4-week Post Op Appointment - what to expect? Also, charley-horse like cramps?!

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Hi there! So, here I am posting on this forum again (the only thing that's keeping me sane over this past month!) Anyways, I dislocated and broke the fibula and medial malleolus in my right ankle from stepping in a dumb hole! Lol. I broke it on June 30th, had surgery on July 3rd, had staples removed July 17th and was put in a boot (NWB), and tomorrow (the 31st) I go back in to see how I'm doing. Could I possibly begin PWB? (partial-weight-bearing), or does it seem too early? Honestly, I was shocked to go straight from the cast to a boot after only a few weeks, but my aunt (who shockingly broke her ankle a week after me!) had a way worse break and was also put into a boot after 2 weeks in a cast, it's crazy how different people heal at different speeds! Anywho, does anyone know what I can expect at my 4-week post-op appointment? Or is it mainly just like a checkup?

Also, did anyone have nerves about returning to work after being out for so long? I definitely could have gone back to work by now, as I just work in a super-relaxed office, but I haven't felt like returning yet. I'm going back on the 4th, and I'm super nervous for some reason! Mainly because I have a knee scooter and I'm still not good at maneuvering it around, so I'm worried I'll fall. Plus, the only wheelchair/handicap accessible ramp is on the whole other side of the building! (And let me tell you, knee-scooters take a lot out of ya!  Well, me anyway...)

Another Question: I just wanted to ask you all about another concern I have. For the few days I've had a super bad charley-horse cramp come into my calf all of a sudden (the calf on the leg of the broken ankle), and it's a really bad pain to the point where I wince, grab my calf, and let out little sounds because it hurts so bad! I've also had a few, really minor cramps in my upper leg towards my knee and above, but nothing compared to the calf. I had cramps from the time my ankle was in the cast, and at my staple-removal appointment I told the ortho-nurse about it and she pushed on my calf and asked if it hurt, I said a little, and she said it's just a muscle cramp... but I don't know if she really took it seriously. Of course, everyone with a broken bone probably freaks out about the slightest hint of a complication, but I'm SUPER scared I have a blood clot!

I haven't been drinking enough water lately, I know that at least, so could that just be the issue? 

Sorry for posting a whole novel (I'm a writer, so it's kind of a habit, lol). Thanks! smile

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  • Posted

    You sound as if you might be American - are you? I'm facing ankle replacement surgery, but desperately trying to struggle on without it  because of the challenging recovery period and the care stuff that would be involved. I have lost most of the cartilage on my right ankle, and the bony stuff is also displaced, affecting my balance - all of this started with an untreated serious ankle sprain five years ago, which allowed arthritis to creep in (apparently it's quite rare in ankles). I also have serious cramps in feet and ankles which are murderously painful, and if I had those while in a cast, I would go completely insane.

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    • Posted

      Yes, I am American. I didn't really have a choice when it came to surgery (I'm 20, so my bones are still young and without surgery, it might have affected my ankle for life). Anyways, the surgery recovery honestly wasn't that bad looking back on it. The pain subsided within a week, and now I don't have much of any pain unless I keep my ankle down for too long - then it's just an achy-feeling. 

      Honestly, with arthritis and the pain that you are in, I would definitely sit down with your doctor and ask them what they suggest. Doctors will usually be honest and tell you if you absolutely need surgery or not. They spent about an hour doing x-rays and looking over them to see if I truly needed surgery. But to me, it sounds like having surgery would be a huge relief for you and would help your ankle heal up. It's a super common surgery that millions of people have each day, so there isn't anything much to worry about! 

      (P.S. I'm not sure if you meant that you're worried about the cost of surgery or something like that, but unfortunately, I can't comment on that since I honestly don't know how much it was (still on parents insurance)

      I wish you the best of luck!!! smile

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  • Posted

    Hey there - you should reach out to your doctor regarding the cramps. I was told that after surgery, if you have cramps in your calf, they could be blood clots (and if they travel elsewhere, could be a problem). The ortho nurses/techs are helpful but don't take their word as final. You have to be your own advocate, and at the end of the day, your doctor is the only consistent person tracking your progress. 

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  • Posted

    Hello C kitten,

    Congratulations on making it to four weeks!  I too would have gone insane without this blog, my family doesn’t understand the pain and fear that goes along with not being able to walk.  I had  bi-lateral ankle brakes with a splint on my surgical side and a boot on the other.  I always had boots never had a cast.  

    My doc said I was about 80% healed at 4 Weeks.  I did not get to bear weight on my surgery side though, only my non surgery side.  It was 6 weeks before he said I could partially bear weight on my surgery ankle, and that was last Friday.  I’ve been walking around in my boots and it has proved to be very painful. Just don’t over do it like me once you get the green light.  

    The scooter and the boot put me at risk for additional falls, it’s not just you.  We are not used to moving this way.  I still can’t do stairs in a boot!  The scooter is fun I just have to be careful not to go too fast!

    Cramps in my ankles and feet as well as involuntary movement are still plaguing me.  I had some muscle jerks in my calf but no real cramps.  It’s worth it to talk to dr.  He/she can do an ultrasound to rule out a blood clot which you do not want to play with.  Did you get shots and aspirin after surgery to prevent clots? I’m 7 Weeks and still on aspirin.  It’s probably just your legs protesting the lack of walking but I’d still ask the doctor. Hang in there! We are with you.

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