Please, I need feedback!... had ORIF- what is normal when you are supposed to start FWB?

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Almost 9 weeks post-op, was told to wean off of crutches and boot early last week and to start FWB (without boot at home. Wear boot to go out and to use one crutch, yeah right!) . OMG, the pain when I step down, every time! I expected it to be uncomfortable but not so painful! I thought I had a high tolerance for pain! Every morning I wake up thinking today there will be less pain, but no, I step down out of bed and I am in tears, same pain level, no improvement. I go to PT and excercise my ankle daily. I don't return to PT till mid next week. I will discuss this with PT, but when I mentioned it before, he said it would improve as I continue to put weight on it. I guess my question is, is this normal to feel this much pain? Shouldn't I be feeling less each day??? Any insight is greatly appreciated because I am feeling really defeated at this point. Thank you!

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  • Posted

    Hi

    I’m 9 weeks post op too. I was advised to WB no boot now or cast, saw my doctor as I couldn’t manage the pain on Zapain 3-4 times a day to enable me to get about. Some days I try walking without taking pain killers and it’s so painful! Doctor told me to be kinder to myself and give it time - difficult 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your response, validation and understanding Dawn! Sounds like we are on the same time frame!I think I may ask for meds because the ibuprofen isn't cutting it and if it hurts, I will be less inclined to walk on it. My doc told me I should be walking in 4 weeks or less and should be going back to work. I guess with him saying that I put extreme pressure on myself. If you need to vent about this process, please feel free to contact me!

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  • Posted

    Dear Andrea I speak as someone who had a revision of my five year old total ankle replacement this year. This involved the removal of the old prosthesis that was incorrectly inserted with a very different one. Also last year a revision of a twenty year old hip prosthesis.

    I honestly think that you should continue to use both crutches until you are walking strongly and with a good gait. You will just know when you can walk with less dependence on them. Doing it to early is IMO a major mistake as your body needs to learn how to walk and walking badly is very bad for your back.

    Good luck, Richard

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    • Posted

      Thank you Richard for your reply and advice. Sounds like you had your share of experience with healing and recovering from surgeries! I think advice from experienced patients like you is sometines better than it coming from the doc. Not everyone is the same or "textbook". My doc stated that he expects me walking in 4 weeks or less, so I totally put pressure on myself. I will definitely take your advice and listen to my body and go at the pace my body is telling me to work at. I guess it is the validation from someone like you is what I needed to hear, that it does improve. Best of luck on your jouney and thanks again for your reply!

      Andrea

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    • Posted

      Dear Angascale thank you for your reply. Perhaps I should say that I'm 77 but not many would think it from how active I am and how I have pushed through my hip and ankle surgeries, indeed most would not know from seeing me walking that I have had them thankfully.

      I am surprised when I read that a doctor or a physio has requested a patient to just use one crutch or stick or suddenly do without. It is almost as if they are on a bonus scheme.

      With my left hip surgery on my own judgement probably because I normally tend to push too hard stopped using my crutches a bit too soon. I quickly realized that I was making closer progress so with a slightly dented ego picked up both crutches again.

      Within a week my walking was far stronger, my gait had greatly improved and I realized that I no longer needed them. That was a year ago and when in February this year I had to have my ankle on the other side replaced my hip from last year had to take all my weight for several months and did me proud l.

      Hope your recovery goes from strength and please remember that we are all so different in many ways so do what is best for you and just listen to your body. Good luck. Richard

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    • Posted

      Oops, my apologies for getting your name incorrect Angpascale. Cheers Richard
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  • Posted

    Hi yes,

    I'm at very similar stage as yourself, although I was 78 days in cast I never used the air boot as I just wanted to get on with recovery. I had fractured ankle with ORIF and screws into few other bones fractured in foot.

    Firstly I would use both crutches always, secondly and unfortunately there is no easy or less painless way of progressing through this phase, you have to get your foot down and you have to use, simple as that

    The longer you put this phase off the worse it will be.

    You have to except that the pain is never going away until you get through this phase, it will get easier.

    Pain relief and I've and elevation is only way to recover.

    Once you have been told to fwb, it means your bones are structurally sound,the pain is from all the swelling and all the muscles and all the tendons that hadn't been used and need stretched and so on.

    Use your crutches to control how much weight you put down through your foot, build it up by adding more weight every day.

    Good luck sufferer, your not alone, I hope this slight insight helps.

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    • Posted

      Hello! Thank you for clarifying that this is a phase (doesn't happen overnight) and this is normal. This is what I needed to hear from someone who has gone/going through this. PT and doc made it sound like in a couple of days I would be up and going. The first day of FWB at PT he took my boot off took away my crutches and asked me to stand on my injured foot and lift the other. If I could have kicked him in the teeth, I would. He then wanted me to walk with one crutch without the boot. I literally couldn't move. The brain was saying go, but the foot wouldn't move because of the pain. At home I have to practice the above. I have been very diligent practicing but getting very discouraged because I feel like I am not progressing as fast as I should. I appreciate your insight, it is very encouraging and helpful! Good luck with your recover as well!

      Best,

      Andrea

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  • Posted

    I had surgery on my ankle 1 plate with screws and on the other side 1 big screw, I had my cast of a week ago and got told I can weight bare, OMG the pain is agonising I can’t even stand on my ankle or walk I’m so frustrated because I hear that some people can walk straight away, I’m finding this to painful to even weight bare let alone walk. 
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    • Posted

      I heard the same thing, people being told they could put Full weight bearing and they would pretty much do it with no problem....or so they say! Lol! It is soooo frustrating and discouraging! I am glad but not glad, you feel as terrible with the pain as I do. So it sounds like you are in the same boat as me. It was nice and helpful, mentally, to read the other responses of people who didn't rehab that quickly and to know it will take time, it is an avoidable phase and that is OK and will get better. So, I think we both need to keep that in mind to keep our sanity. Lol

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  • Posted

    Lol I know it’s so frustrating you feel like your the only one who’s like this 🤦🏻??? Like me I’m glad but not for you that we’re both like this I’m sure we will both get thru it, but so upsetting when you think you can walk after but you can’t because the pain is unbearable. My partner keeps saying just walk yeah it’s easy for you to say that but you don’t feel this pain 😔

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    • Posted

      I honestly believe that unless you had had a leg, foot, ankle injury/ surgery, you truely can't understand what we are going through. People think we are going to bounce back. I am a dental hygienist, I am on my feet, up and down all day at work. My boss thinks I will be able to go back to working my full time schedule with no problem. I need the hours, but geeze not so sure based on how I feel this week that in 3 weeks I will be able to do that! They just don't get it! 😬

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    • Posted

      I don’t think no one understands unless it’s happened to them. I’ve tried again today to walk with boot on but still to painful doesn’t feel any better either 😟 my boss keeps ringing me saying can I give her a time scale how am I supposed to do that I don’t know when I’m going to be able to walk it’s really getting me down now my foot is so stiff and I’m doing some physio at home but still no better. Hopefully we’ll both be walking soon and this pain goes 🤞🏻

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    • Posted

      Do you have a pool you can get into? Apparently it does wonders for your physical therapy and you are able to walk like a normal person! I definitely recommend trying in. Fortunately we got a pool this spring and I just started getting into it this week. It makes doing those excercises way easier!
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    • Posted

      Didn’t think of that 👍 yeah we have my kids pool in garden which you can stand in, I will give it ago thanks for the advice will let you know how I go. 

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