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Old 03-19-2010, 09:10 AM   #1
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Calcaneus Fracture

Hi all, I broke both me heels drunkenly falling from a building although I received no surgery and wasn't put in a cast. I was told by my doctor to be NWB for 4 weeks and then I could try partial weight bearing for a further 2 weeks. I stayed in my wheelchair for 5 weeks and this last week I have been moving around the house in crutches and these last few days without any aid (almost all weight at the front of my feet as I haven't dared put any substantial weight on the heel).

My question is, what now? I have an appointment in 2 weeks but I'm not sure when I can just start walking. I have been trying to get hold of my doctor for over a week but with no success. Even when the heel is ok to take weight it will still feel odd and tingle (maybe even hurt a little?) since its not been used to any pressure, but without any guidance I run the risk of setting my recovery back by applying pressure too early. Normally I would just stay off it and wait till my appointment but its costing me a fortune in taxis to and from uni in my wheelchair and I have important internship interviews that I don't want to be in a wheelchair for (explaining how I ended up in it would hurt my chances quite a bit)

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

 
Old 03-19-2010, 02:25 PM   #2
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture

I would think you are going to need to go to PT. To work range of motion, strength and maybe gait.

Four weeks seems sorta early. I found a walker to be more stable.

You've got a long road ahead, 12-18 month recovery is not unusual. Though it does sound like you are doing good.

I agree I wouldn't want to do a job interview in a wheel chair. But go with crutches or walker and just say you had an accident. Keep in mind, you don't know what your abilities will be. I would be a little worried about taking a job where you can't hack it yet and having to quit.

Do you need an orthotic insert for your shoe? Might be to early.


One good thing is, my foot likes to take a drink.

 
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:26 PM   #3
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture

The doc said to do partial WB, I am not sure if you would be walking without crutches though. Maybe someone who was PWB can chime in.

 
Old 03-19-2010, 07:47 PM   #4
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture

Luckydutch,

The docs specify NWB because partial could mean 99% and they want to take no chances. Then when you have the ok for partial weight bearing it's your foot that will tell you what is too much. Zerk has a very good point because yes there will be some pain and your stamina will be greatly reduced from your down time. It would be smart to simulate the demands of a job and see how well you hold up before committing. Also, before you drive be sure that you can make emergency stops with your car which can far exceed the force of full weight bearing. Pt is highly recommended, for safety, confidence and speeding recovery.

Tim

 
Old 03-19-2010, 09:20 PM   #5
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture

Luckydutch,
You really need to see your doctor again. He will have to take x-rays again to see if the fracture is healing. It's the only way to be able to determine what your weight bearing status will be.
Yes, you will need PT. In fact, you should have already been doing exercises that you could perform in bed and in your wheelchair to prevent major muscles from losing tone.

 
Old 03-20-2010, 07:06 AM   #6
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture

Wow it seems like my recovery is going to be slower than I thought. I do seem to remember my doctor saying I would be able to snowboard after about 10 weeks and thats alot of stress on the heel so perhaps my case is not very severe. As far as PT goes I have been doing squats with just my own body wieght (no additional bar bell or anything) and calf raises every other day before I wash so I would expect to have my leg strenght back at least in the next week.

Im now walking about the house free of any support but I've noticed that I am involuntarily leaning onto the front of my foot with my calfs taking the strain to keep me balanced (i guess I am doing this subconciously to keep wieght off my heel). The question thats bothering me is how do I know if what I'm doing is putting stress on the healing fracture that is slowing its recovery or not? Am I just looking out for pain or can I damage it without it even hurting?

The internship isn't till mid summer so no problem there but I might have to go to the interview without crutches or anything so long as I know its not doing me any harm/slowing recovery.

Quite annoyed my doctor gave me no indication as to what I should do after 6 weeks (the peroid he said I d*****ately can't walk) when my appointment to see him again isnt till 8 weeks and he won't take my calls. I'm in a grey area.

Last edited by Luckydutch; 03-20-2010 at 11:33 AM.

 
Old 03-20-2010, 08:01 AM   #7
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture

Luckydutch,

Consider yourself lucky in two ways. First, the NWB period is almost always 12 weeks with some recently having only 8 weeks and any athletic activities many months in the future. If you are well on your feet as soon as your doc proposes you will be way ahead of the game.

A problem for those with severe fractures will actually work to your advantage. When we are seen in crutches everyone assumes that we will be back on our feet very soon. By 12 weeks they want to know why it's taking us so long. This means that when you go to the interview on crutches they will think nothing of it.

