If you have sustained a fracture to your foot or ankle (the terms ‘fracture’ and ‘break’ mean the same thing) it is likely that you have been seen initially in A&E or a Walk in Centre. Xrays would have been taken in order to diagnose the fracture and you may well have been initially treated using a cast or walking boot (not all fractures require these). Ordinarily people would then be referred to a Fracture Clinic at their local NHS hospital although for some fractures an immediate referral to the on-call Orthopaedic team is made in order to see if an emergency admission to hospital is needed.
If an operation has been recommended, the timing for this can be critical. As the skin around your ankle and foot is thin, swelling can occur very early. If this has happened already, before the operation has happened, then this will need to settle before the surgery can be performed. Typically this may be up to a week following the injury for some fractures but can be up to 2 weeks for more severe injuries.
Waiting for a couple of weeks for definitive surgery is very common and does not compromise the final outcome. If you decide that you would like to consider having treatment privately, however, we need to know as soon as possible as a delay of 3 weeks or more can become detrimental in some cases. The fractures can begin to heal in that time and may do so in the wrong position. For this reason there is sometimes a strong argument for continuing with treatment on the NHS with your original team.