Recovery time (ankle fracture with ORIF)

by Ben H
(Pittsburgh pa)

So i was playing for my high school baseball team and we were tied 0-0. I went to steal second slid wrong and dislocated my ankle and broke my fibula. That was april 21 and i had surgery the next day. I had two screws placed above my ankle, my doctor said the same as terrell owens.

I started therapy two weeks later and worked harder than i have ever in my life. Got almost full range back now and even running and jumping a little. Just found out a screw is broke tho and now second surgery an option.

Doctor said its not a must have but needed a second opinion. I'm still in high school and plan on playing this spring. Should i get the screws out? If not what do you think the chances of making a full recovery by spring is?

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Sep 11, 2014
3 years and 9 months post ORIF NEW
by: Brenda

Hi all!

Wow, I can remember when I checked in to this site almost daily wondering if I could get a handle on when I would feel semi "normal" after fib/tib fracture and dislocated talus. The first 3 months were HELL, the next three months were NOT fun, by 9 months slight pain but a lot of irritation where the screws & plates were.......at just over 10 months I had all the hardware removed. I felt better the day after the hardware was removed than I had felt in a LONG time......there was still tenderness and a little stiffness, but not too bad. It's now going on 4 years and (other than the ugly scars), it's a distant memory.

I am 51. I am not a runner or "sportsy" at all, but I do have a very busy, demanding life and am now able to handle it without pain.

For all of you searching for advice/answers and living through the horrid pain and inactivity, IT DOES GET BETTER!

God bless each and every one of you!

Sep 09, 2014
I'm 62..it gets better! NEW
by: Pam

I fell and broke tib and fib with screws, plates-- the whole shebang 2 1/2 years ago…I hear you when you say how hard it is right now, but it does get better. I really thought that taking the hardware out would help,but I'm not sure it did…It is still stiff and I don't have great range of motion, but I'm doing great. Hardware removal did help the localized pain of the metal under the skin--it kept me awake at night…I've got bad knees and am overweight, but really tried to stay positive, and if you knew me, you'd know that isn't always the case!!! Please do your PT! Even though you stand for your job and all the rest of it that we do in our life, ALWAYS take time to do that PT. Keep it as high as you can when you are resting. Ice helps, no matter how long ago you broke it. Wear a medical compression stocking at work--it really helps--then take it off when you are ready to rest. Put that ankle UP! Keep moving even if it a slow walk. Don't give up! I just went to the coast for a group of girlfriends 60 birthday weekend, and I climbed up and down that rocky slope! (I may have done some of iron my butt) I'm still scared of falling. No doubt, it was one the most traumatic and painful experience of my life--bar none…but I'm really used to how my ankle works now..Chin up and go girl!!!

Sep 09, 2014
2 years later NEW
by: Jean

Here it is two years later. I am 63, have always been active so falling from the top of a ladder and breaking three bones in my ankle came as a complete shock. I had a plate 11 screws. My ankle was completely detached from my leg. Just hung there. I had three surgeries. My main advice is to keep the ankle moving even at the first do little circles , point your toe. I rehabbed myself, just stretches and walking. I had to go to a different surgeon to have hardware removed. I do not believe it helps in any way. Mine was loose and some screws had worked their way out.
I spent a lot of time on youtube watching silly videos and trying to not get too depressed. But it will happen. Get up and get going, use a knee
dolly or even a chair with wheels, use your good leg to get you from room to room. Do not stay in one room on your bed.
I have recovered almost completely, stiff sometimes and some pain if I over use the broken ankle. Please know you are not alone and as I said do things, play games, move and
get help even if you have to change doctors.
Don't let a doctor tell you that you cannot have the hardware removed, you can.
Good luck I know that all of you are motivated people, you came here and will recover.

Sep 08, 2014
Need professional eval NEW
by: Anonymous

I had a fall on the ice about 6 mo ago. Fracture and dislocation of ankle required ORIF. 3 months as non-weight bearing and 3 months of physical-therapy and I feel so miserable still. I'm 63 yo, arthritis, diabetic, & overweight so there's factors to slow my recovery. I limp, my ankle swells and hurts but I have returned to work. I stand about 4-5 hours a day at work and do cooking, laundry etc.

Most of the blogs are done by runners, skaters and skiers. Young and athletic people are different than me. I have seen ortho specialists check in & would appreciate a time line of what to expect for healing. Will it get better? Am I a wimp? Is there anything I can do to help the healing? Bending my ankle seems the worst problem and my flat feet don't help.

Aug 16, 2014
Hardware removal post orif NEW
by: Anonymous

I had medial malleolus fracture and surgery on 02/01/2014...Two screws were inserted to get the bone heal earlier.

Now the bone has healed completely but range of motion of ankle has been reduced and I am not able to run as screw hurts the ankle.

Today 08/16/2014, my doctor has advised me to remove the screws to restore full range of motion.

Is it early to remove the screws or should I wait for 5-6 more months....

Please advise who had the hardware removal...

Aug 03, 2014
to orthopedic surgeon NEW
by: Anonymous

Advise please, Fractured calcaneus, I have Orif, Taylor 3, post 7 years and still in much pain. Burning pain, swelling, especially with standing. I am finally having some relief with med Lyrica. Been advised not to take metal out do to risks, infection etc...and because Docs do not believe it is causing the pain. What tests could I pursue to determine the cause of pain? I had xrays, MRI, nerve test...I would like to return to some normalcy. advise please!

Aug 03, 2014
to orthopedic surgeon NEW
by: Anonymous

Advise please, Fractured calcaneus, I have Orif, Taylor 3, post 7 years and still in much pain. Burning pain, swelling, especially with standing. I am finally having some relief with med Lyrica. Been advised not to take metal out do to risks, infection etc...and because Docs do not believe it is causing the pain. What tests could I pursue to determine the cause of pain? I had xrays, MRI, nerve test...I would like to return to some normalcy. advise please!

Aug 03, 2014
Re: Recovery Time NEW
by: Anonymous

Ben,
What you need to ask your surgeon is whether or not the ankle mortise is still in a good position. If it is and if it is not causing you any pain other than what you experienced prior to the screw breaking then I would leave it alone and you will be fine with as full of a recovery as you would have whether the screw broke or not. What you describe sounds like you had a disruption of your syndesmosis the ligament between the tibia and fibula bones. Those screws were placed to allow that ligament tear to scar back in (heal). Once that is healed their purpose has been served, so whether they break (which is not that uncommon for this injury) or not it doesn't really matter as long as it is healed well, which points back to what you need to ask your surgeon...Is the mortise in good position?...if so, and it was my ankle I would leave it alone and I'm an Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon. I hope this helps.

Jun 08, 2014
5 months post trimall left ankle NEW
by: Anonymous

I am 69 y/o male...I fell after placing dog on her runner after having her inside from a freezing zero temp from night before...stepped back to get out of her way...walla..That was first week January 2014...this is first week june 2014. have plate and 9 screws..dr said they will not be removed. was in cast for 3 weeks, boot 2 weeks..took crutches away one at a time...I'm in constant pain...swelling twice the size of my right ankle and lower leg...EARLY morning is my best time...little swelling but as soon as I start walking a moving its back again...doctor says I could have swelling for a year...and still will keep returning after first year...I never knew people were having this much problems with same type injury...Or most likely didn't pay attention...

May 19, 2014
2 years on after Trimal & ORIF active person! NEW
by: Tracey K

I just wanted to give some positivity to those of you in the early stages, as it was pages like this that made me focus on getting better when I broke my ankle in Apr’12. I was walking the coastal path in Cornwall & slipped in wet mud on a slope, the fall took all my weight. I was airlifted to Plymouth A&E then opted to travel home a few days later to my local hospital for surgery as the Doc said the 3 hr car journey would be hell. I spent 9 wks in different casts, the last one allowed me to weight bear. The early days were awful, pain day & night. I had a plate & 5 screws on outside & 3 pins on the inside bone. I found it hard to sleep, shower & move around. I tried to join my family at dinner each evening but unless my leg was elevated higher than my hip it throbbed badly. I kept it elevated for 8hrs a day. I read a lot & wrote a blog (google from Cornwall to Crutches). I am a very active female in my 40's, the week before our coastal walk I’a half marathon. I had a triathlon planned & a trip to Orlando in the coming months both were cancelled! When I had the cast off after 9 weeks the wound had healed well, I opted for stitches not staples as scars are better. The dry skin came off in sheets, I couldn't believe it. I had lots of baths & used cocoa butter to heal it. I also took high dose Vit E tablets & Collagen. I believe this helped my speedy recovery inside & out, today my scar is barely visible. I massaged it daily to prevent scar tissue build up inside & outside the wound area. As soon as the plaster was off I signed up with a sports physio & started swimming almost daily, using a leg float initially & did lots of pool walking, it all helped. 4 weeks later i was back in the gym on the stationery bike, doing balance exercises & concentrating on upper body, then 3 months later i added weight bearing squats & lunges. I have 95% of my range of movement back, I get the odd twinge if I land on it funny, it aches & goes stiff in cold weather too. I can run on the treadmill, but have instead taken up road cycling so now cycle 50-100 miles a week. i do spin, pump & gym work & can walk miles. I wont have hardware out unless it causes problems. I wear more sensible footwear now & my heel height is lower if I wear them. You have to work at recovery, I was doing sit-ups & upper body work at home a week after surgery & I used resistance bands to stretch my foot toes & ankle daily. The Physio gave me 11 exercises to do 3 times daily for months & i did them all. I have 2 friends who broke their ankle after me, not as bad as mine, they didn't follow doctors orders & still suffer now, so my biggest piece of advice is to follow a plan. Stretch your ankle daily once out of the cast, gently at first but no pain no gain is true! I remember limping into physio one day & she said” why are you limping?” & I said “it doesnt hurt when I limp”,she said “walk through the pain” so I did & a few days later I was not limping. Good luck all xx

May 19, 2014
2 years on after Trimal & ORIF active person! NEW
by: Tracey K

I just wanted to give some positivity to those of you in the early stages, as it was pages like this that made me focus on getting better when I broke my ankle in Apr’12. I was walking the coastal path in Cornwall & slipped in wet mud on a slope, the fall took all my weight. I was airlifted to Plymouth A&E then opted to travel home a few days later to my local hospital for surgery as the Doc said the 3 hr car journey would be hell. I spent 9 wks in different casts, the last one allowed me to weight bear. The early days were awful, pain day & night. I had a plate & 5 screws on outside & 3 pins on the inside bone. I found it hard to sleep, shower & move around. I tried to join my family at dinner each evening but unless my leg was elevated higher than my hip it throbbed badly. I kept it elevated for 8hrs a day. I read a lot & wrote a blog (google from Cornwall to Crutches). I am a very active female in my 40's, the week before our coastal walk I’a half marathon. I had a triathlon planned & a trip to Orlando in the coming months both were cancelled! When I had the cast off after 9 weeks the wound had healed well, I opted for stitches not staples as scars are better. The dry skin came off in sheets, I couldn't believe it. I had lots of baths & used cocoa butter to heal it. I also took high dose Vit E tablets & Collagen. I believe this helped my speedy recovery inside & out, today my scar is barely visible. I massaged it daily to prevent scar tissue build up inside & outside the wound area. As soon as the plaster was off I signed up with a sports physio & started swimming almost daily, using a leg float initially & did lots of pool walking, it all helped. 4 weeks later i was back in the gym on the stationery bike, doing balance exercises & concentrating on upper body, then 3 months later i added weight bearing squats & lunges. I have 95% of my range of movement back, I get the odd twinge if I land on it funny, it aches & goes stiff in cold weather too. I can run on the treadmill, but have instead taken up road cycling so now cycle 50-100 miles a week. i do spin, pump & gym work & can walk miles. I wont have hardware out unless it causes problems. I wear more sensible footwear now & my heel height is lower if I wear them. You have to work at recovery, I was doing sit-ups & upper body work at home a week after surgery & I used resistance bands to stretch my foot toes & ankle daily. The Physio gave me 11 exercises to do 3 times daily for months & i did them all. I have 2 friends who broke their ankle after me, not as bad as mine, they didn't follow doctors orders & still suffer now, so my biggest piece of advice is to follow a plan. Stretch your ankle daily once out of the cast, gently at first but no pain no gain is true! I remember limping into physio one day & she said” why are you limping?” & I said “it doesnt hurt when I limp”,she said “walk through the pain” so I did & a few days later I was not limping. Good luck all xx

May 19, 2014
3 year trimalleolar FX followup NEW
by: Anonymous

End of May 2011 I suffered a trimalleolar fracture at age 53. I have resumed doing all my activities except wearing heels all day. I can walk all day, do the elliptical for an hour at the gym and weight train all without pain.

Good physical therapy is crucial.

May 12, 2014
Physical Therapy for Trimalleolar NEW
by: Selina

Hi all
I am 4 weeks post-op of my trimalleolar surgery. I am 18 years old with 1 plate and 6 screws. I was placed in a plaster cast for 2 weeks, and then later placed in the walking boot. My doctor (very,very amazing doctor) said I could put as much weight as tolerated right when i was placed in the boot. Of course I was scared, but one week later I am walking with one crutch and putting some weight. The bruising and swelling is almost gone, and the staple removal went very well. Although I have permission, it is still hard for me to walk consciously. I still have a few weeks to go but I was just curious as to how long physical therapy will be. I am very young so I'm hoping I will have a speedy recovery. Patience is getting thin due to staying home every weekend. Can someone please let me know how long therapy is?! Just want this to be over

May 12, 2014
Physical Therapy for Tri NEW
by: Selina

Hi all
I am 4 weeks post-op of my trimalleolar surgery. I am 18 years old with 1 plate and 6 screws. I was placed in a plaster cast for 2 weeks, and then later placed in the walking boot. My doctor (very,very amazing doctor) said I could put as much weight as tolerated right when i was placed in the boot. Of course I was scared, but one week later I am walking with one crutch and putting some weight. The bruising and swelling is almost gone, and the staple removal went very well. Although I have permission, it is still hard for me to walk consciously. I still have a few weeks to go but I was just curious as to how long physical therapy will be. I am very young so I'm hoping I will have a speedy recovery. Patience is getting thin due to staying home every weekend. Can someone please let me know how long therapy is?! Just want this to be over

Mar 31, 2014
Chin Up NEW
by: Anonymous

it has been a while since I have been on this site. I have read some of the recent post and thought I would give you some hope. I broke my ankle Jan 2011. I had 7 screws and a plate on the outside of my ankle and 2 long screws on the inside. I was in a hard cast for 6 weeks and then in an air cast for another 6 weeks before I was allowed to even start to recover. Once I started my recovery process, I was at the PT only once a week. my PT was great. He would show me all the exercises that I had to do and also let me know what he was looking for on the next visit to progress to the next level. along with that I also started swimming to restore my muscle tone in my legs. I did kick workouts in the pool. I got to the point of kicking for 1mi in the pool. The next step was to start running in the pool. I spent 2 hours in the pool a day. 1hour of kick workouts and 1 hours of running in the pool. In July 2011, I started to run. my Ortho said that running would probably not be good for me going forward. I did not listen as proceeded on. By Dec2011, I ran my first 5k. 2 weeks after that I had all my hardware removed from my ankle. I told my ortho that he would do it or I would find a new ortho that would. He agreed. I had another 3 month recovery. since the bones now had holes from the removal of the screws, I had to be real careful not to break it again. April of 2012 is started running again. August2012 I ran my first half marathon. I have not stopped running since. I completed 4 fulls in the last 4 months, 2 months of over 200mi in a month, and several half marathons along the way. last weekend I PR my half and am working on qualifying for Boston within the next 2 years. All this because I broken my ankle. I will be 50 when I run Boston. so there is recovery. I can not say that I am 100%. there is pain on some days. mostly after my first couple of Full Marathons. Also days that I have to stand 8-10+ hours tend to make my ankle sore. but I never ran before the break and now have done 4 full marathons, 2 of which were only a week apart. it may not be 100% , but I assure you that it is as close as you can get to 100%. recover is the key. work your butt off with the PT. they may be a Pain in the Ass, but they do know what they are doing. Good Luck!!!! and keep on working, there is an end to this.

Mar 31, 2014
2 years later NEW
by: Pam

This site was so helpful to me and I thought I'd share my 2 year post fracture status. Fell off the edge of a gravel driveway in front of my house...ORIF surgery for trimalleor fracture--fibula crushed and t\end of tibia broken off. Had to wait in the hospital for 4 days until the swelling went down to do surgery. Still feels like a nightmare. 13 screws, 2 bolts and a plate. Post surgery at home was spent in a wheelchair or elevating. I cannot stress enough to ELEVATE above your head, even is this means being flat on your back. The swelling is truly painful..Cast at two weeks, but infection on fibula caused them to saw out a piece of the cast. Ended up with an infection under the stitches which required more antibiotics and using a syringe to remove the fluid... Recast at 4 weeks, boot at 6 weeks. The most pain was once i had to start walking in the boot. Take it easy and stop when you get tired. Rest, ice and ELEVATE! PT started at 8 weeks. Lots of water therapy.Had to use crutches and walker for a few months to get anywhere longer than a short walk. I went to Hawaii that summer and swam and level hiked with occasional pain, but really not bad. Another vacation to Monterey several months later and did too much causing setback and huge swelling. About that time I noticed that the scar over the fibula was very painful and not moving.. Developed adhesions and pain when walking. MRI found a floating piece of the tibia so scheduled hardware, fragment and scar tissue removal almost exactly 1 year post op. That surgery went well with only a week off work, Able to walk on it after 2-3 days. PT again to work on scarring and mobility of joint....It is now over a year since the last surgery and I really don't notice it much at all, other than the adhesions that formed again. I used to not be able to sleep in my side, ankle down--even the sheets hurt it. I now am riding my bike, doing the eliptical and treadmill at the gym and able to stand, run etc with no pain. I will never feel comfortable going up or down a ladder because the mortise is just not back to the flex the ankle once had. I am female almost 62. Don't give up and do what your PT says and more!!! Good luck on your healing journey.

Mar 31, 2014
update... NEW
by: Anonymous

To "runner"... ugh... I am so sorry. Unless it's a very small break, I can understand why they felt surgery was necessary. The pain after my surgery from my tri malleolar fx was miserable. For weeks, every time I put my foot below my body, I had the most horrendous pressure painful throbbing. My swelling was so severe, that I formed blisters on the top of my foot. Crutches were miserable. I definitely had incredibly down days, where I just cried. After about 3-4 weeks post op, that pressure throbbing pain got better. Fit a very long time, my skin hurt. Yes, my skin on the top of my foot actually hurt to even brush against. That too had gotten better. (About 14 weeks post op now) I guess I am saying, I was surprised to have pain in areas that I didn't have surgery or hardware placed. Make sure when it is time for PT (my dr was not going to send me, I didn't do very well on my own and he finally did) that you let then know how active you are. They can help work out a plan to get you back. I am not sure about your fx, but with a tri mal, sometimes it can take 1-2 years to get back to "normal".

On another note. I had been having terrible medial pain, to the point where walking became hard again. I still had a limo and ROM severely diminished. My surgeon took me in at 3 1/2 months post op and took out my medial hardware, 2 pins, 1 screw, and a wire. He believes this will fix the pain issues, and hopefully help with ROM. I am only 4 days post op from that, but feel like I'm walking without the same burning stabbing pain I had. Still hard to tell, but I think I am only experiencing regular surgical and incisional pain. The swelling that I had from the first ORIF surgery is not an issue this time either. Day by day. He did not want to remove the hardware that was not creating pain for me however. I'm ok with that, if I can get walking and back to work soon!!

Good luck to all!!

Mar 30, 2014
Scared NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi
I am a runner. I broke my right ankle on a training run, one stupid step off the highway and felt it snap and had no power to get up. Doctor immediately said it was a 3 mm break on lateral malleolus on right ankle that required surgery. I didn't want to do it!!!! Why do I have too, it will heal just fine. I don't want screws and a plate in my ankle. What will that do later for me, how will that feel, etc all the comments you all post. I held out a week and half and felt I was getting stronger. I don't like to have surgery and wanted it to heal on its own. The Doctor said you wont run again unless you get the surgery so what does a person do. I did it. I am now two weeks after surgery. After the first week, they took the stiches out and put me in a hard cast. Now one week with the hard cast.
The first couple nights were miserable, I didn't get the nerve block and well that was harder come to find out. The first week after surgery with the boot was not comfortable. The hard cast feels better and more comfortable but now I am having lots of numbing sensation on the opposite side of the incision and top of my ankle. Really sensitive to movement and very scary feeling. I hope this is normal healing. So I get online to find some answers and see this blog page. I just feel like some of the other posts, I wish I didn't have to have metal and screws and I want to heal back to normal with normal range and movement and not have to feel it and run again like nothing happened. I hope so!

Mar 30, 2014
Pain NEW
by: barbara

My operation was done about 7 yrs ago.. pain and numbness has increased. Various doctors have all advised against hardware removal, they feel it won't affect pain. All advise a fusion, so a lengthy time off foot... I have much anxiety about any more surgery given the poor outcome of the old Orif. Any other options?

Mar 29, 2014
Feeling your pain NEW
by: Dee

I was just reading some of the recent posts and I can say I feel everyone's pain both literally and figuratively. I had a tri-mal fracture and ORIF (plate and 12 screws) in December of 2012. Here it is over a year later and I still have daily pain and a limp. I teach so I'm also on my feet constantly like so many of you. By Friday of each week, I can't walk or stand. I've had injections, MRI and X-rays. Injections didn't work. MRI and X-rays show everything healed "beautifully" says my dr. So how come the constant pain and swelling?? I can't jump, run, climb, bike. I'm depressed and frustrated and sick of living in pain. Finally went back to the dr a few days ago and he had no answers. He has no idea why I'm in pain. The majority of my pain is on the inside of the ankle even though I had surgery on the outside?? He thinks it's not the ankle now but possible the navicular bone but doesn't know why. I'm going to get orthotics on Monday to see if that helps. If not, surgery for hardware removal and while he's in there he will scope it. I will keep you posted if anything works. Hang in there...I will send positive pain-free thoughts to you all!!

Mar 29, 2014
tri-mal w/plate and screws NEW
by: Anonymous

Encouraging words needed...please! 8/2013 I slipped and fell - broke R ankle (tri) - followed by the tri-mal surgery. Surgical cast replaced 2 wks after surgery when stitches came out, that cast off 6 wks later and replaced with walking (to knee) aircast. Was told PT not needed (I disagreed and continue to have it even now...) - told nothing needed after that. I had "runners" knee and ITB issues before the fall that were healing well. Since the fall...knee excruciating, (they have not done updated xrays on knee) - horrible pain in foot, toes go numb, ankle stiff...feel like I am walking on sharp rocks. JUST now able to get heel down all the way to walk. I am a runner who is really going through major adjustments ... continuing PT and deep muscle treatments. I returned to full duty work 3 wks ago - painful and limping terribly. I read about the stories of people returning to biking, running etc months after the surgery...here it is 7 mths later...I can't even walk well. any ideas...anyone ? *sigh*

Mar 29, 2014
tri-mal w/plate and screws NEW
by: Anonymous

Encouraging words needed...please! 8/2013 I slipped and fell - broke R ankle (tri) - followed by the tri-mal surgery. Surgical cast replaced 2 wks after surgery when stitches came out, that cast off 6 wks later and replaced with walking (to knee) aircast. Was told PT not needed (I disagreed and continue to have it even now...) - told nothing needed after that. I had "runners" knee and ITB issues before the fall that were healing well. Since the fall...knee excruciating, (they have not done updated xrays on knee) - horrible pain in foot, toes go numb, ankle stiff...feel like I am walking on sharp rocks. JUST now able to get heel down all the way to walk. I am a runner who is really going through major adjustments ... continuing PT and deep muscle treatments. I returned to full duty work 3 wks ago - painful and limping terribly. I read about the stories of people returning to biking, running etc months after the surgery...here it is 7 mths later...I can't even walk well. any ideas...anyone ? *sigh*

Mar 29, 2014
tri-mal w/plate and screws NEW
by: Anonymous

Encouraging words needed...please! 8/2013 I slipped and fell - broke R ankle (tri) - followed by the tri-mal surgery. Surgical cast replaced 2 wks after surgery when stitches came out, that cast off 6 wks later and replaced with walking (to knee) aircast. Was told PT not needed (I disagreed and continue to have it even now...) - told nothing needed after that. I had "runners" knee and ITB issues before the fall that were healing well. Since the fall...knee excruciating, (they have not done updated xrays on knee) - horrible pain in foot, toes go numb, ankle stiff...feel like I am walking on sharp rocks. JUST now able to get heel down all the way to walk. I am a runner who is really going through major adjustments ... continuing PT and deep muscle treatments. I returned to full duty work 3 wks ago - painful and limping terribly. I read about the stories of people returning to biking, running etc months after the surgery...here it is 7 mths later...I can't even walk well. any ideas...anyone ? *sigh*

Mar 21, 2014
Too early to remove hardware? NEW
by: Natalie

I suffered a R tri-malleolar fx 3 months ago. I now have a plate and 9 screws on my fibula, and 2 pins, 3 screws and a wire on my tibia. I still have a limp and am in constant pain. I am a nurse, and so since I can't walk for 10 hours, I am still not back to work. I have been in PT for about 5-6 weeks and even though I have improved (from 2 degrees, to 20 degrees in dorsal flex) my ROM, I am still half of what is "normal". How long before I am stuck with the ROM I have?

My pain on the medial side sucks! It even hurts to touch my scar and around it. Very sensitive. My surgeon mentioned at my last appt that we could remove the hardware in the tibia (medial)side, he made it sound like it would be in the next 3-4 weeks. I trust him... but it's not too soon? Sooner the better... but just concerned. I only want to have one more surgery, but also want him to remove as much hardware as he can, without danger to me. Has anyone had the screws and plate removed from the fibula? And... how soon is the soonest it can be done? All the sites I look at all say 12 months.

I'm just so frustrated. I've been out of work for so long, I wonder if I need to get another job that required less standing and walking.

Thanks for listening!

Mar 02, 2014
Broke ankle for the 2nd time NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm 26 and just had orif on my left ankle. The dr put a plate and 6 screws in. It's been 11 days since I had my surgery and I just had stitches taken out. Luckily I havn't had any pain at all but I think its because I've been through something similar before. 4 years ago. I Shattered my tibia plateau and the dr pretty much had to rebuild it with bone graft, a plate, and 8 screws. so now i have hardware in both legs. The pain was horrible and like nothing I've ever felt before. It took me an excruciating 6 months to heal fully and now it feels like I never even had the surgery.

So now 11 days after my orif of my ankle I am about to start physical therapy and I am already walking on it with the help of a boot. The dr says in 3 weeks I should be able switch to a brace and even wear a shoe.
Good luck to everyone.

Mar 02, 2014
Broke ankle for the 2nd time NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm 26 and just had orif on my left ankle. The dr put a plate and 6 screws in. It's been 11 days since I had my surgery and I just had stitches taken out. Luckily I havn't had any pain at all but I think its because I've been through something similar before. 4 years ago. I Shattered my tibia plateau and the dr pretty much had to rebuild it with bone graft, a plate, and 8 screws. so now i have hardware in both legs. The pain was horrible and like nothing I've ever felt before. It took me an excruciating 6 months to heal fully and now it feels like I never even had the surgery.

So now 11 days after my orif of my ankle I am about to start physical therapy and I am already walking on it with the help of a boot. The dr says in 3 weeks I should be able switch to a brace and even wear a shoe.
Good luck to everyone.

Mar 02, 2014
Broke ankle for the 2nd time NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm 26 and just had orif on my left ankle. The dr put a plate and 6 screws in. It's been 11 days since I had my surgery and I just had stitches taken out. Luckily I havn't had any pain at all but I think its because I've been through something similar before. 4 years ago. I Shattered my tibia plateau and the dr pretty much had to rebuild it with bone graft, a plate, and 8 screws. so now i have hardware in both legs. The pain was horrible and like nothing I've ever felt before. It took me an excruciating 6 months to heal fully and now it feels like I never even had the surgery.

So now 11 days after my orif of my ankle I am about to start physical therapy and I am already walking on it with the help of a boot. The dr says in 3 weeks I should be able switch to a brace and even wear a shoe.
Good luck to everyone.

Feb 16, 2014
medial malleolus fracture NEW
by: Gaurav

I broke my ankle and had single medial malleolus fracture on 17.01.2014. Mr dr put me in a cast for 2 weeks to see if it heals w/o surgery. But on 01.02.2014 he did the surgery and put in 2 screws. Now its 2 weeks post op sutures hv been removed and im on a fibre cast. but i m feeling pain in my ankle if its not elevated. Just want to know how much more time it will take to walk properly. Dr on 03.03.2014 will remove the fibre cast. Will i b able to jumpletic , run and do all atheletic activity. I m out of job for past 4 weeks and will remain until i recover fully. Single earning from india...

Feb 06, 2014
Doc recommendation NEW
by: Anonymous

after 7 years with ORIF, still with nerve pain, swelling, limp,.. looking for a Doctor with some suggestions. Anybody have a great Doc within a day's drive from NYC..thanks

Feb 06, 2014
Doc recommendation NEW
by: Anonymous

after 7 years with ORIF, still with nerve pain, swelling, limp,.. looking for a Doctor with some suggestions. Anybody have a great Doc within a day's drive from NYC..thanks

Feb 06, 2014
Back to normal NEW
by: Steve

About 17 months since my ORIF surgery. I'm 48 now. Life has pretty much been normal for the last 14 months. No pain and I can do everything I used to do before the surgery (play soccer, run, climb and descend stairs, etc.). I have a suture bridge in my ankle but no screws.

Jan 19, 2014
4 years down the line NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi all.
I haven't posted on here for ages but a few comments I have read prompted me to offer some encouragement. It's been 4 years since my tri-mall fracture which required surgery and pins and plates on both side of my right ankle. Some were removed - I still have one pin in place. I can still remember the agony and frustration!!

I vented on here and an some other sites and battled and wondered if I would ever get better ... I was so grateful for the support I received on these sites. Well, I can do anything I used to do before and I'm 44 now. I am a regular gym goer and my ankle doesn't hamper my active lifestyle. I have to say that there are aches at times and I don't know what the future holds but for now it is fine. I can wear heals too - not the crazy stilleto types I wore in my teens but quite a high wedge causes no troubles.

One thing it HAS taught me - walk slower and carefully! I wasn't doing anything exciting when I broke mine, just slipped on a step!

Keep strong and hold tight. All the best



Jan 19, 2014
4 years down the line NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi all.
I haven't posted on here for ages but a few comments I have read prompted me to offer some encouragement. It's been 4 years since my tri-mall fracture which required surgery and pins and plates on both side of my right ankle. Some were removed - I still have one pin in place. I can still remember the agony and frustration!!

I vented on here and an some other sites and battled and wondered if I would ever get better ... I was so grateful for the support I received on these sites. Well, I can do anything I used to do before and I'm 44 now. I am a regular gym goer and my ankle doesn't hamper my active lifestyle. I have to say that there are aches at times and I don't know what the future holds but for now it is fine. I can wear heals too - not the crazy stilleto types I wore in my teens but quite a high wedge causes no troubles.

One thing it HAS taught me - walk slower and carefully! I wasn't doing anything exciting when I broke mine, just slipped on a step!

Keep strong and hold tight. All the best



Jan 11, 2014
Bimalleolar fracture 6 months ago NEW
by: Anonymous

I feel you girl. Everything you are writing I too experienced it. And guess what I wore heels for 3 hours at a Christmas party 5 months after surgery. PT is a must! I had a plate and a total of 6 screws placed. I was back to work 9 weeks after surgery. It was tough-I cried a little due to pain at the end of the day. I thought I would never dance again, but guess what.... I danced in heels at that Christmas party too. Hang in there. It will get better, I promise!!

Jan 07, 2014
Bimalleolar Fracture NEW
by: Lvcurlygirl

On Dec 8th 2013 I went out to a nightclub with friends.Someone had broke a champagne glass and in high heels I stepped in the glass which cause a fracture of the distal tibia and fibula in which the medial malleolus of the distal tibia and the lateral malleolus of the distal fibula are fractured. My foot had swell so bad that I seen the Doc two days after it happen and he couldn't perform surgery the next day so I had to wait a additional week I am now 3weeks after surgery. My stitches were taking out on the second week after surgery and I was given a boot that doctor to keep on when I am not doing the Alphabet with my foot cause I could shorten my Achilles' tendon. The boot cause a lot of pain for me so I try to keep my foot from going in the ballerina position. I feel ok my foot is still swollen but it helps when I raises it up. I am a mom who has to run my son to school and pick him up and from time to time have to do some shopping for grocery my goal is to get better. I am doing whatever the doctor say. I will keep everyone posted on my progress. At 32 I hope I get full range in motion back in my leg ankle and foot. Really wish I knew the recover time.

Question I have is will I wear heels again? How do I know if the hardware will need to be removed? Will I have a limp when walking?

I must add I do live in Las Vegas, NV and my surgeon Dr. Roman Sibel has been really good to me. I have always heard good review about him as a nurse but am happy with who I chose to attend to my needs

Nov 17, 2013
6 days post- Hardware removal NEW
by: BURKE

The surgery was a breeze compared to the initial ORIF. Some significant pain 12-24 hours post-op but very little pain at 4 days post-op. Now 6 days post-op, walking with minor limp, no crutches, no CAM boot. Swelling is significant above the incision. Able to perform basic stretching, which pulls on the incisions. Stitches are being removed in 2 days. NO PAIN on the medial malleolus, which was bothersome for the past 10.5 months after ORIF. Highly recommend hardware removal!

Nov 09, 2013
HARDWARE REMOVAL IN 2 DAYS NEW
by: Burke

Had Bimalleolar fracture 10.5 months ago. Casted x 2 weeks, boot x 4 weeks. PT x 3 months with gradual recuction in frequency, regained 90% of my Range of motion. Most of the advice on healing, recovery expectations, and activity modification were provided by the PT. First piece of advice is DO PT. Find one that specializes in orthopedics and listen to them. Yeah, you can get active without PT but there is no substitute for specific treatments geared toward your individual problems. Ankle still bothers me on the tibial screws since I'm so active. Surgeon agreed to take them out early. Couple days off and then back to work in 3 days. Holes will fill in 6-8 weeks. Looking forward to getting back to heavy calf raises without tibial pain!

Sep 17, 2013
re: Dee NEW
by: carrie

you should not have pain is what i have been told but i just went through my second surgery due to a gap still have pain have been out 7 months and i am getting a second opinion. i wish i would have gotten second opinion sooner...

Sep 17, 2013
re: Dee NEW
by: carrie

you should not have pain is what i have been told but i just went through my second surgery due to a gap still have pain have been out 7 months and i am getting a second opinion. i wish i would have gotten second opinion sooner...

Sep 02, 2013
Get the hardware out! NEW
by: Mo

I had bad trimalleora Feb 2012. Keen golfer but needed a ride on to play after break until 4 months after hardware out and arthroscopy to try and fix cartilage damage from dislocation. Still swollen but hardly think about ankle anymore, not painful and not restrictive. Before hardware out very painful always and no proper sideways movement and no improvement after 6 months so I strongly recommend removal unless doc says no for some good reason. Good luck all.

Sep 02, 2013
been and still there NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Dee, I had orif surgery for a bad calcaneus fracture about 6 years ago. Unable to find a doctor who will remove the hardware, all claim the pain is not caused by the hardware. I found a diabetic neuropathy topical medicine called neurogen did help some for the pain and those ugly Croc shoes were the most comfortable for heel pain. Tried the cortisone injections, but did not help..

Sep 02, 2013
9 months post ankle surgery NEW
by: Dee

So it's been 9 months since my ORIF surgery on my right ankle. I have a plate and 12 screws. Still have a lot of swelling and limp most of the time. Some days I have little pain, but most are painful days. I have lost mobility, can't run, difficulty with stairs, and forever in flats. Tried cortisone injections and orthotics. The only thing that has brought a little relief was bio puncture which is injection of a non-chemical plant derivative that my pain management dr suggested. Since the surgery, my orthopedic dr has been pretty much useless. Have been told that hardware removal might help, but I'm not convinced. Anyone else just trying to make the best of this??

Mar 13, 2013
Just past my 10yr mark... be encouraged!! NEW
by: Helena

I wish this site was here in 3/7/2003. I took my kids to the skating rink, 1st time I had been there in 12yrs. Long story short, 2 teenagers bumped into me at a perpendicular angle (before I could even get on the floor to skate), I broke and shattered my left ankle. I have a plate, 8 skrews and a rod. I was in a cast for 3 month, have to have in change to every 2 wks to acheive a 90degree angle, which i didnt because I couldn't take it anymore and forced my MDF to put me in a walking boot. I did PT for aboout 4 sessions but as a single mom at the time potty training a toddler, she was all the PT I needed.

For the first 2 yrs I didn't even attempt to wear heels. Sudden changes in weather still affect me today. Sometimes it becomes stiff and there is a dull/nagging pain that sometime feels like its always there. Honestly it doesn't feel like it did before the accident but I have gotten use to it. I can still do everything I did before, sometimes it just requires more thought. I was very fortunate to have a great surgeon who told me what to expext in the long term. He advised me to leave my "10 piece" in as it my incur another break. I have experience everything he said but I'm also did better than he expexted, specially for breaking my 1st bone at 30yo.

Again... BE ENCOURAGED, 10 years ago I thought I was doomed for life, I couldn't even imagine myself where heelins again. But I am and I do!

Feb 08, 2013
Feels like I'm regressing after 2 years NEW
by: Anonymous

It's been 2 years since my ORIF and 2 month in a cast.It was a rough recovery,not helped by a stubborn surgeon who wouldn't clear me for PT for a month and then refused to work with my PT.He more or less declared my ankle 'it is what it is' after what he deemed enough time in PT.I 'fired' him and switched to the ankle specialist every one who knew of my accident had said should have done the surgery to begin with-unfortunately he was not the one on call that day.My biggest problem was bringing my knee forward past the ankle-I could not croutch and I had a limp because my gait was messed up.I also lost tons of muscle in my entire leg due to inactivity for so many month.I had been a swimmer,runner and biker,as well as an avid hiker,before the accident and I begged him to clear me for more PT so I could regain some of that.I got 3-4 times a week-intense focused work,with deep tissue massage-enough to get me to maybe 80%.There are days when my ankle snaps.crackles and pops-when every ligament feels fused,and my calf muscle just doesn't want to give.The cold is terrible and makes the crews 'hurt'.I am afraid to have them removed though-1.because I worry what might happen if I roll my foot again and 2.the sight of 10" row of staples freaked me out so bad-i don't ever want anyone slicing my foot open!

Feb 02, 2013
nearly 2 years now NEW
by: Debi

since my car accident which shattered my ankle and broke my leg in 3 places. I have come a long way. I have had 4 surgeries the last one was to remove some of the hardware that was causing me pain. They didn't want to remove all of the hardware. I have arthritis already. In the winter the cold hurts my bones and the summer hurts my muscles...lol Couldn't walk for months so I'm grateful that I am walking again. I limp now but at least I'm walking. I will never be the same. My life has changed in so many ways some good some bad. I am now disabled and learning to start a new life. It's hard since I'm 57 now but I try and remain positive. I am lucky I survived the accident and that's whats important. Life is so much more precious to me now.

Feb 02, 2013
nearly 2 years now NEW
by: Debi

since my car accident which shattered my ankle and broke my leg in 3 places. I have come a long way. I have had 4 surgeries the last one was to remove some of the hardware that was causing me pain. They didn't want to remove all of the hardware. I have arthritis already. In the winter the cold hurts my bones and the summer hurts my muscles...lol Couldn't walk for months so I'm grateful that I am walking again. I limp now but at least I'm walking. I will never be the same. My life has changed in so many ways some good some bad. I am now disabled and learning to start a new life. It's hard since I'm 57 now but I try and remain positive. I am lucky I survived the accident and that's whats important. Life is so much more precious to me now.

Feb 01, 2013
please suggest NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi my name is srikanth.
I have a stress fracture doctor put me in the cast for two months I am able to walk now but unable to bend the ankle getting pain if tried hard and able to bend so please suggest me what is the problem

please send mail to yadlapallisrikanth954@gmail.com.

