HELP : 4 MONTHS POST ANKLE SURGERY

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I am four months post-ankle surgery and have plates and screws for a break at the bottom of right leg tibia and fibula.  I am nearly weight bearing but am forced to take a crutch with me as my foot so easily gives way.  At different times, the base of each bone can feel like I am walking on bare stumps as if there is no protective sheath around the bone.  It is crippling.  I go to my consultant, he takes xrays and says everything is progressing perfectly.  I havent walked bear foot yet and walk with a slight limp.  Doing all the usual physion exercises but continue to feel something is intrinsically wrong.  Has anyone else experienced anything like this post-surgery.   

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    I'm 3 months out, from a triple ankle break, am finally walking without crutches all the time (with the injured ankle in the boot). I had heel pain when I first started walking in the boot (with crutches) and my heel felt pretty raw at first, for at least two weeks (maybe three). I think that is what you might be talking about. I found all the PT stretches (right, left, flex, point, pick up a towel with toes etc.) helped with this pain, and also walking on it as much as I could tolerate (quitting when it hurt too much). Using pain as a guide, has always been the best measure for me. I also massaged it for at least an hour a day in total, sometimes more, breaking the massage up throughout the day as needed. I no longer have that heel pain anymore. You may have plantar fasciitis. It is pain right under the arch of the foot, that can stretch into the heel too I believe. I had this for a day under my foot recently, after doing a ton of walking for the day, and the pain was quite bad, but I massaged it out and did a bunch of calf stretches (you can find these online on you tube if you look up plantar fasciitis) and it went away by the next day. From personal experience, I would not recommend walking bare foot now, as it is much harder to do than walking in the boot. I can walk fast in the boot, but walk like a snail barefooted, and can only put about 30% weight down on the injured foot and my leg feels kind of rigid when I do that. My doctor told me I am not ready to walk barefoot yet, but sometimes I need to get somewhere and putting the boot on everytime I need to take a few steps can be a pain, so I cheat here and there.  I do this, because I go back to the doctor in about two weeks and I think that will be the next step for me anyway (or at least moving to a tennis shoe). It does feel quite odd walking bare foot for sure. Hope this info helps.
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    • Posted

      Hello PattI. Thanks very much for your considered reply. I don't have plantar fasciitis. It seems I had it for a very short period and did all the required exercises and, thank goodness, all the heel pain abated. I'm now 17 weeks post surgery and all the various pains I have on a daily basis seem like a moving target. That's why, ultimately, I just get on with my own instinct. To really helps is anti-inflammatory and, even more importantly, the provision of KT tape. There is a certain way of using this and there are very good YouTube is to show you how to take a foot post ankle surgery. So, my main concern is the sporadic and acute pain underneath both the tibia and the fibula, i.e. the inside and the outside ankle post exercise. It feels that the bone slips out of place and I'm wondering if the tendon sheath that surrounds it is not stable yet. Having had foot surgery before, I'm very familiar with scar massage which I do every day to break up the knotty fibres that eventually debilitate and prevent mobility. I also massage my calf extensively before I do my exercises. It is just that the more difficult exercises, like standing on one's toes on the stair and dropping the heel down often causes the bone to become to stabilised and makes me feel like I'm walking on barw stumps which is nauseating. I am walking in trainers now and have found a pair that are unbelievably comfortable and supportive and I can generally walk for 10 minutes without the aid of one crutch. Part of me feels that by walking generally everything will become stronger but my consultant and the physio seem to oppose that view saying that I have to build up my muscle with exercise but it is only when I do the exercise they specify that my stability seems to collapse. It is a real conundrum getting the balance right because I do walk with a slight limp at the moment Hello PattI. Thanks very much for your considered reply. I don't have plantar fasciitis. It seems I had it for a very short period and did all the required exercises and, thank goodness, all the heel pain abated. I'm now 17 weeks post surgery and all the various pains I have on a daily basis seem like a moving target. That's why, ultimately, I just get on with my own instinct. To really helps is anti-inflammatory and, even more importantly, the provision of KT tape. There is a certain way of using this and there are very good YouTube is to show you how to take a foot post ankle surgery. So, my main concern is the sporadic and acute pain underneath both the tibia and the fibula, i.e. the inside and the outside ankle post exercise. It feels that the bone slips out of place and I'm wondering if the tendon sheath that surrounds it is not stable yet. Having had foot surgery before, I'm very familiar with scar massage which I do every day to break up the knotty fibres that eventually debilitate and prevent mobility. I also massage my calf extensively before I do my exercises. It is just that the more difficult exercises, like standing on one's toes on the stair and dropping the heel down often causes the bone to become to stabilised and makes me feel like I'm walking on barw stumps which is nauseating. I am walking in trainers now and have found a pair that are unbelievably comfortable and supportive and I can generally walk for 10 minutes without the aid of one crutch. It is a bit of a conundrum because the consultant and the physio therapist say that I have to do these exercises to strengthen my calf and therefore the foot but when I get a response with such instability it creates a conflict as to whether they are worthwhile doing
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    • Posted

