ORIF Ankle Surgery, still very painfull

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I had a dislocated and broken ankle on both sides of the foot broken in 4 places including the bottom of the Fibula and the back of my heel. I had surgery 6/11/19, a plate and 2 screws on both sides of the ankle. 2 splints, 3 cats and boot later I'm out of the boot and on one crutch. I had my checkup today and the Doctor is adamant about how I should be walking now without any help and have to go back to work. I am still having alot of pain in my foot when I put weight on it, and am very unstable when I try to walk without the crutch it hurts so bad and I feel like I'm going to fall, I constantly trying to find something to hold on to. I tried and tried to make him hear me, but he refused, and said I have to walk through the pain, and if I had just twisted my ankle and can just walk it off. I am in serious pain, and he seems to care less, I really dont know what to do, should I go see another doctor? Will another doctor even see me? A podiatrist, maybe? I know it's been 4 months, and I am progressing, just not fast enough for my surgeon.

Also this injury happened at work, and I am getting Comp. at the moment, but as I said I am still in alot of pain, and I have been released to go back to work. Is 4 months too long of a recovery?

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  • Posted

    I was feeling very fragile after I broke my ankle. I never broke anything and after this horrible experience didn't want to ever break anything ever again. Because of that I had a fear of doing any more damage to my foot .Putting pressure and trying to walk on a very sore foot didn't seem logical. I actually thought I'd never walk again. I assume by your doctors attitude your xrays show you are where you should be in your recovery????? I was unstable too, ,but it was mostly out of fear. I was babying myself because of the pain. So I bit the bullet and have been walking through the pain. Everyday is different but I'm progressing. You go back and forth. Are you going to physical therapy? If not perhaps ,that's what you should be doing? It never hurts to get a second opinion, however PT might be your answer right now.

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  • Posted

    Im 3 months post op and Ive been walking with a limp but can walk and I dont need assistance

    Did you go for PT?

    I found once I began PT I made good progress

    Everyone recovers at a different rate

    But I dont think your doctor should make you feel bad about the speed of your recovery

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  • Posted

    **You are not abnormal with the pain or feeling uneasy, thats for sure. I at times still use a cane for support and I've had my surgery in 2018, early. And I only had ligament and tendon repair/ surgery.

    I went for a second opinion and she had no interest in helping me further except to get an exercise bike, basically to just keep pedalling. It didn't/ doesn't work. All anyone says is I guess you wont' be on your feet for long periods of time. Frustrating!

    Take baby steps. Thats about all you can do. Start your PT if it was offereed to you and see if they can help you out.

    Not everyone has success with ankle breaks / surgery. You have to advocate for yourself now and do what is right for you.

    Second opinons are rough because most Ortho surgeons don't want to opereate on someone elses work.

    Good luck! **

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  • Posted

    Hi Shelley,

    I am just about 4 months post op myself but I only broke my bone in two places, my medial mallelous and my fibula. I have a total of 9 screws and 1 plate. My ortho has also had the same attitude towards me regarding progress telling me Im taking entirely too long for my age and that my fracture was bad but not the worst hes seen.

    Ive been walking around without assistance for awhile but I still have a bad limp and I cannot stand in place for too long I have to keep moving but I cant do much distance without terrible pain in my inner ankle area. I was sent back to work a few weeks ago but I still wasnt ready so Im back out for a little longer and I know I have to gradually build myself up to be able to stand working 40+ hours a week in a position that I always walked 5-6 miles a day. Although my note says no prolonged walking which I wasnt doing my days still consisted of 3 miles total which is way too much this early on.

    Trust your body, make sure you are in PT, and take as long as you need to heal. you had a really tough fracture and its going to take time I would hope by 6 months you should be stronger as I am hoping the same for me. We do have to push ourselves but you dont want to push too hard is all. HANG IN THERE, make sure you are stretching when you first get up and throughout the day. It helps!

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    • Posted

      and 2nd opinions are definitely tough because like Rose said most orthos dont want to work on someone after surgery. I mentioned to my ortho that I would like the one long screw removed and he said it wasnt necessary but up to me. I think in a few months I Am going to request all hardware to be removed as I Dont want issues down the line and it seems that is common with hardware even if its 10 years from now and by then its too hard to remove it so i think if its removed i feel relief as i do believe hardware plays a part in the pain and range of motion, and prolonged walking.

