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Old 09-02-2009, 09:25 PM
 
1 posts, read 11,725 times
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I broke my Tibia and Fibula when I was about 17 (12 years ago) Horse riding accident as well only I was an experienced rider and bailed off landed funny on my feet but rolled my ankle and broke both my lower leg bones. I had to have two plates and 11 screws to hold everything in place while it healed.
I remember seeing the Xrays of my ankle and they were impressive (both the broken bones ones and the after surgery ones with all the screws criss-crossing through my leag) I wished I had been given them to keep but back then the hospitals kept them.
I spent 10 weeks in cast with two cast changes so they could check my surgery scar and remove the stitches and change the heavy plaster cast for a lighter fibreglass one when the wound swelling went down. Dr's advised me that I could leave the metal work in my leg permanently however I had it removed after about three years due to constant pain and aching in my ankle and chin and as some of the screws and only covered in a layer of thin ankle skin whenever I banged it on something (chair legs etc) was really sharp intense pain tending me to favour that ankle and be a bit shy about roughing it on the sports fields etc. I set of the walkthrough metal detector in an airport although i am not sure it was my ankle as the second time around nothing happened however it seemed funny to think that it might have been that?
It also used to ache in colder weather. After I had them removed I got a bit more range of motion back in the ankle but and I dont favour it as much when I bang it on something it justs hurts like normal (or not at all). It no longer aches in cold weather but does ache after exercise (or if I havent done any for a while) still in the upper inside of my ankle this one spot in particular seems to be a problem spot and hurts (still after 12 years) when I apply finger pressure, I think it is nerve damage or tight from scarring perhaps? I dont regret having the plates removed as it has only improved the healing I think. I will never have matching ankles again as the break and the resulting surgery and scars and scar tissue underneath have forever changed the appearence of the ankle, it also swells when hot or after exercise still after 12 years. I still do everything on my ankle though play all sports and gym and weight bear on it etc. I just wont ever have pantyhose modelling legs! (Not that I did before hand anyway) and some shoes look funny on (or wont even go on) due to the thickness of that ankle. Oh and I cant wear REALLY high high-heels, my ankle just wont point down on that angle that far. My Mum rekons I walk with a limp sometimes but I dont think I do!? This might gross some of you out but I kept the (CLEANED) metalwork after it was removed as a momento one if the screws is about 70mm long (dont know where they put that one?) Oh I forgot to mention after I got my cast off after ten weeks I thought I'd be able to walk straight away (as I been walking around full weight on my cast etc) and was brushing off the drs insistance that I keep the crutches however when I got down off the examination table I almost fell over as I couldn't weight bear on it straight away without the support of the cast, I needed a tubular bandage (for swelling) and the crutches for another few weeks. Looking back I probably should have but didnt have any physio post getting the cast off and I probably should have listened when the dr said not to weight bear on it for the first six weeks in cast (but I was young and active and just walked on it when it no longer hurt too badly to do so - after about three weeks). Otherwise I probably woudnt have the ongoing aches. I now like and have learnt to live with my story and my scars (I remember post op being emotional and boring though) but it has knocked my confidence hugely too especially with horse riding although I still do it and I HATE and cringe whenever those sports news clips of people breaking their bones (especially ankles) during games etc come on the tv!

Last edited by Libby4488; 09-02-2009 at 10:01 PM..
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Old 09-03-2009, 10:37 AM
 
Location: PA
69 posts, read 304,267 times
Reputation: 29
ellen_jcksn

I am so sorry to hear about your accident!!! Everything you said is normal, we have all been there. You need to try to find something to do keep your mind busy, read a book, I started knitting and helped me so much. You have to try to stay as positive as possible it will help you to heal faster. After my accident I did go on an anti depressant for Post Trama Stress and it did help too. I am 10 months out from my accident broken femur, tib and fib and today is the first day that I have gotten in my correct size shoe-sneaker. My incisions and scars are still numb and feel tight when I walk and leg still swells everyday, I have gone back to wearing the compression stocking for the swelling as well as elevation and ice at the end of the day. Monday I started driving by myself again that was very hard to do but I have been driving back to forth to work all week. I feel like I am as close to normal as I am going to get. "A quicker recovery " is not as easy at it sounds, you really need to listen to your doctor and your body to avoid any further injury. It takes time and be thankful that you have people who are close to you that can help you.

Margie

Last edited by greenyes42; 09-03-2009 at 10:39 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-03-2009, 03:13 PM
 
Location: London, UK
83 posts, read 262,492 times
Reputation: 37
Hey everyone, Been a while since ive been on, Hows everyone coming along?

Nanny - nice to hear good things from you that i read.

So ive finally seen my OS nearly 3 months after the op, he said i was a star for doing so well, but hes no where near 100% happy with the progress, leg is still wobbly and knee is very swollen still.
My Fib seems to be healing properly.
After 3 months non weight baring ive finally been promoted to PWB. 50% on my leg. First time i tried it was without the brace and was bloody scary but i did it. Then with the brace back on.
Ive been told im going to be weaned off the brace though.
I think my brain has forgotten ive got another leg.
I can bend my knee 105 degrees on my own without the brace, which the PT is very happy with.

