Still can't walk without pain after 11 weeks

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I suffered a spiral fracture of the fibula in January, had a cast for 2 weeks then an air boot for a further 3 weeks. Saw my consultant on 4th March and was x-rayed again and told that the fracture was fully healed but that I had soft tissue damage which was why I could still barely walk due to the pain. Another 5 weeks down the line and my ankle is no better despite not going out and keeping my foot raised most of the day. In desperation I went to a private physio this week and she was amazed I had not been given any instructions, exercises or offered physio at the hospital. She told me I had sprained that part of my ankle where the tibia and fibula meet the talus which is why it is so painful when I put any weight on it. This is inaddition to having sprained the outside of my foot. I have been advised to do alternate hot and iced foot baths for a total of 30 mins twice a day and to keep my foot ujp as much as possible. She is giving me deep ankle massage and ultrasound(?). Has anyone else suffered the same injury and knows how long it will be before I will be able to walk again?

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  • Posted

    I am so sorry you are going through this, but I can say that you have found the right place. I can not give you many answers, because I just came out of my cast. What I can tell you is, everyone on here is at different stages and I am positive that someone can give you the answers you are looking for. I hope you improve soon.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your kind wishes. I am glad I found this forum as I have been feeling quite isolated being virtually housebound with my ankle. Good luck with your recovery.
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    • Posted

      Oh, believe me, this forum is going to be such a god-send for you!!!
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  • Posted

    We all feel your pain!  I broke my fibula as well as damaged my syndesmosis (that's the membrane between the fibula and tibia) on Feb. 17, surgery the 20th and in my final week of non-weight bearing.  It takes time.  A LOT of time to completely recuperate so do try and be patient, although I know what an ordeal it is. Although I don't know the particulars of your case, and am certainly no doctor, but if you had 'soft tissue damage' as you say in your posting, I wonder if your syndesmosis was damaged as well.  In which case they bring the fibula and tibia together with a long screw to create them from separting abnormally as the membrane heals with scar tissue.  See my xray post-op.  That long screw is what I'm referring to and will come out at the 12 week mark.  The other hardware will stay in.  Again, not saying this is your case but you might want to bring this up with your doctor.  Ron
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your comments. I must say I am beginning to feel that there is something else going on other than just 'tissue damage'. My foot seems to be sprained over the top down to my toes, the outer ankle, inner ankle and above the ankle. It is still very swollen and I am now waking with it aching whereas it used to be just once I put weight on it. I am seeing the physio tomorrow and will ask her opinion. I can't help wondering whether the fracture clinic didn't do further tests when I last saw the consultant on 4th March due to costs. My concerns were dismissed as just tissue damage and I was told it would take up to 6 weeks to heal. They gave me an open appointment for 6 months so I can go back without being referred. I have sprained the other ankle several times (once by another retriever not looking where she was going!)  but although I was in agony for a few days they were fully recovered after a week or so. It doesn't seem right that I can still barely walk due to the pain after nearly 3 months and am still dependant on my lovely neighbour to walk the dog and do other things for me that I can't do. It seems from this forum that many people are suffering with their ankles and my warm wishes for a speedy recovery goes out to all. I was unaware at just how incapacitating a damaged ankle can be.
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    • Posted

      Hmmm, does seem a little long with still that much pain but you did say you fractured it as well.  But all of us on this forum know how long ankle injuries take to heal.  As you point out.  It's been a real eye-opener.  Some are going into months of continued pain and swelling.  So it may very well be that that is the norm in your situation.  I think the only way to resolve this for sure would be to get a second opinion.  Although I know that that is also very burdensome, with insurance problems, etc.  But it may be your best option.
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    • Posted

      Could also be that you're using it a lot more than it can still handle.  I know that when I start weight bearing in a week I am allowed to start gradually and only have it weight bearing for a total of 2 hours per day.  And even a month later only several hours a day.  It does take time.  A lot of time.  But again, every case is so different.  Do as much research online as you can about what others have experienced with similar injuries.  Thank god for the internet.
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    • Posted

