Ankle fracture post op week 5

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Hi, I am post op ankle fx in three spots with screws and pins. I have been anxious about my next apt which is three weeks I will have been NWB for a toatl of 8 weeks by this time. I am in an air cast which i fear removing and am worried about being able to be mobile a week or so after therapy. Does anyone know how long it will be before I can get in and out of the house even with a walker on my own. I have three steps in front and no rail. I can not use crutches r/t a past rotaor cuff.  

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  • Posted

    I was NWB For what seemed like an eternity. Just feels like that. I'd say you'd be partial weight baring soon. Patience grasshopper.

    You need a rail to get down steps when you're able to. Are you going to physio?

    Have you got a knee scooter?

    I snapped Fibula 10+ months ago. Non union 100%.Bone graft 5 months ago, plate and screws. My other leg has been the problem. Baker's Cyst, then torn muscle when I fell over, prevented me from a speedy recovery.

    Your arm must be a nuisance. I can walk now, just not far without walker or 1 crutch.

    Physio and Specialist will see you on your way to recovery.just arrange rail.

    Good luck.

    @(*+*)@

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    • Posted

      Wow your injury sounds awful sorry your other foot has issues too, that must be tough. I have a knee scooter but so far have been terrible at it the boot is so bulky it pushes on the ankle and left a blister so I stopped trying it. Using a walker thats going ok,. I will see Physical therapy once NWB is lifted and am hopeful I can drive there and back after a few sessions alone. My left foot is the bad one. Work is hoping I will return end Sept but I am so not sure about that, I am A social worker in home care so in and out homes and lots traveling.  Watching my kids need help and being so limited is whats making me so depressed, I have one starting kindergarden and doubt I will even be able to get outside to get her on the bus and that makes me so sad. 

      I hope you feel better hang in there and I hope recovery starts to move faster for you!

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    • Posted

      You'll need more padding in boot. Once you get comfortable, you'll get more freedom. Get a ramp made. Easier all round.

      Don't know why they've had to block Patti's post. She has fantastic support and advice, experience based, to give to us here. She's tops. Daphne is another great help.

      @(*+*)@

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    • Posted

      Thanks I have a 12 foot ramp but its still steep and someone super strong has to push/ pull me. but maybe I will be able to walk down it once weight bearing. My front has a step large landing then one more so maybe that with a walker, I am not sure hey may remove the boot for good at next apt thats is the 8 week mark but not too sure. Glad I found this forum to ask questions and get some support
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    • Posted

      I don't know why my post was blocked either. There was nothing unusual or strange in it. I know what usually causes problems with the posts by now. 

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    • Posted

      By the way Tituscanby, thanks for the sweet comments. We all gained so much by being here, just trying to give back a little before departing. 
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    • Posted

      B4 u leave, send me your email Addy. I feel like I've known you a long time. And we are the same age. :+)

      🏃🌞🌻👏😁👣🎶🌼😂👣👣👣👣👣🏃🏃👏🌻🌞

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      Google emojis. Was needing colour. I just love happy bright things.😁🌞👏🌻🌼🏃👣💖🌈💪😂🐯🐒🎠🎨🚑?🌟🏀?🌟😂🌞😁🌻

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  • Posted

    What was the extent of your injury Jenn? Ankle fracture or fushion? I'm not sure what fx stands for in your post. When did your doctor say you can begin WB? Everyone's experience is a little different.  It took me 5 weeks, from the time my doctor told me I could WB until I was walking in the boot without any more aides (crutches, walkers or anything). I had a trimalleolar fracture (triple ankle break) with a plate and 13 screws installed. I had surgery the morning after my injury, while on vacation in Hawaii. I fell from a hammock that broke from one of the trees it was installed on. When it broke it threw me off and I landed weird. I am 56 and an athletic healthy person. I am 6 months out and doing great. I didn't have the complications that Tituscanby unfortunately had & my recuperation was pretty straight forward, but I did push pretty hard and did all my exercises when I got the go ahead from my doctor. I think he had told me 10 weeks in the cast originally, and I got out in 8, and he gave me a shoe attached to my cast at week 7 and started WB then. Hope this helps. 

