Ankle Fracture post-surgery pain, etc

Posted , 8 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

HI all.  I am so happy to have located this forum.  I'm in pain, keep fighting off negative thoughts about how long until I can walk again and generally am bored out of my mind laying on a couch not moving.  I live by myself and while I have a bunch of friends and family that have been supportive and helpful, even taking shifts, it's still hard looking forward to how much more time I have to lay here alone.

I'm nearly 3 weeks post injury I fractured my fibia just above my ankle into 4 pieces.  A bit over 1 week post surgery.  I rolled my ankle and torqued the bone.  It wasn't a simple fix and required 9 screws and a plate.  

I had my post up check-up yesterday where they took the splint and bandages off.  Things looked pretty good.  Healing is starting.  Docs want me to keep up the elevation and not move.  Obviusly I'm still not weight bearing for a few more weeks.  While elevated I am just in a pair of ace bandages and ice packs.  They even want me to peel off everything two or three times a day to let the wound get air.  Meanwhile anytime I move I have to put on an aircast boot and I thankfully have a knee walker (best thing ever!) instead of crutches.  They also want me to start moving my foot upside down but not side to side and absolutely no rotation.

So, to get to my problems.... I am having an unbearable time sleeping.  After this check-up yedoc said I could sleep without the boot (but could use it if I wanted.)  I returned home and tried to take a nap.  As soon as I fell asleep my leg muscle spasmed and flexed my ankle sideways.  OMG.  Searing pain.  My foot was swollen again by evening, as well. (It was looking REALLY good at the doc appt.)  Fast forward to bed.  Put my foot in the boot, went to sleep.  Again my muslces spasmed as I fell asleep which woke me up, but at least my ankle didn't hurt - yay!  But at 3:30am my toes flinched and again searing jolt of pain went from my toe, down through my foot and up through my ankle.  It was awful, felt just like a muscle cramp for more than an hour.  Anything that you would normally do to relieve a muscle cramp is exactly the opposite of what I can do for the ankle injury.  I was in misery for over an hour and also at this point scared to go back to sleep.  

There hasn't been but one night since the injury that I've gotten a 6 hour sleep.  Generally it's more like 4.  It's really wearing on my boyfriend who's been trying to stay and help me at night.

What can you do for these muscle spasms/cramps?  Is it just part of the healing process?  How long do they last?  Would muscle relaxers work?

Thanks.

TLDR:  I can't sleep - I'm having a lot of searing pain due to muscle spasms and/or muscle cramps.  Help.

 

0 likes, 24 replies

Report

24 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    I had those muscle spasms as well and yes my doc said get Robaxacet so I did it helped. Maybe sleep in the air cast as can keep the foot still. Sleep was very hard for me the first couple of weeks but does get way better soon, so hang in there.Ice it a lot before bed and that helps spasms. I bought a cold therapy machine and it helped so much with pain and spasms. I kept it running all night. Good luck it will get better soon.

    Margie

    Report
    • Posted

      Thank you!  I finally got sleep last night.  It was so beautiful!  The Flexeril worked!  They gave me special ice packs that help a lot. I have heard about the cold therapy machine.  I should do more research there. smile
      Report
  • Posted

    We all feel your pain. This is a great forum and has made me realize I'm not alone. The worst part is the beginning with the frustration and pain. Once you accept that it'll be a slow process but you will get better, it gets easier. There are good days and bad days. I'm 5 months post op, 2 surgeries, 3 months NWB. In PT and I'm driving now. Thank goodness for husband friends & family. Let your friends & family help. Don't be shy about asking.

    Re the leg cramps have you tried magnesium? It might help.

    Hang in there!

    Report
    • Posted

      I'm still trying to accept it... that's for sure.  I can't imagine 3 months NWB!  Glad you are out and about again!

      I have been asking for a ton of help and eveyone has been so kind. It's a relief to know I have a support group both virtual and IRL. smile

      Ty.

      Report
    • Posted

      Hello Janness

      I am one week away from my 3 month post-op appointment and the plan has been that I will begin  to bear weight after they take some X-rays. What was your experience bearing weight after 3 months? What can I expect? What does your physical therapy intail?

      Report
  • Posted

    I occasionally suffered from muscle spasms but it started to become a frequent event and I found that having a glass of tonic water in the evening was an effective remedy. The quinine in tonic water was the reason and I'm now on one quinine tablet every evening and that has completely cured the spasm problem for me.

