• PLEASE NOTE: Please think twice before you travel to Spain now. More here.

Search over 55.000 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement

Help!? Just broken my ankle- no camino this May for me :(

Neoscan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept 2016)
Hi,
So, I managed to slip and break my ankle in Norway last week. I've had it operated on with a metal plate and screws inserted to fix the actual fracture and a bolt to keep the tibia and fibula bones together as ligaments are shot.

There goes my plans to walk St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago this coming May. I think. Has anyone else had such an injury and did it cause any problems with camino walking afterwards? I have to be non-weight bearing for 2 months and then, presumably, it'll take another few months to build up muscle and get used to walking again. Fun times!

I had thought of postponing things until September or October but I don't know if it will even be possible to walk distances then or not. I suppose I'll just have to wait and see how the recovery goes.

If anyone has any advise on such matters I'd be grateful to hear them. I'm now wishing I'd gone to Spain last year to walk.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
Hi Neoscan, sorry to hear of your injury and delayed Camino. My best advice is take best advice from your doctor and or physio. The Camino is not going anyplace and your future health is most important. I wish you a full recovery and a great Camino when you are fit and ready.
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
I feel your pain Neoscan, though I have only ever had a 'simple' ankle break. No pins or plates for me, thankfully, but it did take quite some time to be fully back to normal. My confidence in that ankle was lacking for several months, and that is something to think about on the camino where there are a number of steep downhill stretches that some non injured people struggle with.

Last July, my neighbour slipped going downstairs and broke her ankle badly. It's been a long slow road to recovery for her, and she currently walks with a slight limp. Hopefully, you won't be so slow to recover and your break is not as complex.

Take it easy and let that ankle get properly mended. As has been said here before, the camino is not going anywhere!
 

Cayou

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Villafranca to SdC 2016 St Jean to LosArcos 2018 Leon to SdC 2019 Le Puy to Conques
NEO: Sounds like the hardest part of your pending Camino has already begun. You might consider planning in 2 or 3 stages so you do not over-stress your new ankle too much. You will know when it's ready, as going 250k is not the same as 800k.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Wishing you a speedy recovery as well!
I'd say talk to your doctor and postpone it to a realistic date - it may even become an incentive for you to do all the exercises you need to recover.
And maybe, instead of St Jean to SdC, go for a shorter but also fullfilling route, like the Portuguese or the Primitivo, so you don´t force your joints for so long? And also get the satisfaction?
 

Unie

Irish in QLD Australia
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, May 2019
I’m so sorry and wish you a speedy recovery. I suffered a severe leg break some years ago and was non weight bearing for 4 mths. My best advice for what’s its worth is do not hop on the good leg, take painkillers for the pain and not so you can keep doing what you want, follow all advice and rest and care for yourself. Doing the right thing now will give you two good legs for many more Caminos in the future. Good luck Neoscan.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Hi, Neoscan. . .

Several years ago my 90 pound dog ran straight into me at full-tilt which caused a fracture in my left ankle. It was fairly serious, but several days had to go by in order for the swelling to go down enough to have a surgical reduction to the fracture. It also required plates and screws in order to get everything to stay properly aligned during healing. I was told that after complete healing and recovery, that I could have the hardware removed if I felt like it was bothersome. It is still in there :)

I can't remember the exact timeline it took for full recovery without any restrictions, but it was more than four months. Fortunately, the injury occurred in early January, so that by the time backpacking season was in full swing I was able to head into the mountains :)

I remember that my most difficult challenge was to develop a level of confidence that my ankle would actually hold up to my workouts and backpacking. There was a whole lot of mental garbage to get out of the way before I was certain that I wouldn't cause more injury to that ankle.

Each time the surgeon would see me during recovery to assess progress, and then release me to do another level of activity, physical therapy, or recreation, I would almost grill him with questions like, "Are you sure I'll be OK", or "If I feel discomfort, is it ok to continue or is that a signal that things are doing damage?". I really did not want to have complications either get in the way of a full recovery, or actually leading to a permanent deficiency.

I was as aggressive as both the doctor and my physical therapist would allow me to be in working and using that ankle. And I remember how looooong and sloooowwww it seemed to take to get to full function.

No one on this Forum can give you a prognosis for recovery. Given that we are almost to February, and given your description of your injury and treatment, it seems to me like planning a May Camino is a bit too early. BUT, as I wrote, I can't say for sure because I'm not part of your post recovery team.

The best advice I can give you is to focus only on doing what is best for your ankle regardless of timelines. DON'T focus on a May Camino as your post recovery goal; focus on getting your ankle completely healed and strong in order to be able to DO a Camino.
 

Neoscan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept 2016)
Thanks guys.

I guess I wasn't really thinking too clearly earlier when I posted that- I just had thoughts of 'oh no, what am I going to do- help?!'.

Having read all these replies and thought about things more, of course the correct thing for me to do is concentrate on recovery and getting better before even thinking about a camino. I do usually find it amusing when folk seek medical advise on forums instead of asking they're doctor but now I understand it's a way of externalising your worries. Of course my surgeon and dr are the only ones to be asking.

