Pain!! How long does it last??

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I had surgery about 8 weeks ago- shattered ankle in 3 places- all kinds of hardware-still no weight bearing or physical therapy allowed.

I will get another X-ray March 20th. Which I believe will make it about 9 1/2 weeks post surgery. I am hoping the surgeon will say I can start PT then..

Is it normal to still b in pain?? burning- tingling-shooting pain- feels like a tight rusty handcuff around my ankle..& arch of foot. My heel hurts- shin- sometimes calf ..top of foot..Achilles tendon tight and burning..toes feel like they are tied together..so basically everywhere from toes to just below knee...

I'm taking pain meds and in addition wear a pain patch .. I'm scared I will be in chronic pain and never recover.

PLEASE SOMEONE TELL ME THEY HAVE BEEN THROUGH A SEVERE ANKLE INJURY -SURGERY WITH LIGAMENT AND NERVE DAMAGE AND PAIN AND THAT YOU RECOVERED.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE?

THANK YOU!!

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  • Posted

    Marge,

    I fell and suffered a bimalleolar comminuted pilon fracture ( Shattered ankle ) on Jan 16/17 - had surgery - looks like I have a hardware store built into my leg now. I also have ligament & nerve damage.

    Currently non weight bearing and wearing an aircast. I have basically no real movement in my ankle, as well as an extremely tight feeling arch. I can't curl my toes downwards either.

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  • Posted

    Marge - I am currently taking 2 Tramacet in the morning and then again at bedtime. Honestly I'm not finding the pain to be bad at all anymore , not unless I really overdue things during the day.

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    • Posted

      Ellen

      Thanks for writing back to me!

      It sounds like we had our accident at the same time- mine was Jan 11th. I'm glad u seem to have managed the pain for now. That must be a relief!! I hope u continue progressing..I will b interested to hear when u start physical therapy and how you do with it- and if u get movement in ankle and arch loosens. Please keep in touch!

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    • Posted

      Hubby just corrected me said mines not really a shattered ankle - I shattered my Tibia/Fibula but it's right at the bottom - I'm going for X-rays mid week and I'll be seeing my surgeon as well , so I'll let you know what he says .

      How did you break your ankle , what were you doing ?? I was walking down to our barn to feed the horses lunch - there must have been ice under the snow

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    • Posted

      Yes please let me know how your x ray goes!

      I'm glad ur husband shares in all of this with youwink

      I injured myself taking a hike on mountain in Arizona. One minute was having a wonderful day - next jumped down and ankle rolled and smashed it😫Had to b rescued by firefighters helicopter and ambulance was taken to trauma center for surgery-Crazy

      Good luck with X-ray and please let me know ur progress. Maybe one day in the future all of us from this group can get together and depending on our progress hopefully take a walk and share a meal..inot in pain sharing our war stories and recoveries

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    • Posted

      Marge

      My husbands a firefighter - when I fell he was up at the house, thankfully I had my phone in my jacket pocket . He called 911 and identified himself as an off duty firefighter - told 911 I had a severe Tib/Fib fracture with angulation - I was laying in a foot of snow on acreage - took paramedics just under an hour to arrive - they failed to page out fire fighters 😡 It was the most brutal pain I've ever experienced. They're actually investigating why paramedics took so long and why wasn't Fire paged out.

      Your injury sounds awful and I'm so thankful you had all the right rescue personnel responding to help you !!

      Emis Moderator comment: I have removed the email address as we do not publish these in the forums. If users wish to exchange contact details please use the Private Message service.

      http://patient.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/398331-private-messages

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    • Posted

      Ellen thanks for sharing about the terribly long amount of time u were stuck waiting for help. When things like that go wrong and u have to suffer needlessly it makes the situation so much worse!! I'm so sorry.!!!

      I can imagine in addition to the pain the fear and stress.

      Yes in my rescue the effort was impressive and I'm so grateful- and will never forget it...and have an amazing respect and appreciation.

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    • Posted

      Hi Marge

      I had my X-rays and saw my surgeon on March 8th - he said my bones are healing well. Yayyyyyyyy !! So I asked him about my hardware - I have 4 plates, and 19 screws , I thought he had told me I had pins in there as well but he said no

      Pins . I am now 7 weeks post op with this comminuted pilon fracture. Since my bones are healing so well he said I can now put 30 lbs of weight on my leg - pulled out a scale had me step in it to see what 30 lbs felt like....told him no problem as I'd already been doing this over the past week smile so he said ok then do 60 lbs !!

