6 Weeks Post Ankle Surgery...need help!!!

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Hello:

I had surgery 3/2/15 for a fracture of the left tib/fib and spiral fracture of the ankle.  I had a rod inserted and 7 screws.  For 6 weeks I was non weight bearing, but 3 days ago I was told I could start partial weight bearing.  I need some guidance if anyone is out there.  First, it is normal to feel the pins and needles on the bottom of the foot and how long does that normally last?  Am I doing any additional damage to the foot if this tingling i continuing?  And also, I noticed today my ankle/foot/toes is very swollen.  I am elevating the foot now and have an ice pack on it.  Is this also common and any recommendations on how to help this?  Thank you so much for your help.  Any would be greatly appreciated.  I am just at a loss, beginning to get depressed and just want to finally hear that I will walk again and soon!! Thank you. Danielle

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  • Posted

    hi

    Following a fall whilst playing netball I sustained a dislocated and fractured left ankle and underwent ORIF surgery on 4th March, at out patient appointment 2 weeks later advised that further surgery was required and I had a syndesmosis fixation. An added complication was that the day before clinic appointment I fell and sustained a spiral fracture to my right ring finger which also required ORIF. Post surgery I was unable to weight bear through either my right hand or left ankle.

    i was discharged home with a gutter frame and told that I couldn't use stairs so had to change my dining room into a bed room. All of this was very traumatic and my saving grace has been all the information on the intranet. I hired a knee scooter which has enabled me to have more independence around the home.

    i have been counting the days down and I'm due at clinic on Wednesday, hoping for the outcome to be that I can start to weight bear, time will tell.

    i can quite easily say it has been the most difficult 7 weeks so far and I'm expecting it to get worse before it gets better, but it will get better.

    we just have to try to keep positive, do what the therapist says and persevere 

    good luck

    jane

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  • Posted

    hi Danielle, it's nearly 2 years to the day i messed my ankle up whilst in Turkey, broke my Tibia and Fibular and had plates inserted either side and god knows how many screws. Arriving back home in Blighty i had another op to correct some of the poor Turkish surgery. Any hoo i was non weight bearing for 6 weeks had lots of pins and needles and moody as hell because i couldn't do much. The elevation and ice is good and i used to rotate my bad ankle by trying to make out the alphabet so lots of twisting and stretching. When i started weight bearing i would lean on the furniture and gradually work up the standing. It took me about 2 weeks after that to walk with a stick and another couple before i trusted myself to walk without it. i still keep a stick just in case as the ankle stills swells from time to time but have never used it. I eventually went back to work 10 weeks from the second op and the only way is to stay positive trust yourself and try not to get depressed. You'll get there as i have, it's just a slow process. Good luck Mark.
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  • Posted

    Hi 

    It's me again.  So, i had my 3rd day of PT.  Last night we just did stretches, and today she had me put weight on my leg and walk a little with both crutches.  She wanted me to keep my leg straight until all the weight was on it before I bent my knee. It was very painful, not terrible, but maybe a 5 out of 10.  The pain was on the side of my actual ankle/foot.  I know I have screws there.  Could this be the problem?  I went there with such a positive attitude, but came home soooooo depressed.  I keep thinking I am not going to walk again.  I just can't seem to imagine walking with that much pain.  Please anyone out there, please help me understand what is happening and that things will get better.  I was so active until this happened and I am stuck in such a rut and need help from people who understand.  Will it get better?  Is this pain normal???  Am I hurting myself more??? Please help.

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  • Posted

    Hi Danielle everybody recovers at different speeds, I had my first Phsio session and they gave me stretching exercises too. They have referred me for hydrotherapy too as they say you get better movement in the water. I am not putting my toes down when I walk so I must try to consciously walk properly not just fix my ankle. I am still suffering pain but just keep going through it, mine to due to the selling on my ankle bones..on a positive note I managed to walk outside with good supporting trainers for about 20 mins very swollen after but it was great to be outside. I have also driven the car for the first time in 10 weeks, I am starting to do some work from home lucky my job allows but it's all starting to make me feel normal again.. It is a long journey and one that is individual. I have seen a big difference in 2 weeks the plaster has been off so I just keep thinking what I will be like in another 2.. I asked the pysio was I doing harm trying to do things whilst still swollen and she says not. I think only you can tell when you have had enough nobody else can tell you. Stay positive it does get better it's horrid at the time but this journey will feel along one but in 12months we will look back and it will be a memory...
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  • Posted

    Hi. I am very interested to read all your comments. I broke my ankle in 3 places on 1st March. Have had a plate and pins in on 9th March.

