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Old 07-14-2011, 08:10 AM   #1
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etsampso HB User
Calcaneus fracture (no surgery) recovery stories

Hello,

I broke my left calcaneus on Saturday July 9, 2011 after a fall from a fence. Apparently no surgery is necessary. Definitive decision to come July 19, 2011.

I must say, I don't envy anyone who has previously been in this position. I'm in a situation right now where I'm thinking about the future and what it holds for me. As a very active young adult I'm trying to remain positive throughout this situation and am willing to do whatever it takes to get this thing back to normal. I was fortunate, in the sense that, I did not break any portion of the joint and strictly just broke the heel (I really know no other details besides these -- bad communication on Dr's behalf).

Most of the posts that I have read about recovering from a calcaneus fracture have been dark and gloomy. With that being said the majority of these stories come from individuals who have had surgery, and what appear to be, much more severe fractures. I was wondering if there is anyone out there that has had a calcaneus fracture with no surgery that could share their story of recovery with me. I'd truly appreciate it. Good, bad, and the ugly are welcome. I'm a realist.

 
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:43 PM   #2
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Re: Calcaneus fracture (no surgery) recovery stories

Hi,

I fractured my calcaneus in three places at the beginning of April. I was advised it would take 10-12 weeks to heal. At my second appointment (I think at three weeks) he said to do ROM exercises. I saw the Dr. at 6 weeks and he said that while technically I could fully bear weight on it without any permanent damage, I should really stay off of it for the full 10 weeks. However, I started to walk on my toes at that point. It was awkward, but such a good feeling to not use the crutches! My next appt, a month later at 10 weeks the Dr. told me I could full walk on it in a well-cushioned shoe (I bought a couple pairs of Tom's that are awesome)! I had my final appt with my Dr. on July 5th, the 12 week mark, he said the x-rays were great and I didn't have to come back for another appt unless I had a problem. I asked him about running (I am a runner) and he said as long as it doesn't hurt it should be fine and I won't have any permanent damage from the injury. He said my ROM was way better than he would expect at this point in time. After he gave me the go ahead, I went for a run last week and was able to do three miles!

Just keep a positive attitude and don't be too discouraged at some of the posts here. After reading some I thought I would never be able to run again, but here I am! I still have some pain on the outside part of my foot (the ankle area), but I mostly walk normally.

Good luck!!

 
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:33 PM   #3
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Re: Calcaneus fracture (no surgery) recovery stories

hey
i fractured mine on june 7, 2011, by jumping off a roof... the doctor put me in a splint for about 2 weeks. he said it wasnt bad and that i didnt need surgery, and just put me in the boot, a month later (july 15) he told me i could start putting weight on it, but gradually from 2 crutches to one to none, and he also said that i could go back to work in two weeks, i'm a cashier
today i'm walking okay in the boot with no assistance, i feel pain in my ankle and my foot when i put TOO much weight on it, and soreness on the bottom of the foot, its not bad, i can still walk through it.
its getting better everyday, i have permission to take my boot off when i sleep, so when i do, i can move my foot better every day and rotate it a lot more.
what you should do, except the obvious rest and elevation
eat healthy, vegetables, fruits, calcium, potassium, magnesium, drink V8's
i think i got off easy because i read other peoples stories, and they didnt need surgery.. and they took their first step in 4 months, and i'm starting to walk in a month and a half
good luck, i wish you the best

 
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:57 AM   #4
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Re: Calcaneus fracture (no surgery) recovery stories

Quote:
Originally Posted by etsampso View Post
Hello,

I broke my left calcaneus on Saturday July 9, 2011 after a fall from a fence. Apparently no surgery is necessary. Definitive decision to come July 19, 2011.

I must say, I don't envy anyone who has previously been in this position. I'm in a situation right now where I'm thinking about the future and what it holds for me. As a very active young adult I'm trying to remain positive throughout this situation and am willing to do whatever it takes to get this thing back to normal. I was fortunate, in the sense that, I did not break any portion of the joint and strictly just broke the heel (I really know no other details besides these -- bad communication on Dr's behalf).

Most of the posts that I have read about recovering from a calcaneus fracture have been dark and gloomy. With that being said the majority of these stories come from individuals who have had surgery, and what appear to be, much more severe fractures. I was wondering if there is anyone out there that has had a calcaneus fracture with no surgery that could share their story of recovery with me. I'd truly appreciate it. Good, bad, and the ugly are welcome. I'm a realist.
I realise this is an old thread but I found this board because I am in exactly the same situation - all the recovery/rehabilitation stories seem so grim yet I'm not even in a cast... I'm in pain if I try and walk on my heel etc but am I really screwed for life?!

