2 weeks post op trimalleolar ORIF, where is everyone else at?

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I hope I'm not repeating, I've never sought out a forum before, BUT, this ankle business is way different. I'm 2 weeks 2 days post op in a boot now, NWB with my next appt 8/8/17, and concerned about progress. I do ROM exercises intermittently as ordered during the day and I just tried to touch my knee to the wall with my toe against it with success. (Yay?) I want to walk yesterday and run tomorrow. I've never been off work this long or lost my independence in any way like this. Nonhandicapped people in the handicapped stall, people saying things like-it sucks to be you, having to have a no leak mug for my coffee to carry it around, and man do my hands hurt from crutches. I fell off my scooter at the train station the other day so I've decided to use that in house mostly. Rant over for that, thank you. I guess a good question I have is how long for people to get the muscle mass back in your affected calf, because mine is considerably atrophied after 2 weeks. Range of Motion (ROM) takes how long for anyone else? How is your progress near my stage? I'm curious and, I guess in need of a little reassurance at this point.

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  • Posted

    2wks post op yep?? Should you really be doing all of that? If you have had surgery then the metal work will take time to knit back together again. I would take its very slowly and easy until your next clinic appointment rest and try and relax...I know it's hard but it's crucial that in the early days that you take the pressure and weight off the joint as much as you can.

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  • Posted

    Welcome to the club!  I would have hoped that your surgeon gave you a timeline for your recovery but that does not seem to be the case.  It is likely that you will not be able to start weight bearing exercises for 6 - 8 weeks as it takes that long for bones to heal. They will take X-Rays to make sure things are going well before giving you the green light.  Then it is PWB as you buld up the muscles and lossen the ankle.  Your muscles will be quite atrofied by then and we have to learn to walk again.  The physical therapy is critical.  You need to be diligent about that.  I had a scooter for about 8 weeks, then a walker for about 4 weeks, then have used a cane for another 5 weeks and am now walking without a cane only inside my house where it is level.  I can walk outside as well but if it is uneven surfaces then I have been instructed to wear a brace.  You have to be very careful or you will roll your ankle as it just is not strong enough.  I am just beginning my 20th week, and getting very optimistic that all will eventually be well, but I do understand that it can take 9 - 12 months to get to 95% of what we used to be.  Your next question will be when does the swelling and purple leg go away.  That also lasts a long time.  Swelling canlast 9 months although it will gradually getbetter every month.  I still have discolorationbut that is almost gone.  The swelling really is a pain though. It was good to find out that this is all normal so I don;t worry about it now.  Lastly, I have some nerve damage which can be a side affect, and that is the pits.  But that is slowly getting better as well.  It has not impacted the recovery of the ankle though, just adds pain.  Hope this helps.

    ​Good luck and know that it will get better each and every week and there is a light at the end of the tunnel even though it may be a shining a little dim right now.

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    • Posted

      Oh my gosh. A walker? A cane? I think a call is in order to the office. What my Dr told me was to do ankle rotations and dorsi/plantar flexion exercises and nothing else, really. He didn't seem to think I'd need PT but as I sit here and look at my leg and decreased ROM, I worry. I feel like there should be other things to do, at minimum, to maintain rather than decline in function. I'm am not weight bearing or pushing too hard (as I am aware of the bone healing process, having had a bone graft earlier this year elsewhere), mostly just doing these movements, keeping my incision clean and intact, and plotting my miraculous recovery by any means necessary. I do have the purple I've noticed, from the incision down, but strangely enough, it's mostly in the shower. I have compression socks to wear for swelling that I wore after running and to work, for after the incision is well approximated. I may be ahead of myself in this, my next appt is in 6 weeks not 8 like i thought and I was thinking I'd go back to work mid August. I'm going to stay hopeful with intermittent bouts of apathy/frustration, in all honesty. I am so happy to find this forum for all of my questions and I so appreciate the feedback, thank you for sharing your ankle experience. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy!

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    • Posted

      It is so unfortunate that the professional people that fix our body totally ignore our state of mind. When our mind it the very thing that helps us heal. A long time ago I worked in hospital and post surgery expectation sheets were given to every patient on discharge it answered most questions and what signs to look for that suggest you go back to dr/hospital now we need to find forums to help us and then drs surgeons get downright angry when patients use Dr Google. I've been off work since 24 march. Going crazy going broke  and still looks like a month away. I to plotted a miraculous recovery. Dreamed of running showering standing up. even  dreamed I was cooking and I don't even do cook. I'm a crap cook. All the normal things we've always taken for granted are all so valued now. 

