Have you recovered from a broken ankle?

Hi all,

I broke/fractured three bones in my ankle just under four months ago, I was hit by a car while riding a two wheeled cycle (Kama some might say : )

I am doing physio at the moment but do not know if my ankle will be as good as new eventually or not.

Obviously there is no way for you guys n gals to say how my recovery will go, but I thought it would be interesting (and hopefully uplifting) to ask others if they have recovered from a similar injury.

So, is there anyone here who has been able to continue unicycling after a broken ankle or other serious injury?


PS Any recovery tips welcome!

I broke both my Tibia and Fibula in August 2017. I had 23 pieces of metal put in to may ankle to hold it together and was on crutches for 3 months. I started walking again in Mid December. I had spent all but the first 10 days without a cast on it (the swelling was so bad I could not keep it on). So I was able to swim (arms only) and keep it moving even though it was not load bearing.

I had no problem with articulation of the joint and it did not take me long to get my strength back up. I can say that it was totally fixed by mid February. By July 2018 I was fitter and stronger than I have been for many years.

I fractured my right Fibula about a decade ago when I dropped a wooden ramp onto it which twisted the ankle and broke the bone from the bottom of the foot in an upward direction. It was never in a hard cast. I wore a knee high boot that was held on with velcro straps. It healed fine in about 6 months. It never bothers me at all now.

I fractured my left Metatarsel 11 months ago when I slipped and fell on wet ice at the bottom of the steps into my driveway. They put a temporary cast on it at the Emergency Room which was removed a day later and replaced with another velcro strap boot. I wore that for a couple of months, and then wore an ankle brace that I would lace up over my sock and into my regular work boots. I only used that for a few weeks. At 4 months, I had no trouble walking but could not run. At 6 months, I could run. It would only very slightly bother me on rare occasions. Here at 11 months, its almost like it never happened. I think it was around April or May of this year that I started unicycling (after a 4 decade absence). It didn’t really hinder me much, but I did wear my inside the boot style lace up brace on occasion while unicycling.

While wearing the velcro boot I borrowed a brace from a friend called an “iwalk”. It is worn strapped to your pants leg and your body weight is on your knee while your foot is held up behind you. It worked great for me and allows you to have both hands free unlike crutches. It’s worth checking out.

Best Regards!

I think I have the names of the bones reversed, and just as likely misspelled. Long story short, I’ve broken both ankles and they both healed fine. My unicycling limitations have nothing to do with that!

The bones heal pretty well but the damage to the ligaments can be long term. I sprained my ankle when I was about 14 and it has never since been as strong or stable as the other ankle.

I did the original injury in Phys Ed class doing long jump into a sawdust pit. We were all just going round and round and the sawdust was not being raked flat. I landed on the side of the hole that had formed and turned my ankle under. (I never forgave the teacher whose fault it was. Worse still he did absolutely no first aid and made me walk back up to the next class.)

The repeat sprain when I was about 32 certainly didn’t help but it was because the ankle was weak.

My friend was about 3/4 months from break to surgery and cleared to ride her bike outside. Obviously everyone is different, listen to your docter, riding a bike isn’t the same as a unicycle, ect.

As the grape mentioned above, each injury is unique to a certain extent, so only to be used for rough comparison.

I will relate a story, which comes with a lesson, from my early days of unicycling. My friend Bradley Bradley (as seen on my Things Not To Do page) broke his ankle in 1982 or so. It was his Schwinn Giraffe I learned to ride on, and we did lots of early riding together. He got hurt in the Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival Parade (Michigan). Our unicycle club rode in the parade, and it rained. He decided to do some one-foot riding, on his Giraffe, in the rain, and fell awkwardly, hurting his ankle. I think he finished the parade on the unicycle also, after that.

I don’t remember the nature of the breakage, but he later appeared with a cast on, and wore it for a while, but it started to get really uncomfortable and itchy. Eventually he cut it off himself, and continued riding after that. In fact, I may be remembering this out of order. The Frankenmuth Parade may have been after he took off the cast.

Anyway, he didn’t follow his doctor’s instructions on rehab, and re-injured his ankle at least once, which eventually led to a loss of range of motion. Not to mention Things Not To Do #s 1, 3 and 5 (the others were before the ankle thing). Always follow the instructions for recovery of any injury, and don’t rush things. And when you’re healing, don’t do things you shouldn’t.

Not an ankle or foot injury but still a show stopper for me. At the end of September I severely crushed my left middle finger, breaking the top bones in a couple of spots as well as almost severing the finger below the top joint. I have tried riding a few times lately. During my last ride I had a UPD, fortunately I was able to use my padded left elbow to land on instead of my L. hand. I am now gong to give it time to completely heal before I mess it up any further. As johnfoss said “ don’t rush things”.

Thank you for your replies. Some of those descriptions made me wince, lol! My physio says I am doing really well considering the length of time since my accident. So I am hopeful of being able to unicycle again one day. I have also invested in a wobble board, which I figure will be handy even once I have recovered.

Very sound advice.

While mountain bicycling, I’ve broken toes quite a few times and multiple ribs on several occasions. (I used to crash too often.) The toes being broken never even slowed me down in any of my activities but the broken ribs sure did. After the rib fractures, I rested for a short period, maybe a weekend or so, but then I was back to being active. My decision to ignore the advice of my doctor only caused me additional pain and a longer recovery period.

Another accident I had resulted in me breaking several metatarsals. I was in a cast from just below my knee to the tips of my toes for several months. However, following this accident I did follow the advice of my doctors. My recovery, although too long for my liking, was uneventful but included riding the stationary bike at physical therapy which of course helped me ease back into biking and unicycling.

Good luck on your recovery.

Agreed. I sprained my ankle - lost balance on a heavy BMW motorbike and it took me down with my foot still underneath. It was 10 years ago and my left ankle never quite regained the flex of the other one.

As with anything it would depend on just how bad it is.

I broke my ankle in 2002- Weber C so needed surgery. It took quite some time to walk without a limp, but I was riding about 6 months after- although still had a lot of weakness in the ankle. Started running again several years later and have been able to run half-marathons and the odd marathon since then.

I broke my Tibia/Fibula in 2006- also needed surgery. Considered giving up unicycling at the time, but I stuck with it. My recovery was mainly on the bicycle trainer, as it was too risky to land hard on it. Was not fully recovered but good enough to win the Unicon 13 Marathon about 6-7m later.