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Broken Ankle And Surgery Recovery (Page 3)

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March 27th, 2009
Recovering From Ankle Surgery
I am a physician and broke my ankle in a freak sledding accident with my kids. Broke my right fibula and dislocated the ankle. Had surgery with a plate and screws as well as a syndesmotic screw (that will eventually need to be removed).
Pain was terrible after surgery, but got better every day.
Splint for 2 weeks, cast for 3 weeks, then a CAM walker (which i hated and only used for 1 week).
Started PT right after the cast came off, but it took 2 weeks to go from 2 crutches to one crutch to a cane, and now able to walk independantly (slow with a limp).
It is frustrating but there is light at the end of the tunnel - stick with the PT and realize that it usually takes 12 weeks before you are able to walk fairly well, 6 months till you feel like you are fully recoverd and upto a year before you can return to all your usual sporting activities.
The hardware may need to come out if it bothers you.
Be patient and stick with the PT!
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replied February 19th, 2012
It's been 6 days and the swelling has gone down from my screwed and plated ankle. The pain is worse now when I lower my leg to use walker. It's worse than it's been so far. I can feel the metal plate hanging and pulling down, the pain is truly "pass-out pain" Horrible. Did you have this kind of pain 6 days after surgery?
I had pain for the first 5 days but nothing like this. When my leg is elevated there is no pain.
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replied April 1st, 2009
Dislocated and broken ankle
Hi,
I slipped on some black ice on January 5, 2009. The right ankle was severely dislocated and the tibia and fibula broken many places. Same day I had external fixation done. Two weeks later had ORIF.I was put in a soft plaster cast for 2 weeks. Then I was in a fiberglass cast for 4 weeks. I have had a boot for the last 4 weeks. Still no weight bearing.
Still no driving. I will go to the drs tomorrow and hope to hear that I can have partial weight bearing and I can be released to drive. That would be great.

This is a wonderful website.


This is not terminal and I am very blessed with that. Anyone diagnosed with RSD after the broken ankle? This has been challenging with the recovery and coping. The top of my foot by my toes has a burning sensation without the nerve drugs. of course i don't like the side effects of the drugs but your body can not heal when you are in discomfort. So take the drugs.

Thanks for the reading and listening. Happy recovery to everyone!
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replied April 2nd, 2009
Broken tibia/fibula...HELP!
Hi,
I broke tibia and fibula on Jan 27th. Surgery on the following day. Had 7 screws and a plate. At night the foot gets so heavy if it isn't elevated. I am in a CAM boot now which I HATE and would love to know when I can feel like ME again. I'm so depressed.
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User Profile
replied August 9th, 2011
broken ankle
I also recieved 7 screws and two plates. It has been one week and the pain is terrible, all I can get is tylenol #3. Percocet would be better. I have a lot of bruising on the back of my leg, just realizing how debilytized I am and it sucks
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replied November 15th, 2011
Why will they not give you any thing stronger? I informed my doctor the medicine provided so far has not even touched my pain. They gave me percocet
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replied February 14th, 2012
:O

