Cast gets really tight when I stand up

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Hi m Broke my ankle six weeks ago it broke in three places had plate and screws fitted my cast feels really tight if I get up even for a couple of minutes I also getting a burning sensation going back to hospital this week if everything ok I should be given a boot .getting so fed up not being able to do much just wondering how others are coping

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    Hi Maria I too broke 3 bones and dislocated my foot in march I had plate on leg outside n 2 long screws on inside I couldn't do anything. For myself apart from rest up they do say on here rice rest ice compression and elevation it helps my husband did everything for me for about 6weeks a shock to both of us as I'm never still and do everything so to be capable of nothing was awful I'm now 22 weeks in walking without a stick most of the time pain is still under left ankle comes n goes not sure if plate related I'm waiting to have plate n screws out end Aug early September just waiting for appointment to come don't rush things ask for help and take it easy enjoy the rest and good luck with your recuperation regards Dawn I post under my dad's name as I order his medicine

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      Hi Dawn- I have very little pain now and am at your stage but I had a mid-Feb break and surgery the next day. I have more of an overall slight ache when being up on my feet all day long, but that is about it with pain. I bet it will really help you to get the plate and screws out in the next month or two if you are still having pain. I have yet to hear anyone who is unhappy with the procedure who had it done, and I have researched it online a lot. The main complication I have read about, seems to be the chance of infection, so just talk to your doctor about ways to decrease those possibilities. It seems the people who do get a slight infection, get past that pretty quickly though, from what I have read at least. Good luck to you and do let us know how it goes. Also try pressing on the plate, as that will release some of the scar tissue and may release some of your pain and keep up with the PT exercises. I did them pretty religiously to help with my recuperation. You will also need to increase your calf strength to move forward at this point too. Hope you feel better soon!
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      Thanks Patti I did some research about screws n plate removal the census is if no problem leave them in but as you say only complication is infection in my case the screws hurt like hell and I have a pain under left ankle when it's fist put down but not allways I will see about calf exercises just doing a lot of walking around managing to keep swelling down to half it was good luck with your healing will keep you posted xx

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      I had plate and screws 12-4, home from rehab 1-25, was doing fine using cane until July 3, had thought due to heat, put up with pain til last week , my problem is right foot, hurts on out side of foot past arch just where heel starts. Called Sisters Foot Dr appointment Monday Friend said maybe spur and could get shot. Going to see what he says , just in case have appointment with Surgeon August 4. Relay don't want to start over with plate and 6 screws out. Thanks

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      Hi Mar036- I see your injury was over a month before mine, and surgery 3 weeks before mine, but I remember a few months back the side of my foot hurt a lot and I massaged the heck out of it, for quite a few weeks, and did a bunch of PT, and slowly it went away. It's good you are getting it checked out, but thought I would throw that out there. It may be a normal pain in this process. 

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      Thank you so much have been doing exercises , trying to walk more when not hurting, I am so ready for this to be behind me as I am sure you are.
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      You sound like a prime candidate for hardware removal Dawn. I think I would definitely do it in your situation. I kept thinking I wanted mine out, but the plate and 13 screws aren't bothering me at all, which is a shocker. I know it is scary thinking about another operation, and I hear you need to wear the boot, or at least stay off the foot for a few weeks again, but a lot of people with pain say they feel so much better after having the hardware removed and wished they had done it sooner. They say it's nothing like the first go around, because it's more of a cut and healing situation at that point. I've seen the operation online, because I was interested and am not sqeamish about these things. Looks pretty fast and easy. Didn't realize our screws are pretty much like normal hardware screws. Kind of strange, huh?  Some people frame them after they are out! Best of luck to you Dawn. There aren't a lot of posts about hardware removal here on this site and I know a lot of people, like Paul, would love to hear details if you do it, so please post how it goes, if you go that direction.

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    Hi Maria-  I also had a trimalleolar injury with ORIF (I'm 5 mos out now). It doesn't hurt to get it checked out if you are worried about it. I did that one time and everything ended up being fine. You know your body best though, and know when something doesn't feel right, and you don't have a lot to lose to check it out. There is a chance you may just be frustrated and ready for a change to the boot. It is a long time to wait, and it is so easy to feel frustrated by the time it takes for the bones to heal. I remember I was too. Just know you are almost there and ready for the next phase. A lot of people just get a boot instead of a cast, like we did, but after being casted that whole process for 7 weeks (and getting the cast changed every few weeks), I am really glad I had that route now looking back, because it keeps your injury very stationary, so it can heal safely. You definitely don't want to go backwards! Just know you are at a turning point. Soon you will have a boot and then you will slowly be able to put weight on it, starting with 25% and increasing as you can handle it week by week, then there will be physical therapy to loosen up and elongate your shortened tendons and ligaments. The bones tend to heal in 7 weeks or so on average, so as long as everything has healed properly and there are not any complications, you will soon be on your way to the next phase, which is getting the muscle and tendons back working again. Hang in there. It's hard to be patient I know, but you are on the verge of the next stage. Think of it kind of as triage, first the bones need to be addressed, then the next stage of getting everything back up and working. You will notice your calf muscle will look very atropied at this point and loose, but the wrinkled part fills in, in about a month or two and I hear the whole muscle is back within a year or so. These ankles take time to repair but they do! I walked 12,000 steps today on vacation in Spain and did about 15 floors of stairs on a walking tour of the city today. So be hopeful. This will be you too before too long!