      Hi Ron

      Fortunately I am being treated on the NHS and am paying for my physio myself so I sort of feel I am in the driving seat as it were. I'm quite happy to go back to the fracture clinic if it means finding out exactly what is wrong. I have hardly been out in the last 3 months and at home have only been walking about for for essential things like getting meals, letting the dog out etc. The rest of the time I have been sitting on the settee with my foot raised. I only started driving 3 weeks ago which interestingly doesn't hurt. I have done a supermarket shop using the trolley for support but quite honestly I feel that I have been resting it as much as possible given that I live alone and that is partly why I am concerned it isn't just a 'normal' sprain. The fracture healed very quickly and was pretty much better after 6 weeks. To be honest it looked just like a very thin crack in the bone and was already noticeably healing after just 2 weeks. Interestingly I had a stress x-ray done after 2 weeks to see if the fracture was stable and if I could go into an air boot instead of a cast and I walked without pain from the chair to the step of the z-ray machine about 2 metres and then stepped up onto the step with no pain so it is worrying that I am now in more pain than I was then. Unlike you though I was given no instructions as to how much weight bearing to do other than stop if it hurts! Nor was I given any exercises to do or offered physio - hence going privately. I kind of felt I was just dismissed. Still I will discuss it with my physio tomorrow and hopefully get some answers. I will put a post on to let you know how I got on. By the sound of it you will not be back at work for some time and are passing the time as I am by being on the internet most of the day!

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    • Posted

      Can you get a second opinion? If you can you should, if nothing else it would put your mind at rest.
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  • Posted

    Hi,I a m 12 weeks post op after a slip on ice which ended up with a Maisonneuve fracture,that's twisting of the ankle outwards with a ruptured deltoid ligament,syndesmotic screws,parting of the interereosus membrane and a spiral fracture of proximal fibula.I have been trying to weight bear for three weeks now,but it feels like something is catching as I try to walk.When I am up on it for any length of time it swells and becomes to painful to try and walk on it.Again I find myself having to elevate at times through the day,As previously stated on here my job is a postman and involves walking on average 12/14 miles a day,according to my gps.I know it is early days recovery wise but doing those miles seem a long way off.At present I have the two crutches for support but over the next few weeks my physio wants it down to one.The soft tissue damage does take a long time to heal.I like yourself have been following the exercises religiously but sometimes eagerness can be a bad thing.Wishing you well with your recovery.
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    • Posted

      Chris, I'm sure I've asked you this before (it gets a little confusing keeping tracking of everyone's different injuries!) but did you have the syndesmotic screw removed?  You say you're 12 weeks post op and that's when mine is scheduled to be removed.  That should make it easier to weight bear.  I was told that it would be a little more difficult to walk until that was out and, from my understanding, that particular screw is always removed.  Again, apologies if shared before, but see my xray and that long screw is the one I (and presumably you) have and the one coming out.  Ron
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    • Posted

      I have two syndesmotic screws in,and then the ligament was reattached,My consultant says that they won't be coming out,apparently that's his view on the matter.If they break and they mostly do he will only remove the heads as the rest of the screw is through the fibula and tibia,Again the heads will only be removed if they annoy me.He said how many times do you want me to operate on you.At present I am only managing short distances before it gets to uncomfortable to continue,The ankle becomes warm after usage as if you are inflaming the joint,Again there is no quick fix to these injuries.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your comments. You seem to have done a lot more damage than me and I wish you a speedy recovery. 
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    • Posted

      Wow, Chris, I'm really a little surprised at that.  My screw is also through the fib and tib.  All it takes is a little incision over the screw head and they're out in seconds.  While that screw doesn't inhibit walking or flexing the foot, it does limit the motion of the flex.  And yes,  sooner or later it will break, according to my own doctor.  The rest of my hardware remains in (unless it bothers me).  But I guess each doctor has his/her own way of doing things.  
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    • Posted

      Chris, that is exactly what my doctor told me. Since our injuries are very similar, that makes me feel better. It's strange that our injuries are so similar and our injuries happened around the same time. I am just starting to do a little weight bearing and it is painful. I don't start PT until the 20rh.
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    • Posted

      As the man said you are we to argue.According to some of his understudies whom I have seen on other visits,this is what he believes to be right.Strange how different parts of the world do thinks.I live in Northern Ireland and I am being treated by a Spanish consultant 😀.At the start when I had the injury they nearly missed the ankle trauma and only found the broken fibula.This was a smaller hospital not a specialist orthopaedic centre,here they put me in cast and said we will see you in 6 weeks time.Good job they let the specialist hospital see the X-rays other wise I would nave been in bad shape 6 weeks down the line.
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    • Posted

