Week 13 ! Just come out of Cam/ air boot and struggling to walk

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Hi everyone. Would like some feedback from people who have had acute ankle injury. I'm 13 weeks post op ankle surgery. I saw my X-ray today and have an ankle full of plates and screws. I can see the fibula has plates and screws and another long screw going in from the other side ( which gives me some pain) also I have another 2 rows of what looks like plates and screws running down the front of my ankle. Not sure what this is for. I was once again told this is one of the worse ankle breaks and I will get arthritis in this ankle. I was told to now try to start walking without boot. I can hardly hobble and need a crutch to prop me up. I am snail pace hobbling and more confident in boot. I'm nearly 60 years old and the bones are still healing. How long before I will be back walking at my fast pace. ? I have a very physical job and on my feet 8 hours a day looking after the aged nearly full time. How long before I can be competent in my field of work? I am feeling down and wonder if I'll ever be back to my fit, active self. I was so fit and since the accident my life has completely changed. This has been a very hard challenging time for me both mentally and physically. I am living independently and I'm so worried things will never be the same. I would love to hear feedback from anyone in a similar situation. I need to earn a living but sometimes think my present work will now be too demanding for me. I have had physio and will have some more shortly . My ankle has about 80% of movement ,stiffness still at the outer side of my ankle and all across the front it feels as if someone has their hand around it and are squeezing it. I need more knowledge on my situation from people who have also had the same/ similar trauma. Again this the worse end of the spectrum of ankle breaks and don't want to be compared to someone young or with a fibula only ankle break and please I mean no disrespect there.

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  • Posted

    Like you I have an ankle full of metal and we are the same age - in fact I celebrated my birthday 3 weeks after surgery and on heavy pain meds.  In addition to fixing the four breaks on the two main bones, I  also had the honor of having surgery to lengthen my achiles, and clean out the ankle joint where bone fragments settled.  I am a little over 3 1/2 months after surgery and slowly moving / hobbling with a cane, every day is a challenge to stay positive and put the nasty negative thoughts out of my mind.  The isolation and depression and worry drive me nuts as does the lack of  ankle movement, I so want to drive again and not have to depend on others.  I love your description of how the ankle feels as that is exactly what I experience.   I have had 6 weks of therapy and am learning to walk without limpimg and/or pain and am hoping to supplement the therapy with time in the gym.  From what I have read from others it will get better, and we just have to be patient.  I wish you the best --
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    • Posted

      Hi Misty.

      That's good that you are on your feet with therapy. I went to the fracture clinic yesterday and for X-ray. I was seen by a very young lad. I would say he was in his early 20's. I was told to go home and take off the cam boot and try to walk because the bones are nearly healed. Well today I went and had a fall at home. I thought I'd broken my foot as the pain was horrible and I couldn't put any weight on my foot. I phoned my daughter and she took me for another X-ray . They xrayed both foot and ankle to make sure none of the metal had moved etc. it appears I didn't break my foot and the metal was still in place. The X-ray will be looked at again by someone else tomorrow to get a second opinion. I feel I took one step forward and 10 steps back. My leg has lost its muscle and everything in there is pretty weak due to inactivity so that's why I lost my balance. I'm now laid out on my bed and when I get up I put on my cam boot which now hurts my foot and use both crutches as I can't weight bear. I will be having physio soon. Did you feel as if you was losing your balance at first Misty?

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  • Posted

    I fell three times - once in the soft cast, once with the plaster cast and the last faall was awful - I fell off the knee scotter landing on my ankle on the tile floor - thought I broke it all over again and my shoulder AND I didn't have the Cam boot on.  Was relived to learm that I didn't dislocate any of the screws or the plate or rebroke anything but boy was I bruised.  Never went without the Cam boot after that.  I would lay on the bed and try to move my ankle like I was pushing on the gas, just baby steps in movement and also try to move from left to right.  I would also constantly bend my toes - I think all of this helped as when I started therapy I was a bit ahead of the game.  The left muscles I exercised while wearing my boot / cast and laying on my bed and just lifting my leg up off the bed - nothing drastic just movement - I hope this helps.  Don't worry about fallling from what I've read we all fall - but what I have noticed is that the ankle group is very determined to win and we will.
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    • Posted

      Hi misty !

      Thank you for your encouraging words. I was thinking I had something wrong with me falling like that and being so unsteady on my feet. I'm looking forward to having physio and walking hopefully as I once did. It all gets too much at times and drains you both physically and mentally. I've been taking Tramadol for the pain and the pain has eased a little after my fall yesterday. I'm walking in the boot again with 2 crutches to keep me stable. It's been such a long, tiring journey for me. I've had 3 friends call in to see me today and that made me feel a bit better. Keep me updated on your recovery journey misty !

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  • Posted

    My pt helped me get range of motion back. It will be sore to walk on for a little bit. I was nwb for three months so my ankle really healed before I could walk on it so yours might not be as healed yet therfote more sore. My screws went through all the way and seem like I should feel them but I can't. I have two plates and 9 screws.
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    • Posted

      Hi natava.

      I've really taken a few steps back since my fall last week. My foot and ankle were already hurting and my foot even more so now especially on the ball of my foot and the top of my foot. I'm in the boot with one crutch from two. The pain was so bad I thought I'd now broken my foot. Thank goodness I hadn't. Do you now walk without a limp and when did you break your ankle? Did you also have pain and swelling in your foot ?

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    • Posted

      I walk normally now. It hurts a little if I'm on it a lot. I do have tons of swelling of I'm on my feet a lot and only some swelling of I'm on my feet a little. One thing I had to watch - the boot was heave and weighted my foot to fall to the right ... So I started walking with my toes pointing out.
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  • Posted

    I too had a rather nasty break- Fib/Tib, plate and 13 screws. I am also mid 50's. I was NWB for 8 weeks but no boot. I am now 19 weeks post op. 

    Did anyone get a length of recovery from their doctor? or a prognosis?

    Wondering if I'll ever walk a mile or 2 again?

    Wishing you all the best and a qucik recovery! 

     

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