      I'm still in an air cast with no hint of not wearing it. He told me when I'm sitting in my recliner, remove the air cast and work on rom - once again I told him I've already been doing this smile I don't have a lot of rom though - I did tear my ligaments so this is going to take s but he said.

      He wants to see me back in 2 weeks and then again 2 weeks later with another set of X-rays.

      How is your recovery doing ? Curious as we are pretty much at the same point in our recovery smile

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    • Posted

      Oh Ellen I'm so glad for you!! Yay let the recovery process begin!! I can see you are already bringing a lot of energy to it- keep up the excellent work and share your progress please! I love your enthusiasm and gratitude.😊

      As for me- I still need to wait about 2 weeks to return to surgeon-was told too early for me to wb due to severity of my injury but am hoping that in 2 weeks he will say I can begin physical therapy. Hopefully I'll be just behind you and we will both work really hard and compare notes.My pain feels more manageable/ still using ice through night and mood is better probably because I have been able to get some sleep which I am thrilled about.

      Ellen thanks so much for sharing your fabulous news!!

      I know it's going to be a long challenging road. But you have started!! Yay!!!!😊😊

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    • Posted

      Hey Marge,

      I saw you mentioned ice that you used during the night. Did the cold therapy machine work for you? It is great you are getting some sleep. That really helps everything. I can't wait till we can start to wb, I'm getting very impatient.

      Margie

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    • Posted

      Thanks Marge

      Pain wise I'm handling it quite well - the first 4 weeks were unbearable though - the past 3 weeks have been really good so I've been pushing myself quite a bit, which I'm sure is helping in this recovery. I've never been one to sit back and follow Drs orders. We own a farm so I don't have time to sit and be idle !! Plus I'm really wanting to get back on my 🐴 horse. I know I'm getting ahead of myself with that but it's something to work towards.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sister-

      I was thinking about you because I know you have your doctor appointment coming up soon and like me are anxious to hear okay already let's start the weight bearing so we can begin on the road of recovery!!!!

      I have ur surgeon appointment on my calendar- so I will b checking on you afterwards if u don't post here.

      I ordered my machine the same day you suggested itbut have not received it yet- and yes I am so so grateful to be getting some sleepsmile

      Have a good weekend.

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    • Posted

      Ellen

      That's a great goal to look foward to when doing the hard work of recovering !!! I also agree first things first-some smaller goals. Mine are ....being able to sit like a normal person without legs elevated for a meal...sleep like a normal person without leg elevated and needing ice all night... showering by myself.. being able to grocery shop by myself, taking the dog for a short walk.

      Sweet dreams

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    • Posted

      I'm about at the same place as you and ellehaydu.  Saw my dr on March 2 and he said there was some new bone growth, he was pleased with rom and little swelling.  The break in the back of fibula, which is the one they were most worried about, had not moved at all, so that is good. I go back April 10 for another X-ray and will probably be able to start bearing weight. PT is scheduled for April 11.   Mobility, getting around the house, stairs, household chores, etc, all became just a part of life about week 8. It doesn't seem to be such a struggle anymore.  We had a super nice day yesterday (Oregon) and I went outside with my knee scooter and pulled some weeds! Felt heavenly!

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    • Posted

      Hi Mary Sue

      I'm glad u sound like you are adjusting and experiencing some joy at the moment.👍🏻 I feel like I am in a better place too where the pain is not completely in charge of me but honestly still tough -most of all I'm thrilled to be finally getting some sleep. I ice all night... Still waiting to receive cold therapy machine 3/16which Margie recommended.

      I think Ellen is a little ahead of us and grabbing her recovery and pushing as hard as she can without hopefully pushing too hard - I expect you - Margie and I will follow her- I believe Margie has her next surgeon appt the 16th- I'm the 20th and you are 4/10.

      Hopefully we will each begin slow weightbearing after our appts. I have recently started walking in a pool with water up to my shoulders- which is nice.

      Ellen and Molly if u see this msg-tell us how you are doing when it's convienent.

