Surgically Repaired Medial Malleous Fracture & reattachment severed deltoid ligament
On 28 Nov 2011 my children and I were headed into town to take my husband some medicine and pick up some salsa to go with dinner a little later. We never completed either errand though. A young man who didn't have a driver's license, didn't have insurance and was high came over the hill, when he got to the base of the hill he came into our lane. I tried to press the brake but before my foot could get to it he had already crashed into our van. He had to have been going super fast because I was only going 40 mph and should have had ample time to break had he been going the posted speed limit of 45 mph.
We were all very lucky and survived the crash, even the young man who made poor choices. The 2 of the 3 children received some fairly serious injuries, the baby who was almost 8 months old at the time just had a bruise, and have physically recovered. The engine block of our van was pushed back and lucky me, it landed on my right ankle. My medial malleolus was broke and my deltoid ligament completely severed. Two days after the accident they placed two pins to hold the bone in place and surgically reattached the ligament.
I had to quit my job teaching at the local university because with my recovery, the children's recovery, my inability to drive until 12 weeks post surgery and our family being down to 1 vehicle. I was non-weight bearing in a walking boot for 6 weeks. Then spent the next 6 weeks slowly increasing weight bearing. At 12 weeks post surgery I did 4 weeks of physical therapy 3 times a week. At that point I had functional range of motion in eversion and plantar flexion, I was told distance running would no longer be possible because of the injury but in time I would be able to return to working. It was recommended that I continue therapy for 4 more week to try to regain more range of motion in inversion and dorsiflextion. However, someone scheduled the young man who hit me for his physical therapy (broken femur) at the same time as mine. I'd been having problems with PTSD and seeing him was incredibly difficult. I couldn't deal with seeing him 3 times a week and another time wasn't an option with my husband's work schedule, so I was given exercises to do at home.
On the 28th we'll be 7 months post accident. I now have regained normal ROM in eversion, plantar flexion and dorsiflexion. I have functional ROM in inversion. I was medically cleared to return to normal activity. When I do activities where dorsiflexion is required it's uncomfortable. I need to increase flexibility in all the muscles of my lower leg and build strength, I'm pretty sure that is my problem.
My big thing is I haven't found anyone I know, or anyone I know who knows someone who has had a similar injury. I just want to know that some one some where has fully recovered from an injury like this and has gone on to return to normal activity. I miss doing personal training and teaching group fitness classes (did it for 12 years), especially Step Aerobics. I know it's so 1980's but it was my favorite class of all time.
I don't want this to be a career killer for me. I spent 10 long years most of that as a single Mom and $100,000 in student loans to get my BS & Master's in Exercise Physiology. At this point in time I wouldn't even feel comfortable working in a clinical setting because should a patient collapse I'm not sure I could handle safely (for them & me) helping them gently to the ground.
I guess what I want is a glimmer of hope. That someone has either been here or knows someone who has and had returned to full activity. I'm sure if I never do I'd eventually be okay and find another way to use my degrees so that it won't have been a total waste but I'd rather go back to what I did and loved for so long.
Sorry to have rambled for so long. Thanks for reading!