Difficulty flexing up after ankle fx?

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Hi everyone,

i am 10 weeks post op ORIF- 2 weeks since cast removal. I am unable to flex my ankle or toes upward! OMG I am so frightened!

did anyone else have this problem? 

Please help!

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Im just over 6 weeks post op. At 3 weeks my cast was replaced by a walking boot and doc told me then to start to move my ankle backwards and side to side. I've been doing that several times a day for the last 3 weeks and I've got some movement in it but not a lot. From what I've read online it'll get better in time so I'm just increasing the amount of times I do them. Have u been Trying to move ur ankle? I understand u being frightened cos I was the same.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for responding and your encouragement . Are you able to flex your ankle and toes upward?
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    • Posted

      Hi Sue

      I can flex them both ways not so much my big toe tho that's more rigid. But I'm removing the boot every few hours now to do my exercises. The doc told me at my last check up on Monday he wants me to be full weight bearing in a fortnight and wearing a shoe by then. The thought terrifies me but I'll try. And I've not to go back to c them until January so feel I've been left to my own devices a bit as that seems s long time. Have ur doc suggested physio?

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    • Posted

      That's wonderful you are able to flex! I am only able to flex up an inch or so. I have been in physio 2 weeks now and work diligently at home exercises as well. 

      You will be fine FWB if you are able to flex-(picking up your foot so you don't trip on it.) I was afraid but I am weight bearing- not walking too well. The drop in the foot is a problem right now. I use assistance walking which I must wean off of. I am not able to wear my size shoe due to the swelling so I bought a pair a full size larger- that works.

      Wishing you well- keep me up to date!

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    • Posted

      Hi Sue

      It's definitely a slow progress isn't it. when did u start ur physio? at my 2nd check up doc said at next visit we'll get u sorted for physio, but saw different doc and when I asked about physio he said not until I can walk. I was planning on wearing a pair of nike trainers I've got that are quite wide otherwise l will prob need to buy a bigger pair as well. I don't have too much swelling just now but expecting when I go to FWB it might flare up. I'll let u know how I go when I lose the walking boot. Fingers x it's ok. Even thinking about it makes me nervous.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sue,

    I'm nearly 11 weeks post op, and it is only since the last couple of days I have felt any significant improvement in the flexibility of my ankle. Also not as much pain as I get up in the morning. I'm hoping to start to weight bear next week and the thought terrifies me.

    I've been given a few exercises from the physio. One of them is to flex the toes forward as much as you can 10 times 3 times a day and move foot in a circular motion 10 times again 3 times a day. Don't worry if you can hardly move your foot at first as I could hardly too when i first started. But if you persevere the mobility will improve.

    I wish you well in your recovery.

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    • Posted

      Hi Steph.

      I wish you well and speedy recovery!

      Are you able to flex your ankle and toes forward ? My toes only go down and my ankle only flexes a little bit . Wondering if anyone else had this ?

      Thanks so much!

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  • Posted

    I wanted to add, I've been out of my cast for 4 weeks and started physio 2 weeks ago. My first session I could hardly move my foot at all it was so stiff and painful. So please don't worry as you have been only out of a cast for 2 weeks and it is such a slow progress. I can flex my foot forward but nowhere near as much as my good foot but have noticed improvement since starting the physio exercises.
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    • Posted

      Hi Steph,

      I just finished by 2nd week of PT. They were very concerned I couldn't flex my foot at all. Now I can manage perhaps an inch. I am worried.

      I saw the surgeon on Friday who is sending me for an EMG to rule out nerve damage. He also prescribed a splint which I am waiting for the company to reach me. Just hearing you have seen improvement in flexing is giving me hope!

      Thanks so much. Please keep in touch!

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  • Posted

    Dear sue02492,

    It sounds very upsetting for you and you wonder if you will ever regain movement?

    Have you touched base with a physiotherapist? Mine worked miracles with me to get me up and walking etc. But of course one needs to do their 'homework' which of course...who does?

    I agree with Bailey12. Flexing exercises and stretching is the best way, but I think you need to go with what a physio suggests. I know it all takes money at the beginning. If you work out the exercises then you can do it yourself. The physio will massage and work the joint to start to free it up. Don't be afraid that the joint is really weak like I was smile. Be mindful of how you walk as well so you don't get into any bad habits favouring it as you will put your back and hips under pressure.

    In the shower is a good time to remember and it is all also nice and warm

    Good Luck

     

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  • Posted

    Morning Sue,

    Just to ask did you have surgery straight after breaking your ankle? IF NOT did you notice your inability to dorsiflex your ankle before or after your surgery? I only ask as I broke my ankle but didn't have surgery until 6 months later as it hadn't healed. I had an ORIF procedure in Nov 2014 and was concerned that for months afterwards I couldn't move my ankle in the way you explained (dorsiflex) I expressed my concern to my doctor/surgeon/physio and was told to workon it at physio as my surgeon said that it was more than likely cause by having my ankle in a cast and being immobilised for some length of time, residual stiffness if you may. Unfotunately after attending physio and doing everything else I was instructed to do, my dorsiflexion never improved. Once again I expressed my concern to my ankle specialist/surgeon who then i formed me that it coukd have been a result of something he called 'footballers ankle, or ankle impingment' ie. scar tissue or bone spurs restricting the movement. I was then put down for an ankle arthroscopy to investigate the cause and fix it if it turnedout to be what my surgeon had suggested. I underwent the surgery in July this year, and was told by my surgeon that he had removed loads of scar tissue and some fragments of bone, and was pleased to think that this was the return of the normal movement of my foot. Once recovered I was back to phsio where it quickly became evident that the operation had made no difference and my ankke would be left like this, needless to say I was discharged from physio and left with an ankle that cannot dorsiflex properly. I cannot squat properly, run properly and really struggle when walking up hills. I mention all of this because I look by to when I first broke my ankle, LONG before my operation or any long period of immobilisation (like my surgeon said could gave cause it) and realise that this movement had been lost from the moment I broke my ankle, so was very unlikely caused by what my surgeon suggested. Don't lose hooe yet, as if you had surgery almost straight away and have been in a cast for some length of time, it can take months of physio and being out of a cast until your ankle returns to normal. I'd say in my particular case that something was missed when I was first diagnosed as I just cannot physically move my ankle the was I used to and it almost feels like there is a bar stopping it. I did notice a lady who replied to you earlier mention that she was being sent for an EMG test to rule out muscle/nerve damage which rather frustrates me as not ONCE has anyone mentioned/suggested this to me and I don't know what else it could be?!! For now, concentrate on getting better and remember to always do the exercises physio give you. If you have any concerns make sure you tell your physio sooner rather that later, as I'm sure they will put your mind at ease. Just out of curiosity what was you exact injury? Take care

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  • Posted

    Oh sorry I just noticed that it was yourself who is having an EMG, keep me posted a to how you get on, and goid luck.

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