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Gee, that’s swell! July 25, 2006

Posted by ouchmyleg in Personal Experience, Resources.

Before you break your ankle, I guarantee you that you have no idea of the amount of fluid and swelling your body is capable of generating. For the first few weeks my ankle inflated to Star Jones (pre-stomach stapling, of course) proportions, swollen and bruised to the point where I wasn’t sure it was my own foot. Elevation (above the heart) and ice packs are the best remedy to reduce swelling, but even they don’t really seem to do much for the first while. Now that it’s been two months since my accident, I’m very aware of the triggers that cause swelling and how to manage it. The primary causes are (in order)

  • Gravity (keeping the ankle vertical for too long or extended periods of hobbling)
  • Exhaustion or sleepiness
  • Exertion (doing my flex and release strengthening exercises)

On Friday, my swelling was as bad as it’s been in ages. I’d tried to work for the day without my cast (and while keeping my foot elevated as much as I could), but by 7pm my ankle had swollen up to the size of a papaya. Not sexy. In fact, it was the first time in my slender-ankled life that I’ve ever had a “cankle”. Gah! CANKLES! Fortunately, after two episodes of South Park and two ice packs, the crisis passed and I’d returned mostly to normal. Now I’m trying to spend at least an hour a day with ice packs on the foot and my ankle in the air to see if that helps things long term. Keep you posted.



1. Pam - July 29, 2006

My sister broke her ankle this past week and already had her surgery. It was a very bad break. They put in pins,screwsand a plate? She is very uncomfortable, having a hard time sleeping bacause of the pain, trying to keep it propped up and such. She has been sleeping on her lazy boy recliner and couch. They chair is making her butt numb and couch just can’t get the leg in the right position. She has burning in her heal and is just miserable. Any advice for her?? I haven’t been able to find much in this area on the web!

Greatly appreciate any info.

Her loving sis

Anthony - September 27, 2013

Alright, i just got my cast off a few days ago and im in a boot. So i know what she’s going through, so..about the elavation, she can sit on the couch if she has it propped up on a stool and pillows and..you know, the work. Not sure how good thid would work with sleeping..but atleast her butt wont be as numb. Now burning in the heal im not sure..but i gaurentee its pain related..sometimes when we have pain in we get a burning sensation and it just feels like its burning, try pain releiver and maybe an ice pack on the heel just to sooth it. The first few days are terrible..i had a cast all the way up my leg to where i couldnt bend my knee. It hurt like CRAZY but only for the first few days and when i took medicine it was during the afternoon, so it made me drowsy,then it got to the point where i didnt even need the medicine..so keep her off of her foot (even if she has crutches) keep her off ofit as much as possible, maybe find or buy a wheel chair? Find a comfortable one though..some of them numb your butt aswell. Like mine did :/ so..i hope this helped! :3 it was how i learned so..hope she feels better :3

Ellie - September 2, 2015

Do you have any words of wisdom for this? I didn’t need surgery but i’m at the half cast stage and my heel feels like it’s on fire when it’s horizontal or up in the air but is fine when i’m crutching around or sitting with it normally. So I haven’t been able to get much sleep these past two days and my doctor hasn’t called back.

2. Ouchmyleg - July 29, 2006

Pam – First off, I’m so sorry for your sister and her broken ankle! From my experience, the first two weeks after surgery were the worst of all. After that, things started to get a lot easier to deal with. I had a horrible time trying to get to sleep and would spend hours and hours lying in bed uncomfortable and grumpy. The best way I found to deal with trying to sleep was to prop up my ankle and then use pillows or blankets around it to provide more support. It’s kind of like creating a little platform or altar for your ankle. I found that helped a bit.

Also – is she on painkillers with a sedative component? Once I’d weaned myself off the Tylenol 3’s, I would take a generic allergy medication when I wanted to sleep. I would encourage your sister to talk to her doctor or pharmacist and see what he/she can recommend for sleep aids that won’t react negatively with any of the painkillers she’s currently taking.

Finally – the burning in her heel. My very favourite nurse at the Hospital told me that any sensations of burning or pain meant that I had reduced circulation and the cast was too tight around my swollen ankle. If your sister really feels her heel is ‘burning’, I’d recommend she head to her doctor/the hospital to make sure that she’s not too swollen for her cast. If she is, what they’ll likely do is loosen the cast temporarily to bring down the swelling and then put on a new one.

Good luck!

Heather (aka “OuchmyLeg”)

3. Pam - August 1, 2006

Thanks Heather. She is feeling a little better. We went to the doc yesterday and he put on her first cast. The other was a half cast. She is not taking the painkillers much and with the cast feels a little more mobility. At least she doesn’t have to worry about moving the incision with the half cast. She has 10 staples on one side & 20 on the other. Yikes, I am glad it’s not me. We are so lucky to have 5 of us girls to help her through this. I am from Va. but, am off for the summer and can come & help her some.

How are you doing? Thanks for you advice.
P.S. My daughter & I went to see “The Devil Wears Prada” & loved it. She has a shoe fetish already at 10. LOL


4. Steve - August 1, 2006

I broke my Tibula and Fibula and dislocated my ankle a month ago. I am still having trouble sleeping but I agree the first 2 weeks are the worst. I felt a realy bad burning sensation around my foot but that only lasted for about 4-5 days.

One of the best things i found for sleeping (when i had my cast) was something my sister got me. It is something for newborns so they dont roll over, i dont knwo what they are called but you can find them at target or whereever baby stuff are sold.

Other than that Time and Patience, i still tell myself that every 10 minutes.

5. lina - August 4, 2006

I would like to know how is your swelling and how are doing with your therapy.. during my therapy section i have so much pain and i would like to know your experience on that…

6. Sarah Frazier-Edwards - November 22, 2006

it’s now been sometime since I broke my ankle on september 7th and my foot is still extremely swollen even with putting my foot up in the air and placing ice on it .Also my foot has a tendency to jump throughout the day and it is extremely painful does anybody have any suggestions.

7. phatti - November 23, 2006

when i broke ,my ankle i found the website http://www.mybrokenleg.com a great help.

8. Gayle - December 5, 2006

Wow – this has been so helpful – I broke my ankle in 4 places Nov 20, had surgery, then had to fly home 10 days later – 4-1/2 hour flight – I was put on Endocet – a heavy Narcotic and took myself off it November 30 – now it’s Advil and ice as of 10 nimutes ago – no one in the medical profession suggested ice. I was given the choice of a boot cast with an inflatable device to make it snug around the ankle an additional cost of $123 – I only put this thing on at night as it is highly uncomfortable and a real foot boiler – while I am down with my foot elevated, I don’t have to wear it. This is a great blessing, as after the flight, my foot was a balloon and the swelling did come down after 24 hours.

I;m using a walk my husband rented from a med supply place to hop to the washroom and I find it really helps to extend my back leg as far back as poosible and then bring the knee forward as far as possible while holding on to the handles. At first 4 extensions was all I could do – started yesterday when I got home – now I’m up to 12. It really relieves numb bum and muscle cramps in the thign and calf. I’m also doing some upper body stretches and plan to lift a few soup cans. The muscle shrinkage in oy calf is alarming, though I’m told this is normal, but i would sure like to arrest it through gentle exersize now. If anyone else is using a boot cast – like a ski boot with velcro straps, I’d like to hear their experience.

Jay - June 8, 2012

I broke my ankle exactly 1 week and 4 days ago (jet ski accident) Im also in a orthopedic boot my biggest issue is dealing with leg cramps in my calf from lack of use, I reached out to My Dr. And he ordered me to have an ultra sound done to detect the possibility of having blood clots ( which from what I learned can be very common amongst cast/splint/boot wearers due to lack of mobility) being that no blood clots were discovered I am now on a prescription of muscle relaxers which I pick up this morning. But up to now I have been using a medicine called Absorbine it is topical rapid pain relief liquid that helps eliminate/reduce muscle pain.(which I experience very often). Also I heard eating banannas for potassium helps with cramps too. If anybody knows anything else for dealing with horrible calf cramps please feel free to share. Oh and a heating pad also had helped me for temporary relief

Chis - June 30, 2012

I have exactly same symptoms as you. Basketball injury – fractured ankle – Boot – and the cramps. Its been exactly one week and my foot swells like crazy and i started to have burning sensation today. Its so bad i cant go anywhere without crutches. I think it got worse after driving to work and seating all day in front of computer. Please if anyone went thru the same problem, please email me at jazzciel@gmail.com. I wanna know how long it will take to heal… Pain is freakin excruciating

AL - December 2, 2012

I am in an air cast right now and keep feeling like my calf is about to cramp. Last night, I took off the front hard plastic piece and deflated the boot to make it easier to sleep. That seems to help today with the “almost cramping” sensation.

9. Kathy - January 16, 2007

I broke my ankle about a week ago and just before i was trying to sleep but just couldnt! i heard that while sleeping your foot must be elevated AND your toes must be pointing up towards the cieling. is that true because i havent felt this discomfort trying to fall asleep-ever! My foot doesnt seem able to stay straight especially throughout the night! Advice would be helpful! =) thankss!

10. Sherra - January 29, 2007

I broke my right heel and sprained my ankle coming down attic stairs (missed a few obviously). I just got the cast off Jan. 26th and now in a shoe can for how long I don’t know. I was told by the doc to start putting some weight on my foot as much as I can stand. Tried it this past weekend and felt a horrible burning almost like an electrical shock feeling. Is that the nerve and when will it get better? I start my PT this week but even that won’t repair the nerve. It has been a long 6 weeks and still can’t drive or walk………thank goodness for my family and friends.

11. Elaine - January 31, 2007

I was off my foot for about 12 weeks and just got the ok from the doctor to start putting some weight on it. I have one of those monster boot things and am really ready to throw the thing out the door. But I control myself and keep it on (some of the time). I can move pretty well, still using the walker of course.

My first therapy session was yesterday and I learned something that others may already know. The therapist said that the body “throws” scar tissue into the general area of an injury/surgery. This means that I, for instance, have scar tissue across the top of my foot as well as at the area of the actual injury.

I’m not an expert, but that may be the reason for someone’s intense pain when trying to put weight on the foot for the first time. That scar tissue needs to be stretched, etc. in order for the person to get mobility back. Also, if you have been off the foot for any length of time, the foot is not used to having any weight on it. That’s something I’m working on, too. It’s uncomfortable at times. Thankfully, I’m not experiencing much pain – yet. It may come later…

I don’t know about the nerves in that area, but I think that they might need time to repair themselves, too.

Oh, one thing I just thought about. While I still couldn’t stand on my foot, I used the boot like a weight on the leg, and did leg lifts while still lying in bed. It may not have been the most efficient exercise, but I think it helped to strengthen my calf muscle enough so that I didn’t have any problems with my leg when I did stand on it. I also sat on the edge of a chair or the bed and moved my lower leg up and down. At least I like to think that these exercises helped. At least my leg didn’t collapse when I stood.

12. Elizabeth - February 2, 2007

I broke my foot about a week ago and the doctor decided to replace the boot device that I’ve been wearing with a fiberglass cast.

My question is – will I be able to fit my normal pants on over the cast? Or will I be forced to wear sweat pants and shorts for the next several weeks (in spite of the freezing temps)!

13. Tammy - February 6, 2007

Elizabeth, you shouldn’t have any problems wearing a hard cast. Now a days they keep them pretty thin. But I guess it depends on your cut of pants. I do have a guestion for anybody out there. Has anyone got upper calf cramps after their surgery? I have been getting them after sitting for periods of time and then they would go away. But now, because I have had them more often, I have the pain of when you get a night cramp and you feel it for awhile. But the pain is not getting worse. Which I know when you get a blood clot it gets worse-from experience. Thanks

14. Earl Pettet - February 7, 2007

I broke my ankle while falling on the ice during our cord setting winter here in Denver, about two weeks ago. It was a long lateral break. Daytime is manageable, but trying to sleep at night is dreadful. Can I take a sleep aid like melatonin along with Tylenol 3’s in an effort to get more than a fewq hours of sleep?

15. Jenn - February 15, 2007

Broke my ankle Feb. 2. In cast following surgery and I cannot sleep because I get these muscle spasms/jerks. I’ll feel tired and want to close eyes and sleep but my whole leg just jerks me right awake. It’s like my leg is literally physically forcing me to stay awake. Has anyone else experienced this? Muscle relaxants are not working. Nor is Tylenol PM. What can be done to stop these spasm/jerks?

Casey - August 24, 2012

Hi Jen I have them aswell, it’s been one week since I broke my leg… Did u fin out what they were??? It’s very irritating the twitches 😦

16. cedy - February 22, 2007

hello all i hope every one is getting better my question is this i fell 2 weeks ago and was told i tore legaments in my ankle here i am 2 week later and i have been walking kinda not much weight on it but after a few hours my ankle swells up pretty bad..and i was wondering if i should go back and have more x-rays dont to see if i broke it but i think i wouldnt be able to walk but not sure as i have never broke a bone b4 thanks

17. Dor - April 18, 2007

I sprained my ankle Friday night and went to the Urgent care center and they said it was a bad sprain and maybe some torn ligaments. They told me that if my swelling has not gone down after 5 days to see an orthopedic which I am doing tomorrow. It seems to me that my foot is more swollen now then when it happened. I would at least see an orthopedic to make sure you are getting the proper treatment for the ligament tears.

18. Lisa - April 29, 2007

Hi What a great page. I broke my ankle 10 weeks ago and it has been a long painful journey. I was just walking one evening and I thought I stepped on some water and it was a patch of black ice. I have never ever been in so much pain before. They did operate and I now am the proud owner of a ankle with a metal plate and 7 screws. I am now just starting physiotherapy and has it been frustrating. I am learning to rewalk and it hasn’t been easy. My question is Has anyone had the surgery with the metal plate and screws and have they ever had the hardware removed? I have heard conflicting stories and would value other peoples opinions. Thanks!

19. Ann - May 23, 2007

Hi I broke my ankle mid October 2007 (my foot went down a hidden hole in the garden and my leg went forwrd) complete break and I have a plate one side with 6 screws in it with another 3 screws the other side. I’m now walking unaided, driving and back to work. If I’m on my foot for any length of time, my ankle aches like ****, and I am still doing physio (at home) with a Wooble board. Some days are better than others – My ankle swells up (especially in the warm weather) and I’m left with a limp because I just haven’t got the flexibility with all this scaffold. I find flight socks help at bit when it’s not too hot to wear them – I’m waiting to see an Orthopedic surgeon to get advice on the removal of the plate and screws. I have a friend who broke her ankle and had plate and screws removed, she is back to normal with only the occasional twinge. At a glance you can’t see any difference between her ankles, they are both very slim. I also would value other peoples opinions regarding the removal of the scaffold and also any hints on extra physio excercise.
Best of luck everyone – We all know how brave we are!

20. Georgiana - May 23, 2007

I had a break with surgery a 9″ plate and screws in April 1994.
I have never had the scaffolding removed. But from time to time I consider having the 2 screws removed from my ankle bone which faces the outer part of my leg. They itch and are beginning to protrude and be very much against the skin in that area.
I feel so bad for all of you who are experiencing this trauma.
No one knows how painful this is until they experience it themselves.
The first 3 weeks are the worst, then there is another “plateu to comfort ” in 3 month increments. I still use ice from time to time and when I am particularly hard on my feet I use an ice pressuer cuff which I bought years ago. Place it in the freezer for a few hours then wrap your ankle and pump it like a blood pressure cuff. Best wishes to all of you. Hang in there !!!!
Sincerely, G

21. Arlette Johnson - June 9, 2007


I’m glad I found this site. I fractured my ankle on March 5, 2007. I’m now wearing my shoes again but I have severe swelling every night. Is it a good idea to put an ice pack on my ankle to relieve the swelling? The orthopedic doctor told me to only take ibuprofen but I feel I’m taking too much of this drug and I’m still swelling. Do you have any suggestions or remedies for me to follow? I would greatly appreciate it.

22. geri bailey - June 12, 2007

HELP I had Ankle replacement in Oct and now have to have another sugery in 2 weeks because I am still having some pain. MY QUESTION is what excercise, if any, can I do? I have gained more weight with not being able to excersise for years because of the pain. I am so frustrated. Every excercise involves the feet!! ANY ANY suggestions please email me gb5255@sbcglobal.net THANK you so much.

23. alex - June 16, 2007

my girlfriend broke her ankle last week. it really turnes me on those sexy toes sticking out of a cast. does any1 else feel the same?

24. Ric - June 22, 2007

Being in a cast can really be a pain, often as the cast gets old it gets dirty and unsightly. I was in a cast once and I always wished I could change the color and have it made new again. Often the doctor won’t give you the time of day to make the cast look new again. But I found a site that sells casting tape and I just added a few roll right over the top of my exisisting cast. Now I can change the color to what ever I want. If it gets really dirty I just add a roll of casting tape over top of the old and it looks brand new again.
here is the site if you are interested:

25. JOE - August 2, 2007


26. JOE - August 3, 2007

So heres my story! well i was cutting a branch out of a tree about 6inch round and it swung down and knocked the ladder out from under me . i fell straight down 20 feet and broke my right ankle . the first doctor told me there was spliters of bone that drove up into my ankle and that i may need to get it operated on .they gave me a splint and ace bandages for the weekend .i broke my ankle on sat and did not see the orthopedist until monday . i went to the orthopedist on monday was told oh yea its broke the doctor said we can cast it or you can keep the split if your comfortable with it . he also said i can take off the split to wash . then he said i’ll see you back in 2 weeks . i went back after 2 weeks and he said it looks good its not seperating and looks like its healing , i’ll see you back in 4 weeks . i have a week and a half left and i am a little worried because it does still swell up when i’m up and about on my crutches. i know its fluid but does anyone know how to get the swelling down. it does look real good in the morning

27. Deb - September 11, 2007

Hi all,

I hope everyone is healing well. I broke my tib and fib at my ankle 12 months ago. I have 2 plates and in all 11 screws. I think I had an easier time than most. Following the operation, there wasn’t too much pain other than the burning mentioned earlier. I broke it on the Friday and was back into work on Monday morning, the broken collar bone complicated things more than anything. Anyway, I am due to have the metal work out in 1 month’s time. I was wondering if anyone has any experience of the removal, will it feel a lot different afterwards? I’ve pretty much made a full recovery with the plates in, but it aches like hell after a long run and the screw heads stick out on the outside and I keep banging them on things (clumsy) I will be glad to see them gone for this reason alone, but will the aches stop once the plates are gone? Whats the procedure for the operation? I asked if I could speak to the consultant and was phobbed off, I haven’t found anything on the net yet??? Will there be a general? will they tidy up the scars? How long in the hospital? Can I fly afterwards?? I will come back and post all of these answers once I’ve done it myself, but hopefully someone here will share.


28. TAJ - September 15, 2007

hey all,
Ihope someone has advice and I hope you are all healing…I broke my leg on May 10 2007, because I was trying to slide into 2nd base while playing softball; I was trying to recapture my youth…I played ball when I was in my teens and 20’s and I am now 40 as of July! Anyway, I spent the first weeks in a hard splint with no pressure on the ankle at all and crutches. I went back to work on the Monday after the break and I believe I made it worse because at first the doc didn’t think I had torn ligiments and that the ankle would heal without surgery. Well when the inital swelling went down and the splint was removed, I was told I needed surgery. I waited another 1 1/2 weeks because I was trying to close out the school year with my graduating students( big mistake). I had my surgery on May 25 and I am now the proud owner of a plate and 6 screws. The first night after the surgery was very painful!!!!! I out ice on the ankle to help with the swelling but didn’t realize until it was too late that ice and metal don’t mix. OUCH is the least of the words that came out. My ankle started throbbing even more and I ended up staying up all night, even with the pain killers, all night. I call every available friend to talk with me to keep my mind off of the pain. My mother was my biggest help!!! I found that keep the leg elevated helped the most. At first I had a hard time following the rules because I have a 3 year old to look after. This ankle has forced me to humble myself and ask for help. I live in a town that is 2000 miles from family and I had to really rely on my new friends. My boyfriend was my anchor; my point is, that I had to learn to ask for help. The first night after the emergency room I couldn’t figuere out how to get off the toilet and my boyfriend had to lift me off at 2:00 am (now its funny…) I am now 4 months after the surgery, and I have been through PT and I am back at work. I am on my feet all day with my job and then at night with my 3 year old. I still have swelling and a “cankle”(it looks like a ham hock) anytime I am on the ankle any period of time. The doc said that the bone is healed but that it could take up to a year with the swelling?????? My question is there anything I can do for the swelling? It hurts sometimes and aches most of the time. I was given a sports brace but that seems to make it hurt more and it just pushes the swelling up my leg to my calf and my knee. What should I do for the swelling? how long will it last? I am considering plate and screw removal surgery, how long is the recovery from that? I never want to be out of commission the way I have been this year from May to present. It is just too hard. I do try to remember that I am thankful that I can walk and that time heals all wounds. I just get a little frustrated when I can’t do the thing I used too and I am constantly aware of my ankle. What is the next step?

Patti - January 21, 2014

You are the first one that has mentioned bathroom I am having my surgery feb13 can’t figure out how to manuever the bathroom
appreciate any help

JW - January 21, 2014

Toilet rails. You can get them via Amazon/Walmart/etc online delivered to the house. They attach to the stool with the lid attachment and give you steady raised rails to help you lift up with stepping on the no-weight leg. They also make shower chairs that help you get clean in a seated position while the leg in the cast can be outside the tub/shower area. After bunion surgery and later a fractured ankle, the shower chair was SO MUCH BETTER then sponge baths. Both items are under $50 each and if you have a flexible medical account – they are “medical equipment”.

29. Steve - September 18, 2007

I was hit by a car 2 months ago and broke my ankle. I had an operaton on 1 August with 3 screws put in. They said NWB for 8 weeks then go back to have it looked at and start physio. It’s been 7 weeks now so I go back in 1 week. Trouble is, I work in Baghdad and have to get back over there asap but will have to wait until I’m off sticks. Does anyone know how long after starting to be able to bear weight and start physio it usually takes to be able to walk unaided by sticks? There’s still some swelling there but I’m sure that with ice and elevation that will quickly subside. Thanks.

Good luck to everyone else by the way! It sucks doesn’t it.

30. Tara - September 20, 2007

I broke my ankle in 3 places, tore ligaments and dislocated June 16, 2007. I had surgery to get plate and screws on 6/26/07. I just went back for my 12 week on 9/17/07 and got rid of my aircast. I still swell but I am walking with a slight limp without the use of a cane or crutches. It does ache at some points of the day but I have to say my chief complaint is stiffness. I healed so well I never even did physical therapy. My Ortho believed it was best for my to take off the aircast and do assigned exercises during my healing process and I believe he was right!

31. DeborahM07 - September 29, 2007

hi Everyone , Sorry to hear about your bad breaks!
I broke my ankle in 3 places in march 07, (tib, fib. & back)
I have a left pin & a right Plate & pins on my right leg.
I did some stair skating at 51years old..
I am walking normally now .With 2 months of rest for my ankle & about 3 months pt. .It still swells at the end of the day esp where my plate is. Some pain depending on my activity levels.
My question is does anyone have any problems with their knee on the same leg as their broken ankle?
When I do leg lifts to strengthen my knees my knee clicks on the side where my plate is. I did alot of driving yesterday & there is pain in the area where the click is.
Has anyone experienced this?
Thanks, Deborah

32. Rebecca - October 25, 2007

My GP told me that if it hurts worse after 3 days or so you may have broken something. My specialty is breaking a rib. Nothing you can do about that really as they don’t put you in a cast or anything…coughing etc. really hurts..even breathing deeply and it’s very difficult to sleep.
Our son is in graduate school in Montreal and he was walking home very late at night and a car careened around the corner and hit him as he was crossing on the green light. The hit and run driver left him in the road with a broken leg. He managed to hobble into the street and flag down a taxi ( took some convincing as he was streaming blood)- the point is while you’re in shock you don’t fully realize your leg is broken.

33. Rebecca - October 25, 2007

My nephew was recently in Vietnam teaching English. He developed a weakness in his foot and can’t put any weight on it. Doctors are mystified- there is no obvious break. He’s been Xrayed. He’s moving around with crutches. And this is a normally very athletic healthy young man with a sunny disposition. He is showing great patience with this dilemma but it is getting to him. Any ideas?? Anyone heard of anything like this?

Patti - February 4, 2014

He may have a severed tendon which I have it shows up in
An MRI sounds like what I have very painful requirs surgery

34. irene - October 25, 2007

I broke my ankle in 3 places christmas eve 2005 had a plate and screws put in took a while for me to recover screws worked loose and were sticking out at the side of my ankle causing pain and i was unable to wear boots in winter so sept 2007 i had plate and screws removed i feel distressed as my ankle is still very swollen and painful how long will it take for me to get back to normal i work in a supermarket and am on my feet for at least 9hours i so much want to start back i wonder will i ever be the same again?

35. Neil - Australia - October 27, 2007

Back in Feb 06 as the result of a skydiving accident, I ended up with bilateral unstable trimalleolar fractures of both ankles. Left ankle was also completely dislocated with Talus anterior and everted. Spent 2 weeks in hospital having plates and screws inserted in both ankles. 2 operations 10 days apart with exteral fixator screwed into left leg in the interim. Outer side of ankles have plate and screws while inner side has 2-3 screws into the bone.Both legs in casts and in a wheelchair for 4 months and physio for further 4 months learning to walk again after extended non-weight bearing period. October 06 required surgery to remove a screw from right anke that was prominently pushing against skin. Could walk on it right after surgery. Will be having more surgery next week to remove plate and screws from outer side of left ankle as screws prominently pushing against skin. Have had no real problems with mobility of ankles or pain, but do get the occassional ‘twinge’ particularly in colder weather. Scars look uneven as they used sutures to close on my left leg and staples on the right leg. Friends have said that my walking is as well as it was prior to the accident so pretty much full recoveries are possible.

36. Ronalene - October 31, 2007

Hello fellow broken ankles..

I broke my anke 8-21-07 and had surgery 8-24-07. I’m now the proud owner of 12 screws and a plate. Recovery has been a challenge. I’m still on crutches and will be until 11-26-07. at this time I get the screw removed that is holding my muscle together in my leg. Does anyone know any exercises to get ready for this time. I elected not to do PT.

I’m glad I found this website… Good luck to all of you

37. NEIL - AUSTRALIA - November 4, 2007

Excercises that the Physio put me through:

Latex thermaband for resistance work. On back looped around ankle and stretching ankle in all directions against resistance on band.
Use of a walking frame for short periods initially, extending periods gradually.
Rising up on balls and toes of foot ( 1 foot at a time) and holding for as long as possible.
Use of wobble board for balance excercises
Hydrotherapy in pool. Walking forwards, backwards, sideways, squats, up on balls/toes feet and walking in all directions. Pools excellent for exercise.

These are some of the exercises I had to do and was pretty much back to normal after 4 months of physio. (Physio every 2 weeks).
Have to undergo surgery again as screws on outer side of left ankle now “pitching tents” (protruding) so they are going to remove the screws and plate from that ankle. Will still leave me with screws in the other side of the left ankle and plate and screws in right ankle.

Best wishes to all of you for speedy and complete recoveries from the land down under.

38. Barb - November 4, 2007

Hi Everyone
I broke my ankle on Sept 24 07 surgery on Sept 28 07, I have 2 screws no cast. I will see my specialist on Nov 7 my foot is still sore. I can move my ankle about 65% I am not to put any weight on it. I am hoping I will be able to start physoi on Nov 8. I sure hope I will be able to walk soon I cant beleive how hard this has been. Once you start therapy how long before you can walk. Good luck Everyone!!!

patricia - July 16, 2013

hello Barb I will be getting surgery done in 1 week I find it weird how I had to wait 2 weeks before surgery ? I am getting 2 screws how long were you off work ? thanks and how did you deal with the pain the night of your surgery ?

David - July 16, 2013

Hi Patricia.
I also waited two weeks before surgery after breaking my leg and tearing the ligaments in my ankle. The surgeon used a plate with 4 screws to hold my leg together and a pin to keep my ankle in place. They used a nerve block for the surgery. It completely ends all feeling from the knee down. The block lasted about 24 hours and when it wore off I was in the most pain I’ve ever experienced in my life. Make sure to take the pain meds(I had Percocet) exactly as prescribed…your going to need them. The pain was manageable after about 12 hours and everyday it got less and less. I had to spend a full week in bed with my leg elevated. After tht week I went back to the doctor and he applied a hard cast. I have been in the cast now for 4 1/2 weeks and it will be removed this week. Then I go into a brace for 4 weeks that is removable which will make it easier to shower and then I go into a walking boot for 4 weeks. I can’t walk for 4 months. I hope your surgery and recovery is quick and pain free.

39. Jojo - November 7, 2007

HI fellow breakers! such a good sight wish it had been about when I broke my ankle 3 years ago! I fell over ice skating I was given first aid and told it was not broken as I could move my toes! I drove 25 miles home on it in agony, went to the hos and was told again it wasnt broken and I should be walking on it properly!! any way after a week the docs decided to xray it as it was black and blue and very swollen, and guess what it was broken! I had a metal plate fitted and 7 screws inserted, the pain after the anaseptic wore of was unbearable and in floods of tears, I was given morphine for it.

It was a long old haul for over 12 weeks and over the next 3 years have had constant aches and pains with it and the screws constantly protruding and rubbing. It was decided that the plate could be removed which was 2 weeks ago and I have had the stitches out today at the moment it is quite painful, has anyone had the same procedure with removal of metalwork? and any long term effects, I have been to told it will be fragile for 8 to 10 weeks and could fracture again!! i hope not.

40. Stephanie - November 13, 2007

This site is great! I broke my right ankle July 2006 (and badly sprained the other) when I was 6 months pregnant. It was bad. I am the proud owner of 10 screws and a plate. I’m just surfing the web to find info about screw removal. I am having it done tomorrow because the inside screws have gotten sore. I am nervous about going thru the recovery again and trying to take care of a toddler. Anyway, I will post the outcome in hopes that I might help someone else who is facing screw removal.

41. Jojo - November 22, 2007

Hi again, Had my plate and screws removed a month ago, its still very tender and sensitive to touch and has a pulling sensatuion on it!

I have been wearing a ankle support on it to help against knocking it! By the end of the day it aches and I find resting it helps, Not looking forward to hours of christmas shopping walking on it!

good luck to any one else whos going through the same

42. Annie - November 29, 2007


I broke my tib and fib August 15th this year. I have plate in tib with two screws each at ankle and just below knee. I started walking at 8 weeks and gave up the crutches at week 12. I still have a bit of a limp. Went to see the ortho surgeon this week and he has said that the screws could come out pretty soon. Has anyone had their screws taken out this early? I was told by the original surgeon that it would take maybe 6 – 12 months. The swelling in my ankle is still everyday and I am pretty sensitve to cold air. Still sleep on my back with the leg on a pillow. Tried laying on my side but feels wierd. I don’t really have pain (went off pain killers after 3 weeks post op). I have not been to physio at all so think I am doing pretty well with just walking and minor exersizes when I have my leg propped up. My ankle does get stiff if I sit for too long (more than 2 hours). For those in early stages it does get better and everyone I have spoken to has a different recovery story. I hope my story gives you the confidence to take the first steps.

43. NEIL - AUSTRALIA - November 29, 2007

I was told by my orthopaedic surgeons at the original surgery (February 2006) that with ankle hardware, that they would remain in for life unless any problems became apparent. They said they take out hardware in the long bones but leave the ankle ones in. I had one screw removed last year that was “pitching tents” and prominently protruding. On December 11 I will be having about 6 screws and the 85mm plate removed from the outer side of my left ankle due to 4 of the screws prominently protruding. That will still leave 2 screws in the other side of that ankle and the plate and screws in my right ankle.

44. t john - December 7, 2007

Does anyone know how much it cost to have screws taken out of your ankle? Is surgery outpatient? And also how long afterwards are you up and walking?

45. NEIL - AUSTRALIA - December 9, 2007

I don’t know about costs in the US but in Australia all of my surgery has been done in public hospitals which is covered under our medicare system and doesn’t cost us anything. I had one screw taken out of an ankle last year and was walking right away on it. Tomorrow I am having the plate and screws removed from one of my ankles and the nurses in the pre-op assessment told me they want weight-bearing on it as soon as possible and that will be determined by pain levels and my tolerance for any discomfort. These minor procedures (screw and plate removal) are done in day surgery at our major public hospital as an outpatient and the surgery will be complete and I will be home within 3 hours of surgery commencing. It just required referral from the Orthopaedic Specialists from the hospital who run free orthopaedic trauma clinics at the hospital every week.

46. nick - December 11, 2007

Hey all, I broke my ankle recently, and it’s been in a cast for two weeks now, and the first week it seemed to be ok, and I was actually doing the one footed rabit through many daily routines, but now after i have passed the 2 week mark, it feels like I have a constant cramp in my calf, elevation seems to help but the cramp seems to still be there.
Has anyone had this issue before? Any suggestions?

47. NEIL - AUSTRALIA - December 11, 2007

Had the plate and 6 screws removed from my left ankle yesterday in day surgery and was released from hospitial about 6 hours after arriving. Have some discomfort but have been instructed to walk on it as much as possible if the pain is bearable. Surgeon advised to take it easy for 4-6 weeks to allow screw holes to fill in so no running, jumping etc as during this time ankle is at increased risk of re fracturing. Sutures come out the day before christmas

48. Patrick - December 16, 2007

I fractured my growth plate and my cast sucks!

49. tjohns - December 16, 2007

Thanks Neil for responding to my questions, and giving the update on your surgery. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Can’t wait to get my screws and plates out too! God bless you!

50. NEIL - AUSTRALIA - December 17, 2007

You are most welcome. It is through the release of our experiences that we all benefit as we go through our own traumas and recovery processes. Am walking as much as I can now. Ankle is still heavily bandaged and after 5-10 minutes of walking you can feel the swelling and the ankle throbs a bit but is not unbearable. have bought an ankle support to use during the fragility period after the bandages come off just to give the ankle a bit more stability during that time and also got some gel inserts for my new balance walking shoes to minimise the shocks to the ankle. Best wishes to everybody for speedy and complete recoveries!

51. samantha - December 24, 2007

my names is samantha. i got hit by a car and i flung 10 ft high in the air and my fibia bone popped out 4 cm. now i cant walk normal. i limp kinda. i would like to know since i dont have to go to physical thearpy if theirs anything i can do to walk normal. i have been kinda streching but its there any websites i can go to to help mw with this ? email me back please.

52. Barb - January 12, 2008

I broke my foot xmas eve when I slipped on skirt under xmas tree (used to catch needles). I was fitted with back slab for 10 days. Swelling went completely away and was giving full fiberglass cast. 8 days later had first appointment with ortho who re x-rayed me and said I had the break in a good spot – middle of foot so bones on either side were acting as splints. He then twisted and turned and manipulated it so hard that I wanted to SCREAM! He then said the cast could come off! I thought it was 6 weeks! I said. He said, not for all breaks. Had to stay off of it and exercise it which I did all of yesterday.

However last night it started to swell and hurt. The swelling is substantial and there is a NEW bruise on bottom of foot. Most bruising was completely gone elsewhere. I must admit that I didn’t have it UP most of the time yesterday and while I wasn’t putting weight on it, it was down most of the time.

Is this normal? I’d rather slit my wrists then go sit in A&E for 5 hours on a Saturday. Any help is greatly appreciated.

53. Dana - January 24, 2008

Hello Everyone, I too am the proud owner of 7 screws and a plate in my right ankle. This was only one of my many injuries – I broke my left clavicle (aka collarbone) left scapula (supposedly the hardest bone to break in the body), my right ankle was “dangling” or dislocated and had to be relocated and 11 ribs all on my left side. I had one good arm (right) and almost one good left leg.

I was in a freak accident, while cutting down a huge Oak tree with my husband. The tree hit me in the left shoulder and then ended up laying on my left leg (nothing broken, just creased) My husband lifted the tree off of me and called 911. That was on September 19, 2007, I had surgery on my ankle on 9/25/07. My wounds are almost totally healed now and I now have a new appreciation of life and how close I was to losing mine.

Since I’ve been out of my casts, my top of my foot has been very sensitive to touch and the Dr. said that would go away. But it never has. Lately, I have been having almost constant “pins and needles” and pain to the touch on the top of my foot – mainly on the right side from the 2nd toe all the way to the pinky toe and back toward my ankle. I thought it might be because I’ve walking alot more lately. Now I’ve noticed that everywhere I feel these pains is now bruising. I’ve called my Ortho, but I haven’t heard back yet. I’m scared that something might be wrong with my nerves or tendons.

Anyone ever have similar symptoms or pains?

54. TRACY - January 28, 2008

Hi there! I broke my left ankle 6 1/2 weeks ago. I have 5 screws & a plate. My swelling actually went away within a week. I was lucky & got into surgery within 4 hours of my accident. Some say that helps with recovery???
I just got released to WT last Thursday. I’m a fireighter, so I have to get back to 100% before going back to work 😦 So far so good.
My question is, what to expect with these screws & plates???

55. Dana - January 29, 2008


Good Luck on your road to 100% recovery. My ankle surgery was on 9/25 – just over 4 months ago. My 7 screws and plate only bother me when I cross my legs. I have a tendency to sit a little unlady like on the couch and at first I’m fine, but after a little while I’ll start feeling my hardware and it hurts. So I just switch legs.
My problems that I’m having are nerve related due to the hardware.

56. bethany-jade - January 31, 2008

Hello everyone,

Sorry to hear about all your breaks i broke my ankle on 6/12/07 just before x-mas. Well i had an operation 2 screws and a plate its beeen painfull for quite a long time!! The nurse did say it would swell up during the day, and thats what it has been doing but my nan told me that drinking lots of fluids helps. I have been told that i should trying to start puting some weight on there i have been trying to on the crutches but i fell down the stairs the other day so thats held me back a bit!! I keep getting pins and needles! Anyway hope everyones legs start getting better 🙂 much luurrvv xxxx

57. Dy - February 1, 2008

Hi there,

I broke my ankle both fib and tib and dislocated the joint on January 6th, 2008. I had it set and casted 2 days later had a lot of swelling so much so that I was in extreme pain so the ortho recasted it one week later. It has now been a little over 3 weeks and the swelling has gone down but my toes still turn purple the minute I put my foot down. Does anyone know if this is normal? I have 3 more weeks in the fiberglass cast and then on to a walking boot and physical therapy. Also I am having problems with crutches. I keep feeling like I am going to fall. Has anyone else experienced this? I feel like a train wreck about now… 😦

58. anna - February 2, 2008

I also broke my ankle. Very painful. I have nine screws, 2 large ones and 7 small ones. It has been almost 3 weeks now. After the surgery I had a cast. Then about 5-7 days later he took that one off and put on this stupid space boot. It hurts so bad. I keep hitting the other foot and bruising my other leg. This next week I get the staples out. What I was wondering was, ever since this has happened I have not eaten anything. Nothing taste right. Everything has a metal taste to it.. Everything that I eat burns my mouth. Like a chemical burn. I have only ate 3 times since all of this has happened. Is this normal, could I have some allergy to all of this hardware in my leg? I was just wondering if anyone else has noticed this. If anyone can help, I sure would appreciate it. Thank you

59. Madison - March 5, 2008

Hello to all the fellow broken ankles with plates and screws!!

Seven months ago I as well broke my ankle had surgery – plate and screws. The screws are now backing out, quite painful ~ Waiting for my Dr. to get back to me.

Wondering if anyone knows the recovery time of having the plate and screws removed and if you have to be re-casted?

60. NEIL - AUSTRALIA - March 8, 2008

Madison, I hope the following answers your question. As the result of screws protruding I had the plate and associated screws removed from my left ankle on december 11 2007 and was walking on it straight after waking up after surgery. It was done in a day surgery procedure. I went in to surgery at 9am and was released at 2pm. The orthopaedic surgeon said to take it easy as it takes 4-6 weeks for the screw holes to fill in and during that period the ankle is vulnerable to refracturing, so no running or jumping. My ankle was bandaged after surgery – not recast and the bandage was removed at the followup appointment on 24 December.2007 where the scar was checked for healing. They had used dissolvable sutures. I have had no problem with walking since the surgery so wish you well with your surgery and recovery.

61. carol sinton - March 8, 2008

My dogs tackled me and now I also have a plate and 7 screws! Surgery was 5 days ago and there was more pain for the first few days than I expected! The past 2 nights I have been unable to sleep – as soon as I drift off my leg jerks me awake – sometimes my arms, and the other leg. I can not describe the pain these spasms cause – and how I lie awake so that it won’t happen again! Anybody have any adivce?

62. NEIL - AUSTRALIA - March 8, 2008

I would suggest you see your orthopaedic specialist or doctor and explain the situation to them. I was in hospital for 2 weeks when I had my surgery to insert the plates and screws in both ankles after a skydiving accident. They operated on the second ankle 10 days after the first. All throughout my stay I was medicated for pain and had to keep my legs elevated via a frame on the bed. Post surgery for 24 hours I was on continuous morphine, after that was on oxycodone hydrochloride (endone) – a morphine substitute) 4 times per day as well as brufen to reduce the muscular inflammation. That medication continued for a month after I left hospital. I don’t know if sleeping on your back with your legs elevated will give you some relief but it may be worth trying. Good luck with your recovery!

63. carol sinton - March 9, 2008

Thanks Neil. I coud not get ahold of a dr this weekend, her answering message said to go to the emergency room if needed – no place to leave a message… so I will try Monday. A friend gave me a muscle relaxer and it helped. Hope you are on the road to recovery and keep both feet on the ground!

64. Elaine, Upstate NY - March 22, 2008

I fell and dislocated and broke my ankle 9/04. Had surgery same day and ended up with plate and screws. When my cast came off I had an itchy spot on my ankle. I started to itch it and it spread. I could itch right down to the bone if I didn’t concentrate on no itching. It finally went away but came back again. It has come and gone but is back again. It’s red (sort of raised), very itchy and will get larger if I continue to scratch. What could this be?

Barb - January 6, 2012

I realize this post is several years old, but if by chance someone can answer this or if you, Elaine, found out what this was, can you please share. I have the same problem after a tib/fib fracture with plate and screws and rod and screws in 2009. I am STILL struggling with it. Any help would be appreciated.

65. Karen - April 8, 2008

I broke my tib/fib 8/26/07 by falling down our stairs, had ORIF 8/28/07 w 9 screws and a plate, I found the walker easier than crutches, I actually fell trying to use the crutches in the middle of the night before surgery. Not fun, hurt my shoulder as I fell backwards, didn’t want to hurt my leg anymore. Recovery took a while, I was in the boot and one crutch at Thanksgiving and hobbling around without them in December, had 4 months of therapy, and I’m stilling having swelling and pain on the inner side of my ankle. Sharp pains at about 10 o’clock when rotating it and if I flex it with walking a lot. I finally went by to my OS today after shooting pains in my ankle after doing some spring planting and we are going to remove the hardware in a couple of weeks. I’ve gone as far as I can with it left in and hope that after the hardware is removed I will feel more normal and be able to do everything I used to do before. I’m 55 and not playing tennis anymore, but do workout and would like to do yoga again.

66. MAXY1976 - April 28, 2008

Hi everyone, I broke my right ankle on January 18th 2008, and I am concerned about the swelling and how it looks comapred to the ‘good’ one. I try not to sound really vain but girls do get more concerned as we like wearing heels. (i dont know if that will ever happen again though).
However what I was wondering is does the foot ever feel the same again, or does the metal work hinder that? I had never thought of having them removed but when I read your theories, I’m thinking it would be better in the long run without them.

Wishing the best to all broken ankle buddies!

67. Sonya - May 15, 2008

had a Trimalleolar Fracture on my left ankle last week with surgery. It’s encouraging to be reminded that this season will pass because the pain is UNBEARABLE with any gravity to the leg when going potty.

68. tracy - May 19, 2008

I broke my ankle Feb 1, 2008. I was able to elivate my ankle while on the potty, it didn’t help much but it was better than nothing. Try ice while your there. I just came back from the OS. My body is rejecting the 7 screws and plate causing severe pain and swelling. I was told this happens often. Try and lay on the floor with both feet from your knees down on the sofa, really get your leg above your heart. Eat healthy, rest and ice, ice, ice!

69. Beth - May 30, 2008

I just broke my ankle and need some advice on how to get up the stairs to shower and where to find coverings for my cast. Also, I am suppose to leave on vacation in 4 weeks and having surgery for the plates and screws next week…will I have any trouble flying and would it be easier to get a wheel chair or use crutches at the airport or cancel the trip? I am not even sure if the airlines will let me cancel. I seem not to have much upper body strength and having trouble using the crutches. Any advise. How long after surgery before I can at least get a walking cast or put weight on ankle so I can put a plate down on the floor to feed the cats. This is the pits. But could be worse.

70. Sonya - May 30, 2008

if you haven’t even had surgery yet, I can’t imagine being able to go on vacation in 4 weeks. How bad is your break? A wheelchair is my most convenient way of getting around and I use a walker in the bathroom (it’s a small space). My doc said it will be AT LEAST 10 weeks before I can even put weight on that foot. I have a blog with more details (remove spaces) cokehouse . blogspot . com
You’re right – it could be worse. That attitude has kept me going. 🙂

71. Dave - May 31, 2008

Broke my ankle just over 2 weeks a go was packing the car to get ready for a nice long weekend of camping. Ended up slipping while walking up my small hill at the house onto the walkway towards the back yard. Broke it in 3 places, had surgery the next day. I now have a plate and 12 screws in there to hold it all together. I spent the entire long weekend and my birthday in the hospital! Good times! They released me on the following Tuesday and I have been doing nothing by lying around with my foot propped up with pillows since I’ve been home. I find the pain is much better now but I do get an occasional throbbing near the heel of my foot and back of my ankle. I am now only taking extra strength advil when the pain is too unbearable. It is really the worst when I am trying to sleep at night I cant seem to move it around at all without it starting to throb. Even having it perched up on pillows still gives me the same pain. I have actually found that sitting up and putting my leg down on the ground for a few minutes takes the pain away (for a short period of time). Anyone else had similar issues?

