Good Story - 3 Weeks Post Op Fibula Fracture

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi everyone, thought I would share a good recovery story.

I broke my fibula about 5 weeks ago and got surgery 12 days later with 7 screws and a plate.

I got my cast off 2 weeks post op and doctors said x-rays were looking good. I asked the doctor if I could start bearing any weight and he said while he doesn't recommend it I could try a little bit around the apartment if tolerable. I was given an air cast and told I would be allowed to rehab the ankle a bit and gain some flexibility and range of motion by stretching it and doing circles. Doctor said in 3 weeks I will be able to start full rehab with complete weight bearing.

First 5-6 days I just kept stretching it and got some range of motion back with stiffness gone. Two days ago I decided to try walking in the air boot with crutches and found zero pain. Yesterday I tried walking without crutches and just the air boot and found no pain either.

Today I decided to take a few steps barefoot and was surprised to find zero pain and relatively easy to walk.

I'm still taking it slow and only taking a few steps in my apartment, but I'm happy that I'm able to rehab it this fast.

Thought I'd share this with you because a few weeks ago I was devastated being immobilized and now I feel close to recovery.

3 likes, 9 replies


9 Replies

  • Posted

    I am not alone! I am post surgery 2 weeks for Weber B break. I think I have a plate and screw. Not too sure. Will be going back for 2 week post op today to find out next steps. Hopefully my recovery will be similar to yours and not too painful. Bad news for me is that it is my dominant right ankle, so no driving and I am a caregiver for my Alzheimers mother. Thankfully with her in a memory care facility my presence is not necessarily missed.

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    • Posted

      Is it just 1 screw?

      I had 7 if you only had 1 then it may be easier for you.

      Ah that must be frustrating but hopefully it recovers quick.

      I'm now 4.5 weeks post-surgery and can walk pretty stable without crutches (slight limp).

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    • Posted

      Well, went to DR. yesterday and my surgery sounds very much like yours. Plate with 6 screws. I now have full cast, it was only splint partial for 2 weeks post surgery. Cast will be re-assessed in 2 more weeks then most likely another identical cast. The scar is pretty gnarly, but since it has been covered in a cast and with stitches for 2 weeks I will just have to attend to that when I am cast free. How hard was re-entry for putting pressure and weight on your foot? I am a little anxious about that, not to mention I was previously very active. At least walking 2 miles daily with my dog and exercising fairly frequently (at least 3x per week.)

      I am trying to stay upbeat, but that is harder than it sounds. I am not used to being a home body. What kind of physical therapy has been recommended for you? Thank you for sharing your progress, it is really helpful for me.

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    • Posted

      And it's just on the fibula, right? No ligament damage?

      So maybe you got unlucky the doctor is playing it safe and put you in a cast again.

      After the two weeks I was put in the air boot and the doctor said I could start rehabbing it a little to get the range of motion. Like I said above I told the doctor I read some scientific articles on how early weight bearing can be helpful...he said while he doesn't recommend it he will allow it if I can.

      First couple days I simply was just stretching my ankle forwards and backwards because it was so stiff after having the cast. After it started getting some flexibility back and I would do circles in both directions. I also started to flex my toes (which I also did while in the cast) which hurt my achilles a little but after a few days that pain was gone. Then I started putting some weight on the ankle while sitting down. Since your achilles and calf was immobilized for so long it will feel weak and might be a little painful.

      About 3-4 days after getting cast off I decided to do some partial weight-bearing with the crutches. There was no pain at all while I did it. I think on day 4 I decided to try to standing on the broken ankle with the air boot on and no crutches. I was surprised there was no pain. For the next few days I started to walk with the air boot and crutches (maybe 20-30% weight bearing). I think about 6 days in I decided to try standing without the air boot and I felt no pain again. A day later I decided to try walking with the air boot and was satisfied that I could do it with a limp. I then took off the air boot and walked bare foot.

      I'm 4.5 weeks post OP now and can pretty much walk without crutches in my regular shoes with relatively no pain, but a slight limp.

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    • Posted

      Honestly, I would ask the doctor next time if you can get into an air boot and start rehabbing quicker unless your injury is worse then mine.

      You don't have a syndesmosis screw or anything right? Just on the fibula?

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  • Posted

    Yes, there was some ligament damage, so my Dr. did do some scoping which is probably the reason for continued cast for next four weeks. She wants my damage and movement to be limited since the ligaments cannot repair the same way the bone can. What are your thoughts on keeping/removing the screws/plate? How did you break your ankle? Mine, believe it or not...was broken while inside of a ski boot. My boots are old though, so I think the inner lining must not have been strapped correctly and the inner lining that has metal must have dug into my ankle to cause the trauma when I fell. I didn't even think my fall was that bad, but I was distracted that day. I look forward to walking again, being sedentary is not in my wheelhouse!

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    • Posted

      I think I had some ligament damage also...but they said it wasn't bad because it wasn't a syndesmosis tear. If you they put a screw between your fibula and tibia it's a lengthier and more difficult process.

      I was literally just jogging and hit patch of ice, slightly slipped and the ankle snapped. It was also a Weber B fracture.

      I would talk to your doctor next time about shifting to an air boot. I don't think it will make a difference in the long run but it will allow you to start rehabbing and speed up the recovery process. End of the day even if you are in a cast for 6 weeks we will both be fully healed...I may just be a few weeks ahead of you in gaining my mobility.

      Yeah it's frustrating not being able to move much...It's a big relief that I can walk almost normally now and am not limited (apart from jogging and sports of course).

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