Had broken ankle surgery on February 20

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So glad to have found this blog.  Going a little nuts here in New York City.  Broke my fibula and tore my syndesmosis on February 16 while skiing in Italy.  Emergency room and stabilizing cast there and managed to get back to New York where I had surgery on February 20.  March 8 the cast was removed and replaced with an air boot.  Unfortunately, I can't be weight bearing for a total of eight weeks because of the syndesmosis tear.  The long screw for that comes out at week 12.  I've managed to do okay with a rolling 'knee walker' but approaching week 5 now and getting mighty depressed about all of this.  Hardest thing I've ever been through.  Can someone tell me what to expect after week 8?  I'm scheduled for home rehab but when will I actually be able to walk normally again. Thanks.  

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  • Posted

    Well, I only had 3 breaks and a dislocation so not as bad as your injury. I was not allowwed to full weight bear until 8 weeks after surgery. Doc said it takes that long to heal.  It has now been 3 months and I can't yet walk quite normally - still a kind of hitch in the step due to the fact that it hurts to roll onto the toes. I've been told it takes quite a while to walk normally.  I know it is depressing and frustrating. I'm a runner and am getting very impatient.  Best of luck!
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply.  Was wondering, can you feel the metal plate along the bone when you run your fingers along the scar?  I can.  I guess that's normal??  Ron
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    • Posted

      I'm not sure, The whole leg feels very stiff and swollen still so it is hard to tell.
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    • Posted

      Oh great! Wonder if we're going to need to get rid of our plates later. Not another surgery and recuperation! Sounds so annoying. I'm going to try to check when they change out my next cast in a week or so, to see if I can feel it.
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    • Posted

      I wish I hadn't had this operation, now knowing what I know.

      I was advised to have it!

      I don't think I could go through another 6 months of what I have already experienced

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    • Posted

      I was told if I did not have the surgery. I would never be able to walk again. i guess the ankle was displaced really badly.  I was told that if the plate and screws don't bother me they can be left in. So far so good, but i'm only 14 weeks since surge
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    • Posted

      Paul, I think you pretty much have to have surgery after a broken ankle.  Otherwise, you'll never walk properly again.  I know it's tough but you'll prevail in the end.
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    • Posted

      Yeah, tell me about it!  And I'm just a little past the 5 week mark after surgery.  
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    • Posted

      I know, can you imagine what we all would do without the internet???  I've looked at DVD's, just finished another book, played chess wtth my Mac (you can't win), and visited about every website ever created (including a few I probably shouldn't....) Now about to do my 'mini workout' on the floor and then haul my butt into the bathtub for my every-other-day shower.  Oh, the thrill of it all...
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  • Posted

    I broke 3 bones in my ankle (screws, plates etc) on Feb 17th. Totally with you in timing and spirit. It is a bit of a downer for sure and adds work for those around you too, which is painful- I'm used to doing everything for myself and lots for others too. It makes you feel really kind of useless for a while. The lack of exercise, when you are used to being a very active person, messes with your endorphins I think. I don't want to start to be a drag for those around me, so I am starting to do exercise videos I found on youtube for people with broken legs and ankles. I do them to music which lifts the spirits even more I find. I found this helps with healing, to get the blood moving around more, and also with lifting the endorphins. Since sugar, bread etc is an eventual downer for your system, try to avoid that too. Plus, I find having 8 supportive pillows in the bed helps to prop up the legs- isn't sleeping a bit of a bear? Feeling your pain smile
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    • Posted

      Thanks Patti.  Seems you broke your ankle the day after mine.  I do do exercises every other day (with an old Macho Power resistance bar) and sit-ups and leg raises with weights.  Just trying to stay somewhat fit as I'm used to going to the gym almost daily.  I find my calf muscle on my injured leg is wasting away!  When are you allowed to go weight-bearing?  6 or 8 weeks out?
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    • Posted

