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Old 06-17-2012, 10:08 PM   #1
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Walking After Ankle Surgery

I had surgery on my ankle...a modified broström, gould technique, about 4 weeks ago.
The ligaments were repaired and anchors were placed in my bone to support the repair.

I will have the hard cast taken off this Wednesday after non weight bearing for a month. I will be in a walking boot for 2 weeks and start physical therapy for a few months.

Has anyone tried walking after ankle surgery, with non-weight bearing for a month previously? I can't imagine that I will be able to go right back to walking.
I don't know what to expect...

Thanks.

 
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:42 AM   #2
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Re: Walking After Ankle Surgery

Hi and welcome to the boards! There are a lot of people on here who have been through your surgery so hopefully you will get lots of good info. I have had your surgery twice. The first time was 11 years ago and the 2nd time was on 2/22/12 where I had the Brostrom-Gould and repair of peroneal tendon, retinaculum, and fibular groove deepening. The first time I got my cast off at roughly 3 weeks, was off crutches by week 4 and was back to full time work in the ICU. However, that timeline was too fast and too soon, but thats what I got for going to a general OS and not a foot/ankle OS. This time, I went with a foot/ankle OS and granted I had more work done, but I was in a cast and on crutches for 6 weeks. After I got my cast off after the 6th week (and got a boot), it took me another 2 weeks to fully wean off both crutches. I know it sounds scary, but your ankle has been healing for a month now. It will be sore and won't happen right away, but you will start with partial weight bearing and just getting your foot used to being touched on the bottom. It will be really sensitive more than likely. My heel was SOOO sensitive and believe it or not was a big hold up in ditching the crutches. Once you are over the sensitivity and start gradually adding more weight, it will go faster. You have to learn to trust it again and let pain be your guide. I think you said you were starting PT right? They will be huge helps with this or at least mine were! Are you still having a lot of pain now while you are still NWB? That can also play into it. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
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Brostrom-Gould, repair retinaculum, peroneus longus tendon repair, fibular groove deepening for peroneal tendon subluxation- 2/22/12
-Modified Brostrom (failed)- 8/15/01"]

 
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:14 AM   #3
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Re: Walking After Ankle Surgery

Hi Hollywood 48, thanks for the reply! I can't believe you had to go through that twice. Once was enough for me!

I am not having any pain now while I am still NWB. Only if I move around too much and not keep it elevated. I am so ready to get this cast off. I was touching around my toes and it feels very sore to the touch...almost like it's bruised.

I have hardly been using crutches...only when I get out of the house which is very rare. Other wise I've been using a knee walker. Did you use one with your surgeries? It was SUCH a big help! But I'm thinking that if I am going to partial weight bearing, that I'll need to go back to using crutches in the house. my biggest question is where my confidence level will be once I am allowed to walk again...I guess time will tell.

Yes, I am starting PT right away. Getting the cast off tomorrow then PT in a few days. I'll be going into a walking boot for a while. How was your experience with wearing it?

Have a great day!

 
Old 06-19-2012, 10:25 AM   #4
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Re: Walking After Ankle Surgery

Definitely, your foot is going to feel all kinds of weird when the hard cast comes off. Touching it and rubbing it with different textured surfaces will help the weirdness pass. Sometimes, PT will recommend sticking your foot in a bucket of uncooked macaroni!

You'll start with just touching it lightly to the ground when you walk with crutches, then gradually progress to actually walking.

 
Old 06-19-2012, 05:50 PM   #5
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Re: Walking After Ankle Surgery

Weird feelings...as in pins and needles?

 
Old 06-19-2012, 07:55 PM   #6
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Re: Walking After Ankle Surgery

That's a pretty common one, for two reasons. The first is that your foot has been in a cast for a long time. Your nerves haven't felt anything but the inside of the cast in all that time, and now they are experiencing the outside world again, and don't quite know what to make of it.

The other issue is, the surgery itself can be rough on the nerves, especially in the ankle, where everything is so small and so close together. Occasionally one is actually cut. More often, the nerves are lightly damaged from getting brushed against or even just exposed to air during the surgery. (Nerves are really delicate, they freak out easily.)

The pins and needles, possibly electric shock sensations, or other weird feelings are very common, and usually subside as your foot finishes healing.

 
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:01 PM   #7
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Re: Walking After Ankle Surgery

Thanks for that info about the feelings in my foot! When I got the splint off and stitches off 2 weeks ago, I felt the pins and needles and kinda got worried but the doctor assured me that it was okay.

How did you learn all this info? Are you a doctor or had this surgery yourself?

 
Old 06-19-2012, 08:44 PM   #8
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Re: Walking After Ankle Surgery

I had ankle arthroscopy back in 2008, a lesser surgery than you had. I was only in a splint for a week, but when it came off, half my big toe was completely numb, no sensation at all, and when I first put a shoe on it, I felt like my foot was being electrocuted.

The electric thing faded over the next couple weeks, before I even dispensed with the cane. I got sensation back in the numb toe 14 months later, and now the nerves in my foot are completely normal. (Ankle is 98% better, too!)

 
Old 06-19-2012, 08:52 PM   #9
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Re: Walking After Ankle Surgery

that's great news! Glad you are feeling 98% better. I can't wait to see how tomorrow goes... so excited to get this cast off and back to walking.

 
Old 06-19-2012, 09:50 PM   #10
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Re: Walking After Ankle Surgery

Hi. I also had surgery on 2/22/12 - pretty much the same thing you had done. I was supposed to be NWB for two weeks - only it took me much longer to get to the NWB than two weeks It was uncomfortable to start putting weight on it, especially on the heel. It does feel like pins and needles and is very uncomfortable. Just take it slow and don't do too much too soon

 
Old 06-19-2012, 10:01 PM   #11
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Re: Walking After Ankle Surgery

Thanks Joyful! A question to all of you on the thread... My surgery was on my right ankle so I have not been driving. I'm 4 weeks post op and not allowed to drive for another 2 weeks.

How was it for you guys to start driving again?? Assuming you could not.

 
Old 06-19-2012, 10:02 PM   #12
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Re: Walking After Ankle Surgery

Thanks Joyful! A question to all of you on the thread... My surgery was on my right ankle so I have not been driving. I'm 4 weeks post op and not allowed to drive for another 2 weeks.

How was it for you guys to start driving again?? Assuming you could not.

 
Old 06-19-2012, 10:04 PM   #13
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Re: Walking After Ankle Surgery

My surgery was also on my right ankle. I couldn't drive for about eight weeks, I think. BUT, I work an hour and ten minutes from where I live, so I think it was different circumstances. It was really uncomfortable for the long drive - I still cannot use the right foot on the brake, but it has generally gotten better. Still struggle in stop and go traffic - but I really think it's the distance rather than anything else. For short trips - I'm okay now. Hope that helps!

 
Old 06-19-2012, 10:15 PM   #14
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Re: Walking After Ankle Surgery

Oh geez! You still can't use the right foot on the brake! I work close by but travel an hour away twice a week. Not driving has impacted by independence for sure. Can't wait to get it back. I'm sure that after a few months we'll be back to normal!

How'd you hurt yourself? I fell and completely tore the ligament off the ankle.

 
Old 06-19-2012, 10:16 PM   #15
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Re: Walking After Ankle Surgery

Oh geez! You still can't use the right foot on the brake! I work close by but travel an hour away twice a week. Not driving has impacted by independence for sure. Can't wait to get it back. I'm sure that after a few months we'll be back to normal!

How'd you hurt yourself? I fell and completely tore the ligament off the ankle.

 
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