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    Old 02-05-2006, 03:35 PM   #1
    CMORE
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    Calcaneous/Heel Fracture Questions.

    Hi, I just recently fractured my heel. It will be two weeks come this Tuesday. I did this in the snowboard park at Breckenridge hitting a huge jump and landing on a terrible 10 degree incline where it should have just been flat! If you clear the jump you actually land on at 45 degree decline but the table-top should have been flat not inclined. I was treated at their Hospital and their doctor said I'll need surgery based off the xrays they took.

    I have a couple questions that I didn't see anyone mention on here. First, how badly discolored/bruised was your foot post injury? I didn't have a compound fracture but I did get a ankle/fracture blister 2 days post injury and popped that. It freaked me out but I was told that it's a fracture blister and don't know what to make of it but am looking these up now. I also had terrible dark vein like bruises going up the side of my outter leg and it didn't look good at all. Also, all my toes have been pretty bruised up and discolored. Is this normal for a Calcaneous/Heel frature??

    When I went and saw a local Othro surgeon he told me my foot might never be the same and that I'll need sugery. He didn't ever really look at my foot -just the X-Rays and his assistants put me in a HUGE/HEAVY plaster leg splint. I had to go back and have them put a different fiber cast on because that other one was hurting my knees and was probably going to do more damage then good. The surgeon then said to keep my foot raised. I meet again with him this Tuesday (2 weeks post injury) to determine my next step. I'm guessing he just could not give me much info previous to getting the Cat Scans I had done this week. So, my next question is how long can one wait to have surgery post injury? According to one site on the internet (emedicine) they it is 10-14 days. What are the critical factors to consider sugery or natural healing? I'm very scared and don't have any medical insurance and am now out of work. I can pay for the surgery but want to be well informed about my options.

    Thanks for any and all info. Chris

    Regards, Chris

    Last edited by CMORE; 02-05-2006 at 03:43 PM.

     
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    Old 02-06-2006, 10:40 PM   #2
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    Re: Calcaneous/Heel Fracture Questions.

    Was 3 weeks before surgery I had to wait for the swelling to come down. A long recovery time with this type of injury, broke both heels 2-11-05. Good Luck

     
    Old 02-07-2006, 12:00 PM   #3
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    Re: Calcaneous/Heel Fracture Questions.

    Well, I'm even more depressed today after seeing the OS. He came in with my cat scans and said I have a terrible (class 4) fracture with multiple pieces. He said he'll need to wait another week to perform surgery and that I'll have a 50% chance of atrhritis and will probably experience pain in my foot when walking. Not a very promising outlook and he even mentioned a possibility of amputation if infection were to get bad. This scares me to no end! I knew it was serious but now I realize just how much this is going to affect my life. He said that he'll install hardware that will stay in my foot to help heal the bones with no plans on removing the hardware. I'm just not getting the re-assurance I was hoping for. I'm going to setup another appointment with another OS to see what they say. I guess I'll try and find more info on people that have had a class 4 (the worst) Calcaneus fractures and what their results were. My outlook on things could not be any worse at this point.

     
    Old 02-07-2006, 03:29 PM   #4
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    Re: Calcaneous/Heel Fracture Questions.

    Well ask any questions you want I'll try to give you an answer if I can I broke the left heel in 25 pcs it was a open fracture and the right if 15 pcs. Have been through 7 procedures on my feet. the last was having the hardware removed from both feet and bone spurs remove. Now the doctors want to fuse the heel to the ankle to try to stop some of the pain....Before you get a second opinion found out how many fractured heel the doctor has fixed.

     
    Old 02-08-2006, 08:20 PM   #5
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    Re: Calcaneous/Heel Fracture Questions.

    BrokeFootJack. Thanks a lot for the replies. I went and saw another doctor that my Surgeon recommended today. He was much more visual in explaining the break that occurred and what happened to the placement of my calcaneous. Although he is a friend of my Surgeon I felt he was sincere and gave me a better idea of the injury and what to expect. My friends' girlfriend also mentioned something about a magnetic therapy that helps fuse the broken bones together but my surgeon will be using hardware. Have you heard of magnetic therapy?

