Walking after ORIF surgery, fractured distal fibula

by Jenn
(PA)

I broke my left distal fibula and my 3rd metatarsal on Sept 12, 2009. I then had surgery on October 2. Had to wait so long due to swelling and doctors schedule. I had 6 screws and a plate. I was in a partial plaster splint until October 15 and was then given a walking boot to wear however was told not to bear any weight for 7 weeks.

I just started physical therapy on November 9. I believe that I get to start walking with my boot and possibly one crutch this week. I am finding it very frustrating that my doctor is very busy and doesn't spend any time explaining anything to me and will not give me any idea of how long my recovery will be. I had a couple of questions that I was hoping you may be able to help me with.

I have noticed that when let my leg hang down after having it elevated my foot turns a shade of purple/blue, but once I elevate it again my foot turns back to its normal color. Is this normal?

I also have noticed now that since the swelling has gone down that the ankle bone that sticks out on the outside of my leg seems to have a type of bump on top of it. Is this a screw or part of the plate?

When I went to my last ortho appt on November 5 I was told that I would get to walk in 2 weeks and to just "go" ahead and walk. Am I going to be in a lot of pain when I walk?

And my last question is how long will I have to wear the walking boot for? My next ortho appt is not until Dec 7. My physical therapist has no clue about why my foot may be turning the color that it is and can't really answer any of my questions/concerns.

Sorry to overload you with questions I am just getting very antsy to get back to normal since it has already been 2 months since I last walked. I hope you can help.

Thanks!
Jenn

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Nov 18, 2009
questions
by: Bart - SII

It is frustrating when your doctor doesn't seem to have time for your questions - thats a pet peeve of mine!

The circulation in your foot is likely what is causing the color change. Because you are not walking on it and using the muscles normally, the return blood flow is not as efficient - couple that with the healing and inflammation that is going on, and you get a pooling of blood in the foot when it hangs down, and that can turn it a shade of purple. This will get better with time.

The bump on your lateral malleolus is likely either a screw or part of the plate. There isn't much padding between the skin and the bone, so they can sometimes be felt and seen. This area may give you some trouble when you start wearing regular shoes again.

You will probably have some pain when you start to walk. As well as limited range of motion. You will probably feel like you don't even know how to walk. IT WILL get better, but your therapist should take you through some gait training exercises to help improve your walking, and you should progress slowly. Just because the doc says you CAN walk, doesn't mean you have to all right away and at once. You will probably also have some increased swelling when you first start weight bearing again. That is normal.

There are a lot of encouraging stories on the site under the ankle questions section - many people with ORIF like you. They may help provide some encouragement.

Bart

Nov 19, 2009
Thank you
by: Jenn

Thank you so much for answering my questions. I feel better knowing that what I am experiencing is normal. I was giving the thumbs up today to start weight bearing, using both crutched thru the weekend and then starting with one crutch on monday at next PT appt. I finally feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and am feeling better each day. Thank you again.

Mar 09, 2010
your orif
by: Anonymous

Hey Jenn, I fractured my distal fibula whilst bushwalking and had to have an orif too. I am in my 4th week from surgery ( 10cm plate and 5 screws)and have been told that in 2 weeks time i will need to start weight bearing...this is a bit scary for me also. My foot when hung down also goes a nice shade of deep purple so was glad to read this is normal also.
I have had a great deal of shooting pain or nerve pain which has been hard to deal with....my doctor has put me on gabapentin which has helped...I hope your recovery is going ok...its frustrating but we will get there! Just take it one day at a time
Beth

Apr 18, 2010
Calf Muscle Pain
by: Anxious for Normality

you all seem to have answered more of my questions than the 5 total doctors i have... thanks for that! my one concern that is scaring me is, I have been experiencing calf pain since they took me out of my cast and put me into a walking boot (but not weight bearing yet)any thoughts or knowledge on why this may be? thanks so much you guys!

Nov 24, 2010
recovery from orif 12 screws
by: Anonymous

Broke my tibula and fibula while exiting from the doorwall into my husband's tennis shoe back in may 2010. i'm am still recovering. Was in a cast for 8 weeks non bearing, then into a boot for 2 weeks, also non bearing weight.
My leg and ankle went thru all the colors and swelling that everyone else has. It is now Thanksgiving and I still have trouble walking. I walk very slow and and the injured leg is stiff. my gait is awful. everyone wants to know when i'll be able to walk normal. Dr doesn't answer this question. I am still sleeping downstairs in the living room as it's too hard to go up and down stairs. I am working but am totally exhausted when I get home as there is no strength left in my leg. Going back for a check up in Dec. Does anyone know how long before you get back to a somewhat normal walk. did get therapy for 5 weeks.

Feb 05, 2011
re:nerve pain
by: Anonymous

In addition to rx meds for nerve pain suggest working with a qualified consulting hypnotist. Check their credentials. Are they a member of a organization that requires minimum hours for basic training. Have they also taken area specific training in "pain management". Are they staying within their scope of practice?
They will also work with stress management with you. The Stress of dealing with on going discomfort actually makes things more uncomfortable.
Messages are sent by the nerves but... The interpretation of the pain is in the brain.
Hope you find less and less need for the Rx as time goes by.
Kathy S. ,RN BSN,CH. (Bloomington,IL )

PS: check with NGH (National Guild of Hypnotist) for a local hypnotist or Melissa Roth or Scot Giles or Ron Eslinger who are three national level medical hypnotists.

Feb 15, 2011
PAIN AFTER ORIF SURGERY
by: jenny

hi i had a fracture of the tib and fib and dislocation of my ankle on 7.11.10. Had orif surgery 3 weeks later as they thought i seemed to be healing well without surgery but as it happened it didnt. Was in total 9 weeks in plaster cast and then 4 weeks in a walking air cast. At my most recent checkup on 4.2.11 was told to start weight bearing gradualy without my boot but with crutches. Went to see physio who got me to do gentle exercises too, one of the exercises i did was to put my good leg back and do a forward lunge when i did this i felt like the left hand side of my ankle pull where the screws are. Since this i have been in agony feels like the screw on the left hand side of my right ankle are pulling and the joint of my ankle is so stiff. Before i went to physio it felt not too bad but since the lunge i dont know. Physio said i could of pulled some scar tissue or a ligament.
Was wondering are these pains normal just want to be back to my normal self its been 3 and a half months. I know its goin to be a hard slog but need reasurance and to know if these pains are normal.

Feb 15, 2011
brain reprogramming of natural movement after ankle ORIF
by: kathy sheetz,RN,BSN,CH

Even before full walking PT begins you may want to
begin programming your brain to what normal is by using a MIRROR (Based on Dr. Ramaschadran's research).
I sat in a wheeled walker with wall mirror between my legs, and resting against the ORIF leg (the ORIF ankle was now behind the mirror). Leaning over I would see both the "good" foot and its reflection. The reflection took the place of the ORIF ANKLE.
I would watch myself doing the step exercises in the mirror. I would only be using the "good" ankle. My brain would see the reflection as the ORIF ANKLE going easily through the exercise. Thus reprogramming natural movement.
Later when allowed partial weight bearing I would walk behind walker and watch in the hallway closets' mirrors only the GOOD ANKLE REFLECTION that was reflected on theORIF side. (This only works going one direction. I used a light colored shoe on the good foot to keep tract of the reflection. This could be done in a PT Room or dance studio. Walk along side the wall mirror not facing it.)

Mar 09, 2011
My experience
by: Anonymous

I had orif surgery on my fibula, a plate and I'm not sure how how many screws were put in. I lke you, had a plaster splint for a few weeks and then I now have a walking boot. I had the surgery 5 weeks ago, and I started baring a little bit of weight on my foot this week, with my crutches. I was very afraid to put weight on it, because sun I slipped and accidentally put wetht on it, it was extremely painful. However since I worked my way unto 100% weight when I started fully walking on it a couple days ago it was only a little sore. My foot also turned slightly purple when I put t down after elevating, I was told this was because the blood was rushing to it after being restricted an that it was normal.

Apr 26, 2011
Cold, cold, cold
by: AP

I broke my distal fibula in two place on Mar 30th. I had ORIF surgery on Apr 7th to have a plate and six screws installed. I've had a rough recovery (pain, not sleeping, etc), but my biggest issues seems to be feeling cold. My ankle (where the hardware is at) and my foot are always extremely cold. My toes feel warm to touch, but I feel like I have an ice pack on my leg and I get goose bumps underneath my cast. Has anyone had issues like this and, if so, what caused them? I, unfortunately, also have a doctor who doesn't like to answer questions so I'm stuck. Thanks!

Jun 03, 2011
just had surgery
by: laila

hi guys.. i just had surgery on my fibula.. i had a distal fibula that was displaced and had a plate and screws inserted... i had the surgery today an now im home.. i hav this horrible burning sensation for the past few hours which i was told was from the Anastesia because they numbed my leg for the pain...any idea what pain will be like once that's gone and for the next few days and when pain starts to get better??? :/

Jun 20, 2011
How long before I can walk Surgery?
by: Diana

All your stories are similar to mine they are big help.On April 28th I fell fractured Tibia & Fibula got temp. cast till surgery on May 2nd have plate & don't know how many screws got boot and no pressure. Went back on May 16th got staples out& still no pressure but can take boot off to shower like you guys still have swelling & discoloration but still no pressure have appointment on June 27th hopefully I can get rid of this boot, it will be 8 wks for me.

Sep 26, 2011
Determination, Faith, and Dedication
by: Anonymous

Hello all! I'll start off by saying that this site is one of the most inspiring things that Ive encountered since my injury! I now know that I am not alone and everyone here feels my pain. Anyway, broke my tibia and fibula on June 2, 2011. I had an external fixator for 2 weeks. A rod was drilled straight thru the heel of my left foot, and 2 holes in my shin. The rod thru the foot had rods attached from each end that connected to the screws that were drilled in my shin. The next surgery was for the internal fixator which is the plates and screws. Had 2 plates and 8 screws. I was non weight bearing for 8 weeks. The pain was VERY EXTREME! I often felt someone was twisting my leg and felt pressure in my knee...even had swelling behind the knee occasionally which i thought may have been a blood clot...thank God it wasnt. Started doing physio about a month after the injury. My ankle would barely move, voluntarily or with assistance. Thru time, the range of motion returned slowly but surely. I went to therapy twice a week. Lots of twisting, turning, rotating, etc., followed by an ice pack and electro shock therapy. The shock therapy was awesome and really helped. Confidence would gradually grow as the days passed and I walked more. Of course, along with the walking came the swelling and the pain. Even with a compression sock, the swelling was incredible at times! It has now been 4 months since the injury and I still have swelling and weird pains. When something startles me (unexpected noise, my daughter about to fall, loud thundering, etc) i get this very weird and unusual sensation around the injury area...reminds me of a short shock of some sort. My range of motion has gotten better and now seems to have plateaued. Walking up and down inclines give me problems, my ankle still doesnt have the range of motion to support it. My therapist tells me as more of the scar tissue breaks up and the skin around the injury site loosens up, the range of motion will return. Im pleased with the results for now and anticipate more improvement with time. I had a 95% chance for amputation and am very thankful and grateful for the Dr. that took a chance/risk of reattaching my foot. Keep the physio going and the faith high and walking again is absolutely feasible! I hope this helps/inspires any/all that read...my question is->should i leave the hardware in and also the pros/cons of leaving it in vs. taking it out...good day readers, stay blessed!

Oct 12, 2011
Ankle ORIF
by: Anonymous

Hi , I had ankle fracture(distal fibula) in August end. I had to undergo a ORIF in 3rd September and after that was in cast for 10 days. Then I havebeen in protective cast and advised to walk since that time. But everytime I walk for a long time, I get a swelling and little pain.. any clues why..please help me........

Oct 13, 2011
swelling after ORIF
by: kathy sheetz ,RN,BSN,CHt (certified medical hypnotist)

please read thru postings for encouragement. When they say "elavate foot" they often forget to tell you "above heart level" so if you are just putting up on a footstool it's not draining fluid off&out. Check w your MD. There could be a medical reason why they didn't tell you to do that. Have them check your pedal pulses. A good physical therapist can also do that.
Cooling to reduce inflamation and gentle toe wiggling at the same time helps. Sitting around munching salty snacks is not a good idea. Over use of NSAIDS Can slow down healing. Integrative comfort managment maybe useful. always discuss w MD or PT.
Actually hypnosis can help w comfort & swelling. Use a Medically trained hypnotist so they themselves understand the bio-physical mechanics as well as the metaphorical use.

Best always kathy sheetz RN,BSN, medically trained
Hypnotist, Bloomington,IL. rnhypnotist@gmail.com

Oct 18, 2011
ORIF ankle
by: Penguinlife

Finding this page has helped and brought a lot of questions and emotions. My story on how I got to the day of my surgery: my company sponsored the 5k marathon Mudfest and one coworker that signed up changed his mind so I took his place, knowing I'm not that athletic I decided to do it. The day of race I was nervous. The race started I walked pretty much the whole thing, did only obstacles I knew I could do and skipped ones I couldn't. I got to the last obstacle and finish line was right there. I ran up the dirt hill and got to top and waited for them to tell me to slide down. I slide down the way I was told and got to the end and something happened, I lost my glasses because I went under the mud/water I was searching not realizing that something happened to my ankle until someone tried to help me up. I went to get up and realized I couldn't get up. The rush of everything I ended up in ER and ambulance ride first for both and to find out I broke two bones and torn a ligament, I was given two options a: cast and never be the same or b: surgery. Of course I chose the surgery I wanted to be back to normal, i thought. The surgery was a week ago and it has been an emotional roller coaster. I am scared after reading many posts online that it's going to be a long time before its normal. The pain has been crazy, I am horrible at the crutches and have a hard time getting around. My husband has tried so hard to be there. But I'm am such an independent woman that having to rely on others is very hard. My neighbor has helped tremendously by coming over on a daily basis to help walk my puppy and help me around the house, then my husband comes home and I have him running around like crazy. Trying to keep up with school work and not worry about work has been super hard, i am such a busy person and a worry wart. I have not only been dealing with this but also my mom - she has cancer and I was suppose to be spending time with her and cannot drive to get over there. In scared this is going to take to much time to heal and recover from and I'm going to miss so much in my moms life

Oct 20, 2011
orif and fx blisters
by: Anonymous

i had my surgery for a trimalleolar fx almost five weeks ago, my foot is still swelling, glad to read that is normal, i was hoping to be beyond that somewhat by now..am keeping it elevated most of day. Have had all the fracture blisters and my lateral incision split open and i have infection that i see wound specialist for. Am in more pain than i was originally am looking forward to weight bearing even though it will be painful it will help my ankle to heal. Am afraid of the pain with physical therapy but know i will religiously have to do the exercises if i want as close to a hundred percent recovery

Nov 06, 2011
Motorcycle fibula
by: Anonymous

Broke my fibula in a motorcycle accident oct 9. Surgery was done oct 13. It was repaired using 5screws and a plate. 8 days later stitches and splint were removed. A solid cast was installed. Nov. 4 the cast removed and x-rays looked good to Dr. He then placed me in a air cast for 3 more weeks. I'm into my 3rd day of air cast. It's only been 3.5 wks since surgery and I was encouraged to begin putting weight, which surprises me due to all the posts I've read on here. It hurt like hell the first time, but seems to get a little better each time. I will say it seems to help with swelling.

This site is great! Everybody says the same thing about doctors. I found it true as well. I like my doctor, but seems you need to pry them for info. My best advise is to take a list and don't leave the office until your satisfied. They get paid a LOT of money for our pain.

If you can get your foot massaged after the cast (and stink) come off, it helps a ton with the swelling. I had a lump on top of my foot and this helped remove that as well.

If you're on here, I'm sure it's for good reason, good luck with your recovery!

Nov 16, 2011
You will all b fine
by: Kathy

Broke my fibula skiing accident 3 yrs ago. ORIF plate casts physio numbness plate removed 98% perfect now I play tennis gym and no pain. Left leg feels slightly
Different that's all. Hope this inspires you all xx

Dec 01, 2011
Post ORIF Recovery NEW
by: Michelle

I managed to end up with ORIF after slipping on icy ground on Oct 28th while camping in the back country and had a spiral fracture and displacement of my fibula and broke all the ligaments holding my tibia onto the malleolus, so that was totally displaced too. I strapped it and walked (well, limped) on it for 2 days to get out of the woods, had the Ortho Surgeon consult on 11/1/11, and the surgery 11/7/11. Surgery was one of the scariest things I've gone through, but it neccessary to get the reduction done and any kind of healing. I had a plate and 5 short screws in my fibula and a long syndesmosis screw through both the bones. I was in a plaster splint for a week post surgery, when they took that off it was re Xrayed and then a fiberglass cast put on. I've had that on for two and a half weeks and it is meant to come off next Tuesday when I go into a cam walker boot. I'm now wondering after reading all these posts if I'm going to be allowed to put weight on it yet. The crutches and immobility is really getting to me, and I'm just so ready to be able to walk (I don't work somewhere that I can get around on crutches easily). So, keep your fingers crossed for me that I can start to walk as of next Tuesday. I'm dreading having to spend the holidays in this walking boot. Enough already! Has anyone with a fiberglass cast for approx 3-4 weeks post surgery been allowed to walk once the boot goes on? Wishing everyone the best for their recovery. If you're in the early stages then my only advice would be this: if you're in pain take as many of the pain pills as you need to get ahead of the pain, no healing can happen when your body is wracked with pain; and it will get better, it'll take some time, but it will.

Dec 06, 2011
Reply to Michelle NEW
by: Motorcycle

As I stated a couple posts ago, I began weight at 3.5 weeks. I was mostly crutch free by 5 weeks, except long distance. I was put into a small walking splint at 6 weeks post surgery. I'm now at 7.5 weeks. Your ankle will pop and be really stiff, sore and swollen for I don't know how long yet.

I was the same way, ready to walk again! It's nice, but remember it takes time. Going DOWN steps is very painful and not easy because of limited flexibility. I think mine is healing really fast all in all. The Dr. Didn't even recommend therapy, or follow past 6 wks.

You will be back on your feet soon and you should notice some sort of improvement every day.

Dec 11, 2011
The start of the brokened journey NEW
by: brokened Shellie

I've jus started my journey . I slipped on black ice in parking lot. Takened to er. diagnosed with brokened ankle. The er put splnt on with ace wrap. Went to ortho next day and he left spint in place and scheduled next appt in one week. Went to appt on Friday 12/9/2011 and he stated surgery is needed and it it scheduled for Tuesday 12/13/2011. Im very apprehensive about upcoming surgery. HE will be doing a orif of fibula and tibula, he is thinking that i will go home same day of surger;y. Im hoping i will not go home same day . Im concerned about pain control for first 24 hours. ( I am non-weight bearing ever since fall) hate using crutches. Has anyone out there used a knee walker instead of crutches with this type on injury. And is it normal for this surgery to be done as an day surgery.






Dec 16, 2011
Thankful to have found this site ! NEW
by: Cathy

My story is similar to others on here. I am so
Frustrated at this whole situation of putting
Everything in my life on hold .
On Nov 28th my right fibula at the juncture
Near the lower tibia completely fractured and
The whole ankle went off kilter or diskocated.
The e r doctor ( after they did a portable x
Ray) grimaced and told me the break would
Require surgery.
I was transferred to a different hospital
And was placed on the " trauma" unit. I later
Was told that most auto accidents are placed
There. My " accident" occurred due to a concrete
Barrier or a parking lot barrier that I literally
Ran into with my right shoe as I was trying to
Hurry and get out if the cold and rain.
We all collectively have similar stories. Here
It is, now 2.5 weeks post op. I am not an
Athlete... I'm a middle aged woman ( nurse )
Who hates being in a hospital, hates surgery
Etc and normally I take care of my Alzheimer's
Mom... Mom now is staying with her own
Caregiver in a home 2 miles from us.
I was given a pneumatic walking boot last
Friday. Nobody really explained a lot to ne
About how long the boot should be left on my
Foot or how many weeks or months a
Full recovery will take.
I was told to even sleep with the boot on!?
Friends have told me that many factors
Must be considered regarding when to do
Weight bearing etc.
My daughter came here to help out for the
First two weeks . My son and husband are
Trying to understand the frustration I am
Feeling.
I would like to have someone to vent
To ... This is the most painful and debilitating
Experience ever for me.
While others are planning their holidays
Etc. I'm stuck trying to figure out how to
Find a soft, comfortable un ribbed sock to
Wear under this HOT miserable pneumatic
Boot .
I am unsure whether to give my email
.... but would like to know other middle aged
Folks who are trying to cope.
Some websites say it can take 6 months
Or longer to bear full weight again .
Btw, I also had a double splint... Stitches
And a long stainless steel plate. My suture line
Is about 4 inches long ... And when they first
Removed the splints my daughter had to
Exit the room . It was bothersome to me
Too... Even with my medical background.
It's so good to have this forum... Thanks for
Reading this long post.

Dec 26, 2011
Healing Shellie NEW
by: Broken Shellie

Well, it's been three weeks since my surgery. The doctor did a repair of my right tibula. My recovery process has been quite smooth. The first twenty-four hours after surgery, pain was quite severe. After that, the pain became less and less. I have a hard splint on my right lower leg. The doctor stated that he put an eight plate and six screws in my right leg. I had a doctor's appointment on Friday, December 23, at which time the doctor said that I should continue to refrain from bearing weight for four in a half more weeks. I spend most of my time lying on bed rest, with my right lower leg elevated. I must say, recovery has been much better than i had anticipated. The hardest part of recovery has been the bed rest.
In closing, I'd like to give a word of encouragement to all out there who have fractured any part of their leg. It does get better if you just take one day at a time. And with God, all things are possible, and will improve. Thank you.

Jan 02, 2012
Christmas Tree Hunting NEW
by: Anonymous

On 11/26/11 I dislocated my ankle, completely broke my ankle, broke my fibula in half and broke my tibia in 3 places all my looking for a darn Christmas tree! I went to the ER had my ankle relocated had surgery 12/6/11 which was horrible pain (which everyone is different) my pain meds were not working. Thank god that's over. On 12/21/11 I went to my Dr had the stitches takin out all 33 of them and was put in a hard cast for 3 weeks. I go back on 1/11/12 to have the cast removed. I feel no pain I have what they call a tight rope through my ankle and a plate on the fibula about 11 screws total. I am hoping for a speedy recovery after the 11th I will do what ever it takes with PT to be able to walk again. I really hope everyone heals great!! And healthy again. Happy 2012 :)

Jan 05, 2012
It get better NEW
by: Johnnyboy

First of all I appreciate reading all the post on this site,its very encourging.I broke tibia and fibia and had the ORIF on ankle on 11/10/11.Had surgery on 11/12/11 and with 8" plate and 11 screws total,and 5" incisions on both sides of ankle and 1-2" on top of foot.I was put in splint and pain was tolerable first two days,not sure if nerve block before surgery had anything to do with pain,but I didnt take any pain medication up until I saw my ortho on 11/14/11.I went to his office because I had severe bleeding,and pain on left side on ankle.Turns out I had several fracture blisters that closed up and decided to open up again.Saw the my foot for the first time since surgery and it wasnt pretty.Dr or nurse was not concerned about bleeding,bruising,redness,and swelling as I was,wrap my foot with gaue and ace bandage,and put me in air cast and siad we will see you at your next appointment.Well on 11/17/11 went back to office because of redness and swelling got worse,and was admitted into the hospital.Spent a week in the hospital on 3 differnt IV antibiotics until the could find what my infection was responding to.(Cellulitis).Infectious disease Dr. released me from hospital with a picc line to administer my IV antiobiotics at home.I had nursing come by the house to show me how to give myself all the meds and flushes.On week two at home on IV my picc line incision got infected and had to be removed.Dr wanted me on Vancomycin for 4 weeks so instead of picc line they had to give IV by peripheral line.What a nightmare that was Vancomycin was irritating my veins and would swell up and shut down so I had a nurse over everyday to try and find a new vein to abuse.After a week of peripheral and pricking for blood for lab my arms looked like I was attacked by a swarm of bees.My Dr agreed to put me on oral Zyvox for 4 weeks.What a relief that was.Iam on my first week of full weight bearing and on my 2nd week of physical therapy.my foot is still swollen and turns some purple,ble,and red colors when I put my foot down from elevation or if Im on it to long.Im a 49 year old male and they say I will not heal as quick as someone younger.I go to physical therapy 3 times a week and I do all of my physical therapy at too,Im determined to prove them wrong about healing time lol.Im able to waLk with one crutch now and everyday I see some positive improvement.So hang in there and be positive it will get better and sorry for babbling.GOOD LUCK TO ALL

Jan 22, 2012
Broke ankle NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi I broke my ankle and now I am 6 1/2 week post op. I have been given the go ahead to weigh bear as tolerated. Well I walk ok with the boot kinda slow. My doctor gave me a ankle brace to use when i am ready. My question is what is the best way to transition from boot to no boot?

Jan 25, 2012
still recovering NEW
by: Anonymous

I broke my right fibula on 12-7-11,walking my dog when another dog came from a garage and tried to attack.my dog. Had surgery the same night. I have a plate and 8 screws. I have been in a hard plaster cast for 7 weeks, not able to put any weight on my leg at all. I use a walker with 2 wheels and hop a lot. I am a 61 year old woman that before this happened I walked 25 1/2 miles per week for normal exercise. I don't know what is next but this web site has made me feel that I am not alone. Thank you,thank you a lot.

Jan 25, 2012
still recovering NEW
by: Anonymous

I broke my right fibula on 12-7-11,walking my dog when another dog came from a garage and tried to attack.my dog. Had surgery the same night. I have a plate and 8 screws. I have been in a hard plaster cast for 7 weeks, not able to put any weight on my leg at all. I use a walker with 2 wheels and hop a lot. I am a 61 year old woman that before this happened I walked 25 1/2 miles per week for normal exercise. I don't know what is next but this web site has made me feel that I am not alone. Thank you,thank you a lot.

Feb 06, 2012
spiral fx of fibula NEW
by: samantha

On Dec 22,2011 I fractured my fibula during a scrimmage for roller derby( yes I play and LOVE IT and will play again!!) when it happened I heard a pop but I was trying to get myself to believe that it was just a bad sprain or pulled ligament...so 2 hours after it happed I decided to go to the ER..luckily I work there so I got in and out quickly but unfortunately I did FX my fibula 3 ways but not completely separated the bone. My Ortho doc gave me a choice on surgery or cast so I picked cast thinking "who would actually say yeah surgery!" thinking back now I wish I just opted for the surgery! I'm currently in a hard cast(wk 7) but the last 2 weeks have been allowed to weight bear with the use of a cast shoe. I follow up on Feb. 10th to hopefully get good news that the bone hasn't shifted( which all was good all last tue when I followed up) so I will be able to get a walking boot! But if I have any bone shift then I will end up having ORIF on my right fibula. So hopefully all will be good and bo surgery will be needed. Good luck to everyone!!

