NBA star Gordon Hayward fractured his leg and snapped his left ankle just five minutes into the first game of the season first quarter in Q4 2017. He had signed a blockbuster four-year, $128 million contract with the Celtics during the offseason. Then he tried to catch a pass at the rim and landed awkwardly.


Your ankles do a lot for you, says Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen. Ankles are flexible enough to allow your foot to move up, down, and side-to-side, giving your foot full rotational motion. They also have to be strong enough to support your body weight and absorb pressure from your lower limbs striking the ground. To rebuild your ankle strength, your post-surgery rehabilitation has to include exercises that improve both your stability and your range of motion.

Try a few of these ankle exercises to get started:

  • Achilles Stretches – Stand facing a wall with your palms flat against it and one foot set at least six inches behind the other. Slowly lunge forward toward the wall. Keep both heels firmly on the ground. First keep your back leg straight, then repeat with the knee bent.
  • Towel Stretch – Sit with your feet straight out in front of you. Loop a towel around the ball of your foot and pull back on the towel. Hold for ten seconds.
  • Ankle Rolls – Sit with your feet out in front of you. Rotate your foot in circles at the ankle without moving your leg. Do this ten times, then reverse the circle’s direction.
  • Calf Raises – Stand with your feet apart. Rise up on your toes as high as you can, then lower to the ground and repeat.

Strengthening your ankle takes time and effort, says Dr. Oberholtzer-Classen, adding that the right exercises will help you and can return your ankle to its full power and range of motion. Then you can get back to the sports you love.

Don’t skimp on your post-surgery recovery. Failing to regain your ankle strength only puts you at risk for re-injury later. Let Podiatry Associates, P.C. help you rehabilitate your joint. Make an appointment with us by calling (303) 805-5156, or through our online request form. We have four locations across the metro area including Cherry Creek, Aurora, Castle Pines and Parker.

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