Broken Fibula, when can I walk?

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I have fractured (spiral) my fibula 3 weeks ago which didn't require any surgery, just a fibreglass cast which I am to keep for another 3 weeks. I was told not to put any weight on it until the cast comes off but I find I can put some weight on it already with no pain whatsoever. Has anybody started walking while still in a cast and did it delay healing or cause any further problems? 

 

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  • Posted

    Yeah I've read stories of people reinjuring by not following directions. Big risk, 6 weeks vs. many, many.  If you read about the bone healing process, you may want to think again - be careful, I did need surgery and have only this week, 14, been cleared to walk in a boot just a little, you don't want to end up like me lol!

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    • Posted

      Thanks Kim. Week 14? Wow! I'm going nuts after 3 weeks. I find it a struggle as a sole carer to 2 four year olds but I definitely don't want to risk further damage. Thanks for your reply.

       

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    • Posted

      I hear ya, I feel bipolar, lol. Sad, then ok, it's just total confinement. I have two kids, my house is gross, and they are close to no help without arguing because they are accustom to a mommy that caters to them...roll my eyes! Showering, oh my gosh what a nightmare, I've never been so dirty in my life, haha. Be safe don't risk it, you'll get there soon. 

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  • Posted

    I'm with Kim!

    Be careful, people I have spoken to who have been through it or other doctors and nurses etc have always said do what your advised. One nurse said she didn't do all the physio and now doesn't have full range of movement but others have done lots of things and been fine.

    I have read posts and forums from others saying that didn't rest enough and had to have further surgery.

    Although the main point seems to be everyone is very different with recovery but you wouldn't want a setback.

    I too had surgery and am 12 weeks post surgery but been walking the boot for a few weeks so similar but different to Kim.

    good luck and I wish you a speedy recovery!

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    • Posted

      Thanks Freddy. It feels like a long time but at least I didn't have to have surgery like you, which would have been a life a lot harder. I'm not sure if I get a boot after the cast comes off. Nothing was mentioned at the hospital and they don't want to see me between being plastered up and cast removal.

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    • Posted

      Everything I have read and heard says it is a long time and to be patient.. I struggle with the patience now I am doing a lot better than I was.

      Obviously I can't say for sure as I am not a doctor but most of what I have read and heard suggests you will have an air boot.

      They are ok because you can take them off although I have found my foot/leg gets really hot and sweaty in this weather which isn't nice but thankfully after 2.5 months of no showers I can now shower and feel properly clean.

      It might just be a surgery related thing but I was recommended to get a sock /tubigrip type thing to wear inside the boot and it helped me but as I say might be surgery related.

      Sorry to read below your leg got kicked, they really should have been more careful as I think that is unnecessary but am sure t was accidental. If it still hurts I would definitely get it checked as the last thing you need is it to have moved, hopefully though it will be fine.

      When you get the boot you then also get the joy of physio.

      Hope you get a good one. The lady I see is amazing although the experience from my side of the table is quite a bit of pain but 8 weeks in a cast with no movement is going to stiffen up the muscles etc. but the pain goes and is only there when stretching so can cope with that!

      Hope the pain goes away again!

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    • Posted

      If I get a boot, I can handle that if it means I can walk and shower properly. I was using a garbage bag over my cast until I bought proper cast covers for the shower. One thing I'm grateful for, it is the middle of winter here so no sweating or itching.

       I cannot wait until I can drive again (broke my driving leg). I hate having to rely on others to get somewhere. 

      Nothing was mentioned about physio either so hopefully I won't need it but we'll see what happens I guess.

      Getting kicked was definitely accidental and she did apologise. I've made an appointment to see my gp tomorrow so can hopefully get an xray by the end of this week or next week,

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    • Posted

      Nothing has been mentioned to me about physio either. My doctor has started me off with some stretches and I’m betting he’s going to add more at my next appointment. I think he’s seeing if I can get it stretched back out myself before we consider physio. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Joanne. I also have a broken fibula that did not require surgery. Tomorrow is 6 weeks since my injury. I too was put in a fiberglass cast and told no weight bearing. My doctor expected that at my 5 week appointment I would be switched to a boot and be able to start putting some weight on it. I’ve been starting to walk with partial weight bearing since my appointment Friday. I know having to rely solely on crutches is a pain. I was counting down day by day the last three weeks until I could get my boot. It’s really important to follow your doctors orders. If you are putting weight on it now you could really give yourself a setback in the healing process. This takes what feels like forever to heal anyway do you really want to risk making it longer? Do you want to risk it healing wrong and have problems with it the rest of your life? It just isn’t worth it. I recommend  you “do your time”. The day you get to start walking may seem like it’s forever in the future but it’ll be here faster than you think.
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    • Posted