Like Mari said your doc can't make a judgment until he sees films and he's doing that later so why return your call if he has nothing to tell you. Leaving you hanging like that may wreak havoc with your career but is 'medically' acceptable.

It is easy to walk incorrectly not get everything back into proper shape, get an unconscious limp and make your knee and hip hurt. Pt is highly recommended. There are many docs who see a healed bone and are through with you. These same ones don't like being told what to do as in: "I want PT". So the approach that might help is to explain any trouble with walking ask what it might result and what can be done about it. That can lead to his making the right decision while maintaining his ego. On your own the best thing to do besides strength exercises and Range Of Motion is to always take long slow deliberate steps being conscious that everything does its equal share and your hips and shoulders stay level.

Tim

 
Old 03-20-2010, 12:03 PM   #8
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture

First of all, you should have a physical therapy evaluation. The therapist can help you develop a program that will maintain/strengthen muscles and evaluate the problems you are having when standing or ambulating.

Secondly, it is important for you to have repeat x-rays to determine the fracture status. I think your doctor will have those done when you go in to see him in 2 weeks.

Lastly, weight bearing actually helps the fracture to heal. It stimulates the bone cells to fill in the fracture. You must avoid anything that may stress the fracture such as running or jumping on your feet. You're probably not doing either of those anyway.

 
Old 03-20-2010, 01:22 PM   #9
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture

I hate to talk about things without knowing the whole story, but maybe you need another doc. Either that or maybe yours was just a fracture, which I am not familiar with. Mine was many pieces. I was 12 weeks NWB. Once I was WB it was does as much as tolerable.

I am surprised your not in PT. Can you do a calf raise on one leg? I can't, a year later, and may never.

I was seeing my doc weekly then 2 weeks then 3 until 12 weeks, then monthly after 12 a few times, then 3 months after month 9. But there is alot of varatiations in this. How many peices. I also shattered the talus and wrecked subtalar joint.

 
Old 03-20-2010, 01:25 PM   #10
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture

[QUOTE=Luckydutch;4207320]I have important internship interviews that I don't want to be in a wheelchair for (explaining how I ended up in it would hurt my chances quite a bit)

s[/QUOTE]

I sure wouldn't tell them you fell drunk, just tell them you fell. I would delay it until alteast crutches if you could. You would hope they wouldn't, but they could pass you over thinking you couldn't keep up.

 
Old 03-20-2010, 02:36 PM   #11
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture

I had no surgery, was PWB at 6 weeks, then weight bearing as tolerated up to 100% at 9 weeks. I used one crutch for a week then went FWB and walking unaided 2 weeks ago(11 weeks). My calf muscle in the injured leg is still weak and I limp at times but not bad. My ankle still swells quite a bit and the nerves are still angry in the heel. Once you go FWB things will get better quickly. The GF says I have a hoof LOL. I go to PT twice a week and it sure helps. I am working full time as an electrician and wearing my old steel toed work boots. I am also riding the 4 wheeler and riding a Harley touring bike. I am slower than I was but it continues to get better. Good Luck

 
Old 03-20-2010, 03:37 PM   #12
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture

I was an electrician now I am a field engineer with electricians. Finding steel toes is kicking is my butt.

Seems some people can wear there old footwear, but I can't to well. My heal is alot wider, an inch or so. I can wear some winter boots, cause they seem to be wider. Also I am wearing 1/2 to 1 size bigger.

 
Old 03-21-2010, 04:34 AM   #13
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture

Guess I got lucky with the shoes. My fracture was non displaced so I guess that was a good thing. I am an electrical crewleader (white hat). The only things I can not do is walk for a long way or climb a ladder very well, leg muscles to weak. I can do more every week tho. I wear Wolverine work boots, they are lightweight and do the trick for me. Good Luck to all.

 
Old 03-21-2010, 08:16 AM   #14
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture

I had wolverines years ago, they were comfortable. Didn't seem to hold up, but I'll go for comfort now.

Leg strength will come. I did wall sits. Try doing a minute. Sounds easy, but its not.

I broke the opposite leg, femur, so it was really weak.

 
Old 04-27-2010, 08:58 AM   #15
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture

Luckydutch, shattered my heels from fall at 12 feet hospital 3 weeks, plaster 3months hydro therapy 8 sessions so far, reassement this week,. NWB for 3months only just walking hoping to drive very soon hope you get on well but all I have read is its along haul to get better,and I live in england so costs are minimal.thank goodness

 
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