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    Hi Maria, I also broke my ankle in February and had orif surgery in March. Your cast gets tight when stand up or if you sit with your leg down, due to swelling. Try keep it elevated as much as possible. The burning sensation is also normal. Once your cast is removed you are still going to have swelling for a while. It is a long and emotional road but it does get better. Do things you enjoy, books, movies, hobbies, etc. Also once your cast is off ask your surgeon about physiotherapy, it is really important in the healing process, even the exercises you are given to do at home help towards your recovery. Stay positive, and be patient. Hope you have a speedy recovery. Keep us updated.
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      Thank you all for your replies nice to hear from people who have been there ..makes me feel more positive hearing how your all getting on just been getting frustrated not doing anything but know I will get there.
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      Patti gives great advice, take it. Patti and I had our surgery about the same time and are about the same age. We are also at the same stage in our recovery. We all heal differently, but a positive attitude and determination plays a huge part to the success of recovery.
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  • Posted

    Hi Maria. March 11th fx left ankle. Swelling & fx blisters delayed ORIF. April 5th had plate, 9 screws and 2 pins placed. June 8th released to weight bearing as tolerated. So now 7 weeks out without boot. 12 physical therapy visits completed and no more ordered. Still feels like I am walking on a broken ankle. Gets stiff quickly. Gets painful with exercise. Using walker mostly at night. Try to use cane during day as much as I can. When I feel confident enough, I walk without aides.

    I too am frustrated, even though I have been told I am making good progress. Family is making comments about getting up and to it without consideration my new normal may be a year out. I am dreadfully fearful of falling again. (My right leg has a surgically repaired ankle from fx 20 years ago and total knee replacement. So when I broke left ankle, I literally broke the only good leg I had to stand on.)

    Coping for me is a lot of self talk. I allow myself to have time limited pity parties and then move on. I look at the calendar and consider the progress I have made in the time from one event to the next, and acknowledge, at least to myself, the time I have to go. I understand and accept recovery will be painful, and that sometimes slow and steady is better than hard push causing pain that sets you back. Posts, like this forum, are helpful because others experiences provide education about process, which health care providers do not offer and we don't know to ask, as well as encouragement from others at different points on the same path.

    Be kind to yourself. Best wishes in your recovery!

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  • Posted

    Not sure where you live but think tight cast might be due to weather, boot can be tightened and loosened, broke mine 11-22, set 12-4, home 1-25 doing ok til July 3 and heat swelling and hurting, regular foot Dr Monday, Surgeon August 4 if Foot Dr suggests. Hang in there
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  • Posted

    Had hospital appointment today foot is healing ok took cast off now in a boot for six weeks in a boot been told fifty percent weight bear to begin with can take boot off if sat down and to start moving foot will have physio soon been told to move ankle and moisturizer Foot around scars foot feels really strange which they said was normal wondering what exercises are good to begin with
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    • Posted

      Hi Maria, happy to see all looks good. Start with some simple exercises until you have seen the physiotherapists. Some stretching the foot down towards the floor, then pull the foot upwards and back towards the knee. Wiggle the toes up and down fast. Stretch the toes open and close. Don't some circles both ways. Put a cloth on the floor and try pull it back with you toes. Massage is very important for scar tissue, get some bio oil or something similar, and use it to massage. Don't wait long before you start pt the physiotherapists will evaluate you and work from there. Also ask them to show you how to massage the scar tissue correctly. Good luck.

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      Thanks Daphne for advice foot feels really strange now out of cast which I know they said is normal felt good to wash my foot and my husband to massage it felt like pins and needles on top part .doctor said to do gentle exercises while I wait for physo so it does not get any more stiff pain not to bad I think its just getting confidence back as scared I might hurt it .
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    • Posted

      So happy for you Maria! Don't you feel so free now?  I remember how good it felt to take a warm bath and shave after so long! The pins and needles on the top part of the foot sometimes lasts a while. Just keep massaging it. It eventually goes away, so no worries. The pain starts a bit with PT, but it's not too bad. An anti-inflammatory usually helps when you need it. Try swimming if you have a place to swim. You will love it! You can swim now, even before you can walk, if you can get to the edge of a pool and get in and out safely. I thought the feeling felt magical when I did it. I felt extra free and happy. 

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      Hi Maria, I know exactly how it is to feel scared you might hurt the ankle again, most of felt like this. The first time I had to try and walk fwb with a crutch for support, I could not move my legs, I tried but just stood there and could not move. It is all in the mind and once you overcome the fear it gets so much easier from there. Also even though you are pwb try walk barefoot , touching the injured foot down on different textures. Sounds strange, but it works. Even put your foot into a bowl of macaroni. Massage is great don't worry about the pins and needles, this feeling may feel like an electric shock once you start putting more weight on the foot. Remain positive and keep moving forward.

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