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Old 09-08-2011, 03:05 AM   #1
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aussiegal86 HB User
Ankle reconstruction

Almost 6 weeks ago I missed a step at my Nan's place and went down hard on it. I thought it was a simple sprain and tried to stand on it, but it collapsed from under me. When I landed on it I did hear a loud snap, like a rubber band breaking. It swelled to a huge size in 20 minutes.

I rested up that night and went to the local emergency department the next day. A plain x-ray was done, no fracture detected, the Dr wasn't really interested at actually looking at my foot. Told me it was a sprain, stay off it for 3-5 days and then start walking on it. I did this but was in agony, I thought it would improve given time.

3 weeks after the injury, I had to see my orthopedic surgeon for a check up on my hand after he had removed a large cyst. I asked him to look at my ankle while I was there. He was rather horrified at how swollen it was and bruised. None of the swelling had gone away. He ordered another plain x-ray, again no break showed. I was put into a walking splint boot (I can't think of its proper name) straight away, told not to walk too much on it.

For me to do as I'm told with something like this is a wonder my hubby says, but I have been good, staying off it as much as possible. I returned to see the surgeon yesterday, 2 weeks after being fitted with the boot. Swelling still present and some bruising. An MRI has been ordered for next week, seeing the surgeon again on the 19th of Sept.

He told me that what doesn't heal, or at least start to heal within the first 6 weeks, generally won't heal on its own, as I am at week 5, he's not really confident that its going to heal on its own, given I walked on it for 3 weeks when I probably shouldn't have.

He explained ankle reconstruction to me, medical procedures don't faze me, but listening to it made me feel rather queasy. And to be honest, I am really scared at the prospect of surgery!

My current symptoms are: Pain when trying to weight bear, swelling, random bruising, shocking feeling that my ankle will collapse under me, if hubby pulls gently on my foot it feels like its parting company from the rest of me.

Has anyone here had an ankle reconstruction? How was the pain post op? How long did it take for you to heal and start resuming normal activities? Do you have a normal range of motion? Have you had any problems since?

I do apologise for the loooooonng post, but I thought it better I fully explain it so you have the full picture.

Last edited by aussiegal86; 09-08-2011 at 03:30 AM.

 
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Old 09-08-2011, 04:13 AM   #2
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taylor30 HB User
Re: Ankle reconstruction

Hi Aussiegal,
First of all i'm sorry to hear of your injury and hope all is well soon
I am nine weeks post op after a trimalleolar fracture to my ankle,i had a fall which resulted in three badly broken bones which required ORIF surgery.
I now have plates,screws,rods and wires holding my ankle together.

Surgery is always daunting and i had a spinal block so was fully awake during mine,but don't worry,the thought of it is always worse than the reality
After surgery it was quite painful and i needed morphine for the first 4 days,the main discomfort is when you put your leg down and the pressure builds up due to the swelling but that will probably subside after 2 weeks or so.
The pain is easily managed with medication as long as you take it regularly.

Like i said i am now nine weeks post op and i'm doing great,my cast came off 2 weeks ago and i'm now learning to walk with my crutches and baring a bit of weight on my foot,physio has helped a lot and the pain is not half as bad as i expected.
I still don't have full motion in my foot as i cannot bend it all the way back but with physio i will be there in no time i'm sure.

The main thing is to stay positive and focused on reaching your goal of walking normally again otherwise it is too easy to let it get you down,the hardest thing by far is not being able to do normal everyday activities that your used to,but it will happen as long as you work hard at it

Good Luck with your surgery and keep us posted on your progress,and remember stay positive.

 
Old 09-08-2011, 04:26 AM   #3
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aussiegal86 HB User
Re: Ankle reconstruction

Thanks for the reply Taylor

With the spinal block, how long did it last after surgery? After my last GA, I am not keen for another one as my heart raced quite badly twice and I was considering a spinal block.

Was you given anything to sedate you a bit or make you not remember what went on too well?

 
Old 09-08-2011, 04:39 AM   #4
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taylor30 HB User
Re: Ankle reconstruction

Well i'm pretty sure the spinal block lasted for around 2 hours after my 2 hour surgery...what i found good after the spinal was that i felt no pain at all until it had worn off completely.
They didn't sedate me for the op and i remember everything,i was talking to the surgeon during surgery but i was also given a stereo with earphones to help drown out the drilling and hammering noises which was quite helpful.
Spinal blocks arent for everybody but i guess i would do it again,it's a strange experience but for me wasn't a traumatic one

 
Old 09-08-2011, 04:44 AM   #5
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Re: Ankle reconstruction

Yeah I figured they aren't for everyone, but after my last GA, I really don't want another episode of my heart racing, I was told if they hadn't controlled it, I would have had a heart attack! I'm only 25!

I'll certainly ask my surgeon when I go back to see him if he'd be happy for me to have a spinal block. When I had my hand surgery, he was happy to do it under a nerve block but I was too much of a wuss!

