Question about weight bearing on fused ankle

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I had a ankle fusion on 8-18-2017. 5 screws. Ankle was severely didlocated, joint was obliterated "ortho surgeon's words" ruptured legements and tendons on lateral side of rt. Foot, same one as surgury. Car accident causing injuries was back in March. So I went a good while on dislocated ankle. Well I've been on crutches, but I'm stubborn . I'm also home with my 4yr old son everyday. So I need my hands. For the first month I didn't put any weight, then as I got more frustrated with crutches I began bearing weight in my cast. I have to take care of us all day, do laundry , bath, etc.. I never get my cast wet. I'm still in a cast. I've been having a lot of pain. Dr. Said no weight bearing. But I need my hands sometimes. Can't carry plates of food on crutches or drinks. So I've been walking on my cast. Is itg possible to mess up what the doctors done? Loosen screws? Worse case scenario. I have incisions on both sides of my ankle , I saw xrays, screws go every which way. I've been in cast since 8-18-2017. Any insight besides, "stay off it".?? I drink a lot of milk hoping to heal faster. I'm aware I may lose some range of motion. I'm ok with that. But on the inside, what dangers does early weight bearing cause?

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Italiano,  sorry to hear about your injuries, it sounds quite traumatic, as well as the shock of a car crash.  I'm 9 weeks post ankle fusion (osteoarthritis rather than an accident) and I'm still non-weight bearing but in an air boot.  I bought an "Iwalk" ahead of time as I knew when the op would be and its the best thing ever. Have a look online to see for yourself.  I hardly use my crutches at all now because this lets me walk around with my hands free, I can pick things up off the floor, carry stuff and get up and down stairs.

    Even if you decide not to get one, please keep the weight off your foot, you could be heading for more pain and surgery later on in life which could have been avoided - with a four year old I'm guessing you're still quite young.

    There are other gadgets out there with wheels instead of the Iwalk but you cant go upstairs etc.

    All the best,

    Andy

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  • Posted

    Hi, I am 4 weeks post op of dislocation 1 plate and 13 screws. As far as I am aware weight bearing too soon can delay the healing process and maybe a non union. Have you spoken to your doctor or surgeon. He could give you an X-ray see how it is holding up? H 
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  • Posted

    I can understand what you are having to cope with as I had total ankle surgery five years ago and found coping with non weight bearing very difficult.

    The ankle now needs revision and so I have to go through it all over again but not being a primary it will be more difficult so this is my solution.

    My solution was to buy an iwalk 2.0 crutch. It's a rather special crutch that you strap on and basically kneed on and it allows you to walk and stank but have the use if both hands.

    I've been practicing ahead of my surgery and can walk up to half a mile in one go if I push myself. It's fantastic to be able to work as normal around the house.

    Go to Amazon.com and search for iwalk 2.00 and read the reviews and watch the videos from real users. Some people cannot get on with it but if you can then it will really help you in your recovery. Ask me whatever you want to know.

    Cheers Richard

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    • Posted

      They posted it at last wink 

      I second the offer to help answer anyone's iWalk 2.0 questions. I credit mine with keeping my quad/hamstring/etc on the injured leg toned so that the atrophy was limited to below the knee. Since I was iWalking everywhere, the rest of me did not lose any conditioning either. As a direct result of that I was able to very speedily get to FWB in the boot (less than 48 hours from NWB to FWB (no aids)). 

      I was slower to get up to speed vs the videos showing the "naturals", but I got there through persistence. I think having the chance to practice in advance of surgery is the very best way, but you can also learn in it after an injury as well (if you are like me, you will just be very very cautious of the risk of falling... so take it nice and slow and don't worry if you don't catch on as quickly as some do).

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    • Posted

      Dear Carolyn

      I agree with you that the iwalk 2.0 Kelps to keep one's muscles in good shape whilst NWB

      Cheers Richard

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  • Posted

    Hi, I'm sorry to hear you've been having so much trouble! I had an ankle fusion Jan 2017 and did 4 weeks completely non WB, then 4 wks partial WB and 4 weeks full WB, all in the cast.  There seem to be different schools of thought and obviously each person is different according to their initial injury.  I was told they encourage some WB from 4 wks + to encourage fusion.  However if your doc said no WB and also if you're having pain then you should probably avoid WB until your doctor gives you the OK.  Good luck!

     

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  • Posted

    I can second Penguin99's recommendation about the iWalk 2.0... I actually thought it might be a perfect solution for the you if you fit the physical requirements (there is a min-max height as well as max weight and max thigh circumference). I loved mine... I could do everything I needed around the house, including climb stairs and carry items in my hands. It also enabled me to go out for walks. Best of all, it ensures you stay fully NWB.

    Is your cast a walking cast? There is a difference between one designed for walking and non-walking. Also, if you want to get cleared for weight bearing ahead of the original timelines given to you I would urge you to check in with your doctor. I have a completely different ankle injury (Stable Weber A fracture, no surgery) and was able to get my original 6 weeks of NWB reduced to 4 weeks by my doctor (based on my progress).

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    • Posted

      Dear Caroline

      My posting about the iwalk2.00 of two or more hours ago seems to have been referred to the moderator for some strange reason so if it never makes it to the list I will just say this I bought mine some months ago when I knew that my five year old TAR was failing and needed to be revised.   I was really dreading another period of crutches and not being independent and came across this amazing invention.

      If anyone is interested go to Amazon and put in iwalk 2.00     (Ah I suddenly realize why my post has not made it as I put in the full Amazon web address!)   look at all the reviews and videos from actual users.    I have been able to walk half a mile at a time OK on pavements and around the house it really does give complete hands free independence but it is not for everyone.   Whilst not actually looking forward to my surgery I feel so much more positive as I know that I can cope on my own OK.

      If you are very overweight, very large, have a bad sense of balance (I actually failed their balance test! so do not take too much notice of it) and lack confidence or are very weak and fragile it is not likely to be for you.

      Cheers

      Richard

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    • Posted

      I had the same thing happen to a post of mine that had a website in it.... it posted a day or two later.

      As for the iWalk, I was also pretty wobbly at first, but I didn't give up. It took me a while to stop holding the handle and several days of indoor practice before I ventured outside. Outside on uneven terrain (like grass, gentle forest path) I added a hiking stick to my free hand so that I could have two points of contact with the ground at all time when traversing rough patches. I even figured out how to up a steep- ish hill which was problematic for me (sideways, leading with the iWalk leg, good leg in the middle, hiking pole at the lowest level smile ).

      I got mine on kijiji, so got it fast and also at a discount which was helpful... might be an option if someone is selling one that lives close by.

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  • Posted

    I had a walker with a seat which was handy to sit plates of food on and carry my laundry. I could also sit on it and push with my good leg when I had a hot cup of coffee.
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    • Posted

      I have one also. I liked to use the walker at home instead of regular crutches. I also used it as a knee scooter (I put a folded up small blanket on the seat for extra cushioning and then I hopped along. The height isn't quite as good as a real knee scooter, but I loved that it could to double duty. It was also awesome when I was transitioning from NWB to FWB in the boot.

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