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    • Posted

      I had an ankle fracyure three spots with screws and one stablizing screw on the opposite side of the collection of screws. I am so sorry your fell on vacation thats awful. So far I had the plastic cast for 2 weeks then this air cast NWB still it will be 8 weeks total when I see the Dr Sept 6. When I do get weight bear do you have any ideas if Iwill get to the point of in and out the house and to car by myself? I am even ok with a walker so far I have not been able to do that I can not do the little steps withoutputting weight on my foot. I have three kids and they so need rides and one is starting kindergarden so I want to be on the outside for the bus. Pain is way better and I am now brave enough to wash the areas with a washcloth could not even tolerate the pain a few weeks ago.  I take maybe a motrin a day but am being very good keep it up most of the day and following all the rules. 

      Also how painful was the therapy?

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    • Posted

      I'm catching up Patti. Now other leg getting better. I'd say I'm about 2 months behind you now, 10.5 months after playing snap!

      2 months ago. Was 5 months behind you.

      Yet.

      Good luck Jenn, keep us here informed of your progress. Ask questions galore!

      ©{°$°}®

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    • Posted

      I'm so glad to hear that! Can you walk further now without aides? How is your flexibility right, left, pointed and flexed now? Are you noticing the calf very slowly increasing in size now? There is muscle memory, so not to worry for long! Just remember, Daphne and I can walk miles at a time now. You will do it soon too. It's just a matter of flexibility and strength and making a point to work it as much as possible each day. The last thing is single leg calf raises. I'm still trying to fully regain the strength in the weaker leg. I only notice it if I am on the previously injured one leg and try to lift into a tip toe on that one foot alone. Still extremely tough to do. It's only a matter of working it and time, like everything else. And how many times do you get up on the one toe by itself anyway?  This is important for runners however, because it's an important skill to get fast running back. I've always prefered walking, elliptical, swimming, weight lifting and biking, and all those I can do. I can also jog slowly. I expect this strength will be back in just a few month's time nevertheless, in case I want to take up running later in life - doubtful though smile . Thinking about you and glad to hear of your improvement!

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    • Posted

      Hi Jenn- So you sound like you have a trimalleolar fracture and that is just what I had on 2/16, with surgery (plate, 13 screws installed on 2/17). Is that what they call your injury? So, I am 6 months out now. I didn't take any Motrins until I was at the PWB stage. I was not in an extreme amount of pain after approximately the first 10 days of surgery, as long as I would ice under my knee and keep it elevated high most the time, so I didn't take anything from 10 days out until a few weeks into PT (probably should have started right before going to PT, but I was stubborn for a few weeks. I eventually learned to take them an hour before each appt. so I could do a lot more, and feel a lot less pain afterward). I heard there is a debate re. whether Motrins etc. can hinder the promotion of bone repair if you take them in those 7 or so weeks when your bones are mending. Some say it does, and some say it doesn't. I only started taking them, after all my doctors agreed I could, during PT. I really didn't want to take anything, and fought the constant aching, but the pain was keeping me from moving forward like I wanted to do, and the one pill twice a day was magical. It took all the pain away. To answer your question re. how painful it was at the beginning of PT, for me it was like a constant mild cramping or aching feeling all over the leg, that is just kind of irritating and makes you want to avoid the next day's stretches and often wakes you up in the night, disrupting your sleep. It was like a constant 3-4 on the pain scale. Not horrific, but something you want to avoid if possible. Think of having a hard workout (before your injury) and how you felt the next day, if you weren't used to doing the sport you did. Much the same feeling. My doctors smiled at me that I was worried about taking a single Motrin twice a day. They said that is nothing compared to the one they would prescribe to patients, so that made me feel bettter. (I asked both my GP and Ortho doctor and they both said it was a good idea to do it.) I had read that it is super important to take them with food, so I made sure to do that. I quit after 2 months, as I was virtually pain free by then. I wondered if I would ever walk again when I heard about all the screws and plate that were installed (and like you on both sides of the ankle, but mainly up the outer side where the plate is located). I am walking 5 miles a day and only get a little stiff after I have been sitting for a while after being very active. I would do more if time allowed. I only think about my ankle a few times a day now and overall I feel great. It sounds like you are about 6 weeks along. I had a cast during this stage, but often people have the boot instead. Don't try to walk until they tell you you are ready, and then look up online videos of how to begin weight bearing. Basically, I started with a shoe the doctor attached to the bottom of my foot, while still in a cast at approx. week 7. My foot was very weak at the beginning. You start doing 25% WB, which is kind of touching your toe down, as you follow through with your crutches. Crutches are much easier to use when you can put part of your foot down to balance- it's not like crutching with you leg bent behind you. You will probably be able to do 25% WB in a week without much problem. Then when I moved to 50% WB the next week, I actually found using a borrowed walker helped to put proper weight on, and it had brakes and a part on top where I could lean on it to help lift my body through the full walking motion. It also was a relief to my hands, which were sore even with gel weight lifting gloves on all the time when using the crutches. I achieved 50% before the end of week 2. Week 3 was 75% and I used both crutches and the waker to get there. I found it took another week and a half or two weeks to go from 75% to 100%. That stage took the longest. You just get up every day and can do a wee bit more every day until all the sudden you say, let me try with a single crutch. Then you get brave one day and ditch the crutches and do your happy dance!! After that, or alongside, you get into PT and start regaining your foot flexibility pointing right, left, flexing and pointing outward. You will probably be given rubber resistance bands to help you with this. There are tons of exercise you can find on the web. I used to love to wake up, get in a warm Epsom salt bath, and do my morning set of exercises there. I would massage my foot like crazy and rest when I needed to do so. It is a slow process, but your body will work with you. It wants to get that muscle strength back as much as you do. 

