Broken Talus

by C.King
(Pensacola Florida)

My husband was pressure washing our house. I was on a ladder, waist high at the roof line. I had just handed him some pressure-washing solution when he began to slide off the roof towards me. To say the least, I grabbed him to stop his fall. The ladder came out from under me. The next thing I remember is being on the concrete facing the opposite direction.

I dislocated and severely broke my right ankle. X-rays and scans indicated I broke my talus bone. Due to the force of my fall (usually associated with auto accidents), the talus had cracked through and broken chips were shown around the bottom portion of my heel (my heel was not broken - only the chips of bone appeared around the heel area).

I had a wonderful doctor on-call from Tampa who repaired my ankle injury with surgey (scope only) and placed 1 pin and 3 screws. It was a very serious injury. I could not place any weight on my ankle for 3 months. Then, slowly apply increments of weight over the next several months. I began with a 90 degree boot and walker. 12 days after my surgery...the pressure to place my ankle in a 90 degree boot was aweful! Thank goodness for pain meds. Then, I slowly advanced to using 2 crutches. (Using the walker first allowed time to build-up my arm strength for the crutches.) Over three more months of PT I advanced to using 1 crutch and a new airboot. PT was work.
I experienced good and bad days. I also had monthly doctor appts and xrays. I walked with a limp for many months, but I could walk. I had pain (although not as bad as I had expected) and swelling. Through PT I was able to achieve higher expectations and range of motion than my doctor expected. One year later I realized the seriousness of my injury when I overheard my doctor explain to the assitant there was an 80% chance the blood supply would not be returned to the talus bone - Those are great odds to beat! Not to mention only ONE surgery...

I cannot stress how very important it is not to rush the healing process of your body and to follow the doctors orders. It has now been 2 years and I am now able to walk with an almost unrecognizeable skip / limp. I still have days of inflamation - I take meds for the inflamation. I still at times need to elevate my ankle on those over-active days. I am excited about my progress, although it has been 2 years now.

All-in-all it is good! Only a broken ankle from a fall off the roof is remarkable. It could have been so much worse. My husband only had a bruised rotator and took tylenol. Stay positive and know that your body will heal. A good attitude is a must. Trust me on that one! It will not always be easy, but good care for yourself is worth the time and patience.

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