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Old 04-02-2011, 04:41 PM   #1
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Calcaneus fracture - continued stiffness

Hi,

Last June I fell of a 12 foot ladder and landed on a concret floor. I broke both my right arm and right calcaneus (lucky for me I'm a lefty. The hand was nothing, a plate was put in and healed in the normal 6 weeks. They had to wait for the swelling to go down on the foot and operated on July 8th. Normal non-weightbearing for 12 weeks, put 7 screws and a plate in. Worst part was the night after surgery when the nerve block wore off and I had a terrbile nurse and developed a 103 temp. Anwyay went home and started losing weight but thought it was muscle mass from being in wheelchair. A few weeks later determined I had gram negative/staph onfection. Two cleanout procedures were done and was in hopsital for a week. Deayed healing. I kept losing weight (abt 40 punds..from 200 to 160). In mid Sept they removed the pins and plate. In late Sept infection was back and really bad, two more surgeries and almost lost the foot. Went home after another week but had PICC line for injections of Zosyn. This went on for 8 weeks and still could not weight bear because the bone was soft from the infection.

Finally in January 2011 I was cleared to weight bear. Doing alot but still not there yet. There are times when I can walk with just a slight limp and other times when its pretty bad. My doctor suggested another surgery down the road to take a piece of ligament from my toe and place it on the Achilles to give me some additional dorsiflexion. After what I went through Im am hesistant to say the least and have already sought other opinions.

Thanks for listening but am also wondering if anyone reading this has had a similar problem. My calcaneus feels fine its the top of my foot that is causing me problems. Right where the top of the foot meets the leg is stiff all the time. It feels more like muscle than bone because when it gets stretched it feels better but it gets bad when Im walking alot and then sit down and try to get back up...Anyone going through this too? Have a solution that might help? Know what might be causing it?

 
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:42 PM   #2
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Re: Calcaneus fracture - continued stiffness

Two years for me, they wanted to operated, but to many blisters and to much swelling. Top of the foot doesn't bother me, but I think I have read about it. More common areas seem to be the outside of the ankle and for some the achilles, both bother me.

Hard to gauge where you are in recovery with all the extra complications. No matter what you are still less then a year from the original accident. So you got a bit to go.

This is a life changing event. Keep up with the PT and keep trying to do more.

I am doing all I want to do, but I got to pay some pain currency.
__________________
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The good thing is, no one asks me, to help them move anymore.

 
Old 04-02-2011, 05:48 PM   #3
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Re: Calcaneus fracture - continued stiffness

Here is the crash course in being a Heelie.

Lots of stuff to read about here.

But most people are non weight bearing 12 weeks, some get partial before that. Some where the boot and walk, I was told not to, cause it would make me uneven.

Keep your foot elevated, I mean elvated. I slept with it on 2 pillows, and two on recliner with all the way back.

Circulation will get better when you start walking. Yes you may have a purplish look to your foot when its down. yes you will get weird shooting pains and sensations from time time. Yes most of the feeling will hopefully come back.

The severity and recovery time really varies. But a year is ball park, with gains until 18 months, with people saying it still gets better for a few years.

You may want to wear a compression sock when you start to walk. Sorta knee stocking, that is very tight and helps with swelling. I wore one until about 10 months, and was told some do forever. I still get a bit of swelling around 20 months. Wear a sock over it.

I wear light wool hiking socks year round. Get good cushiony socks.

Physical therapy is very important, be strict and do it. I started with range of motion at about 6 weeks.

Your calf is going to shrink a lot and your thigh. You can help your thigh a little by doing leg exercises, with out weight.

Calve raises will help the calf, when the time comes. You will have to do them with both feet. As time goes on put more weight on the bad foot. I still can’t do one footed, and probably never will, but many can.


This is a life changing event, that’s just the way it is. IMO you got to be tough a push, you will now when it really hurts and time to stop.

Many people get custom made orthotics a few months after they start walking. Wear them for short periods at first, increasing time. You will need a deeper shoe to fit it. New Balance plus others make them. You will probably never wear cheap foot wear again.

Some people say don’t spend much on shoes the first year, but I say you got to wear something. You will probably need a wide shoe. Some wear two sizes, some just tighten the other, which is what I do.
When I went back to work I started with 6” boots, cause my ankle was weak, I eventually moved up to 8” and find 8 a lot better. I wears 8” lace up boots for pretty much everything.