Feb 28, 2012
Fractured Fibula - S/P ORIF NEW
by: Anonymous

I fractured my distal fibula on 12/26/11, after falling down our stairs. I had immediate pain and swelling. I thought it was a "bad sprain" so I waited 12 hours before I had medical care. Xray the next day, showed a fractured fibula. I was told by my physician I needed to be in a splint x 2 days (to allow the swelling to decrease) and non-wt bearing x 6 weeks. Splint was immediately applied. Two days later I had a cast applied, which I had unbearable pain with - felt like it was too tight. The cast was then removed due to having so much pain. My physician was concerned b/c I was having so much stiffness - he ordered a CT, which showed a bone chip. I then had a MRI the following day which showed some tendon damage. I saw the orthopedist 9 days after my injury and he recommended surgery the next day. I ended up with a plate and 6 screws. I was put in a walking boot immediately after surgery, and was told to be non-wt bearing. I had a lot of swelling and purple colored skin, (foot/ankle). Sutures were removed 14 days post-op. Followed up with my orthopedist 3-4 weeks after surgery, and he was pleased with my progress. He said one more week of non wt bearing, then I may begin to bear-wt, as long as I leave the boot on. It took me 1-2 weeks before I was able to bear wt. It was painful at first, but it got better each step I took. The purple discoloration, and improved. I am now 7 weeks post-op and doing great! I have no pain, and walking with the boot. I do still have quite of bit of swelling near the ankle bone. I will see my orthopedist today. Good Luck, Hope this helps!

Feb 28, 2012
swelling NEW
by: Debbie

I broke three bones in my ankle 6 days ago. I have a half cast on and I am keeping it elevated and iced. When I do put it down it immediately turns purple and swells like crazy. I read some articles here and the purple business seems to be normal. What about the instant swelling?

Apr 04, 2012
Swelling NEW and burning pain NEW
by: Helen

The purple and swelling IS normal, oddly enough. I had a tri-mal fracture 2/16/12, had surgery a week later - 5 screws, a plate, plus just saw yesterday on the X-ray, one gigantic screw aiming up into the leg.

I'm still having purple and pain, no swelling, though. When I was about 1 week out of surgery I thought of the scale at an old planetarium here. It showed your weight on different planets; most of my body was here on earth, but it felt like my right ankle was on Jupiter.

I just found this website, really appreciate it! Also like my brokenleg.com.

Apr 04, 2012
Swelling NEW and burning pain NEW
by: Helen

The purple AND swelling IS normal, oddly enough. I had a tri-mal fracture 2/16/12, had surgery a week later - 5 screws, a plate, plus just saw yesterday on the X-ray, one gigantic screw aiming up into my leg. Got the cast off yesterday.

I'm still having purple and pain, no swelling, though. When I was about 1 week out of surgery I thought of the scale at an old planetarium here. It showed your weight on different planets; most of my body was here on earth, but it felt like my right ankle was on Jupiter.

I just found this website, really appreciate it! Also like my brokenleg.com.

Apr 23, 2012
Recovery NEW
by: Dusty

I dislocated my ankle and broke 2 of the bones while stepping out the backdoor on black ice the morning of 2/8/2012. Local hospital reduced it, then an ortho surgeon 2 hours away, did the ORIF surgery on the 13th - pins, screws and plates. Putting weight on and started PT on 4/10...been 5 times. Supposed to start weaning off crutches this week, altho I can't see that one yet. The boot I have does not help me with my balance, altho the casting and bracing dept swears it's the best, one of those that you can pump up to help support. My right shoulder is suffering so bad from the stress of use on crutches, I even invested in a spiffy 4 wheeled walker, thinking it would be easier - not! Go back to surgeon for check-up tomorrow...I find you have to be a real nuisance and ask those nagging questions you have. They do not tell you about much unless you do ask. It was hard to get rid of me the last visit. I have swelling and my ankle is real hard and has lots of edema in the front of my foot. You need to get your PT to be aggressive on massage and movement to crack and pop that tissue loose - you build up scar tissue. I have developed more body aches and pain throughout my body for this whole ordeal. Laying around is not good for a already 'not too athletic' person. Knots in my back. I think I will need a whole other rehab on other parts, once I am truly walking and am going to ask the surgeon about that tomorrow. Hang in there - it's nice to know and read that what you have been saying, is about what I have been saying all along this unpleasant little life's journey...was told to expect things to perhaps be back to near normal in one year.

Apr 27, 2012
Wishing for faster recovery. NEW
by: Jackie

On January 25, 2012, I twisted my ankle stepping off a 3 inch step. After a trip the the ER found out that I had a complete break of the fibula. Made an appointment for the next day with the Ortho Doctor. After taking new x-rays dr reported that I had broken the fibula completely in to and the tiba was fractured. He also say that he has good new and bad news. Good news was that he didn't think that I would have to have surgery (but would know for sure within the next 2 weeks) and the bad news was I would be non-weight bearing for 8 to 12 weeks. The non-weight bearing broke my heart. I am a Nursing Student by week and a weekend warrior working as a CNA in 16 hour shifts on Saturday's and Sunday's. I didn't want to drop out of the nursing program. So it was a Wednesday when I broke my leg so I missed class the next night and went back on Monday night. I was determined to get through this semester. Went back the the dr the following week on Thursday. More x-rays and more bad news. Doctor says that I'm going to have surgery on Monday, Feb 6, 2012. So surgery comes and I end up with a plate and 6 screws and a tight rope fixation. The pain has been completely horrible and I have a high pain tolerance. Right now it is April 27, 2012 and I am still non-weight bearing. My foot swells and turns purple everyday. The nerve pain has been horrible. I've not had any PT yet. Oh, I almost forgot one of the most inportant parts of this nightmare. My fibula that was broken completely into had splintered (both pieces) now every x-ray that I have had since surgery shows that the fibula is not healing. I was a smoker and I have quit (have not smoked for 2 weeks) to try to help with the bone healing. I go back to the doctor (he doesn't know that I have quit smoking yet not going to tell him until after he looks at the x-rays) Monday, April 30,2012. And I pray that the bone is healing and I can start PT. I need to be as close to 100% by August 2012. I have completed all of my class requirements this semester except for Clinicals and I have been granted an incomplete for the class until August 2012. At that time they are going to allow me to complete my clinicals. Does anyone have any idea how long it will be before I can start PT and when will I be walking. I'm getting pretty impatient.

May 08, 2012
Broken Ankle NEW
by: Anonymous

I am so thrilled that i found this website. I slipped and fell on March 24, 2012 while heading down to our fishing dock. After a trip to the ER, they did nothing for me other than took 1 x-ray and put me in this big black heavy walking boot with a pair of crutches and sent me on my way. This was a Saturday so after arriving home and laying around in pain for 2 days, I called Ortho surgeon on Monday got an appt on Tuesday. After arriving at Ortho surgeon and getting xrays, they informaed me that I had broken 2 bones as well as dislocated my ankle and that the only way to repair it was by surgery. I was absolutely TERRIFIED of having surgery but knew that it was my only option. I had surgery to repair the break and dislocation on 3/29/2012 and was in a fiberglass cast until 4/24/2012 and then i got the walking boot back on. I was told that I could start gradually putting weight on it and using it more often. As many of the other posts stated, once my foot is down for a bit, it too turns a dark shade of purple and gets all " tingly ". I have now been in the walking boot for 2 weeks but I still use crutches. I have been able to walk a short distance without them but I keep having a very sharp pain in the heal of my foot. I am trying so hard to get rid of these crutches because of I am getting married on May 19, 2012. I can tell a huge difference from the 2 weeks ago when I got the all clear to start putting weight on it again but it has been what seems like forever that I have used it that I am so scared to actually not have to depend on the crutches anymore. After reading all of your posts, I know it will get better, but it has been such a long time that it is almost like having to learn how to walk again, even though it was just 1 of my ankles.

May 08, 2012
More recovery - there is hope NEW
by: Dusty

I wrote on here April 23rd. I am now weaning off crutches, I can walk with ONE crutch sometimes, when my ankle isn't locked up. Started pool therapy - if you can get it - DO!! It is the best thing! By doing lunges against the side of the pool (and a whole lot more exercises), I moved a whole bunch of scar tissue from in front of my ankle upward and was able to massage it to lessen the bulk of it.

Today the massage therapist, found a bunch of knots in the back of my leg - my mid calf...grostalk?? grostack - forgot to look up the correct word - said that muscle is what tightens up the achilles - which is real tight. She was pretty aggressive on it and said it will be sore, but if we don't get the knots out, no progress. Also said to use a rolling pin from the back of the heal upwards motion to loosen that muscle.

I am now looking forward to maybe getting off the crutches by the time I go back to the surgeon, the 22nd.

I was being kind of laid back about all this until yesterday when the head PT kind of kicked me in the butt. No more wheelchair, and walking on 1 crutch whenever I can - so I can carry things, that is why I was still using the wheelchair in the house. If you JUST DO IT, like Nike says...you will be surprised at yourself.

You need PT medical support to get through this - if you don't have it, ask for it.

May 22, 2012
Orif 5-18-12 NEW
by: Heather

This site make me feel like I'm not alone. On may 16th my daughters pony reared and flipped over backwards and landed on my ankle and I broke the tibia, and both malleolar (spelled wrong) bones in my right ankle and also dislocated it. I was having severe pain before surgery. I had my surgery on the 18th and I spent 2 additional days in the hospital after surgery, so I was hospitalized from May 16- May 20th. I shouldentipn I have 3 very young children a 6 year old, 3 year old, and an 11 month old baby which further complicates things. I am also a nurse, so I am unable to work and probably won't be able to go back for about 3 months. I can't care for my children alone and it makes me cry pretty regularly about not being able to care for them. My family has been extremely helpful and supportive. My husband works midnights at a hospital and is trying to work as much as he can, but when he leaves, my dad has to take my baby because I can't carry her or get her out of her crib. I cry every time she leaves, I really appreciate all the help but still sad. I'm not quite sure how to cope with this yet. I've helped my patients many times, but have never been a patient myself and so this is extremely difficult for me. I am hoping I recover quickly and fully so I can continue to enjoy my children and career. I'm not very old yet, only 29 and I was pretty active before this, so I'm hoping that works in my favor. I just need to vent and hear some encouraging words, as this is a very difficult time for me.

May 22, 2012
Hang in There!!! NEW
by: Dusty JoJo

Oh my Heather. I feel sorry for you. This isn't easy at all. Sounds like you have a really supportive family. I just passed my 3 month mark, got my last ankle brace that will be off in the next 5 weeks, but I am 61 and I also have arthritis slowing down the progression of healing. I have talked to so many others about how it was for them. You have 'youth' on your side. Hopefully things will go as they should. My doctor said this healing takes more 'patience' than anything. So have lots, think positive..it won't last forever. At least you HAVE your dad to help with the baby. You will adjust and work things out. Good luck to you - you sound like a strong person with big convictions!!

May 23, 2012
Thank you NEW
by: Heather

Dusty JoJo, thank you for the encouraging words. I'm am very grateful for my Dad, he is helping out so much! Thank you for telling me that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. I doing my best to stay positive, it is just difficult for me to right now. I do know things could be worse and I know it isn't forever, just feels like it right now. I know this will get better, my grandmother always said " This too shall pass". She was a strong, wise woman. I know she's be telling me that right now. Thank you for you kind words, I really appreciate it!

May 23, 2012
You WILL get better...p.t. is the key ! NEW
by: cathy

The person who said that things will improve is right ! Healing takes time..and at the beginning, when I had fractured my distal fibula..I had a metal plate and 8 screws..and believe me, at the very start of it..I never would have imagined that with the proper physical therapy ( all p.t.'s are not created equal..I had one of the best), and time...things will improve.My fracture occurred at the end of November and surgery then too.
I am now in no pain and yes, I can feel a slight " bump",which actually is the screw head. I had fears and worries..and actually the physicians assistant explained a lot more to me than the overly " busy" doctor did. I did a lot of my own online research too.
In many cases, the pain is so great at first it can also cause some depression..so my doctor also gave me an anti depressant for a short time. I am now off of those.
Things will improve. The p.t. also can help massage your foot, ankle etc. properly and teach you the right way to do this..all will end well..trust me. I am 59 and feel like I am about 39 now...but the key is to stay active..and not just sit around !

May 23, 2012
Thank you NEW
by: Heather

Cathy, it's reassuring to hear from others who were in a similar situation as me say it does get better. I was given an antidepressant but it has made me nauseas and caused vomiting so I think I may ask for a different 1 because I know I am depressed. It's heartbreaking to watch others care for my children, that's my job. I know it is necessary for now, but I will be back to being their mom soon enough. The pain is still terrible, but I know with time it too will improve. I need to be patient and know it will get better. Thank you so very much for sharing your recovery with me, it gives me hope I will be back to normal eventually. Thank you and glad your healing well and feeling kaon free!

May 25, 2012
Normal NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi guys! I had a plate and 5 screws put in after fracturing my ankle. It has now been 3 weeks I want to know if it is normal for my toes to numb?

May 25, 2012
toes numb NEW
by: Dusty JoJo

It's been over 3 months and I still have numbness in the top of my foot from big toe running to ankle. It is normal says PT. You have damaged tissue that needs to heal. Think of all the displacement of veins, muscle, ligaments, tendons..during this whole ordeal, injury and surgery. Slowly, I have regained some feeling - still a long way to go. I was laid up for about 80 days, doctor says I can expect that on the 'tissue' healing. Remember you have had some areas of your limb, not moving, like when it's in a splint or cast...takes time to get everything moving and groovin again.

May 25, 2012
toes numb NEW
by: Dusty JoJo

It's been over 3 months and I still have numbness in the top of my foot from big toe running to ankle. It is normal says PT. You have damaged tissue that needs to heal. Think of all the displacement of veins, muscle, ligaments, tendons..during this whole ordeal, injury and surgery. Slowly, I have regained some feeling - still a long way to go. I was laid up for about 80 days, doctor says I can expect that on the 'tissue' healing. Remember you have had some areas of your limb, not moving, like when it's in a splint or cast...takes time to get everything moving and groovin again.

May 25, 2012
don't know why NEW
by: dusty jojo

Don't know why this posted twice - sorry

May 25, 2012
1 week post op NEW
by: Heather

My surgery was exactly 1 week ago today. The pain is much better when my foot is elevated. When I get up the pain is mostly in the top of my foot and feels razor sharp. I'm in a little better mood, it still sucks though. I spent an entire day crying, but now I'm feeling a little better. My family is still helpIng me a ton, which I really appreciate! I'm still having a hard time not doing anything for myself and jot being able to play or care for my girls. I keep telling myself this isn't forever. My kids aren't with me very often right now because my husband is trying to work extra to compensate for my income. I had the kids all this week except for Tuesday night the baby had to go to my dads. My 3 year old is having a really hard time with this, she is acting out and crying a lot. I feel so bad and just wish this would be over, but I kkow it won't be anytime soon. So for now, I will do exactly what my dr says to do and rest. I'm not drinking any pop or caffeine and I'm eating a normal amount of calcium and protein to help me heal. I'm still depressed, but it's gradually getting better.

May 25, 2012
For Heather,May 25 comment NEW
by: cathy

Heather, You will get better...and trust me when I say that " crying" is NORMAL after undergoing this or most any surgery.
Naturally a child will " act out" as they are not mature enough to understand what is happening and they are actually somewhat fearful..as Mommy isn't her usual self right now.
It's good to try to explain, as simply as you can, that Mommy has a big " boo boo" or however you can..and that you hurt a lot right now.
I hope that family and friends are helping out with chores etc.
I would encourage you to read other posts here..for at the beginning, I broke my distal fibula at the end of November..right before Christmas season, shopping, baking etc. and guess what ? We still celebrated Christmas,but it was one of frustration at not being able to fully participate in the celbration..and it was not our " normal" Christmas.
Your pain level WILL decrease as time goes on. I feel that the MOST important thing is for your doctor to understand that you may be depressed....as depression is very common,and my m.d. gave me " Lexapro" , a SSRI drug, and it did help me..I only took it for about 3 or 4 weeks..and don't need it now.
I had a wonderful experience with a great physical therapist..yes, it was hard work, but, if you work with a really good p.t., it makes all of the difference in how long it takes to heal..at my age of 59..I am now fully healed and able to walk normally...no gait issues now. This wasn't the case in December..I was hobbling around using a walker and not weight bearing ..and doing everything the doctor suggested.
One day you are going to look back on this as a distant memory..and when your children are old enough to truly understand it all..they will know that you also, while trying to recover from surgery, were the best mother that you could be for them during that difficult time.
For anyone who recently had surgery...there IS hope..things will improve. Sometimes we have to tell our doctors to write us an order for p.t.
With the summer around the corner and having kids around to tend to...my hat is off to anyone who is trying to tend to children and recover ! I had to let my Mother go stay with our sitter...for I truly could not tend to her and heal post op unless I had help for her ( she has alzheimers and needs total care..and lives with us usually).
It WILL get better...email me at higgalot@yahoo.com if you need to vent.

May 26, 2012
Light at the end of the tunnel NEW
by: Kathy

I posted in Nov 2011 last and it's 4 yrs since my skiing accident and 1 1/2 years since plate removal. Apart from the scar my life is back to normal. I have skied this winter, play tennis and go to the gym. Work full time mainly on my feet. The only problem I have is slight swelling in hot weather which reminds me to sit with my feet in cold water and relax! Hope this helps you all out there xx

May 26, 2012
Light at the end of the tunnel NEW
by: Kathy

I posted in Nov 2011 last and it's 4 yrs since my skiing accident and 1 1/2 years since plate removal. Apart from the scar my life is back to normal. I have skied this winter, play tennis and go to the gym. Work full time mainly on my feet. The only problem I have is slight swelling in hot weather which reminds me to sit with my feet in cold water and relax! Hope this helps you all out there xx

Jun 01, 2012
2 weeks post-op NEW
by: Heather

So, it's been exactly 2 weeks since my surgery and I must say, it's getting better :). I went to see my dr on Tuesday and he removed my steri strips and my splint. He put me in a walking boot and did an X-ray. He said my tibia is healing really well, he can hardly see the fracture!!! He said I am coming backbone 6 weeks and he will do some more X-rays and see about walking and therapy. He also said that I can take my boot off in the bath/shower and flex my ankle to help regenerate cartilage. When I was in the hospital, he had told me that I would be in the splint for 4 weeks and the walking boot for 8-10 weeks, splint was only 1 week and walking boot is possibly only 6 weeks, so that is way better! He also said that I had a very severe fracture and I can expect to need another surgery in maybe 5-10 years and he said that hopefully at that time artificial ankle joints will be available because they aren't now, otherwise I will need an ankle fusion. I'm hoping that he is just giving me a worst case scenario, but who knows. I know that no matter what, I will be able to walk, work, and enjoy my life. All in all, it is getting better.

Jun 01, 2012
Good to hear Heather! NEW
by: Dusty JoJo

That is good news Heather - you have youth on your side! Hope everything that should occur, does so in less time for you! It gets easier, you will surprise yourself in what you can do from a chair or crutches.
I am in my last month of PT and doctor care. It is still tough some days. I have some arthritis, my ankle doesn't always cooperate. Seems like the day after a PT workout or heavy massage, I am ailing...but other's at my same or older age, say that one day it will never seem that it happened. Waiting for that day.

Jun 06, 2012
Distal Fibula Surgery NEW
by: Anonymous

This website is encouraging. I broke my distal fibula on April 29, 2012 went to the ER on the 30th put me in soft cast; saw ortho 3 days later - put me in fiberglass cast; saw me 1 week later and did surgery on May 15th. 6 screws and a plate. Today is the 6th of June still in non weight bearing fiberglass cast. The day after surgery was excruitating more pain that I've ever had. Each week the pain is different; last week it felt like hot coals were being placed on top of my foot; this week is pins and needles on top of my foot. I pray this gets better. Begrudgingly I'm still taking pain pills because I have to work and can't think of working and being in severe pain. At what point does the pain stop? I would never wish this on anyone.

Jun 08, 2012
This site is helpful NEW
by: KATHY B

I broke off the tip of my tibia and fibia on Mother's Day. I had surgery 3 days later. He put in screws and plates in each side of my right ankle. They put me in a walking boot. The first few days were very painful. I woke up the first night with my heel burning so bad. I got stitches out at 13 days. I can now take off my boot to shower daily. I was off week 2 weeks and I've been riding to work with a co-worker since I cannot drive. My foot swells some while I'm at work. I try to keep it up on a chair while I work. Luckily I'm a secretary so I could go back to work so soon and not use up all my sick days. He gave me some exercises to do at 2 weeks. I'm almost at 4 weeks now and will start some weight bearing on Tuesday with my walking boot and some more excercises added. He said I can start walking on it at 6 weeks. I'm so anxious to get rid of my crutches!!! I have very little pain, just some burning at my incision from the boot rubbing. The incision looks good. I have a scab at the bottom of my inside incision. I can sleep without my boot on at night now, which feels so good. I'm trying hard to do what I am supposed to do as I am going on a cruise to Alaska in 7 weeks. I want to be out of my walking boot and walking with an ankle brace by the cruise on August 1. Do you think it will be possible?

Jun 10, 2012
Post ORIF 8 weeks NEW
by: Marisa

First off, Heather I feel your pain, pun intended! I slipped on a stair in my house at 35 weeks pregnant, thought I "simply" sprained my ankle... boy was I wrong. I was taken to the ER with 5 yr old son in tow and told I had a bad spiral fibular break and extremely dislocated ankle and would need surgery. Surgery? How could I have surgery, I was very pregnant and had two kids at home to care for. They gave me a guaze like splint to allow for swelling, told me to call an Orthopedist and sent me home. My leg literally felt like it was hanging by a thread. I opted for a spinal for my surgery one week later. At least being awake I could keep my own eye on the baby's heart rate. What was supposed to be a 1.5 hr surgery ended up being 3+ due to both the bad spiral fracture and ankle dislocation being pretty much stuck with tendons jammed. Being awake and hearing the drills etc was quite an experience. I had amazing care, but being pregnant my pain meds were reduced to Tylenol 500. With the largest plate they make and 8 screws later I was put into a fiberglass cast and sent home on bed rest, blood thinners and immense pain. The major pain lasted about 2-3 days then began to get better. A walker was very useful for me as hopping on crutches was very difficult with a pregnant belly. Also, a rolling knee scooter is a god send! I had tons of help from my husband and mother. I gave birth via csection May 17 to a very healthy baby boy, my trooper, with my blue cast and all. There have been lots of tears at the realization that I cannot care for my newborn as I should, it has been a true test. The abdominal pain mixed with my leg issue have made for intertesting maneuvering. One week later I had cast removed and was giving an air cast which I find very heavy and cumbersome. Like many of you, my doc was also pretty vague about the dos and don'ts, I do take it off to sleep. I'm sure this is done purposely - they want you to test your own strength and navigate your comfort level on your own. I was given the go-ahead to "slowly start to walk around the house with the air cast on" on June 7. As I took my first few quasi steps I had pain in my heal and the top portion of my ankle. I am very apprehensive and frustrated. Somehow I thought once I could walk, I would be able to do so! My doc said PT would not be necessary, I'm beginning to rethink that and will be asking for it. Now on day 3 of bearing weight and it is very slowly getting better. I am able to shower without sitting on a damn chair!
Reading all of these posts is amazingly helpful and encouraging. Keep on keepin on my fragile legged friends- we can do this!

Jun 10, 2012
PT a must NEW
by: Dusty JoJo

So sorry for you 'ankle breakers' of late. Trust me when I say this - you NEED PT...let me repeat...you NEED PT, demand it. Ankles working correctly, use so many muscles, tendons and ligaments from the toe to the hip. When they are injured they need rehabbing. Age 61, day 121 or so (age,arthritis and bursitis in that knee changes the picture a little - be glad you are young when this happened to you), still in an Ossur lace-up ankle brace. Walk with a cane...swelling still a problem, achilles is the toughest and last area to make strong and get to work right. Still in pain when I think of it, so I try not to. At that point where I need to decide if I leave the hardware in, or take it out. It doesn't seem to be an issue AND I somehow can't imagine myself BACK in the boot for awhile. I love the PT pool therapy!!

Jun 10, 2012
3 weeks post op NEW
by: Heather

Marisa, I feel so bad for you! I know how bad my pain was even with some hefty narcotics and I can't imagine it without them! I'm glad baby is healthy and you're doing well. I know how hard it is having a baby and 2 others that you are unable to care for like you want to and it is the worst thing ever. I'm happy to say that my ankle is feeling much better and I am getting around better. I am exercising my ankle at least 3 times a day and the pain in tons better. I am now only using Tylenol for pain. I'm sleeping better and I can finally put my leg down for a little while without feeling excruciating pain. I'm so thankful for my family, I don't know what I would have done without them. My dad and step-mom had my kids while I was in the hospital and took them when my husband worked for the first 2 weeks. My dad mowed my lawn and my mom and step-mom have cleaned my house. My husband has been working extra and helping me with everything as well. I also had 2 close friends that have been very supportive and I am so thankful for that. I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and I know I am getting better. My next appt is july 10th and I hope I can start therapy then and hopefully return to work soon. Im a homecare nurse and I broke my right foot and can't work until I am cleared to drive. I can't wait to go back to work and I now kkow what my patients are experiencing. Dusty jojo, I am definitely going to do pt, I have a lot of years left to work and play with my kids so I need to have full use of my ankle. Thank you all for the kind words and support.

Jun 11, 2012
Heather - 3 Wks Post Op NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Heather,

I am curious as to how you are exercising your ankle 3 times a day? I am 4 weeks post op, plate and six screws and like you have had 2 weeks of severe pain just hanging my foot down. The pain has subsided some. I can not imagine how you and others run a household with this injury. I'm thankful my kids are grown and the one still left at home is very generous in helping out. I too had this on the right foot so I am also unable to drive. I am also very lucky that my sister has been an angel to come and stay with me during the day when I was not at work, and now that I'm back at work, she drives me and picks me up every day. What an angel. I wish you and all the others luck. Please others share your experiences, they do help us all understand that what we are experiencing is more than likely "normal".

Jun 15, 2012
4 weeks post op NEW
by: Heather

Well it's been 4 weeks since my surgery and I went to the dr yesterday and I am happy to say he said my ankle is healed!!!! Still no walking for a few more weeks, but the fractures are completely healed :). My pain is rarely there, no more norcos, Tylenol occassionally, but that's about it. Swelling is completely gone, incisions are completely healed. I still am using the ace wrap and walking boot, I elevate it whenever I am sitting and I'm still using crutches, but it is so much better! I go back on July 10 and I should be able to walk and go back to work after that, we will see though. All I know is I'm half done and almost there.

