Having severe neck and shoulder spasms after having surgery on my fractured ankle

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I broke my fibula 2 weeks ago in France while visiting King Arthur's castle. It was casted in France, cut off in the US and had surgery 3 days ago. I'm 62 years old. I have fibro. I had a plate and 3 screws put in. It's been a nightmare. I had a reaction to the anesthesia and quit breathing in the recovery room. Ironic, in that I worked in the recovery room as a nurse for 37 years. I'm currently have severe neck and shoulder spasms so bad I've forgotten how miserable I am with my leg in a plaster cast. I assume it's from all the lifting I'm doing with my arms and shoulders. Has anyone else had this? What did you do for it? 

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  • Posted

    So when you say all the lifting you are doing, do you mean you are still confined to bed? Which sounds about it. I didn't have that but then I was so dosed up on morphine I was on another planet.

    I will say though that to begin with on the crutches my arms hurt like the blazes but eventually this settled down.

    Gosh not a great start to your broken ankle journey sad

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    • Posted

      I have been lifting myself in and out of a wheelchair, crutch walking and walking like a crab out of my house up 8 large and long steps out of my house and then back again. I have to pull myself up from the sidewalk on one leg dragging up a knee high plaster cast. I haven't taken any narcotic pain meds, they make me sick. I've been taking tylenol and celebrex and an occassional ativan for anxiety. It appears that I hate have a cast on. I can't even think about how long it has to be on. I have been lying down alot with my foot elevated with ice on it because that is the only comfortable place, but I think all this lying about has given me a pinched nerve in my neck. I went crazy the other night and cut my cast off. Don't tell anyone.  My doctor will be disappointed I suppose, but it is my leg my life.  I have to go to see him Tuesday. What can he say to an errant adult that doesn't give a fig. 
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  • Posted

    I figure you have seen your doc by now. I hope he has sent you for a moon boot. I hope this works better for you
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    • Posted

      I went to the doctors and he put a cast on up to my knee.  I tried to talk him into a half cast or a boot and he wasn't having it. I was doing pretty good today before this cast, now I'm miserable waiting to take an ambien so I can go to sleep. This cast is so tight, it's pressing on my surgery and plates, burning. I'm not sure why this has to be so torturous. I had cut my other splint off. It  had been off for 5 days. My xrays looked good, the bone is healing. They are being over protective. I have to wear this for 3 weeks and 2 days if I don't have my husband cut it off tonight. They casted my toes so tight, the pinky is folded under. I've already had my husband cut some cast away from the toes. I am hating life.
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    • Posted

      I can really hear your distress Linda sad

      OMG!!! I just read that you have Fibro! So have I. Now I completely know what you are going through. It's a nightmare. Because of all the nerve issues we have anyway, the burning and irritation with the break together with the cast would lead me to hating life too. I did. Perhaps your doc needs to reassess the pain meds for you. My anaesthetist of all people put me on to Gabapentin, because I cried after the surgery it was o bad, and I told him I had Fibro. Then I went to Lyrica, but found the Gabapentin better. Don't be shy about ensuring you get better pain meds. See the ortho surgeon. And surprisingly ice over the cast helps a little not just on your toes.

      Gees I wish I could help more

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the response and support Oopsy Daisy. I ended up going back to the cast place and they cut the cast in half leaving it attached by the cotton. I had worn it 3 days. I ended up cutting it all the way off that night. My husband taped it up so I can wear the bottom half wrapped with an ace bandage during the day if I go out and then at night I take it off so I can sleep. I have some gapapentin , but I've been afraid to take it. I'm sensitive to everything. It is such a relief to be able to take that thing off at night. I know I have to be extra careful not to step on it. Where are you at in your progress? I haven't walked in over a month. It feels very odd, like I fear that I'll never be able to stand on it. My leg looks thin and weak. Hanging down it looks purple, veins distended. Again, thanks for the response. I appreciate it!
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    • Posted

      smile You're a naughty girl taking it off smile But I truely can understand it would send you spare. The Gabapentin worked well for me at the time, along with  good pain killers. It will seem an age before you go into the boot and there is a long journey after that.

