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Greenvillegirl 03-30-2010 12:34 PM

Life after a calcaneus fracture?
Hi all,

I'm glad to have come across this site, there's much to be learned here. I was in a car accident the first week of January and fractured my right heel. (My car slammed into a tree after sliding on ice). I have been seeing a great O who said I didn't need surgery so I was put in a splint for about 4 weeks, a cast for about 4 weeks and Im currently in an air cast now which has to stay on at all times except for bathing. Ive been goint to PT 2x a week for about 5 weeks now and I keep getting in trouble because my foot tends to swell a bit and I hate putting ice on it because the pain is terrible! My question is this: Whats to be expected after I'm released from treatment? Ive been told I'm going to have arthritis in this foot for the rest of my life and that I'm not going to be able to stand on uneven ground since I've lost that r to l motion in my joint. I'm currently trying to settle with my insurance company and am pretty sure that these injuries are permanent? I was pretty active before this happened (ran about 2-3 miles a week), and I'm single mom to a very active 3 year old which has been the worst part for me. Also I'm wondering if I will ever wear heels again? Any feedback will be greatly appreciated!

Zerk 03-30-2010 08:35 PM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
I was in car accident 3/09. You still got a way to go. You need to ice it.

Are you weight bearing? If so ask your doc about compression sock. Swelling can be good for healing though. I wore compression sock for about 11 months.

I can walk on uneven surfaces ok. Its going to take time. I was active around 4-6 months. It started to get better around 10-12. I still have pain, depending on much I do. I also shattered my talus, so the subtaler joint is wrecked.

I find light wool hiking socks really help. If you get an orhtodic, bring it with you shoe shopping, you need something deep and wide.

Recently I have found tieing my boots tight helps the ankle pain, but I still wear tennis shoes, to help strength it.

You need to keep doing the PT. I did it pretty active about 10-12 months and still stretch achilles every day, and usully do various exercises 5-6 times a week. Probably should do more.

If your toes are curling down, you need to work them. Pull the back from top of toe, while pushing on joint from top. I had to do this bunch of times a day and it finally paid off.

As for long term. I dunno. I do everything I did before, but I got use pain currency at times. If you think ice hurts....

Greenvillegirl 03-31-2010 03:24 PM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
Thanks for replying! No I'm not weight bearing yet, but I have put weight on it with my air cast (accidentally) and it didn't hurt. I go to the doc Friday so I should have a better idea of where I stand. I was told by my PT that I should be walking by May. Lets hope so! I know for sure that I won't be wearing any heels for at least a year now, but I'm just hoping to walk without a limp.

Zerk 03-31-2010 08:07 PM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
You may never wear heals. I've tried on cowboy boots, and it feels like I am walking down hill. A small heal maybe. After this you may be really into comfortable shoes.

Seems people start bearing weight 8-12 weeks. I was 12. I found walker to be more stable then crutches. Then cane, then nothing. Within a month or so I could walk without cane, but still used it for a couple months.

melanie84 04-08-2010 05:16 PM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
what ever you do don't settle with insurane worse mistake i ever made also i could not put ice or anything cold on my foot after shattering my heel and them having to pick piece of my heel out of my foot way back in 1995, depending on injury and any calcaneus fracture is bad from people i've spoken with over the years. you may be able wear heels everyone is different hang in there don't give up and keep up the physical therpy if you have to do what you learned at hom

Calcaneus Girl 04-19-2010 04:32 PM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
I broke my heel in a MV accident on 2/24/10 ... I spent 5 days in the hospital - left the hospital with an external fixator on ... then I spent 2 weeks in a rehab facility (waiting for the swelling to go down) and then on 3/15 I went back into the hospital for my surgery.

I've been told that I will never be able to wear heels again and that I will have arthritis and pain for the rest of my life. I've been told that the swelling in my foot may never completely go away.

I have a lawyer as the MV accident was not my fault (I was cut off by a bus) and he has told me that we won't settle until all the long term damage is determined.