Jan 11, 2013
8 months post orif NEW
by: Heather

Well it has been 8 months since my injury. I am now scheduled for hardware removal and scope for Jan. 29th. Th doctor also said he may need to do repair to my cartilage, but he won't know until he goes in. He is removing 6 screws, a metal plate, 2 wires, and any scar tissue he sees. He says this will give me better mobility and less pain. I have a 23 degree difference in my extension and he feels that may be due to scar tissue. I have been told that this is a lot less painful than the original injury and surgery. If I only have to have the hardware removal and scope then the recovery time is 4-5 days NWB and 10 days off work. If he has to reair cartilage then it is 6 weeks NWB, but there is no way of knowing prior to the surgery. Wish me luck and I will keep you posted. My pain isn't that bad, it's the lack of mobility that bugs me and I can't wear heels anymore, which also sucks. I hope this works :)

Jan 03, 2013
Trimalleolar Fracture NEW
by: Anonymous

January 7, 2013 will be 2 years post operation for a trimalleolar fracture surgery which included 10 screws and a plate. I still have the hardware in place and plan on leaving it in place. At that time I was 31 years old. What I recall is the wasted time on the couch and walking with crutches became very discouraging at times. As I look back I should have just took a deep breath and enjoyed this relaxing time off work. I ride motorcycles, play golf, and most recently went downhill snow skiing for the first time in years. My ankle is a little stiff for about 3 steps in the morning and aches in the evening if I overdo it a work. In addition, the cold weather seems to aggravate it a little. However I am so thankful to be fully mobile. If you are feeling down or discouraged, don’t because things will get better. I believe keeping a positive attitude accelerates the healing process. God bless you on your recovery!

Dec 17, 2012
Steve - Final Update NEW
by: Steve

Yesterday marked three months since my ORIF surgery and I celebrated by doing 1000 bounces on a trampoline. I finished my PT three weeks ago and have been going to my free Wellness sessions 3X per week. I have been able to run for two weeks. I'm a little slow on the road due to the cold but inside on the treadmill I am managing ten minutes at 5.5 mph followed by five minutes at 6mph. I am walking 3.5 miles every lunchtime and also running 1.5 miles in a pool three times a week. Although my ankle is not yet 100%, I feel that I can now do almost everything I could do before my injury. A quick summary: Physically active 47yo male; August 31st maisonneuve fracture (left ankle and fibula); Sept 14th surgery with suture bridge inserted to reposition bones and hold them in place; Oct 20 something finally off crutches and allowed to start walking; Nov 30th approx started running.

Nov 16, 2012
Running after ankle break NEW
by: Anonymous

if you are a runner, may think about forefoot running or barefoot running. much easier on the ankle. talk to your surgeon. my was more comfortable with me running forefoot. he was not going to let me start running until i told him about forefoot running

Nov 16, 2012
Running after ankle break NEW
by: Anonymous

if you are a runner, may think about forefoot running or barefoot running. much easier on the ankle. talk to your surgeon. my was more comfortable with me running forefoot. he was not going to let me start running until i told him about forefoot running

Nov 16, 2012
Further update NEW
by: Anonymous

I've not been on the crutches since my last entry. Have been walking around a lot and have managed three miles on a few occasions, with some swelling afterwards. I have also been walking 1.5 miles in the pool on a lot of evenings. Just completed my third week of PT. Ankle flexibility has improved from -3 degrees to 0 degrees a week later to 5 degrees today. I can't run yet and walking down slopes is a little difficult because my ankle doesn't yet bend properly. I am supposed to have two more weeks of PT, and then four weeks of Wellness. My next goal is to be able to run, but I can't do that yet. My Orthopedic visit is 12/4. Hopefully all will be OK with both my ankle and my fibula.

Nov 16, 2012
Trimalleolar Fx NEW
by: Jon

I am 3 1/2 months post-op for a trimalleolar ankle FX. I had ORIF. Long story short, I've been back to work as a RN in the ER for a full month now. My ankly swells like crazy, but I have minimal pain and I am not taking any meds. I have also started working out again. Did 20 minutes on an elliptical this week followed by some weights and then a 3/4 mile jog on a treadmill. I am also 25 which given me an advantage, but every day I get close to normal again.

Oct 26, 2012
Update - Maisonneuve Fracture NEW
by: Steve

On Tuesday (three days ago) I had my first post-op visit to the orthopedic office. My ankle alignment is perfect. I was allowed to wean myself off my crutches. I have not used them since.

I walk when I need to get somewhere (I sit at a computer in my job) and I also attempt a very short walk at lunch. I'm very slow, but part of this is because my legs (thighs/calves) ache so much from not using them for almost eight weeks, and now suddenly using them again. At the end of the day my ankle is swelling quite a bit, but it goes back to almost normal overnight.

On Wednesday I also went to the pool and walked 12 lengths of the 25m pool. This felt good and it was easy enough to get in and out of the pool.

Yesterday I had my first PT visit. I did some simple stationary bike cycling plus leg raises and squats. No problem. Very easy. I have to do four different sets of exercises twice a day at home.

I have twelve more PT sessions scheduled over the next three weeks. Currently my left ankle is very stiff. Pulling my toes toward me, I can only move my foot minus three degrees off of 90, whereas my 'normal' right foot moves 15 degrees. Turning my ankle out, my left foot goes 12 degrees and my right foot 40.

Today is the first day my legs don't ache. This is helping my mobility. Previously I felt like I had walked ten miles up a mountain and back down the previous day.

Overall I am feeling very positive. Being off the crutches is huge (though I am still sitting when I shower to be safe) and noticing the small daily improvements is keeping my spirits up.



Oct 24, 2012
Calcaneous surgery Big toe movement NEW
by: Tammy

Today makes 3 weeks from my calcaneous surgery. My swelling is slowly reducing. Still no weight on my foot and doing my range of motion exercises daily but for some reason I have trouble bending my big toe down but can move back and forth just cannot bend it. Anyone else with same issue? Thanks

Oct 24, 2012
Calcaneous surgery Big toe movement NEW
by: Tammy

Today makes 3 weeks from my calcaneous surgery. My swelling is slowly reducing. Still no weight on my foot and doing my range of motion exercises daily but for some reason I have trouble bending my big toe down but can move back and forth just cannot bend it. Anyone else with same issue? Thanks

Oct 24, 2012
Calcaneous surgery Big toe movement NEW
by: Tammy

Today makes 3 weeks from my calcaneous surgery. My swelling is slowly reducing. Still no weight on my foot and doing my range of motion exercises daily but for some reason I have trouble bending my big toe down but can move back and forth just cannot bend it. Anyone else with same issue? Thanks

Oct 22, 2012
10 months since Trimalleolar fracture with dislocation NEW
by: annette

It sure ain't no picnic but do not put weight on your ankle until the doctor tells you to do so. My accident was December 16th 2011. My horse decided to dump and drag me with one leg still in the stirrup. It is the most painful thing I have ever experienced, and my first broken bone ever at 42. I can not stress enough to you all to give yourself the healing time. I was told without the surgery I would not walk again. It is now October 22, 2012, I still have pain and aches. I am just now feeling like my normal self. It does suck just sitting, but I had to teach myself to relax because I was always on the go. I was told that I will most likely have arthiritis as well. My calf muscle and achilles heel feels like it will never stretch again and I still have a hard time up/down stairs & steps. Please please give yourselves time to heal, it will get better but it takes time. Happy healing y'all!

Oct 22, 2012
10 months since Trimalleolar fracture with dislocation NEW
by: annette

It sure ain't no picnic but do not put weight on your ankle until the doctor tells you to do so. My accident was December 16th 2011. My horse decided to dump and drag me with one leg still in the stirrup. It is the most painful thing I have ever experienced, and my first broken bone ever at 42. I can not stress enough to you all to give yourself the healing time. I was told without the surgery I would not walk again. It is now October 22, 2012, I still have pain and aches. I am just now feeling like my normal self. It does suck just sitting, but I had to teach myself to relax because I was always on the go. I was told that I will most likely have arthiritis as well. My calf muscle and achilles heel feels like it will never stretch again and I still have a hard time up/down stairs & steps. Please please give yourselves time to heal, it will get better but it takes time. Happy healing y'all!

Oct 20, 2012
Sensitivity NEW
by: Anonymous

To post below- I am 13 wks out from a dislocation and trimalleolar fracture. My leg from the knee down is still a different color than my non injured leg. The swelling still occurs (I wear a compression sock) and floors feel much colder. Even though I didn't injure my foot bones, I still have pain on the top of my foot and the ball of my foot (much less now though). Wiggling my toes was like torture. I also felt weird almost electrical feelings- I guess the bone healing? Like a little worm was inside moving. I followed all drs orders and healing very well- I can even stand on one foot on my injured foot. Range of motion is the tough part for me. Lots of unexpected feelings/pain while healing but whenever you're unsure, call your dr.

Oct 20, 2012
To Anonymous NEW
by: Michael

Thanks for the answer. You're great to take the time. I'm worried about the hyper sensitivity of the foot. Do you know if this is normal? I've read about RSD and I'm worried I'm getting this just 2 weeks out. Thanks for the support.

Oct 20, 2012
Michael NEW
by: Anonymous

Michael,
I had a very similar injury and yes your foot will be red for awhile, increased blood flow to help heal.
I know it is hard but use this time to research or just watch some movies. Get a kneel walker and you can at least scoot around the house. It has been one year for me and I am back to normal. While I was at your stage days seemed very long but you are young and have so much to look forward to, enjoy the vacation and educate yourself on your injury the web is remarkable and doctors will even reply when you find specialists email address' at the hospitals.
Start a bucket list and watch the leaves fall.
It won't be long and life will be so busy you will forget this ever happened. Well anyway you will
not think about it everyday. Good luck and everyone wishes you well and healthy.

Oct 19, 2012
Worried NEW
by: Michael

I recently broke my fibula and dislocated my ankle. Got a plate and 5 screws. Its been 2 weeks and the top of my foot is very sensitive to touch. Also, my ankle and foot get very red while using the crutchs. Is this common, especially the sensitivity? Thanks for any input.

Oct 15, 2012
Update NEW
by: Anonymous

I have posted previously about my trimalleolar fracture recovery and wanted to update. I am now week 12 with a plate on the outside of my right ankle- no hardware on the other two fracture sites. I am doing much better and the pain has subsided immensely. I am still walking with a slight limp. If I stretch it for 5-10 minutes, I am limp free. I still do not have full range of motion. I have 3 more weeks to work on it before my dr decides if I need PT. I do have pain from the plate and I am going to schedule it to be removed in January. My dr says its outpatient and should not be a big deal. I am just so excited to be able to go anywhere I want and not worry how I will get around. At the beginning, it seemed like it was never going to get better. It was the most intense and prolonged pain I have ever felt. But following the drs orders has been the best thing I've done. I still wear a compression sock to keep swelling down and it's hard to find comfy nice shoes but other than that, I am feeling so much better!

Oct 15, 2012
Thx NEW
by: Steve

Thanks for reinforcing that I need to keep off it. I am tempted to put some weight on it from time to time, but on every occasion I was too scared. Which is probably a good thing. Just over a week until my next visit to the orthopedic office. I've waited 45 days already - I can wait eight more days.

Oct 12, 2012
Steve NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Steve, I did have a severe heel fracture, not similar to ur break, but I can tell you don't walk on it until doctor clears you. The doc told me that I could ruin the surgery and make things even worse if I put weight on it. I couldn't imagine another surgery and possibly more time on crutches. Good luck

Oct 12, 2012
Maisonneuve fracture recovery NEW
by: Steve

I'm 47 and suffered a maisonneuve fracture while playing soccer on August 31st. Lots of pain and swelling the first few days. Swelling had gone down enough after two weeks for me to have surgery, using a suture bridge rather than screws, to put the fibula, tibia and ankle back where they should be. I was told to put no weight on my ankle for four weeks and I am definitely getting tired of using crutches. There has been almost no pain since the surgery and I can't wait to walk again. I wear an air boot when I leave the house but take it off at home. Luckily it was my left ankle so I have been able to drive for the last two weeks. I was hoping I'd be allowed to swim and maybe even walk in the pool but I just checked with the orthopedic office and I'm still not allowed to submerge the incision. I'm fast losing my fitness and I'm sure I'm putting on weight. I don't really have a question. I'm just putting adding my story to the pool of knowledge on this site.

Oct 09, 2012
For Denise NEW
by: PamAnonymous

Wondering how you are doing after hardware removal.. I had ORIF 11/18/11 for fractured, actually splintered fibula and clean brak of tibia. Two big nails in tib and 11 screws and plate on fib. Long recovery, lots of PT...reading back through all of the posts here, it's almost like a dream...the five days in the hospital, the 10 weeks non weight bearing, the pt, an infection, the walker, the boot, the limping.....it DOES get better...I still have limited range of motion up and down due to a very close mortise.. Achy after long walks, still limp for the first few steps after getting up in the morning and after sitting. The hardest thing is not excerxising like I used to. I am 60' teach full time and by the end of the day, it is so stiff and achy, not tomention the hip from over compensating! But my concern is that the screws on the fib feel like they are poking through the skin...does the plate removal give you more mobility? Throughout the whole time and still, I can't sit with my legs tucked in resting on the couch...the damn screws feel like they are going to poke through! Can't sleep on my side for the same reason. Denise, is the surgery worth it? My doc says 2 weeks back in the boot so the bones can fill in..
I feel lucky that after all this, it's just the screws that are bothering me!
If you are just beginning this journey, don't give up, do your pt, and keep it elevated above your head as long as you can, especially while in the cast and boot. Use a compression stocking, ice it and rest..I don't feel like I'm 60 at all, other than the ankle..I'm hoping that by removing the hardware I won't make it weaker , but most of all, that ill feel more like 40 again!

Oct 09, 2012
For Denise NEW
by: PamAnonymous

Wondering how you are doing after hardware removal.. I had ORIF 11/18/11 for fractured, actually splintered fibula and clean brak of tibia. Two big nails in tib and 11 screws and plate on fib. Long recovery, lots of PT...reading back through all of the posts here, it's almost like a dream...the five days in the hospital, the 10 weeks non weight bearing, the pt, an infection, the walker, the boot, the limping.....it DOES get better...I still have limited range of motion up and down due to a very close mortise.. Achy after long walks, still limp for the first few steps after getting up in the morning and after sitting. The hardest thing is not excerxising like I used to. I am 60' teach full time and by the end of the day, it is so stiff and achy, not tomention the hip from over compensating! But my concern is that the screws on the fib feel like they are poking through the skin...does the plate removal give you more mobility? Throughout the whole time and still, I can't sit with my legs tucked in resting on the couch...the damn screws feel like they are going to poke through! Can't sleep on my side for the same reason. Denise, is the surgery worth it? My doc says 2 weeks back in the boot so the bones can fill in..
I feel lucky that after all this, it's just the screws that are bothering me!
If you are just beginning this journey, don't give up, do your pt, and keep it elevated above your head as long as you can, especially while in the cast and boot. Use a compression stocking, ice it and rest..I don't feel like I'm 60 at all, other than the ankle..I'm hoping that by removing the hardware I won't make it weaker , but most of all, that ill feel more like 40 again!

Oct 09, 2012
New trimalleolar fx with avulsion fx of other ankle NEW
by: Anonymous

Just had a nasty fall which left me with 2 ankles injured. One ankle with a trimalleolar fracture that was surgically repaired with plate and screws - the opposite ankle with an avulsion fracture. It is so hard to try to be mobile, putting weight on the lesser injured ankle to avoid putting any weight on the side with the ORIF, since surgeon tells me this can cause the surgery to fail. Right now, just barely getting from the sofa to wheelchair and back.
Looks like I am out of work for the next month or so at the least. Hoping there is light at the end of this very dark tunnel.

Oct 09, 2012
Use your head... NEW
by: Anonymous

If your future of walking is important I would think playing sports is trivial. You won't be young forever. You might not be able to walk. Think about your life.

Sep 28, 2012
HARDWARE IS GONE!! NEW
by: Denise

I had all my hardware removed on 9/25 (7 screws and a plate). It went much better than I expected. It took an hour. I had a block and sedation (I actually woke up during the surgery and asked if I could sing). I felt nothing until about 3-4 hours after surgery. The pain meds helped. It is now 9/28 and I am walking around with minimal pain. I have two close friends with the same injury and they have had their hardware for many years without problems. I was in frequent pain and limited to what I could do. I hope and pray that this was the answer. I'll keep you posted.

Sep 22, 2012
6 weeks post op NEW
by: Kelly

I had a bimalleolar fracture on 7/29, medial and posterior, which apparently is not very common. Had surgery 8/8, 2 screws placed. I'm an ER nurse but I was able to return to work 8/20 doing mostly triage. What helped me the most was renting a roll about or knee walker. I used this the rest of my 5 weeks, barely used my crutches. I even flew to St. Louis for a weekend and rolled around all over the city. I just started walking yesterday with a boot, 6 weeks post op. It definitely hurts and I'm walking slow but hoping it will get better each day.

Sep 20, 2012
Almost 1 yeas since my break NEW
by: Jula

Just wanted to tell you all how hard it can be to get thru this. I broke my ankle in three places along with dislocation. I had seven screws and a plate. I went thru a lot of pain and crying and whining but at the end it was my own attitude that changed and got me to beg for screw removal. I had three surgeries two different doctors. First refused to remove plate and screws in tibia.
It is hard but don't let anyone tell you ,you can't do it. I still have some pain but nothing to stop me from painting on the top of a tall ladder. I believe the hardware did it's job, but after that it
caused pain and I could feel it sticking thru my skin. I'm 61 and so maybe pain has been around before but don't let it stop you , you will get
past this and live a good life.

Sep 17, 2012
Surgery results? NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Denise, I am so interested in how your surgery came out..please let me know..I've had bad pain for 5 years now and always thinking about getting the hardware removed..I hope it is a success for you and you recover soon. Barbara

Sep 17, 2012
4 months post op NEW
by: Heather

It has been 4 months since my injury. 6 screws, metal plate, and 2 wires. I had a trimalleolar fracture and dislocation. My dr said it was a very severe fracture. I am happy to say I am walking normal with minimal pain. It isn't really pain, more like an occassional ache. I still have all the hardware in, but I am having no problems with it at all. I had no therapy because my dr said walking was my therapy. I'm 29, mother of 3 girls under 7, and a nurse. I am back to my normal life. I even have been riding again!!!! A horse fell on my leg, that's how I was injured, and I am already able to ride again!!!!! My ankle gets a little sore after, but it's not bad and totally worth it!!!! For all of you in the first few weeks, it is a long road, but it gets better!!!!! The first few weeks are the worst, and when you first start weight bearing it hurts pretty bad too. Just push through it and it will get better!!! Good luck.

Sep 17, 2012
Hardware removal NEW
by: Denise

I'm having hardward removed a week from tomorrow (7 screws and a plate). Let you know if it eases my pain.

Sep 17, 2012
Update Christina NEW
by: Anonymous

I previously posted August 27th when I was 5 wks out of surgery. It is now week 8 and I am now out of the Bledsoe boot as of last week. It was hard adjusting to not wearing the boot 24/7. I had to buy new shoes since my injured right foot is a size bigger due to swelling. The boot had really helped with swelling so now I wear a compression sock daily. It has even swelled into my calf and toes. I am working on increasing my range of movement. I had to use both crutches for most of last week just to get used to being boot free- balance and pain. I can use just one crutch now. The pain is a lot better. I was able to get into a pool and practice walking. This gave me confidence that I could do it without crutches. The pain is now mainly in the ball of my foot and I have to consciously think of using my toes to walk. My doctor says if I can get a good range of movement on my own, then I don't need therapy. I go back in 4 wks. The best news is I can drive again!

Sep 17, 2012
Update Christina NEW
by: Anonymous

I previously posted August 27th when I was 5 wks out of surgery. It is now week 8 and I am now out of the Bledsoe boot as of last week. It was hard adjusting to not wearing the boot 24/7. I had to buy new shoes since my injured right foot is a size bigger due to swelling. The boot had really helped with swelling so now I wear a compression sock daily. It has even swelled into my calf and toes. I am working on increasing my range of movement. I had to use both crutches for most of last week just to get used to being boot free- balance and pain. I can use just one crutch now. The pain is a lot better. I was able to get into a pool and practice walking. This gave me confidence that I could do it without crutches. The pain is now mainly in the ball of my foot and I have to consciously think of using my toes to walk. My doctor says if I can get a good range of movement on my own, then I don't need therapy. I go back in 4 wks. The best news is I can drive again!

Sep 17, 2012
Update Christina NEW
by: Anonymous

I previously posted August 27th when I was 5 wks out of surgery. It is now week 8 and I am now out of the Bledsoe boot as of last week. It was hard adjusting to not wearing the boot 24/7. I had to buy new shoes since my injured right foot is a size bigger due to swelling. The boot had really helped with swelling so now I wear a compression sock daily. It has even swelled into my calf and toes. I am working on increasing my range of movement. I had to use both crutches for most of last week just to get used to being boot free- balance and pain. I can use just one crutch now. The pain is a lot better. I was able to get into a pool and practice walking. This gave me confidence that I could do it without crutches. The pain is now mainly in the ball of my foot and I have to consciously think of using my toes to walk. My doctor says if I can get a good range of movement on my own, then I don't need therapy. I go back in 4 wks. The best news is I can drive again!

Sep 17, 2012
Update Christina NEW
by: Anonymous

I previously posted August 27th when I was 5 wks out of surgery. It is now week 8 and I am now out of the Bledsoe boot as of last week. It was hard adjusting to not wearing the boot 24/7. I had to buy new shoes since my injured right foot is a size bigger due to swelling. The boot had really helped with swelling so now I wear a compression sock daily. It has even swelled into my calf and toes. I am working on increasing my range of movement. I had to use both crutches for most of last week just to get used to being boot free- balance and pain. I can use just one crutch now. The pain is a lot better. I was able to get into a pool and practice walking. This gave me confidence that I could do it without crutches. The pain is now mainly in the ball of my foot and I have to consciously think of using my toes to walk. My doctor says if I can get a good range of movement on my own, then I don't need therapy. I go back in 4 wks. The best news is I can drive again!

Sep 03, 2012
Calcaneus Fracture NEW
by: Anonymous

I broke my calcaneus on July 17 and went in for surgery after the swelling went down on July 31. Surgery consisted of 4 screws and a plate. Two weeks after surgery my split was taken off, sutures removed, but I developed and infection. Now after taking several types of antibiotics infection getting better, but dressing must be changed twice a day (wet/dry). I am not yet allowed to walk on my foot (5 weeks after surgery) but I can tell it is better with very little pain. I know I'll need months of rehab and hopefully will not need any other relate surgeries.
W K

Sep 03, 2012
Calcaneus Fracture NEW
by: Anonymous

I broke my calcaneus on July 17 and went in for surgery after the swelling went down on July 31. Surgery consisted of 4 screws and a plate. Two weeks after surgery my split was taken off, sutures removed, but I developed and infection. Now after taking several types of antibiotics infection getting better, but dressing must be changed twice a day (wet/dry). I am not yet allowed to walk on my foot (5 weeks after surgery) but I can tell it is better with very little pain. I know I'll need months of rehab and hopefully will not need any other relate surgeries.
W K

Sep 03, 2012
Calcaneus Fracture NEW
by: Anonymous

I broke my calcaneus on July 17 and went in for surgery after the swelling went down on July 31. Surgery consisted of 4 screws and a plate. Two weeks after surgery my split was taken off, sutures removed, but I developed and infection. Now after taking several types of antibiotics infection getting better, but dressing must be changed twice a day (wet/dry). I am not yet allowed to walk on my foot (5 weeks after surgery) but I can tell it is better with very little pain. I know I'll need months of rehab and hopefully will not need any other relate surgeries.
W K

Aug 27, 2012
Getting better NEW
by: Christina

I previously posted on August 7th, 2 weeks after my surgery. I have a trimalleolar fracture in my right ankle with a dislocation. I have a plate on one of the fracture sites (fibula) and other 2 sites are healing on own. It's now 5 weeks post op and I am still wearing the Bledsoe boot. I made some modifications to make it more comfortable. I was able to remove a strap and cut some of the padding since it was too big for my leg. Swelling has gone down especially where the air pockets are located in the boot. I can flex my foot up now. Since the boot is set to keep my foot flat, I now have trouble letting my foot relax down when I take off the boot. I still have to sleep in the boot ( and still no driving) but my dr is allowing me to put weight on it now. I use the crutches to walk and I am putting light weight on it. This hurts and feels like thorns but I am determined to walk back in the drs office in 2 weeks without any crutches. I'm not sure how long I'll wear the boot but I'm hoping only a few more weeks. I've stopped taking any pain medicine since my last post. I found the narcotics can really get a hold of you and just make you want to lie in bed all day. But that is not good for recovery. It was the worst pain I had ever felt and it was so hard to give up the meds but it was the best decision. I feel like myself again and going out to different places. I even went back to work last week- exhausting but worth it! Finding distractions from the pain is the best thing to do.

Aug 27, 2012
recovery NEW
by: Anonymous

recovering from a break like an ankle later on in life is not like healing from a cut. alot of the success of recover is based on the individual. my break was in jan 2010. there are still days that my ankle is soar or after a long run it swells a little more. but i think for my my recovery is 100% because i put in 45-50miles a week running with a long run at 13-15mi. and i am able to swim 5mi a week. i am still cautios about the thing that i do. I do not go hard trail runnning yet and have not tried any full contact sports. but all in due time.

i can tell you that just sitting on my butt did not get me there.

sure recovery has to do with your body and it's healing capabilities, but the patient also has a lot to do with the success of recovery.

Aug 27, 2012
Recovery time and meds for ankle fracture NEW
by: Anna

Hi!

My 58 yr. old husband broke his fibula (a spiral brake - which is the worst) as well as grossly dislocating his right ankle - back in July 2011.

To-date, he is still not fully mobile and, well, he's almost afraid to do anything strenuous, cos it hurts when he does!

My #1 question is: with him sitting - all day at work - isn't that going to retard his progress? Shouldn't he be on stationary bike when he gets home or something?

Thanks!

Aug 18, 2012
Heal time ? Broke Calcanus, Fibula, Ankle bones NEW
by: Eric Pop

I went 2 1/2 years with hardware in until all seven srews broke and one up the center back heel is stuck in. I am on a crutch and swell twice size everyday. It won't heal-up and I have been like this going on 4 years now. It hurts so bad I get a headache. I can't tell if I have other pains smaller cause the leg, foot, & ankle is so overwhellming. Ask me about some stuff about it. Maybe cut it off. Use a hockey stick leg ----- Yeah ! ! ! . Thanks Eric Pop.
,

Aug 18, 2012
Heal time ? Broke Calcanus, Fibula, Ankle bones NEW
by: Eric Pop

I went 2 1/2 years with hardware in until all seven srews broke and one up the center back heel is stuck in. I am on a crutch and swell twice size everyday. It won't heal-up and I have been like this going on 4 years now. It hurts so bad I get a headache. I can't tell if I have other pains smaller cause the leg, foot, & ankle is so overwhellming. Ask me about some stuff about it. Maybe cut it off. Use a hockey stick leg ----- Yeah ! ! ! . Thanks Eric Pop.
,

Aug 15, 2012
Hardware removal NEW
by: Denise

Trimalaer fracture with synosis on 1/10/12. The hardware is bothering me so it is being removed (7 screws and a plate) next month. I hear different opinions on recovery time. Doc says I could be back to work in a week (teacher). Any advise? Is it ok that I am not waiting a year. There is a possibility of non-union. Once the hardware is removed I will have an MRI. Sometimes I feel pretty good and can walk 1/2 mile and I wonder if I should not do it. Then I get the sharp and aching pains, swelling and I confirm my need to remove hardware.

Aug 15, 2012
Circulation NEW
by: Anonymous

Thanks Tracey! I started massaging the top of my foot earlier today an it seemed to at least take some of the redness away, I guess my helping empty the venous system. I'll try your suggestion and see of that helps. I'm moving and stretching but still apprehensive about whether the fibula is secure enough, sure don't want any setbacks, as I'm only about 4-5 weeks in.

Aug 15, 2012
Circulation NEW
by: Tracey

Scott it's early days yet but circulation and swelling/redness will go, I was in a cast for 9 weeks but whenever I stood for any length of time it throbbed. Once the swelling goes which it will the pain and circulation will improve. I am now 16 weeks post op and 90% normal, I have a little restricted movement still and some tendon and muscle strength to improve but I am cycling, swimming, gym etc so exercising 5 x1 hr a week as I was per-injury. Massage works wonders for swelling put leg in air and rub the sore swollen bits pulling in strokes down to inside of leg below knee where lymph nodes are as this drains the fluid away, I do it every evening for 5 mins x

Aug 15, 2012
Ankle fracture and dislocation NEW
by: Scott

I had a trimalleolar fx with dislocation on July 13th (almost 5 weeks ago). I had a syndesmosis injury as well. The fx's were plated and I had 8 screws plus the long syndesmosis screw. After 2 weeks the syndesmotic screw slipped requiring a second surgery the day after I had my 28 staples removed (sucked bad). I now have 2 tightropes to keep both the tibia and fibula together and tight to aid in healing properly. The long screw was removed at this time. At my appointment on aug. 9th (one week and a day after 2nd surgery) doc said to go ahead and start doing circles with my foot and gradually increase in size. Of course I was scared and leary of
Doing this so soon but he assured me it was ok. I had an appt. yesterday (aug.14th) ad he said start moving it much more as well as Doing towel stretches to get that Achilles stretched. Anyway my ankle is extremely tight all the way around and I'm still Leary of moving it sooo much or with any force. Stretches are going good. I have a lot of problems with circulation at this point as my foot turns almost beet red if Im up for any length of time. Also have some numbness around the surgical sites and in general right around both sides of my ankle. Anyone else having the circulation issues that seem maybe worse than they should? I know it takes time I'm just impatient.

Aug 07, 2012
3 months post op NEW
by:

I have posted a few times and I am now 6 weeks out of cast and 14 weeks post op, with trimmalleolar fracture, plate one side pins on inside, I am having weekly physio and doing my own massage and exercises 2-3 times daily. I swim 3-4 times a week and walk at least half a mile up to 1.5 miles 3 times weekly. I am pain free mostly unless I do too much, at these times I wear my support bandage and or ice my ankle and elevate it. My Physio is really Pleased with my progress and so am I. I have a long way to go and get fed up of doing my daily routine, but I have no choice. I was very sporty before my accident and ran a half marathon and a 10k in the weeks running up to my accident which I also did during sporting activity on a coastal walk. I have just started cycling again just a few miles at the moment but will increase it weekly. No clip in shoes for now though!!

Aug 07, 2012
Trimalleolar fracture NEW
by: Christina

I am about 2 weeks post op. I have a plate and screws on my fibula but other 2 break sites on my tibia did not require hardware. I injured myself on July 22 from just missing the last step on my porch. The dislocation of my ankle was fixed that night and I had surgery the next day. I was placed in a soft splint for 9 days and then had more X-rays and then placed in a bledsoe boot. While I was in the splint, I could lift my leg and use crutches. I did have to use a walker for the first 5 days- I was not steady enough for crutches. When I first got the boot, any movement gave me intense pain and I had to go back to taking 10 mg of Percocet every 4 hrs. I had been taking 5 mg every 4 hrs. I didn't know the boot would be so heavy. Every time I tried to use the crutches, the boot would slide and it felt like all it's weight was on the top of my foot. So I stayed in bed for a few days so I was closer to the bathroom. I try to pump up the boot to make it tighter but then it makes my foot go numb with pins and needles. I go back to my surgeon in 2 more weeks to see about weight bearing. I have to be able to pull my toes up and flatten my foot. But practicing this hurts so bad. I am supposed to go back to work in 2 weeks. I just don't know if that's possible.

Jul 06, 2012
BrOken ankle NEW
by: Tracey

To the post before mine, what sort and where was fracture on ankle,? Have you had physio as thats what will stop you limping? I was in a cast for 9 weeks after surgery to insert plates on 23 April. Came out of cast two weeks ago had 3 physio sessions and i am not limping much now. I posted in April this is an update, I had a trimmalleolar and dislocation after slipping in wet mud. I have a plate with 5 screws one side and 3 screws other side. I have had 3 physio sessions in 2 weeks, I do 3 lots of home physio exercises as instructed per day, use a rocker board, wii fit balance games, I have swam twice and done stationery bike in gym. I was always very active and I am determined to be again but been advised against running. I am almost walking without a limp now although it's still very stiff and often swollen. Scars healed really well with cocoa butter and elizabeth Arden 8 hr cream. It's not all bad you can recover if you look after yourself and listen to advice

Jul 06, 2012
fractured ankle NEW
by: Anonymous

can anyone give me any advice , i fractured my ankle on 29th april it was never put in a cast just sent home with , strap thing that i had to pump air into , i was discharged from the fracture clinic on 23rd may , had to go to my gp to get signed off work for another two week after that , then went back to work after that 2 weeks on reduduced hours its going to be 12 week since it happened and am still limping , wondering if i should go back to casualty

Jul 03, 2012
Hardware removal NEW
by: Denise

I had the syndenosis screw removed and it wasn't bad. I actually felt a lot better after it was removed. I was able to walk out after the procedure. Good Luck!

Jul 03, 2012
Maisonneuve injury NEW
by: Louis

A few weeks ago I fell playing baseball and broke my fibula and tore 3 ligaments in my ankle. Originally I was diagnosed with only a broken fibula, but after seeing a specialist was recommended for surgery to repair all the damage inside my ankle.

2 weeks ago, I had surgrey where I had 2 anchors drilled into my ankle bone to allow the deltoid ligament to be sewn back to my ankle bone. As well as 2 Syndemosis screws placed in my ankle. I go back in a few days to have the staples removed from the incision location. I will go back in a few months to have the screws removed, but the anchors will be permanent.

What is the overall timeline to being able to walk without crutches or a cane?
How long is the recovery after hardware removal?
I want this to heal the right way, but would also love to be back to walking around as soon as possible.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

-L

Jul 03, 2012
Maisonneuve injury NEW
by: Louis

A few weeks ago I fell playing baseball and broke my fibula and tore 3 ligaments in my ankle. Originally I was diagnosed with only a broken fibula, but after seeing a specialist was recommended for surgery to repair all the damage inside my ankle.

2 weeks ago, I had surgrey where I had 2 anchors drilled into my ankle bone to allow the deltoid ligament to be sewn back to my ankle bone. As well as 2 Syndemosis screws placed in my ankle. I go back in a few days to have the staples removed from the incision location. I will go back in a few months to have the screws removed, but the anchors will be permanent.

What is the overall timeline to being able to walk without crutches or a cane?
How long is the recovery after hardware removal?
I want this to heal the right way, but would also love to be back to walking around as soon as possible.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

-L

Jul 03, 2012
Maisonneuve injury NEW
by: Louis

A few weeks ago I fell playing baseball and broke my fibula and tore 3 ligaments in my ankle. Originally I was diagnosed with only a broken fibula, but after seeing a specialist was recommended for surgery to repair all the damage inside my ankle.

2 weeks ago, I had surgrey where I had 2 anchors drilled into my ankle bone to allow the deltoid ligament to be sewn back to my ankle bone. As well as 2 Syndemosis screws placed in my ankle. I go back in a few days to have the staples removed from the incision location. I will go back in a few months to have the screws removed, but the anchors will be permanent.

What is the overall timeline to being able to walk without crutches or a cane?
How long is the recovery after hardware removal?
I want this to heal the right way, but would also love to be back to walking around as soon as possible.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

-L

Jun 29, 2012
Have had all hardware removed. NEW
by: Jula

Hi everyone,
June 1st I had the last of my hardware removed.
Plate and four screws. Last surgeon refused to remove plate so I found a doctor who told me he would do it and done many. Said he had many patients tell him the same thing. He also said in 90% of his patients there was pain reduction following removal. It helped me. I am now 7 months from broken tib , mal, and dislocation . It was a long road but I am now helping my husband move a house full of boxes and so far it has been good.
No more pain when I go up and down stairs from the plate stabbing me. I could feel it! I do wrap and wear a hiking boot when lifting all this stuff but that is precautionary. I hope everyone can find a
surgeon who will work with you. It may not be for everyone but I had mine taken out. Good luck and
Happy 4th.

Jun 28, 2012
Does everyone have these outcomes? NEW
by: Heather

All of ou with all the pain and swelling quite a while later are scaring me. Were you ever pain/swelling free? Or was it always bad? Just wondering if this is what I have to look forward to. I have a lot of years left to work and run after my kids and I don't want to be limited due to my injury. Just wondering if I will be in the same boat as you guys. I am pain free and swelling free now, but I still NWB and have an ace wrap on as well as a walking boot. Did you have pain and swelling then or did it come after you started walking? Just hoping I will be "normal" again.

Jun 28, 2012
poor recovery too NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Bob, I am with you on the poor recovery! Almost 5 years post op and still swelling and pain, limp, etc..I had a badly fractured calcaneus (heel) and lots of metal. Any consults I've had tell me metal removal will not solve pain or swelling problem..I do plan on getting it removed, but am worried about outcome.

Jun 27, 2012
almost 6 months NEW
by: Denise

Still having a lot of pain and swelling. DOC recommends removing hardware. How has that been for anyone who had it removed?

Jun 27, 2012
13 months later NEW
by: Bob

I broke and dislocated my ankle on June 3 2011 while working, had surgery plates screws the whole 9 yards. After the cast for 8 weeks and the boot for 8 weeks along with therapy I was told by Doctor that I will be released. I explained to him that my ankle swelled to twice its size qnd unbearable pain. I was referred to another specialist. She ordered X rays and a CAT Scan. This revealed loose debris , the ankle was not seeded properly and it was reccomende another surgery. Remove Hardware Reinstall so here it goes again on Dec 3 2011 had another surgery no weight bearing for 12 weeks, Walking boot for 4 weeks with gradual weight bearing and PT. It is now 6/27/2012 I will see the Dr end of July. My ankle still swells, I hardly have any ROM cannot walk without a limp and pain daily. I was told I should be in Therapy unti Dec. I am glad to hear all the success stories unfortuately I am not one

Jun 26, 2012
6 weeks since injury NEW
by: Heather

I suffered a tri. fracture and dislocation of my right ankle on May 16, 2012. My daughters bad horse reared up as I was dismounting and landed on my left foot causing me to lose my balance and fall. Horse reared again and then flipped over backwards and landed on my right foot. I heard my ankle snap and knew instantly I broke it. I injured it on a Wednesday and they put it back in place that day and then did surgery on Friday May 18, 2012. I have 6 screws on the right side of my ankle and wire on my left side. I had a half cast with ace wraps. I went gone on the 20th and had severe pain and depression. I cried all the time. I went back a week later and had the cast removed and the steri strips a well. I was put in a walking boot, but still NWB until July 10th. I had 1 appt. in between at 3 weeks post op and Had X-rays taken. My surgeon said my bones were all healed, but still NWB until the 10th of July. I have been able to move my ankle since after the first week and my range of motion is getting a ton better. I had a hard time at first because I the pain and the loss of my independence, but that has gotten better too. I am a nurse and worked a lot prior to this, but I am unable to work right now. I am only 28 and have 3 very young daughters 6, 3, and 1. My husband and family have been so helpful. I dot receive and disability benefits from my job because I had only been there for 2 months so money is a problem for us right now, but I'm hoping I can go back to work on July. I have no pain really, an occasional ache, but nothing like it was. My incisions are completely healed and I can tolerate putting my foot down now. I'm happy to know that I will be able to return to my normal active lifestyle soon, I was terrified my career would be ruined by this. I am an avid horse rider and have missed out on most of this season, but I know I will be back to riding soon. I can't wait to be normal again and have my old life back.

Jun 10, 2012
re: Electric Shocks NEW by: Anonymous NEW
by: getting there

"Over the past few weeks i have noticed something new - i am getting what can only be described as an electric shock sensation in one of my toes with each step when I walk. Has anyone else had this and do you know what it is? Thanks."


Anonymous, this sounds like neuropathic pain.

Without expertise and knowing the fine detail of your situation, I can only suggest that if it persists you bring it up with your surgeon

I had two different neuropathic pains (which went away without mention), but not the "shock" variety which suggests direct nerve stimulation, possibly digital, given your description.

Entrapment neuropathy is possible, and worth excluding.

There are some meds which specifically target this variety of pain.


Jun 10, 2012
maisonneuve injury, part 3 NEW
by: getting there

ok I am now just over 5 months since the injury

I went back to work 3 weeks ago, about four weeks after I could walk forty minutes or so before pain became ridiculous (i.e. grunting out loud and slow "zombie" shuffle)

But walking that forty minutes was a milestone

I did not want to return to walk until I could really do the job, as there is a bit of walking in the course of a day and recovery from exertion with this injury is far slower to recovery from physiological exercise.

anyway, the first week back at work was difficult and I had to get panadeine forte. Fortunately work was neither hectic nor dramatic.

The job involved a walk up/down hills between community outpatient and inpatient healthcare structures about five or six times a day, with a good 4-500 metres between them, and then all the walking inside the hospital (and a new workplace to boot)

interestingly, at this point, my calf is reconditioned, so the bulk is more or less the same in feel as the normal side, and as this occurred the pain shifted to the insertion points of the metalware. There is very little pain, if any, from the ankle.

