Dislocated/Fractured Ankle and Advice Needed

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Hi all,

I was in a car accident last Saturday and in trying to hold the brake down I dislocated/fractured my right ankle.  The bone was protruding from the top of my foot and I was taken to Shock Trauma in Baltimore for its repair.  I am home now with an external brace and a walker and it is very hard to get around.  I was told I have 6-8 weeks of resting my foot and another round of surgery is expected to put pins and plates, followed by another long round of down time.   I haven't had my follow through appoitnment with my orthopedic surgeon and any information I received was when I was coming out of anesthesia or on pain killers.  Just wondering, is this routine for ankle recovery?  Should I plan to be away from my office for two 6-8 week periods for recover?   I see the doctor in three days but was wondering if anyone else has this issue.  Thanks!

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Mary5103 and sorry about your accident. I spent 8 weeks working from home after my 2nd surgery for a nasty pilon fracture of my ankle (1 plate 6 screws). Yours sounds more difficult than mine. After surgery there will be zero weight baring and during that period, you will lose muscle mass in your leg that will need to be built back up through Physical Therapy which I'm still in as I tolerate some weight on my foot after 4 months. I'm sorry to say that this will be a long process as your bones will need to heal, nerves in the leg will need to settle down after the trama of the break and surgery, then building strength back in your ankle and leg. Be patient and ask your questions here as there are a bunch of people who have experienced what you've been through and can give you advise or just someone to share. It helped me. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the reply.  So it sounds like maybe there are two long recuperating periods - one from the surgery for temporary pins right after accident and a second from the surgery for permanent plates/pins.  I am trying to wrap my head around the length I could be out.   Were you out for an overall period of 16 weeks?  Was this all non-mobile?  RIght now I am on our family room couch hobbling back/forth to a bathroom.  Our house is two stories so it sounds like I could be December before I could be on two feet again.....  
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  • Posted

    Bimalleolor fracture March 11th. First surgery March 15th with placement of external fixator due to swelling and fracture blisters. Then April 5th, ORIF surgery to actually repair ankle. End of May I was released to be 25% weight bearing. June 8th, released to weight bearing as tolerated. Had 12 PT contacts. Discharged by surgeon July 20th.

    I am a social work case manager and make home visits. The week I was discharged by surgeon, I resumed work, only 2 visits and clients whose homes I could get into with walker. My supervisor is wanting me to resume work real slow. Be advised. Not only is it about walking, but rebuilding ur endurance. I would get home from a visit and need to nap! As well as ice ankle. My ankle still gets incredibly tight with an movement. Still using rollator or walker for out of home activities.

    Recovery is an individual thing. Best advice is to consider others' experiences as possible time frames. Do not get discouraged if u do not progress as quickly as another. Negotiate with ur work for limited time back and build back up to full time. Keep in mind full recovery may take up to a year. It will happen dear heart. Be kind and patient with yourself during the jouney. Best wishes in ur recovery.

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  • Posted

    As a follow up to my original post, I saw my orthopedist this past week and he told me that I didn't need to have more surgery but that I needed to wear my current external fixation device for another three weeks (to Sept 13) and that I can look to driving again on Nov 13.  I didn't think to get better details on the period between Sept 13 and Nov 13.  I know the fixation device comes off on Sept 13 (fingers crossed).  Would a hard cast go on next and  would it be NWB?  My accident was August 6.  Thanks much.

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    • Posted

      And to continue to add to my own discussion (ha-ha) I had an "open dislocation" of  my ankle.

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  • Posted

    First. Owww on that external fixation device. That was my first surgery when the surgeon discovered after removing cast placed in emergency room, that my ankle was excessively swollen and I had fracture blisters on both sides of ankle where he wanted to make incisions. Mine was on for 3 weeks to allow skin to return over the wounds. (Talk about a surprise when we first removed wrap to clean around post sites! No one had exactly said a thing about gaping wounds!) Mine was a bimalleolor fracture. No dislocation.

    He did comment at one time that he has left patients with devices in place during full healing period.

    Do not know what will happen next for u. I did have surgery to repair ankle and was NWB for virtually 2 months until I was released to 25% weight bearing. 3 weeks later promoted to weight bearing as tolerated.

    As for driving, always an issue of which foot u need for gas and brake. Even if u need an aide to walk, if ur gas pedal foot is okay, should be no problem to drive.

    The other thing to keep in mind is getting around in wide open spaces (out of home). On this forum this morning, there has been a great discussion on knee scooters.

    Best wishes in ur recovery!

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