I was never once told to ice my foot - as a matter of fact my pain is worse when my foot is cold!!!

I'm surprised to hear that you didn't have surgery - I'm wondering how they determine who has surgery and who doesn't! I've been told that I won't be walking at least until October!! Looks like I'll be spending my summer at home! My MV insurance has been great paying all of my bills so I can not complain about that!!!

Hope your healing goes well. I know I'm currently having problems with my fracture blisters ... and need to see my podiatrist every week. I'm a diabetic though so that might have a lot to do with it!

skymonkey39 04-19-2010 08:04 PM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
I fractured my heel on 1/11/10. A fall fron a 6' wall.9 screws and a plate. Of course i did not have insurance. I do have a top rated Dr, but since no ins I have been sent to the clinic for follow up visits. As of yet PT options have not been offered. I have been searching for PT routines to follow on my own. The pain has not been overly bad and i have started using 1 crutch with my boot, because i have to start doing somethig for work . If anyone has pt instructions that i can do from home would be great.:confused:

Calcaneus Girl 04-20-2010 05:12 PM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
Right now my PT has me doing range of motion stretches moving my foot back and forth and writing the alphabet with my foot. I'm also walking putting 30% of my weight on my foot (use a scale that has a needle and gauge how much the 30% is). I use both crutches when walking - and one to go up and down steps w/ the use of the railing. Right now - that's about the extent of my PT.

Zerk 04-20-2010 05:18 PM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
I didn't have surgery. They wanted to, but my foot was to swollen and blistered. I did 6 weeks of whirlpool. By then they decided to wait and see what would happen.

I have asked myself should I have had surgery, they orgianally wanted to. Do they do to many surgeries? I can walk just fine on uneven surgery, I don't have as much range of motion, as I used to, but more then if it was fused.

I was in a accident where the other person was at fault too. I didn't get much money, they had minimal insurance. You may get lucky since it was a bus, it may have higher levels. Don't get your hopes up, but good luck.

Zerk 04-20-2010 05:20 PM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
I found the walker, is more stable then crutches. But I broke the leg on the other side.

I didn't start icing my foot until I was walking, and then it was 2-3 times a day, and it should have been more.

Calcaneus Girl 04-20-2010 07:36 PM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
It's amazing to me how different they have treated this injury! I was told that I basically crushed my heel so I'm guessing that there wasn't much left to fuse together so they had to rebuild my heel all together. I spent 3 weeks in the hospital - before I could come home post-surgery.

According to my lawyer - I'm going to make out okay. I won't get my hopes up but there were two other cars involved in the accident (after the bus cut me off) and thankfully for me, it is a privately owned bus company (not a normal township school bus) so they have mega insurance.

I guess it doesn't hurt also that the bus driver stated that they "thought they could beat me out" ....

Zerk - how long before your doctor told you that you could walk again ?(unassisted)

Zerk 04-20-2010 09:12 PM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
At 12 weeks, I started with walked, few weeks later cane. Once you I got to cane, I could walk unassisted, but was better to use cane. But with a month I was using cane. Then just using it when I went places, then quit using it, with a few months.

Wore a compression sock for about 11 months. Fist few months after I was walking, I was icing and still keeping it elevated as much as I could. I still put my foot up when I can.

Honda44 05-02-2010 01:52 AM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
I shattered both calcaneus 10 months ago and was walking in 4 months in my tennis shoes, doc said I would be lucky to be walking with out any helpers for 7 months, and would be lucky to have 50% movement back, but have 95% now, I am jogging 2 miles everynight, uneven surfaces don't bother me to bad, pain is very low and I still have all my pins in, I did PT a ton tho cant get enough stretching and workout on them, what im getting to is don't believe what they say push your self for what you want, I told myself the day the doc told me all the bad news a week after the accident that I would be back to normal. I think you will be able to wear whatever you want its all up to you : )

Zerk 05-02-2010 10:16 AM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
[QUOTE=Honda44;4237569]. I think you will be able to wear whatever you want its all up to you : )[/QUOTE]

I think its worth it to try. I used to try getting my feet into pull up boots. At first I could, not even movement. I can wear them now, but it feels like I am going down hill. I kinda doubt, I ever will. But I would keep trying.

