I am 4 weeks post ORIF sx for bimalleolar fracture. I'm wondering what to expect.

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I'm in a hard cast and will see the dr. In 3 more weeks to go to next step whatever that is. The surgeon has taken me out of  work for 12 weeks, which is good because that about all the time I've got when I add eve thing up. I a little concerned  because it is sounding like a lot of people are still having a rough time by then. How long were you out before returning back? I do nuclear cardiology stress tests and imaging and I am on my feet all day. I have an hour commute each way to work and will not be able to take pain medicine other than Ibuprofen. Also, at what point in your experience did you start physical therapy and how often. I need to be able to carry my load of work as we are a very busy clinic. And one last question.. When you start weight bearing could you use a walker instead of a crutch. I have fallen several times trying to use them. Thank everyone

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  • Posted

    Hi beesmine

    I am 6 weeks post orif broken fibula torn ligaments. I had an apt with my surgeon today. He is recommending 4 more weeks of no work and I am just starting to weight bear today. I find that crutches work for me but I am sure if you work with your pt they will allow you to use a walker. I was told not to jump into total weight bearing and to still go easy so I plan on using my scooter some time. I work at a hospital and I would say 30-40% is on my feat so I am very nervous. Honestly given your ride and type of work you do I would plan on a slow transition. I still have pain and swelling and I was told to plan on it in the upcoming weeks. I wish you the best in your healing process!

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  • Posted

    I was 10 weeks non weight bearing. When I started walking there was a lot of swelling and discomfort. I am now almost 18 weeks and am walking doing stairs normally but still have a little swelling. While non weight bearing I used a knee scooter to get around. It was a godsend. PT is critical and makes a huge difference. I started PT once I was weight bearing. Wishing you the best in your recovery. It is a long difficult journey emotionally and physically.
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  • Posted

    I had a ankle replacement on April 15 . I used a walker, never used a crutch basically I hopped on one foot while I was in a cast. When I went to a boot and no weight bearing I continued with walker but when I was able to start some weight I used a cane that had the 3 little legs on it till I was 100 %.

    When I came out of the boot I found I walked best in a pair of NIKE slip on saddles it seemed to help keep the swelling down. I continue to wear my boot when I am home I truly feel it helps.

    I did not do ant therapy my doctor did not require it of me. Doesn't sound as though mine was as intense ad yours not sure exactly what yours Intel.

    If u have time let me know. Thinking of you.

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  • Posted

    Hi Beesmine,

    I am in week 7 post op, week 8 tomorrow. I will back to work in weeks 8-10. I am now crutches walking, as much weightbearing as is tolerated. I also use a walker for weightbearing. When my dogs need to go out, the walker is my hest friend. I fell on humid floors twice with crutches. They slipped straight out to the sides. I will have to use crutches, as needed at work. The walker maybe too. We can only do what our anlkle/foot can tolerate. I am a music teacher. So walking constantly to greet classes back to back at door is a must. Dancing and moving with kids is also a must. Some of this may have to be toned down, pending on foot. Good luck to you. So glad that you have 12 weeks off. That helps. My walker is just fine to use for weightbearing. Your walker should also be fine for weightbearing. Like you, I also drive one hour one way to get to work. We got this! Yvonne

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  • Posted

    I'm at month 5-1/2 with a trimalleolar break. I think I progressed very well from everyone I have spoken to along the way. I walked 7+ miles today no probllem. My calf is not strong enough still to run, but I can jog. I would say you will need to take off 4 months, unless a bimalleolar heals a lot faster. 

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    • Posted

      Beats me how everyone on this site knows the medical name of their injury. I have no idea what my professional clinical diagnosis is. Is it the country I live in?

      My original injury was a snapped fibula, displaced near ankle. And a dislocated ankle, and damaged ligaments and tendons.

      ??????

      🐯😸😀

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  • Posted

    Hi there. Crutches suck. I have special feet on mine. Wider at bottom. Sand pan have such a thing.I've fallen over many a time. Even at the Drs!

    *Knee scooter to start. Plenty of R.I.C.E. Prescribed meds.

    "Crutches with wide attachments

    * I have an All TERrain Walker. From knee scooter place.

    Large wheels.

    10 calendar months today. Snapped Fibula. Damaged guts in ankle area. ( sorry I've had a rough day with ACC accident I insurance today!)

    I can walk, opposite knee and leg have problems. End of day numb and swollen. Very minimal pain aside from place where bone graft , plates and screws inserted 4 months ago.

    Pace yourself.3-4 months would be usual. Mines just exceptional. I can't walk 7 miles or km, can't jog, can't run. Can maybe walk 500 max with sticks. Maybe a km with my Walker. It has a seat!

    Good luck.

    @(*+*)@

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    • Posted

      I agree that crutches are not always safe and it takes some time to get proficient on them. It seems if the ground is just a little wet or oily you can really slip, so watch out for that. I almost hurt myself a few times due to this when I was casted.  I ended up loving the knee walker and putting the crutches aside until it was time for PWB to FWB. For me, that was the best time to use them. Between the crutches and the walker, I found them super helpful in getting me through the weeks of getting my leg strong and used to walking again. I only used the regular walker a few weeks in this process, but it came in really handy, because I could really put the proper pressure down on my leg to move forward day by day. The WB stage can be a little hard, but it really is an exciting time, as you are gaining strength to walk again at this stage. 
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  • Posted

    I am exactly where you are with the same injury so I will follow your posts. My next appointment is at the end of the month to review the x rays. The surgeon gave me the choice of a boot last week instead of the splint cast. I can take it off when I am resting. I also can take the wraps off and cleaned around it. It is swollen still a bit.
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    • Posted

      It's interesting how differently the docs protocols are. You are in a boot and I'm in a hard cast. I'm assuming you are still NWB as well? I my next appointment will be at the last of the month as well. How. Long are you going to be out of work. Are you having any pain?

