Advice on recovery from ankle fracture

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by PETDOC, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. L0cky

    L0cky Been here awhile

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    Hey PETDOC
    I had the stitches out today...that was a bit painful, as I'm getting a fair bit of swelling, and the knots had pulled tight and under the skin a little.
    The Dr wasn't really happy with the swelling..he said the wound could still split, so I have to get off it, and rest my leg, so the ankle is above the level of my heart. He said there is still time for a wound like that to 'go wrong'...

    Truth be told, once I was up on my feet, I've been getting around and walking on it - it had swelled badly a few times over the last couple of days - and now, as it doesn't have the stitches holding it together, I'll have to be careful.

    I've gone back to my pressure sock. Its a sports version of one of those socks that old ladies get for flying, but its a bit tighter than that. I've put that on, because I have to get back to work, and whilst my job doesn't involve manual labor, I sort of need to be there.

    Based on the feedback from the surgeon - they had to cut a muscle to get to one of the screws, and the swelling, and not completely healed wound - I'm going to delay getting back on the wind trainer for another couple of weeks....at least until the wound has scabbed and sealed 100%..in order to avoid aggravating the swelling and causing some of those issues I've mentioned.

    We'll see.
  2. PETDOC

    PETDOC Long timer

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    Ouch! Sounds like I need to retrieve the compression sock from the back of the sock drawer. Still no specific recommendation from the orthopedic surgeon on time interval to return to cycling?
    My concern is once the fibular plate and lag screw are removed my distal fibula will be Swiss cheese, and the push-pull associated with cleated bicycle shoes will re-fracture the bone. I'm worried my planned 2 month hiatus from cycling post plate removal may not be an adequate time period for the cortical bone to bridge the holes. I've been using a low amplitude, pulsed ultrasound on my shoulder to accelerate bone healing for the past year (clavicle fx far worse than fibula). Once the plate is off I may strap the ultrasound transducer over my fibula daily for 2-3 months; however, it supposedly only stimulates bone growth on acute fractures--not sure a screw hole qualifies.
  3. OzRob

    OzRob Been here awhile

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    I posted this on the Oz ADV site,
    I too have broken my ankle,
    From reading the previous posts I am very lucky.
    It has been a month since the accident and I am walking in a boot, today I tried my Army boots too see if they would give enough support, and I was able to walk OK and even do some work in the shed.
    Tomorrow i will ride the GS to work.....I wont tell the Doctor.


    There have been many questions asked in the past regarding hard or soft panniers, advantages/dissadvantages...

    If you intend to trail ride...go for soft panniers....or this may happen....
    http://ozrob.smugmug.com/Other/Alpin...3916_819-M.jpg

    http://ozrob.smugmug.com/Other/Alpin...3908_474-M.jpg

    A group of us were riding up Mt Pinnibar in the Victorian High country...the bike fell over on a steep section on loose rocks, my ankle got caught underneath the pannier, In case you are wondering the bike is OK.
    http://ozrob.smugmug.com/Other/Alpin...0828_176-M.jpg
    My ankle was realy sore but I could still walkish, with two more days of trail riding till home....I'll be right just a twisted ankle...
    Changing gear was fun...had to use my heel to change up gears...

    It turns out that I broke my Fibia in two places and chipped my Fibia....Next time the Andy Strapz panniers will be used...
  4. Sox Fan

    Sox Fan SoxFan

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    Ankle breaks are no fun. I broke my ankle when I rolled it playing tennis in January of 2012. Missed an entire year of tennis. The only good news is that it is pretty much 100% again. I took the advice to be patient and let it heal properly.
  5. PETDOC

    PETDOC Long timer

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    LOcky,
    My plate and screws are coming out in 9 days (6 screws in fibula and 1 screw up tibia). I have been very active, e.g., riding my bicycle on trips of 35 to 42 miles weekly since last November. Did you need crutches to get out of the hospital after your hardware was removed or could you walk on the ankle? Reason for asking is I loaned my crutches to a neighbor who really needs them and don't want to ask for them back unless absolutely essential.
    Thanks
    Dave
  6. PETDOC