      Now to answer your questions re. driving. I hurt my left ankle, so I drove all over from about the third week on. I assume you hurt your driving foot. Is that right? Since I didn't hurt that foot, I can just guess re. driving. I think you have to have full strength to be able to push hard down on the brake, if needed, so you don't get into an accident. My doctor told me, even with the other foot, to drive carefully. If you get in an accident and get out to survey the damage on crutches, well it just doesn't look too good. I've had children, so I understand your frustration. It's such a pain to have to rely on others, when you are used to being independent. How old are your kids? I hope your kindergartener is not your eldest, or you must be going crazy. Nevertheless,  I can only imagine how frustrating it is for you with three children. Do you have anyone to help you now? I'm a young grandma now, at 56, and tried to help my daughters with their babies throughout this process, because I was always helping them a lot, so I do really understand. I remember crawling a lot on the floor, like a baby myself following them, to get to their toys, to change them, etc. I wanted to stay active and involved with them as much as possible.  And carrying a baby is not safe or possible, I know. It was quite frustrating not being able to do that. The good news is my 2 year old granddaugher used to ride everywhere on my knee scooter with me, and she really liked it a lot. It seems like a distant memory now 6 months later, if that is any consolation.

      I was thinking about how much you want to get to the bus stop. Could you possibly have a neighbor or someone drive you both, or could you knee scooter there, or rent a golf cart to get there and use your left foot, if your right isn't working? Just trying to think of anything that could help. My gynocologist admitted she drove with her left foot, when she broke her ankle, to get to the hospital around the corner from where she lived, during her residency. I'm not recommending this for sure, but I know how sometimes you just really want to get somewhere! Better safe than sorry though. This will be a distant memory soon and your will be back to running around several months down the road. Sorry this is so long, I just remember having so many questions at your stage and I hope this helps in some way.

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    • Posted

      Hi Karan- It isn't really bothering me much. Just lately with all of my activities for the last month, walking about 5 miles a day, I do sometimes wonder if I feel something that could be the plate hindering me just the tinest bit. It's really not a big deal at all, and I am power walking at this point at a fast pace, and it may be that I still need to grow the front and back calves a bit more. What I have read, and I have read everything I could find on this subject, is that most people are glad they got it done who were having problems, but it should only be done if you are truly bothered by the flexibility you have with the hardware in, or you feel screws coming out that are bothering you (and then often people just take out a screw or two). The big worry is infection with any operation. And if you get an infection in your leg, that is uncontrollable, that can be a pretty big problem. Given that, I have decided to put off the decision until later. I see my surgeon in two weeks, out of state where my injury happened, and I am going to ask him a few questions about it. It's the first time I will have seen him in over 6 months, since the surgery happened while I was on vacation. He is about to move to another state himself, and I think he will give me the real deal info on this. I'm bringing copies of my xrays with me for him to look at as well. I heard from my ortho, who doesn't believe in taking hardware out unless it's bugging people, that 50% of his clients opt to get their hardware out. That number surprised me, as I thought it would be much lower, seeing that he doesn't push for it to be removed. 

