nondisplaced distal fibula fracture

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Day 0 (04/28/2016), Fell on a very steep concrete slope when fishing. Very intense and severe pain, but managed to walk 

to my car (using my toe) and drove home in pain. Wife drove me to ER and diagnozed as nondisplaced distal fibula 

fracture (~ half an each above the ankle). Went home with a walking boot and crutches. 

(between day 0, I stayed in bed mostly)

Day 4: saw a bone doctor. He reviewed X-ray from the ER and said the fracture was stable. He also said I could put 

weight on it immediately. Went home with the same walking boot. Also told that I could take the boot off when sleep.

(between day 5 and 12, no weight bearing at all. Swelling got better, but bruises everywhere on my right foot and quite 

a lot of pain on the foot and ankle) 

Day 11: I went to the doctor's office in a wheelchair. He was surprised... X-rayed again and no displacement observed. 

Went home with the same boot and crutches. Next appointment 06/06/2016.

Day 14: started to bear weight and felt much better. 

Day 20: could walk a few steps with limp but without crutches. However, most of the time, I did walk with both crutches. 

Pain has been gone. 

Day 28: didn't show much progress compared to previous week. when I walked 2 steps without crutches in the both room, I 

felt a little bit pain around the injured ankle when limped. Immediately stopped walking. laid in bed for a few hours 

and experienced 3-4 times of short, slight pain (each time, the pain lasted ~10-20 second). This really got me concern. 

I drove to the doctor's office. He was on vacation. 

Day 29 (now): laid in bed mostly and in great fear. similar to yesterday, I experienced several times of short and 

slight pain. tried to feel the injured ankle with my hand and the bony place felt a little warm (not sure whether the warm has been there all of the time). 

My next appointment is 06/06/2016. Right now, I am really concerned. I don't know whether or not the fracture was 

displaced.... (I have been on unpaid leave and have mortgage and bills to pay. I am anxious to go back to work. I don't know whether this would put my recovery back a few weeks). 

Any comments are welcome.  

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  • Posted

    Hi- I get darting muscle spasms throughout the day, but they are quick (a fraction of a second in length). Not sure what this could be. Bummer about your doctor bring on vacation! He doesn't have any backup?
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    • Posted

      Hi Patti, how to you doing, I am definitely doing so much better. I walk a lot further and longer now with no crutches and only use one now if I go somewhere and have a lot of walking to do. Today I could pick my 18 month old grandson up and walk with him, not far but it felt like another step forward in my recovery. Also the swelling is minimal even during the day when I sit or walk a lot, my ankle is starting to look like the other one and only if I put them next to one another can I see the difference. Keep well and hope you doing great.
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    • Posted

      Hi Daphne! Thank you for your post. Amazingly, I am pretty much right where you are in advancement. I am now 14-1/2 weeks along ORIF (I think you are around that point too if I recall correctly). I was given a lace up soft shoe insert (brace) from my doctor this week, and told to switch to just wearing tennis shoes in two weeks, with the brace, and until then to wear the boot primarily when I walk. Still, I try walking outside of the boot from time to time, around the house, to gain further foot strength, because I feel able to do it. I can walk around barefooted (without crutches) or with special ortho sandals several hours a day (on and off), but I still move pretty slowly (and try to do proper heal/toe walking form vs. doing any limping which I know can cause problems later for the hip and knee). I am trying some exercises where I rock back and forth (for 10 seconds each foot) on the good and bad foot standing in front of a table, chair, or bed (you can hold onto something in front of you, if it is difficult to balance). I think this is helping to strengthen my injured foot a lot. My PT just gave this exercise to me this past week. I also do all the other stretching exercises as well several times a day. My friends and family say each week they see remarkable advancement at this point (but we all know to get here feels like it takes forever, and things still move so much slower than we ever imagined they would). I most of all have tried to be an example to my family and friends, of how things can go wrong in our lives, but we need to keep a smile on our face, get up and out as much as possible, and I try to not complain too much (because I figure who wants to hang out with someone who complains). This website is a place where we can all tell it like it is, complain, and get solice. You only really understand if you have walked down this path. 

