Recovery after ORIF ANKLE

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Hey,

I am currently 3 weeks post op from ORIF on my ankle after a fall. 

I have had a plate and screws fitted, and they won’t be coming out!

Can anyone give my ideas of the time line for recovery?

I am in a cast now and NWB

Back to see the fracture clinic in 3.5 weeks.. I am hoping for the cast off and a walking boot

I just want to weight bare. I am finding everything so difficult. 

What about driving?! 

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Everything depends on the x-rays of your ankle. Most like you will be in a walking boot but still nwb . Whatever you do don’t try to do much at all to cause a set back...driving included. Ankle injury takes along time anyway so rest and allow ankle to heal . 
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    • Posted

      Hi, my 2 week follow up x ray showed everything was going in the right direction. 

      Wonder how long I will be NWB in a walking boot? I will listen to my body. 

      I had emergency back surgery 10 months ago and I did too much too soon, so I won’t be making the same mistake 

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  • Posted

    Your doctor should tell you when it’s time to start wb..  if he hasn’t told you yet go start wb then it’s to soon. Depending on your injury your looking at another 4 weeks.
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  • Posted

    I was equally as ready to start weight-bearing but the doctor routinely reminded me that bones take a minimum of 6 weeks to heal. There's nothing you can do to speed that up - it's just how bones work. Like Kenneth said, if you get into a boot, you'll probably be non-weight bearing but you can take the boot off to sleep in and shower. It all depends on the kind of break you had the way it was put back together again.

    The boot takes some getting used to especially if you're NWB - it's bulkier and heavier than the fiberglass cast you're currently in. Aside from the fact that I could finally shower without having to wear a cast protector, there wasn't much advantage to getting the boot. 

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  • Posted

    Oh! And in regards to driving you should check the DMV rules in your state. I was told in the state of California that it's illegal to drive with any kind of cast on your leg (regardless of left or right side). Haven't been able to find any documentation on it but there's no way I would have been able to drive in the cast OR boot. Whilst in the cast you can't put any weight on your foot. And the boot is big and bulky, good luck moving that between brake and accelerator, especially in traffic. 

    sad 

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    • Posted

      Thanks. 

      I wouldn’t even attempt to drive, I was just wondering how long it’s generally took others

      I will take my doctor orders and I won’t wb until told too. 

      Was interested to see how long it took others to recover

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    • Posted

      I hear you! I live in CA and not being able to drive is equally as torturous as not being able to walk. Hang in there smile 
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  • Posted

    I'm on the tail end of this injury myself. I dislocated and broke my ankle June 5th, had ORIF for a tri-malleor fracture, 11 screws and a plate on June 11th. I was in a fiberglass cast for two weeks, then moved to a walking boot NWB for six weeks. The boot was an amazing change. I hated it at first, but then someone on this board pointed out that as long as you were sitting and safe there was no reason to be in it, so my ankle was out and free most of the time I was laying around in my house. Also sleeping/showering. I only wore the boot if I was moving around (on crutches or on my knee scooter), or if I was leaving the house. 

    As everyone said, you'll likely still be NWB even in the boot for at least 6 weeks post surgery. Mine ended up being 7 because my doctor was on vacation for my 6th week. At the 7 week post surgery mark, I was given the go-ahead to WB in the boot as I was able (he suggested going 50-75-100, but not with timeframes, just as I was able) and it took about four weeks to be fully WBing in the boot without crutches for a full day at work.

    Six weeks after the go-ahead for WBing, I had my final follow up: and I was cleared for as much WBing as my ankle will allow outside the boot. Almost two weeks out and I'm still walking with a slight limp, but I'm able to wear normal shoes and get around most days without a brace. Still taking advil, but off heavyduty pain meds. 

    Just listen to your body, and realize it's a long haul. I remember being so frustrated I cried when I was in the middle of the NWB time. I felt useless and dependent and frustrated and depressed. I hated having to have someone wait on me. I hated laying around all the time. I hated how hard everything was. I will say two months later and it's almost hard to remember how bad it was in the middle. The only way out is through and you'll be on this end before you know it! I found writing letters to people I hadn't talked to in a while really helped break up the monotony of netflix bingewatching. 

    Good luck!! 

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    • Posted

      Oh, also! Re: Driving - I broke my left ankle, so as soon as I was given the go-ahead for WBing, I was also given permission to drive ONLY AN AUTOMATIC in the state of Texas because I would be using my non-injured foot. They told me if I had broken my right foot, I would have had to wait until the clearance from the doctor to be out of the boot to even think about driving. 
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  • Posted

    I broke ankle 3 places and dislocated with 2 plates and 7 screws back in July 21, 2017. I’m back to normal activities , running 3 miles 4 times a week and lifting weights with any problems at all with ankle .. excercising and strengthening the ankle is very important.  You have to push yourself or the ankle will not be strong as it should. Keep me posted on recovery, it’s not easy but you have to push yourself. I never thought that I would ever be doing normal routine activities  based on the how severe my ankle injury was... I’m truly blessed 

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  • Posted

    I was NWB for 8 weeks after my ORIF surgery and wasn't allowed to drive for 12 weeks. I will be undergoing ankle reconstruction surgery in a little over a week with a different surgeon and he has told me that I should be able to drive after 6 weeks.

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