A broken or fractured ankle is painful and will reduce your mobility. When surgery is not recommended, it will take at least 6 weeks for the bone to heal. This recovery time will vary greatly, depending on the extent of the break.
What your doctor will do is monitor the healing process with repeated X-rays.
The doctor will be checking to see how well the bone has healed. If you damaged ligaments or tendons, your recovery time may be even longer.
How to Speed Up the Healing Process
Your doctor will discuss the recommended treatment options to help your ankle heal. Since the ankle is a vital joint responsible for walking and moving the foot up and down, you will likely be put in a cast of some form.
It’s important that, at least until the doctor recommends, you keep pressure off of your foot.
A few tips that will help you recover faster are:
1. Use a Knee Scooter
Yes, a knee scooter will help you heal faster. Stable and easier to get around in, a knee scooter eliminates the risk that you’ll slip and potentially fall. When you use crutches, there are times when you’ll instinctively put your foot down.
If you bear weight on your ankle, it may slow down your recovery time. Click here to see knee scooters we recommend.
2. Keep Your Foot Elevated
You’ll want to keep your foot elevated as much as possible. The goal is to reduce swelling in the ankle and decrease pain. You’ll want to apply ice to the area when the injury first occurs to try and decrease the pain.
You can also take some Ibuprofen to help with the pain.
3. Purchase a Shower Chair
You’ll want to shower, or you can try and take a bath with your ankle in a cast. A shower chair may not help speed up healing, but it will ensure that you don’t put weight on your ankle during the healing process.
Shower chairs will also allow you to wash yourself with better overall stability than standing on one leg in the shower.
It’s a safer option that will allow you to avoid unnecessary risks of putting weight on your broken ankle.
4. Start Taking Supplements
If you’re lacking in the calcium department, you’ll have a harder time healing. Calcium is a supplement that’s recommended for anyone with a broken bone so long as the person doesn’t consume excess amounts of the mineral.
Fish oils have also been shown to speed up the healing process.
Finally, a good source of Vitamin D is recommended. You see, calcium requires Vitamin D to metabolize properly. Supplement your Vitamin D or take this time as the perfect excuse to sit out in the sun (briefly) and soak up Vitamin D naturally.
5. Listen to the Advice of Your Doctor
The biggest mistake that a person can make is assuming that they know more than their doctor. You should not try testing your bone to see how it’s healing. A single step can cause you to spend more time healing.
You’ll heal much faster and more efficiently when you do not put any weight on your broken bone.
It’s very tempting to try and take a step a week or two after a break, and maybe you’ll find that the pain is minimal, but the bone has not been allowed to heal properly. Keep weight off of the bone, and it will heal much faster.
Your doctor will discuss the best plan to speed up healing and return back to a normal level of mobility. A lot of people will ignore this plan, but it’s the worst thing that you can do. You may, if you have a fracture, use alternative forms of healing, too.
Ultrasound, electrical stimulation and even magnet healing therapies are available.
The efficacy of these treatments are unknown, but they may help you heal faster. Even if they don’t speed up healing, they will not hinder the healing process in any way.
Healing takes time, and while you can follow every tip in the book, nothing will ensure that a bone is healing like time. Adhere to your doctor’s recommendations, keep weight off of your ankle and give it time to heal.
Allie has worked in care facilities for the last 15 years providing mobility and health care to seniors of all skill levels. She is passionate about senior advocacy and is and loves to spend her free time in the outdoors.