You tripped, fell and found yourself sitting in the emergency room with a broken ankle. The bones will heal with time, however how do you handle the discomfort of making it through those initial days? Your doctor will probably send you home with either a cast or a brace along with crutches and possibly pain medication. Once you arrive home you should take a few steps to make life easier as your ankle heals.
Elevate and Ice Your Leg
Reduce swelling by elevating your ankle so that it is resting higher than your heart. Elevate above your heart so that blood and fluid drain away from the injury and promote healing. Keep your leg elevated as often as possible for the first two to three weeks.
Stack several pillows up on the end of the bed and lie in bed with your foot propped up. Another way to elevate your ankle is to lie on the floor on your back with your foot on a stool.
Reduce swelling by placing bags of ice on your injured ankle every 15 to 20 minutes for the first one to two days, even if you have a cast. You don’t want your cast to get wet, so place your ice bag on a towel between the bag and your cast to keep it dry.
Certain herbs and compounds can speed the healing process. For example, comfrey promotes cell growth and is used externally, however it should not be used if you are pregnant or nursing. Many natural herbs are found at the local health food store. Horsetail is a connective tissue regenerator and is purchased in an extract tablet form.
Another bone-healing herb is teasel root, which supports the hormones that build new bones. Teasel root can be purchased in a tea form or in extracts or pills.
Check with your doctor before beginning any alternative or herbalist program to ensure it doesn’t interfere with your treatment.
Don’t Smoke and Eat Right
Smoking can delay the healing process. According to Atlanta orthopedic surgeon George Cierny III, healing can take up to five months longer if you smoke.
He says that nicotine and other chemicals found in cigarette smoke impair oxygen from reaching bone tissue, which delays healing.
Eat nutritious foods to supercharge the healing process. Nonfat yogurt, sardines, collard greens and skim milk are some of the foods that encourage the healing of broken bones.