ORIF screws removal, but still discomfort

Posted , 6 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

I am 35, m,  I had ORIF 5 months ago, and 2 weeks ago, I had my screws removed. I returned to how I was before hardware removal. I walk but with little limp and have restricted range of motion. as I can't go down in stairs. 

1) why does it go stiff when I sit for 1 hour, and then start walking? I feel its stiff and can't walk without limp unless i walk for 3 min then it gets better. do I have to expect this my entire life to be like this? even when i drive for a long time then i walk it hurts. 

2) I did  not feel the change after the screws removal, I thought i'll gain more range of motion, my doc suggested to go back to PT. 

3) I am still not satisfied with the result, I feel I can be better, now I can't even run 2 meters or walk quickly. ! what do you recommend?

0 likes, 6 replies

Report

6 Replies

  • Posted

    36/m here ORIF just had surgery 2 a few days ago. 4 plates and 32 screws. I was going to PT then hardware screws came loose. I plan on being in PT for years. I walk sort of normal, walking on the beach is quite difficult, running is out of the question and after 8 hra on feet there swolen and sore, sometimes unuseable, tons of pain. Oh had a plate and 8 screws put in my other foot 2 years ago. I reccomend listen to you doc, goto PT as often as possible, be glad theres no talk of amputation or fusion. Could be worse. Best regards.

    Report
  • Posted

    I am 23 weeks out from ORIF, 48 yrs old. I was released from PT last week. I still swell every day, and also get stiff if I am sitting for periods at a time. I have slight to searing pain depending on activity. My range of motion is good, but I still cannot run and walk with a limp. My doctor said upwards of a year before I feel normal again, and he does not want to remove hardware because he said it leaves the bone compromised where all the screws are. I go to the gym 3 days a weeks, but always have to ice and elevate daily. I wear a compression sock to mitigate swelling but my ankle just stays "boggy". I pray that as the months click by the pain will disappear. I get very impatient with recovery as I am typically very active. But from all of the posts its a long and trying recovery process.

    Hope you find some relief. Keep posting as it is helpful to read how others are coping/healing. Best of luck.

    Report
  • Posted

    I'm 8 months post ORIF and still have my hardware. My ankle still gets stiff when I don't use it for a period of time, but I've found that in the last month this has gotten better. I don't know what causes the stiffness, my theory is that it's related to the swelling.

    The best thing I can tell you is to keep practicing. Walk as much as you can, keep doing the exercises they had you do in PT. I've returned to running and and currently am trying to rebuild the stamina and strength I lost. If you aren't where you want to be, go back to PT or get a new doctor.

    Report
  • Posted

    I'm a 34/m 2 years post-ORIF surgery with a plate and 7 screws still inside. It was a trimalleolar fracture and dislocation with a severing of the tendon that joins the tib and fib so I had a big screw clamping those together which was removed after a couple of months. I was doing PT for about 8 months after surgery. I'm now at about 80% range of motion, walk with a limp for the first 20ft in the morning but fine after that and can run but with a gimpy lopsided gait if I try and go fast. Im not usually the most active person but have done > 10 miles of walking at times over the past year. If I hike on rough terrain anything over ~3 miles the ankle throbs a bit and can swell but only if I really push it to keep up with real hikers. Saying that, my good ankle hurts after a hard hike anyway. The mental paranoia when hiking is the worst though! The concentration is tiring making sure you don't step badly when walking and mess the ankle up again. My confidence in walking uneven terrain is still not 100% but is a lot better than it was in the months after weight bearing where I didn't have the instinctive foot placement and balance on the bad ankle. I'm mainly a cyclist anyway and the ankle doesn't affect that at all.

    The stiffness when sitting and swelling passed within the 8 months of PT. I forget about the ankle a lot. I was hoping to get the screws and plate removed too as I can feel some of the metalwork which is weird and I reckon will rub when donning ski boots this coming season.

    My physio said that the loss of range of motion can be partly due to internal scar tissue. He would make me do all the exercises and stretches then brutally massage around the ankle to "work out" the scar tissue. I went from 20% to 70% in the 8 months and the rest just happened over time walking about and home stretching. Id guess that only 2 weeks after surgery you're still healing internally from all the cutting, shifting and stitching.

    I remember thinking exactly the same as you and was struggling to come to terms with this affecting my life so much. With time all of the things you mention will be a distant memory. I met a guy at PT who had the ankle fused, thats no joke!

    Do the bone screw holes close in over time or are you left with a presumably weaker bone structure with holes in?

    Report
    • Posted

      Thank you for sharing your injury story, I know we have to stay strong and not let the negative thought stop us from keep trying. I am not accepting that I will not run or at least jog or run after my son when he's playing. but  the positive side is that I am walking 90% normal. I have a limp and I will for sure work to get rid of it. I think there are holes left after the big screws removed, but my doctor said, they will be quickly filled with bone and they won't affect the walking since the fracture is completely healed. One thing is making me concenred from PT is that it's very painful and the next morning is the worse i even can't walk on it because my PT is doing passive therapy where he put his power on my leg to get new motion. and it's very painful. not sure if that's what you have been doing in your PT

      Report
  • Posted

    49yr male, 1yr and 2mts from orig surgery. Broken ankle 3 places, dislocated, two plates 8 screws. I’m back to my normal activities, running 3 Miles 4 days a week and lifting weights. I’m not having any problems whatsoever. I been where all you guys are at and it’s going to get better with time trust me . The stiffness depends on you , the more you strengthen your ankle with toes rises and different excercises the easier the stiffness get, you have to walk it out. Everyone recovery is not the same I get it but you have to push yourself or else it will not get better. The swelling will go away as well the more you push yourself in recovery. 
    Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up