Broken Ankle

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Hi,I broke my ankle 3 1/2 weeks ago in 3 places and it required a plate with 4 screw plus 3 additional screws for the other bones. My surgery was two weeks ago and I am supposed to have the splint cast for another month, then maybe a boot. 8 weeks of non weight bearing activity. So I am a runner and I have not heard anybody say how long it might have taken them to get back to running. However just standing or walking would be nice. Any feedback would be great. I am dealing with the swelling issue too. I don't even use a knee walker because it won't elevate my leg enough. It's ridiculous. So I don't get around much. I did kayack in a calm lake though and it was wonderful!

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    HI Dawn- I also broke my ankle in 3 places 5-1/2 months ago, have one plate and 13 screws installed. I am a healthy, active 56 year old and can only give you my experience. I feel if you don't have any complications and take good care of yourself, by 5-1/2-6 months or so you will probably be running around again. I wasn't a runner before, but can now run after my grandkids in a jogging fashion all the time now. I feel very good (90%), but not perfect. I hear it takes a year to 18 mos to feel as perfect as possible again. If I didn't get any better than I am today, I would be perfectly happy, as I can exercise and do everything I want to do now. I couldn't use the knee scooter for several weeks too, and pushed around in a wheelchair at first, but after several weeks, the knee scooter was a god send. I can't recommend it enough. Swelling was an issue for me for about 4-5 months, and after that, it really wasn't a big issue anymore...there is still swelling, but no pain and it doesn't bother me at all really. I think it takes about a year to get rid of all the swelling. I feel great at this point, and wondered at your point if I would ever even walk again. Hang in there. I found out ankles have a timeline of their own and there is only so much you can do to speed them up. Try to get the blood pumping with arm workouts, eat really well, keep your mind busy and be happy. This is just a temporary problem, just remember that. If you get depressed, reach out to people with permanent problems, and you'll realize this is just a major inconvenience. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you Patty for your insight and support. It is fusterating because I am an extremely active person. The good thing is that it made getting in and out of the bath tub no problem. My husband set up his weight bench in the bedroom and I am working out with it. I am eating extra healthy so I don't gain weight because I used to burn a ton of calories, not so much now. But I am also eating clean food to help with the healing. I like to read but have little patience for coloring or watching tv. But ues, I joined this forum to get an idea of what other people have experienced. So I look forward to hearing about each person's journey.

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear. Welcome to the Broken Bone club. You will get plenty of support here.

    I snapped my fibula 10 months ago. Non union after 4 months didn't heal at all. Op, plate, 6 screws and a bone graft, and a bakers cyst behind knee in other leg. Hge ordeal mentally and physically. I'm not sure when you'll run again. I asked my physio when I would run. Joke was I never run b4 accident, unless someone chased me. I will be the same age as Patti this year.

    When you are able, use knee scooter.

    Read a book , get a colouring book, musical instrument, console game via a TV, movies?

    R.I.C.E. Sunshine, fresh air. Prescribed painkillers.

    And:-

    *Shower slide to get easily in and out of shower safely.

    *Special leg cover for shower.

    *chair raisers

    *Bed lever, fits under mattress , with handle to get in and out

    *extra round pieces to go on your crutches for stability

    *Adjustable table on wheels for meals, reading, laptop etc

    *All Terrain Walker when you can weight bare in a few months

    *****Knee scooter when the swelling makes it more comfortable.

    **Extra strong dose of PATIENCE!??

    You like us didn't ask to join this club, but on here, we all share our journeys

    There will be more downs than ups, at your stage seemingly, but it DOES get easier. Trials and tribulations.

    Just when you think you can take no more, it will get better.

    Just need to go with the flow.

    Good Luck!

    @(*+*)@

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    • Posted

      Hmmm, never heard of the all terrain walker. My neighbor lent me a scooter so I can go to a couple of summer festivals and other places. Funny thing is other then one or two places I can't think of anywhere to go. Even the scooter is hard because of the leg not being elevated enough. Lol! This week has been better then last mentally though. I can lay on the lounge chair out under our porch and the weather here in PA is no longer in the 90's. Being stuck inside is the worst. I get my stitches out in two days so it feels like a little bit of progress. I am on no pain meds anymore either. But I still have them just in case.

