4-weeks post-op: Returned back to work, struggling...

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I'm almost 5 weeks post-op (in about 3 days) for a fibula and medial malleolus fracture (w/ dislocation). Anyways, throughout the entire weeks, leading up 'til now, I've been super happy and positive, but this past week has been literal crap. I'm 20, and I work at a desk job (telephone operator type thing), so it's not like I'm on my feet ever while working. Today was my first day back at work, and lo and behold, the first day of my menstrual cycle... yippie! (ugh). Those are really bad for me altogether, and that plus a broken ankle, sitting for 9 HOURS at a desk, and a cramp in my calf that is ripping me to shreds, I just don't know what to do! After my 9 hour shift, I went home and realized my ankle, foot, and toes are COMPLETELY SWOLLEN. Like, my ankle, foot, and every toe are 3x bigger than the ones on my good foot/ankle. The pain is terrible and I have it elevated and icing right now. (The worst part is that I had it elevated on and off at work, and it didn't seem to help at all!) 

This has turned into a vent post... sorry...

Do you think I'm in the wrong for not going back to work until now - especially being so young and "healthy"? I have to work another 9-hour shift tomorrow, and I really don't know how I'll do it... sad

Sorry for this post, I know this is a help forum for ankle problems, and this is just a sob-story. I just feel like I'm whining since everyone says that young people heal faster, and I don't seem to be, and a lot of people I've talked to with ankle issues are older than me and more mature. Oh, well...

Hoping to hear from all of you and hopefully someone knows what I'm going through. 

Thanks smile

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  • Posted

    Hey im 20 as well and had practically the same break! I haven’t went back to work yet, I was working at a veterinary office, i know I just can’t. I start classes in a few weeks and a bunch of people have told me that I may need to take the whole semester off, not what I’m going for so I’m going to try swing it! I don’t think your wrong at all for not working, especially if you just can’t handle it. I know I couldn’t handle it yet!  I completely understand the swelling and everything, I went to shopping today for a few hours and the swelling is REAL, it sucks. 
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  • Posted

    Awe, you can't be hard on yourself!!! Back you work 5 weeks after surgery is amazing. Remember you were off your feet for all those weeks. Your ankle will swell but that might go away in time. Give yourself a break!!! The mental part of sitting for so long is almost as hard to deal with the pain. Good luck to you!

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  • Posted

    im 6 weeks post op. I broke my fibula, dislocated my tibia and severed the ligaments in my ankle. I had surgery on the Sunday and went back to work on the Wednesday. I’m a CET and am constantly hunched over my desk reading blueprints, which makes it difficult to elevate and ice at all.  I agree it is definitely a struggle and I come home every night with it looking like a franken potato, but i just ice and elevate and go again the next day.  It has gotten better. Now it swells in the afternoon and gives me the mornings off, lol it’s annoying and uncomfortable but you get used to it. Best of luck.
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    • Posted

      I just read the bottom of your post about feeling bad about venting and being young and “healthy “. I hope you don’t think I was trying to put you down because I went back 2 days later. I had no choice, it’s peak season in my line of work and I wouldn’t have had a job any longer. If I could have had time off I would have. So if you need more time and it’s an option? Take it. You only have one body and one life so take care of yourself.
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  • Posted

    Back to work after 5 weeks is amazing! I’m 7 weeks post op for a tri-moeller orif and I have my first day of work on Monday and I’m terrified. I’ll be eight weeks out then, so I’m amazed you’re back at five weeks. Take it easy on yourself. This is a hard, painful road and we’re all just doing the best we can! Hang in there. It does get easier! 
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  • Posted

    Hi Calico,

    Now you know what so many ankle patients go through when they must resume normal work and daily life. This just is not for sissies. That's why us ankle patients are extra tough confused

    Don't get mad at this irritating situation-- get determined to go past it.

    So, at 5 weeks post-op for a couple major ankle fracture injuries-- does your practitioner instruct you to wear the boot for walking/standing? That might be advisable since you were non-weight bearing for so long and yes, dear, it will take time for your ankle machinery to get accustomed to demands that were trivial before your accident.

    Don't take your first day at work troubles as a sign you are going to have a constant struggle in days to come. After your body adjusts to the new stresses of sitting all day and other challenges that come with your job things will get easier. Just take it one day at a time.

    Do a search on 'exercising at desk at work' to learn how to keep circulation and lymph fluids flowing during sedentary activities. You will feel a lot better doing these sitting exercises. It is especially important to do what I call the 'calf pump' exercise (moving ankle/feet foward and backward as if you were pumping a gas pedal) to keep discomfort and swelling to a minimum (this activates a powerful circulatory pump in calf).

    It might be best to conserve your energies at first and go to bed early to get enough refreshing sleep to recover from previous day's exertions.

    Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Sounds pretty quick to me as your bones don’t heal until at least 6 weeks. If you can take another week or two off off  to ice and elevate that would be ideal. If not, elevate every chance you can for least for 15 minute, also wear Compression socks/sleeve when feet our not elevated. When you get home RICE and by now you should be able to take ibuprofen....Good Luck!
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  • Posted

    You are going to have good days and bad days and the fact that you made it for long as you did before you had a really bad day is a feat in its self! It would be good if you try to keep your foot elevated while you are sitting and working, but either way it is going to take your body some time to adjust.

    I can totally sympathize with you as I got my period while I was sitting in the ER the day I broke my ankle. Just one more s****y thing to have to deal with!

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