I fell 9-15-17, have 2 fibula fx's & big toe numbness . Please share time frame to walk again.

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I was carrying a small trash can down a set of wooden stairs that turned twice and had no railing for the lat few steps to the landing during Irma evacuation, missed the last step and sustained a grade 3 R ankle sprain (complete ligament tear) and a suspected fracture.  I went to an urgent care center same day and the PA wrapped it real tight...too tight.  I couldn't sleep more than 30 minutes.  I elevated it and the pain became unbearable.  I couldn't stand ice at all, couldn't even stand the breeze from a fan due to hypersensitivity.  After 2 days and unbearable pain I decided I'd go to the ER at 3am.  I don't have insurance.  Got up to use the bathroom first and the pain came down to a 7.  This, I discovered was because I lowered my foot to a lower level while sitting in a transport chair borrowed from my 94 year father.  Before that I thought my whole foot was in a fire with bees stinging it!  It was unbearable.  The next day I went to another urgent care center & was seen by a different PA who said that radiology came back no fractures.  She then removed the tight bandage and applied a looser one almost to my knee as the swelling had reached that far.   She gave me a shot in the butt which relieved the pain for almost 20 hours. I was not to weightbear.  No instructions on how to rewrap my foot.

A week later I drove 150 miles with my L big toe to my son's house and acquired a knee scooter, a transport chair, 5 iinch toilet riser, transfer tub bench, and a rollator walker with seat and brakes.  I lost the job I was supposed to start on 9-18-17.  Went to an ortho doctor on 9-27-17 only to find out that the urgent care center had taken the wrong xrays, of my foot instead of my ankle.  I did have 2 fractures in the fibula.  They gave me a boot and I am to be NWB for 6 weeks (until 10-30-17).  Then I moved with help into a room in a house that has a walkin tub.  My foot gets so hot in the boot at night that I have to take it off and keep it on a soft pillow for several hours.  I'm only allowed to do active range of motion for ankle pumps when my foot is in water or horizontal.

I go for more xrays on 10-19 and should know then if it is healing alright, when I can begin weightbearing.

To top it all off, I am an occupational therapist in home health.  My biggest hurdle I think will be managing steps with no railing to enter or exit some of my patients' homes.  How long does it take to walk without an assistive device? Please share your story and your recovery time and any precautions so as not to reinjure ourselves!

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  • Posted

    Every person and injury is different. I have a plate and 6 screws in my ankle which was broken 4/22/17. I was in boots until week 21! Just follow doctors instructions and do not push yourself! Elevate, ice, rest and give your body time. Good luck with your recovery! I started walking 3 wks ago but just last week gave up my cane. Start out with a walker if you can! Mine was my best friend and made me feel safer than crutches. Once you are done with nwb you will probably go to 25% wb which is just resting your foot on the floor. Do NOT rush the process! Allow the body to heal! 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

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    • Posted

      Your injury sounds very severe.  I don't think I would ever feel safe using crutches, so yes, a walker will be much safer.  Since I didn't require surgery I'm hoping for quicker healing.  I understand how important it is to follow the WB instructions.  I was told last visit that after 6 weeks of NWB, this doctor likes to go to WBAT (as tolerated) if the xrays look good.  We'll see.  So glad you are finally able to walk again without a cane!

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  • Posted

    Hi Sharon! I am sorry about the accident you had as well as the difficult times you were having because of Irma. I too fell down some stairs and fractured my ankle in 2 places. I was in the cast for 8 weeks. It has been 3 months since my fall. My first step in recovery was the cast. My second step was the removal of said cast. Now I am working on the third step which is slowly beginning  to put weight on my injured foot. The physiotherapist told me to start at 30% weight bearing. He said the pain is to be expected as well as the stiffness and swelling. He also said to not hurry things and only do what is comfortable. I was using a wheel chair for awhile because my "good"  foot was painful from overuse when using the crutches. Now that foot is ok so am back to using crutches, sometimes using  one crutch and at other times two. I still elevate my foot that had the fracture whenever possible. The physiotherapist gives me simple exercises to do. It is amazing how little effort it takes to make a difference.  I need to be patient with my recovery. Hopefully you are feeling a lot better now and will recover quickly.

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  • Posted

    I am 17 weeks post op ORIF. Bimalleolar fx. Just walked around outside yesterday pulling weeds. When I went up and down stairs, I sat on my butt. I wS too afraid of crutches. I turned 58 last month. 
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    • Posted

      I can see that it's a long road back to normalcy. Since today is only 1 month post fall & I am NWB, I can't imagine even being able to sit on a step & get back up. I have to use a 5 inch riser and WB on B arms to even get up & down from the toilet. I am 63, was active in several sports before this happened.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sharon! I am 63 as well and was active before breaking my ankle. Someone mentioned that my injuries would have been worse had I not been active. This is probably true! 

           I was 8 weeks in a cast. Some seniors are in a cast for less time than that. It has been three months since having the accident. I am getting around on crutches; sometimes I use one.

            The physiotherapist told me to weight bear 30% the first week. He also told me to only do what is comfortable. He said there shall be a certain amount of pain and swelling for awhile.

           In my personal journey, having the cast on, getting the cast off and working towards recovery are all milestones. I sympathize with what you are going through and hope you soon recover from this difficult experience.

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