I can now slowly walk, but confidently, up and down a moderate tarmac incline

I only used painkillers regularly in that first week back at work

the screws are a little late for removal, but will be out in a few weeks. I'm not fussed as I think the science allows some leeway in terms of "months"

I can't cross my legs in my favourite way (which I do a lot normally in my line of work), because the healing proximal fibular # is painful when resting on the other knee.

This is a minor price to pay at this point.

I do remember well, the initial orthopaedic registrar saying he wasn't really fussed about the fibular fracture and my antennae going up a bit, though to be fair he qualified that statement in terms of functional stability.

It can be painful even now, just walking. I suspect in years to come, surgeons will view it more importantly.




Jun 08, 2012
Electric Shocks NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi. Iam two years post injury and surgery for tri malleOlar fracture with severe dislocation. I believe I have two plates and about 12 screws including two long ones. I still have all the hardware in. Fair amount of pain most days and some limitations on mobility. Dorsal flexion still limited. Over the past few weeks i have noticed something new - i am getting what can only be described as an electric shock sensation in one of my toes with each step when I walk. Has anyone else had this and do you know what it is? Thanks.

May 29, 2012
16 months later NEW
by: Anonymous

I can only comment for me. I am about 16 month after a broken ankle. I had a plate with 6 screws and the 2 long screws on the inside of the ankle. I broke both the tibia and fibula and chipped the heal.
My recovery has been textbook according to my surgeon. I was 8 weeks in a hard cast and them to a walkin boot which I only wore when outside. At work and home I had it off and walked on my own. My PT work the hell out of me and I was running by 4 months. Did a 5k 10months post surgery and then a week later had all the hardware removed. 4 weeks on the couch and then it was back to recovery. Just this past weekend I ran a 1/2 marathon. So I feel that I have fully recovered. I never ran before my ankle break and now did 13.1. My goal is a sprint Tri by the end of the year.
My only advise is to follow the surgeon and PT and work your butt off. There is still soarness in the evening, but hey anyone putting in 45-5i weeks and then 5mi of swimming has got to feel a little soar.
Good luck to everyone. There is and end.

May 29, 2012
ORIF ANKLE NEW
by: fflower

I am 2years old with my orif ankle surgery,i remove the screws after the surgery 6weeks later.I am soccer coach play soccer but there is a problem my tendons is stiff and i cant kick with my left foot its still pain inside.I stil feel pain in my ankle after a run i cant do sqauds jumping then i must lend on my tip toes cause i cannot put my foot flat.I want to know after 2 years is still possible to have a problem with my ankle injury.
Please help maybe i must get second opinion.

May 28, 2012
Almost 6 months post surgery NEW
by: Ashley

Wow..so relieved to come across this page. I stepped out of my car with high heels on - thus I broke my outer,inner, and front bones in my ankle. I had surgery the following morning which was Nov. 5th, 2011. Have a plate and 12 screws in my ankle. It was so hard to lay around for 9 weeks! June 5th will be 6 months for me. I am still dealing with swelling, aching but I have been able to do elliptical and cross trainer for aerobic activity the past month. I don't think I will be able to run or do any high impact exercises again. I can't wear high heels due to my lack of range and honestly it just feels 'bad' when I try to wear heels. I am a young professional and this injury not only was physically debilitating but emotionally. It has changed how I can live (ie: hike, running, doing sprints, lunges, to how I dress for work). Good luck to everyone on this site.

May 17, 2012
Fracture in Africa,Recovery in the States NEW
by: Kim

I cannot tell you how relieved I am to find a forum like this where I can share my story and talk to people who have ahared a similar trauama.
I am a very active (workout/run 5-6 d/wk) soon to be pediatric resident and broke my right ankle playing Frisbee of all things in Uganda during a medical rotation. I dislocated my ankle 90degrees laterally and fractures my medial and lateral malleoli while tearing up all of my deltoid ligaments. The first few days were horrible woth no pain meds and a 33h travel day back to the states where I finally had surgery 9days after the injury. There I joined the plates and screws club..
I am currently 3w post surgery and 4w post injury.Much like all of you, I cannot wait for the day when I can do the simple things again. Its a relief to hear your recovery stories and how youve tried to keep active despite your injuries. I know I had a bad fracture, but I just have to keep positive and believe I will run again someday.
Keep your spirits high and keeo working. It will pay off in time.
-Kim

May 08, 2012
Trimalleolar Fracture 21 April 2012 NEW
by: Trayjkay

Hi I have recently done the same to my ankle, when I was walking on a coastal path in Cornwall, UK, I slipped on a slight slope in wet mad and my ankle went in & under me. I dislocated the tallus too. I had surgery 3 days later and have a plate on outside of ankle with 5 screws and 3 on the inner ankle bone - malleous?? Not sure! I have a temp cast on until 14 May which will be 3 weeks then I see Orth surgeon again for re xray and check its all healing well, I was very active before, gym 3-4 times weekly, running 3-4 times a week, 10k, half marathon etc. I am a 44yr old female, and hoping to regain fitness quickley afterwards, maybe not running but swimming initially. I am not sure I will be able to run again, but would be happy with walking and cycling instead or gym work on treadmill or cross trainer. I have ordered some supplements as recommended by a nutritionist, Vit E 1000iu with D-Alpha tocopherol, Magnesium Malate and Calcium Citrate with Vit D combined. I am eating really well and doing some leg and core exercises from home, as well as ab crunches and biceps/triceps. I will post again after each new stage, but its great reading everyone elses timeline of healing. I have set up a new forum site if anyone fancies joining it as I struggled to find advice and people to share experiences with so I set up my own www.brokenbones.ning.com


May 04, 2012
Long process NEW
by: Robert

I broke and dislocated my ankle last June 2011 while working, had ER surgery with plates and screws.I went through the whole process cast, boot, Therapy. Still had termendous pain and swelling in September. Went to see a specialist here in Baltimore second Surgery schelude for Dec 2011 to redo the whole process. Cast off after 8 weeks, graduated to a new boot, been going to Therapy since Januay, will have screws removed at the end of May. My Range of Motion is almost Zero, cannot place my foot in neutral position, right now at minus 3%.Still pain constantly some days are worst than others.I am 58 years old this has been a very trying year. When they do my surgery in May they will do a stress test if I do not pass Then fusion might happen Good Luck ASll

May 04, 2012
Long process NEW
by: Robert

I broke and dislocated my ankle last June 2011 while working, had ER surgery with plates and screws.I went through the whole process cast, boot, Therapy. Still had termendous pain and swelling in September. Went to see a specialist here in Baltimore second Surgery schelude for Dec 2011 to redo the whole process. Cast off after 8 weeks, graduated to a new boot, been going to Therapy since Januay, will have screws removed at the end of May. My Range of Motion is almost Zero, cannot place my foot in neutral position, right now at minus 3%.Still pain constantly some days are worst than others.I am 58 years old this has been a very trying year. When they do my surgery in May they will do a stress test if I do not pass Then fusion might happen Good Luck ASll

Apr 30, 2012
ORIF Surgery - 1 wk post op NEW
by: CJ

I broke my ankle a week ago, fell down some stairs carrying laundry. It HURT. I broke one bone and fractured 3 others. I am now the less than proud owner of a metal plate and screws. They gave me an air cast but to be honest I haven't been using it - causes me 3x more pain as the boot rubs against my staples and my foot can't lie flat yet. Will this ruin my recovery?

I have been depressed the past week even though I know some people have it worse off than me. Part of it is the pain, another part is not doing things by myself like I used to. Showering is a longgggg process and I'm fortunate to have my boyfriend help but I can't wait for the day I can shower by
Myself without the hassle. I work as an assistant and need a car for my job so im not sure how it's gonna work when I go back next week. I'm a workaholic so laying on an uncomfortable couch 18 hours a day is brutal.

So glad for this site, I can almost see the silver lining :) feels like its never ending.

Apr 19, 2012
maissoneuve injury NEW
by: getting there

part two:

I'm now 3&1/2 months post injury. Virtually no oedema other than some induration and residual haemosiderosis over the deltoid. Cyanosis gone. About 50% of my range of motion.

I can now walk in comfortable sneakers to the shops. I have just started going to the gym. All walking is painful, especially first thing in the morning, worse bare foot.

Cycling is actually good, so long as you dont come down on the injured foot (fearsome!). Stepper, cross-trainer and stationary cycle all good to bearable for an hour total, good sweat.

Painwise, the intial surgery led to the most severe acute pain I can remember. And pain is normal when walking. I use paracetamol, and occasional tramadol and ibuprofen. I would use oxy but the side effects are not worth it (though post operatively they were a must)

I tend to agree with Yang here..no pain, no gain. I do think adequate analgesia would help but overall I'm relieved to be over the worst of it. i am thinking about asking for a buprenorphine patch as when there is little pain my function is a lot better.

Recovery of function seems quantifiable in weeks. Each week something new comes back. Last week I had a hour or so of pain free ambulation (and therefore no limp) - basically a taste of normality.

My screws are due out soon.

Apr 19, 2012
maissoneuve NEW
by: getting there

part one:
Ok so I came off my scooter in early January. Ruptured deltoid, PITFL, syndesmosis, avulsion # of the posterior colliculus of medial malleolus and a spiral # of the fibula, a bit comminuted. A severe injury. Pain was bad about an hour after the event, but postop pain takes the cake. Especially at home in the first week. From the surgical incisions, the screws, the vice like effect of the below knee cast (to give an anatomically correct mortise), pain from the deltoid, from the PITFL and the joint itself. Additionally from the fibular # on movement. Leg was permanently elevated on a large pillow on bed. I'm so glad I insisted on endone and oxycontin before discharge. Even then I just chewed through it - so much that I called the surgeon to ask if that was normal, which it was. Lots of side effects - constipation needing enema, urinary retention (the worst effect, with complete retention with morphine in hospital...failed catheter..best thing was an alpha blocking drug, which worked). I found myself caught in a catch 22. The nurses wanted me to urinate, but to do that I had to sit up and that led to pain, which led to morphine (via PCA) and that caused retention. I found morphine not a great drug despite the hype. I was quite intoxicated with it at one point. I would rather have been sedated and slept through it all.

Functionally, this injury was crippling initially. The leg felt like it would burst unless supine/elevated. I lay in bed for five days before any showering, after the first set of screws. The first shower on a seat was difficult but heavenly.

My first three weeks were spent in bed/bathroom only. After that, I used crutches to get downstairs and sit in the lounge area with my foot up.
Fortunately some of the pain at rest starts abating in a week and slowly improves over weeks.

My partner was a saint and left me breakfast, snacks and coffee by the bedside for me before she went to work, everyday.

Cast for six weeks, non weight bearing and elevated, with daily jabs of clexane. Lots of TV and computer and various pills. Then the staples out - this was very painful. Looking down revealed a large cyanosed shapeless foot and ankle. You can leave a deep thumb print in the oedema. Moon boot for another four to six weeks, gradual weight bearing and boot off at night, 2 weeks after the cast came off. This was glorious.

At about 9 or 10 weeks most ambulation in the house could be done without the crutches, but still in boot. I could also sit without the ankle swelling up painfully. I could also stand in the shower. I went out for a counter meal (driven there of course).

For some time there was a dark line across the ankle joint itself.


Apr 19, 2012
maissoneuve NEW
by: getting there

part one:
Ok so I came off my scooter in early January. Ruptured deltoid, PITFL, syndesmosis, avulsion # of the posterior colliculus of medial malleolus and a spiral # of the fibula, a bit comminuted. A severe injury. Pain was bad about an hour after the event, but postop pain takes the cake. Especially at home in the first week. From the surgical incisions, the screws, the vice like effect of the below knee cast (to give an anatomically correct mortise), pain from the deltoid, from the PITFL and the joint itself. Additionally from the fibular # on movement. Leg was permanently elevated on a large pillow on bed. I'm so glad I insisted on endone and oxycontin before discharge. Even then I just chewed through it - so much that I called the surgeon to ask if that was normal, which it was. Lots of side effects - constipation needing enema, urinary retention (the worst effect, with complete retention with morphine in hospital...failed catheter..best thing was an alpha blocking drug, which worked). I found myself caught in a catch 22. The nurses wanted me to urinate, but to do that I had to sit up and that led to pain, which led to morphine (via PCA) and that caused retention. I found morphine not a great drug despite the hype. I was quite intoxicated with it at one point. I would rather have been sedated and slept through it all.

Functionally, this injury was crippling initially. The leg felt like it would burst unless supine/elevated. I lay in bed for five days before any showering, after the first set of screws. The first shower on a seat was difficult but heavenly.

My first three weeks were spent in bed/bathroom only. After that, I used crutches to get downstairs and sit in the lounge area with my foot up.
Fortunately some of the pain at rest starts abating in a week and slowly improves over weeks.

My partner was a saint and left me breakfast, snacks and coffee by the bedside for me before she went to work, everyday.

Cast for six weeks, non weight bearing and elevated, with daily jabs of clexane. Lots of TV and computer and various pills. Then the staples out - this was very painful. Looking down revealed a large cyanosed shapeless foot and ankle. You can leave a deep thumb print in the oedema. Moon boot for another four to six weeks, gradual weight bearing and boot off at night, 2 weeks after the cast came off. This was glorious.

At about 9 or 10 weeks most ambulation in the house could be done without the crutches, but still in boot. I could also sit without the ankle swelling up painfully. I could also stand in the shower. I went out for a counter meal (driven there of course).

For some time there was a dark line across the ankle joint itself.


Apr 12, 2012
3 months and still hurting NEW
by: Denise

I haven't visited this site in a bit. Probably because I have somewhat of a life again. Fell Jan 10, 2012 - trimallear fracture and dislocation (8 screws and a plate). I was pretty amazed how easy it was to take the first steps bearing weight. Had the syndenosis (a long screw) removed last week. Still a lot of swelling and pain but at least I can bend my foot now. Going back to work Monday to see if I can handle it (teacher). Doc said it needs time. Start PT next tues. 3x a week for 4 weeks and then back to doc. It seems recovery is so different for people. I'm 54 years old if that is a factor. I look forward to the day when I can enjoy long walks again. Be well!

Apr 11, 2012
recovery NEW
by: yang

I had a hard cast for 8 weeks and then in a walking boot. the walking boot was more for me then for the surgeon. after my hard cast was off, my PT game me things to work on, but told me i can do as much as my body would take. so i started walking without the boot 2 days after i was out of the hard cast. it was not pretty, but i could hobble around. as soon as the wound was closed, i was allowed to swim. i believe that was about 10 weeks. and then 12 weeks, i was allow to start on the treadmill. i was also transitioning to forefoot running, so basically did as much of a work out as i could handle on the treadmill. that basically takes us to May. By June i was able to run 5km (38min). by dec, i had taken my 5km time down to 25min. to me my recovery was pretty agressive. but hey you are 2 decades younger and that helps alot. i can tell you that pushing hard will cause pain. find a massage stick and use it every night. also compression socks help the pain as well. for me, my pain threashold was my limiting factor.

Apr 11, 2012
Ask doc if you can swim Jerry NEW
by: Anonymous

I was allowed to take boot off and swim 6 weeks post op after 3 broken ankle bones and a plate and 12 screws and it has been the best thing and almost rebuilt my calf already, swimming up to 1 hour a day as soon as I was weight bearing. 8 years ago I broke my Tibia & Fibula and had a rod put in down my leg and bolts and screws with no solid cast or walking boot and was allowed to swim and do aqua therapy from 3 weeks post op and again, no real calf problem.I swim a bit slower now 10 weeks post op than usual of course but it is painless. Can't see why you shouldn't be allowed to swim. The doc said mine was one of the worst ankle breaks he had ever seen except for ankles totally smashed in car accidents as I also lost cartilage and damaged tendons and ligaments so I can't see why you can't swim now. As for jogging, I wouldn't be so optimistic for a year or so from everyone elses stories. Good luck though and hope you're up and running again soon. Cheers Mo

Apr 11, 2012
Ankle Surgery, 6 screws and a Plate NEW
by: Jerry

Hi everybody. First of all I just want to tell everybody going through this that I am sorry and my heart goes out to everyone dealing with this substantial pain in the ass. On February 18th, I fractured my tibia and fibula in my ankle. I was informed the following day I would need surgery in which I needed six screws and a plate. I received this procedure on March 1st after 10 days of bed rest to get the swelling down. I then got my stitches taken out on March 20th and put into another hard cast. On April 10th, about 6 weeks after surgery I was put into a walking cast which constricts my calf so I am going to have even more muscle atriphey. My target date of getting out of my cast is May 18th-20th. On June 16th I need to be able to swim an 800 in under 3:30 and run a half mile in under 3:45 .I guess I come here looking to see how long its going to take my calf and the surrounding tendons to be able to jog. On my first day being able to bear weight I did 15 miles on the bike. Was wondering how long you guys thought it would take for me to swim/jog after I get taken out of my walking boot and begin physical therapy. (Consider am 24 years old, work out daily, male, can run sub 2:10 half mile when healthy) Any advice or comments would be appreciated. The hardest part is doing everything they say and not knowing if it will be good enough. Thanks guys

Mar 15, 2012
First steps Wheelchair to walking 1 day! NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Denise & All, HOPE FOR EVERYONE! My 6 week post ORIF trimalleolar (plate, 12 screws dislocation plus high ankle sprain) visit on Wednesday he said all bones healed well, just cartilage and ligaments still to worry about and can full weight bear and swim and wean myself off the cam boot so I stuck it straight in the bin when I got home, swum 300 yards, walked for the first time using crutches (wheelchair and walker all I could manage before) and by the end of the day walked with no support. Next day managed with just a walking stick and today I start physio but popping down for a 40 minute swim to loosen up first. I know from all your posts I am so lucky to have had an excellent surgeon and to have healed quickly, it hasn't hurt much and I haven't needed drugs (except a quick swig of Grand Marnier when it hurts a lot) since 5 days after the op. Also, so lucky to have husband (now gourmet level chef after these 6 weeks) and 2 sons all looking after me cheerfully without complaint. It meant so much to be able to rest for 6 weeks, 2 in cast, 4 in boot (didn't wear it much though). So very lucky and hope to be golfing again a little next month, can already putt around the bedroom!
Hoping all of you have the same great luck, great doctor, great carers and a very speedy recovery. Love and hugs to all of you and many thanks for your support.

Feb 22, 2012
6 Weeks have passed NEW
by: Denise

6 weeks yesterday since my triple fracture with displacement. I can't believe 6 weeks really passed. It seemed an eternity at first. I see the doc Fri and can't wait to hear what my future holds. I was told 8 weeks minimun nwb but we'll see. I'll do what I'm told. What is that first step like? How fast does it progress? I'm supposed to have the long screw removed a month after wb. What is that like? (recovery?) This site has been so helpful.

Feb 22, 2012
Boot vs cast 2 weeks after Trimalleolar ORIF NEW
by: Mo

My Doc has given me a boot 2 weeks after ORIF so I can start to move my ankle up and down and prevent total stiffness. It was almost impossible to move but after a week of gentle movement it is moving 3/4 of other ankle. My calf and thigh muscles are wasting so fast even without a solid cast, I daren't imagine what another 4 weeks in one would have done. I hated wearing it at night and doc said it was preferable but not essential so had my first night without the boot last night. FREEDOM! My ORIF sites are still very sore and skin is falling off. Has anyone tried Aloe Vera plants on the ORIF sites?

Happy healing everyone!

Feb 14, 2012
Hardware removal NEW
by: Jula

I have been reading comments here since my tib, fib,etc break back in Oct. 2011. Just last week I talked my Dr. into removing the four screws on the tibia and the two long screws holding the tib and fib together.It has been great to not have pain from those screws. He will not remove the four screws and plate on fibula. His reasoning is that it could cause damage and I am not having any problems with it at this time. I did not see my surgeon for 6 wks after the soft cast was removed. I see here some were lucky to have an x-ray done more often. It would have been nice to know all was healing well.
I know that I will have to find a more progressive surgeon to have the plate and screws removed and probably pay another deductible. For those just starting to recover try not to dwell on the hardware removal , you can have it done down the road if it bothers you. I could feel the screw head through my skin and it rubbed on my shoe or my Dr. would not have removed any. If anyone lives in IL or MO and know a surgeon who will remove hardware, I would appreciate any info.
This is getting long so good luck and good healing to you all out there. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Feb 14, 2012
Should I remove hardware? NEW
by: Anonymous

My doctor plans on leaving the other 7 screws and plate in. He claims only 20% have hardware removed. I guess it depends on if it bothers you or not. Is it normal to not see the doctore for 5 weeks after the first week of surgery. Should I be getting xrays to make sure it is healing correctly?

Feb 14, 2012
Should I remove hardware? NEW
by: Anonymous

My doctor plans on leaving the other 7 screws and plate in. He claims only 20% have hardware removed. I guess it depends on if it bothers you or not. Is it normal to not see the doctore for 5 weeks after the first week of surgery. Should I be getting xrays to make sure it is healing correctly?

Feb 13, 2012
screw removal NEW
by: yang

from all the reading i did before my surgery for the removal of all my hardware. the long screws are usually either broken or removed. the majority usually break the screw. i believe that the long screw does restrick some of the range of motion of the ankle. but once you have it removed or it break, you should get that back. i was nto given the option of removal so soon after surgery. but I am glad that i did not, because ultimately, i had all of it removed. and I still believe that it was the right choice. i had an insident this week that I was on my feet for over 12+ hours and my "bad" ankle was quite soar afterwards. but really i am just 8 weeks out of the suregery for the removal. i have to remember that. 8 weeks out of surgery for the break, i was just starting to stand on my own.

Feb 13, 2012
comments NEW
by: yang

i am actually glad i was in a cast. i like that my surgeon was conservative. because, i was impatient. if i was not in the cast, i am sure i would have started to beir weight much sooner. i had a cast for 8 weeks. each week, he xray'd the ankle to see if the bones have healed. i was not out of the cast until the bone had heeled. the boot does not isolate the ankle as much as a cast. and proper healing of the homes requires that the bones are isolated and immovable for them to set. the boot only provides minimal protection. as a matter of fact, when i got my boot, i was allowed to beir as much weight as i could handle. the boot was just there from me to transition from house to car, from car to office, etc. the majority of the time, i had my ankle out of the boot when i was at home of at my desk at the office.

Feb 13, 2012
Moving along NEW
by: Anonymous

This site has been so helpful, thank you all. I'm beginning to feel that this will end. Tomorrow will be 5 weeks since my triple ankle fracture. I'm wondering what it will be like to begin bearing weight. Also, any info on removal of the long screw (starts with an s - sendososes or something like that) Doctor will remove it a month after weight bearing. He'll do it in his office with local anesthetic. Appreciate any info.

Feb 13, 2012
Moving along NEW
by: Anonymous

This site has been so helpful, thank you all. I'm beginning to feel that this will end. Tomorrow will be 5 weeks since my triple ankle fracture. I'm wondering what it will be like to begin bearing weight. Also, any info on removal of the long screw (starts with an s - sendososes or something like that) Doctor will remove it a month after weight bearing. He'll do it in his office with local anesthetic. Appreciate any info.

Feb 07, 2012
boot vs cast NEW
by: barbaract

Not entirely sure why docs prefer the boot... it is much lighter and I felt less exhausted using it with the crutches. Also, the orif is what is alligning the bones and the boot is just preventing injury from bumps etc. Also you can adjust it if there is swelling or pinching etc. or put ice closer to the injury. Icing through a cast can be a pain.

Feb 07, 2012
Why a boot? NEW
by: Denise

I had a triple ankle fracture on 1/10/12 with displacement. Surgery the next day - 8 screws and a plate. Was in a splint for a week and then put in a boot. It seems everyone else had a hard cast. I'm nwb for minimum 8 weeks. Yesterday I had to bear weight to prevent a fall. It hurt pretty bad but seems better today (not as good as it had been). Should I be concerned? Dr. said he wil remove the long screw after 1 month of weight bearing but the rest will stay. What is that first step like? When can I go back to teaching?

Feb 07, 2012
bimalleolar with dislocation NEW
by: Yang

I had what was a text book bimalleolar fracture. I fell on the ice and landed on my left leg\ankle. Poped the ankle out of it's socket and split the end of my tibia and fibula. Also chipped my heal. I ended up with a plate and 5 screws on the outside of the ankle and 2 long screws on the inside. Surgery 2 days later

Feb 07, 2012
Yang What was your operation please? NEW
by: Mo

Couldn't see what sort of fracture, please?

Feb 06, 2012
my personal experience NEW
by: yang

let me qualify my comments with the fact that my surgeon was overly safe and errors on the side of discretion.

hardware removal:

I had all my hardware removed within the same year. i had surgery 2/8/2011 and removal 12/6/2011. post removal, i hard in an aircast for 4 weeks. then used a brace for 2 more weeks. i was given the ok to walk with the aircast the day of the surgery and 6 weeks when i went into a brace, i was given the ok to do normal day to day activities and then start swimming. at the 8 week point, i was given the ok to start running, but the surgeon said no contact sports for another 2-3 months. i had xrays every 2 weeks to see the progress of the bones healing and sealing the holes left by the screws. there was minimal pain. the surgery was not a local, i am not sure i could have handled a local. they cut on the same incision and then with a screw driver, take out 7 screws, 2 of which are almost 3" in length. think of try to remove a 3" screw from a fence post. they don't even use power tools because, well, the screw may hang and they don't want to break off the head. lol

new year\new break: think of it this way, your deductable is all paid up, get all your medical needs taken care of. if you work hard and the scenero is right, you could have it all removed before the end of the year and still be part of this years deductable. since my surgeon was playing it safe, at every point, i was able to do as much as i could handle. i was in a cast for 8 weeks and on bed rest. so at the end of 8 weeks, the break was pretty much healed, so i immediately started to work on walking and strength excersises for the ankle and the leg muscles.then by 12 weeks, i was allowed to start swimming and then 16 weeks, i could start slow jog. there is always some pain, at least for me. but it was because i was determined to be 100% at the end of this ordeal. so i pushed pretty hard. by dec before my surgery to remove the hardware, i was swimming 5mi a week and running 30-32mi a week. the running is combined treadmill and outdoors on hard concrete. i did change my running style to more of a mid foot\fore foot strike to reduce the pounding on the ankle.

hardware removal: you numbers seam to be pretty close to mine. but i will warn you that at 3 weeks, the bones are not completely healed. you will have bones with several little holes from the screws. they would be easier to break at this point. be very causious at this point until about 10-12 weeks. like i said my surgeon said no contact sports for me for 2-3months after the 8 weeks from surgery, os basically 4-5months after removal. but yes, you can walk after 3 weeks.

Feb 06, 2012
after orif surgery NEW
by: barbaract

I had orif surgery for smashed calcaneus (heel) bone. After 3 months nwb, I was allowed to walk with crutches 30% weight bearing and gradually increase to 100% after 6 months. I was also told that after the orif is removed I only need to be nwb for about 3weeks until the wound is healed and that the holes would fill in by itself. Of course I would think that intense exercise like running would not be wise for much longer.

Feb 06, 2012
ORIF/bimalleolar fracture 01/01/2012 NEW
by: Surgsteph

It was not the start to the new year that I was hoping for...I fell on ice on 01/01/2012 and suffered a bimalleolar fracture. My medial malleolas was in pieces! I had an ORIF on 1/6/2012 and was in a hard splint until 01/19/2012. I have been in a boot since then, but nwtb. I saw the surgeon on Friday, 02/03/2012, and he released me to bear weight in my boot. I have tried to stand, but the pain is excruitiating. Did he release me too soon? I am taking it slow and trying to listen to my body, but did anyone else experience this? I have read a lot that once people were released to bear weight, they had no pain, but it was weird to walk. I just don't want to do anything wrong and have to repeat any of this!

Feb 06, 2012
Surgery for hardware removal NEW
by: Judi

Hi, it's reassuring to know that I'm not alone in dealing with a broken ankle. I broke my lateral malleolus about a year ago, fixed with 7 screws and a plate, nwb for 4 weeks, then been gradually getting back to hiking and sport since then.

Now I'd like to have the hardware removed because it's visible under the skin and really hurts with any pressure from ski or hiking boots.

Those of you who have had hardware removed, what was the operation like? The surgeon I spoke to was spectacularly unhelpful and basically said it's simple: local anesthetic, walk out the same day, no problem. Is that right??

How soon after removal can you walk, run, ski, etc? And do the holes in the bone really fill in or do they remain?

Wishing everyone a good recovery.

Feb 05, 2012
Broken again! Trimalleolar Fracture with Dislocation after broken leg 10 years ago NEW
by: Mo

I arrived home from hospital Feb 4th 2011 with a wheel chair and Zimmer frame and was OK downstairs but it took me 30 minutes to slide up the stairs on my bum to bed so I've stayed up here. I am so wobbly on crutches, too frightened I'll break something else.
Just slipped on the wet tiled kitchen floor on 2/2/12. I managed to break all 3 bones in the ankle and it was so dislocated that my foot was just dangling from my leg (I worried that skin and my sock were all that was stopping it dropping off!)and so lots of cartilage and ligament damage. Luckily, The specialist on duty on Wednesday is an ankle and foot specialist so hopefully done a good job. It was quite a while before he got to me
to relocate the dislocation so all the skin stretched and is in danger of dying as it was out of shape for so long but here's hoping not. I
I had pins and plates on 2/2/12.I now sadly realise I won't be back on the
golf course in 6 weeks and 6 months may be optimistic as this sounds to be much more serious than the broken Tibia/Fibia I had 10 years ago. Has anyone played 18 holes of golf walking 4 times a week after a Trimalleolar Fracture? If so, how long did it take after the accident and please let me know how you managed it and any advice would be much appreciated. I was lucky 10 years ago as I didn't have a plaster and was able to swim every day after 3 weeks which kept me strong and fit and had the pins out in under a year and was back swimming in under a week, without crutches after a day, 9 holes golf with a cart 5 days, 18 holes 8 days and no cart 12 days on cycling 15 days. I have a strong suspicion that this will not go anything like as well. Can anyone advise please?

Feb 02, 2012
Recovery NEW
by: Anonymous

Apologies - I meant two one hour sessions with a physio. It was a private physio but only cost £15 for each session, not much considering the benefits of being able to return to work much earlier.

Feb 02, 2012
good physio NEW
by: barbaract

Wow! 2 hour long visits with a physio? Insurance in the USA would not cover this! Wish I could have had that kind of therapy..Incredible

Feb 01, 2012
Recovery NEW
by: Anonymous

The most important thing in recovery is getting a good physio! I suffered a 'bad' spiral fracture with syndesmosis fixation in November. 7 weeks later my cast came off and after 2 hour long visits to the physio I was back to normal 10 weeks after surgery - apart from lacking a bit of range of motion and being unable to run. The physio reckons that when my screw breaks I should regain full range of motion.
The physio mainly massaged my leg due to the amount of scar tissue floating about and also did acupuncture. I spent about 3 hours a day doing flexibility exercises and swimming and also got a foam roller which helped massively.
I got pretty depressed when I was in my cast, but as soon as I got it off its been great to see how much my ankle improves every day. To all those currently with injuries - get a good physio and get a foam roller!

Jan 21, 2012
Recovery NEW
by: Yang

Well i guess I am done. My surgeon has released me from his care. It has been 50 weeks since my break. I had surgery 2 days after and the removal of the hardware just 6 weeks ago. The pain is almost completely gone. It is sore some evenings, but that is ptob due to me overworking the ankle. The holes from the screws have not completely sealed, so still have a likelihood of fracturing around the holes. But he has cleared me to start running and light sports. His suggestion is to wear a brave during activities for the next 3months.

It seams like a long road with no end. Do your pt. all the pain pt causes you will be worth it. I now feal that I will be 100% once all the holes are sealed. I have plans to run a half marathon this year. Due to my accident, I have become healthier, lost 35lbs, lowered my heatrate to 70bpm and lowered my cholesterol. Not the best way to get health. But hey. I would not do it again, but turned lemons into lemonaid.

Good luck to all!!!! You can do it.

Jan 21, 2012
Recovery NEW
by: Yang

Well i guess I am done. My surgeon has released me from his care. It has been 50 weeks since my break. I had surgery 2 days after and the removal of the hardware just 6 weeks ago. The pain is almost completely gone. It is sore some evenings, but that is ptob due to me overworking the ankle. The holes from the screws have not completely sealed, so still have a likelihood of fracturing around the holes. But he has cleared me to start running and light sports. His suggestion is to wear a brave during activities for the next 3months.

It seams like a long road with no end. Do your pt. all the pain pt causes you will be worth it. I now feal that I will be 100% once all the holes are sealed. I have plans to run a half marathon this year. Due to my accident, I have become healthier, lost 35lbs, lowered my heatrate to 70bpm and lowered my cholesterol. Not the best way to get health. But hey. I would not do it again, but turned lemons into lemonaid.

Good luck to all!!!! You can do it.

Jan 21, 2012
Recovery NEW
by: Yang

Well i guess I am done. My surgeon has released me from his care. It has been 50 weeks since my break. I had surgery 2 days after and the removal of the hardware just 6 weeks ago. The pain is almost completely gone. It is sore some evenings, but that is ptob due to me overworking the ankle. The holes from the screws have not completely sealed, so still have a likelihood of fracturing around the holes. But he has cleared me to start running and light sports. His suggestion is to wear a brave during activities for the next 3months.

It seams like a long road with no end. Do your pt. all the pain pt causes you will be worth it. I now feal that I will be 100% once all the holes are sealed. I have plans to run a half marathon this year. Due to my accident, I have become healthier, lost 35lbs, lowered my heatrate to 70bpm and lowered my cholesterol. Not the best way to get health. But hey. I would not do it again, but turned lemons into lemonaid.

Good luck to all!!!! You can do it.

Jan 20, 2012
Recovery. NEW
by: C

Hi everyone,

I've been browsing this site since the beginning of my injury (Bimalleolar fracture) which was on 6/19/2011. This site has been really helpful with my decisions, I was very hesitant to have surgery because I did not want to have an ugly scar that will remind me of this horrific accident. I had ORIF surgery in the beginning of July, surgeon gave me a metal plate for my fibia and several screws for my tibia. I was then later removed from my hard cast 4 weeks post ORIF and moved into a boot. I started PT 2 months later. It has been about 7 months post injury and 1 month post-op and I still feel like I have a long way to go until I become "normal" again. I still experience pain everyday, some days its better than others. I am also wondering if the hardware is a major factor that contributes to these aches and pain I have? I can definitely feel the hardware against my skin and its honestly not a pleasant feeling :( I am also dying for my scar to fade, but so far have been happy that I did not get any infections or other complications during my healing process. Start walking already, but not without any pain. Any insight on how long does recovery take and opinions on removing the hardware?

Thanks all.

Jan 20, 2012
scar tissue NEW
by: Barbaract

Hi Jula, I was very interested to hear your Doc's opinion that removal of the metal may cause scarring and nerve damage. I have been debating whether to have all my hardware removed due to continued pain for 4 years. I guess this could be a real fact that i never considered. Anybody on this site that did indeed get increased pain associated with removal of orif?

Jan 19, 2012
Hardware removal NEW
by: Jula

Dr. will remove syndesmotic screws and two on talus on Feb 1. He does not see any reason to remove plate and 5 screws. I am at 12 weeks and walking fine. Have pain where the screws hit shoe. Thanks to all who have been writing about their removal and experience with the surgery. I will give the plate and screws a few months and hope they do not bother me. I would really like to have them all removed but the Dr. thinks this is dangerous. Says it will lead to more scar tissue and possibly nerve damage.
For now guess I will have to be hopeful that surgery Feb 1 will help with the screw pain. Good luck to all and please keep writing. It has helped me so much to know I am not alone.

Jan 18, 2012
Resposnse to PAM NEW
by: chris

Pam Thankyou very mutch for the re assuring comments . I was so worried about feeling the metal. I have been losing sleep over it thinking its not normal. I am back of the hospital on the 30th got my post op check and hopefully I am going to start working from home after then as I am getting very bored and I have the ability to work from home which is good.

I am looking forward to be able to start putting weight on the foot as I am determined.


Jan 17, 2012
For Chris NEW
by: Pam

HI
It's amazing to follow everyone's journey on this site..When I first fell and did the same thing, I felt lost in the unknown. At 3 weeks, I was in the same place..Yes, you'll feel the metal and it will swell and hurt. Don't give up!! Stay positive, find out as much as you can from sites like this and from medical sites. Keep it elevated and iced as much as possible and take the anti-imflammmatory meds your doc gave you. I was off the big pain meds by 3 weeks, and still had much swelling and aching. I had the second hard cast removed at 5 weeks because of the numbness and swelling and was put in an inflatable cast/brace. It is a long process, but above all, stay positive--things WILL get better! I am 8 1/2 weeks post fracture/usrgery and will start physical therapy tomorrow! I am so excited! I have been able to put weight on the foot in the brace since last week and I didn't know that the walking would cause more swelling at the incision sites. I think it was just the movement, but the incision over the fibula plate started to leak a clear pinkish brown fluid (sorry!!) It hurt like crazy!! I found that if I took the brace off at night and put medi-honey and antibiotic ointment on the incision, it healed in a few days. My surgeon said that it was normal, but it worried me after this length of time when I thought the incision was well healed. Today I woke up with the swelling down, fairly pain free and actually went out to lunch !! I know it's a long road, and sometimes I get a bit discouraged, but I celebrate the small victories! I found that wrapping the ankle in an ACE bandage keeps the swelling down enough that I can walk in the cast. We'll see what the PT says tomorrow!! Let us know how you are feeling.

Jan 17, 2012
Advise needed NEW
by: Chris

I broke my ankle on 31st Dec 2011 I had surgery and metal plate and screws inserted in the left handside of my right ankle. I am in a full cast and I have been one weigh bearing for 3 weeks now the pain is starting to ease off and I can tell the swelling is going down but I have started to feel the metal against my skin . Is this normal to feel this ? Or should I not feel the metal ?

Any help woud be appreciated

Many thanks .

Jan 17, 2012
orif removal NEW
by: barbaract

It is good to hear some positve news about Orif removal and pain relief. Also interesting to hear that being too thin can cause the metal to hurt. The surgeons I've consulted all claim that the metal does not cause the pain and it is very beneficial to be thin, since this puts less pressure on the orif.
Waiting for results of my neuro consult to see if nerve damage is causing the pain. Then I will decide to have Orif removed, fusion or the combo..

Jan 17, 2012
syndesmotic screw removal NEW
by: yang

i had 2 long screw along with a plate and 5 screws to fix a fractured tibia\fibula in Feb 2010 and had all the hardware removed dec 2010. i can say that the ankle has never felt better since the break. but i can tell you that most of the pain was where the hardware was and not where the break was.

I would have to say, that all the research that I have done were from studies that were published in 2010 and 2011. i would not say that the "recommendation" is to not have them removed. most of the studies say that there is improvement in motion and pain with either removal or loosening, breakage of the syndesmotic screw(long screw). but that there was not distinguishable difference between removal and loosening/breakage of the screw.

Jan 17, 2012
answer to Julia's question NEW
by: Brenda

Hi Julia,

I had a plate held by 8 screws on the fibula and (because my bones were too small for 2 long screws) one long screw on the tibia to mend the piece that broke off. The talus was able to be manipulated back in to place so no hardware there. And, yes, I had them all removed at the same time - 11 months post ORIF. For me, it was the right thing to do. It isn't the right choice for everyone!

Jan 17, 2012
Syndesmosis screws NEW
by: Anonymous

Jula,
Latest research indicates that the best results in people with syndesmotic injuries are when the screw is left in and breaks naturally rather than being removed in a second operation. If after 4 or 5 months the screw still hasnt broken then its best to get it removed surgically.
I had ORIF on a weber c spiral fracture with syndesmosis rupture on 19/11 - a plate, a pin, 5 screws and a syndesmosis screw. 7 weeks later I had the cast removed and a week after that I was back driving and walking unaided. Once your scar has closed apply 'bio oil' on it to improve its appearance.

Jan 16, 2012
Hardware removal NEW
by: Jula

Brenda,
Thanks for the update, I am at 11 weeks , my break was very similar to yours and now I am looking forward to getting the hardware removed. I have two
syndesmotic screws the hold the tibia and fibula together. Did you have these? Some have said they had them removed at 8 or 12 weeks. I am back to walking although I do wear a light brace and hiking boots all has gone well. I also am thin and can feel the screws, have to wear padding one one or it becomes very painful. Just wondering if you had all the hardware removed at the same time?

