8 weeks post ORIF bone not healed yet

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I'm 8 weeks out, was told I had to wait 2 weeks for surgery because of swelling, so 10 weeks since fall. Been in a hard cast 8 weeks, and my appointment last week showed fibula fracture still fractured, slight improvement; I do have 8 screws and a plate. I begged for a walking boot so I can ice, but was told do not try to walk. No problem, I won't! The doctor thinks I'm healing a bit slow, any opinions on that? Now that I can see my ankle, it's awful, looks like a pork loin, the swelling is amazing. The doc asked if I'm doing too much, I said no, but maybe I am. I rented a scooter to get around the house, but I still cook for my kids, do a few chores, but then go back into my bed elevated. I'm getting depressed and discouraged, but maybe even my limited activity on my scooter is too much? I'm still in a significant amount of pain as well, but after I saw the xray I suppose that's normal given I'm not put back together yet. Is 8 weeks a long time, or small potatoes lol? Just looking for advice. Maybe I should drink more milk, haha, I just don't know. 

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  • Posted

    My whole healing process took almost 3 months. And that was from fracture to first surgery to second surgery to boot off.  Most people don’t even get a boot till way past eight weeks . So don’t worry to much.

    I took women’s vitamins with bone support to try and get my daily recommendationed dose of  calcium and everything. I think it helped me. 

    And you are gonna be in pain for a long time. My doctor told me it could take up to a year before I’m pain free. I should say less pain as he told me I could still have issues in the future but you won’t know till then as everyone heals differently. Which makes sense since a “perfect joint” as he put it was broken it will never be as good as it once was and you could always run into issues.

    Now I had a long temporary screw that was put in and it caused me horrible pain and the doctor removed it early because of the pain. Only about two weeks early but it still helped me. Did your doctor say anything about having a screw removed around the 10-12 week mark? If so that could be the main cause of your pain but the doctor won’t remove that until you are walking or about to start walking which doesn’t happen until atleast 10 weeks post op. If that, some people it’s even longer.  I started walking around ten weeks but even then it was “light activity as tolerated”

    Also depression is normal I was told for this type of injury as it changes your way of life in such a limited way. I would tell your doctor that you are starting to get depressed. I told mine that all of what I was going through was making my anxiety worse and it seemed to help me.

    And those scooters are made for these types of injuries and are designed to not put weight on the injured area so you should be fine there.

    Just try and take it easy as much as you can. I understand how hard and stressful this is. I know it’s making your day to day life a challenge. Try to get some of the stress off as much as you can. If your kids are old enough have them do extra around the house. See if any friends/family could come over and help with chores. A lot of times if you are a member of a church, church members will come over and do a lot if you ask for help. Also it’s the summer time and if you know and are able to afford it see if a teenager, someone you know or someone who can be proven trustworthy, can come over and do things around the house for cash.  The biggest thing I learned and learned late in the game is to ask for help. This is hard to deal with and I struggled and I have no kids. Just a cat. 

    I hope things get better for you. I know how hard it is but try not to worry to much. And  elevating helps a lot with swelling which in turn helps relieve pain. The more pillows under your leg the better. Just remember to support your knee and hip as it will be uncomfortable otherwise. A rule of thumb I learned working in the hospital is injured limb above heart. Basically, put as much pillows under your leg until it is higher then your heart. Which is so much easier to do when you are lying down and it helps with the swelling so much.

    Also remember when icing 15 on, 15 off. Since there is swelling, it puts fluid over your nerves, which makes it harder to feel if your ankle is getting to cold. So to prevent any damage from being iced to long that is a good rule to follow. And after icing always check your skin to make sure it’s not turning colors. Which will not happen as long as you ice correctly.

     It might be to soon but ask about compression socks. These things are amazing. They are made to prevent swelling. But I could not start wearing them until I was walking but it would be good to think about getting a pair. For these I got mine on amazon and I got the ones made for ankle injures and not the ones that are knee high. And compression socks are very tight so only get the size you need. Follow the sizing chart. And just get the ankle ones unless your doctor wants you to do something differently.

    And there is my essay. I hope it helps. And feel better soon.

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    • Posted

      No screw to be removed for me. Thanks for the tip on icing, I noticed I wasn't feeling it like I usually do on my skin, so I need to be careful and time it.  My hip does hurt and my ok ankle, right side, is starting to hurt no doubt from balancing all my weight on one side getting on scooter and bathroom breaks. I'm going to be a mess at the end of this. 

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  • Posted

    I know it's hard. I just had to wait 4 days before my surgery. I got a splint on my leg where I shattered my ankle in two different places the orthopedic surgeons that I messed it up pretty bad. When I looked about recovery on broken ankles it says from four to six weeks depends on the job you do and which I do construction I would have to wait longer than 4 to 6 weeks My orthopedic surgeon told me between 4 to 5 months. I got two plates and 14 screws and this happened only a week ago. I know you got kids. But you got stay off your ankle. it tells you to stay elevated at least 2 to 4 hours but I'll try to get elevated longer then that!!! Luckily I didn't have to have two surgeries he did it all in one shot and that was a relief when he told me that but now I just got a long road to recovery. Just hang in there and try to stay off your foot as much as you can!!! God bless!!!!!