I'm so sorry you only got tylenol. what is wrong with these people ? at least the med people I had were very very empathetic about pain.
I have extra vicodin. wish i could send them to you. although you probably don't need them now. Razz
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replied April 11th, 2009
10 screws and a plate....
I fell down a flight on stairs on March 18th. Rushed to the E.R.... the pain was unbearable.
They had to reduce the dislocation, and make me somewhat comfortable..took x-rays, etc. E.R. Dr. spoke w/ortho surgeon that night, and saw her the following morning. Was told I had 3 breaks. Had surgery on Friday 3/20. The surgery went well, pain was managed, and I left the hospital early the following morning. I had pain meds and 800 mg. Motrins every few hours and felt that things were under control. At the end of my full 2nd week, the pain began to be much worse. I am now at the end of my third week....feeling totally stir crazy, and able to do basically nothing. I thought that having the leg elevated on 2 or 3 pillows was sufficient until all of this pain started, so for the past week, I have it much higher. Like everyone else said, otherwise, the swelling and the pain is out of control. I'm not miserable, but experience all the same emotional things as everyone has expressed. Finding this website has been such a blessing..... I guess the old adage is true, "misery does love company." Most people just really don't get it. It feels so good to read the other posts and know just how normal all of this is. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to write.
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replied April 15th, 2009
Stir Crazy!
I also broke my ankle stepping wrong off of a curb while walking my two dogs. I am used to walking 3-4 miles a day, I also am a health care professional and a Mom wih 4 kids. I completely relate to being "stir-crazy"... like me, all of the posters on this site seem to be active people and it sucks to be struck down by this injury! I guess if we were sedentary we wouldn't have broken something to begin with! My kids are a little older (youngest is 12), so I am trying to look at this as my opportunity to slow down and relax, and let everyone wait on Mom. They are doing the laundry, cleaning, shopping, and I try to overlook the dust bunnies! Pain keeps me up at night but I have all day to rest so I can't get upset. I took a little time off of work and am waiting to hear if I can do weight bearing soon (3 1/2 weeks into this). Glad to hear I am not the only one who is bored and frustrated!
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replied April 27th, 2009
Infection
I broke my ankle June 16 2008. Had surgery 9 screws and plate. I had 2 screws removed in Jan. and was released. Two weeks ago I developed an abcess on the plate side on the insision. It was a bactarial infection that they said had been on the plate all along that became active. I had surgery to remove the plate and am on a month of antibiotics. About the time I thought I had recoved this happened 9 months after the injury. Anyone else had this happen?

Susan
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replied May 3rd, 2009
Recovery after ankle surgery
I broke my right ankle (fibula) on March 25 and had surgery (pins & plate) on April 1. Like a few other posters I had no idea what I was getting into. When I first broke the ankle, I thought a cast and all better in 4-6 weeks. Then the doctor said I needed surgery, although he never prepared me for post-surgery realities. I went back to work 5 days after my surgery as a counselor in a high school. Boy, I know, BIG mistake! However we only had 3 days and then would be off for a week and a half for spring break. Later on my doctor was shocked that I had gone back and said that he hadn't "released" me, but I didn't even realize that this was an issue. Stayed in a wheelchair the first two days, then on crutches the third day. Now almost 5 weeks post surgery I can tell that the broken ankle is healing but now I have an infection by my incision which isn't closing. Last week I went in for a second opinion and was told many things opposite to what I had been told before. My previous doctor put me in a boot soon after the surgery, so I began walking, assuming that this was allowed. He also put Steri strips over my incision. This new doctor said no boot, no weight bearing, and said Steri strips were the worst thing to put over an infected wound.
What I have learned from this is to do my homework in advance, and be prepared with questions and information before I meet with the doctor. Funny, I have no trouble doing this for my kids and my aging parents, but for some reason for myself, I didn't do all the researching steps I normally do. There may have been a little shock there, first breaking the ankle, and then later when he told me that I would need surgery.
Now, my big concern is that I am scheduled to fly back east (from California) for a wedding on June 12 and then off to New York for a few days. I wonder whether 6 weeks will be reasonable to turn my recovery around so I can do these things?
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replied May 5th, 2009
3 1/2 wks post surgery
Wow, there's seems to be a lot of similarity in everyone's ankle break. My surgery was 17 April, after a 2 wk delay due to flu symptoms. Doc insisted I get antibiotics and wait till it cleared. So after two weeks in the boot waiting, ten days in the fiberglass splint, I've been back in the boot for 15 days. 11 screws and a plate, I still have some sharp pains every now and then, mostly in the evening. I bought a knee scooter on ebay for $280, this one has steering ability. It makes getting around in the house much easier than crutches, but it doesn't work outdoors in the lawn.

I am going thru the same mental challenge that some of you mentioned, it can be depressing. I've noticed my lower leg is already thinner than the other one and worry what it will be like in another month or two. I've got some slight swelling on both sides, but it nearly disappears after a night of sleep. I had avoided the ibuprofen until yesterday because it can hinder bone growth and bone healing. But the doc said take it to help manage the swelling, and also loosen the velcro straps during the day when lying in bed.

