Q. Is it fine to undergo surgery for ankle fracture after three weeks?

Answered by
Dr. Atul Prakash
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M

Hello doctor,

I recently broke my ankle playing soccer. I went to the hospital right away and the doctors set me up and place me in a cast and told me I will have to do surgery. Six days later they told me that the next available surgery date is in the next three weeks. Is it fine to wait that long to do the surgery? Also, when I am lying down I am not in any pain, only numbness in a big toe but as soon as I stand up I start feeling an intense burning pain even though there is no weight on the feet.

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Dr. Atul Prakash

MBBS., MS ORTH., DNB ORTH., MNAMS., FRCS
Fitness Expert Orthopedics And Traumatology Physiotherapy Spine Health

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I am thinking that the ankle may have been too swollen to operate and that is why they delayed the surgery to allow the swelling to go down which can take a week to 10 days. Did they not clearly say so? Three weeks itself is a long time I think. It may be a systematic issue rather than the swelling. Yes it is still safe to be operated at three weeks post-injury.

The pain that you experience when the leg is down but not weight-bearing is from the blood rushing into the leg and the resultant swelling makes the tissues tense and painful. Again, this should settle with time or may persist till even after the leg comes out of the cast for sometime.

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