Q:

What is the typical healing time for a broken ankle?

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Quick Answer

Depending on the severity of the injury and type of treatment, the broken bones in a broken ankle typically heal after six weeks, and most patients resume nonstrenuous daily activities within three to four months, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Some people take up to two years to recover from ankle fractures.

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Full Answer

Doctors observe the progress of bone healing through regular X-rays, particularly during the initial six weeks after a nonsurgical treatment, states the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. It often takes several months for patients to walk normally without limping or start playing sports. Many people are able to drive within nine to 12 weeks.

Regardless of the chosen treatment method, rehabilitation is essential in recovering from a broken ankle, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Doctors recommend physical therapy and home exercise once patients are capable of moving their ankles. It is crucial to perform the suggested exercises regularly to recover properly. Patients also need to do strengthening exercises when the muscles around the injured ankle are strong enough.

Ankle fractures usually require a splint that protects the broken ankle and reduces swelling, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Afterwards, doctors may suggest wearing a cast or a removable brace and then continue wearing of the brace for a few months when engaging in sports activities. To avoid complications, it is important to avoid putting weight on the injured ankle without the doctor's approval.

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