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  • Army Special Forces Officer - Lisfranc club

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    Old 06-22-2004, 08:36 AM   #1
    matterhorn762
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    Army Special Forces Officer - Lisfranc club

    Hi all. Looks like I'm joining your elite club here. I suffered a Lisfranc injury on May 29th as a result of a bad landing on an airborne jump. I'm an officer with 4 years experience in the Marine Corps and currently going through Army Special Forces training. On June 10th I had my first foot surgery and had 2 screws and 4 pins put in my right foot. I didn't think the injury was THIS bad, as I still walked away from my jump carrying over 100 pounds of gear and didn't see a doctor for several hours.

    Although my profession is a bit different, I have the same questions and concerns as all the rest of you here. I have only one plan, and that is to return to my regular military duties as soon as I'm healed and to be 100%. I need to return to my training course, which is one of the toughest in the U.S. military... I had hoped to return to the one starting in mid-November (5 months post-op) but I'm seeing now that may not be realistic. The next course is late February (8 months post-op) and that may be more realistic. After my Special Forces schools I still have to go to Ranger school, which does not allow for real boot inserts to be worn, and that is a concern for me.

    I've gone through this before, with a right ACL surgery when I was still in the Marine Corps. I was told 9 months recovery time and within 4 months I was running 20 miles a week. I have not had any complications since then (4 years ago). So I know I recover fast, I'm motivated, and my body is in a healthy shape.

    I will keep you all updated here on my progress. For now, I have a few questions:

    1) What's the fastest an athlete has come to a full recovery? For me a full recovery is the equivalent of being able to move 20 miles through the woods at night with an 80 pound pack. Day after day.

    2) My doctor doesn't insist on removing the screws, but based on my research it's a good idea. Since time is key to me, how soon is it safe to remove them? This is pivotal for my recovery schedule.

    3) Anybody else with a similar experience or insight... please comment.

    Thanks.

    Last edited by matterhorn762; 06-22-2004 at 09:23 AM.

     
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    Old 06-22-2004, 09:48 AM   #2
    Mpls21
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    Re: Army Special Forces Officer - Lisfranc club

    Yeeeowch!! That looks painful!

    I don't know anything about a Lisfranc injury, but thought I'd chime in anyway. I think that given your history of rapid healing, and the fact that you must be in fantastic shape to be doing SF training will probably increase your chances of getting better more quickly. If I can offer a teensy bit of advice it would be this... Don't rush it! I know you are anxious to get back to your training, but feet are far more complex than knees, the knee is one joint, your feet have lots and lots of joints.

    From what I am learning, rushing foot injuries can lead to some really bad consequenses.

    Good luck with it and let me just say that if for me to be fully recovered from my upcoming ankle surgery meant I had to be able "to move 20 miles through the woods carrying an 80 pound pack" ..... Yikes, I'd never be "fully" recovered!!

    I know what you mean though, when I was playing hockey in college, fully recovered meant being back at practice and kicking butt on the ice.

    Good luck, and thanks for serving.

    Mary
    Mpls21

    Last edited by Mpls21; 06-22-2004 at 09:51 AM.

     
    Old 06-24-2004, 10:02 PM   #3
    katkuntz
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    Re: Army Special Forces Officer - Lisfranc club

    1) What's the fastest an athlete has come to a full recovery? For me a full recovery is the equivalent of being able to move 20 miles through the woods at night with an 80 pound pack. Day after day.

    2) My doctor doesn't insist on removing the screws, but based on my research it's a good idea. Since time is key to me, how soon is it safe to remove them? This is pivotal for my recovery schedule.

    3) Anybody else with a similar experience or insight... please comment.

    Thanks


    Hi Matterhorn-

    What you may find online regarding Lisfranc injuries can be very disheartening, so I would take the good and assume that the bad won't apply to you. (That's my mindset anyway)

    Here's my background.. I got my dislocation in a car accident in early Feb. I walked around on it for 3 weeks before an MRI provided a conclusive diagnosis. Granted, that was 3 weeks of constant pain..but hey..I've got 2 small kids to care for, and I've always been a pretty tough chick anyway.

    After my surgery, my doc put me in a wheelchair, because if I should stumble on crutches and catch myself on the bad foot..ouch.. well he said it could undo the work he did. (I had 5 screws and a plate)

    I spent 6 weeks in a wheelchair, 1 month in a special boot with increased weight bearing..a couple of weeks in regular shoes..and then the hardware removal. That surgery was 3 weeks ago, and I'm back in sneakers..trying to rebuild the muscle in the foot and ankle.

    As for your questions- I am a martial artist..so I can relate some to your questions regarding athletics.. however my requirement are not nearly as extreme as yours. It will depend on your particular injury. As for me 3 months out.. I still walk with a slight limp..running isn't yet an option..but I hope it will be within a month or so. (The surgeon advised to take it slow for another month) He also warned me that I the achiness I feel at the end of the day could just be how it's going to be from now on. But my dislocation might have been worse than yours is. My foot is still mishapen, and looks a bit like a meatloaf.

