6 MONTHS POST OP AND STILL IN PAIN ETC.

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Hi everyone.

I am now well and truly post op 6 MONTHS. I broke my ankle in 3 places with a dislocation. I have tried to upload my X-ray but to no avail. The surgeon said it was the worse end of the spectrum regarding ankle breaks. The whole ankle was more or less shattered. The pain was much worse than giving birth and when the block wore off I was in agony and on very strong pain meds. This has been a long, hard road for me and during my visit to therapy today I broke down. I'm usually a strong person and it takes a lot for me to shed tears. I asked the young physio if I'll ever be the same and if she had seen others in my situation. I was told she had seen many ankle breaks but I was the first one she had seen which was very bad and she was going to have to speak to someone else about my situation and booked me in for next week. I have to take in my XRAYS which I had done after another fall badly hurting my FOOT. It hurt so much I thought I'd busted my foot. I called my daughter and she ran me to a local surgery for X-rays on foot and ankle. ( this all happened because a very young guy I saw at the hospital told me to go home and take off camboot and try to walk.. Hence the fall) fortunately I was told I hadn't broken my FOOT and the XRAYS did show none of the metal had moved or come away. Now I'm in very bad pain with both my foot and ankle although I did have foot pain on a lower level before the second fall. Is there anyone out there on a par with me with FOOT AND ANKLE pain after 6 MONTHS? I am limited on how far I can walk and for how long. I can't go down steps with both feet. I go down one foot at a time. The bad ankle is my right one and that goes down first. I can't squat. I get all different types of pain and can feel the 2 screw on inner ankle at times digging in, not all the time though. My ankle swells when I'm on my feet and is slightly larger than the normal ankle all the time. I at times feel off balance and take with me a walking stick to use if needed. I'm doing all my physio exercises for balance but still feel as if I'm going to fall sometimes. I'm constantly watching where I'm walking and frightened in crowds because I don't want to get bowled over. I was firmly fit, active and well. I've never taken any ongoing meds for anything. I'm 60 in May and I'm having a bone scan next week to check for osteoporosis. Everything has started to take its toll on me and my life has slowed down and I try to keep positive and have a sense of humour. I'm still not back at work due to having a full on physical job. Some days I can hardly move around the home and find myself just sat in a chair all day in pain. I get up and my foot and ankle feel as if they are crippling me. Yes it's that bad at times. I do have my good days and then think I'm on a roll with just a little pain and wham I'm in pain again. Is there anyone out there who is 6 MONTHS + who is in the same situation with a similar injury? It would be good to hear from someone who has gone through this and are a couple of years in the experience. I'm sorry for all the negative comments but it's a fact and I'm thinking positive and believe I'll come through this but right now I need answers because it's taking an emotional toll on me. Thank you for reading this everyone and I sincerely wish you all the BEST with your recovery. ( hugs )

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36 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello, I am only 6 weeks out so I won't be much help to you. I had to laugh when you were talking about the pain being worse than child birth because I said the same thing. I always thought child birth was the worst pain ever, I was wrong.
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    • Posted

      Hi Lee.

      We do have to have a sense of humour and thank you for your reply. I wish you well with your recovery. Keep smiling

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  • Posted

    Hi

    I'm exactly 6 months post op today. I had a pilon fracture on my right ankle, 2 plates and 12 pins. I returned back to work 5 weeks ago, luckily it's a desk job so not on my feet a lot, but it's a struggle actually getting there in the first place. Ankle is still stiff, I'm walking with a limp and take tramadol daily for the pain. My ortho surgeon told me I have to accept that this is the way my ankle is now and it won't be like it was before the break. I'm struggling to accept that. I too can only do the stairs like you. Can only walk short distances. I have had 1 2 1 physio sessions but they have got me as far as they can so now attend rehabilitation physio at the same hospital. I'm determined not to give in and be left with an ankle like this. I'm expecting it to take well over the year from other people's experiences. I gave days which are better than others. I wish u well. Xxxx

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    • Posted

      Hello Bailey !

