Pain in calf of leg after cast/splint was replaced with air cast for broken ankle that did require s

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I am 61 years old and on October 4, 2016 slipped outside putting my foot down on a wet railway tie. I broke my left ankle in 3 places and had surgery that night where a plate, bolts and many screws were inserted into 3 incisions. My leg was put in a splint. Two days ago the splint was removed along with the staples and I was fitted with an air boot. Since then, I have been experiencing throbbing pain in the calf muscle of the injured leg. Pain is quite a bit worse than I have been feeling. I have been elevating it day and night and bearing no weight on it at all.

Has anyone else had this happen?

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  • Posted

    When I had an external fixator and then used the black boot my foot was locked at a right ankle for about 6 weeks straight.  I found the muscles had (understandably) recoiled and were stiff.  I wonder if your muscles aren't cramping from lack of use.  Is there a way to stretch your calf a bit?

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Mary,

      I am thinking that is what has happened. In just 2 1/2 weeks I can't believe how much muscle mass I have already lost in that leg. I will do some research on stretching exercises I can do now that I can take the boot off for short periods of time throughout the day. Thank you.

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  • Posted

    Hi Karen,

    First of all, I am so sorry about your accident.  All of us on the forum realize how life changing this can be.  I am 59 and broke my foot (bimalleolar break) while getting out of our car (my left leg got entangled in my purse strap and I did not see it until too late).  The accident was on 7/24 and I had surgery 7/27 so am just entering week 13.  I had surgery- and was in a splint for 2 weeks, then a cast for 5 (and have been in ever since).   So- to answer your question- YES- I had the pain in the calf- it went up the front of my calf- so I am not sure if yours is in the front or the back.  I was told this was normal and it eventually did go away.  It felt like it was in the bone- and it was an ache.  I sure hope you feel better- I hope they gave you pain meds as they may help you get thru the rough patches. I am assuming you  are non wt bearing (NWB) and it may be a tough time- both physically and mentally - just want you to know that this all gets better.  The last 2 weeks have been a turning point for me- I am up and walking unassisted in the boot.  I have had a lot of swelling so not sure what kind of shoes are in my future, but at this point- any shoes at all lwill be a bonus!!  Hang in there and continue to reach out as you need to.  This forum has been a lifesaver.  There is also a group on Facebook (Broken ankle/ Foot/ Leg Recovery) and they also have some helpful posts and encouragement.  BEst of luck and I really hope your discomfort soon subsides.  

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your kind words. I find myself still in disbelief that this has happened and how fast things in life can change. I am thankful for a wonderful family who have been very supportive. I must admit the last two nights have been rough. It did not matter what I did, I could find no relief from the back calf pain which seemed at times unbearable. I have a high pain tolerance which made it even scarier. I haven't mentioned previously that I also cracked a couple of ribs as I fell back after the fall. I heard a crack, looked down at my floppy foot and fell back. So feeling lots of different kinds of pain. But overall, I am proud of how well I have handled this accident. I have laughed at myself and cried too. I have a prescription for morphine which I have used as needed. An ice pack has become my new BFF. At the moment, no pain in calf and mild pain in back so I am hoping for a good sleep tonight. Fingers crossed.

      It sounds like you are on a great path to movement and normalcy. No more hopping or rolling for you. Congratulations!!

      Best of luck to you as you continue to work on your recovery and rehabilitation.

      Thank you again.

      Karen

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    • Posted

      Hello. I am just like you in that I have also hurt my ribs in the process as well! My ribs were really sore for a while there and I needed really great pain relief for those more than my ankle at one point. So I totally feel your pain! 

      I did mine on 15th September and had surgery on the 20th so was lucky it was only five days after. I am now hopefully 8 days away from getting my cast off. I hope then I will be able to partially weight bear too but not counting on it. I think I would rather prepare myself for being told I can't weight bear so that I am ready for it.

      Wishing you the very best of luck for peaceful sleeping and minimal pain!

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    • Posted

      Hello,

      Although I hate to think of others suffering as I am, it is comforting too to know I am not alone. Yes, my ribs hurt far worse than my ankle for the first two weeks. Then that seemed to get better, the split came off, air cast went on and new ankle calf pain started. Today the dressings came off the three incisions and they are healing. So that is good. So great to feel air on my leg.

      I don't see the surgeon for another month. So will continue resting and trying to figure out new ways to get things done. I have mastered the walker, wheelchair.....next is knee walker.

      I am trying to just go day by day and let my body be the guide. I am scared to even think of putting weight on my ankle.......I was told 3 months......so a ways to go.

      Sending you healing vibes. Thank you for the visit.

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  • Posted

    Hi Karen

    I have had ankle and knee replaced and found major release with my ice pack which I use every hour. Then Codeine but with a laxative to stop constipation.

    These operations are always more painful than they tell you and take much longer than think to become pain free.

    You should be free of pain and swelling in a year or two and that's the truth.

    Regard

    Mr Ankle

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    • Posted

      I am beginning to realize it is going to be a long journey fraught with ups and downs. Taking it day by day and working on staying positive and hopeful. I have a beautiful 3 year old granddaughter who is my biggest incentive! Thank you.

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  • Posted

    Hi. Have you checked with a dr to see if you have developed a blood clot?
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    • Posted

      Hi...

      No, I haven't but that did enter my mind for sure. There is no swelling, hot spot or redness. Today no pain so really hoping that it was severe muscle spasms due to having the leg totally immobilized for over two weeks. I can take the boot off while I am sitting and am able to wiggle 3 of my toes and my ankle up and down a tiny bit (as per surgeons instructions). Hopefully it has started to loosen up the calf muscle.

      Thank you for your comment.

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  • Posted

    Hi there I had an ankle fusion 12 weeks ago with lots of metalwork inserted in my leg.  I had the plaster removed on Thursday and replaced with an airboot.  I immediately suffered pain having been pain free for several weeks.  I think it's to do with the expansion of the leg after constriction.  Check that you are managing the air boot effectively and that it's no too tight.  I was doing it wrong and once I got it right my pain improved.  I a man allowed to remove my boot and rest my leg elevated. I find it very useful. If you are allowed to do that it may help you.  I am also using Bio oil to massage my leg that it helpful too.  Have just had my very first short walk outside and was nearly crushed by a runaway pallet outside our local shop.  

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    • Posted

      Keep using the packet of frozen peas to get the swelling down. Is so important to improve blood circulation in the ankle. Regards Mr Ankle
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    • Posted

      Good morning,

      I am beginning to think the same as you. It surprised me that my pain had increased substantially when the cast came off. It made me long for that heavy, cumbersome thing. I wish I had been better prepared but grateful for this forum to help me with the many questions and unknowns.

      I bet it felt so good to get out for a little walk but oh you must have been terrified when the pallet was coming directly towards you. Glad you are safe.

      I will check out the Bio Oil. I have so many stretch marks from all the swelling and 3 lovely scars.

      Have a good day and stay safe. Thank you.

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    • Posted

      Hi

      Please massage the calf with bio oil and then place ice pack on calf every 2 or 3 hrs.

      Regards

      Mr Anklef

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