      Use that crutch for as long as you feel necessary and if you are still having trouble by 6 months I would try and see podiatrist because it could be your heel causing pain as well

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  • Posted

    I would seek another opinion. Sounds like something didn't heal correctly. Have you had any type of therapy? Good luck.

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  • Posted

    someone said they had some kind of sonic treatment or something like that at PT for their ankle that felt like it had an elastic band around it . I can't find he post.I hope the person who posted sees this and ell me again. I went to PT today and they offered no help in telling me what it was.

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  • Posted

    I was unlucky and got a nasty trimaleolar fractured dislocated ankle and had surgery the next day while abroad on holiday in Thailand.

    That was 6 months ago and like you my pain has persisted on weight bearing, still limping, i also get clicking and cracking in my ankle and foot, which my physio says is normal at this stage.

    I had recent CT scan of my ankle and it showed good bone healing so my orthopaedic surgeon plans to remove all of the hardware, 1 plate and 12 screws including the syndesmosis long screw in 3 weeks time which should help with the pain and stiffness.

    Regular physio has really helped with my strength and stability too. My workplace has been supportive in that i am on light duties and desk work at the moment, i think i may have to change my job in future though as i cant see me returning to 12-13 hour shifts on my feet as an acute medical Nurse on a busy ward.

    This has been a hard injury to recover from, and im hoping the next surgery will help.

    4 months in from your injury and op is still early days in the recovery process for your seriously bad break, a good physio is essential.

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  • Posted

    thanks for all the response, I have been doing Physical therapy, on my 2nd round of 12 sessions. Yesterday she made me try to balance on the one foot, without holding onto the bars, it was a no go, I instantly started to drop. It was both painfull and had no strength. So I don't really know why it's taking so long. All I know is it's still really painfull. I got a cane yesterday and I'm not very good with it, I want to use my weight on it. and that's not going to work. I'm just having a really hard time with this latley, and I go back to work tomorrow, I'm so scared and nervous. I am trying to push myself and trying to walk through the pain, was out all day the other day, and then went to the movies. OMG I could barely make it back to the car, it hurt so bad. I think it had swollen more sitting in the theater after trying to walk around on it all day. thanks again. I appreciate the response, it does make me feel better that I'm not being a wimp or it all in my head

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  • Posted

    Hello,

    I know exactly what kind of pain you are in. November 4th will be 8 months since my surgery. I although only have one plate-8 screws (outside) and one long screw/pin on the (inside) of my right ankle. So your pain may be even worse, which I cannot even imagine, I AM SO SORRY.

    I am still out of work. And still in pain on and off every day. It is such a hard surgery on our very important part of our body. Hang in there. You will get there, it is a very long, tedious, and boring, frustrating, and mostly life changing experience. I would not listen to that doctor of yours. Listen to your body. You should tell him you are listening to your body. I put so much weight on my foot/ankle during the boot and after the boot that I think I hurt myself worse. They want you to force weight on it to get stronger, well this is wrong, it makes it worse. Please listen to your body. baby the crap out of it until your pain can ease up to walk on it. Best of luck to you Shelley, I wish I could help better. It is a horrible surgery that's all I can say. TIME and Pain Meds, books, t.v. and help with meals always is great. Take care Shelley

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    • Posted

      thank you Katheen, it really does make me feel better to know that I'm not the only one going through this. I have felt with depression in the past, so I'm really trying hard to not let this get to me. It's frustrating not being able to do the things your use to doing, and start to feel like your missing out on life. It's my favorite time of the year, and friends and family asking if I want to go do stuff, that require a lot of walking or unlevel trails, makes me a little sad. I'm trying to stay positive, and do see how far I have come instead of how long I've got to go. But sometimes it gets to me, and I feel alone in this. it helps to talk to other people that understand what I'm going through. I think most people think that it's a simple surgery and you can instantly use your foot, like you could before. I know that's what I thought. no one explained to me that I was gonna have to learn how to walk all over again. sometimes I litterly have to tell my foot what to do. I have to think about what that foot is doing or not doing at all times. it's a lot.

      so I Thank you guys so very much for your input and comments. It really does keep my head up.🥰

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