    My doctor said the hardware will probably stay in and the other doctor today mentioned fusing the bone to the ankle as your going to have done down the line. He said you loose some mobility but it should not hinder things too much from what he explained. If you've had 7 procedures done on your feet I sure better look into getting some health insurance soon!

    I'll have to see how the hardware works out for me as the surgery sounds like my best solution if I'm to have a somewhat normal foot again and to help minimize pain and future arthritis. I hope everything has gone well with you and it's nice to see such a great support group on the internet to help me become more informed of my injury and what to expect. I understand that this is a very unique injury and each individual’s outcome can be different. I'm scheduled for my first surgery ever coming next Tuesday and am very nervous but am putting my trust into the experience of this specialized foot doctor to help me become and bipedal once again in the future.

     
    Old 02-10-2006, 03:23 PM   #6
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    Re: Calcaneous/Heel Fracture Questions.

    You are the only person I have talked to that has mentioned magnetic therapy, I'm in other groups also and they have not heard anything about it also...BrokeFoot

     
    Old 02-14-2006, 01:19 AM   #7
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    Re: Calcaneous/Heel Fracture Questions.

    CMORE:

    From what I've read from your posts, you are scheduled for surgery today. Good luck. I wish I got to repond to you sooner to give some support since it looks like we are in the same boat - but 5 months apart.

    BRIEF SYNOPSIS: I shattered my right heel on 9/1/2005 (5 1/2 months ago); 8 foot fall; 2 weeks later (5 months ago), I have a plate and 6 screws after an ORIF; the reduction looked great from CAT SCAN; my ortho guy gave me a somber prognosis despite the successful surgery: "this is a life-changing injury; if you experience too much pain in 6 months, we'll fuse the ST joint"; I was crushed by this. Start healing and see what happens

    I started driving with my left foot a month after surgery; once the soft boot was off on 12/1/05 (2 1/2 months ago), it took a week to transition back to the healing right foot as my left foot really loved driving; I was surprised that I could adjust so well driving with my left foot on 10/1/05; surprised just the same I could quickly adjust to right one 2 months later.

    Here are some insights that I have 5 months after surgery:

    - very few people know of anyone that's had a shattered heel
    - every injury is unique; snowboarder Tanner Hall apparrently fractured both his heels 11 months ago and the won his X-games event last week (I researched the scope of his injuries and looks like it was only his ankle that was surgically treated); Olympic airealist Emily Cooke shattered both her heels 4 years ago - she's competing in the Winter Olympics this week after 4 years of training - very inspiring;
    - the muscle atrophy on right leg was incredible; after 4 weeks of non-weight bearing, calf muscle GONE! I estimate it will take at least 6 more months to get back. My unaffected calf, however, is huger than ever.
    - I started to walk without a limp on 2/1/05 (1/2 month ago); I have to do some PT exercises in the morning to rid of my initial stiffness
    - My shoe size went up a half size
    - I was not comfortable in any new running shoe until 2 weeks ago;
    - After much research, the thought of Hardware Removal seems to be out of the question
    - If I walk with bare feet and walk on a uneven surface (or object) with my right foot -> big problem
    - After 5 months, I don't think I will be ever to run again; Skiing should be no problem; I'm not a snow boarder.

    I can go on and on; hopefully, what I have already related is helpful.

    BTW: I have read virtually everyone's posts on this topic. I want to thank those posters that have hung on to convey their own unique thoughts and outcomes

     
    Old 02-16-2006, 07:15 PM   #8
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    Re: Calcaneous/Heel Fracture Questions.

    It just depends on how bad a fracture on how quick you recover. Fractured both Feb 2005 and still in wheelchair.

     
    Old 02-26-2006, 08:10 PM   #9
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    Re: Calcaneous/Heel Fracture Questions.