72. Beth - June 1, 2008

Wow. 10 weeks before you can weight on it. I broke my ankle in 3 places but thought I would be in walking cast by 4 weeks and cast off at 6 weeks. So I may not be able to return to work for a long time. Does anyone know how long you have to keep leg elevated after surgery for screws and plate? After cast is off will I have to use a walker to get around for awhile while doing physical therapy or will I be able to walk without anything? This seems like it may be alot longer than I thought.

73. Dianne from Australia - June 2, 2008

Hi All and hope you’re having a pain-free day!
I think I’ve been pretty lucky with my trimalleolar fracture and dislocation – but it’s early days (broke it May 3rd). The emergency guys were brilliant – they relocated (?) it under midazolam so I don’t remember a thing. It was five days before I could have surgery (a plate and 6 screws in the fibula, 2 screws in the medial malleolus and nothing they could do about the back) so that anti-inflammatory drugs, ice and elevation couild take the swelling down. I had a backslab for 10 days and am now in a lightweight, weight-bearing fibreglass cast and walking with elbow crutches after having the 23 staples out (ouch)! Still have to elevate regularly to avoid swelling and there seems to be some abrasion under the cast from where my ankle has sometimes swelled so I’m going to get that checked out.

I’m flying to Greece and Germany in four weeks and have booked business class flights to minimise the risk of swelling and DVT. Let’s hope insurance pays!!!

A couple of things that might help others: ice packs (and elevation) are great for getting swelling down if no cast. Elevation and (on advice of your doc) diuretic tablets can help when the cast is on. Don’t underestimate the amount of time you will have to keep the leg up to prevent balloon ankle. Also, it seems that correct adjustment of elbow crutches is not a forte of hospital physiotherapists. I had to lengthen mine two notches to feel stable and walk upright. Finally, Use paper tape such as Micropore to secure a small plastic garbage bag over your cast when you shower to stop it from getting wet.

Take good care of yourselves. My saving mantra has been “it could have been a lot worse” – e.g. my neck! I’ve also gained a real appreciation and empathy for people with permanent disabilities who have no choice but to rely on others for help their whole lives. If they can do that, I can survive for a few months.

74. Beth - June 7, 2008

How do you get a wheel chair without paying a high price or paying anything for it? I will only need it while on vacation and need one that can keep my foot elevated after surgery for a broken ankle. And how long should I keep my foot elevated after surgery before I can return to work? What kind of wheel chair works the best and where do I get them from? Thanks.

Dawn1973 - September 19, 2015

I know this is obviously all a moot point seeing as how the most recent post I have seen here is 2013. It’s not end of September. 2015.

I broke my ankle on May 7, 2015 in punta Cana while on my honeymoon – it was a horrific and traumatic experience knowing that it had to be broken which I knew because I felt the bone break and my foot was purple and two and a half times the size – and more than that I could bear no weight on it at all : which after finding out that this was completely because I had not only fractured my malleolus , but also my fibula just below my knee and my lateral and deltoid ligaments were both severely injured and ruptured .

So as airports and wheelchairs – let me tell you , wheelchairs and airport staff were the only reason my wife and I zoomed through customs , gates , luggage etc . Make sure you tip them
All very well – I spend $180 in tips on the way home : worth every penny .

Why though would you even consider leaving the county while so horribly injured and just so you know , you won’t be able to do it alone so you’ll need a good travel buddy and make sure they’re aware of how dependant y you’ll be on them :
But here’s something for you to seriously think about : if you end up falling there or have any other complication wth your injury , you hsbe no pls Etonians no resources . And that id a very bad position to be in – trust me

75. NEIL - AUSTRALIA - June 12, 2008

When I needed a wheelchair for 4.5 months after my bilateral trimalleolar ankle fractures I contacted my local Red Cross office who rent out wheelchairs. I had to pay an $80 deposit and weekly rental was only $20. You may want to check out your local first aid supply companies or speak to occupational therapists at the hospital you were at. They should have a good idea where you can rent a wheelchair from in your local area. I have a desk job but was back at work a week after getting out of hospital. Work had a workplace assessor come in and they got risers for my desk so that the wheelchair would fit underneath it and also got and ergonomic footcushion that would keep my feet comfortably elevated. Hope this has been of some use.

76. NEIL - AUSTRALIA - June 12, 2008

I had plates and screws inserted in both ankles and was totally non-weight bearing for initially 8 weeks. After orthopaedic review at 8 weeks the casts were taken off and it was determined that I could commence physiotherapy fortnightly. I was still in the wheelchair for another 2 months but was getting out of it at physio sessions and at home for exercise. Had the use of a walking frame ($5 per week rent from hospital). Also bought 2 walking sticks for use when I finally got out of the wheelchair. How long you take before you can return to work will depend on the sort of work that you do and how quickly your recovery progresses as determined by your orthopaedic specialists and physiotherapists.

Good luck to all with your recoveries. There is light at the end of the tunnel. After a lot of hard work I am now walking as well as I did before my accident.

77. Karen - July 2, 2008

Hi fellow sufferers

just to say that I have a displaced right ankle (which happened on my first day of hols in Turkey) had a backslab and flew home to be told that I had to have ORIF surgery and a plate and 2 screws later I became the bionic women. 4 weeks later and after beginning having conversations with my ceiling due to non weight bearing cast and having to continually elevate my leg I was told the op was a success, they opted for another cast for a fortnight and of course my fab blue suede velcro shoe with my ever dependable crutches. I have to slowly start to put a 1/3 of my weight on my toes to start with (this is kinda uncomfortable as I’m not sure if I’m doing it right and when it hurts I panic I’ve done it in again!!) however it’s really just to say that even though it’s a long road it’s one that I’ll be a better person for walking (soon I hope). Wish you all a speedy and full recovery.

Maria - October 11, 2014

Hi Karen I am reading all these old posts as I had surgery 2 weeks ago for a broken ankle in Ephesus Turkey ! Surgery was done in Turkey and then the long flights home to Australia

78. Judy aka klutz - July 8, 2008

Wow my fellow anklebreakers!!! A few of us broke ourselves at the same time! Mine was May 4th. Dislocation and trimalleolar fracture – plate with 7 screws, and one pin. Staples out and cast on May 23. I flew to Vegas with my wheelchair and crutches (use the wheelchair at the airports if you can, a lot easier than using your own) on June 3rd. (still not weight-bearing). Not the best idea…hurt a lot, The swelling in the cast was extremely uncomfortable, but still managed to have fun! So, cast was off on June 20th…just now starting to be able to walk with the boot and not the crutches…just a little! I went to work last week but the crutches took a terrible toll on my arthritis in my hands, so back working from home again! You know, the pain in the heel was a surprise to me and for me also, putting a bit of weight on it helped also. I have NO idea why that would be! I hate ice but am starting to use it now – my ankle and foot look SO ANGRY red when i exercise! Being in southern California and living alone, a car is essential. I got hand controls to use for a while. Akward but is worth the mobility (it is my RIGHT) ankle. I am using the pool to ‘walk’ to exercise the foot and it seems to help. After a couple of days with that, I am able to walk a little with the boot, no crutches. I am waiting for authorization for a lace-up support that fits in a shoe. The post-op guy said I should have been able to walk some without the crutches as soon as the cast was off (6 weeks post surgery). Am I a wimp for not being able to till now (8 1/2 weeks post I think)?

79. Leanne Lister - August 1, 2008

I broke my left ankle on July 1, 2008…the first day of my vacation…needless to say, the last day of vacation as well. I was just walking down the stairs at my friends house when it happened. I had to have surgery that night with the plates and screws. My cast from the surgery was hard on the bottom and soft on the top. It stayed on for 2 weeks. I went to surgeon where I live asfter I got home and he took out the stitches and replaced with a new fiberglass cast….hot pink!! Two weeks later, that cast is replaced with an ugly and expensive air cast. I still cannot bear any weight for 2 more weeks then I am supposed to start walking. I AM SCARED to try that. I hate this air cast. Very bulky and uncomfortable. At least I can take it off to shower and sleep.

80. Tracy Manchester England - August 5, 2008

Hi to all you brave ortho patients. I dislocated and fractured my ankle back in july 2007. i did have plates and screws,but on Thurs 07/08.08 1 year later i am having the metal work removed.(quite scared) I jst hope it improves my stability and walking as the srew is making my life a misery.
I will update you all after surgery as anyone had this procedure done?

81. Leslie - August 18, 2008

I’m so glad I found this site, it’s 3 am and I can’t sleep. I only saw a few others mention that they have jerks and spasms when they try to sleep, i thought i was going crazy, but now maybe it’s something i should mention to my doctor. I had surgery a week ago and broke my tib and fib aug 1st by just standing up and it rolled and i heard and felt something crack-owww… probably didn’t help i was wearing heels. I’m in the walking boot now, but it’s locked and i’m not supposed to put weight on it. Has anyone tried driving with thier left foot… or with the boot when the dr unlocks it so i can walk on it in 5 weeks… doesn’t sound very safe, but i’m just wondering. Hope you all are healing well and fast. Take care- Leslie

82. Erin - August 25, 2008

Hi everyone!

These sites are such a consolation, as I feel quite alone and scared. I was in a head on collision and broke my lower left leg in three places. I also have a nice laceration on my right knee, along with some pain in my shoulder. It’s been 3 weeks since my surgery and Im still swollen. The pain varies from day to day. I too had experienced that leg jumping thing when about to fall asleep, but I attribute it to morphine withdrawal or some side effect of pain killers. Night time is hard as sleep is hit or miss. I feel like my bottom is becoming couch shaped. There is nothing fun about this, but I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers for speedy recoveries.

83. Frisbee Mom - August 27, 2008

I broke my right ankle a week and a half ago. I was spontaneously playing frisbee w/ my daughter, was only going to play for a minute (in flip flops – never again) when I came down on my ankle wrong and my husband and I both heard the “SNAP!” What a horrendous sound. Anyway, thankfully it’s a clean break and should heal nicely, or so I’m told. I am wearing a big velcro boot which I can remove to sleep and shower. My biggest complaint is some cramping in my calf – feels like a painful knot that I can’t work out. The orthopedic doctor told me I can take the boot off while laying on a couch, etc, so I’ve tried massaging it, heating pad, ice, etc. Does anyone have any advice? Thank you, and I wish you all quick healing.

84. Gail - August 30, 2008 - August 30, 2008

I slipped and dislocated my left ankle trimelleour break. Put me under something in emergency (Tuesday 3 June 08) to try to put ankle back into position I will never consent to whatever they gave me again I felt I was trapped in death and could not escape. As it was I still had surgery to reposition it (Thursday) & waited a further week to stabilse ankle with a plate & screws. I woke from surgery with people all round me I was crying in terrible pain thank the hospital for the pain doctors. Only enough pain relief for 3days but that is all I needed. It is now August 30 and I still have only 85% movement with a LOTof swelling+blood pooling dark colour. It feels very tight across the front does anyone know if this is normal. I had a half cast for two weeks, staples taken out then used the large ski boot for 4wks but it caused my knee too much pain now Iam using a light weight ASO black strapping half boot + stocking used in hospital. It gives me GOOD support, unfortuntely the last xray showed 1 of the 3 bones, separated by 2mm (screw side). I was in a hurry to get back to work. DO NOT RUSH trying to walk keep up the exercises. Doctor said leave it for another 3months if still not right another operation. It would make it easier to know what to expect so you do not worry and you do not cause yourself further damage.
I understand the pain and wish everone the best for a recovery.

85. John - September 2, 2008

Hi ya , I broke my left ankle on May 18th 2008, I had 7 pins and a steel plate fitted. I am still off work to this date 2nd Sept 2008. I had back slab plaster cast fitted for the first two weeks then a full cast was fitted.
I had the full cast on for six weeks but managed to walk with the cast on after four weeks, BE CARFUL THOUGH, When the cast was removed on the 9th July it was great to be able to put my shoes back on and hobble about. Its been nearly four months now since my accident and my ankle is still swollen and wondered if anybody knows how long it can take for the swelling to go down.
If i can give anybody any advise please email me: jmaccy28@live.co.uk
Good luck to you all.
p.s. watch out for wet floors when you are getting around on crutches, “I fell over twice”
All the best
John , From the West Midlands U.K

86. John - September 2, 2008

Hi Gail. I had the blood pooling and the doc said it was normal. Also had lots of bruising just below my knee but it stopped where the cast started, and can still see it now four months later. the tightness across the front is also normal but will soon free off as the weeks go by.
Go to physio regular as you can
All the best

87. Shirley - September 6, 2008

Any one have any advice on driving? I have a half cast until Tuesday. I broke my right leg/ankle in a car wreck, plus fractured my left knee cap. I checked my car today just to see if it would be hard to drive. I just moved it from one parking spot to another. I couldn’t hit the accelerator without hitting the brake pedal too. Anyone have advice? I’m a single parent with only a 13 year old for company. He can’t drive me. I live 20 miles from the nearest town. I live in a very rural area of south western Idaho. Driving is essential. We have wild fires regularly. I plan on asking the doctor about a smaller cast or something. But I’m pretty much at a lost. When did they let any of you drive? My injury was pretty extensive. I almost severed my foot so I’m off work for the next 2 months. But they are very optimistic. I had surgery within hours of the accident. I just have to worry about being able to take care of myself.

88. Cait - September 21, 2008

I need some help.

I broke my foot (one of the weight bearing bones that lead to your baby toe) while running due to a preexisting injury. I decided it wasn’t broken and walked the mile back to campus before going to the ER. I was given an aircast and crutches. From day one I have walked on it with one crutch however that calf is now 1/2 the size of the other. What can I do to make them the same? Also walking is getting harder now then when I originally broke it can anyone speculate as to why?


89. Rebecca Ryan - September 24, 2008

Hey there,
I know what you are all feeling!! I broke my ankle in 3 places and dislocated it on June 23rd. Less than a week later I had 8 pins and a plate put into my right ankle. The pain was unreal at times. At first I had a splint put on and anytime I put my foot down I could feel the blood rush to my toes. I thought I was going to die!! About 4 weeks later I had a cast put on. It was very heavy and uncoftorable! I still had a lot of swelling and I had a very hard time sleeping. Just the easiest things were hard to do with crutches. My left ankle would get sore from all the weight and I always felt tired. I had the cast on for about 6 weeks and now I am on the air boot. I didn’t like it at first because it felt so heavy and tight. But it is nice to be able to take it off and shower like a normal person. I am now slowly putting weight on my foot without the boot and I see the doctor next week for looking into physical therapy. Ugh. I hear that is no fun!! I am now experiencing a lot of tightness and can feel the nerves twitch from time to time. I still experience swelling. But it is getting better. I just can’t believe how long it takes. I am not looking forward to the therapy but I know it’s just getting me one step closer to putting this behind me. For all you ankle breakers- I know what your going through!! The Best Of Luck!!!

90. Rachel - October 1, 2008

Hi to all of you in the broken Ankle gang ! I agree as others have said its so helpfull to find this site and at last feel like others understand. My friends and family are great but sometimes i feel they think its not as bad as I make out and its only when they come to the hospital with me n hear the docs they realize as they always are more patient with me after. I hate having to relay on people and I can see they get exsausted with it all and i feel so guilty. I slipped in my friends wet porch and broke my tib and fib,( this was aug 17th2008 ) I was on the way home at the time at it was late at night so i hobbled out the taxi indoors on it and when i shut the door i feel to the floor and could not get back up. I was all alone as i live with my 8 year old daughter but she was at her dads for the weekend thank goodness. I have neaver been so destressed in all my life the pain was hell, I also needed the loo so attempted to get up n on the toilet and couldnt manage, then had a accident and was in a mess ( humilateing even tho alone ) so I knew my ankle was probs broke but didnt want to call any one at night n so threw myself in the bath to get clean ( didnt work very well ! ) then threw myself out again n crawled to bed till morn then called my aunt to take me to A and E ( why the heck i neaver called an ambulance that night i dont know ? I was told off by docs for not coming in immed as it was now bad swollen so had to wait 3 days till my op. I had Pins and screws in and temp cast was out two days later. I then had a new cast a week later. It has made me so very low n frustrated this whole thing and knowing i have a long way to go makes me even more fed up, i am trying to say well could be worse n yes that helps im better off than some. I have had leg jerks as others and they do get better then stop i just ignored them. Yesterday ( 30th sep ) I had the cast off and next week i have to have the screws out that worries me can anyone talk me threw day surgrey and what happens. Its all the new things i get so afraid of it all as i just dont want the pain again i couldnt cope. ill keep ya all posted on how things are going. Would be great to get advice and as i go threw each stage and am no longer afraid of the unknow i may be of help to others. The biggest fear at the mo is when in 6 to 8 weeks I am alowed to put weight on it and start trying to walk, I really want to to hurry up recovery ( god i want to be bk to normal for all sake! ) but is it going to make me scream in agony when i push on it ?? Take care all of u happy speedy recoverys ! xxx

91. Rachel - October 1, 2008

Also im using a walker as I just cant mannage the crutches i feel envy when i see some people even kids hopping about on them well ! Im tried and tried i just have weak upper body strenght and am a big girl that dont help. On crutches i wobble and feel im going to fall and i dont want any setbacks !! so am avoiding the danger. Has anyone else had the same prob with the crutches ??? Should i just stick to my walker ?? Im doin well on it Or should i keep trying the cruthches even tho i might fall ?? thanks x

92. Rachel - October 8, 2008

Ok had the screw out today in day surgery it was all fine. To talk ya through for others who might have to have it it went as follows…… Got there waited for a bit then Had a talk with the nurse got weighed etc, then met the anithistist to decide which way i wanted the anastetic chose to have it in back of knee as thats quickest recovery. Then got changed and waited then met surgen, then got took to anastetic room on trolley they id the stuff in back of leg and gave me oxygen and a drip in hand and gave me some medicen to make me bit slepy ( not asleep just cosy ) as i was a bit tense. Then wheeled in to theatre and they asked if i could feel anything n couldnt so i felt my leg being pulled about a bit n thought they were just positioning it but they were doing it n it took 10 mins was fine bandaged n went to rest. Later at home whilst elevating the anastetic was wearing off and was/ is a bit sore but ok. I can start to try and walk in a 3 days when i take off my own bandage n can also then get it wet. Ahhh thought it would be longer befor i could weight bare but as doin so well they now said asap to get on with recovery so i will do my best but if it hurt ill stop n try again untill it dont hurt as im not puttin pain or pressure on my self but am pleased n cant wait to be normal n walking soon but nervous, im aiming to gwt myself walking unaided even if hobbling a bit by my 6 week check so ill let ya no xxx

93. Rachel - October 11, 2008

yay I have managed to smile grit my teeth n walk a few steps on my tip toes its a start will aim to try and get the whole of my foot flat on floor n take proper steps over next few days! Yipee !!!!! It helps that i can get my shoe on as well and that supports it but it keeps falling off while hobling ! so far so good.

94. Ninas Mom - October 13, 2008

My daughter broker her anklelast sunday, tib & fib. She had surgery tuesday and has to plates and seven screws. Her pain has been horrible. The night of the surgery we were at the e.r. becasue nothing works but morphine. They prescribed her liquid morphine. It has been 5 days since surgery and she has sharp pains at night. they also prescribed her flexoril for cramoing. has anyone experienced the sharp pains at night which she says she can feel in her bones? We are going to the doctor tomorrow to see if the cast mat be to tight. I havent slept in a week but know I am the lucky one.

95. Rachel - October 14, 2008

Oh bless her ( in reply to Ninas Mom ) I had pain and leg jerks but that sounds to me like a tight cast and i would get it sorte to make her more comfy. Its hard for the one in total agony but also hard for the carere so please be patient with her n if shes grumpy she dosent mean it. Make sure u get plenty of rest when ya can good luck x

96. kim - October 15, 2008

kim – england – 15th October 2008.

hi everyone, wish i had found this site ages ago. Broke my heel bone on the 30th June 2008 after felling off my horse. Was in hospital for a week waiting for ct scan only to be told that there wasnt much they could do because it was in so many pieces. Nothing to screw or pin together they gave me an space boot thing and told me to look after my ankle the best i could. Now 14 weeks on still have a very stiff ankle cant put much weight on my foof but think its because i am scard ………… hope you all are holding up well good luck…………x

97. michele michaelson - October 17, 2008

Hi everyone i agree wish i had found this site sooner – I broke my ankle in three places on 20th July while on holiday in Greece. I had surgery there and they put in screws and wires and eventually i was flown back home to London, but my London doc was not happy with the surgery I had in Greece and i ended up having to have a second surgery on 17th sept. I was in a cast for nine weeks altogether. It is now four weeks since the second surgery and I am partially weight bearing but it is very painful especially at night when my ankle swells up – any hints on how to handle the nights – the nights are literally nightmarish.

i want to add that i sympathise with those who had trouble with crutches i hated my crutches especially on stairs doorways and curbs but now that i am partially weightbearing it is much easier so do perservere. you could try a walker but i would persevered with the crutches if i can get used to them anyone can.

98. Rachel - October 18, 2008

Oh Michele bless you sounds rough! You should be proud of handeling it all its such a endurance test ! Im sure u have a load of painkillers and you may have stoped using them I did after 3 weeks so i didnt get dependant on them however if you are in pain at night take some cocoadmol half an hour befor bed i always find they knock me out take two and use them to get a good sleep as its so important to rest at night and then if pos dont take any in day unless reallin agony try to tough it out to get stronger. Its been two weeks since my pin was removed I still cant walk without the frame but its slowly getting less apinfull n i can walk wobbly sort of limping with the frame quite quick little steps now but after 5 mins need to sit for a little breather! so its progress. I can also stand without holding on to anything yay ! Wish this was a quicker process but am pleased I think people are surprised around me that its taking so long and maybe they think i could do more but they dont get it so i dont blame them i would think the same untill u go through it you dont understand. I am not going to give the crutches another go as im aiming to try litle steps unaided soon so ill perseve with frame till i can do it alone as i dont want to go backwards because of fear im confident on the frame an that helps if i feel brave to push myself. If i would of been at the biging of this ordeal agin i would of not used the frame and really learnt those crutches if pos. Good luck to u all keep going xxx

99. michele michaelson - October 19, 2008

thanks – rachel – before this happened i just did not realise how much a physical thing can put you back mentally – i thought i was mentally tough but this is really making me miserable.

i feel over yesterday trying to walk – i sort of went over on my toe and I am worried that i have sprained another part of my foot – it hurts so much I have gone back to non weight bearing until i see at least the physio if not the doc – feels like i have stepped back two weeks in my recovery.

one day at a time….

100. Rachel - October 22, 2008

Michele thats dreadfull, i totaly understand but it will get better you are at the worst point right now and to fall ! U do right taking the weight back off it n just go staedy. youve gone a few steps back, have a good cry and talk with someone who will let u get it all out then treat ya self to sommat nice sit relax and watch a good film to cheer ya self up u need a few laughs to forget it for a bit. Then just carry on theres nothing else you can do, what dont break us makes us stronger ( i no that seems like a joke at the mo tho ! ) Guess what …. Im useing crutches ! I take back what i said the other day in the last two days i thought id give them a go n there great, its becuse im fully weight baring im not hoping at all just walking n so im not wobbly so they are not a prob anymore. I hope in a few weeks tops ill be down to one crutch its just all happened so Quick n recovery is finaly in reach in the last two days, i can see light at the end n so will u all. I can walk a few doors down and back then need to sit I dont even care that i still cant go to the corner shop or round the corner to a friends as i no i soon will its not imposible to imagine and i sit when i cook still in the kitchen on the pc chair so as not to swell n tire my ankle but its so strong now, end of day n morn its very sore but compared to the pain when it was still broke its nothing i cant handel now i just ignore it or elevate for a bit. I neaver thought id get here and was paniking this was gonna take forever but i did the right thing and that was to take it at my own pace not weight bare when they said i waited a few days till i was confident and when ya bodys ready it will start to do what u want it to again. Slow and calm and steady is all ya can do and lots of treats to ya self sod it u deserve it, dont try to do to much rest is important xxx

101. justin - October 24, 2008

hey everyone i broke the growth plate in my right ankle nine weeks ago and now its healed in everything but now im worried about not being able to run as fast or run at all anymore cause i play basketball and football for my school and im the WR on the football team and the coach wants me back on the feild ( asap ) but when i run my foot seems to be locked and a gonna stomp and when i try to do jumping jacks or anything to do with my right ankle its like my body just keep me from doin it i dont know why and im really confuse cause i been one of the lucky ones and not break so far execpt my ankle and now i think all these years of getting lucky in finial over but if anyone has anything to say or has broken the growth plate in there ankle i would like to know how it turned out for you

102. justin - October 24, 2008

hey michele,

i think everyone hated there crutches but when your off of them it feels so good to walk again i cant say i broke my ankle in three diff places but i can say that i broke the growth plate in my right ankle over nine weeks ago but now after nine weeks of bein on them and im getting my boot off and i should be walkin again. i just want to wish you a happy ending to this

103. justin - October 24, 2008

hey rachel,

i just wanted to say you give real great advice to people and im sorry that you are havin trouble with the crutches. good luck to you

104. michele michaelson - October 25, 2008

rachel that is great that you are managing to get about on your crutches. I went back to work this week and I am really overwhelmed – i cannot believe how much work i used to do, i feel in awe of the abilities of my former self, and feel that i cannot get back to being that person – not yet anyway.

i took your advice about the co-codamol and it was good advice.

i guess i somehow thought that i would be better from all this sooner……

105. Rachel - October 25, 2008

Hey Michele didnt we all think that but its sommat we have learnt and it will always make us more tolerent now. Glad ur back at work, you will get back to that person you were just in time but people will aprechiate ur effeciencey more as they will respect that you are still doing your tasks but at a new pace. Thanks Justin very kind, I just want to try to answer possible questions i always needed answering and help. Good Luck to you dont feel pressered in to a quick recovery if ur not able. Im good, very sore foot today but i have reste most of the day all. Sore because i did such a big accivement yesterday I walked using my crotches all the way down a large highstreet in town to get from carpak to a restraunt with a friend and it took ags had about 3 stops but was great i did it !!! I can get about the street to neighbours houses no probs now. Still not standing for that long about 5 min and still haven on bus yet to town as wouldnt be able to get about for long and not yet done the shops and post office que gonna try that in a few weeks or less depends on how i go xxxxxxxx

106. Rachel - October 25, 2008

lol i wrote crotches ! ment crutches ha ha !

107. michele michaelson - November 4, 2008

hi all I am back at work and walking on one crutch – it is three months since I first fell and six weeks since the second surgery on my ankle and the surgeon has signed me off – but i am finding the continual pain hard to handle – I am taking constant pain-killers to get through the day and still have the problem of pain at night. Any ideas on how long it will take for this to die down would be a good thing. my physio seems to think i should just work through the pain but sometimes i just feel that i can’t. simple things like walking through the office – the doors which are fire doors feel so heavy – with a file just seem so difficult. i just hate being this person who is miserable all the time and complaining about my damn ankle – but that seems to be who i am right now.

108. Rachel - November 5, 2008

Wow on oct 17th U were only partialy weight bearing now ur walking with one crutch thats great!!!!! I dont think all that pain sounds right tho are u sure you arnt doing to much and rushing ya recovery ? I use one crutch as well fab I can use the other hand to carry stuff at last. But if it gets to sore then I go back to two maybe im taking it to slow and not pushing myself enough but sod it its better to be not in agony. Get to the docs about the pain, I hope u feel better soon xxx

109. michele michaelson - November 7, 2008

thanks – good to remind me about how far i have come – i forget that sometimes. I feel i would say 85 per cent better but i so much want to go that extra percentage and get to 100 per cent. i still feel so dependent.

110. Rachel - November 9, 2008

I did a bit of hobbling around each room cleaning the other day but only for a few mins the used crutches again and i used them to walk down the street n bak two days running to see my neighbour n thats all, so why have i ha pain back for two days really sore n tender! On top of foot and very tender to touch i cant have over did it just doing that ???? Anoyed as was doin well n neaver have pain! its eased a bit today, Do u think i pulled a musle or ? Feels like a bad bruise but nothing there? Im sat leg up on cusion all day again !!! Im sure it will be right in a day or two again makes me not want to push myself forward now damit.

111. michele michaelson - November 9, 2008

i think the reason we might get back pain is because we are not walking normally – i.e. it is natural to try and protect the hurt foot, so put the weight on the other side which means unbalanced and that puts the back out. i think it will ease it up. I would not let it put you off with your progress but when you walk try and concentrate on being balanced – i know this is hard – i think i am walking better without crutches or on two crutches than with one – good luck!

112. Rachel - November 11, 2008

No I ment the pain is back in my ankle not back pain ! Im so worried think i might of sprained i its agony ! Has been for 4 days now n getting worse hospital check up tomorow thank god.

113. Rachel - November 14, 2008

It was sprained near enough better now thank goodness, go carefull people they said at the hos that it is so easy to do whilst still recovering a slight wroung step or knock can sparain as its weak. x

114. Rachel - November 20, 2008

hey fellow suffers, Im getting really anoying aches in the ankle every eve n morn real bad when its real cold its like a rumertisum felling i no its common following bad fractures so jut woundering how i can ease it n make more comfortable, will those deep heat creams be ok to use on my ankle ? any suggestions would be great it can be very distracting and uncomfortable. Apart from that doin good still on one crutch n not gone far.

115. michele michaelson - November 23, 2008

hi Rachel, would you believe it I actually went for a 20 minute walk today. No crutches – it felt great. Ankle is still swollen especially at night but physio says that is normal. On your aching I think the creams would be okay, cannot see how it would hurt – i have pins and needles and doc says only way to cure that is deep massage so i think that would work for you also. I went to see the doc about pain and she gave me diclofenac which I think is keeping me going. It is four months since I first fell, two months since the corrective surgery. I am hoping that by the New Year I will be well enough to go on a trip with my daughters to disneyland paris, keep your fingers crossed for me.

116. Rachel - November 23, 2008

So pleased for ya, That is amazing 20 mins unaided ! Im sure if u did that by new yr u will mannage ur trip. The aches have all gone I dontr want to jinx myself but Im feeling so good the last three days ive done a good bit of walking up n down street n back and stood up cookin and pottered about n normaly cant do all that with out having little sit downs very 10 mins but i didnt need to and yes a tiny bit swollen at night but i wouldnt of known if i hdent looked theres been no pains aches or anything Yipee ! Im going to corner shops on my own tomorow if its not slippy and am sooo Pleased, since my accident its just coming up 2 4 months so we seem to be right on trackso if ya walked unadied maybe i will by new year. Yay me an yay u !

117. Rachel - December 7, 2008

I am so proud went out last night stood and watched a gig then walked from pub to pub and stood from time to time all eve with no pain. Today went on the bus to town ( first bus ride n out alone since it happened in aug ) got two bags of shoppin and got the bus back home n mannaged with the bags n my crutch an then went out to a meal tonight and again did lots of walking n went up n down to get my food without the crutch ( I can now but quicker n less limpy with the crutch so not totaly undependant yet ) How good is that ! Those that are still stuck at the start of the injury you will get here and will feel positive and u go from being so fed up n at times very low to being very happy and aprechative as ur so relived to not be so useless anymore x

118. michele michaelson - December 13, 2008

Hi Rachel, I am very proud! Just wanted to say in case any newbies with broken ankles out there, it is good for them to hear that there is light at the end of the tunnel – I am not completely better – especially my strength, stamina and balance but I no longer wake up in pain in the night, I can walk, I have lost a ton of weight (somehow having to walk on crutches and carry my body around made me want it to be lighter – I have dropped two dress sizes) and I have learned a lot about what it is like for people who are permanently disabled. When i look back at my old posts I see how depressed and miserable I was, and how great it is to be coming out of it, so if anyone reads this who is at the beginning, those feelings of depression are normal and although it seems like it will never happen, you are going to get better. and many thanks to you Rachel your kind words back there really helped me. sounds a bit mushy, but that was how I was feeling!

119. Aaby - December 28, 2008

I am super happy I found this website and all of you people who have broken ankles, legs or a foot. I am 22 years old, and broke my ankle the day before thanksgiving. 3 weeks prior to that I was going in for an emergency c-section to have my baby girl. This has been the hardest, most difficult time in my life. I broke my ankle in 3 places and also have a spiral fracture – in my upper calf. It has been exactly 5 weeks today. Luckily they told me I did NOT need to have the surgery and that in 6-8 weeks I would be healed and would not need any physical therapy because of my age. I have been sleeping on my couch with my baby in a bouncer seat next to me every night. I have a scooter that my mother had purchased my grandfather 2 months before he died – it has been a life saver. I am very uncordinated (obviously) and CANNOT walk on my crutches whatsoever. Does anyone know if my cast will really come off in the next 3 weeks with this bad of a break??

120. Sage - January 4, 2009

Hey Everyone I hope you all have a painless and speedy recovery.
I was one of the lucky ones…yes, I broke my right ankle November 22, 2008 and had to get 8 screws and a plate in my ankle. I am now wearing that boot and using a walker to get around, but only in the house I still can’t manage stairs. Actually, I am scared to death of stairs now….I fell down lucky number 13 stairs in my home breaking my ankle. I am now having spasms in my right foot and ankle when I am at rest. And I mean its jerking!!! Does anyone else have this problem? It’s so weird and I can’t control it. It doesn’t hurt, but is this normal? Share please…

121. Sage - January 4, 2009

Oh I meant to say that yes I am lucky because I had NO pain when I broke my ankle. I never had to take pain meds at all….see 13 isn’t a bad number after all.

122. Karen - January 4, 2009

Hi there,
I am happy to have found this site. I guess misery loves company. I broke my tibia,fibula,ankl, fractured the ankle join and dislocated the ankle 90 degrees. I had a severe crush where the hardware included cadaver bone.This is the worst experience I have been through. The pain , the swelling, and OH GOD the NOT SLEEPING. This happened November 20th and I am still having a lot of discomfort. Please tell me this gets better!!!

123. Doreen - January 9, 2009

Hi,I also am happy to have found this site. I broke my right ankle in two places and tore the ligamets on October 23. Had Surgery to repair on Oct 28. I spent my holidays bedridden basically. I was put in an aircast two weeks ago. I do get around better than I did before, but I still cannot stand up for more than 3 minutes or so. Even though I can walk a little bit without crutches, I still feel helpless. I cannot go food shopping or anything that requires alot of walking. This is about 10 weeks now. Is that normal ? I do remember my leg jumping up on its own while I was in the cast. It seemed to happen when I was about to doze off to sleep. I remember it was extremely painful.Thankfully that doesn’t happen anymore.

124. Doreen - January 9, 2009

oh, forgot to mention, I have a metal plate, and screws also. 🙂

125. Rachel - January 11, 2009

Hello this going to be my last message. I now and have been since Early Decm been walking with no stick nothing and in this cold I get a niggle n sometimes aches and I cant run but apart from that all recovered. ! Yay thats since the brake on Aug 16th so thats aprox 5 months so guys it will get better its all time im afraid. All your things happening to you are normal and I feel for you all it was the worst experence of my life so take it very slow and steady and good luck if you cant do sommat then dont just wait.Look back in the messages and I was a wreck and at times so low and now im me again. Positive thoughts are with you all and get better soon xxxxx

126. Angela-Texas - January 13, 2009

HI all. My name is Angela. I broke my right ankle (tri mall.) fracture on Dec. 27. Had surgery same day and discharged the next. I have 2 screws and plate with 6 screws. I do not like my PA as I fill he doesn’t take me seriously. I broke my ankle out of state and loved my surgeon. I’m in the boot nwb 6weeks. Ugh! I feel like such a baby-like I really should be doing something other than sitting here with my foot up. I do get around on crutches. But no driving. Staples out yesterday.

127. Karen - January 17, 2009

Doreen my foot was jumping too, sending a jolt up my leg…scary

128. Doreen - January 18, 2009

hi again. i just began PT 3x a week/ Now my ankle and leg are killing me and swollen all the time. I kinda feel its doing more harm than good. I was doing better and no pain before starting PT. I am in my 11th week. I cannot stand up for more than 2 minutes yet. It really is discouraging. How long does this take??

129. Karen - January 19, 2009

Hello to all.. It’s been 16 months since my tib/fib fracture 9 months since removing the screws and plate. I can walk fine, have a little trouble still with stairs and can not wear heals at all yet, not even low heels. I have started water aerobics again, I tried last year but it was too much jumping around, now I can do all the exercises in the pool. Mostly hurts when the weather changes… a lot. Anyone have any ideas on the weather related pain? I don’t seem to be able to tolerate NSAIDS anymore, so I’m just taking aspirin. Also if I’m on it all day, the ankle hurts if I sit for a while. I have to get up and walk around. Overall I am doing much better and reading all this and my earlier blog reminds me of how far I have come. It gets better… but takes time and a lot of work.

130. Kim - January 19, 2009

Thank you everyone! This site has been very insightful! I dislocated and crushed all three bones in my right ankle on Dec. 4th in a car accident and had surgery to put it all back together on Dec. 9th. They had me in a splint for the first couple of weeks then just wrapped in an ace bandage until my staples came out. I have a plate and 16 screws so my doctor said that my ankle is pretty well secure. My doctor had me in a wheelchair for going out of the house (usually only to the bathroom and to church on Christmas) until Jan. 6th when I got my staples out and used a walker at home to go to and from the bathroom. I have pretty much been confined to sitting or lying with my foot up since then. After the 6th my doc put me in an ankle boot but still wanted me non-weight bearing until this past week when he said I could use the boot and my right let for better balance but not for any real weight, still use a walker to get around ( the doctor and pt say its safer and gives me more stability). I’ve been so frustrated because I need both my hands to use the walker and can’t really do much of anything for myself – I was thrilled when I could shower by myself. If I’m up for any length of time my ankle is very swollen but I think it’s getting better. My doc actually wanted me to be sure and take pain meds because he said it would be easier for me to heal, but I only take them at night now when the pain is really bad. I had the jerks of my foot and ankle and they scared me, I was very relieved to hear all the others had had the same thing – these jerks have pretty much gone away now. I also had bad calf cramps and those went away as well. Now, almost 7 weeks post accident, my mind is finally more alert and I have more stamina to try and get around. I’m hoping that my doctors appointment next week lets me know that I am still healing well and I can start some therapy other than what I try to do at home! Thank you all for sharing your stories. Before this happened to me I think I never knew how debilitating a broken ankle can be and I am much more understanding now to those who go through this! My doctor teased me the other day and said that there was a reason that they often have to put horses down when they break their ankles! Here’s prayers for fast healing to all of you!

131. G Hercula - January 19, 2009

Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences. I also have a broken ankle. There are three bones broken along with torn ligaments on my right ankle from a slip and fall on the ice outside.. I was already off work when this happened due to a slap tear and a frozen shoulder in my left arm. I had surgery on December 23,2008 and now have a removable boot on the ankle and started physical therapy last week. I basically can not get around too well other than the wheel chair because of the problems with my shoulder. The doctor also told me I have soft bones and has suggested a bone density test. I am 50 years old and this is the first broken bone I have ever had. Does anyone know if the osteoporosis will slow the recovery time and if so, about how long before I can actually walk on the broken ankle? Thanks

132. Karen - January 19, 2009

Hi again,
I just got my fiberglass cast off and was placed in an aircast. I still cannot weight bear; only toe touch. It seems I am having more pain and swelling since I went into the air cast. Anyone else experience this?

133. Doreen - January 19, 2009

Hi Karen, Yes I got my aircast about 3 weeks ago. I also have more pain than in the regular cast. How can you have an aircast without putting weight though? I went from a hardcast to the boot, to the aircast when I was cleared to start putting weight. You will also find that it swells alot when you start PT. I never realized that it would take so long to recover from this. I had my surgery 10/28/08.

134. G Hercula - January 20, 2009

Hi Doreen,
I also am having much more pain since starting PT. I have the aircast now too and the doc wants me to work up to putting 30 to 40 percent of my weight on the ankle but it seems kind of soon – surgery was on Dec 23. Are you able to put weight on your ankle now? I see it has been almost 3 months for you since your surgery. Do you still have swelling now?

135. Doreen - January 20, 2009

Hi, GH
It does seem kinda soon for you to have weight on your ankle. Maybe it depends on the severity of the break. I had two broken bones and torn ligaments which had to be repaired with screws and a plate. I was in a hard cast for 3 weeks, then was in a boot for 3 weeks. When I was using the boot I still had to use crutches. After that I was put in the aircast which I use now without crutches. He only started me on PT when I changed to the aircast. I have rheumatiod arthritis, so maybe that why he was a bit more cautious with me. Anyway…hang in there and keep in touch 🙂

136. G Hercula - January 20, 2009

Thanks for your reply Doreen,
that is what is so worrisome to me, I had three broken bones and also had torn ligaments. The fact that I am being told that I have osteoporosis too makes me very leery of putting any weight on my ankle since it hasn’t even been one whole month since the surgery. I never was put in a full hard cast – only a half cast and that was changed to the air cast after only about 2 weeks from when I had the surgery. I had 10 screws and two plates put in to repair it with about 6 inch incisions on both sides of the ankle. The swelling is still pretty bad and the brusing is still there too. I have not put any weight on it yet but I am being told that I need to do this. I am going to go with my own instinct on this though and not put weight on it until I really feel I am ready to do so.

137. Doreen - January 20, 2009


That does sound too soon to me. I had the half cast after surgery for 2 weeks, then the hard cast for 3, then the boot for 3, now the aircast. I only have one 6 inch incision. I still take a shower with a bench, and cannot stand for more than 3-4 minutes. Your injuries sound much worse than mine. I would consult another doctor opinion if i were you. You can email me directly at doreentbird@aol.com

138. Karen - January 20, 2009

Hi Doreen
It is a boot but I have to fill it with air on the sides. It’s big and bulky and grey. What does th aircast look like? This is a very bulky plastic and velcro boot. The pain is worse. Oh I cant wait for therapy…OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

139. Doreen - January 21, 2009

Hi Karen, An aircast is basically two pieces of hard plastic that goes on both sides of the ankle and two velcro straps that wrap around. You have to wear sneakers with it. I had the big boot before this. Basically with the boot you can put a bit of weight,but if you try to walk to fast or without crutches, they make you lose balance. I almost fell a few times with the boot. It had a blue little ball that i had to pump up to fill with air. The aircast is totally different.

140. Karen - January 21, 2009

Thank you Doreen
I hate this boot. I have more pain with it but bI am also moving and exercising the foot. God it is so stiff. The broken ankle turns purple a lot did that happen to you?

141. Doreen - January 21, 2009

hi karen, yes my ankle still turns purple. also I remember my toes getting purple. My ankle still is stiff. I can move it a little, but not side to side, nor can I move my toes in different directions. I guess we are in for a long run. I am glad that I can communicate on this site with others who are going through the same. No one else can understand. Most tell me that I have to stop being a baby.

142. Karen - January 22, 2009

Hi Doreen,
I don’t think anyone who has not had to deal with this could understand the pain, frustration, and everything else that goes with this. I broke my knee 7 years ago and the recovery was no where near this bad.
My ankle is still very stiff but I am able to move it in the warm water.I am so sick of not being nable to walk, work, or go anywhere. Thank God for computers.

143. Karen - January 22, 2009

Hi again
I was wondering if any of you get pain in your heel and up the back of the leg too??????

144. doreen - January 23, 2009

hi Karen,

yes i get pain in my heel, calf and upper legs. In addition, the other ankle and leg because of putting all my weight on the good leg. Also, I don’t want to be gross, but for the first month after surgery I had severe diarrhea. Doctors could not explain to me why.

145. Felicity - January 23, 2009

Hi all,

Its good to know that everything i have been feeling, both physically and mentally, are normal. I broke my ankle in 3 places at the begining of Dec and had to have plates, pins and screws. I too had the jerks everytime i was about to dose off, how strange, i wonder what this is? I am still non weight baring and have another 4 weeks in plaster, the Dr told me that he would get me walking for the last 2 weeks in plaster. The pain and swelling stopped just over a week after my op but by the sounds of it i have more of that to come once i start walking again! Any idea on when i can start driving again once i have the cast off? It’s driving me mad (no pun intended) not being my independant self!
Before i found this site i was a niave as thought that as soon as the cast came off i would be pretty much back to normal, apart from the odd trip to the PT, but i see i still have a long way to go and but the sounds of it alot more pain!
Like a few of the others i have new found respect for people with permanant disiblities, i will never again take for granted even the simple things, like being able to carry a drink from A to B.
Although i am looking forward to my road to recovery i am also so very scared, scared of doing it again, not sure i could handle this slow and frustrating process ever again. I am a huge lover of heels, but the thought of putting another heel on my foot again terrifies me!
I wish you all a speedy recovery! x

146. Karen - January 23, 2009

I also had the severe diarrhea for the first 3 weeks after surgery; it was mdue to the Clindamycin IV antibiotics I was on during and after surgery for a few days. God that was dreadful.
Felicity- I know I will never wear heels again!!! No way ncould I endure this process again!!!!!!! Good luck to you.

147. michelle - January 30, 2009

hi everyone one, i broke my fibia and tibia also it was a compound fracture(broke through the skin). I did this 3 weeks ago slipped on black ice. I had to have a plate and pins in the ankle. I havent asked much when ive have gone to out patents because i have been in so much pain and felt so down. I have just come across this site an for the last hour read what has happened to most of you. I have to say it has made me feel so much better. I cant beleive the pain ive had more the last week when going to bed.When i did it didnt feel much pain infact the paramedic said what a brave lady i was and how well i was dealing with what had happened to me.but by god i have known about it since. I been in back cast for 3 weeks so far i was supposed to go in a full cast last week but had 2 much swelling so this wednesday coming should be going in a full cast. I think im dredding it, wot if it swells again, at lest with the half it allocates for the swelling. can anyone reasure me on the full cast. I also think i have been a bit naive reading about everyones recovery i really thought once the cast was off a few weeks of p.t and i would be walking. It has been a eye opener to me. One thing it has made me realize is i have the upmost respect for disable people who cannot walk because untill something ike this happens to you, i have took walk about for granted. Something i will never do again. At the moment couldnt care less about the ugly scars that are going to left on my ankle, dont care if i have a slight limp. All as i wont is to just be able to walk again. I wish it would hurry up and get to spring im so nervous now of ice. Im not only nervous for me im nervous when any of the family go out in it. One thing i need to ask anyone is when i have been to have my cast changed which in3 weeks has been 5 times for 1 reason or another. I turn into deitherwreck i go faint feel sick. I cant beleive uptill then i had been so good. Usally im not sqemish at all have a strong stomach for blood and guts. I just cant bare to see the mess of my anlke. Has anyone else been like this? Well im so glad ive come across you all you have made me understand that it is going to a long journey to recovery and that i have more pain coming my way in the form of the dreaded P.T. HA HA. dont surpose ill be laughing then. Didnt much like her when she made me get up and hop around on crutchs andgo up and down stairs the day after my surgery. only joking they do a brill job getting us back on are feet. but im not gonna kid myself now theres alot more to come. thanks everyone for your insight.

