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jmac47 06-14-2008 12:51 PM

Fractured Calcaneus
 
I suffered a fractured calcaneus and talus after a fall from a roof 4 weeks ago. I had the calcaneus surgically repaired 3 days ago with a plate and several screws. The doctor also used some type of calcium plaster to replace some of the bone that was too severely damaged to repair. I'll be non-weight bearing for the next 12 to 14 weeks. Any advice from anyone that has experienced a similar injury would be greatly appreciated.

tjustiss 06-14-2008 08:22 PM

Re: Fractured Calcaneus
 
[QUOTE=jmac47;3608758]I suffered a fractured calcaneus and talus after a fall from a roof 4 weeks ago. I had the calcaneus surgically repaired 3 days ago with a plate and several screws. The doctor also used some type of calcium plaster to replace some of the bone that was too severely damaged to repair. I'll be non-weight bearing for the next 12 to 14 weeks. Any advice from anyone that has experienced a similar injury would be greatly appreciated.[/QUOTE]

tjustiss 06-14-2008 08:27 PM

Re: Fractured Calcaneus
 
I fell down 8 stairs on Jan. 3 of this year. Crushed my heel and broke my arm, this was while I was recovering from a foot fusion on my other foot. It is a long process of recovery. I am still in the healing process. I can walk, but not without pain and only short distance. Still use my wheelchair. The doc says that it could take up to a year to recovery. I am very discouraged.

Hang in there.......it does get better, but truthfully I don't know if I will ever be able to walk like I use to.


Good luck. Follow your doctors directions and pray for patience.

jmac47 06-15-2008 08:20 AM

Re: Fractured Calcaneus
 
Thanks and good luck with your recovery.

DaleZ 06-15-2008 12:06 PM

Re: Fractured Calcaneus
 
Hold On! Plan for the worst pray for the best. The road to recovery is difficult, painful and long. Now with all that doom and gloom there is light at the end of the tunnel from what they tell me. I did the same 11 months ago less the talus injury. I had several complications the biggest was RSD. Just last week they did a CT scan and found that the calcaneus has become a non-union big word for the bone graft did not take. Also my Subtalar joint is shot and they want to fuse it together now. This has been the most painful injury I have ever experienced. Research this form and others there is a ton of great information here. Many people heal quickly and are back on there feet with out much discomfort.
Do what ever they tell you to do. If you smoke quit, do all the exercises physical therapist tell you to do. If you get your mind right early the recovery is a bit easier.
Dale

jmac47 06-15-2008 03:02 PM

Re: Fractured Calcaneus
 
Thanks Dale. What is RSD? I'm preparing myself for the long haul. I had a total knee replacement 6 years ago, and learned then that following doctors instructions and doing all the PT is critical. I think these 3 months of non-weight bearing will be the most mentally challenging as you see little progress.

patw27 06-16-2008 02:59 AM

Re: Fractured Calcaneus
 
Hi,
I fractured my calcaneus on 28th. Feb. 2008 while on holiday in Australia, I refused surgery as I look after my elderly mother and had to get home to her as she was in respite care until my return.

I was put in cast and NWB for 3 months and cast was removed 2.5 weeks ago, I was then told to partial weight bear to tolerance, start pt and return to fracture clinic in 6 weeks.

The pt really makes a difference but this injury seems 1 step forward and 2 steps back, some days you feel great and others it hurts again.

I used a walker while NWB and a wheelchair outside as I was not confident on crutches.This week I have started using a combination of all 3. I am wearing a sandal with velcro straps because of swelling but yesterday decided the swelling had gone down enough for me to put on my trainers, that was fine but my ankle started to ache today so maybe too soon.This is a slow recovery but you will be surprised how all of a sudden things start to get better.

