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Old 11-18-2011, 10:20 PM   #16
Izzy3
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It will take a while

It is going on 2 years since my tib/fib spiral adventure began and it will take some time. The main thing is DO NOT bear weight on the foot until your Doc approves. Mine still puffs up and bruises after vigorous use so I continue to ice it down after use. Arthritis will certainly pay a visit also. It sucks, but it could be worse. Rehab it well.
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:52 AM   #17
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ankles...

It has been my experience that once you "wack" your ankle that is it. It will never ever be the same....again! It will feel better but never have the strength or be as flexible.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:21 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by mewapiti View Post
I showered the day after surgery while still in the hospital. Get a shower stool for home use.
I have a heavily bandaged fiberglass splint that wraps under my heel and up 2 sides of my calf about 3/4 of the way to my knee and was told emphatically no shower or bath. I found that by putting a plastic garbage bag on my leg and securing the top with a large rubber band I can hang my left leg over the side of the tub and get a reasonable bath without risk of wetting my bandage. So how did you manage to shower?

PS- For anyone with an ankle fracture that reads this thread in the future I was finally able to sleep on my right side vs back with tolerable discomfort (and hydrocodone) 6 days after the surgery. It does require a pillow be placed between the legs.
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PETDOC screwed with this post 11-19-2011 at 06:27 AM
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:12 AM   #19
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Bad ankle sprain, torn ligaments here (basketball). No breaks. Military clinic gave me an ace bandage but no crutches since I was outprocessing the installation & they wouldn't get 'em back.... "but I guess you can have this old wooden cane here..." Thanks. Had no money and no idea where to actually buy crutches so figured I'd just tough it out. Worst cross-country drive ever -- pain & swelling worsened tenfold into that night & following day. Eventually bought crutches out of desperation (corner drug store -- who knew?). PT was unheard of but at least I was mobile.....
Ankle reached steady-state after about a year, maybe a bit longer. Now, 20+yrs later, it "dangles" outward, pronates inward while squatting, and makes a racket descending stairs. Only mildly noticeable in the mornings, very tolerable; running's no prob.
But I can't help but think that the relatively recent problems in my opposite hip are the result of many years of compensating for that old, untended injury. Was that sprain the gift that kept on giving....?

Separate note, had an A-Ha! moment just this week when taking a left out of a parking lot, hitting some well-camouflaged gravel, sliding the front for an instant. ST1100 flopped to the side just enough to catch the toe of my boot on the ground and start rotating the ankle just as the tire re-gripped, righting the bike. Had the maneuver continued in a 7mph low-side, no doubt that ankle would've completed the 180 deg rotation. Hmm, so that's how it happens.....

Here's to your healing, Doc.
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:26 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PETDOC View Post
So how did you manage to shower?
Waste basket sized garbage bag taped to the leg at the top with 4" 3M Microfoam tape. Had no problen with water entrance. ...and of course the shower stool since there was no way I could stand on one leg long enough. Put the shower head on a hose too.
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:20 AM   #21
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Go slow!
My son started running around ,as soon as his cast stoped hurting.
Resulted in a second surgery a year later.
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:26 PM   #22
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Sorry to hear about the injury, and glad it wasn't worse.

First things first: an ankle fracture that requires surgery is a big deal. Disregard anecdotal information ("I broke my leg once and...") because none of these folks have had fractures exactly like yours. It's a big deal.

For the short term, get your foot up! I'm surprised to hear about you sleeping like that. To really reduce pain and swelling, your ankle should be elevated WELL above the level of your heart. Sleeping on a sofa with a massive pile of pillows is a good way to do it because the back of the sofa supports the pile from toppling over and you can prop your foot up there.

Spend as much time as possible with your foot up during the day. It hurts so damned much when you're up and around because your leg is in a dependent position. Elevating it can dramatically reduce your need for pain meds.

Some folks really like ice packs, and they are very effective at reducing swelling. Of course, with a fiberglas splint you're not really getting much cold into your tissues, but you might try it nevertheless.

Don't be afraid of the hydrocodone, but beware the constipation! Lots of fluids are called for; it's virtually guaranteed that you're dehydrated because it's a pain to get up and pee all the time. Consider taking docusate sodium (Colace or Doss) once or twice a day along with a couple of senna tabs (Senokot). Eat fiber-rich foods, and use Metamucil or some other psyllium product if you need.

Talk to your orthopedic surgeon before using NSAIDs (non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen. Such drugs tend to impede healing. Also, meds such as steroids, thyroid supplements and antiepileptic drugs can impair healing, and your surgeon should be told if you use any of these. Diabetes is a huge impediment to healing, as is smoking and excessive use of alcohol.

How long will it hurt? The sad and realistic answer is, "a long time." It is not unusual for an ankle after ORIF (open reduction with internal fixation) to be swollen and painful for a year or more, depending upon the type of fracture(s) and the extent of repair needed. Many folks report a great result after 9 to 12 months, but it's also common to see swelling and pain persist for a couple of years. Fractures such as this are life-changing; the duration of that change is extremely variable. In some cases the person will want some hardware removed after a couple of years, but this isn't routinely the case. It is most definitely advised to return to your orthopod after a year or two if you're still experiencing pain.

