Fractured ankle and broken fibia 1 Jan 2016

Posted , 7 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

I am 65 years old and I slipped off the curb edge on New Year's Day (brilliant start to new year).  Accident and Emergency confirmed I had broken my right ankle and my fibia just below the knee. They put a back slab on at first ankle to knee and then when they realised my fibia was broken as well they extended it to my thigh.  I was told to go home and rest and an appointment  for the fracture clinic for 8 Jan ( Friday gone). After waiting around for 5 1/2 hrs I was told that my ankle needs surgery and they put me another backs lab on but only to my knee.  They didn't seem much bothered about the break in my fibia?  I was then told to go home and someone would ring me within the next few days to let me know when my op will be. ( between 7 and 10 days)  I am now in worse pain than I was before and I am resting in bed with my leg elevated as instructed even though the swelling has dramatically reduced. I do however get an awful painful feeling like pressure in my ankle when I use my crutches to go to the loo.  I didn't get this before they fitted the new back slab.  I am wondering if this is normal.  I also have been told that I am at risk of ddvt so therefore have to inject myself every day in my stomach to help to thin my blood to try and avoid a Dvt. In short Whilst writing this I don't know when my op will be and have already Ben laid up here for 9 days. Hopefully sooner rather than later as I don't want the break/s to start healing and have to have them broken again for surgery.  Just feeling a little out of my depth.  Has anyone else got or had this awful painful feeling of pressure when they put their leg down after having it elevated.?

1 like, 21 replies

Report

21 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Hello Mary.

    You have broken your ankle and of course you will have pain. There was no doubt I'd broken mine with a dislocation too as it was grossly deformed and the pain was well I can't begin to describe. The pain you are getting is normal with a break but you need that operation. I doubt very much your bones will be healing as it all takes time. I would call the hospital though and tell them your situation. Some people have to wait days or a couple of weeks to have ankle surgery due to swelling. I wouldn't panic at this stage but if you don't get surgery in the next week then phone them. I wish you well on your road to recovery. I'm still on mine and it's not easy at times. I have found comfort in this forum with other like minded people experiencing the same thing.

    Report
  • Posted

    Hello Mary

    im sorry to hear of your injury. I broke my ankle and fibia 6 weeks ago and non weight bearing (NWB) until I see surgeon next week. My question is are you putting weight on your hurt foot and leg. I'm not allowed crutches ( I'm 65) in case it slips so in wheelchair most of the times. I was fortunate to have surgery 2 days after my break. With pins and screws in now I'm waiting to see how the bone is healing. I have pain mess and take as needed so if you have something they should have told you when and how to manage your pain. I wish you a speedy surgery at this point and take it easy it is nothing to rush along, as it takes time and I know I'm in for a longish recovery due to my age and osteo.  Take good care, best Jannie 

    Report
    • Posted

      Hi Janine Thanks for taking the time to reply.  I was just told in a & e not to put any weight on it, stay in bed and only use crutches to go to loo. I was told to take paracetamol and ibuprofen for pain. However they referred me to a different hospital to see a consultant who has told me to elevate until op. Good job it's only to loo on crutches I'm rubbish using them. 
      Report
    • Posted

      Hello Mary

      i really feel for you and I really hope your surgery is soon. I couldn't do crutches personally and opted for a wheelchair but first couple weeks mostly I was in bed. They also worried about DVT so wanted my foot elevated most of the time. I still elevate but have a few more periods throughout the day where I'm having my foot down. It feels pretty weird and heavy and throbs I'm not sure how long this lasts. Im not even close to weight bearing and that will be the next big hurdle. I still take 1/2 pill after supper as that is when my foot hurts the most. My Dr is not concerned about my pain meds and I'm not the addictive type, she says its best to have pain under control. I'm sorry if I'm rambling on but as you know it becomes all consuming being laid up, your surgery will put this part behind you and your new journey will begin. I truly hope you are comfortable and have the support you need. If I can help with any questions I'd be happy to help you....take good care, best Jannie

