Week 8 swelling

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I had a motorcycle accident Feb 17, 2017. I broke my ankle with compound fractures of the tibia and fibula. I had surgery within a few hours of the accident because of the open breaks - ended up with 1 plate and about 15 screws (pic attached). Supposed to be NWB for 10 - 12 weeks. However, I've been working it for a couple of weeks and can bear full weight and walk with a boot without any pain now, in week 8. But, I still use my crutches for anything more than a quick few steps here or there. My ankle is still very tight as is the calf - feels as though it will tear. My only concern is the swelling and bright red coloration. If I elevate it goes down. But, its back as soon as I'm up and moving the next day. Is this normal?


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  • Posted

    I have a plate and eleven screws and wasn't allowed to weight bear until 6-8 weeks. It swelled up big and I tried to elevate it and ice it every night.

    My surgery was June 15, 2016. It now finally doesn't swell up. If it hurts, baby it and put more of your weight on your good foot. But, you seem to be taking full weight bearing ahead of your doctor's orders. I would back off if I were in your shoes. When in doubt, rest-elevate-ice. Good luck.

    • Posted

      Thanks, Yvonne.

      First, I'm glad to hear you're recovering well. Slow it down is the phrase I hear most from friends and family, as well. It's not easy though, as you no doubt know. Sitting around and doing nothing is harder than it looks.

      I've always been a "3 months for "normal" people, means xx for me" kind of guy. That attitude probably factors into why I have a broken leg in the first place. So, I suppose I have a mental defect to go along with my current physical one. : )

      I have my next doctors appointment on May 4. We'll see if he chastizes me for doing more harm or congratulates me for getting the jump on my rehabilitation and recovery.

      Thanks for your note, your encouragement and your concern.


  • Posted

    Wow. Awesome that you can weight bear without pain. I think that's pretty rare. 

    In regards to the redness and swelling, my doc was adamant about not full weight bearing until he gave me the green light because he said I would experience the exact thing you're going thru. My breaks are very similar to yours. Doc says with that kind of break, the soft tissues, tendons, muscle all need time, lots and lots of time to do a deep true healing. 

    I think he sensed my desire to start walking much earlier than he wants me to. It's just incredibly hard to sit and heal. My husband and I are extremely active and now I'm sitting most of the day watching Grey's Anatomy reruns. Ugh!

    Again, I'm so glad you're not having pain but maybe you're body is trying to let you know to slow down just a bit. So hard to do. 😀

    I wish you a speedy healthy recovery. 

    Best of luck to you!

    • Posted

      Thanks, Karen.

      I hope you get well soon. It's a pretty serious injury. I hope you broke it doing something fun, at least!

      Your counsel makes sense. I wasn't really thinking about soft tissues, tendons and ligaments. Mine is another case of cabin fever overriding common sense. Clearly, patience is not one of my strengths.

      I justify my impatience in this matter by telling myself that the biggest risk is a loss of range of motion. I think I could deal with a setback in my recovery or even a rebreak from working it too soon than I could a permanent loss of mobility that restricts my future activities. Or worse, makes me look goofy (smile). So, I'm constantly pulling and stretching and trying to work my ankle as much as I can stand it.

      Regarding Greys Anatomy... I have too much empathy for patients in those dramas now to enjoy watching them. I watch sports. Flailing my arms around and screaming at the tv gives me some measure exercise. : )

      All the best.


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