Good luck and hang on in there

Pat

tchair 06-22-2008 12:54 AM

Re: Fractured Calcaneus
 
jmac,

You're through the worst month. Each subsequent month will be easier, but there are a lot to go. Yogi said it best: "... " 90% mental, the other half is physical." Speaking of which: many started Physical Therapy in the first few weeks, most before their 12 week in preparation for weight bearing. With your joint replacement you already know that being patient and proactive are the keys. Most breaks involve letting nature take it's course. With this one you have to dedicate yourself to recovery.

RSD is Reflex sympathetic dystrophy aka CRPS: complex regional pain syndrome. A simple description is pain that is more severe and persists longer than in the normal healing process. It doesn't depend on the injury, could be as simple as a bumped elbow. I believe the frequency in calcaneus fractures is far less than 1%. While a broken heel hurts far more and far longer than other fractures, RSD is quite intense and you'd you and your doc would be talking major and excessive pain levels.


tjustiss,

If you are still using a wheel chair a couple of months after full weight bearing was scheduled. I'd suggest getting answers. Ask your doc what he expects to happen , when and why. If you don't get clear cut and detailed answers as to why recovery is delayed then your doc is not providing proper care. Get a second opinion. No good doctor ever has qualms about a patient doing so.

TC

Hyper86 06-25-2008 09:02 AM

Re: Fractured Calcaneus
 
Hello, fractured/shattered my heel 6/11/08.
Was picking oranges, fell backwards on cement from 5 foot tall fence.
Surgery to put in plates & screws scheduled for 7/3.
What can i expect day of surgery, day after, 1st week pain wise does it hurt more than initial injury?
Please let me know.

Thank you,
Carole

joan53 06-25-2008 03:00 PM

Re: Fractured Calcaneus
 
[QUOTE=jmac47;3608758]I suffered a fractured calcaneus and talus after a fall from a roof 4 weeks ago. I had the calcaneus surgically repaired 3 days ago with a plate and several screws. The doctor also used some type of calcium plaster to replace some of the bone that was too severely damaged to repair. I'll be non-weight bearing for the next 12 to 14 weeks. Any advice from anyone that has experienced a similar injury would be greatly appreciated.[/QUOTE]

I have the same injury you described. My calcaneus was fractured in three places with mulitple fragments. I fell about 4 to 5 feet on June 13, 2007, and had surgery June 22. I have a plate and 7 screws. They also used bone filler. My incision didn't heal completely until about 3 months, it oozed although there was no infection. My advice would be for you to definitely not do any weight bearing the full 12-14 weeks. I don't know if that is my problem but my doctor had me weight bearing before that amount time. I do have problems. I have alot of pain after being on my for foot for an hour or two. It feels like the side of my foot is going to blow out and the tendon at the back of my heel feels like someone has it pulling in opposite directions. That's about the only way I know to describe it. I don't want to discourage you but it is the worst thing I have ever had to experience. My doctor said that all his patients who have received calanceus fractures indicate that they experience some pain. I had a steroid shot in my ankle joint this past Friday. It was to determine if I have developed arthritis. Supposedly if the pain stops, I have arthritis, but if it doesn't...then I possibly am rejecting the hardware and may need to have it removed. Well, so far I can't tell any difference. I still hurts. I'm going to give it some time, because I can't stand the thought of going through the surgery again.

I will say...I have spent several hundred dollars trying to find a comfortable shoe. I do better in heels because it puts the pressure on the ball of my foot and takes if off the heel. Clark's brand does best. I can't walk bare footed hardly at all. I wear Croc's the kind that looks like flip-flops. These are wonderful. Seems like shoes with an arch support helps some.

Hang in there... when you start physical therapy...you will think you will never walk again, but you will. Hopefully, you won't have the pain I have experienced.

tchair 06-28-2008 02:05 AM

Re: Fractured Calcaneus
 
Hyper86,

The problem is that since it will have been weeks since the injury, even if it isn't as bad it might seem that way. If the bone fragments are displaced the surgeon has to go in and to some manipulation. Otherwise they are just exposing the bone to install the hardware on it. The advice is to be prepared with support, to get you home and basically wait on you for a while. Take the pain meds as prescribed. They are like crutches, not pleasant but a necessity. Eat healthy, even if you don't feel like it. And above all keep that foot elevated - way up - at the hospital and at home, even if it means getting a sturdy hook in your ceiling to hang a sling.

