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Old 07-11-2013, 11:56 AM   #1
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Calcaneus fracture Please help

Alright here is the short of what happened, I fell off a roof/ladder and fractured my Calcaneus into several pieces also breaking my Tibia. One week later I was the proud owner of a plate with 4 or 5 screws in my heel and 2 more in my Tibia. After 6 weeks from the fall (5 weeks post surgery) the cast has come off and into the boot. Still on crutches put was told I could start transitioning to a cane. PT starts in 4 days, twice a week for the next 6 weeks to start. I am a career Firefighter, I love the outdoors, love mud runs, and just being active. I guess my Question is will I ever be able to do the things I love to do again? I know this is a life changing injury but what should I expect to regain? I have read everything from people using a cane the rest of their lives to people running a 5k a year after surgery. I know it is a uphill battle and takes time. Any help, information, or advise would be great. Please give me something positive because this is my therapy right now.

 
Old 07-15-2013, 08:51 AM   #2
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Re: Calcaneus fracture Please help

I don't think you will have to use a cane, but there are not to many people running marathons.

I do everything I want to do, but not all day, except my job. I work on concrete and gravel, but I can sit, and my job involves lots of driving, so I am off it then too.

Extension ladders are harder, due to the small rungs, compared to a normal ladder. Ladders in general are not great.

Thick socks, replaced every year, and good boots, will do alot. I wear wool hiking socks, light in the summer. I buy new work ones every year, and use the old ones after work.

Keep your weigh down. Do the PT like it is your job. Do it at home, not just the office visit.

It takes 12-18 months to get close to as good as you will get. By 10 months I had a good idea on my ROM. Though I got stronger after that, and things got better. As for your job. I dunno. Responding to a call onyour feet for 2-3 hours, with a low dose pain med, may work. Will you be doing it all day long, I dunno. I usually take an over the coutner anti inflamatory with breakfast, and then a tramadol or a 2nd if it gets bad. Tramadol, isn't very strong. Pretty much the arthitis, I suspect. There are other options for that, and nerve pain too.

There may come a time, where you will want a position that puts you on your feet less. Driving is fine for me. Maybe something that allows you some time to sit here and there. Maybe training or selling products related to fire fighting. Maybe a role where you supervise or private business where you manage more.

If it goes bad early, I would try to do couple years to know for your. Taking some time off to get stronger, if you can afford it, is probably a good idea.

I think you may be able to do it, you may have to take some pain meds on active days. Maybe think about otehr roles as you get older. A fire hall, that is not as busy, may be better. How much you on your feet at one time, is a big part of it. If you can respond, and be taking a breaking in 1-3 hours, you may be ok. Standing seems worse then walking to me. But rushing and fast movements seem harder too.

This does vary alot per person.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:53 AM   #3
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Re: Calcaneus fracture Please help

Try lots of different boots. The first year is tough for trying on boots, cause your foot is swollen and feels weird. But you need something. Custom orthotics help too. You can get them adjusted too. After my 1st pair, they have been better. Maybe they looked at the wear marks or grinds from last pair.

Start slow wearing the orthotics.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:02 AM   #4
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Re: Calcaneus fracture Please help

Hi there,
I shattered my calc on July 30, 2012, so just about a year ago. I didn't start walking again until November, and was with a cane until about January.

I am an avid outdoorsperson, and being outdoors is my career. I started hiking again in April, and it's been going very well. I just recently did a 11 mile (8.5 hour) hike up the highest peak in New Mexico. I was sore the next day and a few after, but it wasn't anything unusual. I can usually hike about 8 before it starts to get very sore. I invested in good hiking boots. I still limp a little at the very beginning of the day right when I get out of bed, and a little at the end of the day after being on it, but I haven't taken anything more than ibuprofen since October. I can still wear flip flops or Crocs, and have even been able to wear my vibram bare foot shoes out and about without serious consequences. I pay a little in soreness, but as much of a life changing event as it is, it's not changing my life any more. Maybe I'm too stubborn to change and I'll pay for it years later, but that's years from not. That's just my opinion on the matter. I'm really happy with my progress as of late.

If I can answer anything else, don't hesitate to ask!

