About to start WB, worried about breaking ORIF/Ankle

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Hi all,

I'm due to start weight bearing this week and will be almost 9 weeks post ORIF for trimalleolar fracture and disloacation, 11 weeks since original injury.

I'm in the UK and they forgot to book future PT at the time of surgery so I went for my referral last week but they said it will be 4 weeks minimum before I can see a PT. I was hoping to see a private one due to the third party in an injury claim offering one but having just had my assessment for that the wait is 21 days.

So it looks like I will be going it alone on the PT so to speak. I am nervous! My last x ray was three weeks ago and Dr said it's all still aligned and metalwork in place but I am terrified of 'breaking' something when I put weight on it.

one thing the Dr said when I first got taken to hospital that I had technically broken and displaced everything structural that held my foot to my leg. So knowing all of what now holds my leg to my foot is brand new makes me nervous about putting 190lb of me through it!

Can anyone reassure me that it will be safe please!


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25 Replies

  • Posted

    I had the same type of break My ankle was completely unstable

    It is scary when you first begin to walk again

    Just take it slow

    All you do in beginning is stretch out the ankle at PT

    If you have elastic bands you can begin stretching at home Check out Youtube

    There are lots of PT instructions there

    I no longer fear my ankle My surgery was 7/11.

    All my best to you

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    • Posted


      Yes one day apart for our surgeries

      How are you making out?

      Im walking and pretty much doing what I did before just a little slower

      I have to say this week my ankle feels just about normal

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    • Posted

      I'm walking ..sometimes with a limp if I walk too much..ankle is still swollen however went down a lot...but I think im doing okay considering all the damage I did. I misjudged last step on boat in driveway,I didn't know my hub had it hiked higher so I went flying. Plus I do things fast and wasnt looking. I was able to ride on our motorcycle with out a porb and that was a couple of weeks ago. You seem to be better than I am .I'm not back to before.I get tired after about 4 hours on feet..my feet never got tired before. I hope THAT changes. Even tho I dont look and act my age..age may have something to do with being a little behind I'm 70 .How old are you?

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    • Posted

      I broke all 3 bones ,had fracture blisters, torn mucles and tendons. I have screws and 2 bars and some other things in there.I dont know all the technical terms and abbreviations.

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    • Posted

      IM 67 soon to be 68

      Our stories are quite similar

      I volunteer at a dog shelter 3-4 days per week and up until my accident walking 4 miles a day plus waitressing 2 nights per week.

      Definitely dont feel my age

      I broke mine rushing around on 7/5 and slipped down last 2 steps in my house and rest is history!

      Im back at dog kennel. Im not walking digs yet cause some pull on leash and dont feel like falling! Im helping with cleaning and feeding.

      Im going to work a banquet on 11/16 and see how it goes

      I get swelling some days then I sit and ice

      Or EPSOM salt soak

      Ive learned patience!!! Something I never had!!!

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    • Posted

      we sound like twins ,so we can easily relate..hope you have fun at banquet..actually I just went to the halloween party at the marsh walk in Myrtle beach and I can dance much better than I walk lol I have always healed quickly so although I think I'm far behind , I'm really not ...just can't take a long recovery!

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    • Posted

      yes i feel like the recovery is much longer than I anticipated

      I was thinking by September Id be back to normal

      Im having that long screw that goes through back of my ankle removed 11/22

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  • Posted

    I had Trimal fracture with dislocation 12/2017. I Started WB end of February/beginning of March 2018. PT had me start with stretches and just simply standing and shifting weight on and off the injured ankle. Then I slowly started walking with crutches. I would do laps around my house. It's going to hurt. You haven't out weight on in a while. You have decide how much pain you can handle. You have support built in your ankle. You won't break it simply walking on it.

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  • Posted

    If he said you should be on full weight bearing then I would assume you healed but I hear you. I felt I never waned to go thru this again so I was scared too. When I first started full weight bearing I got in middle of walker for security and forced myself to put weight on my foot even tho it hurt.At that point I thought Id never walk again it hurt s much. Little by little it became less painful and you just have to walk thru the pain. My left ankle was broken so I started walking around kitchen counter balancing with right hand on counter, When it comes down to it its the doctor who has to reassure you and once he does you have to trust that. See if you can google some PT exercises. I started PT right after surgery so that seems like a long time to wait.