Jan 16, 2012
1 year post break/ORIF...6 weeks post hardware removal NEW
by: Brenda

Hello all,

It's been awhile since I updated my progress and I thought what better time to do it that on the 1 year anniversary of the original horrific ordeal!

On January 15, 2011 I broke my fib/tib & dislocated the talus. You know it's not good when the ER doc looks at the x-rays and asks "when was the last time you had anything to eat?"! Fortunately it was fairly early in the day and I hadn't eaten since the night before, so they were able to do the surgery within a couple hours of the break. I spent 1 night in the hospital after surgery and went home with a "floating" cast to allow for the swelling. At 2 weeks post ORIF they put on a hard cast. Since I had a great group of people I worked with, I attempted to return to work at about 3 weeks with poor results! At about 6 weeks I was able to handle about a half shift with my co-workers picking up a lot of the slack.

The first 8 weeks were NWB. I have a great support system and was fortunate to have a lot of family around for help, but I thought I was going to lose my mind laying around and having to depend on everybody else! I am not very good at that!

At about 8 weeks the cast and stitches were removed and I started wearing the cam boot and limited weight bearing as tolerated with crutches for support. By 11-12 weeks I was walking (although with a limp) using a cane. By mid summer I was able to some home projects (removed and rebuilt my deck and remodeled both bathrooms). At this point I was still having quite a bit of pain & swelling by the end of the day, but it felt more like pain from the hardware than pain from the break.

I started lobbying my surgeon to remove the hardware at about 6 months post ORIF. He agreed that because I am very thin and could feel the hardware when I touched my leg that it could be the hardware causing the pain. At 10 months the x-ray showed the bone was healed and he agreed to schedule the surgery.

The hardware was removed on November 21, 2011. By Thanksgiving (3 days later) my ankle felt better than it did the day before the hardware was removed. From there it has been pretty pain free UNTIL TODAY! I don't know if I am having "memory" pains since it has been exactly a year and it's weighing on my mind, or if maybe the weather changing is taking it's toll on my old bones! Either way, I am glad the plate & screws are GONE!

Sorry, didn't mean to write a book! Really just wanted to share and to tell any of you that are currently going through this that there is light at the end of the tunnel! Be patient; follow the doctors advice (within reason!); and accept and/all help graciously! Oh, and either get some good reading material; puzzle books; etc. or get used to becoming addicted to senseless daytime TV........never even knew who the Kardashian's were before this! :)

Good luck all!

Jan 08, 2012
To Ms. Jean NEW
by: Cheryl

Ms Jean, Thanks for your post. It does help to put myself in check that as long as it seems since my surgery, that I am actually progressing very well at 2 1/2 months post surgery. especially since most people, including yourself, experience it was at 6+ months.. And most report to expect 1 to 2 years until total recovery achieved. I am happy that this antibiotic is doing the job to heal the incision on the plate side. It is looking much better. And I am feeling much better as its been about 5 days on this new RX. I guess as the patient...I need to practice some patience with the healing and rehabilitation process. :)

Jan 08, 2012
Left my screws in NEW
by: Sher

Hi Barbaract,

I don't blame you at all for wanting the hardware out since you are in pain. There seems to be enough evidence on this site to indicate that for many that had severe pain with the hardware in, having it removed reduced or eliminated it.

I was most curious about those that left the hardware in. I was wondering, after time, how it went and if they ever eventually had to have it removed.

Take care. Hope everything goes well for you in the New Year and your pain is eliminated entirely.

Jan 08, 2012
left hardware in NEW
by: Barbaract

Hi, I have consulted with several Docs about hardware removal. All claim that the hardware does not cause the pain that I have had for 4 years with my injury. I do not know how they concluded that it is not the source of pain, they insist it is caused by the arthritis of my joint. I have decided to get the hardware removed however, since there is really no alternative options, except fusion (more metal).

Jan 08, 2012
Still have all my screws in NEW
by: Sher

Hello all,

I shattered my ankle and lower left leg in July of 2010. Recovery was slow, but steady. I would say my recovery is about 85% at this point. I need to exercise my ankle more with some longer hikes and more weight bearing type exercises. I still have the two long screws, a large titanium plate and 8 or 9 smaller screws in place. I can feel that the left ankle is not as strong as the right, but the plate and screws do not hurt at all. I would have found that hard to believe if anyone told me that previously. The surgeon did not recommend that I have the second surgery to have the hardware removed unless it was bothering me. I have inquired over this site in the past about persons who have left their hardware in and their results, but have not heard from anyone that did. All of the letters on this site are from people that have had their hardware removed. Since mine is not bothering me at all and I can't really afford another surgery anyway, I am going to leave mine in. I will post a note on here ever so often to let you know how it is going. Best wishes to all out there in their recoveries. Hang in there, keep a positive attitude and keep working at it.

Jan 08, 2012
To ism NEW
by: Yang

For me, I was in a cast until the bones were healed. So once put of the cast. I just had to wait for the insision were closed. Once that happened. My pt said I could swim. I would take it lite on the ankle at first because it was 9 weeks of immobility with plenty of muscle lost in the calf and leg. But you can work your upper body. Freestyle with minimal kicking. It will build cardio. Slowly put kick workouts into your routine. I used the pool to get my calf muscle back and started walking on the treadmill a 1/4mi at a time. Within 6 months after surgery I was up to 5-6 mi long runs and 12-15mi total weekly mi. At 10 months I was at 30mi/week and 10mi long runs each week. Actually did a 15mi at the hieght of my training.

I am not sure I could have done full court basketball at 6months. But I am 5 years your senior and have been told recovery takes longer with age.

Jan 08, 2012
continued from above NEW
by: Blake

As you heal there will be good days and bad days. With my particular case it seems days are measured in months. Ill go a month or maybe 2 without any real gain or notice of improvement, then one day ill notice I can do something I couldn’t before. Something as simple as me being able to see light through my toes let me know my swelling was coming down when I was non weight bearing and laying on my back, I felt like I won the lottery that day. Therapy sucks but it’s a must and it is what you make of it. The physical terrorists will push you some more than others but pain is healing in my head. My Dr told me my particular case would be a year to year and a half recovery to be “as good as im going to get” your case may be different. I need to be good enough to ride a fire truck again and it looks like I may be able to one day.
I ran out of steam on my soap box of rehabilitation and winning of hearts and minds, I think I had more but I forgot it, I think I covered the highlights. Possibly more to follow. PS take your vitamins, take some fish oils, and take a bone growth supplement. That’s all for now.

Jan 08, 2012
words of wisdom/ thoughts for the day NEW
by: Blake

Had a 25’ fall on Jul 6 2011 suffering a pilon fractures to both tib and fib, tib splitting into 3 pieces at the break. External fixator placed that night and open orif of fib Jul 21. open orif of tib on Jul 28th. Plate on fib screws and pins on tib, don’t know how many but it looks like 8-10 on xray, leg looks like terminators leg. Non weight bearing for approx 3 months, worked my way into boot and partial weight bearing with crutches to now im just walking in normal shoes with a decent limp.
That’s the short version. Here are my thoughts and opinions and recommendations: once the initial shock and awe comes down from the actual break get ready to strap in and have a long road of recovery. Everyone’s breaks are different, so don’t read some of theses posts and thing you will be suiting up to play basketball in 3 months, everyone heals differently. Remaining positive will be at times all but impossible but hang in there it will heal. If your non weight bearing with crutches look into http://www.crutches.net/hopecrutch.htm and their “hope” crutches or one of their variants, they are still crutches and still suck but I promise they are better than regular crutches. If you want your independence back at home get a knee scooter, not a knee walker but a knee scooter. Im 29 years old and active and had to move back in with parents for almost 3 months, would not have been able to return to my home without my rocking scooter. Decorate it, I p[pretended mine was my Harley. Ice it, rehab it, stretch it however you can, however your Dr or PT tells you to, it’s the only way it will heal. Don’t forget the rest of your body; it will all be out of whack from the injury and compensation. Look into alternative workouts to improve functional movements of your body, http://functionalmovement.com/ find a kettle bell gym that does FMS or swim, or maybe even yoga etc.

Jan 08, 2012
Recovering... NEW
by: Ism

Hello all. I also had a tib/fib fracture at the ankle while hiking and had a surgery which included 3 screws. The surgery was 12 December and I got my cast off on 6th January. I am using a room walker now and I am advised to put minimum load on my ankle while walking with the crutches. My doctor also says I should be able to return to my training in 4 months and to competition sports in 6 months. I am not deeply interested in professional sports at the age of 39 but very interested in getting back to my fitness levels. I feel my doctor is being a little bit optimistic as when I read from these comments anyone hardly was able to get back to decent physical condition before a year.

I wonder if anyonce can advise me on a few questions. I heard that swimming will speed up my recovery, when is the sooneest time I can start swimming. Also is 4 month for starting walking for fitness is possible..

Thank you..

Jan 08, 2012
Recovering... NEW
by: Ism

Hello all. I also had a tib/fib fracture at the ankle while hiking and had a surgery which included 3 screws. The surgery was 12 December and I got my cast off on 6th January. I am using a room walker now and I am advised to put minimum load on my ankle while walking with the crutches. My doctor also says I should be able to return to my training in 4 months and to competition sports in 6 months. I am not deeply interested in professional sports at the age of 39 but very interested in getting back to my fitness levels. I feel my doctor is being a little bit optimistic as when I read from these comments anyone hardly was able to get back to decent physical condition before a year.

I wonder if anyonce can advise me on a few questions. I heard that swimming will speed up my recovery, when is the sooneest time I can start swimming. Also is 4 month for starting walking for fitness is possible..

Thank you..

Jan 08, 2012
Recovering... NEW
by: Ism

Hello all. I also had a tib/fib fracture at the ankle while hiking and had a surgery which included 3 screws. The surgery was 12 December and I got my cast off on 6th January. I am using a room walker now and I am advised to put minimum load on my ankle while walking with the crutches. My doctor also says I should be able to return to my training in 4 months and to competition sports in 6 months. I am not deeply interested in professional sports at the age of 39 but very interested in getting back to my fitness levels. I feel my doctor is being a little bit optimistic as when I read from these comments anyone hardly was able to get back to decent physical condition before a year.

I wonder if anyonce can advise me on a few questions. I heard that swimming will speed up my recovery, when is the sooneest time I can start swimming. Also is 4 month for starting walking for fitness is possible..

Thank you..

Jan 08, 2012
Recovering... NEW
by: Ism

Hello all. I also had a tib/fib fracture at the ankle while hiking and had a surgery which included 3 screws. The surgery was 12 December and I got my cast off on 6th January. I am using a room walker now and I am advised to put minimum load on my ankle while walking with the crutches. My doctor also says I should be able to return to my training in 4 months and to competition sports in 6 months. I am not deeply interested in professional sports at the age of 39 but very interested in getting back to my fitness levels. I feel my doctor is being a little bit optimistic as when I read from these comments anyone hardly was able to get back to decent physical condition before a year.

I wonder if anyonce can advise me on a few questions. I heard that swimming will speed up my recovery, when is the sooneest time I can start swimming. Also is 4 month for starting walking for fitness is possible..

Thank you..

Jan 08, 2012
Cheryl NEW
by: Jean

I had a trimal fracture 9/2010. It is a long and slow road but it does get better. My doctor said I could start putting weight on it Dec. 2010. I tried with the walker. It was very painful at first. I went through physical therapy which helped limber it up. I was not able to walk until Feb. 2011. I started out with a few steps and kept increasing it daily. By March I could walk a little better but with a limp. This is a severe injury and it takes a good year before you can almost function normally. It will still swell and hurt from time to time if you overdo it. Just accept the fact that you will not be able to do everything for awhile and be thankful for the mobility that you will get back a little at a time. I hope this helps. I know its easy to get in a hurry.

Jan 06, 2012
Lucked Up Here NEW
by: Cheryl

Happy New Year...Just visited this site again after a very busy month of December. I am trying to remain positive and optimistic even after experiencing a setback due to infection in the surgical incisions. Now on 2nd round of antibiotics and dressing out the deep wound twice a day. New Years Eve was spent in the ER with allergic reaction to one of the antibiotics. Still unclear if this is a secondary infection or if it may be a result of my body rejecting the hardware or the disolvable stitches (as the doctor suggested). Wondering if anyone else has experienced a possible hardware rejection? I'm a 44 year old Single Mom of two teenage boys, at 12 weeks post ORIF TriMal on my right ankle and with a 2 inch open incision, pain, swelling, numbness, and nerve sensory short circuiting, I am making very little progress on PT/mobility/walking/driving. As you can tell, the mood swings are the worst through the recovery process, especially when you are the head of the family unit and everyone is depending on you to heal quickly and return to normalcy. I am hoping for a good run with this new antibiotic and some answers to the issue so we can move forward to successful rehab. Please send out those good thoughts, wishes, and prayers for all of those friends here that are in the multiple stages of healing. I am a true believer in the power of the positive. thank you to all who share here. Cheryl.

Jan 06, 2012
Thanks! NEW
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your post. I'm still waiting for next Thursday to get the air cast off and to start moving around...I really appreciate the info--so much more than my ortho has told me. I think the most painful thing now are the incision sites. The sides of the air boot rub, especially when it swells up...I'm covering and putting neosporin on.
The doc said I'd need to wait 2-3 years to take out the plate and screws....Is it worth it? I can't believe it might feel anything other than weird to have a metal plate so close under the skin...
I am taking to heart the comments I'm reading about taking it easy and healing, but I am so anxious to move around. Right before the break, I was run/walking 3-4 miles...now I have no stamina!!! We have a pool, but the water is probably 40 degrees! I'm looking forward to starting PT. Thanks again for your words of encouragement.

Jan 04, 2012
Update post removal - no more $6,000,000.00 man NEW
by: Yang

My experience only:
My surgeon replace the cast every week and took X-rays every week. He kept me in a hard cast for 8 weeks. The swelling is usually from not elevating enough. The ankle needs to be above the heart. Even sitting, i was in a reclined position with the ankle above the heart. After the cast was off, I was in an aircast. During that time I purchased a softball and rolled my foot over the ball and allow the ankle to slowly manipulate the foot around the ball. That next week I was assigned a PT. my PT said because the bones were all healed, I could do as much as I could stand(pain wise). I did quite a bit and would work on balancing and walking. I put away the crutches and got myself out of the aircast when at home and would take step after step. I also started swimming. That helped with flexibility in the ankle. Also water running and jumping. Help build ankle strength slowly. Just start on the deep end and move to shallower waters as your ankle strength improves. Once I was in the shallow end, I started running .25mi a day. It took me six month from that point to get to "healed" state. I was running 30mi a week at the end. Then went in for surgery to have it all removed.

So I am now about 3 weeks post op. I can say that the ankle is still a little sore after a work out. But it is from the lack of any activity post op. the soreness that I had pre surgery is all gone. The ankle is still swollen more then my "good" ankle, but feels more "normal".

There is an end. Trust me. It may seam so far away, but work the PT's plan for recovery and the time will fly. I can't believe it will be a year next month. The one thing I can say is work hard on recovery. The pain is worth it. Better now then 20 years from now. Or suffering from any lack of function from the ankle later.

Jan 04, 2012
Ready to walk! NEW
by: Pam

HI! So glad I found this site! I have so many questions and my doc won't give me a straight answer--just ways to be patient...
Fractured Tib/Fib 6 weeks ago--surgery 4 days later(waited in hospital for surgery!!!Yikes! I have 9 screws and plate on fib and 3 long screws on fib..I assume ligaments etc were involved since the foot was dangling...Got my second hard cast off last week and now have inflatable boot/brace, but no weight bearing yet...How long does this take? I don't go back for 10 days...He did say I could flex the foot up and down a tiny bit and put it down flat...
Cast came off early because it was too tight and my foot and toes were turning purple every afternoon..Was your foot numb ? Mine is quite red and numb and I'm worried the tightness did some damage...Any insight would be welcome. Thanks..

Jan 04, 2012
Ready to walk! NEW
by: Pam

HI! So glad I found this site! I have so many questions and my doc won't give me a straight answer--just ways to be patient...
Fractured Tib/Fib 6 weeks ago--surgery 4 days later(waited in hospital for surgery!!!Yikes! I have 9 screws and plate on fib and 3 long screws on fib..I assume ligaments etc were involved since the foot was dangling...Got my second hard cast off last week and now have inflatable boot/brace, but no weight bearing yet...How long does this take? I don't go back for 10 days...He did say I could flex the foot up and down a tiny bit and put it down flat...
Cast came off early because it was too tight and my foot and toes were turning purple every afternoon..Was your foot numb ? Mine is quite red and numb and I'm worried the tightness did some damage...Any insight would be welcome. Thanks..

Dec 23, 2011
1 month after hardware removal NEW
by: Brenda

WOW! What a difference! I can finally walk up and down stairs NORMALLY! The swelling has almost completely subsided and I am not having to take OTC pain meds constantly to keep the pain down! I know having the hardware removed is not the right option for everyone, but for me it has been amazing! I can out walk my (very fast walking) brother now! Hadn't even noticed until he commented while we were walking through Home Depot that he couldn't hardly keep up with me......and that was in the evening after being up on it all day.

To the person who "fell" on their broken ankle......GO SEE YOUR DOCTOR NOW!! Do not mess around with it......if there is nothing wrong, great! But, if something did get broken or loosened, it could greatly affect your healing!!

Dec 22, 2011
2 weeks after hardware removal NEW
by: yang

Ir has been 2 weeks and. 2 days after all my hardware was removed after a break if my fibula and tibia and chipping my heel bone. Removal of 7 screws and plate. Ankle is healing well. I spent 14 hours today in a soft brace serving meals at the local VA hospital. Ankle has never felt better since the break. It is still swollen from the surgery and a little soar from walking\standIng on it for so long today. But it was all worth it. It ankle feels like a "real" ankle again. I can start mild excersises(indoor cycling) and start swimming come
Monday. Also walking on the treadmill. Running is still our for 6 more weeks. Surgeon want all the holes in the bones to fill in before he clears me for running.

Can't wait!!! Good luck to everyone still working through recovery. Work your butt off. It will be worth it. For all the females, my surgeon is a miracle worker when it comes to bone and joints, but a plastic surgeon he is not. Lol. I would recommend a reference to a plastic surgeon if you ever think to wear heels again. My war wounds will stay with me. I finally came up with a good story to tell. Something about climbing to the top of k2 and been blown off the mountain by a freek storm. ;-)

Dec 22, 2011
Fell when nwb NEW
by: Anonymous

I fractured my lateral malleolus and had syndesmotic fixation 5 weeks ago. Been nwb ever since but fell badly on my foot yesterday, had a sharp pain in my ankle which lingered on the inside of my ankle. Really nervous that I've broken my syndesmotic screw, what do you think?

Dec 14, 2011
Walking Again NEW
by: Mary B

Hi
I went from 6 weeks NWB and had my cast taken off on the friday. after the initial OMG i cant remember how to walk ( iliterally could not pick my foot up and place it infront of the other) i started to shuffle on the saturday morning and on Sunday i managed to walk around the supermarket. i may have pushed it to far and did experiance swelling but was determoned not to be house bound any longer.

i have physio on the driday, saturday and then 3 times a week for 3 weeks and then reduced it down.

I was very lucky/determined and had what the docs called a perfect recovery after a T/M fracture with ligament damage.

I believe that every case is different but with a positive mental attitiude and a can do attitude you should be walking soon

Dec 14, 2011
First day walking out of cast. NEW
by: Jula

I haven't read much here about how it feels to walk again after 6wks NWB, then two walking in a cast.
I feel weak and wobbly and called the nurse she said that I should take it slow at first. If it swells , ice it down. I still have all my hardware and have scheduled to have two syndesmotic screws removed first of Feb. It feels very stiff, although I have been doing exercises laying down since I had the cam cast at 2 wks.
The place where I have the plate and six screws on fibula feels tingly and is painful. I am wearing hiking shoes for first 3 months . Just wanting to know how others progressed when they first started walking. How long at a time? How long did you feel weak and wobbly without the support of the cast? Any input would be much appreciated.
I know it's a day to day thing but all of you that have had or now have a broken ankle understand
more than anyone else I talk to in my life.
Good luck to you all in your recovery and
keep your chin up , miracles happen every day.

Dec 13, 2011
Syndesmosis screw removal weber c fracture NEW
by: Anonymous

Saw a physio and he told me it would be 3-4 months from cast removal to when I can play sports again(weber c fracture with syndesmotic damage). The doctors told me it would be 3 months but did confess it wasnt their specialist field.

I was given a syndesmosis screw and the doctors have told me that it wont be removed. Apparently the latest research shows the best results are from screws that stay in even if they break.

Im now 4 weeks post surgery and have no pain at all, though to be fair I didnt have pain after or before the surgery (after the injury I drove home unaware that my ankle was broken). Because I go to university I am unable to keep my leg elevated and spend a lot of time on crutches and my ankle was still very swollen last week when I got a new cast. Definitely rest your leg and keep it elevated!!

Dec 13, 2011
recovery time from orif removal NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Donna, I did consult several Docs about recovery time for removing Orif for broken heel. I was told minimum 4 weeks nwb and then I could walk..no crutches etc..I am sure there will be some restrictions and hopefully no complications.

Dec 13, 2011
Looking forward to getting hardware removed NEW
by: Donna

What a great site. I wish I would have found it when I first broke my ankle. I am still in recovery after 9 months. It took along time for my bones to heal, ended up purchasing a Smith and Nephew bone building device - worked wonders. I was NWB for 14 .5 weeks. This was frustrating as I broke both major bone in my right ankle and wasn't able to drive. This happened while we were on holidays (the first day of holiday). Like so many of you, I could only read and watch TV for so long. I ended up spending most of my days doing a paint by number - almost finished it :) It had some entertainment value, so long as I alternated between the three I was okay.

Today my ankle is the best it has been since the incident. I go to PT every other week and get new techniques to increase flexibility. I can even go down the stair and walk without a limp now. I have the same issue as many - screws are bumpy and feel awful. The worst part is I live in a cold climate (-35 c) and can't wear boots because my screws rub so bad. I can have my screws removed anytime after January.

I am just wondering what peoples experiences have been in regards to recovery time. I have to travel to a larger city to have this procedure done. Should I bring my crutches with me, or will I be able to walk out of the hospital? I have plates and screws on both sides of my right ankle. I haven't made the appointment yet, waiting until January - a bit nervous about another surgery (although I do have a great dr.)

For those of you who are at the beginning of your recovery, remember you ankle isn't broken anymore - you are in recovery. Keep you foot up and stay off of it until your dr. tells you otherwise. Your ankles bare the weight of your whole body and they have to last you a life time - be sure to let your injury heal the best it can. It is a long road, and I have to admit I had a breakdown or two, but you will survive this.

Take all the help you can get. and don't be hard on yourself because you "CANT" do what you could before. You will be able again in time. Happy recovery and stay healthy :)

Dec 12, 2011
2 weeks post hardware removal NEW
by: Brenda

Hi all,

Thought I would give you all an update of my progress since having the hardware (plate, 8 screws and a pin) removed from my left ankle.

I originally broke the fib/tib and dislocated the talus on January 15, 2011. Surgery same day, one night in the hospital after surgery and then home for the long haul! I echo earlier posts......LISTEN to what your surgeon says! Every case/break will be different and our ages and daily activity levels definitely play a part. I am 48 and at the time of the break had a very physically demanding job. I wasn't as quick healing as some of the younger ones I see posting on this site. I had 2 weeks in a floating cast NWB, 5 weeks in a hard cast NWB and another 4 weeks in the air boot WBAT. I used a cane for about another month after that (mostly to make myself feel more stable - also a great way to make sure people don't run into you, etc.). I always had discomfort from the plate and pin and started lobbying my doctor to take it out by July......He said normally they like to wait 1 year at least before removal. Due to the discomfort (and of course, the calendar year insurance deductible), he agreed to check it again in October and make a determination. At that time said bones were healed and we could go ahead and schedule the removal. November 21 I had the hardware removed and today, 2 weeks later, have almost 0 pain and/or discomfort......can finally walk up/down stairs normally!
BTW, between May and October, although I still had quite a bit of pain and discomfort, I was able to do a LOT of things that last February I would have told you were impossible for me! I removed and rebuilt my deck; remodeled both my bathrooms; tore out and re-installed drywall in my kitchen and a variety of other things.......now I feel like I could build a whole house!
Remember, each break and person are different, so while there are going to be some similarities in the healing process, not everything that worked for me will work for everybody! Listen to your surgeon and your body!
Keep your chin up!

Dec 12, 2011
Trimal Recovery NEW
by: You Can Do It!

NOTE: READ THE POST UNDERNEATH THIS FIRST. I COULD NOT FIT IT ALL IN ONE.

Here's what I thought was key to a quick recovery:

1) OBSESSIVE about non-weight bearing. Do what you have to do. Yes, I had to cancel thousands in work (self-employed) and dip into my savings a bit. But really, what's six weeks when you're talking the rest of your life? SLOW DOWN IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. Worst case, you CAN get another job, quicker if you sit and heal properly.

My ortho (excellent surgeon) said for the first 17 days, 23 of 24 hours my leg needed to be elevated. That's exactly what I did. Had an amazing support network to help me during the day and read, watched TV, internet, etc. Anything to help me through. I honestly averaged 23.5 hours off my crutches, leg up in the air in bed... DO NOT DISOBEY. NOT ONCE. Seriously, suck it up even if you have pets, kids... find the help you need, ask for it. I know it's hard... I had bad days, you all will. But my doctor said it was the key to my bones becoming 100% aligned.

2) NUTRITION. Every day, had a calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C supplement as part of my diet. No fast food. Broccoli daily, along with Apples to help with calcium absorption. Some pasta, chicken, all healthy and lean. Friends even got in on the act and cooked me all sorts of stuff with special fruits and vegetables in it. Positive reinforcement from others always helps :)

Gained less than five pounds... in fact, I might have broke even.

3) EXERCISE. I couldn't go to the gym but did a whole lot of upper body exercises from bed. Got a few off of LIVESTRONG, also bought a medicine ball at Target and a ten-pound weight. Helped get my mind off the injury and kept my muscles from falling apart. Hey, your calf muscles are going to shrink... no reason everything else should!

4) POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING. Just keep positive, whatever you do. One of my best friends works with the disabled; she reminded me early and often I will walk again while so many others never get that chance. Focus on all the fun stuff you'll do when you do get better. Plan a party for when you can start bearing weight! Book a vacation four months out and start a countdown! And laugh, laugh, laugh! Also: if you have a goal of running again, playing sports, etc. don't stop fighting for it. How many times have people defied doctors' expectations?

For those looking for vitals, I'm 30, average weight and muscle. Active, play two sports and did a 9.4-mile charity walk day before injury; however, I'm not overly athletic. One thing that definitely helped in my recovery, I do admit is my fibula is the only bone that needed extensive repair; tibia and talus? (is that the third one) were allowed to heal on their own. No syndesmosis / joint damage. I did luck out there; know every break is different. But with proper care we've all got a great shot at the same result.

Good luck!

Dec 12, 2011
Trimal Recovery NEW
by: You Can Do It!

Hey,

This page helped me through the darkest stages of my recovery so I thought I'd briefly share my story to give others hope. Like so many, I would have never thought broken ankles would be this severe! Never had a break before and was terrified when they diagnosed it.

When it happened: 10/17, roller skating. Twisted my ankle inside the skate when I fell, wasn't pretty. When I got to the ER, they rushed me through and diagnosed me initially with a bimalleolar fracture - slight dislocation. They sedated me and realigned the bones that same night.

Went to the ortho within 48 hours, was given the awful news not just two bones were broken but all three. Cried. Read a whole lot of sites that listed poor recovery from this injury (this one excluded, love the optimism here.) Became terrified about my future. Now have one plate and eight screws for life.

Long way to go... but so far, all signs are good. Had surgery on 10/25; other than that night, zero pain. I have 60 percocets and Vicodin sitting here I'll have to sell on the black market, lol. As I write this, I'm completing my third day walking WITHOUT crutches six weeks after the accident (I do have the aircast / walking boot). Doctor gave me WBAT last Friday and I walked right out of his office - skipped the two and one crutch stage. So far, some pain but it's bearable, I walk almost at normal pace, amazingly well up stairs (down is not so good) and can stand for 20 minutes or so without pain. No complications and my first physio is on Tuesday - doc expects a full, 100% recovery and an eventual return to the two sports I play for fun (Volleyball and flag football) by April.

I'll put what I thought were keys to recovery in my next post.

Dec 11, 2011
swelling and problems bending toe NEW
by: Kelly

35 years old, I fell on Nov 7, bilmalleolar fracture with ORIF, 9 screws and a plate and two screws on the other side about a week later. Am in a hard cast now until after Christmas. After about 1/2 an hour rolling around the kitchen in a computer chair trying to cook, toes swell to the point where I need to elevate. Also, not comfortable bending big toe yet, feel it in my calf and not confident I could even do it successfully if I tried. Is the swelling typical? does it get better with time? Of course it is my right foot, of course. Very anxious about how soon I can drive. Ortho said after cast will get a boot removable at night to start weight bearing again.

Dec 09, 2011
thanks for information NEW
by: Anonymous

Thank you Yang for your information. I never heard about the bone grafting onto the implant. Perhaps the Doctors here dont want to tell me this, since it has been 4 years that I have lived with the implants and continued pain. Thank you again for all the information on the % of pain relief. I wish you luck on your runs!!

Dec 09, 2011
Hardware removal NEW
by: yang

I had the hardware removed because it caused the pain in my ankle. basically when I would lean against the outside of my ankle, it would be sore. when i crossed my legs and rested my ankle on my other knee, it would be sore. when i ran for more then 3-4mi, the implant area was sore and the place where the 2 long screws on the inside of my ankle was sore. for me, the only pain i had was always around the implants. even 2 days after the removal, i do not have the same soreness. i liken my pain right now like a big paper cut. the soarness is from the bandage rubbing against the switches and the wound. i do not feel the pressure and soreness on the outside of my ankle and no soreness on the inside of my ankle.
hardware removal is very rare. there are studies recently that having the hardware removal reduced pain in about 10% of the people in the studies and then of those 10% over 50% of the people had no pain after the surgery.

Also hardware removal after a legnth of time is not recommended because the bone starts to graph on the implants. that is the main reason i was so diligent in my recovers. I wanted to have this all completed within the same calendar year. this reduced the change of the bone graphting to the implant and the cheaper side. it keeps me in the same deductable year. lol

my surgeon was originally against the removal of all my hardware, but after i worked so hard on the recovery and the fact that i was in his opinion a very active person, he felt that with the amount of activity i was involved in, that the removal of the hardware would improve and possible eliminate the remaining pain in my ankle.

if i am impart anything to anyone on this forum, it is to work as hard as you can on the recovery. my PT was very flexable and i usually only met with him once a week. but he handed me piles and piles of excersises and said to call him when I got to the next level. he also told me that i could not over work my recovery. that my body would tell me that i have done enough for the day. My recover was in his opinion the best he has ever seen. after this i am scheduled to run a half marathon in April. that is just 14month after my break and i will be pounding on my ankle for 13.1

Dec 09, 2011
why hardware removed?? NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Yang, I am interested as to why your hardware was removed? I have suffered from continued pain for 4 years and told by numerous doctors that the hardware is not causing the pain. I have found only 1 surgeon who will remove it, but also tells me that I need a fusion. Are you able to tell whether the hardware removal decreased pain in the area? I don't want to go thru a big operation only to find out there is no pain reduction. All the Docs tell me it is the arthritis and bursitis of my subtalar joint that is causing all the pain. I can not distinguish if it is nerve pain, joint pain or hardware pain.

Dec 09, 2011
All Hardware gone!!! NEW
by: yang

I broke my tib\fib and chipped my ankle in Feb of this year and this past tuesday i had all teh hardware removed. I have been told my many that hardware removal is rare only about 10% have all the hardware removed. my surgeon never gave me an option to remove the long screws early.

After 8 weeks in a hard cast, i was put in a walking boot. at that point i was allow to work on putting weight back on the ankle. I started PT and worked my butt off. it was important for me to recover as soon as possible. i started swimming when the wounds closed and started walking on a treadmill. 10month after my ankle break, i ran a 5k race and was up to 30-33mi a week of running and 5 mi of swimming.

it has been 2 days since hardware removal. the pain is like a big paper cut. i feel no pain in the bones, just really the pain in the suface\skin. i am in a walking boot for 14 days and then can start putting mild weight after that. it will be 2months before i can start running again.

but soo happy this is almost at the end.

Dec 09, 2011
At 8 weeks from ORIF NEW
by: Jula

I will be at 8 week next Wednesday. My Dr. said I can start wearing hiking boots to keep my ankle supported until screws come out in Feb. What did
the rest of you do after ORIF at 8 weeks? What shoes did you wear and when did you get your syndesmotic screws removed? I have read here that some have gone as long as 10 months. Has anyone had a screw break and what was the outcome? I appreciate any input and as always this site has been big help in getting me through this so far. Thanks to all who have written their experiences.
Merry Christmas and good luck to you all.

Dec 09, 2011
Removing screws in 2weeks NEW
by: Anthee

This site has been great. I feel better even though they are removing my plate and screws sooner (5 months from ORIF) since they are so superficial you can see them through the skin. This has been a journey for me, and I tried to make the best of my down time. Anthea, funny we have the same name and are 42 :) I have been reading, meditating and EFT TAPPING (google eftwizard Brad Yates) and trying to make the best of this time. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Kala xristougenna and wil update after my removal. Feel free to Kit stardustluna at gmail :) Ciao for now!

Dec 06, 2011
Weber C - there is hope NEW
by: Mary B

Hi,

I broke my ankle on the 4th June 2011 and later found that i had a trimalleolar fracture with severe ligament damage. I was taken to hospital (of which i remeber nothing) that evening and had surgery the next day. I left hospital the next day with a splint and returned 2 weeks later to have that removed and a fibreglass cast was put on.

i had a splint for 2 weeks and a full cast for 4 weeks. The cast was removed on the friday and i had private physio immediately 9 i purchased a medibank extras package which dropped the cost to $28 a session). i had physio again on the saturday and started to walk un aided 9no crutches on the Sunday.

i had physio 3 times a week and within 3 months i was practicly back to normal. still swelling when i do too much but i am able to ride my bike and swim 3-4 times a week.

Keep a positive attitude and find a gr5eat physio and im sure you will be back to football within the doctors timeframe....

good luck!!!


Dec 06, 2011
Nearly 2 years NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi all - I see there is much activity on this site again. I thought I would just add 'my two cents worth' just to offer some encouragement. Sites like this were invaluable to me 22 months ago when I fractured and dislocated my right ankle while on holiday in South Africa - I live in New Zealand and am now 42! Well - surgery that day found me with a plate and 7 screws on outer and a screw on the inner side. 3 weeks later I was allowed to fly home - my travel insurance covered my injuries and my doc insisted i could only travel with my leg elevated so 1st class here I come! My poor husband (who is tall) and my 2 teenage sons had to travel with "the rest".

After 3 months I had a longer screw removed and then again in 6 months after that had most of my hardware removed - just leaving the one screw on the inner.
At the time I thought I would never walk again - the pain, frustration, loss of indpendence, fear, etc was at times overwhelming. I was fortunate to have my family's support but we are a busy family and I missed all my mother duties. People kept saying - it takes time - be patient - grr! I never thought I would wear heals again! BUT, BUT - everyone who is in the middle of an ankle fracture ... there IS light at the end of the tunnel - I promise!!

I still have pain on some days and not a twinge on others which I find very strange but am told that's normal. Cold weather can bring on pain too but nothing too bad yet. I do wonder though if at some stage I may suffer arthritis but will cross that bridge when we get there. Recovery is gradual and you will have to work hard - do your exercises and keep healthy because now, I can wear heals (not for too long and not as high but apart from the nasty scars on either side of my ankle they feel good) - I haven't got around to running again but that's my fault not my ankle's ... I finish work today for 6 weeks so my plan is to get back to some serious exercise.

So - just some encouragement to you all - funnily enough I would suggest make the most of this 'down time' - read all those books you can, watch those tv shows and be kind to those around you - because soon you will be 'rushing around' again and your life will be busy.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and am more than happy to answer any questions you might have - lots of love Anthea :)

Dec 06, 2011
Full 10 months NEW
by: Jula

Brenda,
Thanks for information on screws, I just hope I am back to myself and as far along as you are in 10 months. I am 60 so I know what you mean about healing time. So glad you are up and enjoying decorations for Christmas.
I know that most must be overwhelmed by the holiday coming , I know I am. This year I will have to let my husband do any decorating , which means nice and simple. My thoughts go out to all of you sitting at home. It snowed here today which I usually love but now the thought of walking on snow petrifies me.
I have an appt. Jan 17 to set a date for screw removal(2 large screws connecting tib to fib) at least it's a start .
Read this almost every day so please keep writing everyone , I look forward to seeing how you all are doing.

Dec 05, 2011
Full 10 months......Age makes a difference in healing time! NEW
by: Brenda

Jula: I had the one long screw in the whole 10 months.......they wanted to do 2 but my bones are too small. I don't think it was an option before then and at 2 months I don't think I could have even thought about another surgery......I was still experiencing some Post Traumatic Stress going on and was barely beginning to walk in the cam boot.

Webber C: Time line does SEEM a little optimistic to me, but I am sure the age make a lot of difference.....I am almost 2 1/2 times your age!

For my update today: I had a GREAT day! Managed to be up and doing things to get ready for Christmas including some power shopping and a bunch of cleaning! Of course, I am laying here now waiting for the advil to kick in, but feel very accomplished for the day!

As always, good luck to all! Keep your chin up......and definitely your leg!

Dec 05, 2011
Weber c fracture with torn ligaments NEW
by: Anonymous

Im 20 and fractured my lateral malleolus, tore ligaments and displaced my ankle playing football. Had orif surgery 16 days ago - 6 screws a plate and syndesmosis fixation. Been put in a new cast and the doctors reckon it will be just 5 more weeks til I can walk again then 3 months til I can play football again (4-6 months til I can play competitively regularly). Is this a realistic timeframe as reading a lot of these posts this timescale seems very optimistic.

Dec 05, 2011
Took me 7 weeks to be able to walk with cast. NEW
by: Jula

I am at 7 weeks ORIF 7 screws and plate. Dr. has let me begin to walk in Cam cast this week. Very wobbly but being able to just walk is a treat. 2 months NWB sounds conservative but I think that is about normal from all that I have read and I have spent hours reading here and on the net. It has helped me to research and learn about my break.
Get some movies , surf the web watch HULU. Whatever takes your mind off of your ankle will help pass the time. I even have a large calendar and put a large red X everyday . Seems trivial but it does give me a feeling of accomplishment as the days go by.
Brenda, I know you read these, so I want to know if you had your two long screws removed after the first 2 months or were they in the whole 10 months? By long screws I mean two connecting Tibia and Fibula or has anyone had these removed at 2 months so they won't break.

Dec 05, 2011
when can i start walking NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi All, Thanks you for the website and i have read all comments. it had been real helpful.

i had a bad fall in early november and fractured my right ankle. Doctor advised surgery 2 weeks later and i just did a ORIF surgery last thursday with a metal plate and seven screws inserted to my right fibula.. The pain has gone down since, however doctor says that i will be on non-weight bearing for at least 2 months.

is been a month since i last walked and i do miss walking and doing things on my own. Please advise if the 2 months NWB is really the maximum time or there are cases where people do recover faster.

Thanks.

Dec 05, 2011
when can i start walking NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi All, Thanks you for the website and i have read all comments. it had been real helpful.

i had a bad fall in early november and fractured my right ankle. Doctor advised surgery 2 weeks later and i just did a ORIF surgery last thursday with a metal plate and seven screws inserted to my right fibula.. The pain has gone down since, however doctor says that i will be on non-weight bearing for at least 2 months.

is been a month since i last walked and i do miss walking and doing things on my own. Please advise if the 2 months NWB is really the maximum time or there are cases where people do recover faster.

Thanks.

Dec 05, 2011
when can i start walking NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi All, Thanks you for the website and i have read all comments. it had been real helpful.

i had a bad fall in early november and fractured my right ankle. Doctor advised surgery 2 weeks later and i just did a ORIF surgery last thursday with a metal plate and seven screws inserted to my right fibula.. The pain has gone down since, however doctor says that i will be on non-weight bearing for at least 2 months.

is been a month since i last walked and i do miss walking and doing things on my own. Please advise if the 2 months NWB is really the maximum time or there are cases where people do recover faster.

Thanks.

Dec 05, 2011
Let you body be your guide NEW
by: Brenda

Locked Up: The worst is over! I also have found this to be an invaluable site and seem to be drawn to it on a regular basis to see what others have to say......I have been amazed at how many "others" there are out there! Sounds like you have a good support system and are fortunate enough to be able to work from home. Good luck to you!

