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How to Shower With A Broken Ankle

Updated: Mar 2, 2021

You’re back from the hospital, and you’ve got the cast to prove it. You can get around the house just fine, thanks to your brand-new mobility device. You have enough room to get around the kitchen. Your living room is prepped for your recovery time, complete with shiny new DVDs of your favorite movies and TV seasons. Yes, your living situation is completely optimized for your broken ankle recovery…

Except, of course for the shower.

A seemingly simple daily activity has now become a complicated and frustrating part of dealing with a broken ankle. Showering with an injured foot is not easy, especially with a large cast in tow. You’ll need to follow expert advice to learn how to shower with a broken ankle…

And you’ll find this expert advice right here.

Before you continue reading, be sure that you incorporate your doctor’s advice with the techniques you’ll find in this article. Your bathing habits will vary depending on whether you’re wearing a cast or a boot, so pay careful attention to the following advice:

Recruit Help

Whenever there’s someone around to help you out, make sure they’re standing by your side when you’re getting in and out of the shower/tub. This is essential in helping you avoid falling, as your balance may be off the first few times you bathe. Make sure your assistant is totally comfortable with this assignment, as he or she will inevitably get an eyeful.

Try to Take Baths As Often As Possible

To avoid the general nuisance of wrapping your boot or cast in a plastic garbage bag, you may want to consider switching your shower habits to a daily bath. Have your assistant help you into the tub, and prop your broken ankle up on the side of the tub. This keeps your foot out of the water, which is essential in keeping your cast/boot nice and dry. Make sure your assistant is around to help you out of the tub. If you’re flying solo for your recovery time, skip this technique and use the following one.

Shower with Confidence

If it’s too much trouble to bathe, turn your shower into a broken ankle-friendly oasis. Have a family member go out and buy a plastic stool that you can sit on (many people suggest lawn chairs, but unless you have a massive shower, that isn’t always going to work). Place the stool in the middle of the shower. Make sure that your shampoos, conditioners, body washes, and other essentials are within reaching distance of your stool.

Now find yourself a large plastic bag (kitchen trash bags or garbage bags work fine) and tie it around your leg. Tape the upper part of the bag just above your cast or boot, as this makes it waterproof (try to avoid duct tape, it’s almost impossible to get off!).

Now that you’re properly prepared for water, get in the shower and sit on the stool. Turn on the water and enjoy the feeling of being clean again. Helpful hint: you may want to consider bringing a pair of scissors into the shower with you to cut off the bag when you’re done showering. Make sure to keep it out of reach of the water, as you don’t want it to rust up.

Clean Your Boot/Cast

Your body may be clean, but your cast or boot might feel like anything but. That’s no problem – a simple mixture of household bleach and water can make a cleaning solution that will kill any nasty germs that linger on your cast. Your bleach solution should never exceed the 1:10 mark, which means that for every one part of bleach you use, you’ll need to offset it with nine parts clean water (filter any tap water before putting it in the solution). Mix it in a bucket or spray bottle, which will make for easier cleaning. Use a clean towel to gentle scrub the cast/boot down. Always discard of the solution you make, especially if you have children in the house.

Now that you know how to shower with a broken ankle, you can enjoy the healing and rejuvenating powers of a warm shower!

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1 Comment

Tiya Basil
Tiya Basil
Apr 13, 2021

I have a severely sprained ankle and showering for the first time was terrifying. I just wanted to comment that a lawn chair or any chair or stool will not do. My father thought he was helping and put a metal fold up chair in the shower. The chair slide around in an open shower (no tub) and if someone tried to sit on a lawn chair it would slide back from the water. The chair was more of a hazard than a help. I ended showering on one leg afraid I would fall any minute. If you need a chair it has to be a medical one with a rubber bottom to prevent sliding.

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