      I started physio last week but the young physio said what was a Maisonneuve Fracture,so that was a good start.I just do the exercises until I feel I have done enough,it's no good doing more harm than good. It will be good to get rid of these crutches as they pull the shoulders out of me.Really only using them for stability as sometimes I feel as if my foot gives way to easily.Likely muscle atrophy does'nt help.I don't see me returning to work anyway soon due to the walking my job involves,I slipped on ice and fell back on my right leg causing the twisting action,and I knew immediately that something serious was wrong and it wasn't a sprained ankle. How did yours come about?
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    • Posted

      I slipped on the side of a ramp that went into my job. Someone painted new yellow caution stripes, but didn't make them non slip, so when it snowed they were very slick. My foot slipped and then stopped when it hit the pavement, all my weight came down on it. Like you, I knew instantly it was bad and when I seen that my foot was backwards I knew it was going to be bad. My foot is still turned to the right quite a bit when they put the second cast on the girl couldnt get it how they wanted it because it was so stiff. They say PT will help....I sure hope so. I just came out of the cast last Wed, so time will tell.
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    • Posted

      Mine was from a skiing accident in Italy.  Started down an easy slope, had only gone about 4 or 5 feet when the left ski inexplicably flew off.  I lost my balance and fell, and as I fell, my right ankle (the one with the ski still on) twisted.  Unfortunately, that ski did not come off, as it should have.  I knew immediately I had done something really bad.  I believe now that the ski binding wasn't adjusted properly by the technician there because the ski had come off a couple of days before that.  Usually when that happens, you can maintain your balance on the one other ski, or fall "properly".  Bummer.  My first (and hope, only) ski accident.  And not even a "real" ski accident, at that!
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    • Posted

      I was at work coming down a bit of a sloped road after posting my letters,Whan I hit a bit of ice and bang all over.I took my shoe off because it got tight due to the swelling and it was just swinging about due to the ruptured ligaments that had snapped.Here I was in pain and the manager drove 6 miles so he could take photos of my shoes and where I fell all to keep themselves right.My foot now has a tendency to go outwards when walking where I always had quite a straight pattern when walking..People at my work thing it's great being off work,but as you know it definitely isn't a thing I would wish on anyone.Hopefully as time goes on we will be back to our old selves.All that time with your leg up gives you a different outlook on life.
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    • Posted

      Funny, I never considered for one minute I would stop skiing.  Even at age 61! I love it too much. Besides, when you read all of these posts, you see that there are as many ways to break your ankle as there are injuries.  So I'm anticipating being right back on the slopes come next winter.  I partially tore my ACL, not by skiing, but by just walking a dog!  (By the way, I started skiing at age 50 and have been going back to the same place in Italy for the past 11 years.)  I live in New York City.
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    • Posted

      I had to answer a ton of questions about my shoes and they took pictures, even though it was their property. I lost my job, my company isn't big on keeping people after a Workmans comp claim. As soon as I fell, I told my manager I knew that they would get rid of me and she said " you already know". It's sad, but I am not surprised at all.

      I have always had straight feet and I am scared my foot is going to stay this way.

      My friends keep saying that I should be back to normal by now, they just don't understand.

      Oh, it definitely gives you a different outlook. It also teaches you not to take things for granted.

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    • Posted

      Good for you. I am 54 and this was my 1st time in hospital and my 1st broken bone.And I done some silly things in my day.As you say look at how some of the injuries have come about.Wishing you well with your recovery.
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    • Posted

      I wouldn't have thought they would have been able to get rid of you when you are on the sick.I work for Royal Mail as you may have guessed,and a fellow colleague of mind had a torn meniscus of the knee and OH brought him back to early from his rehab and away it went again.So they gave him Ill Health Retirement (that's about 46 weeks pay)   said he couldn't do the job and he is 44years old.So you see my predicament about being 100%ready? As regards your friends saying that I know where you are coming from,people just think it's a broken ankle far from it.I spent more time sleeping on the couch than I did in my bed early days.
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    • Posted

      That's what I thought also, but in the US they don't have to.

      I would make sure you can walk really well before you go back. I would hate to see you go back only to have to be off again.

