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Old 07-18-2012, 06:28 PM   #1
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Unhappy Calcaneus Fracture with Surgery

Hello, I came across this board looking for some encouragement. I fell from a ladder from 6-7 feet on April 12 and fractured my right calcaneus with talus embedded in the calcaneus. Had surgery on April 27 and now have a plate and 9 screws in my foot. Was in a splint for about 6-8 weeks, graduated to a boot with crutches, started PT and doing exercises at home too. Was NWB until July 6 when the surgeon said I could put weight "as tolerated" on my foot. I returned to work on July 12 and can't seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It hurts to put weight on the foot. Tried to walk a little with one crutch last week, and although I can do it, I am experiencing a lot of pain. Almost 3 months post-op, and I thought I'd be further along than this. Am anxious as to how much longer until I will be able to walk without a boot and crutches? What have been your experiences? I have been fairly active: dancing, walking, hiking, bowling.

 
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:49 PM   #2
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture with Surgery

Hate to break it to you, you got a long way to go. Take 12-18 months to get as good was you will get. Positive note is, it will get better from what you have now.

For 4-5 months was doing a bit, but feeling pain. Around 10 months pain started to get better. You are going to have to suck up some pain with this, if you want to progress.

I am doing everything I want to do, 3 years later. But at times I have to spend some pain currency.

If you want less pain, give up pretty shoes. Wear comfortable socks. Sit when you can, even if you are not in pain yet. I wear 8" lace up boots outside the hose. I wear slip ons in the house, sometimes walking sandals, in the house. I don't go barefoot much.


I went from wheelchair, to walker, to cane, to nothing, with over lap.

I wear hiking socks. Light wool hiking socks in the summer. I have orthotics in some of my shoes. You can get them adjusted, they can grind a bit off based on feedback. I get a new one yearly, paid for by insurance. Start out wearing them for short periods of time, and work your way up.

I was not able to handle a lot of ankle support the first year, and would take my 6" boots off to drive. I needed steel toes for work. But I wear non steel toe, after work. First year it was probably good not to wear lace up boots anyways, it helped to develop strength.

Do the PT. If you are over weight, think about losing it, for the rest of your life. I know easier said then done.

I know take an anti inflamatory, every morning, alleve or motrin. Then I take tramadol for break through pain. Just one. I didn't take tramadol much the first 18 months, I want to see how my life was going to be. Once I knew, I took them, and I got alot more active. But I personally don't think you should take alot the first 18 months. Though maybe I should have at the end of the day.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:58 PM   #3
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture with Surgery

You will probably have lots of weird shooting tingly sensations, they are normal. Ask you doc about a compression sock. Tight sock that goes to knee, that lets blood out, but restricts it in. If he says yes, go to a medical place. Places like Walgreens sell light duty ones. I wore mine until 10 months. Probably could have worn it longer.

If your toes are not bending, pull back on the tips, and push down on the knuckle, hold for 20. Do this throughout the day, and keep doing it. Finally mine moved. I was getting discomfort when walking. Doc mention cutting ligaments. Still not normal, but ok. I still pull on them once in a while.


Plantar facstii may bnother you, bottom of foot. Roll your foot on a golf ball or frozen water bottle. Mine still does once in awhile.

You may have bumps and knots. Try to work them hard with your hands, or press something hard like a screw driver handle into your foot. This isn't easy. For me it worked best having the physcial therapist do it, but you can't wuss out. You will still need to do it at home.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:03 PM   #4
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture with Surgery

Ice your foot, probably the ankle area 2-4 times a day for the next 2-3 months. After that it will probably help to keep doing it here and there. It helps, but you just get sick of it.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:44 AM   #5
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture with Surgery

Don't rush, as much as you may want to. Follow the timeline set by your doctor and listen to those here who have had similar situations. Trying to rush things can do more damage than you may think. Let it heal and you'll be much better off 10 years down the road. Speaking from experience, and wish I had found this site a long time ago.

