4 weeks post op ankle ORIF surgery

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Hi, I fell and had a bemalleolar ankle fx- was able to have surgery  (screws and plates) 3 days after the accident so was very fortunate to get it done quickly.  I am now 25 days post op and still having pain and still can not have the leg hanging down for more than 15 min due to the increasing pain. I am just wondering if anyone else has experienced this - is is normal?  I am not taking pain meds (except occas. at night)- but really thought that the pain/ burning would be gone by now.  I have a cast for another 3 weeks then will have a boot for 6 more.  Thx for any and all advice- I really appreciate it and am so happy to have found this forum!

 

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  • Posted

    Um...unfortunately yeah. Pretty normal. Even well down the road of recovery, u may have swelling and discomfort at the end of the day. The old RICE therapy may be part of ur daily routine for awhile. I recently found on amazon a malleolor ankle wrap. (Haven't ordered but tempted to do so.) Looks like u rest the heel of your foot in it and it wraps over ankle. I am almost 5 months post ORIF surgery and by late afternoon I am ready to kick back with an ice pack reclining in chair.

    The good news here is that for awhile I could only make until about noon. Now I can be at my desk pretty much all day before wanting to kick back.

    Be patient with yourself. There is no fast track for recovery. U will make progress as ur body allows.

    Also, been looking at several postings about pain management. Bottom line, do what u need to do for pain management. If u can take nonprescriptions with benefit, okay, but if u need prescription, that's OK too.

    I don't think u can hear this enough. It will get better. Best wishes in ur recovery.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jan I am about 5 weeks post similar surgery but I had three fractors and pin and screws placed on both sides. , I have a boot on now but am still NWB. I keep my foot up most of the time and find it still burns and hurts when down. I did notice I was able to keep it down maybe 45 min but I have to shift it alot.  I take Motrin maybe once a day now and find it to be more of a throb then the inital pain I had.  I think the cast causes the brning from the staples and post those the scabs. I hope you feel better hang in there its got to be the longest wait for weight bearing. 
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  • Posted

    Thank you to both of you!!  It at least makes me think it is normal.  I am using tylenol now- it is so hard to not think ahead.  ... my job is pretty much on my feet 5 out of 8 hours/ day and I just wonder how i will ever get back to work... but guess that worry is for later on down the road!  The doctor gives the standard line "everyone is different"- but unless one has been thru this it is difficult for anyone to imagine (which is true for any disease, injury...).  I woke up this morning and decided that I just need to make the best of this and work on making these 'lemons into lemonade'- I know attitude is 85% of this.  

    I will definately look for the malleolor ankle wrap- sounds heavenly once the cast and boot are off!  I really appreciate that tip.

    Jenn- sounds like you are a week or so ahead of me and i guess you are right about the scabs- I am counting the days until the cast is off- 22 from today :-).  I am sure the boot will not be much easier, but it is a milestone after 7 weeks in a cast.  Sounds like you had  a trimalleolar fracture?  So very sorry for you....

    I understand the numbing could be longterm too- 

    thank you for lending your ears- and answers.  You are both very encouraging and at this point- I needed that most.  Not one person has ever said this would be easy - honesty is best- just sometimes a tad hard to swallow.  

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    • Posted

      Jan Yes attitude helps but I must admit I have had a good cry here and there too. It does get better and the pain decreases. Good luck and feel free to ask me I will help with what I can. I am in the same boat as you for work and was hoping maybe Sept but realize maybe Oct is more of a realistic goal. 
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    • Posted

      you are so right- those first 2 weeks- I did a lot of crying- especially at night.  the evenings seem to be the longest for me.

      To add insult to injury, I have to have more surgery in October... a small tumor was found on my thyroid and it came back 'suspicious' - at this point- who knows when i will get back to work.... and sounds like you too!  We CAN do this.

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    • Posted

      Jan sorry to hear more surgery. Hopefully it is minor and all the reports come back negative.  I am hoping I will be working in October but I realize if I can not walk I can not work. Hang in there and sending well wishes to you! 
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  • Posted

    I'm 12 weeks post op for bimalleor fracture and it sounds normal to me, best advice I can give is if you're in pain take pain medication, I also only used to take at night, my PT found this quite surprising

    It feels as if it will never end but it will. I'm weight bearing unaided at 12 weeks but I do still have pain and swelling

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