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    • Posted

      The point where you are now was the lowest point for me, because everything started soaking in and I began worrying I may never walk again. That's when I started thinking about wounded warriors with bigger problems than I had and people with children who are sick with serious diseases, and it made me realize this is really the small stuff in life relatively. That changed my whole outlook. After that dip, I got to work to get better and every week I saw a small improvement. I also was strong enough to hop in and out of the tub without any problem, thank goodness for tons of years of weight lifting! I got it down how to do with a cast on too without much problem. I would put my knee scooter by the tub and it made getting in and out with the cast very easy. I got to loving my warm bath every morning. Later, when the cast was off, I used Epsom salt baths to help ease the pain of the healing tendons, and I did my morning stretches in the warm bath. I used to look forward to those a lot. I think the most important thing is to keep moving. If you didn't hurt your driving foot, you can easily drive and I drove everywhere, crutched to the back of my SUV and pulled my scooter in and out of the car. I sat in the sunshine a bit every day and it made me feel a lot better (and is good for the bone repair). I tried to stay super upbeat and I think because of it, friends and family stopped by a lot and that kept my mind off my ankle when they did. The main thing is keeping yourself busy while you wait. Your body will amaze you at the job it will do in the end to fix you. Btw, I spent a lot of time on the internet and was really worried about the hardware inside me and getting it out asap at the 9 month period or so. Turns out my hardware doesn't bug me a all, so that was a worry I wish I hadn't spend so much time thinking about. 

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  • Posted

    My ankle has 8 screws and a plate and my Dr said no more running ever. I am also a runner. Depressing? Yes. The year before my surgery forced me to stop running. 6 months before surgery tried a Brace. Could barely walk anymore, so was forced into surgery. I had surgery June 15. 2016. The year before I switched to lots of abs and laterals and floors and cores and swimming. And the elliptical. I am in week 7 post surgery and starting to slowly walk with walking boot and crutches or walker. I knee scooter in house in the middle of the night still and to get things done during day hours. I can't wait to get back to gym. Running around the lake that I live by every day is permanently out of the picture. Trying to fill that void with the other things. Love for running will never leave me. Take care, stay in touch if you want.

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    • Posted

      Gee Yvonne you seem like you are coming to terms with your injury well. I would love to go bike riding again, but alas my bone is way too soft, and my other leg is getting over a Bakers Cyst and torn muscle.

      I have a stationary bike. Not the same. No fresh air and scenery, even with the greatest of imaginations!

      ??????????

      ??I have to have a shower , seated, because I can't bend my knees properly, and couldn't get out of the bath. 10 months and at times, I get down. Today I am, because I have chronic ear ache.

      Oh well, tomorrows another day. Sounds like you have some nice scenery surrounding you!

      ©{°8°}©

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    • Posted

      Wow, that must have been hard to take. As much as I love running, if I couldn't then maybe bike riding or something else. But I know as a runner how hard that must have been hard to hear. I love working out and am doing it every day. It really has made me feel better mentally and physically. I own a horse too, and compete with her. Now I can just able groom her for 10 minutes and I am done and need to elevate my leg. I was hoping to get on her this fall. Even of it was just to walk around with her. All of this happened happened from the result of our young chocolate lab running full force into me. The surgeon told me that they would have my running when I am in PT. We will see. I guess I will have to see how it heals and fuses.

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    • Posted

      Remember doctors give you information on averages. I know so many people who have busted through averages. You may find you can do it. You just got out of surgery, so you won't know maybe for 6 mos. or so. Given that, I'd still follow your doctor's recommendations for healing.

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  • Posted

    Hi. I broke my ankle just as I slipped leaving the shower mid Sept 2015.

    Im 9 months post surgery having had only 3 screws, but still swollen 24/7

    I returned to work back in January doing 60 hours per week and am on my feet all day which doesn't help my swelling, as when I come home need to bathe it and massage it with e45 cream, then have a support bandage on for the rest of the evening. I.m told the swelling can last up to 1 year?

    I was never any good at running pre injury, but I personally wouldn't  feel comfortable, as my ankle is still stiff, especially coming down stairs.

    I did find that swimming helped with the swelling and mobility, so would recommend as son as you feel able to go as much as possible.It is a long and inconvenient journey, but it does get better and there is plenty of advice and support on here when you need it.

    Good luck in your recovery

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    • Posted

      60 hours a week?! You are a warrior! I will soon be going back to a similar schedule. Just starting week 8 here with walking boot and a little weight bearing, crutches or walker. Have to tackle that horrific schedule in two weeks. Swimming help? Thanks for that advice then. As soon as this walking boot disappears, then I'll swim too. I het the water is like a massaging ice pack. I worry that too much too soon here is happening. Really pushing it. Work is walking 2 blocks from security gated parking lot through an unsafe area to get into work building. Then 3 flights of stairs. Then on feet all day. And the drive to work is one+hours. The same thing home from work one+ hour drive. I hope that your swelling will be gone soon. My Dr said it would take a year for all to settle down. Can you sit when your ankle swells? Your job sounds so demanding on that precious ankle. Take care.