My foot also has the pain when not elevated, my doc said to expect this for a few months and that it will gradually stop doing that. Just have to keep it elevated. I was cleared to return to work tomorrow, 6 May, but only if the drive was short and if the work was sedentary and leg elevated. No joy there, my job requires me to be on my feet and walk most of the day. I don't see myself returning to work for at least another month.

Good luck to everyone, this is proving to be a life altering experience.

Ned in Jax FL
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replied May 7th, 2009
stitches rotting thru the skin
Hi to all, Broke ankle and supporting leg bone.5hrs later 6screws and s/steel plate for leg,1screw andwire in ankle,all the usual pain and burning,one month after casT off,allowed 20kgs with up down movement but no ankle rotation yet,using office chair with wheels inside the house,and walker with seat for smaller spaces,wheelchair for excursions.
Noticed blue thread sticking out,doc removed it causing bleeding,said not to move foot for acouple of days while wound heals,but more worried about the the dissolving stitches that are festering one by one, have had this prob. before, seems theres nothing to be done but just to go thru it. Flying in 20 days to france for my wedding, won`t be able to dance, just hope wounds are clean and closed, and pain gone or minimal. Hoping for a couple of miracles for me and you.
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replied May 10th, 2009
Traveling while NWB
I traveled twice while I was non-weight bearing. It was not great. Here are some tips:

- get wheelchair assistance (book it with your ticket) at the aiports
- bring a backpack for stuff you need to bring as you won't be able to carry things on crutches, or better - bring a knee walker with you
- select a hotel that has a desk with an office chair (helps you get through the room better than on crutches when you're on your own)
- elevate, elevate, elevate whenever you can
- bring or buy some ice packs and ask the hotel to provide you with tons of ice

All in all, if you have a knee walker this will be much easier. Once I got to weight bearing I had to travel only once and that was easier but I couldn't have 'crutched' through two big airports. Take the assistance they offer!

Happy travels
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replied May 11th, 2009
Spiral Fracture Broken Ankle
I Broke my ankle on Tax day, April 15th. I didn't have insurance, knew that it was broken, so I went to an Urgent Care Facility instead of the Hospital. I could hear the whispering behind the door: "she doesn't have insurance, and it's REALLY bad." They sent me to a Ankle and Foot Specialist and I had the surgery the next day. Let me tell you, As soon as they re-set the Bones, my ankle felt SO MUCH BETTER! I have to say, since I told the Dr's my financial situation, they all worked with me. After talking to others with similar breaks and asking what the bills were, I am SHOCKED! One girls bill for just the 5 day hospital stay was $11,000! That is NOT including her surgery. My total bill was under $6,000.00

I have 7 screws and a Plate on one side and Two screws on the other, It's my right foot, so no driving for 3 months...I am tempted to go behind the school and learn how to drive with my left foot! I have joined Netflix! I have watched more movies now than ever!

I have ordered the Rolleraid knee scooter. That comes today. My Palms of my hands hurt from the crutches.

Like most of you here, the most frustrating things are:
Not being able to carry things from room to room
Eating, sometimes it's easier not to eat anything than try to get it from the kitchen to a table.
Boredom
Not being able to drive
Asking for Help

I am going to be super careful looking after my ankle. June 1st is the day I am looking forward to! Boot time!!
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replied February 14th, 2012
I hear you. I just got the ER bill. Over 2,000. and I had to go back a day later to have it reset anyway, under anesthesia. i had "drifted"