148. Karen - January 30, 2009

Hi Michelle,
I had a few cast changes due to extreme swelling, KEEP the leg elevated above the heart and se that ICE. Last night I had a horrible night with pain; it had been pretty good for a few weeks. But it swelled and kept me up all night. I have not had a nights sleep since I did this. Keep wiggling your toes also.I would get nauseaus from how weak I mwas when I had to get anywhere in the house with the walker.That got better but I can’t stand much more of this> I missed all the holidays and today is my birthday.I miss work and I am feeling depressed too. My dogs haven’t had a walk since November. I too slipped on black ice and went down a flight of stairs.

149. doreen - January 30, 2009

Hi Michelle and Karen. In reading your postings I just have to let you know that still to this day, I still don’t get a full nites sleep. Some days the pain is minimal. Other days the pain is so bad, and I swell so much that I can’t do much else. My surgery was Oct 28. I missed a planned halloween trip to Salem Mass that I was looking forward to, I spent all the holidays after that in bed. I fell at work and broke the two bones and ripped the ligaments from the bone. The only holding my foot together was my skin. I had to have plate and screws also. I am still using the aircast stirrup brace. I can move my foot a little bit up and down, but not side to side. I also cannot move my pinky toe and the one next to it. I believe that I will never walk the same way again. I cannot stand up for more than 3-4 minutes. Which means that I still cannot go shopping or do laundry or any of that. I have since lost my job, and cannot pay my bill with the 500 dollars a week I get from Workers Comp. I am losing my house because of all this. But most of all the depression and the anger I feel about all this is almost undescribable. I wish I could say that it will get better as time goes on, but this is almost February and the progress I have made in recovery sucks. The only ones that can understand are you all that post to this site that feel what we feel. It helps alot to be able to vent.

150. Karen - January 30, 2009

God I feel for you. I didn’t know you could lose your job on worker’s comp. I fell at work too. I am okay financially through disability. I felt bad missing holidays since November but you have missed more. That is pretty sad when you get hurt making a living and then your job is gone. Thanks for the info on the pain and dpression because I have been so down. There is always someone worse off–thank you for sharing yor experience. I look forward to returning to work and honestly if I lost my job and my house along with and due to this I wold probably snap. You are a very strong woman. You are in my prayers.

151. michelle - February 1, 2009

hi doreen and karen, thanks for for your response, yesterday 31st had a good day managed to make the tea for myself partner and daughter, was really pleased with myself. Its very frustrating when you cant carry it to the table. I am finding this very upsetting because im an extremely independant person and find it very hard to ask for help. will try doing it first myself I m finding there is so much i cant do. My partner is working 2 job just so we can get through this. I im only on statory sick pay which is not alot. Doreen i feel so sorry for you it must be devistating for you is there no one who can help you. It seems so unfair. Its so true when they say there is always someone worse of than you. I feel terrible moaning when you are losing so much. I would say doreen you sound like you need to talk to someone the last thing you need is to fall into a depression. this site is helpfull but you have alot more going on than just your accident. I dont no how im going to go on in my job im a hairdresser so alot of standing up involved.
1st of feb had another good day untill now. only done the tea again but have been up and down on my crutches and im suffering now because my foot is like a balloon. so looks like tomorrow will be doing nothing. Its mind blowing its 1 step forward 10 back. Can i ask are you ladys from the states?. Im from the uk. take care speak to you soon.

152. Karen - February 3, 2009

You will see the little things add up and eventually youn are doing more and more. REMEMBER ICE AND ELEVATE. It does wonders after you have been standing. I guess we will all get through this in time with a new outlook on life and disability/ Soon there will be many more good days than bad.Three weeks only and making tea is a good sign. About @ 6-8 weeks you will notice a big difference in strength and decrease in pain, at least I did. I had a really bad break that was set and had to be rotated and broken again during surgery. I have a cadever bone where I crushed it. I had a bone scan and nuclear rest today to rule out RSD and I may need another nerve block. It seems better than over the weekend. Like I said I swell but elevation really help relieve pain and edema/
I am from Massachusetts USA

153. frank - February 3, 2009

hi guys. i’m frank and i’m feeling all your pain. broke my tibia in two places with a high ankle sprain on dec 26th. i also have the air boot on and going to physical therapy. went to ortho and they said it can heal well without surgery. i also get the middle of the night twitches that wake me in pain. i’m getting so frustrated being in all the time. i’m the type of person always on the go. out with friends, playing pool, gym, etc. sure i can go out but with the crutches it’s more hassle than its worth. especially in bad weather. i’ve been trying to put pressure on it and i’m getting like a pain with pins and needles sensation. anyone else have this feeling? p.s. how much does this suck?

154. Karen - February 3, 2009

I can only toe touch at this point and I get those pins and needles sensations. You will experience all kinds of strange feelings during this process.

155. doreen - February 3, 2009

Hi Frank,
It will feel that way for quite a while. I still get that even so many months later. I had my surgery in October. I just this past week was able to take a shower without using the bench. But I am always in pain now, and swollen like crazy. Seems to me that since I started therapy I am in more pain than I was before. Can’t figure that out.
Michelle, as far as making tea. I know how you feel. I did that too and couldn’t figure out how to get anything to another room. It sucks to depend on other people. Only thing i can suggest is what I did. I had a thermos. I would make my tea. Put it in the thermos, then put it in a bag, and tie it around my neck. I felt like a dog.lol..but it worked. I started putting everything in it 🙂

156. doreen - February 3, 2009

This was my invention. I took a regular canvas bag. Tied a plastic shopping bag to each handle of the canvas bag..That made it large enough to get it around my neck. Then I graduated to a backpack reversed 😉

157. RP - February 4, 2009

Hi everyone, wow what a great blog!

When I was 12, I broke my ankle by jumping on it (I know, sounds strange). I was going down a slippery slide, ran and jumped, and landed on my own ankle. Smart. Anyway, this was 8 years ago, and now I’m an author and I’m doing some research on people who’ve broken their ankles.

And I’m stumped. I can remember some stupid things I’ve done while hobbling around the house trying to get things done myself (falling over cats and dogs, annoying the hell out of my parents) but now I’m in desperate need of inspiration. Any ideas, anyone?

Also – my character broke the bottom of his right fibula clean off, I think that’s called a displaced fracture, had surgery to re-align, a pin drilled, and is wearing an aircast/airboot. Like I said, my memory is rusty, and this is based off my own injuries, so please, if anyone can give me some type of feedback and tell me ‘hey – your lineup is completely wrong’… is would be greatly appreciated.

I really hope all of you get better – the one thing I can remember is the bore! I turned to junk food and worked my ass off for the remainer of my teens to lose weight, all because of one split-second I wasn’t thinking straight. I know how it can really ruin something.


158. frank - February 4, 2009

i agree with you doreen. therapy does make my ankle hurt more, especially the next morning. just hoping to lessen it every week.
i put some pressure on my toes foot or ankle and get pain and the pins and needles feeling karen. don’t know what to expect next. hopefully getting better soon.
i’m also in the same situation about trying not to put anyone out. can’t even really go shopping or anything without help. hate to rely on people for things. also for drinks i get a cup with a cap so i don’t spill it and a bookbag for anything else i carry.
just think everyone. the worst part is over. will only get better.

159. doreen - February 4, 2009

HMMM..just thinking…maybe we can all get together and design some inventions to help those out temporarily disabled, or a non-profit or volunteer agency to help do the things we cannot do for the time it takes to recover. I would volunteer when I recover for sure.

160. doreen - February 4, 2009

RP..email me I can probably give you a chapter worth of material 🙂

161. doreen - February 4, 2009

Hi all..I was just recalling a story for RP and though you might like a laugh. Have to warn you tho..it is a bit gross..read on at your own risk.

I broke my ankle in two places in October. Had to have surgery to put the foot back attached to my leg, so I was unable to have weight on my leg until mid December. I had surgery Oct 27. Spent a week in the hospital, then another week at a rehab center, then home. I was barely able to stand up using my crutches. For some odd reason, I had a really bad case of diarrhea for the first 3 weeks after surgery. I came to find out later it was because of the IV’s I had..anyway..it was early morning the 2nd day after coming back home. My bedroom is about 12 feet from my bathroom right off the staircase and landing. I had a sudden urge to go to the bathroom, however, between the dizziness of the pain meds, and the awkwardness of the crutches, I was trying my best to get to the bathroom as fast as I could, but unfortunately with the pressure of me pushing down on the crutches, it made everything come shooting out. So I left a messy trail in the hallway, running down my legs, destroying my pajamas, and me crying my eyes out, when I finally made it to the bathroom. I was desperately trying to figure out how to get my pajamas off without getting poop all over my new cast. LOL..it gets better. After about an hour, I was able to take everything off..throw it all out and clean up, only to come out of the bathroom and see the trail I still had to clean up. No one was home thankfully. I had the whole day to clean up, but finally I did. When my son came home later in the day, and asked me how my day went..I was able to honestly say..it was shitty. 😉

162. RP - February 4, 2009

Ouch, Doreen. Shitty indeed.

Kinda reminds me of the time my grandpa was in hospital. He had a stroke, lost control of his entire left side. Now I was the only person around, and he had the desperate need to pee, and I told him to go ahead because the nurses had put him in a diaper. Turned out they didn’t, and in my haste to find the funny male bedpan (more like bottle) and give him a hand, I, hem, actually did. There I was, grandpa’s manliness in my hand, when the nurse came inside and we were like deer in the headlights. Thank God I could turn it around on her and demand to know why he didn’t have a diaper.

I know – not ankle related, sorry, but since we we’re on the topic of gross things… it’s a picture engraved in my mind forever.

163. michelle - February 5, 2009

hi all,
what a bad day yesterday, i had a check up at the hospital. Now bear in mind i havent asked many questions about what the surgeon had done to my ankle. Due mainly to not feeling well enough every time i have been for my checks. Well i now no and it left me feeling rather upset yesterday. As i knew i broke the fib and tib, a plate has been screwed to the tib. What i was shocked at was i was then told a metal rod is going from the tib across the ankle joint and screwed into the fib. and it gets better the rod has to come out so i have to have another operation. he also told me i cant weight bear for another 8 weeks. I m sure i will be mad by then. Im still in a half cast because of the swelling but have to admit im quite releved i cant bear it when they keep changing it. I HATE SEEING MY FOOT. Doreen i no its not funny but the toilet incedent did make me giggle. lol. I had just worked out to put things in a bag a i hook i onto crutches. also ive worked out if i wont to carry something into the other room and its not to heavy i just use the 1 crutch supporting my bad ankle side. I ve also worked out how to get myself in and out of the bath. it was lovely to have a soak in the bubble. I have to agree doreen we could all come up some good inventions on how to survive a broken ankle, maybe a book of ideas lol.

164. frank - February 5, 2009

doreen at least you can look back and kinda giggle about the story. not funny but gotta smile.
i have a physical job and it’s odd for me to say but i can’t wait to go back to work. i work many weekends and complained when i was there late on a saturday or sunday. now i’m looking forward to being there. it’s been 6 weeks tomorrow and it’s still hard to put pressure on my ankle. pain, tightness, (pins and needles for a few seconds) when pressure applied. i hate this waiting game. just want it to get better now. go to my doctor monday. see what he says then.
i live near allentown, pa and the weather has been cold with some snow/ice that won’t go away. who wants to go out in that. it could be worse. could be spring or summer.

165. doreen - February 5, 2009

LOL..Oh yeah,,I laugh about it now. But man..it was so humiliating at the time. Frank, I am in NY and we are getting snow and ice every couple of days. I have to go out for therapy sessions and believe it or not I am trying to find a job in the midst of this too. I am still walking like a jackass..My foot will go up and down allowing me to drive. But it will not go side to side, and the little pinky toe is numb. I am not sure if this will be permanent, but to me it seems like my foot is locked. That pins and needles feeling will stay with you for a long time. I still get it today.
Michelle..please be careful getting in and out of the tub please. The thought of slipping in the tub gives me the chills.
How can the rod come out?? Did you put weight on it? I am sorry to hear you have to have surgery again. 😦

166. Em - February 5, 2009

I had a rod in my ankle, and I had it removed two months later… yeah, I had surgery twice for one stupid ankle. Sometimes they remove it, sometimes they don’t, a friend of mine who also broke her ankle can’t have hers removed ever or her ankle will go snap again.

167. michelle - February 5, 2009

dont worry doreen my bath is not a big one and it has a ledge at the back end were i can sit. i only fill the bath wen im in it, and get out wen i have let the water out and made sure im dry. lol.
Em were you ok wen the rod came out? I have to admit wen they said it had to come out it went through my mind wot if my ankle snaps. But hey they no wot there doing. Looks like when i go back gonna ask lots more questions. They did say it wont be coming out till there sure its right and the x rays look good. Em how long are you into your recovery.

168. Em - February 5, 2009

I was totally fine. I broke my ankle like half a year ago (August 08, fractured fibula) and I was in an aircast for eight weeks. I started walking again and picked it up quickly, in like three weeks I was back to normal, not normal like jogging or anything, but going up the stairs 2 steps at a time… normal for me :). It’s still stiff, and gets sore in cold weather. I didn’t have any physical therapy, I was on holiday while recovering, so I took it slow.
But apparently I healed really well. I don’t know if that’s average, me walking again so soon, but reading here makes my ankle seem like a scratch. You poor, poor people. I really hope you all get well soon.

169. Gale - February 6, 2009

Hi everyone – best wishes to all of you with your injuries. Does anyone have an idea of how soon they might be able to go back to work? I had surgery on my broken ankle12/23/09 and was already off work due to shoulder problems I was having -(slap tear and frozen shoulder). Now I have several screws, pins and plates in both sides of my ankle due to the 3 broken bones in it and the doc says the hardware will probably have to stay there due to soft bones. Today I got a box in the mail from my employer with the contents of what was in my desk. I am now an inactive employee as of 2/1/09. I am so worried that they won’t let me have my job back when I finally can walk! This is just so depressing – at least others here can understand the frustration though and that does help.
I too still have a lot of swelling and the pins and needles which seem to get worse when I elevate it and it is worse at night-hard to sleep. The ice helps some but sometimes it really hurts to have the ice on it too.

170. frank - February 6, 2009

hi it’s me. michele. feel better about having the pin removed. i didn’t need a pin but it was on my doctors mind. understanding the whole mechanics of the ankle if they can remove the pin i would definately have them remove it. some people need it in forever. the pin is there to hold your tibia and fibia together until your ligament heals. the ligament holds the tib and fib together and if it tears and your bones separate the ligament won’t heal properly. this may make the ankle weaker and more prone to injury. ask them as many questions as possible.
doreen yes we are close and we both know how the weather is lately. still paranoid about snow and ice. luckily it’s warming up this weekend. i was just going up a few steps today with some snow/ice on them. still being a clumsy ox on crutches i fell up them. don’t want to be good on crutches. tehe. want to be off them.
hey gale. your date is near mine. broke my ankle 12/26. are they allowed to terminate someone due to time off from injury? i didn’t think employers were allowed to do that. you have medical proof saying you can’t be at work right now. i would check into that.

171. doreen - February 6, 2009

Hi frank and Gale,
Whether they are allowed to do it or not, my employer did the exact same thing..and I got hurt at his place of employment. It really does suck how heartless people can be. For all of us that are posting on this site, I would love to plan a trip in the future when we are all recovering to get together and meet one another. Right now, posting and reading with all you nice people is what is getting me through the days. No one else can understand how it is unless you are experiencing it. Others think I am being a big baby. Arggh..

172. frank - February 6, 2009

did i say fibia before? ya it’s the fibula. people think i should be running around already also doreen. not happening. i can’t walk on it yet and my balance is off too. let’s all get better already.

173. Gale - February 6, 2009

I am not sure if there is any protection to be kept as an employee if you are injured. My fall did not happen at work but on the ice in a friend’s driveway. I was off work since Labor Day because I couldn’t move my arm due to the shoulder problems so because i have been off a while, i am now moving into long term disability benefits (which they have not approved as of now). The paper work they sent to me a few days ago tells me that “if’ there is a job available, they have the option of reinstating me at my work but my work just laid off a bunch of people recently. Here in Michigan jobs are truly scarce. As bad as I would not want to have another surgery, I think I would want these screws and pins and plates out of my ankle if they can come out. The weak bone thing seems as if that won’t happen though. My mobility is really hindered by this darn shoulder too – can’t use crutches at all and the walker is even very hard to manage. Frank, I was wondering if you had started physical therapy. I started about 3 weeks ago and go there 3 times a week. They work on both my shoulder and ankle now. I have to manuver on my bottom down the 3 steps to get out my back door while trying to swing this little manual scooter over my head to put it outside. I then have to scoot with my good foot down the driveway to wait sometimes up to a half an hour for the handicap bus to come to take me to therapy. If it snows while I am at therapy, I am terrified that I won’t be able to make it back up the driveway when i get back home. My therapy is about 2.5 hours long. Then when I do finally get home, I have to worm my way on the floor in the house to make it to the living room couch to try to get myself up on the couch. The bathroom incident Doreen had is familiar to me too! Isn’t this just the most annoying thing though! I just hate not being able to do for myself! Frank, the therapist just on Monday had me start trying to stand on my good foot and put the bad foot (in the aircast) on the scale and put weight on it because my doctor wants me to work up to putting 30 to 40 percent weight on the foot before I see him on 2/12. Have you started any weight bearing yet? Also, I was wondering how the rest of you had their incisions closed. The doctor glued mine and then there were steri strips on it which are now all off. It is pretty ugly and the swelling is still there.

174. Em - February 6, 2009

I really think the whole recovery thing is about how fast your bones can grow back. I mean, I have no idea how old any of you are, but like I said before, compared to all of you, I seem to have gotten off easy. I’m 19, and I guess that’s why I recovered so quickly. I didn’t have any therapy and two months after my accident I was walking fine. And it was quite a bad break, the ball of my fibula had snapped off.
But I could be wrong. Any opinions on this?
Gale, I had dissolvable stictches for my second surgery (when they took the pin out), I have an ugly scar because it’s scar tissue on scar tissue, but I use tissue oil. It’s taken a while, but I can see a difference.
And Frank, I think they use pins for different reasons, I had a pin in to fix the bottom of my fib to the top, and a screw between my fib and my tib. Sounds different than yours. I dunno.
Hope you all get better soon.

175. Gale - February 6, 2009

Hi Em,
I think you are right about the age thing. I am 50 and probably these old bones just don’t heal as fast. What kind of tissue oil are you using? It would be interesting to compare all of our xrays.

176. Em - February 6, 2009

Hi Gale, I’m using Bio-oil… the original I guess :). Oh wow, just think how many X-rays we’ll be able to get together if we contact everyone who’s ever posted here! That would be… um, a lotta X-rays.

177. doreen - February 6, 2009

Frank, I wasn’t speaking about now for a get together. I mean when we are all recovered. I dont see myself being able to do that until the summer at least. I am 52 also, with rheumatoid arthritis. Em, i used to do the same thing because I couldn’t go up and down stairs so I used to do it on my butt. It really was so stressful. I would get nauseous and dizzy. At least now I can go up and down the stairs and yes I am driving. Even though its my right ankle. I drive locally and slow.

178. frank - February 6, 2009

sorry doreen didn’t mean it like that. didn’t mean about getting together. i’m just frustrated for myself. i want to be up and running around. can’t heal quick enough you know. definately time consuming

179. michelle - February 6, 2009

hi all, im finding this really helpful coming on here. I feel like im writing in a diary. Hopefully when im recovered im gonna read this back. you are all being so helpful. Am i the only british person on here, cause doreen if we ever did meet up it would be a nice holiday for me. lol. Frank wot you said about the pin being removed you actually made me remember wot the doctor said i did tear the ligament so thats why the pin is there. thanks for that. when i go to check ups my mind gos blank and dont ask enough questions. Now im writing them down. I am feeling bit upset because the crutchs are really getting on my nerves. I ve only been up once today and sliped in the kitchen on a drop of water. and the natural reaction is to put the other foot down the pain was bad. It really has scared me hope i havent done any damaged. Im not weight bearing yet.
Gale everytime i try to get a answer out of my doc about how long my recovery is gonna be they just wont answer just keep reminding how bad my break has been. and that it i down to the individual. So im thinking mine is gonna be a long recovery. and if its quicker then even better. I have been looking o alot of web site medical ones and most seem to say at least 12 months to get back to some normality. especailly after wot most of us have done. While we are all admitting how old we are im 44, but at the moment feel 104.

180. frank - February 7, 2009

hi everyone. michelle. my opinion it won’t take a year to heal. my ankle doctor/surgeon and my therapist are saying like 3 months after surgery, everything should be just about normal. not saying we all won’t feel pain or anything. we all have to make that a goal. i don’t even want to talk about the crutches, ugh. yesterday i had a long therapy session. warmed up on a stationary bike, stretched, did some weight lifting with my legs. even trying some weight on the ankle. today is like i started all over again. my ankle is definately in pain more than usual. no pain no gain is what i’m hoping. by the way i’m 35, act like i’m 18 sometimes. that’s why my ankle is broke.

181. michelle - February 8, 2009

hi all, frank im hoping it wont be a year but if i think along them lines if i get better sooner it will be sweeter. i tell you wot if we dont go through enough pain when weve broke our ankles we get more in the recovery. lol. You sound like your in a hurry to get better but watch you dont do to much to soon. How long have you been with the p.t. reading wot excercises you did seems like alot in 1 day. well my friend is calling tomorrow to take me out for lunch. cant wait it will be the first time out apart from going to the hospital. i cant wait just hope i manage it ok. The only thing is, its been snowing today if it hasnt cleared im going nowhere.I swear im gonna need therepy now to get me to go out again in the snow and ice im sure im gonna have a phobia.

182. Karen - February 12, 2009

I am so upset and I knew you would understand. I received a certified letter that I will have exhausted my FMLA on March first and if I can’t return to work by then my employment will be terminated. They gave me until March 1st. This accident happend at work and I am on worker’s comp. They told me that counts as FMLA time. I am an RN and there is no way I can do my job yet; hell I am not even weight bearing and I don’t see the Dr until Feb 26th. I am a wreck. I don’t know what to do!!! I feel sick over it. HR told me I can still collect comp until I am healed but what the hell good is that. Fifteen years at this hospital. This is so unfair.Is there any legal recourse???

183. doreen - February 12, 2009

Hi Karen,
Sorry to hear what they did to you. It seems it is more common than anyone realizes. My lawyers says that there is not much I can do at all. Do you have a comp lawyer? If so, I would ask him. The laws might be different in each state. In your case, you work at a place where they can at least take you back. Not at the same job, but somewhere. At my office, it is small, and I was the Controller. So..no place for me to come back to. I understand hon, it does suck big time. Keep me posted. (((Big Hug)))) for you

184. Gale - February 12, 2009

Hi Karen,
I also am sorry that your work is treating you so bad. I know the feeling too. When that box came in the mail with all the stuff from my desk, I started crying right away. Today I got a check that consisted of all my vacation and personal time – I guess to really let me know that I have no job anymore. My job was even a union job yet they do not have to hire my back unless there is a job open for me and since they just got rid of about 1000 people, there is little chance of that I think. Keep your chin up – you are probably a great nurse and at least there may be other nursing jobs you can get when you are healed. It is just terrible how these employers treat people when they are injured!

185. Karen - February 12, 2009

Hi Gale.
Mine is also a union position and there is nothing I can do. I know I will get another nusing job but what if I can’t walk right again. I have compartment syndrome and am on Neurontin. I just had another nerve block. I work for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and they have laid off several hundred and there is bumping going on. I just don’t understand how this can happen when I got hurt there!!!! All thos ears of double shifts and working my days off and this is what I get.I am hurt,

186. Kathleen - February 13, 2009

Hello All-

I am also a broken ankle victim:) Got the plates, screws, didn’t walk without crutches for 6 months! Yuck- bad situation. I feel for you all since I know what you’ve been thru. Broke my ankle a year and a half ago! Never feels the same:( Sorry- some people heal different. Lost my job too! Actually, 2 jobs in one month! I’m ok! Life goes on with busted limbs and all! I wish you all well and strength. An injury like this can cause many obstacles as I read in Karen’s situation. Karen, I suggest you get the best damn attorney you can find even if your’s says otherwise. You have a right and you have an important job to do! Hey Karen- Call Linda Clarke out of Swansea, MA. I’ve known her for years and she is great! Don’t worry- you will get better in time. Good luck to you all! Thanks for letting me vent-WHOO! 🙂

187. doreen - February 13, 2009

Hi Kathleen,

Thanks for your input. It helps to know that there are others out there who are in the same situation. It seems most of us wind up losing our jobs. It is sad how employees are treated after years of dedication and loyalty.

Karen – Hon, I know how you feel. It makes you angry, sad, hurt and just feel helpless. I am just hoping that I can survive financially after all this. I am filing bankruptcy. Hopefully I can save my house by doing that.

Love u all –

188. Karen - February 13, 2009

I have spoken with several attorneys and th union and this is acceptable. With the downsizing going on I am a perfect target. Employers have us all right where they want us, especially with the economy being so bad. I can stay on comp until I heal and then look for another job , but then explaining the gap in employment due to worker’s compnsation sends up a red flag.
Thank you, I know your situation is bad and I feel terrible. I can’t believe the system is this %^$%% up.This is the only country that treats their injured worker’s this way.


189. michelle - February 13, 2009

hi all i cant beleieve wot im read, i cant beleieve a nurse who has had a accident at work is now losing her job it stinks. That just would not happen hear in england you nurses are so valued over hear. I no alot of people moan about the state of are N.H.S. but since my accident i have nothing but praise for them they were brill. and we dont have to pay for treatment and mine was top class. How things are different my employer has been to visit me and actually has sent me a email to say how much she miss’s me and that she relizes how much i actually do for her. I feel so sorry for you all. In england we have a tv programme called watchdog and its for anyone to write in and tell them if they are being ripped off by companys or employers and the programme makers look into it for poeple it has helped so may poeple over hear. Do you not have anything in america like that. that you can highlight your problems of emplyment to. go to this web site and see if you have anything similar. http://www.bbc.net.uk/watchdog michelle.x

190. Gale - February 13, 2009

Hi everyone,
I really understand and feel for all of you that are having trouble with your finances and jobs. I worked for an insurance company – Blue Cross. As of now, my insurance has been cut off as well as any disability pay. I am fortunate that I am married and my husband has a health insurance policy that he pays for so at least I have some coverage still even if it is not the best. I will probably have to discontinue physical therapy pretty soon because his insurance does not pay for very many visits and now that we are on one income, I can’t afford to pay for it. I guess I will just have to try to keep up with some exercises at home to try to get walking again. Best to all of you


191. Gale - February 14, 2009

Just wanted wish all of you a Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope all of us have a speedy healing time and get back on our feet and to our normal lives soon.

192. doreen - February 14, 2009

Hi Gale.
Thanks hon..same to you..and all of you. Someday soon we will all be back to our own selves. Don’t know about any of you..but I have NEVER been normal 🙂

193. Debi-Nikita - February 15, 2009

hi all, very new to this, broke my ankle and now i’m a proud owner of a plate and 3x screws ( I think) when i went into ER to have it looked at, they said I would need an op, well my heart sank to my feet! Anyway, I am having great difficulty in using my crutches… (I hate the damn things). I have already fallen over and now I’m to scared to even use them without my husband being around to prop me up… We have stairs in our house and I heard the best way to to get up and down is on your rear end. even if it takes 20 minutes, so be it… Also heard it was good to take your time and not rush. I know it can be hard since we may all live a busy life. Patience is the key word here. I’m not even in week one since my op and I want to go mad with frustration. I am really hoping that once my cast comes off, i will be able to get back to normal as soon as possible. Keep your foot rested as much as possible, propped up and secure with pillows and blankets. thanks for all the advice and what you guys are going through, it’s been a huge help..
Counting down the days until week 2, then week 4 then week 6… One step at a time, that’s what I have to tell myself… All the best and hope everyone will be back on their feet in no time..

194. Gale - February 15, 2009

Hi Debi (hope its ok to call you that)
Sorry to hear about your ankle. I agree about the slowing down part for sure. It was so hard for me to do that but with this darn ankle, I have had no choice but to do things more slowly. A few suggestions I have is don’t do the stairs unless you have to and if so, for sure do it on your butt. Ask your doc for a presription for a manual scooter or a walker if you are having difficulty with the crutches – that is what i use. Eat a good diet and cut back on the amounts since you won’t be burning it off as easily. Drink lots of water – I know it makes you have to go to the bathroom more which is hard but it really helps you to heal I think. Also, I make sure to take my vitamins everyday. Also take the pain pills if you are in pain rather than just tough it out. Use ice packs (even on top of your cast) to help get the swelling down. I do isometric type excercises with the rest of my body while i am laying around to try to keep them from wasting away on me. I had my surgery on Dec 23 and still can not really bear much weight on the ankle but I can shift some of my weight on it – can’t walk yet though. It is hard to go by others though since everyone heals differently. We will all get though this together though.

195. doreen - February 15, 2009

Hi all..
Yes..Debi going up and down the stairs on your butt is the way to go. I was terrified of using the crutches on the stairs so that is how i got up and down for weeks. Matter of fact, it made my arms a bit stronger. I had trouble in the beginning with the crutches also. You tend to lose balance on them. I was in rehab for a bit after I had my surgery and they wouldn’t let me leave until I was able to use the crutches properly for a distance of 100 ft. While I was home tho I used a rolling chair to get back and forth to the bathroom and only used the crutches when I had to. Anyway..welcome to the broken ankle club. We offer each other moral support and understanding and surprisingly made friends. 🙂

196. Ankled - February 16, 2009

Wow lots of fellow break-ees here. I broke the tib and fib of my right ankle (on the stairs in a train), just over 2 weeks since surgery, 5 screws + plate one side, 1 screw on the other. Now I am thinking worriedly about how all long all the screws are, how some of them go all the way through the plate and bone and right out the other side into soft tissue, and getting worried. Hoping the adventure ends well and safely (reading these sites gives one an idea of what can go wrong). I am also trying out different knee scooters – they are easier to get around on than crutches (though they don’t fit well in the bathroom). I’ve tried 2 scooters and like the one I thought I hated. I also ordered a one-side knee crutch with the intention of trying it out – maybe it will let me do stairs safely. (I’m lots better now on normal crutches but they still scare me.) Lots of things to try – and going to try going back to the office this week even with the swelling and the cast! On the positive side my much older mother survived her broken ankle; if she can do it I can too (I think).

197. frank - February 19, 2009

hi everyone. i agree, the crutches are evil. tehe. the best way i found on crutches for steps is to grab the railing with one arm and put both crutches under the other arm. use the crutches for balance and hop up or down one step at a time while holding on the railing. can be difficult if you have stuff to carry. the worst part of crutches is bad weather. snow or ice and don’t even want to go out. the more i talk to friends about it the more i realize they all had messed up knees, ankles, feet, etc. they are all fine now and we will be too. keep your heads up guys.

198. Ankled - February 20, 2009

I can finally do some low steps with crutches, but … I still prefer the elevator! And on the knee scooter, thank goodness for the ramps! And for brushing my teeth, hurray for the knee crutch! Thank goodness for a variety of tools of survival, and most importantly the people who make it possible. Thanks for the encouragement, Frank, and Godspeed with your healing.

199. michelle - February 20, 2009

hi all, got my cast off on wednesday. doc says he dont wont nothing on my leg now. not allowed to weight bear for another 4 weeks. I feel really nervous now without the cast. my foot looks horrid. my daughter says looks like it belongs to frankinstein, niceee. Your all very brave going out i cant do it unless im with someone,just dont feel safe on the crutches especially wen im still on one leg. Hope everyone is healing well. I really cant beleive ive done 6 weeks already.

200. doreen - February 20, 2009

Hi Michelle,
Congrats…You will be able to get around better. I was shocked to when they took the cast off. It looked horrible, skinny, and I felt it couldn’t possibly hold me up. Now comes the hard part..you have to start moving your foot as much as you can bear. Don’t put weight..just move your toes etc..Are you on a boot? Believe me, if you are, you will feel much better since you can take it off to sleep and shower.
How is everyone else doing??

201. Ankled - February 21, 2009

Anyone else with an ankle fracture had the problem where the cast would start hitting the ankle? I think I understand why it happens but it’s annoying. I have to rotate the cast a bit to not have it hit the bone when I rest my foot. Oh well, HOPEFULLY come Friday I will get a boot (hoping!), unless the x-rays aren’t good… after all the bumps, lumps, whumps, and clumps, I’m a little afraid of what the X-ray will show. Oh, and anyone have advice for surviving 11 hours at the office? I put my foot on the desk on a pillow, but it makes everything else ache….

202. michelle - February 21, 2009

hi doreen, i have nothing on my leg now completly free. my x rays says everything is healing as it should. I M SO NERVOUS though scared of banging it. I think since ive had the fall i am driving myself mad thinking everytime i do anything i just imagine im gonna fall again. does this happen to anyone else. gonna start a bit of p.t. just to get a bit of movement in my ankle. then in 4 weeks back under the knife for the screw out. ihad to fill a form out to do with work and had to get my doctor to fill parts of it in. One question was when does he think i will be able to return to work. I was gob smacked when he said JULY. i cant beleive it. Have to say it was nice to put my leg down into the bath it was heaven. slowly getting rid of all the dead skin of it. does anyone else have a feeling when there cast is off that the foot feels alien. my foot feels like it has been severed and sown back on the feeling is weird.

203. michelle - February 21, 2009

ankle, cant beleive that you are working, you cant be doing yourself any good, your foot must be permantly swollen. you have to rest so as you heal well. I take my hat of to you if you can manage but you must be in alot of discomfort.

204. doreen - February 22, 2009

Hi Michelle,
I still wear the ankle stirrup when going out. I don’t wear anything at home, but i have to tell you that i am super paranoid of falling again also. I literally have nightmares about it. And yes. when the cast first came off, it didnt feel like my leg. It looked horrible. There was like a white crush on my feet. Still I get numb and tingly on my pinky toe. I am beginning to think that I will never be normal again.
Ankled..you must be in agony at work. I guess getting fired has its advantages.

205. Ankled - February 22, 2009

Hello Michelle and Doreen! July? Wow!! That is a long time! My Physician’s Assistant told me I could try working in week 3! (I spent the first two weeks after surgery working remotely from my bed, with a laptop….) Actually my ankle doesn’t hurt that much IF I keep it on my desk on a pillow, where it is almost heart level, but then my knee, leg, back, shoulders, and posterior (almost everything else) start to hurt from the strain! The 11 hour days are supposed to start next week, twice a week, and the rest are normal days… I will try it and see how I feel. I no longer even get up for tea… I ask coworkers to do everything for me except for going to the bathroom (the first day I wasn’t as careful and it was a bad show). (But my mother at age 60ish was dealing all by herself with a sewage backup in her basement two weeks after her broken ankle surgery … I cannot believe it now that I know what this is like!!) And I so totally agree about it not feeling like one’s own foot. The few times I’ve had my cast off, it feels like my rubber chicken zombie foot is going to flop over like it did when I first broke my ankle … sooo scary. I’m told this is utterly normal! My surgeon said to give him a year to normality … oh dear…!

206. doreen - February 26, 2009

Hi all…Just checking on all of you..How is this week going? I hope you are all doing better. Warmer weather is on the way..so hopefully we will be able to enjoy it.

207. Karen - February 27, 2009

Isaw the ortho yesterday and he can still seethe fracture on the xray.
I was put on a calcium supplement and must wear the boot another month. J showed him the letter from HR about using the 12 weeks of FMLA and returning to work vs losing my job.
He was unaware that Workers Comp can count as FMLA. He was furious.
SO I am hobbling back to work Monday on light duty. I have to go to PT on my own time. I am weight bearing with the boot now though.
Anyway that is what is going on with me. I am not really ready to return but I am “as you say” being forced.


208. Lauren - February 27, 2009

Hello Everyone,
And I thought I was the only one in the world with broken ankle. I broke my fib Jan 18 while ice skating with the kiddos. Imagine my surprise to find out I am no longer 18. I had the fibergass cast for 3 1/2 weeks and then moved to a cam-walker velcro air boot from hell. My ankle hurts worse than when I broke it but not in the same place. My knee and leg are swollen this a.m. and it feels like my ankle is grinding. Anyone else experience this?
I too am on crutches and I am completely terrified of the ice and snow. My ortho tells me to rest and elevate but this problematic as I have 2 boys 11 and 4 . He refuses to write me a prescription for a nanny.
Healing to all,

209. Lori Matthews - March 1, 2009

On June 7th 2008 I fell 12 ft. (PRAYING OUT LOUD!) when the ladder I was working on slid out from under me. My right ankle took virtually the full impact resulting in a trimalleolar fracture. I am thankful for that is all I injured. Sooo could have been worse! I had plate & 10 screws put in. Well it has been over 8 months & the healing process has gone MUCH better than I antisipated. I read several blogs right after my fall, that really had me discouraged. Nevertheless, with alot of help from God, family & friends I was working again after 3 1/2 months. I was not in the best of shape before the fall nor did I have physical therapy. I went dancing New Year’s Eve. I go on long hikes now on a regular basis. I would say my ankle is about 80% healed. I suppose I will keep the hardware in as long as it doesn’t interfere with the quality of my life. Blessings to all that are still in the healing stages!

210. Jenn-Claire Kinchen - March 2, 2009

Hi there,
I am delighted like all the others to find this site. It is most humbling to have to ask for help from everyone for even the smallest tasks. I fractured my ankle in two places about 4 weeks ago and with a ligament problem. I was told I would need surgery for the ligament but the surgeon amazingly was able to “manipulate” everything back into place while I was under anaesthesia and its stayed in place so far. Now that the swelling is going down (and probably the atrophy of my leg muscles) the heavy plaster cast holding it all in place seems to be getting too loose and dragging a little when I am up and about on crutches.
I am wondering if I need to inquire about getting a tighter cast? Has anyone else had this problem with the cast getting too loose around their leg? Thanks and good luck to all reading this.

211. doreen - March 2, 2009

Hi Jenn and Lori. Welcome to our little family.
Lori..glad to hear that you healed so well., it gives me hope. 🙂
Jenn- I would go back to your doctor and get your cast redone. The cast is supposed to be supporting the areas where it is broken. It shouldn’t be really tight, but snug enough to provide support until the bones heal. I also broke my ankle in two places, and the ligament. Had surgery to repair, plate and 6 screws. This was back in October and I would say that I am about 50%. Its going to be a long haul.
Karen- Hon I am so sorry to hear your dragging yourself back to work. Please be careful and keep us posted.

212. Karen Philibotte - March 2, 2009

I took a personal day today with the Noreaster. I was no going to chance a slip or fall when I have come this far. Thank you for your ongoing concern and believe me if Imy job wasn’t in jeopardy I would be home until I healed.

213. Ankled - March 2, 2009

Ouchhh! Today I am at work and tripped and put my weight on my broken ankle (and spilled hot tea all over myself)… called the doctor and waiting for call-back. (It’s only been about a month since I broke the bones and had surgery!) Jenn – I think I averaged one new cast every week or so. They kept getting looser, too, but if they get too tight, that is also bad (and very painful). I am currently in a boot (doubling as a cast) and I pray I can keep this instead of having to go back to a cast, after my mishap this morning.

214. doreen - March 2, 2009

Ankled..OMG I also did that 3 weeks after surgery when I had only half cast. I cried and cried and it was extremely painful and I was so afraid that I did damage. Thankfully I did not. But get an Xray anyway.

215. doreen - March 2, 2009

Karen..it was good that you took the day off. I did not step foot outside with this storm today either. I miss my life!!!!!

216. michelle - March 2, 2009

ankle, i slipped after a few weeks and boy did it shock me and i agree with doreen get it checked out, better safe than sorry. I still dont think you should be at work so soon. Jen my cast went a bit loose and i went start back they were fine at hospital so dont leave it
your ankle needs to be kept still were the break is so as to heal. Lori its so good to hear about your recovery it makes it seem like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It feels at the minute a million miles away for me. I go for my pre op on thursday hopefully tell me wen i have to go back in to have the screw taken out. Cant wait to get it out then can get started on learning to walk again. Just finished watching a programme on our soldiers out in afganistan and showed alot of soldiers that had lost legs. and there are alot of them as well. It made me think im sitting hear moaning about my mashed up ankle and them boys may never walk again. They were so positive and just glad they were alive. It makes you think. Karen good luck for work i no your not ready but again good luck.

217. Ankled - March 2, 2009

Doreen … glad to hear you didn’t do damage, gives me hope … I wondered if I was the only person ever! I’m still waiting for my doctor to call back. I assume I should definitely get x-rays before starting physical therapy next week (though my doctor last time scared me a bit by reminding me that x-rays are unhealthy too)! I am still in total shock, and I’d be crying too if I weren’t at work….

218. Ankled - March 2, 2009

Michelle – thanks, glad to know I’m not the only one… getting the screw out sounds awesome. And I am also aware of so many who are going through terrible things… I can’t complain (too much)!

219. Jenn - March 3, 2009

Thanks. I have been reading the recent posts. I will call about getting a new cast. They gave me an option of a walking cast in two weeks probably because I have developed carpal tunnel or tendonitis in both hands from using them too much to “butt up” the stairs, get out of the bath and crutch myself down long hallways to get to work. but anyways the dr said it would be more risky to switch casts so I will probably suck it up and stick to a nonweight bearing cast. Meanwhile now I have wrist guards on both my hands and I look even more pathetically crippled. hahaha

220. Ankled - March 3, 2009

Crutching long hallways? Can you rent a knee scooter? The RollerAid I’m using is awesome (took 3 days to figure out how to steer, though). I’m using the knee scooter + a single knee crutch at work. The knee scooter gets me around quickly and easily. Just don’t try to juggle hot tea while adjusting yourself… that’s how I tripped 😦

221. frank - March 4, 2009

hi everyone. just checking in to see how all of you are feeling. we had a snow storm the other night and i was still questionable on going out. even though i am off the crutches and walking now. still a little paranoid about falling on it or twisting it. one thing to look forward to besides healing and feeling better is that good weather is coming.

222. michelle - March 6, 2009

hi frank congrates to you. bet your glad to see the back of the dreaded crutches ha ha. gladd to hear your walking, good news. i did something so funny today still laughing but could have been crying if it had hit me. i was rushing around trying to get ready for hospital appointment when i really needed to go to the loo. so had to get upstairs when i go up i use 1 crutch and hold the stair rail with the other hand. before i go up i have to throw the other crutch up to the top of the stairs because the last 2 steps i need both cruthes. As i threw the crutch up and bearing in mind i was rushing as best you can with crutchs. the crutch hit the top stair and came back at me like a spear i just managed to move my head to the side and it went start passed me. had i not move u can imagine i would have had a crutch sucker to my forehead. every time i think about i cant stop laughing. it cheered me up. has anyone else had any mad things like that happen thats made them giggle?

223. Dave - March 7, 2009

On Jan 28th I fell on the Ice in the parking lot of my workplace. I work Emergency Medical Services. I had a broken fib and an ankle shift. They peformed surgery on me the next day adding a plate and metal wires in my ankle. I had a cast on for 3 weeks then my surgeon removed it and put me in an orthopedic immobilizer. I had swelling but not awhole lot of pain. I was in the hospital for 4 days due to getting a fever and getting sick. Once I got home I was on my own. I had one coworker help me when he could. The my doctor put me in for home health and workers comp approved it. They have helped me out tremedously. I just started Physical therapy for rangew of motion. It is going great I have full mobility in my ankle. I still get swelling and some discomfort. I have been sleepling in my boot with it elevated with my couch cushion that works very well. I have therapy again on Momday and I will post more after that. Good Luck to all

224. Angela-Texas - March 8, 2009

I wanted to encourage you all. As I stated I broke my ankle is 3 places (tri-mal fracture) back on December 27, 2008. Had surgery to repair it-you know the bit the screws and the plate.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel! This is my 3rd week of walking without my boot and or crutches. I have progressed from 18miles/wk Avg Speed 25 minutes per mile, 38miles/wk Avg Speed 21 minutes per mile and this week I walked 43miles Avg Speed 15-18 minute miles. I go out in the am and the pm and walk anywhere from 3 plus miles at a time. I’m not in heels yet, but hey that’s a small price to pay to wear regular shoes. My ankle swells pretty good by the end of the day, but I will lay in bed with it up for about an hour or so while I read or surf. By the morning it looks good. I tell my husband that my ankle looks like a cow’s ankle (if they have ankles?). By that I mean scar tissue and normal swelling where my surgery was, but I think that that should go down within the year. Heck, there is a few screws and such in there I think that that will take some time to mesh with my real bones.

Just don’t get too down. I saw my doc Monday for the last time unless I have problems. IT WILL GET BETTER>

One really weird thing is at night some times my foot feels like it has a mind of it’s own and wants to almost jerk. WEIRD?????

I know that God touched my ankle and so to HIM be ALL glory and ALL honor.

225. sml - March 11, 2009

I broke my ankle a year ago, It wont stop swelling. I did the ol PT after the cast. But now when ever Jog It gets huge so I do the ol elivate and ice but. Every morning its stiff and hurts. What do i do?

226. Ankled - March 11, 2009

sml – I heard that some people use compression socks… other than that, I wonder if natural food supplements that reduce swelling might help? Beyond that, no idea 😦 I hear there might be a risky surgery out there….

227. BRENDA - March 13, 2009


228. Jenn - March 14, 2009

Update: yet another week. Still in the plaster cast. My injury was Jan 31. Feels like forever. I cant wait until this is over. I’m so tired of being crippled.