Jun 15, 2012
tibia fibula break NEW
by: Anonymous

I am at 10 weeks after a spiral break on my fibula and a splinter break of the tibia. I have a long plate on the front of the fibula, and screws top and bottom. I had wires around the bone and another screw at the top but these were taken out at 7 weeks, after which I was told I could walk again without crutches, although I took another week before I trusted it. From the first day after the op I had PT in the hospital, with basic movement. I was instructed to move my ankle every hour, flexing it up and down and to bend my knee, plus I was doing a hard flex in my knee- it was really stiff the first few days but after that it got a lot easier and my flexibility was almost normal again after 2 weeks. My swelling went down quickly too - I had ice packs and elevation for 4 weeks solid and lymphatic drainage and PT for 6 weeks after that. I was advised to walk with crutches with up to 20kgs for the first 6 weeks. I only walked without them for the first time at about 8 wks. The bone has healed slower than I expected, although the soft tissue has healed fantastically. My bone does hurt now though, when I walk, specifically at the break site, but I think I might have walked too fast on it and need to take care to take each step as a single step and not rush. The pain does change from day to day, week to week. Last Saturday I had almost none and was riding a bike outdoors again, just gently. But then I squatted and felt something strain along the bone and since then it has been hurting again. I have been using the home trainer too, on a light gear, and can generally cycle for up to an hour. Then I put ice on it again although swelling is not really an issue. The sensitivity of the wound is what amazes me, and I really have no idea what is normal or not. I was hoping to work next weekend in the pub where I work, it's low key and I can sit for periods at a time behind the bar, but I'm not so sure if that's a good idea. I can swim laps and ride the bike but walking is an issue still, and seems like it will be still for at least another month.. The frustration and boredom and lack of independence is the hardest thing to take though! But hopefully it will continue to get better and the pain is possibly a good indicator in itself anyway to know what my limits are. But frustrating that no doctor will actually tell you what you expect, or how long it really takes. After surgery it was all very blase - 6 weeks and you'll be walking again! I don't know what their definition of walking is but it's vastly different from mine. Reading here seems to indicate that the injury can take a long time to heal or feel good, and it can also heal quickly - but it seems in most cases it's slow progress. Thanks for the support and happy healing.

Jun 15, 2012
Reply NEW
by: Heather

I am bending my foot up and down , my dr said I needed to in order to increase my cartilage in my ankle. It was really stiff at first, but now it's great.

Jun 22, 2012
walking after ORIF surgery NEW
by: Ashley

hey guys i broke my fibula on 5-4-12 (slipped on ice) went to the drs. 5-8 and they told me i needed surgery. two days later i got a plate,5 screws, a pin, and put in a partial cast. the first week after surgery was awful lots of pain. two weeks after that i got a plaster cast. I really didn't have a lot of pain with the plaster cast on just swelling when my foot was not elevated. its been 6 weeks since surgery and the drs. say i can put 50% weight on it in an air cast with the aid of crutches and in 10 days i can be full weight bearing. I am super nervous to put full weight on my foot, and i am not sure if i will still need to use crutches and i am supposed to be full weight bearing befor my next dr. appointment none of the doctors i have talked to have been much help i feel like i have to beg them for answers its super frustrating

Jun 22, 2012
walking NEW
by: Dusty JoJo

Ashley - Everyone has a different schedule and program, but with an air cast on and 50% weight, it should be OK. Your joint/muscles/tissue and lack of strength is supported. Have they had you start bending it back and forth (and believe me, it doesn't just 'happen' - it takes time and work, but only if they tell you to) while you are sitting with it up? Are you going to do some PT? That one is KEY. As they told me, if it hurts too bad..don't do it. But you will experience some pain with all the work you have to do. My doctor said if there is shooting pains right in the ankle area..stop - whatever it is.
I am now keeping track of when I am walking correctly, when it doesn't hurt, when I don't have to use a cane, because with that is intermittent walking wrong, pain and cane use. I need to see the progress, even though it's sporadic. 129 days since I broke and dislocated my 61 year old ankle and had ORIF medial and lateral malleolar surgery with pins and plates. There is a light at the end of this LOOONG tunnel. Hope it's not as long for you.

Jun 22, 2012
5 weeks post op NEW
by: Heather

Well, it has been 5 very long weeks since my surgery and I am still NWB and not able to drive or work. I go back July 10th and am hoping to be back to work soon after. I need to work, I don't get disability because I am per diem, so I'm offered Jo benefits. I have no saving left and my family has helped with my finances as much as they could, so now I really need to be back to work. Y husband is doing his best, but I make substantially more money than him so no matter how much he works, it doesn't really compensate for my wage. I feel bad for him because I know he's trying and it's just not enough. My ankle is feeling great. I have lots of flexibility in it, much more than I thought I would. It does hurt sometimes when I flex it too much, but I know it needs to be done. I can't wait to work again! I love my job and am eager to be a nurse again instead of the patient. The bonus of breaking my ankle is that I get to spend the summer with my kids. My dad is still taking the baby at night when my husband is at work, but the other 2 are always with me, so that's a ton better than it was. This has been an experience that's for sure. I am getting better and so will all of you.

Jun 22, 2012
Fracture trimalleolar on June 9 NEW
by: Tracy

I have fracture trimalleolar . I done this skiing with my kids on the 9 th of June and had surgery on the 12 th June . I've beenin a lot have pain and I don't have a lot of feeling in my toes. I still have a long time to go . I go to the doctor on monday 25 th first appt after surgery. I had to stay. Over in the hostipal after surgery which I was glad of , he told that it was broken in 9 places all around 10 screws and plates put in . I'm ready for a new cast this cast so uncomfortable I hope I get fibiarglass cast on Monday . I hate knowing that I'm going to scars on both side of my leg . But reading everybody post has help me to what I'm in for .

Jun 22, 2012
thanks dusty jo NEW
by: Ashley

I am so ready to get back to having a "normal" life, but i am not going to push it and cause more problems. I am not sure if i am going to have PT my doctor doesn't seem to think i need it, but that could be because i don't have insurance and i have already signed my life away to the hospital i get a bill in the mail every day. i have a list of exercises that i have to do five times a day like streching it with a towel and wrighting the ABC's with my ankle. I am starting to get a lot more range of motion in my ankle which is encouraging I had a dream that i forest gump ran out of my air cast last night lol i just didn't realize what a long process this was going to be but every day it gets a little better

Jun 22, 2012
thanks dusty jo NEW
by: Ashley

I am so ready to get back to having a "normal" life, but i am not going to push it and cause more problems. I am not sure if i am going to have PT my doctor doesn't seem to think i need it, but that could be because i don't have insurance and i have already signed my life away to the hospital i get a bill in the mail every day. i have a list of exercises that i have to do five times a day like streching it with a towel and wrighting the ABC's with my ankle. I am starting to get a lot more range of motion in my ankle which is encouraging I had a dream that i forest gump ran out of my air cast last night lol i just didn't realize what a long process this was going to be but every day it gets a little better

Jun 23, 2012
brown spots NEW
by: Debbie

I broke three bones in my ankle in February. About a month ago I noticed a brown spot on the back of my ankle. My GP said it was an age spot. WRONG. It peeled off like a burn then another one appeared on the side of my ankle. I do have pins and plates in there. Anyone know anything about this?

Jun 28, 2012
6 weeks post op NEW
by: Heather

Well. I have made it to the 6 week mark lol. Still NWB, I go back at 7.5 weeks, the surgeon says he is taking extra precautions with me due to the severity of my fracture. I feel great, incisions are closed and scab free, ROM has greatly improved, and I am off all meds!!!!! I am extremely eager to begin walking and returning to work and my former life. I hope it is soon! I miss chasing my kids, riding my horses, driving, working, and I really miss walking. I hope all goes as planned, wish me luck :)

Jul 01, 2012
Hate non weight bearing NEW
by: Anonymous

This is a wonderful forum. I am a 59yo female post-op Orif of ankle and ATFL repair x 2 weeks.Had bone graft and screw placed in non union fibula fracture in addition to ligament repair. I have a wierd story as I have unknowingly been walking on a broken distal fibula for 5 years. Thought I just turned my ankle because it happens alot to me as I have unstable ankles. Went to orthopedist after 2 weeks after initial break as pain was very bad. He said it had already started to heal and put me in some plastic aircast and gave me no restrictions or follow up. I am a hospital pharmacist and you would think I would have questioned that but did not. So therefore I have lived with pain for 5 years going back into orthopods complaining as ankle swells beyond belief. Finally insisted on MRI and sure enough distal fibula non union fracture and AFTL ligament totally blown. I am terrible with crutches and am so tired of non weight bearing I could scream. Have been told 6 more weeks of non weight bearing then will start PT. Am going tomarrow to have sutures removed and hopefully to be placed in a boot. I feel so helpless. Just trying to get a cup of water is an unbelieveable task. Thanks for letting me vent. I feel like this is never going to end. Good luck to the rest of you. It's a comfort to know others are going through this to.

Jul 01, 2012
Hate non weight bearing NEW
by: Anonymous

This is a wonderful forum. I am a 59yo female post-op Orif of ankle and ATFL repair x 2 weeks.Had bone graft and screw placed in non union fibula fracture in addition to ligament repair. I have a wierd story as I have unknowingly been walking on a broken distal fibula for 5 years. Thought I just turned my ankle because it happens alot to me as I have unstable ankles. Went to orthopedist after 2 weeks after initial break as pain was very bad. He said it had already started to heal and put me in some plastic aircast and gave me no restrictions or follow up. I am a hospital pharmacist and you would think I would have questioned that but did not. So therefore I have lived with pain for 5 years going back into orthopods complaining as ankle swells beyond belief. Finally insisted on MRI and sure enough distal fibula non union fracture and AFTL ligament totally blown. I am terrible with crutches and am so tired of non weight bearing I could scream. Have been told 6 more weeks of non weight bearing then will start PT. Am going tomarrow to have sutures removed and hopefully to be placed in a boot. I feel so helpless. Just trying to get a cup of water is an unbelieveable task. Thanks for letting me vent. I feel like this is never going to end. Good luck to the rest of you. It's a comfort to know others are going through this to.

Jul 02, 2012
7 Weeks Post Op NEW
by: KP

April 29 Broken distal fibula, May 15th out patient surgery having 1 plate and 6 screws...first couple of days after surgery pain unbelievable - when I put my leg down out of bed it felt like there was fire running down my leg into my foot - stayed in bed for the better part of 2 weeks with the foot elevated and on pain meds. The pain was bad (is there a light at the end of the tunnel?)- I have concluded it is/was nerve ending pain. The top of my foot was in constant pain - like someone was putting hot coals on the inside of my foot. About every 3 days the pain subsided a little - after 3 weeks I was able to cut back a little on the pain medication. I returned to work 2 weeks after surgery which was not easy. June 20th hard cast removed and put in a Cam Walking Cast - 30% weight bearing....I am almost pain free at this point, when the hard cast came off when I would put my foot on the gound it felt like pins and needles going through my foot. I don't have that anymore. This is truly a SLOW PROCESS but I do see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you are new to this and struggling - paitence is a virtue and a wheelchair is a necessity (at least in your home).

Jul 03, 2012
sorry posted twicr NEW
by: Anonymous

Sorry do not know how I posted twice. Thanks

Jul 03, 2012
sorry posted twicr NEW
by: Anonymous

Sorry do not know how I posted twice. Thanks

Jul 05, 2012
Now allowed to bear weight & walk NEW
by: SW Ankle Lady

I am a 66 year female who fell down a steep set of concrete stairs in early May. I broke the Fib & Tib, and a bone on the bottom of my ankle. I had surgery with a long plate on my side, shorter on the other, two plates across the top of my ankle, and 9 screws. Two days later, I learned I was allergic to my painkillers and spent 5 hours in the ER. I progressed from splints, leg casts and now an AirCast Boot.

I am now 7 weeks from surgery date and my surgeon told me I can begin to bear weight and take steps. I wear an AirCast Walking Pnuematic Boot, which I can now remove to sleep or when seated.

I have swelling and my foot turns reddish-purple when trying to walk or taking a shower. My surgeon advised me to wear a compression sock. He said that everyone is different, and the swelling is caused by trauma. In time, it will go away. I use a shower chair in the shower for safety.

I have tried to take "steps" several times, always resulting in several to numerous sharp, shooting nerve pains, needle-like. As a result, I have become paranoid about taking steps. I use a walker for balance and walk, using as much weight as possible. I assume that the more steps I take, the more the sharp needle-like pain will go away. I do not know! I am now having crying spells, partly due to me being a chicken to walk, and party because the pains are so sharp.

My surgeon advised me to take PT twice a week for a month. However, I have to be able to WALK first.

Have any of you experience this and how did you progress?

Jul 05, 2012
to - SW Ankle Lady NEW
by: Anonymous

I too am 7 weeks out but I just have 1 plate and six screws. I am in a cam walking boot. From my experience you it will get easier but it is a slow process. I had the shooting needle pains in the top of my foot each time I stood up. It took me about a week and a half before I would put pressue on it to walk with this boot on. What I did was stand up a few times a day (like at the counter or table so you can hold on) I would put both feet on the ground and yes I had the needle pain, but I would keep my foot on the ground for about 3 - 5 minutes a few times a day. My personal experience is that the needle pain and sharp shooting pain on my foot was the nerves waking back up. My foot was a bright blue/purple when my fiberglass cast first came off and still is discolored at the end of the day; my conclusion is circulation, Try massaging your leg and foot each evening to get the blood flowing and to wake up the nerves in your foot. Please hang in there, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Jul 05, 2012
Shooting pains NEW
by: Dusty JoJo

You might want to ask your doctor about those shooting pains. My doctor said they aren't a good sign especially if they are IN your ankle area. I had a few...from time to time, but not always.
I am 61 - I am now 5 months down the road from fracture fib and tib, plates and screws, all the progression of your same stuff. I banged it all up pretty good when it dislocated and smashed the end of the leg bones. I still walk with a gimp toward the end of the day, swelling and pain take over..I get off of my feet, elevate and ice. I have some arthriscopic surgery I am looking at probably in September. The pain I have is caused from scar tissue, or floating particles as he calls it, where my foot bends at the ankle in front. It is either bone or cartilage. He said I will be better when he can get it scoped and cleaned. We are waiting, because our schedules don't mesh and he wants to give me some more time to get more normal in my gait. Swim, swim, swim he said. So I swam and I swam and I swam..and am still swimming, except the pool will be out of commission in my small town wellness center for the next week..so I will go do gym machines, instead. My knee has been an issue as well, I have bursitis and my pes ancirinus(sp?) is inflamed - due to walking NOT RIGHT. My PT says, if you have to gimp, then walk with adaptive devices, don't gimp...it makes other parts of your body go wonko - on up the ladder, knee, hip, back. The purpose of weight bearing is to build muscle...that you have lost. I still have atrophy in my large calf muscle. Toe raises help, but I am still not able to do those standing on dry land. Pool is great for that though.

Jul 08, 2012
1 1/2 weeks post orif NEW
by: Soccer

I broke my fibula playing soccer and had surgery within 2 days. I am now about 1 1/2 weeks out and am still in a decent amount of pain. My real issue is getting comfortable while trying to sleep. Also, my back, hip and behind are killing me from so much sitting. I cannot stand the pain if my leg is not elevated. Often at night I get an extremely painful feeling in heel area. I will talk to my doctor about it tomorrow. I am struggling with the helplessness but am trying to keep a positive outlook. I'm 40 and I really feel 40 now! Thanks for the site.

Jul 08, 2012
Soccer NEW
by: Heather

I had the same heel pain at about the same time. It got better around 2 weeks. I also had the pain in my hips, butt, and back from the bed, for that I started getting out of bed more and laying on the couch to help and I also used pillows to help relieve pressure on my hips and butt. The pain will start to get better after 2-3 weeks. I am now 7 weeks post op and am pain free and getting around tons better. I know how down you can feel, but know that it gets better, just hang in there.

Jul 09, 2012
Tidbit for Heather NEW
by: Dusty Jo Jo

Try a (sleeping) bed wedge - it helped me. Leg elevated and that weight pushing down on your torso is rough. Of course, it's almost impossible to roll over and sleep on your side, so you need some relief on that lower back. I still have the wedge there now, stand it up these days when I want to try on my side..which still isn't too comfortable, plus, I still need to elevate my leg due to swelling. Hope your days get better - they will.

Jul 09, 2012
Ooops NEW
by: Dusty Jo Jo

That bed wedge is for your upper body to prop up on. I put my pillow on it and the lower wedge part sits at my coccix area.

Jul 12, 2012
Ankle ok stomach not so much NEW
by: Soccer

The combo of the pain meds and the resulting constipation, caused me to return to the hospital and learn I now have an acute bout of diverticulitis. This pain makes the ankle feel like a scratch! The stitches came out and I am working on toe movement and foot extension and flexion. This has not been a great two weeks!

Jul 12, 2012
8 weeks post op and walking NEW
by: Heather

I am officially 8 weeks post op and I went to my dr appt on Tuesday and he said my most severe fracture which went straight up my Fibula is no longer visible in x ray and the 2 other fractures are still visible, but completely healed. I am now allowed to put weight on my foot. Dr said start with 40-50 pounds and increase by 5 pounds every day for the next 2 weeks while still using crutches. After the 2 weeks, I can remove the boot and walk without it and use 1 crutch on my left side for stability. I have to see him 4 weeks after that where he said as long as im doing well, I can e crutch free!!!! I have been walking a lot the past 2 days an it has been going great! When I first put weight on it it feels like pins and needles in my heel, but after that it feels fine, no pain or anything. I still have all my hardware and I have no pain from that either and my flexion and extension is getting much better. To all of you just beginning this ordeal, please know that it does get better!!!! I was where you are thinking this was never going to end and I was never going to get better, after 8 long weeks and the most terrible pain I have ever experienced, I can honestly say I'm feeling great and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. This site has been tremendously helpful for me throughout this horrific journey, I hope this helps some of you know it will get better.

Jul 12, 2012
heather sorry NEW
by: dusty jojo

I didn't check back, sorry, yes, of course the wedge is for upper body and then pillows for elevating leg above heart. I too, use my bed head pillow also to lay my head on...coccix is resting about where wedge ends.

Jul 12, 2012
heather sorry NEW
by: dusty jojo

I didn't check back, sorry, yes, of course the wedge is for upper body and then pillows for elevating leg above heart. I too, use my bed head pillow also to lay my head on...coccix is resting about where wedge ends.

Jul 13, 2012
4 weeks post op NEW
by: Marie Clair

I am now at 4 weeks post op from ligament repair and orif surgery on distal fibula break and cannot wait for the next 2 weeks to go by so maybe I can start to weight bear. I feel extremely discouraged and feel like this will never end. I fell Mon. and did not have my boot on so I am sure I didn't help an already bad situation. Just wanted to say this sight has helped with my questions also. My foot turns blue and is numb when I have to let it hang down when in my shower chair but have started to massage it and it gets better afterwards. Best wishes to everyone. This is probably the worst thing I have ever been through in my 58 years. Hopefully the next time I post I will be weight bearing and starting pt. Can't wait to join the land of the living and walking.

Jul 13, 2012
Follow up to Shooting needle pains NEW
by: SW Ankle Lady

As a follow up to my posted comments...I am 9 weeks post op and recovering from a fractured tib, fib and bone in bottom of ankle. After several more attempts to step with my Pneumatic AirCast Walking Boot, then experiencing shooting needle-like pain on the bottom of my foot, I consulted with a PT. I have now had 5 sessions with the PT and I am seeing light at the end of the long, dark tunnel. He told my I could not step because my foot is too stiff -- my ankle is at an angle, and my toes curl and do not touch the ground. I have been doing my exercises at home, as instructed by the PT. I am now able to flex my foot a little more, the swelling is going down, as well as the edema, and my toes can actually touch the ground. He advised me to take it slow and easy. He has seen too many people with ankle fractures do too much, only to create other problems. In my case, the fractured ankle is severe (3 fractures) and I have several plates and 9 screws. I see my surgeon in two weeks. There is no promise that I will advance to an ankle brace and walk that day, but my PT said I will be close to that goal. Since I am a healthy 66 year old, I plan to take it slow and easy and follows the instructions of PT. I am already feeling better!

Jul 15, 2012
Surgery on June 5 NEW
by: Anonymous

I really liked the detailed stories here and have a much more optimistic outlook on my recovery after reading these posts. I was knocked over a curb and had a spiral break in my ankle. I had surgery in which 3 pins were installed. I had a covered cast/splint for 2 weeks and have now had a removable boot for almost 4 weeks. The doctor will look at weight bearing at 10 weeks. I was in the process of appealing my denial for insurance at Kaiser due to pre-existing conditions so I was not insured when this happened. I just received bills totaling almost $30,000 dollars from the hospital and since I am a re-modeler can not work to pay it. Don't know what to do unless I have to declare bankruptcy. This does not help my mood during recovery. I have to resist the urge to push too early for weight bearing and have been good so far. The hospital will not see me again because I have no more money so I am scared that I will have too assess my progress myself! I also have to give up my appeal for kaiser Insurance and get insurance in the middle of this? Any recommendations? The pre-existing condition Kaiser denied me for was - height to weight ratio - or I would have been insured. I am almost broke now and feel bad I have to ask dad for next months bill money...

Jul 15, 2012
Spiral ankle break at 6 weeks NEW
by: Ben (46 years)

I really liked the detailed stories here and have a much more optimistic outlook on my recovery after reading these posts. I was knocked over a curb and had a spiral break in my ankle. I had surgery in which 3 pins were installed. I had a covered cast/splint for 2 weeks and have now had a removable boot for almost 4 weeks. The doctor will look at weight bearing at 10 weeks. I was in the process of appealing my denial for insurance at Kaiser due to pre-existing conditions so I was not insured when this happened. I just received bills totaling almost $30,000 dollars from the hospital and since I am a re-modeler can not work to pay it. Don't know what to do unless I have to declare bankruptcy. This does not help my mood during recovery. I have to resist the urge to push too early for weight bearing and have been good so far. The hospital will not see me again because I have no more money so I am scared that I will have too assess my progress myself! I also have to give up my appeal for kaiser Insurance and get insurance in the middle of this? Any recommendations? The pre-existing condition Kaiser denied me for was - height to weight ratio - or I would have been insured. I am almost broke now and feel bad I have to ask dad for next months bill money...

Jul 15, 2012
Apoligize for double post? NEW
by: Ben

Double post occurred because I thought the first one did not go through...sorry...

Jul 20, 2012
9 weeks post op and throbbing/ache NEW
by: Heather

I am now 9 weeks post op and have been partial weight bearing since 7 weeks. I can go to full weight bearing today. I am having lots of throbbing and more pain than I've had in weeks. Is this normal? I can walk, but have a pretty good limp and it hurts more when I first put weight on it. It hurts in my muscles, not my bones. My dr won't order pt for me and says walking is my pt, but I am having pain and don't want to walk due to the pain. Anyone go through the same thing? What helped? I'm getting frustrated and depressed, I thought I was supposed to be getting better, but now I'm not so sure.

Jul 20, 2012
4 weeks post-op ORIF NEW
by: Amy

My injury occurred on June 10th, when I jumped off a parasail boat onto the beach, resulting in broken tib/fib. We were out of the country, after ambulance ride to the only hosp on the island, the news was not good so we cut our trip short so that I could follow up with ortho on 6/13 here in the states. On June 22nd I had surgery which involved placement of 1 plate and 11 screws, one of which joined the tib/fib due to broken ligaments. I am also still NWB for at least 6 more weeks, also have no health insurance and am unable to work (I am a home health nurse, who cancelled insurance after going to PRN basis)...so as I read these post I am comforted to know that I'm not the only one experiencing such things as purple/blue foot, numbness, pain is not as troublesome at this point...just more uncomfortable than anything. I have been to the ER twice to rule out DVT/PE, with the last visit resulting in a diagnosis of anxiety. All brought on by this injury as I have NEVER experienced such an occurrence in the past...I am trying to get a hold on it but am struggling as I feel depression setting in. I thought putting my thoughts in writing might make me feel better!
I am now in a pneumatic boot and can take it off for showers and to exercise my foot. This involves moving my foot up and down and progress is slow, I have tried using the towel to assist but that's not really helping.
But after reading all of these post I am more hopeful!

Jul 21, 2012
Reply to Amy NEW
by: Soccer

I had surgery about 4 days after you. I have been down and anxious myself, but keep your head up! Its been three weeks and I have started getting out of the house. While it hurts to be more mobile, it makes me feel much better emotionally! I threw away the pain meds about a week ago and am just trying to make the best out of a bad situation. Good luck! Also my foot turns very purple everytime it is not elevated!

Aug 01, 2012
12 weeks post op NEW
by: Heather

Well, it has been 12 very long weeks since my surgery and I am happy to report that I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!!!!!! I was given the go to walk without my boot and crutches on July 24th, I still use my ace wrap except when I'm sleeping. At first, it hurt so bad to walk that I thought it was impossible. I was in constant pain and was pretty depressed, I spent a lot of time in tears. I called my dr and he said it will be painful at first, but in about 2 weeks it should get better. He said to keep walking and that will help my muscles and tendons get stronger. I thought he was crazy because if he knew how much it hurt to walk he would never have asked me to do that. I did what he said and I pushed on through the pain, and now only a week later, the pain is almost gone!!!!! I am walking much better, still have a slight limp, but it's getting better. I have been cleared to return to work, I'm a nurse and on my feet a lot, so this was great news! Along with all of this, I'm moving 7 hours away from everything/everyone I know this week. Because of my injury, my husband was forced to take a better paying job really far away. He's been gone for about a month now and I've been here packing and taking care of 3 young girls, oldest is 6. So I have a lot on my plate right now. Thus injury has put my family through some pretty hard times, we are moving, losing our house, and leaving the only place my girls have called home. We are making it though, my husbands new job has amazing pay and great benefits, and the company I work for is transferring me to the office near my new home, so we are very blessed to have things looking up. I am healing and feeling better, this site helps a ton!

Aug 02, 2012
Going from Boot to Brace - 3 mos post op NEW
by: SW Ankle Lady

This is "SW Ankle Lady" who fell and broke 3 weight bearing bones in my ankle. I am now 3 months post op and have been in PT for nearly four weeks (3 times a week). PT is the best thing I ever did! My particular PT has over 15 years experience treating patients with ankle injuries.

My surgeon's X-rays show that my bones are healed nicely, and I was told I could go from an AirCast Walking Boot to an AirCast Ankle Brace when I could walk alone with the Boot. My PT had me start wearing an AirCast Ankle Brace this week and I am walking with one crutch. I have various exercises at PT, including exercise bike, leg strengthening bar, massages, etc.

SWITCHING FROM BOOT TO BRACE:
Going from the AirCast Boot to the AirCast Brace is like removing a concrete block from your foot and replacing it with two padded marshmallows, lol!! I was able to fit my injured and slightly swollen foot into a sneaker with the most room inside. (Note: at first I tried on sneakers wearing a compression sock - that made my foot rigid and straight; I switched to a thin socklet and my foot fit fine.) The sides of the brace add bulk in the back of my sneaker, so I tie the laces widely on top of my foot. I wear a lightweight, absorbent sock (the brace's two Velcro straps go across the front of my leg - be sure not to strap too tightly -- I usually make sure the sock is underneath the Velcro and I can insert the width of one finger under each strap).