 
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:47 AM   #6
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture with Surgery

"I have been fairly active: dancing, walking, hiking, bowling. "

Slow down a little.

For 3 months out, sounds to me like you're doing really great.

"Trying to rush things can do more damage than you may think. Let it heal and you'll be much better off 10 years down the road. "

Being 11 years down the road, these are words of wisdom.

 
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:20 AM   #7
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Question Re: Calcaneus Fracture with Surgery

I broke my heel about 10 days ago on vacation. The emergency room doctor as well as the podiatrist in my home town, after examining X-rays and CT scan, told me that I would need a surgery, and I have the following two questions for now:

1. Within how many days from my injury would I have to get my heel operated?
2. Do you generally get this operation by a Orthopedics surgeon or podiatrist?

I am meeting with the podiatrist later today to discuss my CT scan results as well as next steps.

Thanks for your help.

 
Old 07-23-2012, 05:57 PM   #8
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture with Surgery

To Dexatech: The dancing, walking, hiking, and bowling were all activities I enjoyed BEFORE I had the fall that fractured my calcaneous. I'm anxious to be able to do all those things again and am scared to death I'll never be the same. I'm only 54 and not ready to stop doing things I enjoy. I am trying to walk more with just 1 crutch; mainly short distances at work during the day, but with 2 most of the time.

Last edited by uswfordsb; 07-23-2012 at 06:02 PM.

 
Old 07-23-2012, 06:07 PM   #9
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture with Surgery

bhtp: Best to get the advice of your surgeon, but if your foot is not swollen, better to have the surgery sooner than later. My foot had so much swelling, that it was 2 weeks before I could have surgery; had to wait for the swelling to go down. Had some PT to help get the swelling down along with a cold water circulating machine. Surgeon said the bone had started to heal and made surgery more difficult. Take the advice of your surgeon always.

Last edited by uswfordsb; 07-23-2012 at 06:31 PM.

 
Old 07-24-2012, 06:22 PM   #10
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture with Surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by uswfordsb View Post
To Dexatech: The dancing, walking, hiking, and bowling were all activities I enjoyed BEFORE I had the fall that fractured my calcaneous. I'm anxious to be able to do all those things again and am scared to death I'll never be the same.e.
You will probably do all that, maybe moderation. I have done some hiking, but not miles of it. Sometimes I think walking on earth is better, I seem to have it worse on concrete floors. I don't know if I could go a few miles. Maybe, though I may pay for it, but you got to spend some pain currency.

Before doing activities that may be hard on you, take an anti inflamatory before, Plus don't wait until the pain is bad to take something stronger. I don't pop pain pills all the time, but if there is an activity I want to enjoy, I will take a pain med before I start, if I know it will be bad, or when the pain first starts.

For me a tramadol does it, maybe a 2nd few hours later.
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:28 PM   #11
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture with Surgery

Have been walking a bit with just one crutch the last few days. I actually find that I have fairly good balance but it sure does hurt, so I switch between 1 and 2 crutches. I'm trying to keep focused on the fact that I really HAVE improved since the date of my surgery (April 27), but it is so SLOW. Just trying to keep in mind that I am going to have to spend "pain currency" as you say and "suck it up". Tough for me, because my pain tolerance is low. I like to be comfortable. LOL

Did anyone have trouble with their scar tissue?

 
Old 07-26-2012, 06:09 AM   #12
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture with Surgery

You may have scar tissue under the skin, lumps. They physical therapist would work on them with a hard plastic jack. It hurts a bit. At home the end of a screwdriver, or some other hard object will work. It is not easy, you need to work them over and over.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:55 AM   #13
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture with Surgery

Bhtp,
I had my heel operated on 1 month after I broke it, so don't stress. However, DO have an OS who specializes in feet and ankles do the surgery. You will be glad you did. These guys really know their stuff and they do amazing followup as well. You may have to go a distance to find one. It's worth it.

Last edited by califmom1; 07-29-2012 at 09:00 AM. Reason: addressed to wrong person

 
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