229. michelle - March 14, 2009

hi brenda, i have searched on other web sites and i have heard that if the plate is taken out you would be none weight bearing for at least 2 weeks so as the bone can strenghten. then you would start walking on it. I have been told by my dr that there is no need for me to have the plate and screws out as they are keeping the bone strong. but i can see that yours is causing you pain. so go for it. depending on were they are putting your screw in when they remove the plate i would check. because im waiting to go in hospital in the next week to have a screw removed from my ankle. i have a plate in screws,in but i also have a screw holding the ankle joint and ligament in place at the moment. my dr has advised the screw comes out because they have found over time in some patients were the screw has been left it it has broken. and like he said its easier to take a full screw out than a broken one. I do hope some of this has been some help to you. but the best thing i can say is trust wot your dr says.

230. Monique - March 18, 2009

Hello all,

On January 9, 2009 I was carrying my daughter into daycare and fell on ice. I was taken to the hospital where I work, I am a nurse! The result of my fall was a trimal fracture. I had ORIF surgery on January 12, 2009. I was never put in a cast I went from a splint to the fracture boot everyone talks about and hates! For the first 3 weeks the pain was out of this world! I was taken Norco every 4 to 6 hours around the clock. Now I just take extra strength Tylenol when I am in pain and Motrin. I may take Tylenol every other day, it does get better!
I was an emotional wreck! I cried everyday! Some days were worse than others. My husband said I was being too hard on myself. I was a very independent person, I was the glue to my family. I was unable to handle what had happened to me.
I began to look at the positive side of things, my daughter was not hurt, my accident could have been worse. I don’t know where anyone is spiritually but for me I had to trust God like never before. Prayer works!
Last Monday, March 9, 2009 I began PT, gentle ROM and progessive weight bearing until I get to half my body weight. I go back to the ortho on March 25th, hoping I can begin to walk.
I have a very supportive husband and19 year old. They have really had to step up to the plate. They have had to take over all household duties and taking care of the 2 year old!!
I look forward to walking again, never again taking anything for granted. I love heels my doctor told me most people who sustain this type of injury normally are not comfortable in heels anymore. He challenged me to prove him wrong! I am up for the challenge!
To all in the same boat be encouraged it does get better! Be encouraged.

231. Monique - March 19, 2009

I forgot to add, I have a plate and 11 screws in my ankle.

232. Karen - March 20, 2009

Hi everyone,
Well I have been back to work since March 3rd and continue to wear the air boot. The xrays still show the fracture so I am in this boot another month. The hospital has been good to me and I am doing paperwork and not as an RN on the med surg ward. I miss my real job but I’ll tell you; after standing for 30 minutes I swell and the pain is intolerable.I cannot take Motrin as my ortho states that delays bone healing and I am on a calcium supplement.

Doreen, I think about you all the time and your situation.I hope things are getting better.

233. Ankled - March 20, 2009

It’s been just 7 weeks since the surgery to put the tib and fib back together but it feels a lot longer somehow. I have the go-ahead to put 50% weight on the ankle and walk with a cane or walker – which I discovered is really HARD to do with a big thick heavy confining boot!! I am told 1 more month at least before the bone heals fully and 2 MORE months of begging for rides (I drive a stick shift).

The swelling is slowly improving, but I have very limited range of motion; physical therapy is helping. The therapists’ effleurage treatment also immediately improved the color of the ankle (amazing!). Hoping I can start driving earlier than expected – most of my carpool drivers are moving or having car problems! I feel that God is helping me, though 🙂

234. doreen - March 20, 2009

Hi Karen, thanks for always thinking of me.
Hello all…I am still looking for work. Its been 5 months since my surgery. It is getting easier and easier to get around. The swelling is much less, and less often. The pain is always there though. At least I am able to once again go food shopping and laundry..and just daily activities. Who would have thought I would be happy to do those things again. 😉
Love you all..

235. frank - March 21, 2009

hi everyone. just checking in on all of you. i have been back at work for almost 2 weeks. i have a physical job and my ankle swells and i’m still in pain, but it’s tolerable. i don’t have total range of motion yet. i have pain but when i try to bend it certain ways it definately hurts more. slowly but surely it gets better. wishing all of us the best. spring is here.

236. Jenn - March 21, 2009

Spring may be here but the injury lives on. I finally got switched to an air cast as well. Seems like my story is very similar to that of “Ankled”. Its officially been 7 weeks. I’m allowed 30-40% weight but still fully using crutches to get around. Still reliant on others for rides and my doctor refuses to give any indication how much longer this may take. I wonder if PT is a must. He did not say as doctors probably prefer not to get our hopes up too much just in case. The fractures on the xray unfortunately look no better. He claims 6 months till bones will really mend. I am wondering what that means for me?

237. Ankled - March 21, 2009

Hi Jenn,
Wow, 6 months? Hmm maybe I misheard the PA; I thought she gave me a lower time frame than that. She did say the x-rays won’t look better at 7 weeks for an adult, but if nothing has moved the pieces are probably sticky now, which means they are healing. For me PT is a must as I have very limited range of motion, and each session gives me back a few degrees, so IMHO you might want to inquire! The PT also told me to do contrast baths to improve circulation – put foot in hot (not scalding!) tap water, then cold tap water, 10 minutes total, 1 minute in each – and they have me doing daily exercises. In the meantime I am supposed to get a cane so I can start walking with 50% weight, though as I mentioned, I tried it with a walker and with the limited range of motion and the thick boot, it is nearly impossible, so knee scooter + knee crutch for me still. The PA told me to keep using the boot, but an air cast would be so much easier for walking … I will ask her next time. I assume by “air cast” you mean the lgihtweight gel-based strap-on bone protectors?

238. Jenn - March 22, 2009

Ha. I wouldnt call this thing light by any means. I would describe this as an air-inflatable boot. It looks like a snowboarder’s boot (I call it my robotic leg) and is inflatable with a pump. It is very heavy. I am not supposed to be moving my ankle around though- just allowed to take it out of the removable cast for baths and sleeping. This is going to be a long haul but the doctor tried to keep me optimistic by saying “we are winning this thing”

239. Ankled - March 22, 2009

Hi Jenn,
Oh ok, that is not what I was thinking of! lol. That sounds like my boot.
My boot is plastic with thick padding and lots and lots of velcro straps. It is also quite heavy! I think between muscle atrophy, using the knee crutch a lot, and the heaviness of the boot, my knee is unhappy with me. I am a little confused as to how much or how little I should be using the ankle, but at physical therapy I am definitely supposed to be increasing flexibility and strength, so I guess I should be flexing it in safe circumstances.

240. Gale - March 26, 2009

Hi all,
Frank – glad to hear you are back to work and Doreen I am glad for you too that you are now able to get out a bit. The doc told me my bones are basically healed when I saw him last week but that I have a tendency to build a lot of scar tissue up rapidly and because of that, I can’t bend my foot good enough to walk yet – I fall backwards when I try to walk without the boot. I am working on this in therapy now. Have any of you had this trouble with being able to bend your foot well enough to walk? If so, how long before I get the movement back so I can walk without looking like House from the tv show?


241. doreen - March 26, 2009

Hi Gale,

Yes I had that trouble when the boot came off. Matter of fact I still can’t bend it side to side, nor all the way up and down. Just enough to walk and drive. It takes time and patience. A little everyday. 🙂

Thanks for the well wishes.

242. Gale - March 26, 2009

forgot to ask – Doreen or Frank – can you take a shower standing up now? I just am so tired of this darn shower chair!

243. Gale - March 26, 2009

Thanks for letting me know that you too had this trouble walking Doreen. I just wanted to mention to anyone who is having trouble with getting rides to and from therapy and doctors and such – I searched the internet and found that my county has a bus that will pick me up at my home and take me anywhere in the county I want to go. I have to schedule it one week ahead but it only costs $1 each way and I roll my scooter right up on the wheelchair lift. It might be worth searching around if anyone is having trouble with getting a ride.

244. doreen - March 26, 2009

Hi Gale, I have been taking a shower standing up for a couple of months already. 🙂 I hated that chair too. I still get nervous and very careful getting in and out. But it feels so much better. I never felt really clean with the chair.

245. frank - March 27, 2009

hi gale. yes i take a shower standing up. about the range of motion…i’m still having trouble with that. which way are you having trouble bending your foot? having trouble bending my foot up toward the ceiling. if you are sitting down grab your foot and pull it toward you. thats where the range of motion is limited for me and it’s painful. therapy helped it pretty much but when you start bending it in painful ways(like walking up and down stairs) it starts to loosen up. it’s getting better for me but not 100%. still have pain. doing stretches at home to help that. my dr. explained why i have trouble moving my foot that way. sounds almost the same.

246. Gale - March 28, 2009

Hi everyone,
I am having the most trouble with bending my foot toward the ceiling too although side to side is not too great either. Today I got an ankle dyna splint to help with both the upward and downward motion. I am supposed to sleep with the one to force it up toward the ceiling. It puts gentle pressure on the foot to try to get it to move – sort of like non-stop therapy. I hope it works but I don’t know how much sleep I will get with this thing on! It looks like something from one of the Saw movies! I am going to give it a try though and see if it will help.

247. Ankled - March 30, 2009

Hi all,
My mother broke her ankle some years back and also had range of motion issues. Maybe a year afterward she got ultrasound treatment to make some of the scar tissue release. She said it really helped a lot with range of motion. Might be something to look into… just a thought. (In the meantime, I am trying to flex my ankle as much as I can, and the therapist gave me new exercises to do.)

248. Terri - April 2, 2009

Hi everyone,

I have been reading this blog ever since I broke my tibia and fibula and dislocated my ankle on Feb 11. I now have a plate and screws holding it all together. I joined a roller derby league about a month before and was told that no one ever really gets hurt. I guess I was an exception. Anyways I have really nervous after reading some of your stories about how long the recovery period really is. I’m happy to say that one week after my surgery I was put in a boot with no weight bearing for 5-6 weeks. I went to my doctor earlier this week and he gave me the green light to start putting weight on my foot. He gave me another sling type ankle brace that is inflatable and fits inside of my shoe. I have to use it for the next four weeks and then I can start PT. I have been walking (or trying) for two days now and it is incredible at how much difference it makes to gain some independence back and not have to rely on everyone to do things for me. It is really stiff, but I make sure that I do all of the exercises that my doctor has told me to do. I also returned to work after only two weeks. I am fortunate enough to have a desk job and a bunch of wonderful co-workers who are always willing to help if needed. I think that going back to work early has helped me tremendously. I’m a firm believer that you work to get better and not get better to work (if possible) I don’t have alot of time to sit around and think about my injury. I know alot of you have jobs that require being on your feet which would make it impossible to work. But if you have the option of returning, I would do it.

Good luck to everyone out there going through this. Hopefully, we can all look back on this in a year or so and laugh about it (it sure beats crying)!

249. doreen - April 11, 2009

Hi all. I finally found a job and its back to work for me next week. Wish me luck. I am doing better. Although I still have problems with pain and swelling and the foot not going in all directions. I guess this is what I have to get used to. The foot will never be normal again. I do hope someday that we all make plans to meet. Karen..how are you doing???Love to you all.

250. Jenn - April 11, 2009

Good news. I finally am allowed to put weight on my foot in the Cam boot. I start physical therapy next week. I tried walking with just one crutch. Really its not as easy to start walking again as one might have assumed- myself included. I think the brain overcompensates for all the pain and time off the ankle that we put on the other foot and other half of our body. I feel very off balanced. this is going to take a while but when the doctor told me I can start walking again as soon as I feel ready I had the biggest smile on my face. Hope all are doing well and healing!

251. doreen - April 12, 2009

Congrats Jenn..I know how that feels. It is amazing what we take for granted. 🙂 It will take a little while, but before you know it you won’t need the crutch at all. 🙂

252. Gale - April 14, 2009

Hi everyone,
So glad you found a job Doreen! I still am not released to go back to work and don’t know if they will take me back when I am released – darn foot won’t move well enough to walk on my own yet and I can’t do stairs myself either yet. I do agree that the pain and swelling are something I will have to probably just live with for a long while. I hope everyone heals well.

253. frank - April 15, 2009

hi everyone. just checking in on all my friends to see how everyone is feeling. i’ve been back at work and doing things as usual. still don’t have all the movement and motions yet. still have pain also. just good to be back in action. go back to my doctor in a few weeks for a follow up. hope things are closer to normal by then. thinking of all of you and feel for all of us. it only gets better from here.

254. doreen - April 16, 2009

Hi all…None of my shoes fit anymore. Even though my ankle is healed. My foot is much larger than it was before, and seems kinda square. Anyone else have that problem?

255. Karen Philibotte - April 20, 2009

My foot is larger also and it swells up everynight and it feels like it will never be normal.

256. Karen Philibotte - April 20, 2009

CONGRATS on your new job!!!!!!
Are you able to keep your house. I have been praying.
Love ya…Karen

257. doreen - April 20, 2009


258. zeek - April 22, 2009

hi people, this is the first broken leg blog i found, an well, my question is, how long, all in all, does it take from the time of injury to get full mobility back in it, cuz i broke my tibia and fibia on the 12 april, an touch wood, no pain yet

259. Terri - April 23, 2009

Wow, These messages have been so helpful!
I broke my ankle (trimalleolar) on April 5th, had surgery next morning.
1 plate and 10 screws. I could only handle the plaster cast after surgery for one week. It was rubbing on my ankle and very painful!
I’m in the aircast boot now. Hate it! had my 2 week post-op visit yesterday and got the go ahead to shower….I have a chair but what’s the best way to do it? Guess I’ll find out…going in after this. I’m so scared I’m going to bump my ankle…;) I have disolvable stitches.
3 more weeks nonweight bearing then I go back to see OS. I’m sure at that time he’ll have me start bearing a little weight. (it will be about 6 weeks post-op at that point).

I am wearing an ace bandage now. I wonder if I can wear a sock instead or maybe over the ace? Ugh, The little questions I forgot to ask! lol

260. Terri - April 24, 2009

Well, when I could not bear weight I used a shower chair and put sat it outside of the tub and then swung my legs over and then stood up and put the chair in the tub to shower. It worked out real well until I was able to stand. I never used an ace bandage over my incisions just a thin piece of sock until I started putting weight on it. I have been walking now for a little over three weeks with an air brace and every day my leg gets better. It really hurt at first but everyday that gets less also. The flexibility is also coming back slowly and I haven’t stated PT yet. I got rid of the cane about a week ago and hope to lose the aircast soon. I had surgery on Feb 12 bimalleolar. So hang in there because it does get better!

261. Karen Philibotte - April 24, 2009

I am so glad you were able to find work. I can’t believe how this injury has changed so many lives. I am so sorry about you losing your house; it just isn’t right. My ankle is 5 months post operative and is swollen and in pain persistently. I am still in the Hard boot because the xrays are stlil showing an area of fracture unhealed. I now have to watch my salt intake very carefully because that seems to caused much more swelling. I hope we all get through this and eventually heal.
Take care,

262. Terri - April 24, 2009

Thanks! I’m so nervous with this ankle. I don’t know if I can put on a sock, but It might be easier than trying to wrap and rewrap with the ace. Honestly, I’m afraid to move my ankle other than forward and backward so I’m not sure I can reach my ankle or how to do it? lol

It is still so angry looking and the aching is somewhat constant yet.
The shower episode worked ok, alot of work! I think I may wrap the boot in a bag and leave it draped over the tub while sitting in the chair. Boy this is challenging!

263. stacey edmonds - May 1, 2009

i fell off my porch last monday and went to an orthopedic surgeon on wed.he gave me one of those boot casts. i liked it cause i could take it off at night. but around friday, i started having pain in my calf(worse than the ankle pain) so i had to go have an ultrasound and they found a blood clot.it hurts like hell! now i have to take injections in my stomach for 12 weeks and i have to take coumadin (blood thinner) for 6 months. im sooo miserable because i want to get upand walk and i have to hobble on crutches. my kids are making me cry everyday because they r tired of doing everything, but i cant help it.i feel sooo bad. i just want my life back. im also a lil scared .if anyone could give me some advise, i would be so gratefull!

264. Ankled - May 4, 2009

Gee, I haven’t posted in a while … my injury occurred at the end of January of this year, and as of today (about 3 months later) I have been walking almost normally for a few weeks, as well as driving, too, and just recently got to the point of being able to go down shallow stairs semi-normally. Yay physical therapy! My walking would be much better if I hadn’t totally messed up the opposite side hip during my recovery (apparently most people mess up the same side hip – oh well, guess I’m different). At this point, the intense hip pain is much more of a problem than the ankle. Don’t make my mistake – if the rest of your body is in pain, go easy! Stacey, if you have one good leg still, you might want to look into knee scooter rentals, or maybe a knee crutch (or both, as I did) if your doctor says they OK to try. They are helpful in that when you are standing still, you have both hands free, unlike with normal crutches. The knee scooter is definitely faster than crutches, too. When my physical therapist made me stop using my scooter as my ankle improved, I could no longer keep up with people at work … it almost felt like I was retrogressing!

265. Bobby Mo - May 6, 2009

I broke my ankle playing football (A slide tackle from the opposing player). I knew straight away it was broken, I felt the squeeze on the shin. I waited 40 mins for the damn ambulance, I was lying their in the freezing cold, shivering to death. My team mates put their jackets on me to keep me warm. When the ambulance arrived they couldn’t find a pulse in my foot because it was so cold. Once inside the ambulance they finally found a pulse. I had completely broken my ankle, had surgery a day after they popped it back in place. I have a metal plate holding it in place with 4 screws. I’ve been in a cast for 6 weeks now and it finally comes off this Thursday. The first week it was very painful, couldn’t even move my toes. After a week I gradually started moving my toes, had difficulty sleeping in the first 2 weeks, keeping my leg elevated. Now I hardly feel any pain in my ankle, I can put some weight on it but don’t want to over do it since the doc hasn’t given it the all clear. I know it’s going to be a long road before I even start kicking a football again but I really do hope I’ll be able to play again. Just thought I’d share my experience with you guys.

266. Karen - May 20, 2009

Bobby Mo
Dont rush it!!!! You will not be able to. I broke mine in November had plates, screws, cadever bone and pins. I am swollen every night and in pain after I work out. Ortho says these are not fully heealed for one year so we must be patient.You will go into the plastic boot next and that is so much better than the cast. I can’t over emphasize the point to not do more than you are cleared to do. I too am an athlete and a RN as well. Also stay awau form Motrin and Ibuprofen products; thay delay bone healing.

267. Bobby Mo - May 20, 2009

Thanks for the advice, my cast came off last week and was given no plastic boot. I was told to start putting full weight on the ankle, I can walk with crutches but struggle without them. I feel the ankle getting stronger everyday and being a footballer i’m gutted i’ve lost all my mucsle on my leg….compared to my other leg it looks like a twig lol…I stopped taking pain killers 2 weeks after the injury, it only pains when i walk on it now.
How long did it take you before you started walking without crutches?

268. Ankled - June 4, 2009

Bobby Mo, I recall it took me about three weeks to go from half weight permission to full weight permission from the doctor. Once that happened I started really pushing the range of motion to make walking easier. Week by week the milestones went by … walking on flat surfaces but having trouble on lawns … walking OK on lawns … walking just fine on lawns but having trouble kneeling … being able to kneel OK but can’t stand up easily (where I am now) … it goes on and on. As an athlete and presumably with PT I bet you will improve rapidly.

269. Jenn K - June 11, 2009

I finished my last day of PT yesterday. My injury was Jan 31st. It has taken this many months to finally feel almost normal! I am allowed to resume all exercise and any type of activity at this point. I appear to walk normally with tennis shoes on but still have difficulty barefoot and in any other type of shoe! I hope to be able to run again…some day. Good luck to you all!

270. MaryBeth - June 11, 2009

Broke my ankle two days after school let out (teach middle school). It has been 2 weeks today. I did not need surgery although I had a trimalleor fracture. The surgeon said everything was lined up perfectly. This is sooo painful and boring. I am hoping to be able to have a boot in 8 weeks .hahaha before school starts back. I just want to be able to do things around here. I have a scooter(self propelled) but it is SO bulky.How did ya’ll get over the frustration .I actually miss cleaning the house I am probably getting delerious now.

271. Nita - June 15, 2009

This is my first blog. I broke my ankle 12/18/08 . missed a couple of steps coming out of my house one morning. It was surgically repaired the same day and needless to say life hasn’t been the same. I boke 2 bones and dislocated the ankle also. A lag screw was placed first and then a plate with 2 screws on the right and 3 on the left side of this. All of this on the outside of the ankle. On the left side 3 more screws was placed. I was out of work for 3 months and have been in therapy since 3/18/09. I still have a lot of swelling and the range of motion is not good. I returned to the doctor on 6/9/09 and he has recommended a Dynasplint. Anyone had any experience with this? Another option he gave me to remove the hardware as the bones have healed and the plate and screws have done their job. I’m just at a lost. Never knew how missing a couple of steps could change my life. I have a shoe fetish and that’s been one of the hardest things to deal with. I can’t do a whole lot of anything without hurting, swelling or bumping it against something.

272. doreen - June 15, 2009

Hi Nita,
Welcome to our little group. It has been 7 months since I had my surgery to repair to broken bones and ligaments. I also have metal plate and 6 screws. I still have constant pain and swelling no matter what I do. Its hard to walk on anything that is not level. Such as grass or sand or an uneven sidewalk. I still have nightmares about falling. ;). So its not uncommon. Some heal better than others. For some reason i seem to be one of the unlucky ones. I have been told that I have nerve damage which is causing me to still have numbness in my pinkie toe.
Hang in there.

273. BRENDA - June 15, 2009

Hi all, I haven’t been on here in a while.I broke my ankle back in 02. I still have problems with it. Had planned to have the hardware taken out but the hospital where I work has laid off several people due to surgeries and sickness. I am going to get it done one. It really hurts!! I didn’t realise an ankle could hurt so bad. I work on my feet and that doesn’t help either. You all hang in there, this too shall pass!

Brenda S

274. MaryBeth - June 16, 2009

It is sooo good to hear other people with the same situation or at least have been in it. I live on Lifetime and the computer.Looking forward to the day I can WALK. I hate to hear about the swelling later etc… I was soo ignorant and still am about the severity of how this one dumb move could effect things for a long time.It is still really hurting but my doctor wants me to “feel the pain” I wish she could experience it for awhile .I know that was ugly but………

275. Nita - June 18, 2009

Hi and thanks Doreen, I too have numbness in my pinkie toe but was never told that it was nerve damage. When I’ve mentioned to both my PT & Dr.
neither seem to think it’s serious. I have a lot of strange sensations(for lack of better words) in my foot and especially around the incision. Anybody else ? Still no word on my dynasplint. Has anyone had one of these and if so what was it like? What about surgery to remove the hardware?

276. CJ - June 22, 2009

Hi everyone,

I had a very severe tri-mal fracture in early Feb (fell on ice outside a store which had not treated the icy conditions at the time of the accident). I had surgery the same day with screws and a plate inserted. At the 5 1/2 week mark, the cast was removed and I was advised to weight bear as tolerated. I tried doing this but had so much pain. When I saw the surgeon again 4 weeks later I told him of the pain but he didn’t seem to impressed and didn’t even re-xray me. I spoke to my primary care physician the next day and he recommended I get a 2nd opinion which I did that same week. Guess what? I had a non-union and a mal-union of the fracture and had been trying to walk with broken bones! Needless to say, I was referred to another specialist who did reconstructive surgery trying to fix the problem. It’s been nearly 6 weeks since that surgery and I was doing well until just this weekend when the pain in the top part of my foot returned – it feels like an electrical shock type of pain. I see the 2nd surgeon again next week and if the plan goes as he told me, he will x-ray, recast for another 6 weeks, then return to him for repeat x-rays and a boot. Bottom line, I will be in this darn cast since early Feb with the exception of the 4 weeks I was trying to weight bear. It looks like I’ll stay “casted” until Labor Day! It has been a horrible ordeal and without family nearby (except my dear husband) I have basically been like a rat in a cage. I have tried to stay positive but it is hard at times.

I just found this blog today so would love to hear from some of you and if any of you had problems with the bone(s) not healing.


277. frank - July 2, 2009

hi all. just checking up on all of you. been a while since i was on here. i know all your feelings and frustration. broke my ankle day after christmas last year and it’s still not 100%. just to let you guys and girls know it gets better. at the gym working out. on the treadmill, on the bike, playing raquetball, etc. still have some pain but can do everyday things. keep your head up. it does get better.

278. CJ - July 2, 2009

Hi everyone – it seems as if my bones are finally healing – that is, after 2nd surgery to repair the trimalleolar fracture which occurred Feb 8th of this year.

Has anyone had this happen to them – a non-union and/or a mal-union of the bone? If so, please share your experience if you can. It will help others like myself who have had to endure this.

279. MaryBeth - July 4, 2009

It is great to hear everyone’s experience.I get cast # 3 Monday hoping for a boot instead of a cast.This would make showers easier.Also school starts August 5th and I sure don’t want to be scootering down the halls with 1500 middle schoolers YIKES!!!Thank the Lord I teach gifted kids who are more forgiving than general population.

280. Gale - July 5, 2009

Hi everyone,
Well its been almost 7 months since my tri-mal fracture, 18 pins and plate. I did have the dynasplints about 3 months ago. One to get the foot moving downward and one to get it moving upward. Just like most here – I still am having problems but at least I can walk now for about the last 2 months without any cane or help. I am still out of work because I lost my job because of this injury. I am thinking about trying to finish my degree come this fall if I can get some help with paying for it. I am happy that I will be able to walk at my daughter’s wedding this Saturday. I think I am one of those who heals slowly because I know some others here have made quicker progress than I have. I still have numbness in much of my foot but I am learning to live with it. Best to all for a fast recovery.

281. CJ - July 20, 2009

Hi everyone,

I’m at the 10 week post-op 2nd surgery stage and still having pain. I had the second surgery in early May (it was a revision for the failed trimalleolar fracture, right leg). Does anyone recall still having pain at this point?

Just wondering.

282. doreen - July 21, 2009

hi cj
it has been 8 months since my surgery, and I still have pain and swelling everyday. It never seems to go away. Some seem to heal better than others. Don’t know why

283. CJ - July 21, 2009

Hi Doreen,

Did you have a trimal fracture as well? Have you had revision surgery? Just wondering. I just can’t figure out why I am not healing properly despite have 2 surgeries (by 2 different orthopedic surgeons at 2 different hospitals). I try to stay upbeat but at this point it’s getting harder to smile each day. I’m really sick of crutches and/or the wheelchair!!!!!

284. keri - July 24, 2009

hey every 1 this is my story, i broke my ankle in 3 places, fibula, inside of me right ankle, and big toe, i was being nosey lol, i slipped on wooden floor, and landed on me right ankle is swelled like ballon, went to hosptail put on temp cast, net day i had hard cast on bright pink and my god it was put bk on place it hurt like mad, but fond out on the 3 week they found out foot was in wroung piston and had to have it pushed right in, went to hospital and they are please it staying on the corect place, but the doctor week before wanted to put me in for an op but he was forcing me and i dont want it becuase, i can dance walk jog and run when out of cast all i would get is stiff ankle witch i had in the frist place, but my ankle burnings like hell at night but i can wiggle me toes and me bloody ankle jerks inn the cast, ill keep ya posted

285. CJ - July 27, 2009


Has anyone’s doctor suggested an ankle fusion and/or an artificial ankle? Just wondering….

286. Nita - July 29, 2009

Hi All,
Well the dynasplint didn’t do it for me. I’ll set to have surgery to remove the hardware in September. I’m told it should not be bad. Has anyone had it done? What’s the recovery time?

287. Kelly Norris - July 30, 2009

I suffered a trimaleollar fx and had fixation surgery 21 weeks ago and its not healing. My ortho doc just ordered me a bone growth stimulator to hopefully get some new bone growth or else i will have to undergo a bone grafting procedure. Has anyone ever had this happen?

288. CJ - July 30, 2009


Yes, I had bone grafting done when my revision surgery was done in mid-May. The surgeon took bone from my heel to use for the bone graft. I will know next week whether or not I have healed this time around. My accident was Feb 8th of this year, had first surgery that day but I did not heal properly. Found a new surgeon and had second surgery mid-May. I also started using a bone stimulator after my 2nd surgery to help the healing. Keep fingers crossed for me.

Wishing you well.


289. CJ - August 3, 2009

Hi everyone,

I went back to Milwaukee this morning to see my orthopedic surgeon. I did get some encouraging news, I believe. The x-rays revealed more bone growth than was there 5 weeks ago and since I have been immobile now for nearly 6 months, the surgeon agreed that it is time for me to start weight bearing but on a limited basis. The hard cast was removed and I was placed in a boot which is knee high and similar to an air cast. It keeps my leg very immobile. The only difference I can tell between this boot and the hard cast is that it is removable for showers/sleeping. I begin weight bearing this week at only 10 percent of my body weight working up to 50 percent by August 31st when I see the surgeon again.


290. MaryBeth - August 5, 2009

Milwaukee WOW That is where I am originally from. I had Tri-mal fracture have to return to work tomorrow . I have been pushing it between 50 -75% weight bearing . I should be at 25-50 but said got to have more mobility in a 1500 pupil middle school cannot be totally dependent on anyone.I am from Hales Corners/ Greendale area. Now I live in Mississippi. This has been one of the worst experiences I have had and I have had ALOT of surgeries for different thing in the past. Freaking out about back to school tomorrow. I am experiencing more knee pain now than ankle pain . Also top of my foot GO FIGURE

291. CJ - August 6, 2009

MaryBeth – I am not from Milwaukee but am a military spouse and live in IL now – however, because of the severity of the tri-mal I had to have revision surgery at Froedter Hospital. I’m doing much better now than I did after the first surgery elsewhere. Froedter rocks! I get discouraged and anxious as well about whether I will ever get well again and agree with you that this has been the worst 6 months of my life! Try not to freak out about returning to school. I’m sure you will have lots of people giving you some help – don’t overdo it.


292. MaryBeth - August 6, 2009

Froedtert is an excellent hospital .Made it through a 1/2 day at work today. Ankle really swelled up and burning. UGH so tired of this.Icing it right now to relievethe swelling. OH this too shall pass.Thanks!!!

293. Michelle - August 7, 2009

Hello All!

I broke my ankle on May 29th, and with lack of health insurance, didn’t have the 8 screws and a plate put in until June 26. I’ve felt some of the symptoms you all have done, and others that I have yet to read about. Things like the cast is loose , (where I could have sworn I could slip my leg out of it). The cast is so tight my foot fell asleep. All manor of wierdnesses. I had no upper arm strength for crutches, so I bought a wheelchair from Walgreens. I also learned to hop along counter surfaces.
Yesterday I got the NWB cast off, and went to a boot. I was told to put as much weight as possible on my ankle as I could. Today is my first day back at work, and I can manage to go quite a distance with a cane!! I’m so happy to be mobile I’m kind of afraid I will over do it.
I started scanning the notes about the horrible snake shed of skin from my foot being in a splint/cast for the last 9 weeks, but don’t see much about that. How do I go about getting my skin back to a tolerable level of not – shedding – so much?
Hope you all are well, and healing!

294. Connie - August 10, 2009

Michelle – good for you that you are back to work. Just take it easy for the first few weeks.

As for the dry skin, here’s what I did. In fact, I was more appalled at the condition my skin was in on the affected leg than I was at the incisions. Once I got home from having the cast removed, I shaved that leg and then used the looftah from the shower to exfoliate as much of the dry skin as possible. I bought a cream that has a heavy concentration of Vitamin E and used it 2 times a day for several weeks which definitely helped. Just look for a good cream or lotion that has Vitamin E in it – it should say on the jar/bottle. I can’t recall the name of the one I used but it was a cream as opposed to a lotion. The jar was yellow and it cost around $8 or so at Costco. Also, after I applied the cream I put a sock on that leg so that the lotion could be better absorbed into my skin. After about 2 weeks, my skin was pretty much back to normal. Unfortunately for me, though, I had complications with the bones not healing and had to undergo surgery again followed by 2 more casts. Amazingly, my skin was never as bad as the initial time so I think the Vitamin E cream helped even then. I did the same thing over and over each time the different casts were removed. The Vitamin E is also good for the incision healing.

Hope this helps and would welcome any other comments.

295. Michelle - August 10, 2009


Thanks for the advice. The skin was very tender, and I got most of it. I actually had a jar of the vitamin E cream, I also got some oil pills and put the oil on my incision.
Walking at work is helped by long resting periods.I am lucky to people around to do my bidding for most things.
I hope you are doing well, and thanks for the advice.

296. Connie - August 12, 2009

Has anyone had water/hydro physical therapy? Since I have had revision surgery on my tri-mal fracture and the pain is so bad since the 2nd cast came off, I’m thinking about asking my primary care doctor for a referral to a different physical therapy group – specifically one that uses water in their treatment plan.

Any thoughts?

297. Nadine - August 25, 2009

Hi: I just found this site. I broke my right ankle on April 17, 2009. Was in a cast, but the break has not healed. As a result, I am now on a bone simulator 30 minutes a day. I thought about doing water therapy, and wondered if any of you have done so successfully?

298. Connie - August 26, 2009


I am still waiting for my insurance company to approve hydrotherapy (which is part of some physical therapists’ program anyhow). I should know in the next few days if it gets approved or not. The first PT that I went to after the first cast came off in mid-March felt this would be very beneficial to my healing so he completely approved me of getting PT via water.

I, too, have had problems with healing and in fact had to have a 2nd surgery (you can read my earlier posts if you want the story). It has been 14 weeks now since my 2nd surgery and I am just now beginning to feel like the ankle is healing. I see the surgeon again on the 31st so hopefully the x-ray will reveal more bone growth than before. I also have been using a bone stimulator and it is a pain in the neck to carry around and not drop, but I do believe it has helped me.

Keep us posted on your progress and feel free to either email me or post questions/progress as you wish. We all know that a tri-mal fracture of the ankle is the absolute pits.


299. Connie - August 31, 2009

Finally – good news to share. I saw my surgeon again today and x-rays show the bones are healing. For the first time in 7 months, I had a good report. I will have to get fitted for a brace but I don’t even care about that anymore. The brace must be worn whenever I walk and probably will be worn forever. I just want to walk again. He told me to increase weight bearing to between 50 and 100% which means I can walk without using my crutches (I’m still wearing a boot though). I do have to return next week for an MRI which I am sure is going to show more good news!

My insurance did not approve water physical therapy but I start regular PT in a few days. I should have started 3 weeks ago but have been waiting for authorization from my insurance company re: therapy in the pool. Oh well, I’ll start soon and I’m sure I will see success. I can go swim in the pool and do my own PT (think aqua aroebics) and I may do that in addition to land PT.

I have shared my bad days so wanted to share some good news for a change. Hang in there, everyone, things do improve. I know it’s hard to believe, but they do. A tri-mal fracture is one of the worst fractures you can have and it just takes T-I-M-E.


300. Michelle - September 2, 2009

Final visit to the Ortho was yesterday. It’s been 3 months and 4 days since I broke my ankle, and 2 months 6 days since 8 screws and a plate were installed. I can walk, with some pain, no limp with SHOES. The ortho told me they wanted to remove the big long screw connecting fibula to tibia. I told them no. I’m done. They agreed, said if i didn’t get it removed, it was not a big deal, but my range would be limited until I got it removed (or it breaks.) If it breaks, they said no big deal eaither, they won’t remove it, and my range would improve. I’m at work for 11 hours+ a day, but rarely on my feet due to my obnoxious behaviour about stairs/walking too much. The swelling should subside in 6-9 MONTHS, which disapoints me to no end, but I am not getting PT, as my own exersizing has gotten me very far. Just wanted to let everyone know it will be OK eventually:)

301. Bobby Mo - September 6, 2009

Thought i’d give an update on my broken ankle, well it’s been 5 months since i broke my ankle, had a plate and 4 screws inserted. I was told to put full body weight on my ankle as soon as the cast came off and was given no palstic shoe. I used crutches for 3 weeks and gradually started walking without them. I walked with a limp for 2 months and now i can walk on it perfectly, obviously short distances. If i walk for longer than 30 mins then i still get a limp and it swells up. However i have full motion in my ankle and can even jog on it, I must be one of those fast healers. I think i owe my quick recovery to cycling 40 mins a day. It assisted building back the mucsle in my leg quickly, i also started doing light weights and squats, i think this too helped.

I don’t know if it’s just me but sometimes when i’m sitting for like 20 mins and get upto walk, i can feel a sharp pain down the side of my calf, but after two mins of walking it disappears. Does anyone else get this?

302. Mary Beth - September 7, 2009

I am walking now too much swelling tho pointed out by my Physical Therapist. Dr. pretty much wrote me off in hands of PT. I am so scared though to do anything DO NOT want to jeapordize progress made so far. Do you all have swelling this is going on month 4broke my ankle trimalloer May 28th

303. Michelle - September 8, 2009

@Mary Beth The swelling will gradually decrease, but my doc said 6-9 months. If you don’t walk on it, it will hurt when you do. If you do walk on it, you will strengthen your leg and swell. After your day is done, put the foot up and on ice. My ankle broke same day as you:)
@Bobby Mo I also get the sharp pains when i first start out walking. It only bugs me when i haven’t taken some motrin/advil. You were smart to be riding a bike to keep up your strength.

304. Jacki - September 18, 2009

I broke my fibula on September 6th and my doctor put me in a removable black boot cast for 3 weeks no weight bearing. I go back this Wednesday and she says if all looks good I can start using a cane and partial weight bearing and then 2 weeks after that lose the cast and just use a cane. has anyone ever heard of moving through this so quickly? I have a pretty bad sprained ankle but the swelling is coming down. She is a DO so their approach is always treating the whole person rather than just the symptoms. And if I can start weight bearing, can I drive? Thanks

Jacquie - August 26, 2013

I have been reading these blogs for hours. I broke my fibula on August 22 and am in a boot cast for 6 weeks no weight bearing. Hopefully will not need these awful surgeries with pins and plates everyone is describing. Sounds so archaic that these are still being done and so many un-successfully!!! I am having the shooting pains and frustration but it is early days yet – back to cast clinic for X-ray this week ( don’t know how much difference they’ll see in only a week but going along with the process for now),

305. Nancy - September 20, 2009

I broke my fibula six weeks ago tonight and as well as I understand it, it moved my ankle bone so had surgery a week later. Had a plate and 2 screws. I am in the black boot and started putting a little weight on it yesterday and it does not hurt. The swelling is almost gone but have the shedding aligator skin on my foot and it is a light purple color. It is my right foot and I also drove a little yesterday, took the boot off.

I go to the Dr. Monday so will let you know. All the blogs I have been reading have been scaring me to death so your message, Jacki sounds good.

306. Nancy - September 22, 2009

It will be six weeks on Thursday since I had surgery and I went to the doc yesterday and he said the bone had healed well and I could take the boot off and start walking on both legs. It was wonderful news except that my knee on the bad leg hurts so much I can hardly walk. Maybe from the scooter or just not using it for that long.

307. Jana - September 26, 2009

This blogsite has been very informative to me. Ishattered my ankle on March 15, 2008 by walking downstairs. half way down I rolled my right ankle and snapped both my tibula and fibula ( I apologize if my spelling is incorrect) I had surgery the next afternoon. They put a plate with 13 screws on the inside side of my ankle and a screw on the outside. After 10 days I had the cast removed and went to a half cast 3 times every 3-4 weeks. After that I went to aircasts for the next 5 months. Finally I got the all clear after 10 months no more doctors appointments or aircasts only 12 physical therapy appointments. The doctor said he doesn’t have to see me unless I have any type of pain that gets worse. I was doing great working out and walking/jogging on the treadmill at 4.0 for 30-40 minutes at a low incline, light weights going to the pool which really helped with fleibility and we were even able to play at the bneach and ocean this past summer. Slowly it started to decrease and pain started coming back. It has been 18 months and I went back to the doctor this past week and they said the pain is caused by the plate & screw rubbing on the tendons and causing issues. Sometimes the body does fine and there are no problems and other times the body for whatever reason decides it doesn’t like the plate/screws in there and wants them to go away. In my case the pain is affecting the way I walk and howlong I can walk. I can’t do the treadmill for longer than 3 minutes on 2.5 a dramatic change.We have scheduled the removal of my hardware for October 22nd. They have encouraged me to continue the gym as best as possible and to get my range of motion as much as possible. What I go in with will be what I leave with. The down time is 4-6 weeks. They said there will be all the holes in the bone from the crews and will take that long for the holes to fill up so I will need tobe very careful until we have seen that has happened. So no driving until that happens or I will be right back where I started. I will leave the hospital with a cast and crutches and it is same day surgery. I am a bit nervous but anxious to hopefully be able to get back to a more normal life. If anyone would like to share there experience with me I would like to read about it.

308. Karen - September 28, 2009

Hi guys
Wll went to Ortho after 10 months and am rejecting cadaver bone. Have a non -union in the tibia so have to have another durgery. I don’t think I can go through the hell again.

309. DOREEN - September 28, 2009


310. Michelle - September 28, 2009


You had bones replaced? Wow, that’s some serious surgery. I’m sorry you have to start over, my prayers are with you.


My docs said getting the screws removed is actually less recovery time because the bones aren’t being invaded. You are more delicate walking etc until the bones heal. Imagine a sheet of spiral notebook paper. Much easier to tear because of the holes. I wish you the best of luck too.

@all – I recently went to the beach and found walking really easy on my right foot, the repaired one. My left knee however, declared war on me halfway back to the parking lot. Uphill was ok. Downhill was unpleasant. I don’t get much chance at the sand walking, so it was an experience I wouldn’t have missed for much beyond still being on crutches. (Can you see that?!)


311. Karen - September 29, 2009

Hi Doreen,
I am just devastated…I can’t believe this is happening to me and surgery will be with another rod. I have the spiral CT scan this week and he wants to biopsy the donor site for infection.? of osteomyeletis. It will be the holidays all over again. Same thing. I did everything I was supposed to do and took off the 40 lbs I had gained before I broke it originally. I asked Surgeon why and he said ” rotten luck ” I am so glad you are still on th site.

312. Michelle - September 29, 2009

@Karen “Rotten Luck” is a crap answer. Were you taking medication to prevent rejection? Why did they use donor bone instead of metal to begin with? (these questions are just me being nosey, not condemning the doctors)

313. Karen - October 1, 2009

They used a cadaver bone to try and limit the amount of hardware. Have several plates screws and a rod. yes I did take antirejection meds at first…all seemed normal considering the break I had. It is a major teaching hospital and the MD was the head of trauma with an impeccable record.

I am an RN and I understood why it was being done.

314. Jamie Redfearn - October 4, 2009

Hi all my name is Jamie and I feel like I am at the breaking point tonight….I found this site as I am trying to get my mind off of my pain…Here’s my story…
9 days ago I missed a step and fell at the Rodeo. My left foot was turn at a complete angle (The way your foot is not supposed to go. After a long 30 minutes I made to the ER and the pain began to set in.. and it has not stopped…..I broke my left ankle in three place and shattered the bones on both sides and the bone at the back..two plates and lord knows how many screws. My right ankle they say is severly sprank the OS stated that the ligaments in my ankle were torn to shredds. So all of this means I CAN”T WALK PERIOD!!!!!The first few days in the hospital I had PT come in a instruct me to hop on the sprank ankle with weight as tolrated.. Not sure if any one else has hopedon a sprank angle but lets say it didn’t take long for the pain to becoem unbearable. My OS was very upset when I called him 3 days agao and told hom about the swelling and discolartion of the sprank ankle since I began hopeing on it. (NO ONE KNOWA WERE THOSE ORDERS CAME FROM) Yes, that set the sprank ankle back a week.

So here we are today… A boot on the sprank one with orders that only when nesscarly can I put any weight for 6 weeks, and the other is no weight for 12 weeks. However OS said that when I go see him next Friday which will be two weekshe is putting a boot on the broke one and wants me to began taking it out of the boots 2-3 times a day and moving it up and down)
Okay I need to know when this painwill let up I did not know it was humnaly possible for one to endure this kinda pain. Yes I am on pain pills that seem to dull the pain for about 2 hours. but it never stops…
OOOO.. I read alot about the leg jerks….WHY WHY WHY.. I just want to fall alseep but they try to jump of the pillows…
I am sry this is so long but I read through alll these post and wanted to share and ask for advice….

P.S. the emotinal side of this is just as bad…..I will save that for tom. night when I can’t sleep:(

315. Connie - October 4, 2009

Jamie – you are not alone so please feel free to post whenever you wish and as often as you wish. As for the pain, I don’t know what to tell you other than it does take time. I’m sure you don’t want to hear this but it will ease up for you. I am concerned, though, that the doctor hasn’t given you another type of pain pill since the one you are on doesn’t seem to be sufficient. I would call him and tell him the pain is unbearable.

I had severe pain for 2 weeks but then it lessened. I’m 8 months out from my first surgery, nearly 4 months out from my 2nd surgery, and I still have pain on walking. I’m not trying to depress you (if I am, sorry) but trying to let you know you MAY always have some pain. The injury you had (which sounds like a trimalleolar fracture) is a very severe injury and again, it just takes time.

Please call your OS and get some pain relief. Once the pain is lessened, you will have a better grasp on the situation you are in.


316. Marybethwee - October 7, 2009

NNING i HA TOLD ALL IS ON COURSE YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDINGI just want to be normal with nomal shoe

Ps Normal shoes are getting old likr grann’s

317. Marybethwee - October 7, 2009

NNING i HA TOLD ALL IS ON COURSE YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDINGI just want to be normal with nomal shoe

Ps Normal shoes are getting old like grann’s

318. Jamie Redfearn - October 7, 2009

Has anyone began movement of ankle two weeks out. I have three breaks, shattered bone with plates on back of ankle and side off ankle with 10 screws. OS stated that at the two week apt. which is Friday he would remove the hard cast and put on boot which I would take my foot out of 3 times daily and move side to side and up and down. As the two week date spproaches I am thinking HE IS NUTS there is no way this foot is ready to move at all even thinking it needs to stay in hard cast. Pain is very intense at this point.. any thoughts from ya’ll???

319. Connie - October 9, 2009

Jamie – my first OS took me out of the hard cast at the 5 1/2 week mark but he should not have. That’s why I had to seek a second opinion and ultimately get a 2nd surgery. My bones had not healed at the 5 1/2 week mark. I do not know how severe your trimal fracture is, but I would ask him to explain why he feels you are ready to get out of the cast so early into the recovery period. I am not a surgeon but my thoughts from my experience. As far as having you move your foot up and down, side to side, that is what my physical therapist started with me once the final cast was off and the doctor said my bones were healing.