Quick question - When im PWB'ing, ive got tremendous pain in my foot/ankle area, is that normal? And my calf muscle (or lack of it) really hurts aswell? Im still scared by the whole process!
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Northern California
26 posts, read 228,194 times
Reputation: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellen_jcksn View Post
I fell July 11th and broke my tibia and fibula in about 10 places. I was moving from tx to al the day I fell and I had to remain behind for 2 surgeries over 6 weeks. I started with an ex fix and then had excessive swelling so I had to wait 4 weeks for my internal fix. While I was in Texas all I could think about was getting home to my husband and two small children and now that I am home I am an emotinal wreck! All I do is cry. I am so frustrated that I can't care for my children the way that I want to and that I am so dependant for the simplest of needs. My mom has moved in with us temporarily to help and I don't know what I would do without her. I am so grateful for all of the support so I feel so silly for crying all the time but I just feel like such a burden on my family. My new ortho doc here in AL did ex-rays a few weeks ago and said the work my original doc did was excellent and he wishes he could claim the work as his own. Then in his next breath he told me that my injury was very nasty and that I will require additional surgery in the future to get my bones to heal. I asked if there was anything I could do to assure no extra surgery and he said no. I sobbed all day that day. They took my short cast off and put me in a boot but it was SOOOO painful that I had to go back in and they cut all of that extra padding out that supports your ankle since I am non weight bearing anyway. I am still swollen and my two 8 inch incisions go down by the "balls" of my ankle so the pressure from the boot was excruciating. I really have stopped wearing my boot unless I am up moving around b/c it is still painful. I have a lot of numbness still on teh top of my foot and on both incisions...normal???? My foot still swells if I have it down so I keep it elevated as much as possible. They told me a 6 month recovery??? I'd like to hear stories of quicker recoveries and anything you did to speed up the healing process. Diet and nutrition??? What excercises could you do to help the rest of your body stay in shape. I go back the end of sept for another ex-ray and that will be about the 8 week point frommy last surgery. They said I would be non weightbearing for 8-12 weeks. I am so ready to start therapy and heal. I am only 32 and I just want to be back to normal. Any advice on the emotional aspect? I don't want to go on anti depressant but I can't stop crying and I am not a cryer!!!!! But this is so frustrating!!!!!!!!
I am so sorry to hear about your ordeal. I too have a spiral fracture of my tib fib (happened on 7/2), broken in 3 places. It has been a long journey and I understand your emotions. Funny, though, I have just started getting emotional the last few weeks.....really more anger emotions (but it comes out in my tears). I think it's because I am so tired of being dependent on my husband (he has been amazing, but I think even he is ready for me to start walking asap!!!)....and I have a 5 year old son and I am so sad that I'm not up running around with him. And I am feeling so good and just want to get up and walk and run, but I can't! Ugh! But, when I start to get down, I just think to myself that I am so blessed because I will walk again. I will never take walking for granted again!!! Yes, the numbness is normal, at least normal for me. I still have numbness on my toes and my knee (they inserted a rod through my knee down my tibia). Make sure you are taking your vitamins (calcium and vitamin D)!!! While I was nonweight bearing I did lots of ankle exercises (still do), the abc's, circles, back & forth, up and down. Funny, I have actually lost weight during this whole ordeal....but have a lot of atrophy in my thigh and calf, so I am really trying to build back that muscle. Today is 9 weeks exactly since my accident (tripped over a pool mat) and tomorrow will be 9 weeks since my surgery....I am not walking on my own (50% weight bearing now, maybe a bit more) but physical therapy is helping tremendously. My goal is to be walking on my own by October (so anywhere between 12-15 weeks post surgery). Everyone has their own success story, though, with different milestones. You will get there, we all will!! Good luck to you, keep us all posted! Stay strong and just know that you are so lucky because you will be walking again and running after your kids SOON!!!
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Old 09-03-2009, 10:35 PM
 
5 posts, read 48,876 times
Reputation: 12
ncg....
I was away in tx (where I fell) for 6 weeks and I was not emotional at all. Just now that I am home with my family finally and see my limitations I am a blubbering mess! I am fortunate that I have complete movement of my knee. My injury is more towards my ankle. And I do hear you about the atrophy. My legs dont look like they belong to the same person!
What are the ABC's excercises?
Was it extremely painful when you began to WB?? I am so scared!
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Old 09-04-2009, 07:47 AM
 
Location: PA
69 posts, read 304,267 times
Reputation: 29
newly

That is so great to hear you can do 105 degrees, I wish I could. The pain in your foot and ankle is normal all part of the process. The more you do the less it will hurt.

