Ankle Surgery

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I had ankle surgery seven months ago.  I still feel miserable.  My ankle still swollen and very stiff.

I'm not able to do stairs, I'm limping and not able to walk long distances. Level pain is about three to four. I wear a compression stocking and when  I remove it at night time my toes are stiff and my foot hurts a lot!

I'm having lower back pain and both legs and knees hurt too. 

I had thirty sessions of PT from January to April.  (That's the maximum my insurance allows in a fiscal year) I'll be able to go to PT  in July.

Anyone having the same problem?  Any advice or recommendations?

Thank you! 

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  • Posted

    Hi. I had surgery last Sept and like yourself mine is still stiff, swollen 24/7 and discoloured. I had PT every 2 weeks but the hospital decided that I was doing my exercises, massage, elevate etc that I would take up to 1 year to recover and they discharged me! I returned to work mid Jan this year due to financial  strains but I still cannot walk downstairs without a limp nor walk without a limp. I used to enjoy walking, now walk only when necessary and with discomfort. I hope in time that you and I will both improve. Good luck
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    • Posted

      I have been thinking about you Paul and wondering how you were doing. Sorry to hear you are still having trouble! Hang in there and keep doing your stretching and strengthening exercises. It is easy to give up on them, because they hurt and it takes a lot of time to get strength in the foot back. Have you tried compression socks at work?
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    • Posted

      Hi Patti. It's nice to hear that you have been thinking about me.I am pleased to read that you are improving, that's great news, well done. I had taken a break from posting on this forum as have been increasingly busy at work, then any spare time has been taken up with family commitments.

      I am still doing stretching & stengthening exercises but not as frequent as I had been doing, I have been doing alternate days, rather than every day, but think that is partially my trouble. It's the coming down stairs that causes me the most issue, going upstairs is much easier. I wear an ankle support sock when I  come home from work and my ankle is very swollen, this reduces the swelling, but still have some swelling 24/7. I have considered having the 3 screws removed, but am hesitating due to being off work again and struggling financially & physically again. I think with me a lot is physiological with me, and wish I had opted not to have the operation initially, but to have waited, then if needed to have the operation, but listened to the "specialist" who assured me that having surgery was the best decision, who knows?

      I know we are recovering at different stages due to different levels of injuries, I wish everybody on here a speedy recovery and to try to remain positive 

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    • Posted

      Good to hear from you Paul. It is hard to make time for all the exercises with all the other commitments in life- you are right. That's the one thing I heard from people I spoke with, who had healed from ankle breaks, is they were often sorry they didn't do the exercises as much as they should have done them, so I have tried to make time for them as much as I could. I posted some ideas today of how to gain strength, to help with walking downstairs. That was certainly the biggest hurdle for me, and I am still working on getting much better at it too. It really comes down to foot and toe strength. Hang in there and try to make a little time for yourself too. I know you have a family depending on you and that's probably hard to do!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your comments and advice. I had read your post on exercises and must focus on spending more time to do them.
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    • Posted

      Hi Paul,  

      I had surgery 2 weeks ago and had my hardware out.  I wanted to let you know.  We had surgery at same time.  I had continued to have pain, swelling and stiffness.  The surgery and anesthesia was much less than the first time, but it wasn't nothing.  I woke up easily in the recovery room and was able to go home. I was told to wear an airboot for 2 weeks with an ace wrap.  The incison was a little smaller.  I had my stitches out today.  I had nerve pain and redness at the site for 7 months.  The pain had only recently gone away, but now it seems to be back.  They told me to take gabapenin, I may do that.  I only wore the boot for 2 days and then only outside for a few more days.  I  used crutches for 3 days.  I removed the bandage in 3 days and could take a shower.  I have been full weight bearing, moving the ankle around.  It burns at the sight.  I do feel that my range is better.  I won't know for sure until I start pushing it some.  It swelled some the first 2 days, but the swelling seems less.  I have hopes of it being much better.  Most people do not get this burning nerve pain and I think it would be doing great if that was not going on.  It did go away totally last time.  I too, wondered what it would have been like if I had not had the surgery the first time.  If I were guessing I would say you would need a month off work to be comfortable with another surgery since your job is so physical.  Best wishes to you!

