How long does it take after cast comes off to be able to walk?

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I had my cast off last wed 31/8/16 after 4.5 weeks following my operation. I had broken my ankle following my horse slipping on road whilst in walk and falling on my leg. My consultant wants me to weight bear on it and the physic gave me a sheet of exercises to do at the hospital. However following the cast coming off my ankle is very sore and when I place my foot on the floor it swells. I am struggling to do any exercises. What should I do? Im so frustrated Im a single mother with 2young children and finding this very difficult.

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  • Posted

    I should add that I have a metal plate with 8 screws on one side of my ankle and on the other I have 2 screws. Also is it bait early to have my castoff at 4.5 weeks most people have 6 weeks and then a boot. I wasn't offered a boot. 

    Just looking some advice.  Thank you.

     

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    • Posted

      I would definitely be looking for some further help from your Surgeon, if not your GP.... 

      I am sure that you either should have been re-cast when they took it off,  or given a boot and advised on weight bearing etc... 

      Sorry for your horiffic injuries... Get well sooncheesygrin

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    • Posted

      Hi Chris thanks for replying I was surprised as when I went for my consultation I wasn't expecting to get my cast off and my consultant just told me to try sitting with my foot on the floor and bearing weight. When I was getting my cast off I asked the nurse what else I should be doing and it was them that went to get the physic for me who gave me the sheet of exercises. If I hadn't of said anything Id be left not knowing what to do. I'm waiting on an appointment with the physio. Going to phone my GP tomorrow.

      Thanks

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  • Posted

    You poor thing !    It's not clear from what you say, if you have any help at all in the house and with your two young children.

    You really need to get the swelling down and then the pain will ease.   But to do this you will need to elevate your leg as much as possible during the day and night and put a bag of frozen peas on the ankle for twenty minutes every hour.

    I had my surgery end of July and had my cast removed to be replaced by an air-walker which I was advised to leave off for sleeping and as much as possible during the day but I'm very lucky, I have my husband at home to look after me - and that's what you need - someone to come in and care for you as much as possible.    Do you have friends or family close who could help you ? maybe take the children off your hands for a few hours each day so rthat you can at least rest your ankle and ice it during this time.

    I wish you the very best of luck.

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    • Posted

      Hi Pauline

      thanks for replying I had been staying with my mum for a couple of weeks with my kids but now they have started back to school last Tues I came home last Mon. My mum lives about 40mins away but she has been coming over during the week to take my kids to school and pick them up and help me round the house. Id be lost without her. My kids are 8 &9 and they are very understanding. She doesn't come over at weekends at she needs a break too shes been my rock. 

      Its just so frustrating as I want to be able to do more but the pain and swelling is making everything really difficult. Im struggling to move my foot   at all. 

      Thank you for your best wishes

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  • Posted

    I think you had similar surgery to myself.  I now have a plate with 8 screws on one side and two longer screws on the inner side of my ankle.   Its no fun is it and only someone who has had this kind of thing happen to them can understand how you are feeling and moreso,  how very immobile you are !

    So, I'm now 5.5 weeks post surgery and have been in my air-walker for the past three weeks.   My surgeon told me that because of the infrastructure now securing my breaks - they are now considered 'stable' and the air-walker is more appropriate.    And I was advised to start weight bearing through the boot this past week.   I'm seeing my surgeon on Sept 14th which is another 12 days away and he is hopeful of me getting rid of the boot but we have to wait and see.

    But ....  it seems to me that all orthopaedic surgons have differing ideas.  I suppose you have to go with what your surgeon advises but sometimes its good to get a second opinion.

    Best of luck - hope you can get yourself sorted out soon.

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    • Posted

      Hi Pauline

      Your injuries do sound similar so you were in an air boot after 2.5 weeks. I was wondering if it was because of the plates n screws that they took my cast off. Do you have much movement in your foot? I wish they had given me a boot.

      Dawn

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      I also had the same injury- and all docs do things differently.  I had a splnt cast for 2 weeks after surgery, the hard cast will be on for 5 weeks and then I will be in an boot with limited wt bearing for 6 weeks- and then Physical therapy.  I am almostt 7 weeks post surgery and still have a lot of swelling in the cast.  I cannot imagine after 4.5 weeks. But all docs are different. 