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    • Posted

      I second that. I feel like you can get the basics from the paperwork (call if you have a fever, eat well, bla bla bla) but the real life situations from people who have experienced it - that is what is helpful. I am so sorry you have been off for so long. I shouldn't be complaining at 2-3wks, maybe I'm just adjusting to this rehabilitation experience. I haven't been at my job long enough for short term disability, nor have I earned much PTO since starting. Where are you in your recovery? Can I ask how you hurt your ankle?

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    • Posted

      Hi Chestnut. I broke mine getting un to fast off a recliner. Tried to push in on on foot and take off on the other. The other was too fast , slipped on a blanket and ankle folded to inside side on my leg. Stupid accident. Will never use a recliner again. My recovery is good  I have full rotation can stand on injured foot but need help of wall/chair to keep balance. Can get knee to wall 2 cm out. Can tip toe doing both feet but am buggered if I can lift heal of injured foot off the floor without the uninjured foot on floor as well. We're working on that. Aiming for fill lift in 5/6 weeks. I've been self employed for 21 years no income relief till 12 week after injury. Double ouch. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Jenni you seem to be coming on great. I'm now going into my 3rd week of FWB, but still using crutches. Can do a little with the aid of 1 now and again. But the pain I'm getting while walking is bad. Aching most of the day, but the colour is nearly back to normal and also swelling not so bad unless I've been doing a lot of standing or walking (when I say a lot, I mean half hr!!!) plus the granny dapers don't help as they are rubber soles and they seem to draw my feet on the best of times, hate them. But at the moment they are the only things I can get on. Physio.... Well I have the lovely thought that this week is going to be the TREADMILL week!!! Dreading it. My brain just not telling my feet how to put one foot in front of the other... The things we have to learn all over again. 😢 😢. God this is hard and I can't see my light as yet. 😢 😢 😢. Sx

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    • Posted

      Boy, like you say with the recliner-I will probably be hard pressed to feel comfortable in a pair of heels again. Have you done anything one your time off that you could never find time for while working? I have a couple projects I'd like to do while I'm out so I feel a little more accomplished aside from my own recovery. It seems like one minute it's taking if ever and then it's almost 3 weeks and I'm all, do something with yourself. Maybe a standing recliner is in your future? Self employed for so long! Good for you. Your job will always be there if anything. I am lucky to have mine held while I am off. If anything I am so thankful for that.

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    • Posted

      Out of curiosity, does your ankle pop now? When I dorsi/plantarflex mine pops, and while it doesn't hurt, it makes my stomach turn. I was just curious if anyone else has that happen. I know everyone heals differently I'm just so curious about everyone else's kind of recovery. I have a strong stomach but something about the nature of this just makes me nauseated to think about it 😝

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    • Posted

      No popping. The one thing that makes me feel nauseated is sometimes I can feel the plate on the outside of my ankle. This happens when I'm elevated my foot and it goes up against blanket or pillow. I felt. It all the time when I was on the casts. It was horrible. It also feels really sore and sensitive when up against anything, yet I feel nothing when I touch it. So odd. Sx

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    • Posted

      Sandra, are you sure it is the plate.  I had severe pain and my ankly area was extremely sensitive to the touch - of anything and everything.  It is some sort of nerve damage that sometimes happens after trauma.  It was awful and it has gradually gotten better.  Does it burn at all?  My foot couldn;t touch anything but yet I could touch it or press on it and it was ok.  It was/is the weirdest thing and not fun at all.
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    • Posted

      I'm assuming it's the plate? But yes as you say very sensitive, but don't have the problem when I touch it. Sleeping on my right side with ankle down against the blanket is horrible. Even have a fluffy blanket to rest it on and still feels horrible. But not all the time. It's so odd. Along with this is the pain I'm still getting. Throbbing a lot these past few days, but I am FWB for past 2. 1/2 weeks and physio given me excersize to do so this has been a hard week. Just can't link my brain to my foot!! Lol have to learn to walk without the limp but just can't do it. 😢 😢. Plus pain not helping. But no way am I going to push myself. Just need to listen to my body. This had been hell. 😔 😔. Sx

