Broke my ankle 12 weeks ago.

Posted , 4 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

I found these conversations very helpful and I now know my experience is more or less normal!

It all started when I tripped over our blind dog and fell.  My ankle was on a 90 degree angle!  Not only was my ankle dislocated but also it was broken in 3 places.  So I had surgery complete with 2 large screws and a plate with 7 small screws.  I was no weight bearing for 6 weeks and then partial weight bearing for 4 weeks.  Weeks 1 and 2 were in a plaster splint.  I immediately rented a knee scooter which was a god send.  After 2 weeks I was put in a fiberglass cast.  After 4 more weeks I was put in the air cast boot.  Then another 4 weeks I was finally weight bearing.  Prior to weight bearing I had no pain or swelling.  I am not at 12 weeks and have been weight bearing in the boot for 2 weeks.  I find I have aching and swelling when the leg is not elevated.  The swelling is always present.  I start physical therapy tomorrow and am to start walking without the boot in 1 more week.  This is a very long discouraging process.  Prior to my break I was playing golf 5 times a week.  My entire body has seemingly fallen apart.

2 likes, 17 replies

Report

17 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Hi Carol! It seems like you're doing great in your recovery! I also broke my ankle 9 weeks ago. I was never in a cast because I have history of blood clots on that leg. But the whole experience has been quite frustrating. I'm currently still walking with the black boot but I was able to get rid of my crutches yesterday. At some point or another everything has hurt. My arms...my back...my knees..my hands...learning to compensate for the lack of function of one limb is tough. But looking back to the first 2 weeks I've definitely come a long way! And I have more to go but I'll get there.

    Don't be discouraged! You're on the right track and you'll be hitting holes in one again sooner than later! :D

    Report
    • Posted

      Thanks for the support! As some others have said, it doesn't hurt walking but sure aches when sitting and not elevated. Strange...

      Report
  • Posted

    Hi carol, I broke my ankle 18 weeks ago. I am now walking unaided without pain and hardly any swelling. I was nwb for nine weeks in a cast. I never had a boot. Once my cast was removed I was told to walk. I slowly started with pwb w then went on to one crutch and worked from there. The pain and swelling you are experiencing is normal, try to keep your leg elevated as much as possible, even when you sleep at night. Once you start walking more the pain and swelling will improve fast. Pysotherapy is very important, do what the physiotherapists tell you it will improve your recovery rapidly and most importantly to get your full ROM back. This has been a difficult time emotionally and physically but the end is now in sight. Now is the time to fight for your recovery, be positive and listen to your body and soon you will lead a normal life again. God bless.
    Report
    • Posted

      Thanks so much for the encouragement. This site is so great. Everyone seems to be in the UK. We live in Florida in the US.
      Report
    • Posted

      Hi carol , I once posted it would be great if we were able to all meet one another. But yes we are all over the world. I live in South Africa.
      Report
    • Posted

      About 12 years ago I did some management consulting for Natref and made several trips to SA.

      Had my first PT today and I think it is really going to help.  The "toe lifts" are a bit painful but will be dedicated to my recovery.

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi , in the beginning PT is a bit uncomfortable, but don't give up, listen to your body and do what you can, but push through, it gets easier and less painful very quickly. If you got exercises to do at home, do them, every bit helps. The toe lifts are the worst of the exercises , when you start. What you can do at home , is while you are sitting on the edge of your bed or a chair, just push your foot up onto the toes, placing a bit of weight on them, hold for a few seconds, then slowly return the foot that it is flat on the floor again. If you have a lot of swelling and pain at this stage, take two buckets that can fill with water approximately to the knee. Fill the one with cold water, you can even put ice into the water. Fill the other with warm water, as warm as you can , without burning your skin. Put the leg into the cold water for one min. then into the warm water for three min. Switch from cold to warm a few times, this I found really does work, and of course as much as possible , keep the leg elevated. Hope you will soon be on tip toes.

      Report
    • Posted

      Thanks so much for the tips.  I am now in Day 2 of my home exercises and I already feel some improvement.  My therapist is terrific!  
      Report
    • Posted

      That's great Carol, keep it up, it is really very important as to how you recover. Also at this stage some days are better than others, on the day's that are not so good, push through and don't be discouraged it is all part of the process. It's great to have a good therapist, that counts a lot as well towards your recovery if you trust the person working with you. You doing great.

