Needing advice from others with hardware in ankle as well as being 6 months post op

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Recap:  on April 22 a drunk driver hit me head on. 6screws and a plate in ankle. I was in a nwb boot for 9wks. Walking boot partial wb about 6wks and fwb boot 6wks.  I’m in pt but my range and motion is tight, I can’t lunge forward much, can’t really sit back on knees to stretch tendon without pain and my walking is still limited from the tightness of tendons. I’m now at wk 28 post op. When will the pain end and will movement improve? Dr might consider removing some hardware down the road but not until after the first of the year. Thanks for any advice!

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  • Posted

    Hi Diane,

    I’m 9 months down the road, shattered ankle with 2 plates and over a dozen screws, I’ve had almost 35 sessions of Physio, and I’m into my 5th week  of 1 hr per wk light Mobility aerobics class. I’m pushing it hard in the gym, keeping my weight down and my stamina up, however I still walk with a limp and I need a crutch especially when I go out, I’m certainly looked upon by others of having difficult walking, this I’m believing is down to the metal work in my ankle, I will know more when I get the result back from the CT scan I had last week, apparently the standard X-ray isn’t showing enough detail as to the progress. I really do sympathise with you, all I can advise is keep doing all they ask you to do, keep doing the mobility exercises and keep on with the Physio, I have my calf and hamstring massaged once per week and I reckon this has been helpful. I’ve had real issues with my knee and I had an MRI two weeks ago, so I’m awaiting those results also. From my hip to my knee to my ankle I have difficulty get the free flowing movement which I once’s had, my othapedic consultant said it could take a total of 24 months to get to something like normal, he also said I’ll never get the full mobilty back and that I’ll never be able to run, so with that in mind I push myself as much as I physical can do. I hope you get some answers, Keep positive Diane 

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    • Posted

      Man you’ve had a long journey! I’m so glad to hear how positive you are though! My surgeon told me on the 1st that he’ll talk to me in January in regards to any hardware removal. He doesn’t want to remove it if it’s not causing me pain down the road. I just don’t like feeling the pain. I’m working st stretching more and going to have my pt Massage the scar tissue more to help break it up. Thanks for your words of encouragement and good luck with your recovery as well!
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  • Posted

    Hello Diane. 

    I have not been to what you went through. 

    However, I would like to say Thank God you are alive.  Keep fighting.  Maybe and hopefully someday you will heal physically.

    But it is the psychological damage is the one long term that is very unpredictable.

    Good luck to all of your trials and tribulations.

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  • Posted

    I'm almost 2 years out and fine with a lot of hardware in my ankle-from a trimal break. I thought about getting rid of the hardware all the time at your stage. After going through it all, I would urge you to wait and reassess at 18 mos. Everone I knew that went through it was usually feeling great at 18 mos without any pain whatsoever and back to 98-100%. Ankles take forever to heal and getting your muscles and tendons fired back up and  all back into shape takes a bit of time too. Everything I read, and I had a lot of time to research back then, said to keep the hardware in, unless you have problems with pain after normal healing times are over. Every surgery has its risks (slicing tendons etc). Why do it if your ankle is stronger with the extra support? Think of a fence with metal braces- its usually stronger than one without.  Hang in there! Do all your exercises as often as you can. Tendons need a lot of help recuperating! They seem to almost fire one at a time- it's a moving target of pain. That's normal! 

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much for your reply!! It helps me to relax knowing that I’m not alone and that everything I’m experiencing is normal! I’m going to just continue to help my body heal in any way I can! Thanks again for your advice! 🙏🏼💕

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    • Posted

      Patti,

      When you first started walking with and without your boot how did you deal with the pain?  Did you just power through it?  Or Work through it a little at a time? Did you walk a lot each day after the green light to walk was given.  It has gotten a bit better but it hurts like crazy to walk on my foot/ankle. The pain is piercing.  I have been given a prescription of Meloxicam and stared taking it this morning. I hope it helps.  I want to push myself but in the past that kind of pain would tell my body to step back... but my doctor seems to be saying to push through it so I will try!

      Thanks

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  • Posted

    Hi Diane, 

    You sound in exactly the same boat as me! Weber B fracture on June 9th, plates and 6 screws added on June 19th, NWB cast for 6 weeks after that, PWB boot for 3 weeks after that and then crutches for around 3/4 weeks. I’m now nearly 5 months post surgery and am struggling with pain and stiffness especially first thing and after rest. I’m still getting swelling in my foot and around the ankle. My range of motion is very limited and I walk with a limp as my leg won’t bend forward far at the ankle. Feeling like I’m never going to be back to normal. People keep saying to me that my symptoms seem to be going on for a long time and I was starting to worry that I should be better by now. I’d be interested to know what your physio says? 

    Lou 

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    • Posted

      Hi Lou, I just saw my surgeon nov 1 and he said that the stiffness is due to scar tissue build up from the blood being trapped in the broken area. It creates scar tissue and the only thing that helps is working with physical therapy. I know massaging the scar tissue helps to break it up but he told me to just continue with pt. I’m also trying to stretch more even when reclining I try to push on the foot to stretch the tendon. It hurts like hell though! He also said it will take 1-2 years before feeling “normal “.  I’m grateful though to be walking that’s for sure!!! 😇🙏🏼

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    • Posted

      That’s really interesting about the scar tissue, no professional has mentioned anything like that to me. I’m certainly glad to be walking too, I cried like a baby when I took my first unaided steps. I’ll keep up with the PT and the stretches. Good luck in your recovery. I hope we have less painful ankles soon! smile
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  • Posted

    July 22nd I had ankle surgery after breaking it in three places.. I have two plates and about seven screws . I started walking a week and a half ago. I walked a mile yesterday and and two miles today. I don’t have any pain what’s so ever and I’m looking to start running real soon.everyone recovery is different just be patient, prayerful and keep working hard
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