1 week post ankle ORIF

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Hello everyone,

I've been stalking this forum since I broke my Fibula 5/31, but this is my first post. I had ankle ORIF 6/12 with 1 plate and 8 screws placed. today, I had my first post op appt today and was told I could start PT this week and start weight bearing next week at 2 weeks post op. They also removed my splint and put me in an aircast/boot.

Can anyone else shed light on when they started PT and or weight bearing?

I'm concerned I'm being pushed too fast. I've taken the boot off in attempt to do simple ROM as instructed and cannot move my ankle.

Any advise or words of wisdom is appreciated. Thanks smile

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  • Posted

    Hello Marie, i’m 11 mths orif surgery, Broken ankle in 3 places with 7 screws. I must say my ankle has healed fined with any complications whatsoever. I’m running 3 miles a day. Listen to your doctor, if he says it’s ok , then trust him cause he’s looking at your x rays and monitoring your bones in the ankle.. everyone heals differently. When doing your pt push yourself and trust the therapist as well... God bless and keep informed of your progress 
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  • Posted

    Well I guess the Doctor's know what they are doing!! And only thing we can do is to trust the Doctor's!! I broke my ankle in two different places last week!! I got two plates and 14 screws!! I got a splint right now and the next week they're going to put a cast on!! I was Googling about therapy on your ankle without putting weight on it. check it out and see if it's good for you!! Good luck and God bless!!!

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  • Posted

    2 weeks is too soon. Healing takes 6 weeks, esp if you required a plate and screws to repair that. Wait until your PT appt and see what they say. 

    Wow

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    • Posted

      That’s not necessary true. There are so many factors that go into it. My doctor had me start weight bearing/walking at 2 weeks and I am 7 weeks post op and now walking without my boot - no pain and healing on schedule. 

      Depending on the location of your fracture, the ankle has different levels of stability. I fractured my fibula, but it was all the way down practically on my lateral malleolus, so my ankle was stable enough to bear weight while in the boot. 

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  • Posted

    Wow! I'm 9 weeks post op same surgery, 8 screws and plate,  and told DO NOT WALK! Fracture not healed. We know your fracture is not healed, so I guess that's not relevant to your doctor. My ankle is still huge and hurts like hell, walking still fractured, for me, would still not be possible. Plus, I begged for a boot last week so I could ice. This boot hurts more than a regular cast. My ankle is so swollen my foot is somewhat suspended without touching bottom of boot. It does feel good now to stretch my foot and massage it, I do it all day, so I bet PT would be fine. But walk, yikes!

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  • Posted

    Hi Marie!

    I was in the same exact boat as you! 2 weeks post op they took off my splint, put me in a CAM boot, and told me to start walking (didn’t start PT). At first I was like WHAT, they want me to put weight on this?! But I trusted the doctors and with the help of YouTube tuorials and crutches at first - it became easier. When I started I used both crutches, and then worked myself down to one, and about 3 weeks later I was walking without any at all. 

    I too was unable to do the ROM excercises at first, but every night I would ice my ankle and start massaging/stretching my toes out gently with my hands. Slowly the movement comes back. 

    I think it’s good they are starting your PT in combination with weight bearing, I wish they would have done that for me. I am 7 weeks post op and just starting my PT now, can’t wait.

    Just remember to trust the doctors and the process!

    Best of healing to you!

    -Izzi 

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  • Posted

    And I want to touch on doctors, trust, etc...My surgeon was a nightmare, I was referred from the ER. My first visit he said "bizarre" and walked out of the room, that's it! It was only after surgery that I educated myself, and I've never seen so many poor reviews in my life. After surgery he never told me what he did, walked into the room and said you need to heal. Lol, no kidding! I have found a new surgeon whom I'm very happy with, but common sense matters too. If you're not sure, you would be doing the right thing by asking, hey, why so soon to walk doc, after what I've read said bones heal in the range of 6-12 weeks.

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    • Posted

      Trust is also my issue. Unfortunately for me I work at a hospital so I can't change surgeons or I would (due to the insurance coverage). . Apart from the surgery, I only see his NP who is all over the place. Everytime I see her she says something different. At today's appointment she didn't even know what surgery I had done rolleyes

      I asked her today andgot a snarky response that provided no real information.

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    • Posted

      That's horrible, after my doc walked in the room 2 weeks post op and said you need to heal, then walked out, I was done. I mean zero info, I saw screws on the xray, but he never told me what, why,  how it works, healing time. I think since you have no choice PT can help you with information lots. It seems logical if pain and swelling is diminished, healing is occurring. I'm just not there yet. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Marie, 

    I had Orif surgery on 4/17. 2 plates 12 pins. Was first in hard cast then 2 weeks later in boot.  Started PT at 4 weeks post op.  I just now have been allowed full weight bearing in the boot with crutches.  I have been told that up until 6 weeks post op, your bones are not fully healed and it’s the plates/pins supporting it. Weight bearing too soon can cause issues.  I trust my PT more than my surgeon because it’s the PT who deals with everything AFTER the injury. I had a hard time with ROM and spend quite a bit of time trying to get parts of my ankle and foot to move which is crucial to be able to begin walking. Please wait till you see your PT before attempting to walk!  Better safe than sorry

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    • Posted

      You’re right!!! Any Bone requiring surgery or not needs 6 weeks. The fibula is the stabilizing bone of the 2 lower leg bones, even if it’s smaller. Weight at 2 weeks is not good. Please wait until you see PT and have them determine . Also ask to see the X-ray report from your 2 week checkup. It it says interval healing or sees any effusion DO NOT put weight on it.
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  • Posted

    Thank you everyone for the thoughtful and quick responses. I do appreciate it!

    It makes me a little relieved that I'm not the only person told to start walking two weeks after surgery. I'm most concerned because the plan had been 8-10 weeks no weight bearing, but all the sudden its start walking next week.

    I have PT tomorrow for my eval and 'light stretching', so we will see how that goes..

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  • Posted

    Every injury is different so I would say your PT is most likely to get yout early mobility. I had a dislocation coupled with multiple fractures from having it set. I was 6 weeks non weight bearing but started PT at 4 weeks. I was scared to start PT, but boy did I feel better after each session. The sooner you get it moving the better. Hope you have a speedy recovery!
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