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Old 12-18-2012, 03:18 PM   #1
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Broken Heel

Hey all. I've read quite a bit on this forum before deciding to post. I'm a 24 y/o male. I broke my heel a month ago. Basically, I was tripping on my friend's stairs and decided that I would jump to the bottom insteading of tumbling. I was close to the top so I would say I jumped from about 7 ft up and landed barefoot on concrete. That night we figured I may have sprained something but when I woke up the appearance of my foot told a different story. X-Rays showed that I had a fracture in my left heel and a CT Scan showed there were some fractures inside the bone as well. However, the doctor said it was an ideal break and that surgery wouldn't be needed. I'm in a cast up to my knee, and since I drive stick I have been stuck at home. Prior to this injury I was fairly active, especially at the gym, 3+ days a week. I am wondering if there are others here that have been in a similar position as myself. I go back to see the doctor on Friday for X-Rays. Originally he said it would be 2 to 3 months NWB. I can't work but I do have short-term disability through them. When can I expect to work again? I am on my feet 8 hours a day when I work, plus the gym after that. Will I have a limp? If so, will it last forever? I enjoy hiking through the woods to go fishing, will this be possible again? They gave me oxycodone for the pain, but after day 1 I realized it made me very itchy so I've taken nothing for the pain. I read that a lot of you don't get a full ROM in that ankle again. Is this the same for everyone, or can you get your full ROM back? I miss my life and have felt the same depression other people have

Last edited by 0uch; 12-18-2012 at 03:20 PM. Reason: More to say

 
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:55 PM   #2
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Re: Broken Heel

Hey there, welcome to the boards.

I broke my heel in an accident on July 30. My break was extremely severe, and I had surgery 3 weeks later. I was non weight bearing for 12 weeks, and went back to working a part time job where I could sit down a lot of the day at 14 weeks. I started physical therapy around 14 weeks as well, and progressed fairly quickly. I'm walking in shoes and with a cane about 85% of the time. I still have a fairly distinct limp. They told me that once my limp is gone or mostly gone, I'll be able to start walking for exercise again, and that I should be back to hiking in the woods/mountains by summer hopefully.

This is a life changing injury. I am 26 years old. I will never get full ROM back, but that is because of the extent of my injury and surgery and the bone fusion I had to have. You probably won't be 100% again, but that is to be seen. When you are allowed to do PT, do it religiously, and you should get to 99 if not 100%.

I've heard that it's about 5-6 months to get back to activity on a regular basis and close to 12-18 months to be as good as you'll get.

That's all that I've heard and a lot is based on my own experiences with a heel that went into 15+ pieces.

Good luck, feel free to ask me anything about recovery or stuff and I can try and help. The people on this board are awesome and can answer anything too.

Liz

 
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:01 PM   #3
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Re: Broken Heel

So you're very young as well. Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I do intend on going as hard as I can with PT. I have a high pain tolerance so I'm hoping it will help me with my recovery. Currently my job requires me to be quite active on my feet, so this has got me thinking career change. I'm going to a near by University on Friday after my doctor's appointment to discuss the possibility of starting in the Winter semester, although I'm sure it's too late and that I will need to wait until next September. I already have completed a College program I haven't finished paying for. Lol.

How did you cope with sitting around the house all day/night? I'm single so I don't even have anyone to keep me company, lol. I really hope this recovery is going well and that I can start PT asap. Hell, I hope that when I get to PWB I can push the clutch in my car.

 
Old 12-18-2012, 07:30 PM   #4
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Re: Broken Heel

Be careful with the high tolerance, you don't want to push it too hard and damage anything more.

I was ridiculously active before my injury. The job I had to quit was wilderness director of a summer camp and I was hiking 5-20 miles a day. Then I got hurt in a rock climbing accident. I was told for the next 8 weeks I was only allowed to de-elevate my leg to go to the bathroom. It was PURE HELL. No sugar coat on that one.

I had a few websites that stream full seasons of TV shows for free, so I watched....3 shows I think from start to finish. I watched a lot of cable TV. A lot of movies. I tried to read, but the pain killers made my brain too fuzzy and I couldn't concentrate. I played a lot of puzzle games online, and that helped too.

I'm single as well, and had to move back in with my parents in an area where most of my friend's had moved away from. I managed to make it through, somehow. I'm still not quite sure how, but it does happen...the days go by and you are doing more each day.

Your injury is far less severe than mine it sounds like, but it is still hard.

