Broken Ankle Recovery

I broke my right ankle in 3 places in December 2007, and here it is a year later and I am still having problems. I had 2 surgeries on my ankle, one to reset the bones and had 13 screws and 2 plates, the second to remove all of the metal because I was having a reaction to the metal, I had 12 weeks of physical therapy (including aqua therapy). I still require the assistance of a cane, and I wear a brace when I need to go outside, because it provides wonderful support. I still don't have full feeling in my foot (still numb on one side) and I still take pain pills for the throbbing that I have @ night. I was wondering if anyone else had a hard time recovering from and ankle fracture?

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I didn't have an ankle fracture but last year I had ankle surgery. actually, ankle, heel and achilles tendon surgery.
A year later another doctor had an MRI done and all the damage is there. I got to the point where I hated all doctors. the ones who like to operate are the worst. of course you had no choice but that just sounds like hell, what you went through. my ankle and foot still hurt a lot. The doctor who did the surgery wants to do something else but the answer is NO NO NO. i was advised by two other doctors to say no also. today i went to an orthopedic doctor for a knee in severe shape. he wanted me to start with physical therapy but I was not into that. I had a left knee replacement and a spinal fusion and i know physical therapy won't do a drop of good at this point. so i'm having a arthroscopic procedure. I like this doctor a lot.i have a brace for surgery foot and a brace that goes up my leg because i have a foot drop from surgery. you know i always feel like i'm just complain complain complain. but i'm not. i think what we all are saying is, hell, life is hard enough but we have to deal with all this pain and procedures and asshole doctors. i wonder why. probably no answer but it is nice to find a group like this. i like your picture. Kate.

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Hi KateG:

boy it sounds like you have been thru H*** as well. My ortho surgeon told me that he had done all he could do on his end, which was to mend the bones, so now he is recommending that I see an ankle/foot specialist, so I think I will see one more doctor and see what they think, but I agree with you, no more surgeries!!! Take care and I hope you start to feel better soon.

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Hey Corlin. I also had a trimallor fracture. Mine was in April of 2008. I have pain and stiffness everyday. I was happy to see that I am not alone. I have 5 screws and a plate in my right ankle. The pain I have had especially on the inside of my ankle at times is excrutiating. I keep putting off going to my surgeon thinking that I haven't giving the ankle enough time to heal. He stated that it could take up to a year to heal. At night the pain keeps me awake. I am getting so frustated. The front of my foot often looks black and blue. I was thinking as a result of trama I have ligament damage or a reaction to the hardware in my foot. I think I will make a call tomorrow. Thanks for posting. Nice to know I am not alone. Sometimes I feel like such a complainer cuz I just feel like enough is enough. It has been a draining and tiring process. Thanks Again!

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Hey hope your starting to feel better somewhat! I broke my right ankle on each side and dislocated my leg sept 8 2008. 2 screws on the inside, 5 on the out and plate on the outside of ankle. Having terrible problems with wound healing, have great difficulty walking, have constant swelling, and have just had enough of it. Just thought id let ya know, i feel yer pain !!! Hope your well

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Sorry to hear about your injury. Many have improved their outlook on their injury by telling their story and getting support from others who may have had the same or similar injury. They may be able to provide optimistic encouragement to help you in your recovery. You can tell your story at: http://brokenbonediaries.com/

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I broke my ankle December 2008 while visiting my daughter in another city. I fell down stairs and landed on my right ankle. I have metal plates on each side and metal screws. My ankle is swollen on the outer side all of the time and I have to use an ace bandage on it for support, the screws bother me and it's always uncomfortable. The doctor that operated me on emergency recommended removing the screws before the year is out. But the doctor that continued seeing me in the city where I live said that he doesn't usually remove them because tissue grows over them. I don't know if removing them will improve my discomfort or make it worst? I am going to therapy but it doesn't seem to help things much.
After reading your case I'm wondering if I should just leave it alone?... I would hate to go through another surgery and not get much improvement...specially at night which now seems to be the only time I have no discomfort, but the minute I wake the discomfort starts.

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I have a trimallor fractor (broke right ankkle, 3 places) which occured at my daughters on 10/21/09, (fell down deck steps)and finally had surgery on 10/30/09 (due to waiting for swelling to go down). So, here I am,.. frustrated, bored and uncomfortable, 6 weeks after surgery. Why am I always tired??? It seems I have hardly any energy and before this I was on the go,.... constantly. I am 57 and have always been in excellent health. The Dr seems to think I am doing fine,.. although I am still unable to place any weight on my right ankle, per the Dr. instructions but am seeing him again this Thursday and am hoping they will allow me to start PT and weight. They do have me doing light excerises and I work each day trying to push my ankle down to the floor, since I do not want to be walking on my toes. Anyone else have a similiar situation???
Am I just too anxious or should I be doing much more? The Dr. had me in a splint the first 2 weeks after the surgery and then moved me to a boot with air pockets. I am to use this when I go out, but can leave it off while sitting as long as I am careful. Now, I still have swelling, but no discoloration as some of the others have stated.
I guess we all have a long haul ahead of us,.......... but we need to hang in there.