Fusing is a common treatment for this, they screw your foot together. Which limits movement, but you may have lost it anyways. I didn’t have surgery, cause I was in to bad of shape. I may someday, if the arthritis gets to bad.

Yes, you will most likely get arthritis.

As for pain, for me its not so much the heel but the outside ankle, because I also shattered my subtalar joint, which is not uncommon. I also have problems with my Achilles. Not a lot of pain until I started walking. But it gets better, every week and month. Things were decent by month 11.

I started walking at 12 weeks, still used wheel chair a bit for couple weeks. Wheel chairs do help. Some people get knee walkers or scooters. Then I moved to walker some of the day, then walker and cane, and then just cane. I was to cane in 3-4 weeks, but still using waked when I went places for awhile.

By 5-6 months I think the walker was gone. In the beginning you will notice improvement almost weekly, if you try. Then it slows up a bit. After year it got slow for me.

It is illegal in many states to drive with just your left foot, so keep that in mind. Many people start driving with 3-4 months.

Many heelies have problem on uneven surfaces, do to less range of motion. This may be worse when it fused.

As for pain, I don’t have a lot on normal days around the house. But if I do a lot I feel it. Everything has a price.
__________________
Heelie since 09
The good thing is, no one asks me, to help them move anymore.

 
Old 04-02-2011, 05:49 PM   #4
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Re: Calcaneus fracture - continued stiffness

Here is the crash course in being a Heelie.

Lots of stuff to read about here.

But most people are non weight bearing 12 weeks, some get partial before that. Some where the boot and walk, I was told not to, cause it would make me uneven.

Keep your foot elevated, I mean elvated. I slept with it on 2 pillows, and two on recliner with all the way back.

Circulation will get better when you start walking. Yes you may have a purplish look to your foot when its down. yes you will get weird shooting pains and sensations from time time. Yes most of the feeling will hopefully come back.

The severity and recovery time really varies. But a year is ball park, with gains until 18 months, with people saying it still gets better for a few years.

You may want to wear a compression sock when you start to walk. Sorta knee stocking, that is very tight and helps with swelling. I wore one until about 10 months, and was told some do forever. I still get a bit of swelling around 20 months. Wear a sock over it.

I wear light wool hiking socks year round. Get good cushiony socks.

Physical therapy is very important, be strict and do it. I started with range of motion at about 6 weeks.

Your calf is going to shrink a lot and your thigh. You can help your thigh a little by doing leg exercises, with out weight.

Calve raises will help the calf, when the time comes. You will have to do them with both feet. As time goes on put more weight on the bad foot. I still canít do one footed, and probably never will, but many can.


This is a life changing event, thatís just the way it is. IMO you got to be tough a push, you will now when it really hurts and time to stop.

Many people get custom made orthotics a few months after they start walking. Wear them for short periods at first, increasing time. You will need a deeper shoe to fit it. New Balance plus others make them. You will probably never wear cheap foot wear again.

Some people say donít spend much on shoes the first year, but I say you got to wear something. You will probably need a wide shoe. Some wear two sizes, some just tighten the other, which is what I do.
When I went back to work I started with 6Ē boots, cause my ankle was weak, I eventually moved up to 8Ē and find 8 a lot better. I wears 8Ē lace up boots for pretty much everything.

Fusing is a common treatment for this, they screw your foot together. Which limits movement, but you may have lost it anyways. I didnít have surgery, cause I was in to bad of shape. I may someday, if the arthritis gets to bad.

Yes, you will most likely get arthritis.

As for pain, for me its not so much the heel but the outside ankle, because I also shattered my subtalar joint, which is not uncommon. I also have problems with my Achilles. Not a lot of pain until I started walking. But it gets better, every week and month. Things were decent by month 11.

I started walking at 12 weeks, still used wheel chair a bit for couple weeks. Wheel chairs do help. Some people get knee walkers or scooters. Then I moved to walker some of the day, then walker and cane, and then just cane. I was to cane in 3-4 weeks, but still using waked when I went places for awhile.

By 5-6 months I think the walker was gone. In the beginning you will notice improvement almost weekly, if you try. Then it slows up a bit. After year it got slow for me.

It is illegal in many states to drive with just your left foot, so keep that in mind. Many people start driving with 3-4 months.

Many heelies have problem on uneven surfaces, do to less range of motion. This may be worse when it fused.

As for pain, I donít have a lot on normal days around the house. But if I do a lot I feel it. Everything has a price.
__________________
Heelie since 09
The good thing is, no one asks me, to help them move anymore.

 
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