Broken ankle recovery seems never ending :(

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Hi guys!

I broke my ankle nearly 5 months ago (pretty straightforward fracture), and was in a cast for the usual 6 weeks.

Upon removal, I knew something didn't "feel right" (unsure what I'm actually basing this on, as I've never broken a bone before, but when you know you know!!). The doctor was kind of blasé about recovery time/post exercises etc, and had a "you'll be back to normal in a few weeks" attitude. 

Well, I'm still having trouble walking without a severe limo and in constant pain, daily. 

The ankle bone seems fine, and fully healed.  The pain's more on the top of my foot (more so in the crease where it bends), had I'm still having trouble fully bending my toes.  Standing on the ball of my foot is impossible, hence the limp when I'm trying to walk.

When I was in plaster, the pains I'm experiencing now, are the same places.  Could these just be caused by the cast, and do I just need to be patient?!  I was expecting the cast to be removed, and be back to normality in a matter of days (must add here, I'm not very patient!!).

Any information would be greatly appreciated.  I don't want to make an appointment at the hospital, just be told to "persevere" with it!

Thanks in advance smile

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    I'm unsure if you can edit posts, but "limo" should read "limp", obviously!!

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  • Posted

    I am also having pain still. It’s been going into 6 months for me. I am in a boot and without the boot my ankle swells like crazy and I have severe pain. I had surgery though so the doctors as physical therapists are saying it’s the metal that is causing the pain. I take it however that you did not have surgery? I would of thought that the recovery time for a non surgical break would be way sooner than 6 months. Yes, if I were you I’d go have it checked out again. Also, physical therapy could help too.  I was advised by my surgeon that I would be looking at a year before I was close to being recovered as possible. Anyway yes if I were you I’d get it checked out. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Amanda, thanks for your reply!

      No, it was a pretty clean break so thankfully no surgery was required.

      I'm going to make an appointment with my local GP, he can probably tell me if it's worth getting a transfer to the hospital.  I just don't want to waste the hospital's time if it's something that's the norm!

      Like I said, I'm getting no pain to my actual ankle so maybe it's ligament damage.  Does this show up on X-rays, do you know?

      Wishing you a speedy recovery, and thanks again for your reply smile

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    • Posted

      Additional imaging you may want to ask for :

      Ultrasound of ankle - this shows ligament and tendon damage 

      Vascular Sufficiency test-  done at the same ultrasound place and will check your lower veins to see how well they are working post trauma 

      MRI-  will show bones, tissue, ligaments, tendons.... ( shows it all)

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  • Posted

    Hi, 

    i had a bad break and surgery with plates and pins on April 17th...was in a boot for 6 weeks NWB then. I started Physical therapy.  The pains you are describing are very similar to mine..it comes from having your foot/ankle in the same position for so long without any weight being put on it. I would highly recommend you contact a Physical Therapist and start working with them to increase your range of motion and weight  bearing. It is a process regardless of the severity of the break. Mine took a little longer. I am in a short ankle brace and walking with a cane.. so  cintact  your PT and try and be patient...these things take time 

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I am 10 weeks post op from a trimalleolar fracture and I am experiencing the exact same issues as you. Ball of my foot is very tender/sensitive. If I run my fingers from the top of my toes down to the mid part of my foot it’s like I am pushing down needles. I have been told it’s part of the healing process but I am worried it may be CRSP as my ortho mentioned this.  Like you, my bones are completely healed and the only thing stopping me from a normal walk is the pain from each step.  Hopefully the pain will subside for both of us soon.  Take care and stay positive. You are definitely not alone 👍🏻

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  • Posted

    Thank you SO much for your responses, it's given me reassurance that I'm not alone with all this recovery nonsense!!

    I'm going to persevere for another few weeks.  I've Youtube'd a few strengthening exercises etc, so I'm going to give those a good go before I decide wether or not to make an appointment with the hospital.

    Wishing you guys alsoeedy recovery's and I'll keep you all updated on my progress (or lack of, as the case may be!).

    Thanks again for your replies, very much appreciated smile

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  • Posted

    Hi!

    I have had similar issues. I broke mine May 12. Simple break, and no surgery.

    Bone is fine.

    I am now seeing two specialists ( Vascular and Neuro), because of other symptoms I am having . Swelling, colour change, pins and needles at times

    Not saying you have this, but look into CPRS or RSD, and read about symptoms.

    It’s usually to do with a bone break or trauma to a limb and immobilization.

    If you do have any additional symptoms then ask for referrals.

    Many docs miss this diagnosis. It was def passed on as “ normal”

    When I was in my early stages post break.

    And now.... ( Aug) I am being referred bc they finally realize it is NOT normal at this point.

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  • Posted

    Sassie,

    Your experience seems to be the norm rather than the exception, for ankle injuries can be very unforgiving.

    Regrettably, most attending practitioners don't have time or inclination to coach their ankle patients on ensuing difficulties that appear after the walking boot comes off, and they must face a recovery future with apprehension all alone.

    If your bones knitted well and affected joint is in alignment then your troubles are all in soft tissue injuries you sustained in accident. Virtually any type of soft tissue can be damaged in ankle injuries, including ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerves, cartilage, and more.

    In my case, my fracture healed beautifully yet I struggled for a while with pain and discomfort. I found out that my ankle's post tibial tendon got damaged in my fracture/sprain incident. Now, some 19 months later I am essentially back to normal there (although weather fronts and other environmental factors can cause temporary discomfort).

    It is important to ditch a blase attitude with regard to your health and well-being and get to work on what it takes to get your ankle back. A competent and amiable foot and ankle specialist (not an ortho!) is your best ally now. It will take a lot of hard work (especially ankle rehab exercises, excellent diet, and much more) but it can be done..

    Now let's get it done.

    Best wishes.

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