    I was in a cast for 6 weeks non weight bearing then i had the cast removed 1 week ago.

    I now have a walking boot and have been told to start weight bearing gradually increasing how much i do.

    I go back for xrays and to see my consultant in another 4 weeks.

    I have hardly had any pain until last night but i have walked quite a bit in the last couple of days.

    My foot is still swelling once i am out of bed.

    i have coped quite well up until now but i was beginning to worry that i had done something bad to my ankle with walking on it.

    i have searched the internet for some info on this but found nothing useful until i found your thread.

    i now feel much better knowing that the pain and swelling can actually be normal.

    I wish you all well and thank you for posting this information.

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    • Posted

      I'm a little further on than you, your foot is going to swell every time you're upright for some time yet, months rather than weeks. You don't say if the pain is where the fracture is or elsewhere. I'm three weeks wearing the boot, I ache all the time, my calf muscles feel like I've done hours in the gym every day, but I was warned that this would happen as I increased what I was doing. Still not fully weight bearing and can't walk without the crutches yet but I'm getting there.
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    • Posted

      Hi cath I am 3 weeks out of plaster and unfortunately I also swell everyday. I too was worried if I was doing too much but I think it's only time that will reduce this. If you have shooting pain check with your physio or consultant if it's more of a heavy ache I believe that's what we have to look forward too for a bit.. I try to ignore this pain by thinking about how far I have come and that it won't last for ever.  I am back driving now which is a relief. I just keep telling myself by Christmas this will all be memories.. Good luck with your recovery..
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    • Posted

      Hi Cheryl, I had surgery to fix an old foot injury resulting in a bone spur. I had my left foot broken, arthritis scraped out & my mid foot fused with plates & screws. A Second & third Metatarsal Shortening Osteotomy with pins, and a incision on my calf muscle to to adjust tension.  After 5 weeks non weight bearing & mostly using a scooter I have my cast off. I was sent home with it wrapped & a boot & told to start weight bearing. I am having a lot of swelling & wonder if you slept with  your foot wrapped? In additon I have quite a bit of nerve pain. I am wondering if there are any special tips you might add about swelling or pain at night?
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  • Posted

    I still have another 2 weeks non weight bearing, this will make 10 in total. I am hoping that at my next clinic appointment I will be allowed to weight bear. 

    seeing all the posts stop me from feeling so isolated. I never realised the difficulties that were associated with a fractured ankle and non weight bearing but realise that there are many others out there having the same issues and questions 

    jane

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    • Posted

      Hi Jane I do feel for you as I was 8 weeks and totally fed up to the point of tears when I couldn't have the cast off. I wasn't given a boot just told to walk with the crutches for support which is really strange after being non weight bearing..I couldn't even get my good leg to move but by day 3 I could manage in the house without anything but I did have pain every morning when I first put weight on my leg. I got a fold up walking stick to help me which was better than a crutch and I still put it in my bag now in case I need a bit of extra support. It would be good to hear how people are managing on the stairs as I am still struggling especially coming down.. It is good to hear from people in the same position as we all become so isolated x
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    • Posted

      Thanks

      i never even thought that they might not give me a boot, will just have to see what happens

      im counting the days down, looking forward to starting to walk but anxious at the same time.

      x

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    • Posted

      Hi Jane,

      This isn't to do with this post but I was unsure who to ask. Was there a reason why you ended up nwb for 10 weeks as I have nwb for 11 weeks due to no bone growth.

      Thanks

      Callum

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    • Posted

      Hi Callum

      It was because I ended up having a second surgery 2 weeks after my first and had a syndesmosis screw and they wouldn't lets weight bear till 8 weeks after

      It's taken a long time but still improving

      Hope things start to improve for you as non weight bearing is tortute

      Jane

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    • Posted

      What happened that you had to have the extra screw that they didn't put it in when they did the initial surgery? Were you having pain that prompted them to think there were problems?

