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YogiLindsAnne 09-05-2013 01:39 AM

Calcaneus Break - required surgery
I recently broke my left calcaneus very badly. It required surgery. I am currently 4 weeks out from the initial break and 3 weeks out from surgery. I saw my surgeon last week at the 2 week mark and was informed "it looks as good as it possibly can at this point". Getting the stitches out and seeing the actual X-Ray was slightly traumatizing. I was given directions to work on bringing my toes to my shin, pointing them forward and writing the alphabet with my big toe for the next two weeks and after that working on the "side to side" movement before my follow up appointment on the 23rd (in just under 3 weeks).
I am hoping and was given the impression that at that appointment I will ideally begin weight hearing and physiotherapy at the next appointment.
What I want to hear are stories of individuals who required surgery. I read a lot about individuals who didn't need surgery. I know all the doom and gloom prognoses but would love to hear something positive.
A little background on me: before the break I practiced hot yoga 7-10 per week. I ran approx. 3 times a week and ran stairs at least one time per week. My bike is a huge mode of transportation for me and I am always on my feet teaching elementary school!
I would love to hear some feedback.
Thanks in advance,

Zerk 09-05-2013 03:19 PM

Re: Calcaneus Break - required surgery
I think most people have surgery. They wanted to for me, but I was to swollen.

Most people start weight bearing at 12 weeks, with some getting partial at 9. Very rare that you hear about anything before 9.

I think there is a good chance you will be able to still ride your bike. There was someone here who ran. But not many, and I wonder if makes it worse.

You probably lost some range of motion. Your body will probably bend at other points, for most things. People do have problems with uneven surfaces.

PT is the most important. Hopefully when you can bear weight you can get in often enough, for them to gauge progress and give you new exercise. For now keep doing the ROM. You need to 1-2+ times a day.

AdkLizard46 09-08-2013 08:23 PM

Re: Calcaneus Break - required surgery
Hi there,
I broke my left calc very badly as well on 30 July 2012, so a little more than a year out.

As far as my progress, I would say I'm doing very well. I was in a walking boot until the 23 of November (walking in the boot for about 2 weeks before that, but that was when I was cleared for shoes). I used a cane until the end of January. I was in physical therapy until March.

In April, I went back to hiking mountains (the day before my accident I hiked 6 or 7 miles). In July, I did my longest and most strenuous hike since the accident, climbing over 3500' in elevation over 12 miles. Just this past week, I went on a 19 mile bike ride.

Those are just a few of my successes, to let you know that they are possible.

On the flip side, I had a subtalar fusion and lost almost all of my side to side motion. I still haven't regained all my forward and back range of motion. That causes me to still limp. I will undoubtedly have arthritis (and already feel the effects of it) by the time I am 30 (I am 27). I can't run anymore, except for about 20 or 30 yard spurts, and even then I'm not that fast, and it hurts more afterwards. I like to think of it as "I could get away if something was chasing me".

All in all, it took awhile, but I got about 90% of my life back. I teach outdoor education, so I am on my feet constantly, walking on uneven terrain. I can't play ultimate frisbee or soccer anymore, but I can take hikes, and bike, and swim.

If you have any other questions, please ask away!


YogiLindsAnne 09-12-2013 03:47 PM

Re: Calcaneus Break - required surgery
Thanks Liz!
There are so many horror stories of this injury and it was so inspirational to hear some of your success stories.
This injury has been a complete shock to my lifestyle and I am still coming to terms with my "new normal" once I am moving again!


Trish039 11-14-2013 05:15 AM

Re: Calcaneus Break - required surgery
Hey Liz

I shattered my right calcaneus and had surgery May 7, 2013 with a fusion too. I'm still going to PT working on the limp and have a lot of tightness around my achilles. How are you doing today? I saw your story and I'm curious how the fusion is making you feel and how the limp is today. Thank you Pat

AdkLizard46 11-14-2013 08:11 AM

Re: Calcaneus Break - required surgery
Hi Pat,
I am doing quite well all things considered. I am approaching the year mark of when I first started walking without a boot (Thanksgiving last year was when I transitioned to a cane).

I still limp occasionally. I think I notice it a lot more than other people do, but it's my foot so it makes sense. Mornings are a bit worse, as are evenings. If I am not wearing shoes (like around the house) I find myself limping more. During the day, I almost don't notice it. If I need to, I can run about 25 yards or so (with an awkward gait, but it's faster than a walk).

Where I live and work has already gotten a fair bit of snow. Walking off trail (I teach in the woods) has proven to be a bit difficult, as sometimes I will slip on something and my ankle will try to roll and it can't because of the fusion and that stings a bit. Evenings after a day like that will find it more swollen than normal.

I find with my winter boots, the limp has been better because of the higher ankle support. If I am walking fast, I limp more, or really need to concentrate on NOT limping.

Last week I was able to walk on my tip toes on both feet, which was a big milestone. I still can't do a one leg calf raise on that foot, but I have hopes to do it.

I still will never run full again, or play frisbee or anything else that requires quick direction changes. That makes me sad, but it is what it is. I haven't had to find a new career field, or change my lifestyle all that much.

Good luck with everything!


Trish039 11-14-2013 08:37 AM

Re: Calcaneus Break - required surgery
Thank you Liz for the reply, I begin to wonder if the limping is a habit because of the injury. When I walk slow I don't limp it's only when I try to speed up and keep up with "normal" folks. It's a frustrating injury for sure, I make progress then I feel go backwards. I suppose people say it could be a whole lot worse, but I really don't want to spend the rest of my life with a limp either.

Oh well, I'll continue on working! Thank you again and continued good luck to you too!

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