Post ankle surgery

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I just have a question. I broke both my tibia and fibula and dislocated my ankle and tore some ligaments. I now have a plate and pins to hold my ankle together. At 6 weeks I was told i could start walking. It's been 2 weeks since I started walking and it hurts so bad. The swelling is outrageous. I am just so depressed and tired of constant pain. Is there anything I can do to ease it up? I switch between the boot and a stretchy pair of tennis shoes. How long before I can walk without swelling or pain??: Help!

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  • Posted

    I had ORIF ankle surgery on Oct 31 with a plate and 7 screws. I have been walking with a brace since Dec 10, gradually increasing my activity. I'm now at about 15,000 steps per day and doing pretty good. I would recommend still elevating your ankle when you are resting, I like to sleep with my ankle elevated still. Do you use a brace when you walk?

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  • Posted

    Was anything done to correct your torn ligaments?

    I broke my ankle in 3 places, broke my fibula just below my knee and ruptured the ligaments in my ankle in January of 2018. I had ORIF the following night to pin and plate my ankle back together however nothing was done with my ruptured ligaments. Not 100% sure if they were left untouched due to insurance protocols or if my first surgeon wasn't comfortable correcting them. 8 weeks after my surgery I started physical therapy to get my ankle moving again and in hopes that would correct the ligament issue because even though my breaks were pinned and plated my foot no longer sat squarely in my ankle joint due to the ligament damage. After 2 months of PT I was still in pain. I ended up having to see a foot and ankle specialist who did a second surgery to correct the ligament damage. The specialist has told me that I will never completely get rid of the pain, but it will take up to 9 months post op to know what my new normal will be.

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  • Posted

    HI THERE, firstly, sorry for your pain, I have been putting up with my condition for what will be 2 years in Feb, so i certainly know how you feel, life changing injuries take a huge toll not just on the physical but on the mental aspect of your health to .its wise to get all the support you can because it takes much much longer than everybody close to you realise, in Feb of 2017 they gave me 18 month recovery but then in August 17 they increased it to 24 month and then in Oct 18 they stuck on another 12 months on. I broke my Fibia and tibia and also more seriously shattered my ankle which happened to be an open fracture.

    you need to be extremely patient with yourself and others, push through the pain when you can , elevation has been my remedy for comfort, dont over do the pain killers, use ice, dont miss any Pt sessions and get into an ankle class an a weekly if poss. record your progress so that you can clearly see the difference over the months, things do improve but very very slowly, patience patience patience is the key to this, if you can seek mind therapy in the meantime that really really helps. take care D

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  • Posted


    I had my ORIF on August 16, 2018. I had a trimalleolar fracture.

    I'm limping and my range of motion is still a bit stiff. At night - the pain can be quite unbearable.

    I was told that swelling would last for at least a year.

    And after my 10 hour work day - even though I'm behind a desk - I come home with swollen ankle.

    Tomorrow , I'm being fitted for a Dynasplint contraption. It is to help the stiffness I have that is limiting my range of motion.

    I was told to walk and work through the pain. That the more I managed to walk and stretch those stubborn ligaments/muscles - the more likely the pain would eventually go away.

    But Christi - I completely understand how you are feeling.


    The doctor should have told you if you need to wear the boot or not.

    I am out of the boot. I wear an aircast mini brace when I'm out in public.

    But I don't wear it at home anymore. I did buy some compression socks.

    I limp and so he told me I could use a cane, if it made me feel better. My limping and strange gait has caused the worst knee pain! As well as lower back pain. I was told that was "normal". And once I was walking "normally" - those issues should go away.

    Due to swelling - NONE of my shoes fit me! One foot is larger than the other. Therefore, the only footwear I bothered to purchase were sandals.

    I got some comfortable but inexpensive flip flops at Walmart - and then some black slides from JCPenney for work.

    I refuse to buy any shoes until my swelling is finally gone. I gave away all of my heels. To see them in my closet only made me angry.

    What has your orthopedic doctor told you about your progress?


    ps. Btw, drugs help too. Let's be honest.

    My doctor knows that I'm pretty level-headed about the medication. Therefore, he does prescribe painkiller (for bad pain), muscle relaxer and Duexis (it's ibuprofen and famotidine together).

    Good Luck!! (sorry for long answer)

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    • Posted

      ps. As others have said, ICE ICE ICE...and elevate your foot. Are you doing PT THERAPY? Those exercises do help. I would leave PT feeling great; and then that evening I would be cursing their names!! But it's a necessary evil to for our healing.

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  • Posted

    May I ask how the injury occurred? The best way to address swelling is to elevate the affected leg. You could do this when you're reading or watching television. This way you can hold your leg in the elevated position without feeling too uncomfortable. Could you also tell us if there's constant pain, or if pain appears whenever you try to bear weight? Do you feel pain even after walking or standing?

    You could also consult a physiotherapist. I'm sorry about the pain. Was icing recommended for the swelling? Icing is also extremely effective. I have been dealing with chronic stress reaction above my medial malleolus, and there's only so much doctors and physios can do. I recommend reading more about this injury, so that you can make better sense of your pain. I have been reading Essentials of Athletic Injury Management, and it has been quite helpful. Sure, it is not a quick fix, but understanding the nature of your pain and being able to prevent pain are very important. Please note that I am not endorsing this book. Just sharing what I found useful. Please also note when your pain is most severe, and also note the kind of activities that seem to trigger pain. A physio would love such info, and would be better able to address your situation.

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