replied June 1st, 2013
Dislocated ankle with broken fibula
Gaelic,
Three weeks ago I suffered from a dislocated ankle and broken fibula. I had surgery which placed two rods about 6 inches long, along with 8 screws holding it in place with my bone. They also implanted two screws on the other side of my ankle, which will be removed in 10-12 weeks. I am currently in a fibreglass cast for another 5 weeks and will then be given a walking boot. I have had no major pain since my surgery and have been very pedantic about looking after my recovering foot. I'm usually an active person, I work in a gym and was wondering generally how long the recovery process is for this particular injury? I'm usually into my running and cycling and wanted to know how long it generally takes to be able to participate in intense cardio.
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replied June 2nd, 2013
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leighbowie,

Unfortunately, every patient and fracture is unique. So, it is not really possible to say how long it will take in your case.

You have a pretty significant injury, with the fibular fracture and the syndesmosis tear (the ligament which runs up the leg, holding the tibia and fibula together). This is why the two screws were placed, and will be removed before you do a not of impact loading.


Hopefully, you have an anatomic reduction of your dislocation and the bone and ligament heal well. If you form a lot of scar tissue, you may have some problems getting your range of motion back. But, you never know how a patient is going to do beforehand.


Once everything is healed (which may take up to 12 weeks, usually not longer than that), then you have a long hard course of rehabilitation ahead. Recovery does not "just happen", you have to really work at it.

You will be very stiff when you first come out of immobilization. So, range of motion is the first thing to work on. You can ice the ankle before and after therapy sessions. But, some patients find that using heat before the session makes the tissues more pliable. Just moving the ankle in all direction, like writing the alphabet in the air with your toes, is all you have to do.

Then, when your surgeon releases you to begin weight bearing and strengthening, you will need to start hitting the weights. Actually, for the ankle, the use of a TheraBand is probably the best. You can Google "TheraBand exercises for the ankle", and can get a bunch of links to articles and videos on how to rehab the ankle.

You also need to work on balance, agility, and proprioception. They also do not just come back, you have to actually work at these activities. Most patients find a BAPS board or wobble board very good for this.


Again, the harder you work at your therapy, the more you will get out of it. So, for now, keep the foot elevated as much as possible and wiggle your toes.

Wishing you the best. Good luck.
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replied June 13th, 2013
Broken fibula recovery? Ankle hurts?
Hi there, right now I am on the bus riding up for a baseball double header that I will not participating in because I am still in the recovery process of a broken fibula. I broke my fibula going over a hurdle this year in track. I didn't click the hurdle at all, it was how I landed on that foot. My ankle gave out causing most of my weight to be put on the outside of my leg. (Fibula). Although I have learned that the fibula isn't a weight bearing bone. That is what I believed to have happened that night.
I was put in a leg cast with crutches, covering the ankle only showing my toes for 4 weeks. After I got my cast off I tought myself to walk all over again and the doctor said the recovery process wouldn't take to long and I would be able to run in 2 weeks or so. Which hasn't been the case. I am sitting here on the bus frustrated with the fact that I still can't play. It has been about 3-4 weeks since I got my cast off. Ever since then all of the pain has been in my ankle. Sometimes pain shoots up my fibula to the break. Early After I got it off lots of the pain was in my Achilles. That has subsided and now pain continues to be in the side of my ankle. That I would geuss is one of which connects to my fibula. It seems to crack a lot. Cracking doesn't ever hurt it sometimes feels kinda good.
But I have been doing exercises to strengthen it up, I knew pain would be a factor. But based on what the doctor told me when I got my cast off this just doesn't add up to me.
When I had my cast the doctor wrapped it pointing my ankle down. So my ankle was pointing down the whole 4 weeks. Even when I had my cast on that is what bothered me the most. Somehow I feel like I knew that it was unusually hurting my ankle more than it should.
I googled this to see what I would get an it looks like others are riding in the same boat that I am. I would really appreciate anyone who would write back to this.
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replied June 15th, 2013
Especially eHealthy
hmet3,

We usually tell the athletes that for every day they are out of practice, it takes two to get back to the starting line up. So, if you were in a cast for 4 weeks, it is going to take about 8 weeks in therapy to get back to your "usual" activities.

Also, recovery does not "just happen". You have to really work hard and long at therapy. The more you put into your therapy, the more you will get out of it.


