Walking FWB

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I have been walking FWB for two days and in regular shoes (8 weeks post op).  I used walker first day and tried crutches second day.  The pain is horrible.  He did X-rays and I'm healed.  It's just so stiff and I swell.  Trying to get through this day by day. Came home and iced and elevated. In the morning it looks good but it It so stiff!  This is not fun!  How long until it gets better? 

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  • Posted

    Hi Christina,

    FWB at eight weeks is unheard of from all the posts on this site. That's amazing. I'm only five weeks in & still have to be non weight bearing for another seven weeks before I can PWB. It's all frustrating as we're so anxious to get our lives back. I think it will take awhile for the pain to subside. Those muscless have to become strong again. Don't overdo it but keep at little by little every day. I'm told it takes a full year to be completely pain free. Good luck with your healing journey. 

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  • Posted

    You will get better - quite normal to be so stiff and I agree it is not fun but you have done very well in my opinion!  I have 14 weeks in normal shoes - still a little stiff but better every day!!! Well done!  It does get better!  I am a bit careful still, terrified of twisting it again although I know it is healed it is a tad scary!  You will get there darling - breaking an ankle is a terrible, slow thing but it does get better. xxx

     

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  • Posted

    Have you done light weight to begin with. Only bear the weight as you can bear it. Nobody except you know your pain. You can't be pushed in doing it someone else's way. And a nice way to limber up to gaining good foot rotation in foot soak in warm water. I did my stretching in warm water. And light pressing of foot on end of couch while laying down. Listen to your body. Take care and good recovery. 

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  • Posted

    Hi christina. How long is a piece of string!! I'm 19weeks in and still pain sweyand stiffness. It's a long g haul. But everyone is different, some get great results fast others seem to take longer. But it's not easy ride is it 😔. I'm so fed up with it all. Wishing you well. Sx

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  • Posted

     Hi Christina. I'm going into my 8th week now. I had a trimalleolar fx with bimalleolar sx the very end of June on the 29th. I got the ok to FWB as tol by pain Aug 8, so about 7 weeks after. I dropped the boot and everything after the 2nd day I started bilateral tennis shoes. It's painful and I've been going to PT 2x a week. They give me ankle strengthening/loosening exercises and I've also been going for walks daily by trail or sidewalk. By the end of the walk I'm able to follow through more with my strides instead of rolling off when I started. It takes a very conscientious effort. Icing and elevating daily and nightly for quite a bit and ibuprofen helps. Sometimes by night time a stronger pain pill is welcomed.

     Since the bone is all healed it's the muscles and tendons that are playing catch up now. I'm finding it to be a very slow recovery even though I might be ahead of the game a bit. Every day waking up feels like starting all over again and still, I do the exercises, the walk, and have been going to the gym for the rest of my body. I do walk better than initially but I have a ways to go and have also lost strength in my entire left leg over the course. At 37 yrs old, had hip pain from lack of use, lol. I am happy to report that has resolved. I found myself getting a bit depressed about 2 weeks ago and find that all of the activity I am able to do now has helped considerably with that. Walking outside in the woods is lovely. What I can recommend is PT if you don't already have it, going for walks outside by yourself or with a friend is nice, and keeping the swelling down. I'm going to try some epsom salt soaks soon as well.

     The first week after FWB is the worst but you've got to keep it engaged and baby it after. You've got to move it, move it! Hang in there. Maybe if you write down your daily progress you can better see your progression and know that you're moving forward. I'm curious about your recovery since you're similar to mine in time. You can do it and it will happen. Until then there is this forum smile Please share your progress, it's beneficial to hear about improvement.

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    • Posted

      I'm also week eight with bimalleolar fx but you are far ahead of me. I was just put in a lace up Wednesday but can't wear it because I don't have any shoes big enough to fit over it. I start pt the 30th.

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    • Posted

      Congratulations! Have you ever heard of Keen shoes? They are typically very accommodating in width or maybe there's someone else on this forum that has had the same issue. 