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  • Posted

    10 week check up next Wednesday. right foot dislocated Trimalleolar also some metatarsals. Very scary the first steps on any of the gradual improvements Cast-walker-boot and now ankle brace (only got that early because the boot was causing the wound not to heal)

    I'm worried about the "sign off" of going back to work, my job entails 8 hours on my feet with fairly hard physical activity. (also very worried about driving, doctor said I could with no boot)

    I don't have but a few stairs at work, so I'm not too worried about that. My concerns are:

    *no paycheck since the breaks happened so I have to go back ASAP

    • In my mind if I start with partial days, and can elevate every so often, I can do it
    • I'm worried as to what my HR department will determine, having read somewhere on here that I can be considered a liability in case of a emergency (fire)

      any experience or suggestions??

      thank you I sure wish I had found this forum earlier when I first went to the ER.

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    • Posted

      Is there a possibility of "light" duty at your job?

      Check with your HR department

      There are many laws covering employees depending on where you live

      My surgery was 7/11 for same type of injury and I can be on my feet for several hours

      Id say in last 2 weeks my ankle is feeling almost normal Some days its back to pre-injury Other days its a little tight

      All my best

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  • Posted

    Hey Tom your thoughts are not irrational ones at all!! I was exactly the same, I honestly do believe that you have to re-train your mind as I had the same thoughts as you when I was given the all clear to FWB again. Rather than overthinking something I did constantly at the beginning, try to release those thoughts. I know easier said than done because you are so weary and your steps are very tentative fearing that you may undo the surgeons hard work with the chisel and saw!!! I am 17 weeks post op. My gait is good now I have gained more assertiveness with walking without my limp and my ROM is good too. Hang in there Tom I honestly believe we torment ourselves in our minds, which is a perfectly normal thing to do with an injury of this nature. Believing and having the confidence does come believe me.

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much Michelle! I'm really happy to hear you are progressing and it's inspiring to hear there is hope!

      I started weight bearing today. I managed to get a cancellation slot with PT and got some exercises and instruction on WB walking.

      I did partial weight bearing on two crutches and briefly on one crutch. The pain is bearable until I reach a point when I get a sharp pain exactly where I imagine the most severe fracture to have been.

      Does this pain ease off as I continue progressing? It's hard to imagine it getting better although it is only day one of WB!

      Overall I'm happy that I was able to do it at all.

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    • Posted

      Aww well done Tom - its progress just keep thinking that it's temporary and you will soon be dancing and the likes lol. I didn't have pain to be honest, more stiffness when I first started FWB and some real funny tingles, sharp tugs etc but certainly nothing I couldn't cope with. I kept telling myself ah that's something else awakening from having been held hostage in the plaster. I was like you when I got the boot but I was told to FWB from the outset which is what I did, first with both crutches until I think around day 6, then down to one crutch, then around day 13 ditched them and just walked with the boot much to the concern of family members, but I am a stubborn mule and I did feel confident enough to just continue to exercise my foot out of the boot and practice with my walking without the crutches. Hang in there Tom!! and remember every step is a victory.

      Michelle x

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    • Posted

      My first try at WB went pretty well and then I developed a pocket of swelling on top of my foot which gave me a lot of pain and sent me back using crutches

      Then I began PT and my therapist would start w/warm compress on my ankle then massage and then begin stretching and manipulating

      This really helped

      In short time I was off the crutches and walking FWB

      Yes some pain

      Then I took boot off and put on sneakers and just had my husband hold my hand on opposite side of my injury and Id practice walking w/o boot

      I wanted to make myself and therapist proud of me!!!

      I found riding the bike was also a good way to improve ROM

      Now Im doing great and most days Im able to do what I did prior to my injury just a little slower!!!

      It does get better!!!

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    • Posted

      how long has this all been? this is very good no doubt but in my head i had talked to my doctor and he said 6 weeks post op i should be good the way im seeing others talk its a lot longer to even get to normal activities.

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