Ankle very tight

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I had a plate and pins inserted after ankle surgery in July and was non weight bearing with a cast for 6 weeks. It's now almost 4 weeks since the cast was removed. I wasn't given any boot, just a support bandage and was told I'd be walking with just a stick by week 3.

Nobody told me how painful it would be, physio gave me exercises to do but I'm finding it very difficult to do them due to the pain. I feel as if I have a steel band around my ankle which seems to tighten as the days go on. If I manage to walk a few yards, my ankle really swells up more than usual and the pain is awful.

I've got some comfort reading other sufferers stories and realise my recovery could take months but does anybody else out there have this 'steel band' sensation? 

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  • Posted

    My shins as well as ankle still feel extremely stiff and I am just over 4  months recovery, walking but with a limp and have found some relief with inner soles in my trainers.  My knees were sore and whole body out of alignment because of over compensating with good foot!  It is a long haul I am afraid but take heart, I do feel much better that I can now drive and walk even if I still have a limp!  This blog has helped me tremendously as no one who has ever had this type of injury to an ankle can understand!!! We all understand your pain but I promise you it does get better.  Loads of love xxxx

     

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    • Posted

      Thanks for taking the time to reply. It's reassuring to know other people have the same problem but the thought of it taking months to get back to normal gets me down some days (most days in fact). I love ballroom dancing and can't wait to get back to it but I guess I'll just have to be patient and persevere. Hope you continue to improve xx

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    • Posted

      It is so good to share with people who we have never met but share a common goal  - to get over broken ankles -  hang in there my dear and stay positive - it does get better! xxx
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  • Posted

    Hi Sonya, absolutely yes about the steel band, I've got plates both sides of the ankle  and screws across the front, the ankle was shattered in Feb 17, 8 weeks in cast, 6 weeks in the boot, it's hard to believe ain't it?

    On and off on 1 and at times 2 crutches, depending on the pain in my knee, today for example on both crutches.

    The steel band feels as tho I'm very restricted in movement, I wear an over size croc sad the swelling is such that some say it's double the size of my other ankle, dr and Physio say it could take up to 2 years to get somewhere normal. I'm happy that the purple colour has now become a light peach colour so slowly but surely it does get better as the weeks and months go by. My advise to use is push yourself especially with the  exercises the Physio give you.

    I got an exercise ball to do squats and this does help with the knee and the stretching of ligaments behind the ankle. Chin up, we will all get there eventually. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for replying Darren, you've certainly had a rough time. 

      What annoyed me when I left hospital is that nobody told me what to expect. If it wasn't for this forum I'd be panicking. It's reassuring that I'm not alone. This tightness around my ankle gets me down. Some days I can move my ankle without too much pain then the next day I can hardly move at all. It would be great if I saw slight improvement each week but some days I feel like I'm going backwards (not literally!) Thanks for all your advice, I'll try harder with the exercises and stop feeling sorry for myself. Take care.

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  • Posted

    July 12th 7 weeks post op I have the same injury. September 18th doc will start me on weight bearing just reading everyone's blog I'm bracing myself for a real challenge. I been going to physical therapy for rom but the challenge will be the weight bearing.

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    • Posted

      It's certainly not going to be easy, as you've read on here but you're not alone. I wish I still had my cast on as there was no pain! I've just had to cancel a holiday to Russia (well I should have been there now actually) so I'm not a happy bunny. Why I thought I would be able to go is stupid but better safe than sorry.

      In a way it's great being able to weight bear, rather than hop around, but this is when the hard work starts. You'll be fine, just stick with it. Take care.

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  • Posted

    We all have a long hard road ahead. I'm 23weeks dwn the line. Still have pain and swelling. I too have the tightness around the ankle which can hinder the amount of movement I can do. Some days worse than. I walk with a very bad limp, and on days have to go back to using 1 crutch!! 😢. Hate it these past few days I really feel I've gone backwards . This is one hell of a hard recovery. Wishing you all well. Sx

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    • Posted

      Thanks for replying Sandra. It certainly does sound like a long hard slog. I had absolutely no idea it would take a long time, I was naïve enough to think I would be back dancing after a couple of months! At least reading the comments on the forum reassure me my symptoms are normal and other people out there are going through the same thing. Wish you well x

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  • Posted

    Hi Sonya,

    I am two months out from breaking my ankle. Had surgery 5 weeks ago for repair with pins and plates. Three bones were repaired as well as torn tendons I'm still in a boot with no weight bearing at all. I had complications with an infection which caused some delays in healing. My cast guy told me to try pulling my foot up to work the Achilles' tendon so I would have so much pain when I started to walk again.  One had various wraps and splints but no cast due to having to watch the incisions. 

    I knew nothing about breaks and what was normal for these type of injuries. I searched online to get info. The swelling is still terrible and I had no idea how an injury such as this would change your life for such a long time.  

    I hope the sensation you are feeling gets better soon. 

    I have to set small goals to keep myself from getting discouraged. 

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    • Posted

      It's a shame that we have to search online for our answers and the NHS don't have the time or the staff to advise patients an what to expect during the recovery period. I, like you, looked for answers online and didn't really find anything helpful until I came across this forum. I've got so much reassurance and comfort from my fellow sufferers.

      Take care and I hope everything goes well for you.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sonya! I am so sorry you are having pain. I broke my ankle in two spots and am 10 weeks post op. I am in a boot and it hurts when I step on it so I can't imagine not having that stability when stepping. I am partial weight bearing so I have tried a number of things. Crutches, walker and bench/walker. I am back to work on crutches so I try balancing myself on the counter to be able to bear more weight. When it swells it's very tight. Like a sausage! Doesn't feel good. But I have noticed that propping it up higher than my heart and icing it helps with the swelling. AND moving it helps. Feels so much better after I exercise it. The more movement, the better. Run it under water to loosen it up, rub/massage the heck out of it. Massage your incision so that scar tissue doesn't form, and try your hardest to make movements, even small ones help. I started with wiggling toes. Then trying to bend toes down. Flex up and down. Don't do anything that hurts, only what your foot will allow. Hope you feel better soon!

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    • Posted

      Hi Sandra. After reading yours and other peoples stories on the forum I realise I'm not alone and compared to some (you included) I'm better off than most. I do raise my foot and use ice packs (bag of frozen peas actually) but I haven't had my foot higher than my heart so I'm going to try that. Hubby massages my ankle for me, not always gently, and it does help. I hope your recovery goes well and as everybody keeps telling me - you'll get there eventually. xx 

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  • Posted

    Oh Sonya I have this feeling as well. When I walk in the pool it feels as though I have 'weeds' wrapping around my ankle, you have described it a lot better than me. I was in a cast for 7 weeks, and it is now 7 /1/2 months since my surgery. I have now been diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome. I cannot touch my scar because I get 'electric shocks' in my foot. I spray my moisturiser now because the sensation is getting worse. I have been offered nerve blockers but have refused them. I can actually feel it when I have walked too much, my ankle feels as if it is puffing up and a steel band clamping in place.

    I am really peed off that my surgeon, when he saw the look of horror on my face when the final cast was removed, just said the swelling will go in 12 months and signed me off. No advice or help. Thats why this board is great, we are not alone.

    I hope you all get better soon.

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