Fractured dislocated ankle 5 weeks post op still swollen

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Hi all new to this site, but needed some advice on what others have been through. Dislocated and broke my ankle on Jan 19. Just hit 5 Weeks since surgery. The healing process has been really slow and the swelling has been bad since day one, so I was never put in a cast just had a splint for the entire 5 weeks. Went yesterday to Dr to get splint removed and they were going to cast it but swelling was still pretty bad. Dr decided just to put nothing on it and send me on my way. I’m wheelchair bound because when I broke my ankle I also broke my left elbow on the same side. Every time I get up and wheel around in the wheelchair for a bit my ankle instantly goes purple and swells within 5 Min or so. Extremely frustrated dr wants me to start doing weight bearing  and stand on it, but I’m scared! The pain is very minimal which is great! Don’t know what to do everything that is happening I have just been told is normal and I personally have nothing to base it on. My ankle is hot and foot is cold and don’t know what is up with that either. Confused on what to do.... please help any advice is greatly appreciated! 

Thanks 

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  • Posted

    Did you have surgery? If so 5 weeks seems awful soon for weight bearing. I remember at 5 weeks my ankle still swelled a lot if I was up for quite a bit in the daytime. I'm at 8 weeks and its just now it doesn't swell much at all and I'm up and around most of the day. Still turns purple but that goes away  quickly. DO you have an Ace wrap on it? If not, that will give you a lot of support and relief. I couldn't wear my boot without it.

    ?Physical therapy will help you get back on your feet gradually when your bodys ready

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    • Posted

      Yep had surgery have a plate with two screws. Was told that screws will be removed in about 3 months and the plate will stay. What I found weird is he didn’t give me a boot or anything. I have read around quite a bit and have only read a few that didn’t receive a boot to help with walking. 
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  • Posted

    That is weird. I've never heard of anyone going from surgery to walking without a boot. Since you also had a dislocation your recovery time is longer than mine, I just broke the two bones-have plate and screws one side, screws on the other, and I wasn't to attempt even partial weight bearing (with boot and crutches)until 6 weeks. It takes 6 weeks for broken bones to properly heal, I will be in the boot until at least 9 weeks when I see my dr again. I get to be crutch free hopefully by the end of this week (8 1/2 weeks).

    ?The only ones I've seen get no boot were the ones that didn't have surgery, and I think I've only heard of one. Can you get a second opinion?

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  • Posted

    Hi Kyle,

    It is hard to determine at first glance what is going on in your particular situation.

    In good care, an attending physician won't typically have an ankle fracture patient walking and bearing weight until the fracture is stable and healing (that is determined essentially from x-ray evidence). Even then, it makes sense to have weight-bearing patient in a splint or boot to avoid accidents that could cause a relapse or re-injury.

    There seems to be a contingent of doctors now that believe it helps to have patients weight bearing as early as possible. I don't know of any studies that show whether the early weight bearers fare better or worse in recovery than more conservative treatment (with support of boot, at the standard 6 weeks wait post-injury).

    You would be well advised to open up a good channel of communication with your doctor and ask him about all this, and the severe swelling (unfortunately, some patients have real trouble with swelling in recovery, others, not so much).

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