BIMALLEOLAR ANKLE FRACTURE- How long for weight bearing after surgery

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Bimalleolar ankle fracture. 7-7-17. Surgery 7-27-17. In cast 8-7-17. Go back to Doctor 9-1-17. So far no complications. Doctor says if all looks good on 9-1-17 go into boot and then start full weight bearing. If anyone has been thru this what has your experience been with time line to walk . I have no pain. I don't feel any swelling any more when my leg is down. I keep my foot elivated most of the time . Taking Dr Schultz Super Food Everyday and adding 1 teaspoon of food grade diatomaceous earth to it which can help with bone healing and has a lot of other health benefits. I got it off Amazon. I have used Food Grade Diatomaceous earth for years for my pets and I knew it was good for people but I never realized how good. Any feedback on walking time after surgery will be appreciated

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  • Posted

    I am on day 7 after getting the go to walk. I was able to wean from the boot and crutches as tolerated by pain so I wore the boot with the even up shoe for 2 days, dropping the crutches immediately. Since the bone was healed I really didn't have that to worry about. I've been walking in tennis shoes and once in flats (that was not as comfortable). I first walked half a mile, then 1, etc., and my last one was 2.5 and my foot swelled up quite a bit and the gastrocnemius hurts mostly. Get some PT and do move it often for best results!

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    • Posted

      I will also add that going downstairs is most difficult for me. Going up stairs is no problem. It's tender but when I walk I try to push into the ground with the affected foot a bit and do calf raises using mostly the affected. Good luck

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  • Posted

    I had my fall July 7th and surgery July 8th. 2 weeks later I had my staples removed and cast taken off and in a boot since but non weight bearing. I go this Friday the 18th to check and see progress and see if I can start weight bearing. I've also been in physio since week 3 and my range of motion is about 95% of my good ankle now. Hoping to start walking this Friday!!!

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    • Posted

      I had my fall walking my dog on July 8th and surgery July 9th.

      During the first couple of weeks I felt optimistic and pushed myself to use the walker and run brief errands. It's my left ankle so I can drive. I even returned to work one or two days a week (I am a therapist).

      5 weeks later I feel so fed up I don't want to do anything. The cast was removed prematurely a few days ago because it got wet, so I am now in a boot.

      Next week I am supposed to begin putting 25% weight on the foot. The foot and ankle range from numb to tingling and I can't imagine anything working properly.

      I have osteoporosis secondary to lupus treatment with prednisolone. I  am also insulin dependent. Every little thing I have to do feels like a huge production, changing my pump, monitoring my blood glucose, getting a cup of tea, making toast never mind taking a shower or going to the bank.

      I'm 63 and had been feeling really good walking one or two miles a day with dog. I like to go off the beaten track which is what got me in trouble. 

      I'm looking for one of those miracle cures. Can anyone help me please🙁

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    • Posted

      Clare,

      I read your story and wanted to send you a few words of encouragement.

      You didn't mention details of your injury or what got broken or any other complications. I hope your injuries were minor, relatively speaking.

      Many patients have preexisting health challenges before ankle injuries, and that can add to the stress. Lupus is a challenge in itself, and at 63 years you don't have the resilience of youth to put the wind at your back, either.

      So it is not surprising that at this stage you are slumping a bit and emotionally washed out. But you will shake it all off as you get better-- I think nearly all of us patients go through a 'darkest moment before it gets light' moment.

      I don't know of any miracle cures that you are asking about. I know about some remarkable cures and healings of every ailment under the sun, but these involve (usually but not always) intense spiritual faith.

      For us regular people, healing from ankle disasters is a matter of dogged persistence and patience. You must do everything you can to increase the healing 'charge' in your body to overcome these health obstacles. Clean nutritious diet, supplements as needed, plus avoiding junk food, caffeine, nicotine, and drugs are important. If you can meditate that will help lower your stress and fatigue levels.

      Restorative sleep is needed for deep healing. Don't forget plenty of sunlight for physical and mental health. Stay cheerful as you can and avoid downers like negative news and tv shows.

