Trimalleolar ankle fracture on July 30th..need advice

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I fell and dislocated my ankle on July 30th.I believe i passed out because all i remember is falling and not knowing why.I went to the emergency room and they said i had broken my ankle.I had surgery to put in a plate and screws in on Aug.4th.I'm in a cast that will come off on September 14 th.I think they put a removable cast on after that.What can i expect after this cast is removed? Will there be more pain? How soon do they start physical therapy after the cast is removed ?

Any advice is appreciated!

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  • Posted

    Welcome to the club you never asked to join.

    Sorry to hear. I had the same 10.5 months ago. I nearly passed out. Pain 10/10. The pain would've got to you, and sounds like you had a period of unconsciousness. The Ambulance told me mine wasn't broken , so I was left at home with a dislocated, snapped, displaced ankle. O dropped unconscious to the floor the middle of that night. I remember bits of it. Did damage to shoulder, ribs cracked, and carpet burn on the face, and more damage to my ankle.

    Early days for you yet. Get a knee scooter with a basket if you can Frei heit is a good one.

    Shower Slide for ease of getting in and out of shower. Special bag to go over plaster.

    Take pain meds prescribed.

    Physio should start 6-8 weeks after surgery . Longer if needed.

    Get some help and some hobbies. Colouring book in adult style good fun.

    Stay on here to get ongoing support.

    Practice R.I.C.E. Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.🌞

    Anything you find worrying, go immediately to your Dr or Hospital.

    People on here, excluding me because I had complications, are getting semi normal at 3 months post op. By 5-6 months, almost like new.

    I had a bone graft because my break didn't heal. Apparently it should have been operated on immediately. I wasted 5 months. Doing well now. Virtually pain free now. Walking almost normal, a good part of the day.

    You will get better...?🌟🌈?👣🚶🌟🌞👏?🚶🚶👣👣🏊🚵?🌟🌈🌞🏃🏃👏👏👏👏🌞

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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear all that you went through! sad

      I have a wheel chair since i have tendinitis in both knees,i wanted less wear and tear on the joints.I tried crutches and that was a mess for me.I was so glad when the doctor got me a wheel chair.I have a Chihuahua that keeps me very busy,so im definitely not bored lol.I injured my right ankle,so i can't drive.Wondering how soon until i can do steps too.Will i ever get to a point where i won't feel like anything ever happened?

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    • Posted

      I saw a lady walk out of Orthopaedic department 8 weeks after her break. Moonboot, weight baring straight away.

      If all goes to plan, you'll start partial weight baring around that time. Could be as simple as putting foot down a little at a time while sitting. You will need to see a physio straight after your next appointment. Can you wiggle your toes? It helps to stop blood clots.

      Nice u have a dog. Great companions. 🐕

      🐈🐈We've got 2 indoor Burmese cats. One is glued to me!

      My husband broke his hand 3 weeks after I broke my ankle. He list his job, and after nearly 10 months, has limited flexibility. It's his dominant hand.

      Like you, I broke my right ankle. Unfortunately mine bone is still sift around near break. I will not drive until it is stronger and more dense. I'm hoping to get an x-ray soon to see if it's changed. I'm doing plenty of exercise. Weight baring 100%, cut out Diet Cola- caffeine known to slow bone graft.

      Keep in touch!

      Good luck


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    • Posted

      Hi also broke my ankle in February and had surgery. 6 weeks post op I was able to start weight bearing. First partial for a few weeks then took it from there. Take the advice of Tituscanby she has gone through so much so she can answer any questions about your recovery. I am now 6 months in and doing well, I can do 95% of what I used to do before I broke my ankle. Physiotherapy and home exercises are very important, so once your surgeon gives you the go ahead start immediately. Remain positive and determined. Good luck and a speedy recovery.
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  • Posted

    I am so sorry that you are now part of the 'club'!  You and I are on pretty much the same timeline- broke mine (bimalleolar) on 7/25 and had surgery on 7/28.  I came close to passing out in the car on the way to the ED and then again when we arrived. It was painful for sure- but I found the the worst pain was after it was 'set' in the ED until surgery.   I had a splint for 2 weeks- now the hard cast for 5 (coming off in 21 days!!!) and then was told I would have a boot for 6 more weeks and that i will increase wt bearing every so often (I go to Duke University Medical Center) until I am out of the boot in 6 weeks and then PT will be after that.  My injury is over 4 weeks and I still cannot lower my foot for more than 30 min- I can feel the ankle swell and it seems like where the places where the stitches are burn and throb.  I also had a fracture blister and feel burning in that region occasionally too and the entire foot is still numb.  The worst thing now seems to be my inability to get comfortable.  I have to move the leg often- keeping it on at least one pillow.  Even my heel gets sore....

    It is easier than it was for sure- I have read and heard from others that the swelling of the ankle can last a long time- esp when up on the foot for awhile during the day-

    At this point, I am focusing on getting the cast off- going to the boot and being able to shave and wash my leg.  The cast goes over the toes so no telling how long the nails will be!  Just go one day at a time and definately the advice to eat healthy, exercise the upper body (though I am finding it difficult to do this) and move around as much as you can.  I am using the scooter some, but mostly the walker as I think it is more exercise- it would be easy to gain wt!

    I am so thankful for finding the forum.  It is really good to hear others are going thru similar experiences.


