Broken Ankle Still Swollen After A Year
I broke my ankle in a fall last February. The bone healed well enough that I was able to get back on my feet within two months. But for some reason it has continued to swell even though there are no signs of infection. It hurts when I walk and sometimes when I stand up from sitting down. When I first had this problem I tried stretching exercises but they didn’t help much. I also took ibuprofen but found that it made me drowsy so I gave that up. Now I’m wondering if I should visit an orthopedist about it because it’s been over one year since my accident. What can I do? – Broken Ankle Suffering
It sounds like your broken ankle has not fully healed yet. If you haven’t seen an orthopaedic specialist then I would definitely recommend doing so. You may need to undergo x-rays to detect any complications such as abnormal alignment. Also, you will want to make sure that there are no infections present by having your skin checked for redness and tenderness at every opportunity. There could be problems with your bone that need addressing immediately. For example, if your bone shifted out of place during surgery or if you have suffered multiple fractures, these things could cause ongoing problems. Another possibility is that your bone has become infected. To rule out either of these possibilities, you can see an orthopaedic surgeon who will take all necessary precautions to ensure your safety. In addition, he/she will examine your leg thoroughly to find out how severe your injury really is and whether any additional treatment is required.
Your doctor may decide to set screws into your bones. These will hold them in place while they heal. He/she might prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. Your physician may order imaging tests to determine the extent of your injuries, including X-rays and MRIs. Once you receive your diagnosis, you’ll know exactly why your ankle continues to swell and where you need to focus most of your attention. From there, you should work closely with your healthcare provider to develop a plan for recovery.
To treat your swollen ankle properly, you’ll need to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Here are some tips:
* Rest your injured ankle until it becomes more comfortable. Take breaks whenever possible.
* Elevate your foot above the level of your heart using a foam wedge or rolled towel. Use pillows or cushions under your knee to keep your lower body elevated. Avoid sleeping on your injured side.
* Keep ice packs or bags of frozen peas handy to apply directly to your ankle. They reduce swelling without causing bruising.
* Always use crutches (or another supportive device) to aid in walking. Never try to move around too soon. Using a brace isn’t recommended unless your doctor specifically tells you otherwise.
* Wear shoes with good arch support and wear socks that fit snugly. Loose fitting socks can lead to blisters.
* Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and avoid constipation. Keeping yourself well nourished will allow your muscles to recover faster.
* Don’t smoke. Smoking weakens blood vessels and makes it harder for your circulation to deliver oxygenated blood to your joints. Smoking can also aggravate inflammation and slow down your recovery process.
* Get moving! Exercise helps to strengthen muscles surrounding your ankle and keeps your cardiovascular system working optimally. Walking and physical therapy exercise programs may speed up recovery. However, before beginning an exercise program, check with your health care provider to make sure you’re healthy enough to handle it.
If your ankle gets wet, dry it off right away. Before putting weight on it, put on clean paper stockings and change your socks often. Make sure your bedding matches your outfit. Wash your hair and remove jewelry before going to sleep. Be careful in showers to avoid being splashed. Dry your ankle gently and air it several times a day to lessen moisture build-up. Pat your ankle lightly and don’t rub it. If you think you’ve picked up an infection, tell your doctor immediately.
Your doctor will give you specific recommendations based on your condition and his findings. Follow those instructions diligently. Above all, rest assured that your injury is being taken very seriously. With proper treatment, your ankle should begin to feel better quickly.
Drinking water helps to flush toxins through urine and bowel movements. Water is essential for healthy digestion and elimination. People with poor dietary habits tend to suffer from constipation which leads to hemorrhoids and painful bowel movements. Constipation is also associated with certain types of cancer, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, stroke, kidney disease, liver disorders, gallbladder disease, depression, anxiety and many others. Drinking 8 glasses of warm water each day can improve digestion and assist colon evacuation. By drinking more water, you can help your kidneys filter waste products out of the bloodstream and protect against kidney stones.
Drinking alcohol dehydrates our bodies. Alcohol consumption adversely affects your immune system and increases the risk of developing colds and flu viruses. Excess calories consumed on alcoholic beverages result in weight gain which contributes to high blood pressure and heart diseases. Over time, alcohol abuse can cause permanent brain damage leading to memory loss, confusion, blackouts and impaired motor skills.
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