This is the second in a series of articles about recovering from a broken ankle caused by a sports injury. The specific injury was a dislocated ankle with a broken fibula.

Ankle X-Ray with Screws

Ankle X-Ray with Screws

What Happens in Surgery to Repair a Broken Ankle?

Broken ankles may involve fractures or breaks in the tibia (inner part of the ankle), the fibula (outer part) or the talus (bone underneath the ankle). A dislocated ankle often results from the talus becoming detached from the ankle joint. In my case, the talus became dislocated from the ankle joint, and my fibula completely broke.

Immediate treatment for a broken ankle often involves surgery. In many cases, the surgeon may insert a metal plate along with screws and a metal plate. The procedure will vary depending on how bad the break is and which bones were broken. The proper procedure is necessary because failure to realign the ankle bones properly will lead to many future problems, including arthritis. The danger of developing arthritis is why more doctors recommend surgery rather than a simple cast, which can be effective for ankle sprain treatment.

Once the surgeon completes the procedure, he wraps the foot in a bandage with plaster. This bandage is relatively temporary and will remain for about two weeks. After a doctor removes the stitches, the patient will wear either  a plaster cast or some sort of a boot to ensure that the foot remains properly aligned while healing. In most cases, the patient cannot put any weight on the ankle for a total of eight weeks, including the six weeks after the stitches are removed.

How Long Does the Nausea Last After Surgery?

Most will experience nausea for a few days after surgery. In some cases, the nausea is minimal and will go away after two or three days. In other cases, the patient remains nauseous for a longer period of time. If this occurs, the patient should contact her doctor, who may be able to prescribe medication to help.

How Long Does the Ankle Hurt After Surgery?

The doctor will prescribe pain medication that should last a week or two after surgery. Popular types of pain medicines include hydrocodone and vicodin. The key to using the pain medicine is to stay ahead of the pain rather than react to the pain. In other words, take the medication on a regular schedule before you ever feel any of the pain.

The pain is more pronounced for the first three or four days after surgery. The cast may also be uncomfortable or awkward, which can add to the pain. The patient should see improvement after 7 to 10 days, if not sooner.

Can You Put Weight on Your Ankle If You Do Not Feel Pain?

It’s a bad idea. Many have commented that they decided to walk on their ankles before the end of the eight-week period. In one case, he broke one of the screws inserted in his ankle, and the surgeon had to start all over again. In other cases, the patient significantly prolonged the recovery process by walking on the ankle too soon.

Can You Drive If You Broke Your Right Ankle?

It’s a bad idea. Some have commented that they drove with their left foot (assuming automatic transmission), but the person is asking for trouble by doing so. If the person is involved in an accident, the other person might sue not only for negligence but for gross negligence. Several states also have traffic and transportation laws that would ban driving with a cast on the foot.