Advice on how to manage discomfort in my ankle

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Hi all, I am 4 weeks post op for repair to broken tibia,fibula & broken bone in my ankle. I've had a rod through my tibia and screws in my ankle. I'm getting a lot of discomfort in my ankle through the night . I have my leg resting on a pillow but can't find a comfortable position to lie in. I havnt't got a cast on I'm only in Ted stockings. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Posted

    Ouch. Surprised you don't have a moonboot

    They are great for keeping leg together. I have a plated fibula and came out of hospital in a plaster of Paris cast. 2 weeks later I was put in a fibreglass cast for 4 more weeks. Then a moonboot. 4 months post op and 8 months post break, I am gradually getting stronger. Slept on back with moonboot for 3 weeks after cast removed. Now just in evening. Offers support when I'm tired.

    *Ask Dr about Moonboot. After 4 weeks post op in cast my Physio got me lying in the recovery position alternating with back, to prevent back pain.

    **Check with Dr to see if you need a review of foot and ask about pain management. You have to rule out problems that can crop up and only your Dr can do this.

    Good luck!

    ©{°•°}©

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    • Posted

      Many thanks for replying to my inquiry. I didn't think my leg could be elevated to high otherwise the blood wouldn't get to my foot. The gp has check the pulse in my foot and it is good. She advised I take paracetamol regularly throughout the day and take 2 codeine at bedtime. It's not so uncomfortable when in sat up its just when I'm lay down. The care I had in hospital was great but the after care is poor. I wasnt advised on what i can do when i came out of hospital apart from being told i cant weightbear for 6 weeks. Ive got to inject myself every day with tinzaparin to prevent blood clots for 6 weeks. I've not heard from hospital when I've got to go see consultant. As I said all I've got on my leg is a Ted stocking. My sister has seen some inflatable device that can be used to elevate my leg so she's getting that. I try lying on my good side in the recovery position but because of the scar on my knee where rod was inserted it's uncomfortable so I put a pillow between my legs. I could never have imagined breaking my leg as badly as I have by falling down 3 stairs at home.
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    • Posted

      Hi June I am sure it will go better now. I slipped on one small step and broke my ankle. The surgeon told me lower limb fractures are very common. Best of luck and stay positive.
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  • Posted

    You need lists of pillows, so raid every room in the house for as many as you can get your hands on of varying sizes and firmness. You need to build a little hill with a base of standard size pillows and lay a king size pillows perpendicular to the base. The idea is to create a hill with about a 45* angle and that gently cradles your lower leg and foot, making sure your foot is not flopping around.  Then lay on your side and place your knee at the base of the hill. You may need another king size pillow, a squishy one, to put between your legs to be comfortable on your side. That works for me. 
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. My sister is looking at getting me what looks like an inflatable device to elevate my leg. I keep trying to lie in the recovery position on my good side but because I have a scar on my knee from where the rod was inserted it causes discomfort. My gp has advised I take paracetamol throughout the day and take 2 codeine at bedtime. I feel my after care is quite poor I havnt't been given much information about what I can & can't do. I've got to inject tinzaparin every day. I don't know what will be put on my foot after the 6 week period. I'm in Ted stockings only. Any advice is very helpful.
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  • Posted

    Hi June, I had the same surgery as you after I broke my ankle nearly 14 weeks ago. Finding a comfortable position to sleep at night is a nightmare. Also strange you don't have some sort of cast or moon boot. I found one pillow was not enough to elevate the leg properly so I used 3 pillows . Take the pillows and place them to form an incline, the highest level being the foot and ankle, the lowest ending just before your bottom. If you want to turn and lie on the good side take one pillow place it between your legs from knees down with the bad leg on top turn with it like that and keep it there, it supports the bad leg . Also take your pain meds. before you go to bed helps you to sleep better. Hope you have a speedy recovery.
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    • Posted

      Hi thanks for the advice . I do try to lie on my good side in the recovery position but because I've got scar on knee from where rod was inserted it's uncomfortable as scar feels a little tight. I can probably lie in this position for hour & half. I've only got Ted stocking on don't know what will be put on when I go see consultant after 6 weeks. I have to inject tinzaparin daily. I would never have thought I could of broken my leg as badly as I did by falling down 3 stairs. Many thanks again
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  • Posted

