ankle surgery

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hi I'm 18 and  broke both my T&F in my ankle my senior year in high school. Had surgery the same day. 1 plate 9 screws.  I was in a splint for 2 weeks, cast for 4 weeks, and boot for 4 weeks. Bones healed within 6 weeks.  i started walking in shoes in about 3 months. i started jogging a little but ankle was still stiff and sore. i took it easy for awhile and went to PT for about a month and did exercises on my own. i started running around 4-5 months. my doctor even cleared me to play soccer. so now its been 6 months and I'm playing soccer. sprinting jumping everything. i am planning to remove hardware in about 8 months. Also, if you guys are wondering if my ankle gets sore or stiff at all especially after a soccer game, no it does not, although there is still a lot of swelling, more on the inner side of my ankle. Which bothers me and I'm wondering when the swelling will go away or what i can do to reduce the swelling other than icing? and if anybody had hardware removal was it worth it? and did that reduce swelling since you don't have screws/plates in there any more?

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  • Posted

    Congratulations Sarah! That is so good to hear. Other than icing, elevate and massage the foot from the toes to the calf-in a motion towards the heart to help recirculate the fluid back (I like using lotion to do it). I am your age plus that many more and I had a plate and 4 pins on the outside and a screw on the inside. I was in a splint for 2 weeks, boot for 4, and cleared to walk after that. I tried running a couple weeks ago and had pain the next day so I haven't tried it again but I feel it will happen with practice. I've been on 2 normal feet for 2 months now. I graduated from PT last week and I finally woke up the other day and thought-wow my ankle doesn't look so bad, and even at the end of the day it's getting better. That swelling might take the most time, especially if you're using it as well as you seem to be. I can still press near my incision and see indentations near the end of the day but I also think the plate makes my ankle bigger in general. Motrin/naproxen can help with inflammation as well as anti inflammatory foods you can find on line. Taking a rest once in awhile will also alleviate some of that swelling in the event you've been really active consistently. I would like my hardware out next year-I think I'd be better off without it in the future far from now. I already feel more achy when it rains and honestly I just don't like the idea of the foreign metal in there. I hope to hear how it goes and so good to hear good things here. Good job and good for you!

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  • Posted

    Good day Sarah! I broke my ankle in 2 places 9  1/2 weeks ago. The cast was removed at 8 weeks. I am 63 and my bones haven't completely healed. The circulation improves post cast, so hopefully the bones will or have completely healed by now. If not, I may need surgery, plates and screws. That is fantastic you are able to run as well as play soccer. I don't know whether the swelling would go away with the plate and screws removed. Maybe your doctor and physiotherapist can give you their opinions. Have a nice day Sarah!

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  • Posted

    Sounds like your recovery is going great! My screws in my ankle were pretty painful and kinda stuck out so for me it was 100% worth getting them out but i think i would always get them out because i dont think its a good thing in general to have foreign objects in your body and i have seen rare but horrifying stories where screws have broken inside etc. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Sarah,

    Wonderful news to hear of your rapid return to normal ankle function in such a short time! That's extremely rare to hear of on this forum (you are very young so that is in your favor-- also, perhaps you had another advantage in that you didn't also suffer a severe ankle sprain with consequent ligament and tendon injuries like so many of us have suffered).

    I could only guess, but having foreign objects embedded into your ankle could very well contribute to ongoing edema/inflammation. It makes perfect sense to me.

    It would be nice to hear from other patients about what happened to their symptoms after they had hardware finally removed.

    So, you may very well get symptom free once you get the 'hardware' out. Good luck to you.

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