      My calf muscle is really wasting away too...it is probably one of the hardest things to watch re. this whole thing....someone told me you can lose in 2 weeks time the muscle that takes 6 months to rebuild, but others tell me there is muscle memory and we can bounce back much faster than the average, if we work hard at it, when the time is right. I've been told to stop weight training on the right leg totally because it may mess up my hip alignment...but that side is only slowly decaying in muscle strength. My doctor told me, even though I will be in a cast for 10 weeks total, I may begin at some point putting weight on the cast in 2-4 more weeks, or 6-8 weeks out (maybe some sort of walking cast? I will ask more next appt.). The bones seem to be healing well, even after I was working my way down steps on my knee walker on a vacation in Mexico to get to a bathroom and tweaked the knee walker funny and fell right on my cast...more embarrassing than painful...but I am impatient and like to be independent which gets me in trouble sometimes. smile Anyone out there who doesn't have a knee walker should get one by the way asap....a life changing decision for me when I purchased one on Amazon. I hear you can rent them too. Get a light weight one that you can throw in the back of your trunk by yourself. If you want a recommendation, I can tell you which one I purchased that I love. And if you can drive (if you broke your left ankle and not the right) be sure to get a temporary handicap placard, if you are in a place that has those...makes getting in and out of places so much easier!
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    • Posted

      Thanks, Patti, sounds like we're on the same page as far as trying to stay in somewhat shape and keep positive.  It is interesting how quickly the calf muscles seem to go to mush.  I was always in such good shape before.  But can't think of any exercise one could do for that calf that doesn't involve putting strain and pressure on the healing foot.  Can you?  I'm so counting down the days when I can least just put my damned foot on the ground again and sleep in my bed instead of this blased sofa!  (My bedroom is up a spiral staircase.)  3 weeks from today!  Although I know I have to still wear that blasted boot to walk in for quite a while.  I think things will get better after the long screw is out at the 12 week mark, which will give my foot more flexibility.  I forget, did you have the screw for a syndesmosis tear?  Or you didn't injure that along with the break?
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    • Posted

      I'm so glad you asked me about the screw and the syndesmosis tear. That reminded me I really need to make a phone consultation with the doctor who did my surgery in Hawaii. I was there when I fell hard, and probably in a twisted fashion, on my ankle, from a hammock when it's strap broke off a tree on my first day of vacation there, breaking 3 bones in the ankle on impact, if you can believe it! They decided I should have the surgery there the next day because flying home would make it swell and perhaps delay surgery for weeks. My doctor at home was wondering why I didn't have that screw amongst my other 11, as he said that type of damage is super common with a trimalleolar fracture. Thanks for asking! Btw, everyone asks me if I broke it skiing, as I'm an avid skier like you...wish I had... my story is lame! How did you break yours skiing? Do you think we'll ever be able to ski without fear/pain? I've been thinking a lot about skiing lately. Good thing he season's over for now.

      3 weeks doesn't sound too bad! As much as you want too, I'd wait until your doctor gives you the okay for leg exercises, so you don't go backwards. You'll bounce back quicker than you think because you're athletic and motivated ....and I really do believe in muscle memory.

      Bummer about sofa but sometimes I think sleeping on the sofa is more comfortable than a bed anyway, because you can throw the leg over or keep it up in the air pretty easily.

      Counting the weeks with you and trying not to go crazy!

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    • Posted

       I just realized Ron that I wrote that I broke my ankle on Feb. 17th originally, but I actually broke it on afternoon of Feb. 16th and the surgery was Wed. the 17th. I have gotten used to telling my doctors the date of the 17th, the surgery date. So we actulally broke our ankles on exactly the same day. That is weird! You had to go 4 days without surgery when you were flying home. I think it was amazing you actually were able to get surgery, because they told me if I  flew home to get my surgery the flight would cause my leg to swell and I might have to put off surgery for a week or two. Maybe those shots you gave yourself helped enough with the swelling so that was possible. 
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