An ankle sprain can really affect your mobility, so how much more if it is a fracture or dislocation? An ankle injury can be very painful and uncomfortable, so ways to repair and give remedy to it is essential so you can perform your basic functions and responsibilities. Ankle surgery can be the solution you need if your injury cannot be managed by medication alone, but your ankle’s performance cannot be brought back to its normalcy without any reinforcement post-surgery. Here are ways how physiotherapy after ankle surgery can help. We can also give you tips on how to perform physiotherapy at home.
Ankle surgery: An overview
Your ankle is a part of the body where 3 bones of the foot meet. It is a joint where the end part of the tibia and fibula (leg bones) meet the talus bone (one of the bones of the foot). When you say a broken ankle, the bones that are broken may be the leg bones that are located near the ankle joint. Sometimes, immobilization and rest can help heal the ankle if it is just a minor fracture. However, for major fractures, surgery to make the bones stable and intact using metal pins and plates are needed to secure the bones in place. A cast made of Plaster of Paris (POP) is then applied to the leg and ankle area to immobilize the injured part, retaining mobility to the toes so they won’t become stiff during the recovery period. The time you are on the cast is determined by your surgeon, so when he determines you are ready, he removes the cast and schedules you for some mobility exercises and physiotherapy.
Physiotherapy after ankle surgery
There is a custom-made range of exercises solely for you as planned by your physiotherapist. These exercises will help you regain your ankle’s mobility and strength to be able to perform your normal functions.
Range of motion exercises. These exercises are first performed passively by your physiotherapist, until such time that he will instruct you to move your ankles on specific movements on your own.
Flexibility exercises. These routines improve the mobility of your leg muscles, the front and back muscles near your ankles. Exercises like towel calf stretching and standing runner’s stretches can be used to perform these movements.
Strengthening exercises. These movements make use of a resistance band to make sure that your ankle will regain the strength it once had before your accident or injury.
Return to walking and running. You may be using a cane or crutches once you are still in a cast or a few days after its removal. Gait training exercises are useful to make sure that your ankle can take your weight again once you have improved.
Balance and proprioception exercises. Your physiotherapist can prescribe single-leg standing exercises and other balance exercises to allow you to regain your ability to stand upright and straight.
Plyometric exercises. These advanced exercises help physically active patients to regain their ability to perform high-intensity movements, like jumping and hopping while landing safely on your toes and ankles.
After an accident, regaining your movement and function is very important so you can continue on with your life without hassle. Make sure that you are able to finish all the activities your physiotherapist prescribed and also practice them at home to ensure your ankles are back to their normal function.