2 1/2 week post op Ankle surgery with screws and plate

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Hi, I fell and dislocated my ankle and broke three bones had to have surgery to put screws and plate in...Im now at 2.5 weeks post op and have had stiches out and half cast off. I now have been given a boot but still non weight bearing for at least another 4 weeks and physio has given me 2 exercise to do 3 times a day. Im so scared taking my boot off because my ankle is so sore still and VERY swollen...to make matters worse im 23 weeks pregnant!! Any one wlse been given a boot rather than full plaster 2 weeks post op?? And how to cope taking the boot off and on???

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  • Posted

    Oh you poor thing. I can't imagine how tough it would be being pregnant as well.

    I just had my 2 week follow up appointment for a very similar injury. I broke two bones and badly dislocated my ankle and have plates and screws in. Today the surgeon came in after my cast was taken off and said you're fine I don't meet to wear a boot or a cast but to only partial weight bear. He was happy to sent me home without anything! The only reason for partial weight bearing he said was because I have a screw between the tibia and fibula which could break with full weight bearing. If I didn't have that he would of said I can start walking on it properly.

    Well the Physio who was there afterwards said I'll give you a cam boot as you'll probably be feeling a bit vulnerable without anything but feel free to take it off whenever I want. She said I should try to do some exercises everyday.

    The Physio also said that he is the least conservative of all the surgeons. Others would plaster again or give me a boot. However my surgeon is a highly experienced professor so I guess he knows what he's talking about.

    So in answer to your question yes I'm only 2 weeks post surgery and don't have a cast and have been advised to take the boot off as much as I like and feel comfortable with.

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    • Posted

      It sounds like we have a very similar injury...I too have a big screw that goes from one side to the other of my ankle...I have to have this secrew out around the 3 month mark but this is when I will be due to have my bub so Im thinking they will do that after baby is born and will be quick day surgery....All the best with the healing process!! smile

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    • Posted

      Yes I have that screw that needs to be removed. The Physio said it's a very quick procedure.

      I do find it tricky (because it's so stiff and it hurts) to excerise that ankle but I just do little bits at a time. My Physio also said not to expect too much at this stage, little movements are fine just make sure you keep trying or it will get really tight and be more difficult. Last night I slept with it bandaged instead of in the boot and it was more comfortable.

      Is this your 1st Bub? My sister in law did the same kind of injury about 3 weeks before my nephew was due and had him the next day so they could operate on her ankle. I've heard it's quite common in pregnancy for people to fall and fracture something.

      I'm trying to manage with my 18month old which is tricky because I can't carry him (or much else) while walking with crutches. He now runs to Dad instead of me and has become very clingy with him. My 5 year old is much more understanding, helpful and easy for me to manage.

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    • Posted

      I did my exercise yesterday and I found it a little bit easier which a was good giving me a little more hope...This is my 3rd baby. I have 2 others aged 8 and 7. They have been very good and they are abit older they tend to be a little more understanding. But Im finding sitting all day is driving me nuts and not being able to drive make things very hard!!

       

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    • Posted

      Can you please tell me why your screw's are gonna have to come out? I'm 9 week's post op. Had ORIF. Broke my tibia in 2 places , my fibula and dislocated my left ankle had a plate and 3 screw's and a pin. My Ortho never mentioned them ever needing to come out.

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    • Posted

      My plate and 8 screws are not coming out. I have 2 long screws going through my fib and tib that are called Syndesmotic screws, they are the ones that need to come out, they are in for ligament damage. If you Google Syndesmotic Screws maybe you can get more information on what I am talking about...
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  • Posted

    You are on the same journey as i was. Take the boot off elevate and ice your ankle. You can take a shower now (sitting ) . You can sleep without it. Just dont move around with out it. The hardware is keeping it stable and together. You will get through this just like I did. I am now walking with the boot and a cane. You will get there!
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    • Posted

      Thanks glad to hear some postive results...feel like its so bad at the moment, I have to stay postive and think the worst is over and now just have to fouces on the recover smile

       

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  • Posted

    Oh that's rough! Are you taking any pain meds? If so I would continue to take them. I'm 3.5 weeks post op and my pain has gone down to almost nothing in the last week. I've only had to take a couple of pain meds this week and mostly feel fine. I was put in a soft splint right after surgery and then moved to a boot at 2 weeks. Also told to do 2 exercises 3 times a day. If you still have a lot of swelling I would make sure you are elevating high enough and long enough. You really shouldn't have your leg down for any longer than to use the rest room. Turmeric paste applied topically can help (you can google recipes) or turmeric capsules can be taken but check for pregnancy safety because innever took them while pregnant. I was super scared to move my foot but it actually feels so much better to do it. Start with wiggling your toes very often if you aren't already. Good luck ??

