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How to Rehab a Broken Ankle

Updated July 20, 2017

The severity of your broken ankle will determine how long you will have to wear a cast and rest your foot. But when the cast comes off and your back on your feet, it's important to follow a rehabilitation process to build the strength back up in your ankle and foot. When the pain, swelling and cast are a part of your past, it's time to get to work.

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  1. Extend your leg out in front of you while sitting down. Loop a towel around your toes and gently pull the towel with two hands toward your body. Put as much pressure as you feel comfortable with, but make sure you are stretching your ankle and calf muscle. Hold it for 15 seconds and repeat the exercise three times.

  2. Stretch your Achilles tendon to help maintain range of motion. Stand 3 feet against a wall, lean forward and support yourself by placing your hands on the wall. Step forward with your foot that is not injured and place it right next to the wall. Lean forward and slightly bend the knee of your injured ankle. This will stretch your Achilles tendon and calf muscle. Hold this stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. Again, only stretch the muscle as much as you feel comfortable.

  3. Stand on your injured ankle and foot for an extended period to improve your balance. Do this near a wall at first to help support yourself. It's likely you will have a more difficult time balancing yourself on the injured foot. When you start to feel comfortable, move away from the wall and try balancing yourself.

  4. Strengthen your calf muscle. One of the best ways to do this is to do calf raises. Step onto an elevated platform, such as the first step of a flight of stairs or a block of wood, and stand so the heel of your foot is hanging off the edge. Extend up and down on the balls of your feet so that your heels are extending above the platform and below the platform.

  5. Warning

    Only begin rehabilitation stretches on your ankle when you feel comfortable. Everybody heals at different rates. If you rush into it, you risk reinjury. Stop what you are doing when you start to feel pain again in your ankle.

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About the Author

Matt Crownover

Matt Crownover is the sports editor at the Lebanon Express in Lebanon, Ore. He primarily covers high school athletics and maintains the paper's online blog. Matt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash.

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