I shattered my left heel bone on Aug.13th. I had surgery on Aug. 25th where my surgeon installed 8 screws and a plate that looked like a bicycle chain. He said no weight on the foot for 6 weeks and then porbably a boot. I'm an avid golfer and he told me that I would have a hard time with side/side movement of the ankle and also problems walking on uneven terrain. Anybody had this injury and recovered with good news?
My husband did the same thing on Aug. 15. He fell 4 feet off a stepladder. He had surgery 2 weeks later, and now has 11 screws with the same erector set type plate.
The problem is that the heel bone rests on the talus bone. That joint (sub talar joint) is what controls the lateral stability in the ankle. Above that is the joint that controls the up and down, which should remain fine. If you also cracked the talus bone, like my husband did, the joint can be compromised. The Dr. told my husband that they won't know how it has healed until he is weight bearing. He's in a removable boot, NWB for 12 weeks, but he can take the boot off to do ROM exercises and bathe. After 6 to 8 months, if it doesn't heal the joint correctly, he will need to have more surgery to get that joint fused, which is what results in the lack of side to side stability. From what I hear, you and he may never run without pain again.
That is what I know. The other crucial thing is definitely to stay off it completely until the heel pieces knit with the erector set. If you step on it, the heel that has been put back togother could shift, and heal out of alignment. Then you're screwed. There is a lot of risk of serious complications with a fractured heel. Great, huh? Cindy
keep the foot up and stay down. Eat lots of spinach and relax with this downtime. The pain will go away, and the pain will continue. When you get your foot back is the hardest. It will be differnt. You will have to struggle to get it back. Once you get to the best point, you will still be at 75 percent. Get the hardware out at this time. They may not want to but demand it, especially if you are young. Your subtalar may be compromised. You will have to get over this. Your ROM may be bad. Streatch it. Fight to get it back. Life will get back to normal. You have a challenge ahead of you. But in the meantime, keep that foot up.
I have the same plate and screws put in Aug 3rd with NWB for 12 weeks, why do you think it's better to get the hardware removed? Isn't it there to help keep all the pulverized bone where it's supposse to be?