      Thank you for your reply. I too am hoping to improve and it is hard to accept. I have the limp and walk very slowly. I really feel for you and it's so rotten sad. My life has completely changed. I used to love dancing and keeping fit. We must not give up though. As the saying goes it's not over until it's over. I guess we have to hold on to hope. I get tired too of people telling me "I should be right by now and what's going on" People just don't understand. I sincerely hope you recover because this is like hell on earth. All the best Bailey x

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    • Posted

      Hi again Bailey !

      I've just checked my phone diary ! I too am exactly 6 months today too. Saturday August 23rd 2015. I was holidaying in the UK where I originate and I went walking in the English countryside. I went up the face of MAm Tor and the accident happened on descending. It had started to rain heavily with thunder and lightening. EDALE mountain rescue came to my rescue and I was put on a stretcher and taken back up to the top and air lifted by helicopter to the trauma unit in Sheffield. I knew it was sometime in August but I've been trying so hard to block the date out of my mind. What a Saturday that was. Ha. X

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    • Posted

      Helicopter and everything!! Must've been scary. Mine not so exciting I tripped up the top 2 stairs of my hall. I had a few wines so never felt much pain at the time to be honest but ankle was lying at 90 degrees apparently and a lovely purple colour. Ambulance took me to hospital and got op the next morning. I would never have thought that recovery would take so long, and even one of the GPs at my surgery said it's dragging on a bit isn't it. Tell me about it!!! 😱 Yesterday was a really bad day pain wise and had to approach my manager in work about not doing things that were prearranged as part of my return to work plan. I hate confrontation and feel like I'm battling with them as well and it was the final straw, have been there 27 years so felt like they should be a bit more supportive. But heh Ho, just got to keep going and hope things get easier. Just going to do some of my physio exercises now. Take care X
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  • Posted

    Hi, although I am only four months sounds as though our breaks are the same. I was told I had 21 fractures. I knew something was up as after first set of exray all the staff on duty came to view. I was given gas and air and a bar to bite on while they tried to align ankle back. Bit down so hard snapped front tooth in the process. Next they tried injections round ankle to try and align ankle back in place, to no avail. Next procedure was epidural . Still didn't work. So finally under anthestic had outside metal bars fitted. This was to get the swelling down so they could operate. After a nine day stay had my operation. I had four plates and bolts fitted. 

    You must be doing well because I still can't walk. Pain wise so far not too bad but maybe because I not walking, I do a shuffle and a limp with my good leg! Will only use Zimmer frame, crutches become a no no, after a nasty fall trying to use them. 

    stairs and steps can't get feet to move to atemp so it's shuffling up on bum and need help when reach the top to get up on feet. 

    Help required on front steps to get out of house but this is only for all appointments I have to attend.

    because of all the fractures I was sent week before Christmas for scan for osteoporosis, appointment for results not till April, think must have this as appointment letter has a link to osteoporosis site to read. 

    Yesterday had appointment with consultant and he was happy to discharge me, and said the walking is entirely up to me. I still have problem with scar weeping, so he give me dressing for the nurse to use. This alone is two to three appointments a week.

    i so far only had 3 physio appointment, the last one three weeks ago, as so booked up.

    We are of similar age, I'm 61 and think it's because of this it taking much longer. 

    Sorry to have waffled on but was to explain our breaks seem similar. Relating to child birth I didn't have gas and air or epidural and at least had a baby to show.

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    • Posted

      Hi Gill.

      It's a long drawn out ordeal isn't it. I remember going up stairs on my bottom and I had a Zimmer frame upstairs and one downstairs and I used to then hop on the Zimmer frame as I was frightened of falling using the crutches. I've certainly come a long way but was in the camboot for many weeks which turned into months. It all seems such a nightmare. You will get there, we just have to be patient and hope for the best. I wish you well with your recovery Gill and do keep me posted.