    PETDOC Long timer

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    I had the fibular plate and 6 screws, and the screw re-attaching my medial malleolus removed 12 days ago; 1 year, 8 months after the fracture repair.
    Immediately following the surgery, which included the removal of a clavicular plate and 11 screws (separate accident), the shoulder was mildly to moderately painful, the medial malleolus felt as though nothing had been done, and the fibula felt as bad as the day I had it repaired (i.e., hurt like hell). I was sent home from the surgical center with a wooden sandal, pain meds and told to "heal" walk with my left foot. Within a few days the shoulder felt fine, the medial malleolus was still asymptomatic, and the fibula was better, but still very, very sore. On day 5 post-op I removed the pillow-sized bandage, which was soaked with dry blood over the fibular incision. Everything looked ok with mild swelling, so I replaced the wrap with a much smaller bandage. By day 8 I could walk normally around the house with little to mild discomfort in my distal fibula. On day 9 and 10 I walked the dog pack about 3/4 of a mile on relatively level ground and slowly. My distal fibula ached throughout the walks, but once home recovered quickly. I saw the orthopedic surgeon on day 12. After radiographs, he said all looked good, I could stop wearing the wooden sandal and to come back in 6 weeks.
    Prior to having the hardware removed I had regained 100% of the function in my ankle; however, it was still a little stiff and whenever I put any direct pressure on the plates (fibular or clavicular) they hurt. My goal in having the hardware removed is to eventually (2 -3 years) have the only remembrance of my accident be a scar on my ankle. Time will tell!
  7. chorizo

    chorizo Been here awhile

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    I vote for the wobble board or Rock board. Basically put your feet on it and rotate your ankle and strengthen all the muscles down there. Also i breaks up scar tissue. I broke mine similar to first post when I was 19. It remained stiff and ached till about 35 when a chiropractor suggested the board. Twenty years later I use it periodically to maintain ankle health. Also its a good pain reliever. Good Luck.
  8. hateithere

    hateithere anytime now

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    1year and 7 months after my accident I'm trying to decide if I should have the plates and screws removed. For those that have is it worth it? Not a day goes by where I'm not reminded of the break in some way.
  9. kristof-lars

    kristof-lars Adventurer

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    [​IMG]


    i did this to my foot via a garage wall falling on me at work broke my leg at the ankle dislocated my ankle tore the tenon on the other side had wire mesh 4 pins a 6" plate with about 8 screws had everything removed except one pin since im good and young


    and yes thats the end of my leg in the pic when i looked down my leg from being on my back i saw my heel caus my foot was turned the whole way around

    as for re-cooperation i did alot of swiming had accupuncture/electromagnetic therapy/weight and resistance training and having one of the best surgeons in the country helped alot too
  10. kristof-lars

    kristof-lars Adventurer

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    first thing i asked my boss was "is it sticking out?!" his response "no but it mise well be.."
  11. NWBoon

    NWBoon Adventurer

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    PETDOC, thanks for starting this thread, Eyes Shut for sending me the link, and thank you to all the others who shared their experiences.

    I crashed my DR650 on August 24th which resulted in a fractured ankle, fibula, and ligament damage. I had surgery to repair the injuries on August 30th and I'm currently healing. Like most others, I was told to not put any weight on my right ankle for 6 - 8 weeks. The doc will have me put weight on it at my next appointment on October 14th.

    This was the first time I've broken/fractured bone(s) so I read through every page of this thread. I'm a runner and I want to continue riding motorcycles in the wilderness so this injury kind of messed with my head. This thread and all the advice was a big help.

    I'm still a newbie when it comes to riding off-pavement and this was a major wake up call for me to ride at my skill level (I was trying to keep up with faster and more experienced riders). I also realized that I was very lucky to have been able to ride out of the woods (Olympic National Forest in WA) and get myself home to Seattle 120 miles away.

    Boon

    [​IMG]
  12. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil

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    Hi Boon-- Glad that this thread has been useful for you. It was the first broken bone for me also. Fortunately, my recovery was uneventful and good, and I'm back doing my normal activities, including hiking and backpacking.