Yes, the camino will still be there! That's what I'll do and hopefully when the time comes and when (hopefully) everything has healed, then I'll start thinking about planning and rescheduling my trip. At the moment I'm still accepting the fact I just need to rest for a while. It helps to know others have recovered though!

Thanks and I'll enjoy reading others progress until I'm ready.
 

Nanc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
I had a comminuted ankle fracture that required plating and non-weight bearing for 8 weeks
I was scheduled for trekking and lectures in China starting the week after I was allowed to weight bear. I DID NOT CARRY A LOADED PACK nor was I walking 20 miles as in Spain however, the activities, walking villages etc strengthened my ankle so quickly I truly believe it rehab'd my ankle faster than any PT could have done had I stayed home (sorry PT 's)
The first week i wore a lace up ankle wrap and had a cane but was able to discard both shortly

I had done a fair amount of alpine hiking / climbing and the surgeon warned me I would need the plate removed once the ankle healed to prevent the plate from rubbing thru the skin in the mountain boots- so it was removed at 1 year mark ( now if I'd only been in Brooks already may be that wouldn't have been an issue!! ;-)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis SJPP April 2016,
August 2017, May 2018
Camino Portuguese
2019, May Porto, Sept Lisbo
Thanks guys.

I guess I wasn't really thinking too clearly earlier when I posted that- I just had thoughts of 'oh no, what am I going to do- help?!'.

Having read all these replies and thought about things more, of course the correct thing for me to do is concentrate on recovery and getting better before even thinking about a camino. I do usually find it amusing when folk seek medical advise on forums instead of asking they're doctor but now I understand it's a way of externalising your worries. Of course my surgeon and dr are the only ones to be asking.

Yes, the camino will still be there! That's what I'll do and hopefully when the time comes and when (hopefully) everything has healed, then I'll start thinking about planning and rescheduling my trip. At the moment I'm still accepting the fact I just need to rest for a while. It helps to know others have recovered though!

Thanks and I'll enjoy reading others progress until I'm ready.

Hi Neoscan,
I've walked 3 caminos Francis, 2 in May one in September. Now the later is very much hotter, so October should be as cool as May. We had more fruit ripening on the way. It's such a long way off....for the healing process to kick in.
Also had a foot break May 2018. It was swollen but not painful at all so I kept walking for 200 Klm on it. I was determined to finally finish to Finistere When I had it x-rayed on the Gold Coast it turned out to be a chronic fracture but it healed up by itself. One year later I'm walking the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon this May. So far I've had shin splints, twisted knee, & broken foot bone. The body heals well on my green juicing vegan diet. (no dairy).
Good luck and keep on planning.....
 

IngridF

Intrepid Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017, 2019
Thanks guys.

I guess I wasn't really thinking too clearly earlier when I posted that- I just had thoughts of 'oh no, what am I going to do- help?!'.

Having read all these replies and thought about things more, of course the correct thing for me to do is concentrate on recovery and getting better before even thinking about a camino. I do usually find it amusing when folk seek medical advise on forums instead of asking they're doctor but now I understand it's a way of externalising your worries. Of course my surgeon and dr are the only ones to be asking.

Yes, the camino will still be there! That's what I'll do and hopefully when the time comes and when (hopefully) everything has healed, then I'll start thinking about planning and rescheduling my trip. At the moment I'm still accepting the fact I just need to rest for a while. It helps to know others have recovered though!

Thanks and I'll enjoy reading others progress until I'm ready.
Wishing you a speedy recovery!
 

susanawee

susanawee
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
Both empathising with you and wishing you a speedy recovery. Please listen to your Care team and, don't like me, try to 'run before you can walk' as they say. I had Number one part of surgery on my left foot in November to repair damage sustained during my Camino last April/May and my foot is still very far from being able to walk even 500metres without a lot of pain and suffering for the next few days each time I try to do so. I Am debating whether or not to have the second stage of the surgery done this year and just try to battle through, but, this is looking rather as though it will become a necessity as time goes on. Take care and be patient frustrating though it will be. :)
 

Pilger Gal

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
El Norte (2016) (2017)
Hi Neoscan,
In October of 2016 I was walking the Norte two weeks out of Santiago and slipped on some wet slate. I had to continue on for 3 km before finding my way to the bus and then a pension in Navia. I was unaware my ankle had a fracture and I had planned to just rest a few days and continue. Problem was it never felt better. So I returned home and had surgery like yours. The following September 2017 I started my Camino again in San Sebastián with my husband. I had absolutely no problems with my pack or walking distances averaging 22 km. Since then we have done three additional hikes in Europe with no issues. Listen to your body and be patient. You will be rewarded.
 

Neoscan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept 2016)
Hi Neoscan,
In October of 2016 I was walking the Norte two weeks out of Santiago and slipped on some wet slate. I had to continue on for 3 km before finding my way to the bus and then a pension in Navia. I was unaware my ankle had a fracture and I had planned to just rest a few days and continue. Problem was it never felt better. So I returned home and had surgery like yours. The following September 2017 I started my Camino again in San Sebastián with my husband. I had absolutely no problems with my pack or walking distances averaging 22 km. Since then we have done three additional hikes in Europe with no issues. Listen to your body and be patient. You will be rewarded.