      How amazing to pick up your grandson finally! I have two granddaughters (2-1/2 and 7 months) that I could finally pick up and walk with in the last week or two also, and it really changes things incredibly to be able to do this! I also have a daughter due with a baby boy in just two weeks. I plan to walk into the hospital in regular shoes to meet him. It's been a long term goal for me through this process, which I will fulfill. So, believe me, I totally share your excitement about this development! I keep hearing week 16 will be even better for us! Do you take anti-inflammatories each day to get through all the exercises and walking? I try to push the envelope every day, and feel I need to take two Motrins (morning and night) to get through without throbbing (all pain is gone with the Motrins). I still sleep with my leg elevated, do you? I pretty much only use the crutches at night to get to the bathroom, when I am sleepy.  I use the boot when I am going out where I need to walk really fast, or need to protect my ankle a bit more. My swelling is primarily around the middle of the ankle itself, and it's only noticeable when the feet are next to each other also. My ankle bones have popped a little, but are still not totally defined. Ice is still my friend several times a day. So glad we are both experiencing these positive changes in our lives!  I hope everyone here finds something positive (even if small) each week in their advancement too. It is a long road and we are walking/hobbling along it together! 

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    • Posted

      Hi Patti, so happy you are also doing so well. When I read some of the posts on this forum my heart goes out to those who really are having a very bad and difficult recovery and even though it's been a long road to where we are now it has actually gone well for us. It is a exciting time for you with the new grandchild on the way. I have four grandchildren. My daughter had a little boy on 25th February, and I have not seen him yet . I was going to go to her and be there for the birth of the little one, but the I slipped and fell on the 18th February so that put a end to those plans. She has two other children, the eldest is I school so she also has not been able to visit me. She lives about 660 km from me. I also do still take anyi
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    • Posted

      Oops...I think the end of your note got cut off. How far away is your daughter and grandson? I bet you could make the trip soon!
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    • Posted

      Sorry I sent my post before I had finish writing it . I do take anti inflammatory tables once a day, but if I have done a lot of walking etc. I sometimes take two. I also elevate the leg but only slightly. I don't have to use ice packs anymore because my ankle does not swell that much, and just resting with it slightly elevated helps. I am also struggling a bit with a limp when I walk without crutches, but it is getting better. I also use my crutches when I go to the bathroom during the night and in the morning when I first get up, because the ankle feels slightly stiff, but that is also improving daily. I am sure that keeping a positive attitude has played a great deal in my recovery, and I also was positive and tried not to complain to my friends and family. There were a lot of days I would cry when I was alone, but my faith in the Lord would just lift me up and I would feel positive again. And I am sure this will be a encouragement to others to trust and believe that recovery will happen even if it is longer for some than others.
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    • Posted

      Hi Patti, I was able to balance myself on my bad leg with the good leg raised off the floor, and without supporting myself by holding onto something. Held each time for 5 seconds. So happy the strength is coming back.
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    • Posted

      Hi Patti123 not been on here lately been keeping my self busy went back to hospital last week I am now out of plaster and have a walking boot they gave me crutches but did not feel safe with them so using a walking frame still have lots of swelling lots of tendon pain just reading everyone's comments see that all of this is quite normal tomorrow I will be 7 weeks post op x
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    • Posted

      Hi Sharon, I'm 4 months post op, nearly 9 months post break. Snapped fibula, non union, = bone graft , plate and screws.

      Ditched moon boot about 2 months back except for going to town occasionally.

      Got an All terrain walker as I kept falling off crutches.

      Physio trying to make me fully weight bare but I have a bakers cyst on my 'good' leg.

      Well standing today after a couple of steps unaided, and quickly averted disaster. My broken leg started to give way on me. Very scary. 100% walker, with knee scooter at night. Might ask for a sturdy cane with quad bottom for small transitions.

      Freaked me out big time.

      Yes your progress sounds spot on. My swelling and pain lessoned 3 months post op.

