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Old 03-15-2010, 02:23 PM   #1
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Calcaneus Fracture - My Story so far

Here are some of the details of my story:

Keep in mind I have had a number of sports injuries (Fractured skull, ruptured spleen, fractured collar bone, etc) so my pain tolerance may be a little skewed.

My Story:
- Fell from a ladder about 6 ft on January 17, 2010 and crushed my right calcaneus.

- Went to Emergency within an hour of it happening, knew something was broken, thought it was my ankle. No weight bearing after the fall. Put in a split plaster cast the day of the accident.

- Went to see a OS a few days later and put in a Foam Walker due to discomfort (swelling) in the split cast.

- Off Pain meds about 4 days after the accident.

- Had surgery on January 24, 2010, ORIF, 10 screws and some brackets

- My whole leg was numb for at least two days post op. The said it was because of the tourniquet they used on my upper thigh to cut off blood flow during the operation.

- Pain after the surgery was tolerable though I was on morphine and other pain meds.

- Put in a Split Fiberglass cast by the Surgeon.

- In the hospital 3 days, precaution because I was diagnosed with Deep Vein Thrombosis in that leg last year. Left the hospital in a removable foam walking cast.

- Stayed at home with my foot elevated 95% of the time on a recliner during the daytime, slept with foot elevated on pillows to sleep.

- 1 week post op went for a follow-up visit with the Surgeon.

- Off all pain meds by the 1 week follow-up.

- Incision not healing too well, blood made the area all soggy. Recommend you get the dressings changed regularly in the 1st week to prevent this.

- By February my muscles on my leg are like wet noodles...no tone at all. Calf muscle is the worst.

- Around February 14th my stitches were removed. Surgeon said I could do range of motion exercises. No weight bearing at least until my next follow-up appointment on April 8th, 2010. Put in a Removable fibreglass cast (bottom of the foot and back of the leg up to the top of the calf) held in place with tensor bandages.

- Daily dressing changes from Feb 15th to March 12th. Incision healed by around March 11th. (Possibly delayed due to Deep Vein Thrombosis and me being on blood thinners.)

- Keep the foot elevated during the daytime as much as possible, though less as the weeks progressed. Put the removable cast on to sleep, but remove it during the daytime for the most part. Was putting it back on to move around and shower (Plastic bag around it) up to about March 10th.

- Being a good patient and trying not to do anything stupid at this point. No pain really except discomfort in the skin on the back of my heal. Kind of like a blister, resulting from that first week of soggy dressing. Skin on my foot was dry until around March 9th of so.

March 15th Status update:
- Now keeping the cast off most of the day, only to put it on to sleep.
- Foot feels numb in the bottom of the heal though getting better
- Incision skin fully closed, skin a little dry in the odd spot though not too bad.
- ROM not quite as good, nor the movement not too smooth.
- A little swollen but not too bad.
- Upper leg getting muscle back. Calf muscle still pretty noodle like but slightly better than a few weeks ago.

Biggest Hassle:
- I have a manual transmission car and cannot drive.

Concerns and Questions:
- During the surgery I am told they used a large distracter (SP) to hold the calcaneus to the shin bone for alignment. The incision on the inside of my heal, if brush lightly gives me a tingling sensation from it to the bottom-outside of my heal. Who knows what that is? Possibly nerves? Is it of any concern? Trying to get in touch with my surgeon to discuss.

I will update this as time goes on. Hope this helps some others because the unknown for me is the worst part.

Last edited by Rabman; 03-16-2010 at 06:03 PM.

 
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:42 AM   #2
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - My Story so far

Hate to say it but you got a ways to go, and jut have to wait it out. Probably be weight bearing 10-12 weeks, 12 seems fairly common. Might want to look at a compression sock at that point, your doc should mention it.

Once your WB you won't need to keep it elvated as much, but still a bit I was icing for 2-3 months after WB.

Started with walker, more stable then cane, espcecially since I broke the leg on the opposite side. Then cane.

Leg muscles will dissappear, you will have to build them back up. 4-5 months you will be walking a bit and doing stuff. But have some pain.

I am a year out, and doing pretty much everything, but there is still pain, if I do to much, or sometimes just have it. Though it does vary.

Get in physical therapy as soon as you can.

 
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:39 AM   #3
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - My Story so far

As for nerves, they improve over time. I didn't have alot of feeling for 3 months and would get all kinds of weird feelings. Now most of it is back, excpet for spot on the bottom by the heel. Which hasn't been a big deal.

It got very sensitive too, from not being used. I massaged the foot alot to try and help this.

 
Old 03-16-2010, 06:05 PM   #4
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - My Story so far

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zerk View Post
As for nerves, they improve over time. I didn't have alot of feeling for 3 months and would get all kinds of weird feelings. Now most of it is back, excpet for spot on the bottom by the heel. Which hasn't been a big deal.

It got very sensitive too, from not being used. I massaged the foot alot to try and help this.
Haven't seen anyone else comment about weird feelings in their foot except you.

Thanks for your reply.

 
Old 03-16-2010, 08:12 PM   #5
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - My Story so far

Some of it I think was blood rushing in and out and some just nerves. Put my foot down and it would turn dark, I could raise it and it would be white, with in 10-15 seconds.

Plus sometimes I would just have weird feelings in. Most of my sensation is back. Back to the point I would have to check to see what is not there. So I think part of it, is just the body healing back up.

 
Old 03-17-2010, 10:28 AM   #6
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - My Story so far

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zerk View Post
As for nerves, they improve over time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabman View Post
Haven't seen anyone else comment about weird feelings in their foot except you.
Zerk (as always) has it right. As with a lot of things that come and go during the healing process, strange nerve sensations are typical.