    It's an almost immediate remedy.

    Let us know if this works for you...a couple of days should be enough to tell.

    Cheers Richard

    Report
    • Posted

      Richard

      That's brilliant advice - I've heard that in the past about Tonic water ! I wish I had remembered that when I was in my early weeks of recovery. My leg would spasm and it would feel like it was breaking all over again .... thank god those days are in the past

      Cheers

      Elle

      Report
    • Posted

      It's an easy and quick remedy. It has transformed the cramps for me and I've been taking it for a out four months now. It would be useful to get your feedback.

      Cheers Richard

      Report
    • Posted

      My injury occurred Jan 16/17 Thankfully I'm not suffering muscle spasms anymore smile but if I ever do experience them again in the future I'll try the tonic water remedy

      Report
    • Posted

      Other than the 7 days of bloating & constipation from the flipping Narcotics they put me on post-op, these muscle spasms have been the worst thing by far.

      I think I'll giive that Tonic water a try.  ty!

      Report
    • Posted

      What did you break and how ? I still can't believe how my life changed in a split second - such a nightmare but I'm so happy to be recovering so well

      Report
    • Posted

      Here's a pic. smile  Fibula is in 4 pieces.  I was walking downhill on a gravel path and the gravel moved out from under my foot causing me to roll my ankle and torque the bone.  The most unpleasant part was trying to hobble back up the hillside to get out of the gorge.

      I'm glad you are recoviering well!  I seem to be doing a lot better the last few days, myself!  WHEW.

      Report
    • Posted

      Oh Scarlet ! We're quite the pair - I was walking very carefully out to the barn to feed our horses and slipped on some ice on the grass - shattered my Tib/fib right into the ankle joint ....

      I can't believe you managed to hobble out !!! I was in such complete agony I couldn't move at all - laid in the snow for an hour waiting for the bloody ambulance to arrive.im trying to show you my X-ray but can't figure out how to get it here

      Report
    • Posted

      Yes I know how you feel! II waas being super careful.  In fact just two steps before it happened I had just gotten done telling myself that the steepest part of the downhill was in front of me and to be super careful! If I would have been by myself I'm not sure I would have made it back out.  

      There was no phone reception where we were.  Luckily, I was with a group of people (we were volunteering at a state park that need hiking trail reconstruction) and so I had my boyfriend on one side with an arm around my waist and another person on the other side where I was resting as much weight as possible on his shoulder and step by step they helped me get out.  Took us 40 minutes.  Both of them figured I had just sprained really bad (who walks, however slowly, on a broken ankle?)

      My boyfriend & I packed up camp and drove 3 hours home.  By the time we got there the first thing I said was "emergency room."  My ankle was the size of a softball by then.  Doc didn't think it was broken either until we got the Xrays back.  Then they just looked at me and said "wow - you're holding it together pretty well, considering."  

      I'm happy you were able to get help.  This is my first broken bone in 40+ years.  I don't think I'll be too cavelier about people who are scared of slipping on the ice anymore!

      (to attach a picture, click the button in the upper right that shows a mountain and a sun.)

      I hope you are healing. smile  Take care.

      Report
    • Posted

      Wow! That is quite the story! I just wanted to share that I too have a knee scooter when I leave the house, but at home have found that a wheelchair (without the leg braces) has been the easiest means of mobility because it frees your hands. I do not feel safe using crutches. My accident was Jan 11. Hoping on Monday, April 10 Dr gives me the thumbs up to start bearing weight!
      Report
    • Posted

      I figured - hey if I'm going to break a bone - I better have a good story!  (I kid.)

      My knee scooter has a basket and that's the biggest asset!  I keep telling people that I want to add a cupholder and a bicycle bell. smile  

      I used a portable wheelchair for the first week after surgery.  I didn't trust my sense of balance while on narcotics.  It was useful, but I still find I get around easier on the scooter. smile  

      I don't trust myself on crutches either!  I hope your doc appt gives you good news!

      Report
    • Posted

      I got the okay to start bearing weight wearing the boot! I do this for four more weeks then can transition into a shoe. Dr said everything was healing well. I start physical therapy tomorrow. I've walked around cautiously this afternoon. Only a little pain in my Achilles' tendon. Hurray!!

      Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up