As for classes, is there an all online program you could do? It wouldn't get you out of the house, but it would give your brain something to do.

My career requires me to be on my feet as well, carrying a lot over uneven terrain (I'm an outdoor educator, teaching kids using nature), but in light of my injury, I had to take a retail job as a cashier. I plan on teaching kids and hiking again...I am just unsure of the timetable at this point.

I was lucky (sort of) that it was my left foot I broke and I drive an automatic..but I also broke my back so I had to wait until that was healed to drive again.

Knee walkers/knee scooters are a life saver if you can get them in Ontario. So much faster than crutches, and you can carry more. They really help to get you out of the house and help the sanity.

Okay, I rambled a lot, but I hope I was helpful.

Talk to you later!

Liz

 
Old 12-19-2012, 05:30 AM   #5
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Re: Broken Heel

Some breaks are better then others. Did you damage the subtalar joint? That can be issue. Either way this is a life changing injury.

8 hours on your feet is going to be hard the 8-12 months, maybe forever. Though if you can sit at times, it helps alot. I make a point to sit whenever I can, wether I need to or not. It is to late when you are sore. Conserve yourself, for work.

Also look for ways you can sit or make things easier. Comfortable shoes and thick socks help alot.

All you can do is hope for the best. Thinking about carears with less standing is not a bad idea.

I do some hiking, hour or so. Walking on dirt is alot easier then concrete. You may have to spend some pain currency, to get what you want.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:40 AM   #6
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Re: Broken Heel

Wow Liz, that sounds difficult. I guess I really need to start accepting that this is a life changing injury. It sounds like you had an amazing career, and I sincerely hope you can return to it soon. I will certainly ask the University about the potential of doing online courses. From a brief search online I couldn't find anywhere to purchase or rent a knee scooter but I'll ask at the hospital on Friday. Anything to make myself more mobile would be awesome.

Zerk, the doctor mentioned nothing about joint damage, only that my heel had broken and that it was an "ideal" break. We did view my X-Rays and CT Scan together, so I imagine he would have noticed joint damage in those images? I could be wrong. I don't know how it is in the USA but here in Canada you barely see the doctor. I'd say I spent no more than 10 minutes with him, honestly it was probably 5 minutes. Hopefully he will tell me more on Friday. I'll certainly invest in better shoes and comfy socks. Are you recommending thick socks or the compression socks? I am certainly trying to be as optimistic as possible.

 
Old 12-19-2012, 11:01 AM   #7
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Re: Broken Heel

One thing I've found with this injury that a large substantial portion of it is a mental game as well. My career has been tremendous, and I'm not ready for it to end, so I'm just taking this as a sabbatical and planning on getting back into the game as soon as I can.

Even with a short amount of time spent with your doctor, he should have noticed if their was damage to the joint. My doctor could see the damage in mine, but didn't realize how extensive it was until he opened up my foot. It ended up being one of the most complicated surgeries of his career. From the sounds of it, you only broke your heel in one place, maybe two, if it's "ideal". So hopefully that is in your favor, that the joint was unharmed. the famous online marketplace has some knee scooters, as does the online auction website, so you can always look there. You might end up having to purchase it though. But if you are good about reselling things after you use them, then that isn't too bad. I'm terrible about that, so I just rented and it cost quite a bit.

I wear compression socks occasionally, but find the most comfort in hiking socks. During my PT, I wear regular cotton socks, and they are okay, but not great. I wear my hiking boots almost all the time as well.

Good luck, talk to you soon
liz

Last edited by AdkLizard46; 12-19-2012 at 11:18 AM. Reason: can't mention helpful things like where to buy stuff

 
Old 12-20-2012, 05:55 AM   #8
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Re: Broken Heel

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdkLizard46 View Post
I wear compression socks occasionally, but find the most comfort in hiking socks. During my PT, I wear regular cotton socks, and they are okay, but not great. I wear my hiking boots almost all the time as well.

Good luck, talk to you soon
liz
You have to wear something over the compression sock. The compression sock has no paddinging. I wear wool light hiking socks in the summer, heavy in the winter. No they are no itchy. Modern merino wool is very nice. I also get new socks every year. They don't have holes, but I think the padding goes away.

I look for 2nds or sales.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:06 AM   #9
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Re: Broken Heel

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Originally Posted by 0uch View Post
Zerk, the doctor mentioned nothing about joint damage, only that my heel had broken and that it was an "ideal" break.