Tim

 
Old 03-17-2010, 07:28 PM   #7
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - My Story so far

I would get surprising shots of pain in my foot that caused my leg to jump as a reflexive reaction. I interpreted it as nerves "waking up" and the stimulation caused the movement. There would be days I would go without any and then experience several within a short period of time...but none have happened for weeks now. I am now 3 months post-op and all is going quite well.

 
Old 03-18-2010, 07:29 AM   #8
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - My Story so far

I used to get bursts of pain on the outside ankle, maybe subtalar joint, that would stop me for second. But the jolting stuff has gone away. But that does seem to be my problem area.

 
Old 03-28-2010, 05:50 PM   #9
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - My Story so far

March 28th - I am now 9 weeks post operation. Still have a little dead skin below the incision flaking off a little. For the most part the scar is healing nicely.

My follow-up is still 1-1/2 weeks away and can't wait. Any idea what the surgeons do a that follow-up? X-rays, CAT scans? Or is it just a visual inspection with range of motion?

I am feeling quite good with the foot. Still have the odd nerve sensation that I mentioned weeks ago. Still have parts of the heal that are still numb.

Since a couple days ago, I haven't been using the removable cast at all. I don't really feel the need. Slept without it for the 1st time a few nights ago with no issues. Is that a bad thing to do at 9 weeks?

I tried to put a little weight on the foot, and it doesn't feel too bad. I am resisting putting any appreciable weight on it until my follow-up.

Still moving the foot for range of motion and it does feel a little stiff and doesn't have the ROM of the other foot.

Put my foot in a hiking shoe yesterday, it was a little snug but didn't hurt. It was the 1st time outside without my cast and felt great.

Hopefully I am not rushing things, but I am letting my body guide me.

I hope these comments help some others.

 
Old 03-29-2010, 05:57 AM   #10
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - My Story so far

You may be rushing things. Don't do any weight until you are allowed to. There was a guy on here, who over did it, screwed up the screws, cause he couldn't feel it, and said he had years of pain trying to fix it. Listen to the docs, its what they go to school for.

I had would the cast on too. Around week 9 I was told I could take my foot out when I had it elvated. Around 10-12 week I started taking it off at night cause the swelling and blisters were bothering me, the doc said it was a little to early to be doing that.

What I would do was loosen or open the straps on the walking boot when I slept. I am also a little paranoid, so i wanted in case there was an emergency and I had to get out of the house fast, like a fire. Ya I am nuts.

You just got to wait it out.

 
Old 03-29-2010, 09:37 AM   #11
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - My Story so far

I am going to take your advice and not do anything stupid.

Thanks

 
Old 03-29-2010, 10:31 AM   #12
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - My Story so far

Alot of this injury is just biding your time. There are things you can do without putting weight on the foot. I would take my wheel chair out the barn, and climb on my 4wheeler.


Once you get to walk on it, it may be weird, it will be weaker. I used a walker it was more stable, especially since the other side was broke. I did exercises with the leg, that didn't require standing on it. PT should go over that stuff. But you can only do so much.

Probably going to need some wide shoes too. They say not to spend to much money the first year. My foot is bigger, and never really got any smaller though. You need to be comfortable for that year too. So I would eventually get one good pair of tennis shoes.

If you get orhodics, take them with you to the store. The shoe needs to be wide enough and deep enough. New Balance has some that are, and I am sure others.

I also found heavy socks help alot. I like light wool hiking socks. No there not really hot.

 
Old 04-01-2010, 09:31 AM   #13
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - My Story so far

Anyone have any important questions I should ask the Surgeon at the 10 Week post op follow-up appointment?

Questions I was thinking of are:

1) Referral to Physio, get prescription.
2) Orthotics required? If so, get prescription.
3) Weight bearing schedule
4) OK to drive?
5) Any further follow-up appts required?
6) His opinion on how well it has healed? No pun intented
7) His opinion on the current range of motion
8) His opinion on the nerve issue and numbness
9) Things I should not do in the future after it has fully healed? Good as new?
10) Would he recommend getting screws out in the future (probably not)
11) What to expect once I start weight-bearing.

If anyone has any other good ones I missed that would be great.

 
Old 04-01-2010, 10:26 AM   #14
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - My Story so far

I doubt next time will be the last time you see him, even if you are weight bearing. He may want to wait a little bit before giving you orthodic prescription, cause your foot may be swollen.

I would ask him about compression socks. He will probably want you to wear one. But swelling is good for healing, so I would ask.

You should probably be in physcial therapy by now, but may need another prescription. They are only good for so long, plus the doc should give instructions. Like weight bearing as tolerated or partial or whatever he wants you to work on.

Hate to say it, but you got a a ways to go before you know how it healed. But still good to ask them what they think.

Not to burst your bubble, but probably not as good as new either. I am doing everything I ws doing though, but I feel it and I am missing ROM. Your case may be differant, there is alot of varation in this, from sevdrity of injury to recovery speed.

 
Old 04-20-2010, 10:04 AM   #15
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - My Story so far

I too have fractured my heel bone into pieces. Jan 11th and surgery on 22nd. 9 screws and 2 plates. I have followed all of the DR's inst. But i cant sit still. I am at week 13 and next appointment is 4/30.
I have been walking with one crutch for a week now and it is feeling good(as good as it gets).

My question is :I did this with no insurance, so i dont see the Dr i go to the clinic where i only see the PA's. How does PT work without insurance?
Also because of this injury i have been out of a job and no money to pay for private PT. Has anybody else been in this position?

Denis

 
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