Update 7 weeks post ORIF Ankle Surgery

Edited , 6 users are following.

7 weeks post surgery! Woohoo!

In a boot for the last week and a half - all new sensations and odd feelings.

I had ORIF surgery having a plate with 7 screws 'installed'. Doc says once elective surgeries are allowed to resume I should have the syndesmotic screw removed.

So my questions for any who have been in my situation -

  1. There was no work done to the medial side of the ankle, I have not started even light weight bearing, but I was told (in the most vague fashion) that I should be able to start when I feel ready...I am ready so I guess I should go for it?!

  2. I do obviously have some slight pain and discomfort as expected, but the odd part is the medial side of the ankle. During my injury the ankle did do a full 180 degrees and clearly that had to cause some strain to the ligaments and everything in there, but there was no surgery needed per the doc...Has anyone had similar feeling of pain in the medial side even with no surgery on that side? I assume this is normal and I am being neurotic (I just couldn't imagine having to go through another surgery right now)

Anyway, hope everyone who reads this is recovering well from their injuries and is staying safe from Covid!

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  • Edited

    Hi Nayr,

    Glad you are making progress!! My doctor also gave me vague instructions about weight bearing as my body allowed. There is scholarship on weight bearing as soon as possible to improve the healing process timeline, but if you are unsure, just call them quickly for reassurance. I was able to start lightly bearing weight in the boot a couple of weeks after my surgery. A month from my surgery I was put into a removable Aircast to weight bear fully. I am a week out from that now and can bear full weight with at least one crutch and can take a few steps without anything (except the Aircast). I do recommend doing ROM exercises such as the ABCs because you will be stiff when your surgeon allows. You may be able to do those now, but definitely call and ask first before starting.

    I totally had pain on my medial side even though my surgery was on the lateral ankle (still swells there even now). It actually hurt more even though there was no direct injury there. Of course, the whole foot gets traumatized from either the injury, surgery, or both. I am still dealing with the medical side of my big toe being numb, but just on the outside. Hoping time will clear that up. Do you have that too?

    Anyway, glad to hear you are doing better and thanks for the update! Nice to hear how everyone is doing that had surgery around the same time. Didn't think I would ever make progress at times, at least that is how I felt, but helped to know I wasn't the only one having these feelings. Keep us posted. be safe, and wishing you as quick and easy recovery as you can!


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    • Posted

      Hi Gina! I have called several times to contact the surgeon but of course with everything going on getting a response is super difficult and frustrating. I do have numbness on the side of my foot/bigtoe which I did find odd as well.

      I think I need to just go for it and start off with baby steps in the walking boot, but certainly all mental at this point.

      Glad to hear you are doing well and that your recovery is progressing smoothly. We will be running marathons soon 😉!

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  • Edited


    i had similar injury. had plate and syndesmosis screws put in. plate was on the fibula where the fracture was. in these types of injuries the ligament on the medial side usually pulls a bit of bone of the tibia, called an avulsion. but in our case the ligament tore instead. this usually happens if the bone is very strong. so our ligaments on the medial side have torn, and its usually a total tear. so yes, the medial side will hurt! and swelling will persist for a long time too. bone usually takes 6-8 weeks to heal but ligaments around 12 months. its totally normal for it to hurt. im in the physio stage, out of boot and walking relatively normal. but i have to take pain relief to be able to do so. but its really important you try to start walking properly when you can otherwise the healing ligaments will stay tight. unlike you, im not having the syndesmosis screws out. can i ask, why are you having yours out? at our hospital we usually keep them in unless causing an issue with rehabilitation. (im a radiographer in the NHS)

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    • Posted

      Hi @shelley27394! My doctor recommends I have the Syndesmosis screw removed because of my level of activity. I still play sports and run regularly (well hopefully) and he believes with my level of activity that I am guaranteed to break the Syndesmosis screw quickly. It's odd, he mentioned there wasn't a tear in the medial ligament, but it sure feels like there was some damage done...maybe I misheard him and he said there was a slight tear and it will just take additional time to heal. Thanks for your note! I am going to toughen up and give light walking in the boot a go

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    • Edited

      I had hardware removed thirteen months after initial surgery. Screws and plate removed on 3/02/2020. Very happy I made decision I was in a boot for a couple of weeks. Doing pt at home. I did a lot of research and decided to have it done. Very happy so far.

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  • Edited

    I also had a single fibula fracture, ORIF 7 screws and a lot of medial ankle pain. They re-xrayed once I was weight bearing to check it out - in case they had missed a small fracture. It was (JUST!) torn ligaments which take a lot longer to heal. The other reason that the medial side started hurting for me, when I started weight bearing is that the whole ankle was unstable, so I was rolling in and putting pressure on that side. Needed to do a lot of foot exercises, then balance exercises to get that stability back. It is still not as good as it was.

    I didn't end up with a syndesmotic screw even though I had tearing in my syndesmosis. I'm not sure why they chose not to go that why, maybe it wasn't very high.

    I also had a numb big toe for a long time. Part of this went away as the swelling came down, but the very tip was still numb, and it was caused by a pinched nerve in my lower back, from limping in the boot and laying on the couch so much. The physio was able to fix it very quickly.

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  • Posted

    I also ORIF done on 7/10/20 . Im glad to find this place where there are people who have gone through the same process. I had surgery on both sides of my ankle. On my appointment at the Drs I was told I can weight bear and my body will tell me what I can tollerate . I had physical therapy the very next day and boy did he have me doing a lot. It really didn't bother me untill the end of the session. I was very sore and the next day still sore . I'm not 100% possitive if its just from using muscles I havn't used in two months. But I don't want to baby it either. But I'm icing it today and using heat hoping it will feel better tommorow. I know your injury happened months before mine so i hope you get this.

    I hope you are well on your way to being on 2 feet again. I can't wait for this to be over and back to living my life again. : )

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