 
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:47 PM   #5
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Re: Calcaneus fracture (no surgery) recovery stories

Hi,

My story is VERY similar to yours. I broke my left calcaneus on Monday, July 11, 2011. Unlike you, or any of the stories I've read, mine actually happened from landing on a basketball. Apparently this kind of fracture/break doesn't normally happen when you land on a basketball, but I guess I'm special. I was also told that I didn't need surgery.

I have about the same info that you've gotten from your doctor. He just told me today that I could put my foot down when I walk, but only on my toes and not to put any pressure on it. As much as I want to be up and walking again (and stop sliding my butt up the stairs each day), my doctor keeps telling me that I have to let mother nature take its course. I don't know what your doctor has told you, but mine keeps telling me that I won't be walking for 6 months (from the injury) and at least a year until basketball. I won't be able to put any weight on my left foot for at least 4 months and that's when I'll start physical therapy. Since a week after the injury, my doctor has told me to flex my ankle up and down. My toes still don't bend much, but it's better than 5 weeks ago.

How are you feeling now? Are you still in pain? When I wear the cast, the different parts of my foot hurt and it's really hard to find a comfortable position. I only wear my air cast at work. I need to constantly protect it, but when I'm at home, I can take the cast off. The cast makes it swell a little and bruises it.

I hope this is helpful. I'd really like to hear how your progress is going.

======================================== =======

Hello,

I broke my left calcaneus on Saturday July 9, 2011 after a fall from a fence. Apparently no surgery is necessary. Definitive decision to come July 19, 2011.

I must say, I don't envy anyone who has previously been in this position. I'm in a situation right now where I'm thinking about the future and what it holds for me. As a very active young adult I'm trying to remain positive throughout this situation and am willing to do whatever it takes to get this thing back to normal. I was fortunate, in the sense that, I did not break any portion of the joint and strictly just broke the heel (I really know no other details besides these -- bad communication on Dr's behalf).

Most of the posts that I have read about recovering from a calcaneus fracture have been dark and gloomy. With that being said the majority of these stories come from individuals who have had surgery, and what appear to be, much more severe fractures. I was wondering if there is anyone out there that has had a calcaneus fracture with no surgery that could share their story of recovery with me. I'd truly appreciate it. Good, bad, and the ugly are welcome. I'm a realist.[/QUOTE]

 
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:17 PM   #6
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boarder1976 HB User
Re: Calcaneus fracture (no surgery) recovery stories

I was in a car accident in Nov and tore the fascia and fractured my heel. They did not catch the fracture right away because the fascia showed up on MRI and they treated for that injury. I was in a boot 2 weeks and in terrible pain.. could not put any weight on my heel.
I have been in a non weight bearing cast for 2 weeks and I think it is healing. The fascia especially. I still have pain in my heel - even when resting. The crutches are a pain in the ***. It does not look like I will be able to snowboard this season. Has anyone had any experience with this and being able to snowboard? recovery time?

 
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:32 AM   #7
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Re: Calcaneus fracture (no surgery) recovery stories

Hi folks, I've fractured my calcaneus, after MRI and Xrays the doctor said that they would not be operating. I was about to miss a step going down stairs as my dog was running around, instead of slipping and maybe scraping a knee I instinctively leapt the remaining stairs and landed full force. Right after this I checked that i could move my ankle, which i could no problem and that I could wiggle my toes, again I could do this no problem. However when I tried to put weight on it I just couldn't and was taken to Accident and Emergency.

The swelling was extremely bad and they couldn't put a cast on it, instead I was given a splint and crutches with strict orders not to put any weight on it for 6-8weeks. That's me 5weeks in, I'm desperate to walk, to run, to ski, you name it. I'm doing as much as I can to exercise without putting weight on my heel, I've been kneeling putting weight on the front of my feet and bending my legs up and down, I've done all the physio expercises that I can find (I wasn't given any by my doctor, just a follow up in another 3weeks)

I too have heard nothing but doom and gloom, the doctor's told me that I will have a limp, just a question of how severe, this I do not for a second believe and also that I will likely develop arthritis. I googled the fracture and just got myself upset. I found this post will searching under "tips to recover from a calcaneus fracture.

