Non weight bearing and (mostly) stuck at home for 6 weeks

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I broke my ankle 3 weeks ago and got put into a proper cast 2 weeks ago. 4 more weeks to go!  Normally quite an active person, (I broke it running), it is a real challenge physically and mentally. I was wondering if there are any others out there in the same situation and how you are managing? I am trying my utmost to stay positive and have a supportive partner, but it is hard sometimes.  I feel that none of my friends really understand....and all have busy lives of their own.  

I must say that I had no idea how hard it is to walk with crutches! watching others it always looked so easy.  At the fracture clinic young people seeemed to have no trouble, but I am 60 and it is so exhausting.  What do others find?

 

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  • Posted

    Hi Ruth I broke my ankle six weeks ago I know how frustrating your feeling even though my family have been great I get fed up .just not being able to do anything and I found crutches hard to use at first but it does get better the first few weeks are hard .I've got hospital appointment tomorrow and if everything ok will get a boot .Try and stay positive easier said than done I know .good luck

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    Hi Ruth, so sorry to hear about your injury! I am 10 weeks post op! I can honestly say I completely agree with you. I became quite snappy with my close friends and family because I felt they didn't understand but you take the mobility for granted! It is quite a frustrating and boring experience. I would recommend an adult colouring book because it is surprisingly therapeutic! I found craft to be quite a good distraction. It will also give you more stuff to talk about with your friends. Not that I believe you are...but it is very easy to feel sorry for yourself when you are frustrated with the lack of mobility l but just keep telling yourself, this is only a brief time in your fabulous life! Sometimes you need bad times to appreciate the good.

    Hope that helps at all! smile

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  • Posted

    Ruth,

    I am now almost 16 weeks post ORIF surgery. I can now walk quite well and do stairs normally. I was non weight bearing for 10 weeks and also have a very supportive partner. I am 70 and played golf 5 times a week before the accident.

    I couldn't hop on a walker and never tried crutches. I rented a knee scooter. It was a godsend.

    You are so right about how difficult it is emotionally and physically. Lots of patience my dear.

    When you are weight bearing there will be discoloration swelling and discomfort when leg is not elevated. You will also be able to start PT and need to dedicate yourself to it. After starting PT you will experience improvement and some optimism that you will get your life back! Best wishes on your path to recovery.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Carol! I know lots of people go through this and it is only temporary but it's just nice to be able to talk to others who understand! I love my garden and it really needs a good prune. Am thinking about how to do that safely and without damaging my plaster.

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    • Posted

      Hi Ruth

      I know how you feel. I was 33, now 34. I've an ankle surgery (stabilization for a dislocating ankle, a fracture and various other issues). I was TWB for only 2 weeks then a boot for some months because I had recently had hip stabilization surgery on the same side so my ankle cast put stress and strain on my hip. I had to wear my boot for longer than expected which has caused ROM issues because I had to have hip surgery on the other side after my ankle. Ankle surgery is terrible painful and exhausting, I know. I would recommended getting decent movies, coloring is a great time waster but really, I know it's frustrating and depressing. I also had previous surgery on my hip (another one) and was by myself for my recovery at the time. I struggled, really badly. I just had to keep telling myself that this too shall pass. I know it's hard, distraction is the key, whether it's coloring, TV, writing a journal or chatting to your other half. Keep up with pain relief and elevate as much as possible which will help pain and swelling. Getting snappy is perfectly normal and if ppl don't understand, then they don't. Simple. I've had five orthopedic ops in a year (last year) and have felt very alone sometimes so I understand.

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    • Posted

      Pleased to report I got out in the garden and did some limited weeding and pruning, even watering (with cast protected). Get my cast off tomorrow, can't wait to see what I have in store. I took someones advice here and borrowed a wheelchair from the Red Cross (am in Australia) for $4.50! I took it out in the garden and got hubby to position the wheelbarrow for me. I can stand and balance on one leg, then sat down when I got tired. I have also learned to push the chair and hop along using it for balance to move about the garden.

      I have been getting out to meet friends for coffee and lunch, again using the wheelchair or a zimmer frame which I think is a much better idea than crutches. I am a bit concerned about the number of stories I have heard about people getting sore or injured shoulders as a result of using them, and anyway find the zimmer much easier. I can even turn it round and sort of sit on it if I am talking with people standing up.  I do get sore hands and wrists and weara the kind of gloves you use for lifting weights to help protect them.  Someone posted about getting blisters using crutches, i think gloves are needed here!

      I also bought a 2nd hand wheelie walker from a charity shop and sit on that and scoot myself around in the house. It's great! we have vinyl floors and rugs so we took up the rugs, not sure how useful this would be if you had all carpet. 

      Finally I have to say just how much reading the posts in this forum has helped me get through...hearing about others' experiences and the mutual support and understanding.  I do have periods when I am full of energy to 'do' things (going through the house and sorting and tossing out) and other times when all I feel like doing is watching Netflix or reading. I have a really hard jigsaw puzzle on the go.  I also do some voluntary work in an office (charity) once a week which helps, though tiring. 

      Its not an easy thing to go through - especially when I realised, from reading posts here, that the 6 weeks in a cast is by no means the end of it - right, back to normal. That was a bit of a shock but I have come to terms with that now.  Let's see what tomorrow brings!

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    • Posted

      oh and it really helped that I can drive as broke my left ankle and drive an automatic. That has helped a lot. A couple of times I have had to resort to bottom method of getting up stairs eg at the movies, a bit embarrassing in front of the rest of the cinema, but ah well! redface

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    • Posted

      I love your positive attitude Ruth! Ankles take time, and we might as well live our lives in the meantime- great for you! This is a temporary problem for most of us. We need to remember that. And there are many people out there in much worse shape. Thinking of that puts it in perspective. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Ruth.. I'm suffering also. . Had an ankle replacement in 2001 and it's just giving me issues.. bone scan tomorrow. . I'm bored as hell.. need to get this figured out and get back to work. .email me if you like...

    Emis Moderator comment: I have removed the email address as we do not publish these in the forums. If users wish to exchange contact details please use the Private Message service.

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  • Posted

    I don't usually sit out in the sun, because I am fair skinned, but I also found that made me feel a lot better (and I heard it is good for bone repair). I loved my knee walker and got a basket and cup holder for it for my coffee. It was light weight and I could crutch around and lift it to put it in my car and then I was able to run errands (because I hurt my left foot so I could drive). I was able to swim before I could walk, and I loved doing that when my cast came off. I have small grand babies and being with them helped my spirits too, as well as helping my kids with projects, reading, and surfing the web. Look up on the net (56 Things to Do While Recovering from Surgery). 

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  • Posted

    2 Ruth I do understand how you feel. I am 45 and broke my ankle going down a hill at my son's soccer practice. I have been non weight bearing since then. Crutches are so hard to manage, I still don't use them correctly but I did just order crutch pads so I hoe that helps. I have a 12in plate, 4 screws and an anchor screw in my heel. On top of that I tore my deltoid tendon and stretched out all the others so they had to be surgically repaired. It has been a tough recovery fit me so you are not alone. The depression has been terrible which I hear is common but it doesn't make it any easier. Not sure if you have one but a scooter will help tremendously. ...you look funny on it but I don't care I can at least get around the house easier. Sending you big hugs, try to sit in the sunshine once a day. We will get through this!

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