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  • Broken Ankle (lower fibia)

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    Old 07-04-2008, 02:58 AM   #1
    horizons
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    Unhappy Broken Ankle (lower fibia)

    Last Memorial Day I slipped and fell at home. After recovering from my slip/fall, I realized my ankle hurt really bad and I couldn't get up on that leg. I drug myself up on the couch and stayed there for a little while. When I had to get up a few hours later, the pain had subsided enough that I could walk with the assitance of crutches. The next day, the pain wasn't any better, so I went to the ER. They did x-rays and told me I had broken my ankle. They put me in a splint and referred me to an OS.

    When I went to the OS 2-3 days later I was told I did not need surgery and would be put in a non-walking cast. I was told I would have to wear the cast for 5 weeks. Yesterday was the 5 week mark. The OS looked at the x-rays taken through the cast, asked me how long it had been on for, and said it could come off. I was taken in another room to have the cast taken off. The tech (who whoever it was) put me in a walking boot (which was very awkward to use). I had some questions for the doctor about what kind of things I could do in the boot, so we were taken back to the room.

    The doctor came back in and before I could ask my questions, he turned to the tech and said he did not want me in a boot, he wanted me in an Air Cast. After it was applied, I asked the OS what sort of things I could do (ie walking dogs, going up stairs, ect.) and he told me I could do whatever I felt comfortable doing. We left, with me in a wheelchair since I didn't bring my other shoe with me and I didn't want to walk in a public place barefoot.

    When I did try to walk, I found that I couldn't put any weight on my leg with the fracture because it was so painful. Its improved a little today, but it still hurts and I can only put very little weight on the leg. However, I'm feeling pain in the heel of my foot, not my ankle where the fracture is/was. I'm still having to walk with the assistance of crutches. Thinking my shoe would give me some more stability in addition to the Air Brace, I went to put it on, only to find out that the shoe will not go over the brace like the OS said it would. They are Rebok ankle-high tennis shoes, it that helps any.

    So, given all this, I have a few questions:

    1. Should my ankle be this painful? I'm a little worried since the OS said "do whatever you want" yet I can't even really walk.

    2. Is anyone familiar with an Air Brace? We're supposed to be going on vacation the 16th of this month, and I'm in a real predicament since the brace doesn't fit in my shoe. Anyone have to wear one of these? What shoe did you use while wearing it?

     
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    Old 07-04-2008, 07:23 AM   #2
    janewhite1
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    Re: Broken Ankle (lower fibia)

    Your heel hurts? Could be stiff achilles or plantar fascia. Take a towel, put it around your foot, pull your toes toward you for a few seconds. Repeat 20 times, do this at least 3 times a day, and definitely before you try walking.

    It is perfectly normal that you cannot walk after suffering a broken ankle and being in a cast for 5 weeks. Are you partial weight bearing with the crutches? Putting your foot on the ground when you walk and leaning on it a little bit? Lean as much as is comfortable, it's going to hurt a bit, but avoid hurting more than a bit. Gradually increase the amount of weight you put on it and the amount of walking you do. Trying to walk again is exercise, and be sure to ice and elevate after every exercise session. Then, some weeks from now, you'll be walking comfortably without aid.

    Are you going to get physical therapy? It's very helpful.

    Air cast fits well with regular sneakers. High tops maybe not. Go to a shoe store, see what works for you.

    If you think that the amount of pain you are suffering is abnormal, by all means, complain to your doctor. You are still healing, if something goes wrong, you want it identified ASAP.

    Last edited by janewhite1; 07-04-2008 at 07:24 AM.

     
    Old 07-06-2008, 02:22 AM   #3
    horizons
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    Re: Broken Ankle (lower fibia)

    Yes, I am able to put some weight on the leg. It doesn't feel so bad just standing, its the walking when my heel hurts the most. Other than my heel hurting, I'm in almost no pain. Thanks for telling me about the stretches, I have looked up some other ones over the internet too. They help a little, but they don't eliminite the heel pain. The heel seems to be most painful in the morning when I first get up and defniitely hurts more when I walk over tile vs. carpet. Of course, our entire house with the exception of the bedroom is tile. I still need to walk with the assistance of two crutches as the heel pain is still bad enought that I can't put enough weight on my leg to go and walk without them.

    I mentioned if I would have to go to physical therapy to the doctor and he said no. I was pretty surprised, but I'm going to start doing some stuff here.....starting with some of those planter stretch exercises and 30 minutes in a foot massager and see if that helps any.

    Last edited by horizons; 07-06-2008 at 01:34 PM.

     
    Old 07-06-2008, 09:04 AM   #4
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    Re: Broken Ankle (lower fibia)

    I'm glad you are progressing. Do mention the heel pain to the doctor when you next see him, if it continues, although it might go away with continued stretching and a little time.

     
    Old 08-06-2008, 08:51 AM   #5
    BeckR
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    Re: Broken Ankle (lower fibia)

    To be perfectly honest, you might be better off wearing just a sock without a shoe for a while. It will allow you to walk more naturally, and will allow you to have natural foot movement which will aid in your healing.

    When I broke my foot, I had a fiberglass cast. I hated the walking shoe thing, and hardly wore it. When I walked, my toes and front of the foot that was out of the cast would actually do the walking on the ground. (I only have two toes on that foot, so it is a slightly different situation). When the cast came off, I spent three weeks wearing only a sock or stocking and aircast until the shoe felt comfortable again. There is really no problem walking shoeless in public, except that your foot gets really dirty and you need to wash it often. Make sure you get a thick white tube sock to wear, it keeps the dirt down.

    Alternately, you can get an open toed "post op" shoe that allows for rigid movement of the foot, and the shoe velcros close, so you can adjust for swelling, the size of the cast, or other considerations.

    Becky

     
    Old 08-06-2008, 11:14 PM   #6
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    Re: Broken Ankle (lower fibia)

    When I broke my ankle I had a walking boot for 6 weeks then switched to the air cast. When my foot first came out of the boot my arch was sorer than my ankle and my ankle and foot and toes were super weak. I could hardly believe how 6 weeks of immobility did this.

    My doctor also said that I'd be able to walk fine after a few days but that wasn't the case. I begged for a PT order which I got and have been going for the past 3 months while using the air cast. The PT and the air cast helped me alot. The air cast over stretched my running shoes because of the plastic siding so just be aware that if you do wear a shoe especially daily the shoe will get sort of ruined.

    Gradually I started walking around without the aircast when in my house. This week is my last PT app't and I'm walking with out the air cast just a regular pull on ankle support.

    Maybe it depends on your age or degree of injury but there's no way I would have made progress without PT. I think some orthopedic surgeons just don't believe in PT. I'd call and ask for an order.

    Last edited by taape; 08-06-2008 at 11:15 PM.

     
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