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    • Posted

      We are on the same timeline! smile I can go an hour at the most until i need to elevate it.This plaster cast has no give to it and my toes turn blue when i'm up to long.I will be so happy to get a removable cast and fully bathe! I think that happens September 14th.My dog is probably keeping me from getting more rest,constantly wanting to go out.At least i'm getting exercise though.Keep me posted on how your doing smile

      Thanks for sharing your story

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    • Posted

      Hi Jan, read your post saying you can't wait to shave your leg. Be careful when doing that. Once your cast comes off you will have a lot of flaky skin coming off as well. Don't use soap and water to shave as the new skin is very sensitive and may become red and sore, rather use an electric razor, and be very careful around the surgical incisions. Once you have shaved rub with vit e oil or something similar.

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    • Posted

      THANK YOU for the heads up.  I will for sure take your advice- this is why I love this forum.  To be honest, I am really struggling w/ seeing the foot again.  I know that sounds crazy, but when they took the splint off, it really made me quesy (spelling?).    I just keep remembering my foot kind of laying there somewhat disconnected.... and now the thought of screws and a plate - well- you get the picture!  So- I am focusing on shaving the legs instead!!!  Gotta have a sense of humor for sure.wink

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    • Posted

      Jan- My daughter went to Duke Undergrad. You are lucky- Duke has a great medical center. I am in the San Francisco Bay Area and we have great doctors here too. Do they change your cast every two weeks? They did for me. The weirdest thing each time they changed it, was seeing a hairy skinnier leg. I took baby wipes in, and rubbed my leg down, while waiting for the doctor to show up each time, when they took me temporarily out of the cast every other week. That really helped to take off the orange die stuff they rub on for surgery and also the dead skin. I got hair on the top of my foot too which was really weird to me too, but I guess super common, as many ladies in online blogs have mentioned it, so don't be shocked. It quickly goes away after the cast comes off (probably a month or so). I read somewhere it happens because the body wants to protect your skin from irriation of the cast. Another fun addition to this adventure smile

      I didn't have the cast over my toes and was instructed to move my toes as much as possible. My cast started right above my toes. 

      I am 6 months out and doing great with a trimalleolar brake. I walked on the beach, and really rugged bumpy grass by the beach, for the first time since my break, for the last two days. A month or two ago I wouldn't have been able to have done this, because it constantly jiggles the ankle and all my tendons and ligaments would have been on fire after a few steps with that kind of stress. Now it was a breeze. I did notice my ankle, for the first time in a while, was slightly more swollen than what I am used to at night, due to all the walking I did today and especially in rugged conditions for a recovering ankle. Normally my ankle doesn't feel swollen, but still looks bigger than the other ankle all the time. I think the last bit of swelling goes down in the final 6 months. For me, I kept reading from people posting that at 4 months I would feel alive again, and that's exactly how it worked for me too. I finally felt like I could walk down the street, with a slight limp, but I could walk around again like a normal person! Then in month 5, I worked a lot on strengthening the ankle further and the limp decreased in half and by month 6 it disappeared, except if I extremely overwork it for the day, then I notice it a bit. I have noticed it, for example, the last two days on vacation from walking in the sand a lot , carrying my grandkids all over the place and walking like I did today, 20,000 steps on my Fit Bit , which is over 8 miles. This gives you idea though, that life does get back to normal again!

      To answer your question Pinupgirl, first I had a velcro shoe put on my foot (with the cast) at about week 7, cast off week 8, into boot for over a month (it probably was two months). It took 5 weeks from start of PWB to walking without aids. There is also PT, stretching of the foot right, left, forward, back, and then strengthening of the ankle. The whole process hurts a bit because everything is in a kind of frozen, shrunken state when you come out of the cast and you have to fire everything up. It hurts to stretch the tendons and ligaments back out. Take a Motrin in the morning and night. It solves that problem pretty well. Good luck. Sorry to hear you did this. It is super frustrating, but you will walk again!

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    • Posted

      I wish we all could be California Girls!

      You should write a book friend. You have an amazing way to share your experience. I'd buy it. Thanks.

      I never did get a hairy foot. Nor did I use babies wipes on it, lol. But I do use baby wipes for EVERYTHING ELSE! Dusting, floor, hearth, bathroom., Kitchen bench, table, fridge, stove....swear by them.😀😁😂👍👏🌈🌼🌟🚶👣👣👣🚶

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    • Posted

      What a great encouraging post! Thank you!! I m fortunate to be at Duke- my surgeon is a foot/ ankle specialist with the sports med program. No - the cast is not changed every 2 weeks- was supposed to come off in 4 but due to the schedule of md- it will be 5 - so I will be bringing wipes with me and love the heads up about the hairy foot!! I can and do- wiggle my toes????.

      And great to hear u r doing well at the 5 mos mark 😍😍😍 that gives me and probably others hope!

      As an aside- my son lives in SF! He loves Cali - left in 2009 after college and has lived it since... Small world. Nice place to visit for sure.

      Thx again!!

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    • Posted

      Ps- I was a Fitbit addict too- company is from SF!!! I also had an average of 20000 so this has been hard😡😡😡 We may need to connect on Fitbit in 4 more mos 😉

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    • Posted

      You are very sweet Tituscanby! If anything we all can write can help someone who is just beginning, it feels so good. You have written a lot too with the same purpose. 
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