fractured foot and consequences for the ankle

Posted , 5 users are following.

4 months ago i broke malleoli in my ankle, was 1 week in plaster splint and 2 months in crutches and boot

never fully recovered and yesterday i crushed the same foot with a big rock

shocking pains, i feels bones moving inside the foot, the leg was splinted and given painkillers. when i rest it's ok but every movement is painful and swelling is huge. symptoms are worse than forthe old ankle break.

today i saw the doctor, he closed the splint with better bandages and this helped a bit. also suggested to see the ankle specialist.

he said too much swelling at the moment and the trauma is on the ankle joint.

is it possible i damaged my ankle if the rock fell on the foot? i broke the bone right under the ankle and i can feel it. so maybe ligaments can be damaged in the accident? i'm worried about the situation of my ankle since it was allready in bad shape.

is it normal that the treatment is delayed 10-15 days due to swelling? isn't a problem?

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46 Replies

  • Posted

    I feel your pain. Ambulance wouldn't even take me to hospital when I broke mine. Didn't go to hospital for nearly 3 days. Snapped my Fibula and displaced it . Once I got an x-ray, the nurse said go away for another 8 days ( 11 in total I think), because there are no Drs here to see you today and it's very swollen.

    Mistake! Big one. 5 months later after a 100% non union, I was referred to a private Specialist , who said I should have operated on almost immediately. Here I am into my 43rd week. 1 back slab, 1 plaster of Paris cast, 9 fibreglass casts, a d 4 moonboots later. Walking polish on broken leg, but had Baker's Cyst on other leg. Legs gave way 3 1/2 weeks ago. 8-9/10 agony. Cyst Burst, broken ankle got bruised. Been in pain in Baker's Cyst leg. Went emergency department last week. pain was excruciating. They gave me a scan, they found a torn Soleus . Internal Muscle in calf.


    Go back and get another opinion asap if you have that gut feeling than all is not right. Better safe than sorry.

    I'm sorry I didn't when I'd broken mine . Ambo medic said mine wasn't broken and I believed him.

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  • Posted

    Hi Enrico, it is possible to break your ankle, by dropping something on your foot, or even someone stepping on it. It is normal to delay treatment (surgery) due to swelling. I would definitely go see a specialist asap. Why did they not do x-rays? I broke my ankle had x-rays immediately, was in a back slab for nearly three weeks before my surgery, but knew exactly what the problem was because I had the x-rays done immediately . Don't wait, find a specialist now.

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    • Posted

      i broke the foot while i was on vacation... luckly i have bandages with me because my ankle is still unstable.

      i went to a first aid post, think they don't have x-ray machinery. they wanted to put a backslab splint and send home to my specialist.

      but dr saw the fracture is serious and told me it's better to leave the shoe on foot because it helps keeping bones in place. did a cut in it to check circulation.

      from my experience with the ankle i know the backslab can be unconfortable. luckly the local Dr yesterday closed this emergency splint with hard bandages. today i'll do the trip back home and to "my" ER.

      i'm really worried about rebreaking the same bones... hope it wouldn't be a bad complication.

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    • Posted

      I agree with Daphne and Tituscanby1 . I'd insist on getting an x-ray somewhere asap. I also have heard that swelling can keep surgery from happening right away. I broke mine on vacation and was going to fly home for the surgery, but they were too worried I would swell up so they did the ORIF there on an island the next day. Did it swell up immediately? When I broke the three bones, I looked down immediately and it had swollen up huge in a what felt like a few seconds. I was amazed at how quickly it swelled! I hope you get good news when you get the x-ray. 

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    • Posted

      i red your answer on the other discussion

      2 months on crutches means that also your old break was quite serious, rememer to mention it to the specialist. i don't think rebreaking the same bone would be a complication per-se but better be 100% clear with doctor.

      treatment delay caused by swelling is common to avoid complication. i lost weeks due to the excess swelling, healing only start when the bones are set in place.

      the feeling of bones movements in the foot sounds worring, also the fact they preferred not to cut  off the shoe immediately.

      in my case i felt the foot like dislocated, very painfull but not like bones fragment.

      hope you have seen a specialist by now, let us know the outcome


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  • Posted

    You should also check with your doctor that you do not develop a blood clot due to your ankle surgery. I fell and hurt my leg and for 2 months my calf hurt. Finally went to the doctor and he did an ultrasound and found the blood clot in my calf. In the US it is called a Charlie horse, a cramp in the calf. I was put on blood thinners to prevent the blood clot going into my lungs or heart. A friend also broke his ankle and his blood clot traveled to his lungs and he had trouble breathing.He could not sleep in a chair or bed because he couldn't breathe properly.

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    • Posted

      One sign of a possible blood clot is a bruise. I had a bruise under my knee, where the cast ended, that was hurting me, and when I went in to change my cast two weeks after surgery, I just happened to mention it and the doctor's started worrying and rushed me in for an ultrasound, which is like a pregnancy ultrasound and took about 20 mins. All was fine, but it was an interesting experience. 

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    • Posted

      When my legs gave way and that Bakers Cyst bust, and my calf tore, and the broken ankle got sprained, my insurance said no one could tear a muscle by lighting the fire and fallen. Yeah right. !

