Ankle broken in 3 places

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I broke my ankle 2 months ago, had surgery and a plate put in. I have been full weight-bearing for a week and am wearing a boot. Doctor says i can graduate to walking without a walker as soon as I feel comfortable. But I am still in pain when walking and the ankle swells up on a daily basis. Even the opposite ankle swells up.  Is it normal to still be in pain after 8 weeks. I would think I would be able to walk pain-free by now, but maybe I am being overly optimistic.  I start therapy in another week, but am doing some exercises on my own. Any suggestions are very much appreciated. Thank you!

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  • Posted

    Hello Dogsanjog

    im 10 weeks post io so a little ahead of you. So sorry to hear of your injury. I'm not even weight bearing yet and still in air boot. I'm just at the stage of putting my foot down more and touching down in injured foot. I've been in physio 3 weeks and it has been very painful with a bit of swelling. Don't know if this helps but from  what posts I've seen here you are ahead of most people. I'm older at 65 so think this could have something but not all to do with it. Keep on your doing great! 👣

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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear you are healing slower than I am. I am still in the boot - a nuisance aren't they?.  I just turned 80 - I guess we are the seniors on this site. When do you see your doctor again?. Mine doesn't need to see me for another 5 weeks so I feel kind of abandoned. He just told me to do what I was comfortable with and didn't give me any time guidelines so I just go by how I feel.
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    • Posted

      I'm a patient person so I'm going at my own pace but my PT thinks differently so I'll have to have a talk with her. My massage therapist was here this morning and thinks she is too aggressive and needs to be more passive. Findng  the balance I guess is the trick.....I see my Dr in 2 weeks so I'll see how it goes. I've started hydro therapy 3 times a week and it feels amazing. I wish you a good recovery and we are the seniors for sure, full of wisdom!!  Enjoy your weekend! Best to you.....👣
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  • Posted

    Hi I am 8weeks post op , two breaks with  one metal plate and screws on other side of ankle. I had my cast off 19 days ago. FWB straight away, I ditched the boot immediately , as it made my ankle worse!!!!!! So so stiff. Got myself to a physio straight away, doing excercises myself as well and in the pool 5 times a week. Walking with one crutch and trainers on.even after all that my foot is so so STIFF especially on the side where the screw are the swelling is awful really awful. It feel like there's a tight band round my ankle. I am trying to walk normally but it's very difficult. Sounds like I'm doing it right, but I'm just doing what I feel is right for me, everyone is different. 

    I definitley found its best to get the ankle to keep moving if you can... Eg: moving it when watching the tele, elevate high, ice, rest it and get yourself some excercises to Do at home. I've been told it's going to take up to a year for the ankle to "be normal" that's a long time. Try to be patient and try not to worry. It's a nightmare I know and wish the year was up !!!!

    good luck 🌹🌺🌹🌺

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    • Posted

      Thanks Pippie:  I decided to ditch the boot also without consulting the PT.   I was so proud of myself because I had less pain without the boot and even thought I can't walk normally I figured it was good to get the ankle moving. However, my whole leg up to the knee is really swollen -almost twice the size of the other leg and my son and grandson are concerned. I have my 2nd visit with the PT today and will ask.
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    • Posted

      dogsandjogs,

      You should contact your doctor about the swelling.  Elevate, ice and use compression socks or ace bandage. I found the swelling to be self limiting, in  that once it swells you need to get off of it. I would use the boot outside the house to be safe.  Practice without it at home at first until you feel confident. I did ditch the boot prior to doctors reccomendation.  The doctor told me absolutly wear it an entire month.  It was rubbing my incision so I tolerated it while I was out and pulled it off at home( where I was at most of the time). Just sharing my experience.  Our leg and foot muscles need to come back before we can walk normally. I did use a walker at first too and gradually put weight on it.

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  • Posted

    I would suggest the advice given by your doctor, try to fully weight bear asap, but you know your own limits, just steady and gradual progress is what I have experienced is the way forward. I was encouraged to pwb for a month then fwb for the second month, no mention of physio at this point. I am now experiencing a lot of swelling and stiffness which is going to take its time to recover. My physio said to make my next appointment for 3 weeks time, is this a good or bad sign? It is normal to still feel pain, experience weird sensations, pins and needles etc. It's all part of the recovery process, and everybody reacts differently. If you have any doubts then get yourself back to either your doctor or A&E to get checked over for peace of mind, as I did.

    I wish you well and for a speedy recovery.

    Dont forget to update all other ankle sufferers on this brilliant forum.

