Eleanor Chew Shuxian, Principal Physiotherapist at Singapore General Hospital shares the treatments and rehabilitation methods available for fractured ankles.
Continued from previous page.
What is the treatment for an ankle fracture?
The aim of the treatment would be to align the bones and protect the fracture while it heals. Treatment largely depends on the findings after the doctor has assessed your condition and can include:
- Medication for pain management
- A plaster cast to protect your ankle
- Walking aids to avoid putting too much weight on your affected leg
- Pushing back the ankle bones into position
- Surgery to realign the bone fragments
- Use of plates, screws and rods to hold the bone fragments in place
Is rehabilitation required?
Rehabilitation is important regardless of how an ankle fracture is treated. Rehabilitation would include a tailored exercise programme enabling you to return to your regular activities without compromising fracture healing. It is important to follow the instructions of your doctor and physiotherapist to ensure optimal recovery.
Recommendations can include:
- Stretching exercises
- Ankle movement exercises
- Strengthening exercises
- Balancing exercises
- Manual therapy
- Cardiovascular programme
- Activity-specific drills
- Use of equipment and techniques to promote healing as well as reduce pain, inflammation and swelling
It may take several months before you regain enough range of motion and muscle strength in your ankle to walk without a limp. Various supports such as a boot or offload walker (shown below), ankle brace or splint might be used at different stages to protect your ankle while activity is gradually increased.