Ankle Fracture Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Ankle Fracture Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo, and today
I’m gonna show you some stretches and exercises for an ankle fracture. Let’s get started. So just to clarify, don’t start these stretches and exercises until after you are cleared by
your doctor. This is not during the fracture, this is once the fracture has
healed. So let’s start off with some stretches. I like to do stretches
sometimes if you’re on the ground and not able to hang it off like a chair or
bed, to prop it up on something so it just gives you more room to move your
ankle around. You can use a strap or a belt, you can use a dog leash if you have
a dog, or you can use a big beach towel if you don’t have any of those. Make sure
and wrap it kind of around the ball of your foot, not up at your toes and not
down low. That will help give you the best stretch. You want to keep your leg
nice and straight and just relax your ankle. So the strap is doing all the work,
and then you’re just going to pull it towards you as far as you comfortably
can and hold that for about 30 seconds. You should feel the stretch in your calf
area underneath here. If you’ve had an ankle fracture, you might actually feel
it in the joint and that’s fine as long as it’s not painful just that tension.
That kind of hurt so good feeling. So 30 seconds, do that three times. Then you’re
going to go into some exercises. I like these loop bands, they’re really nice
because then you’ll have to hold on as much. You don’t have to tie your bands
in knots. And King Athletic was very nice to donate some of these loop bands to us,
so check those out if you get a chance and you want to try some out. And they
have different weights which is really cool, too. But just to start off with,
again you’re going to put it kind of around the ball of your foot there because you
don’t want it to be up on your toes where the band’s going to come flying
back at you, but you want to don’t want to be too low because then you’re not
going to get that resistance either. And this time you’re just going to push down
like you’re pushing on a pedal, and then slowly come back up. Now if your muscles
are weak from the fracture, it might kind of wiggle a little bit like that, but try
and keep it is steady as you can. If you’re wiggling a lot, you might not be
ready for either that resistance band or a band at all, and just try it without
the band. So just start off with about 10 of those and then if it gets easy, you
can go up to 20 – 25, and those are easy then you can get a stronger resistive
band. Then wrap it around both feet kind of at the ball of your feet, and then turn
your foot out into the eversion, going out. Now try to keep your leg itself
pretty still, so it’s not the whole leg turning out, it’s just that ankle going
out, and then if you need to kind of hold that leg a little bit that’s fine. It’s
going to turn just a little bit, but you don’t want the whole leg turning. You’re
trying to do all that movement at the ankle, so coming out and then slowly
coming back in. So make sure you’re controlling that band, don’t let the band control you. And then
you’re going to cross over, and with the band still at the ball of your feet, now
you’re going to push inwards, even though it’s going out that way, into inversions. So
again, just at that ankle not the whole leg. So if you feel like your whole leg
is moving, you might want to hold on to it or something like that to make sure you’re
just getting that movement at the ankle. And if you feel like it’s too hard, then
just try it without the band at all. Alright now we’re going to do some
exercises standing up. So for the standing calf stretch, you’re going to
take the foot that you want to stretch, and put it back behind you. The front leg can bend a little bit. The
back heel stays down and your foot stays fairly forward. So not turned out to the
side, that’s going to take away from the stretch. Hold onto something nice and
sturdy like a chair or counter top, and then bend this knee forward as much as
you can until you feel the stretch in the back. Make sure you keep that heel
down, so you’re just stretching this way, and then you want to hold that stretch
for about 30 seconds, and then come back up, and do that three
times for the calf stretch. Then you’re going to stretch the soleus muscle, which
is the muscle underneath, and to stretch that one this time you bend the back
knee as well, but you’re still trying to keep that heel down. And again if you had
an ankle fracture, you might feel it more in the ankle joint vs here, but
that’s okay. You’re just trying to get that movement in there. So this time, bend
that back one and the front one, and then stretch. So right there hold that for
about 30 seconds again, and then do three of those as well. Then for some
strengthening. You’re going to do some heel raises, so with your feet about
shoulder-width apart, again hold onto something if you need to for balance, and
come up on your toes and then slowly come down. Really try and control that
movement because if you’re your muscles are pretty weak in the ankle, it’s going to
just try and come straight down, but really try and control it going up and
coming back down. That’s the important part. So just start off with
about 10 of those, get up in 20-25, if that becomes easy, then you can try it with
one foot. So the same thing, just coming up and then slowly coming back down. With
that single heel raise right there. And then for the last one, just doing some
balance because our balance muscles have a lot to do with our ankles and our hips,
so when those muscles are weak, then we get off balance a lot. We don’t want you
falling, so then you’re just going to stand on one foot. Again make sure and
hold onto something nice and sturdy. Start off with two hands and just maybe
go 15-20 seconds. If you get to a minute and that’s easy, then just go to your
fingers, and if that becomes easy, try just one finger, and then if that’s still easy,
then just balancing on that one foot. And if you look down, you’re going to see
your foot wiggling and moving just a little bit. That’s fine. That’s just those
muscles trying to find the balance. Even when you don’t have an injury, they’re going to do that, but if it’s
painful, you’re probably not quite ready for that yet. So there you have it, those
were your stretches and exercises for an ankle fracture. If you have any questions, leave them
in the comment section. To check out some other videos go to, and
remember, be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

