Do other ailments take longer to heal while on chemo?

I’ve been wondering. I sprained my ankle 9 days ago and this morning decided I was being a wimp and should take off the tubigrip bandage I’ve been wearing since then as I was no longer limping and it seems fine to walk on as long as I don’t trip over any more flipping tree roots.

BUT, by this afternoon the ankle was pretty obviously swollen up again and was a bit uncomfortable though not enough to make me limp.

So the question is, do other aches, bumps and bruises take longer to heal than you would normally expect while going through chemo? I twisted my ankle on FEC1 day 5 or thereabouts and am now on day 14.

I guess the fact that this happened at a point when your blood counts were probably on the way down to the lowest point would not have helped the healing , but ankles can take ages to mend particulary as we get older (not meant to imply that you are old - I know you are younger than me!). I tore ligaments in an ankle a couple of years ago and that took months before it stoppped swelling in the evenings. Ibuprofen gel was very good at helping to releive the aching. Hope it improves soon x

Don’t rush to put everything down to chemo, either. If it isn’t back to normal in a day or so you should probably see your GP in case the damage is more than you thought.


Hi CM, I think the answer is yes and no!

Wound healing can be slowed down and obviously infection risk is higher. I had chemo prior to my Mx and it affected the healing to the point I had to be resutured.

On the otherhand, I damaged my achilles badly last year and I’ve been thinking that my healing is really slow and wondered whether it was a result of the previous chemo. That was until I spoke to my niece who is 22, superfit (she’s a dancer) and she had an injury that took over a year to heal. My physio also says that injuries can and do just take a long time.

For your injury I would think about 4 - 6 weeks to see real improvement. In the evenings or when you get a chance keep your leg raised and rest your ankle on a packet of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel for 10 minutes (not longer). This will help the swelling reduce.

Hope it feels better soon. Not nice to have this to deal with on top of chemo.
take care, Elinda x

Thanks chaps. It’s really no big deal, more a question of curiosity than worry. It’s been so long since I last sprained an ankle I just couldn’t remember how long it normally takes, and as the bruising has now gone I presumed (silly me!) that that was it.

Might trot along to the GP anyway, she might be able to get me some more effective strapping. It’s just a bit of a nuisance rather than anything I’m particularly bothered about but I’ll do the foot-putting-up thing and ibuleve gel’s a good idea.

I’m more than 2 years post chemo and I have found that EVERYTHING has taken longer to heal since then, particularly sprains, strains etc.

I have healed as normal and my bloods have staid good all the way through chemo other than once when i had a mild infection.