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    • Posted

      Yes, even though I have the boot I am NWB. My next appointment is July 25th. That will be 5 weeks after surgery. I don't know what to expect. I have had no pain at all for the past few weeks. I need to go back to work so I am really hoping for good results. However I guess the x ray will be the key to how quick or slow I progress.

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    • Posted

      I had little or no pain in my cast for 7 weeks, until I started PWB. What got explained to me is what happens is all the tendons and or ligaments have shrunk during this time. When you start to walk, it takes time to build the calf muscle back (I think this takes a year to do fully, but you only need it built so much to feel normal again when you walk) and ligaments/tendons in the injured leg (this takes longer). It is this process that hurts. Think of a big leg workout you have done in your past and how you ached and had trouble walking the next day. It is kind of like that but a little different with ligaments and tendons. You have to stretch them everyday, like stretching a band, and even after you can walk on your leg, the tendons/ligaments will take longer to stretch back to normal where they don't hurt anymore. It's not excruciating pain, but aching pain. I took no meds after the first week of my triple ankle break until I started PT. Then I took an antiinflammatory morning and night (Ibuprophen) and it did the job perfectly to get me through. Hope this explanation helps.

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    • Posted

      When I said the ligaments/tendons take longer, not longer than a year, but rather longer to stretch out, and be back to normal, than it takes to be able to walk. I walked about 5 weeks after I started PWB, but the ligaments/tendons took months before they didn't ache. 

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    • Posted

      I was in a cast for 7 weeks and I noticed most people instead are put in boots.  I think it is just what your ortho doctor does, one or the other. Both are to keep your leg stabilized totally during this time and for my triple break he said if everything went perfectly it would take 7 weeks for the bones to heal. Before that, putting weight on the foot could only hurt it, after that it was the cure to rebuilding the bone further (bone repair works very much like weight lifting and rebuilding muscle I found out to my surprise: proper pressure makes it break down and grow back stronger). I was very sad at the time to not to be put in a boot, but now I am very glad. I fell a couple times taking turns too fast in my knee scooter and was glad to have the cast. I'm sure a boot would have protected me too, but I think I would have taken off the boot and tried to shower etc., and I wasn't able to do that with the cast. It kept me out of trouble. Mine was changed every two weeks due to my calf shrinking. My doctor wanted a tight fit so I didn't slosh around. It worked like a dream, so I can't complain now at all. He said treating a broken bone is like triage, when I commented that I was worried my calf was wasting away in the cast (it was looking all wrinkled and old and scared me a lot about the 5-7th weeks). He said first we stabilize and fix the bones so they can heal, then we wait and let the bones heal themselves, then we get to work on the muscles, tendons and ligaments working again. It worked exactly that way. It just takes time and work.

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    • Posted

      That's it in a nutshell Patti. I too had cast, and fell off my knee Scooter countless times?

      I found the moonboots scary. I had cast for about 10 weeks, then the non union. I never felt comfortable in a moonboot. Intuition? They tried to make me weight bare, I know now how dangerous that was. 2nd time around, cast for 6 weeks and then moonboot. Great.

      Wasted calf after 6 months of nwb.its grown back nicely. Better than before. Was tempted to break other leg so I could have a matching pair!

      Whenever I took the moonboot off for a shower, my leg started shaking, and ankle very purplish red. Just as well I have a shower slide seat still.

      Most people Patti have a straight forward recovery that varies slightly in time. I wish I'd known you back then.

      To all the people on hear wondering if your recovery is normal, ask questions, trust your gut. Doesn't do ANY HARM to get a check for piece of mine.

      I didn't trust my gut feeling. Surgeon and Ambulance got it wrong.

      But hey, I'm healing.

      I asked my Physio yesterday, why I walked with a limp. Simple answer. I was overcompensating for broken ankle side.

      That's my homework. Walk towards mirror and correct it.

      Happy healing! Positive thoughts!

      ????????????????????????

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    • Posted

      Patty,

      Oh okay, that sounds logical..thank you for the insight. That sounds very doable to me. I will be very dedicated to doing the Pt and stretches. That is the first time somebody really explained it to me.

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    • Posted

      Patty,

      Yes, I understand about keeping weight off. My biggest concern is falling and hurting it more. I only take the boot off when I am laying down with my foot propped up. Who wants to prolong the healing process? Not me! Yes my calve is dwindling down and wrinkled, ugh, lol!

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    • Posted

      Don't worry Dawn. There's muscle memory and the wrinkled part goes away really quickly. First you'll work on flexibility then on strength.

      You'll be your old self before too long!

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    • Posted

      I think you're right and that 's exactly why you're walking with a limp. It's part of the process. Try to walk slower so you limp less, as it can be hard on your hip, or use your cane to help you through this process, as you're getting stronger. Slowly increase your calf exercises and tip toe walk to gain strength, when you can. Look up proper walking gait on the net. Swing your arms as you walk and try to have a longer walking gait. All these things help to decrease the limp. It just takes some time to regain strength now. I'm so happy things are coming together for you! You are strengthening the bones and muscles a lot now that you can walk. So exciting! Yay!!

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