Ellen

I know what you mean about your legs looking so different, my bad leg is twice the size of my good leg. With the WB you will start PWB and work your way up to FWB like this process it takes time and it is nothing you cant handle. I know how scary this all is having been thru this twice in 8 years first with my right leg and now with the leg. It takes lots of hard work and patience but we can all do it !!! THERE IS LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL !!!!!!!

margie
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Northern California
26 posts, read 228,194 times
Reputation: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellen_jcksn View Post
ncg....
I was away in tx (where I fell) for 6 weeks and I was not emotional at all. Just now that I am home with my family finally and see my limitations I am a blubbering mess! I am fortunate that I have complete movement of my knee. My injury is more towards my ankle. And I do hear you about the atrophy. My legs dont look like they belong to the same person!
What are the ABC's excercises?
Was it extremely painful when you began to WB?? I am so scared!
I totally understand about being frustrated/emotional about your limitations....funny how we both started feeling this way weeks after our accident. i really think it's because we are both just sick and tired of not being able to be independent!!! That is great news that you have complete movement in your knee (I almost have full range in motion in my knee, wouldn't have even been hurt but that is where they had to cut and insert the rod). My ankle is where I really need to focus to gain more ROM as I severely sprained it when I broke my tib/fib. The ABC's is spelling the ABC's out with your ankle, you have to do so many movements with your ankle to spell the ABC's it's amazing and a great stretching exercise. It wasn't painful at all when I was allowed to start bearing weight. Initially I was just putting a little weight on the balls of my feet. And believe me, I was scared to even start bearing weight! Read some of my older posts and the reassuring responses I received from others on this forum. Now I am putting my whole foot down, standing on my own, but just not walking on my own. I need to get better ROM in my ankle so when I place my foot down to walk, it goes heel, ball, toe. It doesn't hurt if you take it slow, you will feel "pins and needles" as your foot hasn't felt pressure on it for so long that the nerves are very sensitive. How soon do you get to start bearing weight? You aren't casted right? You just have the air boot? Keep me posted on your progress!!!!
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:15 PM
 
45 posts, read 276,543 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewlyBroken View Post
Hey everyone, Been a while since ive been on, Hows everyone coming along?

Nanny - nice to hear good things from you that i read.

So ive finally seen my OS nearly 3 months after the op, he said i was a star for doing so well, but hes no where near 100% happy with the progress, leg is still wobbly and knee is very swollen still.
My Fib seems to be healing properly.
After 3 months non weight baring ive finally been promoted to PWB. 50% on my leg. First time i tried it was without the brace and was bloody scary but i did it. Then with the brace back on.
Ive been told im going to be weaned off the brace though.
I think my brain has forgotten ive got another leg.
I can bend my knee 105 degrees on my own without the brace, which the PT is very happy with.

Quick question - When im PWB'ing, ive got tremendous pain in my foot/ankle area, is that normal? And my calf muscle (or lack of it) really hurts aswell? Im still scared by the whole process!





Hi~
All this sounds so normal! You'll see a huge difference in healing progress within a month now that you are 50% WB. It made a lot of difference for me! Just keep on listening to your body......it will tell you more than the doctors can. I had to laugh really hard reading where you said you think that your brain forgot you had another leg! HAHAHA! That was too funny and I feel ya!
I wish you much success

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Old 09-04-2009, 12:19 PM
 
5 posts, read 48,876 times
Reputation: 12
Margie...
Why is your bad leg double the size...swelling???
My bad leg is tiny b/c of the atrophy. I wonder if it will ever look the same. I can't believe you have done this to each leg....I would be beside myself. I have to tell you I was quite upset when this all happened (naive really, not knowing what really was ahead of me) but the only part of my body that I really really like are my legs....and now....well, not so much.
ellen
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:40 PM
 
5 posts, read 48,876 times
Reputation: 12
NCG
yes...i have the big black boot and I HATE IT!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so excruciating that I had to go back the next day and cast tech [ut me in a large boot and cut out all the padding around the ankle b/c my incisions go down over the balls of my ankle and I couldn't take it. I had been off pain killers and only taking naproxin and I had to go back on the big guns. I would give anything to have the fiberglass cast back!!!!!! It did make it somewhat better as far as pain goes but it is still quite uncomfortable and b/c I went up a size it is quite cumbersome. I go back the end of Sept. for another x-ray and I guess he will decide then if I can start weight bearing and PT or if I have to wait another month. They told me anywhere from 8-12 weeks and end of Sept will be just shy of 8 weeks from my second surgery. As anxious as I am to get up and go I am terrified of future problems so am willing to wait the full 12 if he thinks that is best. I don't do well with pain....I puke and pass out. I puked everytime they changed my splint and casts. I passed out the last time. SO, I don't know how this walking is going to go if I am fearful that I am going to pass out and fall. I puked all over my surgeon...I was mortified!! He was so gracious to me. I just kept saying I was so sorry in between all of my sobs. He just hugged me and told me he was the one that was sorry b/c I was in so much pain and then HE got down on his hands and knees and cleaned it up. Not typical of a surgeons attitude!!!!!!!! He invited my husband to stay with him b/c we had just sold our house and were on the way to move to a new state when I did this. He was just wonderful!
I don't think I care for my new OS as much now that I amhere in AL. Just for the fact that he told me I may need additional surgeries. No fault of his own and I know he was just preparing me but it made me mad at him which is so crazy.
enough rambling. Thanks for all the info!!
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