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    • Posted

      Hi ladies smile

      A little update for you - I'm 7 1-2 weeks post surgery , I take 2 tramacet as soon as I wake up each morning which is a great help and allows me to be quite comfortable throughout the day. I had a wonderful lady in our community who donated a very nice recliner to me right after I came home from the hospital - bless her as it's been a god send. Something I forgot to ask you all was how long did you stay in hospital after your surgeries ?

      Anyways, back to update ! I've gotten really good at moving around on my crutches and partial weight bearing. 30 lbs is basically like resting the air cast (foot) on the ground and heavily testing the foot on the ground ( does that make sense ? )

      My balance is really good so I'm able to easily cook meals for hubby and myself as well as do laundry etc. Keep in mind ladies, my husbands job ( firefighter) has the best schedule... he's on 2 days shifts - 2 night shifts and 4 days off so I'm only home without him 2 days 6:30 am home by 6 pm which has been a huge help in my recovery.

      I am able to relax most of my days with my foot elevated in between all of my new achievements.

      I have been pushing myself to figure out new ways to get things ? done but I am being careful as I'm far from being healed.....

      My foot, ankle lower leg still discolours and swells quite a bit and by the end of the day you can actually see and feel where my plates are . Last surgeon appt I asked how many screws plates there were - 4 plates 19 screws - I keep forgetting to ask if I'm going to set off the alarm at security at the airport ??😲

      Hopefully you ladies are all feeling good and are advancing well

      In your recoveries

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    • Posted

      Marge

      I've been weight bearing more in the area of 30 lbs instead of 60 as it's swelling a lot by the end of the day. I've sent a reply further down with s more detailed update smile

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    • Posted

      Ellen

      It sounds like your pushing as much as you can while taking the soreness into account and listening to your body-

      Good job!!

      I did not stay in the hospital

      I don't think we will set off metal detector but please let us know when u find out..

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    • Posted

      Hi, I'm now 7 weeks in after break and have had the boot last 2 weeks where I have been able to put weight on. I've now been told I can put weight on without boot inside the house which I have just tried. It's so scary and my ankle is actually hurting so I've sat down again as has made me feel unsettled. I know I have to keep going, but how long does it take you too feel comfortable again ??

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    • Posted

      Hi Kerry,

      I had a trimalleolar comminuted pilon fracture - my surgeon is apparently brilliant but when we see him for follow up appts he's brutal for communication - so much confusion for me but I finally got copies of my surgery report . My Tib & fib shattered and it extended into my ankle joint ... my accident was Jan 16/17 with surgery on Jan 17/17. I'm supposed to be wearing my aircast boot but to be honest I only wear it when my husbands at work and I go to the barn to feed or brush my horse - Other than that I'm doing about 50% walking around without crutches - very carefully of course as it's uncomfortable.

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    • Posted

      Update:  I am one week away from my 3 month post-op appointment. I am so excited, because the plan is I will be able to start bearing weight and start physical therapy.  I have done everything dr. Said to so I am expecting a good outcome.  About two weeks ago I figured out how to get out of the house by myself, get in my car and drive. I go most places now, but still have not gone to the grocery store by myself.  My ankle swells on the outside of the leg but not on the inside. I feel wearing the boot makes the swelling worse. I only wear the boot if I'm going out of the house. I feel little pinches in the outside of the leg where the longest plate is. Hoping that is just the healing process. Feeling came back to my big toe but still numb in my second toe and that part of the foot.  I also think I feel the plates. Can you all feel your plates? So super excited for next week. I'd like to hear from ellehaydu, margie41537 and you as to how you are doing. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Mary Sue,

      It feels good to get out and about a bit more. I have been starting to wb and it is a slow process. I am still on the crutches and I walk along with both my feet. As I try to put more weight on it swells more and hurts more. I too can feel my plate and my doc wants to take it out. So next appt that surgery will be scheduled. I also love the freedom of having the boot off in the house but I'm only allowed to wb with the boot. I walk up and down my hallway in short burst as my arms tire and foot gets sore. I go on the excercise bike 10 min with cast. I'm just getting impatient to walk with out crutches. I tried one crutch but stumbled a lot and it hurt too much. Well let me know how your appt goes. Tell your doc about how you feel those plates.

      Good luck,

      Margie

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    • Posted

      Update:

      Accident was Jan 16/17 with surgery Jan 17/17 so not sure how many weeks I'm at right now. As I mentioned in my last post my surgeon is brutal at communication, I've read reviews and it's not just me , everyone mentions his poor communication skills sad if I'd been able to choose my surgeon I definitely wouldn't have chosen him... I am fwb approx 90% of the time ( when hubby is home with me , just in case anything we're to happen ) without my aircast - aircast actually hurts my tibia .