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    • Posted

      That's a real kick in the teeth.At least I get full pay 6 months,but regardless there is no way I would be able to work due this injury whether or not I got paid or not.All that happens with us is every week you get a phone call to see if you are able to come back to work.Its just a matter of number crunching to make managers figures look good,and there bonuses.But anyway it's our health that counts.Hope your recovery goes well for you. I go to physio on Thursday again.
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    • Posted

      I still get a Workmans comp check every week and when I am healed I will get a settlement, plus they pay all my medical bills. It sounds like yours is a lot easier than ours, they send a nurse with me to each doctors appt.

      Good luck at your PT appt, I can't wait to start mine.

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    • Posted

      Over here all our medical care is free including physiotherapists,which is one visit a week.Although you can get physio privately around £70/hour. Unfortunately you have to look for a new job when you get better. But as long as you get better is all that matters now.Having the injury was stressful enough but losing your job must have compounded the situation at a time when you didn't need it.Remember slowly and steadily with the physio.
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    • Posted

      I wish our healthcare was like that, it is crazy expensive here. They have me scheduled for PT twice a week starting next week.

      Even though I knew it was coming, it was still hard. They waited until around my 6th week, when I was at my lowest point. However, I made it through and now I have decided it is there loss. I was a model employee, never late, never called in, never a complaint. So like I said, there loss.

      Chris, I truly believe we are going to be fine....eventually.

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    • Posted

      Have to agree with you,it's spring here in Northern Ireland and my grass is going mad and I can see all the little jobs stacking up for me.So hopefully I will be on my feet and a have a few days to get them all sorted before I go back to work.There where times during the inactivity that cabin fever started to set in with me,too much time to think about things I suppose.My mother in law passed way 3 weeks ago and I know people joke about mother in laws but she was a gem.My cast came off the day before she got buried,so walking behind the hearse the next day wasn't easy.But as my wife said onwards and upwards.
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    • Posted

      I am so sorry for your loss. It had to be so hard for you to walk like that. You are so strong. My mother in law is an amazing woman also, so I understand.

      Can I ask you a question? Did you develop fracture blisters? I have the places all around my ankle and they said they were fracture blisters that had popped. They are flat and painful. Don't know of anyone else that has them.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your condolences.I had actually bought an air cast boot from the states some weeks previous and could only use it the day of the funeral ,as my consultant said she didn't want me using it as it would make me lazy.So bang went that idea.I didn't have any fracture blisters at all.Although I was in hospital for five days before I was operated on and they checked every day to make sure the swelling was going down and no blisters.Fellow in the bed opposite me had a massive big one and he was not operated on until it cleared up,
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    • Posted

      I am in an air boot now, pretty uncomfortable. What are you in now?

      I looked up fracture blisters online, but the blisters I saw weren't popped, so kind of hard to compare. I would be the one to get them, I have no luck. I was diagnosed with RSD 4 weeks ago and now this. See, no luck. But I am tough and I will make my way through this.

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    • Posted

      I am just in my barefoot,had to get and old trainer and take the lace out and modify it so my foot would fit in it.It Swoll up bad and went all purple and mottled when I first put weight on it. Colour a bit better now but still swells up after I have been on it a while,and all round the ankle joint gets warm as if I am annoying the joint by walking on it.Not that I would call it walking more like shuffling.But it's better than two weeks ago.Sometimes if it wasn't for bad luck you would have no luck.Also I am badly out of my sleep pattern.I used to be up at 5am and in work for 5-30am,now I am not up until 8am at the earliest 😂😂.Bad or what.
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    • Posted

      I hate it when that happens. Barefoot? Nothing to support or better yet, protect it. I would be scared to death. How does it feel putting weight on your foot?
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    • Posted

      I had fracture blisters at the back of the ankle that had popped when the cast was removed.  They were painful to start with but after a week or so they got better and the new skin is now hardened and I can wear a pair of trainers which is great and gives more support. I am now 14 weeks post op. but still have goals to reach. Wearing trainers was one of them, taking my dog a short walk another and the next one is to do our favourite walk at Fountains Abbey a Naional Trust property in North Yorkshire. I think that will be in a few weeks though because walking does make my ankle swell and then I get a limp because of the tightness and pain.  This is a long haul but a good feeling when goals are achieved.
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    • Posted

