Ankle/foot pain weight bearing

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  • #1802 Reply

    Has anyone experienced foot and ankle pain and swelling new with recent weight bearing status? I just started weight bearing one week ago and I was doing fine neil my ankle started killing me. Now I feel like I can’t weight bear. Should I push it and work through the pain or keep off it? It’s so confusing because I am supposed to be strengthening my leg but I’m limited again!

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    • #6173 Reply
      Sue McGuire

      Update! Took my first unaided steps at physical therapy today. After pt last week was dishearted since the bending exercises are excruciating but, decided to push through the ankle pain!! Glad I did! Not say I’m 100% by any means but…..moving forward baby steps.: )

    • #6164 Reply
      Alison johnson

      Hi, it does get better but oh so slowly. I opted not to have surgery but to heal the fractures with casts and manipulation. I am now fwb, (4 months on), and experience little pain in my leg but my ankle is another matter. The swelling has finally gone down a bit but I cannot get a shoe on the injured leg.I can now walk short distances without any aid but my confidence is in shreds and it really is a mind over matter scenario. Apart from the ankle exercises I have been given I find walking in a swimming pool really helps and if I am outside of the house an air boot given to me by physio really helps. Still limping though but everyday gets a little better. Be careful not to let other parts of your body overcomplicated for your injured leg. I find my left hip and lower back ache like mad after using my injured right leg.
      Good luck everyone.

    • #6152 Reply
      Sue McGuire

      Thanks for all the great info. I am 13 weeks out since surgery and have begun weight bearing 2 weeks ago. My rom is at about 92 degrees. Like you I was feeling pretty good then my ankle began to really hurt and turning black and blue. My pt said it’s normal but to check with Dr. I called they said it could be circulation so I’m elevating when not on it and started wearing a compression sock. Anyone else having this problem would love feed back.

    • #5868 Reply

      Thanks Lesley, for your encouraging words. I hope your recovery continues apace. Having read so many comments from others and particularly yourself about walking again, albeit in a somewhat different way to before the accident I grasped the bull by the horns today and took my first steps. Admittedly these were aided by a walker and not crutches but the boost it has given to my confidence is worth all the pain that came with my, (small), victory. Admittedly I now have an ankle the size of a baby elephant’s but I feel I have turned a corner. My 50th is coming up in a few weeks, (Aahhh), but I have made a pact with myself to work hard enough btw now and then to make sure I can get out of the house and have dinner in my favorite restaurant with friends. Recovered a little bit of positivity and have realised that this is key. This injury is as much a battle of the mental as it is the physical. So here’s to zimmer frames, odd looking boots, flat shoes and a general lack of glamour. A small price to pay if I can walk again and regain some semblance of my life 3 months ago.

    • #5758 Reply

      Hi Alison,
      I am 6 months post surgery and still working on my recovery. You have to keep letting people know that this injury is a severe one and can take up to a year to get back to normal. My fracture is healing well and I am having an x Ray next week and a meeting with the surgeon to see for sure. In the UK, physio is hit and miss on the NHS so I pay privately and see a sports physio once every two weeks and he has got me back on my feet but I still cannot walk properly and use a stick out and about. Like you my pain is elsewhere – namely in my quads and hamstring. My muscles are very tight and I have to stretch a lot each day. After walking, my knee becomes very stiff and I have to stretch my hamstring by putting my foot on a kitchen chair and really stretching. Then I can move more easily. I use an exercise bike every day and have done for the last 3 months. I have increased the resistance but very slowly. I have just begun to climb stairs as I should rather than one at a time but I cannot come down properly. This injury has totally changed my life and I have taken early retirement as I could not return to teaching after the Summer. I have a plate and 6 screws in my left leg and that is uncomfortable and I am going to request its removal as soon as is possible. Patience and perseverance are the key words. Take your time and stick with it. You will get there aS everyone on this site will tell you. Let pain be your guide but try to stay positive in yourself – that is important. We are all different too and some people recover quicker than others. Some people have pain where others don’t. I thought I would be further on but I am not giving up and still exerciSing as much as I can. Each week there is a small improvement and I can do more. I am driving again – manual gearbox – that is no longer painful. I am looking after my grandson one day a week so please take heart. Stick with the physio. Those guys will get you there. I wish you good healing and sincerely hope things will improve soon for you.
      Best wishes.
      Lesley (UK)