I've been looking at the dates you posted your stories and see that some time has elapsed since your injuries, I would really like to know how you've all recovered and to what extent. Pochebia your story was very encouraging, thank you. I'd really love to know how you guys that like me have had no surgery are fairing and would be very grateful if you could take a minute to share your recovery including any tips or exercises that you found helpful, I look forward to hearing from you all. I'd love to know if you could indeed with time snowboard or play basketball, I've been told that I "won't be running any marathons and will have difficulty walking up hills and on uneven surfaces" I'm an optimist, 36 years old and refuse to believe that I will live the rest of my life as a cripple. I intend to run my first marathon as soon as this has heeled...wonder where the expression "heeled" came from

 
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:54 AM   #8
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Phils77 HB User
Re: Calcaneus fracture (no surgery) recovery stories

It's been a little under 2 years since my injury (July 2011). I was 33 when the injury occurred (landed on a basketball). I fractured my calcaneus (no operation) and was in an air cast for just over 4 months and didn't put ANY weight on that left foot for that entire time. I started physical therapy in September, but it started only as simple exercises since I couldn't put any weight on it. I had lost A LOT of muscle in that leg only after not using it for just a month and had to get it back up in shape.

I was finally able to start putting a little weight on it by the end of November 2011. I was going to physical therapy 3 days a week from the beginning of September through the end of December. I was walking with a limp and crutches through all of December. I finally got rid of the crutches by New Year's, but still walked with a limp for the next few months. Now, almost 2 years later, I feel that I can do everything I used to do, but I was never into snowboarding, skiing or anything. I just bike a lot on a stationary bike and don't do as many athletic things as I used to, but I know that I could. I also don't jump anymore, only because I'm afraid of hurting it somehow, but that's most likely just a mental thing on my part, but I feel that it has fully healed and all of the horror stories that I heard were just scary, but thankfully none of them pertained to me.

I won't lie, it really sucks and it's very painful, but keep with your physical therapy and listen to your doctor. You just have to give it time to heal and keep exercising your muscles. Also, be careful with how you walk, both with and without the crutches. I started to get really bad back issues (bulging disc) and I can attribute that to my horrible limp and how I walked with the crutches.

Keep your head up and good luck!!

 
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:54 PM   #9
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Smile Re: Calcaneus fracture (no surgery) recovery stories

Hi guys I shattered my heel bone end of march this year I know I have a long way to go I'm on my last few days of being in a cast it comes off Tuesday then they will re x ray it mine is in 24 pieces guess that's what happens when you fall down a 9 foot hole I have read all the message boards and it is doom and gloom but its nice to see some positive posts here my pain is still really bad not sleeping and it wakes me when I do drift off swelling is bad if I stand up for more than 2 minutes and it goes purple I had 4 huge blood blisters I was told no surgery but might need it later in a year but the don't know my question is does the pain calm down after a while I'm on the max dose every day just to get by

thank you

 
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:20 PM   #10
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Talking Re: Calcaneus fracture (no surgery) recovery stories


Well it seems we are two peas in a pod! I just "fractured" my right calcaneus on April 28th 2013 as a result of an auto wreck. I've been told no surgery which is fine with me because that's just more time in my Lazy-boy which I am sick of being in! I also had a HUGE blood blister and caught a case of celulitis to boot.(every pun intended!) as if the pain from the fracture wasn't enough..lol.I was told no surgery because of the infection and after 2 weeks was told I need a CT scan which I'm doing tomorrow. The pain is unbelievable!! and is because of the swelling. I just 5 days ago was put in a splint and was told that's why it hurt so bad was because my broken bones were moving around. It feels so much better now, still hurts like hell but no where near as bad as before the splint! It would turn purplish black when I put it down after it being propped up for many, many hours and hurt like the dickens! I quickly learned it's not worth the pain wanting it down, just to have a smoke(yes I know about the healing hindrance). Here's a true story I want to share with you about all the doom and gloom stuff. My good friend fell from a second story wall while working and broke BOTH his calcaneus's! The left was broke in 49 places and the right at the joint++++. I've been in a really bad way thinking this going to take 6 months or more to heal(no pun intended), when just today he told me a broken bone only takes 6 weeks to heal. That being said is all I want to know because it's a very re-affirming thought of fact and I'm running with it, counting on it and well.....he knows from experience! Having a double whammy like he did his took awhile longer to heal because his was sooo extreme, mine is not and 6 weeks sounds fine with me! ESPECIALLY after having had an "open book pelvic fracture", back in 2003. Google it and try not to cry...lol! I was in the hospital for a YEAR and wasn't expected to be able to sit up or even stand let alone be able to walk. 90+% of people die initially from the pain alone! It's worse than child birth by 100x's! This IS WHY I'm sick of my Lazy-boy chair! I've spent a total of 1.4 years in that thing and you want to talk about going ape crap crazy!! Only by the grace of God am I sane enough to think!..lol...but that depends on the time of day...lol..as far as the pain, there is no legal limit as to what your doctor can prescribe..TRUST ME! You can only have so much NORCO..OR..so much this or that, but YOU CAN TAKE A COMBO OF EACH!! My preferred cocktail is 3 NORCO and 2-2mg. dilaudid (hydromorphone) foot propped up and the pain is gone!!!...seriously..GONE!! Just don't become reliant after you're better it sucks to be an addict....I KNOW!
Anyway, like I said it's only by the grace of God that I survived and am/was able to function at a 90% capacity of what I was before the 2003 accident. I've had too many surgeries to count, but if I could it would number in the 40's. So take heart and know it could always be worse for you and the pain could be unmanageable like mine was in 2003, they actually couldn't find a cocktail that worked, which is where PRAYERS come in! Keep an ice-pack handy and cold for your foot, keep it propped up as much as possible even beyond what a doctor might recommend, stay hydrated and hopeful and before too long you'll be up and at 'em in no time!! I'll be keeping you in my prayers!! and in my thoughts!!