Pain Relief: Yes, I had a plate, 8 pins and 1 long screw removed 2 weeks ago. The first night or 2 were bad but I can already feel the relief of the pressure that the hardware was causing. I would say that (if I actually still had a job to go to) I would be able to do at this point.

When can I go back: Don't do it too soon! Let your body and your surgeon be your guide. Trust me, you will have set-backs. I attempted to go back to work too soon and did not do myself any favors. Of course, I was not working a desk job, but still had the fortune of awesome co-workers. It was very exhausting just to get ready for work! As for the pain pills, it was 2-3 weeks for me and then I opted for tylenol and/or advil because the pain meds nauseate me.

Good luck to you all!

Dec 04, 2011
how long til you can go back to work? NEW
by: Anonymous

How long until you can go back to work? I am a medical receptionist. It is difficult for me to sit with my leg up for any amount of time. I had a trimallelor fracture with dislocation orif surgery the same day. I cannot drive and live 45 minutes from my job. I am very tired after just a short while. Am curious how long til I could go back to work. Also, how long did most people take pain pills? The cast is quite uncomfortable at night when trying to sleep.

Dec 04, 2011
how long til you can go back to work? NEW
by: Anonymous

How long until you can go back to work? I am a medical receptionist. It is difficult for me to sit with my leg up for any amount of time. I had a trimallelor fracture with dislocation orif surgery the same day. I cannot drive and live 45 minutes from my job. I am very tired after just a short while. Am curious how long til I could go back to work. Also, how long did most people take pain pills? The cast is quite uncomfortable at night when trying to sleep.

Dec 04, 2011
anybody obtained pain relief from orif removal? NEW
by: Barbaract

Hi, Planning to have surgery to remove Orif for badly fractured calcanus. Has anyone obtained significant pain relief from such a surgery? My MD tells me that it most likely will not affect the pain level I have. In addition, he wants to perform a fusion to which I am opposed. Basically, looking for information as to the extent of pain relief I may experience from removal.

Dec 03, 2011
Lucked Up Here :) NEW
by: Anonymous

Feel lucky to have found this site. But with so much down time and Internet surfing I was adamant to learn as much as I could to have the best chance of recovery. Thank you all for sharing your experiences. It is good to know that all you experience is very normal. And that this will soon be just a bad memory.

I am at 6 weeks post ORIF for TriMal on right ankle. I have metal plate with 8 screws on outside ankle and 2 long screws on inside ankle. Chip out of back heel left to float and hopefully dissipate on its own. I have a wonderful OS and support team within family and friends. I have a very understanding employer who has allowed me to work from comforts of home and return to office desk job as much as I can tolerate. However, This is a new job for me and I am trying to hard to be an overachiever and have paid the price for overdoing on a couple of occasions. I have wished all of November away and so I am attempting to enjoy the December holidays with my family and friends.

I agree that you need to rest, listen to your doctor, receive help offered graciously, make healthy lifestyle choices, and keep a positive attitude throughout the recovery. Your body is doing so much beyond the norm to regenerate and heal. You want to give it the best possible atmosphere to achieve the best possible results. Depression is normal. Just don't give into it. You will need to be determined to pull yourself out of it. Stay positive and people will want to be around you.

Best Wishes to all for a wonderful holiday season and a quick recovery for the new year!!

Dec 02, 2011
Hardware GONE! NEW
by: Brenda

I had the plate, 6 pins & 1 long screw removed just under 2 weeks ago. I originally broke my fib/tib & dislocated the talus last January requiring ORIF surgery. I also spent quite a bit of time watching mindless tv that I had no interest in before! It was a long few months, but by the middle of the summer I was functioning within "normal" ranges. The biggest problem I had at that point was that I am very thin and could feel every screw/pin and plate all the time. The only real pain I had at that point seemed to originate right around the plate. My Surgeon was very understanding about this and said the choices were to put on some weight (which I am not able to do easily) or have the hardware removed. They normally wait at least 1 year for removal.......mine was at about 10 months and at that point the healing was complete and we were able to schedule the surgery. I left the outpatient center with the cam-boot, but able to bear weight as tolerated. I know it's a personal decision for each person along with his/her surgeon, but I am very glad I had it done. The discomfort from the plate, etc. is already almost completely gone (just the incision pain). I still have to wear the boot for 4-6 weeks when I am out and about while the holes in the bones regenerate, but well worth it for me!
I would like to echo the sediments of earlier posts.......DO NOT REFUSE HELP if you are going through the healing process from a broken ankle! You will need lots of help and find yourself humbled in ways you didn't even think were possible! It does get better, I promise! I did not do any organized therapy, but did my own at home and was able to regain pretty much full range of motion at about 6 months post surgery. I am almost already back to that after less than 2 weeks after hardware removal. Keep your chin up.......it's a long ride!

Dec 02, 2011
Tragic turn NEW
by: Jula

So sorry to hear your story. I can't believe what happened to you at the hospital. Very scary!
I have been off my feet since breaking my ankle Oct 21. I can now walk with the Cam cast on but have to be really careful to not break the two screws holding my tib and fib together. It has been a very long six weeks . I must admit I did quite a bit of crying at first and felt very depressed. I know that this will be of cold comfort but time will pass and you will be back in those heels.
I have spent quite a bit of time on Hulu watching movies and shows that I did not have time for before. You have to look at it as a vacation from everything and concentrate on taking good care of yourself. It can be very hard at times, taking 3 times the time to do the simplest thing. I must admit the best thing I used was a kneeling walker with a basket. When asked for help never turn if down. Good luck to you and come back and tell us how you are doing.
I now worry about those darn screws breaking and I guess I am only about half way there. If anyone out there knows about the screw removal part please write about your experience.

Dec 01, 2011
Tragic turn of life NEW
by: Anonymous

Due to the nature of my break and dislocation my bones would not stay in place simultaneously so that they could put a proper temporary splint on it until they decided if surgery would be the next best option. SO they decided to do what was called a reduction manipulation, which basically means push and squeeze and shove my bones back in place by first holding my toes to knock the ankle back in socket and then gripping my calf with my foot on his chest and me basically screaming my head off (even with Tylenol 3, morphine shots, and then two ankle blocks, where they shoot lidocaine oh about fifteen times directly into my foot to localize the pain).

Now I know you're thinking...oh shes getting it fixed what's the issue? The issue I have is that they didn't so this once, not twice....but FOUR times and almost a fifth until they decided I should be immediately put in surgery bc they realized the damage they had done and how they had now interfered with the severity of the injury. When they came at me to do it the fifth time, I said don't touch me, give me the AMA papers I'm leaving your facility and finding a competent hospital and staff.

As a result of this procedure I had swelling so badly that my entire bottom half of my leg broke out into blood blisters all around it and I has to have an external fixator put on (looks like a cage) to stabilize my foot while we waited a week for the swelling to subside so the surgeon could then get inside and put my ankle back together with pins and plates. STILL waiting, and we don't know for sure if this will happen tomorrow afternoon or not.

As of today I have been home about two weeks since surgery....spent a total of 16 day in the hospital....I went from a soft cast splint to a hard cast and not sure when I will be able to get it off nor wet since I still have a bloody mess of a leg. Does anyone else find the hard cast feeling like needles are going in your foot? It's so uncomfortable for me and I feel like when I position my leg on its side the pressure on my incision sites is damaging.....still traumatized by the whole ordeal...happened at work (bartender dropping dishes at the dishwashing area, slipped on one foot that went forward and lost balance and sat on left foot, don't remember much at all just shock the moment I was picked up and realized my foot was dangling off my leg).

I'm so concerned about getting back to 100% since I worked out heavily every day before this tragedy....and I own oh about 40 pairs of heels that I have no plans to get rid of.

Nov 28, 2011
1 week post hardware removal NEW
by: Brenda

Last Monday (11/21/11) I had the plate/pins/screw removed from my left ankle. On January 15, 2011 I slipped on the ice and broke the fib & tib and dislocated the talus requiring immediate (same day) ORIF surgery. After almost 3 months NWB and several more months using a cane I felt pretty good most of the time. After long days I would swell and ache, but nothing that ibuprofin or tylenol wouldn't take care of. The pain always originated at the site of the hardware and I really didn't like that I could feel the head of every screw; the pin; and the outline of the plate ALWAYS (I am very thin)! Sounds kind of strange, but whenever I would bump my leg I would feel a lot of pressure at the top and/or bottom of where the plate was and I was afraid it was going to break BECAUSE of the plate! I started talking to my surgeon about the possibility of removal about 6 months after the initial injury and had several visits and another x-ray to be sure the break was healed before we could schedule the removal. Almost immediately I felt the release of pressure from the plate. There is, of course, some discomfort from the incisions and the swelling but nothing like the original injury/surgery. I have to use the cam boot when I am out or up and around much (for about 4 weeks) but find that I can actually bear weight pretty well and except for the first couple days after surgery and at night, the pain is once again manageable with advil and/or tylenol (NOT TOGETHER AND FOLLOW YOUR DOCTORS ORDERS!). On that note, it is 10:30; I have taken my pain meds for the night and am now rambling. I will plan on updating again in a few weeks or when there is noticeable differences to report.

Nov 27, 2011
Removal orif stress NEW
by: barbaract

Hi, I am now 4 years post surgery for a badly fractured calcaneus (2 plates, 12 screws etc) The results have been rather poor for me, poor mobility, swelling and pain..so I decided to have the hardware removed in early january 2012. Now I am completely stressed out, since I hear this could make things worse or have complications. Anyways, I am wondering what the recovery time is like? My Doc is telling me i can start walking as soon as the stitches are completely healed, about 3 weeks. Has anyone had this surgery? He also wants to do a subtalor fusion, but i am opposed to this..advice please!

Nov 24, 2011
Thanks for the update Brenda NEW
by: Jula

Brenda,
I am so glad to hear all went well. Although I am still non weight bearing I can feel where every screw hits my camcast. My Dr. said he did not see any reason to have the hardware removed after I have recovered. This surprised me and now I will have to find a Dr. to remove all this hardware when I do recover. It is so nice of you to keep us updated and thanks to all who keep sharing their stories.
For us still off our foot it does help to hear what we can expect and give us insight into our own recovery. I have one week to go and am of course
scared and tentative. Good luck to you all .

Nov 23, 2011
Kay NEW
by: Mary B

Hi Kay,

i broke my ankle(tib and fib and fractured the ligaments) on a saturday night back in June this year.i had surgery on the Sunday where a plate and 9 pins were screwed into my ankle and the doctor said i would be off my feet for at least 3 months. I went back to work on the following Wednesday. i was in a back slab for the first 2 weeks and managed to work 3 days a week in the office and 2 days a week at home.

after 2 weeks i had the full cast placed on and then managed to navigate the train stations and travelled 1.5km a day through the city each way on my crutches.

Im not recommending that you do this but i firmly believe being around other people and not sitting at home feeling sorry for myself aided my recovery.

After 6 weeks i was back at the hospital and had my cast removed. I drove home from the hospital. After the initila OMG i cant remeber how to walk ( i could not put one foot in front of another, my brain just would not allow it) it took me 2 days and i managed to limp round coles.

a week later i lost the crutches completely and managed to walk around un-aided. i wasnt walking perfectly but i belive my positive attitude combined with physio really helped me get back on track faster than originally predicted.

I actually lost my job just before i broke my ankle and managed to secure a new job whilst in cast and on crutches within the same company. my new colleagues were fantastic and were always asking if they could help me, grab my lunch or get me a drink. i think they saw i was determined not to let it beat me and helped out whenever they could.

Yes you have to rest, be sensible etc etc but you can go to work if you have an office job and dont have to stay at home. the first 2 weeks in the back slab were the hardest as i didnt feel like it supported my ankle very well and i had to get used to the crutches but after the second week i managed to get around.

For the record i took painkillers for the first 3 days and never looked back. i had the main pin removed at 8 12 weeks and my waling inproved again.

I am now nearly 6 months post break and am 90% back to normal. my ankle still swells when i do too much and i have some pain when the weather is cooler but i really believe being positive helped.

I was i know incredibbly lucky and had a great recovery BUT i didnt want to let a broken ankle ruin my life. If you reckon you can manage working i would give it a go. only you know how you feel

Good Luck

Nov 23, 2011
plate and pins removal NEW
by: Teresa

I broke three bones in my ankle running and sliding in dance class. I am 53 years old. My foot was broken off completely, but the skin wasn't broken. I waited a week and had surgery on May 11, 2011. It has been 5 and a half months, I completed my rehab; I am still limping, and taking ibuprofen and pain killers sometimes. My ankle feels tight and sore, and I have little flexibility and movement dorsally (following through with full ankle flexion when I walk). My doctor wants to remove the plate and pins in a few weeks. I want to be sure I am having the pins out because it is necessary, not just because he wants the work. Is it absolutely necessary to have the pins removed?

I would really appreciate any suggestions or information anyone might have.

Nov 23, 2011
Sounds good! NEW
by: Anonymous

That is great news Brenda!!! I follow on your footsteps. Mine is scheduled for Dec6. I run a 5k just 2 days before. And that wil give me a base to get back to
Woohoo!!!!

Nov 23, 2011
48 hours post hardware removal NEW
by: Brenda

Hi all,

Just thought I would update you following the removal of the plate/pins/screws from my ankle. Although there is pain from the incision and the weekend bones (since they now have holes in them from removing the pins), I can already tell the difference with the hardware out. I don't have the constant pressure along the outside of my leg anymore and I believe when the incisions heal I am going to be most happy that I went ahead and got it removed! Kinda drugged right now, but will update in a few days and let you know of the progress!
Brenda

Nov 12, 2011
Don't do it! NEW
by: Brenda

Ok, so, first off.....I am jealous of your 22 year old healing health!! Anyway, I am here to tell you that going back to work too soon will hinder your recovery greatly! I went in and worked about 5 hours about 2 weeks or so after my break/surgery......same scenario....I was driven, able to keep foot up, etc........NOT A GOOD IDEA! If you have even a little bit of work ethic, it is REALLY hard to watch others do your work while you sit there, so you end up "trying" to do too much and then you backslide greatly!! It was 3-4 months (granted I am over double 22 and didn't have the luxury of a "true" desk job!!) before I was able to endure an entire shift and even then it was iffy at best! Whatever you decide to do, be CAREFUL!

Nov 11, 2011
To the bank teller
by: Rachel

If you read, read, read the board, you will find that almost EVERYONE says "do not do too much." I would think that going back to work would qualify as "too much." Realistically, you probably could NOT keep your foot up all day (it'll get numb), and your co-workers, if they have to help you too much, may resent you for coming in too soon and trying to be a hero. You also have to think about bathroom and parking accessibility. I know it is hard to stay home--I broke my ankle and fibula in June, and I am off work til January. As hard as it is to be here, I have friends in real life and on this board who have said not to go back too son, so I am not. Online Facebook Scrabble is my sanity saver! Good luck--

Nov 10, 2011
LEFT TRI-MALLEOR, RIGHT BI-MALLEOR AND CALCANEOUS FRACTURES AND ORIF
by: Kay

I haven't written in since my surgery in September. I am now home after 7 weeks in a rehab facility. Most of the time, I was laid up b/c I have Reynaud's disease, and the trauma from the fractures and then the surgery held me up bedridden for over two weeks. I have been weight-bearing on my right foot for about 3 weeks and yesterday when I saw the surgeon, he gave me full "privileges" to bear weight at 100% on the left which was the tri-malleor. Needless to say, I don't think I'm pushing it, but at night, my entire body aches, I MEAN REALLY ACHES, to the point where I can't even sleep. I haven't even started PT yet and I'm already experiencing this miserable pain. Has anyone else had this when they first started walking. I'm using a walker now, and just came from a wheelchair, so I don't want to push it, but I also have a circulatory problem and need to be up and about to avoid clotting. Any comments?

Nov 10, 2011
ORIF
by: Lisa

Hi everyone!

One week ago I had a plate and 6 screws inserted into my bimal fracture that was sustained a week before the surgery (I feel Halloween weekend, what a bummer!)

Anyway, tomorrow will be 1 week since my surgery and I am recovering miraculously (may have something to do with being 22!). Anyway, I have 0 pain in the ankle and only had my cast put on yesterday. I can dangle it, crutch with it, everything (well, minus weight bearing of course).

Anyway, I'm writing to know if I'm insane for wanting to go back to work 10 days after surgery. I am a bank teller and can have my foot elevated for the entire 8 hour shift. I can be driven to and from work. What are your opinions on this?

My surgeon said I can have my cast off in 3 weeks and switch to a boot. I still cant wear bear for 6 weeks but I'd do anything to be able to shower without having to wrap this cast up so methodically everytime!

Nov 09, 2011
Good luck Brenda
by: Jula

Brenda,
I have been told by my surgeon, he will remove the two long screws connecting broken tib and fib but does not understand why I want the rest removed. I also am thin so please write back and tell us how it goes.
I am only on 3rd week in boot so I know this is down the line but I can now feel the screws in the side of my leg and it gives me the creeps. I wish you the best and take care. Jula

Nov 09, 2011
Hardware coming OUT!!
by: Brenda

I have scheduled the surgery to remove the plate, 8 screws and pin in my leg on the 21st of this month........just over 10 months after the break and surgery. I broke the fib & tib & dislocated the talus on January 15th, 2011 and had surgery the same day. Unless I spend WAY too much time on it, the pain is mostly gone......but when it starts hurting it is always at the plate. I am very thin and can feel the head of each screw along the plate. While I am not looking forward to another 4-6 weeks in the "boot", I don't think I can tolerate the hardware for the long haul! Wish me luck! I will update after surgery....

Nov 02, 2011
To Alicia
by: Rachel

My fibula was broken up high just below my knee. (The force of my ankle dislocating and all the ligaments and tendons tearing broke the bone, not the actual fall, Gross, eh?) They did nothing to the fibula, which I thought was barbaric because it hurt like blazes. It was well on its way to healing at eight weeks, and I was in a boot. I was still NWB because of my weight and the ankle injury, though. I guess you would be able to do some things, but with frequent rest, on your honeymoon. Romance and romantic dinners for sure--

Nov 02, 2011
Cam cast
by: Jula

Nov 2,
12th day since I broke ankle, fib, tib, have
have 7 screws and plate. Yesterday I was put in a cam cast. At least I can take it off at night.
Any suggestions on dealing with a cam cast. Seems
very heavy and clumsy.
Dr. also told me would only remove the two large
screws pulling the ankle together. Told me to remove plate would cause nerve damage. I really want this harware out. Should I wait and try to wear him down or look elsewhere in 6 months or so?

Nov 01, 2011
Fracture oriff ankle
by: fflower

It is almost 1 year and 6mnths i broke my ankle ligaments damage,fibula fracture ,two screws and surgery on ankle.I am currently on the recovery but my ankle is stif and dont want to bend forward normal,tendonis is very stiff,i can run but like limping,i cannot even kick a ball with the left foot it paining.Will the ankle get to normal is there somebody who had the same scenario.My leg feel very stiff.

Oct 31, 2011
10 months and counting
by: Brenda

It has been almost 10 months since I broke fib/tib & dislocated the talus. I remember thinking I was NEVER going to get through it.......but I have! I still have swelling at the end of the day and there are still movements that tell me to STOP, but, all in all, feeling better all the time. I have managed to tear apart and build a new deck; remodel bathrooms (installing the taller elongated toilets!) and now working on the kitchen. I have an appt. scheduled next week to schedule the surgery to remove the plate/pins & screws before the end of the year. Generally they like to wait at least 1 year before considering removing the hardware, but I am very thin and can feel every screw and the plate all the time.
They said 4 weeks in the "boot" after surgery while the bones regenerate and then we'll see how it goes! I will try to remember to update you all to let you know of my progress!
To all who have recently experienced an ankle fracture.......I am sorry! Don't be shy! Ask for help and NEVER turn it down!! Daytime TV is pretty boring for me, but reading & puzzles pass the time.

Oct 30, 2011
left distular fibula fracture
by: Alicia

About 5 days ago oct 25th wasjogging fell over debris in road an snap that as that. Walked 3 block back to house in horrible pain , went to er. Got xrays and splint. Next day went to ortho and as told no need for surgery. Left fibula was broken clean and should heal on its on. In temp cast now for swelling and will go back on Thursday for nwb cast. I am wondering I anyone else has had this break and if so how their recovery time went. My husband is a navy pilot and since he was deployed right afte we got married we didn't have a honeymoom. We were planing on having one dec 30th on our 1 yr anniversary. Jut scared this will change everything. Thanks for any info! Alicia

Oct 29, 2011
Thanks for reply.
by: Jula

Oct 29, 2011
Day 9 after breaking ankle and having plate and screws . Thanks to anonymous who wrote back and
I have a kneeling walker ordered.
Hope this heals well but I do believe that it would be hard for me to live with all this hardware in my ankle. Have been doing hours of research. Lots of time on my hands. Guess getting the hardware removed will be the final step. Good one" final step".
I have an appointment on Nov 1, Do they remove staples then? Thanks also for info on it taking a year to have screws removed. Hope it will be before then. Keep sharing your lives with us here at home it does help pass the time.

Oct 29, 2011
No hardware removal?
by: Sher

Hello all,

So far all the comments I have read are advocating hardware removal. I broke by tib and fib in July 2010. I had the requisite plate with 9 screws and two long screws across the bottom of the ankle installed. I have not experienced much pain with it, although I suspect if I tried hiking more than 6 miles, I would experience some-and carrying weight with my ankle is tough such as backpacking.

Anyway, here is my question. Is there anyone out there who has not had the screws removed? How long have you had them in and has there been any consequences? My surgeon is one who suggests leaving them in unless there is pain.

Thank you.

Oct 27, 2011
I never believed there was light at the end of the tunnel, but there is--
by: Rachel

I broke my ankle and my fibula on 6/10 and tore all the ligaments. I am overweight, non-athletic, and 41. I had never before broken a bone. I was non-weight bearing for 12 weeks. I had a potty chair beside the bed and used a wheelchair for all mobility (I did not even try a walker for eight weeks). I had the screw removed at 8 weeks, a little late (at our request). I started physical therapy at 12 weeks, and then, it was amazing how quickly things started falling into place. I can walk without a cane, but when I am out of the house, I use one. I fatigue VERY easily. I was told that for every day you spend in bed, it takes one to two days to regain your strength. I can do something for 90 minutes maximum, and then I am exhausted. I started driving again at 16 weeks; my doctor said some people do at 12. He said you have to be able to walk away from a wreck convincingly, that he has seen people ruined by litigation from having driving too early.

My words to the wise would be ask for the help you need, do what you want to do to pass the time (online Scrabble has kept me sane), and advocate for yourself. No matter how strong your family support is, they do not know how YOU feel. Tell them. Ask your neighbors and co-workers for help. And don't do anything you don't feel good about. I stayed in the wheelchair until I felt confident, and I do not regret it.

Oct 27, 2011
jula
by: Anonymous

getting the hardware out is not a quick thing. I have heard alot don't even have that done. I am getting all my hardware out on Dec6. had surgery to put it in on feb 8. And that is very quick from my understanding. But I have worked my butt off to get to the point that the surgeon was even comfortable doing the surgery within the year. i have heard of people getting a couple of the screws removed. mostly a discomfort thing. but I don't think that is even done until the bones have healed and the ankle has set correctly. it was 6monts before he would even talk to me about that.

You can try a wheelie cart. i don't know what they call it, but you basically would kneel on it with the casted leg and it has handle bars like a bicycle.

Oct 27, 2011
60
by: Anonymous

Easiest way I have found to move around with my ankle broke is going and renting a 4 wheel knee scooter. I couldn't live alone without it. You can buy one for around 500 new or rent one typically 40 dollars for 2 weeks. Absolute must in my eyes. I have been from 0- 50 percent weight bearing since Jul 28 of this year.

Oct 27, 2011
60 ,first broken bone , my ankle
by: Jula

Oct 27,2011
Fell from top of ladder. Crawled 100 feet to house.
The surgery was was done 2 that day and I was home by 10:00. The most horrible day of my life.
I did fracture two disks in my back in my 40's , opted out of surgery and was in pain for about a year. I could still walk only with pain. Hope this will not be that bad,but at least I could walk.

Day seven, and I am scared to death. I received
copies of my break pre and post surgery yesterday. 7 screws and plate in fibula ,two in talus. My husband has taken off 2 weeks from work for now. Not sure how I will get along after that. He works close by but I am still scared. The clam shell cast comes off on November 1. Talked to nurse she said Dr. will discuss treatment then. He doesn't say much so I am very thankful for this site. Main concern is when staples come out I guess on Nov 1, forgot to ask nurse. I want the screws and plate out. What is the time frame on that? If it heals quick is 8 weeks too soon?
What's the best way to get around when there is no weight bearing. I am terrible with crutches, now am using walker after falling twice. So far I just keep the foot elevated and iced. Broken ankles are the worse!

Sep 29, 2011
10 days post ORIF - loose screws - help
by: Kay

I have bilateral fractures -- 10 days old, and surgery on the left ankle in the 17th. I broke the fibula and the large ankle bone and had a plate and screws put in. When the xray tech came to take xrays for my surgeon for the 2 week post-op follow-up, I noticed there was an empty hole and a screw sort of hanging out there away from the plate. In addition, my left foot (the same foot) my toes have been turning a purplish/light black color, but only when I hang my feet in my wheelchair. I am on complete bed rest right now and can only use my chair to use the restroom. I'm in an assisted rehab facility and am weight bearing on the right foot, which was also broken, but didn't require surgery. My question is because of the loose screw, I'm assuming that once he sees me tomororow, he will have to fix this, thus another surgery. Correct me if I'm wrong. So, it puts me basically back at the beginning, bit I think this is what is causing the circulation problem with the left foot toes turning color b/c when I am up in bed, my legs are elevated and the color returns. If anyone has anything to share on this, please let me know. Thanks, Kay

Sep 24, 2011
Left Fibula Fracture
by: Greg Sh

I'm glad I found this page to see I'm not alone and read all the stories. I have a couple of questions that I would greatly appreciate some explanations.
I fractured my left fibula about 5 cm up from the ankle and had surgery 2 weeks ago Sept 12, 2011. Metal plate and 6 screws total: 2 screws above the fracture, 2 below, and 2 more long ones below that that connect the fibula to the tibia . As of right now I'm non weight bearing still as per doc's requests, but after the initial check up my doc told me everything is looking well and healing well so far and put me in an air cast.
I read and my doc advised me to have the 2 long screws removed due to the fact that once the ligaments between the 2 bones regrow, my natural movement can break the screws and cause me pain. My questions are to anyone who have experienced/encountared this. Is this another full blown surgery procedure with anesthesia or is this a simple incission and removal? Is there immbobility after this? At what point did you have this done post your original surgery? I'm just curious as to what to expect...
This would be surgery #3 for me in 2011 (been a bad year) so if anyone can advise it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Greg

Sep 21, 2011
just getting started
by: Bad getaway stick

Original fx 9/9/2011 ORIF for lateral malleaus fx 1 plate 3 screws on 9/20/2011 less than 24 hours post-op with nerve block pain pump and oral pain meds est. 10-14 days in hard cast till ortho follow up. foot elevated and bad daytime tv in near future

Sep 13, 2011
Hope this helps.
by: yang

hey joe,

not sure if this helps, but i was in a cast for 8 weeks. my surgeon is a little cautious so i was not allowed to put any weight until the bone healed. then after that I was allow to do what I could. he put me in an aircast, but i could put as much weight as I could stand. as soon as the wound from the surgery was completely closed, my PT said I could get in the water. that is when I started my process.

I went to the pool every day and would do kick workouts with a kick board. then I would stand in deep water and would start jumping to put weight on the ankle. i progressed to shallower water as I soon as i could. during this time i started walking on the treadmill. I have a flex deck tread mill and it really allowed me to start walking and eventually running. I did not start running until about 3weeks out of the cast. then i was as much as I could do in the pool and on the treadmill.

I guess i am at 22week out of the cast. i run 20-25miles a week and swim 5mi. I swim right after i run. it seams to keep the swelling down to a min and also allows the ankle to work itself out form the run. my longest run to date is 7mi with just a little soarness the next day.

My surgeon is happy with my progress that we have schedule dec 6 as the date to remove the hardware. then it is a 6week recovery.

hope that helps and good luck

Sep 13, 2011
Orif Surgery, dislocated ankle, broken fibula
by: Joe

On July 9th, I broke my fibula and dislocated my ankle when someone fell on my leg playing football. As a result, I had ORIF surgery on July 12th, and have 6 screws, a plate and one pin going across my ankle, which will come out eventually.

I'm here looking for some time tables, my surgeon spends minimal time with me when I see him, and I figured personal experience would give me a better gauge. I started physical therapy 4 weeks ago, and am almost at the point of full weight bearing without the boot.

I still am not able to drive because it is my right foot, any idea when I will be able to be behind the wheel again?

Also wanted to get some time tables on running, biking, weight lifting (squats, deadlifts).

I am a 25 year old male in good physical shape. If anyone out there had a similar experience, please let me know.

Thanks so much,

Joe

Sep 10, 2011
After a car accident
by: Natalia

I am 64 years old RN in excellent health and I don't have any history of the bad habits. I sustained a tibia and fibula fractures in a car accident 7 weeks ago an I undergone ORIF in 12 hours after that. Postop was pretty good and I did not have any pain. I did not bear weight for 6 weeks but immediately after having surgery I started doing ankle exercise to promote range of motion. Ten days ago I started to bear partial weight walking with crutches, doing calf stretches and so on. Basically, I've been doing exercise non-stop. Working out all my life helps a lot, so I think I am not going to limp, my ankle has a full range of motion, and, of course, a positive attitude is a must. I want to share with people some
information, I hope, useful. It is Arnica, an herb, homeopatic remedy. You can buy it in the Health stores, Whole Food and so on. I took 5
tiny pills three times a day for one months. It greatly promotes a healing. Good luck in your healing everybody!

Sep 10, 2011
8 months later
by: Yang

I could paste my name on to Brenda's story almost to the letter. I have 5 screws and a plate and two long screws on the inside oft ankle. I had my break on feb 6 and surgery 2 days later.

So far recovery has been a long road. The bones are fully recovered and I have minimal pain. Mostly stiffness in the morning and soreness in the evening after a long day. My wife, kido am I went on a vacation 3 weeks ago. With all the walking we did, I put my ankle brace on during the day excursions and iced in the evening. But made it the week with controllable pain. Vacation has been the most stress I have put on the ankle and was a good "test"

I work my PT schedule pretty hard every day. I am in the gym everyday for 1.5 to 2.5 hours a day. I start with all the stretches and balance excersises and then run 3-5 mi every other day. Then swim a mile everyday. This past week I ran my longest run of 7 miles. Not bad for just 5 1/2 months back in my feet. For me recovery could not have been better.

I still have pain around my implants, so got word from my surgeon yesterday to have all my hardware removed and scheduled for dec 6. I can't wait. Recovery will be 6 weeks. But I have read numberous studies that I have a chance to be pain free. I still have the same shooting pains when I step wrong. But think most of the pain is caused by the implants not allowing my ankle and leg bone to flex as they should.

The one advise I can give is to keep up with the PT. it will pay off. And a positive support system is must. Even my co-workers have all help keep me up beat. Actually almost all of them started running with me and them along with my 2 siblings and wife will be running my first 5k the weekend before my surgery.

Sep 10, 2011
8 months post ORIF
by: Brenda

It has been almost exactly 8 months since I fractured the tib & fib & dislocated the talus, requiring immediate ORIF. I have a plate with 8 screws (I think) and then one long screw on the other side (my bones were only large enough for 1 of the 2 screws they planned for). At this point, except for a little trouble with the plate (which will be removed in a couple months) I finally feel like I can walk almost normal with barely a limp until I have been on it for too long. I have been able to return to most of my "normal" activities. I still have quite a bit of swelling by evening. Still able to control any pain with an occasional tylenol or advil and icing/elevating still helps.

In response to an earlier post about pain traveling up your leg when jolted or stepping wrong, I still have that. It always scares me when I step on something that makes me a little unstable or rocks my ankle. So far I think it's part of the normal process as the pain is generally not long lasting when that happens.

Sep 07, 2011
One Year into Recovery Trimalleolar Fracture
by: Anonymous

I had a trimalleolar fracture one year ago exactly. I had the surgery for two rods and 14 screws. Its been along and slow recovery. But I did the exercises, physical therapy and strengthened my ankle and leg. Right now the only thing I have is numbness and needles going through my foot. Has anyone had this? Does it ever go away? I do not have any pain and walk with a slight limp. My balance which was way off is better. I did not expect any instant miracles and did not receive them.

Sep 05, 2011
Had ORIF done 3 days ago
by: Anonymous

I am a healthy 41 year old male. I am probably about 10 lbs overweight but overall in good physical shape. I don't smoke drink and I have never done drugs. I have done everything from motocross, sports, snowmobiling and even jumped out of an airplane. I have had some falls in my life and for the most part walked away unharmed. However I have never broken a bone in my life. The embarrassing part is I fell from only 3 stairs high. I broke the tibia, tibia and dislocated my ankle. It hurt but not like I thought a bone break would. While waiting for the surgery around 24 hours later I really felt little pain and even after the surgery I had some discomfort but the pain was very minimal. I was released within 24 hours of the surgery after the Physical Therapist gave his okay with the crutches. I went home and took Oxycodine for the first night. The second day I stopped taking pain medication as I felt I really did not need it. I have read dozens of postings. Here is a slightly different take. We all heal differently but your age, weight and diet(huge) will all impact the healing process. I changed my diet immediately to help the healing process and started doing non weight lifts immediately. I believe i will be able to bear some reasonable weight in just two weeks. Heck I have already put some ever so light weight on it. I had to try. Last but not least i believe my positive attitude has helped me the most. There have been tons of documented evidence that the mind does help the healing process. Even when it happened and I was entering the emergency room I cracked jokes and was in very good spirits. Lately I have been thrown hurdles. I am not sure why so many in such a short period of time. But I decided that I would stop complaining about them and be proactive. Just keep fighting. It beats being miserable and that gets you no where and will chase away the ones around
you. Good luck to all and remember positive attitude and some patience you will be fine.

Sep 01, 2011
confused
by: Anonymous

First of all, I am so glad that I found this site. I have been taking Ibuprofen since my injury. The pain meds that I had contained acetaminophen so I could not take tynenol. I will now purchase tynenol after reading what others have posted.

I am very confused about the expected recovery time for my ankle fracture. Fortunately, I did not require ORIF. My doctor put me in an air cast. After one week, he said that I could put weight on it. So, I've been "walking" on it lightly; I use a walker. Is that normal? It is now nearly 3 weeks post fracture. I have been trying to have as much NWB activity as possible; I am really concerned because the other day, I missed the chair behind me and ended up putting more weight on my right ankle/leg than usual. I felt a pain shoot up my leg. Based on your experiences, could this be indicative of additional problems? Please help.

Aug 31, 2011
3 months out
by: Anonymous

Followup to 7/18/11. I am now out of the boot and walking pain free in running shoes. On vacation and managed walking in airports and on the beach. My PT say walking in sand is great therapy. I encourage those just starting PT to do exercises at home and ride the exercise bike. My physical therapist says consistency as made a big difference in my recovery. The rehab feels like an additional part time job but I am so happy to see results. It's hard work, sometimes boring but so important.

Aug 22, 2011
7 months after ORIF
by: Rebecca

I came to this site when I first broke three bones on my ankle and had the ORIF done the next day. That was on 17th Jan 2011. I was non-weight bearing for the first six weeks, and the next 3 weeks was partial weight bearing. I went for physiotherapy which helped a great deal. After lots of pain and anguish, I am glad to report that my ankle is getting better, and hurt less as each week progresses. I have ended physio and is now going through an exercise regime of my own. I cannot run and walking down the stairs is still a little bit of a challenge, but not as bad as it was. I did a lot of lunges at the gym to assist with the stairs. My balance is a little off, so I am doing a lot of balancing type of exercise. My range of motion is now 90% of what it used to be, and I am still doing exercise to try to improve that. All in all, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. So persevere on....

Cheers

Aug 17, 2011
Medication/Physical Therapy
by: Deirdre

Just over 2 years ago, I wrote to this site explaining my ankle fracture with ORIF. I also fractured my left fibula. They had to reconstruct my rt. ankle and even Dr.'s in ER's are surprised at the amount of metal. Thank God I had a good surgeon. It was a terrible accident and it's a miracle I can walk again. I have chronic pain(which has gotten worse in the last 9 months) and my primary doctor prescribed tramadol. I went to an orthopedist the other day and have to get new x-rays and am starting physical therapy next week. He also gave me percocet 5/325. I have a call in to my doctor but does anyone know if I should continue to take tramadol and only take percocet when it is unbearable? Also is it unusual to go to PT after 2 years. I exercise to my own personal limits by walking, biking, swimming and other exercises that are little or no impact on the ankle. Please share your knowledge and experiences. Thank you.

Aug 17, 2011
tib/fib orif
by: Anonymous

i had tib/fib fx with ankle dislocation on 8oct2009, had surgury the next day. 2 large screws on the fib, a plate and 6 screws on tib. still very stiff, mobility helps, heat helps, would very much like to get the hardware removed. i recommend getting it removed as soon as possible. my doctor recommended i get it removed 6 weeks after the surgury, but i am military and was away and didn't want to spend the extra time away from family. should have listened. i'm hoping the removal of the screws will relieve some of the tenderness and pain, hence improving range of motion. i run just as much as pre-injury (up to 5 miles) but it is painful and i cant go as fast as i could before. in general my balance and gait are still somewhat distorted, i believe due to the pain. really want to get the hardware out.

Aug 12, 2011
being strong
by: jah

i fractured my left fibula on 10th july 2011 during a friendly soccer game. on falling to the ground i had two angulations like knees and my ankle was dislocated. surprisingly my ankle joint was able to assume it normal position without medical manipulation and i was placed in a back slab for 2 weeks. i had ORIF on the 25 july with a plate and 5 screws placed in the fibula. two weeks after doc told me i had a space in the ankle joint and placed the foot in an inversion cast to decrease the space. i am 31 and enjoy outdoor activities i hardly get pain but get a little fustrated at times depending on others. i really cant wait to be given the ok to bear weight as i want to start swimming and physio to get better. i am determined to recover to the point i can atleast enjoy my normal activities and want everyone with similar injuries to try remaining positive as part of healing is psychological.

Aug 02, 2011
11-1/2 months post fracture
by: Anonymous

In 18 days I'll hit the one-year mark on my right ankle angular fracture with fractures of tibia and fibula. Unfortunately, my injury was a slip off uneven steps while visiting in Dijon, FR--and NO french medicine isn't the best in the world! I was taken to University Hospital where they tried closed reduction w/o anesthetic to no avail. It was surgery the first night, followed by another surgery within 48 hours. Both botched jobs and according to my surgeon here at home "barbaric." Yes, my third surgery came 10 days later when I was released from University Hospital and returned home to Honolulu. I was in a wheel chair for 5.5 months before I decided I needed to get up, out of the boot, and into therapy. Unsatisfied with the Kaiser PT, we went to private pay and I had to not only restrengthen and rebuild my core after so long in a chair, but I had to do the same with both my lower extremities (I had also a severe left ankle strain/sprain). I've had deep tissue massage to eliminate the serious adhesions from so many surgeries, followed by aquatic therapy. I'm able to walk well and sleep well but still have weekly therapy due to continuing stiffness in my right ankle and e swelling and discomfort with too much exertion. The aquatic therapy is really helping increase my range of motion. My physician said I should be "normal" within two years. He won't remove my hardware as it it titanium and very flexible. I don't feel any pain from the hardware--just the joint adhesions that hopefully will displace as I continue to improve my range. My PT and doctor say that my good results (I'm 64) are related to participating in my own recovery and getting myself functional. Keep a good recovery thought in mind at all times and don't give up! The injury is not one to be cured in a short time-frame. I'm just happy to be able to wear girly shoes again and to walk without an assistance device. The rest will come.

Aug 01, 2011
broken talus in 1992
by: william schink

hi my name is william i broke the talus bone in my foot ankle what ever u want 2 call it in a car accident in 1992 had the bone fused and a screw put in threw the top of my foot in2 the heal it still hurts 2 this day my toes the 3 middle toes dont bend i wish they wold cut it off some days thats how much it hurts my dr who did the surgery looks at me like im krazy he tells me go 2 pain mngt so i have 2 live on oxycodones 4 ever it suxs sorry but its the gods honest truth ive bin in the hospitals back nd forth since 1992 the best of luck 2 u

Jul 27, 2011
To Bedridden:
by: Kenda Swartz Pepper

On July 3 of this year, I was walking on an uneven surface, severely sprained my right ankle, fell and fractured (Trimall) the left. It's frustrating, and wish I had a better story; but the OS office and my new PT tell me that the majority of fractures are from regular folks doing regular things like walking or standing up. One thing I would like to mention: I was told to strictly stay away from Advil as it inhibits bone healing. In the beginning, I was popping Percocet and Valium to help me deal and in an attempt to sleep. Lately it's been two Tylenol at night (still not sleeping well, but that's a life-long issue anyway). I'm now trying to get off the Tylenol too as I've been reading about the negative consequences of acetaminophen. Are there any good pain meds out there that don't cause harm?

