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Old 09-17-2011, 10:02 PM   #1
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calcaneous fractures

has anyone had a fractured calcaneous? I fell of a 5 foot ladder in April and landed on my heel on a concrete floor. I cracked my heel. The healing process is going to take about a year to 18 months. I am starting on a bone stimulator to try and get the healing part a jump. Has anyone had such an experience. There is alot of pain involved and swelling of soft tissue in the tendons and achielles tendon.

 
Old 09-18-2011, 10:11 AM   #2
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Re: calcaneous fractures

Tons of threads on this here. Spend some time reading. Ya its 18 months, but you will be doing lots of stuff way before that. By 4-5 months you will be getting around, but will be restircted by pain when you do to much.

Keep it elevated when you are not walking. I am assuming since it happened in April you are weight bearing. Ice it down a few times a day. Keep up with the PT.

Comfortable shoes and thick socks!!!!
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:12 AM   #3
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Re: calcaneous fractures

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 elevated. I slept with it on 2 pillows, and two on recliner, with it all the way back.

Circulation will get better when you start walking. Yes, you may have a purplish look to your foot when it is down. yes you will get weird shooting pains and sensations from 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 24+ 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 and 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 footwear 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”lace up 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 waker 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 3-5 months.

Many heelies have problem on uneven surfaces, due 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, with increased activity. Everything has a price. You have to spend some pain currency.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:37 AM   #4
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Re: calcaneous fractures

Thanks for mapping my next year for me. I am following exactly what you have said. My doctor wants me to purchase a Smith and Nephew Bone Stimulator. Out of the box it's $4500.00, with insurance it's $2500.00. On
e-bay you can buy them for 175.00 to 400.00. Ultrasonic bone stimulation, has great reviewes. You put in on for 20 min a day. My heel is healing better in the back than in the front, doctor can't understand why. I think it's got to be the medication I take for rheumatoid arthritis. The soft tissue around my calf, ankle and achilles are swollen and ache. PT is very difficult as they want to move my foot but can't because it's swollen.

New to the heelie list.

 
Old 09-21-2011, 08:40 PM   #5
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Re: calcaneous fractures

As far the the Smith & Nephew bone stimulator. It is the only external bone stimulator approved for immediate post-op use. Depending on your insurance, Smith & Nephew can get you one for free, especially if you meet income qualifications. Ask your physician for the contact info of the Smith & Nephew rep. Don't buy a used one because you don't know if it works. Many bone stimulators have limited use or will shut off if used for greater than a certain length of time. Don't buy a bone stimulator until you talk to the rep about it.

 
Old 11-05-2011, 10:16 PM   #6
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Re: calcaneous fractures

have you had a pain, seems like a nerve that rune from the ankle to the back of the knee to the upper thigh. I wake up at night with incredible pain. also dur ing the day.

 
Old 11-05-2011, 10:17 PM   #7
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Re: calcaneous fractures

have you had a pain, seems like a nerve that runs from the ankle to the back of the knee to the upper thigh. I wake up at night with incredible pain. also during the day sometimes the pai occurs.

 
Old 11-06-2011, 07:35 PM   #8
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Re: calcaneous fractures

That doesn't bother me and I haven't heard of that area. It may be worth mentioning that to the doc, though hopefully it will go away. Maybe just related to atrophy in your thigh. Dunno.

I did have odd ball shooting pains here and there, but limited to foot and ankle area.

Did you break your leg? I broke the leg on the opposite side, and that had pain at time high up.
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