 
Old 09-09-2011, 06:47 AM   #6
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Re: Ankle reconstruction

Anyone else have experience?

 
Old 09-14-2011, 01:58 PM   #7
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Re: Ankle reconstruction

Yep! I had my left ankle reconstructed 10 years ago this past August. My story is similar to yours. Pardon the long post, but I just want you to have the full story to understand. First of all, before I get into it, surgery definitely helped and I'm glad I did it!!! Now with that said, it wasn't all roses afterwards. I was playing flag football and went to catch the ball and came down in a small hole. Went all the way over on my ankle. Hurt REALLY bad, but being a former gymnast, I'd sprained that ankle a few times before and thought it was just a "simple" sprain as you thought yours was. However, like yours, it didn't get better, swelling didn't go down. I did get to a point where I could walk, but not without pain. I was dating an athletic trainer who worked for an orthopedic surgeon and he kept trying to get me in to see him. Stubborn here thought it would heal. When I finally saw the OS, (like yours) he didn't like what he saw. Like you, I felt my ankle was very unstable, pain, when my boyfriend at the time tried to gently rub my toes and midfoot (pain radiated down into them), I would tense up, etc. My OS did an MRI and found that 2 of my ligaments were completely torn and scheduled me for surgery. I put the surgery off for 5 wks to be in weddings I'd already committed to! By the time surgery came, I was SO ready to not be in pain. I mean, I'm an RN and I remember one of the anesthesia residents at work giving me ankle blocks to get through my ICU shifts! After the surgery (and I had GA, but I do well with it), I was in a plaster cast for 2 days and then in a fiberglass for 2 weeks. The pain wasn't pleasant to be honest, but I managed it fairly well with Lorcet Plus, elevation, and ice. Then I was in a walking boot for several weeks after that. Crutches for 4 weeks. I chose to go back to work 5 weeks post-op which my doc said I could if my pain level was okay. Stupid move, my pain level was okay at first. But 12 hour ICU shifts didn't do well for it. That delayed my recovery. Didn't hurt the surgery, it was iron clad, but as far as pain. Two years later, I was hiking in AZ and everything was fine. Two days after the hike, I was at work (travel RN), and I just pivoted on that ankle, didn't turn it, and felt and heard a loud pop. The pain was so bad. Had an MRI and had popped the tendon retinaculum and torn cartilage and was told I needed surgery again. I chose to wait till I got home for that and eventually, swelling and pain went down. I didn't do the surgery. 1 year after that (we had moved to CA), I was running out from underneath a garage door (long story) and there was a slight dip in the driveway. My ankle snapped over so fast! Violent badly sprained ankle and 5th met fracture and more torn cartilage. That got me another 6 wks on crutches and a bone stimulator to help it form a union. Was told again, I need surgery to clear out scar tissue and the cartilage. But I chose not to. That one took a while before there was no pain. I had off and on pain for a while. 3 years after that, I was working out and just stepped on the edge of a mat and my ankle snapped over and I had a grade 2 sprain. Spent a week on crutches, but then was okay after a couple of weeks. Since then, I've had a few sprains and one with broken toes that was difficult. Then this past Sat, at a wedding, I had on wedge heels and I just took a step and went all the way over on it. I couldn't believe it didn't swell, but it's very sore! Now, I say all that to say this: A lot of my incidences post surgery were from my stupid choices. BUT, throughout all of those injuries, my surgery has held up!! I never messed it up! I need additional surgery for scar tissue and cartilage clearing, but my repair has held up! So likely for you, you won't have these issues. I think you will feel better after you heal from surgery and won't have that shocking feeling your ankle is going to give out all the time. I don't have that sensation anymore! I hope this helps you and doesn't scare you, but just wanted you to know the whole story! I know the pain you are in, don't feel like you are alone! Let us know what you decide!

 
Old 09-18-2011, 11:33 PM   #8
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Re: Ankle reconstruction

Hi everyone.

Went back to the surgeon today with the MRI.

Report read: Severe edema in and around ankle joint and capsule, tear of the ATFL and severe bruising of the talus bone.

The surgeon showed me on the MRI the bruising in the talus. Its the worst he's seen in a very long time and got 5 other surgeons in to show them as they hadn't seen something quite as bad.

He said given the amount of edema and how inflamed the talus is, there was no way he would operate at the moment. He said I'd end up with more problems than I had to start with!

He said to come back in 3 weeks, re-assess. He said he will probably inject some cortisone into the ankle if its still swollen and then assess again in a couple of weeks. He's not optimistic its going to heal though, given the injury is now 7 weeks old. He explained the brostrom repair, so I reckon that's the way I'll be heading

I have put up some pictures of the MRI to show people. I've obscured my personal details for privacy.

http://i53.tinypic.com/28sbq1e.png

http://i54.tinypic.com/rwrjh3.png

http://i55.tinypic.com/2pt6hy9.png

Last edited by aussiegal86; 09-26-2011 at 06:45 PM. Reason: Typo

 
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