My injury is only 24 days old, and NWB/being laid up is very challenging. Add to it, that I am only starting to use the right ankle. Each day I try to pull myself up and make good use of the time. Some of my work I can do at home, and I started blogging about it as well. Feel free to check it out (http://www.kendascott.blogspot.com/) and please add your thoughts. My goal is to remain optimistic yet 'real'. Each day I let myself have the feelings when they surface and move on. Thanks for the comments, all. I was using the search words '100% recovered from trimalleolar fracture' because this is what I believe is possible.

Jul 24, 2011
Spiral Fracture with Complications
by: Anonymous

Hello all,
I am a 42 year old ACTIVE male. I had a spiral fracture in my right leg and ankle September of 2010. Basically my foot did a 180… not pretty! They installed a plate and 7 screws to assure proper healing.
I am not one who likes to take pain medication but I did this time, the pain as many of you know is pretty bad but manageable. I can’t emphasize enough, keep it elevated and iced, control the swelling and don’t let the pain get out of control. Take it easy the first couple months after you start putting full weight on your leg. I did about 6 sessions of Physical therapy and then decided to do my own; I had been a long distance runner for many years so I am no stranger to stretching and proper leg exercises.
I most cases a person like me would be right as rain 11 months later, NOT the case for me. One thing we overlooked was the damage I had done to my knee as well, torn meniscus. I am also having problems with the hardware. I do not have titanium hardware, mine has nickel in it and apparently my body does not like it. The majority of my pain right now is when I push myself too hard, after 3-4 miles I start getting a limp which means I am going to have major pain later. It takes a good day for everything to settle down. Oh, sometimes my knee blows out and down I go.
I have a scheduled surgery coming up to remove the hardware and fix my knee; it’s a 2 for one deal… Insurance companies like this! I’ll have about 2-3 weeks before removing the staples and my knee should be OK by then as well.
I don’t mean this to scare anyone but there will be pain, pain you never had before. You will always know that you broke your ankle. I always have some level of discomfort which I hope subsides a bit after the hardware removal and corrected knee. You will get use to taking something in the evening for pain like Advil though take it easy and follow your doctor’s recommendations on pain relief because many people get hooked on pain relievers. Most of you will do just fine and won’t have any complications like me. My last piece of advice is, the more you push yourself the more pain you have later. You have to push yourself though within reason to get back to where you were. If you smoke stop, if you drink cut way back or stop… This will make a HUGE difference in your healing and overall health.

Jul 19, 2011
Update
by: Anonymous

i was only in a cast for 8 weeks. i have a great support system. my wife too time out of her schedule and was home the first 2 weeks and then spent every other day at home until i was out of the hard cast. and i was able to work from home. so most of my time awake was spent working. after that I was in an air cast and went to work. i did that so my wife would go back to her normal life. or as close to normal. if i would have stayed home, she would have altered her schedule to be there.

I did not take any of the pain killers, it just was note enough for me to want to take any more drugs. i was already taking huge amounts of calcium and asprin.

i hated the imobilization of my leg. i purchase a real thin back scratcher just so that my leg could get some feeling back. i also had them slot the cast so i could have some movement.

recovery is still going one. i just push as hard as my ankle could handle. the first day out of the cast, i purchase a soft ball and just rolled it around with my foot and rolled my foot on the ball. this was the start of getting my ankle to flex. i hated the crutch, so start to stand as soon as i could take the pain. and then as soon as the wound was closed, i started swimming. that was the best you could ever do for mobility. the water reduces your weight and allow you to apply as much weight as you can handle.

i am just shy of 6months since my OP and am back up to 5k runs at a 7mph pace 3-4 days a week and swimming 1/2 a mile 6 days a week. i still have to schedule my life around the ankle. i do not consider this over until i no longer have to schedule my life around the ankle.

just work hard when you are ready for PT, it will pay off. and find a way to get the leg/ankle massaged on the days there is alot of pain. it helps the next day.

Jul 19, 2011
Finally! Help!
by: Bedridden

I am so glad to finally stumble on to this page--it seems to offer the most practical mix of hope and help that I have found. I have been in bed for 38 day as I recuperate from a fall while on vacation in NV. I fell in Red Rock Canyon, slipping on pebbles that were atop a rock on which I was walking. The stupidity of this injury and how it occurred is infuriating to me--I was simply walking on a level surface. for crying out loud.

I have a maisonneuve fracture, according to my dr. The interior bone of my ankle broke, and its twisting, along with that of the tendons and ligaments, created enough pressure to break the tibia. I have been NWB for 5+ weeks, and from what I have read, this may stretch to 12 weeks. I can't imagine. I had surgery on my ankle, which was also dislocated; I lost enough blood to get a transfusion (it was a compound fracture). The tibia was unset--the rationale being that "the muscle is holding it in.." That may be standard practice, but I can tell you that I think about and feel my tibia every minute of every day.

I have NOT done well on pain meds--Percocet sent me to the hospital, my nausea was so bad. I took myself off of Ultram, which they had given me in place of Percocet, because it made me ill, too. Now I am just Adviling it, although I know that will not work when PT starts.

I am most interested in how those of you who spent gobs of time in bed stayed sane--I am weary of TV at this point, and you can't read 14 hrs/day. Also, how you coped with marital/family pressures.

Again, this site is a blessing!


Jul 18, 2011
Trimalleolar Fracture 4th June
by: Mary B

Hi All,

i posted a few weeks back and thought i would give an update. i had an accident which resulted in a trimalleolar fracture on the 4th june. i had surgery the next day (10 pins and a plate) and left hospital the next day. 2 weeks later i returned to hospital and had the backslab replaced with a cast with my next appointment scheduled 4 weeks later.

i was lucky to experiance very little pain and took no pain killers.although i am hopeless on crutches i was determined to still get around and i made it into work, used public transport and even managed to get a new job!! dont get me wrong it was incredibly frustrating and there were tears BUT i tried to approach it postively and get on with things....

i returned last friday (15th July) to the hospital and had my cast removed. The break is fully fixed and i am now able to drive and start the learning to walk process. friday was a nightmare i honestly could not remember how tio put one foot in front of another. i had physio friday and saturday and that really helped. By sunday i was able to hobble around a little without my crutces and things are getting better every day. there is lots of pain and it ferels very stiff but i am determined to get back to normal as quickly and safely as possible.

i am lucky that the operation went well and that i have healed well. If you follow the docs orders, do your exercises and rest when you can things can get back to normal.

i have another op in 4 weeks to get the pin removed from my tibia and fibia and m hoping that i will be at full recovery stage by then!

Good Luck - there is definately light at the end of the tunel......

Jul 18, 2011
broken good
by: Blake

So I had an injury on 7-6-11, spent 4 days in hospital. I had a little fall from approx 25 feet with my right ankle breaking my fall. It appears I have broken my tibia, parts of my fibula and honestly I don’t really know what else. They put me under in Er and did a closed reduction to bring my foot back in line. Next morning i was scheduled for surgery and when I woke up I had an external fixator placed on my leg, looks like a halo for those of you not familiar, because I wasn’t at first. I was told the swelling was too bad to operate and that I had trauma or fracture blisters. Great!
So I went back to Dr. 10 days later to see specialist and again found out I’m not ready for surgery just yet. He told me that my break is not a "normal" ankle break and that like a lot of folks i won’t be playing basket ball or running in 6 months. He said this is an injury commonly associated with auto accidents falling from buildings or ski accidents because the way the break was, not a clean break but a axial load break.
So I’m laying on the couch like I have been for 2 weeks now awaiting surgery to hopefully get back on the 9-12 month long recovery road. Anyone have experience with this? Im new to all the lingo. I was told 3-4 months I would be able to go back to light duty at work and this is good since I have about that much sick and vacation time left. Any ideas thoughts?

Jul 13, 2011
6 weeks postop
by: Anonymous

I had surgery for trimalleolar fx with dislocation on 6/1.
At 2 week postop visit I was placed in a boot, still NWB but able to do ROM exercises. Just was cleared to walk in boot and start PT.
My thoughts so far on having a good recovery:
1) obsessionally follow NWB.
2) a leg scooter makes everything easier. Get one if you can.
3). Eat well with lots of calcium and vitamin D.
4) no NSAiDs
5) I gave up diet coke and all other caffiene. Don't know if it helpednbut I felt I wanted to do every possible.
6) very frustrating six weeks but try to stay positive.

Good luck to everyone.

Jul 12, 2011
6 months later
by: Brenda

Hi all,

Just thought I would drop a quick note and ask for some opinions. I am 6 months post ORIF.....I broke the fib and the tib and dislocated the talus. I have a plate up the the outside of my left ankle and one long screw (too small of bones for 2 screws like they wanted) on the inside. The inside mostly only bothers me because of the swelling, but the plate on the outside drives me crazy. I can feel the head of every screw and if I wear a shoe that comes to the ankle it feels like they will pop through. I am seeing the surgeon on the 15th to discuss removing the plate later in the year......I know that ideally they would like to wait 1 year, but, with insurance considerations and the fact that I will need to wear more than just sandals for a Colorado winter, I would like to have it done before the end of the year. I have regained pretty good range of motion and am beginning to resume some of the pre ORIF activities I used to do. I noticed a couple days ago that, until I am on my feet too long and the swelling/pain starts, I can actually walk without much of a limp at all and am starting to feel semi-normal walking down stairs (up hasn't been much of a problem). So,,,,,,,,,,,What do you all think about the hardware removal? What kind of recovery time am I looking at? I would imagine without the broken bones the pain won't be near as bad as the original surgery???

Jul 11, 2011
Ankle suregery recovery
by: Anonymous

hi all,

just a few comment to help with the new post ops. :)

i am 22 weeks after my sugery. ended up with a plate and 6 screws on the outside of my left ankle and 2 longer screws on the inside of the ankle.

I think ankle recovery is just going to be slow. the fact that you use it everyway is probably not helping the cause. my ankle is still swollen on a daily basis and looks like i have a baseball strapped around it. but everything is progressing. I started to run about 4 weeks ago and am up to running 5k's 3-4 times a week. I also swim about 1/8 of a mile on the days that I run or 1/2 mile on the off days.
I can tell you that as soon as your wound heals, get in the water. if you can shower, you need to start to swim. that has been the best for me so far. i started with just using the kick board to improve range of motion and went to smal flipers to increase the strength of my ankle to full swimming. it also helps get to faster to weight bearing. you can start walking in the deaper parts of the pool to reduce the amount of weight you are bearing until you can do that in the shallow end. and then finally to start bounding and hopping on the ankle in the shallow.
I started running on a treadmill at home. we have a flex deck and i think that is the biggest reason that i can run as much as I do now. without it, I am not sure if i could put that much pressure on my ankle. also I am running using a forefoot running method. this form helps to reduce the amount of pressure to the ankle and knees.
The ankle is not 100%. i still have to think about having a broken ankle anytime the family want to do something to make sure that I am not on the ankle for too long or standing or walking for too long. I do not consider that I am 100% until i no longer have to consider my ankle for whatever activities I\fam want to do. my lateral strength and agility is still lacking a bit, but i am real happy with my range of motion.
I have a screw at the base of the plate where the ankle is that has the head that is not flush with the plate. this thing bothers me on a day to day basis. the doc said that he could remove it with very little trouble. after reading some of these post, I am considering asking to have all the hardware removed. based on some comments of being able to recover more agility in the ankle after the removal of the hardware.
I have another appointment with the surgeon in 8 weeks and will let you all know if i descide to remove the hardware.
also wondering if there are other excersises that I can work on for lateral strength and agaility. i hate to do to much to quick, so i don't want to just start playing 3 on 3 basketball all of a sudden. :)

thanks for the site.

Jul 05, 2011
Thank-you Sher!
by: Mike B

Thank-you Sher... your comments have encouraged me a great deal.

I'm 50 years old, and am now about 8 weeks out from my ORIF for bimalleolar fracture. I have a sedentery job, which I was able to return to after 3 weeks. Just got advanced to 50% weight-bearing and started PT. My last x-rays looked very good, healing-wise, but I've lost a lot of bone mineral from the two months of total non weightbearing and I think the whole experience has also had a bit of a brain-softening effect on me, in that I seem a bit slower mentally as well as physically. I think the PT is already helping with strength and ROM.

I've been quite frustrated at how long this is taking and how hard it is to get a straight answer from my (otherwise very talented) orthopedist. Your fracture, surgery and recovery experience at about the same stage seems quite similar to mine, although I am apparently progressing a bit slower than you did (or perhaps my doctor is more timid about advancing my weightbearing). But you've given me tremendous hope that there is light at the end of this long tunnel and I am determined to work hard and make this recovery happen!

Thanks again--your blog posts were a Godsend to me.

Mike B

Jul 03, 2011
Follow your medical advice
by: Glen

What a great site this is for us ankle breakers! Broke tibia and fibula in head on collision May 27th. Doctor waited about 10 days for swelling to go down before operating and installing permanent titanium screws and plate(s) - haven't seen post-op x-ray yet. Surgeon says operating too soon has caused some future problems with arthritis in the ankle. Amazing to see how many of us have been given minimal medical advice on post-op care and recovery. I've tried to ask as many questions as I can think of for what to do to speed safe recovery. I was in plaster splint from ER to when the stitches were removed 10 days after surgery (June 20). I sympathize with those who may not be using crutches. I've been using mine since the ER - finally learned to safely navigate stairs. I've been to 3 physical therapy sessions and have been pleased that they are not Pain and Torture. I'm not to put (full) weight on foot until 8 weeks after surgery. The therapist will have be doing some leaning and partial weight bearing, he says, as I progress. Best advice I've heard is to take it easy, be patient and not do more or less than the surgeon and PT call for. Best wishes to all of you healing along with me.

Jul 02, 2011
One Year Anniversary - It Takes Time
by: Sher

Hello all,

I am almost at my one year anniversary from my fractured ankle. What a year. Oregon has short summers and we who live here and love the sunshine look forward to our summers unbelievably. After breaking my ankle severely in a kayaking mishap last July, and missing the whole summer in 2010, I am now back closer to normal. I can play tennis lightly,and hike (but not with a backpack and not as far). My ankle is not as strong as it was, but it is still improving. I can feel it getting stronger every day. I still have all of the hardware in my ankle which includes a plate with 7 screws and two long screws through my ankle on the other side. These do not bother me (much to my surprise) and my surgeon has recommended that they stay in unless they do bother me. If I do something too vigorous with my ankle, it will hurt. So the trick is to exercise it and make it stronger without over doing it. My boss who broke his ankle in a logging accident years ago, says it can take up to 5 years to get your ankle back in shape. He remembers his swelling up every afternoon for about 5 years after he broke it. I remember wondering in the midst of last year if I would ever be able to wear sandals again. If I would ever be able to play tennis again. It was very sad to think that I would not be able to, but that has not been the case with me and I am 55. The vast majority of folks with this injury recover just fine and are able to continue with their usual activities. Have patience. Keep an upbeat attitude and exercise. A year seems like a long time, but it passes and you should be almost as good as new shortly.

Jul 01, 2011
I love sports, anybody with good results returning to athletic life?
by: Anonymous

First of all, for all of you out there with similar injury, I send all my hopes for your full recovery. I am a 24 year-old female. Sports is everything to me, I was rowing on national level, ran my first marathon last autumn and was preparing myself for the next one this year, in addition I do many other sports. Then I went skateboaring 3 weeks ago, did not fall badly, just a little, but my ankle was dislocated with a trimalleolar fracture with fractures in tibia and fibula bones and Volkmann's triangle pulled out. I was immediately operated and a plate with 7 screws and two pins/nails or what are those were put into the ankle.

I have no cast or anything, just crutches. In 4 weeks (6 weeks post surgery) the nail (holding the fibula and tibia?) will be taken out, after which in 2 weeks I can start putting load on the foot.

Life is difficult, especially because I live temporary alone in another country because of studies, and have no family or boyfriend to help out. I have no pain, and I can handle the frustration of not being able to move and sport, but my concern is in the future. I cry almost daily after reading that people don't really recover after this, and I am just afraid my life with sports will be over, and I can not bear that fact. I asked my doctor, when I could honestly run again, and he said there is a chance that after three months.

Is there anybody, who would have recovered in the 12 weeks time and would now lead a normal life with sports and normal walking? It would be extremely important to hear from anybody with good experience, as three or five months disability is bearable, but having to give away one of the most important things in your life like competitive sports in my case, is a whole other thing... Please, anybody?

Jun 30, 2011
Frustrated more each day
by: JMcCann

I broke my ankle on June 15th 2011 during a business trip. I stepped on an uneven section of pavement and rolled my ankle. Pain was immediate as well as swelling. Hopped barefoot into a cab then to the local ER. Spent 6 1/2 hours there and was sent home in a splint. Saw Orthopedic surgeon 5 days later (06/20/11)and had bimalleolar surgery on my left ankle that same day. My surgeon was great and confident that it would go well. I had a plate and five screws placed on one side and they wired a small piece of bone on the other side.
I am now 10 days post surgery and thankful for the support I've had at home, however I am so frustrated by the limitations and the pain (especially at night). I really don't like to take pain meds, but have found there is no other option other than PAIN! I was so happy to find this site and read stories from others who are or have been where I'm at today. I definitely don't wish this on anyone as this has been the worst thing I have been through.
I am unable to stay up on crutches more that 10 minutes at a time without swelling and instant purple toes :( Have not returned to work yet, and am anxious to get there. Find myself in tears almost daily due to frustration.
I am 38 years old and had been getting in shape for the last year by going to the gym for cardio, cycle class, and yoga. Does anyone have any advice or experience with going back to the gym or any exercises I could do now.
I wish anyone going through this the best and I hope your recovery goes well.

Jun 27, 2011
Trimalleolar Fracture 4th June 2011
by:

Hi There
im a 27 year old female who has never broken anything or had more than a runny nose.I broke my ankle on the 4th June 2011 and later found that i had a trimalleolar fracture with severe ligament damage. I was taken to hospital (of which i remeber nothing) that evening and had surgery the next day. I left hospital the next day with a splint and returned 2 weeks later to have that removed and a fibreglass cast was put on.

I am lucky that i am experiancing no pain and returned to work 2-3 days after i left hospital. Catching the train and getting around the city is difficult (people have been incredibly friendly and helpful though) but i have been able to work from home for 2-3 days some weeks.

I have received very little info from the hospial (i didnt even know that i had to have my stitches removed) and was wondering what the normal timeframes are for getting back to normal activities such as driving and generally getting around.

My doc told me that i have to have an operation at 8 weeks to have a pin removed will i be able to weightbear from 6-8 weeks 9 is driving a possibility in this time)

It is incredibly frustrating not being able to get around and i am now an expert hopper with a left leg and arms that will be like steel in 3 more weeks!!!!

good Luck to everyone out there with a broken ankle or who is in recovery after a broken ankle.


Jun 25, 2011
8 months post break
by: Anonymous

Just a post to encourage those still getting through the slow healing process. It is SLOW. Follow drs orders and do not bear weight. Once you can, get into PT as soon as possible. I am 8 months post ankle fracture. 6 months post cast, boot, PT. Each week is better. I still baby it. Was excited after a canoeing trip recently that my swelling and pain was minimal. I did have it wrapped with a slip-on ankle brace. And I did pop a few ibuprofen. But, I witnessed my healing progress. You will too. Hang in there.

Jun 25, 2011
Playing soccer
by: letty

.in april .27/2012.I broke my left knee in 3 parts....i was playing soccer and had to go to the hosp because of the intense pain ...i had an orif surgery 7 screwes and a metalplate....:( its been almost 2 months and don't have a cast anymore...now my worries are if my knee is going to be fine and if I would be able to walk normal....

Jun 15, 2011
broken talus
by: javagirl

Hi everyone! Just came across this sight after searching for broken ankle info for months! Has anyone broken their talus bone? I fell off my roof in December 2010 while hanging christmas lights. I broke my talus bone in half. Doctor put me in a cast for months and it was not forming a proper union. So I had two screws put in in April. It is now june and I just started physical therapy. I am in a boot with crutches. The pain is excruciating. I can not put any weight on it! When the boot is off at night and i have to go to the bathroom, I have to walk on my tip toe. I can not put my foot flat. I am soooo frustrated and depressed. I thought the screws would help. I feel like I am never going to heal! This is the worst injury I have ever had. I went through breast cancer and a mastectomy and that seems like a piece of cake compared to this. You don't know what u have till u lose it! I have a total new respect for handicapped and wheelchair bound people. Anyone out there break their talus bone and if so what was your recovery like. Everything I read on the internet is very negative. One good thing I did not lose the blood supply to my bone which can happen. I can't imagine it being any worse then it is. I would appreciate any feed back. Thanks!

Jun 14, 2011
For Debi and others
by: Anonymous

Please hang in there - you will get there. I broke and dislocated my ankle in Jan 2010 - orif surgery and all that - pins, screws and plates on both sides with ligament damage. I had most of the hardware out in October 2010 but still have one screw in there - that will stay. For the next year I wondered if I would ever walk without a limp, would I ever get up in the morning and not hobble for my first few steps? - I was at my wits end and I think my family were too BUT it's winter here now and 18 months on I am able finally to wear my boots with a heel and I have had a few pain-free days!!! (a small heel I must say but considering how long I spent in trainers last winter ... I feel quite posh now in my boots!!)
Please hang in there - I KNOW that it is different for everyone but I think if you arm yourself with as much info as you can. Scour the web for sites and opinions, speak to others in the same situation but remember that all cases are different and we all have different healing time. Even our needs for physio etc are different. I was sceptical about my physio at the time - I thought they weren't working me hard enough but they it turns out they knew what they were doing.
PS - I am a 42 year old female - 2 teenage boys - very active life.
Take care and all the very best

Jun 13, 2011
It's slow, but there's hope! Chin UP!
by: Brenda

I broke my fib, tib and dislocated the talus on January 15, 2011. I had ORIF the same day and went home the next day in a "floating" plaster cast. 2-3 weeks later they put me in a regular plaster cast.....all no weight bearing. At about 7 weeks post surgery they removed the cast and fitted me for a boot and allowed me minimal "partial" weight bearing, with full (tolerable) weight bearing at about 10 weeks. I can tell you that for me the worst times were: The first week after and for the first couple days after each of the cast/boot and weight bearing changes. I am 47 years old and although I am NOT a runner or into sports at all, I am very active.......I can honestly say that this injury was the worst thing I have ever gone through and I have gone through a lot of surgeries, other broken bones (knee) and had 3 children. The good news is that after nearly 5 months I don't have a lot of a limp until I am up on it too long and the swelling starts. I still ice it 2-3 times a day and keep ibuprofin handy, and there are still some things that I can't (or won't) do yet......hopping out of a pick-up just isn't going to happen! I truly feel like I am on the mend and am now having to think about whether to have the hardware removed or not......any thoughts?
For anybody going through this you WILL need some help......accept it graciously! Also, I think PT is a personal decision......if you are dedicated you can do most of it at home (I did), but if you need a kick in the butt or are having difficulties with recuperation GO TO THERAPY!
I am sorry to anybody who is reading this as I know how and when I found the site and at that time I was in some SERIOUS pain! Keep your chin up, it's going to be slow, but it's going to get better!

Jun 12, 2011
auto accident
by: Debi

Had a head on collision on Feb 21,2011. I still can't walk, drive, or work. I shattered my ankle and broke three bones and soft tissue damage to my right leg. I;m only now at 50% weight bear. I'm 55 and wondering why is this taking so long. My last xrays May 26 revealed my bones aren't healing as fast as the doctor thought they would. I'm very upset and I keep asking when will I walk again and will I limp and I'm not getting any answers. Does anyone have an idea or a simular situation? I go to physical therapy 2 times a week I can only do the pool.

May 25, 2011
Encouragement
by: Sher

Dear surgery tommorow,

When I was recovering from my broken ankle, I found this site. It was a great source of information, but I came to realize that many of the folks that write in are those that do have complications. In the vast majority of the cases, everything turns out fine and people get back to living life and don't focus on their broken bones any more, and therefore don't write in any more. I just turned 55. I was in great shape until I broke my ankle in a kayak accident last July. I had never broken anything before and was apprehensive especially after reading about all the complications. I had surgery immediately and had a 10"plate with 8 screws installed on my left leg and two long screws installed to hold the other bones in place. I am now doing fine and can even play a little tennis and hike again. I can still feel that my ankle/leg is not as strong and flexible as it was, but I have heard it can take up to 5 years to get it back up to where it was or at least close. I went back to work almost immediately, but cut back my hours a little in the afternoons. It helps if you are able to put your ankle/leg up. The first few days after the surgery were painful and the swelling was quite bad. I had to wait a full 6 weeks until I could do full weight-bearing on that ankle and I remember wondering at times if I would be able to walk, hike and play again. Physical therapy helps a lot and I would highly recommend it. If, you are not able to afford it, you can find exercises and do them yourself. Warm water therapy is wonderful. Be consistent and do your exercises every day. After almost 11 months, I am doing fine and since I am much older than you, I am sure you will recuperate faster than I.
Best of luck to you and congratulations on your new little one. In a very little time, you should be almost as good as new.

May 25, 2011
Surgery Tomorrow
by: Anonymous

I suffered a bimalleolar fx a week and a half ago and have surgery tomorrow. I consider myself a very athletic person for a 35 year old. Just wondering what I can expect the first couple days after surgery and what to expect for recovery time. Have a new born on the way, due July 2nd and don't want to miss a second of that. Wasn't too nervous until I came across this site. Damn, seems like a misserable time for many when this injury occurs. Plan on returning to the office 4 days after surgery and bearing weight in less than 6 weeks. Am I out of my mind or is this possible? Surgeon said that I'll have a plate and a few screws in one bone and maybe wire in the other. Thanks for any feedbacka nd advice. Best of luck to you all.

May 24, 2011
Late arthritis ?? and an answer for Linn
by: Gil

My ankle was broke in an accident a month ago. I had a trimellaolar fracture and have two plates, 10 screws and two nails to hold it all back. I'm quite worried about reading that these type of injuries may lead to a late arthritis in the ankle, 15-20 years from now ! Does anyone know anything about it ? can this be avoided and how ??

*** An answer for Linn *** I heard about cases when the plates and screws infects the bones and blood ? (or that infection develops inside the bone) - THIS COULD BE VERY DANGEROUS !!! YOU SHOULD GO AND CHECK THIS IMMEDIATELY !! In the cases I head of the metal parts have been removed and the bones were "cleaned" from the infection by a surgery BUT I MIGHT BE WRONG !! any way TAKE YOUR SUN FOR A DOCTOR AND CHECK THIS OUT


May 17, 2011
Is it possible to have reaction to metal hardware?
by: Linny

Just found this site - Looking for any leads. Three years ago, when my son was 17 he broke ankle (bimalleolar) playing lacrosse. Had surgery, has permanent plates and screws. Good surgeon, good surgery, good recovery. He went on to bike cross country and continue playing sports. But in the past year he has had mysterious medical stuff, including headaches and lethargy. We recently got some tests indicating possible metal toxins. Someone asked me about the hardware in his system, could he have developed some kind of sensitivity to it. Anyone out there have any comments or input? Many thanks.

May 16, 2011
Another surgery next week
by: Laura

Hi all! I'm a 27y/o female. Revocering from a bimalleolar fx that occured on 1/25/11. My incision is still not healed, and after seeing a would care specialist doc for five weeks, I'm being told that I'm "allergic" to the hardware inside of my leg. I'm having surgery in 7 days to get the hardware removed. I am quite nervoudm and I'm not looking fwd ti undergoing another surgery. I'm praying this recovery is nothing like the initial injury and surgery. I'm also concerned about getting the hardware out at 13 weeks post-op. Anyone out there been in my shoes or have any advice to offer?
My personal e-mail is:
naplesmedicgirl@msn.com

May 08, 2011
Almost a year to the day
by: Susie Q

So, broke my ankle on May 20th, 2010. Just stepped off a curb with the right foot, rolled the right ankle and tried to catch myself on the left foot. Trimalleolar fracture with ligament damage. After four hours in ER, an x-ray and closed reduction (oh yeah, dislocated too), had three hour surgery that morning. Plate and screws with ligament repair. Went home after 3 days in hard cast. Two weeks later the hard cast came off and was fitted with a cam walker, then eight more weeks nwb. Got really good at hopping and built up some nice arm muscles. When I started pt it was good. I still have that tight feeling across the top of my foot right in front of the ankle. I find myself walking with my foot facing out and am now consciously reminding myself to walk with the toes pointing forward. Feels funny, like I am actually walking wiu my foot turned in, but when I look the foot and knee are facing forward. I still get swollen. I am 35 and have type 1 diabetes, so I am extra careful about making sure there is good circulation. I am riding my bicycle to help with strengthening and stretching the Achilles tendon. I also use a sleeping boot which helps with morning stiffness. I can really tell the difference when I don't wear it. I have to say that as most everyone, going up stairs is great.....down not so much. I still get anxious about re-injuring. Hang in there everyone!!!

May 06, 2011
Frustrated and crying
by: Anonymous

I am 6 wks post surgery and really concerned. I had a surgeon they say is the best(known throughout the nation). He did my surgery, I had a plate and 4 screws, I was in a soft cast while cast and in two weeks had the screws removed. They gave me a boot and walker. I just had my six week check up and he said two xrays look good-one on right side needs further healing. He said I could weight bare only half my weight and use walker and come back in three weeks. I am concerned bc I have no cast just ace bandage and walker. My hands started bleeding from walker. Pain is occassional in foot. Swelling a lot when foot is down over an hour. I am worried that I am weight baring too much and curious why I only have a ace bandage. I have numbness on the top of foot, and all my joints knee, wrist shoulder aching all of this and my 50 th birthday. Of course, I think this is the worst thing Ive ever encountered. I have a bike trip in end of June wondering if I should cancel any thoughts on any of this?

Apr 30, 2011
3.5 Months Post Trimalleolar with Syndesmotic Injury
by: 3 Months Later

Hello, I had a trimalleolar fracture with syndesmotic injury of my right ankle in January 2011. I shattered my fibula and fractured the other two malleoli. I have 1 plate and many screws in my ankle. The journey involved next day surgery, 6 weeks in a hard cast, 6 more weeks in a boot nonweightbearing, a second surgery to remove the 2 syndesmotic screws holding the fib-tib together while the ligament healed, finally at 3 months and 1 week I was cleared to walk. The first two days were fine and I just had stuffness in my ankle and sorness in my right knee. I did too much walking on the third day and have soreness and pain in my ankle (where the ankle joins the top of the foot, and the back of the ankle) and sorenss in my knee. The pain and soreness have carried over into the 5th day of walking and I'm using crutches in the evenings to relieve the discomfort. I'm hoping this pain is not a chronic problem or indication of an arthritic injury and will begin to subside as my leg adjusts to weightbearing. Any similar experiences or any thoughts? I start PT in 1 week and hope that helps with the stiffness.

Mar 29, 2011
ORIF patient too
by: Lucy

I broke my ankle over a year ago, and am having the ORIF out in 3 weeks time!. it is a hard and long process but keep up the physio and also doing the exercises at home. I also found acupuncture helped too.
I had my accident and dislocated the ankle, and fractured tib & fib - 27 feb 2010, had the operation 4th March 2010, and returned to work 20th may 2010, with crutches, by end of June I was off the cruthces, and life has been better, but you still need to keep up the stretches and scar massage as that is a massive part of the healing process.
walking in a swimming pool seemed to help me too (was recommended by someone who had injured their leg too)
keep going, it might seem llike forever, but remember that there are people who don't have legs and would love to work towards fixing it (that's what gave and still does give me the motivation ) .
good luck x

Mar 23, 2011
Re: Long Recovery Time!!!
by: original poster

Well... I would have to say that if you STILL can't move it, and you are TRYING to move it and its painful and it won't move, you need to get a 2nd opinion!!! From both a surgeon and a physical therapist. That in my eyes, as a patient and someone who works in the medical field, is not acceptable care.

There is no way I was able to run with my ankle and I was able to move it and regained quite a bit of my ROM. I can "run" now, very awkwardly, because I limp and am in pain a lot because of these other issues that need to be taken care of. And my injury was over a year ago now. Nothing has happened since the MRI (except another bill arriving in the mail). I have an appt next week with the OS to discuss more details of the surgery and recovery time. Most days are tolerable, it never feels good or normal but it doesn't prevent me from going to work all day in a very busy clinic. However, some days are very difficult and painful. I will be having surgery after I move into a new house at the end of April. I had to take care of that before I go back to NWB for another 6-8 weeks and more physical therapy.

I did not have a hard cast. I had a splint type thing for 2 weeks, had the staples removed and then was put in a boot. I will still NWB for 6-8 more weeks but I was able to take the boot off and start physical therapy and get some ROM back into it right away. I'm sure the hard cast and no physical therapy makes a big difference in recovery time. But if the PT says you should be running (haha) and you can't even move it and you really are trying and not just afraid (which is completely understandable, I was terrified), you need to go get 2nd opinions.

I work in healthcare... i promise you, more often than not, you have to be looking out for yourself because no one else is. You will get shoveled aside just like the rest of them. You need to make sure you are aware of what is going on, ask lots of questions and stay on people when things aren't going well. If something is going on that doesn't seem right and doesn't make sense, you need to go with your gut and make someone listen to you.

Mar 23, 2011
In response to Why such a long recovery time?
by: Concerned

I am glad to have read your comments this evening. I am at my whits end worrying why I still cannot walk after breaking my ankle at the end of November. I had surgery as i dislocated my ankle plus broke all 3 bones and had an Orif proceedure. I had a back slab pot till my stitches came out for 2 weeks then a cast for another 6. I didnt start Physio until 3 weeks later but after around 5 sessions I still cannot stand straight, my ankle will not bend and will not get to 90 degrees to enable me to get it straight. I can stand straight with a small heeled shoe but when I take them off I need crutches to walk. The PT said there is no reason why I cant run on it and the only reason it wont bend is that I am frightened to try it. I exercise at home and try to pull it towards me using a strap as instructed plus other exercises, but it just will not move. Pain is bad and after reading your comments I wonder if I have a tear or some muscle damage, but the Consultant says the xray is fine and the stitches are healed so has discharged me. I just dont know what to do. I do hope you have had some sucess after your scan.

Mar 14, 2011
Is the light at the end of the tunnel a train?
by: Brenda

After almost 2 months of laying around after breaking my ankle (fib/tib/talus) and having surgery to install a plate on one side and a long screw on the other, I am feeling like maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel. Of course I have thought that before during all of this only to have a "set-back" a day or two later.

After surgery I wore a "floating" hard cast for 2 weeks, then a full hard cast for 4 more weeks and have now been wearing the air cast for the past 2 weeks (with at least 2 weeks more to go). Since I had very little direction from the doctor, I started my own PT almost immediately after the hard cast was removed......I have a grand baby due in just over a month from now and I am VERY motivated to be able to travel and walk as normally as possible by then.

I am regaining pretty good range of motion just from moving my foot up/down, in/out and small "circles" and when I am wearing the air cast I am able to walk short distances with only 1 crutch......my goal is no crutches by the time I return to the doctor on the 25th! Any thoughts on exercises that I should/could do in addition to my very minimal self imposed therapy would be greatly appreciated!

Now I kind of expect the slight set backs and have began accepting them as "progress". Although the pain is not fun, it usually means that I have been able to push a little harder than the day before. It's frustrating not knowing what to expect or what is "normal" pain.

Since it seems that the surgeon is always in a hurry and I tend to forget to voice some of my concerns or ask certain questions, I have started writing down these questions/concerns so I will at least have a point of reference during my next appointment......I wish I would have thought of this before my FIRST appointment. I think it might have saved a lot of frustration!

To anyone going through this - HANG TOUGH! Fill your water glass, prepare an ice pack, grab a book, pile your pillows up and prepare to do a LOT of laying around with your TOES above your NOSE!

Mar 13, 2011
I've seen the light!
by: Sher

Hi Nicola,

Have patience, Nicola. This is not an over-night type fix. I was right where you are at last July. I twisted my left ankle and broke the same bones when I was carrying a kayak down to the river. I had surgery and a metal bar was installed on one side with 8 screws in it, and two long screws were installed on the other. After surgery, I was given a boot to wear and told not to put any weight on my leg for 6 weeks or so. I look back now, and cannot believe how hard it was for me. I remember crying in frustration the first time I had to climb stairs. I went back to work almost immediately, but only half-time. I used crutches and by the time I got to my desk I was all done in. I couldn't believe how bad my foot swelled. After 5 weeks or so, I did start physical therapy and they started me in the warm water pool exercising. I would highly recommend physical therapy. If you cannot afford it or it is not available for some other reason, get on the internet and research exercises for a broken ankle/leg. You doctor can also recommend exercises. Start your own program of therapy. Start simply and do them every day. The first exercise I did in the pool was to just try to walk in a normal way. Out of the pool, I tried to move my ankle in circles. I did not think I would ever be close to normal again. For months the swelling and pain continued. I couldn't walk too far and I had a tendency to limp. The ankle looked horrible and I really couldn't imagine being able to wear pretty shoes again. After 6 months, I was finally almost "normal" again. The swelling was gone. Most of the pain was gone and I am looking forward to attempting tennis again pretty soon. I can still feel a bit of pain in that ankle now and then and I know it isn't as strong as the other side yet, but I feel amazed & blessed that I came through this episode in such great shape. Your job must make it difficult for you as need to try and put your foot up as much as possible. Anyway, hang in there. I am almost normal again and so you will be too. Time is an amazing healer.

Mar 13, 2011
Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
by: Nicola, Preston

I slipped on the ice on 17th december ,after the doctors reset my foot ( it had twisted around so my heel was at the front) i had surgery 2 days later to place 2 screws in to hold the 3 bones together that i had fractured. The pain was horrendous from the minute i fell! i went home 2 days after the op with little information on expected recovery time. My career is very much my life and as a retail store manager i was very active and worked up to 15 hours a day, understandably i was beside myself! still nearly 4 months down the line i am not very mobile. i have had my cast removed 2 weeks ago and am now wearing an air cast up to 12 hours a day and i insisted on going back to work on office duties. I am due to have surgery in 4 weeks to remove the pins but i have had no physical therapy at all. i am unable to move my foot , just my toes will move! i struggle to do basic things and my patience with myself is wearing very thin, i did not realise what a major injury this was.

Mar 01, 2011
Ups & downs
by: Brenda

First, thank you to whomever created and moderates this site......it has been a BIG help to me to know that I am not the only one going through this!

I am now almost 8 weeks post break/surgery on my left ankle. (see post from 2/7) I have 3 children and have had numerous surgeries and this is absolutely the WORST thing I have endured!

The hard cast was removed last Wednesday and I was fit for an air cast.....with the only instruction being to "take it off 4-5 times a day" for ROM exercises. The first night with the air cast I thought I would be OK just wrapping it with an ace bandage......MISTAKE! It took another couple days to get the pain back under control. Since then I wear it except for during the exercises......hopefully when I go back on the 25th of March I will be able to lose the boot!

I definitely have good days and bad days/nights...last night was a BAD night. Just when I think I am making tremendous progress I seem to back slide. It gets pretty depressing just laying around all the time, but I do realize how lucky I am that I am ABLE to do that.

I am very fortunate to have an awesome family/support system......husband; grown children; siblings; mom; my aunt; friends and believe me every one of them have helped me through this and continue to help me on a daily basis. If you don't have this type of support check your insurance....sometimes they will pay for someone to come in to help you. If you don't have that option, look to your church or other community programs.......YOU WILL NEED THE HELP!

Good luck to all! I will be watching the progress as it is posted!

Mar 01, 2011
recovery time...
by: Anonymous

Well, I'm only 31. I never thought recovery would take this long after the bones were healed, especially after I was reading many other stories about how people walked out using one crutch or were on crutches for only a few days, etc. Even if they just do the artheroscope and don't even remove hardware he said its 6 weeks NWB which seems crazy but I'm not the type to do my own thing and not follow the doctors advice. Its just very frustrating and disappointing. Single mom of two kids and a very busy job doesn't mesh with another 8 week period on crutches. The first one was completely life altering. Dang ankles!

