I have a Trimalleolar fracture and need surgery which I am terrified of the pain after surgery?

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I sustain the trimalleolar fracture in July 25th and had to visit ER twice to realign my ankle. I fell down the stairs. I recently saw the ortho and surgery is recommended due to the instability of the fracture. I am in a splint now which I am tired of lugging around. My surgery is schedule for 08/15/18. My first surgery and I need pins and plate and I am freaking out about the surgery and the pain after!! Help me with any words of advice is appreciated! Thanks in pain here.

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    I'm very sorry about your upcoming surgery. I was terrified myself, few months ago, when I went for my first multiple fractures surgery. Never had any kind of illness or surgery before, never been in hospital.

    What kept me going,the first few days and weeks, was strong pain killing meds. For me hydromorphone worked the bestl. Be prepared for a long time recovery, enlist friends and family to help you. Pain can be controlled with meds. If one brand doesn't work for you ,ask for other kind. ( I couldn't take hydrocodone, it didn't work for my pain).

    Good luck to you. It will be difficult time, but eventually it will pass and recovery will begin. I'm 4 months after surgery, still in boot and screws removal is scheduled for next month.

    I'm older and recovery is much slower for me.

    Once again. GOOD LUCK! I will be thinking of you....

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    • Posted

      Thank you very much. Just trying to hold on to any sanity I have left. I also need to get this splint off that's causing my pain! Best of luck to you as well. The pain meds that I think they would be giving are hydrocodone. Once again thanks for your response 😊

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    I had the same fracture!! I can honestly tell you that the surgery did not hurt as bad as getting my ankle put back in place from the dislocation at the hospital the Night it happen. That was the worst pain ever!!! I was on pain Meds for 3 days after my surgery. I have 1 plate, 11 screws, and 2 syndesmotic suture buttons for the ligaments I tore.  It is very annoying having to deal with a cast, but I promise it gets better.  And you will get through this smile best of luck to you, but your gonna do great
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your response! I agree with the pain associated with dislocation of my ankle twice one with the stairs and the other was slipping with crutches.
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    • Posted

      Absolutely! And I definitely agree with the others, ask for a nerve block! I was given 2, one for the inside part of my ankle and the other for the outside. It helped a lot I’m sure, because I wasn’t in any pain the first day! 
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  • Posted

    Ask if they can do a nerve block before the surgery.  They generally last 24-36 hours and it cuts down on the amount of narcotics that they have to give you while they have you under for the surgery.   Also don't be afraid to take you pain meds.  I was given Hydrocodone and quickly found that if I took them one at a time they did nothing, but if I took them 2 at a time they worked great for about 4-5 hours.   Also until they get you into a plaster cast ice will be your best friend.  I iced my ankle non stop for the first 10 days after my surgery

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the sound advice. I will definitely ask for the nerve blocker. Hope you are healed well too!
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  • Posted

    So sorry you fractured your ankle. It is painful but you should view the surgery as  a step toward your recovery. I suggest you talk with your doctor about your fear of pain. I also had a trimalleolar fracture and surgery with pins and plates. I had my surgery the day after my accident (September 7) and went home two days later. The pain in the hospital was well managed and I was sent home with Oxycontin. My pain was well managed with the drugs they gave me. Once the most intense pain subsided I only took Tylenol and that was sufficient. Every one is different in how they experience and deal with pain, so I encourage you to talk to your healtcare providers. Also, I am in the US and had to ask for the pain medicine in the hospital, otherwise they would not bring it to me. So don't be shy about asking for your medicine.

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  • Posted

    Had the same injury, along with surgery. I highly highly recommend the CPB (Continuous Popliteal Nerve Block) - it gives you peace for the first 3 days while you're getting over the surgery. If your anesthesiologist hasn't already talked to you about it, make sure to ask them. They'll also give you some powerful pain medication - don't be afraid of taking it. While there is a risk of addiction, it takes about 1-2 weeks of continuously medicating for you to actually develop an addiction. The painkillers will make you constipated and the doctors should give you a stool softener, be sure to take them. Even while chomping down a few pills I had some of the hardest poops in my life :P The most important thing, though, will be pain management and giving your body time to heal.

    Once you're home, make sure you keep your leg elevated at all times and use an ice pack whenever possible. It was incredibly annoying to sit in bed all day with my leg at or above my nose level, but 9 weeks later my doctor was very pleased with my foot swelling. (Heads up that swelling is expected up to 6 months post-surgery, it's just a matter of how bad it is).

    I will also caution you that as your nerves start waking up, you will have 1-2 nights of extreme pain. A lot of people described it as their foot being on fire. For me it felt like my foot was being stuck in hot coals. Know that this is normal - it sucks - but it's normal. You'll get over it, same way you've gotten over all the previous pain you experienced.

    Mobility-wise don't expect to be moving around much right after surgery. They sent me home with crutches and a wheelchair but the handiest tool was a walker - like the old lady walker with tennis balls on it. Getting up and going to the bathroom or kitchen was a chore on crutches because it was exhausting. With the walker, I could slowly scoot my way over without having to exert too much energy. A lot of friends recommended the knee scooter so I went and bought one but never ended up using it because it's very awkward.

    Good luck! You're on your way to getting better! In 6 months you'll be able to look back on this as another thing life threw at you and you overcame. Not to mention hobbling on crutches definitely gives you some good looking arms ;p small perk to an otherwise crummy situation but you're going to get through it!

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  • Posted

    Good luck with your surgery! 

    I had snapped my fibula on the 23rd of June I had to have the external fixator and after that I had to get a 6 inch plate and 11 screws I’m now healing and I will be honest with you the pain sucked for the first 3 days at least and then after that it was more easy to tolerate I couldn’t take hydrocodone but I was able to take the Percocet which really helped with my pain! I am now 6 weeks post op my apt is Wednesday to get X-rays and see how everything is healing all together I still get pain but it’s more of an annoying pain then a throbbing pain!!! I wish you the best of luck!!!

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear about your fracture...it sucks but these forums are a great place to help you along with your recovery. I had a trimalleolar fracture on 5/5/18 and surgery 6 days later.  I agree with all the responses. Nerve block is a must.  Your foot will feel like it’s on fire due to the nerves, but it will get better. A knee scooter is a big help. Take it easy

     and don’t die too much early on. Elevate and ice as much as you can.  Surgery is a big step to your recovery so know you are doing the right thing.  Good luck!

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