These ankle fracture stretches and exercises should only be done after your broken ankle has healed, and you are cleared by your doctor to start physical therapy. See Doctor Jo’s blog post about this at: http://www.askdoctorjo.com/ankle-fracture-stretches-exercises
Often after an ankle fracture, your ankle becomes very stiff and weak. These stretches and exercises should help.
The first stretch will be a calf stretch. Start off with your legs out in front of you. You can bend up the leg you aren’t using towards you in a comfortable position. Keep the leg you want to stretch out in front of you. Take a stretch strap, dog leash, belt, or towel and wrap it around the ball of your foot. Relax your foot, and pull the strap towards you stretching your calf muscle. You should feel the stretch under your leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do three of them.
Now prop your ankle up on a roll or hang your foot off the bed or table so your heel doesn't touch the floor. Put the band around the ball of your foot for good resistance. First, push your foot down and up. This is called ankle plantarflexion. Next you want to wrap the band around your other foot. This time you will have resistance pulling out. This is ankle eversion.Now cross your foot over the foot with the band as seen in the video, and pull your foot inward. This is ankle inversion.
The next exercise will be standing up. You want to lean against a wall or something sturdy. Place the foot you want to stretch behind you. Make sure to keep your heel down and your toes forward pointing towards the wall. With the other foot in front of you, like you are in a lunge position, bend your knee towards the wall until you feel a stretch through your back leg. Try to keep your back leg as straight as possible. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times. Then you will bend your back knee, and do the same stretch. This is to stretch the Soleus muscle which is underneath your gastroc. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times.
Now is a heel raise off the ground. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, come up on your toes as high as you can. Try not to lean forward, but bring your body straight up and slowly come back down. Push off as much as you can so your heel leaves the ground. Start off with ten and work your way up to 20-25. If this becomes easy, then you can do one foot at a time.
The last exercise will be a balance series. Stand on one foot, but hold onto something sturdy. Try to balance for 30 seconds to a minute. When that becomes easy, just use one finger one each side. Then just one finger for balance, and finally try balancing without holding on at all.
Ankle Strengthening Exercises & Stretches:
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PRODUCT PLACEMENT DISCLAIMER: This video represents the honest opinions of Doctor Jo. Thank you to King Athletic for providing Doctor Jo with free loop bands to use.
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