Trimalleolar fracture and unrelenting pain at 8 weeks post op ankle ORIF

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I was on vacation in Tennessee and went hiking, ended up falling. Long story, but ended up with a trimalleolar fracture with syndesmosis ligament tear. Fracture occurred on July 23rd, had surgery on August 5th. Ended up with plate and 9 screws on fibula, 1 long screw on tibia and a tightrope procedure for ligament injury. It has been a very painful journey. The pain has improved, but my ankle is still very painful in the morning and evening. I take pain meds every morning in order to tolerate my morning routine and get out of the house. I try to avoid taking pain meds throughout the day at work. By the end of my work day, the pain is really bad again. I don't like taking narcotic pain meds. It makes me feel itchy and overheated. But the pain is worse. I am very frustrated trying to work full time and manage my home life. I have a 6 year old daughter that is very active and my husband owns his own business and works late. My job is very demanding both physically and mentally. I am at my wits end with the pain. I have a follow up appointment with my surgeon next week and feel like this is never going to end. The pain makes me grouchy and all I want to do is lay down at the end of the day, but I can't. When I get home, I clock in to my other job-Mom. This used to be my favorite part of the day. Now I dread it. Does anyone have any advice for pain relief other than narcotic pain meds?

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  • Posted

    Sorry I don't have any advice regarding meds as currently in pain myself however I wondered if I could ask are you in a walking boot? I'm just wondering how long it will be before I'm back at work x

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    • Posted

      I went back to work on August 15th (10 days after surgery) but only for 4-6 hours for the first week. Have been back full time since then. I used a knee walker for the most part at work. I have a CAM pneumatic walking boot that my surgeon said to use to mostly protect my ankle at work now. I bought sneakers last week. One size larger than what I usually wear. I have been able to walk some at work now. My injury seems to make every task that I used to take for granted take at least double the time and energy that it used to. The pain has become a constant annoyance which overall affects my general attitude. It has improved compared to what it was last week, just so over it today. I need to clean my house and do some laundry and make some lunch for my daughter, and all I want to do is lay on the couch and watch movies. Sorry for the negativity.
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    • Posted

      10 days after surgery?  You are a wonderwoman.  Did you have a cast?  or just the walking boot.  I had a cast for 7 weeks and now the CAM walking boot for another 7- no shoe until I see the surgeon next time.  You have progressed very fast....  esp. with the injury you had.  All surgeons are so different.  Did you get PT?   I do not start until after I am done w/ the boot....

      You must be limping too. 

      My situation is completely different than yours and I know how blessed I ahve been.  My husband took off the first month to be home with me and he continues to cook, clean (minimally)- he even ironed a few weeks ago.  I am able to do the laundry now so I have taken over that and putting dishes away.  But- the house will get a good cleaning eventually so I have learned to not worry about it.  We also have a huge support from our church family which has been incredible.  It is my right foot so surgeon also has said no driving until after boot :-(.  I actually think I have enough ROM that I could but not sure i am willing to risk it....  

      Now you lady, you have every right to be negative, sad, depressed- you are my HERO.  I am just amazed at what you are doing....  this forum is a wonderful place to share how we feel- everyone has similar injuries and it is not easy at all.   You hang in there and please know that better days are ahead.....

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    • Posted

      Wow I hope my recovery is like yours!

      I've been in a cast for 5 weeks get a boot on 3rd October! Hoping to be walking by end of October x

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    • Posted

      Thank you, I was having a bad day yesterday. I never had a cast. Just the CAM boot. I started PT about 2 weeks after I went back to work. Just some stretching and active assisted range of motion. After my first follow up visit with surgeon, I was weight bearing as tolerated. I know that I went back to work pretty quickly, but I couldn't stand being so helpless. Even though my body was not fully capable, my mind was. Fortunately, my job is not physically laborious. You are right about this group, it helps a lot knowing I am not alone in my struggles. Good luck to you as well!

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  • Posted

    Jen, My heart hurts for you.  I cannot imagine.  I had a bimalleolar fx the same day as you and am still not back at work.  I will not be back until Nov 2nd.  I have no clue how you have done it- I am older than you (59) but this has been the hardest journey i have ever been on.  So as for pain meds- I took them around the clock for about a week (on oxycodone)- now I do take one occas. in the afternoon, but not often.  I do take tylenol usually in the morning.  I am not surprised you are having so much pain- like you- mine is very stiff and hurting in the morning and then @ 3-4PM- it becomes weak and painful again - though I do continue to have some pain all day long  I would guess a lot of your pain is just from your busy days- are you in a boot now?  I am suppposed to be in a boot now until Nov 1st so am wondering if you are too.  I am at 50% wt bearing- and still using a walker or crutches.  

    I have a lot of nerve pain- esp. at night- it was either keeping me awake or waking me up--- the MD gave me a script for Gabapentin which has helped quite a bit most nights.  I also Ice my ankle up in teh evenings which feels heavenly.  I purchased a polar ice foot wrap from Amazon and it was worth every cent.  It is wonderful and definately eases the pain and swelling.

    You have every right to be grouchy- this is not an easy injury and you have so much to deal with.  I hope that the surgeon can help you and that relief is in your near future....  

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    • Posted

      Hi ,I did not go back to work for 6 months I broke both ankles one trimalleor , 14 months on still got pain and swelling ,my job is demanding and on your feet so cut my work hours down. I think you need more recovery time at home , the ankle is never the same again this I have realised ,you sound like you have a busy life so take care of yourself and slow down .all the best keep me updated x
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    • Posted

      Hi doi 15 February 2017 trimalleor fracture with dislocation operated on same day the pain has been horrific I feel I have not been pain free since my accident the wounds are almost heeled in a cam boot after 6 weeks nwb week 8 allowed to toe tap weight bear on crutches further appointment with consultant in 4 weeks I feel I have hit a wall so fed up being dependent on others I don't have a good security network I am normally the care giver what can I do for the pain have stopped taking opiate pain mess 

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    • Posted

      Hello, 

      I also had a trimalleolar Fracture with dislocation and am 8 weeks out .I too tried to stop the narcotics as soon as possible too many unpleasant side effects. 

      I used Naproxen (Aleve)for anti-inflammatory effect and pain . I also used Tramadol when needed . 

      I am 8 weeks out post ORIF, cast removed a week ago and wearing the CAM boot with Crutches , two crutches down to one but my body just aches. I stayed in bed today until I hurt so badly  but realized I had a fever . Has anyone gotten a fever this far into there recovery ? I am not taking any medication . 

      Also I have read up on CBD's and been told they can help with Pain and healing. Also was told that bone broth helps with healing. 

      Hope this helps someone out there. 

      I am so over this whole thing...........

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  • Posted

    My understanding is that for bone to remodel it takes 6-8 weeks but that does mean you have stability. The stiffness and pain is understandable considering this type of injury. I was physically fit when I had my injury , I am 54 and thought that would help me recover faster. Unfortunately there are many factors that will come into play here, where your fractures actually were, hardware in place, the stability of your other joints,, knees and hips . I recommend any type of yoga stretching you can do for your entire body,  massage, acupuncture anything alternative might be something to try. 

    More inför...

     Jen you are probably doing pretty good at this point. I see this post was 11 months ago, how are you now?

    S

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