PT & EXERCISES:
I perform several exercises each morning before I get out of bed, and when ready to walk with one crutch, as instructed by my PT. For example:
*I flex my foot slowing back and forth;
*I place my foot on floor and slowly curl toes;
*I lift the front of the foot up and down.
*I stand at a counter or stable table and shift weight back and forth to each leg.
*I step sideways, left then right, then right to left, to practice stepping and placing weight on my leg.

I am able to bear weight and walk several times around the house using one crutch, or to and from the PT's office.

DURING NIGHT TIME:
*At night my PT has me use a walker to get out of bed and to the bathroom and not bear weight on the foot, and to not walk bare-footed yet.
*I also wear the brace when sleeping so I do not twist my foot.

MILD TINGLING NOW:
Sometimes I feel mild tingling in the bottom of the foot when I bear weight and step, but it goes away after a step or two. This is so much better than 4 weeks ago! The foot feels "strange" -- meaning, I have not touched the ground with it for 3 months, and my leg muscles are rebuilding. My brain seems to be re-programming -- before, my foot was being protected; now it is doing what is used to do -- stepping! Wow!

I am starting to overcome being nervous and afraid to bear weight and step. I will wear the brace for 2 months to prevent rolling my ankle in or out and re-injuring it. My confidence is building and my pain is much less!



Aug 02, 2012
7 weeks now in a boot NEW
by: Tracy

I start pt tomorrow yay! I'm scare and I've try to stand but I can't yet . I cant feel a clicking in my ankle so is this nomarl ?to feel that I broke my ankle in 9 places . Lots of screws and plates just worry help please

Aug 02, 2012
5 wks out from surgery NEW
by: Soccer

I just started pt and am making strides with my range of motion. I cannot weight bear but I am trying to put some weight on it when I walk with crutches. I'm getting back to work and am very ready to be ambulatory. From what I read, I should progress to walking in my boot soon. I am just about sick of being on crutches!!

Aug 03, 2012
Reply to Soccer NEW
by: Amy

Thank you so much for the words of encouragement! They are greatly appreciated! I want to get out and about more, but unfortunately when I have my foot down longer than an hour...it's swells up to the size of a small football! And since my incision isn't quite healed this leads to drainage.
So glad to hear that you are progressing so well, that is also very encouraging! I go back to the ortho dr. on Aug. 15th at that time he will determine if I'm ready for PT. So I am keeping my fingers crossed!
Best of luck to you with the rest of your rehab process!

Aug 04, 2012
Tri-mal ankle fracture (21 years old) NEW
by: Barrel Racer

I am 21 and suffered a tri-mal fracture in my left ankle on July 10th when I fell off my horse. I completely broke off parts of both the tibia and fibula, and had a severe impacted fracture of the Talus. I had surgery on July 16th (2 metal plates and 13 screws) and went in for my post-op today. I was given a walking boot, but cannot bear weight for another 7 weeks.
I haven't put the boot on yet, as I want to clean up my leg- as you all know, it gets nasty after surgery. Should I be wearing the boot during periods of rest? My doctor was not very specific, saying I only NEEDED to have it on when I am up and about for protection.
He also said I can start swimming in two weeks to help reduce muscle atrophy and regain some mobility in the joint. Has any one tried swimming? And if so-how was it, any results, ect?
I am (was) extremely active. I compete in rodeos, I own and care for two performance horses myself, I two step every weekend, I wake board, I am never resting. Until this, it seems to have slowed me down some. I am worried about not regaining full mobility, but I am mildly confident in my hard-headedness to pull me through this.
I start PT August 13th, but I am anxious. I have a high pain tolerance- when I broke the three bones, I did not cry or whine, I merely thought it was a bad sprain. I had bets with the ER nurses that it was not broken, and unfortunately, I was very wrong. But a heads-up would be nice. How painful is PT at the beginning?
Sorry, I know I have a lot of questions, but I can't seem to find much information on a person my age with an injury like this.
Thanks!

Aug 05, 2012
To Soccer NEW
by: Purple Lady

To Soccer....I am 3 weeks post ankle surgery and also have a purple foot whenever my foot is not elevated....It swells and tingles a bit, but I do have feeling in the foot and it goes away once elevated....Is this still happening to you.....My PT and visiting nurse were concerned a bit, but not my doctor....If I could sit up for awhile, it would help my spirits, but this purple foot is keeping me bedridden....Has anyone else experienced this and for how long?

Aug 05, 2012
To Soccer NEW
by: Purple Lady

To Soccer....I am 3 weeks post ankle surgery and also have a purple foot whenever my foot is not elevated....It swells and tingles a bit, but I do have feeling in the foot and it goes away once elevated....Is this still happening to you.....My PT and visiting nurse were concerned a bit, but not my doctor....If I could sit up for awhile, it would help my spirits, but this purple foot is keeping me bedridden....Has anyone else experienced this and for how long?

Aug 05, 2012
To purple lady NEW
by: Anonymous

I am 5 weeks out and my swelling and discoloration are doing much better. If my foot stays down too long, it does turn purple, but it does not hurt as bad as it did even a week ago. I agree with the others who have said this is a slow process! I get a little better everyday and cannot wait until I can start walking!

Aug 05, 2012
To purple lady NEW
by: Soccer

I am 5 weeks out and my swelling and discoloration are doing much better. If my foot stays down too long, it does turn purple, but it does not hurt as bad as it did even a week ago. I agree with the others who have said this is a slow process! I get a little better everyday and cannot wait until I can start walking!

Aug 05, 2012
7 weeks post op NEW
by: Marie Claire

Hadn't been to site in awhile. Am 7 weeks post op ORIF fibula fracture and atfl repair. Glad 2 see people are doing better. I am still in boot. Yes popping in ankle may happen. It does 2 me. I just am worried as I feel like I have no endurance. My first PT is this Thur. Looking forward to it. Hang in there everyone. I am 59 and scared when I get back 2 job I won't be able to stand the physical pressures.I am on my feet for 10 hour shifts at a hospital. Believe me they will be critical of me if I don't come back like I was before this happened. Speedy recoveries 2 all.

Aug 14, 2012
To Barrel Racer NEW
by: Amy

I am 40 and I'm sure I probably am not progressing as quickly as I would have 20 years ago! As far as the boot goes, my ortho MD advised me to wear it day and night, taking it off only to shower and to do simple exercises with my foot. My incisions still have not healed and I am 7 1/2 weeks post op.
I had wondered about swimming but have not asked my dr about it, seems like it would be good to help keep up endurance and rebuild leg muscle due to the water resistance.
Don't rush things, as you want all your bones to heal properly, easier said than done!
Good luck and hopefully you will be back in the saddle before you know it!

Aug 14, 2012
Reply to Tri-Mal Fracture NEW
by: Anonymous

Based on my own experience of PT after breakings three weight-bearing bones in the ankle, and being told I could walk. . .PT does NOT hurt - PT may be uncomfortable, but not painful. If your PT causes pain, look elsewhere. I am going to a licensed PT with a doctorate in PT and with years of experience in ankle injuries. He first checked my range of motion in my foot. I was wearing a boot. He found that in my case, my foot was too stiff with little ROM. He massaged and worked my foot each visit, three times a week, and I used various exercise equipment, for example, a round exercise board, keeping the board balanced while moving foot forward and back, and later side to side. In addition, I placed my foot on the floor from a seated position and moved the foot up and down, and later curled my toes up and down.

I have now reached the point where I wear an ankle brace (stays on for 2 months; use while sleeping). My PT has me walk unassisted last week, or two weeks after starting to wear the ankle brace. My walk/gait is slow and he is working with me to walk the right way eventually, and to strengthen my leg and hip muscles. The brace keeps my leg/ankle area stiff and straight, so he is working with me to walk better. All cases are different. I am now using a balance board and a device to stretch the tendons in my foot. I was told I would continue in therapy for 6-9 more months.

Aug 22, 2012
Healing fast? NEW
by: Ice Skater

Thank you to so many people for their comments. I am now 3weeks post ORIF, for Weber B fracture (lower fibula). I fell awkwardly while ice skating.

I have learnt a lot, having just read this.... and now more concerned. I was starting to suspect that it might take longer to get back to work. For some reason the orthopaedic surgeons I spoke to have remained vague about it .... but when I asked how soon till I walk, they said 1-2 weeks after 6 weeks of not weight bearing. I am 44 ... and know I am not going to heal as quickly as younger people.

One thing I know, being grateful for as many things I can come up with helps... and just in case it is useful to anyone, I will list the things I think may have helped me so far....

Elevate, Elevate, Elevate! I was virtually scolded on my second day in hospital for not having my ankle high enough, and the orthopaedic surgeon showed me how my bed could raise my leg higher. Then he said "that's the minimum"... so then I got two more pillows and made it higher. Strangely enough the nurses wanted me to get out of this awkward looking position.... but every time an orthopaedic surgeon saw it I was congratulated. I was in hospital a week waiting for operation, and I am thinking the extra blood to my head may have done some good.

Drinking plenty of water. I know when I was on the pain meds that this helped ease the constipation (I am surprised it hasn't been mentioned more often). It was a nuisance to keep on getting up in the first few days to pee... but I think it was the only thing keeping me moving. I also had other help for constipation in the hospital, and a packet of prunes my friend brought in.

Accepting and asking for help! I know this is a hard one but since being home (and even in hospital, now that I think about it), I have taken unnecesary risks.... it is crazy and hard to do, but I think the biggest challenge of all.

Well I had better leave it at that for now,, need to get some water and elevate my leg some more, best wishes and luck to all.

Aug 23, 2012
8 weeks out and improving NEW
by: Soccer

I am now 8wks out from my orif for left fib fracture. While I am still using crutches, I am close to being able to walk. Pt is helping tremendously. I still elevate at work and try to keep off it when possible. I stopped taking pain meds after week 2, and have been able to manage with limited pain. I still have a lot of stiffness and swelling, but there is clearly a light at the end of the tunnel!

Aug 27, 2012
guys weekend gone bad NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm 9 weeks post op and still on these crutches. Was wondering if anyone has had any knee pain from starting to walk???. I was wrestling with a buddy and got thrown now I have 9 screws and a plate. I got the ok to start walking but am wondering if I now have q knee injurie or if it from lack of activity???. I'm a construction worker with 3 kids and have missed my whole summer due to this. I'm very active and have read most of what is in this forum and it has been a load off knowing I'm not alone in this has been a great forum.

Aug 28, 2012
Reply to knee pain... NEW
by: Anonymous

I have a little stiffness in my knee after 11 weeks...I am walking flat footed with crutches but have felt odd aches and mild pains with different parts of my ankle foot and knee besides the primary ankle injury where my pins are...Walking in a pool and doing water therapy has helped a lot...Joints are stiff, muscles are weak, and tendons are sticky after long inactivity...take it easy on your knee and be patient as you ease back in to normal walking, do not think because you have the green light to walk and you are so eager to do so, that you are out of the woods...it will probably take a while longer to walk normally and even months to be back to full strength...even if the bones are technically healed...therapy, taking breaks from full weight, and PATIENCE! Do not start this all over with a twisted knee!

Aug 29, 2012
Bottom of foot burning NEW
by: Anonymous

Just had surgery yesterday and the bottom of my foot is absolutely burning off, so it feels. Just wondering if anyone else experienced this and how many more days I'll experience this?

Aug 29, 2012
Re NEW
by: Soccer

I had the burning in my foot for a week or two. I am at 9 weeks now and was told by my doc today to take off the boot, throw away the crutches and just walk. It's not pretty but I am doing it.

Aug 29, 2012
Burning and electric sensations NEW
by: Ice Skater

Have been wondering about burning in my toes, and other electic-like sensations throughout my foot and leg. Have noticed some comments about RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy) and wondering if it might be that.

I noticed these electic-like or metallic sensations began the day of the surgery, not after the break (a week before for me). As I was lying there after surgery the first day, I felt what could be described as white hot (was it very cold or very hot??) drips and tingles over my calf muscle at the back. It wasn't unpleasant though, just intense and interesting. Later I felt like the plaster they had put on after surgery must have been rubbing my toes, as they felt sore. Then after I got home I realised that it was a strange burning in the toes, feeling like they were raw or had been burnt and tender to touch. This sensation gradually went though if I moved the toes backwards and forwards with my hand, then it would come back a few minutes later. The Dr, when I mentioned all of this just checked out the peroneal nerve, and said it was fine as all sensory and motor pathway were intact. He said it may be due to some bruising above the surgery on my leg.

If I touch the scar very lightly, that is what can start off a whole series of electric shock type sensations in my foot and toes. Firmer pressure doesn't seem to have the same effect. I was sunning my foot the other day, and a very light breeze "touched" the scar, and that started off some intense electric sensations in the foot and toes.

I find some of the "pains" or sensations interesting or pleasant, but some can take my breath away. They come on more often in the evening or at night.

Because of all of this, and because I am scared of RSD, I have decided to move ankle more (even though I was told to only wiggle toes). I even put a bit of gentle pressure on foot (which really hurt front part of foot and there were a lot of tingles/burning and pain in the sole). Since having slowly and carefully put more movement in have noticed that all the symptoms have improved, or at least somehow more "tolerable". Also burning and pain in sole improved.

In addition I read one study on internet that gave a number of people who broke their wrist vitamin C daily. This seemed to act as a prevention for the development of RSD. (the group taking Vit C had fewer incidents of RSD). I thought that it wouldn't be harmful to take at least 500mg of Vitamin C a day (the amount given to subjects in the study), and make sure I was getting lots of fresh fruits and salads. I really think my symptoms have improved.... although still present.

I am not sure if the sensations I am experiencing are very different from what others are experiencing. I will of course try to find out more on my next visit to the doctor.


Aug 30, 2012
guys weekend NEW
by: Anonymous

Thank u for the advice and today I went to the pool and it helped a lot. I hope my knee pain is just loss of muscle and mobility and its only when I bear weight. I'm supposed to start work again on Tuesday after the holiday and I hope I can ditch these crutches before then but really nervous about that. I wish I would have worked my knee and thigh while I was non weight bearing.

Aug 30, 2012
Reply to guys weekend gone bad NEW
by: Anonymous

I, too, experience knee pain after ankle surgery and breaking 3 weight bearing bones. I am 3 months post-op. When I walk incorrectly, or walk too far or too long, I get a lot of knee pain on the inside of the knee, or sometimes below the knee cap, and swelling. My PT told me it is probably from walking incorrectly. He told me to stand straight, square my shoulders, then step as far as I can forward with good foot, then follow with the "bad" foot by flexing or stepping on the toes. He said more injuries come from walking too slowly than walking at a normal rate.

My surgeon told me if my knee pain and swelling continue when I see him in 6 weeks, he will X-ray my knee to see if I have arthritis. However, this week I am making a conscious effort to walk correctly.

I have been wearing an Air-Cast Ankle Brace and my surgeon told me I can remove it when I am comfortable dding so. Sometimes the cast "deflates" and rubs over one of my scars; I then inflate and be sure to wear lightweight cotton socks.

My calf muscle is coming back, instead of having a leg that looks like a thin tree trunk, ha. I can stand on the bad foot for 5-20 seconds and my balance is improving.


Sep 09, 2012
broken fibula ORIF surgery NEW
by: Anonymous

i broke my fibula during my cup final soccer game. ive been playing soccer since i was 4 and have never had a serious injury. im not one to stay down after being tackled but this tackle was something i knew i would not just get up and walk away from. i dont remember how i went down just remember seeing something hit my skin... which i though was my shinpad that had maybe broke in half but i knew immediatly it was my ankle. i went into shock briefly but a teammate of mine is a paramedic. i went directly to the hospital after it happened and was in a great deal of pain. after xrays i was told in ER that i fractured my fibula. the doctor made it sound like it was a clean break. he put on a plaster splint and made an appt for OS 12 days later...the pain after the first night was almost gone. the swelling in my toes was horrific and there was bruising just below my knee that i was worried about...considering my ankle was injured. i went to see the OS thinking i was going to be given a fibreglass cast but apparently my ankle was worse than the we thought. my ligament on the inside of my ankle was so stretched that a cast wouldnt be sufficient for healing as the bone needed to be stabalized...the OS said i had wasted 12 days and should have had surgery asap. so i was set to have surgery 2 hrs after seeing the OS. i was terrified as i didnt know what was going to be done and i hate needles. iv was put in and the surgeon came out and explained what would happen. some plates and screws and possibly reconstructing the ligaments on the inside of the ankle. i was also told 9 months before id be on the field again. it is now 4 days past surgery and i have had very minimal pain. i was given pain killers and took them every 4 hrs for the first 2 days. i have now stopped taking them as they arent needed. i am very surprised on how smooth the surgery went and how little pain i have,is this normal? i do have a very high tolerance for pain and went to a concert the day after surgery. my next appt is on the 18th of sep and i will be getting a fiberglass cast. im scared the pain will set in but i think 4 days after the surgery i should have already felt pain? the only problem i have right now is random muscle spasms in my calf muscle but thats about it!! hoping for a speedy recovery to get back out playing.

Sep 10, 2012
Broken tibia & fibula- 6 weeks post ORIF surgery NEW
by: Savannah

This page has been so unbelievably helpful for me to see what everyone has been through and to see that I'm not alone! Well, here's my story:
8/4/2012, I slipped going down my apartment stairs and twisted my right leg so bad that I broke my tibia and fibula (closer to the ankle).I had to stay overnight in the hospital and was allowed to go home the next day.Saw the orthopedic surgeon 2 days later, he decided surgery was necessary, and I had surgery the next morning.The pain was severe for the first few days after the break and following surgery.The only pain medications that helped were Dilaudid and Percocet.Morphine didn't even touch my pain.In the recovery room after surgery, the nurse gave me so much pain medication (which barely helped) that she was shocked at how much I needed.I hate taking medication unless I have to and before this, I hadn't taken a narcotic in years.
After going home, the pain began to slowly subside and I was taking less of the pain medication after about a wk.Surprisingly, I did not have much trouble with swelling unless I was up for too long but as long as I kept my leg elevated (4 pillows minimum per instructions from my dr), it did not hurt too bad.I am now on my 6th wk of non-weight bearing. The first few wks were AWFUL with using the crutches, because my shoulders and upper arms hurt SO BAD that I struggled to sleep at night.It's been about 2 wks since I've had any pain from the crutches, so it gets easier with time.Wrapping socks around the hand grips on the crutches has also really helped the pain in my palms.I've been so grateful to have my husband, as he has helped me SO much.Before I started back to work, the depression about my situation just kept getting worse.I hated not being able to do anything besides sit around all day.Even though I should probably be resting more than I am, going back to work has helped me to feel more comfortable moving around.Driving has been interesting, though.Since my husband is not really able to drop me off and pick me up, I have had to learn to drive with my left foot.It was jerky at first, but I have been getting better at it and I am starting to feel much more comfortable.
I go back to my dr tomorrow and I'm hoping that he will say that I can start some weight bearing.As of now, I have little to no pain and the last time that I took any pain medication (ibuprofen) was at least a wk ago.I was never in a hard cast; the dr always had me in a walking boot but I was not able to shower without it until my staples were removed, 2 wks post-op.He hasn't really explained much to me, which seems to be a recurring trend with the drs on this page, but I believe that he kept me in the boot to allow me to adjust it if the swelling became uncomfortable.I was worried for a little while because the top of my foot/lower leg had very little feeling until about 1 1/2 wks ago.

Sep 10, 2012
Broken Fibula NEW
by: Paul

I slipped walking barefoot up my wet ramp to my shed two Sundays ago 8.26. When I fell I heard a pop and hit the ground. I knew I had broken my leg.

Sure enough spiral fracture of the fibula. Surgery was a long plate and 9 screws plus a small pin.

I was in great pain as they shoved me out of the recovery room barely having woke up from the anethesia. My pain was very bad for the first day or so. Slowly getting better until today.

Yesterday I tripped coming into house on crutches and placed all my weight on my left broken leg for a second or two.

Last night and today strong stinging tingling in the top of my foot. Now tonight I feel like there are flaming lashes being whipped across the top of my foot.

Is this nerve damage pain from yesterday's tripping? My pain meds don't seem to be helping.


Sep 10, 2012
Broken Fibula NEW
by: Paul

I slipped walking barefoot up my wet ramp to my shed two Sundays ago 8.26. When I fell I heard a pop and hit the ground. I knew I had broken my leg.

Sure enough spiral fracture of the fibula. Surgery was a long plate and 9 screws plus a small pin.

I was in great pain as they shoved me out of the recovery room barely having woke up from the anethesia. My pain was very bad for the first day or so. Slowly getting better until today.

Yesterday I tripped coming into house on crutches and placed all my weight on my left broken leg for a second or two.

Last night and today strong stinging tingling in the top of my foot. Now tonight I feel like there are flaming lashes being whipped across the top of my foot.

Is this nerve damage pain from yesterday's tripping? My pain meds don't seem to be helping.


Sep 10, 2012
Broken Fibula NEW
by: Paul

I slipped walking barefoot up my wet ramp to my shed two Sundays ago 8.26. When I fell I heard a pop and hit the ground. I knew I had broken my leg.

Sure enough spiral fracture of the fibula. Surgery was a long plate and 9 screws plus a small pin.

I was in great pain as they shoved me out of the recovery room barely having woke up from the anethesia. My pain was very bad for the first day or so. Slowly getting better until today.

Yesterday I tripped coming into house on crutches and placed all my weight on my left broken leg for a second or two.

Last night and today strong stinging tingling in the top of my foot. Now tonight I feel like there are flaming lashes being whipped across the top of my foot.

Is this nerve damage pain from yesterday's tripping? My pain meds don't seem to be helping.


Sep 10, 2012
Hoping to Walk soon NEW
by: Ice Skater

Congratulations to everyone getting on with walking. Good to hear about it, and hope you are doing well.
I am doing ankle movements and massage and knee exercises as a lead up to the possibility to being able to start walking next week.
There seems to be a high variation to everyone's experience... both before and after surgery. I definitely had a lot more symptoms after surgery, as soon as I woke up in recovery. The break itself didn't seem as painful (although my emotional response was!)
I have found gentle, gradual movement and massage/pressure around and close to the area helpful for all symptoms (including burning, electrical, tingling and deeper aching pains). I'll report next week about how x-rays and doctor's comments go.
I personally feel that the input of physios and other health practitioners at earlier stages could be helpful, to explore all possible ways that strength and health could be improved. I have wondered if I have tried to put too much movement and pressure into the ankle too soon. Hopefully I haven't aggravated things. I feel I could virtually walk now, but I won't put full weight on it until get ok from Doctors. There seems to be renewed bruising around the area of the plate, associated with very mild ache, but it is so nice to have other rather extreme electrical pains subside.

Sep 11, 2012
Walking again NEW
by: Soccer

I am 10 weeks out and walking! I still have a pronounceable limp, but I am making positive strides. I feel so liberated. My pain is worse in the evenings but manageable. I stopped pain meds at week 2. I still take an anti inflammatory and a topical anti inflammatory. They seem to help with the swelling. Fortunately, things are looking good!

Sep 12, 2012
guys weekend NEW
by: Anonymous

It's been 11 weeks since my break and walking with a boot still and went back to work. My limp is unique bit it works. I find tba the pool helped me and constant movement keeps it loose. I also find I swell more in the evening and more pain but tolerable. I m starting to c the light at the end of the tunnel. We all heel differently and being patient is the key. I do under ground construction so limping around in a walking boot is a pain in the ass.

Sep 18, 2012
Non-union fracture NEW
by: Paul

Hello folks, i sustained a spiral fracture of the fibula Friday 13th April 2012 while stepping off a 3" step and twisting my ankle.
After spending 3 months in plaster not weight bearing i was informed by Doctor that i required surgery due to non union. This was 5 weeks ago, saw Doctor yesterday and was informed i can now weight bare though i have to wear a moon boot.
I cannot explain in words the pain i have experienced for 3 weeks following ORIF surgery, more painfull than when i actually had the accident. Anyway pain has almost subsided and it feels good to be up and about without crutches.
What i have most learnt from the whole experience is how annoying it is being dependent on others. I never ever considered this before and realise that dependence is one of the most important aspects of life. I have missed walking my dog too.
My foot is discoulored though reading the posts on this site i realise this is to be expected.
Doctor told me that only 1 in 10 people have the plate removed, said i have a very thin plate fixed. I have a 16 cm scar.
I have not been given advice yet as to what footwear i should consider wearing in the future, or maybe i'm just worrying needless.

Sep 19, 2012
Hobbling around NEW
by: Ice Skater

Again, good to hear about how everyone is doing... keep up the good work. It is so helpful to hear what is happening.
The last visit had the orthopaedic surgeon saying 2 weeks of some weight bearing with crutches, and then 2 weeks of walking without crutches (but keeping the cam boot on). He said it seemed to be very tender, but I personally put that down to RSD (a google diagnosis), which is improving significantly with movement (very obvious) and just touching and massaging. I am a bit over asking doctors stuff, so didn't want to take that further.
Again, doctor said NO physio... so I am just gonna hobble around for now, trying to put the foot through as close to normal walking movement as possible. Also, he said ok to do up-down movements but not inversion/eversion so much... lucky I asked, I had already started to do these movements!
He said that he could see small fracture line, which is why he might be asking me to go slow with starting to walk, but I am glad the plates and screws seemed to be in the right place.
Have sent (through a relative) a question to a physio - does he think I could be helped with physio?
I have been keeping foot down longer now, and it is obvious that it does swell up a bit more and go purple still if down for a while.
The light at the end of the tunnel is definitely getting brighter.

Sep 19, 2012
4 months post op NEW
by: Louisiana Dancer (NOT)

I am 4 months post op and I still get information each time I read these helpful posts. This is by far the most informative web blog about broken ankles and healing. Everyone breaks differently and heals differently. I have a plate and 6 screws in my right distal fibula. While I am no longer experiencing the searing pains on the top of my foot I now have a new experience. It is numb but yet overly sensitive all at the same time. I continue to bruised discoloration on the top of my foot by my toes and also bruised discoloration along the side of the incision. The PT told me to massage these areas daily and the old bruising will gradually dissolve and re-distribute into the body. I have begun my daily walks in the evenings again which is liberating...but still need to elevate and ice at the end of the day. Good luck to everyone and keep posting your progress - what may seem insignificant to you could be a great deal of info to someone else. My doctor was not very forthcoming with info when I would have questions such as why is there shooting pain on the top of my foot - is this normal? But coming to this website and seeing other peoples trials and tribulations is very very helpful.