      Brokensore, I am so sorry for your injury and how hard this must be for you with children.  I am sure your being younger than my 58 years - you will heal faster , but it still sounds very soon to not have anything on.   My understanding is that the swelling can last a long time- I am still unable to leave my foot down for 30 minutes due to swelling and pain- feels like a vice grip is around my foot and ankle.  I am looking for ward to having a boot so there is more room for the swelling.   Is there somewhere you could go for a 2nd opinion- or perhaps call your surgeon and talk to them about what you are going thru?  I hope things get better for you soon...

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your comments. I'm going to give it a few more days and if Im still struggling and as sore Im going to go back to my doctor and see if theres anything he can do. I hope you recover soon. Its definitely not easy. 

       

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    • Posted

      Hi -  I honestly think surgeons and consultants all seem to have such different ideas about the healing process.    I broke my ankle on the 18th July, had it manipulated into place the same day and fitted with a full leg cast.   Next day that was removed, had more manipulation and re-fitted with a knee high cast and sent home.   Following week xrays showed that the bones had all moved out of place and surgery was required.   So 12 days after the break I had surgery ! and plate and screws and other long screws were fitted ORIF - I think it's called.

      I had various visits back & forth to the fracture clinic following my discharge after surgery and frankly, the hospital did make a bit of a horlicks of the whole situation.   In the end, this very nice Foot & ankle specialist took me under his wing, gave me so much confidence, fitted me with this air-walker and told me I could start partial weight-bearing after a couple of weeks - that would be about 4 weeks post op.

      I am very fortunate to have my husband at home.  He has been my saviour in all this and on the hour every hour he has administered the bag of frozen peas and my leg has been elevated almost 24/7 since my return home.  I think this is the important piece in the recovery from this trauma.  Elevate & Ice.

      I see my PT on a weekly basis - he too has been excellent but did tell me on my first visit to him that my ankle was looking remarkably good because there was hardly any swelling.  I've done my exercises to the book and now, 5.5 weeks post surgery I have very good movement.   I can bring my foot up and take it down as far as my other foot now.   I can turn it to each side,  it's still very stiff but I'm working on that.   I'm practising putting my foot to the ground without my boot and trying to put a little more weight on it each time I do it.   Have to say I'm scared !     and next week when I go to see the surgeon - I shall be very nervous if he tells me to weight-bear fully.  HELP!

      Have to say, this accident came out of the blue - as all accidents do of course but it's rocked my life more than I could ever have imagined.  I'm telling all my family and friends to try very hard not to break a lower limb bone.

      I wish you all the luck in the world - we all need it.  Keep in touch.

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  • Posted

    Brokennsore,

    I am so sorry to hear about your injury. I hope you feel better soon. I agree with the advise given to keep to elevated as much as possible. My PT said the ice is no longer effective after a few weeks because it causes the blood vessels to shrink and that does not promote the healing however the elavation is key. It sounds like everyone heals at different rates but if you still have that much swelling it isn't going to heal as quick until the swelling lessens. I would just go slow because of the swelling and listen to your body. I was 5 weeks after surgury until I could start walking but it sounds like each individual may have different timelines. Hang in there and things will get better. It just takes time.

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    • Posted

      Hi thanks for your comments. Thats good to know about the ice. How is your walking coming along now?  Wish you a speedy recovery.
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    • Posted

      It is getting better each day. It is still stiff and hurts from time to time but better. By the end of each night my foot is tired. But each morning it is ready to go. I am impatient and want this over with yesterday but my ankle says otherwise. Today I am going to a flea market with a lot of walking so I am wearing hiking boots so I will make it around that far. I normally wouldn't use them because they are too supportive and I don't feel like I would progress in them but for today they feel like the smart choice. When I do walk I have to think about every step and try to make it as normal as possible. So I am very slow.

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  • Posted

    I'm no expert but with two small children I would *definitely* reach back to your doctor's office to explain your issues and needs.  

    I know I was released from the hospital initially with a walker and no wheel chair and had to ask for one.  It made a world of difference.  

    Just keep going back with questions/issues.  If they can't help you directly, they should be able to refer you on.  I am sure others have gone through what you are experiencing.  Two small children without a broken ankle is a handful.  

    Keep us posted.

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