Hi,
Thanks, that's good to know! There is hope for me yet then! :)
 

Neoscan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept 2016)
Hi Neoscan,
I've walked 3 caminos Francis, 2 in May one in September. Now the later is very much hotter, so October should be as cool as May. We had more fruit ripening on the way. It's such a long way off....for the healing process to kick in.
Also had a foot break May 2018. It was swollen but not painful at all so I kept walking for 200 Klm on it. I was determined to finally finish to Finistere When I had it x-rayed on the Gold Coast it turned out to be a chronic fracture but it healed up by itself. One year later I'm walking the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon this May. So far I've had shin splints, twisted knee, & broken foot bone. The body heals well on my green juicing vegan diet. (no dairy).
Good luck and keep on planning.....

Yes, it is amazing how the body can repair itself! I should maybe try the green juicing diet but I couldn't live without the occasional piece of strong cheddar.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
You will know when it is right for you to continue... I am recovering from three "soft tissue" surgical procedures since late August when I returned from volunteering at Santiago. So, while structural issues are not currently in play, I nonetheless have to work hard at getting well enough to walk my next Camino.

I am working diligently to feel better, and to increase stamina and strength. But, in the end, I maintain that increasing the personal confidence that I will be OKAY while on Camino is the most importance factor I am dealing with.

Everyone heals differently, and every injury or surgery imparts a unique set of factors affecting recovery for each person. One thing I have come to realize currently, is that I am in my mid-60s, NOT my mid 30s or 40s.

Medical issues from which I would rapidly spring back from 20 years ago, are 'different' now. While I still return to my earlier state of health, it does take longer.

I am learning patience with myself. I continually remind myself that "the Camino provides," "Santiago works in strange ways..." and he will be there waiting for me...he is not going anywhere...

Hope this helps.
 

Harington

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
Hi,
So, I managed to slip and break my ankle in Norway last week. I've had it operated on with a metal plate and screws inserted to fix the actual fracture and a bolt to keep the tibia and fibula bones together as ligaments are shot.

There goes my plans to walk St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago this coming May. I think. Has anyone else had such an injury and did it cause any problems with camino walking afterwards? I have to be non-weight bearing for 2 months and then, presumably, it'll take another few months to build up muscle and get used to walking again. Fun times!

I had thought of postponing things until September or October but I don't know if it will even be possible to walk distances then or not. I suppose I'll just have to wait and see how the recovery goes.

If anyone has any advise on such matters I'd be grateful to hear them. I'm now wishing I'd gone to Spain last year to walk.
I had a similar double break with displacement (and ironmongery) last February. I'm 71. The consultant was excellent, and I was non-weight-bearing for only three weeks, but plaster cast on for six. He said I would be my own physiotherapist (ex-personal trainer, so did all the exercise for muscle build-up). It helped that I was fit beforehand. HOWEVER! Although the fractures healed well, the soft tissue injuries and the mechanics of that foot continue to cause problems and pain. The worst problem, however, is psychological: I am not the person i was, and have an irrational fear of falling over now. I know I have to 'get back in the saddle" so am planning a "short" walk (160km) in Sicily in March, but the feeling of extreme vulnerability from the impact injury remain. My advice is do all the exercises the physio tells you, and as soon as you can - walk. Use hiking poles once you have abandoned your crutches.
 

Holly West

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
Hi,
So, I managed to slip and break my ankle in Norway last week. I've had it operated on with a metal plate and screws inserted to fix the actual fracture and a bolt to keep the tibia and fibula bones together as ligaments are shot.

There goes my plans to walk St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago this coming May. I think. Has anyone else had such an injury and did it cause any problems with camino walking afterwards? I have to be non-weight bearing for 2 months and then, presumably, it'll take another few months to build up muscle and get used to walking again. Fun times!

I had thought of postponing things until September or October but I don't know if it will even be possible to walk distances then or not. I suppose I'll just have to wait and see how the recovery goes.

If anyone has any advise on such matters I'd be grateful to hear them. I'm now wishing I'd gone to Spain last year to walk.
I broke my ankle and really messed up a tendon on the side of the foot in December before we walked the Camino last year. We did not walk the whole way though; just from Sarria to Santiago. I did a lot of physical therapy, acupuncture, etc. from December to June and took some Motrin along the way but was able to do it. I suspect you will have a bit longer of a recovery but you will be able to do it if you do all of the things the physical therapist tells you to do. So sorry that happened.
 

Advertisement

Booking.com

Latest posts

Camino Conversations

Camino Conversations

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

Most downloaded Resources

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 57 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 202 15.2%
  • May

    Votes: 330 24.8%
  • June

    Votes: 96 7.2%
  • July

    Votes: 25 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 27 2.0%
  • September

    Votes: 386 29.0%
  • October

    Votes: 159 11.9%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 7 0.5%

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store
Top