How to keep swelling down/at a minimum?

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 I had surgery (a Brostrom) performed on the 1/16, and my swelling is still pretty bad -- worse now than it was in the surgical cast (I'm in a regular fiberglass cast now). The past few days I've had to literally spend the entire day on the couch with my foot extremely elevated because if I didn't, my ankle and foot would swell up like a balloon causing severe tightness in my cast and pain. I've been taking ibuprofen regularly, and icing as much as I can, a challenge since I only have 1 ice pack...but is there anything else I could be doing to help this?

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  • Posted

    Hi Lil, hope the pains and swelling subside. I was literally with pillows and ice packs on the couch for months.

    Try the wonderful and cheap recipe to make long lasting ice packs. If you have large Ziplock bags (put one inside the other) fill them with rubbing alcohol and half water. Freeze them. They last a long time and will help the swelling. If they move around wrap a towel around them and your foot.

    I have been trying something else that works: cotton socks filled with rice and microwave them so they are warm.

    This is a difficult process, but try to keep coming to forums. Everyone is awesome and there are always good suggestions. I'm on my own with an uncooperative teenager... Never felt more deserted and in constant pain. So hang in there! After nearly nine months and three surgeries I'm finally wearing Crocks and limping around with a cane.

    Keep in touch and this forum has been my lifeline!

    All the best,

    Monica

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    • Posted

      That's actually the type of ice packs I have! I leared that trick in college when I needed one and was poor and did a Google search haha. But of course then, being a college student, I used hand sanitizer rather than rubbing alcohol haha. I aso have one that's similar (little gel balls) that I bought at the store.

      Doesn't the warm cause more swelling?? I know that's always been the case with me!

      For me its only been a week and a half but I'm already going absolutely nuts! I'm a person who generally goes out 6 out of the 7 days of the week, even if it's just a run to the gas station. I can't go anywhere because a) I can't walk and b) there's way too much swelling. The only place I've been is my parents house one night, after coming home (I stayed there for the first 4 days after my surgery then went home because I couldn't stand it there any longer and could sorta make it alone)...

      Last time I had surgery I had my siblings to amuse me and got along with my parents better (not that I don't get along with them now, we just don't do well living together)...plus I had friends. Lots of friends who would come over and visit. This time around, I have friend. Yes, friend, as in 1 single person...and she can't really come by too often because she's a single mom of 2. I like living alone, but this is too alone. It's lonely. And those definitely aren't the same thing.

      The minute my swelling and pain are under control, I'm going back to work! Probably just one, maybe two 4 hour shifts, but it'll be something! Being away from work really makes me realize how much I actually like my job even though I complain about it a heck of a lot. And of course it sucks having no money and not be making any either.

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    • Posted

      I completely understand! For me it has been a nightmare. Just to make it to appointments I have to ask Uber drivers to help me down the stairs! My brother was in town for a short period of time. Also my dad but briefly. My daughter is a teenager who is absorbed with her life and activities.

      The worse is being in terrible pain in the middle of the night and not being able to see or talk to anybody. I do talk to a good friend who is an insomniac, that helps me so much!

      Let me know how things are going!!!!

      Monica

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    • Posted

      I'm extremely lucky in that my parents can help me pretty much whenever I need help, generally within hours -- I do have 6 younger siblings and a nephew that live at home...and get things for me, like this morning, after getting a mere 3 hours of sleep because the pain was so bad, I asked my dad to stop and get me coffee and hash browns from BK on his way home from dropping my nephew off at daycare and he wasl ike sure! It helps that I live less than a mile up the road from them!! When I could still walk I would often walk down there when I was bored to see what my siblings were up to/grab a free meal. I'm 26, so that's still acceptable lol.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Lil, it is wonderful that you have help👍 I'm a bit older and have just suffered these past months horribly. I just keep reminding myself that it will get better 🙏 I moved to a different city because I was starting a new job... That fell through. So I'm just trying my best to see how much longer this will take until I can drive and walk alone without fear of falling🐧

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  • Posted

     i would say ice packs, and keep it elevated. Have you talked to your dr?? what did he/she say?? its been 10 days, the swelling does take time to go down, and there will be pain. be careful of the ibuprofen. my dr told me that if you take too much if it, then it wont help the bone to heal. I only take it when i really really need it. im off all pain killers, etc. im not taking anything at all.  

    good luck

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    • Posted

      Yup, Dr. has said to do all of what I'm doing which only helps so much. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I don't exceed the alloted daily max. with the ibuprofen, but I do often get there. I don't know anything about bone healing, but I also know that mine is a ligament injury so there's no bone to really worry about smile 

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  • Posted

    Hi, hang in there! 10 days is not that far out from any type of surgery. I had an ORIF of a bimallelor fracture and tendon repair 3 weeks ago. I'm still having lots of.swelling. I'm not very familiar with the expected.out comes/recovery of your procedure so hopefully yours will heal much faster.

    I am unfortunately VERY familiar with swelling though. I know you said you've had your foot extremely elevated...You probably know this but it's important so I'll say it anyways. Elevating will only help if your foot is ABOVE the level of your heart. If it's any lower the fluid will just continue to pool in your foot/ankle/leg :-(. I feel like I'm crunched in a V constantly when sitting up. My doc told me that if you can feel the cold from the ice through your cast that is great and I could keep it on continuously. If not I am to putting it behind the knee for 20 min on then 20 min off and repeat as needed/tolerated. You are right that heat will not help with the swelling but later on it will be very helpful with stiffness.

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    • Posted

      I realize that 10 days isn't far out, but I also feel like you guys aren't quite getting it. This swelling is worse than it was in the first week. I can tell by the size of my toes. Obviously my ankle is gonna feel tighter cause it's in a regular cast rather than a surgical cast, but still.

      And when I say extremely elevated, I mean I have one pillow under my head and 3 under my foot which are all on top of my couch's arm! So yeah...my foot is waaaayyyyy above my heart! It's gotten to the point that my knee hurts from it, my hamstring is tired and my quad is tight because it's pretty much completely straight all.day.long...

      I almost never sit up because I can't keep my foot up high enough and still be at all comfortable because I have nothing in front of me to put my pillows on so my back is unsupported which is not at all comfortable for any length of time.

       

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