2.5 weeks after ORIF and foot still goes purple when i put it down.

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Hi i broke my talus,fibula and tibia climbing about a month ago. Had to wait 2 weeks for ORIF and now I'm soon 3 weeks post op. I'm fitted with a plate and a few screws.

Everytime i have to put my foot down it goes purple which makes it really uncomfortable. I thought that would dissapear with the swelling going down but apparently that's not the case. Does anyone know if it is likely to improve over the coming weeks?

Not being able to move around is really killing me as i'm very active. 

Thanks 

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  • Posted

    Hi.

    I'm post op 10 MONTHS and still have pain in my ankle and FOOT. The swelling will definitely go down, you're only early in your recovery. I have 2 plates and many screws and also 60. You will recover but it takes a long time. Keep your leg elevated and if you are really worried, see your doctor/ surgeon. Take it easy and buy a few books ??

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    • Posted

      Hi thank thanks for reply. smile I'm already on the books but very restless. I got an outpt apt on Fri just felt really low today so i thought i'd try this.

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  • Posted

    Johanna,

    Discoloration is normal. I had the same surgery almost 14 weeks ago. I've been WBAT for 4 weeks. The discoloration has stopped over the last few weeks. Also when you are WBAT you will experience swelling and discomfort when the foot is not elevated. I started PT 2 weeks ago and all has improved quite quickly. When I couldn't walk I used a knee scooter. It was a godsend. I was golfing 5x week before my break so I know what you mean about inactivity. I spent 10 weeks in a recliner with my foot elevated.

    Good luck with your recovery and absolutely commit to your PT.

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  • Posted

    I am 4.5 weeks post ORIF and I had the same issue of the foot swelling, turning an angry purple color, and being painful whenever I would get up on crutches, and the pain/purple/swelling immediately went away when elevated. As a result, I was effectively inactive other than to get up to the bathroom, which was all I could handle. Right around 3 weeks post-op I started sitting in a chair with the foot down, and those issues seemed to start going away. My surgeon said that this was all normal, and he agreed that starting to sit in the chair with the foot down and get the foot to start getting acclimated to the circulation pressure again couldn't hurt. So I started sitting up more with the foot down until it got fairly uncomfortable (this was the first step to being more comfortable standing up/on the knee scooter), and after a few days I got to the point where I could drive and work half days in an office. Now at 4.5 weeks it still swells and gets uncomfortable if it is down for an hour or two without putting the foot up, but it is definitely improving dramatically and no longer gets purple. I still ice several times a day to get the swelling down, and think that helps a lot.

    Bottom line is what you are going through is completely normal, and at least for me started to improve dramatically right around the same time as where you are at. My advice would be not to let the horror stories get you down. While this is a slow process, I am also a very active person and got very down in the first few weeks without being able to even get up to the bathroom without the purple/swelling/pain. But I'm now driving (my break was the left foot), spending half days in the office, and able to get around quite well on crutches or a knee scooter. My mindset improved dramatically around week 3.5 when I was able to start being more independent. I hope that this helps and that you turn the corner in your recovery soon.

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    • Posted

      Hi Andrew thank you so much, this was really helpful. I feel much better now. smile 

      You are wright about the horror stories, there are quite a few out there. I have totally stopped looking for info online re my injury, it's too depressing. Happy to get some positive feedback from here!

      After my op i was told apart from that it went really well my talus bone is 70-100% likely to die. Also every time i see my surgeon he comments on how bad my injury is.

      The swelling went down fairly quickly after the op and i got a cast after a week. Had an xray at the same time which they were happy with.

      I jump around a bit on crutches but have to sit down and elevate fairly quickly. 

      Was acctually thinking today that maybe i should as you said train my foot by having it down for longer periods. 

      I try to do some exercises with the rest of my body, sitting or lying on the floor with my leg elevated on a few pillows. Found that it helped a bit with my mood. 