      I'm 1 week postop from my surgery, and am already depressed with the recovery time I'm facing worried about further complications

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    • Posted

      I was in a cast for two months broke my leg and ankle and broke all my ligaments the process may be long and depressing which I found but once you begin to see the improvements (comes with carrying out your physio) I found myself a lot happier. You will make it you just have to help yourself keep moving your toes as much as you can even though it hurts but it helps, they discharged me but said if I'm finding it difficult to go back to the doctor once you are able to move it properly and walk on it it is down to you and how much motivation you have you get back into the swing of things x

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    • Posted

      I had my cast removed last Friday 21st Oct and was told to partial weight bear with the boot but have muscular dystrophy so am having to walk with a walker. For 2 days I had no pain but yesterday and today it has been horrendous. I have a high pain threshold but feel I am doing more damage than good. I have be told to partial weight bear for 4 weeks and then full weight bear. Is it normal to have so much pain
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    • Posted

      HI Julie. I had a Ttc open ankle fusion and bone graft 4 weeks ago today. Had my staples out last week and a new cast on and was told it would be ok to put some load on it as it has a steel rod going up through my heal to just below my knee and is all pinned and screwed together so of back to work Monday I went did some bits and bobs felt good but like the doc said listen to ur body it will tell u when u have done enuff hence back home today with my foot up and resting . All will be good in time and everyone heals in different ways I no it feels like forever but I had my left leg done last year and that's almost like new now so put a smile on and stay strong good luck.

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    • Posted

      Ah thanks Sean you are so right. Today seems like a new day and pain is not too bad.

      Gosh my op seems slight in comparison to yours. That seems like major surgery. I do hope you get back to normal soon and as you say keep smiling x

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    • Posted

      Ur right it was a major op but there's always someone worse of somewhere .glad ur feeling better it's just time that's all keep smiling x

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    • Posted

      Hi.your injury sounds very similar to mine..i hope you are much better now...im only 2 weeks post surgery after breaking 3 bones in my ankle, breaking tib and fib and pulling the tendons/ muscles off!! Im in a boot cast now for the last few days and i have to say im in absolute agony...the boot digs in...rubs on sitches and weighs a tonne....i thought it would start to be less painful by now..the non weight baring lying on the couch day in day out is agony alone and constantly having to lay in one position is torture...
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    • Posted

      Hi Laura. Your injury is same as mine and the boot was agony. Nerve damage is cruel with boot. Surgeon said not to wear it if I hurt so I'm 7 weeks post op and no boot no cast. Light weight bearing. Have also learnt the boot can do hip damage if a shoe of equal height is not worn on good foot. Still pain but has to improve. Like you find it very depressing. I hope your coping better now.

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    • Posted

      Good point about making sure the good foot is level with bad when walking.  My friend didn't try to get them level and ended up with back pain for several months.  I used the product from Amazon called Evenup to add height to my short good leg and have been very pleased with it.

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    • Posted

      It's so frustrating enough without not being given all information I initially struggled with severe hives as result of pain killers. Then bladder problems from them as well so very little sleep for weeks and all to find they were both caused by meds. In a week I've been told by 5 people about  the hip damage. This is advice surgeons should be giving I've learnt so much from forums and don't feel isolated anymore. I've also been looking at the "Iwalk2" surely physics should be recommending these. Gripe over. 

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    • Posted

      I tried the iWalk 2.0 for awhile.  It takes pretty good balance to use, but at 70 years old, I was able to get used to it!  It's great if you need both hands free and are on your "feet" quite a bit, but is a bit of work to take on and off if you're going to be sitting or up and down a lot.  I ended up using my knee wheeler most of the time, since it was so quick to jump on and off of. I fell once in the grass when the iWalk hung up--and learned how hard it is to get back up.  But then, I fell once in my knee wheeler as well, driving it on an uneven surface--so there are hazzards with all these aids.  Just don't get overconfident!

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    • Posted

      I'm 60. Overweight and gaining. And I'm so careful with every movement. By biggest fear is falling and breaking other side.as it it I I haven't needed help with shower toilet or dressing I've stayed stubbornly private. But all that hinges in the good little foot. I won't get overconfident. I'm lucky to have a supportive husband. I don't know how I would manage otherwise. 

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    • Posted

      I'm totally with you! I everyone's on here have and the same questions thoughts fears that everyone else has. Seems the nurses, Orthopedic Dr, Etc have heard all of these s, stories, fears and questions also and you would think they would better prepare you for everything that comes with the post healing and emotional trama, Etc that everyone has. For example, I can't take prescription pain medications because they make me sick to my stomach, so the doctor told me to take Motrin over the counter follow the dosage directions, dont take more than 1600mg a day....that's what I did...3-4 weeks later....suddenly chest hurting, felt like I would have a hard time breathing yet I could breathe fine, felt all over sick like something was seriously wrong. People said it sounded like anxiety, panic attack. Come to find out ....to much motrin too long. you would think that would be something that the orthopedic doctor would at least advise you about or let you know ahead of time cuz I had no idea that over the counter motrin could cause that. I'm just over all disappointed in the patient care as far as the emotional side of it and I'm a pretty strong person already. So thankful for all of you and your expierences helping me through this difficult time. Xo

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