Keep us posted on what happens and remember, there are lots of people on this site who can relate to your pain, despair, frustration, etc.


320. Jamie Redfearn - October 10, 2009

Went to the Dr. oooo meeee this was and still is possibly the worst pain day yet… he did take it out of the hard cast and put in a boot. He stated since it was complete no weight bearing he perfreed me in this cast beause we could keep oniment on the incsions and i have mnay mnay big blisters from the swelling inside the cast and he wants to keep bactriban on these so they don’t get infected.. but wow this hurts like unbeviabaly… I had about 30 stables and he took them out. he showed be all the x-rays. I have about 13 screws and a long plate. Still a whole lot of swelling.but I am another day closer to recovery..He stated no work no anything and we would talk again in 4 weeks and see were we are.. o’my four more weeks….

321. MaryBeth - October 11, 2009

I have actually felt better the last few days until I went into a squat cleaning the fridge . Back to 3 weeks ago. I know I just irritated it but geez…..I cannot wait to get out of sensible shoes . I hate them .Give me SOMETHING with SOME kind of heel. This is driving me nuts in more than one way

322. Jamie Redfearn - October 11, 2009

okay any body have anixiety attacks while going thorugh all of this? I know it is a cobination of pain meds and no sleep but uggggg

323. MaryBeth - October 13, 2009

Dear Jamie
Had anxiety attacks BIG TIME when I had to go back to work.I felt like the wool had pulled out from under me. I kept a journal the whole time I was laid up this summer and can tell u I think I was certifiably NUTS.I broke my ankle 4 months ago and still have pain and swelling. It IS getting better though. Still take pain pills when I need to. Walking,teaching all day and broken ankles do not go together Hope you are feeling better just know we all feel your pain.

324. Michelle - October 13, 2009


I also teach (at a votech school). When I started back to work (10 weeks ago), I had been out of my cast a day, and walking in a boot at about 1 mile an hour. I was told the swelling would go down in 6-9 months. It recently got pretty cold in Denver, and the pain was enough to send me back to the meds for a couple days.
It’s been a long 5 months so far, and up and down have been more up. It does get better.

325. Connie - October 13, 2009

I was wondering if anyone has been told by their orthopedic surgeon that they will need to wear a brace? I saw my OS yesterday and was fitted for a brace called the Arizona brace which I will need to wear for some time. I also have to have my shoes modified by the same company – I think they basically take off the lower half of the shoes and replace it with some type of specially prescribed orthetic wear. This is in addition to the other brace.

Please let me know if your doctor has mentioned anything like this to you.

Best to you!


326. MaryBeth - October 16, 2009

Can’t remember or have the time to go back throught he blogs but someone talked about knee pain. My PT said(coz I had the same problem) that it is because you point your toe outward to help alleviate the pain but in actuality you are stressing your knee. You need to keep the toe of your broken ankle foot pointing straight ahead (which hurts more) but eventually it will make you walk correctly and not stress your knee.

327. Karen - October 23, 2009

Hi guys,
I am terrified. My ORIF REVISION….the whole thinf g is scheduled for 11/10/09. I don’t know how I am going to go through this AGAIN !!!!

328. Karen - October 23, 2009

I was in the plaster cast for 3 weeks and then the fiberglass for 6 weeks. The boot was at 9-10 weeks and I still have a non-union that has to be revised !!!!

329. Karen - October 23, 2009

Doreen…Where are you???????

330. Doreen - October 23, 2009

hey Karen…I am here love…Its my year anniversary today..I fell a year ago. Foot still hurts like hell, still get swollen, can’t walk long distance, cant stand up for more than 5 minutes..So..basically I am the same as I was 6 months ago. At least I am back to work, but financially I am sunk. Sorry to hear that you have to do this alllll over again. I don’t think I can handle it if I did..Hon…we are still here for you. 😦

331. Connie K - October 23, 2009


You can do this! I had my injury on Feb 8th this year and had surgery the same day. I was in a cast for 6 weeks, then my OS told me I was healing fine and removed the cast and told me to weight bear as tolerated. Long story short is that I had considerable pain when I tried to do any walking and when I saw him again in 4 weeks, he did not even take any more x-rays but examined me and told me my pain was from the PT being too aggressive. I asked my primary care doctor for a 2nd opinion and it is at that visit to the 2nd ortho that I found out I had been trying to “weight bear as tolerated” on still broken bones – I had a non-union, a malunion and one bone that had not been addressed at the 1st surgery. So, I, too, had to undergo revision ORIF and go through the process all over again on May 12th This doctor, though, was very conservative and although I did come out of the cast after 6 weeks, I immediately went back into another cast, 4 weeks later the same process until finally in August I graduated to a boot – happy day, no more casts. It has been a long ordeal for me but I am finally healing. After the last cast was removed, I mentally began feeling better. I think it was the freedom of being able to once again take a shower without all the mess of plastic bags, etc. and the fact that I started to drive again. I saw the OS 2 weeks ago and he is very pleased. I am out of the boot now but will have to wear a special brace (called an Arizona brace) to stablize my ankle. I’m okay with this if it helps. I should be able to cover the brace with my pants or jeans. I will wear it as a badge of honor if it helps. I do still have pain and swelling if I stand or walk for too long but I will then sit and recover. Alleve or similar over the counter medications help the pain.

So, know you can do this. You may not want to do this – I know I didn’t want to and I was very angry and depressed – but the end result fall outweighs walking around on broken bones!

Email me personally if you want more info.

We’re here for you.

332. Karen - October 24, 2009

Connie..Thank you
I am still working so that I don’t use too much time..the mD is not happy with it but look what they did to Doreen! I will be bugging you guys and cring and remind me that I did this before..Doreen you know !!! It will be November 10th.

333. Jocelyn - October 25, 2009

I have just discovered this website and it gives me great, if selfish, comfort to know that so many of you out there have suffered a fate similar to my own, sometimes much worse!! I live in England and it seems to me that you guys are medically far in advance! I fractured and dislocated my ankle (missing the top step of a long flight) 8 years ago. It was a bad fracture, that required surgery and 9 days in hospital, but eventually healed. I had the pins removed from my inside ankle six motnhs on because of discomfort. Things then seemed alright but a couple of years ago, the top pin and the bottom of the plate on my outside ankle began to push out. It became impossible for me to wear the average shoe because the top of the side of the shoe dug into the ankle at the point of the plate protrusion. So, I had the lot removed on the 7th October inst. I saw my GP last Tuesday for the postop check and part of the wound just above the ankle bone had not healed and there was a degree of infection. The main symptom associated with this has been sharp, stabbing pains (nerves?) and an incredibly intense burning sensation which is worse in the morning when I first get up then repeats, in surges, throughout the day. I was prescribed a penicillin-based antibiotic, and another for the treatment of postop wound infection, but the burning (antibiotics are supposed to have discernible improvement after 48 hours) is still just as intense and the swelling in my foot by the end of the day is horrendous. Has anybody out there experienced this? What was the cause and the outcome? I would be so grateful for any information. Bless you all.

334. Karen - October 25, 2009

Been having nightmares over this upcoming revision. I had an anxiety attack at work last week…not cool when you are an RN on an ICU unit !!!! But I am human right????

335. Connie K - October 26, 2009

Karen – we will be thinking of you and I’m confident it will go well for you. Hey, nurses are allowed to have feelings and emotions, too!

336. Jocelyn - October 26, 2009

MaryBeth, I have just properly read your insert about knee pain! This is really helpful because, having had an arthroscopy for torn ligaments at the beginning of the year, and finally feeling happier about the results (after a lot of physio, swimming and cycling), the removal of the pins in my right ankle and the ensuing problem has started my knee up again. I have just observed the way I am walking and notice that my right foot is pointing outwards, just as you describe. I will now concentrate on pointing it directly forward. Thank you for that! In the meantime, no improvement in the state of my ankle. The wound looks quite disgusting and smells almost as bad. I am crossing my fingers that the second antibiotic (known here as Metronidazole [for the treatment of post op wound infection]) kicks in today, the 4th day since I started on it. Minor detail, I suppose, but it’s Antibuse-like side effects mean that I cannot even
Karen – good luck!

337. Michelle - October 26, 2009

How much downtime are you expected to have with having pins removed?
one of my co-workers has pins and wire in his wrist, and the pins are starting to come out after 8 years as well. Have surgical supplies improved so I won’t be looking at surgery in 8 years? don’t they use “locktite”?
Karen, we’re all thinking about you.

338. Karen - October 30, 2009

Thanks guys I need to know that…you are what got me through it last time !!!!

339. Karen - October 30, 2009

Hey Connie,
What caused your non-inion?

340. Connie K - October 31, 2009

Karen – good question. The orthopedic surgeon didn’t even tell me this happened! In fact, he told me it was okay to “weight bear as tolerated” and it was only after I was having so much pain trying to follow his instructions that I got the second opinion and found out about the non-union and the malunion. For some reason I had asked for a copy of the x-rays from that particular visit with the orthopedic surgeon so I had these to show at my 2nd opinion visit. Knowing what I know now, it shows the non-union. The sad thing is that the original surgeon is a nice person and apparently a good OS but he messed my leg up for sure.

How are you doing?

Connie K

341. Joyce - November 3, 2009

Hi I am new to this blog!
I am searching for someone that can tell me how their ankle is feeling 18 months after a fractured tibia and filula with a dislocation. I had 3 fractures and went in the next day for ORIF. I was off pain medication about 6 days after the surgery, however I feel like I’m never without pain. There is never a day that I think wow, my ankle didn’t hurt today. My range of motion isn’t that great either. I can’t run or jump.
Originally my M.D. said that this may be my new reality. I’m thinking of checking about having the hardware taken out. Did it make a real difference for someone reading this?/ or should I not waste my time.
No one really understands ankle pain like someone who has broken one.
The messages are all so inspiring, I wish I would of found this site at the beginning of my 4 month recovery before I was back to work.

342. Jocelyn - November 3, 2009

Hi, Joyce. I, too, wish I had discovered this site earlier!
I am not a good advertisement for having hardware removed. I had the pins in my inside ankle taken out six months after the event and developed an infection that took weeks of constant visits to the hospital before it healed. Now, 8 years on, I have no problem with it. However, I had the plate and pins taken out of my outside ankle 4 weeks ago, because they were beginning to push outwards which was making the wearing of shoes increasingly difficult and, once again, it became infected and is refusing to heal, in spite of three different antibiotics and a swab that showed “nothing significant”! I saw the practice nurse yesterday to have the dressing changed and will see her again on Thursday. At the moment, the whole of the outside of my foot and ankle is burning really badly, a symptom that I have understood is indicative of infection. I come to the end of the 3rd antibiotic today so, unless a miracle occurs withing the next 48 hours, I really don’t know what will happen next. It is particularly infuriating because I am due to be taking part in a sleep trial, as a paid volunteer, at the beginning of next month (just in time for all those Xmas extras!) and one of the criteria for taking part is a restful night’s sleep being the norm – hardly the case at the moment!
I heartily agree with some of you – I DREAM about wearing elegant shoes again!! Is that so unrealistic? I’m not even talking high heels! All I want is to eventually be able to put something on my foot that will not require me to cut a chunk out of the outside where it touches beneath the ankle bone!

343. Joyce - November 3, 2009

Thanks for taking the time to reply Jocelyn!
I’m so sorry to hear about your infection. Just something to throw out there to you, I’ve heard that keeping your diet low in sugar helps decrease the infectious process. I’m sure you must be so frustrated and worried. Try to stay positive and know that I will be sending positive thoughts your way.
Please keep me posted.
Hi to Karen and positive thoughts to you as well.
I am a / was a registered nurse (pediatrics) and I think sometimes that just increases your anxiety level because you may have seen so many different situations. After my surgery I had many anxiety attacks. The cast alone made me feel trapped. Just keep telling yourself you are going to be just fine and this time you will HEAL. You are not alone…this site is a true testiment to that.
Take good care all of you reading.

344. Donna - November 6, 2009

wish I had found this site sooner. 3months out from breaking my ankle in 3 places. swelling is better but range of motion is still not where it should be. Not sure I will ever get back to where I was.
Which is a very depressing thought.
For those of you still with in the first 6 weeks, Please, hang in there.
I tried to find something to look forward to including my next doctor’s visit. FaceBook, Ancestory.com, and games kept me sane by giving me something to do while I was laid up. Hated the crutches too. There has to be an easier way to get around while in the cast. Hospital sent me home with a foam cushion to elavate my leg. This was so much better than pillows that constantly slide. The foam cushion was contoured to keep my leg elavated and in positioned so that I could get some sleep. Cushion is worth the investment.
I’m walking better now but usually hobbling by the end of the day. Swelling is still an issue. Pain is bearable. This is definitely a long healing process.

345. MaryBeth - November 8, 2009

I am seriously thinking of “born” shoes somewhat 2 inch heels next week YIKES!!!! I broke my ankle over 5 months ago still have swelling and foot pain 24/7 . It HAS been getiing better day by day but still nowhere I thought I would be at this time. Thought I would be strutting around like before. I am terrified of falling or as what was the problem before just rolling over my shoe. I hang on to railings like my life raft and shake everytime I have to walk down steps. I guess desensification would be my prescription but wow this is hard to get over the fear of going thru this again. I think I would end up certifiably nuts!!!!

346. Karen - November 8, 2009

Hi guys
Tuesday is coming quickly!!!!! I have to have the surgery in 2 stages. First this Tuesday they are removing the old hardware and placing me on IV antibiotics and then next Tuesday the ORIF again and the bone graft. I am so scared.I asked the anesthiologist what i was getting and he said” The michael Jackson drug”. I don’t even want him as my anesthiologist now !!!!!

347. Karen - November 9, 2009

Thanks so much
I know being an RN doesn’t help with the anxiety. I worked on an ortho floor at one time and we were having resp codes once a week and giving narcan. I am letting my imagination run away with me. Thanks for letting me know it’s ok…Karen

348. Jocelyn - November 9, 2009

Good luck, Karen! (It seems a touch ironic that the theatrical equivalent of “good luck” is “break a leg!”
I will be seeing my practice nurse to find out the result of the second swab and have the dressing changed yet again at about the time that you will be squaring up to your ordeal, so I will think of you and remind myself that my problems are minor and, hopefully, they will stay that way.
I agree with you that one’s imagination is generally inclined to picture the worst case scenario!

349. Connie K - November 9, 2009

Karen – we will be thinking about you and praying that all goes well. Let us know (once you are able) how it went. God be with you!

Connie K

350. Karen - November 9, 2009

Well if it wasn’t for bad luck it seems I’d have no luck at all Just got a call from The orthopedic Surgeon’s secretary and he is doing emergency surgeries Due to a bad accident over the weekend. I have been rescheduled for 11/19 for phase ne and 11/24 for phase 2. I will be in the hospital for Thanksgiving AGAIN this year!!!! History repeats itself, Can I cry????? Cause I just feel like going back to bed and staying under the covers for awhile.

351. Jocelyn - November 9, 2009

That is bad luck, Karen. I thought that kind of eleventh hour cancellation was something almost exclusively English NHS!

352. Connie K - November 9, 2009

Oh, no, Karen – how unfair. On the other hand, you don’t want a OS “working” on you when he is tired – that’s the other way to look at it. But I feel for you because I know how the anxiety of waiting affects us. Try to hang in there the best you can. Keep posting ’cause we care.


353. Michelle - November 9, 2009

We should do Turkey day at Karens house pot luck style! I hope you do OK during surgery!

354. Karen - November 10, 2009

I really love you guys !!!!!!!

355. DOREEN - November 10, 2009

Hi Karen,
I am so sorry to hear you will be in the hospital for Thanksgiving again, and also spend the holidays imobile. :(. It really sucks. Please try to keep a positive attitude as hard as that may be. Positive thinking brings positive karma. :0). You are in my thoughts

356. Karen - November 10, 2009

It always brings a smile to my face when I hear from you. Yes it sucks, and he is doing it in 2 phases. Two surgeries a week apart. I am so scared!!!!!!

357. Jamie Redfearn - November 13, 2009

My thoughts and prayers are with you!!!

358. Karen - November 14, 2009

Thanks Jamie,
I need your support and prayers!!! Thank you so much!

359. MaryBeth - November 14, 2009

I cannot imagine . My 3 months laid up and the residule getting OVER it has been realy hard. I think I am on way way to healing Due to a very sympathetic MD .That will give me pain meds if I need it. My ortho kept telling me to feel the pain 2 weeks after the trimaaleor fracture. I was casted for 10 weeks Went back to teaching when school started . couldn’t have made it all day on my feet without a sympathetic MD. My OS was no help

360. MaryBeth - November 20, 2009

Wore Born shoes with a 2 inch wedge tonight for a parent meeting at school There is HOPE

361. Jocelyn - November 20, 2009

Having had metalwork removed from my right outside ankle 6 weeks ago, 8 years after the accident that fractured it, primarily because the plate was pushing outwards and making the wearing of any sort of footwear more and more difficult, I now have an extremely painful and messy operation wound that will not heal. Having it cleaned and redressed yesterday was, without doubt, the most painful experience of my life (and I speak as one who has given birth to 5 children without any pain relief whatsoever – that was all a skip round the park compared to having this wound cleaned out!). I have had four different antibiotics to no particular avail. They took blood yesterday to try and determine a cause for the absolute mess my right foot and ankle have become. I think that the worst part of it all is that I am normally a passionate artist/designer and, at the moment, I have no motivation at all. It is as though the blight that is affecting my ankle is also eating away at my incentive – not a good place to find oneself! The intense burning and stabbing I get is only alleviated by Tramadol the side effects of which are intense sweating and being almost completely spaced out, but a small price to pay, I guess, for even the briefest of pain relief and a few hours sleep. The OS who did the op is away on holiday until December 3rd. In the UK, there is no automatic follow-up by the surgeon after what is considered a minor op. It is left in the hands of the GP and referred back as and when necessary, as has now happened with me but the OS is not there. Hopefully, by this time next week, after an x-ray and the results of the blood tests, this might be looking a little more promising. In the meantime, I have a belated surprise birthday present to deal with tomorrow – I only know that it involves taking the Eurostar train from not far from where we live in Canterbury across the Channel, very early, to Belgium? France? Brussels? Lille? Paris? for the day, returning late tomorrow night. So, pain or no pain, I am going to LIVE tomorrow, every nanosecond of it. Watch this space!
Karen, I guess your first op must now be behind you. I hope that it went OK and that this whole unfortunate business will soon be but a piece of history. I know too well how difficult it can sometimes be to remain positive, yet it is so important to try. My thoughts are with you. Every time I wince and curse at the pain that shoots through my ankle, I remind myself that I am at least relatively mobile and, with any luck, will remain so!
MaryBeth – how encouraging! My biggest dream is about the shoes that I hope to be able to wear again, one day! Good for you!

362. Michelle - November 20, 2009


How horrible sounding! I will pray your injuries will be resolved soon.
I think Karen’s surgery got delayed to next week. I also hope she’s doing well.
I have another milestone: I finally got some arch supports put in my crappy walmart work boots. The difference is TOTALLY amazing. I have no pain while walking, and only minor swelling now. After Thanksgiving will be 6 months from injury, and 5 months from surgery.
I should have done the arch supports right after getting the boot off, can’t believe the difference in my ability to walk.


363. MaryBeth - November 21, 2009

I think that is not a good thing or should I say B sh^t You need to have that taken care of ASAP. If you have that much pain that long it is not right. I have been dealing with pain since this ordeal But things have gotten beter not worse . My GP has been helpful with pain meds but I have NOT had your complications . I was scared to death to wear anyrhing other than flats. I too am very into being able to go back to normal with the fashion side. You should not have to deal with this problem so long into your injury. Can you not see another Dr. in the interim??? Sorry he is on holiday but your days are NOT holiday while you are suffering. Just being a little persnickedy due to our US new healthplan issues. May be way off target here but want you to know I am thinking about issues that r sure to errupt with new healthplan issues

364. Karen - November 21, 2009

Hi everyone,
I’m discharged home (no beds) on Dilaudid, Lovenox, and Levaquin. I see the OS Monday for biopsy results. Surgery is once again rescheduled to Wednesday instead of Tuesday. Doing better than last time …I hope the ORIF revision is better than the ORIF. Thanks for all the prayers!

365. doreen - November 21, 2009

Hi Karen,
So glad to hear from you. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Please know that you are a strong person and there is nothing you can’t get through. Hang in there sweetie.

366. Karen - November 23, 2009

Hi guys,
Can’t sleep…elevated and iced ankle for the throbbing and now I am wide awake. Nervous about the biopsy results and may need a PICC line and be in the hospital for a longer duration. I try not to worry but then when I want to doze off my mind is racing.
Thanks you guys for being here for me !!!!

367. Jocelyn - November 23, 2009

I wish you well, Karen. Interesting, this blog business, I don’t know you and yet I do, if you see what I mean! Of course you worry, that is only human. We all do it and, happily, most of us end up feeling just a little foolish for having done so! May your worries prove to be just as fruitless. I, too, will say a prayer for you.
For anyone who is interested, my surprise trip turned out to be a day in PARIS!! Not only that but, on the train, members of my family kept appearing so that, in the end, the full contingent (10 adults and two small children) had lunch together on the Champs Elysees! How’s that for a wow weekend? Yesterday, I suffered for all the walking but, gee, it was SO worth it! I am still feeling the warm glow!
Tomorrow I get the results of the latest blood tests. I really hope they show something significant. The burning in my leg, from mid calf down, is sometimes almost unbearable and the swelling seems to be spreading higher. And it is not getting any better, quite the contrary. I am now taking Tramadol during the day, as well as just before bed, to try and combat the pain. I also notice a new development and that is when I sigh it is immediately followed by a surge of pain in my ankle. So, I figure my circulation is being compromised somehow. Anyway, I hope I will be wiser by tomorrow evening. I have a sale of my craft work on Wednesday and I really need to attend to that myself, since presentation is half the battle.
God allow that whatever the prognosis for my ankle, I can get to that sale!!
MaryBeth, what are the new US Health Plan issues?
Michelle, good on the walmart wonders!! Apart from the inelegance of very limited footwear, I guess I also worry about the loss of muscle in my legs. I am so accustomed to cycling and walking great distances. Somebody has told me about a “Power Plate” – does that mean anything to you guys? – it is supposed to tone the muscles of the body, generally, in a fraction of the time that a normal workout takes and in a less invasive way. I have to due something, soon, before my legs become mere match sticks!

368. MaryBeth - November 23, 2009

Well all I can say is that boots fit better with the atrophied legs!!! HA There is a silver lining in every cloud

369. Karen - November 24, 2009

Hi everyone..
Well things could be worse. I got the biopsy back and I have a staph aureus osteomyelitis. So………… I have a PICC line in and have to go to the hospital every morning for IV antibiotics for 4-6 weeks. I am not going to have the revision done until the infection is cleared. I am in a cast now because the broken fibula has already migrated since the hardware was removed. This tratment should work and healing should finally take place after surgery!!!! Someday this will all be a bad memory!!!!

370. Jocelyn - November 24, 2009

Nice to hear you being more hopeful, Karen. Interesting from my point of view as well, because I am going to find out today whether I, too, have osteomyelitis so – watch this space!
Mary Beth, I like your dark humour!!

371. KIM - November 25, 2009

Hi Joyce. I’m new to this site also. I had a plate and 7 screws taken out of my right ankle 5 days ago. I had them for 1 year. My original injury was 20 years ago with just stepping off a curb and twisting it. I wore my ankle down to bone on bone then the top ankle bone was twisted, pushing up into the fibia and tibia and lots of arthritis and bone spurs. The doc cut the end of the fibia bone off and put bone from my hip and hospital to fill in the space, then cut my achilies tendon and streched that out and graphed it into the new bone. OUCH! I was then in a hard cast for 5 1/2 months and not to touch the ground. Got it offand could not walk or bend my foot up or down. I had a negative 5% range of motion. The PT got my foot to a positive 5%. Not good. Makes it hard to walk up or down anything. Basically it was fused. Between that and the screws poking and moving around, not even the best pain meds would help. Now that i got the screws and plate taken out, that knife pain has gone away.I still cant move my foot up or down though. It wasnt like that before i had this surgery a year ago. Sorry my story was long, but taking the hardware out is like night and day! I hope this story helps someone too:0)

372. Karen - November 25, 2009

Hi everyone and Happy thanksgiving to you all. I am glad I won’t miss it again this year!!!! I got turned over to infectious disease untilit heals and they are following me. Then the REVISION!!!

We should rename this blog to “ANKLE ANGER ” LOL

373. Jocelyn Mascarenhas - November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to all you Americans (and that from a Canadian now living in England!)
Good to hear you sounding a little more cheerful, Karen!

374. frank - November 28, 2009

hi everyone. been awhile since i’ve posted. just checking in on all of you. let me know how you are doing.

375. Jocelyn - November 28, 2009

Having accidentally just gone right back to the beginning of this blog i.e:Heather in July 2006, I have discovered that burning of the skin is due to poor circulation, which, in the case of a recently fractured ankle, would imply that the cast is too tight. This might be useful information for any of you others reading this who are new to the broken ankle game. It is a question I had asked but received no answer until I read that earlier blog. In my case, having had all the hardware removed from my outside ankle almost 8 weeks ago (from an ankle I fractured 8 years ago), and now having an ulcerating wound that won’t heal and is causing me as much misery as the original break, it is not due to any restrictive cast but could be an indication as to why the operation site (which is about 4 inches long) has broken down so badly. I will be seeing a specialist on Monday and it will be interesting to see what he has to say. I sincerely pray that it will be something constructive! Watch this space!
I hope you have all had a lovely Thanksgiving break. Here, on the southeast coast of England, the sun is shining (no doubt just to give us a false sense of security!) and we haven’t even had a night frost yet! But everything is now focusing, big time, on Christmas!

376. Heather Bell - November 28, 2009

Hi, my name is Heather and I am new to this blog. I broke my ankle 3 1/2 weeks ago while visiting my dog at the vet, who was sick. I had 3 breaks and a dislocation. After having it set back in place, I was put in a plaster splint and scheduled for surgery on 11/9/09. It took at good 4 days after surgery to start to feel normal again. I had my first follow up appt. on 11/25/09, had my stitches taken out and a new fiberglass cast put on. I have had leg cramps under my knee that hurts when I stretch my leg out but not painful when sitting. I am hoping that it is only a muscle issue since I take low dose asprin to help prevent clots and get up with the crutches to move about. The pain started the day after I got my new cast which is lower on my leg than the other one. I have one plate with screws on the left side of my leg and one screw on top. I go back to the Dr. on 12/23/09 for a walking boot so I am hoping that life will be a little easier.

It is nice to know that I am not the only one who is housebound and bored. I know that we will all eventually make it through this!

377. Jocelyn - November 28, 2009

Hi, Heather! Welcome to this strangely select but ever changing group. It really is a comfort to know that there are others you can communicate with who really know what you are talking about and can offer genuine sympathy! Good luck with your recovery.

378. Heather Bell - November 29, 2009

Thanks Jocelyn, it makes a huge difference to talk to others who know what you are going through and to know that you will actually get better at some point. I happen to be researching my surgery and came across this blog. I have already come across alot of information here.

379. Jocelyn - November 29, 2009

It sure does, Heather! As I said in an earlier entry, I have possibly found the answer to my dilemma and can at least see the doctor, tomorrow, armed with useful information! This next week should prove to be a significant one for me because I have an appointment to see the surgeon who took the hardware out of my ankle (first time since the op!) and if my own doctor (who has been on leave for weeks and whose empathetic expertise I have sorely [oops! that’s a bad pun!] missed) doesn’t have a constructive diagnosis tomorrow then the surgeon must SURELY!!
Have you been researching purely out of layman’s interest or what? In my case, it is because things have gone badly wrong and nobody seems to have an answer, not yet
I am happy, in this run up to Xmas, that I am not housebound or on crutches, although I may have that to come..

380. Heather Bell - November 29, 2009

Good luck on your appointment Jocelyn! I have always been a researcher since my daughter was born premature in 2002. She had complications where certain medications were not working. After reading up I found one that they eventually used and it worked! I like to know the ins and outs of things and what to expect.Doctors are great but they do no know everything and I believed in being an informed patient.

After my appt. last Wednesday my husband took me out to lunch which was a nice change from lunch in my living room! I will be in a walking boot in less than a month so I am really looking forward to that one! We are planning on a trip to Pennsylvania to see family the day after Christmas and the surgeon gave the go ahead. It will make it nice to be able to walk even with the boot, which I have read from others is quite heavy.

What is quite ironic however, is that my mom was in a car accident in 2004 and broke the same ankle that I have. She had the ORIF surgery and had way more pins that I have. She walks now but has alot of problems with swelling and fracture blisters that disappear and reappear. She did not follow through with PT so I don’t think she has the ROM that she could have. Another problem for her is arthritis which I have read is quite common when you have a joint that has been compromised. I plan on pushing myself to get back most use of my ankle if not all. I don’t think it will ever be the same but if I can walk and drive I am doing good. I will never take walking for granted again 🙂

Keep us posted about your appt. I hope it all works out!

381. Connie K - November 30, 2009

I haven’t posted for a few weeks. I finally got the Arizona brace last week. This is something that I will have to wear forever to help support my ankle. Talk about being stressed out – try to find shoes that fit over this blankedy, blankedy brace. I normally wear a size 8 (US sizing) but to fit over the brace, I had to go up to a size 11 (woman’s size) So I have to purchase 2 pairs of shoes, one pair is size 8 and the other size 11. I was so stressed out trying to get a shoe to fit that I almost burst into tears at the store. I don’t know what I am going to do when I have to dress up more than I am doing now. Probably I won’t wear the brace at that time. In addition to all this, I still have pain and swelling and it’s been almost 10 months since the accident and 5 months since the second surgery. I don’t see the surgeon again until January. I am still having physical therapy twice a week and my therapist is wonderful but even she doesn’t know what my prognosis is going to be.

Sorry to go on and on, but it’s been a trying experience with the brace. Here’s hoping the next 7 days are better:)

382. Heather Bell - December 1, 2009

Hi Connie,

It seems as if issues past the ankle break and healing go on and on. You think that everything goes back to normal after the bones heals, if only that were the case!

I have been thinking about shoes when I go back to work and how I will have to think about comfort and safety over fashion.

Good luck!

383. Jocelyn - December 1, 2009

Hi, guys!
Well, once again, different info! I am now told that the burning is due to nerve damage, not circulatory! I took the first of the newly prescribed Amitriptyline tablets last night and, although I must admit that I got a reasonable night’s sleep, today I feel terribly hungover. Fortunately, I don’t have to go out anywhere. The pain seems generally better today, I just feel so mentally weary. Anyway. the OS on Thursday and I will see what gives there(my husband is coming with me so that we will have two sets of ears listening to the diagnostic and prognostic information), then back to my lovely GP on Friday.
Karen – how are you?
Connie – how infuriating about your brace! And how expensive! I do hope that sorts itself out for the sake of your pocket if not your morale!
Heather – it’s interesting to hear about your research. A similar thing happened to me when my eldest son went into kidney failure when he was 15 months old and was found to have congenital urethral valves which he had operated on at Great Ormonde Street Children’s Hospital in London. The prognosis was not a happy one so I started researching in an effort to understand his problem as best I could. I am happy to say that he is now a healthy, successful young man, in defiance of all the bleak possibilities that were predicted for him, with two gorgeous little daughters. And my interest in researching has always remained.

384. Adele - December 5, 2009

Hi Heather, I found that we are on the same path. I broke my ankle 11/6/09, had surgery 11/12/09, staples were removed and I was put into a fiberglass cast on 11/24/09. I have 8 screws, 2 pins and a plate. My next appointment is 12/28. I have also felt the cramps under the knee and my calf which lead me to my research on the web and the finding of this blog. It is so hard to get all the information from your doctor about what to expect so hearing other people’s unfortunate experiences help me feel less alone. I am so sorry for all of you and your broken bones and I want to thank you for sharing your experiences.

The other issue that is always on my mind “will I ever wear my high heels again or even low heels again?” I have a closet full of sassy shoes and I have never been one to wear flats or even tennis shoes. I am giving me a year to be able to wear some cute low heeled shoes. Realistic? Maybe not but a nice goal.

I was thinking of ordering the knee scooter for a month. Have you heard of it?

385. Jocelyn - December 6, 2009

Hi, Heather! Welcome to this select but not so little group!
I was at a dinner party last night and, of the 20 adults present, no less than 8 of us had suffered broken ankles at some point in our lives. It makes the whole miserable business seem almost like a milestone along life’s path!
I am to see the OS again on Thursday and if there is no significant improvement, it is back into theatre to have the ankle retreated. I would actually welcome that as a more progressive step than these constant dressing changes which seem to have little effect.
On another note, I tried wearing a pair of ankle boots with a thin 2-inch heel last night. It was painful and there was a somewhat slapstick scene at the end as I tried to wedge by bandaged and bulky foot back into the boot that I had pried off during the meal without being too obvious! Subtlety never pays in a situation like that. However, it was all worth it just to give me that little feeling of elegance after so many weeks in nothing much more than bedroom slippers and the now much-hated flatties!!
By the way, I DID wear heels again after my ankle fracture. It took me about 2 years before I could wear anything comfortable and they were never more than 2 and a half inches and I have come to accept that a puffy ankle at the end of a long day remains as a permanent reminder of the original accident. However, the best advice I can give is to stick religiously to whatever excercise regime you are given. And don’t even THINK of having the hardware removed if it isn’t causing you any real problem. Spoken, personally, of course.
Good luck to you!

386. Heather Bell - December 7, 2009

Hi Adele! Seems like we are on the same schedule 🙂 I ended up getting my cast wet over the weekend so I spent Friday night and Saturday shopvac-ing the water and blowdrying it. The ER here didn’t have a doctor on duty to change the cast so I had to go in this morning to my surgeon’s office. They actually put me into a walking boot, still non weight bearing but it sure will be nice to shower and let my leg and foot breathe! It feels weird right now but I am sure I willl get used to it. I am to do some range of motion exercises starting out really slow.

I did get that knee scooter and used it for a few days around the house. If you get one try to get the one with the handlebars that you can steer with. The one I have just has a handle like a stepladder and is very hard to turn with. You have to actually pick it up and move it. It is handy in the kitchen and to do things that require standing. I did the dishes the other day for the first time in 4 weeks…my husband appreciated it! 🙂 I also rented a wheelchair which is nice to get out and about.

I hope all goes well with your recovery!

387. Heather Bell - December 7, 2009

Hi Jocelyn,

I have run into many as well who have had a broken ankle and then lift their pant leg to show me the nice rite of passage incision scar we all have along the side of our leg! I think I will be really cautious once I can get my foot back into a shoe. Fortunaltely my office is very understanding and will let me wear whatever is comfortable for me. For now it is this hunk of a walking boot which I have to say is better than a cast since I can actually shower now and see my leg!

I plan on keeping this hardware for life since its seems that it is quite an ordeal if you have to have it removed.

Have a great week!

388. Adele - December 8, 2009

Hi Jocelyn and Heather, thank you so much for the information. Good for you Jocelyn for attempting a “real shoe”! You have given me hope for all those dusty shoes in my closet.

Heather, I am curious what your ankle looked like at this point.
Were you still bruised and very swollen? How about the scar — was it still puffy? My ankle was scary looking when they removed the splint to take out the staples and I am hoping the next time I look at it there will be an improvement.

I haven’t gone back to work yet because I am still in a wheelchair. Unforutnately, when I broke my left ankle I also sprained my right ankle. Next week I will start half days from home so I have been pretty lucky that this is our slow time at work.

I can’t wait to have a real shower without the plastic sleeve — hmm maybe I should accidentally get it wet . . . .

Thank you for your blogs and you both have a great week as well!

389. Heather Bell - December 8, 2009


My ankle is still brusied, puffy, and the swelling is mostly around the ankle and my foot. My incision is still scabby but it was nice to be able to clean it last night. I think it will take awhile for the foot to look normal again. Alot of the swelling may go down when you can walk on it again to get the fluids re-distributed. I have heard though that after being on it all day there is re-occuring swelling that it one of those things that you have to live with. Arthritis is another.

I have been out of work since my accident under the Family Medical Leave Act, since all my vacation time is gone. I am hoping to be able to go back after the first of the year since I hope to be somewhat weight bearing by then.

Looking back I guess it wasn’t so bad that I got my cast wet…..but it was very uncomfortable and took me hours to try to dry it up all for a 5 minute shower. I am so looking forward to getting in there and not having to worry about it now. There are these plastic covers I have seen online that go over your cast and act as a vaccum to keep the water out. Otherwise my aunt told me that she would take saran wrap around the opening of the cast, tape that closed and then put on two trash bags and tape the opening to those. Such as process to take a shower! 🙂

Let me know how your appt. goes in a few weeks! I go back on the 23rd and will keep you updated so we can compare notes 🙂 My family and I are planning on going to PA the day after Christmas so that should be a real test!

390. Connie K - December 9, 2009

Heather – what I did to prepare my cast before showering was put a hand towel around the opening of the cast, taped it shut with duct tape, then put 2 plastic bags over that. Whew – I was exhausted before even getting into the shower.

I can tell you that once you get the cast off and get the okay to jump back into the shower “unprotected”, you will believe you have died and gone to heaven. I think I took the longest shower of my life that day.

Regarding the swelling issue, I can say that my 2nd surgery was in May and although I have been out of casts since August, I still have swelling, especially around the outside aspect of my ankle and the back area or the Achille’s tendon. The pain seems to be more on the inside part of my ankle (I had a trimal of my right ankle). I now wear an Arizona brace (you can google it for more info) 8 hrs or more each day and probably will always have to wear it for support. I was hesitant at first about this brace but I must admit that it really helps alleviate the pain when I am shopping or standing for any period of time. I’m grateful that my orthopedic surgeon “ordered” this for me. It took some time to get it but once I received it, I haven’t looked back. So if your swelling and/or pain continues, perhaps you should ask your surgeon if such a brace would help you. It offers tremendous support to my ankle. I also have ordered some modification to my shoes, called a SACH heel and rocker bottom (goggle this as well). I don’t expect to receive the shoes until after Christmas, though.

So, good luck to you and everyone else who knows the pain and agony of a trimal or bimal fracture. Just be careful now with not falling on the ice – my biggest fear.

Connie K

391. MaryBeth - December 11, 2009

Keep the faith!!! I broke my ankle trimalleor May 28th also torn ligaments etc…. Finally the last 3 weeks I am actually feeling somewhat normal. Went to nantucket ,MA walked all weekend and guess what?? I even walked on the beach. Some leftover pain and swelling but nothing like it was a month ago. Things DO get better!! I NEVER thought they would. Keep the faith. My prayers are with all of you. I know how horrible it is!

392. Jocelyn - December 13, 2009

You bring back memories! Although I am a Montrealer now living in
Canterbury in England, I well remember an amazing childhood holiday spent with my parents in Nantucket!! Another lifetime!
I have just returned from hospital where I had surgery done to try and control an infection in this blessed metalwork removal wound. I won’t know until next week whether it has been successful but I feel hopeful. I am being well monitored this time and, with only a 1-in-5 chance of having to repeat the procedure, my cup is half full.
Tonight I will luxuriate in a Chinese take-away and the finals of the X
Factor on TV!!
Best wishes to you and all others.

393. TerrI HOLOUBEK - December 14, 2009

392. Terri-December 14,2009
I have been following this blog for about 3 weeks now and am happy to have found it!! On October 5th, I had a vehicular accident and broke both tibia and fibula, with dislocation….4 days later I got a plate and 8 screws.
had no idea how bad a broken ankle could be..
Different from most of you I think, I’m 64 years old..
I’m normally very active, as I live in the country, and never sit down…
My healing path has been good so far.. tomorrow will be 10 weeks since my accident..and even though I have had some tough days, all in all I am progressing well– so far..
The one thing that I think helped me so much was that my husband rented a hospital bed for me.. right away– they brought it to the house and set it up, and will come and take it out–It was fairly reasonable, being $180 a month.. it made all the difference in getting my leg up in the air.. for swelling and circulation..also could sit up with remote control.. I had a wheelchair, crutches, which I couldn’t use–fell over the 2nd day and hit the dresser…not good.
and a walker for the non weight bearing period. For showers we found Walgreens has cast covers— they come two to the box and work really well–easy to put on and never leak..
I had a splint for 2 weeks, a hard cast for 4 weeks– non weight bearing, and an air cast for the last 4 weeks..
I have been going to therapy for 3 weeks and I actually am finally wearing TWO tennis shoes and can walk— a little
My left leg is always red and I have swelling everyday… and incredible stiffness..
I followed my OS instructions faithfully, and I think that helped.. so for those of you behind me, hang in there, it just takes tons of time and patience.. and for those ahead of my thanks for letting me know what my be coming up..
Good Luck to all!!

394. Jocelyn - December 14, 2009

Hi and welcome, Terri! I am sure that there are many yet to surface on this blog who will be grateful for such an articulate and informative message. I think that I may be on the brink of bowing gracefully out. I am presently waiting for a visit from the District Nurse to change the dressing on my ankle and keep a careful check on its progress. All things being better this time, my headlong fall down those stairs in 2001 will be well and truly relegated to the memory bank. If things do go a bit askew, I will write again. Otherwise, it may be assumed that I have finally reached the top of Everest!
I wish you and everybody well.
By the way, you don’t get the prize for being the oldest! I am 70!!

395. TerrI - December 14, 2009

Thanks Jocelyn for your response, I wish you well, and I think this whole mess for you well be soon forgotten.. by the way, you share the same last name as my son in law Claudio, he is from Rio..
Also I envy your wonderful day in Paris!! you deserved that one for sure.
Take Good care, and Thanks for all the wonderful information you have passed on to us all.

396. Heather Bell - December 14, 2009

Good luck to you Jocelyn and thanks for sharing your experience with us. I wish you well on your way to complete recovery!

397. Heather Bell - December 14, 2009

Hi Terri! I have found this blog very helpful for all of us who have “walked” in these shoes. It is nice to know that there is an end to all of this at some point. It seems that in situations like this time is the hardest thing to wait for. I am so very ready to get up and finally start walking again after almost 6 weeks! It is hard to sit and watch the world go by without you. I have crutches and use a wheelchair when I go out to the store which I try to get out often. I work in mental health and I can see first hand how injuries like this can make someone depressed. Congrats to you for all that you have accomplished! I am working on some range of motion with my ankle but nothing to heavy right now. I go back for x-rays next Wednesday, so I am hoping that I will be able to start weight bearing with my walking boot.

398. Heather Bell - December 14, 2009

Hi Terri, I have found that it is helpful to know that there are others who have “walked” in our shoes 🙂 It is encouraging that there is a light to the end of this struggling tunnel. Congrats for all that you have accomplished! I am lloking forward to wearing two shoes again!!!

I go back to the doctor next Wednesday and am hoping I get the go ahead to start bearing weight with my walking boot. I am doing some rang of motion exercises but very limited at this point. There is alot of stiffness there and I am sure that therapy will be a painful challenge.

399. TerrI - December 15, 2009

Hi Heather, You are so close to feeling so much better..
when I got the hard cast off, it really made a tremendous difference!! I was so tired of dragging myself around on my walker with one foot in the air.. I put it down only once in 6 weeks when I lost my balance, and it really scared me..
I was given an air boot, and it is wonderful, you will think this a great present for the Holidays!! Wonderful to take a bath!!
Therapy is so far, kind and good.. my therapist started me on very simple, easy, exercises to stretch the muscles, for the first two weeks.. it wasn’t hard, and not painful.
It’s hard to explain, but my foot and ankle just plain feel weird, thats the hardest part for me.. but it seems like everyday it gets just a little bit better.. I go for 45 minutes and Maggie, my therapist gives me about 4 new exercises, every two days, then I go home and do them there…so you can kind of ease into things a little at a time….
This ankle situation seems to be different for each person, but a lot seems to be more or less the same. Hope you are hanging in there, these last few days.. its the hardest!!
Take care

400. Connie K - December 15, 2009

Hi everyone – because of my continued limp, I now have trochanteric bursitis in my right hip (same side as fx ankle). I hadd to get an injection today of some type of steroid (cortisone) and the pain should decrease soon. The orthopedic surgeon said that because of my limp, I have irritated the bursa in that area of my hip. The shot was painful but hopefully I will get relief and will be able to endure a 5 hr flight to CA next Thursday.

Has anyone else had this issue? Just wondering….

Connie K

401. Karen - December 21, 2009

Hi gang,
still have the PICC line and getting the Vanco everyday. I had to peak and trough this week so my schedule was off. Having more pain but I think it is due to having the non union and no hardware in there. I will be getting another nuclear scan the 26th to see if there are changes and th revision and graft from my pelvic bone is the 29th. Another biopsy will be taken then.Merry Christmas to all and I will keep you posted!

402. MaryBeth - December 22, 2009

Ugh Karen sounds like a lot of mess. Hope and pray all will b better for you. I feel so lucky Had a trimallior (probably didn’t spell that right) frature in May just starting to feel normal. Still won’t wear heels That goodness flat boots r in style or I wud be wearing grandma shoes

403. Heather Bell - December 22, 2009

I hope everyone has a great Christmas! I go to the Dr. tomorrow and hope and pray that I get the go ahead to start weight bearing. I am able to move my ankle more with range of motion exercises with hardly any to no pain. Tomorrow will be 7 weeks since my unfortunate fall and I am glad that I am tredging through. It not only has taken a physical toll on my life but a mental and emotional one as well. It is nice to be able to get out more instead of watching life pass by. Here’s to a better 2010!

