Trimalleoler Fracture Recovery

Posted , 6 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

Hey everyone, I'm recently recovering from a pretty bad ankle fracture. It's been 6 weeks since surgery and I think I have made significant progress but other times I don't. I was non-weight bearing for about 4 weeks then was able to put partial weight on week 5. I am now on week 7 and my doctor told me I can start bearing full weight (as long as I can handle it). I have been using a walker the whole time because I am clumsy and didn't feel comfortable on crutches. Now that I can wear a shoe with an ankle brace, I want so badly to walk on my own but still need the walker because of the pain in my foot. I start PT on Monday and hopefully that will help. The pain in my foot when trying to put full weight and walk on my own is pretty bad. When can I expect this pain to start subsiding? I'm sure the phrase "No pain, No gain" comes into play in this situation but really hate the thought of re-injuring myself. 😖

0 likes, 12 replies

Report

12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Danielle,

    Im recovering from a dislocated and broken tib and fib. I also tore the ligament between the 2 bones so had a very unstable ankle. Im 12 weeks post surgery and shuffling around with 1 crutch but able to full weight bear. I started weight bearing in a boot after 8 weeks and had exactly the same as you, lots of pain when trying to increase the weight on the bad ankle. I used some scales at home and started trying to put as much weight as I could handle. When I started I could put 40% of my full weight, after a couple of days I could do 50% and after a week or so I could take my full weight with some pain after holding it for over a minute. Then I switched to a single crutch wearing the boot and the process of walking around quickly reduced any remaining pain right down. I also started leaning on my knee when I was sat down, sometimes pushing down so it increased the weight, which seemed to help speed up the process. I can now stand on the bad leg for as long as I need to without any major pain. Part of this whole process for me has been getting over the fear of doing things too soon. Physio is a great thing to cure this as they push you to try things (within pain limits) that you might not try on your own. If the doc says you can weight bear, it means the repaired bones are able to take your full weight. The foot and ankle are just badly out of practice and need to be eased into the mechanics of weight and motion. When you get into walking with a single crutch youll be flying around the place. As of last night Im limping around in slippers at the office with no crutches which is slow but fantastic! I can also now go to a bar and carry my own drink which is always a good thing, although I have enjoyed having people run around doing things for me.

    Hope you heal fast!

    Report
    • Posted

      Thanks for sharing Charlie! There has definitely been a scare of doing to much to soon. I have been trying to put as much weight I can handle for a short amount of time and increasing that weight every day. I have read a lot of other people's stories and I seem to be a little ahead than most. Since I'm only 6 weeks and doc says I am able to bear weight. It makes me think I may be trying to soon. I am happy for you that you are up and going with one crutch! I know that has to be a good feeling! I hope I will be able to in a few weeks also.

      Report
  • Posted

    Hi Danielle, where is your pain? So you are having a hard time full weight bearing? 
    Report
    • Posted

      Hi Pam. The pain is on the side of my ankle and some on top. I believe the pain on top is mostly from muscles and tendons being so stiff still? But the pain in my ankle is a shooting pain all the way up the side of my leg. I was cleared for full weight on Wednesday, so maybe it will just take a few days for my foot to get used to the weight again. I was also getting a pins and needles type of feeling in my heel when I first started walking on Wednesday. The doc was some what confused as to why that was, but I have read other people's stories that say it's normal?

      Report
    • Posted

      I have tons of heel pain as well as inner ankle pain, even though my plate and screws are on my outer ankle (broken fib in 3 places) also torn ligaments and dislocation. The top of my foot at the shin is also painful. I have been cleared for fwbat 2 weeks ago at 6 weeks PO!
      Report
  • Posted

    Hey Danielle. I also had a trimalleolar fracture so know how you are feeling. It is a hard journey so try not to put too much pressure on yourself. In my case I was non-weight bearing for just under seven weeks so at your stage I hadn't been doing any weight bearing yet. Once I did I took it slowly and did as much as I could.

    I had been told by the orthopedic surgeon that I could start partial weight bearing as soon as my cast was off. So the next day I started physio and he said to use pain as my guide. If I was in pain, then I should stop. 

    So maybe you just need to ease up a bit on what you are doing. Maybe you are applying too much weight. But also try not to get down about it. Which is funny coming from me because I have really struggled lately. What I have found is that I can feel like I am not making progress but then one day I realise that I am. Some days are great and some not so much. I am learning to deal with that but it's not easy. I have become very used to being achy and uncomfortable but mostly I am pain free. I have used the physio's advice and whenever I feel pain just leave it and realise that I'm not ready.