      It was strange to start with as if it was going to buckle under the weight.My wife childminds kids from home and they jump and runabout so you have to be on your guard.Although they come in handy for fetching and carrying things lol.I had no physio for the first 3weeks so I had to you tube a few things.But when I went to the physio last week she showed me how to put my weight through the heel and try to bend the arch. Now that was and still us very painful doing it.All round the ankle joint and the Achilles is so painful and stiff,she said it will take time to loosen.I still have to elevate the leg at times throughout the day to keep swelling and colour down.
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    • Posted

      I would be scared without something to protect it. I cringe when anyone come close to it now. Just the thought of that kind of pain again sends shivers up my spine. Mm y husband laughs at me because I gave away all of my shoes with heals and I swear I don't want to walk anyplace I don't know so that I don't even twist my ankle. I know I have to get over this fear, but right now it is real to me.
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    • Posted

      That's my fear going over on the ankle at some stage,My consultant said that I had bad wear and tear on both edges of the ankle and to expect arthritic ankles at some stage. Something to look forward to I guess. Being honest they feel that way at the minute.Thankfully I don't have the high heel problem.
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    • Posted

      Beryl, thank you. I was beginning to think it was just me. I am 13 weeks post break and 12 post op, but you are so far ahead of me. I just came out of my cast this past Wed and am in an airboot for 6 weeks. I am amazed at far ahead of me you and Chris are when we are about at the same time frame. I know, every injury is different and we all heal differently. I am glad you are able to get up and about.
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    • Posted

      My doctor talked to me about arthritis, said not to be surprised because of all the damage. I am sure wife is glad you don't have the high heals problem too lol.
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    • Posted

      5pm here in Northern Ireland what time is it with you? Arthritis wouldn't be nice company to have.The high heel days are over.😂
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    • Posted

      It is 11:37 am here and raining, blah! I have always wanted to go to Ireland, maybe someday. High heel days are definitely over, for both of us 😀
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    • Posted

      Well it's usually raining here most of the time.I have never been to America but I have been in some states.
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    • Posted

      Chris, you want to clarify that?  "Never been to America but I have been in some states"??  You mean, maybe, never been to [a certain state|??  
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    • Posted

      Usually when we have too much to drink here in Ireland,the next day some one would say "you where in some state last night"So when you have done this on a few occasions then you gave been in some 'states' so to speak.Its a local thing.😂😂Hope that explains it.
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    • Posted

      Oh that is very funny indeed!  Sorry for the slow comprehension.  Must be due to the ankle....    smile
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    • Posted

      I am sure if I told you some of ours, you would wonder what I was saying. If you have too much to drink here, you were drunker than cootie brown. I have no idea who cooties brown is but he must have gotten pretty drunk at times.
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    • Posted

      But laughing is universal,over here we would say someone that was drunk was pie-eyed or legless or blattered a bit like ourselves at the minute.Legless I mean.
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    • Posted

      leelee you must be in the south.  I have only heard that expression 'drunker than cootie brown' growing up Tennessee!!!  (I like in NYC now.)
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    • Posted

      funny I was checking my mobile phones gps today,and usually when I was at work I would walk on average between 28000 and 32000 steps measured at roughly 73cm strides.Today I managed 400 steps before the foot started to give me bother with swelling,tightness and pain.So at least I have a goal to work to.Matbe I should have said cell phone.😂😂
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    • Posted

      You did walk a lot. It is good to have goals and one day soon you will reach yours. We use to say mobile phone, then it went to cell phone, then cell, now it is just phone. There aren't even a lot of people here that have landlines anymore, if they do they don't use them.
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    • Posted

      Thanks,but doing those 400 steps there was no great speed involved.But hopefully those will increase and be less painful.Our landline  for the last 3 months we made 2 outgoing calls and they where free as it's free evening and weekend calls.Only really need it for the internet connection.
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    • Posted

      Chris,

      He said, " How many times do you want me to operate on you?"!  Well, the answer is, "As many times as it takes you to get it right. Don't be lazy with my health and well-being!"  His response was completely unacceptable.  I hope you didn't accept that remark from him.

      Jim

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    • Posted

      I agree with you on that comment,but I think he was referring more to the syndesmotic screws being removed.If they don't give me any bother then I am happy to keep them in.I see him in two weeks time so we will see what his viewpoint is then.As you say we also have an opinion,
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