404. MaryBeth - December 22, 2009

I know what u mean feel like I lost 3 monthes of my life.Going thru this is hard. no one understands until they have been there. I am doing well but STILL have residual pain and knee and ankle r still sufferimg, Things get better but soooo slowly

405. Connie K - December 23, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS to my fellow bloggers!

406. Jocelyn - December 23, 2009

Marybeth – I cannot resist one final comment! I AM a grandma and I, too, refuse to wear grandma shoes!
Almost nine years after the event, I seem to still be suffering the repercussions of that fateful missed top step Hopefully, another debridement (surgical cleansing) and vacpump will do the trick. Ironically, on Sunday evening, as I settled down to watch a TV program, I threw my leg up onto the sofa and my inside ankle caught the corner of a heavy coffee table. On the tip of the ankle bone, precisely opposite the already devastated outer ankle. My foot hit that table with a force roughly equivalent to a Sherman tank gone berserk. I think the impact was immediately more painful than anything so far and the air was blue. It also bled profusely! I am back to being shoeless now which, considering we are presently suffering the worst winter weather conditions in years and there are still the final touches to Christmas to be dealt with, presents something of a painful problem. The next debridement will necessarily have to wait until New Year’s Eve (my wedding anniversary and the eve of my birthday!). Hopefully it will provide the final solution. Whatever, I have decided one thing – if I have to compromise on footwear, I will spare NO expense on my hair. If one extreme of this aging body is to be deprived, the other extreme will more than make up for it!!
MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all and may everybody be leaping about like gazelles come the summer!! On that note, I am bowing out and wish everyone the best that 2010 has to offer.

407. Heather Bell - December 24, 2009

I have great news! My OS appt. today was what I have been waiting for…the green light to start walking! My xrays showed that my bones are 90% healed and I can begin to put 50% of my weight on my ankle. I took my first step and it was amazing…no pain and it was like learning to walk all over again! I am taking it slow and steady, I don’t want to reverse the good I have done and will begin PT next week. I go back in 6 weeks and hope to be walking without my crutches by then. I get to go back to work after the holidays…yea…with restrictions to begin with of course.

I can say to all that are still waiting to take that first step, hang in there, it is an unbelieveable feeling!

Merry Christmas to all!

408. Gunny - December 24, 2009

Good Afternoon and Happy holiday’s to you all!!!!!
I am new to this site, but would like to add my 2 cent’s to it in hopes that I may get or give some advice.
My story starts back in August 2008 when I woke up to use the “head” in the middle of the night. I took 2 steps and my hip locked-up. I went to the outpatient clinic the next day, and after several tests was told that I had a form of “Osteoarthritis” and at my age(46 at thet time) it was time for me to accept the fact that I was getting older and that my active and militarily filled youth had taken their toll on my body. I followed-up with reguilar visits to P.T. ALL my bones were strarting to become more and more tender, so needless to say more and different testing was done. The Dr’s. at the clinic concluded that I had an “anemia” problem and referred me to a hematologist/Oncologist in the nearest city. So after several months of testing, continued PT and a meeting withan OS it was determined that I had a severe necrosis of my hips and all long bones, which causes the bone to soften and the weight of the body actually causes stress fractures. Needless to say, that can be quite painful. So in November of 09′ I went in for surgery on my left hip.
I was feeling better after about 3 weeks and headed home only to fall down a flight of stairs then off a deck pushing what was left of my left femur through my thigh causing severe muscle and tissue damage. It is now Christmas Eve and I am not allowed any weight bearing for another 4-6 weeks. I also now, because of the way that my leg fractured this time; To have my entire femur replaced by titanium, pins and wire for the connective tissues to the hip and knee. As of yesterday it appears that my body may be trying to reject my orthotic. If there is anyone who has gone through this or has any ideas as to treatment(s), I’d love to hear about them.
Warmest regards, and happy holidays,

409. Karen - December 28, 2009

Hi everyone
Well I was able to have a nice Christmas with my family. Tomorrow is the revision and graft from my pelvic bone,So scared!!!!!!!!!!
Found out I have a low vitamin D level; anyone else have that????

410. MaryBeth - December 29, 2009

Jocelyn I LOVE the gazelle analogy I am with you!!!!! I may be a gazelle this summer after I lose 20 pounds !! hahahahaha

411. Jocelyn - December 29, 2009

Hi, everybody! I thought I had bowed out but MaryBeth’s message appeared on my screen and I couldn’t resist responding!
Karen, good luck to you! May the bone graft be the magic needed to set you off on a progressively better 2010.
Gunny – boy! You really do have something of a medical conundrum. I don’t have any encouraging advice but I do wish you well!
MaryBeth – one of the BIG problems of this enforced incarceration is the tendency to nibble one’s way through boredom and frustration and NO way to burn off those extra calories! Once you have put on your gazelle hat and are leaping about with ever-increasing allure, you will find yourself not only shedding the pounds but fighting off the increasing numbers of insatiable lions as well!
Christmas has been great! The hordes were here and each morning my bungalow, although spacious under normal circumstances, has looked a bit like some sort of refugee transit camp! I have struggled through with a sore throat and slight fever, just enough to make it difficult to resist the temptation to go back to bed and let somebody else deal with feeding and entertaining the flock. I don’t know whether the fever is from the throat (no visible infection there) or the bang on my ankle which has now filled with fluid and is beginning to ulcerate! Damn! Damn! Damn! However, I have an appointment with my GP tomorrow, the OS on Thursday, and the pressure is now off as all but two of my “refugees” have returned home and they leave today, and I neither have to nor do I wish to go anywhere today! So, I will take it easy. Would you believe that 10 adults and 2 small children could completely demolish a 10K turkey in 2 days?!
I have only 3 days left of this year in which to render improvement upon this wracked body of mine before the New Year (for me twice over because it is my birthday as well) of infinitely great potential begins!!
So, probably my last words for 2009 are; “a VERY hopeful and ultimately fulfilling 2010 for EVERYone who has been, is, or will ever be part of this blog!”

412. MaryBeth - January 1, 2010

Jocelyn we will include u in our ever mounting people of prayer. I hope you are well for 2010. Thinking about you and all the others fighting the broken ankle problem. Love you all and we will ALL be Gazelles soon I just KNOW it!!!!!

413. MaryBeth - January 1, 2010

Some day we will run into each other sporting high heels and great bodies hahahaahaha Well ,for me ,as great as it can be without the help of plastic surgeaons

414. Heather Bell - January 2, 2010

Here is to a better, more active 2010 when all are able to walk again!!! I am able to walk now with my crutches and boot and life is so much easier!!!! Started PT yesterday and wow, my ankle is stiff. The normal ankle moves between 45-50 degrees, mine at this point is 10. I have exercises I am doing at home and so far, so good. I go back to the OS in 5 weeks and am hoping to break out of this boot and ditch these crutches! The light is at the end of the tunnel but patience is still needed to get there!

I hope all had a wonderful holiday with hopes of a healthy and safe New Year!

415. Nancy - January 3, 2010

I found this blog very useful last summer after surgery for broken a broken fibula. I felt very fortunate to heal “normally”. It has now been 5 months and I am walking a and doing water aerobics but the ankle still swells, gets blue on the inside and I get blisters that itch like crazy around the incision.

Heather, you mentioned your mother had something like this and I am wondering if anyone else get them. I spend my winters in Florida and my Dr is in Minnesota so I have not been back since October. A nurse looked at it and said I may have to have the hardware removed but after reading this blog, I sure don’t want to go back in…..

And I’m in the same boat as all of you, the cutest shoes I can wear are crocs!!!!

416. Jocelyn - January 3, 2010

Hi, Nancy, and all fellow would-be gazelles – I am coming to the conclusion that some enterprising shoe designer out there could make themselves a very comfortable living by designing a smart and elegant shoe for female broken ankle sufferers!

417. Connie K - January 3, 2010

Amen to your last post, Jocelyn. I have to wear a brace now (my trimalleolar fracture was last February) so finding stylish shoes has become impossible. Someone could make a fortune if they could design shoes for us!

418. Karen - January 4, 2010

Hi everybody
Surgery was postponed D/T abnormal labs and is scheduled for tomorrow! I am so scared…especially of the donor site pain from the graft??? Anyone comment on this????
Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers!!!!

419. TerrI - January 5, 2010

Heather Bell, So happy to hear you are doing so well…my prayers were with you!!
isn’t it great to be able to put your foot down and actually move around!! I graduated from PT this last week……. when I started , my left foot was like a bit of wood, at 10 degrees, I was remeasured last week and I had improved 20-25 degrees each direction.. My only problem now is swelling and numbness across the top of my foot…. I wake up with a great foot, and by 9 it looks like a donut, by 12 its a bagel and by 4 its a giant mango… guess this is normal–not so much pain, just swelling.. I saw my OS yesterday and he said up to a year for the swelling yikes!!
Take care, and– oh yes– I have no crutches, no boot, just two Tennies

420. Heather Bell - January 5, 2010

Karen- my thoughts anbd prayers are with you and I hope that things went well!!! I hope that you have a super quick recovery!!!

Hi Nancy, my mom did go through this as well as still as alot of swelling at the end of the day. She normally has to wear her tennis shoes all day, otherwise she is unable to get her shoe back on. She gets the fracture blisters from time to time which is due to the swelling. I have read that you don’t want to pop them open because they contain bacteria which can spread over your leg. Her mostly occurs in the back of her leg.

Terri, Wow, a year is a long time but seeing is believing and boy do I believe it!!! My second session of PT was today and he was really moving it around. It was a little sore at the time but felt good to get it going. My foot too is perfect when I get up but a huge mass of swelling by the end of the day. Wearing two shoes again sounds nice, being able to drive again sounds even nicer! Thanks for all your prayers 🙂

421. Nancy - January 6, 2010

Thanks Heather, I’ve been afraid the blisters are either infection or rejection. They come and go, weird. I sympathize with the driving, I was tempted to try with my left foot but am glad I waited it out. One good thing was/is that driving does not bother my leg or foot. But at 5 months, I am still swollen at the end of the day even when I wear flipflops and sit on my computer. I figured the 10 pounds I gained don’t help so I’m on a big New Years diet.

Karen, anxious to hear how your surgery went today.

422. Michelle - January 6, 2010

Hi Nancy,

I broke my ankle around the same time as you, and I found sitting down for any amount of time made my ankle swell much worse than walking and getting the fluids to move. Gravity is a law we must obey:(

I’d put my foot up to about hip level to the side helped a bit for swelling when sitting for long periods.

@Heather B,
I drove as soon as I got the cast off. I was in a boot, but I’d get in the car, remove the boot, drive, then put the boot back on when I got to where I was going. I noticed right away that I had enough range to drive, but it took a LOT of practice to put pressure on the brake pedal without causing pain!:) Also, learned to brake earlier rather than my short stopping distance of pre-breakage. It was interesting, let me tell you.

Meanwhile, winter is here, and I have a new barometer of weather. I can tell 2 DAYS OUT if the storm’s going to be a bear or a lamb. not so much the cold, but the low pressure that comes in and makes everything looser and much more painful.
I’ve also found if I sit where my feet don’t touch the ground, it’s MUCH MORE difficult to get up and walk right again, for about 100 feet, then I am Miss Gimpy once again.
I’m now 7.3 months from original break, 6.3 months from surgery of 8 pins and a plate. For those of you that are just now broken, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it isn’t a train.

Happy New Year to you all!

423. Melody - January 8, 2010

So happy to find this blog!

I slipped on ice and fractured my ankle (ORIF – lateral malleolus) on December 14th. I’m still shocked that this has happened to me. I have three boys (10,6, and 7 months) and work full time. I still find myself thinking “I don’t have time for this”. My husband is wonderful and we are getting through it, but some days are tough. It’s exhausting just getting myself ready for the day – I can’t do much to help everyone else.

I just got my cast of yesterday and will be in a cam boot – nonweight bearing – for 3 more weeks. My doctor hasn’t mentioned anything of physical therapy. He gave me an exercise to do (20 motions of flexing my foot) twice a day. I see a lot of people on this blog who are in PT – now I’m worried that I could be doing more to regain range of motion and get my muscles working again. I think I’m going to call my doctor.
I’m going through a range of emotions right now…I feel this need to touch my foot and study it as it doesn’t feel like it belongs to me. It feels leathery and tingly. I can’t wait until it feels like I have control of it again – when will that be?!?

I don’t need this trick anymore – but for showering, I wrapped a hand towel around my thigh, put a garbage bag around my cast, then secured the bag over the towel with a large rubber band. It worked better than duct tape, for me.

My grandmother passed away just this summer and I still had her walker and bath seat in my garage. Boy, those have come in handy! It’s also been a comfort to me to have them throughout this ordeal.

We have a vacation planned for Disneyworld in April…I’m nervous about how well I’m going to be able to walk by then. I’d love to hear from anyone who is about 4 months postop for ORIF about how well they are walking.

It’s a comfort to me to read your stories. Thank you for sharing them!

424. MaryBeth - January 9, 2010

OK aside from prayers to all especially those in a cast boot and non weight bearing, Heck everyone just about. I will be the designer for the group. I DO think we need cute shoes that will work. Thank God flat boots are in this winter I live in them . Look for Curran designs someday. All about fashion for the broken limbed people.

425. Jocelyn - January 9, 2010

Melody, hi, and I wish I had thought about the addition of a towel! How sensible for acting as a water barrier, because no plastic sleeve is infallible on its own merit, as I have found to my constant frustration! Thank you for that very useful bit of advice.
MaryBeth – do I detect a note of serious consideration in your words? Multiply the “group” by the WORLD and you have a mighty big potential market! Me, I design “cushion covers for animal lovers” so footwear is not my line but, believe me, I would capitalize on it if it were!!

426. Karen - January 9, 2010

Hi guys
Just got home today. The operation from hell. Had the revision with the bone graft, Needed 2 units of blood, Still have osteomyelitis and a new PICC line. Scared Im going to get some disease from the transfusion
Didnt give me a PCA this ime and nurses couldnt be found…..glad Im home…any of you guys need blood after your surgery?

427. Nancy - January 10, 2010

Karen, glad to know you are home, my thoughts are prayers are with you. Your ordeal sounds on the extreme end of the spectrum.

Melody: Sounds like I had the same break and surgery as you. It has been five months and I am walking about 1-2 miles per day (I live in Florida). Shoes are critical. I can only wear one certain pair of tennis that do not touch the scar and are very light weight. I also live in a pair of crocs called the Malindi, it is a flat slipper style with a strap around the back. Not sylish but not as bad as the big crocs. I still can’t wear flipflops very long, they bother the inside of my foot and I get swelling.

I don’t like to sit so I rented a scooter that you kneel on to get around before weight bearing. It was a life saver as it had a basket to carry stuff and took all my weight off the good leg.

My Dr. said there is not agreement in the medical field on the benefits of PT. He believes that the first course should be just putting the weight back on the leg and walking will give your back the muscles and range of motion. My daughter in an OT and said she believes it works in many cases so I did not have PT and it worked for me.

Worst case scenario for Disneyworld is that you will need a wheel chair or motorized chair but I bet you’ll be fine if you wear the right shoes and take it easy. Can’t imagine taking care of three boys with this injury! Its good fo me to read the blog ocasionally and be grateful I can now get around on my own.

428. Connie K - January 11, 2010

Hi everyone,

I’ve been reading the entries about finding comfortable shoes and I share the same problem. My orthopedic surgeon, though, prescribed a shoe modification for me that is called “a SACH shoe with rocker bottom”. for my right foot. I had to purchase a pair of tennis shoes and take them to a place that makes orthopedic braces/supports, etc. The one my insurance plan participated in was Hanger Prosthetics – I think it is a nationide company for those of living in the USA. Anyhow, SACH stands for support ankle, cushion heel. I haven’t picked up the shoes yet but will later this week once the modification has been done.

You have to know that I used to love, love, love shoe shopping and have a closetful of nice shoes but vanity is no longer an issue for me. Never thought I’d be saying this. What matters is being able to walk again without pain. It has been 11 months since my accident, first surgery was 11 months ago, revision surgery 7 months ago, and I’m still not completely recovered. In fact, my limp may be permanent but again, I am upright, walking and driving!!!!!!

429. Karen - January 11, 2010

Has anyone else had an osteomyelitis after surgery?

430. Nancy - January 13, 2010

Hey Karen, I had to look it up, infection of the bone, right? It sounds so serious, hope you are feeling better.

My biggest ongoing problem is nothing compared to what you have beein going through. I get fracture blisters, usually when I have overdone it with walking, traveling by air, etc. I guess they are caused by how weak the tissue is in the ankle area after it has been traumatized by surgery. They come and go and itch alot at night.

Take care of yourself….

431. Connie K - January 14, 2010


I finally picked up the modified shoes that I wrote about a couple of days ago. Basically, I took a pair of sneakers up to Hanger Prosthetics and they have someone who customizes the shoe with a SACH heel and rocker bottom. I do believe I walk more comfortably in them. My insurance paid for the modification but of course I had to provide the actual shoe. One can probably find shoes with this already done but they aren’t called this. If you are interested, google SACH heels and I believe it can explain it better.


432. Heather Bell - January 15, 2010

Hi Everyone, it has been a long few weeks with getting back to work! Karen I do hope you are feeling better! There will be an end to all this and hopefully it will happen soon! Hang in there!!!!

I am still doing PT and getting more range of motion, I am ready to throw these crutches and boot and start walking like a normal person again! I do put weight on it without my boot and it feels good! I am really tired of hearing everyone ask how much longer do I have to use my crutches or wear my boot. Unless you have been here like we all have on this blog, you will never understand. I have been on my feet more at work these last few days so my foot and ankle is swelling quite alot. My PT says that it will be a year or so before I am truly healed. As long as I can walk, I am happy 🙂

Hope this finds you all well and keep your posts coming. It is nice to vent and chat with others like me!

433. MaryBeth - January 18, 2010

I thought I could graduateto Born wedge heels . Not high at all. Wore them to school I have had a bout with big time swelling after . Broke my ankle May 28th ,got cocky and thought it would be finr NOT. Pain wasn’t felt much wearing them but the afterwards was not How long does it take ??? Do I need to persevere or wait awhile??? I was just wondering if it is a gradual get used to or if I am trying something I shouldn’t at this point.

434. Adele - January 24, 2010

Hello everyone, I stepped away from the blog for awhile but believe me you have all been on my mind. I found that when I went to bed I would be up for hours just thinking of everyone and everything you are all going through, some of you are having so many complications. When you read your story and follow along with your recovery, I feel connected to you. Please know I have been praying for all of you.

I broke my ankle 11/6/09 and I currently have 8 screws, 2 pins and a plate. I am walking with a walking boot and no crutches. I see the doctor next Tuesday for new x-rays and if all is well, removal of the walking boot and on to a lace up brace and tennis shoes. My doctor has not allowed me to walk on my foot without my boot. At work, my foot is up on my desk otherwise I have too much swelling by the time I get home.

My scars look good and I do have itching at times but it’s usually when I have done too much on my ankle. I occasionally have pain on the outside of my ankle near my scar that feels like sharp pin pricks. It even hurts to touch the skin. I haven’t asked the doctor about it yet but I plan to on Tuesday. I am doing some foot exercises and my foot has a stiffness where it feels I just can’t push it any further. My leg is also much skinnier than my other one and the PT says that takes about a year to get it back.

I live in Northern California and we have been having a lot of rain. It scares me to walk outside because I may slip and fall. We all know how extreme the pain was at the time of the break and after surgery. So I tend to walk like an old lady. I hope that my future will not always be in fear of falling.

I did ask my PT about when I would be able to get into cute shoes again and he says it takes about 16 months. We’ll see. Right now I’m thrilled to be vertical, working and cooking! Happy New Year to all of you!!

435. Michelle - January 25, 2010


I broke my ankle 5/27/09. I also have 8screws (no pins) and a plate. My ankle also hurts at both incisions. (I had turned my foot towards the outside, stretching the ligament inside where it needed to be take up).
I remember scar tissue not being sensitive on other scars but I find these two have some wierd issues about being “on fire” and the occaisional feeling of the screws backing out.
Being fearful of falling is actually a leading cause OF falling (especially in the elderly who have had hip replacements etc.) You stiffen up, and do not react normal to walking strides, etc. I live in Colorado where it’s been icy and rarely above freezing in the shade, so there are patches of ice left. Taking small steps and not shifting rapidly helps my brain know we won’t be falling down on our keister.
There are days when i don’t even remember I broke my ankle, it doesn’t hurt at all. Then the low pressure weather pattern rolls in over the mountains, and I remember again:)
Happy new year to you too!

436. Karen - January 28, 2010

Hi guys
This is strange..I had the surgery and have been pretty much pain free since a week post op..Aside from the non union that was grafted he had to re break the healed bones. I am just so tired from the infection and the blood loss but I think it is going to be ok now!

437. Karen - January 28, 2010

The worst part now is the Vancomycin through the PICC 3 times a day because the troughs remain low!

438. shirley Geremia - January 28, 2010

Well I quess its my turn to add a comment. I broke my right ankle the Tibia and Fibula on 1/15/2010 (my mothers birthday) wearing her shoes while hiking in South Carolina mountains. Was she up there pulling some strings in heaven for all the problems she suffered since moving here from NE at 93years. Problems she blamed on me for getting her close to me to care for her. Who knows. I hobbled down the mountain approximately one mile and immersed my leg in a very cold stream. I did not think it was broken since I could put pressure on it while flat only. Due to the swelling I had to wait 10 days to have a plate and 8 screws on the outside and one screw on the inside of the right ankle. The pain prior to surgery was tolerable with Advil and Vicodin. When the leg was dependent to get myself in a standing position using a walker for potty purposes I felt a rush of pressure and burning and pain in my ankle. I also have a difficult time trying to manuver one step on crutches. The most frustrating is going to the bathroom. Use the walker as far as possible than get to the commode room holding on to the moulding for support on one leg while pulling up my dress or gown and pulling down the panties and not wetting myself. The panties went fast after a few accidents. I had surgery on 1/25 and it went successful so far, I think. Have no excercises yet but I keep my foot elevated in bed, use ice pack every two hours or so and wiggle my toes and lift the leg up and down and sideways. My nurse told me to use water and alcholol inthe ice bag as it will remain mushy and conform to your extemity. Otherwise the ice bag gets hard and hurts the leg after a while. My husband has not done that yet. He is overwhelmed caring for an incompacitated person. I try not to make many demands. My pain was an issue in the hospital. I was trying not to be a baby about it, but it really hurt and I had breakthrough pain every 2 hours. They changed to Percocet and it helped. I go back on Feb 4 to have the stitches out and more instructions. I guess I am really nieve about ortho recovery. I expected to be up and going in 2-3 months. The problems that I have read are so discouraging I am getting a little worried. I feel sorry for all the stories I’ve read. Some I can not understand the acronyms. Maybe someone can direct me to a site.
Thank you in advance for any response. PS I am a nurse too. NICU

439. Jocelyn - January 29, 2010

Hi, Shirley Geremia and welcome to this motley and sometimes long-suffering group! I am so glad that you mention your naivety about medical acronyms! I am NOT a medical person, I am not even American, so I have been left totally in the dark (apart from OS, which is fairly obvious, even to me!)
Karen – it is so good to hear that things seem to be getting better for you – may it continue! Apropos of acronyms, what is a PICC? It sounds kind of grim!

440. Shirley - January 29, 2010

Its me Shirley, Every day is better. I hobble better and the pain is not as intense. I don’t take strong drugs is possible but I do make sure I am ahead of the pain. I actually gave myself a sponge bath this AM and with my husbands help I washed my hair in the kitchen sink on one leg of course. The pain drugs make me sweat and dry mouth. They did relieve the pain, thats good. No complaints. Life is good. The PICC you are referring to is a percutanious catheter inserted in the arm or upper chest for IV fluids and antibiotics. I am at a loss to know what the ORIF stands for. Maybe I have one too. OT=occupational therapy. The Arizona brace that Connie got I must look up on Google. Maybe the other terms too. We are just getting a big ice/snow storm starting. The falling snow is pretty but the ice later is bad for mountain driving. I agree Jocelyn the burning is from nerve manipulation during surgery. There is a big nerve coming down the front of the leg that spreads like finger over the foot and they try to gently move then out of the way during repair so I’ve been told by my doctor. Karen I do hope antibiotics worked on you staff infection. That surly is a set back for you. Do you work also?
Jocelyn where in England do you live? I visited London and surrounding area right after 9/11 but we plan to take a river cruise late this year on the Danube. Thats the goal. Enjoy today you don’t have tomorrow, only today.
I do lots of bed projects. Computer school work, reading and research on travel and medicine of course. Hope all are pain free and progressing.

441. Shirley - January 29, 2010


OK just looked it up. YUP, I had one ORIF=open reduction internal fixation.
Did I say PICC= precutaneous inserted central catheter thats put in the arm to give meds centrally. It’s snowing outside.


442. Connie K - January 29, 2010

Shirley – even though the Arizona brace is not particularly fashionable, I can say that it has been so helpful in my recovery process. My tri-malleolar fracture was almost one year ago (Feb 8, 2009) but I did not get the brace until November. I balked at first because I thought it was ugly but really now I mostly wear pants and it doesn’t show. Even if it did, I’d still wear it (as I will this summer). I don’t know who is a candidate for the brace but if your surgeon recommends it, then don’t hesitate.

The nerve pain does get better as does your overall feeling of well being. Not to say that I don’t have bad days – I do! – but each day I feel a bit more like my old self only with a limp and a brace – but I am grateful still to be vertical instead of horizontal.

Have a good weekend.

443. Shirley - January 30, 2010

Connie K

I hate wearing my boot /brace as it must put pressure on the sutures and swelling at both sides of the ankle. I make a towel roll on either side of the leg and foot and its more comfortable. Its like the Zaky’s they use for small babies to keep them on their sides. I should get out of bed more often and maybe when I do I will but on those nice soft thick socks before the boot brace. Hope you have a good weekend too. We have lots of new snow in NC.

444. Heather Bell - January 30, 2010

Hi Adele, how are you doing with the walking boot without crutches? I do that sometimes but the boot I have is not walking friendly without the crutches. I have been walking at home without the boot, first with the crutches and today I have not been using my crutches at all. I too, go back to the Dr. this next week and am hoping to get the official go ahead to full weight bear and ditch this boot and crutches. We are planning on going to Disneyland at the end of March so I need to build my endurance! My scars are pretty good and I don’t have a lot of problems with them, except the one on the top of my ankle is sore sometimes. I have been doing PT for almost a month and have progressed somewhat. I can move my ankle around now but still have issues flexing down all the way. My ankle still swells as well as the top of my foot but hopefully once I am full weight bearing all the time that will help work out a lot of the fluid. Glad you are doing well!

Karen, I am so happy that you are finally getting some relief! My thoughts are with you and I wish you continued healing!!!!

Hi Shirley and welcome to our group! Before you know it you will be up and about again. I thought it would never happen and am amazed in all that I have accomplished in the last 12 weeks. I agree that keeping your foot elevated is important and try to get those foot muscles moving once you can. Mine I let get stiff and now am working to get them loose again. Wiggling toes is helpful too. Don’t be too discouraged, everyone has different circumstances and healing time. It is interesting that you are a NICU nurse! My daughter was a micro preemie born at 25 weeks and is now almost 8 and you wouldn’t even know she was born early. It truly takes a kind heart to care for those babies  Keep us posted as you progress and I wish you a fast recovery!!

Jocelyn, how are you doing?

445. MaryBeth - January 31, 2010

I got a kick out of your post about your mom. My dad is 91 and I moved him here to Mississippi. I am to blame for everything including the weather !!! Broke my ankle 5/2009. trimalleor fracture .still dealing with swelling ,pain etc… But I have come a long way .Took about 5 months . Still dealing with trying to wear something other than flats have to go to Florida with my husband’s company 2 cocktail parties in a row . How about temmis shoes ankle socks and a black slinky cocktail dress I am too fat to fit in YIKES

446. Winny - January 31, 2010

Hi, I’m Winny. I have my broken ankle and displaced in Jan 25, 2010. The thing is i just know that all yesterday. I haven’t do my surgery and need to wait until Monday to see the doctor.
It’s weird I can step on it, and because I still can walk, the doctor think I was only sprained my ankle and nothing to do with the bone. I found it strange when the next 3 days, there’s no sign of healing. I still can’t move my ankle. I decided to x-ray my foot and found it broken and displaced.
I am an international student in SMC and in a dance major. I am still wondering whether I can still dance or not. The crucial thing is I only have my school insurance and i was confused, how can i pay the surgery?
How are you guys doing after the surgery? Can you guys walking normally or jumping? I really don’t know what should I do now. 😦

447. TerrI - January 31, 2010

Shirley, Hi and Welcome, You have come to the right place!! I had to chuckle, as my husband and I have a mom(91) and dad(92), living alone in NE…pioneer stock I say! We worry all the time!
I will be 14 weeks from my accident tomorrow–4 months.
I am 64 yrs old, and I too was really worried when I read of all the complications of the broken ankle..
I have been really fortunate I feel, in that I can walk now, with two tennies… I bought Spiras, as they have springs in them, and my major impact in my accident, was on my heel shoving my foot and ankle to the left.. and breaking both bones– I too have a plate and 8 screws and dislocation….I can’t walk too far now, maybe 2-3 blocks, I still have swelling, and some itching on the incision… I can’t wear cool shoes, but I can walk…I left the ice of Wisconsin last week to a warmer clime and it has helped immensely.. my swelling is going down daily.
I just didn’t move much at all for 7 weeks, I kept really busy with everything one can do in bed, and caught up with my reading— anything to take your mind off the situation… it worked for me… I wish you all the luck in the world…It just takes a long time, but good chances are, you will be fine… Take care
My heart goes out to everyone else here on this blog and I hope and pray that their challenges are being met with rapid healing…

448. Connie K - January 31, 2010

Shirley and all,

I didn’t get the Arizona brace until 6 months or so after my 2nd surgery. By that time, the swelling was manageable so the brace didn’t rub. I never thought I’d be saying I like it but I do. I can tell a major difference if I go out without it. My foot/ankle is very unstable without it on.

As for swelling and pain, I recall my orthopedic surgeon saying “nose above toes” and that reminded me to elevate my foot. We live about 35 miles N of Chicago but I had my corrective surgery in Milwaukee. My doctor there “fixed” the original surgery that was done on the day of my accident, Feb 8, 2009.

We don’t have snow today but I see from other posts (plus hearing from friends) that the mid-atlantic states got lots of snow. Be careful is my mantra these days.


449. Shirley - February 3, 2010

Thanks to all that answered and words of encouragement. I still feel the boot, like it is rubbing the back of my tibia. Like a burning stinging pain and sometimes a sharp jab. I will find out tomorrow when they remove the stitches or staples. Not sure what my doctor put me back together with. I don’t like having a wound covered up for 10 days with an ace bandage and surgical bandages under it. I like things open to air once in a while. Just don’t want any infection.
My job called me and since I am per-diem they have changed my work status and told me if I can’t be back and functioning in 2 months they will have to let me go. Just what you want to hear loyalty from you company. Don’t think I have any legal action I can take because I was not eligible to any benefits with my work status. Does anyone have any input on this subject?

450. Michelle - February 4, 2010


You should be fine in 2 months, at least able to hobble around in your boot, especially since you’ve already had surgery. If you had short term disability, the legal time off is 12 weeks. I was gone 10 weeks, and if I had been gone another 2, my employer said they would have left me go too. and I had beni’s. Loyalty is not a quality we seek when getting a job, but is expected out of us.
I was very scared I couldn’t do my job which involves a LOT of walking, but if you at least SHOW UP, they seem to be fairly patient with how fast you hobble. Don’t worry, you can do it! I know ’cause I did, and I’m weak and lazy.

451. MaryBeth - February 5, 2010

ok some of u fellow Wisconsinites at one time or another I am from Greendale- Hales Corners area . I have lived in Mississippi for 25 years and believe me the weather hasn’t been kind to my ankle here either. b=Broke my ankle My 28th and still have major swelling in cold damp weather which by the way we have had A LOT of.. I am just planning on this being a life long inconvenience. Still take pain meds here and there when things get unruly. Have a sympathetic Dr. Teach middle school always up and about HAVE TO BE. Hope you all fell the healing. It gets better just takes time

452. Connie K - February 5, 2010


Maybe all tri-mal victims should form a commune and move to Arizona? ha ha ha. Seriously, though, I think the dry heat there would be helpful to our damaged bones.

You have a good attitude.

453. MaryBeth - February 6, 2010

I don’t know that I have a good attitude ,guess I don’t have a choice . The only thing I can say is I am just glad I can WALK without a brace or crutches. At this point I am just glad to be semi-normal. But like I said my ankle is here to remind me I am not completley healed yet. Guess it takes time. Way more careful tho and that is a good thing

454. Heather Bell - February 7, 2010

I was able to remain off work through the FLMA. I am back to work, however they expect you to come back as the same, which as we all know is not the case! I have found that I am doing alot of teaching about the aspects of broken ankles. I am not walking without my boot or crutches and feel somewhat normal! Last Wednesday, my surgeon said my xrays are good and I go back in 6 weeks. Started weight bearing exercises at PT and even made it on the treadmill. My shoes still fit though my right foot is still somewhat swollen on top. I am walking with a limp, which the Dr. says is normal and my PT’s goal is to get me walking smooth again. I am very cautious even though the weather has been decent here in MI. Hope everyone has had a great weekend!!!!

455. Connie K - February 8, 2010

Heather – so glad you can use the treadmill. It has been one year today since I slipped on ice in the Chicago suburbs and I still cannot use the treadmill. In fact, my PT advised against it and told me that I could use the stationery bike. I am sure every injury is different and healing is at different speeds as well. My injury was not fixed correctly initially so I had to have a 2nd surgery. Complicated life, huh?

Good luck to you!!

456. Deb - February 11, 2010

Hey everyone,
After breaking my ankle a week ago,I started looking for others going through the same thing. So happy I was able to stumble upon this,it has been very helpful.
I am a hairdresser,and mom and wife who is always on the go! I was very angry and frustrated when I found myself on crutches!I was taking care of my mom who is undergoing radiation treatments for breast cancer,and now I can’t help.
I tend to do too much and have trouble asking for help!! If I didn’t swell soooo much,I would do more,but my family says to take it easy.EASY,easier said than done!
Finally got in the shower,with assistance,very scary.
I broke my right ankle in my 20’s and now over 20 years later,my left!
NO more ankles left,things can only get better now!!
I am a gym rat,and I am going crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!
doing leg lifts while on the crutches,good butt lifter,the boot is heavy,gonna have to even out the other side. lol
Got my tax prep off to my accountant to make up for being out of work,getting the disability paperwork together soon! I have a son going off to college this year,lots to be done!
I have a bag filled with,lipstick,powder,checkbook,pen,bill folder,nail file,cell phone in my pocket!!
Thanks for listening,gotta ice and elevate!!

oh,fell off a spackle bucket reaching for tissues,gotta come up with a better story! lol
gonna get a tattoo on my ankle that says,”don’t be stupid”

I feel lucky that I didn’t need surgery!
One day at a time!

457. Adele - February 15, 2010

Hello my friends,

I was watching the news over the weekend and it showed the huge waves at Half Moon Bay, CA taking down the spectators. One woman said she could hear the bones breaking in her ankle. I cringed and I felt her pain. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84nvHAMWmPg.

I can happily say that I am no longer in the boot. I’ve been using the ankle lace up brace (not as nice as the Arizona brace) and it was working just fine but since Friday, I’ve had singing pain on one the outside of my ankle. I can only assume it’s rubbing on the brace and truly making it grumpy. It was red, swollen and felt very bruised. When wearing the brace, I always wear heavy socks for protection. Well, I stopped wearing the brace and just used an ace bandage. I also took it easy by keeping it up and not a whole lot of walking. It is doing better but I may call my doctor tomorrow.

I do walk with a limp my first 20 steps but then I just push through that pain and then I’m walking normal with little ache. Once I sit down and relax it, then I have to do it all over again. I found that I walk better without the brace. I do have a very hard time going down stairs but going up is fairly easy. I don’t go back to PT until 3/1. I was given exercises to do at home so I faithfully do those. I am in my tennies and will be until I see the PT. He says I may be able to move to flat shoes like Clarks, Ecco, Maphisto, and Rockport. The more I look at them the better they look.

When you feel your scar, do you think you can feel the screws? I have this one little bump on the outside of the ankle and now that the swelling has gone down, it’s more noticeable. I’m sure it will kill if anything ever bangs it.

Heather, you said you are on the treadmill now. We have been a week apart throughout our recovery so I have been looking to your results as to where I should be. Do you have problems with the stairs? Are you wearing shoes other than tennies? It sounds like you are doing very well and I am so glad for you.

I’ll talk to you all soon!

458. Heather Bell - February 15, 2010

Hi Adele,

I have been doing the treadmill now for a few weeks and am up to 20 minutes at 1 mph. I can wear my tennis shoes and other “sensible” shoes…no heels for me! I can go up the stairs easier than coming down, but have been restricted to no stairs at work since I would have 2 flights to climb. A few to get into a building isn’t too bad. I actually walked the mall a little the other day, I was slow but just let others pass me. I have found that taking tylenol helps with some of the pain I still feel on the inside of my ankle. I take it a few times a day and it is easier to walk without limping. I really hate the swelling I get in my calf and ankle. The swelling in my foot is hardly there now.

459. Connie K - February 16, 2010

Hi everyone,

I saw the orthopedic surgeon yesterday for routine follow up. It’s been 1 year since my accident and first surgery and 9 months since he took over and did a revision surgery. I am doing pretty well. The bones have healed as best as they will and I am to wear the Arizona brace forever – I really don’t mind (even though it is U-G-L-Y) as it helps me walk so much better. I can tell a huge difference if I go out without it on. Just like over the weekend, I wanted to get a pedicure but didn’t want to have to take the brace off (I’m still self conscious) so drove to the nail spa without my brace, walked in, etc. By the time I got home, my foot was aching. Back to the surgeon’s report, though, since I have arthritis now of the foot and ankle, he is thinking he might do arthoscopic surgery of the ankle in the summer in order to “clean out” some of the bone spurs that have developed since the accident. I think the long range plans – maybe in 2 or more years – will either be an ankle fusion or total ankle replacement. This will all depend on how bad the arthritis gets and how much pain I am willing to tolerate without going to that level. At age 57, arthritis is a real issue now. Not so much for you folks who are under 40 – most likely you will develop some type of arthritis of your ankle but not until you are older – so says my doctor.

He does not want me to do the treadmill or any kind of hard impact exercising but did recommend walking, bicycling, swimming, etc. Keeping active is important both physically and mentally. I know as I have struggled with feelings of confinement this past year. Self imposed after the first few months but I just felt it was easier to stay home than to go out and shop, visit, etc., because of the pain that I would have afterwards. I know now I have to work through some of these issues.

Hope all of you had a nice Valentine’s Day.

460. Karen - February 17, 2010

Hi guys,
Got my cast off Thurs and the PICC line comes out Friday, Blood levels have returned to baseline. Did you have a lot of pain when first weight bearing again? I can’t remember if I did last time and I am so apprehensive about healing.

461. Connie K - February 17, 2010


After my second surgery, weighbearing was much less painful. Good luck to you!

462. Barbara - February 22, 2010


I am looking for an answer to a question I have about knee pain I am having which I’ve described below. I’ve googled every which way I can think of to have this topic come up and have seen nothing. My last google directed me to your website. I’ve been reading everyone’s posts and either I missed the topic or nobody has had this problem.

I broke my ankle the day after Thanksgiving. I didn’t need surgery, thankfully. My doctor put me into an aircast boot with no weight on my ankle for 6 weeks. Then for 2 weeks I was able to walk with the boot. Then I went into an DonJoy ankle brace and the doctor said I would be wearing it for awhile and anytime I went hiking or did any sports activities I should use it. Also he sent me to physical therapy 2x a week. For the first couple of days everything was fine. Then I developed a terrible pain in my knee. So after suffering for about 2 weeks I went back to the doctor thinking it was the knee brace causing me to walk different, in turn causing pain in my knee. He said he had used the ankle brace on patients for a couple of years and had no one complain. He thought it might have been the aircast boot along with not using my leg muscles for 6 weeks that could have caused my problem. He said he would take me out of the ankle brace just in case that was the problem and said I should feel better in about 2 weeks (so much for being in it awhile or using it when doing sport activities). If my knee did not improve, I would have to see someone about the knee pain. In the meantime I was talking to another patient at physical therapy office and she said she had the same problem with leg pain after her ankle break and treatment. She said the ligaments in or near my knee where stretched (or maybe I have that wrong, and she said they had shrunk) and they would get back to normal again. It’s been almost a week since I got rid of the ankle brace and I still feel pain in the knee.

Has anyone had a similar experience with the knee pain and how long did it take for things to get better?

I can say that I am still apprehensive about walking without any kind of brace of ankle support. I broke the same ankle about 12 years ago and treatment at that time was a plaster cast for 6 weeks and aircast boot for probably another month. And then on to a compression bandage. This time the doctor didn’t mention the compression bandage.

Thank you for reading this and hopefully someone can give me some information on my problem. Good luck to everyone.

463. MaryBeth - March 2, 2010

I just know my knee pain was due to compensating for the pain in my ankle turning my knee out to make my ankle feel better which it did. But made my knee hurt terribly.PT showed me what I was doing and he was right. Since things have gotten better and I have concentrated on walking with my toes pointing straight ahead that has helped my knee. Broke my ankle last May .Still having swelling issuea .Guess it takes a long time

464. liyana lee - March 12, 2010

what workouts did u do while waiting for your ankle to heal?

465. MaryBeth - March 13, 2010

Hahaha what r work outs????? Like walking ???

466. Michelle - March 15, 2010


there are several websites that have ankle excercises for you to do if you don’t have a physical therapist taking care of those things. I started with them after i got my cast off.
point your big toe and draw letters of the alphabet in the air. doesn’t matter if capital or lowercase.
This is a set:
point your foot as far foward as possible, hold for 10 seconds
point your foot as far back towards you as far as possible, hold for 10 seconds.
rotate your ankle in toward your other leg, hold for 10 seconds.
rotate your ankle out towards the outside of your leg, hold for for 10 seconds.
Do these in sets of 5. don’t worry if you don’t feel you have range at first, you’ll get it back.
Swimming and biking are both low impact.
if you live near a beach, go to it. walking on sand, both wet and loose is good for your foot.

I borke myself without benefit of insurance, and the doc didn’t perscribe any PT for me, I had to find it on my own.

467. MaryBeth - March 20, 2010

That is what PT told me as well but PT IS REALLY inportant They showed me thiings I would have never have known or did on my own. I could write all the stuff down for u but The real thing helps a great deal and if u don’t have mobility for the rest of ur life it is not worth it. GO TO PT I am NOT a pt fan but I was convinced after going thru it

468. Heather Bell - March 21, 2010

Hello Everyone! I have graduated from my surgeon visits and he does not want to see me unless I have future problems. The real test will be next week when my family and I go to Disneyland for spring break. I can walk up and downs stairs at work now. Not alot of pain, sore in the evenings if I have been walking alot. I still prop my foot and leg up. I do find that my ankle gets stiff and hurts but when I flex it forward it pops and feels better. I guess its the joint.

Hope all is well and Happy Spring!

469. Victoria - April 3, 2010

Hi guys,
my name is Victoria, I sliced on some ice on the stret and broke my right ankle -bimaleolaris – broken fibia and tibula, 14 March 2010. I had surgery on 16 March 2010. They`ve put a plate and 5 screws on the right side and a screw and a pin (to keep the balance, my orthoped said) on the inner side.

I`m in 3rd week post-op now and doctors say everything is going normally, but I am scared as hell. On the inner side of the ankle, there is a sensation similar to a “tensed guitar cord”, I just can`t make any movement there. On the other side (where the plate is) I`m just fine. Did somebody of you had a similar feeling? Is this normal?

Other thing that scares me is the position of my leg. My foot is sort of turned inwards and I can`t get it back in the right position. Maybe it`s too early for movement, but I`m really scared. Can somebody tell me whether this is nowmal, whether it gets corrected after starting PT and movement?

470. Linda Weston - April 8, 2010

Hi everyone; My name is Linda! I broke two bones in my ankle on March 24th. The ER doctor said he had seen worse breaks but not many. I have two plates and 5 pins. I a 67 yrs. old. I have been through breast cancer, chemo, radiation, etc. and I am cancer free, praise the Lord. However, I have never experienced pain like this in my life. I feel like such a wimp as I’m still on pain medicine (although I am going longer in betweeen doses) . I keep it elevated about 80% of the time and have used ice but it seems to be painful, maybe because of the metal. I use a knee scooter and am able to get to the bathroom, etc. very well. Thank goodness, my husband is retired and very patient although I think he can’t believe it’s as bad as is at times. I go back to my surgeon Monday and hopefully I can ask questions I never even thought of before as I was in so much pain. I tried crutches and about killed myself. Drugs and crutches aren’t a good mix. Thank you all for sharing on this website. I get so depressed yet I know I am very blessed and I hate complaining all the time. I’m determined to recover so I can wear cute shoes again but as my daughter says, “no more sexy shoes, Mom.” I quit wearing high heels several years ago but love strappy low heels. God bless you all!

471. Jerry Huxley - May 9, 2010

I broke both bones in my ankle 2 weeks ago. Had 7 screws and a plate put in. The doc give a boot to wear all the time except if I’m just relaxing watch TV or something. I am still on pain meds and had the jerking and swelling. Although the swelling has went down, every time I lower my foot to the floor level (to the wheelchair, crutches) I feel intense pressure and pain, like my foot is going to explode. Has anyone felt this sensation?

472. maria Clark - May 21, 2010

yes mines did that when i stood up the pain was so intence i had to just stand there in pain until it passed. it’s been a year and three month since i broke my ankel.I still have pain when the weather changes,but i wont to get to 100% or atleasa some what there i wont to b able to wear my hills again.

473. Becky R. - May 21, 2010

I broke my tibia and tore a ligament on April 28th and had surgery on the 29th. I have a metal plate with 7 small screws and one long one (to be removed in 3 weeks). This has been some experience. I have a wonderful husband who is taking very good care of me. I’m having trouble tolerating the boot/cast especially at night. The pain is not as intense, but it is still there! After reading all the blogs, I see that i have a long and challenging recovery ahead of me. The only thing I can say is DON’T BREAK AN ANKLE!!!

