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Fractured ankle advice

(22 Posts)
Jaycee1954 Tue 07-Nov-23 16:20:23

Had a badly broken ankle & operation in March , resulting in internal fixation both sides of ankle , I am mobile now , although not up to full speed and distance comfortably.
I stay active , swelling is at last calming down now , but when walking ankle still seems very stiff still. Is there anyone who has or is experiencing the same problem.

boheminan Tue 07-Nov-23 16:57:48

Yes. I had the same in March 2022 but with a bad dislocation too. 20 months on and across the front of my ankle is still stiff, and the ankle is still swollen.

Not much I can advise apart from the obvious...keep on moving. 8 months isn't much healing time for such a serious fracture. flowers

Blossoming Tue 07-Nov-23 17:03:36

Sorry, I’ve no experience of this myself but didn’t want to ignore your post. Have you been offered any physiotherapy?

Judy54 Tue 07-Nov-23 17:19:16

Not of a broken ankle Jaycee1954 but Mr J had a full ankle replacement 4 months ago so it is still early days for him and for you to I think. Have you seen a Physio and been given any exercises to do? Staying active is important but go with how your body feels and take things gently. It will become easier in time. Sending all good wishes.

Baggs Tue 07-Nov-23 18:39:40

Ankle and wrist breaks can be so complicated, jaycee. My broken wrist and mashed hand from last March are still giving me problems. I do hope your injury continues to improve slowly but surely.

silverlining48 Tue 07-Nov-23 19:51:06

The foot is full weight bearing and will take longer than you think.
I sprained my ankle badly in a fall and it took over 18 months to mend. Later had a big toe nail operation and that also took nearly 2 years to finally heal. A lot of Patience was required .

Charleygirl5 Tue 07-Nov-23 21:10:23

I had a fracture/dislocation in 2009 which was pinned and plated. I have had to use a stick ever since. I do not have much pain now but although retired, I had to give up a small part-time job I had because I could not cope with the walking and the amount of stairs.

I was told that osteoarthritis would be a problem but to date, very little and I am now 80.

dogsmother Tue 07-Nov-23 21:11:45

Yes I fractured and dislocated my ankle albeit around 10 years ago. Screws and plates now in situ and a definite reaction to weather!
My ankle is slightly thicker due to the bony overgrowth and the scars on inner and outer are barely visible.
I walked and walked as much as I could as well as doing lots of physio.
I remember 6 months on feeling miserable thinking I’d never get back to normal……but I did.

CocoPops Tue 07-Nov-23 21:39:19

I had a tri-malleolar fracture and dislocation after which I had surgery and I did the exercises as instructed. Both sides of ankle plated with lots of screws etc. In fact the post-op X-Rays looked like the surgeon had just randomly thrown a pot of screws and nails in! However he did a good job. No stiffness or swelling after a couple of months and I was back to dog walking, cycling and getting about as well as did before. I think pushing the bike pedals down helped as well as the specific ankle exercises. eg when sitting upright on the edge of your chair slide the foot back whilst keeping the heel down.

coco12 Tue 07-Nov-23 22:38:20

Same happened to me jaycee about 15 years ago. Had some decent physio at the time which was usual then but I hear not offered now. Had many problem free years after that but just recently its started playing up, swelling and a bit painful. Not sure what's going on.
Did you have any physio?

Charleygirl5 Wed 08-Nov-23 08:09:05

I was not offered any physio. Plaster off, goodbye.

coco12 it may well be osteoarthritis setting in which I was warned about.

It has contributed towards my lymphoedema, assisted by bilateral knee replacements done at different times.

RosesandLilac Fri 10-Nov-23 11:22:19

I had a complete dislocation with comminuted fractures of my tibia and fibula 11 years ago; it’s held together with screws, plates and pins.
It still swells if I walk too much or if I’m standing for any length of time. It aches in cold weather too and hot weather makes it swell but normally it’s pretty good.
It was at least 12 months before I felt I had gained much movement and 3 years before it was pretty much back to my normal range of movements.

jocork Fri 10-Nov-23 11:46:52

My DD broke and dislocated her ankle on the top of a Scottish mountain 18 months ago. She had to be taken to hospital by the mountain rescue helicopter then had surgery to insert significant pieces of metalwork. She was determined to make a full recovery as her main hobby is walking and mountain climbing. She took advantage of all the physiotherapy offered on the NHS and worked really hard on her exercises. She hasn't regained 100% fitness but has got close. The physiotherapist kept her on his books for longer as he knew how much it meant to her.

She had youth on her side being 32 at the time of the accident which may not be the case for you. She was also fairly fit to start with. However she has worked really hard and took up running which she had previously only done to a limited extent. In October she managed to complete the Oxford half marathon with a friend and raised some sponsorship money for the mountain rescue group who came to her aid. Apparently her rescue would have cast about £6000 so she was immensely grateful.