TC

Hyper86 06-28-2008 10:11 PM

Re: Fractured Calcaneus
 
TC
Thank you kindley for you responce!
Had to find & wait for insurance coverage + Ortho surgeon/foot specialist is busy he got 5 other fractured heels in same week + his other patients.
My heel is shattered & a little ouit of place, will have to be put together like a puzzle.
I'm pretty healthy, strong & eating good, taking Trigosamine, vitamins & raw propolis.
Dr. told me to stop smoking G & not to touch my foot on the ground for 12 weeks or he might have to cut my foot off, so will follow his orders no problem.
My sister & nefew will take care of me, they think i should have a hospital bed do you think it's needed or would be helpfull?
I'm a little scared about the 3 hour surgery, friends say there is no reason to be scared.
So do you think after surgery pain will not be worst than injury?
I've been very active my whole life (45 years) & will have to be patient & carefull.
I'm only taking 1 pain killer a day now at the most & figure will need more after surgery.

Thank you so much for the advise.
Hyper86/Carol

jmac47 06-29-2008 02:16 PM

Re: Fractured Calcaneus
 
Appreciate the remarks and advice from others that have been through this. Had my surgery on 11 June, and according to the Doc, all went well. I got about half of my 23 stitches out on the 26th, and will get the rest out on 2 July. The pain was pretty intense after surgery, but if you keep up with you pain meds it helps. I'm off the pain meds altogether now, and just taking aleve if it flairs up at all. Still helps to keep it elevated for sure. Elevation is your friend after this. Seem to be doing better all the time, but still a very long time for the real test - walking. Doc told me he wanted me to wait until mid-September to begin weight bearing.

tchair 06-30-2008 05:37 AM

Re: Fractured Calcaneus
 
Carol,

A lot of people are told 10, 15 pieces even "M&Ms". The good part about the length of the surgery is that they are careful and methodical. You'll be asleep from before you go in to after you're back out. The one bad part is that they'll have a cuff on your leg for a lot of that time, so getting it elevated as soon is you get out is very important. My doc put it right in the orders that went on my chart. Elevation is crucial even when you get back home. Getting comfortable enough to get the sleep you need is tough when trying to balance the leg on pillows. I had a little pulley put over my bed and could raise my leg as I wished. I wouldn't say a hospital bed was needed but would be very helpful. I remember not only trying to get comfortable to get rest but also in a decent position to eat meals the first few days. If you can get a bed paid for or readily afford it that would be valuable research for the next heelies. I'm glad there are others helping with their input. You don't want to rely on just one source, and their experiences are more recent. Of course you will get to answer these very same questions for those who follow. Speaking of following, you're going in on my 'anniversary'. I was near your age, they said 13 pieces and gave me a plate and eight screws. During recovery, I thought I might not walk again, but I can run, ski, you name it. So you can be angry with me after surgery when it hurts, but then you have to do well and catch up to me.

TC

Hyper86 07-02-2008 05:11 PM

Re: Fractured Calcaneus
 
TC & all,
Just got back from seeing ortho Dr. he now wants me to stay in hospital 3 nights & to do a bone graft using piece of my leg bone as well as other stuff, piece it together, affix plate & screws.
There are so many fractures the girls in office couldn't count them looking at my x-rays.
He has another patient in same place, same injury, same day, this guy just jumped down from about 5 feet on purpose & got injured.
I have jumped down from 5 feet or more hundreds of times & never got hurt.
Everyone thinks a hospital bed is not needed, better to use wedge pillows or hang from a pully system like you said.
Dr. said pain will be worst after surgery than initial injury, but pain meds will help a lot.
My regular MD said my pre-op test results are great, I'm fit as a fiddle.
Well TC can't wait to catch up with you!
Will let you know how it went next week after pain subsides a bit.

Kindest Regards,
Carole


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