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    • Posted

      Was given cam boot when plaster came off 4th Jan. Two weeks later first physio appointment he told me not to use. Apart from been a total waste of nhs money as hardly used it, I am now thinking of putting it back on and see if it help me to try and walk again.

      although doing everything for myself I am having to rely on friends to take me to all the various appoints. Feel so guilty. Although go for pub lunch whilst out.

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    • Posted

      I found the camboot easy to walk in and I felt secure but a little uncomfortable at times. I started off with 2 crutches and could hardly bare any weight on my foot but little by little I got there. I too rely on friends to take me places or my family. The doctor has told me though to drive around the block with someone with me and see how I go. The car battery is dead so I have to get that sorted out now haha. It seems so long ago now since I was behind a wheel. Yes also the pub meals out are a nice welcome aren't they Gill.
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  • Posted

    Hi. I read your post and really sorry to hear of your situation.

    I am at 5 months post op, and can walk but with a bad limp and like you am unable to squat, am unable to walk downstairs apart from one foot at a time.

    I am vary of uneven surfaces when walking, and bad swelling especially after 10 hours at work. I work at a car hire company and prior to my injury was really active and positive with an eventful social life. I understand you getting upset, it is natural in our situations. I become angry when I drop something or can't tie my shoe laces, silly really. I went to buy a pair of work shoes and couldn't find a pair that I could get my right foot into, bad mood & anger set in. I sold my wheelchair, took my crutches & purching chair back to the hospital and have took my toiletries back to the bathroom instead of downstairs where I was having a wash etc. I thought that in doing all the above would push me as with returning back to work. I fortunately don't have much pain nor take any meds. I'm having physio still but every 3 weeks 30 minutes, which isn't enough, I still am doing my exercises and bathe, massage twice a day but the swelling doesn't seem to want to go.

    Dont apologise for appearing negative, we all understand that feeling of depression, and not knowing how long each of us will take to recovery.

    I hope you start to feel stronger and make progress with your recovery soon

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Paul.

      Thank you for your response. It's not easy is it. I really feel for you being back at work and it's good to hear you don't take pain meds, especially as you are probably on your feet. Try and rest whenever you can because you come first. I know the uneven surfaces are testing at times, I try to avoid them now. It is a long haul and it does come with mixed feelings. Not many understand this problem and I get tired of people asking when I'll be normal or why it's taking so long. Gee I wish I had a magic wand and not just for my ankle haha. Let's hope we all do recovery and get on with our lives as before. Just take care Paul.

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    • Posted

      Hi. It's not easy at all. It's frustrating to know that each night I have to sit with my feet in a bowl of water after 10 hours on my feet at work, as you say, at least I'm fortunate that I don't take meds and haven't done for around 3 months, and then I only took them at bedtime. I regularly get angry with people questioning the recovery process, and say that I wish I knew the answer! I am very wary when in supermarkets that I don't get a trolley rammed into me or for somebody to stand on my foot. I opened a rear door of a van that had returned from a customer who had hired it, a knackered flat screen tv dropped on my bad foot! I hope we all recover quickly and carry on with our lives, my foot has cost me a trip to the Us this year to visit my son and his family! Thanks again MsCamboot
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  • Posted

    4 minutes and 37 seconds! That is how long I was up before my foot swelled so much that was pressing the cast. Is this normal? I can feel it start to swell the minute I take it off the pillow.
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    • Posted

      Hi Lee.

      Unfortunately swelling is something that comes along with a broken ankle. I still sit in a recliner chair 6 months on. As long as your cast isn't too tight you should be alright. Just keep it elevated as much as possible. When you go to bed try on sleep with it up on a couple of pillows. I know it isn't easy but try to keep it elevated as much as possible. It it causes too much pressure and discomfort I would contact your doctor. Hope you have a speedy recovery ! Hugs.

