Ankle Fracture Rehabilitation

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Fractured my ankle in 2 places and dislocated. Was in a cast for 6 weeks non weight bearing. Now discharged from hospital with moon boot. I am now 7 weeks post fracture and am at the lowest point. I feel like I will never walk again. I really dont know what to do as was not referred for physio. Do I continue just using the boot and hope that one day soon I can walk. We have already cancelled a holiday and have a holiday booked in 6 weeks time. I am worried that I will have to cancel this too. Is there anyone out there who are in similar circumstances who can offer me hope and advice. I really am desperate.

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  • Posted

    You should not be in desperate situation but you must go through physical therapy. After six weeks of no weight bearing, physical therapy must start now and you should start putting weight on injured leg in a couple of weeks. Expect swelling and some pain. I will start physical therapy this week. My surgeon told me to expect swelling and I still have pins and needles type of pain. I too may have to postpone travel unfortunately. Keep up your spirit and you'll be back walking in a couple of months. It is such a slow process. You have to be careful and patient. Nick
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    • Posted

      Thank you Nick. It is so difficult to be positive after so long. I was thinking I might contact my GP to ask for physio referral as may feel better with some on hand advice and support as to what I should or shouldnt do. I never realised this could be so debilitating. I am a person who rushes around everywhere so this has hit me like a ton of bricks. Its difficult to see light at tde end of the tunnel. Hope you are okay.
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    • Posted

      Tomorrow 11 am is my first PT appointment. It is such a long process to recover from ankle break; I have figured that out a few weeks back, and that's why I saw a psycho professional and now I am on depression medication for a few months. That was key to keeping sane. I had anxiety and depression before that. A cast would drive any sane human crazy; it's like being in prison. Seeing a shrink for consultation and taking medication for depression make me have a good night sleep which is essential for recovery. Saying lots of prayers helps too. My prayers and best wishes go out to you also. Nick 
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  • Posted

    I understand your pain and confusion. I am 10 weeks post fracture and still in a cast. I have the same fears as you. When do you see your doctor again? Are you are to put weight on it?
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    • Posted

      Hi I have no further appointments. Hospital Consultant discharged me with a boot and said do exercises and walk when it feels comfortable to do so. I feel totally left and worried I may be doing more damage than good. I have searched the internet but not sure that is a good thing as according to some I could be walking now and others I am weeks away from walking. This is awful. Cant believe you are still.in a cast after 10 weeks. You must be going stir crazy.
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    • Posted

      I am going stir crazy, it is definitely a test. Remember, everyone heels different. From what I have been told, the more you work it, the better it is. Look up range of motion exercises for ankle in the internet and get a 2nd opinion, that doesn't sound right to me. You should be having regular xrays and follow ups to check your progress, not to mention physical therapy.
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    • Posted

      Iris: It's Nick again; your reply to leelee indicates you have less than a favorable advice from 'hospital consultant'. You must get professional physical therapy. 'Walk when it feels comfortable' is not a professional's advice. My 91-year old Mom, who did not finish middle school, would have done better. There is an established system to recovering from ankle surgery and the process cannot be arbitrary. It sounds like you're not getting sound professional advice. Wish you the best.  Nick
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  • Posted

    There are lots of posts on this site that will help you.  I'm sorry your doctor has not been more forthcoming, but most of us have had the same experience.  You should call for a physio appointment.  If it's far out, you may want to pay out of pocket.  I am 51/2 months post op.  The recovery is gradual, each person a little different depending on injury, age etc.  Some of the beginning exercises are pointing your toes and dorsiflexion, twisting the ankle in both directions, writing the alpabet with your toes, using a stretchy band in all directions. Weight bearing is gradual using crutches, then wean to one crutch.  I totally understand the need for speed and this has been a lesson in patience (I failed many days).  Try to take one day at a time, it will be over before we know it.  Physio will help you make a plan and give you some answers.  Best of luck!
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  • Posted

    Hi Iris.