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    • Posted

      The thought of going back to work scares me.

      Right before this happened I gave notice because I got a new job. I had 5 working days left before I was done there. Luckily because I was still a full time employee they put me on short-term disability. I told my new employer what happened and they said that that was fine and I could start when I was better. I work in a prison so my crutches or boot is not allowed. I have to go thru a metal detector and wonder if it will go off. I will be working in the medical department so maybe I will have access to ice. But no medications are allowed to be brought in. It it my right foot so I can't drive right now either. I was thinking I would be back to work 8 weeks after surgery. I hope that is the case.

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    • Posted

      Paul- I'm sorry you are still having this pain and swelling. How is your ROM? Did you ever ask the doctor whether he thinks taking out the hardware would help you? I think it is really not that long of downtime and not very painful. I know you are worried about the time off. Maybe do it during vacation? I haven't read about anyone who is sorry they got their hardware out, who was having problems. I do hope you feel a little better now than a few months ago.

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    • Posted

      I do 60 hours on a regular basis, this week I'm on annual leave and had to do jobs on project car and house, gardening, refuse runs etc or I get bored!

      I hadn't done much exercise or swimming until my injury, I had heard that swimming is good therapy, so my wife and I went on a  May bank holiday vacation. We went to the camp pool as soon as it opened, before the rush.

      After returning to the caravan, no limp, swelling reduced. I couldn't believe it.

      Unfortunately my work reluctantly lets you have 30 mins lunch, so sitting is not an option, due to staff shortages was having my lunch at 3.30pm, and requested I only take 10  minutes break! Thanks for your kind comments and wish you a speedy recovery

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    • Posted

      I must admit, I was reluctant to return to work after over 3 months off sick, I was continually looking for other work that I could do from home, I even thought about being self employed again. I returned to work on one crutch and was embarrassed as I have always been active, then on a stick for a week, as it was difficult getting in and out of cars, I found myself explaining my injury, trying to justify myself. I drive as part of my job, and couldn't drive for around 8-10 weeks of having the surgery, my ankle was the right one also. I went back to work at week 16, full time doing 60hours ?? The first 3 weeks was very demanding and exhausting, but it got easier. I wish you good luck at returning to work and hope they are more sympathetic towards you than the company I work for

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    • Posted

      Hi Patti. It's really nice to chat again. The swelling has never gone, i still ice, massage and elevate, admittedly not as much as when I was off sick, but still have the need to put a support bandage on after working 10 plus hours.

      It is better then but it's never disappeared altogether, sometimes wonder if it ever will. I still struggle coming down stairs, The stiffness is still present, and am considering having the 3 screws removed, like you say, having the surgery during a vacation. I regret taking the "advise" of the consultant to have the surgery. I wish now I had waited for the natural healing process to take place, then re assess the situation. Thanks for your concern and your kind words.

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    • Posted

      Hi Paul- Good to hear how you are doing! We have been on this long road together for a while now, haven't we? We have heard a lot of people say that it takes a year to 18 mos to get rid of all the swelling, but yours seems much worse than mine now. I used to find going down stairs so hard, but now they are not, except if I have had a long day on my legs and it is the end of the day, sometimes then the ankle stiffens up a little. I have found a great compression sock that I sleep in that I love. If you are interested, I could private message you with the info, but you probably have one already. I do think you went back to work so soon and that your job has been very demanding on your ankle and that has made it even harder for you You have been very tough and are such a hard worker. Those around you are very lucky to have you! I hope you get some more swimming time in some how, some way. Please stay in touch, as I hope to hear you are much better at the 12 month mark. 

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    • Posted

      Aww, thank you Patti. I've just calculated, I'm at week 44 post surgery, and still having the issues I raised last time with you. The hospital and doctors really are not interested. They want a quick fix or you are draining the NHS system, despite only going when absolutely necessary and always being employed paying my national insurance. I wear the support bandage at evening, but was given a compression bandage by my pt. Thanks for the offer though, I really appreciate it. I think I did go back to work too soon, but my financial situation was not good. I have always worked hard for my family but maybe not done myself any favours doing 60 hours per week. I only wish my employers appreciated me, they promoted an agency worker as opposed to me with 11 loyal service with the company! We will be taking our 4 month old grandson swimming soon, his mum has already taken him to the pool and he loves it ?? Hopefully he will help me get better.

      I will update you in the next few weeks. Take care

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    • Posted

      It's definitely not fair! I'm so sorry to hear that. I'm so happy you will be able to go to the pool with your grand baby though soon! That always helps a lot! Best medicine ever! Stay well!

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