    Dude! I give you my full sympathy and empathy. Not to sound like the bringer of doom and gloom, but...I got T-boned on my motorcycle 9/29/04 (a year and a half ago!), and my calcaneous was crushed (along with a very broken tib, and a crushed fib). I immediately had emergency surgery on all 3, bone grafting to make a complete heel, plate for the tib, screws holding the fib remnants in place. 3 months of non-weight-bearing, 6 more months of physical therapy. I have never recovered, at least not yet. I was about to get my blackbelt in kung-fu at the time, so I was in good shape for a 45-year-old. The screws had to get removed from the heel a month and a half ago, due to achilles tendonitis from the head of one of them. I use a cane a lot of the time, to try and unload weight from that side. Can't use an exercise bike more than 45 minutes. Permanent Disability parking pass. My bone doc told my lawyer that there's a good chance of at least 2 or 3 more surgeries as I get older and develop arthritis...Get medical insurance now. Make sure it'll cover this pre-existing condition. And, keep yer chin up. It sucks, but it beats being dead.

     
    Old 02-26-2006, 09:07 PM   #10
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    Re: Calcaneous/Heel Fracture Questions.

    Thank you for your additional comments. I've been reading just about every post I can find on this subject myself! As JK suggested in my other thread I'll be keeping a diary of my progress. I must say I feel I got good treatment and should (fingers crossed) have a successful recovery. After 1 week 3 days post-op I'm starting to have much less pain in my heel. When I went in last Friday (1 week and a day post-op) to see my surgeons assistant they unwrapped my badges and took a look at the incision. She seemed happy with how it looked and I was happy to see the top of my foot looked better (less swelling & discoloration) then it had since the injury occurred.

    I have NO idea how it will feel to walk on my heel with 13 screws in my foot when I start to do some weight bearing but I'm hoping it goes good. It really is amazing to hear people that have had these injuries being able to compete professionally. Since everyone's injury and outcome is unique it's really hard to say just how functional I'll be once my time comes to attempt to walk again. I know I'll never be the same but if I can still do some of my sporting activities after I heal I'll be VERY HAPPY. I'm hoping to be back on my mountain bike this summer and my surgeon seems promising about me being active again. I just need to be very careful and take it easy to insure I heal correctly. I need to apply for a Kaiser Permanentes medical insurance plan first thing this week to try and get coverage for when I need to start my PT. I've got a lot on my plate but am starting to feel pretty good about being functional again sometime in the future. I hope we all can make it through this and be stronger individuals emotionally and mentally since we won't be physically. At the very least this injury has change my perspective about a lot of things in life.

     
    Old 02-26-2006, 10:17 PM   #11
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    Re: Calcaneous/Heel Fracture Questions.

    Hopefully you'll recover better and faster than me. You should - I had the additional problems caused by my foot getting sandwiched against my bike by the car. It got whacked so hard, my motorcycle boot split open. So, there was that too. I had a hard time putting weight back on at first, but where I did PT they have a pool. I would climb in up to my neck and walk that way, then over the next few weeks I went in shallower and shallower to gradually add the weight. That worked out pretty well. Actually, I'm hoping for more recovery myself. When the doc took out the heel screws, he found that my fib hadn't fully healed and needed another bone graft, which was 2 weeks ago. If I can twist and put sideways pressure on my lower leg, maybe I can get back to golfing, and maybe even help teach at my kung-fu school (crossed fingers).

     
    Old 05-25-2006, 12:47 PM   #12
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    Re: Calcaneous/Heel Fracture Questions.

    Hi, I fractured both of my heels, almost 2 weeks ago. I am going to do the early motion therapy, and then get surgery afterwards where they go in and fuse your heels and ankle bone back together. I didn't want any plates or screws put in. I was just wondering if maybe one of you could help me out on something. The thing that bothers me the most isn't even the heel pain. On my left foot, My big Toe and just below it on the bottom of my foot gets this horrible burning sensation, and it throbs. No matter what I do, nothing relieves it. Even when I have taken something for the pain, and all other pain has ceased for a few. I seem to only get relief from this at any given moment for only a few minutes. I have to take sleeping pills, just to get sleep because of it. It is constant complete torture. Have any of you had anything similar? Any tips on how to relieve it? Thank You.
    JULIE

     
    Old 05-27-2006, 05:41 PM   #13
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    Re: Calcaneous/Heel Fracture Questions.

