Starting weight bearing after ORIF

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Hi, I'm almost 8 weeks post ORIF screws and plate in my left ankle. I was in a cast for 6 weeks and now have a boot, I was told to start partially weight bearing building up to fully weight bearing, I've been referred to physio and just waiting for the appointment. I'm mobilising with a zimmer frame. I'm finding it psychologically quite difficult to imagine walking again without my ankle giving way. I can stand still weight bearing but can only shuffle along with the frame, I'm afraid to do anything more than this and mentally don't seem able to try walking normally ( as normal as you can walk when one foot is in a boot and therefore about 5cm longer than the other). I'm wondering if anyone else has felt like this? I feel a bit like I've forgotten how to walk! I'd appreciate some positive reassurance from anyone who had similar worries and overcame them. Thank you.

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  • Posted

    I felt exactly the same way. I broke my ankle last June, with surgery two weeks later and then 7 weeks before I was allowed to weight bear. Those first steps were terrifying. I watched a lot of youtube videos on how to do it with crutches, there may be some on how to do it with a frame. My surgeon also told me to start by moving where I step with my foot and then bring the booted foot to match it, if that makes any sense. Instead of trying to stride out the gate, step - step to my good foot with the boot, step - step to my good foot and after a few days of doing that I was able to start striding with the boot. It definitely takes practice but you'll definitely get there! Physical Therapy will also help, they worked a lot with me on how to get my walking corrected again (and even fixed some issues I'd had before breaking my ankle!). Hang in there, it will get back to normal, I promise. I'm 10 months out now and I'm at 95% of where I was before: if I run it hurts, and if I walk more than 15,000 steps a day, it protests, but my normal walking around as a teacher I don't even notice it anymore. You got this!

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  • Posted

    I was non weight bearing 3 months, it sucked, I just wasn’t healing quick. Yes, we all felt like this. How are you supposed to walk in that big bulky boot?! But, when you get brave, it does work. Keep shuffling holding on, you will evolve naturally even if you don’t think you can. I used crutches, you don’t have to hop, you just take a little bit of weight off your ankle by using your arms, and it wasn’t hard at all to take strides. I dumped the boot within a week at home, and about a month out of the house. I always wrapped my ankle at home to compress it, helped lots because it felt more secure. I also used even ups when I used my boot out of the house. You just attach to your shoe on good ankle and then you are much more even when walking. We all felt how you are feeling, I’m over a year out now, just give it a little time. 😃

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  • Posted

    I'm 6 weeks post ORIF, just had my cast off yesterday. I am in a walking boot with crutches. My foot hurts terribly. I am too scared too put more than just a touch on the ground when walking, but find that it feels good when I stand facing the wall, with both hands on the wall and just apply bits of pressure to my affected leg. I broke my right fibula and 2 ligaments. I have a plate, 6 screws. and two long screws through my tib and fib. I washed my incision a bit yesterday and had a bit of a cry. It honestly feels like some kind of fin that doesn't belong on my body. Very frustrating. Hope this all gets better.

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    • Posted

      Hi, your metal work is exactly the same as mine. I'm just a few weeks ahead of you. Just wanted to say that i've been building up since I got the boot on the amount of weight baring I've been doing. I know exactly what you mean about your foot feeling like a fin and not part of you- I was the same, actually made me feel a bit queasey - I didn't want to look at it at all- and I'm a nurse. My skin was all flaky like a snake shedding it's skin and it still looked swollen and bruised. A few weeks on and I'm fine about looking at it and it's much improved although still swollen around the ankle. I too have cried and felt quite low at times- I have been reassured on another post that things do improve but we have to be patient (not my forte). Fingers crossed that we recover well and get back to some normality soon x

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    • Posted

      Good to hear it gets better. What is your exercise routine? I do not have any physio until after screw removal, but will try to exercise the joint carefully two/three times a day. I'm a nurse too! Different being on the other side. I have no patience! Glad to hear others experience the same at first. It felt like two steps back when the cast came off. I have to see it again tonight, so hopefully its a bit better.

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    • Posted

      I've not seen a physio yet. I've just be doing gentle flexing of my foot - my archilles tendon was very tight when the cast came off and this is really helping loosen it. I also make sure I get up from the sofa every hour and mobilise with my zimmer frame ( I don't feel safe on crutches). Someone on here recommended looking at YouTube videos on how to start weight bearing so I think I will try that.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    i experienced everything your going through

    its perfectly normal in the healing process . Its and long road with many ups and downs but it does move forward and things get easier . Im 5 months since my surgery and still not walking as i did before my accident ive been told it can take up to 12 months so lots of patience will be needed and everyone heals at different rates . keep positive your not alone .

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  • Posted

    I'm 9 weeks out of ORIF. a plate and 9

    screws in my right ankle! at 6 weeks my doctor told me to WB as much as I could tolerate. I too couldn't get myself to walk- it was more mental than anything. I had a moon boot (air boot) that I could pump up and I found that that was the most helpful to get me to walk again! I would pump it up as tight as possible- it would support my ankle so well and I was able to walk in the boot. It got my body used to the walking motion again after being on crutches and non weight bearing for the 7 weeks before!

    I am now walking and driving again! No PT was needed. no boot- no crutches!! It took a little while but you will get there! Take it easy and one step at a time!

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