Recovering from a Broken Foot or Ankle

Your ankle has been stuck in a cast for months and now it’s finally coming off! You can finally go back to exercising and doing all of the other activities that were put on hold after your injury. But, should you just jump right in or is there a better way to ease into things? Here is a list of things to help prepare you for life after your cast.

  1. You may still be in cast. Depending on how bad your break was, your doctor may have to move you from your large cast, to a smaller, shorter cast. Even if you don’t get another cast, you may have to use a splint until your foot and ankle are able to build back their strength and support your body weight.
  2. Bring comfortable shoes. When getting your cast removed, make sure to wear comfortable, roomy shoes. Not only is this helpful if you’re coming out with a brace, but your foot may be swollen and larger than normal.
  3. It might smell a little. When your foot is in a cast, you can’t really clean properly. Not only will your leg be slightly musty, your skin might be really pale and your ankle may look like it shrunk (due to lack of muscle use among other things).
  4. Put on some lotion. Gently massage your newly freed limb with lotion. Your skin may be extra sensitive in that area.
  5. Gradually build strength and flexibility. This cannot be stressed enough. Your bone may be repairing, but there’s still a lot of work to do. Your muscles are weak and will make you much more prone to injury. If you’re not careful, you may cause permanent damage to your already fragile foot/ankle.
  6. Get some therapy. You may be strong enough to finish your healing on your own but your healing process will go a lot faster, and a lot smoother if you have some physical therapy to keep you on track. A therapist can also point out if something’s not looking quite right which can help prevent further injury.

Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center has been practicing in the Centreville, VA area for over eighteen years. If you have any questions call us at 703-996-3000 or make an appointment here.

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