Posted by: sideways | 2008/09/04

Broken ankle

Hi Ross

After having improved my fitness and weight after some seriously hard running I hit a majopr snag, I broke my ankle!! I have now gone though 8 weeks of no training and have only this week started walking briefly without cruches. My ankle still hurts but it' s more the muscles and ligiments now. Anyway, I have gained a bit of wieht and certainly lost some fitness. What can I do to start training again given my current condition?

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Hi Sideways

The most important thing is to regain the strength on the ankle. Obviously, it's very weak now, having done little on it for the last 2 months, and that is going to be the biggest danger in the coming weeks. If you try to train now, then you'll be forcing a weak ankle to do a difficult job, possibly leading to a secondary, knock on type injury. So it's really important to rehab it well. If you haven't had it assessed, then now would be a good time to do so. Just to start you off on the rehab trail.

You can probably begin with some basic balance exercises, standing on one leg, balancing with your eyes closed, catching a ball thrown to you, then moving on to stand on a soft mat, and so on. The key is to teach your body how to use that ankle again.

Once you've done part 1, then you start with gradually introducing work to the ankle. That means things like walking, possibly cycling, those kinds of activities. You'll be walking now, obviously, and hopefully tha tpain will begin to disappear as the ankle gets stronger. But let pain guide your progress - don't increase the training if there is pain, just settle on the amount of exercise that just causes the pain, and then rebuild once the pain subsides.

So just take it step by step, literally, and set small targets along the way. But don't give into temptation to launch into a heavy training routine, even if the ankle feels good when walking. Rather be cautious and benefit in the long term.

Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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