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Rehabilitation

Sprained ankle that won`t heal...

01/16/2007

Question:

I fell and badly sprained my ankle five months ago, and still have pain and swelling when I take off the ace bandage...I am walking with an aircast and have an appt. with an orthpaedic surgeon to discuss the possibiity of surgery.

Is it ok to use an exercise bike wearing the aircast? I have to do some sort of exercise, as I`ve gained 10 lbs since the fall and I am worried about not exercising! Please advise, and thank you.

Answer:

It is probably unwise to do an exercise like the biking that will “load” the ankle. Although you will not be putting as much pressure on the ankle as, say, running or walking, you will be loading the ankle. Something like entering a pool (aqua therapy) would allow you to practice safe walking, as well as practicing other movements with the ankle, in a warm supportive environment without loading the ankle in any substantive way.

A surgeon will want to do surgery, which may or may not be entirely necessary. Instead, why don’t you also consult with a physiatrist (a MD who specializes in rehabilitation) to determine if a regimen of exercises (possibly with a physical therapist) might have the same effect without surgery?

Good luck.

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Response by:

Stephen J Page, PhD Stephen J Page, PhD
Director of Research, Associate Professor
Drake Center
University of Cincinnati