Smashed ankle recovery

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Hi. I fell down the stairs 2 weeks ago and smashed my ankle. I have a large plate and 8 screws. I'm due back to the fracture clinic tomorrow to have the stitches removed and cast replaced. Every time i put my foot below my hip, my toes go fat and purple, still! Is this normal because I'm worried i have an infection or something?!

Thank you.

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Debbie.  Unfortunately, the swelling can last 6 - 9 months.  I recommend you keep you foot elevated as much as you can.  The swelling will subside but very slowly and only over an extended period.  That has been my experience and in fact my surgeon told me right away to stop asking about the swelling on every visit because it is normal.
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  • Posted

    Hi Debbie,

    ​Yes this is very normal!   I had an ORIF broken fibula, ankle dislocation and torn ligaments in July and my foot was purple for a few months, I was afraid it would be purple permanent, but it is normal in colour now.

    A lot of things will be happening to you which can be frightening, such as shooting, burning pains up your incisions, but that is just your body healing.

    ​This is an excellent forum, everyone is extremely helpful and very willing to share their experiences and listen to each other.

    Keep asking questions, someone on here will most certainly be able to help.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery!

    Deb

     

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  • Posted

    Thank you both. I'm so fed up with the pain but guessing I've got a few more weeks to go!

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  • Posted

    Hi Debbie, yes it’s very normal for your foot to turn purple and swell. Keep it elevated as much as possible. I have a plate and 6 screws. A drunk driver hit me April 22nd. I’m still in physical therapy. I was bedridden for 9 wks! No cast for me just boots. It’s a long recovery but just give your body the time it needs to heal. The swelling and color will gradually fade. Good luck with your recovery! 
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    • Posted

      Thanks Diane.

      How did you find the boot? They look so cumbersome and heavy compared to a cast?

      Hope the driver lost his licence!

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    • Posted

      The first boot was not heavy at all. It was for non weight bearing but the walking boot was another story. I was in a boot for 9 weeks for non weight bearing then partial weight up to  wk 18 then full weight up to wk 21. I’ve been in pt since October. The drunk driver was sentenced to 5 months jail, 2 years w/out license but 3 years probation. I spoke to him at his court hearing. I needed to say some things in order to move forward emotionally. It’s been a very long journey but one I’m so grateful for! Many lessons have been learned through this that’s for sure!
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  • Posted

    Hi Debbie it’s normal to have purple foot. I fell February broke ankle in two places had surgery and now have screws and plate. I felt the same way it’s a long frustrating recovery. I still feel some pain when I walk and stiffness in my tendon, but you feel better as time goes on. Wish you a speedy recovery. 
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  • Posted

    Thanks all. I had my cast replaced today and it feels so much better. I had the stitches out too and it seems to be healing well. This is a lovely forum and every one seems so helpful.
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    • Posted

      Hi Debbie, your case sounds much like mine, and I am only one week ahead of you.  I am in a boot now, and was told 4 more weeks non weight bearing.  It is so hard!!  Did your surgeon tell you the same?  I am very nervous to put weight on it, and of course do not want to mess up the healing, but was wondering if you have same advice.

      Thanks, Erin 

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    • Posted

      Hi, i am in another cast for 5 weks which will be nearly 8 in all. The surgeon then said it will either be a boot or another cast. I can now 'toe touch', literally put my toes down while i brush my teeth etc but with no weight on them. It's all so annoying isnt it? How are you finding the boot?

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    • Posted

      Hi Debbie. I have similar to you. I broke my ankle in two places last Sunday and had a plate and pins in on Tuesday. Can I ask you a couple of questions please?  My foot keeps feeling cold, is this what you experienced and if so how long did it last? When did the pain stop?, what sort of cast did they put on after two weeks?  How long have they said before you can do normal things like drive and work (I work in an office).  Hope you are coping ok xxx
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    • Posted

      Hi Tina

      I had a plain cast in hospital before the op then a back slab which is possibly what you have? I hated that, it didn't feel secure at all. I now have a nice festive red fibre glass cast for 5 weeks which is so much lighter.

      The pain stopped after the new cast was fitted, in fact pretty much everything did - the pain, the purple toes, the cold toes. I cut a bed sock down and use that over my toes.

      The surgeon has signed me off for another 6 weeks (I'm a teaching assistant) until i can bear weight and ive been told i can't drive for 12 weeks!! All very frustrating, as you know.

      It does get better, i can do loads of stuff from my wheelchair so if you don't have one, try to get one. I go up and down stairs on my bottom which is slow bit easier than hopping! Feel free to ask any thing, it all helps. Lots of luck 😊 xx

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    • Posted

      Thank you debbie

      i have a sick note for 6 weeks. I have my two week checkup next week to remove stitches and have a new cast. I have to drive to work and just wondered realistically if I would be back after 6 weeks. They told me my fractures were very bad ones!  I have a Zimmer frame (not cool!) but have been thinking of getting a wheelchair so I can get about easier. 

      Thank you for your message and advice xx

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    • Posted

      I have crutches but am rubbish on them. I think realistically, you won't be driving for a while. After you've had your final cast removed you will probably need physio to get the strength back-thats what I've been told anyway. My surgeon said i can't drive until he's signed me as safe! X

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