      I was paranoid about taking the boot off after such a bad break so at night after being about in it I would place it in a large pillow cover to help keep some of the day's germs off my sheets. (I'm a little OCD and germophobic.....well where I've been walking anyway)

      My leg and foot were purple and when ever I put my leg down the pain was incredible from the blood wooshing down. It will take time for your leg to 'thicken' up again...and I think that depends on your rehab regime.  

      To be honest I didn't do an awful lot....the physio would give me exercises and I'd be pretty ordinary with them. The most important thing above all is to get movement back into the joint and work hard at not compensating for it as it will effect your natural walking and back and knees if you don't. I have this little turn thing happening in my knee these days and I have to concentrate. I have two girlfriends who broke their ankles and had to have surgery and none of us have full range of movement yet. 

      You may feel burning and itching particularly around the foot and this will be the nerve damage. 

      It's not all dark and gloomy. We are in our 50s and like you know, the ol bod just doesn't get over things as well as a young one would.

      I was really impressed at how much weight I lost while throwing myself around on the crutches..there is that smile And I used to lift weights as exercise when I was in my forties and my arms were looking ok again....but back to flab again now that the crutches have gone.

      If you are able, have good massage as often as you can. Apart from something which makes you feel like you are being cared for, the massage will help with blood flow as very importantly limit the amount of internal scare tissue. 

      Because of the Fibro I still experience pain and sharp twinges if I jar it. And I am wary of walking on uneven or gravelly surfaces, considering I broke it on a bush track....sigh. Yes, I am aware of it which prompted me to join this group in the first place. My rheumatologist has started me on Low Dose Naltrexene to help with the Fibro and I don't think the ankle pains as much. When I had a stint on the Lyrica the pain eased as well. 

      I think my recovery was slower due to the Fibro, not doing my exercises and massage and I also came this close to a bad bone infection after the surgery. The infection slowed down what the physio could do because he didn't want to lose his hand in the wound LOL

      Here is a pic of my break. I can't find the one with the pins at the moment. I dislocated it, when I fell, then I broke it in three places when I landed on it. (Time to lose weight) So the big bone has one of the tips on my left hand side broken as well as at the back and the thin bone broke in two. I have a plate in that plus screws in the front and side. Yaya

      Sending you a cyber hug

      I am actually starting to trot up the stairs now, two and a bit years later. 

       

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    • Posted

      I am so happy to hear from you. Did you break the tibia and the fibula? How many weeks were you non weight bearing? Your break looks pretty bad. Mine was not dislocated at first, the distal end of fibula was fractured. It moved after I was told to walk on it. I am a bad patient, or maybe I just can't deal with much pain. I think the fibro does make one more sensitive. Did the gabapentin give you any side effects? I still haven't tried it. I've been given Lyrica, but never took it. I have taken many of the drugs they offer, but they almost always make me sick so I'm not eager to try many anymore. Do you still have the hardware? the weight loss would be a bonus. I feel like I've lost a little, but can't weigh myself. I know what you mean about throwing yourself around. It's crazy. I got a knee scooter, but I'm not sure I'm going to keep it. It is hard to mount it and I'm kind of afraid it's going to tip over. Thanks for all the tips. I have been having burning at the incision site. I feel pretty good in the morning, but by 7 pm I'm bonkers and want to go to bed and not think about it anymore. I'm having difficulty staying in the house so much. I try to get out every day, but some days I have stayed in all day. My room is starting to feel like a dungeon. I feel a little guilty, in that my husband is taking good care of me and I have a nice house. I am 62 and have osteopenia. My upper body was weak and I can tell my flabby arms are getting a little buff. My legs were tone, but now my injured leg is looking mushy. So, it's been over 2 years for you. Thanks so much for the response and tips. Loved to hear your story. Hugs to you.
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  • Posted

    LOL great to hear from you too Linda. I can visualise you checking your arms out in front of the mirror...only to have the damn crutches get in the way and suddenly finding yourself stuck between the toilet and the basin.  I am so glad my words have been of some help to you. smile 

    Did you break the tibia and the fibula?.....yus I did

    How many weeks were you non weight bearing?.....about 6-7 after the surgery, but I had to wait for 2 weeks for the swelling to go down beforehand

    Did the gabapentin give you any side effects? No side effects smile yay

    I have taken many of the drugs they offer, but they almost always make me sick so I'm not eager to try many anymore......I get what you mean. The fibro tends to adapt to the meds and the symtoms return after a couple of months don't they sad My rheumatologist has put me on low dose naltrexene which has worked for longer with the burning at least.