      Report
    • Posted

      Hello Mary

      so happy to hear everything is going well. Way to go for opting for the spinal it sounds like that worked very well for you I wish you a speedy recovery and look forward to you sharing your progress. Take good care and keep us posted!  Happy healing, best, Jannie 

      Report
  • Posted

    The reason I ended up with a TAR was that I had a spiral fracture of my tibia and fibia while skiing when I was 20.  The was an attempt to set things with full length and then walking casts for almost 1-1/2 years.  That immobility was the source of my cartilage problems until the ankle replacement 40+ years later.  I can tell you that the slight resistance of my fibia to mesh kept my tibia from healing for 18 months.  Then, when I had surgery, it healed in weeks when the parts were in the right places.  If I had had the surgery originally, I would never have had a life of ankle problems.

    Recently, I was in a car accident and fractured by sternum due to the asymetrical action of a shoulder harness.  Nothing to be done but wait for it to heal.  It took 6 weeks of hurting more as time went on before it started to heal and feel minutely better each day.  I think that damaged nerves recover during the healing process so that sometime it feels worse but really the nerves are just waking up and recognizing a signifcant injury.  As far as pressure goes, keep it elevated.  My doc told me that the best way to prolong my recovery from the ankle surgery and add risk was to lower my leg and let it swell.  I was told that a few minutes to go to the bathroom each day for two weeks should be the limit of my leg being below my heart.  FWIW, I hope you find a rapid recovery in your future.

    Report
  • Posted

    Yes, I think it is normal to have pain when you lower your ankle.  At first, it seems having it elevated is the best position.  I live in the US, but broke my fibula in France.  They started giving me heparin shots right away and told me to give them to myself for 6 weeks to prevent DVT.  I gave myself 3 injections and then flew to the US.  The doctors here do not reccomend these injections.  They told me to take a baby aspirin (81 mg) every day while nwb.  I also took fish oil everyday.  I am 62 and used a wheelchair while nwb for  weeks. I got massages once a week which I thought was very helpful.  I am 15 weeks post fracture.  Wishing you the best.  I know this is hard.
    Report
    • Posted

      Hello Linda

      I am sorry for your injury as so many here are in the same boat. It's poorly understood injury not being able to walk but I keep telling myself it could be worse. You say your NWB - do you mind telling me how long?  I'm at 61/2 weeks and my foot feels like a cement block with little movement except for a bit in my toes. I have no idea if this is normal. By day's end my foot feels like it weighs 100 lbs. I'm going for X-ray on Wed. To see how the bones are meshing. Are you able to weight bear at 15 weeks?  Are your moods up and down?  It's been one of the hardest things I've experienced and that is after cancer.  I wish you well with good progress each day a little better until we are walking again.  Thanking you. 

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi Jannie,

      I fractured by fibula on 9/25 and had surgery on 10/8 with plate and screws and a plaster cast for 12 days, then fiberglass cast for 5 weeks.  I actually cut the cast off after 4 days, but was NWB the entire time. At that time, I had an xray and they put me in a knee high airboot.  I started massaging the leg and foot and going to PT.  I started to very gradually put some weight on the foot and moving the foot up and down and rotating the ankle. At first, the progress seemed very fast.  I started using a walker in the house to walk without the boot.  Just being able to rest the injured foot on the ground makes it so much easier to move about getting in and out of the bath.  The leg itself needs to regenerate from the NWB.  I was walking unaided by 9 weeks. At first it is best to go very gradual to be safe as not to reinjure yourself. My emotions have been up and down. I am able to walk unaided. In the morning my ankle is stiff from not moving it at night and it is not swollen.  By the end of the day it is swollen and stiff again.  I went to PT today and he had me doing all kinds of stuff.  I think it was too much.  Within hours I had to go home to ice and elevate it.  I never too much for pain and honestly I had less pain when not walking on it.  It's fine balance of exercising it and dealing with the swelling.  My PT said I had to give it a full 6 months to get 90% then another 6 months to get the rest.  Where you are at it feels like it won't move again, but it will.  You just need to make sure the bones are healed before you put any weight on it. My calf had shrunk and looked like it had almost no muscle anymore, but now my leg and foot look a lot better.  I am having trouble with the tightness in the achilles tendon.  I am able to care for myself, do some housework, drive, take a shower, cook some, go to the store. I was so excited to get my house clean and in order, but that excitement only last so long.  I'm blathering on.  I think you are the point where you'll see some improvement. I'm wishing you a gentle recovery wilth lots of highsbiggrin

