Re: Shattered Heel Recovery Time?
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.
Heelie since 09
The good thing is, no one asks me to help them move anymore.