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.


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