Newbie with Questions - Knee scooter, Sleeping position, accidentally stepping on ankle

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hi everyone, 

I broke and dislocated my ankle 2 Fridays ago and had ORIF surgery last week where they added a metal plate and screws to hold my ankle into place. Back home now and trying to grasp the new reality of living with one leg and needing help with everything etc. 

I have a few questions and was hoping others could help with answers. 

I acidentally tripped and put my full weight on my broken ankle today :'( it was in pain initially then calmed down (could be meds) although it's night time now and its flaring up a bit. I'm not sure if we're allowed to move the ankle at all when its in a cast but I tried just to see if its in unusual pain or if I've damaged it but has anyone done this before? I'm gettting lots of pins and needles or little jolts of pain and some pain up my leg as well with the top part of my ankle being very sensitive. It happened this morning and earlier thought it was no issue, but tried moving it a bit and pain seems to have gotten worse rolleyes

Has anyone else experienced accidentally stepping on an ankle? Was it ok?

Im also looking at getting a knee scooter seeing as they look safer than crutches. What are your experiences with them for going to the toilet for eg or up/down stairs where crutches would be better suited. Or how do you use the knee scooter in those situations? 

My last question (for now) is when I left the hospital, aside from keeping my leg elevated, the doctors didnt specify a sleeping position so I sometimes sleep on my side and turn my foot sideways as well - Is this wrong? Didn't think to check with them first. 


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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Steph - I’m 10 weeks post op and let you know what I did in terms of scooter/crutches. 

    I wasn’t able to use the scooter until I got a hard cast. I had a soft splint the first 2 weeks after surgery and doctor told me to wait for the cast before using knee scooter. The knee scooter is way easier to get around on because you can have 1 arm free to hold something else if needed and you’ll feel more balanced. The crutches are hard to get used to. That being said, you can’t go up and down stairs with a scooter so you’ll need the crutches if you need to go up a flight of stairs. The knee scooter could be used for 1 stair if there’s enough room but it’s a little precarious. 

    Regarding falling on your ankle, you probably want to tell your doctor. They may want to X-ray just to make sure nothing moved. Feeling pain and pins and needles is normal during recovery though. 

    Just know that it will get better week by week! And get as much help as you can around the house. Good luck!

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  • Posted

    I had three pretty bad Falls while I was in my cast for 8 weeks following surgery the PA told me unless that cast breaks nothing probably happened on the inside and they were right. I was 8 weeks in my cast I slept mostly in a wedge that they sent home from the hospital for the first few weeks in bed on my back with my foot up in it and it really did help a lot with the swelling, rest and ice behind your knee is about the best thing keep it elevated that really helps a lot with the swelling and pain. I did buy a cast sock on Amazon it was like a silky thing that you pulled up over your cast it was awesome I was able to rub the furniture and my bedding and everything without it sticking it was really nice. I did use a knee scooter 90% of the time I found it to be the most helpful over crutches mine had a basket on it so I could carry things around the kitchen and stuff it made me more mobile. The last 3 weeks in the cast where mostly a nuisance than anything the swelling was going down so I had a couple of cast changes but the pain was pretty much gone now that I'm in the boot I feel like I've regressed back to the early part of my cast trying to learn to walk on my foot but it's okay because at least I see an end in sight so I'll be thinking of you good luck don't feel bad about having a few meltdowns during the time, I was so active it was so hard for me to learn to rely on others but you'll get there.

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  • Posted

    Hi Steph,

    If your cast was applied properly I doubt you suffered any permanent harm from putting weight on ankle, although it seems to have excited a lot of nerve tissue down there. But do mention it to your practitioner at your next appointment.

    I suspect many ankle patients have accidentally put weight on their injured ankle while non-weight bearing, but don't usually talk about it.