ouch
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replied June 1st, 2009
overdoing following Tri-Mall fractures
Please be careful RP-O. I spent too much time with my lower leg hanging vertically. It swelled too much and the incision broke open and became infected. This added several weeks to my recuperation. The minute you notice swelling inside the cast, go to elevate. The boredom and frustration tempt us to overdue. I basically live alone (I have a disabled roommate who can't help much). All of you who are married or are with your families, please feel blessed!
Trimall fracture 1/5/09 surgery 1/9 Just had pins removed last Thursday. 5/28. In boot until I see the Doc tomorrow.
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replied June 1st, 2009
Broken ankle 6 weeks post op
I fell stepping off the porch on April 22. I had a spiral fracture and a couple of others. Had surgery on the 23 a plate and 5 or 6 screws. I had a temporary cast on for 10 days. Then a cast on for 4 weeks. I am getting the cast of two days from now. The doctor told me then he will tell me when I can bear weight on it. Reading this makes me a little bummed. I was thinking bear weight and get back to normal, but it does not sound that way. It sounds like I will have to have a boot, therapy, and a lot of pain and slow process. Wow and I am just so excited to get the cast off and get going. Thanks for posting I have learned alot from this.
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replied June 6th, 2009
hey i tore two ligaments in my ankle and my bones were far apart of something like that not exactly sure what the doctor described it to me as but turned out i need surgery and i had to get a screw to put my bones back closer together, I've been off my foot for 3 and a half weeks know and recently took off my soft case and got a fiberglass cast on, and me being a dumb teenager i couldn't stay home cause i was gonna die from being so bored, i ended up falling and stepping on my surgically repaired foot however it didn't really hurt and it feels actually better then it has been in three weeks but I'm kind of scared that the screw shifted or something happened, like it feels perfectly fine, if anything better i can kind of step on it know but don't want to take any chances, but i just wanted to know a few things if i stepped on it and something was wrong i would notice it if it hurt right ? and should i take the screw out or should i keep it. I'm 17 years old and i really don't know what to do some people say keep it and some people say don't i cant wait to get back on my feet and play sports again but i want to make sure i do things the right way so that i don't end up regretting things when I'm older. If anyone could tell me what they think and give me some advice it'd be appreciated thanks a lot
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replied June 7th, 2009
I need advice.

Yesterday i feelt down the stairs and I've hit my ankle on the siede of the stairs.Today its bruisd and swollen.My mum said that is nothing to worry about but i am very worried.ive newer broken any bone so i dont know how to react

P.S.i cant walk on the foot
Any sugesstions??Should i co ER??Should i go to school tomorrow??Need answer quicly
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replied June 8th, 2009
After my fall that resulted in a triple fracture of the ankle, I have been looking at countless ways to survive my demise. Today I tried cooking small things while sitting in a chair now that I am in week 5 since the surgery. I could not do this during the first 4 weeks because the pain and painkillers took the wind out of my sails and being active before the accident resulted in being depressed after the accident from not being able to go anywhere or do anything. I will never forget the words of the Paramedics when they came to the rescue when they said that you are so lucky we have seen worse. It could have been your spine, hip or head. Count your blessings. I did though I was screaming in pain. During recovery, I found a new joy in looking into all of my relationships and discovering how I can improve them and be a better friend, mother and wife. Using these new insights helped to improve these relationships. What I find helps is being grateful for each person that visits and does something for you however insignificant it may seem and also my dog. My dog is a constant reminder that with each passing day, I will be closer to being able to go for a walk with the dog. The other thing that has really really helped with the creeping feeling of sadness has been prayer. It has given me a strength that I did not fathom getting. God bless.
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replied June 22nd, 2009
just the two of us
Wow, reading all of ur posts makes me a little more not alone. I've definately got a good one for you guys tho. My boyfriend is in the coast guard and I got a call about a month ago that a grapeling hook snapped a line and swung into his leg, that's about an 8 lb metal hook at 25 mph, it smashed up the tibia pretty bad. He is finally after a month in a hard cast with partial WB. It has been rough, we are 24 and 25 yrs old, live on the beach, ride bikes, love the outdoors and I don't like doing those things without him so I've been here helping him out. Shortly after he realized this had ruined his plan for his proposal, he asked me to marry him on crutches. Wink of course I said yes. But here's where it gets crazy. I have skated for many years and now I play the good ole sport of roller derby. I dislocated my foot, broken tibia, fibula, torn ligament and broken ankle. It was too swollen for immediate surgery so about 6 days later I had 5 screws and a plate to fix my ankle. So needless to say I got brought home with a matching cast on my left leg, and we are both on crutches, newly engaged. Ill never forget this. My surgery was excrutiating. I've never broken anything so it was all very strange to me as well. They kept me overnight but I went home shortly the next day. I hate pain pills so I've been taking homeopathy in place (arnica) I can't stand the nausea of pain meds. For you guys that have trouble carrying a drink, my boyfriend is an engineer so he went to the bicycle shop and bought a cup holder and screwed it on to my crutch. Works like a charm. We will both be moving through our recovery at about the same time due to his being more serious of a break, but we feel you guys, its not easy with one, try two, and we live upstairs.
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replied June 25th, 2009
rickyglsu- I've only been with a broken tibia for a few days now and the pain is unbareable in the morning after I become upright. After a few minutes of laying back down it seems to diminish and I move on with my day.