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Hi Everyone, sorry for taking so long to post, I have not been on in a while because my dinosaur of a PC was so slow, but I have a new one now:) Just to update you guys, it is now 2 years after my broken ankle and I am still on pain meds for the pain that I am still experiencing, mainly at night, or if I walk too much or if the weather turns cold. In one of my last post, I stated that I was going to see a foot/ankle specialist at the recommendation of the surgeon who operated on my ankle, he recommended that I see someone that specialized in cleaning out scar tissue, needless to say, I did go see a specialist and immediately he talked about doing another surgery to clean out the scar tissue, which was absolutley out of the question, he stated that I would not only be unable to walk for approx 6 weeks but that I would have to wear that god awful boot as well, all of this for scar tissue removal, I don't think so!! so the next step was treatment w/injections, that made my blood sugar extremely high, as a diabetic I don't need that either, he also recommended that we could just leave it alone and I could just live with the pain and irritation, which I chose to do, so here it is 2009 and I am still having pain, swelling in ankle and foot and the numbness that I mentioned in previous post is still there, but I am tolerating it, maybe somewhere down the line I might agree to scar tissue removal but not right now, did I mention that I also have nerve damage, but it is not clear to them if it is from the break or the surgergies, so at this point, I hate for anyone to touch my foot, including myself, even putting on socks irritate the heck out of me, and somedays my foot is so stiff I can barely wiggle my toes, but I am choosing to just live with it for now, but for those of you that are just starting, please do all the recommended PT and exercise as you can before you give up..take care all:)

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Any kind of an ankle injury is very painful because it is the joint that directly connects us to the ground. Something I recommend to all my clients injured or not is foam rolling.

I had one gentleman that had an ankle surgery scheduled four days after I first met him because he couldn't bear much weight on his foot. I taught him how to foam roll his calf muscle and the next week he was jumping on his foot. Any time we injure a joint the body sets in motion the injury cycle, it inflames the area then imobilizes it naturally, that's why it swells. In that process the muscles aquire adhesions and knots which do not allow the joint to move correctly or the muscles to do their job. Its like a rubberband twisted and knotted to the point where it just can't expand anymore. This puts tremendous pressure on the joint itself and any joints tied in through the bodies structure, meaning hips, back, shoulders and neck.

Self Myofascial Release or foam rolling allows the muscles to release the knots of tension thus allowing correct joint functioning. I used this technique when I injured my back the second time and was a candidate for surgery. By foam rolling my entire legs, especially calves, it relieved the pressure on my disk and I have avoided surgery. If anyone has questions on this feel free to contact me.

David Smith CES
www.cfmfitnesstraining.com

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Hi, David,
How interesting! Where can I find information on learning to do the Self Myofascial Release?

rosie5804@sbcglobal.net

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I give detailed description of what it is and how to do it on my blog at http://blog.cfmfitnesstraining.com/2009/10/18/the-reason-and-benefits-of-fo am-rolling.aspx

This link also has some directions but the main help are some animations, http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/self-myofascial-release.html

If you have more questions feel free to email me at davesmith@cfmfitnesstraining.com

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I fractured my foot in June had surgery the next day. My realtor introduced me to MONAVIE. It a juice made of 19 high quality fruits with the main fruit being the acai berry. The active bottle has plant glucosamine which aids in joint pain. I immediately started taking Monavie active and have been pain free since. Its a great product and I drink it 2 times a day. Its absorption is great because it is liquid. I have never taken any pain pills since surgery in June. My pin is still in my foot and I have been walking and exercising without difficulty. If you are interested I will help you get started.

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Dear Corlinwil-
Wow,... I pray that I heal completely- as I am a very active individual who loves water sports and running. Having surgery was bad enough. It has now been exactly 8 weeks since my surgery and I have just been able to put weight on my foot, as long as I have the air cast boot on. I use my walker and can put about 35% of weight on it. (mostly for balance) It is so painful if I try without the boot. Yes,... I still have such pain, especially at night. They still want me to sleep with my foot upright on a pillow, which means I have to sleep on my back. This is difficult,... but I guess necessary. I know it has only been 8 weeks, but wow it seems as though I have been going through this forever! I start back to work the beginning of Feb. and am just praying I can do it. I still use my wheelchair alot- and it is such a pain just going out.......

I have had 2 PT so far,.... and am working on more movement from my ankle. Amazing how it is so stiff and just does not have much movement at all. Hopefully this all comes in time. My PT has been kind of thrown out of wack, due to the holidays, but starting next week, I will be going twice a week for the next 6 weeks. I am looking forward to getting better.

Keep in touch,.... as it helps to know where I am and that I am not alone.

