broken ankle sufferers, I need advice- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    broken ankle sufferers, I need advice

    I broke my ankle and leg on Thanksgiving. I took a lame, slow speed fall and something went horrobly wrong. Anyway, I was curious to hear stories of recovery. I am especially intersted to hear how long it took to get to 100 percent, if ever. I guess I just need some hope here. Thanks: Tim from Massachusetts.

  2. #2

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    Did you have surgery? Are you getting PT?

    I really messed up my ankle a couple times. When I was about 18 I cought my toe on a rock during a wicked fast downhill off Capital Peak in WA. Tore and stretched just about every ligament and tendon on my ankle a guy could. The Doc said it would have been a whole lot better if I would have just broken it (dont ask me why?). The thing got about the size of a large grapefruit and turned every color in the rainbow. After the swelling went down (about a month) I was able to ride my road bike on fairly flat surfaces. The Doc would always say "motion is lotion" so I made a concerted effort to ride every day. 20 years latter it is still larger than the other one, and I am more prone to twist or roll over the ankle compared to my good one. During recovery you may notice it is difficult to keep track of where your foot/ankle is in relationship with your body. I know this probably sound weird, but imagine walking. You always know your foot is going to strike the ground and you are ready for it. After screwing up my ankle I would step onto the side of my foot or hit toe first. It was almost like my body had turned off the ankle till it got better. When it is cold it will ache, on long rides it will probably get tired. When getting back on the bike pay attention to the orientation of your foot when you pedal. I did not and ran into knee problems. Think of having to re-learn how to pedal, and in a month or so you will be good to go.
    Oh yea, cycling is why I healed so fast so get on that bike.

  3. #3
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    thanks for the reply, heres more info

    I had surgery on december 1st. They put 2 screws in my ankle and one in my tib. I am going to pt twice a week. I warm up before pt on a stationary bike. My PT had me on a stationary bike before I could even take a step. I am now on the bike (not real bike yet) three days a week and swimming the other days. I hope to be back to my off road triathlons and adventure races by mid summer, even earlier if posible. Who knows??

  4. #4
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    9 months

    I can't speak for the broken leg, but I have experienced lots of ankle woes due to basketball. My uneducated guess is that the leg will heal faster than the joint. My last injury (dislocated) the ankle. Passed on surgery. Bloated grotesquely. It was 4-6 months before it felt stable descending stairs. After the pain and joint immobility passed, it felt exposed and weak descending stairs, like I was ready to re-injure. It took about nine months before it compared to the other ankle as to readiness for every day life. Ironically, I was able to ride VERY early on because of the stability of the clipped in position. I limped badly walking, but I could ride and didn't feel prone to re-injury as I felt on walking around. Just watch out for the surprise dismounts. I only felt pain on drops or surprise hits. Use your own best judgement as to what activity feels stable and what has weakness. I rode in an air cast, then ankle brace, now normal. I will not step onto the basketball court without two ankle braces.

  5. #5
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    Ankle sprain pro.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2tricky
    I really messed up my ankle a couple times. When I was about 18 I cought my toe on a rock during a wicked fast downhill off Capital Peak in WA. Tore and stretched just about every ligament and tendon on my ankle a guy could. The Doc said it would have been a whole lot better if I would have just broken it (dont ask me why?). The thing got about the size of a large grapefruit and turned every color in the rainbow. After the swelling went down (about a month) I was able to ride my road bike on fairly flat surfaces. The Doc would always say "motion is lotion" so I made a concerted effort to ride every day. 20 years latter it is still larger than the other one, and I am more prone to twist or roll over the ankle compared to my good one. During recovery you may notice it is difficult to keep track of where your foot/ankle is in relationship with your body. I know this probably sound weird, but imagine walking. You always know your foot is going to strike the ground and you are ready for it. After screwing up my ankle I would step onto the side of my foot or hit toe first. It was almost like my body had turned off the ankle till it got better. When it is cold it will ache, on long rides it will probably get tired. When getting back on the bike pay attention to the orientation of your foot when you pedal. I did not and ran into knee problems. Think of having to re-learn how to pedal, and in a month or so you will be good to go.
    Oh yea, cycling is why I healed so fast so get on that bike.

    From a pro at spraining ankles let me tell you why your doc told you it would have been better if you broke it. Bones will always heal stronger (at the point of the break) than it was before it was broken. Whereas sprains are damage to ligaments which will never heal 100%.

    As for how long it takes for a broken ankle to heel, I'm not sure. Never broken one before, but I'd go with whatever the doc says. I'm assuming just a few weeks if it wasn't bad and that was the only problem (no sprains or tears). The biggest thing is will be that your muscles in your ankle will be weak from being in a cast for so long also your fear of injuring it again, but you should be ok.

  6. #6

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    I sprained my ankle severely one time and I had the same thing said to me by my doctor. It would have been better to break it. A break heals much better than a sprain but you will have to build the strength back up. The one thing is though a broken rarely is just a break but it is also a sprain. My sprain took almost a full year before it was back to 100% but my brother who broke his ankle was playing basketball on it in about 10 weeks. At least it is winter time.....

    Jason

  7. #7

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    I have sprained my ankles so many times I bought some crutches. I still tape my ankles today (2 yrs since my last sprain) and have trouble them in cold weather. The doc told me same as posted - break it next time it will heal faster.

    Good luck and heal fast

  8. #8
    M070R-M0U7H FR3NCHI3
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    how about a shattered heel? Did that while dirt jumping....had to wait 1.5 weeks before getting surgery to try and repair all the damage. The surgery was 5 hours long and took on big plate and 9 screws to set everything back into place. I had never broken any bones before this accident, so I figured they would simply put it in a cast and off I would go. But when I visited the orthopedic surgeon he said it was bad...real bad! When I laughed and told him "well, it's not like you are going to cut my foot off or anything?" and he replied "well, to be honest, it's always a possibility" I almost past out!!

    I was on crutches for the entire summer and was not allowed to put any weight on it that entire time. I worked hard once I got the okay and did my own PT. I made a miraculous recovery. Even the Dr. is baffled. He still doesn't understand why I didn't have any pain this entire time!! He said these brakes hurt A LOT and FOREVER! You also usually loose a lot of lateral movement in your foot, but got 90% of it back. I'm super thankful...but I think it all has to do with your will power. I was ready to do ANYTHING to get back on the bike!

    To this day it still hurts not and then...but I'm just glad I can ride again. Here is a pic of the X-Ray...my toes are this way

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