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Fracture - Ankle / Foot

Symptoms Checklist:

  • Your pain came on suddenly
  • You had a sharp blow to the foot or ankle or a sudden wrenching movement.
  • The foot/ankle may be swollen, hot and painful
  • The bone may look or feel deformed
  • You are unable to put your weight on the foot
  • The pain is spread throughout the bone
  • You are unable to bend the affected joint


A fracture is another name for a break in the bone. There are 26 bones in each foot. The ability of the broken bone to move must be severely limited in order for your fracture to heal, and often a plaster cast is required to achieve this.  As with most broken bones, once held immobile in a rigid plaster, the bone is capable of healing itself.  In fact the join will be even stronger than the original!  During this time the muscles of the knee, leg, foot and ankle will waste. This wasting process begins immediately, in fact the thigh muscles will lose 3 centimetres in girth in the first two days.  In the case of a severe blow and fracture, it is likely that you will suffer additional damage. See also: Ligament Tear Ligament Sprain Meniscus Fractures are normally diagnosed by x-ray.

Physical Therapy/Osteopathy and Fractures

Once the fracture is diagnosed, it is a good idea to visit your Therapist who will show you exercises that will keep your joints mobile while they are in plaster.  When the fracture has healed and the plaster is removed, you will need to visit your Therapist to learn how to rebuild the muscles and regain full fitness.   The Therapist can help by gently massaging around the affected area to improve circulation and reduce any swelling.  You will also be shown exercises to strengthen the specific muscles and your therapist will advise you if one group of muscles is becoming over-developed at the expense of another group.  Maintaining and restoring muscle balance is the most important part of your return to fitness.  

Tags: Arms and Legs, Lower Body, Ankle, Feet, Ankle Sprain or Strain


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