    Do you still have the hardware?...Oh i Dooooo...if I can get a photo that will load I will send it. Pffft but I don't get to set off security alarms how boring

    Yeah I explored a knee scooter but reviews showed they were ok on smooth surfaces but tipped easily if encountering a bump.

    You're a "better man than me'...going out everyday. I found it just too exhausting. LOL hubby DID push me around in a wheelchair and that was a challenge...those things need seat belts smile I felt so vulnerable as it was a high fire season where I live and I thought the firies would find me half way down the stairs, with my dogs and cat all burned to a crisp. I felt self conscious when I got out on the crutches as well as people were generally really kind and this made me feel awkward. Phew no waiting time in queues though. 

    I seriously thought it would go on forever. I could not see the end of the tunnel. It was the most excruciating pain I have ever encountered. 

    I was very naughty though because once I got the wheelchair I zoomed through the house. I even used it as a type of knee scooter to chug around the yard doing dog poo patrol...sigh....so naughty. I actually preferred the chair to crutches, I felt much better supported. And you know how bad our balance can be with the fibro. I fell up the stairs twice on the crutches and started to lose my confidence. sad

    Yeah my leg looked like a useless appendage, all purple and skinny. 

    It was awful at the time but is now a distant memory and I don't want to do THAT again. I broke the other ankle a year almost to the day before this last one. It was no where nearly as bad.  

     

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  • Posted

    Hi Linda,

    Just checking in with you to see how you are going?

    smile

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    • Posted

      Hi Oopsy Day,

      Nice to hear from you. I'm doing much better than my initial posts. I didn't think I was going to make it. It's been 8 1/2 weeks now. I got moved into a knee high air boot 2 weeks ago. I've progressed from 2 crutches to 1 and now none. I have been trapsing around my house with my shocking pink walker with flowers on it with bare feet. I feel like such a risk taker. I've been going to PT. I've quit wearing the support hose. My feet aren't turning purple. It seems like it gets a little better everyday, However, it's not fast enough. I drove one day much to my husband's dismay. He's worried about the public at large. I felt so free. It was hard to get out of the car and carry a purse with crutches and my foot hurts in that boot and I can't wait to take it off. Around the incision it is burning and so sensitive and my ankle is stiff and hurts more since I started to move it. It feels like it is dragging against the hardware. I'm not sure of that or if it's scar tissue ripping. The back of my ankle is so stiff. It is not moving much. PT said it was a minus 5, whatever that means. My bone healed even though I took the cast off in 4 days. I was afraid the doctor was going to yell at me, but he didn't say a word about it. He had to know, considering my leg was smooth from shaving and no dry skin. I decided I had cast claustiphobia. The doctor said when I get the hardware out he puts me in another splint for a week. Have you had the hardware out? I went to a movie in my wheelchair and propped up my leg on my purse. It snowed 16 inches here and was minus 2 degrees last night. I found out that the boot and my clogs are not a good idea, almost went down. My brother said I could put a blade on the bottom of the boot making it an ice skate. I've mastered going up and down my inside stairs to the garage and putting a towel on the ice patches to get in the car. Hoping you had a nice Thanksgiving. Not sure how I'm going to shop for Christmas or decorate. Might have to start some new traditions. Thanks for checking on me. It helps that someone understands. I've never been so self indulged. uggh. Viva la independence!

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  • Posted

    Dear Linda,

    ​Your note made my heart sing. Thank you. You know I went back through our conversation and although I have been looking out for you, I think I missed the last one you sent sad

    ​I hope I'm not too late regarding the hardware. I still have mine, although I do think often about having it taken out. I am not sure I have the nerve to go through it again to be honest, although it constitantly gives me grief. The burning, I think is really a Fibro thing together with damaged nerves. My understanding is the 'dragging' feeling you had is the ligament sliding over the plate and screws.

    ​Your last message seemed really upbeat and I am so glad. I understand how it may be an obsession. You are reminded of it all the time, you are still recovering, you don't want to do it again and you really want to know what it looks like in there...well I do smile

    So glad you are sounding so much better. You didn't think you would did you?

    Never under estimate the value of remedial massage on it.

    I will treasure your thank you Linda and pray that you never have to go through it again.....onward and upward as they say.

    ​With love

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