       

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    • Posted

      Andrew I too want to thank you for your email you have helped me already.  I have been laid up here now 5 weeks, 4 weeks since surgery and I have been so worried about the swelling and discoloration, when the foot is down.  Reading your testamony really brightened my day a bit. I had the cast taken off 2 weeks after surgery and told to wear the boot cast that I had been wearing on the left foot due to a bad sprain on that ankle at the same time and breaking the left.  This was from the last step and falling 3 inches to the floor with foot on side. Amazing I thought I was the only one who could do that but apparently there are a few of me.  Reading on other sites are horror stories and glad I didn't look before surgery at pictures of extremely upsetting photos.  I am retired, just need to get back to the way life was before.  We have a lot of plans that are on hold.  Thanks again.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Andrew.

      I have the same problem and its driving me crazy. Did you go thru the pain of the nerves healing and if so how long did it last ? Also its unbearable to even lay my foot on a pillow due to the sensitive skin on my foot.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Andrew. I am almost in tears of relief after reading what you wrote. Everyone keeps telling me I should be progressing so much faster than I am and that I should be able to start walking around already. I'm just two weeks post op and my stitches aren't even out yet. I am going to keep showing everyone your post. Thank you so much for making me feel better and more hopeful. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Catherine, I recently did the same as you with the steps. I was running late for work and had something in both hands, I thought I was on the last step and fell down and hurt both feet. It was 5 weeks before I got an appointment to see specialist and had a back slab on while waiting, he put plaster on for 3 weeks and then I have to go back for scan and get a moon boot altered with an arch. He said probably be another 12 weeks before I am getting around without anything. I have fractured my 1st, 2nd and 4th ??? I forget what it's called on my left foot and fractured my right ankle. They said if they had of seen me earlier I would have had pins and maybe a platesad. 7 weeks off work now with no pay. I can't wait for them to get better.

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    • Posted

      Hi Angie, hope your recovery is progressing. I have been scouring the internet for positive feedback and cam across this post this morning. I had a stupid fall off a step on the 27 April was taken by ambulance to the local government hospital where they diagnosed Trimaceolar fracture right and operated on the 28 April. Pain like I have never experienced that I would have given birth 10 times over instead LOL 😆 Anyway long story short, government hospital messed up, I went to see a private surgeon and had surgery on the 23 May to basically redo the op, plate and pins removed and replaced correctly!  Started physio yesterday, still have terrible pain and as soon as I put my foot down it goes a purplish color and swells with pain. It has been and is a frustrating process, I would give anything to be able to just get up and walk and drive. I have to keep telling myself that there are others in a worse position than me. Reading this today has made the light at the end of the tunnel shine brighter. I have tried to sit with my foot on the floor ... lasted about 3 minutes before I looked like the elephant man but I will keep trying. Take care

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    • Posted

      The more you try to sit normally the longer the recovery will take. Elevate your leg so it's above your heart line. I did this by staying in a recliner chair for with two firm pillows under my knee/leg/ankle so my entire leg was fully supported. I lived in the chair until my Orthopedic surgeon told me differently. It was the most arduous process I've ever experienced. I used theraband to stretch my calf as instructed by my surgeon to prevent extreme muscle wasting.

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    • Posted

      Hi Andrew, Thank you fory our post. I am almost 4 weeks into po. Still in pain and have purple/brown ish discolored ankle and foot. I feel so much better finding this threads and your post. 

      Anyone has/had contracting kind of pain? Now I am worry about screws coming out....  

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    • Posted

      i had this surgery the 12 th of September and my nerves have been on pins and needles since the 16 of September and it hasn't stopped as of today (10/27/18) . I am on meds but not making a difference. How long did it take till it stopped? 6 werks post-op!

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    • Posted

      Aloha Andrew: I am so glad to have found this forum. I am thankful for the wonderful synopsis you gave on your experience. I am 70 y.o and was very active and strong before my bilateral fracture on the left ankle. Was bedridden and had complications of pressure sores from the splints and casts and was very discouraged. I am on week twelve post op and am using a airpump cam boot and dressing the remaining pressure sores which are responding to my home treatment. I was concerned about the swelling and discoloration and all of you here have reassured me that this is normal and that it will go away eventually. Starting rehab next week and have been using a knee scooter for 2 weeks which has given me new found freedom and gotten rid of the depression from being bedridden with my leg elevated like a ballerina frozen in mid dance for so many weeks. So grateful for the testimonies here. Thank you Andrew and all of you writing here.

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