I don't know how it is in the USA but here in Canada you barely see the doctor. I'd say I spent no more than 10 minutes with him, honestly it was probably 5 minutes.

Hopefully he will tell me more on Friday. I'll certainly invest in better shoes and comfy socks. Are you recommending thick socks or the compression socks? I am certainly trying to be as optimistic as possible.
Maybe you lucked out, as best you can, and the subtalar joint is ok. I also shattered my talus, which is the bone above the heel. Ask him about the joint. I wrote down my questions and brought them in.

I went to the doc weekly at first, then 3 weeks apart, 9th week, then weaight bearing at 12th week. Then 3-4 weeks apart for another few months.



For me I was wearing good tennis shoes for a year. Then as my leg got stronger I went to taller lace up boots. At first it seemed my ankle wasn't strong enough. But once it got strong enough, I found lace up boots gave me the best support and helped alot when on uneven surfaces.

I also wear slip on shoes around the house. I like Merril Olmecs. Something with some cushion and arch support.

4-5 months from the accident I got an orthotic. You can get them adjusted, sorta gridned. I get new ones every year. Wear them for short times at first. They glued a cusion under the heel of mine. Seemed my 2nd and 3rd orthotics got better. Maybe they were able to adjust them due to the wear marks. Dunno.

My insurance gets me one for personnel shoes and one for work boots.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:49 AM   #10
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Re: Broken Heel

Hey guys! I'm home from today's doctor's appt. Looks pretty good. He switched me to an air cast so I can clean my foot finally! LOL. He said I can probably go weight bearing in 4 weeks and I can start PT now. It all seems decent considering I'm 4 weeks in. I won't lie I was super stoked to get an air cast so I can clean and do PT. I'm hoping PT won't be terrible since it's only been a month,but I have no idea yet. Oh and Zerk, talus and sub joint are okay. Thanks for the support I have gotten on here, I'll be sure to continue posting updates. I bought a tablet today to make Internet surfing easier.

Last edited by 0uch; 12-21-2012 at 09:51 AM. Reason: Autocorrect

 
Old 01-02-2013, 11:50 AM   #11
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Re: Broken Heel

I couldn't believe what I was reading as I read your post! I did the exact same thing (jumped downstairs when I started to fall)!! I thought for sure I was the only one to be so graceful! lol!!

I was also lucky enough to only fracture my heel in 2 places, so no surgery. However, I have heard pretty good news about heels healing fast. I am concerned because when I put a little pressure on the ball of my foot, I feel a tingling sensation.

They didn't do x-rays of my entire foot, only my heel, so I'm worried there may be more going on than originally thought. I do not have a cast, but have a "walking cast", or a big mechanical boot looking thing that I can take off.

Are you having any tingling in your foot? Hope you get back on your feet soon!

 
Old 01-02-2013, 12:34 PM   #12
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Re: Broken Heel

Hey! Yeah, stairs can be tricky, lol. I didn't need surgery either but I was in a fiberglass cast for 4 weeks, switched to an air cast 2 weeks ago. I'm pretty sure a walking cast is the same thing. I certainly felt all sorts of tingling, although not anymore. I was concerned as well but I did some reading online and I think I just had the air cast too tight. Loosen it a bit if you think it's restricting blood flow. Although I did have some tingling in the fiberglass cast as well, and you can't adjust that. From my experience a bit of tingling is normal.

I wish you a speedy recovery! However, I've heard a full recovery takes a while. I'm 6 weeks in now, hoping I can start putting weight on it in 2 more weeks! Be sure to repost updates when you can, I'm always interested in someone else's recovery!

Last edited by 0uch; 01-02-2013 at 01:46 PM.

 
Old 01-21-2013, 08:46 PM   #13
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Re: Broken Heel

Hey all. I recently had another doctor's appointment so I decided to post an update on my current status. I'm nine weeks in and was finally given the go ahead to drive. I'm PWB now. It felt awesome to be able to leave the house without getting a ride. It feels like the journey to this part has been long but I know I have a while to go yet. I'll continue posting updates as they come! Looking forward to getting out of these crutches!

 
Old 01-22-2013, 01:26 PM   #14
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Re: Broken Heel

For awhile I had to put tennis shoes on while driving. Muscles were not strong enough for a boot. Once I got stronger, this was not an issue. Took about 1.5 years. Now I find I am better off with a boot on for support, and rarely leave the house witout a 8" lace up boot.
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