84 Replies to “Ankle Fracture Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. Could you do a video on how to prevent ankle impingement? I've tried a few stretches but still can feel some pinching when I bend my foot upward.

  2. I have a broken foot but my ankle is very stiff and does not have much range of motion. Do you think this is normal? Maybe from being in a boot so long?

  3. How many times should we do this a day? I had bimalleolar fracture ORIF, and I am trying to the therapy after 10 weeks rest

  4. I had a stable fracture on fibula and tibia January 31,2017 I had surgery February 6,2017 got two screws. On April 20,2017 I got screws removed. Doctor told me I can start to stand and try to walk on foot already. But I'm still having difficulty walking. I'm 23 years old and I work in construction. Just wanted to ask for your opinion what I should do so I can be able to walk and how long it will take before I can begin to walk normal and also go to full activity.
    My next dr appointment is May 2,2017
    Still haven't start my physical therapy. It might be a week after that may 2.
    Just want some tips on what I can do meanwhile the expedite the process.
    Also wanted to know how long will it take for my ankle not to get so swollen.
    Your advice will help a lot thanks.!

  5. Good afternoon, my name is Rui, and on August 18, 2016 I had a motorcycle accident, due to mechanical failure, I was operated on the same day, and the doctors say my fracture is called a tibial pylon, I no longer I'm doing physiotherapy, the doctors said it was not worth it anymore, because the foot was not gaining more amplitude or strengthening, I still have a lot of pain, the only movement I can not do is to put myself in my fingertips (Last demonstrated), is it normal after so long to still have so many pains and not being able to do this? The pains are mostly in the ankle bending, where the foot does the bending up or down. Doctors say I'm going to stay with the screws for the rest of my life, I have 4. One thing I notice different is, I can not get down stairs normally, I have to put the heel instead of the front of the foot as it is normal. And since I've been able to "walk," I've never noticed my twin muscle working. Thank you in advance for any suggestion or solution that indicates to me, since I am 23 years old and I can not stay like this for the rest of my life, but how will I work the rest of my life?

    PS.: sorry for the bad english, i'm from Portugal, so english isnt my mother language.

  6. I broke my ankle I think in two places on February 23rd and had surgery on March 1st.
    As of right now, my doctor told me to put pressure on my foot.

    Majority of these exercises I'm doing right now and I try to do them at work too, but my foot is too stiff and swells too during the day, but I can move it at home. Do my ankle still suppose to swell after I walk? I'm not in any pain when I walk, but the swelling is making my boot uncomfortable.

  7. I was have surgery in September 2016 in my ankle but when I make this exercises I felt pain and it is swelling until naw but thanks for this exercises

  8. my ankle fructure last 3 week.. now recovery from operation they put screw on my ankle. can i do this excercise?