      You're absolutely right Jennifer. I had my cast put on at the fracture clinic in the hospital and was told to come back in 6 weeks to have it x-rayed and the cast removed. No mention of a boot but who knows. I might go to my doctor and get him to refer me for some x-rays before then though. I had a mammogram today and the lady doing it kicked my broken leg when she walked round me. It wasn't hard but it was enough to twist my leg around and make it hurt all day. I'm worried she may have done something to it so I'm definitely not going to put any further stress on it now! Thank you for your reply.

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    • Posted

      When I was three weeks into healing mine was also still very sensitive to getting bumped. Most of the pain was gone except when my cast got bumped. It was about 4 weeks that it stopped and I was pretty much completely pain free. Now that I’m starting to put weight on it I’m sore and I swell again.  But it isn’t anything like that pain at the beginning. I also have a very sore calf muscle which I take as a good sign that I’m finally using it again. My ankle hurts nowhere near my break where I’m working to get mobility back.  It’s still what feels like a long tough road so I’m glad you’ve decided to follow your doctors advice. I wouldn’t want you to have to go through this any longer than necessary!
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    • Posted

      Hi, I know this is a while since your post but hope you can help. At 5 weeks when you started to put weight on your ankle, did you experience any pain. After 4 weeks in a cast (4 and a half weeks since injury) I am having pain when trying to walk. Don;t know if I should just walk through the pain or take this as a sign my foot isn't quite ready for weight bearing. To confirm the doc said its okay to weight bear and Im in a cast and shoe not walking boot unfortunately. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Mic, 

      I have just replied to your other post. I'm sorry you are going through this!

      I was very lucky that I had hardly any pain after the first 3 weeks in a cast but I was still supposed to be nwb until the cast came off (6 weeks). I started walking on it at the 3 week mark but my advise to you is don't walk through the pain. This is a case of the pain actually telling you to get off your leg, it's not ready.

      Scroll down to see my last update which has more detail in it. 

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    • Posted

      Yes just seen your other post. Thanks so much! Not sure whether to call doc or a physio. Or just wait. Got another 3 weeks until next visit when the cast should be coming off. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Mic,

      My doctors instructions were to go gradually and to let my pain be my guide. He told me not to push through the pain but to back off when it hurt. I’ve done this and feel that I’ve progressed very well but it has to come in stages and you have to be patient. I began with partial weight bearing. I know it sucks to keep those crutches but it’s worth it. I began gradually putting weight on it and using my crutches to still support some weight. Yes it hurt if I tried too much. And the tingles in the bottom of my foot were such a strange sensation. So I first worked on getting through those weird tingles. After that I listed to my body and put as much weight as I could without pain. I would experiment often to see where my pain level was and little by little I could add more and more weight until I was walking full weight. I kept the crutches handy. You’d see me carrying them into work lol because if the day became too long I would revert back to partial weight bearing to keep from doing too much at once. Then my doctor graduated me to a stiff ankle brace and I began the process all over. I pulled the crutches back out for support and began gradually adding weight to my ankle in just the brace and this went much quicker but it kept me in control and allowed me to follow my doctors orders of not letting it hurt. I have now started walking around home with a naked ankle. I make sure I put my brace on if I leave the house or when I’m doing bigger stuff at home like chores. My next appointment is in a week and I expect to be turned loose for the final stage of walking with nothing on my ankle and working on getting the rest of that mobility in my ankle back. It’s gradual. I’m at 9 weeks now so The point I’m at now is 4 weeks since I started weight bearing. It’s gradual. It takes time. But the time flies by much faster once you feel like you’re starting to make progress because each day gets a little easier and you can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know each persons healing process is a little different but I hope my experience helps you. Best of luck in your recovery. You’re “over the hump” and it just gets better and better from here!

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    • Posted

      Oh wow  thank you so much! Really appreciate it. Just take it one step at a time then (literally). I’ve got just under 4 weeks to hopefully get the cast off so will just take it day by day. They said it was a clean break and was / is healing nicely. So fingers crossed. All the best for your next appointment. And here’s to a speedy recovery! Thanks!
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