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Broken Fibula and Air Boot

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Old 12-04-2010, 08:35 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: michigan
Posts: 1
Wiltedaisie HB User
Broken Fibula and Air Boot

I broke my fibula 5 days ago - ER put a splint on the leg/foot.

2 days later a follow up with the DR - removed splint, sent me home with air walking boot.

Instructions - keep boot on while moving about, no weight on foot for 3 weeks, after 3 weeks apply a little weight but not much. Keep boot on while sleeping for the first 3 weeks. Allowed to remove boot while in sitting position.

The idea of the boot is lovely, HOWEVER

When I put the boot on I have extra swelling and the pain becomes immense. I feel like the ankle/swollen area is being rubbed against the boot. When I left the DRs she said she would not put any air in the boot because of the swelling - yesterday I tried to put air in the boot to see if a tighter fit would help, it was okay for about 5 minutes and then the throbbing was too much.

I've removed the boot and now just have an Ace Bandage on - I called the DR Friday morning (second day with the boot) and left a message with the nurse station to complain about the feel of the boot and what I should do - no one has returned the call. Now it's the weekend and I have at least 2 more nights to get through.

I'm afraid that if I leave my foot out of the boot I am going to mess up my healing process but the boot at this point is not an option.

Should I be in a cast? Or am I not using this air walking boot correctly? I am very tempted to make a trip back to the ER just to get the damn thing splinted again.

Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you.

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Old 08-27-2011, 09:00 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: London Ontario Canada
Posts: 1
MmeF HB User
Question Re: Broken Fibula and Air Boot

I have a similar issue. I broke my Fibula, but didn't know it. I thought that it was a severe sprain and since I was on holidays did not want to waste my time overseas to have a doctor tell me to ice and rest it.
When I got home - 3 weeks later - I knew that I had done something much worse, I went to Emergency and was told that yes, I had walked around Europe on a broken ankle for 3 weeks :O
They said because it had been so long they could not cast it and I had to wear a boot until the appt with the Orthopedic Surgeon (Next week - 9 days after ER).
I feel that I wasn't properly taught how to use the boot. It feels uncomfortable when sitting, and I can't sleep with it on, but I"m scared to take it off since I probably already screwed it up by walking for 3 weeks with nothing on it. The air packets I was told quite firmly to "fill evenly" but what's comfortable on one side is painful on the other or loose on the other.
When I sit my thigh pulsates and hurts, also I have had a very mild fever on and off - is this normal? I read on a couple places that it is, but this site seems to have more real people responding.
I start a new job next Monday, it took me 3 years to get this job, I can't afford to not be able to work it, there's over 100 other applicants so I am expendable. Can anyone even advise how I can at the very least SLEEP with this thing on?? Oh and please don't say to just take pain killers, I am allergic to most and worry that if I just pill it out I could hurt it more.

Old 08-27-2011, 10:48 PM   #3
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Re: Broken Fibula and Air Boot

Did you get a look at the X-ray? Was the bone straight or not? Do you know how severe the fracture is?

Keep it propped up as high as possible at all times. Put it up on a pillow at night. If there is any pain medication at all you can take, take it at night so you can sleep. If not, try an OTC sleep aid such as Benadryl.

Heat and swelling though the leg and slight fever are normal. High fever is not.

If your job is sitting, you should be able to manage ok. (They gave you crutches, right?) Find something to prop your leg on. Getting from desk to bathroom or printer or whatever might be a pain, but see what you can do. Is transportation going to be an issue? If it's your right leg, you can't drive.

Now, you shouldn't take pain pills and then go play soccer or something, but as long as you are wearing the boot and resting as much as possible, don't be afraid to use pain relievers for any remaining discomfort. If you don't have any, demand some. I went through a minor tibial fracture without pain relievers last winter, and honestly, it was both dreadful and unnecessary.

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