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    Old 08-17-2008, 11:38 PM   #1
    clemaube's Avatar
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    Broken Calcaneus

    Can anyone tell me how long after surgery plate and 7 screws you can walk. I had surgery july 25th/08 and staples are out. no infection. Now hard cast with ft elevated 24/7. Back at the OS on the 22 of august maybe to remove stitches but I don't know what to expect. Can any one fill me in. Thank you---Clem

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    Old 08-18-2008, 02:30 AM   #2
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    tchair HB Usertchair HB Usertchair HB Usertchair HB User
    Re: Broken Calcaneus


    A very few who's fractures where slight and didn't reach the joints started weight bearing in 8 weeks. All the rest of us had to wait 12 weeks. From starting weight bearing to actually walking usually takes a few more weeks.

    There are a lot of great people here who just went through this experience and they'll probably be popping in with additional advice. Click on the "search this board button" and put in "calcaneus". Then you can read about their experiences to date and ask them any questions still unanswered.


    Last edited by tchair; 08-18-2008 at 03:28 AM.

    Old 08-18-2008, 06:32 AM   #3
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    Re: Broken Calcaneus

    Hello Clem,

    I fractured my calcaneus on 18 May with surgery on 11 June. Had a plate and 11 screws. My doc told me it would be 12 to 14 weeks after surgery before I'd be full weight bearing. I've done considerable reading on this type of injury since I have plenty of time on my hands, and it's very consistent to expect 12 weeks of no weight bearing. Most of the problems I've read about, were with people that starting weight bearing prior to that. At this point, I'd advise lots of patience and lots of elevation. There are a lot of potential problems with this injury, so heed your doctor's advice. There is a big risk of infection with this also. Unfortunately, I found that out first hand. About 7 weeks post-op I found out I had a MRSA staph infection. Had all of my hardware removed on 8 August. I'm back to 8 to 10 weeks for weight bearing now, along with IV antibiotics 6 hours every day.

    Take it easy and best of luck with your healing!


    Old 08-18-2008, 07:26 AM   #4
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    Smile Re: Broken Calcaneus

    Hi all,

    I'm so glad I found this sight. There is so much reading and sharing. Of course everyone has a slightly different story, but we can take a little out of each story for ourselves to help our long, arduous recoveries.

    I'm sharing my experience with everyone so others who follow in our unfortunate footsteps knw what to expect during the recovery process.

    I was forced to jump from a ladder while cutting down a tree for a friend on July 19, 2008. My feet were approximately 8-10 feet when I jumped. I landed square on my right heal and broke it into 6 or 7 pieces. I knew instantly I did something but didn't know exactly what until I saw the Xrays and CT Scan.

    The initial pain level was less than 3 unless I tried to move my foot, but never felt more than a 5.

    The 1st orthpedist I saw said flat out, I don't want anything to do with repairing your heel. I'm so glad he was honest. The 2nd orthodist specializes in ankles and feet. He shared pros and cons of surgery vs non-surgery healing. He strongly suggested since my heel broke outward upon impact that he surgical approach would bring my heel closer to pre injury status than a non - surgical approach.

    I scheduled the surgery for July 31. They placed my foot in another cast, I came home and elevated my foot. Again the pain level never really went hgher than a 5.

    The day of surgery they did a leg block with general anesthesia. The procedure took 1:15 minutes. The surgeon said, technically everything went perfect. He installed a plate and 8 screws.

    I woke from surgery and felt fine. I still could not feel my foot or leg which is desirable with the block. I spent the night in the hospital. They gave me in IV pain medication which I really didn't need.

    About 16 hours (about 2 am) after the leg block was administered, I started feeling pain in my heel. The incision, the heel etc....then up to my toes. At 1st the pain was a 2 or 3 managed by the pain medication pump. Everything was fine. Within a half hour the pain went to a 5 then immediately to a 9/10.

    The nurse gave me a different pain medication but it took 2 hours to finally find my heel and bring the pain level down to a 2/3. Six hours later I came home and promptly elevated my leg again.

    I used vicadin and percocet to manage the pain, but never felt anything stronger than a 5/6 and it was concentrated more with the incision than the screws and plate.

    Unfortunately my cast was rubbing the incision in 2 places, which hurt more than anything. The doc asked me to come in for a check up. He looked at cleaned and redressed the incision, put me in a new cast and sent me home.

    Five days later I went back for a follow up. The stitches were removed and the incision was cleaned and redressed again. I was originally told I would go back into a hard cast, but they gave me a walking boot/ air cast.

    I am now to remove the cast on a daily basis and wash my foot when I bath.
    I am still required to elevate, elevate, elevate. Of course I am not to put any weight on my foot what so ever.

    My next appointment is in 4 weeks. He will take another Xray to see if there is evidence of bone growth and repair. If so, he will recommend PT and slow, slow weight bearing again on my foot.

    After the stitches were removed, I could feel the skin trying to move back to its normal position. It felt more like pins and needles like after your foot or arm fall asleep. No real pain. He did make 3 punctures (orthoscope assistance, or to steady the bone as he drilled) which at times throb from time to time. The incision still gives me some discomfort but comes and goes. I can go from no pain, to a 4/5 in a matter of minutes for no reason.

    I also feel an occasional shot of pain in the bone from the various screws too.

    The most difficult thing I am facing is finding a comfortable position to sleep and still keep my foot elevated.

    So there is my story and I'm sticking to it. I will post more as my recovery progresses. If anyone has any questions I'd be happy to answer them.

    Old 08-19-2008, 12:29 PM   #5
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    Re: Broken Calcaneus

    Thanks for the responses folks. Yes, I've been told to be patient with this injury. I have my mind set for that now and have accepted it as it is.

    I realize everyone heals differntly and at different rates. That is what is so odd about this injury, no ones recovery is the same. I have read that some heelies are still taking pain meds 6 months after their surgery, yet another is now running road races again after 18 months.

    Since last Friday the 15th when I had my stitches out my foot has felt tingly with pins and needles. I am taking that as a good thing. My skin and nerves are trying to find their way back to their normal positions.

    The pain has subsided quite a bit over the last 2 days. I am sleeping better at night and I am able to find good positions to get comfortable in. I am not taking any pain medications except tylenol from time to time and tylenol PM for sleep. I feel like one of the lucky ones in this regard.

    I have gone thru most of the posts on this board and find it disturbing there are so many infections. I knew this risk going into the surgery. MY doctor did give me antibiotics thru an IV in the hospital and a 10 day bottle prescription of antibiotics.

    I continue to take baths instead of showers because my shower stall does not have a shelf to sit on and I don't want to lose my balance and reinjure myself.

    Everyday, my foot is more and more comfortable with less pain than the day before. When I remove my boot I can move my ankle up and down slightly but not side to side. I am able to touch my skin and not feel any pain.

    Thanks to all the heelies who have taken the time to share their experieces with us newbies and our injury. Good luck to everyone.

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