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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Trying to help a friend

This is a question by a friend, if you think you can help or know someone who can, please email me at:
I am totally blind and had aan ankle injury resulting in ankle instability and a torn ligament, my Doctor wants to do surgery for ligament deficiency, grafting on a new tendonn. I'm worried because the recovery time is 2 or three months without putting weight on my right foot and I'm very worried how I'll manage because I've never heard of a blind person using crutches, etc. Is there anyone who's blind who's had a smilar surgery out there who could tell me what they had to do and how they managed?"

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Re: Trying to help a friend

Hello Adrijana,

That is indeed a tough one. A blind person attempting to use crutches will do no good whatsoever. He / she will end up just harming their ankle even worse from losing their balance.

I had a similar instance in high school, where my foot was twisted totally around during a wrestling match. I tore ligaments as well but never went into surgery. As a matter of fact, I was back on the mat the very next day. Not having the surgery caused me to not ragain full use of my ankle for about three years, and when I did, it would still tire out very easily when walking and I would lose my balance, however once I started doing exercises specific for my ankle, I made a full recovery and have 100% usage with no issues, aside from my foot being a little crooked, pointing more forward than it should, but hardly noticeable at all.

I would say for this person that he / she should either wait and have this surgery when they can have somebody help them for an extended time. maybe exercising the ankle until this time, or try to use a walker instead, in which case would make it a lot harder to lose your balance even if you bump into things with it. It just seems more practical.

Re: Trying to help a friend

This is tough. I have not had a surgery like this, but a while ago I practically had to relearn how to walk. I was actually in a hospital, and I very much doubt your friend will want or be able to do that. I don't believe a totally blind person can use crutches safely, I was moved in a wheelchair. He/she will probably not be able to live alone for the duration of the recovery.

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