Mar 01, 2011
Recovery an Individual "Thing"
by: Anonymous

Amazing how helpful this website is. Every break is different. Each recovery is different. Your age matters. The older and less active, the longer the recovery it seems. I originally posted back in Jan. Fibula fracture, no surgery, right leg. I am 4 1/2 months post break. After 5 weeks of physical therapy I still do not have full range of motion but, stairs are becoming easier and I can take good walks without a lot of pain. Still cannot run. Still swelling. Have good days and bad. But, I see progress. I understand by 6 months I should see little, if any issues with range of motion. But, I may still swell for a year or more. I don't wish a bone break on anybody.

Doctors don't exactly lie when they talk about typical recovery time. They are vague and or non committal due to the wide range of recovery results and occasional back steps due to complications with plates or pins.

Hang in there. Take PT if you can get it.

Feb 28, 2011
Why such a long recovery time?
by: Anonymous

I keep reading all these posts and comments on how quickly people were back up and walking around after hardware removal and arthroscopes, etc. I am the one who wrote the post 3 down from this posting. Dislocated and fractured tib/fib with ORIF.

I got my MRI results today after doing a steroid injection which did not help. It shows that I have torn cartilage, tendinopathy and a possible split tear in my peroneal tendon but they were unable to clearly see that due to all the metal in my ankle.

The OS said we could go in and do the artherscope and just fix the cartilage and clean out scar tissue or we can do that as well as explore the tendon and possibly remove hardware if there is a tear in my tendon. I have 11 screws and 1 plate in my fibula and 2 screws in my tibia but from what I am gathering they would only remove the screw that would be poking into my tendon.

Anyway.... I asked him what the recovery period was for either or both and he said regardless I will be 6 wks NWB and then by 8 wks I should be FWB and will be doing physical therapy. The only thing that will change with procedures is how long I will be wearing a cast. That is basically what happened after I broke it. How is everyone else getting such quick recovery times and I'm given such horrible news?!?!

Feb 28, 2011
Response to recovery from hardware removal
by: Ant

Hi there. I too dislocated and fractured my ankle in Jan 2010 (tri mall with ORIF surgery). I had 'hardware' on both sides. Initially I had one long screw removed in April and then most of the rest out in October. I am left with one long screw. Recovery from the hardware removal was fine. It was a day surgery so I think I used crutches to leave the hospital. Once the stitches were out I resumed my exercises and stretches and the OS never asked to see me again which I thought a bit strange. I do not have major troubles with it but niggles - I suspect that I had tendon and ligament damage and that the pain is something I will have to live with. The area around the top of my heel and my inner ankle aches! I am reminded every single morning with my first few steps and then it eases off (wonder if that will be forever!!) I can manage a good half hour walk and then it starts to play up. My son was in a Relay for Life team this weekend and I managed a few fast runs around the 400m track with no major repercussions.
I have to say that I am very careful and nervous of uneven surfaces. BUT all in all my life is back to normal and I just pace myself. Good luck and hope all goes well.

Feb 28, 2011
Stay Positive....
by: Annie

I am 64 and very active. I slipped on wet concrete in July 2010. Completely dislocated my foot forward breaking end parts off my tibia and fibula. I have two plates, eight screws and a long screw thru both bones!Now in to my seventh month.. the progress seems to go slow when its all happening but just look back to see the progres... sometomes even only over a week! Wish I had kept a diary. You hear so much good/bad advice - everyones an expert. In general this is what I have found.Take the cautious approach re weight bearing. Dont stress about when you will get out of casts, out of boots, off crutches etc.A physio told me you will get big breakthoughs at 6 weeks, 3 months and 5 months... that was about right! Your body/mind just seems to know when its right eg leaving one crutch behind,absentmindedly, looking back gauging the distance then realising hell you dont need it!!
Use the painkillers wisely, wean yourself off them very gradually or you will suffer depression, dont be afraid to have the odd one if you NEED it.
Sometimes you have a baddy but in my case I have come to look forward to those as it usually means that something will move better after a couple of bad days.Keep up the exercise as soon as you can. Treat yourself to a massage everytime you wake up.. I HATED my leg.. till one night an epiphany.. its the only right one I ve got! start being nice to it!! I've gone from sleeping badly to only about 2-3 wakeup periods now, I give my foot and ankle a nice massage and BIG stretches and seem to be able to sleep again better for it.Shout yourelf a good massage iol or use antiflamme......works for me.
So it did happen - get over it! Do as much as you can to exercise with out causing too much pain/swelling - it will pay off. Am still working on walking properly, am inclined to sway side to side but find if I concentrate I can walk better especially by kind of being concsious of how my good foot walks.. who ever thought you would forget that!!
Most of all its your life, your foot.... no one cares about it as much as you. Doctors, Physios- keep trying till you get one you can work with but you are your own best friend in getting this foot together.
Kia Toa!

Feb 22, 2011
recovery from hardware removal?
by: Anonymous

Jan 2010 I dislocated my ankle and fractured my tib/fib. I have a plate and 11 screws in fibula and 2 screws in my tibia. I went through physical therapy, but have never felt the same since. It has recently started to cause more pain and discomfort so I went to a new OS (original is based out of town). They took xrays and he says everything looks good with joint and it doesn't appear to be arthritic. He said one of the screws looks kind of long and may be poking into my peroneal tendon.

They did a steroid injection and he had trouble getting it in because there was very hard scar tissue. He said if the injection works then they could just do an artheroscope and clean out the scar tissue. If the injection doesn't work they would need to do surgery to remove hardware.

Well the injection didnt work so tomorrow I go in for an MRI even though he said he probably wouldn't see much because all the metal will cause too much scatter but I guess I am doing it anyway.

My question is... (because its difficult to get anyone on the phone and ask these questions)... how long is the recovery period after hardware removal? Are there weight bearing restrictions? crutches? I work in a VERY busy cardiology clinic and I am worried about when I can get back to work and what that will be like. Any feedback on similar experiences would be greatly appreciated!

Feb 07, 2011
18 months post tri maleolar..there is hope :)
by: Jeannie

This might be a good news bad news comment for some. I haven't commented for a long time. I'm just over 18 months post tri maleolar/fractured arch. I slipped on a steep dirt path. My doctor told 18 months to 24 month recovery and that I would swell for that same amount of time. At a year I was still putting my foot up in the evenings. I won't go through the casts and boot regimen. I had to walk and drive by six months to help my parents. It was my right leg. He promised me I would. Honest, it was this December before I felt recovered. Yea!! I really thought it would bother me forever. He made it clear arthritis will set in with time. My arch gives me more trouble than my ankle. Oh I was 49 and now 50. I'm so pleased with the outcome. My ankle maybe swells a little my arch a little more than the ankle. I can walk without a noticeable limp. No high heels but I can wear most kinds of shoes..didn't wear heals any-how :) I didn't have surgery for 11 days after, bad diagnosis on vacation. I have a plate and five screws left, I'd like to have it out but I can live with it for now. I absolutely believe unless you are a kid, it's 18 months to walking without thinking if every step you take. Sounds bad but I swear at that time you will be so excited. I can even walk in soft sand :O For those who don't know about it. There's a support group. I think it was " I broke my ankle" at yahoo groups. They are awesome and helped me know what to expect. Good luck everyone. It's a horrible injury and I got tired of explaining to people how bad it was or why it took so long to recover. I would be happy to answer someones questions. Jeannie

Feb 07, 2011
I thought the worst was over.....
by: Brenda

I broke my ankle (fib/tib/talus/calcaneus) on 1/15/2011 when I slipped on the ice. I had surgery the same afternoon (the surgeon had told me they were to do 2-3 screws and the plate) I was told after surgery that my bones were "too small" to fit a second screw. I was sent home the next day in a hard splint with "non-weight" bearing orders and narcotics (YUK!) for pain, but really no other instructions or information. On 1/28/11 I had the hard cast put on and was told another 4 weeks with the hard cast and no weight bearing.

I felt pretty good last week and decided to work a few hours on Saturday (sitting with my leg propped on a chair). I felt a lot of swelling and tired, but ok after 5.5 hours. I woke during that night with more pain than I had experienced since the initial break and have woke up each night since the same way. I have been icing, elevating and drugging ever since. I can't seem to go over 5 hours or so without pain meds and am waking up at night with MUCH pain. The cast feels very tight and like it is rubbing the top of my ankle as well as the sides at the bone. Is it normal to be in this much pain at this point and what I can expect from here........

I am not "sportsy", but I am generally a very "busy", "active" person. I am going crazy just laying here with "my toes above my nose" all the time........and I REALLY hate having to wait on someone to supervise my showers!!!

It has helped to read some of these posts and realize that I am not alone..............

Jan 24, 2011
Fibula Fracture
by: Anonymous

After 4 weeks in a cast (clean break, no surgery) I came out of it thinking I would just walk out of the doctor's office. I could not believe the swelling or my inability to do anything but go into a boot. They told me it needed more time and if I were a 15 year old boy (I am a 40 yr old woman) they would have put a cast back on to keep me in compliance in order to heal another 3 weeks. Right leg. Could not drive.

Do as little as possible until they say weight bearing. Then take it as your body can deal with it. Slowly (I'm in week 5 of PT) the mobility is coming back. I can bike comfortably. Still walk with a limp when I walk fast. When coaching my daughters basketball team I am in an ankle and knee brace for stability and to reduce swelling.

I have good days and bad days and still cannot run. Break happened mid Oct 2010. I'm finishing up month 3. You are young enough you can bounce back much quicker. Do nothing when they say do nothing. And do as much PT as you can when the time comes. You will be running in no time. RICE _Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. I still do it. And I had no clue I would still be icing 3 months later. It is a slow journey to healing. Feel your frustration.

Jan 14, 2011
ORIF ANKLE
by: fflower

Teri and everyone i did not see the phisio for almost 2 mnths but walk in a boot cast then bak to phisio i new year.Doing bends with knee close to hall and scouts back on the hall.It hurts but it losen all the muscles and strengthen them.Currently it so painfull but i do it.I limp a lot and cannot run.Its alomst seven months now after fracture ankle.

Jan 14, 2011
Had ORIF Las thursday for my Tibia and Fibula
by: Anonymous

Swelling has gone down. Now leg just looks bruised. I am doing all the PT excercises i was recommended and taking it one week at a time. When did people start feeling significantly better after their surgery?

Dec 14, 2010
Back after a while
by: R

I am 'R' who posted back in Jan 14 10. Been reading the comments here every time I get an email notification.
A year after ORIF I am doing well. After the 5 or 6 month mark it was much improved. PT helped a lot.
The early days were not easy, as I posted back in Jan. My surgeon was not happy and telling me to put weight on it (at the 7 week mark) he wanted me to start doing something but I really didn't do much until week 12 or 13.
Now winter is here again and I can't say I am the same, but it's mostly psychological.
Hang in there everybody, things improve, do the exercises when possible and you will get there.

Dec 14, 2010
Timeline for Recovery from TriMaleolar Fracture
by: metromonty

Very useful info here, thanks to all. I guess recovery is a very individual thing,but I had no idea that I may be looking at anywhere between 6-12 months post op before I can resume regular activities.I am middle aged. My doc gave me no information on what to expect. I am now at 7 weeks post op and have been weight bearing for one week. Walking without a crutch around the house but use one when I am out and about. Yesterday I got up to walk and I almost felt normal but then the limp kicked in. This has caused my whole body to be out of alignment and I have severe pain in my left knee and shoulder. I am doing my PT excercises regularly but when will I be walking without a limp?? The lateral side with the plate and screws feels fine but the tibia withthe 2 long screws gives me constant dull pain like when you have a skin burn or graze. Do you think this is just nerve damage settling down?

Dec 04, 2010
Tri ankle fracture
by: iRM

It is so nice to hear and read others with the same type of fractures, I fractured my ankle on 7/19/10. had surgery with 3 screws and a plate put in place to correct the fracture. My doctor will remove the horizontal screw on 12/15/2010. He stated he will only put the foot to sleep, and I will have about a 1/4 incision. Can anyone give me there opinion? He states the procedure will take under 5 minutes. Has anyone out there had this similar procedure? I have had therapy once a week for the last two months, I limp a little when I walk. I do not have alot of pain, but I do have alot of swelling at the end of the day, everyday. I was told to take my walker with me on the day of the procedure and that I may need the walker for a couple of days. Is this true? Any comments would be greatly appreciated. I am very nervous. Thank you.

Dec 04, 2010
Tri ankle fracture
by: iRM

It is so nice to hear and read others with the same type of fractures, I fractured my ankle on 7/19/10. had surgery with 3 screws and a plate pute in place to correct the fracture. My doctor will remove the horizontal screw on 12/15/2010. He stated he will only put the foot to sleep, and I will have about a 1/4 incesion. Can anyone give me there opinion? He states the procedure will take under 5 minutes. Has anyone out there had this similar procedure? I have had therapy once a week for the last two months, I limp alittle when I walk. I do not have alot of pain, but I do have alot of swelling at the end of the day, everyday. I was told to take my walker with me on the day of the procdure and that I may need the walker for a couple of days. Is this true? Any comments would be greatly appreciated. I am very nervous. Thank yoy

Nov 26, 2010
everything has a reason
by: Anonymous

Hello everyone I am 6 1/2 weeks post left ankle orif with hard wear. Had my cast removed yesterday and a lovely smiling Dr told me go home and walk,no physio no boot.Go swimming go walking!!!!! NO WAY,when the cast was removed Im sure part of the brain went with it,the part that contains our motor functions. What was wrong with me why couldn't I walk? I just cryed.Having read all the letters posted here I understand that being super nanna will take a little longer than five minutes out of plaster.So I will take my time keep the crutches close by weight bear as I can and not because a Dr( who has never broken more than her nail)tells me.
thought I was the saddest person I knew

Oct 25, 2010
15 months post op ankle hardware removal
by: 4wheeler

Surgery went well on the 21st. Took longer than expected to remove 3 pieces of hardware. I am putting weight on the right leg which had the femur hardware removed from a prior femur osteotomy operation 2 years ago. The left ankle is non weight bearing for now. This I fractured in July 09 in a 4 wheeler accident. Two pieces of metal were placed on both sides of the ankle with a total of 16 screws in it. Staples will come out on Nov 3, but for now I am flexing ankle and foot as much as possible to keep the blood flowing. Trying to do leg extensions in imitation of a CPM machine for the right leg to keep it flexible. This hardware removal has been an ordeal, and I knew it would be. It's major surgery all over again. I hope there is light at the end of this tunnel is what I keep telling my self. At least its cold outside so no need to fret about being couped up when its nice. Just have to deal with evening anxiety and restless leg syndrome...any suggestions? Will keep this going till I recover. Can hardly wait to start putting full pressure on both legs.. :)

Oct 25, 2010
Trimalleor ankle fracture and foot dislocation
by: Anonymous

Hi all, I dislocated my foot from the leg, trimalleor ankle fracture on August 28, 2010. That was 8 weeks ago. I have been walking since the 5th week, and now go to PT twice a week. I think because my foot was dislodged and sat that way for almost 3.5 hours, I sustained some nerve damage, but my desensitization therapy has helped, but still feels super tweaky when I run my fingers up and down the scar on the plated screw side.

My dorsi flexion is not back 100 percent, feels super tight when I try to flex. I'm walking in boots which feels more secure than shoes, and regaining the strength back.

How long did it take all of you until you could run again? My doc is saying 6-9 months to maybe a year? I'm not sure if I am going to keep the hardware in, I guess we'll see how it goes in a month or two.


Oct 15, 2010
ORIF ANKLE
by: fFLOWER

at Robbyn and Sherthanks for the comments,yes i will try to walk with the foot straight although it hurts.The ankle in warm water works that i try do now every morning i do it and than use ointment to massage.How long does it takes for a ankle to heal or come to normal. My league kick off now and the team needs me cause we are the defending champions.

Oct 14, 2010
Forward lunge exercises = flexibility
by: Robbyn

Getting the flexibility and confidence, in the ankle, back are the two hardest things. I think you can't baby the leg. I did a lot of alternating forward lunges with a cane for stability. In 8 months I was on the slopes. Now I want those screws out, the ski boot rubs on them. Also, I hated the height difference between the air cast and the good foot. Bought one of these things from http://www.evenupcorp.com/ and I can't believe when you get the air cast they don't just give you one of these too. Sooo, much easier.

Oct 11, 2010
15 months post op ankle surgery
by: luv2jetski95@hotmail.com

I met with the surgeon this am, and we are on to remove the hardware next week. It sounds like 4-6 weeks recovery, and since I am doing both legs, I will be hobbling around for a while. Will keep posting on the outcome.

Oct 11, 2010
Keep working at it!
by: Sher

Hi fFlower,

It sounds like you are doing pretty good. I don't think our ankles are suppossed to be good as new without some time and exercise.

I am going to continue my exercises in warm water. This seems to make it easier to stretch and bend the ankle. Knee bends and squats seem to be the most useful. My therapist had me do a test to see how flexible my ankle was. I stood with my feet about an inch from the wall and bent my knees to see if I could touch the wall. With the uninjured right foot I could bring the foot out about 5 inches from the wall and bend the knee to touch (without lifting the heel off the floor). With my left foot, I had a hard time touching my knee to the wall even one inch from it.

At first I was always walking with my injured ankle and foot out because it hurt to do otherwise. My therapist advised me to walk normally with my foot straight. So I have to remind myself constantly to do so and not to limp. It has gotten easier though.

So keep on working at it! Hopefully, soon you will be able to get back to soccer and I will be able to return to tennis.


Oct 11, 2010
Orif ankle with fubula fracture
by: fFlower

Thanks to read your comments,after i remove my swrews a month ago and week ago i was walking with my chruches two weeks ago i leave them and i wlk alone now but i cannot bend my ankle completely or my wlk is to slow i walk with my foot next to me like the outside.There is a lot of pain uf i try to bring it in and walk normal.My archilles is still stif and my ankle hurt at the back even the leg is thin.What can i do or is it normal in the recovery prosces.
Please help me i played soccer one good thing is that i can ride on a bycicle and i can stand on my toes fo a while. Ya i do excercises.

Oct 09, 2010
Update on hardware removal
by: Sher

Hello again,

Since my last comment here, I have seen both by physical therapist and my surgeon. I have asked them both what their opinion was on hardware removal. Both of them have said that if you are not bothered by the hardware their recommendation was to leave it in and not risk another surgery. From my research I have concluded that if you do play a lot of sports, it might be worth the risk of a second surgery, because you might be liable to break it again. If you do it will not break where the metal is, so it might break higher which would be harder to fix.

In my case, I have concluded that I will leave the hardware in for now. Even though I am an active person, I do not think it likely that I will break it again.

The surgeon said my leg/ankle bones appeared to be healing just fine. I do not have the range of motion I want right now. I noticed there was a comment on a tennis player. I also have loved tennis. I have asked my surgeon if I would be able to play again. His comment was 50/50. Some people with this type of injury can play competitively at the level they played previously. Others not. In the meanwhile, I will continue working on getting the stiffness out of my ankle and improving the range of motion with exercises.

One of my main philosophies in life is where there is a will, there is a way. I am determined to be in the 50% who can. You also need to set your mind in a positive direction and go for it.

After having been through this, I must admit, it was tougher than I would have thought.



Oct 05, 2010
15months post ankle surgery
by: luv2jetski

I am now 15 months post ankle surgery. I am going to have my two plates and screws taken out in my left ankle in a couple of weeks, plus a plate in my right femor bone that I've had two years post op. I have healed up really well from my ankle break, and the dr. says it's a good idea since it's been giving me trouble. Rehab was a major factor in the healing process (even if it hurts) but it really helps. I am hoping the recovery time for this surgery is short so I can be up and going in a few weeks. Any one have both plates removed in the ankle and if so, did they put in bone chips where the screw holes are at to help heal the area?

Oct 05, 2010
15months post ankle surgery
by: luv2jetski

I am now 15 months post ankle surgery. I am going to have my two plates and screws taken out in my left ankle in a couple of weeks, plus a plate in my right femor bone that I've had two years post op. I have healed up really well from my ankle break, and the dr. says it's a good idea since it's been giving me trouble. Rehab was a major factor in the healing process (even if it hurts) but it really helps. I am hoping the recovery time for this surgery is short so I can be up and going in a few weeks. Any one have both plates removed in the ankle and if so, did they put in bone chips where the screw holes are at to help heal the area?

Oct 05, 2010
Physical Therapy:/
by: Shani

I was tumbling and when i came back down i fell to the side and heard a loud pop. After being rushed to the ER i was told I had a fractured fibia.. my doctor wanted me back aft 4 weeks and im heading into 3. My foot feels great now and most swelling and bruising is gone. My only fear of the doctor is 2 words. Physical Therapy and no sports... I play tennis and on varsity and its killing me to be out. I dont know if i can take 3 to 6 weeks of therapy!
But glad to no ur better!

Oct 02, 2010
Hardware removal
by: Sher

Hi everyone,

It is so nice to know you are not alone in the world, isn't it? I so appreciate hearing from other folks that have gone through the broken ankle thing like me. I thought I would add my experiences as well.

I broke my tibia and fibula in mid-July attempting to transport a kayak down to the river.

I had surgury on the 19th of July and had a very large plate with 10 screws or so and two other long screws placed in my leg. I was in a soft cast for a couple of weeks and then in the boot for 4 weeks. I was not able to put any weight on my leg for the first 6 weeks. What was especially painful for me during this time were my fracture blisters. I had one on each side of my ankle/leg. The surgeon decided not to delay the surgery because of the fracture blisters and I am glad he did not as they took forever to heal. I was using crutches during that period and I have damaged my shoulder by using them. I almost wished I would have gone with a walker, but that seemed too drastic to me, so I am now living with the consequences.

I have gone to physical therapy for the past 3 weeks and have found this to be extremely helpful. I carefully considered whether to go or not as some people have said that physical therapy was not helpful to them. I highly recommend it. My therapist messages my foot which helps with all of the swelling and stiffness. I also do exercises in a therapy pool.

The good news is that I am have been walking without crutches or cane for the past 2 weeks, but it is still slow. I have to constanly remind myself to walk without limping. I have very little pain (except after a strenous physical therapy session) I go for possibly my last visit with the surgeon next week and am just starting to do the research on hardware removal. I would really appreciate hearing from folks who have been through all of this about whether it is benificial or not.

So for those that are just starting the process, there is good news for you. About 2 and 1/2 months after my disaster, I am almost normal again. No crutches, no cane. I am 54 years old and doing just fine and you will be too.





Oct 01, 2010
18th week update
by: Roy

After 18 weeks since I broke my fib/tib and tore my syndesmosis ligament. Recently had my syndesmosis screw removed. Loads of pain is now gone. Still have a little centered around my achilles. Crutches are gone, as well as the fracture boot. Do walk long distances with a cane, but walk at home and rehab normally without any assistance. I still do have 2 screws on my medial malleolus to maintain stability. I can go up stairs fairly easy, but going down a little slow and painful. Swelling is also a problem here and there. I do however, see the light at the end of the tunnel. Good luck to you all.

Sep 08, 2010
ANKLE WITH ORIF
by: fFlower

Teri i am 36 years old.Currently i am on cruthes but i tried to walk without it short distances.The problem is the feet bend a litle bit,but around the ankle is still hard and the archilles also.I tried to ride the bycycle somehow i get it riht but i fear to put much weight on it.I think it will take time but my corncern is will i ever play soccer and run fast.What can i do to improve the paste of healing.

Sep 07, 2010
Note for Kaye
by: Teri

Kaye~

I read your article and I am glad you are doing better. Has this feeling of a blockage in the centre of the ankle ever subsided?? I broke my ankle back in April and still cannot walk without my walker after surgery back in May 2010. Injury happened April 18th 10. I did go through PT and they never could get my ankle to bend (It feels like it is froze up) It just wont budge, the Ortho Surgeon tried to force it to bend and could not. He says that I may need a Total Ankle Replacement or Ankle Fusion in the future. I am 58 yrs old. Is the feeling I am talking about similiar to what you feel with the movement of your ankle??? Also, with my surgery, I broke my callcaeous (Heel bone) and broke a bone off of the Talar, that could not be repaired and had to be removed. I am told this could be my problem but not for sure.
I hope you reply to me

Thank you
Teri

Sep 07, 2010
Note for Kaye
by: Teri

Kaye~

I read your article and I am glad you are doing better. Has this feeling of a blockage in the centre of the ankle ever subsided?? I broke my ankle back in April and still cannot walk without my walker after surgery back in May 2010. Injury happened April 18th 10. I did go through PT and they never could get my ankle to bend (It feels like it is froze up) It just wont budge, the Ortho Surgeon tried to force it to bend and could not. He says that I may need a Total Ankle Replacement or Ankle Fusion in the future. I am 58 yrs old. Is the feeling I am talking about similiar to what you feel with the movement of your ankle??? Also, with my surgery, I broke my callcaeous (Heel bone) and broke a bone off of the Talar, that could not be repaired and had to be removed. I am told this could be my problem but not for sure.
I hope you reply to me

Thank you
Teri

Sep 07, 2010
Note for Kaye
by: Teri

Kaye~

I read your article and I am glad you are doing better. Has this feeling of a blockage in the centre of the ankle ever subsided?? I broke my ankle back in April and still cannot walk without my walker after surgery back in May 2010. Injury happened April 18th 10. I did go through PT and they never could get my ankle to bend (It feels like it is froze up) It just wont budge, the Ortho Surgeon tried to force it to bend and could not. He says that I may need a Total Ankle Replacement or Ankle Fusion in the future. I am 58 yrs old. Is the feeling I am talking about similiar to what you feel with the movement of your ankle??? Also, with my surgery, I broke my callcaeous (Heel bone) and broke a bone off of the Talar, that could not be repaired and had to be removed. I am told this could be my problem but not for sure.
I hope you reply to me

Thank you
Teri

Sep 06, 2010
Message for "Really Worried"
by: Ant

You don't say how old you are - I think that makes a huge difference. Like you, when it happened to me I was horrified to realise that it would be a long recovery! I had thought I would be up and about in 6 weeks! Well my break and surgery happened nearly 8 months ago. I can do most things except "go for a run" - I can run for a maximum of 5 minutes then it's agony. I am walking and can manage 30-40 mins of fast pace - feels good. It still swells by the end of some days and on other's I can be almost pain free. The one thing that I have learned from this all is that as weird as it is, there will be good days and bad days. Just when you think things are going well, for no reason, the next day is full of pain and swelling! Very frustrating.
But above all - there is light at the end of the tunnel! It will get better!! Keep yourself informed - I scoured the net for many hours with my leg up looking for information and blogs regarding 'broken ankle' - our internet bill was huge while I lay on the couch!! But my life is back to almost normal - I am looking forward to the day I can wake up and not even remember that I have broken my ankle! Take care and chin up

Sep 05, 2010
Really worried reply
by: Anonymous

I am sure it is hurting, but it is not really the weight bearing one like the tibia. I know a guy who broke his fibula in a motorcycle accident 2 yrs ago and you would never know he broke it. He does however, have a plate with screws.
I broke both my fibula and tibia and its the tibia that bothers me. I hardly feel much in regards to the fibula after three months.

Sep 05, 2010
Really worried reply
by: Anonymous

I am sure it is hurting, but it is not really the weight bearing one like the tibia. I know a guy who broke his fibula in a motorcycle accident 2 yrs ago and you would never know he broke it. He does however, have a plate with screws.
I broke both my fibula and tibia and its the tibia that bothers me. I hardly feel much in regards to the fibula after three months.

Sep 05, 2010
Really worried
by: Anonymous

So i broke my fibula after falling off my bed, i didn't realise i had broken it and just put peas on it for a week before realising the swelling just wasn't going to go down; i visited the hospital and was so shocked when they showed me the x-ray. The break in my fibula spirals twice around the bone, with fragments at the top and bottom of the break, they put it in cast and a week later told me i'd have to have surgery. So i've just had an ORIF and am 3 days post op, the pain is immense but more than anything i'm just really worried. The more i read about ankle fractures/ORIF's the more it's looking like it's a very difficult thing to recover from, i just wondered, percentage wise - what are the chances that i'll be completley normal when i'm healed? Does this mean i'll not be able to run/horse ride/hike ever again? It seems such a shame for such a small accident, falling off my bed is hardly akin to a sporting injury or a road accident - i'm feeling pretty scared to be fair...

Sep 05, 2010
Really worried
by: Anonymous

So i broke my fibula after falling off my bed, i didn't realise i had broken it and just put peas on it for a week before realising the swelling just wasn't going to go down; i visited the hospital and was so shocked when they showed me the x-ray. The break in my fibula spirals twice around the bone, with fragments at the top and bottom of the break, they put it in cast and a week later told me i'd have to have surgery. So i've just had an ORIF and am 3 days post op, the pain is immense but more than anything i'm just really worried. The more i read about ankle fractures/ORIF's the more it's looking like it's a very difficult thing to recover from, i just wondered, percentage wise - what are the chances that i'll be completley normal when i'm healed? Does this mean i'll not be able to run/horse ride/hike ever again? It seems such a shame for such a small accident, falling off my bed is hardly akin to a sporting injury or a road accident - i'm feeling pretty scared to be fair...

Sep 04, 2010
13 week Postop update
by: Anonymous

Well after 13 weeks I am finally partial weight bearing on Aug 25th. I started bearing weight wearing my fracture boot and both crutches. About a week after, my physical therapist took my to start walking with one crutch while at home and at PT. A couple of days later she said to start walking with my one crutch and no longer with the boot, wear the boot only in public. Now been walking in my shoe and one crutch for about a week. I am feeling pain all around my foot while I am walking, but not much around my ankle or my fracture site. Most of the pain is distributed on the side to my top half of my foot.
Is that normal? I am due to have surgery in 4 weeks to have my sydesmosis screw remove and i can't wait.

Aug 25, 2010
Orif ankle with fubula fracture
by: fFLOWER

I was playing soccer and broke my fibula and ankle on 24May 2010.I get a surgey 3days after and put in two screws at the fibula and tibia.I dont know what they did with the ankle but it was worst but they told me it is fix.I carry a back slab for one month to heal the surgery wound then take out the stitches.The put my leg and ankle in a cast until 03Aug.They remove the cast and the screws still on i go phisio then last week friday 20August 2010 they remove the screws and told me to start put on weight.I do it little by litle but the pain under feet is like thorns besides every muscle feels like dry meat very stiff. MY archilles feels like it has shorten,will it be normal ever people.I am vey worried.Will i ever have my normal walk back cause i try to walk slowly but is still on phisio programme Is there somebody who can help.

THANKS

Jul 15, 2010
1 week after hardware removal.
by: kas




Week after plates/pins and screw removed, and I feel pretty good. Able to walk up steps normally and no continuous pain, the odd little bite but other then that, all good.
Earlier in previous post, I rated the immediate pain after this surgery as a 7/10, don't be alarmed as I would rate the pain after they were inserted as 15 out of 10-(It was horrendous and continued that way for 3 months, though I did break and sprain and twist everything I possibly could).
So for those contemplating having there hardware removed, I can see no down side, minimal down time and pain. Go for it....

Jul 13, 2010
Pros & Cons of hardware removal?
by: Ant

Thanks for posting your experiences regarding your hardware removal - Kas, please keep us posted as to your recovery. I had surgery on Jan 20th - right ankle tri mall fracture with dislocation - orif surgery - screw on inner and plate and screws on outer - longest screw removed on March 22nd. Done lots of research and my recovery appears to be normal but if I am honest not fast enough for me!!! Ups and downs for sure! I can feel the plate and sometimes at night I can't sleep on my right because I feel the pressure pressing on the plate. Surgeon says when he sees me in Sept we will talk about removing it or not - part of me wants it out and another doesn't want to face surgery yet again!
So your feedback will be very valuable and interesting - thanks - all the best :)

Jul 13, 2010
hardware removal
by: Anonymous

I also broke my ankle in 3 places, dislocated it, and tore ligaments..all resulted in emergency surgery where 2 plates, and 12 screws were put in. I was non weighr bearing for 3 months then had 1 long screw removed. 10 months later still had a lot of swelling and pain so the doctor decided to remove ALL the hardware. That was done 3 weeks ago. The surgery was one hour and then I was on crutches for 1 week, boot for 1 week, and now I am only wrapping it. I started PT again and am happy to say that I think this may be the last time around. It is going so much better and I have very little pain..So in response to Kas who just had his hardware removed, I think you will be relieved and you are so right, breaking your ankle is a long recovery but you just have to keep moving forward..

Jul 09, 2010
plate & pins removed yesterday from ankle
by: kas

Hi all
Just had plate, 6 pins and 2 screws removed from my tib/fib yesterday at 10.30am. It was carried out at John Hunter hospital in Newcastle under full anesthetic.
Upon waking from surgery, I would say the pain was about a 7-8/10, but quickly brought under control by medication.
I was allowed to weight bear with crutches that evening and walking with 1 crutch this morning. I am now at home, 24 hours after operation and am able to walk with out the one crutch, (to bathroom etc) although I find I need it for balance and to support partial weight.
The pain is moderate (more it bites now and again rather then continuous) and was given plenty of pain meds by the hospital, have been able to use minimum amount.
Hope this helps some one who is about to have similar. Will post again in a few days - and hopefully I will be back to walking fully.


Jul 07, 2010
19 months on
by: kas

Hi, read all you letters and i feel your pain.
i too broke my tib and fib in multiple places and and now 19 months in.
Have a plate pins in one bone and 2 large screws going straight up in the other, also i did have 2 screws horizontally to hold the tib/fib together, they were removed at 12 weeks (nwb til then)
To start with, the pain in the first 3 mths was horrendous which improved slightly for the next 3 months, along with alot of physio. It was probably 12 months before I was able to spend a half day shopping, with out having to go home and elevate my leg.
Tomorrow I am having the last of my hardware out, will let every one know how it goes.
To the person who wrote about being scared of breaking ankle again, i too was like that for the first 12 months to the point of being paranoid.
I will never run properly again, ligament scarring and lose of dorsal flex, but I am told if was a very extreme break - this is Operation # 5 coming up.
But I would like to say to all those people who have just broken their ankle it will get better, it's a long road, but you will get there.





Jul 07, 2010
19 months on
by: kas

Hi, read all you letters and i feel your pain.
i too broke my tib and fib in multiple places and and now 19 months in.
Have a plate pins in one bone and 2 large screws going straight up in the other, also i did have 2 screws horizontally to hold the tib/fib together, they were removed at 12 weeks (nwb til then)
To start with, the pain in the first 3 mths was horrendous which improved slightly for the next 3 months, along with alot of physio. It was probably 12 months before I was able to spend a half day shopping, with out having to go home and elevate my leg.
Tomorrow I am having the last of my hardware out, will let every one know how it goes.
To the person who wrote about being scared of breaking ankle again, i too was like that for the first 12 months to the point of being paranoid.
I will never run properly again, ligament scarring and lose of dorsal flex, but I am told if was a very extreme break - this is Operation # 5 coming up.
But I would like to say to all those people who have just broken their ankle it will get better, it's a long road, but you will get there.





Jun 30, 2010
Soccer Match, fibular Fracture
by: Arturo

On June 27,2010. Playing soccer, I was at full speed receiving a fastball I step on the ball with my right foot. The noise of two firecrackers and the rushing pain in my ankle got me by surprise. There laying in the ground grabbing my foot and yelling to the other players to step back and not to touch me, my whole body was in shock as my plans to run the Portland Marathon on October now became a postpone goal.

I am going into surgery next week, July 8 to reattach my shatter fibula in the ankle region. X-ray shows fracture on the tip of the fibula and torn ligaments.

I am so afraid that am not longer going to be able to run or play friendly soccer matches.

Does anyone has gone through this, fibular fracture, and recovered from it? Is there any type of exercise to keep you in shape?

So many questions arrgggg.

Jun 18, 2010
Hi @Anonymous
by: Suman

Hi,

Dont worry girl you WILL get well...take my word..even I had a horrifying bike accident this valentines day (of all days.. :( ). Broke my ankle badly...but then here I am again doin 100 on my bike :)
The tension will be there...so will the anxiety...but remember it's all in the mind. The bone will heal in time what you need more is the mental strength. Just visualize yourself 3 months from now on...you will walk and do all the things a normal person can. I know it will be tough now...but didn't they say when the going gets tough ..the tough gets going.

Keep the faith.
Suman

Jun 17, 2010
This is turing out to be a LONG SUMMER
by: Anonymous

Back on April 30th, I was at the baseball field- heading to watch my best friends little boy play t-ball.... Unfourtnately- since I live in the mtns- there is a steep bank leading down to the ballfields. I saw my best friend sitting on the bank, and headed down towards her, WHEN I heard "that sound"... I fell down.. My entire left leg went numb. I immediately knew that I had broken something (Never had a broken bone in my life), but had several sprained or twisted ankles, and this was different. Me being 26, and knowing that if we called the EMS (like my two best friends wanted to), that I would know EVERYONE that worked there. So I tried to pull myself together, and crawled back up the bank with my ankle barely hanging. After rushing to the ER. My leg was numb, not really painful- but then again, I am pretty sure I was in SHOCK.. They took some X-rays, and then the rollacoster ride began. The ER team stablized my ankle, and then I was admitted to the hospital that night. Two days later I underwent an ORIF ( 3 plates, and 14 screws)... I managed to shatter my tibia, and completely break my fiblua in half. I stayed in the hospital for 5 days, then released to go home. STRICT NON WEIGHT for 3 months... So here I sit- on week 7, still in my wheelchair- waiting anxiously for my next surgery ( to remove to long screws, that are in place to allow my ligament to heal). I have been through all kinds of emotions- shock, sad, depressed, anxous, mad, frustrated, ok, hopeful- you name it, I have felt if over the last 7 weeks... 4 more weeks to go, then another surgery... The surgeon says after that- we are looking at another 6 weeks of intense therapy, and starting to put some weight back on this ankle. I am a very up beat, happy go lucky girl. And this has been the hardest thing I have EVER went through. Not the pain, or the surgery, but the process- the time to heal. When your mind is ready to get up and go, but your body can't... It's tough... Needless to say- over the last 7 weeks I have learned to live as a person does in a wheelchair- That in its self is very intimadating- the stares, the questions, the feeling sorry for you, etc. Things like going to a bathroom in a public place is almost like trying to fit a basketball into a golf hole. But to everyone going through the ORIF- I feel your pain, and just remember your not the only person to go through this- although most the time you feel like you are.... And WE WILL GET BETTER!!! :)

Jun 13, 2010
Anxiously waiting
by: Anonymous

In April 2010 I slipped on asphalt and ended up catching my fall by leaning on my left leg to the point of where I fractured my ankle, tibia, fibula, and bones in my forefoot.(Still ended up on my butt!) I had orif surgery which included plates on both sides of foot, screws, and pins. Because I am getting married in September, I am getting anxious about walking again. I am 8 weeks into recovery and still am non-weight bearing up until the 12th week mark. Afterwards I am to start pt and am definitely looking forward to it.
The immobility has been driving me crazy since I am very active all year long weather and am missing scuba diving over the summer. Worst of all I am just worried about how much mobility I will have in my leg as well as wearing heels for my wedding. From reading the previous comments, it seems as though it takes quite some time to get back to normal.

Jun 13, 2010
DitalTibia Fracture/ Fibula Fracture
by: Roy

I recently fractured both my tibia and fibula during taekwondo training. This happened back May 28th. I went directly to the ER and they put a cast on me. I work in the medical community and had much advise on what to do. I had ORIF surgery on my right side to correct the fractures on June 8th. I was told I torn a ligament so they inserted a long screw to connect the bones where the ligament was torn, to allow the ligament to heal with sutures. Then 2 screws where placed in my medial tibia to also correct the defect. Currently I am at home NWBing at this point of 6 wks. I am taking oscal calcium /Vat D supplement with food to strengthen my lt leg which now i am putting extreme pressure on. Not too much pain, yet my leg swells now and then. My first follow up in a few days. I am going with high hopes! Wish me luck! I will continue to post updates.

May 26, 2010
Recent right ankle injury
by: Stepping out

Good Day,

I recently sustained a right ankle injury while playing tennis. I went to run for the ball after it was hit by my friend and hit a pole that I did not see. My right foot slammed into the pole and stunned me, I didn't even see the pole (which was suppose to have a tennis net attached to it). Needless to two days later I had surgery to repair a dislocated joint, fractured tibul and fibula. The injury happened on May 4th 2010. I am currently in a cast for five weeks with no weight bearing at all. I am tired of being in this situation and know that in time I will get better. The plot thickens with my right ankle.... In 2001 I had arthroscopic surgery to repair torn ligaments.... In 2008 (same ankle) I had Brostrum Lateral ligament surgery... 2010 now this.

