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Hi guys, I am 7 weeks into my ORIF recovery. During my recovery I read a huge number of negative horror stories on here which no doubt put me in a negative frame of mind, however I want to give you a positive story to read.
Whilst playing football I sustained a snapped fibula (weber B unstable fracture with talar shift) plus ruptured ligaments. The accident happened at 21st April, and I had the operation on the 29th April. (a long plate fitted and 8 screws). I opted to be part of a trial to go in a walking air cast 2 weeks post op following 2 weeks in a solid cast, with a view it will speed up the healing process. I would highly recommend this - it not only gives you a little more independence, but it allows you to take it off to do light movement exercises during the day, shower ... and when you're ready to sleep boot free!
I am a very active person - I play competitive football, I gym 5 times a week, I love driving so there is no doubt the first few weeks were hell, and it's easy to see how people become depressed - I suddenly became dependent on everybody around me which I hated. However my advice is to stay positive (it does get better), make the most of the help around you - you would do the same for them, and immerse yourself in things you wouldn't normally do - even if it is crap day time TV or binging Netflix! (When in normal life do you get the opportunity to do that - and not be called lazy!) My fantastic mum also bought me some light dumbells so I could still do some lightweight upper body work - this was not only good for me physically but also kept me (just about) mentally sane too.
I had my 6 week check last week, and I was told the bone had healed nicely, and ligaments were on the way to recovering, so my surgeon said he wanted me to come out of the boot altogether, and start walking in normal shoes! I was hesitant at first - afterall my boot had become my comfort blanket, however he said to keep using the crutches until I felt comfortable enough to walk unassisted.
I got home excitedly, put my crutches down and thought I would try walking on my own. I then stood up and physically couldn't do it. I knew it was all in my head but I couldn't physically but my right foot forward, I was scared of pain, causing more damage, falling over - so I got myself frustrated. I then decided to walk around with crutches building up the confidence, and more importantly getting my foot used to the new sensations of pressure-which it hadn't had for 6 weeks!
The next day I took my first step - (a very small, unsteady step) but it was enough to know I was on the right track, and I spent the next few days increasing the steps. I'm now a week post aircast, and I can walk a fair distance - with a small limp - something I never thought would be possible at this stage. Admittedly there is some pain when doing so - more the actual foot bones than anything else, and I will certainly still be using crutches when venturing outside - at least for the next few weeks, however I am definitely on the road to recovery.
I actually made a youtube video showing my walking progress - so feel free to watch it
I hope this gives you guys some positivity during your recovery There is no doubt it's a horribly tough thing to get get through, however it does get better - if you have any questions please ask!
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