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    • Posted

      I had to keep my foot propped up on pillows with the sensitive ankle hanging over the edge.  Sleeping was hell.  It seemed as if I had hot barbed wire in the back of my ankle and it drove me crazy. Once I started Physical therapy and got things moving it started to calm down a lot.  I can sleep fine now and just beginning to walk somewhat close to normal at least until mid day when it stiffens up and the pain returns.  I think the best medicine is to exercise the ankle multiple times a day with the proper stretching exercises.  It always felt better after that.  I've been through a lot as I am inmy 20th week.  I am now walking on the treadmill on an incline, riding the stationary bike and most of all doing weight machines to strengthen my injured leg as it is only about 60% the strength of my good leg.  Most difficult is putting wieght on the front of the foot to finish the stepping motion which is what is causing my limp now.  But it does improve each week, even if it is not that much it is still progress.  They said it could take a year and I believe them.

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    • Posted

      I was told that the plate and screws can cause discomfort, especially if there is less skin over that area, which is why some people can have them removed later (I'm hoping to just because I haven't read much good from people who still have them later-aches, rubbing, and arthritis). I use arnica gel for mild discomfort right now.

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    • Posted

      OMG this all sounds had work. I sleep like that too, actually have my foot hanging over at the moment. This may be my problem.with the pain ad I've not been doing my exercises for few days because of pain. The back of my a n leg does feel stiff when walking with crutches but do try to get some walking with just 1 crutch. But still doing a lot of just bringing the good foot on line with other instead of one foot in front of the other. I'm finding it hard because of the pain. Will get some stretching in. Even if it means I have to take ZAPAIN before hand. I have the treadmill this week but the way I've been going I can't see me getting anywhere never been good on treadmill even before accident. . I just need to see more progress. All gone down hill since I had my,, 60th birthday in January. You are so far ahead of me and feel quite jealous!! But great for you. Keep. Going. Sx

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    • Posted

      Yes I've read that too, but also read where people have kept them in with no problems. Just the thought of going through another operation makes my cringe. No way could I go through this again. It's the hardest thing I've ever gone through. It's hell sx

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    • Posted

      Searing hot barbed wire! I haven't heard anyone else say that but it's so true, thank you. The pain isn't nearly the sensation I thought it would be. Even coming to in PACU I thought for sure the splint was too tight and it was pressing so hard, causing that feeling. I still have to sleep in my boot so I don't have too bad of sensation on the site but I can definitely tell when it's pressing there and it's not comfortable at all. I have a hard time with the air pockets in them so I mostly have them deflated because it takes hardly anything to bother circulation and cause that pressing, foot needs blood feeling. My dr seemed surprised at the pain type but I find it hard to believe no one has said anything of the like, but he's pretty young, who knows. It's so good to hear about everyone's progress, fast or slow, to know it will happen and hear success is helpful to me right now in my early-ish stage. I appreciate the feedback and commend your dedication. As it is right now, I need ice always at least once at night and sometimes after a good bout of upward activity for swelling and discomfort. I've been about 97% free of norco and using Motrin mostly. I feel so weird sometimes, thinking about how I'm going to take my ice with me 🤣 wherever I go because I never want to be without it but people just don't understand! How long have the 2 of you been in PT?

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    • Posted

      Yea, Dr said about 20% of people have them removed but I wonder how many people just don't go back and maybe the numbers are skewed, you know? If I were in your position though I'd be more than apprehensive as well! It sounds like you don't have your pain controlled and you can't do your exercises effectively, what do you think? Do you pre-medicate for activity and keep up on it in general, not letting pain get out of control? I know you've been at this for awhile so I bet you probably do, but I know it's really important. It's so frustrating,

      You are right Sandra 💪🏼

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    • Posted

      I do keep meds up, but reduced the dose to 1 every 4hrs instead of 2 as they make me very sleepy. I've tried others but they don't seem to be any good for the pain plus make me feel. 'out of it'. When I have my physio I do take 2 as I know the pain will be bad during and afterwards. This week will be my 6th session, first three I didn't really do much. The last 2 have been in the gym which has been more testing.,but each time only been for around 30mins. This week is treadmill week!! Dreading it already. I'm promising myself from now to work through some of my pain and discomfort to do my homework exercise. Then I think it's back to the warm hot soak for muscles to relax. They are very tight behind my knee my calve and the back of my heel. As I've been writing in this forum, I can now see that I have let the pain win every time. But from now on I Will beat it, I must, as this is one hell of a journey. . Sx

