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Best Rehabilitation Methods for a Fractured Ankle or Foot

Injuries happen in the blink of an eye, but their effects last weeks, months, and even years if not properly treated. That’s one of the most frustrating things about serious injuries like foot fractures and ankle fractures—the time it takes to recover. But there are several things an expert podiatrist can do to get you back on your feet faster.

It’s true that foot and ankle injuries take patience. But to save yourself time, optimize your recovery, and prevent future injury, it’s important to get started with a podiatrist that will listen, investigate, and prepare a personalized care plan. So, if you’re suffering from foot and ankle pain, here’s how you can set yourself up for a speedy recovery!

Find Out if It’s a Fracture or a Sprain

The speediest recovery journey starts with getting the right diagnosis. Sometimes, people don’t seek treatment for fractures early enough because they think it’s “just a sprain.” But even if it is a sprain, it’s best to have proper treatment. Sprains and fractures that don’t heal properly can lead to more injuries, aches, and pains in the future.

if you have any of the following symptoms, come visit Lakes Foot & Ankle Associates for a thorough examination:

  • You can’t walk or put weight on your foot or ankle
  • Your pain is moderate to severe
  • You have visible swelling, bruising, or redness
  • The bone(s) of your foot or ankle appear abnormal
  • After a few days of rest and ice, your injury isn’t improving

Seek a Podiatrist with Advanced Diagnostic Testing

You may think that in today’s day and age all X-rays would be digital. But a lot of doctors still use traditional film X-rays because, let’s face it, they’re cheaper. At Lakes Foot & Ankle Associates, we’ve invested in the digital X-ray because it’s safer, provides higher resolution images, and produces near-instant results that we can quickly assess, right in our office.

Podiatrists are also specially trained in X-rays that are weight-bearing. Often, patients have X-rays taken at Urgent Care facilities and the ER, which are never shot as weight-bearing. This leads to misdiagnosed conditions, and often missed fractures, such as harder-to-see injuries like stress fractures.

We’re also one of the few podiatrists to use diagnostic ultrasounds. With this technology, we can see bone contours with an extra dimension of detail. Plus, fractures are often accompanied by ligament, tendon, and muscle problems that an X-ray alone can’t detect. These techniques allow us to see the whole picture of your injury, determine the root cause of foot pain or ankle pain, and determine the best treatment method!

Follow Your Treatment Plan (And Ask Questions!)

With some fractures, the bones shift out of place; with milder fractures, the bones stay where they are. Both will require rest and immobilization, but treatment will depend on the complexity of the injury. We’ll always provide options, information, and resources so you can make the best decisions for your situation, lifestyle, and goals—and we encourage you to ask questions!

Milder fractures typically don’t require surgery, simply the right method to keep your bones in place while they recover, such as a boot, splint, or cast. If the bones are only slightly out of place, we may be able to realign them without surgery. However, we may recommend surgery if:

  • The bone is considerably out of place
  • There is extensive soft tissue damage accompanying your fracture
  • Your pain is caused by an old injury where the bones didn’t heal properly

Optimize Your Recovery from Foot or Ankle Fractures

Full recovery can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Here are our top recommendations for how to make the most of this time.

Rest. Then Rest Some More.

There’s not too much to do during the initial recovery stage other than rest. Of course, that’s easier said than done. With work to do, kids to care for, and errands to run, it’s tempting to try and rush recovery. But following your care instructions is key. Don’t put weight on your injury until your podiatrist says so, and gradually reintroduce regular activities rather than starting back all at once.

Try MLS Laser Therapy

Many of our patients not only want to heal faster, but may need extra help or support while going through the healing process. MLS laser therapy is a great form of physical therapy that can help patients heal 40% faster, help manage pain, and control inflammation. If you’re looking for a safe, non-invasive way to heal faster check out our laser therapy guide.

Invest in Some Extra Support

If you’re wearing a boot, splint, or cast, look for ways to give yourself extra support and safely increase your mobility. Knee scooters can help speed up your movement more comfortably than crutches. Shower chairs not only give you a little rest during your daily ablutions—they also help you avoid slips and falls! 

After the boot or cast comes off, we will recommend ways to support your joints for a few months, especially whenever you’re doing strenuous activities. 

Try Physical Therapy Exercises

When your foot or ankle is ready, your podiatrist will recommend a course of safe physical therapy exercises. Don’t skip these! Gentle stretching, strengthening, and range-of-motion exercises help keep the muscles around your foot and ankle strong, speeding recovery and protecting against future injuries. Just make sure to add them gradually and according to your care plan: slow and steady definitely wins the race!

Stay in Touch with Your Podiatrist

At Lakes Foot & Ankle Associates, our whole philosophy is based on offering resources and support for maintaining a healthy, pain-free state after you heal. By incorporating what we learn about the precise biomechanics of your body during diagnostic testing, we can provide individualized recommendations to prevent further injury and treat any lingering complications.

Whether you need recommendations for the best athletic shoes, custom orthotics to provide lasting support, or physical therapy exercises to keep yourself limber, we’re always here to answer your questions and give our expert advice. So, give us a call or contact us online today to make us your partners in foot and ankle care.

Lakes Foot & Ankle Associates: Fracture, Sprain, and Pain Treatments in Commerce Township, MI

If you’re experiencing foot pain or ankle pain and you’re not sure whether you need to seek medical treatment, give us a call at (248) 360-3888! The best way to ensure a fast, easy, and effective recovery is to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment as quickly as possible. At Lakes Foot & Ankle, we provide comprehensive, compassionate care and advanced treatment options on an individual level. We look forward to meeting you!


Monday8:30am – 5:00pm
Tuesday9:00am – 5:00pm
Wednesday8:30am – 5:00pm
Thursday9:00am – 6:00pm
Friday7:30 am – 4:00pm
Saturday– Closed –
Sunday– Closed –


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