Sep 27, 2012
Best wishes to all NEW
by: NE Pa


I have never blogged before but seem to have a lot of spare time on my hands. I am six weeks into a broken medial malleous with thankfully no surgery after I was blind sided by a car on my motorcycle. (They don't mix well) I can honestly say this has been the most trying time in my life. The things we take for granted are truly appreciated when things happen line this. I have looked at others on crutches etc and have never given a second thought. I will now. Those who have never been through this have no ideas of the thoughts and anxiety they we face all day long staring at our elevated feet. I can say to all of you that are unfortunately just starting this journey it does get easier. You will find ways to help yourself. Just take it day by day.

Sep 27, 2012
Walking NEW
by: Ice Skater

Yes, I am walking! (ok, it is really a sort of waddle). Boy I can really move on those crutches though... which is actually only just normal walking pace for my children. I still use the crutches when walking longer distances (I don't have a car, so very interested in being able to get around on foot). People at the supermarket must think I am strange when I start to walk without the crutches, when juggling groceries.
Great again to hear what people are saying and other experiences. I too, am thinking that ongoing bruising next to plate keeps on happening. More so if I have been doing more weightbearing, I think.
Hint of the Week: A back pack can be very handy for moving items around the house, while still on crutches, and then for shopping (I personally wish I had realised this earlier).
I am convinced that gradually increasing movement and weightbearing is the way to go. Even though now I am officially off crutches, I am going to use them to do my shopping, which is a 10 minute walk away. I realise it is too far without crutches. Just going to use a backpack. Lucky my children have been helping and old enough to do so.
I am still having some numbness around the toes and over the scar tissue. Light touch can set things off, but nowhere near as much as before, and I still feel much improvement after a gentle movement and massage session with myself (or rather, my foot). Elevation still seems to be an important thing to do, as swelling gradually occurs while up and about. I massage and move my ankle while I am lying on my back and my foot is up in the air. I have a bit of a sore back from trying to keep my foot elevated on the desk while trying to get things done at computer. I have found it is good to be conscious to change my posture/position a lot.
Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences, I am still gaining from this. Best wishes to everyone as well.

Oct 01, 2012
walking to soon? NEW
by: Anonymous

I had my surgery on August 28. The doctor gave me a fracture boot and told be no weight on it. About 2 and a half weeks after I felt comfortable the put pressure on my foot with my boot on and began walking on it. It is now October 1 and I feel almost comfortable walking ever without the boot, is this too soon and could it mess up my ankle?

Oct 02, 2012
Walking too Soon NEW
by: Louisiana Dancer (NOT)

After six weeks when I got my hard cast off and was put in the "cam" boot I would walk very slowly around the house without the boot (it didn't hurt too much). When I went out (to work or store) I wore the boot. If it doesn't feel right (walking without your fracture boot) don't do it. Everyone heals differently.

Oct 02, 2012
Walking NEW
by: Ice Skater

Hi Everyone, I am still improving each day. Still use crutches to walk longer distances.

In answer to Anonymous, asking is it too soon to walk, I really think you might need to ask a professional this sort of thing. They are likely to look at factors like your general health, your age, the extent of your fracture/s, the type of surgery done, and just how much weight you are putting on your foot. There might also be other important considerations.
Overall, I think it is best to err on the side of caution, especially with these sorts of things.
It is understandable that you might want to get more information elsewhere, because I relate to not feeling like I got enough information from the doctors. The one piece of advice they gave me unanimously, and repeatedly, was: "no weight-bearing for 6 weeks".
I know I started putting pressure on my foot about 4-5 weeks after surgery, but I was choosing to do this myself, without fully having an "ok" from doctors. I started very gently and gradually. I know they like to have an x-ray before you begin to weight-bear. I really looked around the internet. I most definitely did not put my full weight on till after 6 weeks. I was very slowly and gradually building up to that for a couple of weeks, naturally favouring other leg, and using cam boot. Also, I was doing other movements for the foot (that I found here and on internet). But I felt I was driven to do this based on other pains I was having at the time.
It is obvious there are a range of experiences, and as each of us has limited experience, it might be hard for us to say in regard to one particular situation.
Hope that helps you evaluate your situation and choose what to do/not to do, based on the best ideas and advice you can find.
Best of luck with everything.

Oct 03, 2012
Weight-bearing NEW
by: KC

Hello. I'm almost 6 weeks post-op from ORIF for a broken right fibula with lots of ligament damage. My OS says no weight bearing for 12 weeks. Has anyone here been allowed to weight bear before 12 weeks with same injury? I'm middle aged and pretty healthy. Also, what kinds of foods and supplements is everyone eating/taking for healing? I'm getting blisters on my hands from my walker. Considering getting a knee scooter or wheelchair. Hope everyone heals quickly!

Oct 05, 2012
Broken Foot and Torn Ligments NEW
by: Anonymous

Hey guys! Does everyone break ankles? No feet? I broke my right foot in three places with torn ligments on the last Sunday in July. I'm working on my tenth week in a boot. I was improving up to the last few days and all of the sudden I'm having pain in my foot again. No one can believe I'm still in my boot, but it doesn't look like I'm going to get rid of it anytime soon. Does anyone have a broken foot?

Oct 05, 2012
back to work NEW
by: guys weekend

I'm at 15 weeks post op and I've been back to work for almost a month. I'm a pipe layer and to b honest its way to early to b doing this, anyone who knows underground construction knows what this consist of. I swell every night and still have a lot of pain in my ankle and knee. Ice and elevation is key for me. The doc says everything is structurely fine. I limp and try my hardest not to roll my ankle at workand sometimes it takes all I got not to break out in tears. If the doctor says don't walk on it for 8 to 12 weeks and u can afford it, do it.

Oct 15, 2012
May 24' 2012 NEW
by: Dewey

On May 24, 2012, while weed eating, I stepped in a hole and broke both my tibia and fibia on my left leg. I had surgery that day and had an external fixator for 3 weeks, then I had the second surgery on June 11, 2012, to remove the external fixator and put fix the fibia. I have two plates (one on each bone) and 17 screws/pens in my leg. I also have two 6-8 inch scars on my leg. I wore a spllint for 6 weeks and then a cast for another 6 weeks. I have been in a walking boot for nearly six weeks and only started walking without the assistance of a walker. But, it is very limited and I by no means can really walk. In the house without the boot, I can only limp and hold on to furniture and wall to get around. I now am experiencing the burning, pain of the nerve sensitivity. I will see the doctor on October 31, 2012. It has been the longest 5 months of my life having been bed ridden for a great part of the time, because the non-weight-bearing period was almost 4 months. The doctor is not recommending PT, at least at this time, as he has given me exercises to do at home. Thank goodness, I have an excellent doctor! At this time, I am just hoping to be able to walk with a cane by next spring! It's been a long, hard slog, but still have hope it will get better. I believe the key to recovery is doing what the doctor suggests! For statistical info, I am a 64 year old male. Good luck to all! I have found this site to be very interesting and useful.

Oct 15, 2012
ORIF NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Dewey,

It's a slow arduous process and I know how you feel. I broke my fibula and ORIF on August 19. I'm still non weight bearing and haven't been able to work or drive. Thankfully, my husband has been able to help out the best he can. You'll make it through. Keep your chin up and please feel free to check out our great group of folks on Facebook who have similar injuries to yours and mine. You will get a lot of good information and feel part of a family there. It's called Broken Anke/Foot/Leg Recovery. Come joins us. Blessings

Karen C.

Oct 15, 2012
Broken Limb NEW
by: Linda

Like everyone else on here i broke my right fibula, had an ORIF with plate, screws and a bone graft this past Friday October 12. Only been 3 days postop and I can tell already this is not going to be an easy recovery. The pain is intermittent, mostly burning, pressure sensation. Thank goodness for pain medication, I find i need to take it around the clock for now, to keep the pain at a tolerable level. I am totally dependent on others at this point to add insult to injury. Looks like the general time out from this is 3 months, lord help me, and my caregivers.

Oct 15, 2012
Hi Linda NEW
by: Karen

Linda, I feel your pain. You are not alone on this journey! I'm sorry to hear about your injury. I was (am) one of those people who care-gave to everyone else, so it was very difficult for me to swallow my pride and ask for and accept help. Sometimes, we have to rely on others though. You will make it through this. Get a lot of rest, keep your leg elevated and eat healthy protein and vegetables. Get some good books to read, keep your phones nearby and watch TV. Believe it or not, I took the opportunity while sitting around, to get this year's Christmas cards done! When you get more comfortable and have less pain, you'll come up with ways to pass the time. Get a walker and a wheelchair if you can. Just some suggestions! Hope you heal quickly!

Karen

Oct 18, 2012
1 WK POST OP NEW
by: Linda

1 week post op fib fx. This NWB is a challenge, being creative is the key. I started using a beach bag to carry things from the kitchen to my recliner. I am now the queen of tupperware. Heat, cover,toss in my bag and im off to the recliner. I think I am going to inquire about a W/C, even though im not getting any support from my husband on that subject. He feels I dont need it, the house isnt big enough. Well Im gonna have to disagree. Let him hobble around here alone all day and for the next 6 weeks and see how it feels. Ok thanks I needed to get that off my chest. 1st OS appointment Tues. hope all goes well. Thanks for the ear.

Oct 19, 2012
Louisiana Dancer (NOT) NEW
by: 5 months post ORIF surgery

Linda - get the wheelchair. It will make your life so much easier. Staying home alone during the day without a wheelchair is spousal abuse (just kidding)(You have to laugh a little - I sure did my share of crying). My recovery has been remarkable (note - It has not been easy). I am walking normally and have little swelling. (I won't be wearing high heels for a LONG time - if ever again). I am still having nerve issues with the top of my foot - but that will take time. This is a long stressful process. Hang in there - there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

God Bless - Prayers to all!

Oct 19, 2012
Louisiana Dancer (NOT) NEW
by: 5 months post ORIF surgery

Linda - get the wheelchair. It will make your life so much easier. Staying home alone during the day without a wheelchair is spousal abuse (just kidding)(You have to laugh a little - I sure did my share of crying). My recovery has been remarkable (note - It has not been easy). I am walking normally and have little swelling. (I won't be wearing high heels for a LONG time - if ever again). I am still having nerve issues with the top of my foot - but that will take time. This is a long stressful process. Hang in there - there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

God Bless - Prayers to all!

Oct 24, 2012
Broken Fibula NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Everyone,

My wife broke her left fibula on 8/17/12 when she fell off a tattoo table. She also tore a ligament and had an ORIF done on 8/23/12 and a syndesmostic (sp?) screw was put in to hold the ligament in place. She's at 9 weeks post op right now and is getting the screw removed at the end of November with no weight bearing until then. The orthopedist had told her no weight bearing until the screw is removed to make sure that the ligament is fully healed. It'll be almost 14 weeks of non weight bearing by the time she can put weight on it. She's been using a wheelchair to get around and just went back to work this week as a case manager this week as they made accomodations for her. Luckily she hasn't been in any pain, but she's going out of her mind not being able to walk. This forum has been very informative for me and her.

Oct 24, 2012
Broken Fibula NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Everyone,

My wife broke her left fibula on 8/17/12 when she fell off a tattoo table. She also tore a ligament and had an ORIF done on 8/23/12 and a syndesmostic (sp?) screw was put in to hold the ligament in place. She's at 9 weeks post op right now and is getting the screw removed at the end of November with no weight bearing until then. The orthopedist had told her no weight bearing until the screw is removed to make sure that the ligament is fully healed. It'll be almost 14 weeks of non weight bearing by the time she can put weight on it. She's been using a wheelchair to get around and just went back to work this week as a case manager this week as they made accomodations for her. Luckily she hasn't been in any pain, but she's going out of her mind not being able to walk. This forum has been very informative for me and her.

Oct 24, 2012
Broken Fibula NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Everyone,

My wife broke her left fibula on 8/17/12 when she fell off a tattoo table. She also tore a ligament and had an ORIF done on 8/23/12 and a syndesmostic (sp?) screw was put in to hold the ligament in place. She's at 9 weeks post op right now and is getting the screw removed at the end of November with no weight bearing until then. The orthopedist had told her no weight bearing until the screw is removed to make sure that the ligament is fully healed. It'll be almost 14 weeks of non weight bearing by the time she can put weight on it. She's been using a wheelchair to get around and just went back to work this week as a case manager this week as they made accomodations for her. Luckily she hasn't been in any pain, but she's going out of her mind not being able to walk. This forum has been very informative for me and her.

Oct 25, 2012
ORIF Left ankle NEW
by: Anonymous

I broke my ankle at the tibia and fibula on 28/ 08/12had surgery 30/08/12. I have 6 screws and a plates ad z cast on for 2 weeks then a walking air cast . I was NWB for 6 1/ 2weeks went to a fracture clinic and was told on 16/09/12 to do PWB and then FWB. The bonded are healing still. Having stuffiness in ankle having physio 3x a week still walking with a walker , left leg is weak still may start go use a cane next week I am very teary eyed at times no confidence to use the cane toes are stiff also, swelling occurs when not elevated above the heart, also goes purpilish when hanging down pain is not bad.hopefully it gets better, I am 60 years old now, fell off my bikeTake card everyone

Oct 25, 2012
ORIF Left ankle NEW
by: Anonymous

I broke my ankle at the tibia and fibula on 28/ 08/12had surgery 30/08/12. I have 6 screws and a plates ad z cast on for 2 weeks then a walking air cast . I was NWB for 6 1/ 2weeks went to a fracture clinic and was told on 16/09/12 to do PWB and then FWB. The bonded are healing still. Having stuffiness in ankle having physio 3x a week still walking with a walker , left leg is weak still may start go use a cane next week I am very teary eyed at times no confidence to use the cane toes are stiff also, swelling occurs when not elevated above the heart, also goes purpilish when hanging down pain is not bad.hopefully it gets better, I am 60 years old now, fell off my bikeTake card everyone

Oct 29, 2012
Fractured 2 bones, ankle NEW
by: Anonymous

This site is so encouraging, good to feel like i'm not alone on all this. I'm 3 weeks post ORIF surgery and i still have another 3 weeks no weight bearing. I'm healing like a champ so far, but the thought of walking seems distant. My foot turns purple when i walk in crutches so it seems like i need to elevate it the majority of the time. Once you adjust to your everyday life and get some sort of routine it feels better. But the emotional part of all this is tough, having to depend on others to do many things for you can get me down (though i'm grateful my friends and family are so supportive). The stares people give you and the pity they exude does not help my mood, so far this whole ordeal has been more emotional than i thought. At least the pain decreases with time, I remember shortly after the surgery the pain was intolerable that pain meds didn't even help. Every day is better than the one before it is what I keep telling myself. If only that were true for my mood, especially since i can't really exercise i'm dealing with the stress of my body getting out of shape. For those of you going through this and have dependents or are dealing with the stress of expenses, you are so strong my friends. Let's all focus on healing our body and mind day by day, and free ourselves of the chaos around us until we are strong enough to face it. The pain is only temporary!

Nov 01, 2012
I know how you all feel. NEW
by: Levi

Glad im not the only one with these problems. I was in a bad motorcycle accident on march 30 2012. an suv pulled out in front of me. was thrown 120ft. broke my leg in 6 places. four of those fractures were compound. I broke my femur my tib in 2 places and broke my fib in 2 places and broke some little bone in my foot. spent 3 days in icu and went through 5 surgureys. the put a rod into my femur with four screws holding that in place. then they put 2 plates on my tib with another 22 screws holding them in place. they scoped the knee and on top of it all ended up with compartment syndrome so added another couple huge gashes down both sides of my leg. even with all the stitches and staples out it my leg looks like a tim burton film. i spent 4 months healing and ended up with a non union of my femur and tib in one spot. they had me on a bone stimulator for 10 weeks and never made a diffrence. so they decided to do bone grafting. so they cut me back open again and added a few more big scars to my leg.they took bone off my hip and grafted it into those two fractures and because the fib still hadnt healed either they graphted it to the tib. when they graphted the femur they took the top 2 scews out of the rod holding the femur together and let the femur slide down over the rod an 8th of an inch so the two halfs were touching cause there was bone missing from when it broke. 10 weeks later doc says bones are finally healing and says i can go back to work but no running and no heavy lifting its been seven months since the accident and the only problem im having is a bad limp and a really stiff ankle.

Nov 01, 2012
continued NEW
by: Levi

i was out of work for 7 months still trying to find work. leg swells really bad if im standing alot. they talked about amputating it but from what my family says was because i was in the national guard i asked if they would try to save it. so as long as i can run again i can stay in the military i have until may but if not im happy to have the leg and hopefully next summer get another motorcycle and ride again. i was on crutches for 5 months. and a cane until about 3 weeks ago im excited to walk. dont really have alot of pain some dull aches in the shin where one of the plates are if i walk alot but nothin too bad. im 22 years old and in my expierence i dont think it would have taken near as long to heal if i wasnt a smoker. so quit if u do the doctor told me 3 cigarettes a day cuts your healing ability down by 80%. and if the doctor gives u a bone stimulator its not a rental thing its something that u buy and cant resale. there about 5000 bucks insurance covers most of it. and if they ever do bone graphting and want to add that protien stuff to it. do it makes bone grow like crazy.

Nov 07, 2012
A little set back NEW
by: Ice Skater

Hi Everyone,
Good to see how people are helped by other's comments and experiences. I haven't been on here for a while, because I have been distracted by having a perforated appendix. Had just gone back to work, and then out again. Still have another 2 weeks of not lifting anything heavy. I went into surgery on what was supposed to be my first day of physio.
So I have had a third of my bowel removed on top of appendix, and I have got to say I am so glad I did not have these two problems at the same time. When they perform a fairly big operation and there is a rather large scar, hard enough getting out of bed!
Have gone backwards in the exercise I was building up to (just walking more mainly, with some gentle stretches) had to leave out massage as became too hard to reach my ankle anymore, but nearly able to reach it again.
I have upped my vitamin C again, and like before, the main thing is pacing myself, I think. Trying to eat balanced diet. I have been on the strong pain killers again, and am a bit concerned that they seem to affect my mood and even judgement. But I guess self awareness is the most important aspect, and just improving a little day be day.
Best wishes to everyone, I think I might check out that Facebook site, too.

Dec 03, 2012
Post lt orif ankle surgery NEW
by: Michelle

My story started the day after thanksgiving 11/23/12 at a cabin with friends packing up our cars to leave.. On the last trip down to the car I stepped in a hole and fractured, dislocated my left ankle.. I was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital which was 30 mins away due to I am 30 weeks pregnant and needed a hospital with ob.. At the hospital telnet checked my baby which she is fine:) but my ankle not so much.. I was put in a walking boot with NWB and scheduled to see my hometown orthopedic on Monday.. I saw the os on Monday 11/26/12 and he said I needed surgery.. Surgery was set for the next day 11/27/12.. Surgery went fine baby did great.. I had a plate with 7 screws on the outside of my and and on screw on the inside... I'm 1 week post op today and have f/u this afternoon with os.. I'm still having some pain and discomfort, I am able to move my toes and press down with them in my boot.. My concern now is whenever I get up and put my foot down it feels like all the blood rushes to my foot and feels like it is going to explode... Is this normal ?

Dec 03, 2012
Yes Michelle NEW
by: Anonymous

Totally normal! It lasted in between a week or two for me but progressively got better. keep it elevated as much as possible so it doesn't swell. You are fine, happy healing :)

Dec 05, 2012
UPDATE NEW
by: Michelle

Thank you for the response, I actually started back to work 12/4/12 being they are able to accomadate me with my leg elevated and not having me get up any!! So far so good, I am having no pain in my ankle at this time completely off pain meds and only taking tylenol prn.. I do see a light at the end of the tunnel.. wish is would be sooner than later but I will continue to do what the Dr. says just so I don't mess anything up..I get my staples out on Monday 12/10 very anxious cause I am wanting to get in the shower!! Not sure what to expect afer that, wondering if he will allow therapy yet!! Any ideas? My main thing is yes I am pregnant so my swelling will be alittle more than others that this happened too but in all honesty I am feeling great other than this stinkin boot and not walking..

Dec 08, 2012
guys week end NEW
by: Anonymous

I had surgery on the 24th of June and Still have a lot of stiffness and pain but I also do construction. Most of my pain now is in the area of my achilles and was wondering if anyone else has this issue.

Dec 10, 2012
Heel pain NEW
by: Ice Skater

Hi ... commenting on achilles pain... I know I sometimes experience heel pain which is a bit lower. I find this happens when I am pushing a bit too much. I just slow down. I had my op late July. My ankle is still stiff compared to other and calf muscle obviously not the same, still. I am lucky that I can take it easy physically and not push myself too much. Would be hard if back at any of my more physical jobs. I am doing a lot of walking. I call it "Tai Chi" walking, where if anything starts to hurt I just slow down and move more "smoothly" and then slowly build up speed. I try to avoid limping. I think about my foot doing "normal walking" and go slow enough for that to happen. I am taking this attitude to all exercises I am doing, and it really helps. I use the other foot to gauge what "normal" movement is. I walked quite a way today, further than I have since this started. Hope this helps.

Dec 10, 2012
Fall ORIF broken fibula NEW
by: JR

It has been very interesting and reassuring to read that I am not alone in that others are going through the same process as I have been. I suffered a broken distal fibula bone on the left leg and had ORIF surgery to repair it. It has been a long 2 1/2 months, but things are getting better.
I have been able, while difficult at times, to fight through the initial pain and discomfort of the injury and surgery. I learned how to navigate around with a wheelchair, then crutches, and then a cane. Initially I had a hard cast, but had issues with that. I then got a boot, which was so much nicer, especially since I could get a bath every day!
Since graduating from the boot, I have had to wear a compression sock on that left foot to keep the swelling down. Things are gradually returning to almost normal. I start PT this week and may return to work soon to do very limited light duty activites, just to get out of the house and get back in the swing of things.
My doctors are pleased with the progress thus far. However, I am pushing 50 years old and the x-rays are showing very minimal bone regrowth in the area of the fracture. It has been almost 10 weeks, and I was hoping for better news than that! The plate and screws look very good according to my ortho. dr..
My question is- has anyone out there experienced this? I take a pile of supplements already, so don't know where to add. Possibly more calcium, but don't want to start getting kidney stones.
Perhaps I just need to be more patient and give it more time. Like a lot of you folks, after several months of going through this whole process, it is getting old!
Any thoughts/ideas/commenets would be appreciated!

Dec 24, 2012
ORIF is there a reasonable time to be off work? NEW
by: Catapilar

Hi I agree with everyones comments on how good this site is.I had ORIF surgery for a trimalleor fracture of the right ankle had surgery within a couple of days, cast for six weeks, then told full weight bearing, had a little physio, but basically found more information about getting the ankle stronger via the web. last visit to surgeon said not 100% about one of the bones on the inside of the ankle back to see him in feb, its been 4 months now, and find it hard to be standing for much more than a couple of hours, I work in retail and don't feel that I am ready to go back to work as on feet 7 hours, my GP is more worried about my employer than me but they know that I might have to give up the work still have sharpness in ankle etc am I being unreasonable not going back yet?

Dec 24, 2012
over time NEW
by: DustyJoJo

Hi, I am writing here today more about just being able to 'get it out'. I severely fractured tibia and fibula while slipping on ice on a frozen mat that let loose - at the backdoor last Feb. Had ORIF surgery - plates and pins...months of hobbling..months of PT...found the best was a hydro pool - the kind you swim against the current - but also used for non-weight bearing exercise. Had to have arthroscopic and chondroplastic surgery last month to remove debris was told I did a number on the talus bone as most of the debris was from there. It seemed that 'to the day' when I went for second checkup of that surgery, I had trouble putting weight on my leg..it got worse..he prescribed methypred pack. Next monthly visit will be cortisone shots he says...and said he wouldn't discuss 'ankle replacement' as he feels it's not perfected yet - plus I KNOW I have lots of arthritis and probably am not a candidate for that replacement anyway. INFLAMMATION is the biggest issue here. I am 62. I have been icing and elevating regularly this last 2 weeks and though the meds DID NOT help, the extra attention I just mentioned is - a little. I am just damned mad that this is NOW what I am facing. It feels like my leg bones are crunching right down on my talus, no cushion at all. Pain!!!!!!
I have had to give up on aggressively exercising it, toe lifts in the pool were getting increasingly painful to do..I am told not to DO anything that creates discomfort - well, that would be walking at this point. I have been in pain daily since this happened, it gets old - it makes me grumpy and irritable - I see it and feel it - I can't take OTC meds for inflammation, they create stomach issues. I have been using Aspercreme - it might be what is helping, too. I have tried a number of shoes and orthotics combos - nothing helps much. I swore this would not make me a cripple - I will continue doing what is right to heal..if that's possible. I hope that once I can get a handle on inflammation, I can get back to doing what I was to strengthen the ankle area and foot and walk without cane or crutches again.

Dec 24, 2012
4 weeks post op NEW
by: Anonymous

Haven't updated in a couple of weeks... I am now 4 weeks post op still NWB.. Not really liking it but will do what I need to do.. I am now a little over 33 weeks pregnant go back to the dr two weeks from today and a little curious on what will happen next... I see other posts were you start to bear weight after 6 weeks just wasting some insight on what to expect!!

Dec 24, 2012
expectations NEW
by: Dusty JoJo

What to expect, I have found is different for everyone..but to be preggers during this, oh my. I feel for you. The extra weight and the possible swelling in the ankles as it is - I am sure your doctor is keeping good track of you.
Hang in there - positive attitude is a must. Like with any malady, it DOES help.

Dec 24, 2012
Response NEW
by: Michelle

Thanks for the comment.. Yeah being preggers does add to a little more swelling than usual!! I have actually done really well on keeping my foot elevated I wld say 80% of the time so swelling has not been that bad thank goodness!! I am just really anxious to start the progress of walking again.. I know it won't be right away just think once I start the steps I will start to feel better about myself!! I have been doing exactly what my dr said so hopefully it's healing we'll!! Thanks for ur response

Feb 02, 2013
Trimalleolar Fracture/ORIF NEW
by: Anonymous

Timalleolar Fracture with dislocation on 1/1/13, ORIF on 1/11/13 Plates and screws installed. Post op hard cast through 1/18 when staples were scheduled to be removed. Popped the cast open, nurse removed one staple and determined I needed another week. New hard cast installed with much pain as the tech pushed my ankle to neutral postion. Returned the following week, staples removed and placed into a removable stabilizer boot. Much heavier than the cast as it has a big rubber sole to help protect and stabilize. Instructions: NWB, Rest, Elevation and Ice, allowed to remove 2-3 times a day to start ROM exercises and shower. Seems to be getting only a tiny bit better every day.. yet happy it is trending positive. Range of motion improves bit better every day and am now completely off pain killers as of 2 days ago. 22 days post op now, still have occasional shooting pain, can't let my ankle dangle down too long before feeling pressure and it turning deep red. Sleeping is hard with the big boot and finding a happy position is sometimes difficult. Next app 2/5, hoping to see new x-rays and good bone fusion progress. Thank god for my caring wife who has really stepped up to take on the extra chores and care this has required.

