Pain and Swelling Six Weeks After Ankle Surgey

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Six weeks after surgery to repair ankle break with several fractures repaired with stainless steel plate and ten screws one going through two bones and the ligament in between. I wear a boot. Still lots of pins and needles type of pain and ankle swells after sitting with foot down or after a brief activity. How long is this going to last?I am still no weight bearing. Was all the hardware necessary? Will it work long term? Nick

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  • Posted

    Nick, they had to screw my ligament down as well. I am a few weeks a head of you and my ankle swells within a few minutes of me taking it down from an elevated position. I am still in a cast and non weight bearing also. I wish I had answers for you, I know it is very frustrating. Hang in there.
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    • Posted

      Mine also swells after only a few minutes of any activity even without any weight bearing. I may start physical therapy next week. I wonder what that would do.
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    • Posted

      I don't know, I have wondered that myself. I should be starting PT in a couple weeks and it scares me. It is so frustrating to have your ankle swell in just a few minutes and have to go back to elevating it, feels like you are so helpless.
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    • Posted

      I saw my surgeon today and he says swelling is normal. But I now have a boot which I take off when my leg is elevated. I wear the boot when I am up and moving about. Why aren't you in boot instead of cast? Cast was so painful for me. Boot freed me from depression. Great to take it off when I lift my leg. Perhaps you should talk to your doctor about boot instead of cast at this stage of healing process. Best regards! Nick
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    • Posted

      I still had gaps in my bones, so I was banished to 4 additional weeks in this horrible cast. I can't wait for a boot. I am beyond depressed at this point, I make myself except company. I hate hearing what they are doing when I am stuck here. Pitty party! I sound like such a baby, sorry. Just keep your fingers crossed that gaps are closed next week so I can get this thing off.
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  • Posted

    I am 13 weeks out after similar ankle surgery, although the doc did not mention ligament damage. I am still quite swollen from ankle to knee. My calf is especially huge.I have been full weight bearing since 8 weeks out and thought I would be less swollen, but the doc said it can last for 6 months. I was told the hardware can be removed if it bothers me, but not until a year has passed.
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    • Posted

      I have ten screws at least with one long going across two bones through the ligament for increased stability. My surgeon will only remove the extra long one three months out. No mention having to remove the nine baby screws. I think the small ones will stay. I will ask tomorrow but I think I filled my surgeon's head with so many questions but I think he is tolerant. Nick
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  • Posted

    I had 3 screws fitted at end of Sept 15, and stil have swelling 24/7, especially worse after 10 hours at work. I've been having 30 mins of pt every 3 weeks since beginning of December. I am fortunate to be walking, driving and working again, however, the swelling, I am told could take up to 12 months to reduce and I get different levels of emotions. Al I can say is that everybody is different and it is a waiting game unfortunately.

    I hope you recovery quickly

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    • Posted

      It looks like a long way to be normal again. Not surprising with a bunch of hardware in the leg. My surgeon tells me being diabetic does not help either. I will be thankful and move on. Being positive is key to full recovery. My best wishes to you! Nick
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  • Posted

    I only had one break (with 1 plate - 6 screws) and ligament repair. The break was 7Feb Surgery on 16Feb .... I got my permanent cast 2 weeks after surgery and it was so loose I just went back early to the doctor this week, at week 5, to have it checked out. He decided to take it off since I was healing well. So I'm in the Aircast boot (which I hate by the way, big and bulky) but still NWB for 3 more weeks and wearing constantly. He said I can take off to bathe though but no flexing or anything else. Since I have constantly elevated my foot from the time I broke my ankle, my foot has only slight swelling 🙌 I'm so relieved! The depression with this type of break/surgery is real. And I've read about others having it too. You are not alone!!
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    • Posted

      Tomorrow, ninth week after surgery, x-rays will be taken to see if I can bear weight on injured foot. Physical therapy has been fabulous. My ankle still swells and pain is mild but sometimes elevated. Rest is important. Long way from complete recovery but progress has been good. My dilemma now is getting off of the oxycodone addiction. Two 5 mg pills per 24 hours. Withdrawal causes sleeplessness and it is hard to breath. I will consult with my primary doctor on Tuesday. Any input regarding withdrawal from narco will be helpful. Nick
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    • Posted

      I haven't started PT at all yet and stopped taking pain narco medication for approximately 3 weeks. I'm sorry I have no input regarding withdrawal from that. Only that you can start cutting your pills in 1/2 and then taking the medication less over time if you are having trouble... That's what I have done when changing antidepressant medication.
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    • Posted

      I tried one 5 mg pill instead of two but that did not work. I waited several hours but Simptoms got worse. I fell asleep a few seconds after giving up and taking the second 5 mg pill. I highly recommend staying off narco once you get the chance to do so and shift to Aleve or any non- narcotic. I am getting ready to spend some time withdrawing. What a lesson learned! Thanks for the reply. Nick
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  • Posted

    I'm 4 months out from surgery (plate and 7 screws) and still have a lot of swelling when not elevated. My doctor said that it could last 12-18 months. It's also still very stiff (particularly around my instep and achilles) and I still have a fair amount of pain. I go to PT two times per week, but do 20 minutes of PT on my own every day. I have to admit that it feels its best right after I finish my PT, but unfortunately stiffens up again shortly thereafter. 
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    • Posted

      My physical therapist tells me I am making great progress, eight weeks after surgery. I never heard that recovery would take more than a year! I have a plate and ten screws with one long going through tibula, ligament, and fibula. I will be weight bearing next week, I hope. I am also hoping I will be near normal in a month or so. A year of recovery sounds long. I hope for you to do better than that. Best wishes. Nick
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