      It is paramount that you start ankle rehab exercises just as soon as you can. Your doctor will recommend a physical therapist if you ask. There are plenty of exercises you learn from sources like YouTube.

      Like all of us, you are no doubt apprehensive about what comes next as you transition to weight-bearing and walking. Plenty of patients have shared their personal experiences on this forum for your benefit. Read and learn.

      Remember-- you are always stronger than you think you are.

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    • Posted

      Kpower

      You are an angel . You give such helpful words of encouragement and hope

      Thank you

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  • Posted

    Greetings Susan,

    We share one thing in common-- a bimalleolar ankle fracture. Mine was displaced but I managed to dodge the knife-- thank goodness. Surgery is sometimes necessary but surgery of the foot is not something I'd personally care to contemplate. Nonetheless, judging from this forum respondents' stories it seems most patients do alright.

    It sounds like your post-surgery healing journey is going swimmingly. You got some really good advice somewhere, and I bet some of it came from this forum  :-)

    In reply to your question about time progression to walking status: I'll report my experience. I was 4 weeks NWB (non-weight-bearing) in CAM (aka moon- or airboot), then, based on x-ray evidence of bone mending doctor put me on PWB (partial-weight-bearing-- 50%) while still in boot for 2 more weeks. PWB 50% means to put only 50% of total body weight on injured foot (when standing evenly on both feet each is 50% weight bearing). I started walking at 50% WB with crutches (walkers are good for this too if you are afraid of crutches). It's more of an art than exact science to figure out what is close to 50% WB when using crutches-- but you figure it out quickly.

    My orthopedist was probably conservative in his approach to weight-bearing progression. Other physicians may accelerate the time line (and really evidence on x-rays should be the determining factor). Each patient case is unique and different, so don't be excessively concerned if some people jumped to walking much sooner than others.

    Note: as you may have learned from other patient's experiences here, it's important to make sure your good foot shoe is as high as the moonboot-- they make 'even-up' shoe levelers just for this purpose. Walking with feet at uneven heights can lead to pain in other joints like hips and knees. In fact, some patients have other joint pains even with 'even-ups' because of long weeks of skeletal/muscular atrophy from enforced inactivity.

    It's important to walk thus as much as you can tolerate without too much pain to prepare ankles, calves, and all the other assorted soft tissue (that have been inactive and atrophied during the long NWB convalescence) for stress of walking.

    So at 6 weeks my doctor said go FWB, but stay in boot for 2 more weeks. In my case, I did fine with little  pain or swelling. I transitioned to regular shoes at 8 week mark. It was a little touch and go for a while (I used a cane for a few days and had a slight limp for a few more days) but I was soon in the swing of things with a normal gait.

    I wear a good ankle brace (only when I know I will be standing/walking for extremely long periods) and a shoe orthotic because I suffered PTTD (a tendon dysfunction) as a result of my severe ankle sprain with fracture. I believe the biggest impediment to many patients' full and lasting recovery from sprains/fractures is soft tissue damage that can go undiagnosed and untreated. Bones are usually good to go from the day your doctor says you can go FWB, unless you have a complication.

    It's important to begin ankle rehab just as soon as doctor gives go-ahead. Physiotherapy (either professional or self-taught) is fundamental to getting normal mobility back and staving off chronic ankle problems in future.

    Good luck to you.

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    • Posted

      Wow - Thank you so much for all that information. It was very helpful. I am looking forward to getting the cast off 9-1-17 and getting the go ahead to FWB in the Boot . : )
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    • Posted

      I am 6 weeks post bimalleur ankle surgery.  I am currently doing heal taps and tomorrow I am supposed to move to 50% weight on operative limb. My instructions say that to determine what 50% is I should get on the scale findy weight and then push down until I get half my weight.  This makes no sense to me.   How did you figure out what half your weight is?
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    • Posted