Feb 07, 2013
Update and hardware removal NEW
by: Heather

Well, it has been quite a long time since my last post. I had a tri mal fracture with dislocation to my right ankle last may. They repaired it with an orif, I had 2 wires on the left side and a plate and 6 screws on the right side. My daughters horse fell on my leg. I have 3 young daughters and I worked as a nurse, so it was a devastating situation. I healed up and was walking and doing well. Minimal pain and had some issues with range of motion. Now it's been 8 months and last week I had surgery to remove hardware and repair whatever tissue damage I had. My surgeon did a great job! He did an ankle scope, removed a 1cm chunk of bone that was loose in my ankle and filed down some areas that were pinching tissue. He also crated a micro fracture to help regrow cartilage in 1 area where there wasn't much left. I have had minimal pain, not using any pain meds. I don't have any swelling after 1 week, and I have a significant increase in range of motion in just the first week! I had a great surgeon and a great outcome! I am off my ankle for 3 more weeks to allow time for the cartilage to grow, but I already have less pain than before and a ton more mobility!!! I'm glad I had this surgery. I was afraid it was going to hurt like my last surgery did, but it was nothing like that, so much better!

Feb 12, 2013
New Tri mal with dislocation 1/1/13 NEW
by: New year new ankle

Thank you so much to those who have told their stories here. It has been so helpful to get an idea of what to expect. I tripped on my husband's boots that he left on the one step we have from our house into our garage. I am a 50 yr old female. In the ER, they took X-rays and re-manipulated the dislocation. They told me I woke up during the process and started yelling at them. They were laughing and would not tell me what I said...I imagine it was pretty colorfulšŸ˜„. Ankle was re xrayed and I was prepped for surgery that evening. Spent 2 nights in hospital due to difficulty getting pain under control. Went home with a walker(no wheel kind). Based on input from friends, I ordered a knee scooter(from Amazon.com as none were readily available in my area). It has been the best thing ever. I can get around without fatigue. Not covered by insurance. At 2 wks I had initial cast removed, X-ray, staples out, and recast(hard cast). I had a plate, lots of short screws, one long screw and a bone graft during surgery. Four more weeks in hard cast NWB. Also, raised toilet seat and wall bars at home have been very helpful. Use a shower seat also. Looks like a nursing home, but it works. I have appointment this week and hope to get an air cast and PT started

Feb 12, 2013
response to last few NEW
by: DustyJoJo

Hey - even though it has now been a year, I keep checking back to read these. I am on the downhill side..but non-the-less realize where I have come from and to within the year. I want to say, 'hang in there'...most of the time these things get better, sooner for the younger people, not so soon for us over 60. When you think about it, this type of injury has got to be one of the worse. It's a such a mobility issue. I, for one, took so much for granted, but never again. I am now a 'freaked out' careful person (slipped on black ice and doormat that broke loose from that ice at the back door), I still gimp a little and can't really go down inclines without feeling like I am going to fall flat on my face. I had to laugh when I read about you waking up during reduction at the hospital. I, too, had almost the same deal. Take care - time and patience should be your healer!

Feb 12, 2013
fractured fibula surgery NEW
by: Kim

Thanks so much for your comments, I've learned more here than I ever did seeing the doctor. I had surgery last July 8th 2012, now Feb. 12 2013. Its been 7 months, and still have stinging, sharp electrical pain and numbness to the top of my foot,and toes. Found that this sounds normal after reading your posts. I have been to a pain study or nerve conduction study recently. This doctor ordered PT for electrical shock therapy to desensify my brain.. sounds crazy. I told the doc.. so in other words,if you stomp on my foot I'll forget about my headache? He said basically "Yes" Don't know what to think. Hopefully this gets better, I can't imagine going through life with this kind of daily stinging pain. Yes they concluded there is nerve damage. The question now is should I have he plate and screws removed? Would that help with the nerves,or only make it worse? I did not have a good experience with the ortho surgeon. Very rude, no questions answered. After no weight bearing for nearly 12 weeks, he told me to go walk on it. Needless to say my foot was so swollen, I couldn't wear a shoe, or even get a sock on my foot. He gave me NO walking boot, or any PT to follow. I got around with a walker at home, and hopped with one crutch. My foot is still swollen around the ankle area, can't walk barefoot, too painfull. I wear orthodics in my shoes and this seems to help some. Advice would sure help on the removal of the plate and screws.Thankyou for any insite you may have.

Feb 12, 2013
To Kim NEW
by: Heather

I just had my hardware removed about 2 weeks ago, see above comment about initial injury. The pain after this surgery was nothing compared to the first surgery. I only took pain meds the first 2 days, and then nothing for pain. I have no swelling now and my mobility has greatly increased. As far as nerve pain goes, mine has gotten worse since this surgery, but it has only been 2 weeks, so it could get better. They did a nerve block and I had a lot more numbness than the first surgery. My surgeon said that it can take as long as 12-18 months for my nerves to completely come back, after the 18 months, whatever I have is what I have. The numbness is getting better since the surgery. Initially, the entire tol of my foot as well as the right side of my ankle were completely numb. Now it's about the right half of my foot and my ankle is no longer numb. I have an intense burning/pins and needles feeling to my toes now that is almost constant. I'm hoping it will go away, but not sure yet. Hope I have helped some. Good luck and feel free to ask more questions :)

Feb 13, 2013
to KIM NEW
by: DustyJoJo

Hope Heather answered some of your pins and plates issue - the nerve pain could well be alot of tissue pain too, like tendons and ligaments which were damaged. That is my experience. Tendon that wraps up from the arch to the inside ankle is a large pain. Bro in law is a PT..I had so much inflammation after 2nd surgery which was arthroscopy, MY PT wasn't doing me any good, too aggressive. He gave me such wise advise...doing a home plan. NO toe lifts for now which I was doing in the pool. Talk about pain. Icing several times a day, elevating it ABOVE my heart level several times, using a therapy stretch band and doing sit-leg extended on bed or lazyboy resistance stretching pulling back, pushing forward, one side and then the other..10 reps at a time. Husband helps hold the band. Rolling the bottom of my foot on a rolling pin or a small hard ball. Doing gentle calf stretches leaning into the wall, like we used to do before 'running'. Slowly it is helping. Since you have no support on the PT that is a good home program start. Of course, doing your own massage..I use Apercreme and Capsaizin cremes on my foot and ankle, that helps too, got to the point that my stomach wouldn't take NSAIDS anymore. It really sucks that you don't have a good surgeon, but mine was super! We were at the end of the line, talking cortisone shots into the ankle two visits ago - that was after a round of steroids. I made my mind to NOT go there...has taken many more months of this slow recovery, but I am happy to be doing better because of my daily and never missed work at home. I am no longer on cane or crutch. Be strong.

Feb 17, 2013
Fibula fracture & ORIF NEW
by: Donna

I fell down three (yes, only 3!) steps and fractured my right fibula on January 8th, 2013. Put in temporary cast at ER. Had ORIF surgery one week later b/c of a 2mm displacement. They inserted one plate and 8 screws and I had 26 staples holding it all together. The pain of the actual break was intense, but nothing like what I experienced AFTER surgery. Ten days later, they removed the temporary cast and the staples and put me in a walking boot. Was told not to bear weight on it at all for 6 weeks total after surgery. The worst pain I have experienced thus far came about two hours after the staples were removed... all of a sudden it felt like someone was holding my leg over a fire. The burning was SO intense and unbearable and lasted for a good hour before it subsided. Has anyone else experienced this? I've been wondering what caused it.

I have definitely experienced the swelling, numbness, tingling, purple foot thing. Especially when it's not elevated for extended periods of time. About two weeks after surgery, I was finally feeling good enough to get out a little more, go for short walks on my crutches, even to the neighborhood park. My surgeon told me it was good to take the boot off and stretch my foot back and forth as much as I could take, so I've been working on that daily. I feel better, overall, on days where I do full body stretches AND stretch the broken leg and ankle. But, being out and about for extended periods of time results in a ton of swelling and pain. After being out of the house for 7 hours yesterday, I came home needing to take a hydrocodone, which I have not been taking regularly for the past two weeks. This morning, though, I was completely exhausted.

As for answers to questions about healing time, I think the doctors are vague because of how DIFFERENT everyone heals. I think it really depends on your age, your overall health and strength, your determination, your pain threshold... After reading all of these posts, it has become painfully clear that I may not be walking normally again for a year after I get my boot off this Thursday! BUT... I have also realized that my recovery is up to ME.

This entire ordeal is physically exhausting, mentally draining, and emotionally devastating. I am an incredibly active, independent person. I have NEVER allowed myself to rely on other people because experiences in my past never afforded me that option. Thankfully, I have been blessed with an incredible boyfriend and some amazing family members and friends who have helped me through this. As a single mother of a 7 year old, I don't know HOW I would have survived this without them. Going through this has taught me how to let go of control. How to accept that I can NOT control everything, and how to TRUST in the strength of those around me.

Hang in there, everyone!

Feb 22, 2013
orif right ankle NEW
by: Feeling Lost

I fell on Jan27 2013 This site has help me to know I am not alone. I am 3 weeks post op surgery and next appt is not until 3/6/13. I have been nwb since. Thanks for all the comments they have been very helpful.

Feb 22, 2013
Experience like Donna NEW
by: Ice Skater

Hi Everyone,
I still catch up with what is happening here, even though I fractured right fibula in late July last year. My experience is very similar to Donna's... including the pain after removal of staples (for me it was stitches). The burning pain, and referral pain that I have explained a while ago in previous posts.

At the time I was wondering if it was RSD or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (the more recent "name" for this set of symptoms). Even though I think mine was a mild case, that has largely dissipated, the orthopaedic surgeons didn't think it was. They thought it was simply damage to nerves from operation. In my opinion, they only recognise really obvious cases which are quite severe. I even had the excessive hair growth on that limb, which is still present to this day on my right big toe.

Anyway, whatever it was, I can say that it has improved greatly, and I continue to improve. I have had other health issues which have distracted from the problem, but I do think that general good diet practices, elevation (a lot)...especially while wearing boot, and now to continue to move and walk are the main contributors to improvement. I continue to be quite convinced that lots of fresh veges and salads, good oils, protein, minerals (seaweed foods are good for this) etc while avoiding all toxic substances (including sugar, processed foods, alcohol etc etc) are the best way to improve. As I am at an age (nearly 45 now) where I can feel deterioration faster if I do the wrong thing, I consider myself a better "gauge" of what is working or not, because I can "feel" it.

I am still wondering if the hardware needs to come out. Screws are very painful if bumped, and do stick out, especially the one right on the edge of lateral malleolus.

One of the best things from this ordeal, is that all of my friends are saying how well I look, despite last year being my worst year for my health so far. I too thank all the contributors here, as this has continued to help and provide confidence.

Best wishes and good fortune to everyone.


Feb 27, 2013
Orif january 16th NEW
by: Anonymous

I unfortunately broke my ankle on new years eve after falling in my high heels. pain and sweeing straight away. Went to er where it was x-rayed and discovered I had a trimalleor break ( 3 bones broke) I stayed in hospital for surgery the next day. However it was too swollen so the surgeon couldnt operate. The pain was excruciating and was kept in hospital for 5 days for pain control. I was then sent home with a backslab and told to come back the following week the see if the swelling had reduced enough to do surgery. When i returned and they took down the cast I had developed fracture blisters. I had never seen anything like them.they were caused due to the severe swellling. They were then drained and dressed and I was sent home for another week to wait till that skin had heeled. I finally went in for surgery on the 16th of january. I remained in hospital for 3 days post op. I ahve 3 plates and 10 screws with 4 incision sites. I had a full cast for 6 weeks and got it off yesterday. Since havin it off i ahve noticed around the incisions is quite red and very hot to touch. I am worried it might be an infection? i start physio tomorrow and I am so nervous. My foot is all out of shape from the cast and havent weight beared since this accident happened. I am so nervous

Mar 04, 2013
Fractured Fibula NEW
by: Runmprun

First off , thank you everyone for comments and sharing your personal journeys . I broke my left fibula skiing on 1/21/13. Three weeks later had a plate and six screws placed. 2 weeks in a splint cast, stitches removed, booted with crutches , nwb for 4 to 6 weeks. Still have some swelling, discoloration, but for the most part healing comfortably. I wanted to throw my thoughts on exercise in the discussion ring. I took 5 days off post-op and then resumed with lifting weights (seated) & riding a stationary bike (injured foot on stability ball to the side) to retain cardio and muscle strength. This has been my daily salvation, along with stretching, core strength & yes, meditation. As we all know this is not an easy journey, my patience has been tried and losing independence at times has been more crippling for me than the actual injury...thank you for allowing me to share my story, and to read all of yours. I look forward to the updates and hope for a speedy recovery for all~~

Mar 12, 2013
1 Month Post-Op NEW
by: Laura

I fell on the ice on February 1st, fracturing my fibula and tearing a ligament in my right ankle. I got ORIF surgery 5 days after breaking my ankle...which was the scariest thing I've ever done. The pain I experienced the night of the surgery (I had the operation early in the morning) was excruciating, and required me to take LOTS of vicodin for about 5 days. I stayed home from college for two weeks, causing even more mental distress that I would have wished. Even worse was when I came back to school with all the academic stress and still ice-covered sidewalks.

I am now 5 weeks out from surgery. When I came back to college a few weeks ago, they put a hard cast on, gave me crutches, and told me I was NWB. I am going to see the doctor in two days to get my leg x-rayed again...I am really hoping to get a walking boot and start partial weight bearing. Crutches are hard as it is, but having college classes to walk to everyday with icy sidewalks is the worst...I've come very close to falling over on the sidewalks with crutches due to ice. Not to mention I can't get my own food in the caf and I need someone to bring me to and from orchestra to carry my instrument. I'm a very independent person, so this is KILLING ME to ask people to do such basic things for me.

I'm really nervous my leg will never be the same again. Unlike some of these posts however, I hardly have had any pain since about 2 weeks after my operation. I can't tell how red/swollen my leg is now since it's in a cast, but I hardly feel any pain and I can wiggle my toes just fine. I can even wiggle my ankle inside my cast a little because the swelling went down SO much. I'm hoping for good news on Thursday and that my bones are healing nicely. I'm only 18 and don't want to live with pain for the rest of my life due to some little slip on the ice.

While these posts are inspiring and helpful, I also find myself extremely sad. The fact that some of you still have pain years after the operation makes me really scared. I'm a very active person--I love long-distance running, camping, biking, etc. and I'm worried this will ruin my leg for the rest of my life. Just hoping things will get better and I'll be running in a few months. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you going through this. I wouldn't wish ORIF surgery on anyone.

Mar 12, 2013
UPDATE!!! NEW
by: Donna

For my full story, see comments above. Basically, I am a 35 yr female, broke my fibula falling down stairs on 1/8/13. ORIF surgery (1 plate, 8 screws) on 1/14/13. Could not bear weight on it for 7 weeks total.

Went back to see the surgeon on 2/21/13. He asked me to put all of my weight on my foot and I couldn't. It was painful and felt abnormal and weird (and I was terrified). He sent me to PT twice weekly and told me to wean off of the crutches over the following two weeks and then wean off the boot in the two weeks after that. He said he wants to see me "dancing in his office in four weeks". It seemed absolutely ridiculous to me at the time, but I took it as a personal challenge...

When I got home, I got serious and took my first steps. It was painful and awkward, but I held onto the kitchen counters and pushed through. I was doing modified aerobics in the boot the very next day.

That was two and a half weeks ago. Today, I am walking almost normally again. I walked a mile and a half today. I jogged at 4.9 mph. In tennis shoes. I haven't used the boot at all in over a week and I got off the crutches completely after the first four days.

My foot is still swollen a little. I have not regained ALL of my mobility yet. But, I AM able to walk up and down stairs virtually pain free and in a NORMAL manner, one foot after the other.

Mornings are the worst and most painful. I use a heating pad as soon as I wake up and it helps relieve the stiffness. I do my PT exercises and stretches at least 3x per day. And I push myself. If there's something I can't do, I work on it over and over and over until I can do it again.

This has been, by far, the most challenging thing I've ever experienced on a personal level. Learning to walk again (especially the first week) was incredibly frustrating and left me feeling defeated on several occasions. But, what I've learned through this is that I CAN do ANYTHING I set my mind to doing.

Today, while I was making dinner, my boyfriend put on some music.... and I started dancing. And, in a week and a half, I WILL dance my way into my surgeon's office!!!

Don't get discouraged!!! It gets better and better and better every single day. Just work at it and push through the discomfort and the pain! Good luck to all of you!!!

Apr 16, 2013
Talar shift and fractures NEW
by: Max

Since injuring my ankle I have found sites like these insightful in understanding trauma, rehab and recovery. Sharing your own experience can help someone else make sense of their own trauma. 1st March I slipped off one tread of the stair while vacuuming. As I inspected my ankle I was horrified to find my foot pointing in a different direction. As crazy as this sounds I placed my hands over my foot and slipped the dislocation back into place. I felt the pop and yes it hurt but naively I thought that was all that was wrong. The bulge in my ankle did not improved even though my foot was pointing the correct way it was floppy and I could not lift it. l had to be taken to A & E via ambulance as the pain was so unbearable my blood pressure dropped so low I could feel my self passing out. I was heavily sedated so they could manipulate the ankle back in place. Thank god for morphine as I never felt a thing. I had 2 plaster casts put on in A & E as they were unhappy how they set and the position of my foot. I had a really nasty trauma that needed 2 operations. One to manipulate the dislocation and a second op to pin and plate 3 fractures. I experienced a talar shift which meant my foot bones, talus ( ankle joint) and leg bones were not aligned. The talus had fractured and dislocated which Is the most important bone in the ankle. l also broke the fibula and tibia. The talus had shifted off the heal bone too. I am non weight bearing and have a decent scar on my left ankle. For the past seven weeks I've done exactly what the consultant said and rested. I am so fortunate to have good family, especially my mom who comes daily, to help me through this. I am fiercely independent and have found it hard to sit and watch others run around looking after me, my home and family. I have experienced post surgery pain, burning sensations and pins and needles from soft tissue and nerve damage. But being able to read that this is normal reassures me that my ankle will get better in time. Pain killers, tears and plenty of hankies have helped me to cope emotionally to get through this. Home is a scary place when you can only hop on one leg and going upstairs has given me flashbacks and nightmares. I cannot master crutches for fear of falling and I proudly use a Zimmer frame! Tomorrow I have to go to fracture clinic to have one long screw out that has kept my leg bones aligned and I'm nervous about the procedure. The rest of the plates and screws will remain. Worst case scenario is the consultant puts another cast on. The best case will be a CAM boot. I will be non weight bearing for a further 6 weeks due to the severity of my injury. I cannot stand for more than a few minutes as my ankle, foot and toes swell and go purple. The rush and pain that follows is unbearable. My pain threshold is high having 2 out of my 3 children naturally. This is far worst than childbirth, as a least you have a cuddly bundle of joy at the end of it!

Apr 23, 2013
Patience,patienceand more patients!!! (sic) NEW
by: Stuart

Fantastic site.I am in England and it is quite facinating to compare the differing ideas of what we are going through.
Over here there is no use of air boots or stuff like that.My experience has been initial cast immediately after the accident then x-ray (in cast) followed by surgery (orif on tib and fib)then new cast.This over a period of 3 days.
2 weeks later this cast comes off incision sites checked new cast put on, all the while non-weight bearing and elevated.
This cast stays in place for a further 4 weeks. I have just been back to out-patients where they took this cast off pronounced things to be ok and sent me home minus the cast and 'touch weight bearing'meaning I can just touch my toes on the floor.
After reading some of the testimonials here I realise I have been pretty 'lucky' so far in that it has all gone to plan. However I completely agree that the information imparted by consultants and doctors is severley limited and that we are all different in how we experience these traumas in our lives.
The conclusion I have come to after lying on sofas and beds with my leg in the air for 6 weeks and counting is that we have to be patient and allow our bodies to heal in their own time because it is better to go through this now and get it right now than to end up with further complications as we get older.
So my advice is plenty of boxsets,books,internet surfing,leg elevation and painkillers. But most of all PATIENCE!!!

May 04, 2013
Broken ankle and tibia 4.13.13 NEW
by: Jrenae

This site is Amazing. One of the most inspirational posts I read is from Donna. You gave me the encouragement and answered all of my questions regarding life after non weight bearing.

I fractured my ankle and tibia on 4/13/13. I fell down 2 steps (yes only 2) completely freak accident. No high heels just sandals. I had surgery which the doctor placed 3 screws to repair my injury on 4/24/13. The docotor removed the splint and placed me in a non weightbearing boot that goes from my knee to my toes.

My question is, am I able to take it off at night while i sleep? It is very uncomfortable and hot. I use my wheel chair to get around the house and crutches sometimes as well. I take spongebaths so I dont chance getting anything wet or accidentally falling again.
I have some swelling on my foot but not too uncomfortable. I take about 1 hydrocodone per day for the occasional shooting pains (they last 30sec or less) so i am doing well there.

these next 6 weeks of non weight bearing are going to be long. I still work a fulltime job (Supervisor) beause i dont have FMLA. (job protection) thankfully I sit at a desk all day and only have to move to go to the restroom or heat up my lunch. I have a coffee table pushed under my desk I use to elevate my feet. My husband has taken off for the past 3 weeks to completely care for me. he is such a God Send. Without him and my mom this would be a touch journey to do alone.

My main question is can I take off the boot only when I sleep for comfort purposes only?


May 04, 2013
Taking air boot off at night NEW
by: Max

I would recommend that you ask the consultant if you can take your airboot off at night. It will largely depend on if your fracture has healed. If you have been given an airboot as opposed to a cast I would imagine it remains on 24 hrs per day. I agree they do get hot so I wear mine loose at night and use a fan to keep it cool. Or a ice cold compress helps just before bed.

I am on wk 9 of my recovery and I have only just started taking mine off at night. But I elevate it well above my heart to help the trauma to heal. My cast was removed 2 weeks ago and my fractures have healed but the ligaments will take longer so you may need to keep the ankle immobilised if they were torn for a little longer.

Taking a bath every day keeps me sane and is good for your well being. I also do hot and cold water therapy that I alternate between to improve my circulation, it's good therapy last thing at night as you end with cold water. The foot is less hot when you get into bed. If your stiches are out and the wound has healed I would bath every day.

In the UK we get statutory sick pay so can take time off work when unwell knowing that we get paid. I am sorry to hear this is not the same for you and cannot imagine how you manage at work all day. Your leg must ache a night. I hope you recover soon.

May 05, 2013
Response to Jrenea NEW
by: Donna

Thank you! I am so glad what I said has helped you! This is an incredibly frustrating and lonely journey that we are all on and everyone's comments have been so incredibly helpful and inspirational to me, as well!

I, personally, would not suggest taking the boot off at night. Several times, I had terrible nightmares that left me kicking in my sleep. Even with the boot on, I woke up in extreme pain. You definitely wouldn't want to take the chance of re-injuring your ankle while you sleep. I always slept on my back with my leg propped up on pillows outside of the covers. This kept it cool and kept the weight of the blankets off of it.

My surgeon told me I could take the boot off while seated a few times per day to do ankle stretches. Rotate it in circles, point and flex, to the best of your ability.

As for an update on how I'm doing now... it's been almost four months since the initial injury. Yesterday I went hiking for the first time. I am back to work 1-2 days per week (I'm a vet tech so, in my job I am on my feet ALL day). By the end of work I am exhausted in general and my ankle is sore, but I try to do stretches while I'm standing and that helps alot.

I am still not able to run even close to full speed, but I can jog short distances. A few weeks ago I "ran" an 11 minute mile and I felt that was a HUGE accomplishment. Unfortunately, the next day was more painful than normal. :)

I tend to overdue it because I am anxious to be back to my old self again. Then I have a few days where I'm hurting and need to elevate and use ice more. I am down to doing physical therapy once per week and only have two weeks left. I still do stretches and exercises at home, though. The swelling is nearly gone and I have most of my range of motion back.

The key, I think, is to not get discouraged, even when you have set backs. Some days you'll feel better than others. Some days it feels like this is NEVER GOING TO END and you'll never be "normal" again. I have experienced ALOT of feelings of complete and total defeat. Those feelings come and go. Rest when you need to rest. Cry when you need to cry. Scream when you need to scream. And know that, ultimately, tomorrow WILL be better.

MUCH love and positive energy to ALL of you!

May 17, 2013
ORIF LT Distal Fibula 5/8/13 NEW
by: Ray

I thank you all for your helpful information. I fractured my left distal fibula on 4/25 during the defensive tactics portion of the police academy with only a couple months till graduation. Needless to say that I'm out of the academy. This site has helped me deal with injury very early on.

Thank you.

Jun 16, 2013
Me Too!!! NEW
by: Duke

Like a lot of you, I too broke the left fib with the resulting ORIF with plates and screws installed the next day. I then spent two weeks in an open plaster cast, three weeks in a fiberglass cast and then another three weeks in a boot.

The only time the boot came off was to roll myself into the tub. Great fun!! I still wore the boot when out of the house for another three weeks and then slowly started weight bearing as tolerated.

I am well into two months of physio now and probably have 85% range of motion in my ankle. But, there are times that for no good reason my whole foot swells up to the point that I think it's going to burst. And this is 4 months and a week after the surgery.

If you are new to this healing process, it takes time. I am now 56 years old and am somewhat miffed at the length of time this is taking. But then I compare it to the time it took to heal a broken right leg from a parachuting accident when I was 20. I was riding my motorcycle at 5 weeks and still in a plaster cast!!!

Oh well, just measure your progress in tiny babysteps. Think back to what you could do last weeks, two weeks ago etc etc. It does get better with time.

Aug 07, 2013
Walking after ORIF NEW
by: Anonymous

Broke my fib just above the ankle on 6/15. I was put on fiber glass cast 2 days after. After a week i went to my ortho for check-up but x-ray result is not encouraging. Othro said that i need surgery. Underwent ORIF (1 plate and 8 screws) on 6/24. 2 weeks post surgery, i was put in air cast and started walking without crutches. After 4 more weeks, ortho said the my bone is ok and i was given clearance to walk without the air cast. So far everything is fine.

Aug 07, 2013
Walking after ORIF NEW
by: Anonymous

Broke my fib just above the ankle on 6/15. I was put on fiber glass cast 2 days after. After a week i went to my ortho for check-up but x-ray result is not encouraging. Othro said that i need surgery. Underwent ORIF (1 plate and 8 screws) on 6/24. 2 weeks post surgery, i was put in air cast and started walking without crutches. After 4 more weeks, ortho said the my bone is ok and i was given clearance to walk without the air cast. So far everything is fine.