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    • Posted

      Well jerry I know exactly how that pain was. It was hell. Nerve pain I was told was like a tazar shooting into ankle and up leg. Sleeping was non existent. And that darn boot didn't use that for long it was agony and surgeon said if it caused pain don't use it. And my main hassle now is lifting my heal off the floor when standing in injured foot only. Even holding a rail or chair I can't for the life of me get it to lift. Can do both together the stationary bike is good and not too painful. I'm hoping to get back to work soon. 

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    • Posted

      Ooch Jenni just the thought of trying to tiptoe on NY bad foot makes me cringe with pain. Not looking forward to that at all. So frighteneing. Just can't get this pain to ease. Mood today is low. 😢

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    • Posted

      Jenni, did your nerve pain ever go away?  Mine has subsidided quite a bit but is still there all day and it is so frustrating.  None of the doctors (and I've seen the surgeon and the neurologist) have a solution.  Next they want me to see a dermatologist.  As for getting up on your toes, yes, that's seems to be the last hurdle for smooth walking.  I too am doing toe raises and working the Cybex machine to strengthen my calf.  I use the machine where you sit and puch against the big rectangular plate.  Just use the top half of my foot so it concentrates on the calf and it is helping.  It's easy to calibrate how weak one leg is versus the other and it explains why we can't walk properly.  Give that exercise a try if you have access to a fitness center.  It's critical.  Good luck.

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    • Posted

      You have a busy week ahead of you and it seems like you're progressing if you're starting treadmill this week ??. It also kind of seems like you're getting to the good stuff of therapy and your pain would likely be up, considering. I can only imagine what your your calf feels like as I look at mine, all loose and almost just hanging off the bone. Starting from scratch with that one. I've been trying to tighten, release, and repeat on it for a little something. Even just leg lifting yesterday I could tell my whole leg was weaker. Doing your soaks sounds like a good reward after the hard work, I will remember that. Thank you for sharing your progress. I look forward to hearing about this week!

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    • Posted

      Do you mean tiptoeing on your injured foot?? That's kind of hard to do uninjured! I wonder if that is nerve pain that I experience occasionally-the sharp shooting sensation. Probably is. How much longer before you can go back to work do you think, and how long have you been off already?

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    • Posted

      I too hated the look of my calve once out of my cast, but now I can see that muscle is building and no longer just hangs there. The warm soaks are fab and do release the tightening in my calve and back of my heel, if only for a while. I got stuck on the floor of my kitchen this afternoon. I did some painting ground level. Then couldn't get up!!! Had to move along on my bum into the next round till I reached the chair to give me leverage. 😢 😢 but glad I managed to get some painting done. Then out to clean my car. Glad my son was home to help with all the carrying though. But job done. Paying for it all now foot thobbing and swollen... So no more for me today. Sx

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    • Posted

      Ah yes. Too funny. Sounds like it's time for some ice. I swept the floor in the laundry room yesterday with a hand broom on my bum. I can do most everything but sweeping/vacuuming is most difficult. I'm going to the gym today to do some other body areas workout. I fell off my scooter last night trying to check why my floor speaker wouldn't work. It's amazing how tangled I can get in that!

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    • Posted

      Lol. I bet we all look a right load of nezbits. I do the vacuumi g on one crutch. I gave. Lot of nerve pain too today. Rubbing the bottom of my foot and feel light pain in the ankle on right side over gherkin top. Plus burning in my toes, so think once again I've overdone it. I seem to do that when I get going. ZAPAIN here I come. Good luck at the gym. Sx

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    • Posted

      Just hate spell check.... Always end up sending my replies without reading first. Lol
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    • Posted

      Ha, I had to look up ZAPAIN because I didn't know what you were taking about. It has paracetamol and codiene in it and I've not heard of it. Are you by chance outside of the US? Gym was good. I did bicycle without using left leg but rather motion for hip, some leg lifts, etc. Nothing real exciting because I didn't want to be too sore crutching around. Does it feel better to ice and elevate when you have that discomfort? I know I'm over doing it when I get the feeling my toes are going to explode, etc.