 
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:29 PM   #11
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Re: Calcaneus fracture (no surgery) recovery stories

Hi there, thought I might as well add my story. Fractured my left calcaneus on the 30 April this year after a fall on my BMX bike at the skatepark. No surgery and no cast for me. I have found the pain to be not too bad and getting less every week. If I put my foot down it goes purple and I get a "tight" feeling in the foot. Most of the pain seems to be around the ankle and top of my foot. A couple of times I have accidentally put some weight on it and that's pain! Like nails going through my foot. By reading the other posts it looks like it's going to take quite a bit longer before I can begin to weight bear. I will wait and see what the next x-rays show in a few weeks. I'm hoping to get back to riding and working, and at least some of the stories here are encouraging.
And thanks everyone for sharing your stories, they all help!

 
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:28 AM   #12
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Re: Calcaneus fracture (no surgery) recovery stories

Hi all,
It has been a great help to read all of your recovery stories.
I broke my left calcaneus on March 23 of this year. Today is the 11 week mark.
I jumped from a height of about 5 feet and landed wrong (obviously)...I have never experienced such a painful, debilitating injury. I did not require surgery, thankfully.
Was non-weight bearing until a week ago. The past few days have been amazing in terms of healing. I could actually fit into and lace up my running shoe today! Feels so much better than wearing the aircast. I can walk on my tiptoe with very little pain, and still get around with my crutches. Bought a cane yesterday and hope to progress to it very soon.
I am so eager to get back to work and regular activities.
Take care everyone

 
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:15 PM   #13
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BMX rider HB User
Re: Calcaneus fracture (no surgery) recovery stories

Hi, just an update to my previous post. At 8 weeks x-ray showed calcaneus was nearly fully healed and was allowed to put 50% of my weight on it. Next x-ray at 15 weeks showed it was all good and allowed to put full weight on it and start walking. I did start to do a little walking on toes before this though.
Now I find I can walk OK but it is still painful around the ankle and the heel is quite sensitive. I find I hard to put weight on it first thing in the morning and without shoes on. But am very happy to be back walking!
I am in my 40's so a younger person might heal up quicker.
My advice if you have done this injury is to keep foot up as much as possible in the first 3 weeks. Keep as active as you can, even when you are on crutches. If and when you can, go swimming (just using arms initially), I found this to be really helpful to my recovery. And try to eat well.
All the best.

 
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Old 10-05-2013, 06:03 AM   #14
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Re: Calcaneus fracture (no surgery) recovery stories

I fractured my left heel 12 weeks ago and was authorized by my Dr. on 10/2/13 that I could resume walking. I am suffering pain around the ankle and Achilles tendon. I also find it hard to put weight on it in the morning or without shoes. Did you use any type of massaging gel or cream to ease the pain? Did you use any shoe inserts? I was glad to start walking again but now it's only 1 step at a time due to the soreness. Did you practice any physical therapy to strengthen immobile muscles? Thank you.

 
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Old 10-05-2013, 05:15 PM   #15
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Re: Calcaneus fracture (no surgery) recovery stories

Hi, you do have to give it a bit of time. When I first started putting weight on my foot it was very painful still, but give it time and it will improve. I haven't used any gels or creams, and didn't need any painkillers either. I did get some gel heel inserts for my shoes which I still use, and I find these helpful.
I have done and am still doing some physical therapy, I started by riding a stationary bike, and did quite a bit of swimming, and also exercises given to me by my physiotherapist.
Most of all it just takes time, so be patient.
Good luck!

 
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