Ankle ORIF - should I be walking better by now?

Edited , 12 users are following.

So glad I stumbled across this forum. I had ORIF surgery for Bimalleolar ankle fractures 5 months ago. I have a lot of pain and swelling if I walk more than 15-20 minutes. If I push it, the ankle is too sore to barely walk the next day. Being I'm over 50 I am assuming my healing time may take longer but this seems like forever! Should I be able to walk more by now without pain? I'm starting to lose hope that I'll be able to go for a nice long walk again.

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  • Edited

    don't be alarmed, 2 yrs Ago broken ankle in 3 places, dislocation, 7 screws, 2 plates and orif surgery!!!! i know the feeling but you have to push threw it wisely!! physical therapy was the best thing for me because i never dealt with anything like this before. i'm back to normal routine running, lifting weights and whatever else i choose to do but i had to work on it daily. i'm 50 yrs old so the age is not the issue . you will have to adapt some type of exercise so your ankle will get stronger and also not develop artritus . sorry for the spelling the word but you know what i mean

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    • Posted

      hi, i have done the same as you in December, since weight baring about 4 wks ago and physio I am in unbelievable pain, saw physio frid who has told me to back off, but i still think something is amiss, ive done 3 days of nothing & still agony - did you experience anything like this?

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  • Edited

    I am seventy years old in excellent health and just recovered from a trimalleolar fracture. It's taken a year. My ankle stopped swelling months ago. The only problem now is stiffness. I am having metal taken out in two weeks and can't wait. I will be in boot for a while and need pt but am anxious to feel normal again.

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  • Edited

    Yes. I was 57 old, when I had a trimalleolar fracture in March 2018. After 6 months I removed the plates and screws. Now, at 2 years old, everything is perfect. I was left with only the sensation of falling. You will be fine.Good luck!

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  • Edited

    Yes. I was 57 when I had trimalleolar fracture on March 2018. After 6 months I removed the plates and screws. Now, at 2 years old, everything is perfect. I was left with only the sensation of falling. You will be fine.Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Was it your idea to have the hardware removed? Or did you surgeon suggest it? 6 months....that is not long at all. I am 52 and had my plate and 13 screws put in for a fracture on May 11. Im 10 weeks out and still in a boot and the swelling is still there. Range of motion , forward with my toes, is half of my uninjred foot.

      I love biking, hiking, and low impact aerobic type exercise; worried I won't be able to do what I use to.

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  • Edited

    Did you go to PT?

    Im sure some pain and swelling are ok but after 5 months I think you should be able to have less pain when walking

    I suggest speaking to your ortho and see if you might benefit from more PT

    Im 7 months post op and 68 Im back to walking about 3 miles a day

    I am stiff afterwards but not in pain

    Good luck

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  • Edited

    Thanks so much to for all your replies! So nice to hear from you all! Yes. I am still in PT. I guess I didn't realize how long recovery would be but there's a lot of metal in there. ( plate & screws on one side, screws in the other). I had surgery in a different state, so followup care locally by a different surgeon has been challenging. I'll keep going to PT and try to stay positive. It seems like most people have the hardware removed but this was never mentioned to me. The thought of another surgery seems daunting.

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    • Edited

      I have had nothing but positive responses from everyone that has had metal removed. The surgery is in an out patient facility. The recovery is quick and pt should be helpful. The only thing is I'm overly careful when walking. This is something I hear is normal from everyone that's been through this.

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    • Edited

      At three months I was a mess and miserable. Now a year out and I'm doing great. Just having stiffness which will stop when metal is removed. Surgery in boot for a month and some pt. Only hear positive things so I'm very happy:

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  • Edited

    my doctor told me if the metal is not causing any problems leave metal inside

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    • Edited

      so true if its not bothering you leave well enough alone

      However the stabilizing screw which went entire length of my ankle (joining one side to other) limited my ROM and just like Jessica I had difficulty walking down stairs

      Removed about one month ago and was a quick procedure Had to wear boot again for 2 weeks but I only used it for about 10 days

      I can now walk downstairs using both feet

      I still have screws that are in bone of my ankle That is a little more involved to remove and for mow they arent bothering me

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