ANKLE CIRCLES AND ANKLE PUMPS Slowly draw large circles, clockwise and counterclockwise for 5 minutes total. Then pump the ankle up and down another 5 minutes. Do 3-5 times per day.
HAND STRETCHES Slowly rotate the ankle in gradually larger circles. Go clockwise and counterclockwise for about 5 minutes total. 2-5 times a day.
Heel flat on the floor. Back knee straight, lean forward until you feel a stretch at the calf. Hold 30 seconds, do 3-5 repetitions, 3-5x/day.
ACHILLES STRETCHES Heel flat on the floor. Bend the knee slightly, moving the hips forward and down until you feel a stretch at your Achilles. Hold 30 seconds, do 3-5 reps, 3-5x/day.
SLANT BOARD STRETCHES
Do the calf and Achilles stretches on a slant board with the front of the foot elevated. Substitution: use a 1.5-to 2-inch book or piece of wood to elevate the front of the foot with the heel on the floor.
STORK BALANCE TRAINING
Standing on your injured leg, work on balancing. When you can balance for 60 seconds with your eyes open, try it with your eyes closed, with a goal of 60 seconds.
HEEL RAISES On a step, while holding onto the rail or on a thick book, progress from two to one leg as comfortable. Go down slowly and pause, stretching the calf, then push up slowly, working the calf and pause. Do 15-20 reps, 3 sets, 3 days/week.
TUBING STRENGTH EXERCISES: 15-20 reps, 2-3 sets, 2-3 days per week
DORSIFLEXION: Pull up against the tube slowly, getting as much motion as you can.
INVERSION: Push to the inside against the tube slowly, getting as much motion at the ankle as you can.
EVERSION: Push to the outside against the tube slowly, getting as much motion at the ankle as you can.
SWIMMING POOL EXERCISES
- Flutter Kicks : hold onto the side or use a kick board.
- Frog/Breast Kicks : hold onto the side use a kick board.
- Swim laps.
- Walk/Run laps in the shallow end.
- With buoys under arms and between legs, run in the deep end.
AEROBIC EXERCISES (20-60 minutes, 3 days/week)
- Cross Country Ski Machine
- Slide or Swing Trainer
This can be done on a step while holding onto the rail or on a thick book or stool while holding onto a table or chair. While the injured foot is on the step, go down slowly and pause, then push back up. Do 30-50 reps, 3 sets, 3 days/week.
Continue to Ankle Rehabilitation III …
Illustrations © VHI 1996 – Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery