Trimalleolar fracture dislocation Nightmare surgery gone wrong

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi all

i joined this club 20 days ago when i fractured and dislocated my right ankle on a remote island beach in thailand 2 hours away by bumpy speedboat to the nearest hospital on the mainland with no medical attention or painrelief til i got there, my ankle was immediately manipulated and pulled straight in the A&E with no sedation or time to get adequate painrelief which was excrutiating agony and i was told i needed urgent plate & screws for a very bad injury which was a trimalleolar fracture and dislocation. The next day after a nightmare 36 hours of my ankle being in just a box splint and pain like id never known i had surgery which took 2 and a half hours with a spinal block as i was considered too high risk for general anaesthetic due to being asthmatic, with sedation only. I heard the drilling and felt my leg being pulled all over. After a week i was fit to fly the 15 hour flight back to England, thank god my travel insurance covered the £13000

(13 thousand pound)medical bill.

Back in home in England after more xrays and scans I'm told by my orthopaedic ankle & foot specialist that the ORIF i had done was very poor, and my next appointment in 6 days is to discuss my options about further surgery.

Has anyone else had to have their surgery redone and how long will recovery time be ? Half my foot and toes have been permanently numb and tingling since i had a solid cast applied on my return home and ive been trapped on my sofa since, with a wheelchair to get to the bathroom, as i also have a fractured wrist in cast to make life even more awkward. I am normally an active 53 year old full time working nurse and never suffered so much pain and inconvenience, the only consolation i can get is at least i didnt break my neck or back.

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    hi, sounds like you had an extremely awful time.

    i have 11 screws and a plate. this injury is one of the worst things i've gone thru. it took about 8 weeks after surgery to become weight bearing again for me. its been a long hard road, but there is light at the end of the tunnel!!! GOOD LUCK.

    I bad a scooter to get around with, I found this easier than getting in and out of the wheelchair. However I did not break my wrist at the same time.

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  • Posted

    WOW YOU HAVE BEEN THROUGH THE RINGER! I'm with AIR, a knee scooter if you can. I think most of us would agree, This is the longest most painful thing we have ever gone through. You are just going to go through it twice? Well maybe your nerves in your foot will get

    better with a second surgery, I can remember some numbness, tingling, and jerking of my foot, so nerves can be affected. I wrote a post on how to get through this, tips and hacks, you should look it up and read it. Good luck and do the second surgery, you don't want this to heal incorrectly.

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  • Posted

    Hello Kay

    I am a year after the same fracture and surgery. I was perhaps 'lucky' that my accident took place in England and not in Sri Lanka a month earlier. I can imagine what you have been through but as I only had one op I cannot comment on your situation. Stay strong and be optimistic; yes the recovery from this injury is long but you will recover and will be back on your feet. A lot of patience is needed. Fingers crossed and good luck. Anna

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  • Posted

    ouch! I cannot imagine having to have my foot reset / put back into place without any pain relievers. I am so sorry to hear you had to go through that. I met a girl my age (28) at my doctors office who had the same exact injury as myself. I broke my right ankle in three places w dislocation and had a pin put in my inner ankle and a plate with 7 screws on my outter ankle. She had fallen in Cancun, Mexico and had very poor medical treatment as well. She was flown back to the states where she had her surgery but up until that point she was in a very poor put together splint with no medications or pain relievers. She had her surgery and all was well! I'm going to assume that your doctors are going to undo whatever was done in THailand and redo it properly? You may have a longer recovery time but Im sure they cant get it right this time! Once you have the surgery just allow yourself to heal! I'm 7 weeks out from ORIF and walking with my boot- no swelling! Whatever your doctors suggest is the best option Id say go for it! Dont be afraid to ask questions or ask for further explanations- thats what theyre there for 😃

    Good luck and keep us posted!!!!

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  • Posted

    Just wow, that is a nightmare. I am very surprised they wanted to do surgery right away when you were so far from home. I've waited days to 2 weeks to have my broken ankle surgeries, a friend of mine was hospitalized but had to wait several days until the swelling went down too. I would have hoped they could have stabilized you in a good splint or cast and sent you back home instead. Don't be afraid to be pushy when it comes to your own care and assume the doctors always know what's best. I've regretted some poor decisions of my past and now ask lots of questions and get second opinions on medical issues often.

    I would guess it will be hard to say how long recovery will be until you know what they will need to do. I would guess it is going to be several months at least.

    I don't know if it's possible for you there but here in the US, I got in home physical therapy and occupational therapy right after my surgery which was helpful for me to learn how to deal with the broken ankle while recovering as well as build strength in the rest of my body needed for getting around and for when I did start walking again. You might look into something similar or at least, exercises you can do when recovering after the surgery. I did upper body weights and leg lifts in bed. The occupational therapist helped me with using the wheelchair, walker and knee scooter properly. I recommend a knee scooter for in the house as it will help get you up and moving some and is alot easier to navigate than the wheelchair.

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  • Posted

    hi thanks to everyone for your replies and messages of support. Although i wouldnt wish this on anyone its good to know im not alone !

    Well i saw my orthopaedic consultant who after checking my latest ct scan felt that further surgery wasnt an option as because my bones were so fragmented it would actually cause more damage, so even though the ORIF done in thailand wasnt as good as he'd have settled for and to now let healing continue and consider removing some of the screws later on to help with discomfort.

    i have mixed feelings as although i was glad not to have to undergo more surgery, im also disappointed a better fixation of my ankle bones is not an option which could help reduce problems down the road which i have been told there will be and for the rest of my life. ☹

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