Originally Posted by PETDOC
3 more months (1st anniversary of fx) the fibular plate and tibial screw come out. Ankle is still somewhat larger than right side, but does not swell. Very stiff when I first get out of bed, but once I'm up and moving around I have to think about it to know all is not normal. No limp and I can ride my bicycle without any problem. I'm hoping removal of the hardware with time will result in a reduction of my ankle size to near normal and decreased stiffness in AM.
I had a a major ankle injury in 2009 (not motorcycle related). At the time of injury I didn't realize the extent of the damage, I hobbled out to my car while hanging onto any ledge or railing I could for support, drove home, put ice on my ankle then realized the pain was so great that I was reaching my threshold quickly (looking back I was probably going into some form of shock as nearly an hour had passed since the break). I had the GF come home and take me to the hospital where I was told after first inspection that I would be needed surgery right away. Damage included completely broken ankle (luckily not compound) with 5" spiral fracture up the bone from the break, chipped heal and all tendons ripped off the inside of my foot. I was in surgery roughly 6 hours after the break and came out with a plate and 7 screws.
I experienced similar symptoms of heavy throbbing in my leg if left "down" for too much time, swelling (to the extent that at one point my skin just peeled off like a really bad sunburn) along with general stiffness. I returned to get the 2 largest screws out of my ankle but am still carrying the plate and remaining 5 screws today.
FWIW, as it's coming up on roughly 3 years from my break I can say that my general mobility is only slightly, if at all, hindered. Cold/Wet mornings I can sometimes feel a small amount of stiffness but nothing that would be any worse than the feeling of a mildly tight muscle. Hopefully this won't be a downer for you but as far as size goes my ankle has never returned to "normal" size. It's not huge by any means but it's visibly larger than my "good" ankle. I would estimate it to be about 10-20% larger in diameter at the worst spot, people aren't going to notice it if your walking around in shorts and tennis shoes but if you look down at yourself you will be able to tell right away, you may also be able to tell on mx boots as you will have to loosen up one boot a little more. Long story short, I'm by no means a doctor but if it's anything like my experience you will probably slowly shrink over quite a long period but 10-20% larger is where my ankle settled at. The mornings will also slowly go away, or at least you will quit noticing, not sure which for me on that one, lol. Good luck on healing, make sure to try and stay flexible with ankle exercises (especially before bed in the evening when your relaxed).