Tips Regarding Ankle ORIF Recovery

Edited , 5 users are following.

Hi All, I snapped my ankle on 28th of Feb which required an Ankle ORIF which was performed on 4th March. The surgery went great and recovery though painful, was steady. I had post op check on 16th after which the doctor took out my stiches and put on permanent cast. Its been 15 days in permanent cast. The doctor said to have another visit after 4 weeks however, our nurse gave us appointment after 20 days. After thinking through I insisted the nurse to schedule appointment at the end of 4 weeks as I do not want to go back to permanent cast if the recovery is not where the doctor liked. Today is 31st, I am still 16 days away from my appointment. I am facing 3 issues:

  1. I am having muscle pain on the leg where surgery happened, it is more like fatigue because the leg stays in one position. I do move it around, but it still pains.
  2. To move leg little, I sometimes put my leg on either side on the pillow, My incision pain had reduced a lot, but now when I put my leg on the side, I get a feeling that my incision band is getting pulled. It is not very painful, but enough for me to put my leg straight. Any suggestions?
  3. Lastly, I sometimes get a very uncomfortable pain at the bottom of my heel (unrelated to incision or fracture) where it feels as if the doc put a metal block inside the cast which is pushing in my heel. The pain got really bad once. The only thing that helps is a flexi rubber ruler that I keep against my heel, I make sure I don't scratch inside and not keep it for a long time and not push it near my surgery.

Has anyone faced it before? Does anyone have any suggestions?

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  • Posted

    Hello sunnyzd, I'm sorry you are in pain. personally, I don't think it's the block because the pain from the block wore off 12 hours after the surgery. ok your first issue is it's just simply you haven't been using that leg for instance like walking I had that problem also and I'm 5 weeks in and still having that problem. your 2nd issue it sounds as if maybe your cast is tight. I went into surgery Feb 28 and March 11 they took the cast off and took my stitches out and put me in a boot. when I sleep on my side where my incisions are it often burn and I have slight pain, but it's only from my incision wound is tender and it's healing and I think that's what's going on with you and your 3rd issue the pain in your heel I too feel that pain and I do believe that's normal as well. I really think you should call the doctor to make an appt to just see if the cast is a little tight because I was having pain and I went to an urgent care and they took some of the wrapping inside of the cast off and that helped alot. yes, I think it's best that appt be set for 4 weeks also so your ankle could heal. if you got some ibuprofen 800 take those it will help with the pain. I'm still having some pain like you especially the heel part but I was told it's normal. it will be 6 weeks for me when I go back to the doctor on April 8th hopefully I could start weight bearing. right now I'm in a boot which is ANNOYING but they say it helps with the healing. Don't worry about the 1st issue and 3rd issue because it's normal but please try to see if your cast to tight please keep me updated and if I get more information I will let you know. until then be stay and I pray that God keep you and your family safe during this Covid 19 be blessed!

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  • Posted

    Everything that you mentioned seems pretty normal in this long tedious recovery. When my second cast was finally removed I had a huge purple blister on the back of my ankle that must have formed from the rubbing of ankle to cast. It looked horrible but I treated it with antibiotic ointment. It took about a month to heal. I never had anything like that before in my life. This experience had been an eye opener. Good luck!

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  • Posted

    Thank you so much both of you. Somehow notification emails went straight to spam so I did not realize that I got responses. @ayanna1208, sorry I was not clear, by block I meant a solid block of metal or wood. I was just a feeling like that. Thank you for your wishes. I hope and pray that your family is safe as well. I visited the doctor and apparently since my swelling had gone down, the cast was lose. They had to re-do my cast and now I am feeling much better. Can't wait to get upgraded to the boot in about ten days.

    Thank you again. Stay in and be safe!

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  • Posted

    hey and sorry to hear about your injury. i am 10 months post orif but do remember some very strange feelings after surgery. the fatigued leg sounds very familiar. the calf muscle is very much trapped in the cast so does become atrophied very much so. as soon as you put your cast down it feels heavy and tired immediately. dont worry this really is quite normal.. i always tried to do exercise with my cast whilst lay down as much as i was able. wiggling toes moving the ankle round etc. i always prefered being quite well propped up with pillows to support the cast as weĺl. its a long journey but remember its only temporary xx stay safe and i wish you well xx

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  • Posted

    Thank you so much for your response @michelle14213. The more time goes the more difficult it is. Its been 4.5 weeks since my surgery and I am still a week out. Eagerly waiting for 16th. However lately the itching has increased a lot (since last couple of days). Hope it settles down.

    I hope you have recovered fully! Stay safe!

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