ORIF Surgery on ankle cannot stand due to swelling

Edited , 4 users are following.

Hi forum,

its my second day after ORIF ankle surgery to fix a displaced ankle. This is probably the worse pain ive ever experienced. When i sit up or stand on the good leg, the pain from blood flowing down to the ankle is so bad. To avoid this ive been sitting in bed. i dont know what to do as id have to go to the washroom or shower. does this get easier after a few days? please help i feel so miserable

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  • Edited

    Hi, all the pain and discomfort you feel and will be feeling for a while, is normal. it sucks. it really does. I broke and dislocated my ankle last November. Two plates, twelve screws. It will eventually get better. The more you walk, the better it gets. Are you allowed to weight bear this early? i couldn't weight bear for another 4-5 weeks after surgery.

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  • Edited

    Yes as the swelling gets better it does get less painful.

    I remember that pain and how horrible it was!!

    One thing that helped me was bringing my leg down to flat from raised position for a while before attempting to get up, and then slowly lowering over the side of the bed, I would lower it a bit, then lift it back up to hip height, then lower it more, then lift it back up etc until it was dangling. The pain was still there, but not nearly as bad - yes it took a lot of time to get up but it was not agonising.

    It would settle after a few minutes and then I could move.

    It was a bit like getting into a cold swimming pool, very gently acclimatising my body to the temperature.

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  • Edited

    Hey Big,

    Perfectly normal and very , very painful. The one thing I would tell you is to take your pain meds a head of time. Do not let them wear off before taking them again. This will just increase your pain.

    The swelling, the blood flow all normal. What the poster said to you is correct. Baby steps, baby movements. Its so new.

    Baby yourself for a while. You've been through a heck of a surgery. Takes a lot of time to heal.

    Best of luck.


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  • Posted

    Thank you so so much Ashley and Rose. I cant begin to tell you how much it helps to have genuinely caring people on this forum offering their guidance and support. Thank you. from the bottom of my heart. I followed the advice and Im able to make it ahort distances on crutches!! im also wondering if sleeping on my side is okay? im afraid the bone will somehow become misaligned or i might undo some stitches on the sides? or am i being too paranoid at this point .

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  • Edited

    You can sleep on your side IF you can protect yourself with the cast or the boot. You don't want to pull them out. I'm glad you were able to use the crutches , too! Makes a huge difference when you can start moving.

    Don't be alarmed if you start getting down, it happens. Just keep doing what you're doing and you'll be ok. I don't envy you with the Covid here and making things more difficult. But you'll do just fine! 😃


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  • Posted

    I'm 4 weeks post surgery, and the swelling and awful pain does get better. What helped during the first two weeks was taking medication on time, resting as much as possible, and I rented a knee scooter. The scooter made trips to the washroom and moving around the house so much easier.

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