  9. Hi, I have broken my talus about 12 weeks ago( non displaced fracture) and just got my cast off today.Am I allowed to do all of these exercises? My doctor told my I can start with 50% weight bearing for the first two weeks and said I should do exercises..the more the better

  10. Hi, I have a right ankle fracture if I do these chair Exercises should I feel any pain on the inside of my ankle?

  11. Hi, I broke my ankle 9 weeks ago and the doctors said I have tendonitis, when I do these exercises there is slight pain and restriction, is this normal after 8 weeks in a cast

  12. hello i actually had a ligament tear in my right ankle and was fractured for 14 days now please suggest me some exercises because i am unable to move my ankle sideways

  13. Hello i recently just took of my cast i have had on my right foot because i had a spiral fracture on my chin for about 2 months, i am 11 years old and i have pain on half of my foot when i try bending it sideways… any advice?

  14. AskDoctorJo hey I was misdiagnosed with a sprain 12 weeks ago, today seeing a my dr for sinus infection she did x rays and I have 2 fractures pain is in inside of ankle around inside ball part, she showed me the image and one fracture is in back kinda above heel in a bone and the other on the opposite end of that ligament in front so do I need o be off of it now, I can't see ortho for another week

  15. Hey I have a pilon fraction from my car accident 4 months my Dr says to walk but I dont think I'm ready for walking with a walker or even a cane I'm so use to using my lefty for everything left hand left foot today I did stairs though my foot was swelling but I made it up 14 stairs up & down just I keep trying to find balance I get that but can't stand feet togetherness though I tried to take my 1st step but couldn't I'm still in the boot as well just for half of the day and then walking but I'm so tired of this walker too

  16. Hello Dr. I m a football player so My ankel ligament is tear so it's pain while shooting a ball i can't shoot powerfully so plez give a positive answer because I want to be a professional soccer player
    Thank you

  17. I fracture my ankle about 5 months ago .i rested for good time nd bone is healed complete bt mobility is not good in my ankle as i thought it will get better with time bt after visiting the doctor he said mobility cannot be gained without exercise so now after 5 months of stiffed muscle i am going to start this exercise will i be able to get full anke motion ever or is it too late for me i am 20 male .nd how long will it take to get full mobility ??

  18. I had a trimalleolar fracture and had surgery 9 weeks ago. I needed to wait until I was mentally and physically ready for PT, and I am ready now. I've been doing ankle pumps, etc. I'm pretty proud of my progress so far…thanks to videos like this. I listen to my body and stop when there's pain. I can walk around the house without my boot ( doc said a little bit of walking around the house wing out the boot was OK). I stretch in the morning, which really helps make the day better. I also find that do the exercise in the morning is better. When I've been in the boot all day walking around, I'm too sore. My question is … If I'm even a little swollen and sore, should I not do exercises? If my body says no, I feel that I should listen to that and do the exercises when It's feeling better. Also, moving my ankle up and down is not bad, but side to side really feels majorly uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Especially on the side with the plate and screws.

  19. Just had Surgery on my left ankle and am asked not to walk for 6weeks and my feet is still will this good for me to do??

  20. Hello mam , I had undergone ankle surgery(bimoller) 6 months back. I had not done any exercise til date. Now my ankle movement in poor. Can I get good movement if I start now. How long it takes, how many times in a day I should repeat these exercises.
    Please suggest me.
    Mam walking now but am limping, do I walk normally

  21. i have got enjury .tibia and femar. from . 2015 now i am ok . But my knee stiff and strait. pls help dr. no any enjury in my knee ..

  22. Hello Dr Jo, I've had a crack fracture of my right foot lateral malleolus. It's been 2 months now, I have recently started physiotherapy; whereby there is Ice pack treatment and static cycling. I would like to know if I can start the exercises you have shown in this video?