Its the heel that is the problem. I have an engineer boot with low hill, which I could probably wear, but not a cowboy style boot.

wonderboy953 05-24-2010 06:43 PM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
Hi Greenvillgirl,

i just had surgery for a calcaneus fracture. i fell down a flight of stairs and was hospitalized. now im dealing with all sourts of pains and burning sensations.

as for wearing heels again, there are homipatich stuff that i have been using that is helping with the acking pains. but maybe try some arnica montana, it seems to be working for my acing, i dont know if that is the solution. but all i can say is that im trying everything and anything that is recommended to me that makes some sense. hope you "heel" fast;)

MrSmith404 07-12-2010 04:32 PM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
Hello all --

Just came across this site today after searching for information on recovery times. I shattered my calcaneus 23 days ago and had surgery two weeks ago today. Today has been the best day since the dressing was changed Thursday, but I still have questions that pop up during the vast majority of time which I am not in the doc's office. Any help or input would be greatly appreciated. I'm trying to keep my psychological state positive, as I realize this is the only way I'm going to make it through this time. I am (was) very active and now have moments where I am overwhelmed by the prospect of not walking for weeks and months and losing all my muscle tone due to inactivity. So happy to find this site. I currently have a splint with Ace-style bandages around it, until the stitches come out next Thursday. Did anyone else have this same process? I have tingling throughout my foot almost constantly, but the swelling has gone done considerably. When I unwrap the splint but leave the foot/ankle bandage on, the pain, tingling, and swelling disappear almost instantly. I am hesitant to leave it unwrapped for long, but it feels so good like this. Anyone else have similar experiences? Sorry if I posted this in the wrong place; it is my first time. Thanks in advance for any help both for posting and health-wise.

climbr 07-12-2010 08:00 PM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
Hi MrSmith,

My surgery was almost three weeks ago, and my stitches came out 6 days ago. They put me in a half cast after the surgery which I could not remove. I did have tingling sensations in my foot, especially if I was up and moving around a little. Now that the cast is off and I am in a removable boot the tingling has disappeared. I was pretty good about being relaxed with my foot elevated for most of the 2 weeks post surgery in the cast. Now I am able to be upright most of the day with no sweliing, pain, or problems.

I hear you about the inactivity part. I am a climber, mountaineer, backpacker-type and this summer of no walking is killing me. But it is super important to remain positive, ask your doc lots of questions and follow PT instructions to a T to minimize downtime. I suffered through rehabbing a torn ACL and subsequent surgery 2 years ago so I know how important the recovery process can be. And with a stronger knee, I know it is possible to bounce back from injury.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Zerk 07-13-2010 03:43 PM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
I had tingling for a few months. Now I have most of the feeling in my foot, except a spot on the heel. Nothing I notice.

Keep up with the PT, and keep it elevated, really elevated.

MrSmith404 07-20-2010 12:12 PM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
Good afternoon --

Sorry for the delay. My stitches come out Thursday, and I am definitely excited. I have had dreams about walking for the past four nights, where I can just stand up and move around with the wrap on and everything. I'm sure this is not uncommon; my brain is ready to get moving I suppose. I have been pain-free for a couple weeks now, with only the occasional shooting pain that makes my entire body jolt. I have regained full motion of my ankle and toes, but the swelling comes and goes. I'm sure these are common symptoms at four weeks post-op, which was yesterday. Excited for the next step!

Zerk 07-20-2010 12:52 PM

Re: Life after a calcaneus fracture?
Full range of motion is great. I lost a bit, but I didn't have surgery. Unfortunately, you probably got some more waiting, before they let you walk. This is one of those things, you just got to wait out.

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