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    • Posted

      I'm in the UK. ZAPAIN has been a real life saver. There are so many meds that I cannot take due to the side effects, but this one does the trick but makes me very sleepy which can be a good thing at night when all of the days activities are taking its toll on the foot/ankle. I think no matter what pain you have icing and elevating can only do good. Glad it went OK at the gym. My turn nxt, on Wednesday. Sx

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    • Posted

      Jerry because I can't do pain relief I rely on warm water to ease pain and give ease of movement. I have a big laundry tub and have water quite warm. Added salt and soaked. And massage helped. Now I oil a cloth and gently rub ankle( wound has healed over now) it also helps get rid of all the dead skin. On July 24 will be four months since injury. Pain has subsided about 80% still have some bruising swelling if sitting too long or walking too much. My life is showing semblance of normality. Crutches cane wheelchair bandages pillows toilet and shower chairs, microwave ,all back where they belong. Showering is just amazing and driving is freedom  So just take each day as it comes. Ups and downs but it gets oh so much better. I had days I just cried all day futile days and angry ones and all is normal. I'm so very grateful to my husband who retired from disability services the day before I broke this. Poor sod didn't even get 12 hours off. He had been amazing,, he's a keeper. 

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    • Posted

      Good morning. Yes I'm afraid being able to lift heal off floor is a vital part of walk motion. We walk heal up toe down and if I don't retrain my injured foot to go this I will not only be left with a limp must if I injure my other leg I won't be able to walk. I'm doing the exercises and see improvement but that darn heal won't lift. I use a chair back to keep balance tiptoe with both 20 times then left up (try right (injured) then left again. I can easily do knee to wall now but couldn't 2 weeks ago improvement is evident. 

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    • Posted

      Great catch up Jenni. All my "out of place" things are now back where they should be too. And house getting some sort of normality back. As far as the hubby goes, mine has been a total waste of space! y!Even worked his days off. Thank god for my son in the eared at. But both seem to just think that because I can not get up showered dressed and make my own way down the stairs and have some freedom in the kitchen, that I can now do everything I could before. So I now gave to keep asking for things I can't do to get done, and annoys me when it gets done in their own time. Or not at all. 😢 😢. This is why I cry., because I never ask anyone to do anything I just get on and do it. Hate my independence being taken away, but getting it back very soon. Great that I can now drive, but still have to carry those bloody crutches with y!! 😢 😢. We are getting there....

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    • Posted

      Have you found that the arnica gel works well?

      I had my surgery 5/5/17 and have pains in my actual foot instead of my ankle. I take ibuprofen and tylonole throughout the day but I don't want to be talking that much pills.

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    • Posted

      I find it soothing. There's mixed reviews on it but I find some relief, yes. I think it helps with the bruising also. I still have to take the occasional norco between Motrin because I get a really uncomfortable, continuous sensation and it seems to help. It's weird because it's not like a real pain as it is discomfort? Then I also get these random ?? zap type things that about make me come out of my shoe 😝.

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    • Posted

      Thank you, I will have to give it a try! Anything better than constantly putting that stuff in my body.

      I walked around in a regular shoe for my first time yesterday and drove my car, which is a stick shift and my left ankle is the one that I broke, and it is killing me today.

      I definitely get those zaps too! My boyfriend calls me "Twitchy" because it makes me jerk my whole body! 😂

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    • Posted

      HAHAHA! Yes it's so knee jerk, lol. Dang girl, clutch?! You probably are sore after that. I also broke my left. It will get easier with more use. Which week are you after surgery? Bilateral shoes...can't wait. For now, my socks last twice as long.

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    • Posted

      Ooooo how I remember those ? ?. Shocks. A second of so much pain that makes your hair stand on end!! 😢. It's good to see we can now say about things we used to get shows we are getting there all be it slowly. I also find that my foot. And my leg aches after driving a shirt distance. Mine is my right foot so it's in constant use plus manual so gear changes too. I've just got some. EPSOM BATH SALTS so I can soak my foot, supposed to help with pain and swelling so giving that a go later. Chin up girls sx

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