Help with ankle swelling

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I'm 7 weeks post fracture and 5 weeks post op. My friend that had broken his ankle years ago gave me a pair of TED hose.  I wore one on the affected leg and OMG I can't believe it, but my ankle is not swollen at the end of the day. I hope this helps someone else.

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    Hi Linda. Was yours a minor break to be wearing a ted stocking post op week 5? Was you FWB ?I know I was in a cast for 6 weeks and none weight bearing during that time and part weight bearing in cam boot from 6 weeks and still doing this at 11 weeks post op. I have tried the ted stocking and it has done nothing for me. I haven't as much swelling now but still recovering. Nice to hear someone is/ was back on their feet quickly.
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      I fractured my distal fibula in France on vacation. They casted it. I flew back to LA, went to a doctor that cut the cast off and gave me walking boot and told me to walk on it. I walked on it for a week. Flew home and saw another doctor, xray showed displacement. Had surgery with one plate and 3 screws. Plaster cast for 12 days. Fiberglass cast for 4 days. I couldn't stand the cast, they cut it in half, then I cut it apart. I've been wearing a half cast with an ace when I go out of the house. In the house I take it off. I go tomorrow to "get the cast off". I know this is not the usual. At the last appointment the doctor said he'd be putting me in a lace up boot Nov. 12. I'm not weight bearing at all. My ankle is stiff as heck. When i touch the floor with my foot it feel like I'm stepping on glass. My incision is about 6 inches long and it still hurts and burns. 

      What type of break did you have? 11 weeks sounds like a long time. I feel like my life has been a blur since it happened.  I hate to wish my life away, but I can't wait for this to be over. You must be close to walking without crutches. Best wishes for total healing.

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda.

      I broke 3 bones and my ankle was dislocated. I couldn't move it. I knew it was broken with the deformity and extreme pain. I had an operation the following day plates and screw. I was told at week 6 when I had another X-ray that I was on the worse end of the spectrum for ankle breaks. I have had physio, massages and do all the exercises to help with getting my foot and ankle to its former glory. I go back to the hospital in 10 days for another X-ray and to see what they say. It's my right ankle so I can't drive. I just want to be walking normal again. Linda I use just one crutch when hobbling in cam boot. I can hobble without crutches but don't feel as stable. I'm waiting for the doctor to tell me to try to walk without boot and fully weight bear. I've put my foot on the floor but it doesn't want to walk and maybe I'm not very confident just yet without getting the all clear to try. My GP has told me to keep cam boot on until told to take it off by the hospital. I still get pain which comes and goes, numbness, pins and needles. I am about 80% with movement now but can't curl toes upright. All the best with your recovery Linda sounds like you have had a rough trot too.

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    • Posted

      Hi MsCamboot,

      That must be really hard to be told your break is on the worse end of things. At 80% recovery sounds like you are recovering though. One of the worst things is imagining your ankle is not going to support you. Did the physio help with the stiffness? Were your bones healed on your last xray? Did they say why you can't curl your toes up?

      I went to the doctors today and they didn't even notice I had cut my cast in half (I was worried they would freak out). They took an xray and said the bone looks totally healed. They gave me a knee high walking boots with lots of straps. Since, I haven't been wearing the cast much it feel like a lot more restriction than before. He told me to FWB with this boot. I've been using a wheelchair most of the time and occasionally crutching. I could walk on it, but I am using my crutches. It doesn't feel like I can FWB without it hurting. The upside is I can walk down those 8 steps in front of my house. I have so hated doing that, especially since it's started to be cold and will snow and rain soon. I start physio tomorrow. I was so looking forward to today to get this dang boot, but it's so uncomfortable that I have to take it off and put it on every time I get up and it has so many straps. My patience gets thin at night. I am happy to have been upright for a few minutes today, but I feel so tired. Every night I want to get in bed by 7 pm. Does that happen to you. I have fibro, so it could be that.  The physio hasn't tried to have you walk without the boot? Are you still going there? I think the nerves and muscles have to be awakened from their long sleep. Patience is a virtue that evades me. I  want my life back, too. Best of luck with your recovery. 