474. Opptimist - May 21, 2010

Hi guys.
I broke my left ankle in 3 spots on the outside and 2 spots on the inside on May 16, 2010 after falling on some loose gravel. I had surgery the same day and now have 2 plates and about 5 screws. The surgeon said it was one of the worst breaks they’ve ever seen. I was at the hospital for about 3 days after surgery and am now at home. I’m propped in a hospital bed with my foot elevated about 100% of time (unless I have to go to the bathroom) and in extreme pain. On Percuset and when those run out Tylenol 3’s, the pills wear off off every 3-3.5 hrs and I can only take 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hrs. Every time I do have to get out off bed and get wheeled to the bathroom, the pain I feel from having my foot down is intense (this coming from someone having Major back surgery 8 years ago where I had to learn how to walk again after 6 months of recovery so trust me I know what pain is but this is unreal). I’m not sure how I’m supposed to get through this, I know the pain will get better but I guess 5 days after surgery I’m just not believing it right now. The surgeon said I need to keep my weight off it for 6 weeks and will probably be off work for about 3 months!

I’m feeling very isolated and having the intense pain isn’t helping either. Thank god I have a wonderful husband and older teenage daughter who are taking great care of me. I am so thankful for wonderful family and friends who are pitching in, in every imaginable way. My hubby got me a laptop today so I could somewhat have contact with the outside world (I mostly wanted to read up on these type of injuries and see what I can do to try to get over this as fast as humanly possible and without loosing my mind!).
I’m feeling great relief in finding this site and just wanted to thank everyone for the support.

475. Brittney Acevedo - May 25, 2010

hey! i was wondering if you can help me… heres my story
i was playing in my softball game about 2 weeks from today and the girl was stealing the third base,my position. as i turned around to tag the girl she slid into my tibia i think. and now i got a gigaintic black and blue there. i saw it today and its starting to spread around my ankle and foot. any tips on what happened to my leg? or what i should do? contact me asap please!

476. Connie Knapp - May 26, 2010

Has anyone’s doctor recommended an ankle fusion or a total ankle replacement? It’s been almost 16 months since my trimal fracture. Still having problems despite wearing an ankle brace (Arizona brace) and modified shoe. My surgeon also suggested he might do an ankle arthroscopy to “clean out” the joint space. This would be done before resorting to a fusion or replacement.

Just wondering.

Connie K

477. JOHN PAGE - June 12, 2010

Hi this seems to be a great site ,I hope someone can give me an answer to my problem.I fell off the ladder last year on the 5th October 2009 and broke my fibula and tibia i have rod and screws in my ankle,but now my ankle is rejecting them and i have a pressure ulcer which is pretty big and it is starting to smell i have it dressed once a week up at the hospital but my surgeon is in Adelaide and i am waiting to see him i would like to know if it is serious. kind regards john page

478. jos mascarenhas - June 13, 2010

Hi, John,
I can identify with you somewhat! I, too, have an ulcer on my ankle brought about by having the plate and pins removed last October 9, (the same day, by coincidence, that you were falling off your ladder!). The operation wound got infected and then ulcerated. It is only now beginning to close up. The smell, which I liken to the inside of a well-used garbage can, is caused, provided there is no infection, by the exudate from the ulcer simply being trapped under the dressing. The more often the dressing is changed, the less offensive the smell. It’s unlikely to be serious, as long as there is no infection (and I am sure the hospital would notice if there was) but it is unpleasant. In my experience, you really ought to be having the dressing changed perhaps every 3 days. With my ankle, that was as long as it took for the smell to become quite rank! I wish you luck! I fractured my ankle in 2001 and had the hardware on the inside removed six months later. About 2 or 3 years ago, the metalwork on the outside began to push out, making the wearing of footwear increasingly uncomfortable. I thought that having that removed as well would be easy and the whole thing would quickly become history. How naive was I?! However, there is now, as they say, a “light at the end of the tunnel” and I am seriously hoping that I can eradicate all dressings by the time I go on holiday in July. It is a tedious business. I would like to think that it is at least character enhancing, but I have my doubts!
I hope your surgeon returns soon, so that you can have peace of mind.

479. mary - June 14, 2010

i am 71 years old, have been at my job for three years,slipped off step at work broke three bones 12 screws and 1 plate. this happend may 17th 2010. ho long do you think it will be before i can return to work? thank you for your help. God bless all of you. mary

480. Connie Knapp - June 22, 2010

Has anyone had to undergo an ankle fusion after their tri-mal fracture? Just curious as I think this is in my future.


481. Julie - July 22, 2010

Hi everyone, what a great site!
I broke my ankle in 3 places 5 weeks ago. Surgery was 4 weeks ago with a plate and multitude of screws. I too had the leg jerking every time I’d relax and fall to sleep OUCH! That is not happening as often but today I had my first calf leg cramp double OUCH! Will this be happening more?
I’m very apprehensive about the thought of putting weight on it, but that’s at least 3 weeks away. Anything you can recommend me do to get ready for PT? I flex and stretch my ankle up and down, no side to side Doc said and have about 60 degrees of movement. It feels tight but I think it could be swelling. Any thoughts greatly appreciated


482. Holly - August 23, 2010

Thank goodness for this site! I have an incomplete fracture of the talus with blood still in the bone and some bone erosion. The next MRI is in 2 weeks, and at that point I will have some idea of whether or not it will need surgery. No cast (can’t put the pressure on the underside of the foot), and just crutches to try to get around. So far, I have been off my foot for 6 weeks, with at least another 6 to go. The calf cramps and leg jerking and cramping at night have been a problem all along, some days worse than others. It is, as you all know, really painful, but I am really glad to know that it isn’t too unusual for it to happen. As for the swelling, some days are definitely better than others, but I trying to learn to not sit on an office chair too long and to keep my leg elevated. We live on the 3rd floor of an apartment building with no elevator, so I only leave the apartment for medical appointments. I am so grateful for a husband who has been dealing with everything in the “outside world” for me. From everything I have read, all i can do to recover is rest the ankle and be patient. I realize it is going to take a long time to heal.

483. Brian - September 15, 2010

I fractured the left side of my left ankle and i broke the right side. I have actually been laying in bed for almost 4 hours now and trying to sleep but to no avail. I am currently wearing a halfcast considering it happened earlier today but i really cannot just fall asleep. The pain is driving me nuts and i am on some pain meds. Nothing strong though.

484. Luke - November 4, 2010

Hi all I broke my fibula 7weeks ago it was a 45 degree break but the bone wasn’t displaced,so I got a cast for 6weeks and have been in the walking boot (moonboot) for the last 6days.already I can fully weightbear and the movement in the ankle is good.
I do however get a sharp pain from my heel and I’m not sure what this is??
Also as I used to play football 4times a week my muscle has become very thin.

Basically I want to know when people think I should start walking without crutches.
My gf is due to five birth in 4months and I need to get bk to working on the railway asap.

Any advice will be much appreciated.

485. Leah - November 21, 2010

HI all, I had a trimalleolar fracture of my left ankle, tibia and fibula. I was riding a horse and when i went to dismount the saddle slid and I landed on my ankle wrong and this happened on a saturdy. I was in a different state visiting family when it happened and went to their local er. The dr.s there said it was a severe break put on a splint and sent me home telling me to see an orthopedic surgeon on monday seeing how I broke it on april 3 of this year. My husband came down that nite and took me home and went to our local er Monday. I found out there what had really all been broken and that it was too swollen to go into surgery. I finally went into surgery on my husbands and mine anniversary on april 13th. That had to have been the worst pain I had ever felt in my life after i woke up from the surgery. I ended up with 11 screws and a plate seeing how I shattered my fibula and ankle or literally internally decapatated my ankle from my leg.
I did everything the dr told me to do and ended up having to go see a pain dr not long after my first surgery. about 6 months after my first surgery I had to go in and have a screw removed from my ankle due to it protruding. I had severe sensory pain on the top of my foot, lots of sweeling and my ankle and leg where I had the surgery would burn and turn red. I was ultimately dx with RSD or reactive sympathatic disorder. None of the surgeons I had seen ever told me that I had lost alot of my blood flow to my foot due to the break and that seeing how i had the trimalleolar fracture (aka break) had severely damamged my nerves which causes RSD. Many people with these types of breaks end up with this disorder. I have read a many of the posts about the pain, swelling, and the burning feeling which is associated with rsd. It is deffinantly something you may want to look into. I am currently unable to work,on pain meds still, and spend alot of time in bed with my leg up on pillows. I currently can only handle about 30 mins on my feet before the sweeling increases and the pain is very loud. My ortho dr does not deal with rsd and it is a dx that is very often missed and under diagnosed. It is just a thought that some of you may want to check this out as u all have had major damage to the nerves and some of this can not completely heal. I am getting ready to apply for disability and looking at another surgery to try to fix the rsd before it spreads to the other limbs of my body. I have 2 kids that are 8 and 6 that have helped me out greatly and a husband that tries when he thinks about it lol. Nonone will ever know the pain and how life changing this is to us. I was healing great after surgery and all was looking up but the pain, swelling, and burning was constant and is not looking as though it will ever go away. I am just in hopes that when they do the surgery for the internal tense unit in my back for the rsd that maybe then I will have somewhat of a life.

486. Karen - November 25, 2010

OH MY GOD…I had a severe trimalleolar FX to the left foot with significant nerve damage…3 surgeries,,osteomyelitis ..and now RSD. I don’t know how much longer I can deal with this…3 nerve blocks,,neuroleptic meds that make me snowed, can’t even pull a sget over the foot without triggering pain!2 plates , fifteen screws, and a bone graft!

487. Betty - December 3, 2010

Broke my ankle November 5th. Was given boot and crutches. No weight bearing at all on the boot for 2 to 3 weeks.. THe crutches are a pain. I am having trouble at night………..they said I did not have to sleep in the boot, but during the night several times my body has jerked and my ankle then has tremendous pain….does everyone else sleep without the boot. I have wondered if this jerking a few times is hurting the ankle more…..I go back on Dec 7th.

488. Faith - December 18, 2010

Hi everyone, i broke my ankle Dec 10th. The Fib and a torn tendon it was also dislocated but had it located again at the ER that day. I’m having surgery this Tuesday the 21st. I’m extremely nervous for it, but i know this needs to get done.I w as told that i would be in something like a cast for 2 weeks followed by a cast for 4 weeks & then a boot. I wanted to know when will i be able to walk on it again. People have been telling me 6weeks when i get the boot i will be able to, but i wanted to see what you guys thought. I’m also 19 so i might be a quicker healer? I also wanted to see if anyone else experiences pain when standing up from elevation? as soon as i stand up to walk around my ankle feels like it’s on fire. I would appreciate a response..thank you!

489. Pam - February 9, 2011

Fell off of a ladder on Dec 10 and broke my tibia in two places and fibula in one…I went into surgery that afternoon and received 29 screws and 2 plates.
I’m now a little over 8 weeks post surgery and the OS said my bones have healed “perfectly” and I can go FWB.
I am able to get around with one crutch pretty readily, and in the house I can go with or without the crutch, but I have a limp without it.
One of my best friends is a PT and did some measurements for me today with regard to my ROM. Some was better than anticipated and others was average for my time line. So, I go back to OS in 2 weeks to see if he still wants me to wear the aircast. I’m going to ask for a PT referral at that time.
I definitely want to take advantage of all the help I can possibly get to make as much gains as possible.
I wish all on here the best with your recovery and healing:)

490. Annette - February 10, 2011

Hello Everyone: I just came around this site..and loved everything i read. Now this is my story. I fell on black ice back on dec 14th of 2009..My right ankle went on a backwards 7. I broke ma ankle in all 3 places and also tored my tendons. I had a plate with 6 screws and pins on the left side of my right ankle. I was put in a surgery room the same day in the evening. I was kept in the hospital for a week. After a week due to the fact I live in a duplex house..I was visited daily from a visiting nurse and they trained me to get around my house. I was in bed for about an extra week after the hospital then I started moving around the house with a walker. After 4 weeks and alot of percocets and training I started going up the stairs with crutches. My cast was changed into a smaller cast I was on a cast for about 2 months. Not Fun…Then I was put on the walking boot, then after that a gel patch to keep ma ankle intact..After I got that is when i started therapy for my ankle..Therapy was hell…for the first 2 weeks…Now after all this time..I started walking well..every morning when I wake up my first couple of steps are the worst..I limp for about the first 7 steps until my ankle starts to get the hang of it again..I would like to inform you guys that on Jan 19th I went back into surgery because the plate, screws and pins were doing more harm to my body then helping me..Cause of my immune system was weak..It was a one day surgery…After the surgery I felt great..My ankle felt lighter..the only thing after 3 weeks my staples and stitches were removed yesterday..but I see no difference in my daily waking up..I still limp..I hope this helped anyone with any information they might need. Good luck to all…

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496. Mitchell - March 20, 2011

I broke my fibula playing football and no doubt sleeping is the most frustrating part of recovery. One little move and your often left in pain and unable to sleep. I propped up my ankle on a few pillows as others have said but to me this only offered temporary relief. I found that the best way for me to sleep was actually on my side, and when i got restless i would go on my other side. Its worth a try because i know how frustrating sleeping can be!

497. liamo1234 - April 6, 2011

need help, i was playing football got badly tackled, it came out in really bad brusing from my toes to the bottom of my calf, the brusing went but now, thats a big lump above my ankle, and when i touch it, it’s solid, doesnt hurt when walking or running but it hurts badly after, any idea’s of what to do?

498. Shari, Michigan - May 26, 2011

Hi everyone,I fell and broke my ankle in 3 places and have 8 screws and a plate in my ankle now. This happened two weeks ago and I haven’t had any pain, and my foot feels numb like when you get a shot of Novocaine in your mouth. I am on NWB and go to see the doctor next week. Has anyone else had a numb foot? What’s up with that?
Thank you everyone for responding on this website it has been such a blessing to me

499. Teresa Basiliere - May 28, 2011

Hi Im Teresa. I broke my ankle-all the bones-on March 27. My course of treatment appears dfferent than many. I was taken to hospital right away and had to have surgery the next day. I have a plate and 4 screws. Odd, but i was never placed in a hard cast. I went home from the hospital with the boot and told to not weight bear. I stayed off foot for 6 weeks then told to start applying half the body weight. also, have not had much pain. When I started weight bearing I did get some discomfort when swelling. I dont think Ive been only weight bearing half the body weight-still do not understand how to do that. Anyways, I have numbness n the top of my foot-Dr. says the tibal nerve gets stretcheddont know if feeling will come back. Anyways, despite Dr. saying, my xrays look good-he wants me to add 20 pds a week and still use walker ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. I have blood blisters on hands and truthfully I have walked several steps and been okay so I was thinking id be without assisted devices. Shari when did your ankle? Are you swelling I do find compression stockings help. Nothing better than an ankle break to make you feel old.

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501. Shari, Michigan - June 3, 2011

Hi Teresa,
I broke my foot 3 weeks ago and the doctor has allowed me to just wear a boot now, and also put 25%h
of my weight on that foot. The top of my foot is numb also and doc said he didn’t know if it would go away or not. Now I’m wondering how soon I can drive. I am able to get around so much better now that my cast is off and can do some weight bearing. I have not had very much swelling but I do keep my foot elevated most of the time. My daughter is taking care of me and that makes a humongous difference. I just got a phone call from the doctor’s office saying I have to wait 3 months to drive and my boot has to be on my foot whenever I am out of my chair. That sucks big time!!

502. Shari, Michigan - June 3, 2011

Hi Teresa,
I broke my foot 3 weeks ago and the doctor has allowed me to just wear a boot now, and also put
25% of my weight on that foot. The top of my foot is numb also and doc said he didn’t know if it would go away or not. Now I’m wondering how soon I can drive. I am able to get around so much better now that my cast is off and can do some weight bearing. I have not had very much swelling but I do keep my foot elevated most of the time. My daughter is taking care of me and that makes a humongous difference. I just got a phone call from the doctor’s office saying I have to wait 3 months to drive and my boot has to be on my foot whenever I am out of my chair. That sucks big time!!

503. Kayla - June 12, 2011

Hi, I broke my ankle two days ago (growth plate and fibula) and I’m having trouble sleeping, I wake up at least every hour and a half. I have been elevating my foot (above my heart) to keep the swelling down, and trying to do my excercises with my toes and hip as well. I have been taking Tyenol and ibuprofin, but It’s extremely hard to sleep. I can’t stay still for more than 2 hours at a time, sometimes I have to get up and walk around with my crutches. I just started using crutches yesterday, but my hands hurt now, will this go away? Anyways, thats all for now, any information I will be grateful for.

504. Shari, Michigan - June 12, 2011

Hi Kayla,
I ended up using acetaminophen p.m. and slept like a baby, of course I probably had a couple of glasses of wine too! I just started using crutches a week ago and am now in my fourth week since break. It gets easier after a time.

505. Tammy Kamphaus - June 28, 2011

Hi All,

I broke my left ankle and sprained my right ankle a week ago. It is extremely difficult trying to use crutches with my sprained ankle as the base foot. I am getting it done though. I just thought I would share with you what my doctor told me about Ibuprofen. He told me to definitely stop taking it because, as it help with swelling, it hinders the healing of the bones themselves. I was a little confused as Urgent Care told me to take it initially, but my Orthopedic Doctor knows best for me in this case. My pain seems to be at its worst as soon as I wake up in the morning and try to get out of bed. My husband seems to think that is because the swelling has gone down and the pain is more pronounced. Well, I hope you are all feeling better.
Take Care,

506. Nadine - July 16, 2011

Hi i broke my knee and shattered my ankle on new years, i had two operations on the first week of the year, as the first one went wrong. Roughly 12 weeks later one of the screws that were put in was removed. Now 7 months later and im finally getting around i keep getting burning sensations on my ankle and i dont know what it could be can anyone help please?

507. John Duke - July 28, 2011

Hi. What an impressive comment section. I broke my ankle on July 8 waterskiing. Ski twisted around like a helicopter blade as I crashed, with my foot still in the boot. Fortunately, no surgery required because amazingly my bones stayed in alignment. Swelling and bruising have been moderate – ortho has me in an aircast for 4-6 weeks. I can put some weight on it already without much pain, but hurts to take steps and lots of tightness in calf. Even seems my knee experiences pain – anyone experiencing that? Worst part: crutches. Most of my pain now is body aches from them and making other muscles do more work. Feeling a little discouraged about my ankle not ever being quite the same but good to read about other people’s ways through it all.

508. Joe - August 11, 2011

Hi, im a 23 yr old male, 2-3 weeks ago I crashed my motocross bike in a race after coming off on a jump. My ankle dislocated, tore a ligament and an open fracture on my tibia (bone came through the skin). Suprisingly i had little pain when the accident happened just felt like a bruise (due to the shock and shortly after morthene).

I was in hospital for 6 nights, had 2 operations, a few screws not sure about a plate tho. I am in a full cast up to the knee and currently cannot put any weight on it so using crutches i was told the cast is required for 6 weeks but find out more in a few days.

Most of the time I have my leg raised but like most people on here swells when down or im standing upright for 10minutes or more and goes slightly numb and to get rid of this simply raise my leg up again.

Before reading this page I didnt realise the recovery time after having the cast off would be so long and possibly not fully recovering. Just looking forward to see my doctor at the fracture clinic to ask him a million questions.

509. Shari, Michigan - August 12, 2011

It has now been 3 months since I broke 3 bones around the ankle. I have absolutely no problems now except swelling when on it too long.
My numbness has gone away, I can climb up and down stairs like I used to and can even wear heals. I started driving at two months so just wanted you all to know that there is life at the end of the tunnel.

510. Amy - August 15, 2011

Fall down 3weeks ago, doctor said i have cracked (not broken) my ankle bone, which is talus bone. Doctor help me remove my cast 3days ago and told me try walk with the crutches as a supporter and allow me to put pressure to my foot slowly. I can walk well with the crutches now, but when i want to try walk without crutches , i will feel pain and sore, my leg seems like no energy, feel like foot sprained. i still unable to walk after 3weeks plus 3days . Is this normal? Normally how long will this condition persist? Thanks for the advice. — Amy

511. G - August 18, 2011

I am so disgusted with the medical profession. Broke it Sunday morning and waited to go to the doc on Monday (no $$ for an ER visit). Swollen like a softball and the color of an eggplant – I heard it CRUNCH. They made me wait for two days to get in for a quick 30 second grunt and to have them send me to the Hosp. for an x-ray. Took them another full day to call back to have me come in for what they called a “trivial minor fracture” – treating me like I was wasting their time. They put me in a boot and pretty much told me to go away for a month. No instructions, no pain killers, no exercises, nothing. Has now been 10 days and I can’t sleep, my ankle just aches like mad, and my calf and thigh muscles are cramping like crazy and I just want to cry. I never go to the Dr, and now they are treating me like some sort of hypochondriac. Ugh. I hate them hate them hate them.

Thanks so much for your postings here – Still having bad leg cramps so I am going to try the exercises noted above to see if they will help. Bless you all for saving my sanity.

512. Janni O from Australia - August 20, 2011

This sight has been so helpful to me, but I am still getting no answers from my orthopedic surgeon. I was wondering if anyone else has had a similar incident and symptoms to me. Back in February I slipped over on some wet tiles and slammed my foot into a wall. It was stayed but nothing was found so I was told to rest it for a few days and it would be fine. A month later it was still the same and I was limping with a pain under the ball of my foot, it was painful to walk on, and at night it hurt if the sheets touched it too tight. I had further stays, ultra sounds cat scans then an MRI which picked up some minute old fracture that had repaired from my first fall and osteoporosis. I was told to wear a “moon boot” air cast for 4 weeks and stay off it which I did. I took time off work and stayed off it completely. One day I was on the crutches moving about the house and went over on the air cast ending up screaming in agonizing pain. I was told I did not break anything but it was “more then likely” ligament damage. That was 9 weeks ago, and I’m still not walking on it. I have agonizing electric shock like pain at the sight just under the ankle and slightly under the right foot. It burns and if I put weight on it I feel agonizing searing pain there and it swells up really badly. The initial pain under the ball of the foot is now also so bad after the second incident that any pressure there feels like the foot is going to snap in half. I’m so over myself it’s not funny. I’m desperate for an answer. I have to see my specialist again this Tuesday. Does anyone else have similar symptoms.

513. Tanya, Australia - August 27, 2011

So happy I found this site. My ankle has been a nightmare since I broke it 4 years ago in 2 places and had surgery for plate, 2 pins, 6 screws. I had major swelling at first, actually I still have swelling. After 2 years I had the metal work taken out. However the stiffness, pain, cramps are constant. Every morning I limp and if I sit down for too long the limp is back. I have been to physios, acupuncture, massage etc. My last appointment with Doctor said my bone had fused and so my movement is restricted. The last couple of months I had felt numbness and tenderness on top of my foot. I have decided to head back to orthopaedic surgeon again.

514. Carole Dahl - September 4, 2011

Carole, Australia- September 5, 2011

Hi I am female 68 and I am so glad I came across this forum.
I broke my lower leg in 3 places 10 weeks ago, according to my
Orth it has mended bautifully, I am walking without aides and sleeping well. My legs swells up over the period of the day and is
uncomfortable and has been doing this for the last 4 weeks, I also
have a little patch of numbness on the top of the foot.
By the time I have done things like shopping an light housework I
am exhausted and cannot wait to get my foot up. I see most
recommend ice for the swelling, so I will try that as well.
My question is how long will the swelling be around?

515. Carol N - September 15, 2011

I am in a pickle, I guess you could say. Here’s my story. 2 1/2 weeks ago I fell and “sprained” my ankle. Went to ER same day and was told it was a very bad sprain and a small avulsion fracture of the ankle. They sent me home with a “walking” cast/boot and told me if in 3-4 days if it wasn’t better that I needed to see an ortho doctor. Major Issue: I have no health ins. So now The swelling only happens if I and up and about for too long, there is some swelling on the outside of my ankle at all times, its is still purple and blue/yellow. I have been feeling a burning sensation in that part of my ankle for the last 3-4 days and it seems to be coming more frequently. The ER doctor never told me how often or how long to wear the boot, or how long it would take to heal. I am so confused!!! So swelling, burning and no insurance. Does anybody have any suggestions? Thanks!!!

516. John - September 15, 2011


I broke my ankle in July (I wrote a comment earlier in this thread) and I don’t think your symptoms sounds all that strange. I think you know the answer already, but you need to go see an orthopedic surgeon ASAP. If you are 2 1/2 weeks into your injury your ankle bone could potentially be healing the wrong way already. The ER doctors see everything from broken ankles to car crash victims – do you think they have any real expertise in ankle injuries? While I am thankful for the ER doctors that took care of me, they gave me some inaccurate information about my ankle treatment. The only thing they can really do is immobilize it and give pain meds. Your orthopedic does ankles for a living and will guide you through treatment. Oh, and get health insurance.

517. bigNavySeal - September 20, 2011

This is my story I wish to share for useful information as I’m slightly surprised to my recovery so far compared to other peoples experiences.

I broke my fibula 3 weeks ago during soccer and required surgery, which I had the very next morning with a metal plate and 8 screws. Surprisingly unlike almost anyone elses experience I have read, I was not put in a fiberglass plaster without weight-bearing. The Orthopedic Surgeon gave me an AirCast with partial weight-bearing the very first day after I got out of the hospital (4 days after surgery) which I was supposed to wear for 6 weeks!

I’m now now on crutches and the AirCast for 3 weeks then, an apart from some initial pains, the usual swelling pains, inflammation and bruising, stiffness and the likes, I hardly have any real pain. Apart from a first complete week of bed rest and leg up, due to circumstances I have travelled, flown and walked significantly with the AirCast the past 2 weeks (I flew up and down from Asia (where I live) to Europe for my brothers wedding and my Annual Leave). Still I already managed to experiment a bit and walk a bit through the house without the Cast with at least 60-70% weightbearing (e.g. the rest of the weight leaning on my other foot) and it didn’t hurt a bit!. I know, I might be stupid in doing this, so I’m careful but I’m just surprised. Is this a very fast recovery? Might I get complications and am I over-bearing my ankle? I’m a bit worried, but again also optimistic to my seemingly quick recovery. I do start to experience some painful pins & needles sensation now around the surgery/metal plate area, only when I apply pressure on the area, so I’m quite worried about that, but I read from others that’s rather normal. Tomorrow I will visit the doctor for an Xray and healing progress.

I’m still amazed by my seemingly little to no pain and complexities without wearing an fiberglass plaster and intense travelling. Anyone a word of caution? Thanks

518. Jonski - September 21, 2011

I broke my ankle just over a year ago, falling eight feet onto tracks from a train. I had open fractures with both bones broken and protruding, a operation and a plate with eight various screws. I started walking but still got very painful swelling, had to have another operation due to infection, now they are going to take out all metalwork, cause of infection. One other main bone has now shifted across in foot meaning lots of pain and swelling, they tried in another operation to push back and screw together, but this was not achievable. Where next? I return to OS next Wednesday but to be honest he has no idea. Worse pain and swelling than from the start. Good ole UK NHS!

519. Suzane - October 3, 2011

To Carole in Australia, this is Suzanne in the U.S. I hope for your sake you have a better experience than I am having. I am 64, two years ago shattered the bones in my ankle, have plates and 11 screws. Pain and swelling have persisted and continue to hurt. You described ME….I can take just so much and the pain is out of the control and I’m down. It’s made life really hard. I am asking people now (everywhere) if anybody our age has had good luck having the hardware completely removed. Someone suggested that it might be the way to go. Will be thinking of you in the future, and hope you find relief from your pain. God bless.

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521. Jocelyn (Jos) - October 4, 2011

To Carole, in Oz, and Suzanne, in the U.S. I, also, am female, aged 72, a Canadian now living in the UK. I fractured my ankle 10 years ago, when I missed the top step of a steep flight of stairs. I have forgotten, if I ever really knew in the first place, precisely how much hardware there was, only that the pins in the inside ankle were removed after about 6 months, to good effect. They had begun to cause me a lot of discomfort. The plate and pins/screws in the outside ankle were removed in October 2009 because the bottom of the plate was protruding enough to interfere with footwear. (There are entries on this blog by me under the name “Jocelyn” , the last one dated January 29, 2010, and then one further in June, 2010, under “Jos”. It is quite scary to realise that so much time has passed!) Unfortunately, that one did not run smoothly as I got an infection which then ulcerated. The ultimate cure for that was not the myriad dressings that must have cost the NHS a small fortune, nor the skin specialist I saw. at huge expense to myself, but leaving it open to a summer of sunshine. Now, at the end of yet another summer, the problems I have, which seem small by comparison, are very sensitive scar tissue, which I have to protect when wearing certain shoes, and the almost inevitable arthritis, which is a result of the original injury. I have to remember to manipulate my foot before I get out of bed in the mornings, otherwise to first couple of minutes of putting weight on it are very uncomfortable. Also, the ankle still swells, enough to feel very tight and I don’t have the same degree of flexibility as I do in the other ankle. However, old bones, I guess! And I do remind myself, frequently, that if that is my only complaint at my age, then I am not doing too badly! I don’t drive, so I am forced to walk a lot and I also cycle and swim. all of which seem to work in my favour, particularly as my occupation is a sedentary one (I am an artist and soft furnishing designer). Two years ago, I almost despaired that I would ever reach this level of repair, but I have and life is good, and any degree of discomfort I now experience is so little compared to what it was. And, after all, the infection was just bad luck. The ultimate freedom from any of all that hardware is so worth it! Good luck to you both

522. Kezza Australia - October 17, 2011

I rolled my ankle on September 23, resulting in breaking the fibula, tore tendons and ligaments, i had surgery a metal plate and 5 screws on the 25th and was in hospital for 5 days. I was sent home and told to keep elevated for 2 weeks, went back to surgeon 12/10 and had cast taken off and sent home with nothing on my leg and told no weight bearing what so ever and to keep foot elevated for a further 4 weeks but given excercises like slight rotation and stretching back and forth, the swelling went down almost immediately but the bruising and the incision is really black, red,purple,blue,green !! I cant sleep because it is sooo painful constantly, i am in bed most of the time because everytime i get up even just to go to the bathroom my foot goes purple and swells immediately, i get burning sensation and it takes about 1 hour to settle down even when propped up. I am going back on the 8th of Nov to get a boot/cam walker so i can hopefully start walking. my biggest concern is my toes are numb and tingly, my leg burns, the wound feels like its weeping but its not !! this whole experience is really traumatic on me and my family..

the oddest thing is is haven’t found any other posts that say the leg was unprotected from week 2 until week 4 ? and is this normal practice.

523. gloria - October 19, 2011

My husband had an open fracture and broke ankle and foot 1 year ago. You would think he would be fine by now, but when he steps wrong he gets an intense pain in his foot and ankle, and the swelling has not disappeared entirely. Why is it taking so long? Sometimes after work or when he has been on his leg for a long time it gets more swollen and he’s in pain. Is this normal?

524. Lina - October 20, 2011

Hello all, I fell stepping off my porch about 2 1/2 weeks ago on my way to work twisting my ankle pretty bad. I waited about an hour and went to work anyway, after 4 hours it had swollen bad and I was in terrible pain and could barely walk. I had to leave work at that time and I went to urgent care that evening. I was told it was a stage II Lateral Collateral sprain – a slight tear in the ligament, they bandaged it and put me in an Aircast and was told to use the RICE therapy. I followed up with my doctor 2 days later and was told to continue the RICE therapy and no work for another week. I return to work (I’m a housekeeper) tomorrow and I hope I am not rushing it because I do still have some swelling and pain when I move it wrong. I’m thinking I may need to see a specialist .

525. Suzane - October 20, 2011

Gloria, I don’t think it is NORMAL, but the more people I read about on these ankle blogs, the more I realize it is COMMON. My ankle was broken (still have the 2 plates and 10 screws) more than two years ago, and the pain and swelling persist. Sometimes it’s unbearable. Someone recommended I consider having the hardware removed. I am considering this (though consequences of this action is a very long recovery). I encourage you and your husband to continue researching ways to FIX this. None of us want this kind of pain for the rest of our lives. If you come up with something — please repost! Thanks

526. gloria - October 20, 2011

Thank you Suzane for responding. My husband also has two plates and 18 screws, unfortunately he can’t take time off work so taking them out is out of the question. I just hope that as the time passes his pain will lessen and he won’t have permanent side effects. Sometimes when he comes back from work and he’s in pain due to his ankle and leg he puts on arnica cream. I give him a massage while spreading the cream and that seems to help him a little with the pain. I hope you get better and you find an alternative, and thanks again. I feel much better now that I know it’s more normal than I thought.

527. Betsy - October 22, 2011

I broke my fibula which displaced my ankle joint on 9/24 in the woods in northern WI. Had to wait a day to get back to civilization to see the ER. Following that saw an ortho dr. who scheduled surgery for me the following Mon. 10/3. I am in an air cast now and am keeping my leg/foot elevated all day while at work and at home in bed. I have been experiencing cramps in my upper calf and am wondering if anyone else has gone thru this and if so, is there anything they have found to alleviate it? It is just a bit alarming. Like I said I’m watching the swelling which seems normal in my foot and am giving myself daily injections of blood thinner for 28 days but just wondering if anyone else has had this experience and what they know about it? Thanks. Betsy/aka scooter girl in MN.

528. tyler - October 23, 2011

hi i broke my left femur and fractured my left ankle its been 12 weeks now and the doctor told me i could finially put weight on my leg i went to one therapy session and the following day got brave and tried to take some steps i did and then the next day i woke up and my ankle swelled up to the size of a balloon is this normal?

John - October 24, 2011

tyler – yes, it’s normal. when you begin using the joints in your ankle/foot again swelling tends to occur again. it should subside though. keep using it and let pain be your guide.

529. Lee Anne - October 24, 2011

This site is amazing and I habe tried to read through as much as I can and I think most of my concerns are answered except one so here is my story. I was zip lining October 15th and came in too fast on a zipline and ended up straight-leg hitting at tree at about 40-50 km /hr (canadian :)) and was rushed to a local rural emergency hospital where they diagnosed a fracture and set it and casted me up and sent me home to go to one of my local ERs the following Monday for an Ortho visit. The worst 48 hours pain wise and bad advice as i found out the ER’s in my area all have ortho services 7 days a week but I digress. In the end I had three fractures and had to have surgery to plate and screw the tibia and fibula and the back ankle bone has been left to heal. I was put in a full cast to the knee and I am on non weight bearing and rest until Oct 31. Today is the first day without the “real” painkillers but I am still sleeping all the time and sufferring really severe hot flashes when I sleep. I can’t do anything besides lay on the bed the family set up on the couch and I get up only to use the washroom and maybe get a drink when I am left alone. It sucks horribly but I am trying to be a good patient but the need to sleep is crazy. October 31 I get the staples out and a new full cast and remain non weight bearing for 6 more weeks and then they sat an air cast for 4-12 weeks while I do rehab. Seems extensive to me but I have to say I never knew what a nightmare this is and I am happy I found this site to tknow that many people have experienced the same things as me . I now know that the burning and pain I still have seens to occur alot. Great site and amazing it still is used 5 years after it was started 🙂 Anyone else experience this need to sleep constantly and or fever flashes ( my hubby called them) I find because I was treated through the ER I don’t have any one to follwo up with until my appoinment and no what to expect sheet from the hospital.

530. John - October 24, 2011

lee anne – not sure what pain killers you are taking but when you stop your body may go through withdrawal, which can include all sorts of things like hot flashes, aches, itchiness, sleep issues, etc. sometimes it will last a week or so.

531. Riaan - October 28, 2011

Hey all, Have just read through most of the stuff here and i ave not really found an aswer to my question. I broke my Tibia and fractured the Fibia on the 8th of October. I had surgery on the 10th ad have sinc beenback for a permanent cast which as i am informed is coming of in 2 weeks time. I was wondering if anyone with a simmular injury has a job where tey do alot of driving? If so how are you coping and have you been able to perform your normal job function. Taking into account that it is my left foot, so that means clutch for manual driving.

South Africa

532. Loulou - November 6, 2011

Just about 6 weeks ago I was searching for answers to questions my OS never gave me. I suffered an ankle fracture w/dislocation after slipping on a slope in my backyard. I knew it wasn’t good when I heard the break. My husband didn’t believe me as I fell saying “I broke my ankle!” But when he had to hold that floppy ankle up to my leg he was a believer. Anyhow, why is it that the surgeon doesn’t tell you what to expect in recovery? Amount of acceptable swelling, pins & needles, muscle cramps, crazy pain after surgery….We instead have to hunt and peck for answers. Initially reading this sight 6 weeks ago I was gloom and doom, never believing there was recovery for me. There is recovery and you just need to believe and be patient. Having your life slammed to a complete hault is horrible. Recovery is exhausting but it does get better. Just this week I got my cast off and have my monster air cast now. Progressed from 2 crutches, to 1, and almost none in a week. I have had two PT sessions and boy are they tough. My range of motion sucks but I have to be patient. We have to be what we are..a patient Patient! I find this so hard sometimes. I was the type to go go go, not ask for help, do it my way. Now, the whole story is different. I have to accept good enough, because it is! I hope to wear heels again but if I can’t, I can’t. Today is brighter than 6 weeks ago and I hope 6 weeks from now the day will be brighter still. Hard work is head in order to walk well again. I just wanted that dark soul who is struggling right now from a nasty fracture to know it does get better. Follow the elevation and ice instructions because that helps the healing process. Don’t put weight on the injury until you’re allowed. Time will pass, you will heal. I never would have believed; but I am healing, and learning more about myself.

Julie - July 3, 2012

Lovely discriptive calming, optimistic story of your experience, for anyone going through the trauma of ankle fractures, as my son is at present. Thank you!

533. Loulou - November 6, 2011

Yes, this might be too much sunshine for some but I really had some dark days. Lots of crying & believing I would never be the same again. In the beginning there is so much pain and lack of sleep you lose your sanity at times. Getting to the bathroom is a big ordeal at first. Fear was another factor for me. Fear of falling on the cast, dislodging the new hardware holding my bones together. Fear of more pain! Sleep was disrupted so much for me, waking up every 2 hours. I am a stomach sleeper too and hate sleeping on my back. Well, that’s the only way to keep the swelling down. Before surgery I had my leg elevated at least 2 feet in my bed. Today, I still keep it elevated with a firm pillow during the night. Oh yeah, then there were all the reductions…3 before I even got the surgery. Two were at the ER w/Dilaudid. Then one at the surgeon’s office only w/a local injection in my ankle. That sucked! I still have the bruise on my outer leg where the Dr. was trying to reset the bone while he pushed near the shin, pulled on my big toe and bent my ankle inward…It didn’t work. He reviewed the Xrays, left the room and brought another surgeon in to tell me I would have surgery in 3 days instead of a week. He messed me up and brought a better surgeon in to remedy the situation. See, I did survive! It did get better. So much is slammed on us in the beginning only other ankle sufferers can understand. It really is terrible in the beginning but we get through it. My pain has gotten better. I hope my swelling gets better and my strength and range of motion gets better too. Reading the other posts, I know that I am lucky. I am thankful to be healing and wish those well who have been challenged so much more. They are so strong, I pray that wise surgeons are caring for them and they are blessed with better healing and peace.

534. Loulou - November 6, 2011

I had a Tib/Fib fracture and was hard cast after surgery for 5 weeks. My OS said I could be in my compression boot for as little as 1 week or up to 4 weeks, it depended upon my strength and ability. I’m not that strong yet. Pushing a clutch might be tough, but for you could be tolerable. Most bones heal by 6 weeks and your doctor should confirm your status with x-rays before saying go for it. Sure it’s possible you could drive but be ready for discomfort and swelling. Elevate whenever you can, compress that ankle with some type of support and ice it! Listen to your body, it will let you know when too much is too much.

535. samantha - November 6, 2011

hi all i broke my ankle on both sides on wed 2nd nov had surgery gor plates and screws on the thurs and was sent home on the fri. i have been keeping my leg elevated wen sitting down, do i have to keep it up when i am in bed? my toes have been swelling a bit but not loads will ice sort that out.

Hope use can help as i keep panicking

536. samantha - November 6, 2011

also wen i finally get to dose off my legs and arms start to twitch mostly on my broken side but the other side aswell, any 1 no why this happens and should i be worried

537. Lee Anne - November 7, 2011

Samantha – I am on week 3 🙂 I know every doc is different but mine had me elevating at bed time too for the first 7-10 days. I also sufferred the twitching mostly in my injured side and from the blogs and my doctor it is normal and it has stopped .. good luck the beginning is the toughest part but it gets easier

538. Ada - November 9, 2011

Need some answers…. Please

I broke my ankle in oct 16. I went to the ER the next day. The Dr told me i broke it in 3 part, after seeing my x ray. They put i splint on my leg, to wait for the swelling to go down. They reffered me to the orthopedic dr. Due ti issues with my insurance i havent been able to go. I went back to the ER 2weeks after my injury, because it was hurting a lot. They sent me back home, after the orhopedic dr came and sen me and said that i would have to wait to see him at the clinic.. Anwys its has been 3 1/2 weeks. My biggest concern its that my bones might heal without surgery. The splint that i have on doesn’t have my foot in the straightest position. Also the splint feels loose 😦 I also would like to ask the ladies if they were able to wear high hills after their surgeries and their healing process.

John - November 9, 2011

go see the orthopedic ASAP. the ER doctors don’t know anything about how to fix your ankle, other than immobilize it.

539. Suzane - November 9, 2011

Ada, John is right! Make an appointment and see the ortho — hopefully you will get an ankle specialist! Do you have the x-rays from ER? If not, be sure to take them with you to orthopedics. This is serious business. Regarding high heels (are you the one who wondered about that?) — never mind that now — SAVE YOUR FOOT. I am two+ years after my break — 2 plates/11 screws. Still swells, am considering having hardware removed…..Sometimes, there ARE NO answers but you need to get to the specialist NOW.

540. Ada - November 11, 2011

Thanks for your advise. I just went to the ER (another location) they remove my splint, they did x ray on my ankle and put a smaller and STRAIGHT cast on it. This dr was great and was not playing with my situation. He reffered me to a great ortho wich i have to go see in 3days for my surgery. I would have like to get surgery right away but what better than to do it with ortho surgeon. 🙂

Suzane, i know what you mean.. thanks.. its just a girly thinking.. but im exited to know that my ankle its going to get FIX.. Then recovery time 😦

This site has been great with info and personal experiences..


541. ruthie - November 19, 2011

I fractured my ankle a week ago it was the tibia and fibul so I had a surgery next day I am not sure how many screws i got all I know is that my whole leg Hurst like its bruised up to my knee…and I feel like my foot is swollen and it hurts by where the small toes are… Is that normal?

542. Plaicaanemi - December 8, 2011



543. peggy - December 18, 2011

Great Site! I broke my ankle in three spots on October 8 2011…..I now am the proud owner of two plates and 8 screws. I am 61 years old. After two casts ….six weeks of no weight bearing….he said I could walk with a walker when fiberglass cast came off. I am now using a cane…. the soreness is going away, but it still gets swollen and stiff. My doctor said I am ahead of the curve….but it is a slow process. Be patient…..and pamper yourself when you can. I am always massaging my foot, with or without lotion, if you have a jacuzzi bath…or know someone who does….definitely worth using…jets help stimulate the blood flow. Take also your supplements, calcium with vit d, omega 6/flax seed, 1000 mg of vitamin c,a good multi-vitamin and make sure you eats lots of protein….it all helps with your healing. I actually take a protein powder mixed with milk to make sure I am getting adequate protein daily….I am not a meat eater. You have to remember that your body went thru trauma…..and your body is trying to repair itself….help it along as much as you can. Good luck to everyone……I feel your pain ….but hang in there…it does get better in time.

Cathy foley - January 3, 2012

Hi everyone, I broke my ankle early oct & it had been he’ll. As a single mother I lost my income & independence. I am still not weightbearing after nearly 3 months due to 2 falls I had. It is frustrating trying to learn to walk but have decided to go to the local indoor pool to give me back my confidence. I have a plate & screws in as well & have been told they may have to be removed in 6 months. Massaging my foot & calf have helped with the swelling & I still elevate when I can. It’s a long process & I totally understand all who are in this position. Good luck to all & a speedy recovery.

544. olliegirl - January 18, 2012

I broke my fib Nov 2010 and am now considering having the hardware removed. One of the screws in particular rubs on boots etc and if I walk for a long time it feels really sore at the top of the plate? Are these minor issues I should put up with? How long is recovery afterwards if all goes well? I have 7 screws and a metal plate on the outside of my ankle.

I would say I am 90% right after all this time, still have difficulty with ROM and coming downstairs.

Thanks for any info anyone might have. I’m in the UK by the way.

545. kam - February 16, 2012

hi guys does anyone one know if weight gain can cause your ankle to hurt after having an orif op…had mine 3 years ago around this time…gained weight from being immobile….but since then i’ve lost weight but have put it on again:( so jus wondering if this could be a reason for the pain im experiencing..would appreciate any comments or thoughts

Suzanne - February 16, 2012

Hi Kam, My ankle accident was September,2009 (with the usual, 11 pins, 2 plates). I have to admit that gaining weight (from immobility, like you) has added some pounds. I noticed this when I pick up something heavy and carry it — the ankle hurts MORE. So yes, adding weight will add pain. It’s just logical. I found that I can use a recumbent bike without too much pressure on the ankle, and it burns calories. Also doing floor exercises (abs and legs) can burn calories without putting pressue on the ankle. There are ways to lose the weight, though it is hard to get motivated again. Keep trying. Never give up! Also — look up scenar on a google search when you get time. I have been using one for about six months and it REALLY HELPS reduce swelling and pain! I hope you can get some relief, Kam. Don’t lose hope.

546. Geyee Alfredo - March 21, 2012

I am a footballer,but my ankle got twisted and my fiuba got broken.i want to my doctor for x-ray.after de x-ray he put plaster cast on my leg and i want to no can de fibula heal by it self and how many weeks does it take to join or heal

547. Geyee Alfredo - March 21, 2012

I am a footballer,but my ankle got twisted and my fibula got broken.i want to my doctor for x-ray.after de x-ray he put plaster cast on my leg and i want to no can de fibula heal by it self and how many weeks does it take to join or heal

548. Janel - April 18, 2012

Hi! I broke my ankle two months ago. Not a “bad” break that required surgery. I still am in pain, but not as bad, and the swelling is still there, but not as bad. One thing that baffles me is how tired I have been since breaking my ankle. Does a break lower immune system and make a person so tired?