      I sit here in my aircast cryocuff (a lifesaving gadget I read about in this forum somewhere/favorite part of my day) icing on the couch. I've had my nightly Motrin and norco and am trying to chill. I went for my daily walk today and did a little recumbent bike at the gym. I also spent some time in a friend's pool and did calf raises-so much easier in the water for initial attempts. If I do that daily I feel like I've made good use of my day. I have so much guilt being off of work still it's hard to deal with sometimes but I can't help anything move any faster. Every night there is pitting edema around my ankle and it gets warm from use. Various areas of my incisions swell and "dissolvable" sutures keep popping out here and there. Everything looks so good in the morning and then at the end of the day it's all ugly again.  

      I picked up a stretchy brace that fits in tennis shoe. Seems like theYd recommend a shoe with that brace of yours....

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  • Posted

    Hi Christina,

    You are doing really well. I am still wearing rocker shoes, and a compression sock for swelling. I had my ankle fused in January and screws removed in April. It has been a long road back to recovery, I still find that I don't have the energy levels that I had pre op. However, when I think it took me six months to recover I'm not surprised. I have been to PT 2x a week for the past eight weeks, and the chiropractor as well to help with the gait, as I was favouring my right side.  I have been in the pool swimming which is my greatest joy, have now made it up to 14 laps in the olympic pool. Before op I was doing 30 so that is my goal. Yes it is hard, but when I look back I can see slow progress and that is exactly what it is slow and steady. As others have said listen to your body I still have strange feelings in my calf and foot, and yes it is the muscles and tendons reawakening after their hiatus. Hope this helps.

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  • Posted

    Christina,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I don't know which or how many ankle bones you broke in your accident, and if you sustained a bad sprain as well, but your doctor promoted you to walking status (presumably still in the CAM boot) so that is wonderful news. The x-rays did not show you were completely  healed, it just means your bones can now take the weight and stress of body weight and walking. Now comes the really challenging task of working on full recovery of the rest of your ankle so you can have a normal life back.

    It is surprising to hear that your doctor told you one day to just go FWB and good luck with it. In my case, which is probably the practice with many orthopedists, my physician put me on partial weight bearing (50%) for 2 weeks before FWB (still in boot throughout).

    That conservative approach allows a gradual reawakening of all the complex ankle soft tissue that was mostly dormant for many weeks in recovery (unless you were performing non-weight-bearing ankle recovery exercises (sans boot of course) before going to weight-bearing -- that I believe is best practice and recommended for a speedier and better healing outcome).

    Consider pain your friend. It is nature's way of getting our attention so we don't make things worse. Some pain is to be expected after most ankle injuries in any case, but you don't want to use the ankle to the point even close to intolerable pain.  I would suggest that experiencing really bad pain in ankle while in recovery is a sign to back off activity or exercise for a while, and then try again. Your doctor or physical therapist would be your best resources in patient pain management (avoid painkillers by the way if you can). And icing can make a big difference as most of us know.

    Keep in mind that it is imperative to do your ankle rehab exercises- as pain allows- to strengthen, stabilize, and restore ankle function. Neglecting this part of recovery (in my opinion, for many patients) could possibly lead eventually to varying degrees of ankle disability further on down life's road.

    Good luck to you. Please keep us informed of your recovery milestones no matter how modest. We all want to hear more success stories!

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  • Posted

    I am also 8 weeks post op and was put in a lace up ankle brace last Wednesday but I don't have any shoes that will fit over it so I'm still wearing my boot. I start pt the 30th. I have been using a walker with wheels. I'm scared of crutches. Are you going to pt? I have heard that it helps.

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  • Posted

    Bless your heart. My doctor gave me the go ahead to FWB at my 6 weeks checkup...But I am taking it easy and decided to do PWB on my own. I don't see how he expected me to just get up and walk after I have been immobile for so long! I do it in my boot and I use my walker. I headed back to work the same day he released me and it was so exhausting getting around. First 3 days were OK but swelling started on day 4 & 5. I get home and immediately elevate and ice it. Poor lil ankles of ours!!! I tell ya! One day at a time. I have to remind myself to breathe. I start therapy on Monday and am so excited. I will do whatever it takes to walk again.

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