90 Degrees

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Hi, I’m Missy. I had my ORIF on August 16, 2018. My main concern is that I’m on cast #2 because I can’t get my foot into that damn 90 degree angle! In 2 weeks will be my third try! 

I was Screaming and Crying today when she tried today! I had to beg the orthopedic assistant to please stop!  That pain I think beat my labor pains when I had my son! 

Is this just me? I’m not a wuss, I am handling my pain since surgery on just the minimum of meds. Or is THAT my mistake? 

Any advice for me? 

Thanks

Ps I can’t move my foot or toes yet. I had a trimalleour fraction - unstable. According to my mom who found me, it looked like my foot was just dangling by the skin. 

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Same for me I had major break my dad came to get me and my Foot was pretty much upside down with my fibula sticking out I had to have two surgeries I had to have internal and external orif surgery as well it was horrible not to mention the pain I was in!!! when they took my stitches out they put me in this airboot and had to put my foot at a 90 degree angle as well it was horrible I screamed and cried but after they got it a 90 degree angle it felt so good and i couldn’t move my toes good until about the second week after surgery so I couldn’t really tell you if it’s normal but you too will get there just like I did idk if my story helped any hang in there and good luck!!!!
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  • Posted

    Hi Missy! You're not a wuss. Getting your foot back to neutral is excruciating. My doc put me into a boot as soon as my stitches came out but I was still non weight bearing. I was able to work my foot into that 90 degree angle at home. I used a heating pad to relax my muscles and then would push into the boot. It took me almost a week and it was difficult.

    See if your doc will allow you out of the cast even if you're not to 90 yet or get a second opinion. My original doc wanted me to stay in a cast for 6 weeks post op before considering a boot. Fortunately I switched docs right after my surgery and the 2nd one keeps up to date with current research that suggested that a cast after surgery delayed healing. I ended up walking 2 months before my original doctor predicted and with 3 kids under 4 years old, I needed to be functional.

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  • Posted

    Unfortunately in hurts like hell. Are you taking pain meds about 30 mins before you go, I mean the strongest stuff you got? How are they doing it? At first they just walked right in and tried to man handle me, no way man, back off! What worked better, but still you have to suck up lots of intense pain, is laying on the table on your stomach having your ankle/foot hang off.  I was casted 12 weeks, and they changed it about every 2 weeks, ouch!
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  • Posted

    And I actually switched surgeons right after my ORIF, and this was one reason too. These guys who walked in to do my cast were rough and pretty much didn't care one bit the intensity of pain. My current surgeon's staff is much better, they were patient and we worked together.  The nurse is the one who told me to load up on pain meds prior, she was right, helped some. Much luck to you, you can do it, I have two kids, and I've been saying for 5 months now I'd rather have that pain, than this ever again!

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    • Posted

      Thanks Kim! I go back on 9/28. I’m bringing a friend that will hopefully give me some extra courage (and taking the Percocet 30 minutes before). 
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  • Posted

    Hey there, I had somewhat the same issue. After I got the staples removed (1 week post surgery), they put me in a cast but couldn't get my foot at the 90 degree angle. My doctor sent me back 1.5 weeks later to get it to 90 degrees and I had a great tech who helped me. She didn't rush it, she massaged my foot and back of my leg so that it would relax, and eventually we got there. When I went home I felt a new wave of pain as my foot was now flexed at 90 degrees and being in cast I couldn't do anything about it. I ended up taking some more pain meds that day but eventually I settled into the position. A nice side effect I found, though, was that my ankle didn't swell up as bad in the neutral position. It hurts, but it's so important for later on in your recovery. 

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    • Posted

      I’m afraid to ask about your nickname! 

      However, I’m determined to get through this... 9/28 is D Day. I will do it! 

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    • Posted

      hehe not to worry, I just didn't like any of the auto-generated names and was surprised no one had claimed this one! Best of luck with the 90 degree tweak! 

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  • Posted

    So reading all of these, I seem to be the odd ball out—I had a tri-malleor as well with ORIF on June 11th. I had the plaster cast for two weeks, and then I went to have my stitches out and got moved over to a walking boot (though I was NWB for six weeks). At no point did anyone force my ankle into 90 degrees. I actually realized later I’d been wearing the boot wrong and sort of had my foot at a 60* ish angle inside it, not with the foot flat on the ground.

    I brought it up to my doctor when I went back to my weight-bearing appointment and he went “walking will fix it”. It has! I’m officially out of the boot and while I have done six weeks of PT, I have nearly full range of motion (still working on the flex past 90*) but I can /definitely/ get my foot flat and I did it when I was ready and when there wasn’t pain. 

    All that’s to say—don’t feel like you’re a wuss or a failure. You’ll get there! Listen to your body and don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself if it hurts too much! 

    Also—there’s light at the end of the tunnel! I am walking (with a slight limp) in bare feet now/with much less of a limp in shoes and I’m at 14 weeks. You’ll get there!! 

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much for sharing this it actually makes me feel a lot better cuz my next apt isn’t unti oct 3rd and that will be 8 weeks in an airboot I had a bad fibula fracture and there’s times I think I’m so so scared I won’t walk again but hearing your story is wonderful! How does it feel walking and how long can u stay on your feet just out of curiosity!!! 

      My doctor told me if I could get In and outta the pool with very little weight I can do it so I got in and out and used a walker and walked with my foot just a little weight because I have a walker and it is sore but I’m assuming it’s sore because I haven’t really exercised it in like 10 weeks!!!

      Thanks so much for sharing!

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    • Posted

      Hey Cheyenne,

      Your situation actually kind of makes sense to me. Can't speak on behalf of the others but in my particular case, the doctor didn't want me weight-bearing or in a boot until the 8 week mark - the bones needed at least 6 weeks to heal and he added on an additional 2 weeks because one of the breaks was very careful being coaxed into healing with one screw (when he would have preferred to put two in). 

      Since it would be 8 weeks of NWB, it was important to get my foot into that 90 degrees because that would be the only thing keeping it in that position (unlike your case where they said walking would fix it). 

      So good to hear you're making excellent progress though! I'm just about ready to rip my boot off and burn it...can't wait to start PT and walking not-like-a-zombie smile

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