almost 2 years after tib-fib comminuted fracture... is this normal?

by Cynthia
(Phoenix, AZ, USA)

I had a tib-fib fx 3/2006, plate & screws were in for almost 6 months, couldn't weight bear for several weeks. No physical therapy of any sort followed (none prescribed, none suggested for home, just "pay attention to your limits" basically). It is now two years later (happened 3/06), and i am having increasing pain in that ankle, swelling is always a problem (leg looks like a tree trunk some days). I am having a great deal of pain at the calf, where it seems like the tendon would attach to go down to the achilles heel. the lateral side of ankle/heel very painful after periods of rest. Pain under heel, very specific spot toward outer foot, as well as lateral side of foot. Sometimes, I am unable to walk without assistance. Has worsened over the past few weeks. No new injury. Could this be ligament or tendon damage, and if so, is this likely to be permanent? Have tried anti-inflammatories, wrapping, compression stocking, icing, menthol rubs, massage... only offers very short term relief. Is this normal?

Comments for almost 2 years after tib-fib comminuted fracture... is this normal?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 26, 2009
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Distal screws...
by: Cynthia

Actually, i had the screws and the plate removed (all of the hardware that was remaining) two years ago (April 2007, after they'd been in just over a year, as they were being pushed out by the bone healing from the inside out anyway). I haven't had hardware in for two years and still some days, the swelling is horrific. I now have developed new pain in that foot, so I'm trying to figure out whether I should go back to an orthopedist, or to a podiatrist, to address and/or identify whether there might be some ligament damage (because soft tissue damage was never addressed, i was just told that the vascularity was unquestionably damaged due to repeated surgeries, but that eventually it should improve...). THere are days I can't get out of bed on the ankle without a sharp pain shooting straight down the side (the outer side, which has remained sensitive to even the lightest bumps up against things) right down to the side of my foot at the point where heel meets outer edge of arch- not where plantar fascia is, more on the SIDE. Like I'm stepping down onto a white hot stone or something. SIGH! :) Thank you for your comments!

Mar 26, 2009
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
remove your distal screws
by: Anonymous

Go get your distal screws removed. The same thing happened to me. You def need physical therepy also for strengthening and gaining full mobility, but removing those screws will cause the swelling to go down eventually.

Jan 21, 2009
Rating
starstarstar
Well my math blooper is gross :)
by: Cynthia

it's been two years... it is almost THREE years now. Sorry for that typo!

Jan 21, 2009
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
rehab
by: Bart - SII

Rehabilitation could be of benefit for you - if there are restrictions in the ankle, scarring, etc that weren't addressed after the initial injury/surgery, they are likely still there and could be causing problems. I would talk to the doctor or another and try to get some type of rehabilitation to see if that helps.

Bart

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Sports Injury Answers - Ankle.