Fractured Ankle Pain After Operation

Edited , 9 users are following.

Hi I am new to this but hope it may offer me a way to talk to people experiencing the same thing.

A week today I had a fall down my stairs resulting in a visit to A & E. I was told I had fractured my Ankle and Tibia.

The way forward was to have an operation where four pins would be put into my ankle bone. Nothing was done with the tibia as I was told the ankle repair would help heal the tibia.

A bandage was on my ankle and a boot was fitted. I was in hospital for two days after the operation 3 days in total in hospital due to the current situation with the coronavirus.

I am now at home with crutches, Painkillers and injections of thin blooders every teatime to prevent dvt.

I am non weight bearing so apart from going to the bathroom I have to have my leg elevated on pillows. My question is how high does the elevation need to be?

I am in pain and my leg is still swollen but I think the worse thing is the stiffness in my leg and finding it difficult to lift my leg of the ground because it feels so heavy. I am not a big pull taker usually cope with pain quite well so thought don't take Painkillers untill you really need them. I haven't slept for 3 nights but last night decided to take a dose of my painkiller as prescribed and had my first night's sleep.

I don't think I have ever cried so much as over the last few days as before this was active.

Any advice would be welcome as I am very much at the start of my journey with this and want to know as much as I can going forward to get to my end goal which I hope will be walking normally again. ❤️

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  • Edited

    Hi hun,

    I went thru this three years ago. All I did was step out of an SUV in high heels and broke all three ankle bones, called a Trimalleolar Fracture. I had the surgery with the plates and screws and pins. I was lucky in that I was sent home with a pain pump with lasted about three days. Like you, I cried so much... I hated having to take the pain pills which made me itch like crazy. Your leg has to be elevated above your heart.. my surgeon actually wrote it on my foot lol.

    After 6 weeks recovering, and using a cool knee scooter, I got around pretty well, and completely non weight bearing. The best part was doing warm water physiotherapy.. loved it!! The NHS only allowed 4 sessions but I wish it would have been more.

    I'm sad to say that I did not heal. I ended up with CRPS, diagnosed 8 weeks after my surgery. Basically my damaged nerves did not recover and went haywire. It happens in some cases, certainly a rare thing to happen. I wish you the best and for speedy healing!!

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  • Edited

    Hi I had basically a similar fracture in July of last year. when they tell you to keep your leg up it usually means to keep it up above your heart. you are going to experience you are going to experience pain and stiffness for a while. I was so excited when I finally got to walk again. I can't remember the exact timeline but I'm going to stay I started walking at about 12 weeks. I was out of work for about five months since I work at the front desk of a hotel standing all day.. it does take a toll mentally so be ready for some depression. that is completely normal. I still have stiffness but can walk. once I get going I'm okay but when I first get up after sitting for a while it takes me a few steps to get moving. it has been 9 months and I am so grateful that I can walk and drive again but there is still significant stiffness. The pain you have doesn't surprise me. At first I thought it would be quick but it does take a while. I was so afraid of becoming addicted to the pain pills that I didn't like taking them in the beginning. I tried to only take them before bed. it really will pass even though I know right now sometimes it seems like it's taking forever. try to think positive and just know that you will be walking around in okay, it just may take a little bit longer than what you are thinking. good luck and best wishes to you

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. I appreciate everything you have said and it's so good to hear from someone who has gone through the similar thing. I am beginning to realise it won't be a quick fix and will have to be patient. You have given you me some hope and I thank you for that. Kind Regards x

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  • Posted

    Hello Julie 57775, I'm sorry to hear that you are in pain. I once was in your shoes and believe me the pain you are feeling is normal. In due times, the pain will get better. When you elevate your leg place 2 pillows under your leg that's what I did to help me. On February 21, 2020 I felled and broke 3 bones in my ankle I had surgery on February 27, 2020 and I have a plate and 3 screws in my ankle and I was put in a slint cast. while being in the cast it will bother me so I was putting ice on it. On March 11, 2020 i went back to get stitches removed and i was placed in an air boot still non weight bearing. I went back on April 9, 2020 and now I'm able to bear weight, but I still have to wear the boot until May 14, 2020 then he will remove it. During this process it was hard for me because I wanted to walk all I did was sit in my room in my bed and people did everything for me. You will get back to being normal and you must take your pain pills because it will help you. I realized that the pain I was feeling it was because you are healing, and that's why you having pain because you are healing. The pain will get better in like 3 weeks into my injury the pain was starting to subside and I was gradually taking the pain killers. You will walk again, I felt the same way and by being on here you will noticed that this FORUM will help you get through, because I promise you I was in your shoes and everytime I had an issue or a different type of pain I got on here and someone gave me advice on what to do. This FORUM will be your bestfriend during this time. Keep your head up everything you feeling is normal you are healing and remember that pain will get better because I swear my first 2 weeks I wanted to die. The reason why you feel like your leg is heavy is because of the boot that boot is heavy. try putting on a sock and put ice on your ankle for 20 mins. I say put on a sock because the ice will be 2 cold that's what I did and I had alot of stiffness try wiggling your toes around at times when you are up to it move it around to help with the stiffness it help me alot gradually do it don't be so rough because it's only been a week but as the weeks go go keep wiggling them toes and sometimes you may feel numbness in your toes that's normal you may feel your ankle getting tight that's normal, you may feel like a shooting pain or like burning or a zapping feeling more like a bee sting that's normal as well. Another thing if you have a aircraft boot on the side of it, it should be a rubber pump that you could pump it up for comfort and underneath the pump it's a silver button that you press to let the air out. if you have this, this will help you as well also make sure you let the air out before taking the boot off if you are allowed by your doctor. I hope I have explained everything to you so you could be at ease. Remember this is a Minor set back for a Major comeback you can do this and if you need anything else you could write me back I'm here for you as well as people who post on here is here for you smile and remember it will get greater later. Be stay. Be cool, take your medicine, watch your favorite movie and remember you will get better❤😘