  23. Do you have any suggestions for someone who is completely fresh after the injury… They removed my cast 2 days ago, I had 1 physical therapy session… and my ankle doesn't even move much yet…

    And I want to recover sooner cause I wanna play volleyball ASAP lol

  24. So I'm wondering is ice beneficial at this stage of recovery? Does it help, hurt or make no difference at all?

  25. Hello Doctor! I had the distal fibula fracture on 28/2 and I just got the cast removed on Saturday! I would love to have physical therapy but the waiting time takes more than half year. Would you please suggest some exercises that I can do at home? Just like what you have done in the video

  26. I was just curious if these would be ok to perform when I just broke my ankle about 4 1/2 weeks ago. My orthopedic DR has transitioned me from my boot to my brace now and informed me I could start some foot exercises if I didn't want to go to physical therapy. I dont mind of course but I just dont want to have to take the time and money if I can do it at home. So I've just really been stretching my foot but its almost like it feels like a burning sensation. Is that normal? Just the tissue stretching after being immobile for a period of time? Also, how long does it take to where I feel like I can walk normal again?

  27. A couple of weeks ago I started using a balancing ball at the gym between sets on my recovering ankle and I'm still hurting. I don't know if the balancing exercises caused it or not, does that sound likely?

  28. Hi Dr Jo. I broke my ankle 3 weeks ago and had surgery to repair. My splint was removed after 10 days. I am scheduled to return to ortho doctor in two weeks and should be released to begin putting weight on it then. I have been doing your sitting ankle exercises. Will I be immediately able to walk then? Thank you.

  29. Dr joe i twisted my ankle inversion and eversion and the 4 ligaments were highly stretched out ( no fracture) i had a cast 3 weeks and decided an ankle brace for week 4, but the eversion side still hurt( i can weight bear but stiff at the beginning) ,,,,, i need excercise to regain my healthy ligaments and strength it ,,, all i see are for inversions ,,, thanks 🙏🏻

  30. Hello doctor, I've been diagnosed with lateral malleolus on my left ankle. The cast has been removed already, but my physical therapy is quite late, so the doctor asked me to practice on walking by myself. Is it safe for me to do this exercise?

  31. I am recovering from a spiral ankle displacement i suffered 5 ½ months ago. I have a plate and screws in my ankle. I started going to a physiotherapist that was across town, but stopped about a month back because the travel was too much. I haven't been regular in exercising at home, though I try walking a few times a week. How much longer will it take for me to be able to run properly?
    And I don't take pain killers as a principal.

  32. Hello, i had undergone with ankle surgery before 2 months back , after 7 weeks they removed one screw,still 2 screws and plates had and can't able to walk . How many days it will took . What exercises i need to follow.

  33. Hello mam it's been 3 months since I had an ORIF surgey, I had a fracture in my fibula , so these exercises can help me get my movement back?

  34. Hi DrJo My girl had bunionectomy when she was younger and i believe has a pin in her toe, we been getting back into fitness and she been experiencing some pain on and off depending on the excersises are there any physical therapy or mobility excersises you can recommed?

  35. is this good if its stiff?? fractured my fibula and trying to move it but it's stiff I can take the pain but I'm determined to walk again

  36. Hello Dr Jo, I had an ankle fracture and was fortunate able to use an air boot and put some weight on it through out the 6 week recovery. I was told I could go to physio now but unfortunately it is not in my pre-senior budget. At 62 years old there is no OHIP(Ontario Canada) coverage for this injury yet and as my husband just retired, we had no private plan any more. Your exercises are awesome and just what I needed. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  37. hello I had ankle surgery 2 months ago then had surgery 3 weeks ago to take the screw out they said try to put weight I'm scared to do the exercise anyway to overcome that

  38. Hello Ma'am. It's been 18days after the removal of ankle fracture cast, but I still have pain n swelling around my ankle. I tried doing your simple exercises on swelling reduction. But while doing your second last exercise of this video,where I had to lift my heel only on one leg, it was very painful and I failed to do it. I am still limping when I walk. How long will I take to recover n get my normal movement. Please help Dr. Jo.

  39. Hello, Dr. Jo,

    I have a tibial meleolo fracture on January 25th. They removed my cast one week and a day ago. My orthopedist said after a week of cast removal I can walk with crutches, then the week after I can walk by myself. Happens that I realized two days ago I can actually walk by my own with different pains on my foot and ankle, a little in the fracture, a little in the tibial tendon and also on the dorse of my foot which I think it's normal since I didn't walk for a month. Are these pains normal? I am using the crutches again to not force my foot. Will I ever be free of pain? Thanks so much for your videos, they're really helpful.