Foolishgirl

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Dear Foolishgirl,

I'm sorry that you are so uncomfortable, I certainly understand your pain, everything you described, I been there done that as they say, please keep up with your PT because it does help in the long run, but I also did Aqua therapy and it felt wonderful while in the water, but as soon as I got out of that pool reality set back in, what I did for the stiffness, was warm and cold compresses, my PT told me to alternate warm for the pain, and cold for the swelling, try that, I bought something calle a Bed Buddy from Walgreens and it can be heated up in the microwave or put in the freezer for coldness, but I enjoyed the heat thoroughly, as far as getting back to normal, I had hoped it would by now and it is 2 years out for me, but my surgeon told me point blank that my break was so bad that my ankle would never be the same again, and he is not lying, it aches so bad with cold weather, sometimes I have to literally put heat on it and take advil to get it to move, it gets really stiff at night, I still only wear my BFF's my Nike Air Max (wonderful support) because all other shoes hurt my foot now, I can't wear tennis shoes forever, oh and I still sleep with my foot evelated @ night because it does help, you have my prayers that you will get better soon, but don't rush it because it is going to take time, Happy New Years as well.

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O'kay, I have some things that you can try to help your ankle. I broke my tibia all the way across where it connects to the foot. I had to have surgery to have the two reconnected. I have been released from PT but I still have a ways to go to being back to where I was. The sides of my ankle would swell to the size of a gold ball after I had been on my feet all day. By the time, I got home and walked around in the evening I could barely walk across the floor. Until I went and bought diabetic stockings. The pharmacy measured my ankle and calf size to make sure the stocking wasn't too tight. The stocking has 15 - 20 mercury millimeters and it helps keep the swelling down. I can actually work all day and keep the stocking on until I get ready to go to bed and it keeps the ankle from swelling like a gold ball. Then I kept only wearing my New Balance tennis shoes until I tried a pair of my shoes that comes up over the ankle. I had to slip my foot into it. I've noticed that the shoe keeps my foot tight so that when I have sat down for short periods or when I am driving then I try to get up and walk I don't walk as stiff or have to limp like I normally would do with the tennis shoes. There's something about being in the stocking that keeps the swelling down and the shoe up around the ankle that actually helps you walk. I never would have believed the stocking and that shoe would have made that much of a difference but it has. Let me know if my tips help you. I hope that they do. Have a very Happy New Year!!

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Thank you so much,... Potterdg & Corlinwil- YOU both have made my New Year! I will go to Walgreens today (hopefully they are open) and get the stockings & the Bed Buddy. WOW- THEY BOTH SOUND FABULOUS.

Just knowing that there are others out there that are or who have been going through this, has made a huge difference. You almost feel that everyone else's life is moving smoothly along and here I am.... sitting and missing out. I know in my heart that, that is not true,... it just sometimes feels that way. I have always been so active and doing things ALL the time... and now I found myself bored and sitting WAY TOO much-

Because of both of you,... I promise to start this new year off,... doing ALL my PT and pushing forward.

THANK YOU BOTH- please keep in touch- I am so anxious of trying the stocking and the warm & cold compresses- I will keep you both informed of my progress.

THANK YOU and wishing you both a healthy & prosperous New Year!!!!

Foolishgirl

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Potterdg & Corlinwil:

Hey, I needed to ask both of you- how have you been getting around when you first broke your ankle? Did either of you use crutches? My Dr. did not want me even to try crutches as he said wheelchair first.... and then move to (and alternate) to the walker. He felt that the walker gives you more opportunity to move better and is safer is you are over 30. He said that he had seen individuals slow their process of healing when they used crutches, since some lose their balance,... etc. and end up placing too much weight, too soon on their ankle. Anyway- just checking to see what worked best for both of you.

Thanks again!

Foolishgirl

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Dear Potterdg, thanks for the recommendation of the diabetic stockings, I never even thought of that, and I am definitely going to give it a try, it can't hurt that's for sure, and I agree that you have to have the perfect shoe or your ankle will be so stiff, I have had luck with these Nike Air Max where the sole is filled w/air, but I hear the New Balance are wonderful as well, Thanks again for the suggestion, I will let you know how it works, Happy New Year

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Dear Foolishgirl, after my ankle surgery, I used a walker first, and then once I started PT they taught me how to correctly use my crutches, and over time, I stepped down to walking canes, I never used a wheelchair, sometimes I really wanted a wheelchair but could not afford one, discuss this w/your PT and I'm sure he/she will let you know if they recommend crutches/wheelchair/or walker..Take Care

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Dear Foolishgirl,
Before I had my surgery, I tried to used crutches but they hurt my underarms. Also, I am 45 and I was afraid I'd trip and fall on my ankle and hurt it more. I did better by using a walker that had wheels on the front around the inside of my house. Then I used a wheelchair to get around at my work and to go grocery shopping, etc. The walker and or crutches would wear me out trying to get around at Wal-Mart or at the shopping malls. Are you allowed to put weight on it yet. I know that this injury was the hardest for me to deal with. No one realizes until they have to live with it. I would have to stand on one foot in the shower and my husband would be outside the curtain waiting for me so he could help me out. We didn't want to take the chance of my falling on it and reinjuring it.

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