Time frame walking after ORIF

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When you were released to walk, how long did it take? I was virtually immobile for 15 weeks, non weight bearing. For an unknown reason I had delayed healing, but I have arrived. However, doc says the outer edge of fracture not completely healed, the whole fracture 90% healed, his words. 3 weeks ago doc said put some pressure on it, did that. Now Wednesday he says dump the boot. Pardon me, my ankle is the size of a cantaloupe, I've only just started PT, and it hurts more now because I'm pushing myself. I guess I should just go with how it feels rather than his orders? I'm doing decent in the boot, I can use one crutch, just seems like he's pushing me a bit quick. Range of motion is pretty crappy, but I'm trying. Also, my back is so messed up from walking, I guess because I'm wobbling. Lol, what a journey. Anyhow, you think I should continue the boot walking for now? When I told the physical therapist she didn't seem on board with no boot. Just looking for everyone's time frames after they were released to walk.

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  • Posted

    Hi Kim,

    I really feel for you as I was in a similar situation with regards the boot and the doctor was the same.

    I was't as long non weight bearing but I got the cast off and the airboot on and the doc just said walk! My brain said no.! I had problems with the wound healing and was getting all sorts of different advice from the doctor, the physio and the would clinic that I had to visit. In the end the wound clinic and the physio were on the same page and they said the problem with the doctors/consultants is they are quite focused on the repair not necessarily the recovery.

    I too have cantaloupe-ankle so keep having to put it up sad

    My thoughts on the matter are to follow the physio for this bit. Partly because in my experience the doctor has a relatively quick look whereas the physio has a really good feel around the bones and muscles etc. Also, the doctor is there to put you back together the physio is there to aid recovery and get you back on your feet.

    I think the range of motion and rebuilding the muscle is a slow progress, that is the bit I am at now.....feels like really slow progress!!!

    Good luck and I hope you have a good quick-ish recovery!!

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    • Posted

      Thanks much, I think I will stick with physical therapy advice. I'm only 3 sessions in, I think my road is pretty long. Are you in pain? Now that I'm trying more pain is up again - I feel like a quitter just sitting here icing.  Also, after therapy does your pain increase? I had therapy yesterday and today is rotten.

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    • Posted

      I agree with Jennifer below too you need to listen to the pain.

      I have come to decide there are different types of pain in different places e.g. when the physio works on getting me more range it hurts but it is in the calf and is more of a stretching pain so is ok'ish! (I say ok'ish as I don't like it as I am not crazy and want to stop being in pain but I know it is done for the right reasons) and then there is the pain that is the time to stop.

      After the physio I have had bits of pain but nothing too bad more soreness.

      If I have walked or spent some time on my feet and my ankle has swollen again then I can't do the stretches. The physio said this will happen and to raise the leg to get the swelling down before stretching otherwise it will hurt more and be harder due to the swelling.

      As you say its a long road! I wish there was a way to shorten it but I think patience is the key to avoid further issues.

      I would make sure you are taking some sort of pain meds to take the edge off but obviously not something so strong it takes it away as otherwise you may go too far! Although sounds like you are definitely doing the right things!

      All the best for your recovery!

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  • Posted

    Hi Kim, I wasn’t immobile as long as you...just 5 weeks. However I love my doctor and think he’s given me the best advice. “Let pain be your guide” He’s told me to gradually progress and listen to my body and back off when there’s pain. I’ve done exactly as he has said and feel like I’m progressing fairly quickly on his advice. He’s also been transitioning me to new phases in steps. Non weight bearing cast for 5 weeks. Then boot for two weeks. Then he said I could start working my way into a stiff ankle brace that he gave me. Hoping at my next appointment I can start trying to transition to nothing. Not holding my breath though. I’ll only be at 10 weeks at that point and he had been insistent I was going to need 12. Then again I’m drinking lots and lots of milk lol. I suggest taking it easy and listening to the pain.....having lots of patience. Wishing you the best!
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    • Posted

      Great advice. I just walked around my livingroom for about 5 minutes, 1 crutch, no boot, and that was it, so I didn't push. My doc just gave me a brace, it will be ok for the house, but it doesn't fit in my shoe because I'm so swollen. I think I'll practice spurts of those 5 mins to build endurance. Cheers to milk, me too! :-)

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