Last week we talked about the many ways you could break an ankle during the holidays. This week we provide info about healing from an ankle fracture. It’s no fun to be incapacitated at this time of year when you want to enjoy parties and family gatherings. Understanding what to expect can help you make realistic decisions about what you will be able to do—and be more content.

First, bones generally take at least 6 weeks to heal. If your injury also damaged ligaments or tendons, those soft tissues could take even longer to recover. It is easiest if you just make up your mind from the beginning that you will not be able to put weight on your foot at all for the first 6 to 10 weeks, so you don’t jeopardize the healing.

Once you realize that limitation, it frees up your mind to consider “Okay, what can I do?” rather than focus on your limitations during this time. Want to maintain some conditioning? Use this time to focus on conditioning your upper body (yes, you can get a cardio workout while seated just using your arms and torso). Always wanted improve your gaming skills? Here’s your chance to learn how to beat your buddy at Super Smash Brothers!

You will need to wear a leg cast and use crutches. This is a good reason to finally rid yourself of some of the clutter around the house that makes moving around with these devices difficult. Involve your family in a giant sort out, and let them do the fetching and carrying. You can sit with your leg elevated and ice it while you decide what to keep and what to deliver to the thrift stores.

We’ll check your progress with X-rays and give you tips on home care for a broken ankle. Once you are ready to put weight on the joint, we’ll replace the cast with a walking boot. Celebrate that day, but remember there is still a lot of work ahead. You’ll need physical therapy to recondition the muscles and tendons and work on range of motion.

When you call Southern California Foot & Ankle Specialists in Ladera Ranch, CA for to treat your ankle fracture, we will be rooting for your recovery every step of the way. You can reach us by phone at (949) 364-9255 (WALK) or contact us online.