Pain with Walking Boot - 8 days post op

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Hello all,

I broke my ankle on April 26th. Because it was a weekend, I spent 4 days in a splint wrapped by the ER before I could get an ortho appointment. In the ER they told me it was a clean break in my fibula, and that I would probably just need a cast. 

On May 1st, they took a look at the break and determined that because of some l wide spacing, I would need surgery. 

I went in on May 2nd for ORIF surgery and had 1 plate and 5 screws put in (one screw through the fracture and the others stabalizing). They put me back in a splint, and said they would see me in two weeks to remove stitches  (my post op appointment is the 15th). 

After 3 days, I wasn’t really in any pain and was able to stop the meds. Only experienced pain when getting up (due to inflammation). I did however have to call today (day 8) because my splint starting rubbing on my ankle giving me a blister. 

They were able to see me today, did an X-ray and said because my foot was able to get to neutral (?) they were able to put me in my walking boot early - Still no weight.  And still have stitches. They wrapped me with an ace bandage and booted me up. 

I’m noticing now I’m actually having pain. I’m feeling a lot of burning near incision site, and my toes have been feeling tingly. They are not miscolored, so I don’t think it’s a tightness issue? I have been keeping it elevating and iced. I just feel as though I’m going backwards having felt okay - and now experiencing pain with the boot. Has anyone else experienced this / is this normal?

Is it just my ankle adjusting to boot life?

I really didn’t want to have to go back to pain meds but it looks like I will need to in order to sleep tonight. 

Thanks!

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Could be nerve damage signs are numbness,burning tingling. One of complications. Also could be just the boot. Can you remove and see if you get your feeling back. Pain meds don't bother me , but some people don't like taking them for whatever reason. If I was in pain I would use them till it subsides. I would call your doc and tell him what's up.

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    • Posted

      I ended up loosening it and not feeling the tinglies anymore, I think it may have just been a little too tight. 
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  • Posted

    Oh yes Izzi... you will feel like you take a baby step forward and then 3 steps back for a time. Just keep taking your meds and doing what your doing and it will subside. Some times things need adjusting, too. So if it continues just call and have them look at it. 

    I had to have my second cast re done due to pain. Come to find out it was on wrong! 

    Best of luck,

    Rose

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    • Posted

      Yes it definitely needed some adjusting. I woke up at 3 am and couldn’t take it anymore, I loosened the boot up and that seemed to atleast subside the toe tingles. The burning at the incision site is still there however I’m guessing that is somewhat normal. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Izzy,

    I broke my ankle on March 26th  had ORIF surgery on April 6th, that included two plate, screws and a tightrope fixation. I too didn’t get a cast but got a cam boot which I took off the moment it started hurting (as they are heavy and tight) and only wear it if I leave the house. I was on meds for about two weeks then started taking OTC meds. I also purchased a different light weight orthopedic boot on Amazon (among other things related to this injury) to wear around the house when  I walk about (but not full weight) in the meantime I’m elevating and utilizing an ice therapy machine. I don’t see my orthopedist until May 29th and am hoping they put me in PT and will let me walk...ok, ok I’m not gonna lie I’ve already purchased an Air cam boot (it won’t be here for another week, can you tell I’m impatient). Anyhow, it’s my understanding that it takes 6 weeks for your bones to heal  (I’m at 5 weeks). I don’t feel a lot of pain at this point but I still take otc meds, elevate and ice due to the swelling ....All I can say is it does get better with time and time (unfortunately) takes time. Good Luck and remember this is temporary (at least this is what I tell myself smile

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    • Posted

      Do you know if it’s 6 weeks from the time the break occurs, or 6 weeks after surgery?

      I’ve been trying to figure that out haha

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    • Posted

      Also how do you like the ice therapy machine? That is something I was looking into.
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    • Posted

      The orthopedist said 6 weeks from day of surgery and everything I’ve read said at least 6 weeks including the majority of the discussions on this forum. I’m sure other factors on healing include age, health history, fitness level, severity of injury, how well each individual adheres to doctors orders, etc. The ice therapy unit is a godsend for me as it alleviates the pain and swelling (I utilize it while I elevate) throughout the day and especially after I’ve done some small type of chore around house or if I went shopping for a couple of hours (as that is all I can take).  I honestly can’t see a orthopedist telling you it’s ok for you to walk much less weight bear on a ankle that needs to mend after a break of any kind in less than 6 weeks but I am no doctor. I have found that you really need to be your own advocate by  listening  to your body and reading up on everything specific to your circumstances ( I didn’t even know I had a “tightrope fixation” until somebody on this forum mentioned this procedure and I knew I had something else done but it wasn’t explained to me by the PA I saw...for that I am grateful to this forum and it explained why I didn’t get a cast like so many others did after having similar ORIF surgery involving plates and screws. I took heart in reading that those who have a tightrope fixation seem to recover  a little quicker but also realized that the bones still needed to mend and I better not push it so much. 
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    • Posted

      I definitely am going to look into the ice therapy, thank you. 

      Yeah, I was shocked when the Dr. said I would start weight bearing on the 15th, being only 2 weeks post op. But I am going to take it slow and try to stay in tune with my body. 

      I am 26, healthy, but I am slightly overweight. I am afraid putting too much weight onto the ankle will harm rather than help. 

      It’s such an interesting experience. This is my first broken bone and I never expected it to feel the way it does. I also did not realize the impact it would have on my mental health. It is so depressing/frustrating to not be able to do things on your own. 

      I’m hoping the next few weeks go quickly!!

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    • Posted

      You have (in my mind) the most important thing on your side and that is your age.  I believe we all struggle with depression and frustration...I keep telling myself this is temporary and have made an effort to control my food intake as I started noticing  the weight packing on, due to my age, lack of movement and shear boredom, not to mention it’s the one thing I actually do have control over (which has helped with the depression too!)  In some ways it’s gone by quickly and other days it’s like watching paint dry...happy healing and gives us updates on your progress.
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  • Posted

    Hi lizzue,  I am 2 weeks post up.  Broke my posterior ankle and upper tibia leg.  Had 2 splints thus far and now I'm a cast for three weeks with no weight bearing.  As far as meds go they had me on percaset and OxyContin  but neither worked well and actually made me feel kinda out of control and spun me into a panic attack.  So I had a visit with my family dr and they out me on gabapenten for nerve pain and Ativan for at nighybto sleep,  I am a completely different person now.  I'm getting sleep and I'm not in pain at all . No tingles and sharp burning stabs.  This medicine is wonderful.  This is just my experience but I needed a medicine to aggress the right type of pain and finally found it.  Only took 2 weeks to find it though.  This is definetly a rough road!! 

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    • Posted

      That’s exactly what I feel, sharp pains and burning near incision. They put me on tremadol and oxycodone. I don’t mind the tremadol but the oxy makes me incredibly sick/vomiting.  Maybe I need a switch. 
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