    Good luck. You will get there. Sadly it's not a fast process!

    Report
    • Posted

      Thanks so much Murphy! This has been a difficult road for me, emotionally and physically. I'm 24 years old, used to working 2-3 jobs and have a 4 year old son. It took me a few weeks to finally realize that this wasn't going to be an easy journey. I don't think any amount of time could be fast enough for me to heal. As long as I'm sitting around not doing anything, there is no pain and I'm fine. However, if I'm up and trying to walk around on it the pain is horrible. I don't want to sit around all day and not make any progress but sometimes I just don't want to deal with the pain! I hope PT on Monday will help a little.

      Report
    • Posted

      I totally understand how you feel. The idea of sitting around for weeks on end was just odd. I only have the one job but it takes me away from home most weeks and I live alone so all of a sudden I had to go and stay with my parents to recover. I ended up being with them for 8 weeks. I hate to think what I would have done without them. They were a God send and actually kept me sane and helped me to laugh, even when I was struggling. So I really can't imagine what it has been like for you have a broken ankle while taking care of you son. How stressful for you and for him. Must have been hard for him to see you injured like that.

      I was given six weeks of injections to prevent blood clots when I left hospital. In a way that was quite good because it made me realise that they had minimal expectations of me moving much over that time. But two weeks after my operation I had my partial cast taken off and then a full cast put on for the next four. When the nurses were putting the new cast on they told me that I should have my foot elevated above my heart as much as possible. That was the second thing to make me realise how important it was that I rest. So in total I was one day short of seven weeks on my backside with my foot up and injecting myself to stop blood clots.

      I was really not great with crutches either so avoided them any chance I got. I had a walker too but for the most part I used a knee scooter. I really liked that. It made me feel safe and balanced which was really nice at a time when I felt completely unstable.

      Are you still taking any kind of pain relief? I'm nearly three months into this whole process and I am still taking paracetamol and diclofenac each day. Some days I have tried to not take them and then my day is miserable, especially by the end of it. And until now that has managed to keep my aching to a minimum. Today is the first day that I realised that my aching is now not there all the time. At the moment I feel nothing, but last Saturday night I had horrible aching. Not pain but awful aching. Pain relief has been the best thing for me. It keeps things managable. Today though has made me realise that I won't need to take it forever. Last week was horrible but I now feel pretty good. On saying that though, I know that there are going to be days or weeks ahead of me that I will really struggle. Then I'll just cry and then move on! It seems to be the only thing that makes me feel better.

      One other thing for this week. I have started having some quite intense feelings. I wouldn't say they are pains but they are more than aching. They are intense and short and come as a bit of a shock. It feels almost like parts of foot are coming back to life, ever so slowly.

      Anyway if I can help further pelase just let me know. And good luck. You will get better, it just won't be fast.

      Report
  • Posted

    Danielle....toss the idea of no pain no gain into the rubbish!

    Recovery is a marathon not a sprint. Your poor ankle was fractured...it needs time to fully heal.

    You still need to continue elevation above your heart, ice, rest...and you might consider compression hose to the knee. This will keep the fluid moving back towards the heart and they will help with the pain, plus they will give your ankle added support and protection.

    Work with physical therapy to learn the balance between exercise, weight bearing, and rest. You need all three.

    All total, you may be looking at nine months to a year for full recovery...yoy will see improvement each week.

    I understand your fear, just do not allow your fear to jeopardize your recovery.

    Report
  • Posted

    I have had the same injury as you . I broke my ankle it in July and i went threw the same process as you it takes a long time .

    I still have pain , not all the time , some days not all and then last night , I could have cried !

    I walk very well unless I am tired and I limp slightly . This week I cycled for over an hour . I know my bones have healed and I am soon to have metal work out to see if I have arthritis in it . Just do as much physio as byou can do and strengthen the ankle .

    It is a very slow road . I am 54 years and it has at times taken the stuffing out of me !

    However I think I have done really well. Take care X

    Report
    • Posted

      Hi, I am also 54 and  am now 4 weeks post surgery with tri-mall fracture. So lovely to read you are walking and cycling less than 6 months post injury.  When I spend so much time lying in bed icing and elevating ( and now doing RoM exercises) it is hard to fathom that I will walk normally some day. Thanks for the encouragement.
      Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up