Is it common to wait 10+ days post breakage for surgery? I broke my tibia last Saturday and have surgey scheduled next Tuesday (10 days). The nurse said it's within their window. What is this window she speaks of? I also have lots of swelling. Thanks.
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replied February 14th, 2012
this is really late, but yeah. i had to wait also. I broke on 1/16 and had surgery on 2/2.
orthopod said it's better to wait til all swelling subsides so you don't get infection. this is after he told me on 1/18 that' we'd do surgery in a day or so. Sad

so you recoop time is extended for a lotta weeks. it's aggravating.
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replied June 26th, 2009
csdstudio -Not really sure the window they're speaking of but i had to wait 4 days because of my swelling
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replied July 7th, 2009
timeline of ankle recovery
hi guys
after reading all your posts i need to tell you although it hurts, its depressing, de-moralising and sometimes downright infuriating there is light at the end of the tunnel. you will walk again. youwill get off your sticks, into your shoes and boots and get your life back to something looking like normal.

i broke my ankle over 3 years ago. like a lot of you i broke the tibia and managed to pop the ankle socket open. 9 screws and a plate was my reward for a mis judged jump on my dirt bike. as you all know the 1st 2 weeks your completly imobile. most of the time on v strong painkillers just to get you through the day. next 2 weeks your hopefully coming off the pills, feeling more "you" and learning the many tricks you can do with your sticks! while we are talking about our little metal friends i found it really helpful to roll and tape a couple of sports socks to the handle. it helps with the palm blisters.

fast forward a month to the big day when the pot comes off and you have a look at what used to be your leg. this is what your aiming for. from here on you can finally take back some control of your body and your recovery. i was lucky to get a physio program straight from this day onward. it made the differnce between making a full recovery and not. if anyone is considering trying to recovery without physio please dont do it. a friend of mine chipped his ankle, never bothered with physio and he never regained full ROM.

the tips i can give are; lots of hot/cold soaks. the sooner the swelling goes down the quicker you will see a difference (big mental triumph) this also gives you the chance to scrub all that dead skin off your leg!

do all the exercises your physio gives you. some of these are truly painful. hold them just until they are unbearable then relax. every one will give you another millimetre of movement.

not shortly after this (about 2-3 weeks) you should hopefully be able to go with just one crutch. i dont mind telling you the 1st time i could carry a hot drink and some food into the living room on my own i was so happy i actually cried.

this is the really crucical stage. if youhave been doing your exercises you will get to learn how to walk again. its a fine line between doing enough and doing too much. listen to your body and try and discover how nuch you can do before it really hurts. if you have access to a pool this will really help. from here on you should really start seeing some progress but keep seeing your physio until he says that you dont he dosent want to see you not the other way round!

i broke my ankle in early jan
i wasnt walking unaided until late march
i rode my bike for the 1st time in april
in jan of the follwing year i went boarding again
the year after i took part in the megavalanche one of the hardest races on the planet.

you may be in a dark place now feeling pretty useless, but keep with it you will get better!!

i hope this brings a little hope to everyone else going through it. good luck

(ps my metal work has just come out and i was walking properly again after only a month)
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