      I see the problem Holland. Would swimming help to build the muscles without the pain you are encountering perhaps? Or do you think a stationary bike would be beneficial? It must be frustrating!
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      It's interesting that you mention a stationary bike because I did join a gym and was using the bike about 5/6 weeks ago and I stopped. I think it's something I might go back to. The physiotherapist mentioned swimming but said that breaststroke would not be helpful and that I would need to do the crawl to get the flipper action. As I'm not able to crawl, he asked me to avoid it. Thanks again for all your feedback. It is much appreciated
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      I found the breaststroke to really work for me, as I could flex and point my toes and it seemed to really help me loosen up my foot. If you PT prefers you don't do that, can you do water exercises perhaps to strengthen the leg and foot? Just an idea. 
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    • Posted

      thats interesting cos my PT said 'do the crawl and not breaststroke'.  I cant crawl!!   i think i am scared to walk around a pool and get in and out.  I am so 'water' averse since my fall on ice that even when its raining and i see the wet pavement, i am nervous.  I WAS a very active daily walker - its a big loss and a big challenge ahead
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  • Posted

    My Physio wants me to walk on the bottom. I hate it. I just do what I want. Tread water, doggie paddle, crawl(we call it freestyle) can do 250 m. Gish it was only 8 weeks ago and I couldn't even put it on the on the ground while I was seated.

    However I always seem to get the amount of exercise wrong. Usually too much. Was given a stationary cycle to use. Have Bakers Cyst on other knee and it prevented me from turning pedals- lol not the broken one. 10 mins a day on cycle. To increase by 1 min a week. No biking on swimming days. Walker most of day- it has a seat and huge wheels. Knee scooter at night for a wearisome me. Forget to take anti inflammatories but they are great when I remember. Am weary of them as they are known to slow down bone growth. Wasn't allowed them after foot swelling went down or b4 graft took. Given green light now. @(*+*)@

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    • Posted

      I get in pool by hoist chair. Damned straight- way too scary any other way. Out same way. Knee scooter to get there. I too am scared of whole business. Broken leg always cold so water felt hot. Other leg it was cold!

      Surgeon said stationary bike more useful. Physio took awhile to come round.

      Before stairlift installed, I couldn't even get outside to Smell the flowers. Every new challenge I'm giving I spit the dummy. Gets too much. Seems impossible.

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      It's a real struggle isn't it that's always a moving target. I have replied to quite a few members of the group and I'm unsure whether I mentioned K tape to you because this has been quite a saviour for me alongside anti-inflammatory occasionally. There is a very good YouTube on the KT tape channel specifically showing how to taoe for certain injury. My ankle has been so unstable be any way that I've been able to walk is with the KT tape. I wish you well with your recovery
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