      Report
  • Posted

    Yes seems very normal. I'm 9 months post snapped fibula and dislocated ankle, half of that post surgery. Sure feels like ground hog day. I've done the same process twice over because of a non union. Now I have my bakers cyst on good leg rear its ugly head to make rehab extra hard.

    Hears the thing, you're now in this club none of us asked to join. The Bone club! It's not just a physical journey as you have experienced, but a dam*#d Mental journey as well.

    You seem to be making great progress.! I was out and about in town the other day, for several hours, with rests( I have an all terrain walker with a seat)

    By the time I got home nearly 5 hours later, my broken keg was only midly niggly, but it was mega swollen. As usual, I had to peel the shoe off. As time goes by, the process of getting the swelling down gets quicker.Shoe off, foot elevated, or even iced or cold flannel, should help along with prescribed medicine for pain and swelling if needed.

    You have a worse break than me, I had bone graft , plate and 6 screws and 4 or so months because ambulance medic never believed me- I slipped down to second stair and bent my foot in half. I got left at home , and got up during the night and dropped like a sprayed fly. I was out b4 I reached the floor. I had carpet burn on my face and fell on my crutches. Not until I saw the accident form for the second fall in 5 hours, did I remind myself that I damaged my shoulder and cracked a rib when I landed. My husband screamed to try to bring me round. He thinks I was unconscious for just under a minute, but I kept slipping in and out, finally crawling to the bed n a bad state. I broke into a massive sweat. Soaked the bed! Had to keep putting my snapped displaced broken leg back on the pillow, as it kept flopping off. Saw Dr 2-3days later,but no specialist available for 10 days. I was told by the second specialist 4 months later when it didn't heal, that it should have been operated on immediately. Argh, I've just relived it all:+(.

    My husband broke his dominant hand 3 weeks later.

    I'm progressing okay now. Like you, this site has been a God send.

    Make sure you have a good wide brand of sports shoes. Message me privately if you need help.

    You'll have ups and downs like us all. Just don't give up. Take up a map hobby- mines Ukelele and games. And we bought a 100 year old Singer hand worked sewing machine, great for small bits of fun.

    By the way (BTW), how's the dog?

    @(*+*)@

    Report
    • Posted

      Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I am grateful that we were able to call paramedics and get immediate attention. We live in Florida in the US. I have worried about anything happening to my husband. Love and prayers for you and your husband.
      Report
  • Posted

    Hi Carol,  I am also from Florida USA and had fall with 3 ankle breaks.  ORIF surg with plate 10 small screws & one large syde screw. I didn't get okay to WBAT until after syde screw came out 9 weeks post first surgery.  I also had no pain/swelling while NWB.  So once I started WB I was surprised & overwhelmed by the pain & swelling.  It is normal but I so understand the discouragment & fear.  This site helped me tremdousley.  I am now in 14th week and although still get pain & swelling, each week there has been some improvement.  Now I am able to walk unassisted although I do revert back to one crutch when out or walker in eve. when exhaused/pain/swelling too high. I ice more now then ever.  No more boot & physical therapy since last week even more challenging, feeling as though my entire body was affected (and it was/is).  But I just keep focusing on improvement and not on time line, on what I can do vs. what I can't (I still can't do toe lifts). Each of us heal in our own time.  Sounds like you are doing great.  Keep on going & don't look back.  You'll start to see faster improvment with guidance of PT.  You will get back to golfing, in time when your body tells you your ready.  I find what helps my swelling best when R.I.C.E. doesn't budge it  is the anti-inflamatories the doc prescribed, but I have to limit them due to my stomach issues.  Do PT at home, stretch, acquatic therapy, walk, R.I.C.E when needed, massage helps, epson salt bath soaks.  Full time job but it will pay off.  Best wishes to you and keep us up dated.                  

    Report
    • Posted

      Oh, almost forgot.  If you have a FB account, search for the group "Broken Ankle / Foot / Leg Recovery - On a Quest for Normal!"  Also excellent support group of peeps all over country. 

      Report
    • Posted

      Thank you so much for sharing your story and support. Today was my first PT. So I'm in a new phase. I can do the toe lifts but they sure don't feel good!

      Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up