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda. Thank you for posting your recent experiences with hardware removal, I really appreciate your comments. I'm at 8 month post surgery, the pt has left my file open till August but doesn't think that having further sessions will improve anything. My ankle is constantly swollen still despite the bathing, massage, and support bandage for when I return from work.

      My foot is still a different colour and my lower leg is swollen. I can't afford another month off work but can't see any improvement happening anytime soon, so in a predicament as to what to do. The stiffness is still present and ankle gives minor pain around the incision area. I think you have made the correct decision based on our similar experiences. I wish you the best of luck and a speedy recovery

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    • Posted

      Thanks Paul.  I can understand your predicament.  I will let you know in the future if I have a major break through after the hardware removal.  I can't tell yet.  I rode the stationary trainer for 20 minutes today, but now tonight I have burning pain at the site and it feels stiffer than pre op.  So no miracle yet, but I'm hoping for itbiggrin  I never would've thought we'd still be having pain like this, but there's still time for improvement.  

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    • Posted

      Thanks again. I'm hoping that the burning pain is only temporary due to your exercising and your second operation, I think it will settle down in time.i would appreciate any future feedback, as I am obviously still very uncertain as to having any more surgery. It's certainly changed my life and restricted me from walking distances, stairs are an issue and bending/squatting. Keep up with the exercises etc and look forward to getting your life back on track. Take care

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  • Posted

    Hi, it's 5 months since I had my operation regarding my Maisonneuve Fracture.I also find it hard walking as it feels that my ankle is catching on bone.I have the knee problems but thankfully not the back problems.I am going to physio twice a month but to be honest it's aggravating it more than anything.Will see my consultant in two months time where he will take a MRI and decide if it needs another operation to get it right.Presently I am still off work as I am a postman so walking is a must for me.Really upsets your every day life this type of injury as I used to walk 12/14 miles a day at walk now down to a few hundred steps here and there.Again severity of the injury coupled with age can have a bearing on recovery,plus all your weight is transferred through the ankle.My consultant said its not an injury you can rush.Reading on here gives you a lift because you are not on your own and some people are worse off than myself.I hope your injury improves for you but it is a slow process for some.

           Chris

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  • Posted

    Hi margarita, after 7 months, the amount of pain you have seems a little too much. When last have you seen your surgeon? I broke my ankle 18 weeks ago and had surgery, but doing well . I walk with a very slight limp, and have no pain and hardly any swelling. My ankle is a bit stiff at times. The knee and back pain is because you are walking incorrectly I think. At one stage I started with a sore knee and my physiotherapists showed me that I was walking wrong. Just correcting my walk and a few strengthening exercises for the knee and thigh, and I am fine again. If you have not been for a check up in a while , I think you should, and continue with the pt if your doctor says it is ok. I know we all heal differently, but it is good to make sure all is ok. I would also check for arthritis as it is very possibly after surgery, especially if you say your ankle is very stiff. Good luck I hope you feel better soon. Please keep us updated.
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  • Posted

    9 months post break, nearly 5 months post surgery. Snapped, displaced, fibula. Dislocated ankle. Surgery- plate, 6 screws, bone graft.

    Feel your pain. Having a aggravated Bakers cyst on 'good' stopped me fixating on broken leg. Time, patience. I don't know the answer, but if I look back I see I have made good progress. Good wide shoes

    Help. NB . Orthotics may be helpful. I too was a big walker. Still having Physio for another 8 weeks. Then not allocated any. As my husband broke his hand nearly a month after me, our lives have been on hold. Work related accident, totally not his fault. nasty boss fired him. Now we have very little money. He had surgery too. Both still having complications. Welcome to the club you didn't ask to join. Great support here.

    Keep up R.I.C.E.

    DON'T be too hard on yourself. Find a hobby for a distraction. Uke for me and PS4.

    I have a walker - All terrain with large wheels and seat. Very handy.

    @(*+*)@

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  • Posted

    PT so important, glad you'll be starting back soon.  Home PT good too.  

    Do you have any hardware in?  Many have complained that their hardware causes issues/restrictions and limp and have it removed.  I think other pains are being caused by limp.  Just a thought.  Maybe a discussion with doc on this is in order because if limp does not improve, other issues will worsen.  Sorry for your discomfort.  Hope you get answers soon.   

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