Nine months after surgery - still stiff ankle - Dr visit yesterday

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My injury was last November, surgery in November, another in January.  I've been in PT since March, doing well, but the ankle is still stiff, some days worse than others.  I know I must have patience.  I went to the foot surgeon yesterday for a checkup. After being on this forum, I expect the ankle to still be stiff.  However, he started poking around, and on the side "does this hurt?" Yes it did when he PRESSED on it.  It's where the plate and several screws are.  Dr. took an X-Ray, fracture is completely healed, screws and plate are intact but he suggested having it out!! I DO NOT WANT ANOTHER SURGERY.  I told him I have two friends who had the exact same surgery, one 15 years ago, one 4 years ago, and they kept their hardware in.  

What have any of you done? 

The stiffness isn't anywhere near the plate/screws so I don't think the stiffness would be aleviated.  Stiffness is in the front of the ankle, not the side where the surgery was.  

Do you feel better with it out, and what is the recovery? Dr. said I could walk on it the next day.  But he also didn't tell me what a long recovery the November surgery would be, either.  

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  • Posted


    I had my injury in Feb and surgery also, my ankle was shattered, I'm still not walking unaided,I have lots of swelling, the stiffness really concerns me,I do wonder if I'll every get full movement again, I am having lots of physio but it's seems I have good days and bad days with respects to stiffness and swelling. 

    I'll be watching your situation very closely, I do hope all gets much better for you and that you dont need more surgery. 


    • Posted

      I had good days and bad days at your juncture, although my ankle wasn't shattered.  PT helps a lot, lots of elevation and ice.  You'll get there I am sure! 

  • Posted

    Oooooo. That would be the worst thing I could hear after the last 18 weeks of hell. Your much longer, and don't blame you for not wanting more surgery. I got told at my very first PT that my ankle would most probably be stiff and much thicker than the other for good after this. So think it can be quite normal for it to get stiff. Some days it takes forever for mine to get going due to stiffness, other days nothing!! Wishing you luck. Sx

    • Posted

      You should be starting to feel better.  The first 5 months were hell.  Three months non weight bearing was... unbearable.  But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I've accepted that I will have some stiffness for quite some time, maybe forever.  We can expect arthritus with a broken bone, too.  It's definitely tolerable considering what the first part of this recovery was.  

      Yes for me, some days hardly any stiffness - other days a lot.  I can still walk with it being stiff, and I feel like it could be worse than this. 

      Just wondering about people who kept hardware in .... versus having it taken out.  


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