549. Mary - May 2, 2012

Hi! I broke my ankle about three weeks ago and had a plate and 11 screws put in, I also have a torn/strained ligament. My doctor says I will be weight bearing in about 4 weeks and back to normal in about 2 months. From what I have read most people have a much longer recovery time ( I will be doing PT once I am weight bearing) once they are off crutches. Does anyone farther along in a similar situation have any knowledge about how long it took for the complete healing process? I run varsity cross country at my school, and was planning on training throughout the summer. With this injury, the pre-training is not a huge concern of mine but I want to know if there’s a chance I could not be back %100 by the season in August. Any advice will be greatly appreciated, thanks so much ya’ll!

Mary - May 2, 2012

***Also, I have been having numbness in my foot/toes 3 weeks post-op, as well as the outside of my calf below the knee. I was given a numbing block for the first few days after surgery and my doctor seems to think that is the reason for the calf numbness but it has lasted much longer than he expected. Has anyone experienced something like this? I have read that it could be some sort of nerve compression or damage but not really sure what that entails.

mary - August 14, 2012

It has now been about 4 months since my surgery and I am starting varsity crosscountry. My physical therapist says I can’t run for more than 15 minutes because I am in pain every time I run. Has anyone else had difficulty getting going with running again? Would you suggest I push through the pain and run more or step back and continue with physical therapy but cut out running for the moment?

** The pain is not just soreness from lack of use in my muscles, it really is in pain.

550. Amber - July 19, 2012

Question I had a spine stimulator and a battery put in my back and hip 3 months ago. Almost 6 weeks ago I started having pain, swelling and redness on my hip where the battery is. The surgen (whose post op is lacking to say the least, he left my staples in for 17 days) has told me that it is just bruised and has given me a very solid muscle relaxer which has helped the spasms but not the rest of it. The pain has gotten so bad over the last 6 weeks I can hardly sit on that side of my body and by the end of the day I am in tears pulling on pj’s. Does this sound like bruise or does this sound like my body is rejecting my hardwear? My primary wont touch it and the surgen when I call keeps saying its just bruised their is nothing more we can do but give it time. I dont want to wait to long if it is something serious..

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554. Rachel - November 3, 2012

About 9 or 10 years ago I feel out of a travel trailer and my foot got caught in the stairs it broke my ankle clean off. I had an amazing surgeon you ca not even tell that my ankle has a plate and screws in it. Recently I have been having an issue with my ankle swelling
Like 3 times in size. I don’t know why all of a sudden it just decided to start to swell any ideas anyone?

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556. Helen - January 8, 2013

Hi everyone, Nov 1 st. I fell on the one and only step we have inside our house , I heard a snap and knew what I was in for , my foot was in the opposite direction so the first thing I did was took that foot and turned it back and held it there to keep it from dangling . Husband took me to the hospital right away broke my ankle fibula and tibia and had surgery the same day . Now I have a plate on one side and srews on the other….3 days later get to go home and it is freaking me out …..I can not put any weight on it for 7 weeks , can’t do crutches so got a wheelchair which worked very well …. Well 7 and 1/2 weeks later I got the cast off Doc said the ankle healed perfectly and that he could not see where the breaks where …..AWSOME …..Doc said to strat walking , put me in a air boot and told me I only need to use it when I go out and not to wear it inside …..well easyer said then done ….LOL….. I did not think it was possible to walk again the foot and ankle was as stiff as a board..but i just kept moving it up and down, got most of my movement back, going to my second physio tomorrow. first 3 days I could not walk without the boot so used it inside as well .
On the 4 th day I strated to walk without the boot used my crutches , it was very painful but kept at it …. Today 2 weeks later I am walking without crutches and for the most part pain free . The plate and screws are very uncomfortable can feel them , doc say they will take them out in a year…..can’t wait for them to come out !!!!
Still wearing the boot when I go outside scared to go without it with the snow and ice . So I know what you all are going through . When this happend to me I was scared and thought this was the end of the world ….but I gave it over to The Lord and he healed me and got me through this …..all praises and glory go to him he healed me and in a very short time compared to a lot of the people on here ….
So give it to The Lord !!! keep the faith …. IT DOSE GET BETTER …. All the best to EVERONE !!!

557. lara - January 24, 2013

Broke my ankle in three places almost three weeks ago. Been wearing an air cast, I do find that anything wet. I slip and my gosh it hurt so bad I was in tears. Anyone else have this problem?

558. shayna - February 3, 2013

Hey i broke my ankle jan 19 i have never been in this much pain i went to the hospital they just wrapped it in a splint and reffered me to a surgeon. My surgeon tells me its worse than a broken ankle i also tore several ligiments broke tibula and fibula. I just had surgery yeaterday friday feb 1st.i got a big metal plate and screws i felt ok after surgery bc all the medication. I woke up today saturday+ screaming and crying i can feel everything noe im taking percocet and hydricodone and nothin is helping everytime i krutch to the bathroom i cry even just elevating it i want to scream. I just went to bathroom and it waa just blood now im freakin out more. The only thing that kinda helps is weed any suggestions?..

Mel - February 27, 2013

I broke my ankle on 12/19/12 and had surgery on 1/2/13. multiple screws, no plate. The night after my surgery was the worst night of my life. about 2 am everything they had given me at the hospital wore off and i was screaming and crying in pain. I was also taking hydrocodone and it did absolutely nothing for the pain so they switched me to vicodin and it helped. I was still in a fair amount of pain for 2 weeks post surgery and it got better from there. just keep up with the weed if it helps 🙂 hang in there. I am 8 weeks post surgery now and hoping after my follow up tomorrow i can start baring weight on it!!! good luck with the recovery. this has been a very long and paingful process for me so i know what you are going through!

559. david - February 21, 2013

ive recently broken my ankle from a hockey accident and though im dealing with ankle pain well, i have had the worst leg cramping ive ever experienced at night and all day so far i have just been taking advil to dull pain but it usually only works for 2-3 hours is this normal for a broken ankle?

shayna - February 21, 2013

Take an anti inflamatory

John - February 21, 2013

yes, spasming and cramping are normal. it will happen for awhile. if the pain is too much get some better pain meds vs. just anti-inflammatory.

david - February 24, 2013

Ok ill try that thanks for the reply

560. Karen - March 16, 2013

Hi guys ,in 2011 my foot starting hurting I didn’t pay much attention for almost two years the pain came sometimes but left off again. Until it started hurting really bad last year around October I recently had ankle surgery on March ,7,2013 I had a rare ligament that was not suppose to be there , also my ankle bone was a bit shatterd .So they took it out clean it cut my bone a bit so it could grow back & it’s my second week almost but is it normal to still have pain or is it bad ?

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563. Mimmy Tebogo Polan - April 11, 2013

I slipped on “black” ice 6 weeks ago. I fractured my fibula, underwent surgery etc. The first weeks was quite challenge, having to learn how to use crutches etc. Couldn’t bear the fact that I couldn’t take my shower, because of the cast, had to do some “bed baths”, aka as “dry cleaning”. I was in excrutiating pain, prescribed strong pain meeds. I hate ingesting meds, but I had to do it. A friend of mine who is a medical doctor, who has an interest in Anti-aging and Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine introduced me to some product, Moringa. I am so sold with this product, as we speak I have been off pain meds since my 3rd week after accident and surgery, I went for for my 10 days post surgery visit with my orthopedic surgeon, he removed the cast, removed the staples, gave me an orthopedic boot, told me to “get on my foot”. He told me my fracture is fused, he couldn’t see the breakage on x-rays. (This was on a Friday).The followng Monday I used crutches to go for my first physio session, following day threw the crutches away. I have been using the boot only when I leave the house. Physio is pain free, just uncomfortable. The only problem I’m having right now is swelling of my ankle. That’s how I ended up here, I was searching the net to see how I can alleviate that. I’m back at work after 5 weeks off. I do try to elevate my leg, ice the ankle and do foot exercises, but the swelling persists. Any advice is highly appreciated. Being strong willed, positive and Faithful through prayer also kept me sane during this challenging time, I must say.


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568. Judith - May 10, 2013

After reading the others’ comments, I thank God my guardian angel has been with me. On March 8th I slid in some rain soaked, muddy grass while walking a dog at my humane society. While my right side got the impact of the fall (and mud from the knees to my back), apparently my outdoor boot on my left leg decided to stay in place while my leg twisted. My ankle hurt some but it was weight bearing and I could still walk. I thought it was just a really bad sprain. So I took Gretal back inside, drove home stopping off to get gas and did the R.I.C.E routine. I’m an old dancer and used to the routine. Although there was pain & some swelling, I just treated it as a sprain – Ace bandage, limited walking, & after a few days, bending/reflexing/rotating. First call to the doc’s confirmed my assessment – sprain ankle. But after one week, the recovery seemed to stall, I came in to have it looked at. When my doctor couldn’t find a pulse in my foot, she sent me to the local hospital for an x-ray – I’m still walking & drive with this ankle. The x-ray came back as a fractured ankle – the lower part of the fibula was broken. So after walking and exercising this fracture for a week, I was finally put into a hard cast and total no weight on it for 6-8 weeks.

After the cast went on, the pain eased to nearly nothing. No surgery, no pain pills though swelling in my knee/upper calf was annoying. Luckily, having had bunion surgery 7 years ago (also non-weight bearing for 2 months), crutches are manageable. Sleeping is a challenge as I have sleep apnea (which requires sleep on my side), old shoulder injuries (make that my left side), and a sleeping partner named Lakota (a center of the bed hogging Shih Tzu). My biggest problem has been my right hip & shoulder. Hopping on the right leg and having to do full body lifts with just my right leg (from chairs, beds, & toilets) has taken a toll on the hip socket. And the extra upper body work with crutches has reignited my tendinitis in my right shoulder. Since I can’t drive (I am a left foot braker) & crutches at 55 years old is tiring, I have been home bound but since I work on a computer, my employer has let me work from home (or I would be stir crazy by now).

Now into week 9, I am allowed to be 25% weight bearing. Provided I can figure out how to assess 25% and not overdo it.

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572. DeAnna - June 14, 2013

I broke my ankle almost 6 years ago. I had surgery, pins and plates. I went through physical therapy 3 different times. The first set of PT was for 6 months. Well, 6 years later I still have tons of problems with my ankle. Arthritis set in like a band in the front part of the ankle. My ankle still feels very numb and it swells all the time. I have been to so many doctors and they say live with it or get my foot fused to the leg bone. Has anyone ever had this problem and know of any other options that getting the foot fused to my leg?

Suzanne Ensing - June 14, 2013

Hi DeAnna, I had the same experience, surgery, pins, plates. I am at 3 1/2 years. I would not fuse…enough surgery thank you! I am not in pain though. The swelling gets bad, and the arthritis is in the same place as yours. However, about a year ago, someone told me about the SCENAR. I took professional treatments for six weeks. Then I bought my own….for about $800. Very expensive. Very worth every penny!! And while there is still swelling, it is not as bad, and except for very low pressure weather days, I am pain free. Google the scenar….it actually heals. I will be interested to hear what you have to say. I wish you the best, Suzanne

573. Gill g - June 15, 2013

Hi friends of the Broken Ankle Society, I’m in South Africa. Four months ago, fell into unmarked manhole. 10 seconds changed my life. Huge debate among orthopaedic surgeons followed. Elevate and ice, others advised the full operation. Two procedures later, 4 weeks after fall, and I’m now sporting 10 screws and a plate. Been through the cast, wheelchair, crutches, and am now walking fearfully. Ankle still swollen, can’t wear Ugg boots, hobbling around on ghastly orthotics. Hate having help, driver etc. live alone, visit clients. Anyone experienced huge mood swings, grumpiness, and depression? And the pain, pins and needles in hands? Surgeons don’t communicate much, one says hardware should be removed after a few months, other says not. Some prescribe compression socks. Had a few weeks physio, now back to gym. Golf? This has cost heavily in many ways. Now have a huge court case – another 12 months to reach Court. Old South African blame game.

Judith - June 19, 2013

I feel your pain & frustration. Going from a 2 hour a day gym workout that had already dropped almost 40 lbs with to non-weightbearing/no gym/no walking for almost 10 weeks and now at 14 weeks can finally drive & return to the gym (much reduced in activities) my mood went down as the scale went up – regained what I lose plus 10 – Total bummer!

Dave - June 19, 2013

I was in the same boat with the gym. I go five or six days a week for 2 hours a day and for the last 4 weeks since the break I haven’t gone once. It is really messing up my head. I will be back there next week using all the circuit training machines. I’m glad to hear your back to driving and walking in only 14 weeks. That gives me hope. My doctor had said 16 weeks of no walking for me and then starting a physical therapy routine. Good luck getting back to the gym and taking that weight off….again. You sound like you are motivated to getting back to where you were.

574. Dave - June 19, 2013

I suffered a broken ankle (fibular fracture) and torn ligaments that hold the ankle to the tib/fib. I had surgery about two weeks after I broke it and I was in a brace with ace bandage around it for the first week. I then went back for a hard cast (one week ago) and I’m told I need to stay in this for 5 weeks. Then my surgeon said 4 more weeks in a brace then another 4 weeks in a cam boot. I am not allowed to put ANY weight on it until I am in the boot. This means no walking on my left leg for 12 to 16 weeks. Does anyone know of any remedies for the swelling? My foot and ankle swell if I dont have it elevated for a while. I am going on a flight that will last for 5 hours and I want to take any precautions I can. My surgeon said a few aspirin for the day before and the day of the flight to avoid a blood clot. Does anyone know of any other remedies to reduce swelling?

Judith - June 19, 2013

Talk to your doctor about compression hose. You will need a script (amount of pressure) but it does help minimize the swelling in the ankle (be prepare for the knee to swell up some). Also, an aisle or front row seat to at least have the leg stretched out (not crammed in a 90 degree angle) and some ice packs for the flight.

Dave - June 19, 2013

Thanks for the advice Judith. I will be in an aisle seat for my flight but I will still need to raise it above my heart as often as I can during the flight. I’m going to ask the doctor about the compression hose.

John - June 19, 2013

Agree – a compression sock is mostly what you need and you should just wear it regularly to prevent swelling. I flew when I had a broken ankle and wore one and had minimal swelling. They help a lot.

Dave - June 20, 2013

John, I am currently in a hard cast for the next 30 days so I don’t think I can wear a compression sock with the cast on. Can I?

John - June 20, 2013

Oh. Well, no, you wouldn’t be able to then. I went straight to a hard shell inflatable boot as my cast. Those are removable. My ortho gave me the choice between that and a normal cast.Sorry, I guess my idea doesn’t work for you until the fixed cast comes off.

575. Austin - June 21, 2013

I broke my ankle into seven pices six months ago i got screws and a plate put in and it’s healed up great but most days my ankle swells up really badly like twice the size it normally is but after a night of rest it’s back to the actual size so how do I get rid of the swelling

Sharon C. - November 17, 2013

Hi Austin, I’m so sorry about your injury. I’m sure you have been told this by now but all can suggest is to elevate your leg as high as possible with two or three bed pillows and keep ice on it but don’t get the cast wet. The one I use was bought at a drugstore and looks like the old school kind that has a cap you unscrew and just drop ice in and cap back. It’s designed to where even after the ice melts it still won’t get your cast wet. It is possible for swelling to last up to a year which I hope doesn’t happen in my case or anyone else on here. My ankle was broken in three places about three weeks ago. And I’m the proud owner of a plate, screw and pins. It’s a real bitch and I hope to see light at the end of the tunnel soon. Hoping for a speedy recovery for you.

576. Lexy - June 22, 2013

A few days ago, I broke my tibia and fibula and also sprained my ankle while playing rugby (a girl fell on me wrong). I have to have surgery in a week and I’m nervous about it, mostly since I’m a teenager and it’s my first surgery. But since the incident, my toes have swollen so much and are a little numb- not blue though. I sometimes feel a burning sensation in my foot also, but that may be normal. If anyone has suggestions that would help the swelling and pain when I try to sleep that’d be greatly appreciated! Thanks, I hope all of you recover quickly.

Dave - June 24, 2013

Arnica Montana is a homeopathic tablet that you let dissolve under your tongue to help with the swelling. It also reduces the bruising. It doesn’t give any pain relief but it can help you with the swelling. THe swollen, numb toes is normal as is the burning snesation. I am in a cast now for a couple weeks and I still get thos feelings if I don’t keep my foot elevated. Remember, rest, ice, and elevation. Elevation is the best thing you can do to ease the pressure and the swelling.

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I just turned 13 this July and I broke my left tibula. Thank god it wasn’t a bad break/fracture! All I needed was a short leg cast and 4 weeks healing time. What I did was I was in a 5 week gymnastics class 2 weeks before cheer practice started (my to be 3rd season) I Was doing a front handspring and all I did was landed wrong. Yay! Such a fun way to spend your summer, but I am a bit used to it because 2 summers ago I broke my left arm, both bones in my forearm. Ya, a curse of the left side! But anyways, I never had to get screws, surgeries, or anything like that but I can imagine what you are going through!! Get better soon!! Before you have/get/need a cast you should keep off your leg and keep it elevated and iced, make sure u keep wiggling your toes bc of circulation. With a cast or a boot, keep your leg elevated too!! I only have 2 more days untill my cast hopefully comes off!! (I fell once or twice but the dr said if was fine for some movement for me bc it wasn’t a bad break,) but I will need a boot! Will I be able to walk normally again when I don’t need the boot anymore?? Is it hard to walk with a boot??? I hope you all feel better!!! -L

JW - August 26, 2013

Going from cast to boot doesn’t mean you are ready for the marathon. Even after the boot comes off, there is still rehab and careful walking in sturdy shoes (not flip-flops or mules). And boot walking can hurt in the opposite hip socket from the uneven gait/leg length. I broke my ankle in March (no surgery), 8 weeks in a hard cast/non-weight bearing; another 8 weeks in a walking boot gradually returning to weight bearing; and now in week 7 post-boot, I am up to near normal walking with compression hose (for swelling & support) & sturdy shoes. Stairs are still a problem, I am still limping and my stride is a fraction of the length & speed it once was. Healing is slow but steady and ankle pain ranges from a 1 to a 5 depending on how long I am standing, walking, &/or sitting. Don’t rush it.

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584. Jamie - August 31, 2013

I’ve been reading this blog since I broke my ankle August 17. Fibula fracture and medial and lateral malleolus with ligament damage. Had surgery aug 28, plate on my fib and screws on both sides of my ankle. I’m in a hard splint now and supposed to go to a cam boot in two weeks. Dr said I’ll be non weight bearing for 3 months. This is all very difficult for me, Im a runner and was training for a marathon which now I’ll likely never be able to do. I’m also a single mom to a 3 and 4 yr old boys. Its nice to know others know how I feel but very disheartening to see how hard it is to recover..

JW - October 23, 2013

Don’t give up on your marathon plans just delay the actual run about two years. It has taken me 7 months from broken fibula near the ankle joint to a mended bone and I am just now starting the PT to regain the flexibility and strength that I lost from being non-weight bearing and later walking with braces, boots, & wraps. Being a former dancer and dance teacher, strong flexible ankles are crucial but I know that full recovery will take 1-2 years (bunion surgery took a good 18 months to get back to where I was before). Don’t lose heart and don’t compensate with ice cream and M&M’s – when you are immobile and have been used to be very physical, the pounds accumulate very fast. Despite watching what I ate, going 7 months without my daily 90 minutes gym workout, the multiple runs up & down the stairs in our house, walking my dogs,or the heavy lifting/carrying in my gardens added an unwanted 30 pounds. Try to keep up what ever exercises you can, even if only on your good leg & upper body.

585. shlomiobermanlomi - September 10, 2013

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586. Marsha - September 16, 2013

I broke my ankle while watering flowers on Aug 26 and had surgery on Aug 28 to put in a plate and some screws/bolts. I had my splint removed on Sep 11 and was put in a boot. I was told the boot was for stability only when I’m up and around. I am still totally non weight bearing. Basically I still spend most of the day on the couch with my foot elevated above my heart. I only get up to eat, go to bathroom, and occasionally work on computer for an hour or two, so I don’t wear the boot. For the last few days my foot has periods of being very cold. Cold to the point of pain. I do get relief from wrapping it in blankets and wearing a warm sock. Does anyone know if this is normal following this type of surgery? Also, should I be getting up more often even though I am still non weight bearing? Its really getting uncomfortable with the leg elevated so much day in and out.. When I get up I use a combination of cruches and the wheelchair.

587. rachel hopson - October 23, 2013

i was walking my dog and stepped into a hole, i thought i sprained my ankle and i continued walking on it for over a week. so i went to the er and they took xrays and told me that i fractured my tibula and put me into a splint, boot and cructhes. I am starting a new job on 10/30 and my orth appointment is 11/4 i cannot sleep at night because of the leg cramping and tenderness at the ankle.

588. Trinityko - November 6, 2013

11 days since my accident and 7 days since my op to fix 2 broken ankle bones by having 7 screws inserted. I’m over it. I hate being prone as the novelty of being in bed has SO worn off! From this blog it seems I have a long way to go, and I didn’t realise how serious my injury is. I thought I’d be back at work this week. When the surgeon said 3 months recovery I thought he was joking. I’ve never broken anything before and now have done a double whammy!

Well, wherever you are (I’m in Oz) I wish you a quick and painless recovery. Try not to get down. Listen to your favourite music, read books & magazines, email, call and speak with friends & family who make you smile. Enjoy a lovely bath if you can. Or sit outside in the sunshine with your leg elevated – even for 5 minutes. It’s the small things really that can give you pleasure at this difficult time.

If you want a laugh, my blog on my ankle experience is at trinityko.blogspot.com


JW - November 11, 2013

It has now been 8 months since my fracture and I am still using compress hose to hold down the swelling. Although I only broke one bone (fibula) and did not need surgery or pins, I was home bound for almost 4 months (couldn’t handle stairs or drive). However I was able to “go back to work” as my employer & I were able to set up a remote link to our mainframe computer (I work at a University, so access is tight for confidentiality) and being able to keep up with most of my work helped keep the crazies at bay (especially after watching reruns of NCIS and Criminal Minds for the first two weeks while they worked out the “work from home” details).

589. Rachel - November 15, 2013

At last I have found a web page that has answered some of my questions re is it normal for my leg to feel like this etc.
19 days since I fell down the stairs… my own fault should have taken my high heels off first. result was a fractured fibular on the ankle joint that required pin and plating. Came out of hospital on day 3 with a back slab and crutches with the instructions to keep my leg elevated. The crutches were a challenge that I have at last overcome. The stairs were a trauma every night having to have my leg down whilst getting up the stairs on my bum resulted in it ballooning more than normal and then took ages to settle the pain down.
I have been through the burning sensation/ the foot feeling very cold etc.
I am now in a full below knee cast (a nice fetching pink colour )still non weight bearing and confined to the sofa, have had antibiotics for a potential wound infection and go back to the consultant on Monday.

My main issue now is that part of my foot is numb and other areas hypersensitive. it is still swollen and where it is swollen it is numb. but I can feel my toes and when they are touched and when elevated my foot is a normal colour. I get waves of pins and needles which at times is very painful but mostly at night I find it very hard to get comfortable.
is anyone else experiencing this?

Hoping everyone’s recovery is uneventful


590. Sharon C. - November 16, 2013

Hello everyone, I broke my ankle in three places on October 24th of this year. I was stepping over a baby gate and my foot got caught on the back and down I went. It makes me sick to even think about it as I still can’t believe this has happened to me. I just want my life back!!! My surgery was on Halloween of all days, an open reduction complete with a plate, screw and pins. I have a few problems that I hope someone can help me with. First I have these jerks in my foot at random, they happen when I’m asleep and wake me up and yes they hurt! Also a bigger issue lately is I get an unbearable pain in my ankle sometimes when I try to move it at all. It feels like something is digging into my incision and all I can do is scream in agony and cry. This goes on for about 10 min of hell and will stop eventually. If anyone has had this please help me. I can’t find anything on the web and my dr said its prob tendons and ligaments. It feels like something is wrong. I’m just tired of the pain and being completely helpless and depending on everybody. I grow more depressed each day and no body understands what I’m going through.

Rachel - November 16, 2013

Hi Sharon.
poor you I now exactly what you are going through it is very frustrating……
I get a lot of strange sensations I think a lot is to do with swelling and pressure on the nerves. Before my back cast was removed I thought my wound was open and oozing, thought that my leg world be black and blue but it was all fine. Some of my clips were a bit deep and as my leg was swollen the skin was quite tight.
I’m afraid you just have to persevere try not to get depressed. it is what it is and it won’t change for a few weeks . Take regular pain relief (a paracetamol/codine combination works for me), you will find you need it less as time progresses I tend just to take at night now.
Get the person who is helping you to be organised. I have a flask/lunch made up before he leaves for work so I can reach every thing. It must be hard for you I presume you have a young family as you said you have a babygate ?
I had a bath the other day…oh it was heavenly. I had bought a plastic sleeve thing to go over my cast that worked a treat. needed help getting in and out but it was easier than I thought and now I don’t feel quite as helpless as I don’t need hubby to wash my hair any more (he used too much of my very expensive shampoo anyway !!!)

take care chin up


Sharon C. - November 17, 2013

Thank you Rachel, it helps to know I am not alone in this personal struggle. The baby gate was for my little dogs protection from running outside but my husband and I had just arrived in Gatlinburg for small getaway and the next hong I knew I was at hospital in Seveirville. Spent the whole trip inside looking out a window and then came the 12 hour ride home. :(. My husband has been very good to me with this and yes showering is quite a challenge, I’m exhausted afterward, thankfully I don’t have expensive shampoo he can waste on me 🙂 thank you for your response. I pray you have a swift healing.


Trinityko - November 16, 2013

Hi Sharon, I broke my ankle 4 days after you. Only 2 bones, not 3 like you tho. I also had the tremors or spasms at night that you’re experiencing. I compared them to when cats & dogs dream they sometimes spasm and this was what my leg did and it was unbelievably painful. It just stopped this week. So I think it’s healed or knitted together a little so even if I do move there’s no pain. I hope this happens for you soon. Keep your ankle raised on pillows above heart level all the time and it will help.

So far as the pain in your ankle, I agree with Rachel that you need more pain relief. I’ve had my meds adjusted so I take 100g tramadols twice a day and paracetamol whenever I need it (but no more than 8 a day). I thought my pins were rubbing against my ankle bone and that when the cast came off pins would be sticking thru my skin! But this wasn’t the case at all. It was fine. Instead of the horrible plaster of Paris plaster, I got a few days ago this synthetic plaster that’s lightweight and coloured purple!! It makes moving around easier on those blasted crutches (callouses on hands was unexpected). I bought I knee scooter/walker. It’s ok for flat surfaces, but hard to turn. But it allows for me to use my hands while standing up. So perhaps you could get one if you have a baby. Anything to make your life easier.

I had an accident yesterday. My 2nd. First, I went to work and banged my toe on the meeting table. GP gave me a medical certificate saying I need to recover in a controlled environment. I work for a uni and so can do it from home. 2nd accident was that I had my sons 6th bday party yesterday. I was tired in the sun sitting down for 5 hours, had some champers on my meds, well I fell on my cast when I was going inside. I don’t think I’ve done any damage. But I’d hate to further injure myself. It’s just not worth it. So keep your chin up and keep safe!!

Sharon C. - November 17, 2013

So sorry about your two accidents after! That’s one of my fears is that I will fall or hit my foot on something, it freaks me out to even think about it! I’m hoping my pain will cease so I don’t have to take so many pills, I hate them. They gave me Vicodin and I take 8 a day, the pain is worse at night for some reason. I will b going to get my third cast on in one week. My first was after they set the bones and the second was after surgery and this one is suppose to be a boot. I keep having horrible thoughts like when I go back I just know something will b sticking out through my incision. God I will b glad when this is over. Thanks for responding, these forums help some so I know I’m not alone. Hope you heal quickly and safely.


Trinityko - November 17, 2013

Hi again Sharon, you heal better at night while sleeping. So my advice is to save an extra couple of pain killers before you sleep. You’ll be still taking the correct dosage – just stockpiling them when you’re most in pain & need them.

I had to look up Wikipedia for Gatlinburg & Seveirville as it sounded Austrian to me! Your part of the world is famous for Dolly Parton. While I’m in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia which is famous for Errol Flynn & Princess Mary of Denmark who I went to uni with. Funny old world…

Good luck with your new boot next week. It will be fine. It’s one step closer to your recovery just getting out of blasted plaster! This experience will be a distant memory in a few years. And perhaps we’ll have to read this blog to remember what it was like!!

All the best 😉

Sharon C. - November 17, 2013

Wow! You are very far away indeed!!! Yes I’m sure it would be good to look back on this a year or two from now and remember what it was like, but something tells me I will never forget this experience or pain! Be sure to keep me and others posted on your progress through here. I will be posting updates as well, in hopes it helps people.

Best wishes

591. Olivia R - November 19, 2013

Hi! I dislocated my right ankle and broke my tibia and fibula while on my honeymoon last week in Cambodia. It was only the 3rd day of our honeymoon and we had to cut it short and fly back to the US. I had my ankle popped back in and a cast put on in Cambodia, and the orthopedic surgeon back in Cali says that I may not need surgery because the surgeon there did such a good job! I’ll know more this Thursday. Thanks for writing this blog, and for all of the folks who have posted. Mine was a freak accident and could have happened anytime. I’m just hoping that it heals by March since that’s when we’re planning to go back to finish the rest of our honeymoon (which was to include 8 days of relaxation on the beaches of Thailand…). Good recovery to everyone here!

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595. Cindy - January 20, 2014

I broke my Tib and fib on the 15 th December, had surgery with pins and plates inserted. Been in a cast ever since. Just wondering if anyone can tell me what happens after my cast comes off? Do I go to nothing, or a boot, or some sort of support? I haven’t been told much a dim unsure of the next step?

Rachel - January 20, 2014

Hi Cindy
I think it depends which country you are based. in the UK I went from cast to partial weight bearing with 2 crutches. no boot and told to weight bear as able. I had only broken my Fib but it was plated. I am now 6 weeks post cast removal and walking unaided having weekly physio. some stiffness of my ankle joint and my foot is still swollen but I am now driving and returning to work this week.
Take care


JW - January 21, 2014

Wish I had your doctor. Mine was anti-surgery so I was in a hard cast for 8 weeks (single, aligned fib break) – non-weight bearing with no driving for another 4 weeks (had to work from home for almost 4 months); walking cast for 9 weeks; followed by PT for months. It has been 10 months now & I still have some stiffness, pain & weakness in that ankle (but at least no more limping)

596. Helen - January 20, 2014

Hi Cindy
Sorry to hear about your accident , Nov 1 , 2012 … I to broke my tib and fib had pins and a plate put in …. Not fun so I know what you are going through … I had 8 weeks with cast .. Non weight bearing …
Then into a boot and was told to walk … only had to wear the boot to go out …can’t remember how long I used it out , I think it was a month . I am waiting for the call to have the pins and plate removed they are very uncomfortable .. I know when you are sitting there day after day not abel to do anything or go out like you would like is hard , hang in there and enjoy your recliner and movies while you can before you know it you will have all these chores to do again … It dose get better and you will be walking just like before … Wishing you a speedy recovery ….hope this helps .


Cindy - January 21, 2014

Thanks ladies! I think I’m slowly going insane but it could have been much worse, especially after reading some of the stories on here! Good luck with your recoveries and thanks for the info

597. Bonnie Cottrell - February 4, 2014

Welp, I broke my ankle on thursday and its worse than my labor. I was going for a run and I thought what I was about to step on was water, ehhhh wrong. It was black ice. So I go down and my ankle cracks. I got about two feet outside my condo when I fell, I was screaming at the absolute top of my lungs for help. Apparently no one heard me. So I call my dad and he comes out and sees me on the ground freaking out. Tells me my ankle isnt broken (hes one of those guys who knows absolutely nothing but swears he does. Any way, some guy came over to help and Then, as im getting help, the dumbass who helped me, stepped on my ankle. WHO DOES THAT?! Now mind you, it was already as big as a softball so it was obvious something was wrong. And they pick me up to bring me in my house, my dad tells him to put my foot down gently, and he just drops it. I swear if looks andtears ccould kill, that guy would have died many times.

So its almost a week later and my entire leg is completely swollen. has anyone ever had it before? ,

598. Tina smith - February 7, 2014

I broke my Tib and fibula on the 14th December, surgery with a plate and 8 screws also 2 big screws through Tib to hold together, I was in a temporary back slab, for the first week, then put into a fiberglass cast, they changed it again the following week and took stitches out, i was in cast in total for 6 weeks all non weight bearing.

I have now got an aircast boot, I was told to put a small amount of weight through the boot, or as much as I could bear, I’m due at hospital next Monday for next x ray and follow ups when it will be 8 weeks post op, I’ve been pulling foot towards me when sitting down to flex the ankle as advised by surgeon, I can’t seem to be brave enough to put much weight through the foot yet! Although my hands and arms also my back are all hurting from the use of the crutches.
I am allowed to take off boot when in bed and when sitting on sofa, that’s the best thing ever!
My foot turns purple when it’s down! It’s not as swollen as it was, I can see signs of an ankle shape, the wounds are healing nicely.

I hated the plaster cast, it felt like the wounds were manky, they weren’t but just felt horrid, also burning pain in ankles when in cast.

Hopefully I will get news that the bones are starting to heal on Monday, although the amount of metal inside holding it all together it’s not going to move anywhere I suppose.

I think getting my confidence back again is going to be hard, I’m also unable to drive so therefore can’t get to work, although I wouldn’t go until I am stable on two legs. I haven’t had any physio discussed with me yet, so maybe that’s the next step.
Anyone in the next steps?

JW - February 7, 2014

After the aircast comes the walking cast as you EASE into weight bearing status. When you get to 100% weight bearing, then get a RX for compression hose (they really help with swelling & discomfort) & some really sturdy shoes or hiking boots (heels, flip flops, & ‘pretty’ shoes are still off the list). Then comes the PT for re-strengthening the muscles & returning the flexibility to the ligaments in the joint. For me, the process was 10 months from broken fibula (no surgery) to near normal functionality with the first 4 months stuck at home (working remotely via computer) unable to drive.

599. Tina smith - February 12, 2014

Thanks for your reply, I went to hospital on Monday, the bones are slow to heal as they were shattered, I’m in the air cast boot for another 2 weeks gradually putting more weight through, then back to hospital again to see progress.
I’m beginning to think this is going to take a long while, my doctor originally signed me off for 3 months, I was gobsmaked at the time (saying NO I won’t be off that long) but I reckon it will be AT LEAST that before I can balance well enough on two legs! which would then mean I could try to contemplate going back to work!
You just don’t realise how disabling a broken ankle is.
Hopefully, this next two weeks I will get better putting more weight through the leg, therefore more able to do things for myself, ie.. go upstairs upright rather than on bottom! carry a cup to table! maybe using one crutch?
How long was everyone else before they could put 100% weight on leg.

JW - February 12, 2014

I had a closed fractured (bone was still in alignment) of just the fibula – no surgery or metal – Fracture on March 8th; x-ray/diagnosis/cast on March 15th; released from all casts to walk unassisted on July 15th. (Just in time for a pre-arrange 3 week vacation in Scotland – which I took a portable cane, ankle brace, full medical records with x-rays, and some high quality hiking boots with. The hiking was slow & painful but absolutely worth it 🙂 .

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602. Yadira - March 23, 2014

Who breaks both ankles? That would be me! December 21st, 2013 and had surgery on Dec. 23rd. Worst Christmas ever? had a distal fibula fracture on left ankle with no surgery required but on my right had bimalleolar fracture with ORIF and internal fixation of a syndesmoses fracture which resulted in metal wire,screws and a rod. I have now developed peroneal tendonitis… Will this ever get better? 3 months, 1 week and 1 day of pain and agony. The pain and burning sensation of the tendonitis surpasses any pain that I have EVER had, even giving birth. Therapy helps but no one tells you that if you do the exercises they will create pressure on the tendons. Now to top it all off, the screws are pressuring my skin and they itch.
THING THAT HELPED – shower chair, toilet raised seat, hand grab bars in shower, pillow to elevate leg, small fridge and microwave next to bed. I also got a wheelchair, walker and cane with 4 leg support and Zquill -only thing that helps me sleep. I just need to hear that the peroneal tendonitis gets better and that I will eventually be able to walk again…

Annie - July 25, 2014

Hi Yadira… How are you feeling now? I too fractured both ankles whilst on holiday in Greece falling down just one step… (I live in the UK). I am now at the 7 week point and feel that I’m going backwards!
I was pinned and plated on both sides of my left, but non operated on my right.
I have wheelchair and was using a boot on the non operated ankle and was just about managing to use a Walker to get from my lounge to the kitchen.
My cast was taken off this week and just a small stirrup brace put on both ankles and told to get onto crutches!… I now find I can’t even manage to stand on the crutches.. The pain has increased in my non operated fractured ankle and I cannot weight bear on the other yet (same old symptoms… Swollen tight, immovable).
Really I’m just looking for reassurance from someone who has gone through the trauma of fracturing both!
At this point in time I have feel helpless 😦
Hope you are recovering well.

603. Cindi - April 3, 2014

Plate with 7 screws on the outside and a screw in the inside. 15 weeks from surgery. I still can’t walk much. Working on NOT limping and will work of faster after!

I get sharp pains lately but it looks fine and no unusual swelling. Swelling really sucks lol..! I babysit 7/4 yr old grandsons 12 hrs a day so I am up-down-up-down. By the time they go home I usually go sit in my recliner and ice/elevate for a couple of hours and by morning it is down to the lower level of swelling. Funny how one tends to go by levels of swelling after all this!

I had an awesome daughter that was between jobs when it happened so had a replacement babysitter for me AND the boys for the 8 weeks I was NWB!

I am still supposed to use my walker outside but I only use it if I am going to be on grass type surfaces. I have to use the boot again if we get snow. Which since I am in Iowa, would NOT be unusual till the end of April!

Things that really helped: walker, wheelchair (for out of the house) lots of pillows, shower bench/grip bars. Hand held shower head! So I could wash my hair even when I couldn’t take a shower! I had a cabinet right by the toilet so between that and the walker I didn’t need a raiser. Did I say LOTS OF PILLOWS? Yup, for elevation and support! And a recliner! And a daughter that was very patient and was there for her mom!

And a chiropractor! Cause after 8 weeks NWB my hip on the other side was rolled forwards from compensating. I started right after the boot came off and am now down to once a week treatments.

Now that it is garden time, my grandsons mom (now done with school – MBA YEA!!) is going to have time to help more. I was out there a little, but it is NOT easy to get up and down and since it is in grass (duh lol) I have to use the walker. My foot is still very unstable.

Someday I might get my life back completely!

So now after almost 4 months:
I can take care of myself, fix meals, do housework, shop and be normal. AS LONG AS I AM CAREFUL! And don’t try to do it all at once! And still elevate and ice!

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616. scott - July 11, 2014

Had ankle surgery 4 weeks ago,Doc ended up re-breaking a bone in the ankle so it would heal properly, not nice to wake up too. Im doing real good, almost no swelling so small only I can tell. I was in a splint first 2 wks, and boot right now, expected to be allowed to walk on it in 13 days. Ive been swimming for 2 wk which I was given ok because of fitness level I came in. Really hoping once the 13 days happens I can get out of boot 2 wks after that becasue I have all of my mobility from the swim time. Only thing that scares me is the few times my heal has hit the ground it stung so not sure what that is? Hope everyone one else heals up too!

JW - July 11, 2014

Consider yourself doing really good to be moving that fast through recovery. My Break in March (no surgery as it was well aligned) took 3 months before a walking cast/weight bearing & another month before I was back to “regular” sturdy shoes, walking with a limp. (barely got the okay from the doc before my month vacation that was pre-planned to go hiking in Scotland); full healing (bone completely healed, PT finished) didn’t come till January and I have only notice that I am back to my long, fast strides and stair climbing with ease in the last month or so. One break from a fall walking a dog on wet grass and 15 months in recovery.

617. Sunil Jain - July 22, 2014

SJ – July 6,2014
I tripped while playing tennis and broke my ankle. As per X-ray report it’s non-united fracture of the lateral malleolus. I have been put in to Equalizer Walker boot. fist couple of nights, I tried to sleep in the boots but was very uncomfortable. My Dr advised I can take off at nights. Now after 17 days, I am getting lot of pain in the calf and back of knee, probably from the use of boots. Has any body experienced the same and if yes, what was the solution? I have an appointment with my Dr today, so will ask him as well. How long will it take before I am normal again.

618. Sunil Jain - July 25, 2014

I would suggest you immediately see your Dr. Take out the possibility of DVT. I had similar pain last week, saw my Orthopaedic Surgeon who sent me for test and there it was. Blood clotting in 2 places in my leg veins (this happens due to not enough rest, ice, compression, elevation!!). I am getting treated and after just 4 days that pain has gone. I need to get another test to confirm that clots have now desolved. Learning, if you get pain, there has to be a reason.. our bodies are telling us something!! Get this checked!!!

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625. Migrant - September 13, 2014

Hello I broke my tibia and was nwb for 3months. Before walking again I was told to do excersizes with my foot moving it in abc motion . I was told I wouldn’t be doing pt but I thought I would have to anyone told not to do pt ? Also anyone get foot cramps more often ? I have a plate 6screws and a pin !

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Catherine - September 24, 2014

Thank you for such a helpful blog!

My mum broke her ankle 1,5 weeks ago on the first day of her vacation and have to flight back in 3 days. She is 64 and flight is very long – 8 hours. She is travelling alone.
Her leg is in the plaster cast and of course she can’t move normal way. We ordered in airport wheel-chair but I really scared about the flight.. I’ve heard that the leg can swell and there is a risk of DVT.
The doctor gave her certificate that she can flight.. But in this vacation country… I’m not sure in medicine here..
Could you tell about your or your friends experience of taking long distance flight with a plaster cast on the leg?
Thank you..

Olivia - September 24, 2014

Hi Catherine, sorry about your mom’s accident. I broke my leg last November while on holiday in Cambodia. I flew to Bangkok the next day, and then had to fly all the way home to California the day after. I flew from Bangkok — Tokyo (about 6 hours), Tokyo to San Francisco (about 10 hours), and San Francisco to Orange County, CA (about 1.5 hours). On each of the flights (except for the flight from Cambodia to Bangkok), I had a seat in the bulkhead. After take-off and before landing, my husband pulled down my bag (a large travel backpack) and I kept my leg elevated on top of that bag. Getting to the bathroom was really easy, because the lavatories were just on the other side of the bulkhead. I didn’t even need my crutches to get there, just hopped. Having a wheelchair on either end of the plane was absolutely crucial. Hopefully your mom will have friendly flight attendants that will help. Also, I’ve heard that the flight attendants should have some scissors that they can use to cut the cast off in case it swells really bad, but I can’t confirm that they actually do. Keep that leg elevated and drink a LOT of water (no alcohol on the plane).

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629. Harmony - January 10, 2015

Hi. I fractured my fibula a week and 2 days ago ! And on top of it all I’m 36 weeks pregnant !!!!!!!! My baby wasn’t harmed.. Thank God. But dealing with pains from my pregnancy and my ankle has been a bit hard. I’ve recently started feel this bad burning sensation whenever I get up (using crutches of course) but the pain is soooo bad I don’t even want to get up half the time, but of course being pregnant I have to pee often 😦 also the swelling goes up and down. I have no idea how to control it. If anyone has any advise I am all open ears…please anyone…someone !!!

Kate - February 26, 2015

Hi Harmony, I fractured my fibula the 21st January, I had ORIF a week later. I was the same with the amount of swelling, thought my foot was about to explode and the pain was excruciating. The only way to avoid it is to rest and keep the foot elevated as much as possible. I am NWB so I rented a knee scooter and believe me it is my life saver. I still get swelling but the pain is not too bad. I am back to my surgeon in 2 weeks and hopefully they will fit me for a boot and I might be allowed to start putting my foot to the floor. I can only imagine what it is like for you being pregnant, hopefully you have a lot of help, as I do.

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Gee, that’s swell! | Ouch, my leg! (the broken ankle blog)

632. tomer - July 26, 2015

It’s really helps to see that other people have gone through the same as me and remained (somewhat 🙂 cheerful. This injury is a real pain in the.. ankle. I also really like another page I found which seems to have straight-forward helpful tips for coping with day-to day little challenges on one foot http://www.mybrokenankle.com

633. Meg - March 7, 2016

Hello, I broke my tib fib. Ia have a rod from knee to anklewith two bone graphs. and had a plate in fibia. They rmoved the plate on march 1rst. I am in a aircast boot. I also just had meniscus surgery on oppsiate leg at the same time as the hardwear removal. The boot helps it does. I am kinda of sick of it its been 17 months. My question is for the people who have had hardwear removal do you sleep with the boot on. I’m just so uncomfortable and in pain. Granted it’s not nearly as bad as the original accicent break. i am kinda depressed. Its been a long hall. I am so grateful i found this site and read the same thoughts as im thinking. Thank you for sharing everyone. Any advice would be wonderful.

634. Krysta - April 27, 2016

Broke my tibia and fibula both just a little over a month ago, had surgery a few days after the break (beware of trampoline parks please). Surgery was okay, he found out I tore the ligament that hold to tibia and fibula together. So I have 2 plates and 9 screws. I was told I won’t be walking for a good 3-6 months, and then, I have another surgery in september to get the largest screw out. By the way, I am only 16, so this has messed with my school life (and my future job) I want to be a registered nurse, and I have nursing classes I have to take. But I am being home schooled currently, I really wish I had someone who understands where I am coming from, being in high school. But I hope everyone has a speedy recovery! God bless!

635. Mitsy - July 27, 2016

My fibula operation was just over six weeks ago – 1 plate and 8 screws. The cast from the operation was renewed 4 weeks ago and then removed completely last Friday. I am still unable to put any weight on it for two more weeks but at least I am able to have a good sleep now. Hopping with a frame is exhausting and the leg/foot turns blue immediately I am upright – hopefully this will subside once I start to walk on it. The next two weeks can’t come soon enough and then I can put 25% weight for one week, 50% for another, etc, etc until I am walking 100% for a week ( sounds good in principle) – my next hospital appointment is at the end of that week so will update you further. I am doing lots of yoga exercises (albeit limited) whilst doing the necessary elevating to try and build the leg muscles, eg; cycling and knee to opposite elbow. If nothing else at least it makes me feel I am doing something :0)

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