Should You Seek Physical Therapy Treatment After a Foot or Ankle Injury?
Are you wondering if you should seek Physical Therapy treatment after a foot or ankle injury?
Were you immobilized in a cast or cam boot?
Physical therapy will help to strengthen and stabilize your ankle joint after an injury, especially after a period of immobilization. You might notice when you are taken out of a cast or cam boot that your calf is significantly smaller compared to your other leg. Don’t worry, this is a normal side effect of immobilization, but physical therapy will normalize your muscle tone safely. The gastrocnemius muscle atrophies and becomes weak and tight. This also effects the movement in your ankle joint causing limitations when flexing your foot upward resulting in difficulties with walking and negotiating stairs.
A common misconception when in a cam boot for 4-6 weeks is that you can just progress right into sneakers. In a few cases you may be able to do so, however, Orthopedics and Podiatrists recommend a graduated weaning process out of an immobilizer. This method will limit pain and allow safe healing throughout the transition to full weight bearing. It is a big change for your foot and ankle when you go from an immobilized off-loaded joint in a boot to full weight bearing in a shoe. It is so important to protect the surgery, fracture, or soft tissue injury that occurred to prevent any complications.