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    • Posted

      Started my ecercises last night, I got the courage up to take my boot off and was able to lie on the bed...I thought it would be easy to start to move my ankle but it was sooo hard. I was onlt able to wiggle my toes. But if i keep pursevering it should get easier. I was surprised to see how much brusing there was around my ankle and just how swollen it is still but the Dr said last week that it could be swollen for up to 6 months...Im not taking pain meds regulay just as I need them and only panadol which seems to help but I will make sure that I have had some before I start my exercise to help manange the pain after woods...im also keeping my leg elevated whenever possiable which is nearly all day besides going to the bathroom to help with the swelling. Thank you for your help and advice smile

       

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    • Posted

      I'm still taking panadol regularly. About 3-4 times a day to keep on top of the pain. It makes it much more comfortable.

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    • Posted

      Charlie, I am at 5 weeks post op. surgery with 1plate and 8screws.  

      Wiggle those toes, ice and elevate smile  You are past the worst, but you are still in the early stages, be kind to yourself and remember your job is to rest and let your body heal. 

      A few wonderful things I learned from the kind people on this forum:

      Measure your progress in weeks not days 

      Ankles are complicated, they wax and wane

       

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    • Posted

      I am 5 weeks post op as well with 1 plate & 8 screws with 2 syndesmotic screws going through my tib and fib. Sounds like we are very similar in accident time and hardware. Do you have much numbness and pins and needles after 5 weeks? I have numbness at the side of my foot (non injured side) in just a small area...I also find that my muscles are pretty sore as well.  Even my injured side, especially my thigh 

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    • Posted

      Ive been doing my exercise and wiggleing my toes often my ankle is still very swollen and tender where the cuts are but pushing through...Im now just over 3 weeks post op go back to see surgen in another 3 weeks...Im rest most of the time and keeping it elevated too...going to try some ice  thanks for the tips smile

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    • Posted

      HI PAM, nice name smile

      Yes, I still have numbness on my shin of all places.  The pins and needle feels are much better, but I still can not tolerate the bed sheets at night.  I still sleep on a microfiber blanket.  I have had a little bit of ( new)burning sensations in my toes as well.  My thigh and hip on the injured side are KILIING ME.  I wonder if it is because we are holding up our foot so much it is straining the hip and thigh?  I go to the ortho in 2 days, that will be my 6 week mark, he originally said no weight until 8 weeks, but I'm hopeful.  

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    • Posted

      The ice is not fun, but it does work !  wiggling is easier said than done, I know.  

      Just to give you hope....t's weird to describe, but at week 5 I feel less "fragile" my ankle feels more stable and it is not so tender to bump it.  Rolling over in bed is so much easier and I can now turn circles with my ankles.  

      I hope your little sweet pea is doing well

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    • Posted

      Hello Pam biggrin

      I had the burning pain fairly early on at around 3 weeks, at the top of my foot and toes, it's not very pleasant is it! sad 

       I was also thinking my thigh pain was from lifting this stinking boot up so much, I swear it weighs 50 pounds lol ...I also just started to get an ache in the back of my knee (injured side)  I try to left my leg often (feels like I'm exercising)  with the boot on and off so I think I am working muscles that are so out of shape. My calf is just mush now , I am hoping that it doesn't take long to bounce back and be strong again. I go to see my OS in 4 days, that is 6 weeks for me. As long as x-ray is good I can start PWB, so fingers crossed, let me know how you get on with your appointment in 2 days biggrin

       

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    • Posted

      I was also icing frequently and when it wasn't so tender, I would apply lotion often (not on the incision) My foot looked so wrinkly and discoloured and it would help with circulation. I had very bad bruising and still do at 5 1/2 weeks but it's getting better. Is your ROM getting better now with the excercises? 

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    • Posted

      I had my ortho appt. today....  He is pleased with the healing, 2 more weeks of NWB.  Then I will be PWB until the 27th of December, my birthday is the very next day so maybe I will get the gift of walking for my birthday !!

      So about the pins and needles pain and my numb shin, he blames it on the nerve block I had at the time of surgery.  

      He did give me several at home excerises to work on my range of motion, but he made mention that as long as the hardware is in, I won't ever have full range like my non injured foot !   

      He also said that swelling would be a fact for the rest of my life !  

      I was not expecting that.  

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    • Posted

      So will the pins and needles and shin numbness be permanent? I have heard it can take months for it to come back, so there's still hope Pam!

      I have my appointment tomorrow and get my xray and am soooo hoping the ok to PWB. I will see what my OS also says about getting my syndesmotic screws out?

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    • Posted

      My ortho said the nerve pain could last up to a year.  He said to try mesaging my shin with pressure.  I have been using cocoa butter lotion twice a day and messaging it in since the stitches came out, so I guess we will wait and see.  

      Good luck with your next appointment, I hope you get good news and can PWB !!

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