    My hardware was removed at 3 months. 3-6 months is generally the right timeframe. I HIGHLY recommend having the hardware removed..otherwise you will have limited foot mobility..which will slow you down, and increasing your chances of injury. (Walking with my hardware in felt a bit like walking with a flipper- the kind you'd used for snorkeling.)

    A few other bits of advice from my experience... Stay as active as possible.. Being in the military, I'm sure you have access to weight rooms and such.. take advantage of this and work out as much of your body as you can. I stayed active in my matiral arts class even while casted. I actually wrestled my instructor with my cast on! (Even with all that, I gained 40 lbs which I'm not working to get back off.)

    Take calcium and vitamin C! It made a big difference in my healing!

    If you are taking pain meds, get yourself some metamucil.. 'nuff said.

    FOLLOW THE DOC"S ORDERS! Don't try to bear weight on the foot any sooner than you're told to...you could really set yourself back!!

    Best wishes to you..I'd love to keep in touch and hear how you're doing. I am working toward nursing school in the fall with 12 hours on my feet a day. A couple of months ago, I wasn't at all sure I'd make it..but now I totally believe I will. Keep a positive attitude!!
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    Old 06-24-2004, 10:05 PM   #4
    katkuntz
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    Re: Army Special Forces Officer - Lisfranc club

    Ohhh yeah.. one other issue you mentioned...

    Regarding shoe inserts... I haven't needed them. I bought myself a pair of high quality sneakers with excellent arch support (you;ll need it), and those work just fine for me.

    I don't know about the boots you'll be wearing..but if they are similar to the kind my hubby had when he was in the AF, they have pretty good arch support..so those might work just fine for you.
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    Old 06-25-2004, 07:11 AM   #5
    matterhorn762
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    Re: Army Special Forces Officer - Lisfranc club

    Thanks for the reply. It's nice to hear from somebody else going through the same thing...

    I'm 2 weeks after my initial surgery, and my toes still turn red/purple whenever I stand up even to go to the bathroom. When I'm laying down in bed (which is pretty much the rest of the time) they regain their normal color. Is this the same experience you had?

    My injury was pretty severe. It was diagnosed a lisfranc injury on my first visit. I tried to post a picture of my foot after the accident but for some reason I'm not allowed to put a link on this web site. I had two screws and 4 pins put in. How much metal did you have in your foot?

    What kind of doctor did you see or had you been seeing?

     
    Old 06-25-2004, 05:56 PM   #6
    katkuntz
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    Re: Army Special Forces Officer - Lisfranc club

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by matterhorn762
    Thanks for the reply. It's nice to hear from somebody else going through the same thing...

    I'm 2 weeks after my initial surgery, and my toes still turn red/purple whenever I stand up even to go to the bathroom. When I'm laying down in bed (which is pretty much the rest of the time) they regain their normal color. Is this the same experience you had?

    My injury was pretty severe. It was diagnosed a lisfranc injury on my first visit. I tried to post a picture of my foot after the accident but for some reason I'm not allowed to put a link on this web site. I had two screws and 4 pins put in. How much metal did you have in your foot?

    What kind of doctor did you see or had you been seeing?
    The red/purple coloration when standing is normal..it'll be like that for a couple of months.

    I had a pretty severe dislocation too..all 5 metatarsals, plus the first 2 cubiod bones..so 7 dislocated bones. I have 5 screws and a plate..no pins. I still have a fairly promonent gap between the first and second metatrasals..but that's just as good as it's gonna get.

    I saw an orthopedic surgeon who specialized in the foot and ankle.
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    Old 06-26-2004, 10:29 PM   #7
    FearNoFish
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    Thumbs up Re: Army Special Forces Officer - Lisfranc club

    Hey all, how goes it? Was looking for a board like this out of curiosity because of the constant pain I still have almost 7 months since fall (ladder) December of 2003. I had surgery a month after accident with 2 screws installed. Docs initial plan was to leave the screws in but after about 8 weeks it felt like one of the screws had loosened and I could feel it dig into the inside of my foot with every step I took. X-ray confirmed a space between the head of the screw and washer that was installed with 1 screw. The sugery for the hardware removal was more painful post op than the actual fracture and put me back on crutches non weight bearing for 4 days. Follow-up visit was 2 weeks for stitch removal and foot was still pretty swollen and I had to use a cane to get around for about that 2 week period. Follow up a month later and doc said the bone looked like it had moderate arthritis. I am military also and am still on profile for no physical activity through the end of September and it looks like that will be extended. I am grateful for the work the docs did and I am at least walking again. Pain, although bearable is there 24/7 and ranges from pins and needles to sharp jolts and the metatarsal joint is still swollen. Loose fitting shoes are a must, I can no longer put on my slip-on boots I used to wear when doing work around the house and may end up having to wear 2 different size shoes because of the discomfort. Combat boots must be left extremely loose with no prolonged standing/walking. Don't mean to sound like the bearer of bad news to matterhorn, I hope you fare better......

    Last edited by FearNoFish; 06-26-2004 at 10:31 PM.

