10 Months Post ankle fracture

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I fell on Friday 13th October last year and fractured my ankle.  I had ORIF and have plates, screws and tightrope inserted.  

To cut a long story short I have nerve damage (nerve tests have been done) and the outcome of a second opinion from a consultant in May was that this may not get better and I may have to have an MRI scan that will mean the metal work coming out to see what the damage is (first consultant already admitted fault and I am pursuing this)

in the last few weeks my leg has become more swollen and painful.  I have tried amitryptelene, gabapentin and now back to taking codeine phosphate with the next option for the pain being tramadol.

I know when I go back on 11th October it is going to be my decision re having the metal work removed to have an MRI and then see what the next steps are.  The consultant has already said that I will be NWB again.

My worry is that I could go through all of this and the problem not solved or more damage from the 2nd lot of surgery.

Does anybody have any experience of this or anything similar?


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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Wow! I don't have any experience with this, but after reading had to let you know that I wish you much luck with this process and I am sorry you have to go through all this! This forum has been a great support system for me. I am sure someone will be able to relate to your current situation. Best of luck, keep us posted!

  • Posted

    I don’t understand why the metal has to come out. They use titanium for all surgical plates, screws, and joint replacements, which is compatible with MRIs. That’s why they switched to it.

    Are you still going to physical therapy? 

    I understand frustration with pain this many months after surgery.  

  • Posted

    Hiya.. I'm at work and can't fully respond, but you might have CRPS otherwise known as RSD. Your symptoms remind me of myself. And due to getting CRPS, I was told I cannot get my metal removed...

  • Posted

    Spitz Girl, I can really sympathize with your situation as I have had much the same issue.  I broke my tibia and fibula on February 28, 2017 and had surgery on March 3rd and had a plate and screws.  About 10 days after surgery I was getting a very weird pain in the back of my ankle.  It felt like hot nails and nothing could touch my foot.  I even had to have the cast removed as it was just too painful.  It was excruciating for a few months. When I started PT it helped a little but never really got better.  I had a local neurologist, orthopedic surgeon and podiatrist all look at it and they couldn't figure anything out.  They tried cortisone shots, lyrica, lidocaine patches, etc. and nothing worked.  I had nerve testing done which confirmed nerve damage but still no cure.  They said I might have complex regional pain syndrome.  This went on for over a year and while the pain subsided a little I still couldn't function all that well and had to ice my foot every night for hours just to survive the pain. Finally I had had enough and decided I needed to go see a specialist and went to HSS (Hospital for Special Surgery) in New York City in May of 2018.  This is the #1 rated orthopedic hospital in America.  On my first visit they did an ultrasound with contrast and saw that I had a neuroma when I was experiencing the pain.  They then injected a numbing agent that lasted for 4 hours and if the pain went away then that would confirm that the neuroma was the issue.  It was the best 4 hours I had in over a year as my foot felt normal again.  I had surgery on May 23, 2018.  A neurosurgeon grafted and relocated my damaged nerve deep into my calf muscle so there would be no exposed nerve endings.  While I was opened up the ortho surgeon removed my plate and one screw.  After the surgery things got worse for a while.  The neurosurgeon told me this is probably phantom pain that can last months or even year which was very discouraging.  It's now been 3 months since my 2nd surgery and finally the ankle is starting to feel much better.  Maybe my brain is forgetting the pain now.  I don;t feel the nails any more and have been walking about 5 miles a day. For the first time I have hope that my ankle will eventually get better. I can now sleep without my leg hanging off the end of the bed and can wear sneakers for the first time in 18 months.  I don;t know if this will be of help but thought it was worth sharing.  Nerve damage is awful and just trying to share my experiences.


  • Posted

    Thanks for your responses so far. I have been to gp today and naproxen has been given to try and re referred to physio. Still unsure what to do. Really starting to get me down. Daft thing like going out tomorrow nite and got a few dresses i want to wear but feel so self conscious about shoes as can only wear flat wide. Which are not dressy!

    Happy weekend


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