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    • Posted

      Patti Thnak you answered many questions. I hurt my right foot so driving is ok but I have not managed to make it out of the house because I can not seem to manage the crutches. Mostly because of a rotor cuff tear its old but I never really did the therapy like I should have. I have one step then a platform  then a regular step down no rails and te garage has a very steep ramp with one rail. my husband uses the ramp to get me out but its tough even for him because of its steepness (better then nothing). I think I maybe being a bit babyish about what I can do, I have been too fearful post fall to attempt stuff. I do not want to do more damage and when I fell you could see the bone which scared me to death. 

      After hearing the partial weight to full I am thinking a goal of Oct 1 to get back to work maybe more realistic. I keep hoping three therapy session and free but makes sense it maybe more like three weeks of it. I fell at wotk so I know they are anxious to get me back but I have to be able to walk there is also 27 step up t my area and no elevator. Which is were I fell down the steps so I doubt I will be climbing those when I do return for a bit.  

      My kiddos are 4, 12 and 14 ( the older ones are helpful but older one works a summer babysit job and middle one is a competive swimmer so in and out and my help is often that helping with kids but thats a huge plus. I can not thank the family I have enough.  We moved about 2 weeks before the fall so right now I have no neighbors but was thinking of having my husband ask or post something to see if he can find a helpful Mom but if I am 50% weight bear by week two it would onl be a week. We do not start school until day after my next appointment.  

      Thanks for the chat and just help it truly is nice to have others who experinced this and can give me a what to expect.  

      Good for you as the active Grandma, I am an older Mom 43 and unfortantley the last two years I gained some weight and was a bit out shape.  This was an eye opener that its important to stay in shape and make time for exersise even with a busy schedule.  

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    • Posted

      Hi Jenn- It's great to hear you have a little help from the older kids at least. I know it must be so hard still. I know everyone is different, but I think if you can, try to work from home until month 4, if you need to start work, so you are not overstressing your body, especially with an open fracture as you had. I just don't think you can rush broken ankles, it's like they pretty much have a predetermined timeline from what I have read from others and experienced myself, especially with a triple break and hardware, AND those steep steps you will need to climb to get to work sound quite scary. You'll be exhausted before you walk in! If everything goes well, in month 4 you start feeling alive and pretty mobile again, month 5 you will feel very good and like the end is near, and month 6 feels really wonderful from my experience, but I am lucky that I didn't have any complications and the bones healed up well.

      You are right, we have all learned what an eye opener this has been and how important it is to take care of ourselves, even when we are young and feel invincible. It takes time to get in shape, but slow and steady does it.  A lot of us had a little weight creep up on us while being sidelined with this break also, and that's an extra frustration, but there will be a time you can get back on your feet, so might as well worry about that things you can do for now. There are great you tube videos of people exercising their upper bodies during their injuries. I think this can help to elevate your mood, push the oxygen and blood through your body for healing, and make you feel active in some way. The videos are quite fun to do too, if you get bored in bed. I did arm weight lifting routines throughout my whole recuperation, and I felt great after doing them, since most my time was in bed or on the sofa, with my leg up in the air. Re. the way to the car, is there any way you can slide very slowly on a piece of cardboard or something down the ramp to make it easier. Maybe you could rent a knee scooter, since you are pretty far along now. I used to be able to handle steep ramps on my knee scooter (with brakes) pretty easily. I agree crutches are very scary, at least until you get to PWB. I almost killed myself, using them on wet surfaces, and was very nervous with them most of the time. Another idea is a walker with good brakes. I think you could do it with that if the ramp is wide enough. The brakes on my walker were great.

      Re. driving, what I did was put the crutches on my knee scooter, ride to the back of the car, throw my knee scooter in and crutch back and drive. It worked because I had plenty upper body strength. It may be hard with a rotator cuff injury though, but I still think you could do it slowly if you practiced. I've read some people have done it with a broken ankle and broken arm. Just another idea if you end up renting a scooter. The freedom you feel driving is undescribable after you haven't been able to do it for a while. Try swimming too, when the doctor okay's it. It's amazing! Hope this helps! Remember, this is TEMPORARY!!!

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