      ®{°^`}®

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    • Posted

      Totally normal Sharon! I take a Motrin in the morning and one at night, because I feel I need it to push hard on my exercises during the day. You will feel moving target pain all over your foot, as everything fires up. I still get some pulsating shooting pains, but it's not too painful. Congratulations btw! This is what you have been waiting for...to start walking again!  It is what I think of as the second phase of the ankle recuperation, the first being "the waiting period", while you sit around and wait for your bones to heal. If you have been given the okay from your physican to start weight bearing, first you will learn to walk in the boot, slowly increasing pressure on the bad foot, first 25%, then add 25% each week, or as you can handle it. You hopefully will be walking without aids at all in 4-5 weeks. The frame (or as we call it the "walker") works great for putting pressure on. I found it better than the crutches actually at the beginning. Then, I tended to go back and forth between the crutches and the walker, depending on how much pressure each would allow me to put on my leg, as I increased 25% each week. I think I did to 75% WB in 2-1/2 weeks and it took another 2-1/2 to get from 75% to FWB, but everyone is different. Then you will hopefully be given the okay from your doctor to move to tennis shoes, when he knows you are ready. The rocking back and forth on your feet, first left then right, trying to slowly increase the weight you can handle on your injured foot,  in front of a table or bed to catch yourself, helps to gain strength in your weak foot. They will give you PT stretching exercises which help your ROM. If you do them a lot, within 6 weeks you may have really good ROM. At the same time, you are working on increasing your foot strength as well. Again, everyone is different, I'm just letting you know how it worked for me. By 14 weeks, I could walk around the house in tennis shoes, but slowly. It was so wonderful! Early on in my cast, I sometimes wondered if I would ever walk again...but it happened! Every week the stride gets better and a little faster. I am trying to master going down stairs now in a normal stride. I learned a trick that you can put the injured foot half way over the step and it is much easier to get down in normal step form. I also realize I need more strength in my toes (so I am doing the rocking motion on my toes now, going back and forth in front of the bed to increase the strength I have in my toes). I think you need enough strength in your toes, to walk on them, to be able to go down steps well. Hope this helps Sharon!
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    • Posted

      Hi Patti, yes my leg is doing great. Was at the physiotherapists last Wednesday and they are very pleased. I am walking without any aid now, steps included, and the limp is very slight now. The only problem I still have is I don't have full range of movement from side to side but up and down is perfect. The physiotherapists say it is scar tissue that is causing the problem, so now I have been shown how to massage the area on both sides of the ankle. I was not doing it totally correct. The swelling is also minimal and the pain is gone. I go to the surgeon on the 22nd and hopefully it will be my last check up. How are you doing? I think we are on the same level.
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    • Posted

      We are totally on the same track still...although I am a bit behind on the steps. I am getting some short stackable steps from Amazon so I can practice on shorter steps at home to get used to the movement at a lower level and I am strengthening my toes, so I can push off on the toe of the injured foot on the steps. I know I will have it soon. Are you on any anti -inflammatories or ibuprofen or off everything at this point? Do you ride the stationary bike...I love using it. It's so nice to feel like I'm getting back in shape now, little by little. How did they recommend massaging the scar? Is there a special method? Thanks Daphne!
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    • Posted

      I unfortunately don't have a stationary bike, but once I have been to the doctor on the 22nd, I want to start with a slow gym program again. I used to be so active. Went to the gym 3 times a week and worked with a trainer. Also did a few boot camps a year just to keep fit. Can you believe I do boot camps, where I have to run cross country, climb over obstacles extra, and I never got injuries. But at home I slipped on one small wet step, and break my ankle. Could not believe it. I have stopped taking pain and anti inflammatory tables for about a week now, and so far so good. About the massaging of the scars. I was not putting enough pressure on the scars and also I was massaging in circles and the same direction as the incision. But you have to put a bit of pressure into it, and massage across the scars and not in the same direction. It feels a bit uncomfortable while doing it , and apparently takes a while for the scar tissue to flatten down. I also still do my exercises , and I am going to try walk on my toes at the end of the week, so keep your fingers crossed.
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    • Posted

      You 2 are becoming experts. Should have your own blog page! We call a walker frame with wheels. Frame is just metal with rubber feet.

      I too go between walker, and sticks( crutches) and knee scooter at on ght when I'm worn out. We have 3 sets of stairs. 2 very steep. Damned if I'm going near them except the ones with chair/stair lift outside.

      I fell down the indoor steep set going down to washhouse. Looking in that direction still terrifies me.I did however walk down proper stairs at the pool yesterday. Put in place when needed for people like us.

      Had a bad scare yesterday when I was standing unaided and healing broken leg started to give way. I reacted very quickly and held onto bench. Am still shaken. Was only doing what Physio told me. I'm not being a hero now. Nowhere without something to hold on to until I have my next xray in 2 weeks. Bone density pathetic 4 weeks ago. Worse than previous xray.

      Lol. I need some visual stimulation- I.e. evidence my bones are getting stronger.

      @[•$`]©

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    • Posted

      Be careful that you don't get hurt again. I also only do what I feel comfortable doing, don't want to start all over again. Hope your next x-ray show a great improvement.
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