I would like to know if anyone has sustained the multiple injuries that I have and still have hope of a stronger ankle in the future. I am not a teen ager and I am in my early 40's... I am just aggravated right now and I try to keep my sanity, but this ankle has been through a lot.

Any advice would be highly appreciated.

Sincerely,

One step at a time.

May 20, 2010
Afraid of breaking the ankle again
by: Anonymous

Hi Everyone,

I am now five months out since my fracture and just would like to know if their is anyone out their that is as cautions as I am now about the fear of re-injuring the ankle? All I can think of is that popping sound that I heard and the pain that I felt when I broke this ankle and so afraid of doing it again. I realize that it's all physicological but how do I over come this? No one was around when I broke my ankle and I sat on the cold wet ground for about 10 minutes before being able to scoop up my ankle in one hand and scooting on my butt to get inside the house to call 911. What a day I will always remember!! Anyway recovery is coming along and I am now in PT which is a little painful at times, but I know it will get better.

Hope everyone has a speedy recovery!!!

Apr 27, 2010
Fractured Ankle
by: Rich

Hi everyone,

I fell off my motorcycle exactly two weeks ago. I thought all was fine until I looked down at my foot. Instead of being at the regular 12 o'clock position, it was now at 9 o'clock and also somwaht pointed forward. Thankful my body was in shock so I didn't really feel a thing. I was put under that day to have my ankle reset then was presented with the option of transfering hospitals for the surgery. I'm Canadian, living overseas in a country where I know enough to survive, and the second hospital has an Internation clinic. Easy Decision.

I was transfered the following day and had surgery the following day after being transfered (less than two days after the accident).

It is now 13 days post-op. My biggest complaint to date in the uncomfortableness of my fiberglass cast. The swelling has subsided drastically and I can now stick the majority of my hand down it. (Not bad for scratching). That being said, I get a burning sensation at teh bottom of my leg near the top of my foot. I think there is less padding there so I'm hoping to have a new cast put on.

Operation info: plate with 4 screws on one side and two pins with a screw on the other

The dressing on the incisions has been changed every 2 or 3 days and they seem to have healed nicely. I'm due to have the stitches removed tomorrow.

At times I have sharp shooting pains in my heal, but it is very tolerable. The doctor was nice enough to cut the cast away from my toes so I've been able to stretch them. Now with the oversized cast, I cast limitly exercise my foot.

I've done so much reading now on these types of accidents that I have to be honest and say I had no idea that it is going to take so long to be able to walk again.

I'll keep you posted as to how my recovery developes.

Apr 25, 2010
Almost 8 weeks
by: Anonymous

Thought I would write about a fairly positive experience so far. Fell on the ice on March 2 and had surgery that night- plate and 3 screws. Non weight bearing for 6 wks- boot after first 2 weeks. Hated crutches. We rented one of those knee walkers (20 bucks a week-well worth it). Your hands are free and I could go back to work and function in my own house. Went for 6 week a ppt and dr told me to begin weight on it with crutches and boot. He said I would probably ditch the crutches before the boot.

Started physical therapy that day bc we were supposed to leave on a 7 day cruise at the beginning of my 7th wk. Left home with boot and a cane-- kept working on the exercises while on vacation. By the end of our cruise, I was walking slowly without the cane. Lots of swelling after I overdid it but little pain!

Biggest issue now is a huge blister on my heel bc the swelling made my shoe too tight! But I'll take it!

Apr 25, 2010
Almost 8 weeks
by: Anonymous

Thought I would write about a fairly positive experience so far. Fell on the ice on March 2 and had surgery that night- plate and 3 screws. Non weight bearing for 6 wks- boot after first 2 weeks. Hated crutches. We rented one of those knee walkers (20 bucks a week-well worth it). Your hands are free and I could go back to work and function in my own house. Went for 6 week a ppt and dr told me to begin weight on it with crutches and boot. He said I would probably ditch the crutches before the boot.

Started physical therapy that day bc we were supposed to leave on a 7 day cruise at the beginning of my 7th wk. Left home with boot and a cane-- kept working on the exercises while on vacation. By the end of our cruise, I was walking slowly without the cane. Lots of swelling after I overdid it but little pain!

Biggest issue now is a huge blister on my heel bc the swelling made my shoe too tight! But I'll take it!

Apr 14, 2010
ORIF Ankle and fibula...considering hardware removal
by: Rick

12 Months ago I broke my fibula and ankle. I had ORIF surgey and seemed to heal quickly. Attended all PT sessions and worked hard at recovery. Prior to the accident I was a "runner" 20-30 miles a week. The best I have been able to do since is about 3 miles a day and only about 3 times a week because of pain. Has anyone had similar surgey and had the hardware removed. I am considering removal but wanted to hear from others if they had any opinion or experience with this procedure.

Any information will help. Thank you.

Apr 06, 2010
Ankle
by: Mcewan79

Hi, ave been finding this forum good reading, i fell off a horse on 5th feb, had to get 2 screws in ankle. Got plaster off on 17th march, didnt like the fact the nurse expected me to be able to walk without crutches straight away....was non weight bearing for 5.5 weeks. Doc had a quick glance n said didnt need physio. So its 2.5 weeks since cast off n i can walk not too bad, danaged ligaments in foot also so they healing up nicely, only prob i have is its still pretty swollen around ankle bone and get quite alot of random pain more so in last couple days. Just wanted to know if this is normal for it? ment to be starting work in under 2 weeks, not rushing it tho. Also sore to the touch. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks Gayle

Mar 31, 2010
Thank you
by: Kaye

Thank you. Its so good to know its not just me :o)

I'll have a look at that link.

O just need to ignore it and keep my chip up x x x

Mar 22, 2010
A note for Kaye
by: Anonymous

Hi Kaye - this might come through twice - not sure what happened to my first post.
Came across your note below. Yes, yes, yes - I know exactly what you mean about synicism - people who have not broken bones do not know what it's like. Even the surgeons just say now you can weight bear and think you can just walk from then! But us 'bone breaker' just need to hang in and heal in our own time.
:)

Mar 22, 2010
Message for Kaye
by: Anonymous

Hi Kaye - I have just read your entry and your question towards recovery ... yes, people who have not had a broken bone do not understand and even the surgeons expect you to just get up and walk. I am recovering from ankle surgery (tri mall fracture with pins and plates) - 8 weeks later. Know how you feel. Some other very helpful blogs
http://www.twistermc.com/christi/63/update-broken-ankle-1-year-later/
Good luck!

Mar 15, 2010
Status @ 4 weeks
by: Suman

Hi, this is suman again here.
Its been exactly 30 days since my accident and this weekend my cast was removed. The doctor took a look at the latest X ray , pressed the affected ankle a few times. It did not hurt so he said that the bone has healed..so no need for the synthetic cast any more. (yipeee :) :) ).
Advised me to walk with a single cruch now...(told me to use the crutch in left hand as my right ankle was fractured) and start walking slowly...he said I would regain full recovery in hopefully another two weeks.
After removing the cast I immediately tried to take a few steps but it was very painful as all the muscle around the joint was very stiff because of being in the cast for 30 days.

After coming home I put my leg in moderately hot water and that helped the muscles become a bit normal i guess. Anyway I am now writing from my office and I came here confidently today and have been walking on a single crutch.

Tried a few PT exercises but I guess it will take another 10-15 days as said by my Doc to regain pre aciident status.

People just hang in there and dont lose hope...
someone above knows about our problems and is working on healing all of us...
wishing a speedy recovery for all and happy healing,

Suman

Mar 12, 2010
Hi @Anonymous
by: Anonymous

Hi,
I am male age 29..weight 80Kg's..a bit on the higher side which was the reason why I started to walk 8-9 K a day to get into shape. I broke my fibula in a bike accident on top of a hill (at 1200 metre above sea level). My bike skid on some sand and I went crashing down like they do in a Moto GP crash.. my frnd was with me and he broke his elbow. :(. His cast is cut and he is now on PT.

After the accident also I had some bearable pain in the ankle and thought that I might have sparined it... so drove all the way back to the medical facility which is some 70 miles from the place where the accident happened.

The doc said that I have kind of a hairline fracture and said that I dont need any surgery and that it will heal in 3-4 weeks..and also told that I can start walking on my cast from the 3rd week itself. Now my only concern is that i have been walking slightly in my house only since the 3rd week but everybody here suggests a non weight bearing period of 5-6 weeks, so I fear that i might have done some damage in this recovery period while walking like MalUnion of the bone or something else.
Tomorrow I will be visiting my doc for fresh X-Rays and probably my cast will be cut. Will come to know of the real scenario then like the swelling and other stuff.
Will keep you guys posted on my news. And yes I have been flexing all the muscles in my toes (which i can) and everything seems to be in order till now.
Best of luck to all and happy healing.

Mar 11, 2010
ORIF update
by: Anonymous

Hi... remember me? I fell in Spain in November. Well, I'm finally walking w/ no cane or crutches! Not far or for long periods, but walking. And no high heels! errr! I have been in therapy since before I was allowed to weight bear, and I think that helped a lot. I was doing exercises for the ankle/leg before I was rid of the boot. I still swell A LOT, and I can predict the rain 3 days before it gets here - and it sucks! Talk about ouch! That's the worst for me right now. The pins and plates have turned me into a weather vane. Not so fun. I have two big scars, but I supposed they're my badges of honor for the whole thing. And I may have to have the 2 medial pins out in June. It's a never ending injury. I am just glad to have my mobility back. I keep thinking how much I'd love to go for a run and that promptly sends my physical therapist into fits. Ha. I am swimming which still hurts quite a bit, but I can't sit anymore!!! No flip turns and if I push too hard off a wall w/the bad leg, it screams at me. And it swells everyday and more so if I've really been using it. It has been a long journey to get to here. And I can tell anyone who has just injured themselves... it never feels like you'll get to this point! But you will. And be grateful for walking. I am so glad that we have medicine in the world that can put us back together. I am truly grateful to my MD. And my best piece of advice for anyone newly injured: move your toes, move what you can even if it hurts (obviously only if you can w/ MD permission)... you will find it much easier to do your PT when it comes time if you already have range of motion. Good luck all!

Mar 11, 2010
Hi Suman...
by: Anonymous

Hi... sounds like you're healing. Here's the thing about breaks: a lot depends on the type of fracture (spiral v. oblique etc) and how old you are, and where you broke it. Yes, your lateral malleolus is your fibula: its that bony outcropping at the outside of your ankle. You're extremely lucky you didn't need surgery. Most folks do. That says you may have a clean break, or perhaps even non-displaced. Which is perhaps why you didn't need surgery and are OK in a cast. I'm surprised the MD didn't cast in synthetic from the start? It would have been much simpler and you could have showered so easily - they can get wet. As for weight bearing: you probably shouldn't be weight bearing until the 6 week mark. Just to be sure. I can't see your films so I don't know what the break looks like - that said, I would imagine you're at least an adult of the 30something age - and 6 weeks - to even 8 weeks, is normal for non-weight bearing. Children heal very quickly when they break a bone, we as adults? Not so fast. So, take it easy and don't go walking 8k to work - take the bus or a cab, be good to your ankle, rest, and above all: don't take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. They inhibit bone regrowth. Paracetamol only. Next time you see your MD, ask if your bone has callused. IF there is a hazy formation around the break - your bone is healing well and you should be ok in no time! Do your physical therapy.. and as soon as you get the cast off... wiggle wiggle wiggle those toes and try to rotate and flex - dorsiflexion like you're flexing your foot towards your knee and plantarflex like you're pushing a gas pedal - as much as you can do, it will help you get well faster. And by all means use ice! It helps w/ swelling and you'll feel better. Good luck, and be patient! This will take time.

Mar 10, 2010
Ankle Fracture
by: Suman

Hi, this is suman. I had a bike accident on 13th Feb (one day before valentines day..all my dreams came crashing down). Doctors told I had a fracture in my Lateral mallelous (I guess at the end of the fibula). They suggested it would heal without having to do surgery ...the fracture was like 2-3mm so they initially put a Plaster of Paris Cast (White coloured) which was on for 5 days and after that a synthetic cast which is supposed to be there for 4 weeks. This weekend the 4 week period is getting over and I dont really know what to expect. They told I can start bearing some weight on the synthetic cast after after 2 weeks which i did...but after some research in internet I came to know that ideally you should not put any weight for 4-5 weeks. This is pretty scary for me now.
Just hope I will be able to walk normally after few days of PT sessions as I used to walk a lot (6-7Km daily as exercise).

Anybody has any similar experiences..please share..
Happy healing time for everyone. :)

Mar 09, 2010
Getting there
by: Kaye

There are a lot of very brave and determined people here. I hope I'm being half as good.

I was in a car crash and had two fractures in my ankle and my leg broke near the ankle with a bone coming through the skin.

That was in September 09 and the surgeons did a brilliant job of putting me back together. Two screws in my ankle and a plate and 8 screws in my leg.

I was non-load-bearing for 10 weeks. I thought it was excessive but after the two times my crutches slipped and I felt the pain of a small load going through it, I had to concede.

The swelling was really high and I couldn't physically put a shoe on my foot until Christmas.

I now have a normal walk, when I have time to concentrate on it. Sloped and uneven surfaces (especially downhill) still get the better of me, but, as others on here seem to have experienced, I think thats more to do with balance than anything else now.

The only thing regarding motion in my ankle thats still worrying me is the feeling of a blockage in the centre at the front. It makes walking down stept awkward, as I have to put my good leg down first.

I have been discharged by physiotherapy...he said he thinks that last bit at the front it 'mechanical' which gives me the opinion that it won't get any better.

Can I just ask...has anyone on here come across synicism about the length of time your full recovery is taking? I think its just because a broken bone heals in 6 weeks. Thats what everyone seems to think.

Jan 29, 2010
Hang In There!
by: Anonymous

I found this site and felt compelled to add my two cents. Had wrist ORIF surgery in mid-November '09, resulting in a plate and 10 screws. Not fun. Lots of tears. Painful and slow recovery. Started PT 3 weeks post-surgery. I'm not in my teens, so recovery is slower. I'm now in my 7th week of PT, and I'm about 60% there. Still working to regain the rest of my range of motion. Still feel pain and working through it, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Just wanted to say, recovery is hard, but keep going to PT, exercising and stay positive. You'll have good days and bad days, but just remember your main goal of getting better! Best of luck to you all.

Jan 14, 2010
Hockey Mishap continued
by: Kam Dhillon

So Finally the cast came off today after 4 weeks, and 5 weeks since the injury on December 9 and ORIF surgery. Had no idea what to expect. My foot looks and feels mangled. But its not bad. Doc said it healed perfect. Since this morning to the mid afternoon im bearing weight but I cant walk without some help. It seems like I just forgot how to walk! The foot just does not flex up towards me. I am walking with a cane kinda slow,heal, toe, heal, toe. Im just happy to be out of the cast, and off the crutchs(at least one of them), and putting on two shoes. I think I will walk the dog for the first time in a while. The more I walk the better it feels. Don't wanna over do it but it seems to get better with me just trying and pushing a bit. Have Physio tomorow and got 7 free sessions lined up starting next week which was nice. The foot is pretty swollen looking which has me worried. I will see what the Physio people think tomorrow. Im looking forward to hitting the swimming pool at my gym in the morning. I will be checking back with the doctor in 6 weeks. When asked if I will be playing hockey soon she said "you should be your old self by 6 weeks, see you then". Hope she is right. I will be working super hard to make it happen. Now is it LMNOP QRS? Wish you all the best with your injury! Will Post some positive news when it happens. Cheers.

Jan 14, 2010
ORIF people..
by: Anonymous

Hi.. .me the one who fell... I'm now at almost 7wx post op... I am in PT 3x a week but still no WB. NONE. PT stinks b/c they break up scar tissue in my leg when I go and it's super painful!!... and I am doing more and more movement. I have "great range of motion" according to the PTherapist. I'm even riding the stationary bike for 30 minutes at a time.. it's awesome!But still.. no weigh bearing! So.. I'm coming along. I can't imagine what it will be like to start bearing weight... I see the MD next week and hopefully I'll be allowed. I stood up by accident the other day, not thinking and put weight on it.. and it wasn't too bad! Tho I've been told it feels 'stumpy' to start walking again. We'll see...

For the person who just posted about being on 2 types of antibiotics... don't understand what they're worried about and why you're on 2... wouldn't a 2grams/day of something broad spectrum do the trick? You should ask your MD. Either way, you're GI tract is going to suffer. Eat a lot of yogurt! I got a small suture site infection - dissolving stitches don't agree with me - and I had to take some antibiotics for a few days and it cleared it right up. Also.. if you're in the airboot cast... you know those black squares of foam that come inside when you get it??? I was in a lot of pain and just padded the inside of the cast with those foam pieces right where it hurt most. Try that over your screw. And try keeping the paper tape on it.. maybe that will help a bit of the rubbing, as well. Thin blood will contribute to bruising, but should not affect too much else.. wonder why they said that to you? Are you on meds for BP? or blood thinners? that might have something to do with it... so... just eat really healthy - take your vitamin C, eat apples, drink your milk and if you get OJ w/ calcium, make sure it's calcium citrate. That's the more absorbable type of calcium. Better than calcium carbonate. So... before you know it.. you'll be 5--then 8 weeks post op and on your way. Also.. for anyone out there w/ this injury... get moving!!! wiggle your toes - A LOT~!!... try to flex/point your foot as soon as you can... your ankle is probably anchored pretty well if it's been screwed/plated/anchored etc or surgically fixed by an ORIF procedure.. so.. more you move? Less scar tissue and rehab to be 100%. Get moving! Good luck!!

Jan 14, 2010
Post ORIF, screw at skin
by: R

Lots of great info and experiences, thanx all.
I am 4.5 weeks post ORIF surgery, plate and 6 (I think) screws. Some swelling on the ankle and some pain. The doctor decided to put me on the air or boot casts mainly because he wants daily look at the ankle/wound since the screw that is required to come out some time later is almost at the skin and required one extra stitch this week (ie 4 week after surgery) and extra and different kind of antibiotics too, meaning I am on two antibiotics! Having a somewhat thin blood is not helping things.
On top of that there are and were big blisters on my heel and elsewhere that require(d) nurse work to clean.
Just jotting down my experince so far and hoping some of you guys have thoughts on my case.

Dec 26, 2009
ORIF
by: Anonymous

Hi.. I too have had open reduction with internal fixation (ORIF) of my right leg. I fell in Madrid, Spain the day before Thanksgiving. Was sent to a hospital there for a quick reduction w/ NO PAIN MEDS!!! Then open casted to make it home...HORRID! I managed to make it home on an excruciating flight for 10 hours - and then go to the emergency room and be checked in here in the States. I had the surgery on the 28th of November 2009, and am the proud owner of 10 screws a plate and some hooks - OH MY! (lions and tigers and bears anyone?). So, I am now 4 weeks post op exactly and I could scream!!!! I am so tired of sitting still - just like everyone else! And all I can think about is how much work I'm going to have to do to get my legs back in to shape when this is over. I am still experiencing pain - sharp mostly, but also aches in my whole leg - it was quite a fall. I am allowed to take the boot off and do a little "exercise" of learning to tap my foot again. Talk about a hard task after all the surgery - who would have thunk it! I will start acupuncture on Monday and also some light therapy to run thru modalities. I'm looking forward to weight bearing again! And I don't even get to see the MD until January 19th! UUGGHHH!!!! That puts me at about 8 weeks... Jan 28th is 8 weeks from the surgery. How do you all get thru it? If anyone wants to pass along suggestions... I'm all ears! By the way - anyone who has recovered from a trimalleolar: are you limping? How was the recovery? How long did it take to be walking fully without a limp? And how long until you were running/jumping/going up and down stairs without a problem? Also, how hard was the physical therapy after? And what was most beneficial/biggest waste of time? If anyone has been thru this... please!!! .. comment.. I'd love to know! And best of luck to everyone who is still working thru this! It's really hard work!

Dec 20, 2009
Recovery time
by: Four Weeks post op and counting

When I originally wrote on this page, my accident happened July 31, 2009. Since then as of December 20, I am back to may walking pace of a 4.5. Ankle is still swollen. The dr. says it will be that way for awhile. I have two plates put in, one on the tibia and fibula bone with plenty of screws on both. First of November, they had me use an EBI Bone stimulator to promote bone growth in the middle of the tibia and fibula area where the bone had splintered. This is working well, from the last xrays. I am hoping to start skiing this winter. So we will see. I expect a full recovery, with a possibility of one of the screws nearest the ankle bone needing to come out in the future. Best thing I can advise to do is keep up with ones physical therapy exercices, and keep stretching your ankle to get the original range of motion back. I am sure there is a rainbow at the end of this tunnel somewhere. I am 45, active, woman, that can't be settled down. So after 8 weeks on crutches, non weight bearing, in a boot cast (not plaster), there is hope. Hang in there.

Dec 20, 2009
Hockey Mishap
by: Kam Dhillon

So I broke my left fibula on December 9th. Needed a plate and screw(s?) due to the high and angled break. Now all I can think of is when Ill be playing hockey and snowboarding again. Ankles in a cast now until January 14th 2010. I am wiggling toes and excercising them up and down as much as I can. I cant tell you how depressing it is and how I am counting the days to get back to the doctors office. After reading some of the blogs here I have to say I love Canadian Health Care so far. I have been well cared for without thinking of insurance and money. Cant imagine that stress on top of this. Anyways im a active athletic 32 year old guy wondering what to expect. Id be happy to just be able to cycle and run or swim asap while I strenghen up for summer. I have heard so many bad storys of long recovery and pain and some positive ones of quick recovery. Im thinking the people with good recoveries get on being active again and dont look back and write to guys like me that need them while im feeling so sad. Anyways I hope on the 14th of jan I get out of this cast and can at least walk with out the crutches. heres to hoping. I wish you all a speedy recovery. I will bookmark this and not forget to write when I recover. cheers
Any hockey players please write.

Oct 03, 2009
Shattered Right Ankle
by: Angie

Hi everyone. I shattered my right ankle on July 3rd 2007 and I am still walking in an aircast and have very minimum motion in it. I have had surgery on it were the doctors placed 6 screws in it. A few months back I was told that the bones are now detirrating and 4 of the 6 screws has moved. The doctors are now saying that I have to have another surgery to fuse the bones together and load and behold my insurance is saying that this is an elective surgery. Guys I didn't know wanting to be able to walk regular or semi normal was elective. Out of the 2 1/2 years since the accident there was only 1 month that I didn't feel pain and that was when I was placed in a cast to completely demobilize my ankle so that I will know what it feels like to have it fused. After that I told the doctors okay lets do this cause I feel great. Now the insurance company is whats stopping it. They don't understand what it feels like to be in pain every single day and not be able to walk the way you used to and when you do walk it hurts like crazy and by the end of the day and your ready to go to sleep you have to take pain pills just to not feel the pain and be able to sleep. Does anyone have any thoughts on what I can do to help stop all this pain or to get the ball rolling so that I can have this surgery.

Sep 16, 2009
Ankle Stiffness Swelling
by: Deirdre

Hi,
On June 18, 2009, I had a terrible accident where both ankles, heels were shattered and 1 bone in right calf was broken. Had surgery on June 24th and was in the hospital for almost a month. On July 7th was released from hospital wearing 2 boots and could not bear weight. Have been going to physical therapy 2x per week and just got up Monday. Doctor told me to use walker until next appointment on Sept. 30. The stiffness and pain are awful. My physical therapist says it is atrophy and from not using the muscles and tendons. I understand this but I can see a screw coming out of my ankle bone where there is alot of pain. Has anyone experienced this pain, stiffness and swelling before? Please advise of any experiences, advice and anything for relief. Advil doesn't help. I had traumatic injuries and was also told that the hardware will remain. Thanks

Sep 07, 2009
Day 4 post op hardware removal
by: Anonymous

My discharge paperwork said 23:40 hours a day I am to be on my butt w my leg elevated above my heart for 4 days. Today is the 4th day. I am doing pretty well. I live in a 3 story townhouse so I set up an op center on the floor w a kitchen and the bathroom. Last night I deflated the aero bed and went to sleep in my bed after I crawled up stairs. I could be at my Mom's but I prefer to be at my house. I have Puffy Joe cast on and I feel like it is tight so I sit w it elevated. For some reason I don't feel like going to sleep at bedtime so I stay up really late.

I had the hardware removed because of the swelling that I had the screws on the inside of my ankle were coming out. I could see the sillouette (SP?)in my skin!

I feel funny taking pain meds but have been taking them to "stay ahead of the pain." I think I will go on an outing to the mailbox today...whooie! I am going to hire a trainer and get back in shape. I have always been in great shape but since this happened a year ago...just has not been the same. I used to lift, run, do tri's, tons of swimming, cycling etc....I want it back. It is going to take time. I turn 40 in Feb...I just have to remember how lucky I am to be alive after getting hit by the car. I am lucky not to have brain damage etc...This is small stuff.

Sep 07, 2009
Recovery
by: Four Weeks post op and counting

I went to the dr.for 4 weeks and 3 days post op on the 1st of Sept and said it is slowly recovering. So he wants 3-4 more weeks of non weight bearing. Bummer. So I am still trying to exercise my leg the best I can to minimize muscle loss. With this 3 lb. boot on, it helps with the exercises on the floor. I asked about the hardware removal, and his advise was that it doesn't usually come out unless a year later and if it's actually bothering. So we will see how that goes. I am anxious to start weight bearing on it, since I am so tired of these crutches. My right leg has had several knee surgeries on it, and it gets pretty tired easitly now that it's the main weight bearing leg.
I don't wish anyone to ever go through this, but as life has it, accidents do happen. Hang in there, think of different ways of working around a tri-pod experience and just get out and enjoy life as best as one can. Hey, if flamingos can stand on one leg for a long time, I guess we can build up to that too. Will post after dr. appointment on the 22nd of Sept.

Sep 05, 2009
Hardware removed
by: Anonymous

I got my 5 screws and a plate removed on the the 3rd. I also got a scope to make sure the cartligde is still in my ankle due to pain where my foot and ankle meet.

The pain is great. The doc says to keep my foot elevated 23 hours and 40 min per day! OMG that is bathroom breaks only! WOW! I am going to lose my mind I am certain. I insisted on coming to my house rather than moms. I have a blow up bed in my living room which is the same floor as a bathroom and the kitchen. I have a follow up on the 11th the Doc said that he thought I would be weight bearing by then. For now, I am no weight bearing. So can someone tell me what is next?

Aug 30, 2009
kind of similar
by: Anonymous

Mine is kind of similar to yours because I have pretty movement still. Mine was barely dislocated, like a 1/4". I had a tri-mal but a very good one compared to others I have read about and x-rays I have seen. Also, I did break four metatarsals acrossed the top of my foot but they aren't playing into recovery yet. The timeline for recovery is what drove me crazy, so I wanted to give you mine. You want to know what to expect but this injury can be so different depending on person, injury, health and doctor/physical therapist....age. I'm 49.

I'm also pretty active, not sports related but daily exercise, walking, hiking, gardening. Apparently more active than I thought because its driving me crazy to be inactive.

Injury was June 27th, surgery because of bad diagnosis was July 11th. I got a hard cast ten days after surgery, I think July 21 or 22. When she put it on she had to force my foot out of a more pointed position. I almost threw up it hurt so much. I didn't want to have to do that again. So I had about an inch that I could play with in my cast. I kept moving my foot up and down. I also tried to keep my thigh working. I still lost muscle mass, I was actually surprised how much. I had that cast 3 weeks. My doctor was surprised how much ROM I had so he gave me the walking boot and said keep moving it, I can put 25 lbs of pressure on it, I do gentle circles. I use therapy bands (which are great). With my foot flat on the floor I loop it under it. I gently pull up to force a flexion. When its up I gently push down with my foot to work my calf muscle. It feels great and I can see it flexing a little in there. I also do side leg lifts to work my hip muscles, which are so loose. Again, it shocked me to see my muscles deteriorate like that.

I have hardware too screws, plate. I also have a 3" screw that has to be removed in about four weeks now. I was told I won't get to bear much weight until that is out. Then I have to weight three to four weeks for that hole to heal. Then my understanding is I get to bear weight as tolerated. I feel so lucky to not have had problems.

Anyway, I hope that helps some. As I said recovery timeline was frustrating. Good luck.


Aug 29, 2009
Four Weeks post op and counting
by: 4 wheeler goof

I had fractured my tibia and fibula bone in the ankle on July 31, 09. It broke just above the ankle joint so I can still move my ankle abit. I had surgery the next day and they put plates and screws on both sides of the ankle. I was put in a boot cast on Aug 11 I have been non weight bearing for the whole four weeks and am hoping for weight bearing after the 6 weeks. What is the time frame for this type of injury? When should I be concerned about getting the hardware out? Any advice? I have been very active all my life, I am 45 yr old female. I have been trying to keep this leg in use by lying on the floor and doing a bicycle motion with it (with boot cast on) to keep my leg from being week. Plus any other non weight bearing exercises that I can think of that won't rightly affect the ankle at this time. Any advice will be appreciated.

Aug 23, 2009
see another OS
by: Anonymous

Where do I start...for getting scared. Thank you for calling them ups and downs. I call them that too but figured there was a technical term I didn't know. After reading your story, I would urge you to get a second opinion from an orthopedic surgeon. All your questions are valid. I've read a lot of these stories on several sites and the balance thing is a new one. if the mobility isn't coming back and you did this in January. I broke mine almost two months ago. I have a trimalleolar and broke four metatarsals in my foot, lots of screws and a plate. I'm very proud of my ups and downs and do gentle circles. I can only bear 25 lbs at this point because some of the screws I have in have to come out in four weeks (yea). My doctor did say when the time comes after a year, he would be happy to take out the hardware if its bothering me or it can stay in if its not. It is definitely not uncommon to take it out, many people have trouble with it. It should have been explained thoroughly to you why you had to have the surgery. I'm 49 and doing okay with all my broken bones and I have a daughter your age. I would absolutely recommend that second opinion to her knowing what I know now. Post it too, I would like to know what they said. Good luck :)

Aug 23, 2009
Hang in there and insist if you must
by: Kris L

Please get a second opinion if your doctor tells you it's uncommon to get the hardware taken out. I broke my fibula in Dec. 2008 and had my hardware taken out in April because of constant pain and swelling. I can't tell you how different I felt and how much quicker I healed. I'm still working daily at recovery but I can see the end of the tunnel. My surgeon told be going into the 1st surgery that I could have the plate and pins taken out if I wanted. Sometimes it hampers walking is certain types of shoes and it is uncomfortable. Insist if you must, but hardware is taken out.

Aug 23, 2009
bimalleolar fracture
by: Anonymous

Hi,
I fractured my left ankle about 8 weeks ago (bimalleolar). Had surgery 1 plate and about eight screws put in. Now using elbow crutches. I am still in a lot of pain and have swelling of the ankle. I am in my mid 50's. This has been a shock to my system. I broke my ankle just getting out of bed.
I used to walk 5 days a week,and I am finding the lack of exercise very hard. I can notice my fitness levels drop day by day. I am not allowed to drive yet and am still very dependent on others. I am doing the exercises my physio suggested and weight bearing as much as I can. Any suggestions as to what else I can do would be very much appreciated.
I don't know whether to get the hardware out or keep it in, my surgeon suggests we look at this in 12 months time.

Aug 23, 2009
8 months in... getting scared.
by: Anonymous

I flunked skiing back in January ended up breaking the inside of my ankle. the x-ray resembled a wishbone. I had surgery a week later, two screws a plate and some pins. At first I thought things were going well. I live in the mountains and the cold really affected the metal in my leg. It hurts when its cold outside. It hurts when it's raining. After about the six month mark i've started to get more and more concerned. The mobility isn't coming back. I've done the exercises they've told me. the Up and downs, balancing on your bad leg, BTW anybody else have trouble with their balance? I tend to tip to my right side after oh... five seconds. I've gotten in swimming pools done the ankle circle thing.. I still hurt. But I think more disturbing is that even though i'm not that aware of it I limp.. The people that I work with tell me when i'm not walking well. And it's usually after less than four hours into my work day. And after looking at the soles of my shoes the one with the break is a lot more broken down than my good side. My doctor for recovery was different than my surgeon but he told me that it's very uncommon to get hardware removed after surgery and that it usually stays in permenantly. I wasn't given a choice on whether to have the surgery I'm twenty-six a little young to be dealing with these problems if they are going to be permenant. and, dang it all I want to wear a pair of heels again. Any advice, or personal experiences?

Aug 20, 2009
all of it is out
by: Anonymous

I fell down the stairs and broke my fibula Sept. 08. Tore the ligaments and had ORIF surgery a week later. 1 plate, 8 screws and it took 8 weeks till I could walk. Lots of swelling and stiffness so they took out the 3 long ones that went through tibia. That helped but I've had constant ache and swelling since. I went in last week and had them take the rest of the hardware out and it feels great! I still have stitches in and I can't wait to get back to running and even jumping if I want!! I know it will be 100% soon. They said I could start running in 4 weeks. Hang in there, listen to your body and give these injuries time, they take a lot of it and are different for everyone.

Aug 18, 2009
You get there eventually :)
by: Anonymous

I can't say how you will recover, but I bet you do great. I was where you are now a month ago and I didn't know what my future was going to be. But you are young and that makes a word of difference. I broke my ankle, a tri-malleolar and four of the metatarsal bones in the top of my foot. I didn't have cleats on but did have flip-flops and was running down a hiking trail in Hawaii. They got stuck on a step and they I did the same thing you did basically and the same surgery with a syndesmosis screw that comes out in six more weeks (can't wait).

Not knowing what to expect was the worst feeling. It did change about a week ago when I had the best doctor appointment. I have managed to maintain my range of motion which is way ahead of what it should be. I wiggled my toes in the hard cast, if they say you can do it. I would move my foot up and down in the cast. I had about 1" of room when it wasn't swollen. Keep it up, keep the swelling down. It is boring but do it as much as you can. After doing that with my hard cast, in four weeks he gave me a walking boot. Now I can put 25 lbs of pressure on it, move it in gentle circles and up and down. I'm trying to get as much range of motion as I can now because that will make PT easier and faster.

Give yourself a few months to heal and adjust. Just know there is an end to it. I'm months from the end too but I know its there after reading some of the good stories. I had some of the downest days, we all do. That gets better too. Good luck, you do fine...its just slow.

Aug 17, 2009
i dislocated my ankle
by: elviss

I'm 18 years old, and dislocated my ankle while playing soccer. I slid and my soccer cleats studs got caught to the grass and I went the other way. This happen july 27, I had an ORIF surgery the following day july28, 2009. The doctors said I dislocated my ankle and completley destoyed all my ligaments. I had 10 screws and a metal plate put in, is there a possiblity that I will be able to play again? Any guesses on how long i'll be on crutches? I had my hard cast on put on Aug5.

Aug 09, 2009
Still recovering
by: Kris L

I've really found this sight to be helpful, as I blogged here, back on April 8, 2009. Just an up-date on my recovery. I've finally gotten a lot of my movement back in the left ankle after breaking my fibula. I had the hardware (plate and screws) taken out on April 7th because I had infection, pain, and a loose screw. It is now August 9th and I STILL experience swelling and pain if I'm on the ankle to long. I can however, walk further and faster than in the past and I can stand longer without shooting pains. I truly beleive it will be a year long recovery, which I was told from the beginning. My original break was December 29th of 2008.

Aug 09, 2009
Getting it removed
by: Hit by car on while on bike

I was hit by a car Aug 23 08. I have been running with pain, swimming w pain living my life w pain and swelling at the end of every day. I had a bilateral L ankle break, a R ankle break, traumatic brain injury, and a lot of road rash.
I went to the doctor and they gave me motrin....OMG! I went back to my PT and he shot some more xrays and yes the screws are coming out! I am so glad that there is a reason for the continued pain! I am sched for pre op on the 18th and hardware removal on the 3rd of Sept. I am thinking that the bone is healed right so they just go back in the same incisions and yank the hardware out, right? Easy Day. I really am interested in how long I will be laid up. Right now I am not deployable and am very much looking forward to deploying again. I am right at the year mark of my accident and I am very lucky to be alive but I want to get on with it!

If you can, please give me a snapshot of what removal and recovery will be? I am at the wrong age to be laying around...know what I mean! I gotta be active!

Aug 02, 2009
umm
by: Anonymous

Well It was just horriable for me, I started walking about Feb-Its my left ankle so I did get to drive.It has changed my life-I wish you luck..I did wish that I took advanatge of the time off and relaxed more I was on a ladder painting with my boot on.

Aug 02, 2009
Recovery
by: Jeannie Vawter

I'm sorry to hear you are now without insurance. Unfortunately I am the same. Luckily we have funds to pay the bills as they come in. I don't know if I will though when it comes time to remove the hardware.

I was interested in your timeline of recovery. I'm only four weeks or so out from surgery. I did find out I have 11 screws a plate, there is the bolt too. They said the bolt will come out in 10 to 12 weeks and I can't weight bear for four weeks after that. Then it's light weight only at home in the house. How long was it before you were in physical therapy? This is my right ankle and I can't even drive myself.

I was also interested in your pain now. I'm fairly active and am concerned with being able to have consistent mobility for a day. I guess I have trouble just not knowing what to expect.
And, I am soooo sick if these crutches.

Jeannie

Aug 01, 2009
i need advice
by: brooke

I had surgey in late oct 08 Its going into Aug and I have swelling and very stiff at least %50 off my day Iam pretty active,but its pretty painful still oh and it clicks and pops..I have no more insurnce..this whole thing is depressing
9 screws and 1 plate..any advice

Jul 12, 2009
trimalleolar fracture and ORIF
by: Jeannie V

I have a trimalleolar fracture of my ankle. I didn't have surgery until 11 days past the hiking accident. I was on Hawaii. They didn't diagnose all the broken bones. Besides the three in my ankle I broke the ones across the top of my foot. My doctor here at home is great. He doesn't mince words though. He said the ankle will not be what gives me problems in the long run. It will be the fractures across the top of my foot. I had surgery just three days ago. I do have a bolt (to be removed in a few weeks) through all bones to hold it tight for now, a plate and screws (not sure how many). I've been concerned about recovery time. It looks like six months to a year and is really individual. I was thinking the best move would be to remove all hardware when its safe and after reading these I think that is the right course. Nice to read peoples experiences. Just remember its quite different per person, age, health, activity level.

Jun 09, 2009
Fracture
by: Abram

Ima 16 years young football playing weight lifter. one day i was on my way back home and got in a car accident. fractured the inside part of my ankle. I had surgery a week later. I know everything will be fine the doc gave me a boot for 10 days and a cast for 4 weeks. he said i will be the same. And i have faith in God. I know i will be the same on the field and in the weightroom. What do you guys think?

Apr 08, 2009
Hoping for a fast recover
by: Kris L.

I fell down steps and broke my fibula which required a plate and six screws. Broke the bone on Dec 29, 08, had surgery Jan 2. Had nothing but problems with my incision closing. My ankle was constantly swelled and I had a constant tugging on the ankle. After many visits to the doctor we decided to take out the plate and screws in case there was a bateria infection. Just has surgery yesterday April 6th and found out that I had a loose screw that was probably causing most of the problems. I would advise anyone with plate and screws to have them removes as soon as possible. I've heard to many storys about the screws coming loose and or coming out. Might as well get is all taken care of once you're somewhat use to the crutches. It's a pain and has been a long haul (4 months) and will probably be 6 months by the time I'm completely healed and walking well again. I wouldn't wish this type of break on my worst enemy!

Feb 24, 2009
recovery
by: Anonymous

I wasn't allowed any recovery period after I had 10 screws & a plate removed from my ankle. My husband demanded I cook his dinner and perform all my usual household tasks. He thinks since it was day surgery it is painless.

Oct 29, 2008
THANKS
by: Anonymous

thanks everyone, this news is all great. It was a long summer but i'm glad to hear its probly gonna be a fun spring, thanks for all the comments and info.

Oct 29, 2008
Ankle surgery hardware removal recovery
by: Anonymous

HI,
My daughter (17) just got her plate and 6 screws removed today actually...it is a good move. The surgery was much easier than the first after the break. She is also on her school basketball team and was able to play from Sept. until now with the hardware in. She broke it and had surgery back in May 08. The screws and plate were causing a lot of irration and swelling and they decided to deal with it now rather than the orginally planned spring 2009. We were told 6 weeks and physio and it is back to sports with a ankle brace support.
She actually was thrilled on how little pain there was this time compared to last time coming out of the O.R into recovery. She can begin to put a bit of weight on it starting tomorrow.
Good Luck!

Oct 29, 2008
screw removal
by: Bart - SII

Removing hardware after an ORIF surgery is usually a straight forward procedure that doesn't have a long recovery time. I would guess 2-3 weeks max.

You should be good to go for the spring season.

Bart

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