    Hello June. Not sure I understand. I presume the TED stocking is to prevent clots post-surgery. What do you have to stabilise the foot whilst bones heal! How are you getting around. Have you had stitches removed? Are you using RICE Principle. REST, ICE. COMPRESSION, ELEVATION
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    • Posted

      Hi. Yes the Ted stockings are to prevent clots , plus I have to inject tinzaparin daily to prevent clots. My after care and advice is very poor was given my meds and told not to weightbear for 6 weeks then go back to see consultant. I thought that I may have been give either a brace of moon boot. I've got a lot to say when I see my consultant. Nervous about putting weight on my foot when time comes. I'm not the sort of person who frightens easily. But very daunting. Thanks for taking the time to reply. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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    • Posted

      Hi June, it seems you and I are rarities with not having solid casts or having to wear moonboots 24/7 in the non weight bearing period. As I said my surgeon assured me that as long as I wore the moonboot for transfers ( bed to commode/wheelchair/toilet it was fine not to wear it when sitting with leg elevated or in bed and for showering and sleeping.  He was only worried about me accidentally weight bearing on it without protection.  So my best advise is to be extremely careful when transferring and then enjoy the freedom of no cast!  I'm sure my foot is more flexible and I have less swelling because of my opportunities for early exercise just flexing my foot so early.  It is frightening how little force seems to be needed to sustain such a serious injury all I did was slip on a gravel driveway.  

      Like you I injured my knee as well so was unable to use a knee scooter that everyone seems to rave about so I borrowed a wheelchair and found that invaluable.  Crutches were out for me at this stage too as I was far too uncordinated and unsafe on them.

      Do do you have much in the way of equipment to help you.  I hired a bedside commode on wheels that I could get out to on one leg overnight and  then during the day could be wheeled by husband in to and over the toilet and in to the shower. Even though it only had small wheels I got pretty adept at self propelling it in later weeks of nwb.  Watch you tube videos on transfers though as it is really easy to lose balance on transfers and in just a ted stocking you don't want to knock it at all.

      Your pain relief sounds pretty light weight maybe see your own family doctor to regulate that for you.  Seems like specialists don't want to get too involved in ongoing pain relief because of the risk of getting us addicted!  thank God for my GP who has taken on that side of things.  Pain is always worse at night when the leg /foot is swollen.  Look after yourself, I wish you all the best in your recovery.

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    • Posted

      Hi Cynthia thanks for replying. I have a zimmer frame to get around with and elbow crutches. I use the frame to get me to the toilet but or toilet is so small and narrow so I have to leave frame outside the door and then use the crutches. It's difficult to balance as my balance isn't good. But I'm managing. I have a toilet raiser and luckily for me my sink is at the side of the toilet so I'm able to wash and dress myself, although I just sit around in pj's. It does make me wonder why I havnt't got a moon boot on to stabilise my leg when I'm moving around. I'm fortunate that my bathroom is downstairs so we've had to put a single bed in living room, living not very big. I'm usually on the go a lot as I work in a care home where I'm a team leader. So I have a very responsible job. I really don't know how I'm going to get on. Hope be well enough by that point. Really don't know the time scale of my recovery. 4 weeks has gone so uick sine I did it. I only wish I could get outside for some fresh air. It's so debilitating but I'm trying to stay positive. How are you doing. Many thanks.
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  • Posted

    Hi June.

    I'm the same as you except I fractured my ankle. I'm in a cast though try using another pillow and taking the foot of the pillow so you've just got your leg resting on it. Are you on painkillers at all. Why didn't they cast you? I'm in a non weight bearing cast.

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    • Posted

      Hi. Yes I'm on paracetamol and codeine. Top dose of codeine but I can only take 1 through the day as 2 make me feel strange plus they cause bowel problems which I could do well without. I lie on my good side with bad leg resting on pillow but because of scar on knee which is tight I can only lie like this for hour & half. My sister is getting me an inflatable which helps elevate the leg at incline. As many people have advised to use 3 pillows. Many thanks for replying.
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