Broken Ankle, Need Advice and some positive stories.

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Hi! I broke my fibula, dislocated my ankle, and tore ligaments +tendons back on Dec. 11. (Right Ankle) I am currently 7 weeks POST OP and I am struggling. I am still NWB, due to the trauma of the injury, the bones have not yet to fuse. I am looking at another 6 weeks before I am probably able to put my foot down. I am having so much trouble because I am extremely depressed, and I can’t seem to have the urge to do anything. I just sit all day and cry. I always think that my injury will never get better, and I will never be able to walk again. I am only 20, but i’m not sure how the body will heal at this age, but I was a college student, who had to take the semester off to recover. I was just wondering if I could get any advice on this. I am trying my hardest to look at the end of the tunnel, but i’m so worried that my summer will be ruined (6 months from now) I just want my life to be normal! Please help!!!

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  • Posted

    Alexander,

    Don't succumb to worry and despair about your injured ankle. Yes, it may look bleak now but it does get better, much better, if you do the right things to recover.

    As a member of the broken ankle fraternity (right medial bimalleolar fracture) I know that this is an injury that causes great angst among many patients. However, everybody gets through it and on to the road of recovery. Be brave and soldier on. Have faith in your body's ability to heal itself (especially at your youthful age)

    Don't take a full recovery as a given thing, though. Ankle injuries are notorious for being sometimes difficult and stubborn, and even difficult to get full recovery of your remembered ankle function back.

    It is concerning that your fractures are still non-union after 7 weeks, and so you should probably getting medical consultations on why this is so, and what needs to be done to get those bones mended. Usually, ankle fractures are mended enough by 6 weeks (more or less) and ready for some movement and weight-bearing. The longer your ankle is immobilized and non-weight bearing then the longer and more troublesome your recovery is likely to be.

    I can't stress enough how important it is to comply with the doctor's instructions (assuming your physician is highly competent in ankles-- not all are). Research the web for articles and information on your condition and harvest the best advice and put it into practice-- now.

    Since you injured ligaments and tendons in your accident you have a big challenge for recovery. Soft tissue injuries are actually the most onerous ones in ankle injuries (once bones mend they are a non-issue for most people).

    It will be very important to start an aggressive ankle rehabilitation program once you are into movement and weight-bearing stage. Ankle muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments need to be wakened and gradually strengthened and stabilized to get a working ankle back. Remember that lax ligaments that never fully healed can contribute to chronic ankle joint instability, which can lead to progression to ankle joint dysfunction, and ankle arthritis. In turn, the end result; if this ankle dysfunction is not arrested; can be future ankle surgeries that will never give you a full ankle back.

    Best of luck to you.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your advice. My doctor says that it’s normal for the bone to not have to fuse because if he trauma of the injury, but as of last week, he says everything is staying in place the way he wants to, and the ankle looks great. My main concern is that I just want to be able to walk to class, and do what i did before. I was never that active, but I am concerned that I will never be able to walk normally again. I just want to be able to drive, walk around with friends once in a while, and maneuver a college campus. That’s all I want. I want some normalcy you know? This process is so long, but i’ve been following all the doctors orders, so it should produce positive results. I am young, so I hope i can take that to my advantage to get up and moving quicker.
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  • Posted

    Hi Alexander, my heart goes out to you. My injury is nothing like yours but do understand what you're feeling. I feel like my life will never be the same and will l be able to work like l used to. I just wanted to tell you about the FB group, Broken Ankle/Foot/Leg Recovery-on a Quest for Normal. Lots of support and help from people all over the world. Give it a try and l may see you on there. Lots of love x

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  • Posted

    I truly understand what you are going through. I broke my tibial plateau(bone that supports your body weight) I am currently 1 week out of my 8 of bearing no weight. I can't do nothing for myself and I am 36 with no real help. Everyday gets a little easier. I use to think about my recovery and the long process but I realize I can't keep thinking about it. Talking about it helps a lot. I try to get out(have ppl come get me cause I can't drive or bend my knee) or have company. Most days I just sleep. Your healing will come. Just follow orders.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your advice. I hope the healing process goes smoothly for you. Wishing you a nice and safe recovery. If you need to talk, just message me. xx
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  • Posted

    I feel you. I'm three weeks post op and I've been depressed off And on frustrated, cried. And infuriated at my damn cast. Too loose, too tight...too loose and not like I can go to the Dr every day to get this s**t fixed. I'm worried too. I'm 32. You are even younger. At your age bones heal faster, range of motion comes back faster. Give yourself a break dear. It's hard, I'm struggling too. But at your age , you'll be up and about by Summer. Maybe not jogging but with PT walking.