      Hi Shelley, I can understand your worry and I don't really know the answer to your question but I can tell you how I did things following a bad ankle dislocation, trimalleolar fracture and surgery which I hope might help. 7 weeks after surgery including 4 weeks in a cast, when my cast was removed my consultant gave me a support boot and said I could fully weight bear. I was extremely surprised and pretty terrified by this. So I wore the boot outside only, using my crutches and whenever I left the house, more for support and protection as I found it quite uncomfortable. Inside the house I wore a loose slipper sock to get myself used to putting my foot on the floor whilst still using both crutches. I also still used my knee scooter for any distances. I just gradually increased the amount of pressure on my foot according to pain levels and swelling. Be aware that it will swell at the drop of a hat and usually need icing at the end of each day for a while. After a few weeks I put my slipper on my foot and then a very loose trainer . I am still still limited with footwear choices but things are improving. I can balance on my bad leg only for short periods of time now but still have to use 1 crutch when outside. I am hoping to get rid of this very soon. Not sure if that helps at all but you are generally the best judge of what you can tolerate with your ankle. Mine has been worse due to the dislocation and being left for 10 hours with it dislocated which has caused considerable damage to soft tissue, ligaments and tendons. Things will feel very strange at first and you will need to get your balance and correct gait back slowly but it will come. Good luck!

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  • Posted

    Really good to hear the experiences of others and know that it has been just as frustrating for other people!! I dislocated and broke my ankle on holiday in Portugal on 15th Sept. I had surgery to repair trimalloelar fracture on 17th Sept. I had a nightmare time in Portugeuse NHS equivalent hospital where I had no pain meds for hours and a member of staff walked into my dislocated ankle (I am tall and my feet hung over the end of the trolley)! I then had my ankle manipulated twice without any drugs - worst experience of my life!! Luckily friends took me to a private hospital after this and this is where I had the surgery and was very well looked after. I had staples out 12 days later back home in UK and another 3 days later went for orthopaedic clinic appt. They put a cast on and I have appt to remove it after 4 weeks. It's been 2 weeks now and I am desperate to get it off as I am so fed up not being able to walk or do things for myself. I know it all takes time to heal but I am so worried that I will not be allowed to walk after they take the cast off. The recovery timescales seem to be different for everyone. I suppose I just have to be patient and hope for the best. I totally understand your frustration and emotional state as I frequently end up in tears at the moment and I had a spinal anaesthetic not a general. I feel like I am constantly asking people to do things for me and apologising for doing so, I hate being this reliant on others even though my husband and mum have been amazing.

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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    Two weeks ago I rolled my ankle at home and went to the ER to discover that I have broken my ankle and will need a BIMALLEOLAR ANKLE FRACTURE surgery. I had to wait one and a half weeks before I was able to be operated on as the ankle was still so swollen. It's been a bit of an ordeal, and I am now 4 days post surgery. 

    I was given Lovenox injections to do myself for the next two weeks to avoid any potential blood clots. However over the past 2 days I have felt a weird throbbing going up and down my leg that was operated on. 

    Is this normal? I have also been on Oxy pain killers this week which hasn't been handled well in my body as i am always nauseous and feel super dizzy.

    I have a follow up appointment in 2 weeks where I think I will be fitted my boot and the stitches to get taken out. However I feel this might be too soon?

    Just wondering when I will be able to walk normal again on my own?

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    • Posted

      Hi, I am not sure that you will be fitted with a boot 2 weeks after surgery as bones take at least 6 weeks to heal. 2 weeks after my surgery I had a cast put on after my staples were removed. The cast stayed on for 4 weeks and then I was given a boot. The weird throbbing sensations you are having are normal (I had similar). You may also get spasms and electric shock type feelings. From my own experience it was 6-8 weeks before I was allowed to put weight on my foot. It's now 6 months since my accident and I still use 1 crutch to walk but I am close to walking unaided. However many others have fully recovered at the 6 month stage. Due to my dislocation I damaged soft tissue, tendons and ligaments which is why its taking longer. Hope this helps but check out similar stories on this site and others to get othercexperiences as I was constantly told that every injury and patient is different.

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  • Posted

    Hi Shelley,

    You asked about determining how to bear weight at 50%. You were told  to determine what 50% by getting on the scale, finding your weight and then pushing down until you get half your weight registered on the scale. I understand that might seem confusing. I think they want you to see how much pressure sensation you feel on your foot (on scale) when you push down with 50% of your total weight-- it gives you and an idea for what it should feel like when you are walking at 50%.