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your reply. It is so reassuring to hear from someone who has been through similar to this and they got through it. I did cry when reading this because your kind words really helped me. I thank you from my heart for taking the time to reply to my post. It made me feel not so alone and I can get through this. Thank you for your kindness. x

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    • Posted

      Hello Julie, You are so welcome Love.... You will get through this it may seems impossible now, but TRUST ME you will get through it. I was just in your shoes and if you need anything more answers I will respond think about it the hard part is over and that was the surgery you will be healed by the summer. Stay Blessed❤❤❤❤

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  • Posted

    Hi Julie,

    I am so sorry for your accident! I rolled off of a flip flop in February and ended up having surgery on the outside left ankle to repair a piece of my fibula that had broken off. There is much to be overwhelmed by, but take it one day at a time. I highly recommend buying an leg elevation pillow off of Amazon or another such site. It is a good height, supports the lower part of your leg as well as the part you need elevated and cradles your leg even in a boot. I have found another positive to be that it holds an ice pack or bag of peas well too so it doesn't slip off of the side easily. Also, invest in a knee scooter with a basket, it will make your life a whole lot easier as it is very difficult to carry anything with crutches. Also, I found using a back pack very helpful. I live upstairs on the second floor, but my laundry is on the ground floor, so a back pack made it much easier to get my laundry up and down. I took my meds regularly for the first couple of days to stay ahead of the pain, but then took only OTC meds as needed after that. Honestly, boredom and the inability to do many things was the most frustrating part for me. I actually bought VR goggles so I could escape my living room and for me that helped a lot. Like many of us, I found this forum because breaking my ankle left me with many questions about odd feelings, weird pain and all manner of unfamiliar things that come with breaking bones. People are wonderfully supportive here and it helps to hear and connect with people that are going through this or are already on the mend. I wish you quick and easy healing as well as good health and spirits! Sending you positive vibes!

    Gina

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    • Posted

      Thank you Gina for your reply. People on this forum have been so kind and giving me help and advice. I feel a little overwhelmed but reading the replies has helped me focus more and realise there is no quick fix for my recovery and I have to take one step at a time. I thank you for taking the time to reply to my post it has helped me so much. Kindest Regards, Julie x

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  • Posted

    This is a little about me. I had a trimalleolar fracture 2/14/2019. Months of pain and discomfort, going for pt which is a must, started back to gym/spin Jan. 2020. I always knew that I would have metal removed. Had that done on 3/02/2020. On 3/10/2020 had surgical staples removed and life is good. I was in a boot and will start pt for 8 weeks next week. I already know this was an excellent move and I'm happy I did not wait to have the plate and screws removed. My bone has healed perfectly as seen in x-rays at the doctor's office. The stiffness I experienced even after a year was from the metal in ankle is getting better. Right now I am feeling some stiffness and and doing exercises that I learned at pt. I am so grateful to be feeling this well.

    I want you to know that you are not alone. This has been a very frustrating journey. The pain you experience for months does go away. You need help and don't be ashamed to ask for it. This injury and aftermath takes a long time to heal. I found icing and elevating my foot to be the most helpful. The swelling does finally go away and so does the pain. I even elevated my foot at night and found it helped. Good Luck!

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  • Posted

    Hi Julie

    You have found a great resource here!

    Like you I fell down last 2 stairs in my hoyse on 7/5/19.

    Surgery on 7/11/19.

    I experienced a trimalleur fracture of my ankle I had screws and long screw going through back of my ankle installed during surgery . I had a cast for 4 weeks at which time I couldnt do much. I found my rolling office chair the be a big help getting me around the kitchen, in and out of bathroom as well as getting into bed at night

    I was soooo depressed during the first 4 weeks you begin to wonder if life will ever get back to normal. Let me assure you, it will

    Everyone heals at a different rate but I was FWB at 7-8 weeks and into physical therapy

    Id Say by mid-September I could walk in sneakers but still had a limp

    I was lucky to have minimal if any pain

    You should have your leg raised about 7-8 inches The hospital gave me a foam holder for my ankle

    Good luck and dont hesitate to ask questions

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    • Posted

      Hi thank you so much for your reply to my post. I am so grateful I have such lovely people I can talk too. Although I have a partner sometimes I don't like to burden him with the negative worries I am feeling. It's hard I want to be positive but then I get an unexpected pain or feeling in my ankle and leg and I start to panic. He has been there for me looking after me been amazing. I will try to not worry so much and take each days as It comes. I truly hope that as time goes by I will become more confident and not as worried. I am thankful I have this group who I can talk about my worries with. x

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  • Posted

    Hi...I broke my ankle near the end of Nov.and I am going to physio...Most important take the pain meds I am like you.I dont take many meds either however You need to take the meds so you can sleep which helps with the healing. your leg need to be higher than your heart..So when you are lying down use 2 pillows.. I hope this helps

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    • Posted

      Hi thank you so much for your reply. I am now starting to take the right doses of my pain killers and am feeling better for it. I don't like too take medication but as you have said I need to rest if my ankle is to repair. Thank you for your advice about the height my leg should be at. I am hoping I can push through and find the strength to not be as worried about every pain and twinge I feel. Thank you again. Julie x

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  • Posted

    Hi...I broke my ankle near the end of Nov.and I am going to physio...Most important take the pain meds I am like you.I dont take many meds either however You need to take the meds so you can sleep which helps with the healing. your leg need to be higher than your heart..So when you are lying down use 2 pillows.. I hope this helps

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