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Tibia/fibula fracture

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    Posted: Jun 28 2013 at 1:22pm
Our user asked: "First off...thank you for this great resource! I was involved in a motorcycle accident three weeks ago in which my left tibia and fibula were each broken in two places. An external fixation was used for two days until the final repair was made on the third day after the accident. I was sent home in a hinged brace with instructions for toe touch weight bearing only. I had my followup last week with the surgeon and was told that all is healing well and that I am now cleared to put 30 to 40 lbs of weight on the leg and begin "working it out". I have about 90 degrees of flex in my knee already but my ankle is quite stiff. While standing with crutches, I cannot place my heel on the floor due to stiffness. The doctor recommended using an exercise bike with no resistance to regain some motion, so I have ordered a floor pedal exerciser to do that. Can you recommend any specific or general exercises for me to use in order to regain flexibility in my ankle so that I can regain the ability to get my toe up and my heel on the floor again? I have been stretching lightly and doing ankle movements while sitting and have tried using an exercise band to help aid in stretching gently. Any other recommendations? Thank you so much."
 
Ask a PT Response: "Glad to hear you are doing better. Sounds like you are doing the right things. Are you referring to stretching the ankle into dorsiflexion (toes up) and plantarflexion (toes down)? For my patients that may have a deficit with this I'd have them work on this motion on their own: http://www.cyberpt.com/cptvid04ab.asp . A towel calf stretch could also be prescribed: http://www.cyberpt.com/cptvid10.asp. Once you are cleared to perform inversion and eversion, you could incorporate stretching into these directions as well. As always, please consult with your surgeon or PT prior to initiating any new exercise program."
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