    I simply noticed what it felt like when I was standing evenly on both feet-- each foot is bearing 50% of your total body weight.

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  • Posted

     On June 10 I had a bad landing while skydiving. I have bimalleolar ankle fractures on both ankles with broken tibia's as well.   I had surgery June 11 and was put into half cast on both legs. Two weeks later the surgeon took out the stitches and put me in air boots.  I am nonweightbearing totally. It's very limiting and frustrating.    But, I guess I can say I'm happy to be alive. I go back on July 20 for my six week check up. I'm hoping to hear that I can start bearing some weight. What I see in this forum is that people start by only bearing partial weight.  I wonder how that will work for me being that I have both ankles affected. My right ankle is much better than my left. My left ankle had a lot more displacement. I am able to take my air boots off of the day if I am sitting with my feet elevated.  I have also begun to sleep without the boots on. That took me three weeks before I was comfortable enough to do so. I have more range of motion in my right than I do my left ankle but they are both still a bit stiff.   I just want this to hurry up so that I can get back to my normal life. I have a feeling it's going to be longer than I think. But I don't feel so alone knowing that I'm not the only one going through all this frustration. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Sandra! 

      I finally found someone else with a double ankle break! I’m 5 Weeks post op on my left with a closed reduction on my right. My left is also worse then my right.  I’m in cam air boots on both ankles but I don’t sleep in them. No eight besting on left and as tolerated on right.  I’m impatient to walk and such but from reading this forum it seems like it will be a while.  Next week is 6 wk check, hoping to get good news! 

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    • Posted

       I go for my six week check up tomorrow. I’m hoping to hear that I can put weight on my right as tolerated. That would make transferring so much easier. I’m trying to keep my hopes low because after reading everything I’ve read I realized I’m not going to be able to walk out of the office like I had hoped to. LOL    You were the first of the person that I’ve seen that has had a double break as well. Everything I’ve read for postop is always on people who have had one broken ankle. At this point I don’t have a leg to stand on 
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    • Posted

      I had my 6 wk post op appointment on Friday. It went well.  Surgeon said that I can put the aircasts away and use ankle braces they supplied. It was time to start walking.  I did... for about 15 minutes and the worst pain I had had since surgery started.  My left ankle which is so much worse than my right ankle is weeks behind in the healing process I’d say.  I’ve tried to reach my surgeon every day since Monday but no response.  It’s so aggravating.  I can stand fine on my right.  I have put the air cast back on the left and I’m back in the wheelchair until I talk with the Dr. or at least his office. 
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    • Posted

      Oh I’m so sorry!  I had my 6 week check Monday .  I can now bear full weight un casted on right, and some weight casted on left.  Well, Tuesday was fun but Wednesday I was in tears. The buzzing and zapping and throbbing pain.  I realized I overdid it Tuesday and decided to walk in both casts as it just felt better. I too called doctor as I needed additional pain relief now that I could walk I was really hurting. Just at the time they are tapering off meds.! Blah!  Nurse called back and we had a long conversation about the new laws in the US.  They are forcing Doctors to jump through lots of hoops to prescribe pain meds.  I can get more it is just difficult. Woke  up Thursday feeling like I had been hit by a bus.  

      I keep walking though, trying to do 2-3 things (around the house) then rest, then 2-3 more then rest.  If I go or drive to store that counts as all three things. Then I must rest.  This helped today, I’m not throbbing in pain.  But it is a dull ache.  

      I guess just because we CAN doesn’t mean we should.  I only wear my regular shoe on rt to drive, I’m staying in both boots till comfortable.  But boy the stares when I go out in both boots.  Getting tired of looking like a waddling penguin or a baby giraffe trying to walk.  It’s hard to be inconspicuous.

      Good luck on your weight bearing journey.  Just take baby steps, be patient and do not over do it.  I’m hanging in there with you!  Neither of us is up for a triathlon but I’ll settle for grocery shopping and cooking dinner like a regular person!!!!

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