      Report
    • Posted

      Hello Linda 

      after driving all day in a snow storm, I got my results and good news is bones are meshed nicely. Although my foot is locked up and I can start weight bearing exercises to prepare for standing. I guess the issue I'm having is my reluctance(in my head) to start because of pain. I know I will work thru this but I thought I'd mention as don't know if anyone else has had this.

      I'm just realizing how slow this is going to be for me but I guess my confidence has been affected. Thanking you Linda for keeping in touch. This forum has been a life saver for me. My heart goes out to everyone who is or has gone thru this very misunderstood injury!  Enjoy your day, Jannie 

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi Jannie,

      Are you able to drive?  I didn't drive until recently. It is snowing here everyday which is making it harder to get around and my confidence is not very good either.  I think that is reasonable since our legs are not really up to supporting us yet. This will sound terrible, but I'm sitting here wondering if it would be better to cut my foot off.  In the morning, my ankle is stiff, but not swollen as it is at night.  At 16 weeks post fracture I was hoping to not be in this type of pain. I cleaned my pantry today and stood on my foot for hours.  Everything takes me longer than usual.  I wonder why it keeps swelling.  My doctor as much as discharged me when I was still in the boot at 7 weeks.  I guess it would be nice if the doctors would tell us what to expect.  I have a friend that broke his ankle very badly and now he says he can hardly tell which ankle he broke.  

      Anyway, just touching base.  Sending you good wishes for a good day tomorrow!

      Linda

      Report
  • Posted

    Dear Mary. You do sound at a loss with what is going on. I felt very vulnerable in the beginning. And very frustrated as I had, like you, hoped that the surgery would go ahead quickly. The more the swelling goes down the better the outcome...there is reduced scarring and chance of tearing and infection. I got bossy after two weeks of waiting and had mine despite there being a lot of swelling...outcome....nasty infection and bad scarring. 

    The pressure or pain on lowering your leg sounds normal, albeit very distressing and you might feel like limiting moving around to avoid the pain. Sadly there is no way around it. 

    Please keep in touch with this group during your recovery, as it will be normal for you to get down and perhaps teary, angry, frustrated and experience different levels of pain. The group will 'walk' with you on your journey.

     

    Report
  • Posted

    THANKYOU all so much for your replies.  I have never used a forum before so all this is new to me. I feel much better now knowing your stories.  I think my main worry was that the first hospital did not tell me to elevate just to stay in bed and only go to loo on crutches so for 8 days I just really painfully rested in bed taking paracetamol and ibuprofen for pain. The swelling has gone down some but at the second hospital on Friday  consultant said to elevate until surgery. Different hospitals different advice?  Then they frightened me with the statement 'you are at risk of Dvt - you will need to inject yourself every day for 4 weeks' .  Thanks again for caring enough to reply. Watch this space . 
    Report
  • Posted

    I really feel for you Mary, what a great start to the New Year, not! I suffered exactly the same breakage mid Sept 15, had the same instructions as you. I woke up each day and getting from my bed was as if the blood was transferring from being elevated all night to travelling down my leg. This feeling slowly disappeared. I had to wait almost 2 weeks for surgery. I don't want to appear negative, however, after my surgery on 29th Sept 15, I'm still not back at work, and still on 1 crutch. I've been having physio for a month, and am told it could be another month before recovery. I still have swelling in my leg & ankle which I have been informed can take up to 12 months to cease, but the swelling is causing stiffness in the joint restricting movement. I know I am not on my own, and reading other patients experiences does give comfort. I wish you as speedy recovery as possible
    Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up