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  • Posted

    Get help, find a clinic and talk to someone but it was great you reached out on this site. You sound seriously depressed. I feel the same way a lot sometimes. 

     

    Try to remember it is irrational to believe you will not get well, you are being treated by a board Dr.

    You see progress in yourself , right?

    Your summer is gonna be hot!!!

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Everything you are describing and feeling sounds normal. I had a very similar injury, three surgeries and NWB for 12 weeks. I am 35 years older than you and guess what? My old and overweight body has healed just fine in all the areas except one and it’s almost there. It just takes time. I know you want to hang out with your friends and do normal things. You had an injury that has temporarily changed your life. You will always remember this time and this experience will change you. This is not a bad thing it’s just different and part of life. A broken ankle isn’t pleasant for sure but it’s temporary. Our bones heal. 

    I fell on July 4th of last year and it took me a few months to be able to walk with no assistance but I did it. Again, I’m much older than you. 

    Now, did I cry and have a few pity parties- of course. That is normal.  My adult son and husband had to care for me because I injured the other ankle as well so I was helpless for a several weeks.

    I read, binged on Netflix and focused on making  it through the day. Some days I slept a lot because I had nothing else to do.  I’m an overachieving CEO and am used to being in control but I found myself with none. I learned some humility, patience and a great deal about the complexities of an ankle injury. 

    You will make it and be fine. Listen to your doc and when you can begin to bear some weight,  start physical therapy. My guy was great and I found myself getting better every week. I watched people your age make huge strides in a few weeks. 

    This experience may lead you to become a doctor, nurse or scientist that discovers a quick way to heal these pesky breaks. You just never know. 

    Talk to your family and your doctor about the depression you are feeling. Try to focus on what you can do and not what you can’t. You have likely overcome the worst at this point.

    Everyone warned me about PT being difficult but I loved it because it made such a big difference.  

    Feel free to reply if I can help. The folks on this forum helped me a great deal. 

    Wishing you the best.

    Karen 

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much. This has lifted my spirits a lot. I just want to be able to do normal things again, like go for brief walks, and maneuver around a college campus. I know I will be able too, it’s just hard now. It’s hard to have your life taken away from you. How are you doing now? Do you experience a lot of pain when WB for hours on end? I am a cashier, so I’m not sure how this will play out. Thank you for your reply. I am also overweight as well, so it has been a challenging experience, but we will be okay! 
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    • Posted

      Hey,

      My pain is minimal now. If it’s rainy and cold and I’ve been on my feet all day, I may have to take a Tylenol and rest for a short time. I still have swelling and have to elevate maybe once or twice daily when I’m at my desk. Compression socks from Amazon help a great deal. 

      You will be working and going back to school in no time at all. It is very difficult to lose some of your independence but just remember this is temporary and will pass very soon. 

      Hang in there! 

      Karen 

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  • Posted

    Just wanted to give everyone an update. I messed up the weeks. I am actually 6 weeks POST OP. I had a check up today! CALLUS IS FORMING AROUND MY BONE!!!! ITS HEALING!!! 6 more weeks of NWB THEN I CAN START WB AND PUTTING IT DOWN!!! 2 more weeks in the cast, and then a boot! Thank you all for the support! Things are looking up smile
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  • Posted

    That is absolutely fantastic Alexander, you sound so much better! I am sooo happy for you. It's lovely to see that you are so upbeat. I'm sure we'll all get there in the end. 2 more weeks for me and then hopefully get my leg back on the ground! Keep in touch xxx

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  • Posted

    I am 54 and fractured my ankle bone and tore ligaments and tendons not near as much as you have gone through. I was depressed as well until my husband found me an IWalk Crutch. I was able to start getting around by myself and even though I did need some help with Laundry and things I did feel good about what I was able to accomplish on my own. I feel your pain please check this out 

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/iWalk-2-0-hands-free-knee-crutch/39241573

    I hope this helps!! Keep your head up buddy 

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  • Posted

    You will get better I PROMISE!! You're young, you will heal. Do not sit and cry all day. Think happy thought and send good vibes to your injured ankle. Lots of resting it, propping it is the best thing you can do for it right now. Read a book. Watch a movie. Do something to take your mind off of your foot. Start researching ways to strengthen it because once you're given the green light to weight bear you won't want to waste valuable time. You got this!! You will be totally fine in a few months.

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