    If it doesn't seem to be improving much, be very very patient and try to measure improvement in months instead of days or weeks. I fractured my right heel in November 2004 and had about a dozen screws put in, and for several months afterward I felt really impaired. Even after months of therapy I still had a limp and couldn't climb stairs normally, so I figured "Well that's the best it's going to get." And yet it kept improving on its own, very slowly, especially once I was able to take it walking every day. By August 2005 I was able to move myself from one apartment to another (carying heavy boxes down stairs!) and now, May 2006, I don't have a limp or anything. I haven't really tried to run because the doctor said "No high-impact activities," but I think I could jog a block or so if I had to. I'm not into running anyway.

    I do feel a little swollen after a long day in shoes, and sometimes I get a twinge or some stiffness. Maybe I'll get arthritis in a few years, but if I do, I still have my cane. Anyway, the point is that the foot may keep healing itself even after you've given up on it. So, don't!

    Last edited by GanChan; 05-27-2006 at 05:41 PM.

     
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    Old 07-01-2006, 03:21 PM   #14
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    Re: Calcaneous/Heel Fracture Questions.

    hi,
    i fractured my calcaneous feb 6, 06.....ladder fall @ work. heel broke into 4 pieces with mild separation. decided not to have surgery as doc said 50-50 shot of being better so i chose not to get cut. i also fractured the talus bone and tore all tendons and ligaments. whatever you do dont put any weight on foot. it will get better but take beacoup time. i was in a hard cast 3.5 months! still lots of pain and swelling and very bad balance. i may be the best i'll ever get only time will tell. good luck!

     
    Old 08-30-2006, 09:40 PM   #15
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    Smile Re: Calcaneous/Heel Fracture Questions.

    Three years ago this last April I broke my calcaneous on my left foot. First broken bone in my body, except for my little finger in 59+ years. The doc said my calcaneous was shattered and if it healed okay I wouldn't need surgery, but if it didn't I would. The nurse in the emergency room put a half plaster cast on my leg for two weeks with instructions to put no weight on my foot. The half cast was put on when my foot was still swelling. When they took it off to put on a full cast my whole leg and foot looked like something that belonged to some creature....black, blue, purple, and swollen. A new complete cast was put on clear to my knee and I was to wear that for four more weeks. Then I was fitted with another cast at that time for another three weeks. Each time my doc would position my foot to where it would be in the position as if you were walking. I could put NO weight on my foot for nine weeks. Each time he put on a different cast he would x-ray and say that it looked like it was healing fine. At the end of the nine weeks he reported that my calcaneous had healed just fine and would not require surgery. I was relieved and started PT. It was hard but I was determined to get back to walking on both feet after nine weeks in a cast. The PT went well and at the end I told my therapist that it always felt like a big, tight rubber band was around my ankle and across the top of my foot. My ROM was good but there was always this tightness that turned into quite a bit of pain after being on my feet for an extended period of time. I also had swelling around the ankle. I returned to the doc with my symptoms and asked if it was always going to be like this. He said there shouldn't be any swelling at this point, but he did an MRI and everything looked good....or so he said. It's now been three years and I still have this tightness in my ankle and can't be on it for a long period of time. The heel itself doesn't seem to bother me that much except if I stand on the one foot alone. When I wear my tennis shoes, or any shoe that fits tight around my foot, the tightness gets worse. I think I messed up the ligaments, etc. in my ankle but the doc doesn't seem to agree. My foot feels better when I don't wear shoes at all. I still have dark spots on my ankle and leg where the first half cast was put on when there was a lot of swelling. Sometimes I think surgery might have been better, but after reading everyone else's problems, maybe not.

     
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