    • #5754 Reply

      I suffered a tibial fracture 3 months ago and have just come out of a cast. For the first 2months I had a full leg cast which was ungainly and my mobility was down to shuffling around on my bottom But there was no pain anywhere in my leg and it was more frustrating than anything else. My consultant orthopedic surgeon had wanted me to have surgery because the break was apparently severe but my, (silly but V real),fear made me dig my heels in and refuse. 3 weeks ago I changed to a half leg Samiarto cast which Is V light weight and much easier to live with. The first 10 days were extremely painful. Both my ankle and my knee, neither of which I had damaged caused horrible pain and made sleep almost impossible. Things improved and I began trying to get my knee to bend again. This was pretty futile and if left in one position for longer than half an hour or so it would freeze and take a great deal to move it. The fracture itself was relatively pain free in comparison. The day before yesterday it was decided that the fracture had healed and healed well. I am lucky that I apparently have very strong bones, despite them being very small. I now have a Aircast boot which I can take off at night and to do ankle exercises. Nothing had prepared me for the pain that came with not wearing the boot. It is particularly bad when lying down. I had my first meeting with the physio team who attempted to get me standing on crutches. I couldn’t. I was so dizzy and my good leg and arms shook. I was so unimpressive that they took the crutches away and tried with a walking frame. No success. I return tomorrow for another go.The healed fracture is still pain free but my knee and ankle are a problem and I wish someone had advised me that healing the fracture is the easy bit and now the real work starts.I have spent 24 hours either howling my eyes out or feeling thoroughly fed up and angry at no one in particular. I am determined that this will not get the better of me but I think I am at the bottom of a very large hill.
      Has anyone else been through this or have any tips/ideas that might help. One of the difficulties seems to be that now I am out of plaster everyone thinks I am fine and will be back to normal next week!

    • #5328 Reply

      I’m only one week in but I’ve been reading a lit abt ppl that have foot/ankle pain when they began wt bearing

    • #5210 Reply

      great advise, been doing what you suggested, and its working well!! I am NWB at this point still. I had my surgery 7 wks ago. My horse kicked me, not on purpose. It was a bad break. I can not afford PT, so I will be doing this myself.
      thanks for the help with the ankle, my foot and ankle are fairly swollen, and sore, probably more so then my knee at this point.
      thanks, tammy

    • #3618 Reply
      marion gibbins

      Try writing the alphabet in the air ! I also used a soft rolling pin ,cut a swimming pool sausage type thing up into 12 inch lengths ! I was told to stop when the pain came and then try relaxing exercises until it went away, not always with success I must admit.In the pool try walking on tip toes and then on your heels ,also in the pool stand on a step with toes close to the edge then drop your heels or stand with your back to a wall and press your legs into the wall.Stretching exercises also help loosen up leg muscles,tendons etc

    • #3597 Reply

      Try gently rolling sore feet over a tennis ball or rolling pin to reduce swelling and stimulate muscle and nerve activity. Slowly roll your ankles in both directions. Flex and point your feet slowly. Wiggle your toes. All of these activities have helped my feet and ankles post-weight bearing. Remember, walking is just part of the recovery process. TPFs are the result of trauma and taking the time to properly heal will benefit you in the long run. It isn’t easy. Hang in there and have patience. Be good to yourself.

    • #3549 Reply

      Late reply – but I had a lot of pain and stiffness in my ankle as well shortly after I started WB. My PT had me do a lot of stretching for my Achilles and it did pay off after a bit. She said it was due to your Achilles being so thick – because of that it takes a little while for it to loosen up. I did stretches followed by heel raises which didn’t feel great, but it paid off!

      I crashed on a dirt bike on 4/19 – displaced and communited medial TPF and displaced fibular head fracture – ORIF on 4/29 with plate and 6 screws. It’s absolutely a long recovery – my Dr keeps saying we won’t know how well it healed until at least 12 months post-surgery.

      It WILL improve – hang in there everyone!

    • #1833 Reply

      thank you. I will ask my PT what they recommend for the ankle. its good to know others had the same experience and recovered.

    • #1832 Reply

      Thank you Miriam,
      that gives me hope. I was non weight bearing for a full 16 weeks. I guess this is why my foot is not ready. Its been hard becasue my docotor said I would progress rapidly and i am now on week two and not much is happening. I guess I need to be patient.

    • #1817 Reply


      My ankle and foot hurt so much I wondered if I had broken something there too. The PT gave me strengthening and stretching exercises with a Theraband. I am now doing toe raises and feeling fine. I hope you feel better soon.


    • #1806 Reply

      Hi Nicole, its a very ‘normal’ thing to happen the first period after the NWB…
      My TPF happened 7 month ago and i remember being very happy after 7 weeks to have been allowed to walk again!!
      But what an excruciating pain, similar to yours! I thought i could never walk again and was so very disappointed.
      I than started to walk again with 2 crutches for a while to let my ankle and foot gain strength again and that worked out fine!
      So it will be the same for you, never push to much, it is absolutely not beneficial, work with your body, not against it!
      Take your time!

    • #1803 Reply

      I am not at weight bearing status yet, but I think if this happened to me I would call my health care provider. Do you have access to a consulting nurse hotline?

      I would, and this is just my opinion, not push through it until speaking to someone (doctor) about this. Better to be safe than sorry.

      Good luck!!!!

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