Weight bearing issues

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i am 9 weeks post op from trimalleoar ankle fracture with plates and pins. The surgeon  everything 

looks good with healing and I have been in physical therapy for 4 weeks.  Currently in aircast and was doing well with two crutches and almost full weight bearing.  Two days ago, my PT moved me to full weight and only one crutch. Painful, but i managed for short distances...but now swelling is back, inside ankle very painful and he has moved me back to tow crutches and weight as much as I can manage for a few days and he will try again with one crutch next week, but still in aircast

 Anyone else have this setback when starting to get rid of crutches and walk? I feel like this process is not going well and how am I supposed to be able to walk with no support???? 

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  • Posted

    I'm currently 6 months post op from trimal fracture with dislocation. Yes, I think it's normal for the process to not go smoothly.  I went at my own pace for weightbearing and moving from 2 crutches to 1 to none. PT focused on range of motion. Each time I moved to the next phase I'd practice walking that way in PT to work on my gait and such.  It personally took me about a month to go from 2 crutches to 0 crutches. It wasn't easy and each time I'd have increased pain until I got comfortable again. I did as much as I could tolerate and if the pain got too much I rested or took a step back.  I've found that throughout this process that just when I'm convinced that I'll never get to the next stage of recovery, I suddenly find that I can do it and I wonder what the problem was.  Basically, listen to your body and the professionals.  You will get there and there will be setbacks along the way, but that's just how it is.  When I went from the boot to normal shoes, I found that I had to go back to 2 crutches for a bit.

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    • Posted

      Thank you!  That is what I needed to hear. It hurt so bad moving to the one crutch that I was afraid I did something wrong and wasn’t healing right.   Then I got all freaked out that I would never walk like again by myself.  I look like a wounded giraffe with one crutch. I can’t seem to get the gait down right. I know my PT said he will work with me on this. I guess I just need to move at MY pace not the NORMAL pace.   Thanks again. I feel so much better hearing from someone else 
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  • Posted

    Monique,

    Congratulations on moving to weight-bearing stage.

    Unfortunately for many of us recovery is not always a linear progression with no set backs. Sometimes it seems like two steps forward, one step back.

    Doctor's instructions on weight bearing often include the phrase "Weight bearing as tolerated",or WBAT. This means you need to heed your body's response to your efforts. If it hurts too much you are advised to back off and try later with less intensity.

    Eventually, you pass the hurdles, the ankle starts noticeably healing, and it gets better.

    Your physiotherapist naturally wants to push you to the limits to challenge the soft tissues to adapt to the stress of walking and movement. But remember you have the damaged ankle, you feel the pain and discomfort-- so you have final say on what is too much too soon.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your response.  I really was feeling like I was not meeting the timelines set for walking.  I backed off as you suggested over the weekend and tried again with one crutch today.  Still very painful so I think I will continue with two for a while longer until I feel more confident and able to tolerate the added discomfort 

      So thankful there is such a great community out there of people who have experienced some of the same issues and have such great advice. Thank you 

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  • Posted

    This is good to hear because I am 6 weeks post Subtalar surgery.   I am suppose to start weight bearing today but the crutches are not easy for me to use. I have been using a knee scooter.   Do you ever get use to crutches?
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    • Posted

      Hi, 

      When I was not weight bearing I only used the knee scooter or wheelchair. The crutches for me were just too scary. But once I started to be able to but even small amounts of weight on it, the whole dynamics of the crutches changed. It became much easier to balance and move around. After a week or so, and more weight allowed, it was pretty easy. And it opened up a lot of places that I couldn’t go with the knee scooter or wheelchair. Just take it slow at first and you should be fine. 

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