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  • Posted

    Hi, 

    It sounds like you are progressing well for 8 weeks.  I don't think you can expect pain free for 6 months to a year.  My PT said at 6 months you stop thinking about it 100% of the time.  My surgery was 16 weeks ago, 1 plate and 3 screws, my fracture 18 weeks ago.  I found at the 8 weeks point the time has gone faster, the healing much slower than I have wanted.  You will progress, go at your own pace, be careful. At this point I think much of the recovery is needed because of the immobilization.  I feel that when the muscles in our calf, thighs have gained strength the swelling will reduce.  Thats why not only doing things to unlock our ankles we have to gain strength in our leg.  Stationary bike and swimming are good.  I'm not telling you when to start these exercises.  You should let PT be your guide. The pain for me was less in the morning, but my ankle would be stiff and had to be stretched again.  I still have pain in the evening, but the swelling is less and I have finally stopped wearing the compression socks (you should still be using it).  I use ice and Tylenol.  There is more pain after PT.  I feel like I am progressing, although there are many days that I am tired of this. When you start to walk we do gain our independence which is wonderful. It is a fine balance between doing the exercises and not creating a lot of pain.  I have over done it on multiple occasions and had to back off.  I hope you  continue to do well and soon we will all be out of pain and this will be a distant memory.  I'm so grateful to share this with all of you, but don't wish this on anyone else.

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  • Posted

    I broke my ankle, had 2 plates and 9 screws and was no weight bearing for three months in 2013. My ankle still swells. It did hurt when I walked but not real bAd. Just a little...but that was 12 was of healing. I wear a sleeve on my ankle now to stop swelling.
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    • Posted

      Hi Natava,  I broke my ankle mid november in 3 places and they put a plate and screws in.  I am still in the boot and go back this thursday.  Off work for quite awhile.  It still hurts although I am so thankful for the scooter.  quite the ride.  Were you able to walk after 3 monthes easily?  Did it hurt a lot to walk or occasionally?  I miss walking so much! and feel like depression has hit recently as I miss being able to go out without asking for help or a ride.  How long was it before you could drive?
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  • Posted

    Hi Everyone: Just wanted to do an update. On Monday it will be 11 weeks since the surgery. I can walk without a cane, but not normally yet; I kind of waddle from side to side. I alternate using a cane and a walker. I still have a lot of swelling in the calf; my cardiologist sent me for an ultrasound to rule out DVT. So far no news. The therapist had me try to lift onto my toes with my bad foot but when I tried it I felt a sharp pain in my big toe. So now I'm afraid to try again.  I am worried about a stress fracture since I'm prone to those due to my osteoporosis. Except for not being able to roll onto my toes when walking (due to the pain in thed big toe) I think I'm doing pretty well. Hope everyone else is progressing too.
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    • Posted

      Dogsandjogs,

      It sounds like you are progressing.  I've found the process slow and gradual.  I'm at 18 weeks post op.  That is concerning about the dvt, hopefully it's negative.  I had sharp pains when the pt told me to lift up on one foot at your stage.  You can lift on both feet and lower on the injured to go at a slower pace. I have found that PT pushes me too far at times.  I backed up into a foot stool 2 days ago and twisted my bad ankle.  I fell to the ground in pain and was freaking out for a minute. The fear is ever present.  It is hurting on the top of my foot now, but I don't think it's serious. I'm seeing that the recovery comes with lots of weird pains in the foot,ankle and leg.  I may have tweaked it a little by falling.  I have tried to be so careful since this happened.  Yikes! I couldn't handle another break. I will pledge to be more careful.  Hope you are having a good day!

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    • Posted

      Sorry to read of your recent fall.

      I hope you will be ok, but I'm paranoid about falling and doing more damage or worse still another break.

      I too think that another ankle break would be too much for me to deal with, I hope none of use will ever be in that situation.

      please get your ankle X rayed, as I think you cannot be too careful.

      Take care

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much Paul. I feel the same way.  It's all too recent in my mind. Are you having pains in different parts of your foot and ankle?  It still feels so  stiff behind my ankle on both sides. I don't think I broke anything.  The pain today was on the top of my foot. I appreciate your concern.  How are you progressing?  Can you believe it's been 5 months?
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    • Posted

      I am having odd twinges and slight pains in and around my heal of late.

      Im not sure why but think it's my whole foot slowly recovering from the trauma of the break and surgery.

      Im still unable to squat, or walk without a limp, and swelling still an issue.

      I think physio have given up on me almost, they massage my ankle and manoeuvre it left, right, backwards and forwards then my allowance of 30 minutes has expired till my next appointment in another 3 weeks!

      I am on my feet almost most of my 10 hours of work, and my limp gets worse as the day progresses. I bathe and massage with cream before work and as soon as I return from work. I am surprised how 5 months has passed, but am becoming anxious by the length of time the recovery is taking. I have missed out on so much and continue to do so, my hobby is restoring and showing eastern bloc cars, of which I have 3 which have sat where I parked them in September on my drive, but will hopefully will get around to working on them before next winter!

      Wishing you a good weekend

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    • Posted

      Thanks Linda!  Hope your ankle is better today and that the fall didn't cause any damage. I too am scared to death of re-injury. I walked one of my dogs to the mailbox yesterday. It is 4 blocks away and the longest distance I've gone so far.  I used my walker, not the cane, as I feel more secure with it. The foot was sore afterwards, but the soreness didn't last too long.  Then later I practised just walking normally. I seem to have forgotten how; eg not bending the leg and not rolling onto the toe. I walk flat-footed with a  stiff leg and  tilt sideways. I have heard it can take at least 6 months to walk normally. I had 3 breaks and had a plate and screws inserted which may take longer.  Have a great day today!
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