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broken heel/calcaneus 23 years ago

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Old 09-17-2012, 05:31 AM   #1
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broken heel/calcaneus 23 years ago

Hi all, I found this forum a few months ago and want to offer my story about long term prognosis for a broken calcaneus (200 lb 6'3" male). When I landed on a concrete sidewalk from about 7 feet, I knew immediately that it was broken and made a trip to the ER. I had no surgery but wore a cast for quite a few weeks and recall the pain involved. I had no insurance (I think it was billed about $1200 total for it) and didn't know what PT was. Using a clutch on my civic with a right foot was awkward to say the least. I remember taking the cast off and the atrophy was significant (and it did hurt like heck).

But I want to talk about the long term. I did golf again a few months/ maybe a year after it heeled (no pun intended) and carried heavy sound equipment as I'm a musician. The heel would stiffen up after overuse.

I became interested in tennis a few years later and played for hours at a time. Again, I felt some pain but do enjoy an active life (including hiking area mountains, bike riding, scuba diving, basketball, etc.). When I overdo it, I limp more noticeably and have difficulty stepping on it for a bit or typically next morning in bare feet.

I found this board as I wanted to take up running and was looking into supportive shoes. I run a few miles a stretch and runs are shortened not by my heel as much as general exhaustion or lack of time That being said, I do feel it always and there is often slight pain, but I never bother to take pain killers, ibuprofen, etc. because it's bearable and I'm just used to it.

Now, probably arthritis has set in. But again, I'm doing active things and am on my feet quite a bit for work. Incidentally, I received PT for a turned ankle on that foot and the PT was amazed at my lack of ROM. I just never noticed it and can cut side to side on the tennis court and jump while playing basketball, etc. Again, it hurts but is bearable and no one notices it.

For some, surgery and pins etc. are needed but not in my case so it's true my break was not that bad (though without insurance and being broke, perhaps I didn't go that option but can't recall). I do recall my x-ray showing that smashed heel in I forget how many pieces as it was long ago.

Anyway, at least for me, I would say that I recovered fully in that I do all the activities that I want to do. I know how to step onto things with it and balance a bit more with the other foot. I easily cope with it and no one can usually even tell. Who knows, I may even try skydiving some day!

I wonder how others have coped with this in the long term? Thanks for listening!

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Old 09-17-2012, 06:04 AM   #2
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Re: broken heel/calcaneus 23 years ago

I'm not in the "long term" stage yet. My accident happened only 8 weeks ago. I shattered my calcaneus into almost 15 pieces from a fall of 25 feet.

But reading your post has given me a lot of comfort. Your active lifestyle is one I also enjoy (hiking, biking, etc) and I was scared I'd never be able to do them again.

I had surgery and have pins and plates, and a veritable hardware store in my foot. Hopefully that will help.

Again, thanks. Your story gives me hope that while this is a life changing injury, my life doesn't have to change that much.

Old 09-18-2012, 10:59 AM   #3
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Re: broken heel/calcaneus 23 years ago

Good to hear from someone long term. Mine was over 3 years ago. They wanted to operate, but I was to swollen. Shattered calcaneous and talus, wreckign STJ.

I do everything I want to do. I have out walking in the woods. I haven't tried any real long hikes. Standing bothers it maybe more then walking.

I have spent a lot of money on boots and socks.

I resisted pain meds for 18 months. But once I started taking them I got alot more active. I usually take a anti inflamatory in the morning after breakfast. Then one and sometimes a 2nd tramadol. Typically only 1.

Festival or big shows are really hard. I suppose non stop walkign on concrete. Big box stores can be bad. Part of the problem is walk fast and haven't slowed down.

I too have stiffness with use.
Heelie since 09
The good thing is, no one asks me to help them move anymore.

Old 09-18-2012, 12:28 PM   #4
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Re: broken heel/calcaneus 23 years ago

I am 11 years out.

Glad that you could do all those things, but if I had beeen running or jumping, I think that I would have been bed ridden for the last 10 years. I have had plenty of days that I need a cane or limp badly at work, however no pain when not on it. The strange thing is that the last year, I have not had one day of needing a cane and hardly limped at all. Just got done last Saturday shingleling a steep roof with no problems. I think there probably is so much arthritis in it that what little sideways movement was there is now gone. Maybe a "self-fusion"?

In a way, I feel lucky. This happened at 50. I can tell by reading that many of those on this board have had this happen at a much younger age. I will retire in a year or two and those days that it hurts, I can at least sit and rest it without worrying about the hassle of work.

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