    Stick with what your OS has told you ( no weight-bearing before its time!), and then do the PT faithfully. Every day gets a little better! :1drink
  13. Hollyr

    Hollyr Vesterislendingur

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    Old ankle injury is coming back to haunt me. In 1980 I was in a car accident in Algiers. Foot rotated 90 degrees with toes pointing at other foot, good bit of the fibula sticking out and all the ligaments and tendons torn out. They operated with what they had in the Mustapha hospital but it appeared that all their equipment was what the French left behind in 1962. Some pt was done after I got home, but not a lot and I have had a limp ever since. The limp is getting worse, so I had an x-ray and there is significant narrowing of the ankle mortise particularly along the superomedial aspect and exuberant osteophytosis. Dr. is recommending seeing a surgeon for possible fusion or joint replacement. I'm not in a lot of pain and I'm used to compensating to the injury but I know I will need a hip replacement eventually on the opposite side because of it. I also have osteoporosis (T -2.9)
    So what research do I need to do to determine if I should leave well enough alone or go for surgery? Any experience with this sort of thing?
    Calling Sabre to the white telephone...

    Holly
  14. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Big heavy bikes in the dirt will do that.
    And the dr650 is a light 650.

    I am down to a 220 pound XT200!





  15. NWBoon

    NWBoon Adventurer

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    NJ-Brett, your statement is very accurate! I plan on using my XT250 as my "rehab" bike.
  16. oxygenrace

    oxygenrace Motorcyclist

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    So I fell off a roof and messed up my ankle two years ago. Two plates and 11 screws. One plate goes over the inside ankle bone and the screws are just below the surface. Like many others in this thread they are very sensitive when pressed or knocked. I can walk normally and run in a pinch but have trouble walking up hills because my ankle doesn't rotate up very well towards my shin. This makes shifting more difficult but I compensate by pushing my knee forward. I am still getting muscle back - that seems to take a long time. The OS said to stop running because a lot of cartilage was removed and arthritis is imminent - it will just be worse and occur sooner if i keep doing impact style sports. So I swim and bicycle and ride a wr250r.

    My question is, what have other riders done for boots. I understand a heavy armoured boot with a stiff sole is best - I have my eye on sidi crossfire srs with enduro sole. My issue is I don't want the hardware removed unless I have too - I figure its making my ankle stronger in case something else happens. I want a boot that doesn't put pressure on the screws. I see the alpinestars tech 8 light has an inner bootie that has soft interchangeable pads that go right over the ankle bones. Anyone tried these. here is a picture of the inner bootie: http://www.mxcanada.ca/media/catalo...b8d27136e95/T/e/Tech-8-Light-INNER-BOOTIE.jpg

    apparently you can interchange the cushions or just leave it out if you want more space. These boots are not as robust in terms of protection as the sidi's and apparently much stiffer. the tech 8 has a lower profile toe too which may help getting my toe under the shifter. Right now i have a pair of boots that are a size too big and i stuff a sock down the inside of my leg to keep the boot from rubbing. not ideal.

    thoughts.
  17. PETDOC

    PETDOC Long timer

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    No comment on boots, but one on bone/plate strength. Your bones gradually remodel throughout your life based on the stress they endure. When you put a metal plate on a bone it actually weakens the bone a bit because it no longer has the same stress applied. I had my fibular screws and plate, and tibial screw removed for 2 reasons: 1) so I could cross my legs on a table and not experience pain when pressure was on the plate and 2) so my bones would remodel over the next few years based on natural stress.
    I can now cross my legs without experiencing any pain in my fibula. The remodeling is a work in progress that will last a lifetime. Be advised that if you have the hardware removed the risk of re-fracture is 2% within the first 90 days. And based on my own experience your ankle will hurt like hell the first few days, but the pain dissipates quickly.
    In dogs and cats a very, very rare occurrence with bone plates is the development of a primary bone tumor. I did a cursory search of the human literature and did not find any mention of this happening in people, but subconsciously I suspect my knowledge of veterinary medicine also affected my decision to have the hardware out, i.e., I didn't want to be the first reported instance of a bone tumor arising at the site of a plate.