     
    Old 08-27-2004, 02:37 PM   #8
    soccermam
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    Re: Army Special Forces Officer - Lisfranc club

    I'd be real interested in hearing what's working and what's not working. I just posted an inquiry about rehab for LF. Suggestions about nutrition and reducing pain most welcome!!
    I did a number on my foot the last day of April and ditched the crutches August 1. Still a ways to go though.

     
    Old 08-30-2004, 08:18 PM   #9
    matterhorn762
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    Re: Army Special Forces Officer - Lisfranc club

    GENERAL UPDATE:

    I had my pins removed today, August 30th. I spent over 11 weeks in a cast!

    That leaves two screws in my right foot with an undetermined time period for removal. The course I injured my foot in (a very physical course) restarts in November and the next one is in February '05. I've given up much hope on being ready to start by November, which is 10 weeks from now.

    I am just not starting to weight bare. I have no idea what to expect.

     
    Old 10-15-2004, 08:25 PM   #10
    splash
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    Re: Army Special Forces Officer - Lisfranc club

    Not to be a bummer, but I'm your worst case scenario. Lisfranc fracture Sept 1998. Surgery Oct, pins and screws out 4 months later. I also got Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy from the injury so I needed a continuous 5 day epidural when having the hardware removed. RSD symptoms were pins and needles, burning sensation, hypersensitivity on the top of the foot where anything touched it hurt, swelling and major color changes like dark red and purple, and it was warmer than the other. Got treated for the RSD with nerve blocks and rhizotomy. I was nonweight bearing for 6 months following the fracture. PT afterwards. Constant pain for years. Yes YEARS. I did wear different sized shoes, and only Rockport then running sneakers. I had a "rocker bottom" steel plate put in my bad shoe which puts less stress on the foot. It really helped--get a name from your surgeon. I now wear some better looking shoes with no rocker but an arch insert. No heels.

    6 years later I still use a cane, although I don't always need it. I limp a lot, but find that regular exercise like walking and running loosens up the arthritis. Cold weather bothers me. I am now dealing with some back pain and wondering if it is because of the limping. Try to watch that. I think my RSD has been a significant contributor to the problem, and not just the Lisfranc. Check out that condition if you have some of the symptoms. It is difficult to cure if not acted upon right away.

    Again, I am the worst case scenario. Life is different. I can't stand for long periods of time and have to limit my activities each day. Advil is my best friend. They say this is the worst fracture you can get, so expect things to be a little different. I wish everyone luck with recovery. I am confident it will be much better than mine, and don't mean to be a bummer, but figured you'd all want everyone's experiences.

     
    Old 10-15-2004, 11:21 PM   #11
    matterhorn762
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    Re: Army Special Forces Officer - Lisfranc club

    Well, it's been 4.5 months since the original injury, and 5.5 weeks since I got my pins taken out and lost the cast. I can walk now with no problem and no limp. At the gym I'm biking around 20 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of stair stepper or eliptical glider, and do the treadmill for 20 minutes at 3.5 to 4.0 miles per hour. I try to do this at least 4 times a week. I can also squat sets of over 150 pounds no problem and have been doing a lot of weight exercises; up to 160 pounds of leg press on EACH leg separately, etc. etc.

    I still have some pain once in a while, but it's getting better. Every once in a while I'll step the wrong way and will feel it for a long time. My lisfranc foot circumferance is also still 1cm larger than my good foot, and I would say its strength is probably only about two thirds of my good foot.

    I see podiatry next week for a follow up. I'm going to see if running again is in my short term future.

    Last edited by matterhorn762; 10-15-2004 at 11:23 PM.

     
    Old 12-02-2004, 02:51 PM   #12
    matterhorn762
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    Re: Army Special Forces Officer - Lisfranc club

    GENERAL UPDATE:

    It's been 6 months since my injury (surgery was 10 days later). I'm not too pleased with my rate of recovery, although my doctor says that it will take up to a year to recover as fully as possible. I was in a cast initially for 12 weeks, so I've been out of it for 3 months. I've been jogging, not too fast, but up to 2 miles at a time. If I do it too often, I'll feel some pain in my foot and have to take a week or two off. I've also gone hiking off trail (with lots of rocks and tree roots) twice at a distance of 6 miles, with lots of elevation changes. That was in running shoes and not a problem. Over Thanksgiving I went home to see my parents and we would take walks together 2-3 hours at a time for 3 days in a row, and this really led to some serious fatigue in my foot. It's very frustrating.

    The fatigue I feel is mostly in my lower foot, near the toes. I guess this is because that area is not used to the kind of new tension that it's under and I hope this will fix itself over time. My foot is also pretty useless for the first minute or two when I get out of bed in the morning, but that improves quickly once I start walking.

    I also tried returning to Martial Arts, and that was a definite no. Just being on a floor mat barefoot for an hour was enough to make my foot feel weak. So I'm putting that off for a while.

    So in short, things are improving, but I feel that at the 6 month mark that I should be further along. I haven't even tried 10% of the difficulty of the type of activities that I need to return to.

     
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