Aug 29, 2013
Update after HARDWARE REMOVAL NEW
by: Donna

Nearly 6 months after ORIF surgery (plate & 8 screws) on broken fibula, I was still experiencing pain and swelling. I moved in June and after a few days of being on my feet and shifting heavy boxes around, my scar became very swollen, hot to the touch, and incredibly tender. Worried about the possibility of infection, I went back to the surgeon. No infection, but ALOT of inflammation. He said my body didn't like the plate and was forming a barrier of fluid around it to protect itself. He suggested I have it removed.

I am almost 6 weeks out from the removal surgery. And, let me assure you, removing it was NOTHING compared to when they put it in!!! The night after surgery, I was able to put weight on it. And, within the first week I was walking with only a slight limp. Stairs took a little longer to master again, but I was able to swim once the scar healed (took about 3 weeks) and once I hit my 6 week mark, I can run and jump again.

Regarding pain, I was in less pain AFTER the surgery then when I went in. So, if you're struggling with pain associated with the plate and you don't know if you should have it removed or not.....

DO IT!!!!!!!! My range of motion is better now than it was with the plate in. I am in significantly less pain. The recovery was SO easy as compared to the first. And you're really only "down" for the first couple of days.

It is totally worth it!!!

Oct 05, 2013
High Heels after ORIF NEW
by: Anonymous

Broke and dislocated ankle while in St. Barth's on the first day of a 10 day vacation. A paramedic had to fly from the U.S. in order for me to be release from the hospital so that I could have surgery in Dallas. Surgery was 6 days after injury, the dislocation had to be fixed in St. Barth's before travel using only Nitrous Oxide for pain! ORIF surgery, 9 screws and 1 plate. I was put in an air cast 2 weeks after surgery and told by OS to start putting pressure on ankle and start walking with the help of crutches,, started PT the following day. 2 weeks later ( 1 month after surgery ) put in a surround gel brace and told to wear tennis shoes and lose the crutches. Currently walking without a limp ( 6 weeks post op) but still have to concentrate on doing so. I am convinced that in most cases it is your OS that makes the most difference. He did tell me I would be able to wear high heels again as that was my first question to him. Does anyone have info on timing for high heels after ORIF?

I did not want to speak about the tremendous amount of pain that I went through as everyone is familiar with it.

Nov 08, 2013
Re: High heels NEW
by: Anonymous

I had ORIF on 1/8/13 (plate & 8 screws) and hardware removal on 7/22/13. Prior to having the hardware removed, I physically could not wear high heels. The pain from it was too intense. I couldn't even get my foot INTO a high heel because the muscles seemed to pull against the plate and restrict my range of motion. After having the plate removed, I started wearing them a little at a time around the house for 5 minutes or so. It took conditioning and practice. Last weekend I wore them out for the first time since last New Year's Eve. I started with boots so that there was SOME protection on my ankle. It was fairly uncomfortable, as my muscles and ligaments are not used to it anymore. But, I managed through about 5 hours without looking too terribly ridiculous. (except coming up or down steps... I was so overly cautious, I'm sure I looked positively stupid.)

Just start slow. And, if it's painful, don't do it. Buy some new flats and figure you may be in them for awhile. I have spent the last year wearing ONLY tennis shoes and flip flops.

Good luck! Hope you're back to your sexy shoes soon!

Jan 26, 2014
Feeling down NEW
by: Faith

I'm so glad I found this site! All the comments have been so helpful. I fell on ice in 1/9/2014 and broke my Tib in three places and my fib in two places. I had ORIF on 1/13/2014. I am currently almost 2 weeks post op. I had one plate and six screws put in. I'm just about pain free, but what gets me is the heaviness my leg feels. I have a splint on from surgery. Also when I elevate my leg, it feels like all my weight is on my heel and that's uncomfortable. I can also feel the screws and it's uncomfortable. I'm pretty much off norco, so that's good, right? Nighttime is hard. I'm not sleeping well. I can't get comfortable and I can't lay in bed even with it propped up. I have my first post op appt tomorrow so we will see what the dr says and he thinks I'm doing. I wonder if he will remove the splint? I'm so scared for him to remove it. I don't want to see my ankle! I'm scared of pain from suture removal too.

It's nice to know I'm not alone emotionally. I cry a lot since my injury. I feel useless sitting here doing nothing. I want to walk again,but I'm scared too. I'm scared of the pain or that things are not healing normally. My husband doesn't understand my emotions at all right now. He doesn't get why I'm crying. I can't explain it. I just feel sad.

Anyways, I hope I have a good recovery like some of you and that I don't have a lot set backs. Thanks again.


Jan 26, 2014
Feeling down NEW
by: Faith

I'm so glad I found this site! All the comments have been so helpful. I fell on ice in 1/9/2014 and broke my Tib in three places and my fib in two places. I had ORIF on 1/13/2014. I am currently almost 2 weeks post op. I had one plate and six screws put in. I'm just about pain free, but what gets me is the heaviness my leg feels. I have a splint on from surgery. Also when I elevate my leg, it feels like all my weight is on my heel and that's uncomfortable. I can also feel the screws and it's uncomfortable. I'm pretty much off norco, so that's good, right? Nighttime is hard. I'm not sleeping well. I can't get comfortable and I can't lay in bed even with it propped up. I have my first post op appt tomorrow so we will see what the dr says and he thinks I'm doing. I wonder if he will remove the splint? I'm so scared for him to remove it. I don't want to see my ankle! I'm scared of pain from suture removal too.

It's nice to know I'm not alone emotionally. I cry a lot since my injury. I feel useless sitting here doing nothing. I want to walk again,but I'm scared too. I'm scared of the pain or that things are not healing normally. My husband doesn't understand my emotions at all right now. He doesn't get why I'm crying. I can't explain it. I just feel sad.

Anyways, I hope I have a good recovery like some of you and that I don't have a lot set backs. Thanks again.


Jan 27, 2014
feeling down NEW
by: jrenae

Faith, u keep ur head up honey. I was were u are last april. With 2 small kids I was always depressed. Thank god for my husband. U in about 8 weeks u will start to feel much better. Im not gonna lie its gonna be an unforgettable journey but with prayer u will be okay.

Jan 27, 2014
feeling down NEW
by: jrenae

Faith, u keep ur head up honey. I was were u are last april. With 2 small kids I was always depressed. Thank god for my husband. U in about 8 weeks u will start to feel much better. Im not gonna lie its gonna be an unforgettable journey but with prayer u will be okay.

Jan 27, 2014
feeling down NEW
by: jrenae

Faith, u keep ur head up honey. I was were u are last april. With 2 small kids I was always depressed. Thank god for my husband. U in about 8 weeks u will start to feel much better. Im not gonna lie its gonna be an unforgettable journey but with prayer u will be okay.

Jan 28, 2014
Feeling down NEW
by: Faith

Thank you so much. I also have two boys who are 9 and 4. My 9 yr old has been a godsend to me. He's such a big helper. My 4 yr old is confused and doesn't fully understand why I can't just get up and walk and do things for him.

I had my appt yesterday. They took out the staples and said my incisions were healing nicely. They did an X-ray and he said things were still in good alignment from surgery. I have another 4 weeks of no weight bearing. I go back in a month to have another X-ray and to see how things are going and healing. I'm not sure when I'll be able to bear weight. I'm trying to stay positive.

Mar 29, 2014
ORIF Surgery upper tibia plateau NEW
by: Terry

Reading through some posts and am encouraged.
Dec. 17th 2013, broke the upper tibia plateau. ORIF surgery with plate and about 12 screws.
I've been wheel chair bound and limited use of a walker since. Today is week 12, and am told another two weeks. The surgeon said perhaps end of March, but more than likely April before I could really be up and walking. All in all I have been walking this week, limited pain, and my ROM is pretty good now. It took about 10 weeks to gain fair ROM on my ankle and knee. I've been doing exercises for the last 12 weeks to retain some muscle mass, and had a chance to go to a friends and walk in a swimming pool. That is the best thing yet. It allows you to exercise and walk normally while keeping some weight off the knee and such. Walk from shoulder deep to waist deep and see how the pain level might change.
I can now hobble around, but not over doing it. Look forward to my visit to the Doctor on April 11th. More X-Rays to see how the healing is going and there is a bump just under the knee. Doctor thinks it may be a screw, and if so will be sent off island again to have it removed. I live in the South Pacific, so I have to go to Hawaii for surgery. Initial surgery was done in Hawaii as well. A Doctor Murry took very good care of me. Just to share, swelling is normal, discoloration is normal, and of course...pain is to be expected. You all just fresh with your injury...hang in there. Do your exercises as best possible. You will feel pain for some time. I have been taking Oxycodone, and while in the hospital before and right after surgery, I was on 15mg (3 tablets) every 3 hours. What pain...LOL, some discomfort, and getting use to the pain and am down to 1 Oxycodone a day...if I need it. As said, into week 12 now, and am walking around the house. Not normal walking yet, and it helps to have some weight support. Like a cane or such. Besides the exercises they show you, later on a wobble board helps. I'll work with it for about 5 minutes at a time.
Anyway, don't panic...if like me with this type of injury...yes your leg should straighten back out. Your ankle movement will return, and things should be back to normal. Just takes time. I'm 59 so I don't heal as fast as you younger folks...LOL. Thanks again for all the posts, and it prompted me to ramble about my injury. All the best to all.

Apr 20, 2014
Fibula fracture NEW
by: Teri

At 58 I never imagined falling Down TWO deck steps could break a bone. Clean fracture of fibula about 3-4" below the right knee. Saw ER doc Tuesday at midnight and put into soft splint. Saw Ortho surgeon next day. No surgery. Just an ortho boot. I fall backwards on crutches and hurt every time I move. Graduated to a walker. Weight bearing as tolerated. But hurts too much. Allergic to codeine a, ibuprofen doesn't work. Morphine too strong and am afraid to get hooked. Everything I've read here means a long recovery. I'm frustrated and angry at loss of freedom and independence. Not sure I can find this site again from my phone. Hints welcome. Tkoch21528@comcast.net

Apr 28, 2014
help me please NEW
by: Anonymous

I broke all 3 bones in my left ankle on 2-20-14 when i slipped on ice outside of my house and slammed bottom of foot agiast concrete had surgery on 3-3-14 was told no walking at all till next appt. i have internal stitches and they seem to be coming threw my skin and poke me all the time i am in a walking boot. went back to dr on 4-15-14 was told no weight bearing for 3 more weeks not going to see dr again till 5-27-14 dr gave me no physical therapy orders i cry all the time i lost 15lbs since this happened i have a 12yr old and 15 yr old they get so mad at me when i ask them to get anything for me im stuck upstairs of my house because thats the only bathroom i have its hard to go downstairs i have no one to talk to all my "freinds" dont talk to me anymore i have 9 brothers and sisters i have only seen 3 of them 3 times since i did this i feel alone im used to being up doing things all day long feel so useless i cant work my husband complains about money all the time i just dont know what to do

Apr 29, 2014
To: Help me Please by Anonymous NEW
by: Anonymous

help me please NEW
by: Anonymous

I broke all 3 bones in my left ankle on 2-20-14

Am very sorry to hear about your injury, but for what it's all worth...it is just a matter of time.
I am just pass week 16 of my own injury...upper tibia shattered, and I am finally walking again.
Not so normal yet, but up and around. Stairs are a bit of a challenge, but doable. When you are able do some ankle exercises as prescribe by the doctor perhaps, and try knee bends while lying in bed. Draw the leg up and down, and see how much you might handle with the ankle for movement. It should improve over time, mine did, but it still hurts some today, and continues to swell pretty good. My Doctor said it will continue to swell for perhaps a year even...we just tough up...the old saying...when the going gets tough, the tough get going...well...as much as we can anyway. Just hang in there. I'd lie in bed flat on my back and do what exercises I could handle. It hurts, but in the long runā€¦it helps.
Prayers to you, and God speed for a speedy recovery

Apr 29, 2014
To: Help me Please by Anonymous NEW
by: Anonymous

help me please NEW
by: Anonymous

I broke all 3 bones in my left ankle on 2-20-14

Am very sorry to hear about your injury, but for what it's all worth...it is just a matter of time.
I am just pass week 16 of my own injury...upper tibia shattered, and I am finally walking again.
Not so normal yet, but up and around. Stairs are a bit of a challenge, but doable. When you are able do some ankle exercises as prescribe by the doctor perhaps, and try knee bends while lying in bed. Draw the leg up and down, and see how much you might handle with the ankle for movement. It should improve over time, mine did, but it still hurts some today, and continues to swell pretty good. My Doctor said it will continue to swell for perhaps a year even...we just tough up...the old saying...when the going gets tough, the tough get going...well...as much as we can anyway. Just hang in there. I'd lie in bed flat on my back and do what exercises I could handle. It hurts, but in the long runā€¦it helps.
Prayers to you, and God speed for a speedy recovery

Apr 29, 2014
To: Help me Please by Anonymous NEW
by: Anonymous

help me please NEW
by: Anonymous

I broke all 3 bones in my left ankle on 2-20-14

Am very sorry to hear about your injury, but for what it's all worth...it is just a matter of time.
I am just pass week 16 of my own injury...upper tibia shattered, and I am finally walking again.
Not so normal yet, but up and around. Stairs are a bit of a challenge, but doable. When you are able do some ankle exercises as prescribe by the doctor perhaps, and try knee bends while lying in bed. Draw the leg up and down, and see how much you might handle with the ankle for movement. It should improve over time, mine did, but it still hurts some today, and continues to swell pretty good. My Doctor said it will continue to swell for perhaps a year even...we just tough up...the old saying...when the going gets tough, the tough get going...well...as much as we can anyway. Just hang in there. I'd lie in bed flat on my back and do what exercises I could handle. It hurts, but in the long runā€¦it helps.
Prayers to you, and God speed for a speedy recovery

May 04, 2014
Broken Upper Tibia and Damaged Knee NEW
by: Terry

I've Posted about my accident on Dec 17th, 2013...upper broken Tibia and shattered knee cap area...I had a plate and several screws installed, and I was wheel chair bound for about 3 months. Surgery was Jan 3rd, and here it is now May 3rd. I am up and walking, no assistance, and it is great. Tonight I found another home helpful therapy that might just benefit others in my area of recovery...for what it is worth...either YouTube, or your own personal stereo...it you are into weight bearing mode...even if sitting some...and can handle it...put on some of your old favorite music...dance to the beat so to speak...
We lie around, do our exercises, see our therapist if doing so, but do our exercises...if able...why not spice it up some...I just got up and did a jig to one of my favorites without thinking about it...turn it up, let yourself get into it, and if you wish to dance, do it...some pain may follow sure, but it you are far into recovery as me...now week 17 since surgery...am weight bearing finally...yea...and continue to recover more so...give yourself a little test and let yourself go into your favorite music...sit and just move the body and leg, or arm to the beat as best possible...talk about a workout of exercise that we were perhaps not told about...natural rhythm going to the flow of our favorite sounds...if you can, and if only you can...give it a go...you might surprise yourself and find that lost confidence of movements...merely a suggestion...all the best to all injured.

May 04, 2014
Broken Upper Tibia and Damaged Knee NEW
by: Terry

I've Posted about my accident on Dec 17th, 2013...upper broken Tibia and shattered knee cap area...I had a plate and several screws installed, and I was wheel chair bound for about 3 months. Surgery was Jan 3rd, and here it is now May 3rd. I am up and walking, no assistance, and it is great. Tonight I found another home helpful therapy that might just benefit others in my area of recovery...for what it is worth...either YouTube, or your own personal stereo...it you are into weight bearing mode...even if sitting some...and can handle it...put on some of your old favorite music...dance to the beat so to speak...
We lie around, do our exercises, see our therapist if doing so, but do our exercises...if able...why not spice it up some...I just got up and did a jig to one of my favorites without thinking about it...turn it up, let yourself get into it, and if you wish to dance, do it...some pain may follow sure, but it you are far into recovery as me...now week 17 since surgery...am weight bearing finally...yea...and continue to recover more so...give yourself a little test and let yourself go into your favorite music...sit and just move the body and leg, or arm to the beat as best possible...talk about a workout of exercise that we were perhaps not told about...natural rhythm going to the flow of our favorite sounds...if you can, and if only you can...give it a go...you might surprise yourself and find that lost confidence of movements...merely a suggestion...all the best to all injured.

May 07, 2014
Pain Meds? NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi everyone! I broke my fibula after I fell on wet grass wearing flip flops. I had sx 2 days shy of 2 weeks ago and am still on my percocet and ibuprofen. I tried to ween myself from them a couple days ago and it was too painful. I know pain is different for everyone but generally how long can I expect to be on narcotics? I'm almost out of my percocet and I feel embarrassed to ask the doc for more but I really need them. And am I going to need them for PT because it sound like its pretty painful?

May 10, 2014
Re: narcotics NEW
by: Donna

I found that about 2-3 weeks after ORIF surgery on my fibula that I was able to stop taking vicodin regularly. Every day I needed less and less. It seemed that on days where I was not elevating it as much do to being out of the house, I would need to take one when I got home. There's no shame in asking for more as long as you aren't dependent on them. I did not need any through 3 months of physical therapy. Ice and heat and ibuprofen would do the trick. Physical therapy is definitely exhausting. And, it can be painful. But its more of a sore, dull pain than the stabbing, sharp pain you're probably experiencing now. Just go slow and allow your body the time it needs to heal!

May 10, 2014
Re: narcotics NEW
by: Donna

I found that about 2-3 weeks after ORIF surgery on my fibula that I was able to stop taking vicodin regularly. Every day I needed less and less. It seemed that on days where I was not elevating it as much do to being out of the house, I would need to take one when I got home. There's no shame in asking for more as long as you aren't dependent on them. I did not need any through 3 months of physical therapy. Ice and heat and ibuprofen would do the trick. Physical therapy is definitely exhausting. And, it can be painful. But its more of a sore, dull pain than the stabbing, sharp pain you're probably experiencing now. Just go slow and allow your body the time it needs to heal!

Jul 09, 2014
Dislocated fibula/Trimal fracture NEW
by: Allie

I dislocated my fibula and have a trimalleolar fracture in my ankle after tripping on a tree stump over Memorial Weekend. I had ORIF surgery on June 4th (1 plate, 8 screws). It's been about 5 weeks and my doctor said it's okay to bare partial weight with one crutch. After reading these comments and doing research, this seems like rare advice to be given this soon.

I also am wondering if people are in PT in their fiberglass casts? It looks like PT helps tremendously with the healing process, and I'm wondering if I should be doing that at this point in the healing process in a cast?

Prior to the injury, I had bought a 1 way ticket to New Zealand to go hiking and backpacking in September. I am concerned that if I don't get proper medical advice and PT that my ankle will not be strong enough to do this.

Advice and feedback are very appreciated! Good luck to everyone who is still currently sitting on their couches. Breaking Bad has been much help.

Jul 09, 2014
Too soon to walk? NEW
by: Allie

I dislocated my fibula and have a trimalleolar fracture in my ankle after tripping on a tree stump over Memorial Weekend. I had ORIF surgery on June 4th (1 plate, 8 screws). It's been about 5 weeks and my doctor said it's okay to bare partial weight with one crutch. After reading these comments and doing research, this seems like rare advice to be given this soon.

I also am wondering if people are in PT in their fiberglass casts? It looks like PT helps tremendously with the healing process, and I'm wondering if I should be doing that at this point in the healing process in a cast?

Prior to the injury, I had bought a 1 way ticket to New Zealand to go hiking and backpacking in September. I am concerned that if I don't get proper medical advice and PT that my ankle will not be strong enough to do this.

Advice and feedback are very appreciated! Good luck to everyone who is still currently sitting on their couches. Breaking Bad has been much help.

Jul 13, 2014
RE : Too soon to walk NEW
by: Nancy

I also dislocated my fibula on Memorial Day weekend, but in a bicycle accident. And I also had surgery on June 4 and they put in a plate and 8 screws. My first appointment after the surgery was June 25 and they took off the cast/splint and removed the stitches. I'm now in a fracture boot and non weight bearing until 8 weeks after surgery. I'm moving my foot up and down a little bit to exercise it at this point. My next appointment is July 31 and I believe I'll be able to put weight on my foot after that. It does seem early to put weight on it after 5 weeks,

Jul 13, 2014
RE : Too soon to walk NEW
by: Nancy

I also dislocated my fibula on Memorial Day weekend, but in a bicycle accident. And I also had surgery on June 4 and they put in a plate and 8 screws. My first appointment after the surgery was June 25 and they took off the cast/splint and removed the stitches. I'm now in a fracture boot and non weight bearing until 8 weeks after surgery. I'm moving my foot up and down a little bit to exercise it at this point. My next appointment is July 31 and I believe I'll be able to put weight on my foot after that. It does seem early to put weight on it after 5 weeks,

Jul 15, 2014
post op left fibula fracture NEW
by: Anonymous

I guess I'm not alone, I'm so glad I found this website, well as for me , this happens after I had a long walk with my grandchildren at the park along with my children's who's also having their jogging and exercises.So anyways as for me , I started doing a box jump so I can do my exercises too, well that didn't do well for me, because I fell backward and landed on my behind and my left foot was bend backward also .I don't know how that happened but it did so I kind ah tough it up, I don't want to show my grandkids that I was hurt or in pain, so I got up too quickly but I got dizzy and nauseated, so my two oldest daughter's carried me and I had to put weight on my left foot, it's hurts so much, so I told take me to immediate care , but my daughter who's a nurse told me just let us put on ice pack first , but if I can't tolerate the pain then I should go, at least have it look at to see if it's a sprain or broken, so I got there to immediate care the doctor had told me that is broken, to make the story short, the following Monday June 20th . I called the orthopedic dept.and made an appointment on the same day .So he saw the xray, and he told me the bad news .So he immediately told me I'm going to have surgery which will be scheduled on June 10,2014.I have 6 screws and plate that was in place with a soft cast so waited for 2 weeks follow up, x-ray again , then sutures was remove then hard cast was placed , has to wait again until July 24 to have this remove, with all of us here in this forum we all have the same pain, depression, crying out for help, I have a husband who works two jobs and still have the time to help me .There's a time I'm by myself just laying in my bed, scared to hop around with the walker to go the bathroom alone with no help, there's a time I trip and I had to put my left foot down just to balance myself but it's hurts, there numb and tingling pain and shooting pain.i lost muscle on this left leg.it feels like I'm going to fall again and I'm really scared..I cried so much . through this entire ordeal and nobody seems to understand me sometimes.i want to walk again like a normal person and my doctor says he's going tty of put the boot on July 24 then physical therapy. I hoping I'll be able to be back on my feet again and hoping back to work without any pain or discomfort. I'm still having some pain , cold sensation, numbness, tingling but no swelling .This so uncomfortable feeling..I don't want to depend on my medicine anymore . I have faith with God and I'm not giving up ..Thank you all for all the information that I had read ..it really help me to be strong and motivate myself more..

Aug 11, 2014
Broken Fibula - my story NEW
by: Mike S

These stories are really helpful, especially when the doctor can't give you straight answer.

I broke my fibula on the last day of my holiday in Spain on 30th June. I hobbled through coaches, buses, trains and flew back to Bristol, England before having my foot seen to about 3 days later.

I was put in a soft cast for a week before I needed ORIF surgery on the foot. 2 hour surgery, had 1 plate, 2 screws and 2 pins.

Recovery for me, hasn't been hard. I felt little pain, hardly ever take pain killers. Just rest.

3 weeks later the doctor took off my soft cast, removed all metal staple stitches and fitted me with an Aircast walking boot - still no weight-bearing however.

and to the shock of many people - I have been to 2 festivals so far (about to go on holiday to Prauge aswell) with my broken foot on crutches! The key is, is to not let it get in the way and still do things that make you happy! Sitting in all day is good for rest when you need it, but is also super demoralising.

I must confess, I'm a fit and health 20 year old who hits the gym. My upper body strength does allow me to crutch for miles at a time up and down hills which helped tremendously when going around the festival!

I have my next appointment on Wednesday 13th August where the doctor will HOPEFULLY tell me I can start weight bearing. It will have been also two months after I broke my ankle and 6 weeks after surgery.

My Tip for anyone who wants them! :

@ is to make sure you're still out going, even if you crutch around a little bit everyday. In the end I would have been to 2 festivals and 2 holidays (Prauge and Budapest) before I can walk again!

@ Air your foot! When your skin doesn't oxidise with the air for long periods of time, your skin goes dry, sore and hurts to touch. Skin also fakes off and feels very sensitive. So if you have a removable cast - GET IT OFF! let you foot breath, moisturise your foot and keep it clean.

Thank you!
And Good luck!

Sep 12, 2014
4th Surgery- Tibia, Fibula & Metatarsals NEW
by: Cat

Next month marks 22 years since my initial accident that has caused me pain and grief. I had a car accident that blew out my ankle...they wanted to amputate back then but because my parents were there to say no for me, a doctor, who was way ahead of the game, pieced back together the talus, fibula and tibia. Since then it's been one issue after another. In 2007 I started seeing an orthopedic surgeon at Union Memorial hospital in Baltimore, M.D. This group of ortho's treat the Ravens football teams injuries. My doctor has also won awards in most compassionate doctor. He has ranked high in News World Report magazine under medicine for best doctor. He is a great surgeon and he really is compassionate. His bedside manner is the best I've ever had in an orthopedic doctor. I'm telling you all this because it is very important to have a doctor who will answer your questions and listen to you. I'm reading a lot of stories on here that say their doctors don't like to answer questions or won't. I say to that, b.s. get a new doctor. You aren't at their mercy with so many great orthopedics out there. These doctors have a job to do so treat them like you're on a job interview except you are doing the interviewing. That being said...here is my story.

First surgery was to fuse the tibia and fibula to the talus. Painful first surgery because I had so much dead bone down there that he had to saw all of that off to get to fresh bone. Not to mention all of the original hardware had to be removed. Some screws were so embedded in my bones that they are still there...causing no problems or pain. Second surgery later that same year was to fuse the subtalar joint. That was a failure partly due to the fact I became pregnant and the hormonal changes affected the healing process. I was good during pregnancy...no pain whatsoever. (I think doctors need to study that). By 2011 I was back seeing my orthopedic because I have a fracture in my 4th metatarsal. My doctor noticed a screw had also broke inside the ankle and that the subtalar fusion was a failure. So back I went for 3rd surgery to re-fuse subtalar joint, remove and replace the broken screw and put a plate in my 4th metatarsal. By far the easiest surgery I've been through. I kinda breezed through that one and I was pleased with recovery and my pain level was low after those first few days.

Well here I am at the present moment, 2014, home recovering from my 4th surgery. I had suffered another metatarsal fracture but this time it was in my 5th metatarsal. After having the CT scan my doctor noticed another broken screw, and that my tibia and fibula had healed crooked thus causing me to walk along the outside of my foot. Boy was that painful, worse than the 4th metatarsal fracture. Also noticed the subtalar joint still had not fused.
Surgery bound again! I had surgery on August 29th to have a screw put in the 5th metatarsal, revise the subtalar joint fusion and the worse part...cutting my tibia and fibula in half to insert a plate across the front of my ankle instead of screws. This plate is new in the ortho world so hopefully it will do the job of fusing it together properly. My bones had to be repositioned and my ankle put at a 90 degree angle. Talk about painful!!!! In the first 3 days post surgery I thought I was going to die or at least I wanted to just to end the agony. This by far has been the worse surgery I've had to date.