It sounds as if you are doing the right things, keeping active etc. Take advantage of any physiotherapy you are offered and if that is limited maybe look into paying for treatment if you can afford it. Most importantly though is to do the exercises prescribed. For months I lived with my living room filled with a bosu balance ball and a trampette which she was using for her rehab! She has now moved to Dubai for a new job so the equipment is banished to the garage!

pomegranatejuice Fri 10-Nov-23 11:54:29

I had a fracture/break 2 or 3 years ago now. Definitely not as complex as yours. However I did have a physio on the NHS. That ankle is still not as strong as the other one and I do specific exercises daily even now, and i will keep on with them too. I also do Tai Chi and yoga to help maintain being even and balanced on both feet. If you can either get some help from NHS or if you have the means to pay for a private session to get the exercises and then do them. I think I am now uneven in gait which contributes to some back problems. Loads of stuff of line where peeps do free you tubes. So I cant answer your specifics, but suggest the small picture and big picture are worth looking at. Good luck with it.

Davisuz Fri 10-Nov-23 12:07:20

Not quite the same but I had a bunion operation nearly ten years ago. It took more than two years for my foot to feel it was really back to normal again!

JANH Fri 10-Nov-23 12:29:23

I broke my ankle and tibia in 2006. Two surgeries, one to stabilise it and then to pin and plate a week later. I was in hospital for a month, the stretching exercises were cruel at the time but I was advised to really persevere as I would get full movement back, if i continued. I was on crutches for weeks, initially two and then one. I went on the bus, made myself walk everywhere and now I have no after effects and walk normally. It took a bit of time, please do not give up on any exercises as they really do help.

ExDancer Fri 10-Nov-23 13:15:40

That's great JANH - to have got full movement back.
I have broken both mine at different times and followed the physio's exercises diligently even though they were painful.
Sadly the last break ended my career and now, 70 years later, I still have two second rate ankles.
I hope treatment has improved and that your experience will be better than mine, so keep up the exercises while not over-doing it.

Mirren Fri 10-Nov-23 14:49:15

Broke my left ankle really badly 5 years ago and have a lot of metal work in there. I did a really good job !
I was , initially, told it was so bad I was looking at permanent disability.
I wasn't having that!!
It took over a year of working hard at physio to be normal .
I was thrilled the day I was able to get into my walking boots again.
I am now completely fine, good range of movement and able to walk ,swim ,exercise.
I cannot jump , hop or run but I never really could ..and I am 67.
So , keep working hard at physio even if it's uncomfortable. It's your road to full health.
You can do it ! Good luck !

Sennelier1 Fri 10-Nov-23 21:08:25

I have broken my ankle 20 years ago but it was discovered too late it wás broken, too late to do anything about it. The orthopedic surgeon who saw me told me it didn't mather I had walked on it for weeks, it actually was better for healing. I had a lót of physio and my ankle is right as rain 😊 Recently I badly hurt my other ankle, put ice on it, taped it in, and continued with my day. Maybe it's a bad sprain, or maybe it's broken, but I remember what that surgeon told me, so I keep moving and doing the exercises I learned from my physiotherapist. 2,5 weeks now, and I hardly have any limp anymore, and my ankle is only swollen when I've been walking the whole day. No brace anymore, hurt only a little bit when coming down from the stairs. I'm still on medicinal plasters, I think for one more week. I'll be fine 😊

Catterygirl Fri 10-Nov-23 23:31:30

I broke my ankle chopping down a very large rubber tree in our Spanish garden. I was dragging leaves out to the bin when it started to rain and I slipped on wet leaves. My husband thought I was making a fuss but I heard the crack. He was booked on a plane two days later for a job in the UK. Got to the GP who sent me to the hospital with suspected broken ankle. I must say they were rather prejudiced and accused me of taking Spanish jobs as I paid full taxes and social security with a Spanish employer. Everyone had their spouse with them but mine wasn’t allowed. I had to climb on a table unaided for my leg to be put in plaster. Obviously I was fed up. Then the consultant brought a junior doctor to do it. His first plaster. He looked sorry for me but things looked up. He did a good job. Six months later the plaster came off and I was sent to physio who was very laidback like myself and got me back walking quickly. I needed a wheelchair, then two crutches and finally one crutch. We returned to the UK and started walking and driving. 15 years on. No problems. Just a twinge if it snows. I didn’t have pins thankfully.
I wish you a full recovery but it does take time. The physio gave me gentle exercises and if I throw my socks off in the night I pick them up in the morning with my toes.

Gundy Sat 11-Nov-23 00:27:18

A complex break like that will take a minimum of one YEAR to get back to normal. Swelling, niggling pain, throbbing. Be patient.

Just use your ankle when walking, in motion, as naturally as possible without babying it. (That would surely set you up with lifelong problems.) Just push through it. It pays off in the end.

crissy Sat 11-Nov-23 16:15:44

I badly sprained my ankle on the first day of a walking holiday in Scotland. Swollen, black and blue. The only time it didn't bother me was when I put my walking boots on, so was able to still manage quite a bit of walking. Not sure that would help with a fractured ankle though, but good walking boots certainly support the ankles.