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      Hi Linda. I did have a bit of physio and was told to move my foot from side to side , up and down, circles, get a towel and pull up my foot towards me using the towel, massage etc. I'm still working on my toes to see if I can get them to curl up. Physiotherapist told me it all takes time and I found massage with body creme has helped with stiffness . Sometimes it's more loose than at another time , but at one stage I couldn't move my foot or ankle so I'm happy with small improvements. My X-ray at 6 weeks was very good and according to the surgeon my bones had healed. I like yourself get tired and I have good and bad days both physically and mentally. Sometimes I feel really down because I can't yet walk without cam boot. I am not driving or back at work yet. My job is very demanding and I'm on my feet all day. I am going to the fracture clinic in a few days and hoping I will be able to at least try to walk at home without the cam boot, I doubt I will at this stage be asked to wear shoes and walk outside because I can't walk without the boot. I guess I will have to start with baby steps at home first. I'm not seeing a physio at this stage as I have returned home to Australia from my homeland in the UK where I was having physio and where I had the injury. It is a long road Linda. Keep me posted on your recovery.
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      I'm confused. You live in Australia and the accident happened in the UK? I know what you mean about the ups and downs of this. I think today was my worst psychological day. I got the boot and I'm using crutches to partial weight bear and had physio yesterday. I woke up so stiff this morning and in pain. I guess I had put all my hopes into getting the boot and walking, not thinking that I would feel so restricted by this huge ass boot with so many straps. The boot hurts so I can't wait to take it off and it's too hard to keep putting it back on so I'm back to the wheelchair. A friend of mine gave me some other ankle support things with are in between the boot and nothing. My calf muscle is so atrophied I'm wondering how it will hold me up without that huge boot. My physio said it will take 2 months to get back to not thinking about this all the time and a year before the swelling stops. He said my range of motion is minus 5%. It has been over 7 weeks since I broke it. 

      I freaked out at my husband today. He stands behind me while I'm backing out of the bathroom in the wheelchair and I was getting close to hitting the door frame. He yells at me to stop and keep standing there hovering me to make sure I don't hit the door frame. (this is an everyday thing). I flipped. I told him I wanted to drive once I got the boot and take myself to pt and he said no he didn't want me to drive. I demanded that I drive today, but had to get huffy to do it. I drove. He lived through it. He told me to hire someone else to take care of me. Well, I guess that had been coming for a while. I feel that he does not understand how hard this is and he expects me to "be happy" and grateful to him at all times. He would not deal well with this at all. 

      Do you feel like you still need physio or you can do it on your own? Hope you're having a better day than me.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda. I live in Australia. I am British and went to the UK on holiday where I had an accident and broke my ankle, which needed surgery pins and plates. I'm now back in Australia where I will go to the fracture clinic here in a few days. I think I need someone to tell me what to do next either a surgeon or physio. I am wondering when I need to get rid of the big, black, heavy, strappy boot and start trying to walk. I know exactly what you mean about taking the boot on and off. I sit down, take the boot off and the next thing it's being put back on again to answer the door , go to toilet etc. I know Linda it's a real pain. I live alone so I try to do what I can and when I can. I know it must be hard and frustrating for a carer at times. I think your husband may not quite understand what it is like. I have had people say things and they are so ignorant to realise that when we are like this we are for a time an invalid. We don't at present function as we once did and that this affects us mentally as it's frustrating for us too to have our life changed. I try my best to do what I can but I have called for help when I need it. I order my food shopping online now and have my food delivered and brought in to the kitchen when it arrives. I have had a good day so far and don't feel too bad but my ankle is hurting inside at one point and I am wondering if it's a screw ( it's the inner ankle not the outside of my ankle) I don't know Linda it's certainly a trying time and I'm wanting to fast forward a few months and be alright. Is it your left ankle as you drove? I can't drive because it's my right ankle.
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      Do you have family in the UK? Were they able to help you after the accident? I was on vacation too. I would not reccommend that. Flying was no fun. 

      I felt better today. My ankle seemed to have more movement this morning than yesterday, which gave me some hope. I am very stiff picking my toes up, too. Now, at the end of the day my ankle is swollen. We went to a movie and I made part of the dinner (which I haven't been doing at all). My husband cleaned up. I can only stand a little while. What type of work do you do? I used to work as a nurse and stood for 12 hours. I would be very worried about doing that, but it appears that people get back to normal. I was wondering what one of my grabby pains, thinking it was the ligament dragging across the screws.  It will be better to have some guidance seeing a doctor about your ankle even though my doctor barely finshes a sentence before he leaves the room and his staff is the same. I've gotten more information online. I did break my elbow really bad 20 years ago and I know the body is amazing at healing. I broke it mountain bike riding. 

      I tried standing at the kitchen counter with bare feet and put some weight on the bum ankle and more on the good one, just to see how it felt not to have a boot on it. I didn't take any steps. Have you tried that? I find that most of the time I automatically avoid any weight to the fractured ankle. After 2 months it has become automatic. I have to consciously think about using it.

      How was your day? I hope you can drive soon. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda.

      Yes I have family in the UK and yes they cared for me. My mother is elderly and has medical issues so much brother was taking care of the two of us. I have taken off the cam boot and I can FWB on both legs. I did try to walk but I limp very badly and sort of drag my bad foot and ankle. I just can't do it. Gee a simple thing like walking becoming a big issue in my life. Anyway my GP has told me to not try that until the hospital give me the go ahead to try to walk. I think they will send me to physio. Not sure how much they charge but I'm not getting any income ATM with not working. I'm actually a care worker in aged care. On my feet all day with a time schedule so I doubt I'll be returning to work any day soon. It's just full on in aged care. Will you be returning to work Linda ? I'm coming up week 13 post op Linda are you about the same?