The tingling and numbness is still pretty bad but I found out it's nerve pain. Apparently they were damaged, squeezed or nipped during surgery and the incisions alone cause sensory nerve damage. The tingling and prickly pins and needles feeling is normal and it means the nerves are repairing themselves.

The swelling is normal as well and based on my past surgeries the swelling never quite goes away. Get used to it especially at the end of the day. However a good night's sleep will bring the swelling down but then it will start again as the day progresses. I currently am still on bed rest and elevation and ice packs. Getting the swelling down is part of the battle right now and when it goes down to a normal amount of swelling it will feel better. I just saw my doctor yesterday to have the bulky cast and bandages taken off and the sutures removed. It's a mess down there! 4 new incisions for a total of 10-13 scars down there.

My toes are curled slightly due to the repositioning of the bones and tendon. The tendon is causing the toe curling and only time will fix this. The underneath of my foot is still totally numb which is weird in itself, my toes are still somewhat numb but mostly tingly and prickly. The surgical sites aren't as numb just itchy. Today I can put my foot in water and clean it finally!

I also, for the first time, have blood blisters that formed during the pinching of the skin under the initial casting. It was very tight inside that thing but for a good reason. If this happens or happened to you you must leave a blood blister alone in order to avoid infection. They will dry up and go away. Some of mine are huge but I've also found smaller ones. Just an fyi.

There isn't much I can do to help it or speed recovery along. I have to accept the fact I'm still a cripple but it won't be this way forever. It's imperative that we all take it easy on the ankle and foot after surgery...sometimes up to a year or more. If you don't want to wind up like me do what your doctor says, ask as many questions as you want and insist on an answer. Do not do activities that can mess with your bones healing properly. I didn't do anything to cause my issues post surgery other than getting pregnant that one time. However I do believe if I had treated my ankle and foot better after the past surgeries that maybe I wouldn't have had to have this last surgery. Idk my doctor says no but I will treat myself better after this last surgery. I will do whatever it takes to stay out of that operating room!!

Good luck to all!

Sep 12, 2014
4th Surgery- Tibia, Fibula & Metatarsals NEW
by: Cat

Next month marks 22 years since my initial accident that has caused me pain and grief. I had a car accident that blew out my ankle...they wanted to amputate back then but because my parents were there to say no for me, a doctor, who was way ahead of the game, pieced back together the talus, fibula and tibia. Since then it's been one issue after another. In 2007 I started seeing an orthopedic surgeon at Union Memorial hospital in Baltimore, M.D. This group of ortho's treat the Ravens football teams injuries. My doctor has also won awards in most compassionate doctor. He has ranked high in News World Report magazine under medicine for best doctor. He is a great surgeon and he really is compassionate. His bedside manner is the best I've ever had in an orthopedic doctor. I'm telling you all this because it is very important to have a doctor who will answer your questions and listen to you. I'm reading a lot of stories on here that say their doctors don't like to answer questions or won't. I say to that, b.s. get a new doctor. You aren't at their mercy with so many great orthopedics out there. These doctors have a job to do so treat them like you're on a job interview except you are doing the interviewing. That being said...here is my story.

First surgery was to fuse the tibia and fibula to the talus. Painful first surgery because I had so much dead bone down there that he had to saw all of that off to get to fresh bone. Not to mention all of the original hardware had to be removed. Some screws were so embedded in my bones that they are still there...causing no problems or pain. Second surgery later that same year was to fuse the subtalar joint. That was a failure partly due to the fact I became pregnant and the hormonal changes affected the healing process. I was good during pregnancy...no pain whatsoever. (I think doctors need to study that). By 2011 I was back seeing my orthopedic because I have a fracture in my 4th metatarsal. My doctor noticed a screw had also broke inside the ankle and that the subtalar fusion was a failure. So back I went for 3rd surgery to re-fuse subtalar joint, remove and replace the broken screw and put a plate in my 4th metatarsal. By far the easiest surgery I've been through. I kinda breezed through that one and I was pleased with recovery and my pain level was low after those first few days.

Well here I am at the present moment, 2014, home recovering from my 4th surgery. I had suffered another metatarsal fracture but this time it was in my 5th metatarsal. After having the CT scan my doctor noticed another broken screw, and that my tibia and fibula had healed crooked thus causing me to walk along the outside of my foot. Boy was that painful, worse than the 4th metatarsal fracture. Also noticed the subtalar joint still had not fused.
Surgery bound again! I had surgery on August 29th to have a screw put in the 5th metatarsal, revise the subtalar joint fusion and the worse part...cutting my tibia and fibula in half to insert a plate across the front of my ankle instead of screws. This plate is new in the ortho world so hopefully it will do the job of fusing it together properly. My bones had to be repositioned and my ankle put at a 90 degree angle. Talk about painful!!!! In the first 3 days post surgery I thought I was going to die or at least I wanted to just to end the agony. This by far has been the worse surgery I've had to date.

The tingling and numbness is still pretty bad but I found out it's nerve pain. Apparently they were damaged, squeezed or nipped during surgery and the incisions alone cause sensory nerve damage. The tingling and prickly pins and needles feeling is normal and it means the nerves are repairing themselves.

The swelling is normal as well and based on my past surgeries the swelling never quite goes away. Get used to it especially at the end of the day. However a good night's sleep will bring the swelling down but then it will start again as the day progresses. I currently am still on bed rest and elevation and ice packs. Getting the swelling down is part of the battle right now and when it goes down to a normal amount of swelling it will feel better. I just saw my doctor yesterday to have the bulky cast and bandages taken off and the sutures removed. It's a mess down there! 4 new incisions for a total of 10-13 scars down there.

My toes are curled slightly due to the repositioning of the bones and tendon. The tendon is causing the toe curling and only time will fix this. The underneath of my foot is still totally numb which is weird in itself, my toes are still somewhat numb but mostly tingly and prickly. The surgical sites aren't as numb just itchy. Today I can put my foot in water and clean it finally!

I also, for the first time, have blood blisters that formed during the pinching of the skin under the initial casting. It was very tight inside that thing but for a good reason. If this happens or happened to you you must leave a blood blister alone in order to avoid infection. They will dry up and go away. Some of mine are huge but I've also found smaller ones. Just an fyi.

There isn't much I can do to help it or speed recovery along. I have to accept the fact I'm still a cripple but it won't be this way forever. It's imperative that we all take it easy on the ankle and foot after surgery...sometimes up to a year or more. If you don't want to wind up like me do what your doctor says, ask as many questions as you want and insist on an answer. Do not do activities that can mess with your bones healing properly. I didn't do anything to cause my issues post surgery other than getting pregnant that one time. However I do believe if I had treated my ankle and foot better after the past surgeries that maybe I wouldn't have had to have this last surgery. Idk my doctor says no but I will treat myself better after this last surgery. I will do whatever it takes to stay out of that operating room!!

Good luck to all!

Sep 12, 2014
4th Surgery- Tibia, Fibula & Metatarsals NEW
by: Cat

Next month marks 22 years since my initial accident that has caused me pain and grief. I had a car accident that blew out my ankle...they wanted to amputate back then but because my parents were there to say no for me, a doctor, who was way ahead of the game, pieced back together the talus, fibula and tibia. Since then it's been one issue after another. In 2007 I started seeing an orthopedic surgeon at Union Memorial hospital in Baltimore, M.D. This group of ortho's treat the Ravens football teams injuries. My doctor has also won awards in most compassionate doctor. He has ranked high in News World Report magazine under medicine for best doctor. He is a great surgeon and he really is compassionate. His bedside manner is the best I've ever had in an orthopedic doctor. I'm telling you all this because it is very important to have a doctor who will answer your questions and listen to you. I'm reading a lot of stories on here that say their doctors don't like to answer questions or won't. I say to that, b.s. get a new doctor. You aren't at their mercy with so many great orthopedics out there. These doctors have a job to do so treat them like you're on a job interview except you are doing the interviewing. That being said...here is my story.

First surgery was to fuse the tibia and fibula to the talus. Painful first surgery because I had so much dead bone down there that he had to saw all of that off to get to fresh bone. Not to mention all of the original hardware had to be removed. Some screws were so embedded in my bones that they are still there...causing no problems or pain. Second surgery later that same year was to fuse the subtalar joint. That was a failure partly due to the fact I became pregnant and the hormonal changes affected the healing process. I was good during pregnancy...no pain whatsoever. (I think doctors need to study that). By 2011 I was back seeing my orthopedic because I have a fracture in my 4th metatarsal. My doctor noticed a screw had also broke inside the ankle and that the subtalar fusion was a failure. So back I went for 3rd surgery to re-fuse subtalar joint, remove and replace the broken screw and put a plate in my 4th metatarsal. By far the easiest surgery I've been through. I kinda breezed through that one and I was pleased with recovery and my pain level was low after those first few days.

Well here I am at the present moment, 2014, home recovering from my 4th surgery. I had suffered another metatarsal fracture but this time it was in my 5th metatarsal. After having the CT scan my doctor noticed another broken screw, and that my tibia and fibula had healed crooked thus causing me to walk along the outside of my foot. Boy was that painful, worse than the 4th metatarsal fracture. Also noticed the subtalar joint still had not fused.
Surgery bound again! I had surgery on August 29th to have a screw put in the 5th metatarsal, revise the subtalar joint fusion and the worse part...cutting my tibia and fibula in half to insert a plate across the front of my ankle instead of screws. This plate is new in the ortho world so hopefully it will do the job of fusing it together properly. My bones had to be repositioned and my ankle put at a 90 degree angle. Talk about painful!!!! In the first 3 days post surgery I thought I was going to die or at least I wanted to just to end the agony. This by far has been the worse surgery I've had to date.

The tingling and numbness is still pretty bad but I found out it's nerve pain. Apparently they were damaged, squeezed or nipped during surgery and the incisions alone cause sensory nerve damage. The tingling and prickly pins and needles feeling is normal and it means the nerves are repairing themselves.

The swelling is normal as well and based on my past surgeries the swelling never quite goes away. Get used to it especially at the end of the day. However a good night's sleep will bring the swelling down but then it will start again as the day progresses. I currently am still on bed rest and elevation and ice packs. Getting the swelling down is part of the battle right now and when it goes down to a normal amount of swelling it will feel better. I just saw my doctor yesterday to have the bulky cast and bandages taken off and the sutures removed. It's a mess down there! 4 new incisions for a total of 10-13 scars down there.

My toes are curled slightly due to the repositioning of the bones and tendon. The tendon is causing the toe curling and only time will fix this. The underneath of my foot is still totally numb which is weird in itself, my toes are still somewhat numb but mostly tingly and prickly. The surgical sites aren't as numb just itchy. Today I can put my foot in water and clean it finally!

I also, for the first time, have blood blisters that formed during the pinching of the skin under the initial casting. It was very tight inside that thing but for a good reason. If this happens or happened to you you must leave a blood blister alone in order to avoid infection. They will dry up and go away. Some of mine are huge but I've also found smaller ones. Just an fyi.

There isn't much I can do to help it or speed recovery along. I have to accept the fact I'm still a cripple but it won't be this way forever. It's imperative that we all take it easy on the ankle and foot after surgery...sometimes up to a year or more. If you don't want to wind up like me do what your doctor says, ask as many questions as you want and insist on an answer. Do not do activities that can mess with your bones healing properly. I didn't do anything to cause my issues post surgery other than getting pregnant that one time. However I do believe if I had treated my ankle and foot better after the past surgeries that maybe I wouldn't have had to have this last surgery. Idk my doctor says no but I will treat myself better after this last surgery. I will do whatever it takes to stay out of that operating room!!

Good luck to all!

Sep 12, 2014
4th Surgery- Tibia, Fibula & Metatarsals NEW
by: Cat

Next month marks 22 years since my initial accident that has caused me pain and grief. I had a car accident that blew out my ankle...they wanted to amputate back then but because my parents were there to say no for me, a doctor, who was way ahead of the game, pieced back together the talus, fibula and tibia. Since then it's been one issue after another. In 2007 I started seeing an orthopedic surgeon at Union Memorial hospital in Baltimore, M.D. This group of ortho's treat the Ravens football teams injuries. My doctor has also won awards in most compassionate doctor. He has ranked high in News World Report magazine under medicine for best doctor. He is a great surgeon and he really is compassionate. His bedside manner is the best I've ever had in an orthopedic doctor. I'm telling you all this because it is very important to have a doctor who will answer your questions and listen to you. I'm reading a lot of stories on here that say their doctors don't like to answer questions or won't. I say to that, b.s. get a new doctor. You aren't at their mercy with so many great orthopedics out there. These doctors have a job to do so treat them like you're on a job interview except you are doing the interviewing. That being said...here is my story.

First surgery was to fuse the tibia and fibula to the talus. Painful first surgery because I had so much dead bone down there that he had to saw all of that off to get to fresh bone. Not to mention all of the original hardware had to be removed. Some screws were so embedded in my bones that they are still there...causing no problems or pain. Second surgery later that same year was to fuse the subtalar joint. That was a failure partly due to the fact I became pregnant and the hormonal changes affected the healing process. I was good during pregnancy...no pain whatsoever. (I think doctors need to study that). By 2011 I was back seeing my orthopedic because I have a fracture in my 4th metatarsal. My doctor noticed a screw had also broke inside the ankle and that the subtalar fusion was a failure. So back I went for 3rd surgery to re-fuse subtalar joint, remove and replace the broken screw and put a plate in my 4th metatarsal. By far the easiest surgery I've been through. I kinda breezed through that one and I was pleased with recovery and my pain level was low after those first few days.

Well here I am at the present moment, 2014, home recovering from my 4th surgery. I had suffered another metatarsal fracture but this time it was in my 5th metatarsal. After having the CT scan my doctor noticed another broken screw, and that my tibia and fibula had healed crooked thus causing me to walk along the outside of my foot. Boy was that painful, worse than the 4th metatarsal fracture. Also noticed the subtalar joint still had not fused.
Surgery bound again! I had surgery on August 29th to have a screw put in the 5th metatarsal, revise the subtalar joint fusion and the worse part...cutting my tibia and fibula in half to insert a plate across the front of my ankle instead of screws. This plate is new in the ortho world so hopefully it will do the job of fusing it together properly. My bones had to be repositioned and my ankle put at a 90 degree angle. Talk about painful!!!! In the first 3 days post surgery I thought I was going to die or at least I wanted to just to end the agony. This by far has been the worse surgery I've had to date.

The tingling and numbness is still pretty bad but I found out it's nerve pain. Apparently they were damaged, squeezed or nipped during surgery and the incisions alone cause sensory nerve damage. The tingling and prickly pins and needles feeling is normal and it means the nerves are repairing themselves.

The swelling is normal as well and based on my past surgeries the swelling never quite goes away. Get used to it especially at the end of the day. However a good night's sleep will bring the swelling down but then it will start again as the day progresses. I currently am still on bed rest and elevation and ice packs. Getting the swelling down is part of the battle right now and when it goes down to a normal amount of swelling it will feel better. I just saw my doctor yesterday to have the bulky cast and bandages taken off and the sutures removed. It's a mess down there! 4 new incisions for a total of 10-13 scars down there.

My toes are curled slightly due to the repositioning of the bones and tendon. The tendon is causing the toe curling and only time will fix this. The underneath of my foot is still totally numb which is weird in itself, my toes are still somewhat numb but mostly tingly and prickly. The surgical sites aren't as numb just itchy. Today I can put my foot in water and clean it finally!

I also, for the first time, have blood blisters that formed during the pinching of the skin under the initial casting. It was very tight inside that thing but for a good reason. If this happens or happened to you you must leave a blood blister alone in order to avoid infection. They will dry up and go away. Some of mine are huge but I've also found smaller ones. Just an fyi.

There isn't much I can do to help it or speed recovery along. I have to accept the fact I'm still a cripple but it won't be this way forever. It's imperative that we all take it easy on the ankle and foot after surgery...sometimes up to a year or more. If you don't want to wind up like me do what your doctor says, ask as many questions as you want and insist on an answer. Do not do activities that can mess with your bones healing properly. I didn't do anything to cause my issues post surgery other than getting pregnant that one time. However I do believe if I had treated my ankle and foot better after the past surgeries that maybe I wouldn't have had to have this last surgery. Idk my doctor says no but I will treat myself better after this last surgery. I will do whatever it takes to stay out of that operating room!!

Good luck to all!

Oct 18, 2014
My Sad Story NEW
by: Donna Lynne

I fractured my right tibia and fibula on Wed 8/28/14. I was with my family completing an amazing 2 week trip around Micronesia when we landed in Hawaii. Which was to be the final 4 days of our journey. Stepping off a bus to clear customs I fell fracturing my ankle. I heard the snap and knew it was broken immediately. I was taken via ambulance to orthopedic hospital in Waikiki where I was told I had sustained the 2 fractures and would require surgery. However, they would not perform the surgery for 10 days to allow the swelling to go down. We stayed 2 days in Hawaii and opted to fly home after discussing the risk with the orthopedic surgeon there. I had to be placed on aspirin to decrease my risk for clots. Lucky we had economy plus and were on a red eye. I was able to lay my leg across the seats as my kids slept to the side and place it in a seat back pocket to keep it elevated for the 5 hour flight to CA.

I underwent an ORIF with plates and screws on 9/11/14. I felt my doctor did a great job explaining to me what to expect but I believe he only gives me pieces at a time not to overwhelm me. It was helpful that he to had fractured his ankle in the past and was able to share his own experiences and alleviate my fears. I laugh now to think I honestly thought I'd be back to work in a couple of weeks. I am currently about 5 weeks out from surgery and today is my first day without any pain meds. I opted for the nerve block with surgery. Which worked wonderfully afterwards. Actually lasted longer than I was told (24hrs). Lasted about 3 days, but let me tell you the rebound pain sucks. And you have to get on top of it with your oral pain killers. Getting out of bed and hopping to the bathroom was a nightmare. I could not figure out how I could be comfortable in bed with my leg elevated but in extreme pain with it down. That is when I found this site. Someone mentioned the pain was related to the vascular flow back into the area. Which makes sense. I used the bath chair to take baths to prop my leg for I believe the first week or 2 while in the bathroom I learned this helped.

An RN friend learning of my injury advised me to get on Vitamins ASAP to prevent Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) which she developed post fracture. You can google the studies online. While awaiting surgery and currently I have been taking 500mg Vitamin C, A multivitamin which includes 200% vitamin D and a Calcium & Magnesium supplement. I was suprised neither surgeon or my primary mentioned this.

My 2 week postop visit went well with swelling way down. My surgeon was impressed, however he did not remove my stitches. I will have one nasty scar on the back of my leg. A great suggestion he gave me initially was to use a sofa chair cushion to help keep your leg propped. Worked better than pillows. I still used an additional pillow ontop of that to keep my "toes above my nose" as he wanted.

I am still non weight bearing. I go back in a week (for my 6 week post op visit). I am still using a walker and wheelchair for great distances to get around. The worst of it I feel is the mental emotional challenge. I am a busy girl. I have two young kids and I have had to stay with my mom who lives nearby as my house is so handicap unfriendly (too many stairs everywhere). So I miss being with my family day in and day out, I miss my job, and the multitasking of the 100's of things I do a day. I am hating tv, the internet and reading. I have developed headaches from eye strain. I need to find something else to do to preoccupy my mind. I was never one to sit around and do nothing so this has been very hard. It is a hassle to go out but I try to go out on occasion for a change of scenery. I find I get very tired after a few hours. I cry alot out of frustration.

Thanks everyone who has shared their stories it has helped to inspire me. It helped me to understand what I am going through and what to expect. As well as to help keep me focused on "yes there is indeed a light at the end of this dark tunnel". God Bless you all and heal well.

Oct 21, 2014
Feeling frustrated! NEW
by: Linda

I fractured my fibula on September 14. Walking to my car after my grandson's soccer game, I stepped into an unseen hole in the grass and broke my ankle. My ORIF surgery was 2 days later. The pain after surgery was unbelievable! Then Non weight bearing for 4 weeks. Couldn't use crutches because I was very unsteady. So I hopped around on a walker and used a wheelchair to go to my nieces wedding. This past week I was given the go ahead to partially weight bear and to start physical therapy. So, I contacted my employer about returning to work. They suggested part time - 3 days a week to ease back into it. Went yesterday, and my foot didn't get its regular pampering. You know, ice and elevation! So, it was really sore and swollen last night. I have had to stay at my daughters house because I have steps and during the non weight bearing days, steps were very scary. Still scary, but soon I will return home. Also since it's my right foot, I can't drive, thereby relying on family and friends for rides to work and physical therapy. This whole experience has made me realize that I have to repeat to myself that it's only temporary. But, between the horrendous pain and restrictions.......it is hard sometimes. Good luck to ever body going through it. I guess we have to live by "this too shall pass". Just would like a time frame, but everyone is different.

Oct 21, 2014
Feeling frustrated! NEW
by: Linda

I fractured my fibula on September 14. Walking to my car after my grandson's soccer game, I stepped into an unseen hole in the grass and broke my ankle. My ORIF surgery was 2 days later. The pain after surgery was unbelievable! Then Non weight bearing for 4 weeks. Couldn't use crutches because I was very unsteady. So I hopped around on a walker and used a wheelchair to go to my nieces wedding. This past week I was given the go ahead to partially weight bear and to start physical therapy. So, I contacted my employer about returning to work. They suggested part time - 3 days a week to ease back into it. Went yesterday, and my foot didn't get its regular pampering. You know, ice and elevation! So, it was really sore and swollen last night. I have had to stay at my daughters house because I have steps and during the non weight bearing days, steps were very scary. Still scary, but soon I will return home. Also since it's my right foot, I can't drive, thereby relying on family and friends for rides to work and physical therapy. This whole experience has made me realize that I have to repeat to myself that it's only temporary. But, between the horrendous pain and restrictions.......it is hard sometimes. Good luck to ever body going through it. I guess we have to live by "this too shall pass". Just would like a time frame, but everyone is different.

Oct 26, 2014
6 week mark NEW
by: Donna Lynne

I had my 6 week post surgical appt. I was told I would be casted for a minimum of 2 weeks more, but when I went to my appt. my surgeon said it would be ok for me now to be in a walking boot. Only catch no weight bearing for 4 more weeks. He said he would allow me to go to the boot because he knows I am compliant. Are you kidding me I absolutely am afraid to weight bear. Also got my stitches out. I never had stitches so I was quite nervous. Premedicated before my appt. Didn't hurt at all just slight pressure only one slightly pinched. My surgical incision still feels quite numb. My surgeon reassured me this was normal.

I must say the boot is much nicer than having a cast. I am able to take it off and do gentle ROM. I start physical therapy in 2 weeks (at 8 weeks postop) to help with the ROM. Also excited to be able to shower completely. No more covering my leg up.

I am also able to get a good look at my leg. I heard everyone post about color changes and swelling, but with my cast I couldn't ever tell what was really going on under there. Only saw the tips of my toes for 6 weeks. Well, it is not pretty. I see my calf muscles have atrophied. Looks maybe 20% smaller than my left leg. And the itching and peeling. No one has mentioned that before. Absolutely nasty. I believe it is from the swelling and being casted.

Still get quite down about my progress. I know this will take time, but it is so slow and I am anxious to be semi-normal again. I go out with my walker and wheelchair, but I am tired after about 2 hours and want to lay down and rest. Today was my longest outing 4 hours. I can't believe how quickly I am hearing some people are returning to school and work and feel like I am behind the eight ball. I cant imagine at this point making it through an 8 hour work day. I ask my doctor should I be exercising or pushing myself more, but he says that I'll know. The fatigue is normal and he isn't concerned. He wants me to get some PT under my belt before returning.


Nov 10, 2014
ouch NEW
by: Kathy

Hello Donna,

Seems that we are in a similar place. I broke my tibia and fibula and dislocated my left ankle on my last day of vacation in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. I opted to return home to Phoenix to have my ankle reduced, so it was immobilized in Mexico and I was given morphine for the ambulance ride to the border. A US ambulance met me there and got me to the hospital near home. It took two tries to set my ankle, 4 days in the hospital to manage pain, and I finally had surgery on September 25th when swelling had gone down sufficiently.
Two plates and eight pins later, and about 7 weeks post surgery, I am in a CAM boot but am still NWB (though I do push it a little). I have gotten around using a walker to hop or a wheelchair for any outings. Like many of you, my foot is still purple/red most of the time, it is numb along the outside of the ankle and I frequently feel like I have electricity running through my toes and unless I've spent the day with my foot elevated, I continue to have a lot of swelling. I have an appointment with my surgeon this Wednesday and I am hoping that he will allow me to begin PT (vs doing seated ROM exercises.)
I wish I had discovered this site earlier in my recovery process . . . the psychological/emotional impact of this injury has been difficult and I have often found myself in tears because I needed so much help. I am still not back to work; my job as a child therapist requires that I do home visits, with lots of driving and the ability to get up and down off the floor with young children. Maybe after the holidays . . .
Thank you all for sharing your stories. It helps to know that my experience is "normal!"
Kathy

Dec 07, 2014
12 weeks NEW
by: Donna Lynne

Finally able to weight bear after 12 weeks surgery. I don't believe I mentioned I am diabetic but in good control. That is why my surgeon was extra cautious. He didn't want me to weight bear at 10 weeks as studies have shown increase surgical complications if diabetics weight bear too early The consequence however is that my muscle on my leg has wasted away 33% if not close to 50% of my other leg. My other leg and arms have gotten strong from all the hopping around I do. I am working hard with PT to strengthen my leg and start to walk. There is a light at the end of the tunnel finally. If someone told me in the summer that I'd still be dealing with this at Christmas I would of been in disbelief. I was so nieve back then to think that I would be up and about so quickly. It has been such a frustratingly slow process. But I will do whatever it takes to get back to where I was.

Dec 07, 2014
12 weeks NEW
by: Donna Lynne

Finally able to weight bear after 12 weeks surgery. I don't believe I mentioned I am diabetic but in good control. That is why my surgeon was extra cautious. He didn't want me to weight bear at 10 weeks as studies have shown increase surgical complications if diabetics weight bear too early The consequence however is that my muscle on my leg has wasted away 33% if not close to 50% of my other leg. My other leg and arms have gotten strong from all the hopping around I do. I am working hard with PT to strengthen my leg and start to walk. There is a light at the end of the tunnel finally. If someone told me in the summer that I'd still be dealing with this at Christmas I would of been in disbelief. I was so nieve back then to think that I would be up and about so quickly. It has been such a frustratingly slow process. But I will do whatever it takes to get back to where I was.

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