I had an ankle arthroscopy procedure 3 weeks ago which involved some drilling on my right ankle.
The consultant suggested that I go NWB (non-weight bearing) on crutches for 4 weeks in total and then have 2 weeks PWB (partial weight bearing). Bandages and stiches were removed 2 weeks after the procedure.
I have not felt any pain in my ankle since the procedure and have only seen a little swelling. Unfortunately, there have been a couple incidences where I had to put a bit of weight on my right ankle for balance.
I am concerned these incidences have blighted my recovery since my ankle feels tender when I try to rotate.
I would like to hear from anyone who has undergone ankle arthroscopy and what the recovery was like. Any advice appreciated.
Today I had my 12 day post-op follow-up from my ankle scope. During the scope, they removed a small bone bruise (did some drilling) from my talus and made a 2 inch incision to look at my posterior tibial tendon, which is good and has a tiny -tiny tear in the middle of it. (You had some drilling done...where in the ankle did you have that done?) It is my understanding that with an ankle scope and any type of bone work you can expect to feel weird pain quite a while..(3-5 months was the generic time-frame I was told today...I have some funky pain going on now too). Also you will have swelling in the ankle for as long a 7 months post surgery. I am partial weight bearing with crutches and will be for about another month (b/c of the bone bruise cleaning). I start PT next week to start ROM movements and get the proproceptors to "turn on" again. I have put full weight on my foot (3 days after the surgery) for the same reasons you have mentioned and that caused my ankle to feel funky. I backed off. My ankle is really stiff and I can't even rotate it side to side yet at all. I called my OS team and they told me not to worry about that...but to use pain as my guide and BACK OFF when my body tells me that I'm doing too much. (I was never put in a splint...so they really wanted me to start moving my ankle as much as I could....so the risk of really injuring myself was minimal....were you in a splint ever?)
So, to answer your question directly....I'm kinda experiencing the same stuff that you are in the ankle-scope recovery process. I have a few questions for you:
Are you in PT (physical therapy)
What type of drilling did they do?
Where did they do it?
How old are you?
Did they put you in a splint?
These all influence your recovery time, etc.
I hope some of this helps you and please feel free to ask any other questions. This site is awesome and there are some really knowledgeable people here!
Hang in there!
Let Me Walk!
Hope recovery goes well. There have been a few posts in the past where people have fallen with all their weight on the drilled foot and it has not harmed them. So I don't think there is a need to panic if the foot hits the ground every once in a while. However, I would follow all Dr advice. I have had 2 failed drillings and the few weeks you spend to recover properly- compared to a possible very long time to recover from even more issues is not equal. Take your time and let your self recover.
I'm sorry that your consultant debriefed you in a hasty manner. That just isn't right in my book and I would DEMAND adequate patient service!! It it were me, I would get another appointment and get all of your questions answered...but I'm not sure how your health care system works?!? I think it would be really significant for you to be in formal PT if you can afford it (or if it is covered under your insurance)! It's good to hear that you are doing ankle exercises as instructed though!!
You are young, which is always on your side with healing. They did NOT put you in a splint. SO...I'm guessing that they want you to be moving your ankle (within reason).
If you have the ability to contact your surgeon (or the staff) again I would HIGHLY recommend it. (I really think that you will be alright with your current weight bearing on the injured foot) I just think it's VERY IMPORTANT to be in constant communications with your OS and team...afterall it is YOUR body...you are the PAYING consumer...you have every right to know what is appropriate with your health.
Again, I think you will be alright with your recent weight bearing on that foot. I just hope that you can tap into your doctor a little more to get some of your questions answered....it would be really helpful to know exactly where he drilled your bone...the size of the injury...how deep it was, etc! THAT IS REALLY SIGNIFICANT!!
Keep in touch....it's helpful to connect with people dealing with the same issues that you are!
Let Me Walk (Julie)
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Thanks for your response. Sorry to hear about your previous experience. Wish you the best with your recovery.
Through the recovery period should one stay still at home or can you return to a desk job? I have a desk job and am able to get a ride directly to the office door. Just want to be sure I am not jepordizing my recovery.
I had my surgery on a Wednesday and was back at work on Monday. I have a desk job too. I put my foot up and limited my movement. It's now 3-weeks and I'm in PT twice a week and PWB with crutches (trying to get to one crutch).
If you can continue work then do so. It gets depressing to be at home sometimes. Just watch the elevation and ice it also. You also can request all your doctor records if you want to find out a bit more about what they did to you. You may have to go in and sign for them but they should not charge you for the first copy. I also was able to contact the MRI place and get the reports from them. I would not like to be hastily informed by the doc. You got to live with that ankle for ever. They just work on it for a while. Good luck with work.
Thanks for your advice and messages of support. Hope you are all well.
Its been 6 and 1/2 weeks since the operation and I am still on crutches (PWB). Swelling has subsided and there is a more 'normal' feeling in my foot.
I have an appointment with the consultant in a few days and was wondering if anyone can tell me from experience what questions I should be asking him to ensure I get the most out of the meeting. My concern comes from the hastiness with which he has dealt with me in the past.
I'm not to the 6.5 week meeting with my surgeon post operation yet...so I can't speak from experience. BUT..I would ask her/him the following:
1) document any pains that feel strange to you and then ask about them
2) How to properly progress from PWB to TWB
3) How long should you expect to experience swelling (6 months a year)?
4) Can you start formal Pt (Physical therapy)
5) Can you use a pool
6) What can I expect for long term activities (return to sports, hiking, biking)?
7) Will I make a full recovery?
8) Ask the consultant what she/he would do if it were her/him in your situation
Those are just some random questions that come to mind. I always make a list of questions when I see my doctors. I have the past 5-months documented to the hour (but I'm very picky about this injury and the quality of my life). Also...just be mindful that when you do start TWB...your knee and hip will be OFF...don't be alarmed. You will, most likely, need to address that when doing your rehab to TWB.