lateral malleolus fracture

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I factured my left lateral malleolus July 7th. Twisted my ankle, walked into a ditch bare footed, and twisted, and rolled my ankle. It did not bruise right away, so I thought I just twisted it real bad. Three days later it bruised up, so I went to the er in my town, and took an xray, and have a lateral malleolus fracture. They put me in a boot and said it is like walking on air. Well, 3 weeks later went for an xray, no change, not healing. I borrowed a scooter and stayed in the house, with very little on my feet, for the next 4 weeks. Went for another xray, they said very little change. So I am thinking, surely the next 4 week off my feet, should be healed. Went for an xray Monday, which is 3 months after the accident, no change! With the insurance I have my dr. could not find an orthopedic dr. that would take my ins. Needless to say I am beside myself, thinking I have to live with a lateral malleolus fracture. My be able to get an appointment in about 100 miles from here. Just had a break down, do not know what to do if I do not get an ortho appointment.

P.S. I know there is someone worst off than me, and that is what keeps me going.

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  • Posted

    What a horrible experience for you.  Has your local doctor actually shown you the xrays and explained what he is seeing?  Based on my broken bone experience ( a much smaller bone a "Jones" fracture) it took around 9 weeks to heal but I could see the changes on the xrays of the fracture site after 5 weeks.  It doesn't sound like my orthopedic is doing anything differently than your MD is doing so I don't know that traveling would do much for you.  What is your doctor saying about your healing time? Are you in pain?  Stilled bruised?  Swollen?  How old are you and how is your health otherwise?  Is he able and willing to consult with another doctor by sending your xrays for a second opinion?  You need to tell him how upset you are about this situation because he needs to address your mental health too!  I went from a short boot in the ER into a full foot and leg cast when I saw the orthopedist in a week.  4 weeks in the totally non weight bearing cast and then another 4 weeks in a huge knee high boot and walker.  I even had to wear the boot to bed because my doctor didn't want to walk at all without support.  I really hate that healing takes so long and the it was my right foot and couldn't drive.  You are right about others that are in healing process much longer than you have been.  I was lucky at 69 y/o and who knows why but when you are thought with all of this the bad memories fade and the time no longer seems quite so long.   You have my very best wishes.  

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply. I am on Medicaid, and not many specialist want to take that. So after 3 months still has not found one. I am going to be 59 in November. Not in pain, no swelling, not bruised anymore. I bothers sometime, but can't complain. It is just not knowing if I am suppose to stay off of it, or what. Still in the boot, and in a wheel chair. Only walk in the house where wheelchair will not go.

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  • Posted

    Hi Brenda, I am sorry about what you are going through. I broke my ankle in 2 places ten weeks ago. I was in a cast for 8 of those weeks. The doctor decided to take the cast off and afterwards take an X-ray. The radiologist and doctor weren't happy with the healing, so that was hard for me to accept. An orthopaedic surgeon took a look and said "I should be ok." Now I am worried with every step I take because I don't know whether or not the healing is complete. I have had one physiotherapist appointment and will have another on Friday. I am hoping that you heal very soon.

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  • Posted

    Wow! I'm sooo sorry you're having this hard time with your insurance. I would call the insurance commissioner....tell them what's going on and see if they can reccomend a specialist. I had a lateral malleolus fracture on sept 14 by stepping in a hole in my back yard cleaning up debris after hurricane Irma. Went to ER, they put me in a splint and I couldn't get to Orthopedic surgeon till the following Monday. He x-rayed again for his own piece of mind, said it was a stable fracture and put me in a hard standard cast for 3 weeks, absolutly no weight bearing, then would recheck. But week 1, I went back cause my toes were turning blue. He said it was a cast issue and took it off and put me in a aircast boot, still no weight bearing. Went back 2 weeks later, xray, said it's still stable and continue 3 more weeks with aircast no weight bearing. At that time, which will be this Tuesday he'll xray, see how healing is and go from there. Either I'll get a walking cast for limited weight bearing or be in boot with no weight for another 2-3 weeks. Time will tell. I'm just stoked to not have surgery and hope it continues that way. It's disturbing that no one told you complete no weight bearing for at least 4-6 weeks. It takes at least 6 weeks for bone to heal. Also, I agree with otherone that posted about mental health. I was and still sometimes devastated by my injury and believe me...I'm a strong minded person. I thank goodness I found these blogs cause I thought I was the only one dealing with the sometimes depression of it and the still deviation of future recovery of Rehabilitation and fear of re-injury. Dr's didn't prepare me or help me with that part of it at all. The blogs have helped me soooo much. I pray you're able to get to a specialist and my advice is no weight bearing until you do. Although I have heard of Dr's telling some patients that aren't healing well to start minimal weight bearing cause it creates better blood flow which promotes healing....but this is not recommended by me as I am not a specialist, just something someone else posted. With that in mind though, next time you go to Dr, ask them if this is why they'll let you put some weight on it even though it's not healing well. Good luck to to you and wish me luck on my 6 week check up on Halloween. Lol

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    • Posted

      Thanks, I go for another xray on November 6th. Hope and pray for a good result. Thanks for taking time to write to me.
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    • Posted

      Hi Stacey, 

      I wanted to address your point: "It's disturbing that no one told you complete no weight bearing for at least 4-6 weeks. It takes at least 6 weeks for bone to heal." It's actually not disturbing at all... according to my research, it is quite often the approach taken for stable Weber A and B fractures as long as the patient does not have any other medical conditions that would preclude permitting early weight bearing. In fact, if you google "virtual fracture clinic Weber" you will find that there is a whole lot of patient education material that is available to UK patients who have this type of fracture and other types that can be managed this way who are assigned to this clinic. Early weight bearing is encouraged for these fractures because they are not inclined to displace and there are more benefits to be gained by allowing early weight bearing (and plenty of negatives for avoiding it). I myself walked 4 kilometers on my newly fractured ankle (thinking it was only a sprain... and really there was no other way to get out of the remote wilderness area I was hiking in), so if mine was inclined to displace I believe it would have done so on the first day.

      I was initially given a slab cast followed by a boot 5 days later and told I needed to be NWB for 5 more weeks. After making excellent progress with my flexibility exercises (I am at about 90% of my pre-injury flexibility, 100% on my dorsiflexion), I was itching to be allowed to do more (especially in light of what I had learned by researching treatment protocols), so I contacted my doctor at 4 week + 2 days to report my progress. She gave me the all clear to begin WBAT in my boot (I was to use pain and swelling as my guide to know how far to go). I was able to progress quite quickly and am now fully weight bearing in the boot with no aids (got to full weight bearing without aids just prior to 5 weeks). There is no pain and only a very small amount of swelling. She advised me that she takes a conservative approach because there are a very small number of people who do not do well with immediate WBAT and she wants to avoid any chance of that complication (but could tell by my reported progress that I would not fall into that category).

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    • Posted

      Hi Brenda,

      I hope you get good news at your next appointment smile

      I do not understand how specialists can simply choose not to accept your insurance... what a bizarre and unfair situation! You need a specialist, you should see one... the one with the greatest need should win out over who has the better insurance policy. What kind of system allows people to be rejected from needed medical care based on the status/rank of their insurance provider?? There is something wrong with that concept if you ask me sad

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