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    • Posted

      This is a life changer for sure. I was out 8 months, lost my job after 38 years. It's hard asking people to help you, but you have to. God bless, I still cry sometimes. Hang in there, play games on your phone, read, stay off your foot! And try like hell not to go homeless.

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    • Posted

      Two surgeries would be horrible, one was horrible! I'm in my bed elevating unless I'm using the bathroom or grabbing food/drink. I would be whining all day if I only elevated 3-4 hours! This whole thing just sucks all around! 

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    • Posted

      I've been a stay at home mom since I had kids. I thought about how horrible it would be for those who can't get to work, the financial aspect. I'm already 5k deeper in because of medical bills. My scooter is $100 a week rental. I was so naive, I thought I'd be an ace at crutches, and zipping around on a knee scooter - both cause me pain. It's a costly injury, that's for sure.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the responses, I think my biggest concern is not that I'm swollen or in pain, but that I'm approaching 9 weeks post surgery and the bone is still fractured. Seems abnormal to me when I read about 8 weeks, but I guess everyone is different and maybe I'm over-thinking? My doctor did tell me this would be a year long adventure. Lucky for me about a year ago I bought a bed that elevates when I like, so with pillows I can really get my ankle up there...but still it's so swollen. 

    My kids are old enough now to help, my son is much more helpful than my daughter, I'm just trying to accept the fact that having a clean home is not in the cards without me, but they can definitely pick up. And yeah the depression is real, lots of tears, I feel wimpy.

    With regard to pain, I go the entire day without a pain pill, take one at bedtime so I can at least sleep, but I feel like I'm suffering. Do you think two pills a day is excessive. There are so many new laws with regard to narcotics, but I'm no pill-popper - I need something to take the edge off but somehow feel guilty if I have two a day and there are so many warnings about addiction. How long did you all take pain medication?

    One more thing, my doc wanted another hard cast, but I'm the genius who said air boot so I could ice, and promised him I would not try walking, which I won't. My swelling feels worse, pain up, maybe it's just too soon for me? I can't think that an increase in symptoms is favorable.  I talked to the nurse Friday, she said I could come back for a cast, not sure whether to suck it up or go back.

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  • Posted

    yeah walking with crutches is a bit difficult. everyone looks to you when you walking outside with crutches. I broke my talus and went many doctor they said no need surgery just wear a cast 10-12 weeks now im on 8 week my foot feels good no pain and no weight bearing. I study at university and went to my lessons then come home and I just play my phone and watch tv and pray. 

    God bless you

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  • Posted

    Hi Kim,

    So you had the surgery, have screws and plates and 8 weeks in your bone has only healed a little bit? That must be really frustrating. But! It has started to heal which means it's just slower than norm. At 12 weeks you should see more improvement. In the meantime your body is telling you you need to elevate it more and rest more.

    I know now how hard it is to let go of house hold stuff. I have never been in such a mess in my life. And I'm pretty angry at my husband for being SO bad at house keeping. 27 years married and even I didn't realize how much I actually did u til I couldn't do it anymore!! And no one else even tries. But! The way I'm looking at it is that the more I let myself heal now, the more I will be able to do later.  A bit of patience...ok a lot of patience...now will give better results later. 

    Wishing you you quick healing,

    Jenn

       

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  • Posted

    Hi Kim, our prayers are with u. The healing process is long and different for everyone. Keep in mind that progress is happening and focus on that. Every day ia a day closer to your full recovery. Did your doctor mention why healing in your case is taking slightly longer? Is there a preexisting condition, malunion, and things not aligned properly, do you smoke? - you did mention you have kids, but now would be the time to take a step back, rest, ice and elevate your leg. Youll have plenty of time afterwards to run around! Wishing you the best in your recovery.
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    • Posted

      Hi and thank you. I've done virtually  nothing but rest, I have a bed that elevates, and I'm icing on and off all day. Smoking, bad habit, is all he can think is causing the longer recovery. I'm trying a vape now per his instructions, but I cheat too. The pain, swelling and numbness is what's odd to me this far out, wondering why I hurt just laying in bed doing nothing. I think I could deal with the delayed healing if the pain would just subside. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Kim,

      I definitely feel for you. But as i mentioned earlier, be patient and know that every day is a day closer to full recovery. I know that in the recovery process, swelling is the last to go, but hang in there, and remember that this is just TEMPORARY.! About the smoking, ive read this can delay healing. How much do you smoke a day (if you dont mind me asking?). - also, maybe just as precaution, (this is just my personal paranoia talking) getting a second view at your xrays with another dr to confirm that things are in fact aligned properly. Maybe even an MRI to make sure nothing is putting pressure on a nerve or tendon? The other thing i would ask is, if maybe you could be having some sort of allergic reaction to the hardware? Just at least ruling these scenarios out might put u at ease.

      Sending you my best wishes on your recovery. Please keep us posted

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    • Posted

      A pack a day, ugh. Great advice, it is time for me to ask those questions. Not gaining pain relief while elevated concerns me. When I lift my foot towards me and massage, it feels great as if all the blood is returning.  Too bad I can't maintain that position all day lol. 

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