    I used a wheelchair when 0 weight bearing. Crutches seemed to be too much of a hassle and energy drain (except when I went to partial weight bearing). I did consider a knee scooter but ultimately decided against it (although it would provide more exercise than chair). I felt a wheelchair was the safest, most comfortable, and convenient way to get around. To go up and down stairs I maneuvered on my rump and good foot.

    As far as sleeping position I don't have an opinion. With a cast or boot on it is enough of an ordeal to try to sleep comfortably.

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  • Posted

    I used the knee scooter extensively when I returned to work and was still non weight bearing.  I loved the knee scooter, but you do need to be cautious. Go slowly, especially over bumpy or uneven ground. Many people have fallen off the knee scooter from going to quickly, not paying attention, and hitting a bump or crack in the ground. If you're not in control it'll throw you off. For the small "step" at the door, I could put the knee scooter up or down and either raise or lower myself on it. You can't use the knee scooter on a flight of steps. My house only has steps going up and down the porch, and none inside. In the early days I didn't leave the house without my husband, so he would bring my knee scooter up and down the steps while I scooted up and down on my bum and then later went up and down with crutches. I was able to roll the knee scooter into the bathroom at home right up to the toilet.  I have a narrow bathroom, so I could easily hop one footed a couple steps between the toilet and knee scooter.

    For 2 weeks after surgery I was in a soft splint. I slept on my back with my leg way up in the air during that time. Once I was put in a hard cast, I felt comfortable trying to sleep on my side. I think as long as your foot is elevated and you're comfortable, you should be good.  

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  • Posted

    Hi!  I had a triple fusion done 5 weeks ago.  And yes, I have accidentally stepped on the afflicted ankle several times!!  When I asked my doctor at my one-week checkup, he stated that if I did any damage, that I would know as it would be painful.  Luckily, I did not have any pain any of the times that I step full weight on it.  If you're unsure, I would call your doctor for peace of mind. 

    As for the knee scooter, I highly recommend it!!  It's the only comfortable way I get around.  Using crutches really tired me out hopping on one leg.  And I didn't get around as fast as I do with the knee scooter.  As for steps, you would probably have to use the crutches.  I still use the knee scooter to get up the couple steps to my front door, but would not recommend you try a full set of steps.  

    I sleep in a recliner right now for recovery.  I'm a very restless sleeper and would keep my husband up all night, tossing and turning with a giant boot!  


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  • Posted

    Knee scooter i highly recomend 

    at home i have one step to negotiate to get inside or outside and i do it quite comfortably albeit slowly (very carefully front wheels down then step down with good foot roll scooter forward to point of rear wheels ready to come down lift your ankle off the scooter then let the rear wheels drop and put your ankle back on . This is a personal solution as i have found and the way i found around the problem you do this with your own confidence and risk )

    as for sleeping postion flat on my back is all i can manage , tried last night to lay on my side (normal sleeping position on my right side) DAMN THE DEMONS FROM HELL CAME DOWN AND WERE TRYING TO PULL MY ANKLE OFF. Unsure exactly what went on but i know it hurt pain scale i’d be saying 15/10 it honestly felt that bad 

    when i roll my leg to the left there is pressure inside the cast laterally thats hurts like no tomorrow (im 6 days post op Left ankle fusion) 

    as for weight on ankle i cant help 

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  • Posted

    Hi Steph,

    I'm almost 2 weeks post op with a  trimalleolar fracture. I spent one night in the hospital but with all the pain I was in I didn't even think to ask the surgeon if I could sleep on my side. The nurse I asked said I probably could if I used a pillow between my legs. I've had some success falling asleep like this with a pillow between my knees and feet but no idea if it's good for healing or not.

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  • Posted

    Use the knee scotter but always lock it when stopped.

    Wide front wheel axal is best they are easy to tip over. One time I hit a small stick inside and tipped over and broke my arm! Crazy. I just had to laugh.

    Sleep however you can. Don't worry too much about it.

    Remember you are not the only one going theough this and many people have it much worse.

    Smile even when you don't want to. It helps.

    Chip (RN)

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