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    • Posted

      Hi MsCamboot,

      I'm so sorry you are having a hard time. This fractured ankle is so much worse than I ever thought. If you are having a hard time without the boot maybe you could get intermediate support. My friend gave me two ankle supports he used after his fracture. One is less than the boot and the other is less than that. Maybe you could find something like that would give you some support. I can relate to working on your feet all day. I don't work anymore. I would be really worried if I did. Do they have disablility in Australia. When I lived in California we did, but not in Oregon. It varies state to state in the US. I am at week 8, but only week 6 since the surgery. I went to PT today. I feel like I make very small improvements. My foot stopped turning purple when down, and the pins and needles are almost gone, it's still super stiff. The doctor said he was going to discharge me in 4 weeks. I called him today and asked if I'm suppose to wean from this big ass boot, but he said NO. I'm not sure how he's going to discharge me if I'm still in the boot. His secretary was telling me this with the utmost confidence saying you have to stay in the boot 100% of the time. She obviously did not know what she was talking about. It's a fine line confining the ankle with no mobility and expecting it to recover. I only use the boot when I leave the house. At home I'm none stop trying to move it.

      Maybe, it's too soon to give up the boot. Sounds like you need more strength and a little more time. I know it sucks. You don't have health insurance in Australia? How does it work there? It would be good to be evaluated again. Hope it gets better soon! Hugs! Linda

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda !

      I don't have private cover. We have Medicare here and we pay the gap. I hsve been told not to walk without the boot until I go to the fracture clinic next week to see what they think. I think I will buy a support at some stage, I will see how I go. I'm glad you are making improvements slowly. I have income protection but I haven't had anything yet, I guess that's insurance companies for you. I've been paying into it for the last 15 years just to feel safe if anything was to go wrong. Haha I don't feel safe and secure at all, just hope they pay me something soon. I'm feeling tired today but that could be the warm weather too. I've still got stiffness around my ankle and on the side of my ankle. I'm moving it and doing the excersices. I gues I have to be patient.

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    • Posted

      Hey MsCamboot,

      I woke up with my ankle hurting. I must've exercised it to much yesterday. I really didn't want to to move it that much today. I did a little. It seems really stiff in the morning. I can walk without the crutches, but I find it walking like Frankenstein. It seems with the crutches I can walk more normal and faster. Do you have a knee high boot or a shorter one. I have a knee high and wish I had a shorter one. I went to look for a short one in a recycle store, but all looked like dogs had slept on them. I could order one online cheap, but I'm wondering how long I have to stay in this thing. 

      How long does it take for income protection to kick in? Do they have to back pay you? Just wondering...how does medicare for all work? Do you pay monthly for it? What is the gap? In the US, u have to be 65 or be disabled. You pay $104. a month, 20% of doctors bills (but they control what they are paid and they keep lowering their reimbursement, soon no doctors will take it.) I think most of the hospital is paid for (I've never used it before). My doctor charged about 1700 for the operation, but I think he only got about 600, I haven't seen the hospital bill yet.  I got a bill from the hospitals in France, one for 27 euros and one for 83 euros. My insurance covers nothing in another country, so I guess its good they didn't charge much. It sounds like Australia is much more progressive than the US. I think we are going backwards. I was not in a good mood today. The pain was wearing today. I'm anxious to go to sleep. I'm normally never like this. 

      Off the subject: Why did you move to Austrailia? How does it compare to the UK. I've never been to either. 

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  • Posted

    I'm 8 weeks post fracture/6 post op& still not back to work. I've returned from hospital & told to return in 4 weeks. What is a TED hose? The swelling on my foot is always swollen. Iwas told 4 weeks ago to pwb, now told tofwb
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    • Posted

      Hi Paul,

      They are called TED anti emboli stockings, knee high. You can order them online or buy them from a medical supply store. I went today to the doctor  and he said the bone was healed and to start fwb. He gave me big airboot goes behind the knee. He said to go to PT twice a week. I walked on it with my crutches. It hurts too much to fwb, so I'm pwb today. They said to wear the TED hose when standing or walking. It is making a big difference in the swelling. Today's my first day to walk on it, so I'll let you know. 

      I didn't realize you were already pwb. I thought you were in a cast. Are you in a boot? Are you taking any NSAIDs? (if so, they can hinder healing) like Motrin, Ibueprofen, Aleve etc. The stockings are about 8 dollars. 

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda. I was told 4 weeks ago to pwb, as they took off my fixed cast and fitted me with a fibreglass, removable cast & boot. When I went to hospital yesterday, a junior doctor told me to fwb & only wear the cast outdoors. I don't take pain relief, as the pain has been minimal. I'm really apprehensive though about fwb but realise I need to do this if I'm ever to recover & return to work. I have another appointment on 10th Dec, when they said, if everything is ok, they will discharge me. Thanks for info on TED hose, I will look into it.

      Hope you are improving, this has been a long dark road for me, & I realise everybody else is experiencing the same or similar symptoms.

      Good luck

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