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    • Posted

      Thank you, the cast comes off next week and a boot goes on woohoo! I just can't believe how fast it swells.
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    • Posted

      Hi Lee

      Your ankle and foot will be stiff when the cast comes off but don't worry in time you will have it moving again. That's how mine was anyway after a few weeks. At least you will be over one hurdle. Keep positive. 🙂

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    • Posted

      I am ready for the next hurdle. In the beginning I said I was looking at thing in chapters, I just didn't realize how long the chapters were going to be.
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    • Posted

      The swelling of your ankle is normal, it is the worst part of recovery. I'm 5 months on and just arrived home to my ankle  being severely swollen, I have to sit every night with a bowl of warm water whilst I have my tea, then massage and bandage ready for bed. I have repeated this twice a day and may have to for another 7 months if it is to take up to 12 months as physio tells me 😟
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    • Posted

      Ugh! The swelling is the worst part. I was hoping that once the cast came off the swelling would get better. I guess it is just a time thing. Just ready for this to be over and get my life back. Friends and family have been really nice, but it has been so long and you can tell they really don't understand. I have friends who will call and want to take me to lunch, but I am not up for it. It isn't worth the pain and exhaustion.
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    • Posted

      The cast is only to to avoid movement and to protect against knocks or bangs. When the swelling had reduced slightly in my cast, the hairs on my legs were being pulling, It is a time thing, and the fact you have to rely on other people to do the basic tasks. My friend is on a waiting list for a new knee, and came around to my house to take me out, just to break the monotony of looking at four walls each day. As time goes on you will start to feel more positive and look forward to going for lunch. I understand though when you say about the pain and exhaustion, I got breathless just going upstairs on my butt to bed or the bathroom, but that will impove.

      Good luck and wish you a speedy recovery, it will get better

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    • Posted

      Smiling about the breathless going up the stairs. After coming home and having to go up the stairs (and 4 mths after op still do) I thought just can't do this. It' was like climbing everest. Arms really ached pushing backwards. 

      Decided if I haven't got a toned rear, I want a refund.

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    • Posted

      I think it's the only way to keep me going. I wish could post a video of my two year old grandson copying me up the stairs. He does a groan as he doing it, so I obviously groan whilst pushing up. As my daughter lifts me onto  my feet at the top he also will lie and wait till she lifts him up onto his feet. 

      The funniest is him trying to limp across the lounge floor😅

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    • Posted

      It will get easier Gill. I got really frustrated at times but day by day you will see small improvements. I couldn't let go of my crutches to walk but now am back at work. I thought with all the pushing and shuffling that I would have a six pack by now, how disappointed 😞
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    • Posted

      Appointment today went well. Came away feeling much happier. Actually walking on crutches instead of Zimmer frame. Hopefully the start of mental block lifting. Yipee
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    • Posted

      That's great news regards your appointment. As I said, once you start to make progress you will notice more and more as each day passes. I had the mental block that you mention and sat watching tv each day unmotivated not wanting to do anything. I took a bath this morning without any assistance 😂 The second proper bath since my injury (not just washdown)  then physio at 8am, my next appointment in 3 weeks, so all good
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    • Posted

      leelee, you will be fine at your appointment next week. Please make a list of any questions or concerns that you may have between now and your appointment and address the issues with your doctor. It's so easy to forget to ask then remember once you are back home. I am always asking my physio questions, and she is really good at taking the time to explain things and make suggestions. 
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    • Posted

      I had third bath today👍.although daughter went crazy as was in house alone. I still have to keep scar dry but managed to keep leg out of water. It just makes you feel much better. I also managed to get up one step up front door, although needed help with the rest. 

      On a high today so think deserve a well earned drink at the weekend.

      hopefully today been a turning point for me and you also.

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    • Posted

      It made me feel more relaxed having a bath, and whether psychological or not, I'm not sure but my foot felt more supple. After physio went to work for 9 hours ans surprised that my ankle, although was swollen, was not as severe as normal after work. I am so pleased for you, have a drink for me too 😊

      I do hope that today has been a turning point for us both also.

      Have a good weekend, and take care

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