      As I said, I had the scan to rule out a blood clot. My child text me from the car park. What is it, a boy or a girl? Lol.


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  • Posted

    thanks for all the advices!

    i finally got x-ray and visit and was admitted to hospital, no circulating or nerve or tendon problems. the emergency splint over the shoe worked perfectly, 4 good news.

    in total i had 4 bad news (one of wich was also incredible surprise).

    -the nurse at the desk could only see my toes and a small part of the foot, where the doctor cut bandages to let room for the swelling. it was enough, she told "don't touch it" then gave me a wheelchair with leg support, pillow, ice. and also a higher priority.

    it was a bad sign because with my old fracture she asked to try moving it and i waited hours on a plastic chair!

    -the cast guy cut the splint, even with painkillers it was painful. expecially when the shoe was cut off. then he put a compressive sock and made the standard plaster splint. i know that usually they x-ray on bare leg so bad sign num.2

    -the x-ray guy was careful, when i asked if the ankle was broken he answered "obviously is broken, and the foot is quite bad". bad sign num3 even if he tried to correct with "but not that bad either".

    -the specialist confirmed i broke both the ankle (malleoli) and foot (comminuted), the break in the foot is worse but not unstable, despite symptoms.

    the bad and surprising new is that i suffer osteoporosis caused by the immobilization after the previous fracture.

    good new is that should heal 100% fine w/o surgery, but i'll have to spend some more weeks in a walking cast to stimulate the bones.

    total prognosis is 6 weeks in cast and 4 in walking cast, the boot is out of question.

    interesting to note that now the compressive sock is tied to a leg support of the bed and the backslab spint feels almost confortable.

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    • Posted

      Heck that sounds awful. Will you have surgery?

      I also have soft bone. I've just got to keep on it as much as I can.

      Once you get over this next rough patch, things will start to look up. Are you still in hospital?

      Get some good music and hobbies. Get family contact.

      Good luck in your healing.


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    • Posted

      luckly surgery isn't necessary, because bones in the foot are small and isn't easy to fix the fragments without loosing mobility.

      the situation infact is less serious than what appeared at beginning.

      yes the osteoporosis after a long immobilization or crutching isn't strange. but i have never heard before.

      yes i'm in hospital, later i'll see a surgeon for 2nd opinion. we need to see if cast man says the swelling is ok. i hope so.

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    • Posted

      I'm sure you have researched it. I found this info below for others with this problem. Have you considered getting a bone scan Tituscanby?

      Normal bone development depends on plenty of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D. Humans get some vitamin D from diet, but most of it is made in the skin in response to sunlight exposure. Vitamin D enables the body to absorb calcium and phosphate from the gut while limiting the elimination of calcium in the urine and thus maintain an adequate calcium level in the body. When the body has insufficient levels of calcium in the blood, a hormone is released from the pituitary gland (PTH), which mobilizes calcium from the reserves in the bones. This is a natural mechanism, but if the level of calcium in the bones are constantly depleted the bones may end up being soft and fragile. Vitamin D is absorbed from the gut from the diet, but the body is also capable of producing its own vitamin D in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight (20-25 mins). Osteomalacia can thus occur in the absence of intake of vitamin D e.g. in diseases of malabsorption, where the uptake from the intestine is impaired or in lack of sunlight. A key measure is a sufficient intake of vitamin D for example through dairy products and fatty fish, which contains much vitamin D. If you are unable to get enough vitamin D from your diet or from exposure to sunlight, you can supplement with a vitamin D supplement. On an X-ray osteomalacia often resembles osteoporosis, but a blood- and possibly a urine sample will show disturbances of the calcium metabolism, which is not seen in osteoporosis.The treatment of osteomalacia aims to restore the body's vitamin D depots. Often vitamin D tablets are sufficient.

      Foods rich in Vitamin D:

      Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon.

      Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals. One cup of Multi Grain Cheerios with one-half cup of fortified milk is 90 IUs.

      Beef liver.


      Egg yolks.

      Dole's Portobello Mushrooms

      Cod liver oil

      Too much vitamin D can be toxic, however. The IOM sets the upper limit at 4,000 IUs for people aged 9 and older. That includes all sources—food, sun, and supplements. 

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    • Posted

      I've read somewhere the body can rob Peter to pay Paul when it comes to bones and finding calcium, but I am not sure how that works. You may want to check your overall bone density, especially since as I recall you are about my age and density decreases naturally each year already.

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    • Posted

      Had CT scan and x-rays of both legs knee and below. Left leg absolutely fine. Right one not so. Especially around break area. Blood tests normal. I'm having a hard day. Child being bullied. Husband having a downer all weak.wants child home schooled.major learning disabilities. Arrggghh. I struggle at times.

      Your advice always appreciated.


      @(*+*)@ ??????????????????????????

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    • Posted

      ouch, it doesn't sound that good.

      if professionals who see dozens of broken bones every day had a bad impression i'd suggest to be extremely carefull.

      don't make my mistake of falling on the broken ankle making it worse.

      try to have the situation clear when you speek with surgeon, i wonder if osteoporosis could be a complication if case of surgical fixation.

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