  40. I had a minor fracture 3 weeks ago, doctor told me to start doing some weight bearing last week. Does that mean I could start doing some of these exercises? Thanks!!

  41. Thank you for this video! , I sprained my ankle on June 27, 2018 and I can't walk straight since , it still swell slightly and pain ,do u have any advise

  42. i fractured my ankle last year and they told me in 18 months i would be back to normal and have complete flexibilty in my ankle and in 2 months its about to be the 18 month mark and i still dont have full flexibily on my ankle and it still hurts really bad at the end of the day any advice ?

  43. Hello Dr. Jo…..I had madial malleous fracture on my left ankle. 2 months passed but still now pain and lots of swelling after some walking.what should i do…please suggest

  44. Hello Dr. I had gone through ankle surgery(bimalleolar ) 1 month before, can i do the this exercise, plz suggest

  45. Hi dr. Jo, i just had ankle surgery from dealong with a impigment and scar tissue in my ankle. And it has been 11 days so far, and the dr said i can walk around the house but i cant walk at all. It hurts just putting pressure or moving my ankle up and down.

  46. Hello Dr. Jo! I just got cleared last week to start putting weight on my foot after having surgery on my ankle. I fractured it 8 weeks ago. Using my boot, walking around is much easier than without the boot. Without the boot it is still some soreness there. Is there any at home treatment I can do to help with the soreness without the boot on other than ice it?

  47. Doc Jo! This was very helpful. Thank you more so for your enthusiasm to help. I realized last evening that this ankle fracture, followed by surgery and healing has been one of the most challenging things I have encountered to date in my life. Aside from the fact that the healing had to take place within an environment that is not conducive to a more spiritual and uplifting environment. In fact, the total opposite. Breaking a bone, it's a traumatic blunt to not only the physical body but the spiritual as well. While on earth one can not survive without the other. This is where I am in the healing process and your exercise is definitely a great assist. Much gratitude!

  48. Hi, great exercises for my ankle, I broke it many years ago and never really did the physio and it is still painful when walking sometimes although doesn't stop me playing tennis etc. 

    My question is my right ankle that broke feels tight across the top and wondered if your exercises will help this or if there are other exercises you suggest to help loosen it up? I tend to find that I sometimes put the tops of my toes on the floor and then stretch the top of my ankle forward and that feels like it is stretching and maybe helping but I don't want to make it worse, hence my question! Thanks for any help.

  49. Hey Dr.
    I got a sprain in my ankle and had a plaster of 21 days after 5 days of injury and after 21 days plaster there is pain in my ankle bone will I be all fine and let me know how many days I'll take to be all right coz I have to go to college already missed 1 month

  50. Very helpful Dr Jo. I fractured my ankle last week so it will be some time before I can put this video into practice but are there any exercises I can do for my upper leg so I do not lose too much strength and flexibility there?

  51. I am heavy weighed and have an ankle fracture in my right leg please help me
    I can practice this exercises for the same right?

  52. Quick question doctor. It's been 8 months I got fibula fracture it's healed and I can run, jump and walk 5k. But I still hear lot of Clicking sound from ankle doing these stretches. Do I need CT scan to find any the issue orligament loss during that fracture.

  53. Thanks for the amazing video. Top notch. I just came off the cast after 6weeks. Now I’ve got the boot for another 6weeks. My ankle is really stiff at the moment but with this exercises which they are the same recommended by my doctor I’ll be fine in no time. Keep up with the great content. Be safe💪🏽

  54. Hello, I've just had the ankle-foot operation and I wanted to ask what exercises I should do. The doctor said move your fingers and foot, but how should I move my foot, since it is in a semi cast (not sure how to call it, It is removable). Any help would be appreciated 🙂

  55. I remember watching this video a couple of years ago when I had never fractured a bone in my body.. Now I am watching 2 months after an ORIF surgery and after getting my cast removed today .. Starting weight bearing and physio from tomorrow.

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