Liz

 
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:41 PM   #5
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Re: Calcaneus fracture Please help

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Originally Posted by AdkLizard46 View Post
I invested in good hiking boots.Liz
So what kind of boots did you get? I try lots of different ones, and like sport tactical, and just plain work boots.

What height? I started out low top, but as I got stronger, I went to 8" almost anytime I am not in the house.

I resisted pain meds for 18 months. For me once I started taking them, I got alot more active. As far as being stuborn, I spent two weeks in a coma, my foot was the last thing on their mind.

The extent of this injury varies alot. A big factor I think is if the subtalar joint was wrecked. They wanted to fuse me, but I was to swollen, maybe that would have made a difference. But I think it has added ROM for when I am in the woods.
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Last edited by Zerk; 07-16-2013 at 12:47 PM.

 
Old 07-16-2013, 06:05 PM   #6
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Re: Calcaneus fracture Please help

For hiking I got a pair of Saloman 4D Gtx boots, I'm not sure how high they are, but they work for when I do longer hikes. When I'm at work I have a pair of low Merrell Calia hiking shoes. At home, I wear just about anything, crocs, flip flops, etc.

Yeah, I can understand how your foot wasn't the first priority. I can't really imagine doing much more, so that's why I don't take pain meds. I did have a fusion, and I can tell where my ROM is limited, but at the time of my surgery, I didn't really have a choice. My arthirits would be a lot worse if I didn't fuse. I deal with it. My STJ was pretty crushed as well, so I think that is why they fused it.

 
Old 07-16-2013, 07:00 PM   #7
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Re: Calcaneus fracture Please help

If I worked in an office, I wouldn't be taking pain meds as much. For awhile I just lived with the pain, wore it like a badge, to show tough I am. But I also find it is nice not to be in pain.

Maybe I will try a long hike. Before the accident, I was getting into some short hikes at Jasper and Glacier. I suspect if I really wanted to I could, but pay for it. I do a couple hours in the wood hunting or cutting firewood, and I am good to go the next day.

One problem is doing it day after day, such as when I was working on ladders alot at home, after work. it is hard at times to tell yourself, not to keep working.


Like I said it is pretty rare I wear anything less then 8" outside the house. Though at first 6" hurt cause my foot was to weak. Around 16 months, it was fine. Before that I had to take my work boots off when driving.
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:05 AM   #8
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Re: Calcaneus fracture Please help

Yeah, I don't work in an office, at least not all day. Most of my day is spent walking on trails with kids, or sitting on the floor, or standing on hard floors while they are making crafts or something. During my 8 hour day, I'm up probably 7 of them. It is what I have chosen to do. In the field I've chosen, it's really difficult to "find an office position" and "switching careers" is not something I want to do, at least not right now.

Do I pay for that? Sure. I'm still a little sore from my 11 mile hike on Saturday. But I still went walking around a folk market for 3 hours on Sunday, and then went to work on Monday. I'll slow down if I need to, I'll often take one weekend day to just lay on the couch watching dvd's all day. But I'll take limping and soreness and drug free any day.

I'm still only at a little less than 12 months (accident was 7/30 of last year), so I know I still have improvement and time to go before I see where I'll be. My thoughts are, if I can do this now with only minimal soreness, at 18 months, it will be better. If I baby it now, I'm just prolonging it. Maybe that's backwards thinking.

 
Old 07-17-2013, 10:33 AM   #9
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Re: Calcaneus fracture Please help

I didn't take pain meds for 18 months. Then someone who had the injury years before me said, you wear glasses to read don't ya. The reason I went down this discussion, is because of your comment, about how you are just stuborn. I have told people you have to suck it up, and there is pain. But this injury does vary from person to person. I do pretty good on earth. But my job is on concrete, which surprised me how much worse it is.

I take a tramadol, low grade arthitis med, they give old people. I am ok with that. I work a job that requires focus, and can go 8-16 hours, and back at it the next day. But I enjoy what I do.

I will say you are doing pretty good for only one year. Maybe I would have been better off being fused. At 3 months they told me to start walking and see how it goes. I could have gotten in fused, but it hard to judge how much pain is to much.

There is another guy here who returned to being a plant electrician. Impresses me. I work with those guys, but more of technical capacity and can sit more often.
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