    Go and see your GP for a referral for physio. You will walk again given time and there is no magic wand. I was in the camboot for months and had a difficult time walking and weight bearing. I was walking unaided at post op 5 MONTHS. I am now 7 months post op and still in pain. I'm having physiotherapy and hydrotherapy but still can't walk properly but I've been through hell and I have come a long way. I am still recovering but don't have the level of movement in my ankle I once had. I have 4 plates on fibula and tibia with screws and 2 screws in the inner ankle bone, these two, i can feel them digging in most of the time and it's not at all pleasant. You will feel anxious and that's normal and you will have good and bad days with feelings of helplessness. It's a time thing with a broken ankle, some heal quicker than others and there are also degree of breaks, age, bone strength, etc, these are all factors we have to consider with the healing process. Just know you are not alone and the people who will understand are the people who have been through this. I forgot how to walk and still have great fears of falling. Keep positive and just know that, this too shall pass. 🙂

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  • Posted

    Hi Iris

    Like most others have said it is physiotherapy that will get your ankle moving again. I do sympathise with you because when my plaster was removed 6 weeks ago my ankle couldn't move. I have a plate and screws and ankle was dislocated.  3 days later I was at physio and did gentle exercises which over the weeks have been increased in difficulty and balance. Also the foot is manipulated which after awhile does hurt and then the physiotherapist stops. I used crutches at first and did walking between 2 parallel bars which gave confidence. I didn't have a boot.

    I do the exercises at least 5 times a day at home and by evening the ankle is swollen and aches but is a lot better after a nights sleep. I can now walk unaided but still quite slowly.

    I do hope you can get your ankle working and follow the exercises shown on some web sites. A lot are what I have been given at physio.   There is a saying "no pain, no gain" and it is true for ankle injury. Don't be depressed because with continual exercise you will soon walk.  Best wishes.

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  • Posted

    I had a cast on for 2 months and had to demand that I had physio as I could feel that my mustles were tight. I'm still having 30 mins pt every 3 weeks, which is basically e45 cream massaged into my ankle and a couple of balancing exercises on a board. My ankle has never stopped being swollen in all of my 6 months since injury. It isn't easy, I have good and bad days, I've had a few sleepless nights recently questioning my past and future, it is so hard as my life style has always been physical and now, it's just bed and work. I'm sorry to sound depressive as I know that all of us are experiencing the very same, just different levels of anxiety and depression.

    I have had to postpone my travel from Uk to Clevelend this May to visit family, as I know I just am not ready for a 10 hour plus flight and delays.

    Hope you are able to go on your second holiday, as this maybe the tonic that you need to make you feel better within yourself. Take care

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your response. I do appreciate you taking the time. I have rang my doctor this morning and asked if I can have a referral for physio so am now waiting a response. Its difficult to know what to do for the best ie do I try full weight bearing or could this cause more damage etc. I feel that I need these questions answered in order to feel confident that I am doing everything correct.

      I am so sorry to hear that you have had to cancel your trip in May and hope that you get a full recovery sooner rather than later and can get away to see your family in the not too distant future.

      Best wishes

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    • Posted

      Hi Iris. Thanks for your kind comments. I understand your apprehension with regards to whether you are doing harm full weight bearing. I had an X Ray every appointment and then was told when I could weight bear. It was a very strange feeling of pins and needles initially and was tempted to rely keep using crutches, but this feeling will reduce with increased use. Good luck
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  • Posted

    Oh my god my heart goes out to you, first and foremost you need to see a gp or physio and tell them you have no aftercare plan and the problems you are having. Ask your gp to refer you to a specialist, do not wait act now, and heres why!! I broke my ankle july 2015 and after a long nightmarish 6 months i have just had surgery with a plate five pins put in and back on my arse staring longingly out at my poor horse lol after surgery i was informed that the SYNDESMOSIS was completely ruputured and he had to do a bone graft with two long pins going through my fibula and tibia till it fuses, totally gutted. I am a dairy farmer and do endurance riding and since this happened have not done either, I saw many people had an MRI in october which got mixed opinions and finally my gp went nuts at acc and sent me to a specialist who got a ct scan done and orgainised surgery within a fortnight. I now have permanent damage through so long with it being out of alignment by 3mm which has caused lost of cartilidge etc, so i beg you to take the matter into your own hands and seek the best advice from the right person (Orthopedic Surgeon) as soon as possible, I wish a far better outcome for you than where i am, looking at at least 9 months recovery with an unsure outcome lol BIGGEST HUGS as I know how this takes its toll not knowing!!!
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