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broken ankle 10 screws and a plate

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i broke my ankle back in january. i was wondering if i would have to go through therphy to get it moving right. i'm in a walking boot and i try to walk without it every now and then, it hurts where the plate is,is it normal for the bones to hurts i'm 45 years old and weigh about 230lbs and they are telling me 3 months in the walking boot. is there anything i can do at home i move it back and forth everyday and add weight to it. am i doing anything wrong by doing what i'm doing
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replied May 4th, 2011
Extremely eHealthy
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replied May 9th, 2011
I was told it was normal to have some pain where the plate/screws are located during the first few months. Ask your doctor about walking without the boot. I know it's tempting, but you sure don't want to break the bone again.

I had a plate and six screws implanted in December 2010 after breaking my fibula. After months of agonizing recouperation, I was finally told after two months to leave the boot and go to tennis shoes. Said the bone was healed but the ligiments that were torn won't heal properly when immobilized. I had to move my ailing ligiments and it was painful. I'm now five months along in this ordeal. I have pain radiating up my leg from the plate and screws that has increased. Dr. says this is not normal and has scheduled me for surgery to remove the metal. Said this surgery should be done about six months after the first surgery. I'm a little early but I'm in agony.

You might ask your doctor if the metal is causing an issue. I wouldn't be trying to exercise while healing. Just relax, you'll get your motion back in due time.
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replied May 9th, 2011
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florabunda,

Removal of hardware is still controversial. If the plate itself is causing problems, such as when shoes rub over it, the plate is broken, or the plate is keeping the bone from healing; then its removal (plus other procedures as needed) is indicated.

Routine removal of asymptomatic hardware is no longer considered necessary by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. And is not covered by a lot of insurance companies. (Of course, all the surgeon has to do is say that the hardware is causing problems, for it to be covered.) Routine removal used to be recommended at one year out from the index procedure.

Removal of hardware for nonspecific, generalized pain has a poor track record. Patients should be counseled extensively that this may not take their pain away. It is still done, usually as a last ditch effort.

However, if it works, super. Just go into the procedure with realistic expectations. Good luck.
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replied April 13th, 2012
I broke both ankles end of January-rt. more severely than the lt. On rt ankle both the tibia and fibula were broken. i have a plate and nails on the fibula(outer side)and nails on the tibia(inner side) of rt ankle.I wore boots for about 6 wks.had some physical therapy since beginning, am now walking around the house(not perfectly yet)without assistance,use cane for going to therapy,am driving. I am female 65. My sense is that the hardware is now preventing me from getting full benefit from my physical therapy and will look into removal. This has been my experience and I realize everyone's case is different. Mainly--slowly but surely it does get better!
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