Puffiness around ankle hardware

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Anyone experiencing ring of puffiness around ankle post ORIF for ankle fracture? I am told it is a bursa sac and us caused by hardware irritating tendons or rubbing the skin? Would appreciate any tips on what may help with this

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I am at 8 weeks recovery and I get something similar. A very tight, weird feeling and swelling but just where you said, like a band around. My foot doesn't swell but gets red. This happens only sometimes and it's really worrying me. My dr appt is next week and I don't feel like it's a big enough issue to make an emergency appointment for! But I will be watching this post to see if anyone has info! How many weeks past surgery are you?

    Jenn

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    • Posted

      Hi Jenn. I am 6 months post op ORIF from dislocation and tib/fib fractures. From everything I have read (and I have read a lot) this bursa sac is pretty common with people who have prominent, painful hardware. It is caused by the offending piece of hardware rubbing on a tendon or the inner layer of skin. Unfortunately, the only solution is to remove the offender. I have scheduled an appt in 3 months to have the biggest screw in my ankle removed. It is holding me back from complete recovery
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  • Posted

    Hi Lisa, I am 10 and a half weeks post surgery. I CAN walk up to a mile but my ankle swells rapidly and I also experience this tight band feeling and swelling mostly exactly around the ankle. Before I started walking more the swelling appeared to be distributed more evenly. I, too, wonder whether this current tight band like swelling is to do with some of the screws in my ankle. Two (the biggest) screws are due to be removed in 10 days time. I hope that this will help. But will it?
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    • Posted

      I have read numerous articles and a few trial studies about hardware removal and it's benefits/problems. It appears to me that most people see an improvement after the offending piece of hardware is removed. I have requested that one of my screws be removed as soon as it is safe to do so. I am on a blood thinner until June 25, then I will need to wait a couple of months after that. I am praying it will make all the difference for me, as this particular screw is keeping me from getting back to normal. I can't wear socks or shoes that rub it and it hurts 24/7. I am no doctor, but I personally think you will be happy you had them removed. It is my guess it will give you relief.

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  • Posted

    I’m now 5 months postop. Have plate and screws on one side and screws on the other.  Have the swelling at the end of a 12 hour shift ,but it’s gone by morning. I can say that the last couple of weeks the swelling has been significantly less.  I hardly noticed that it has improved,but things are finally almost normal again.

    My orthopedic surgeon says not removing and hardware unless one of the screws start backing out, which is rare. I really don’t have any desire to mess with it any further. I’m hopefully done with all of it.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the positive reply! I am nervous about returning to 12 hr shifts next week. I stopped taking pain meds several months ago and I hope I can get through work with Tylenol. As soon as I can get off the anticoagulant I can start taking ibuprofen, which I believe will help a lot with the swelling. Anxious to see how I fare after my first shift.
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    • Posted

      I highly recommend support stockings. Prepare yourself- your lower leg and ankle will be quite swollen after your first several shifts. Go home and take a couple extra strength tylenol, elevate and ice that ankle as soon as you do. By morning it should be about back to normal. You’ll find yourself limping out to your car after work. Know that this is normal. I called the dr and he said it could happen for months. It’s lots better now but just be prepared for that. I wasn’t.
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    • Posted

      I am happy to say that I had 2 large screws removed on Wednesday and all of my nerve pain is gone. I am fairly certain that when the post op swelling goes down that puffy sac won't reappear.

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