Problems after broken ankle

Hi troops,

I broke my ankle at the end of January this year, and have been trying to get back into running since May/June, but it hasn't been going too well.

The bone (fibula) has healed, but slightly off-set, which I think is probably the reason for the problems. I can run (not very fast though!),but often have a very painful calf muscle, both during, and especially afterwards.

On longer runs, I feel that my foot angles slightly outwards and puts most of the weight on the outer edge of my foot unless I concentrate on my strike. Could this be a cause of the calf pain?

Another problem is that I do not have the full amount of movement in the foot (maybe 70%) thus making calf stretches more difficult. 

I've spoken to my doctor, who was not very helpful, but sent me to the hospital who seemed even less bothered (mind you all the rest of their patients were old biddies who could hardly walk, so in comparison I probably looked like Usain Bolt).

Has anyone had any similar problems? If so how did you work through it? 

Any suggestions? 






  • Hi,

    I broke my ankle in January 2010 and things haven't been right since.  I have very little dorsiflexion in the ankle and also sometimes the pin areas swell up.  So I've had enough and went private to get the pins out.  The surgeon is also going to remove some of the scar tissue at the front of the ankle to improve mobility.

    The biggest problem I have is that my other leg has problems because it has to compensate for my broken leg.  It has meant my "good" leg has become lazy and then injured.  I've tried stretches, physio and pilates, but really nothing changed much.  I really hope that going under the knife will sort it out. 

    Sorry I can't be more help. 

  • Sorry to hear it's not going better. I hope the op helps you. 

    I know what you mean about the other leg compensating, it feels like my right leg is doing all the work. I've had no problems with my uninjured leg as yet though (apart from fatigue).

    Is it your right or left leg that's knackered? Perhaps we could get together for a three legged race? image

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    Its not something I've done myself, but have you considered seeing a podiatrist?  Not sure whether this can be done on the NHS or whether you have to go privately, so there may be a cost involved.

    Your GP and hospital were probaly jsut concerend with keeping you mobile, so you need to find someone who can help with the running side.

  • My left ankle is busted, but now my right knee has come out in sympathy.  I'm no longer limping!  image

    I think that if you want to get back running properly, you will have to go privately somewhere.  As long as you can walk the NHS don't really care.  -rant alert - I think that is very short-sighted of them as I'm sure that little problems now will turn into big problems later, but that is the problem of another government. -end rant-  Whether you choose physio, podiatrist (I have some lovely orthotics that helped for a while), pilates or anything else is up to you. 

  • Hi guys,

    Magnadoodle I think restoring your ankle range will be essential for you. Dorsiflexion - the upward movement of the ankle that Miss Piggy mentioned - is vital for normal running gait. It might be you are compensating for your lack of movement by turning your foot out.

    You could work on it with lunges and single knee dip exercises, both will help. A Physio could also manipulate the joint which can help too. A podiatrist may provide an orthotic to allow you to run with less range if you can't increase your flexibility.

    Also if you select a shoe with a big heel to toe drop this might help as you'll need less dorsiflexion.

    Miss Piggy I totally understand your frustration with the NHS, in our defence though we do care! (I'm a Physio)


  • Thanks for the suggestions Tom, I'll give the exercises a go to start with and see if they help. Should I lay off the running totally until I can move the ankle more, or is a bit of gentle running okay?

  • A bit of gentle running should be ok as long as it's not painful and the ankle doesn't stiffen or swell after
  • Cheers Tom.


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