So, you still have quite a ways to go. Work hard. Good luck.
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replied June 16th, 2013
Broken Fibula Recovery
Hi there, right now I am on the bus riding up for a baseball double header that I will not participating in because I am still in the recovery process of a broken fibula. I broke my fibula going over a hurdle this year in track. I didn't click the hurdle at all, it was how I landed on that foot. My ankle gave out causing most of my weight to be put on the outside of my leg. (Fibula). Although I have learned that the fibula isn't a weight bearing bone. That is what I believed to have happened that night.
I was put in a leg cast with crutches, covering the ankle only showing my toes for 4 weeks. After I got my cast off I tought myself to walk all over again and the doctor said the recovery process wouldn't take to long and I would be able to run in 2 weeks or so. Which hasn't been the case. I am sitting here on the bus frustrated with the fact that I still can't play. It has been about 3-4 weeks since I got my cast off. Ever since then all of the pain has been in my ankle. Sometimes pain shoots up my fibula to the break. Early After I got it off lots of the pain was in my Achilles. That has subsided and now pain continues to be in the side of my ankle. That I would geuss is one of which connects to my fibula. It seems to crack a lot. Cracking doesn't ever hurt it sometimes feels kinda good.
But I have been doing exercises to strengthen it up, I knew pain would be a factor. But based on what the doctor told me when I got my cast off this just doesn't add up to me.
When I had my cast the doctor wrapped it pointing my ankle down. So my ankle was pointing down the whole 4 weeks. Even when I had my cast on that is what bothered me the most. Somehow I feel like I knew that it was unusually hurting my ankle more than it should.
I googled this to see what I would get an it looks like others are riding in the same boat that I am. I would really appreciate anyone who would write back to this.
Thanks, Heath
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replied June 16th, 2013
Broken Fibula Recovery
Hi there, right now I am on the bus riding up for a baseball double header that I will not participating in because I am still in the recovery process of a broken fibula. I broke my fibula going over a hurdle this year in track. I didn't click the hurdle at all, it was how I landed on that foot. My ankle gave out causing most of my weight to be put on the outside of my leg. (Fibula). Although I have learned that the fibula isn't a weight bearing bone. That is what I believed to have happened that night.
I was put in a leg cast with crutches, covering the ankle only showing my toes for 4 weeks. After I got my cast off I tought myself to walk all over again and the doctor said the recovery process wouldn't take to long and I would be able to run in 2 weeks or so. Which hasn't been the case. I am sitting here on the bus frustrated with the fact that I still can't play. It has been about 3-4 weeks since I got my cast off. Ever since then all of the pain has been in my ankle. Sometimes pain shoots up my fibula to the break. Early After I got it off lots of the pain was in my Achilles. That has subsided and now pain continues to be in the side of my ankle. That I would geuss is one of which connects to my fibula. It seems to crack a lot. Cracking doesn't ever hurt it sometimes feels kinda good.
But I have been doing exercises to strengthen it up, I knew pain would be a factor. But based on what the doctor told me when I got my cast off this just doesn't add up to me.
When I had my cast the doctor wrapped it pointing my ankle down. So my ankle was pointing down the whole 4 weeks. Even when I had my cast on that is what bothered me the most. Somehow I feel like I knew that it was unusually hurting my ankle more than it should.
I googled this to see what I would get an it looks like others are riding in the same boat that I am. I would really appreciate anyone who would write back to this.
Thanks, Heath
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replied July 6th, 2013
Fibula injury
25 years ago I broken my fibula. I didn't see a doctor when I was a child right away. The bone healed incorrectly. Years later I had some excess bone shaved from the leg ( a knot on the side that developed during healing). It's been 10 years since this was done. Now, after no injury my ankle is giving me problems. When I am walking( even at a slow pace) it sends pains and twists. Could this be due to the fibula injury or other?
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replied July 6th, 2013
Especially eHealthy
madamehootie,

The lateral malleolus (the distal end of the fibula) makes up part of the ankle joint. So, if it is not correctly situated, the patient could have problems with walking or any activity where the ankle joint is used.

You should probably see a foot and ankle orthopedic specialist.

Good luck.
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replied July 26th, 2013
Dear Gaelic,
Greetings, I have read all of your posts and I admire and respect that you help people who have inadequate knowledge of their injuries. I have a few questions that I would like to ask. I broke my ankle 3 days ago on July 24th 2013. I live in Mongolia a country in central asia and the health care here is less then average. I was riding my bike on an asphalt rode and fell awkwardly on my right foot. I was rushed to the ER and after examining my xrays the doctors told me I had broken "the outer bone of my ankle" (roughly translated). I saw the x-ray and the doctor showed me where it had broken. After further research I have figured out it was my fibula. The doctor told me I was lucky and had not torn any ligaments and it was just the fibula that broke. He then put on a cast and wrote down what I needed to do until recovery. He prescribed 2 pill like medicines, no painkillers and told me to elevate my foot above the level of my heart. He said I would have my cast on for 45 days. The 2 medicines are russian but have an english name also "ostion cal with glucosamine" and "cal-d-mag". As I said earlier its only been 3 days and the pain has been okay as of now, occasionally I get pain in the part of my leg that I broke but nothing unbearable. I have been laying in my bed for most of the time and have only gotten up to go to use the toilet on crutches, after getting the cast I have never put any amount of weight on my broken leg. There is a noticeable amount of swelling in my leg and occasionally it hurts because of the swelling but after changing the position of my leg and some ice the pain subsides. I am 14 years old, if that makes any difference. So my questions are:
1. Is the medicine the doctor told me to take correct? Should there be any painkillers?
2. When will the swelling stop? Is there something I should do to stop the swelling?
3. Is 45 days enough? Or is it longer than usual? I have heard from family members who have broken the same bone and they have told me they had a cast on for around 3 weeks.
4. After my cast is taken off do I need physical treatment? If so what kinds of physical treatment is necessary?
5. I am an avid basketball player and love the sport. How long until I can play basketball again? Will I ever have the same agility and balance as before?
6. Before the end of the 45 days school will start and my parents have told me that I will be excused until I have no pain and can walk. So, after the 45 days will I be able to walk without crutches or a limp? Will there be pain? And if so will it be bearable enough to walk in school and attend class?
7. When I sleep I can never sleep looking straight up I usually move my leg to the side and fix it in a position that there is no pain. Is this ok? Or must my leg always be elevated and straight?
Sorry for all these questions. I have never broken any bone in my body and am worried and need more information. Thank you for your time.
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replied August 16th, 2013
Fibula help
I fractured my fibula just above my ankle this week I've ad. Back slab cast on supine Sunday then yesterday u had a full cast on. The doc said its a difficult break to heal although my bones re in good position. He said if the bones move ten I'd need surgery. I'm really unsure about moving my leg, can someone tell me, other thn walking which I won't do how easy is it for a fracture to move in a cast?
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