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HealthInfo Canterbury

Care of your ankle following a fracture

Any questions or problems should be directed towards your physiotherapist, doctor or orthopaedic nurse. Not all fractures are the same, so listen to the advice the medical staff give you.

Removing the plaster

After your plaster is removed you may find that your ankle swells, the skin on your leg is dry and scaly, and you may have loss of movement of the foot or ankle with some discomfort.

You will be given a piece of Tubigrip to wear. This is double thickness and goes from your knee to the toes. Wear it like a sock with no wrinkles. This helps with the initial swelling when the cast is removed.

Do not wear Tubigrip in bed – only during the day.

Dry skin

Soak your foot in warm soapy water and if the skin is excessively dry, use some hand cream after soaking and drying your foot well.

Movement and strength

Depending on the severity of your ankle fracture you will have limitation of movement and strength, especially in the morning.

Walking

Increase the amount of weight gradually through your affected leg.

Ankle and foot exercises

Active range of motion exercises:

a) Pull toes back (dorsiflexion)

b) Push toes down (plantar flexion)

c) Circle your feet one way then the other

Do all these exercises four to five times a day. Aim to do 10 repetitions of each exercise.

Calf stretches

Do both the long calf stretch and the short calf stretch.

You may also benefit from the single leg balance exercise.

Written by Orthopaedic Outpatients and Physiotherapy Departments, Christchurch Hospital. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Updated July 2016.

See also:

Broken ankle

Sources

Page reference: 33171

Review key: HIBRB-41425