      It's spring and I've been climbing up the step ladder washing windows - I'm also now helping hubby clean horses stalls and feed during the day .... when my leg/ankle starts to hurt too much I pick up my crutches - also rest in the recliner with my leg/foot elevated periodically during the day. I have a nice hot bath with Epsom salts every evening which I find helps with the swelling.

      My surgeon told me my plates/screws will not be removed and yes, I can feel and see the plates, especially after a long busy day.

      I'm thinking I'll be returning to work ( cashier ) may 15th as that's when my benefits will run out and I really can't afford to be staying home and not bringing home a Pay check as we purchased our farm just prior to my injury.

      I think I'm at the point in my recovery that I'm accepting that my ankle is always going to give me some level of discomfort and I need to just push forward and then manage the pain the best I can.

      I hope you ladies are having a good recovery and have better luck when it comes to talking to your surgeon than I do

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. I'm impressed you are climbing a ladder! I worked on painting trim in a room but could only reach as high as I could stand. Lol. Will have to finish at a later date.

      My surgeon said "I don't know if you realize how bad this is broken". And "I'll do the best I can to fix it". That wasn't very encouraging as I lay there, helpless, with my future in this stranger's hands! I too am just going to expect some discomfort in this ankle and work through it and maybe it will be better than I think. She said the plates and screws would only be removed if they were bothering me as it's another surgery and another period of recovery.

      Best wishes to you as you return to work. I retired a year ago...not quite how I had planned to spend it.....but thankful I don't have to juggle working too.

      I appreciate hearing your updates.

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    • Posted

      Hi Margie,

      When was your surgery? At what point did you start bearing weight? Did doctor give you parameters or leave it to you based on how you were feeling? When your ankle swells, does it swell all around? Mine only swells on the outside of the leg.

      I only spoke to my surgeon the day of the surgery. Since then all my care/consultation has been with the Physicians Assistant, who was also in the surgery.

      Thanks for your reply and I'd like to continue to hear your progress.

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    • Posted

      These surgeons certainly have a way with words .... mine told me I had a very significant injury and that he needed a ct scan so he could come up with a game plan on how he was going to put it back together - at that point in the conversation I burst into tears and asked him if I was going to lose my foot 😭 He rubbed my shoulder and reassured me that wasn't happening.

      As for climbing the ladder - we purchased our dream property and moved in on Dec 3/16 we weren't fully unpacked when I broke my ankle and we have these beautiful windows overlooking the property - which I don't think the previous owner ever cleaned - so I have a lot of motivation !

      As for returning to work - it's not going to be pleasant as I'm on my feet my whole shift ( 5 hours ) but if I can't be without a paycheck after my 15 week medical benefits run out sad

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    • Posted

      My surgery was Dec 16 and nwb 13 weeks, yuck! I started wb 21/2 weeks ago. My surgeon sees me at his office. I am to put weight on it as I can tolerate same as you but stop when it gets too painful or swells too much. My foot swells on both sides of ankle a bit but slot up on top near my plate. My plate has to be removed because it is rubbing up against my bone and it will limit my mobility of my ankle. The back of my ankle was fused and I will have no side to side motion at all, just up and down. I have to keep the cast on to weight bear and I use crutches. Even just start putting your foot down and rocking it. I can put about 60% of my weight but not for long. I do laps down my hallway 25 is my top score. If you have an excersise bike it helps strengthen. Physiology will prob put you on one. I know most of the excersises as my son broke his tibia 2 years ago and I went to all his physio with him. He had a long rod put in, it took him about 8 months to get back to walking normally- but he was 21 not 52 like me- Ha ha. Have you taken any steps with your crutches yet?

      Well I'm off to do my walking the hall lol😊Then I to the hot tub!

      Cheers,

      Margie

      PS . I hope you are happier today - no tears😢

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    • Posted

      Dr gave me the go ahead today to start bearing weight in the walking boot. I'm so excited! I was a little wobbly but didnt take too long to get the hang of it. I'm to wear the boot for four more weeks then can transition into a shoe. Starting physical therapy tomorrow. I'm SO happy I've finally made it to this point! Bring on the Spring! (It was a long Winter)

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