You're a long way off from physical therapy, but being dedicated to your PT when the time comes will give you the best chance at optimizing your recovery. Maintain good nutrition and the best physical conditioning that you can, as these also improve healing and help prevent compensatory injuries.

Good luck!
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:51 AM   #23
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I was offroading and came off, the bike slid over my foot rotating my foot, had a dislocated ankle, broken fibia - plated and 5 screws next to the ankle also fractures in most of the metitarsal bones in my foot.

I found the pain incredible for the first few weeks.
No cast, I also had the big ski boot for 6 weeks with no weight bearing, crutches for 6 weeks.
I found the swelling really bad.
I kept it elevated all the time, pillows under it in bed so that my foot was allways higher than my head.
For the first week I put a plastic bag over the dressings in the shower and sat on a plastic stool or later stood on one leg.
Lots of ice on the ankle, but what gave me most relief was putting my foot in the shower with freezing cold water and spraying it for 10 mins every couple of hours when the swelling was really bad.
I really had to push the hospital to get me physio on my ankle and that is really important almost right away.
Try to get the ankle moving as quick as you can to stop you losing the range of movement as its hard to get it back as it feels really tight.
I had 9 months of physio which helped a lot and after a year my ankle was at 80%.
The metal work was causing me a lot of problems with swelling and sharp stabbing pain over the 18 months since the surgery and I pleeded with my doctor to get the metal work out.
I went back into hospital in January this year and got the metal work out.
Wow! a few hours after the surgery if felt great 90% back to normal and 3 weeks later 99%.
No pain , no swelling and full movement back.
First thing I done when I started off road riding again this year was buy the best motocross boots with the most protection I could get.
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:55 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PETDOC View Post
I have a heavily bandaged fiberglass splint that wraps under my heel and up 2 sides of my calf about 3/4 of the way to my knee and was told emphatically no shower or bath. I found that by putting a plastic garbage bag on my leg and securing the top with a large rubber band I can hang my left leg over the side of the tub and get a reasonable bath without risk of wetting my bandage. So how did you manage to shower?

PS- For anyone with an ankle fracture that reads this thread in the future I was finally able to sleep on my right side vs back with tolerable discomfort (and hydrocodone) 6 days after the surgery. It does require a pillow be placed between the legs.

I was 51 when I broke my right ankle. I went for a Thanksgiving trailride with my son's and wore street boots. Snagged my toe on a rock climbing a powerline trail. Most debilitating injury I ever had! It was hard just getting me down to the truck!

No surgery, but had the fiberglass cast to just below the knee and crutches for 8 weeks. Then a new cast so I could walk a little for another 8 weeks or so. I was riding again after that. I've had no problems since. I broke my shoulder in 1981 in MX. It still gives me problems, so I am glad my ankle came back 100%.

Your pain should start to fade after about a week. Should be painless after another week. I took non-prescription pain killers for a few days.

I got a kick out of your bath solution. I did exactly the same thing.

If your pain persists you should press the Doc. Something must be wrong.

Good Luck
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:07 PM   #25
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Hang in there.

Sorry to hear about your ankle. Just as others on here are saying, each ankle injury is unique. In my opinion, ankle injuries just plain suck.

Personally, I broke my left ankle back in 1998. To make a long story short, 4 surgeries, a sub-talar fusion and lots of PT later and life is good.

Good news is that if you play your cards right, you’ll be able to walk again without pain. Bad news, if it was anything like mine, it’ll hurt a bit before you get there. When I say a bit, I mean a lot. It will get better, but it may take a while. You’re doing the right thing by finding others with similar injuries. It helped me out considerably once I found others that had gone through it before.

Keep in mind that everyone has their own opinion. With that said, I can say:
-Do what the doctors say. If they say stay off your feet, do it. They usually know what’s best.
-Don’t push yourself too hard. I was really good at pushing myself way beyond what I should have and it usually hurt.
-Pain management. You’re on the right track, in my book. The pain meds were a wonderful ride, but I pray that I never have to go on it again. I couldn’t wait to get off of them. Anymore I wont even use Ibuprofen. I had a tens unit for a time, it worked great.
-Eat healthy, pretty much goes without saying.
-Ice is your friend, heat is not. A bucket of ice water for the pain, stick it in and relax.
-Physical Therapy/Exercises, sure it sucks short term but helps long term.
-Everyday footwear is crucial. I found Rockport shoes to be my salvation.
-Don’t be afraid to call it what it is, a lifestyle changing injury. There might be a blue placard available to you, don’t let pride get in the way. A gimp parking pass can be very useful. I don’t use mine often, but when I need it, I need it. Your physician should be able to supply the needed state paperwork if you need one.

Hang in there, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it will get better. Send me a PM if you need someone to rant at, I’ve been down the path you’re heading down.
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:29 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmax351 View Post
Once you are able to, work on building muscle strength. The ligaments and other connective tissue don't recover as well.

I have ankle problems just from sprains. Some of it is from weak joints genetically, with hyper-flexibility. But I've gotten a few big/serious sprains, and my ankle still makes grinding noises if I move it wrong.
This. I had a ligament come off in the ankle, the ligament didn't break, it just pulled a piece of bone off with it when it let go. I still can't balance on that single foot. You don't realize all of these continuous microadjustments your foot is making to keep balance. I didn't do any PT and the range of motion sucks in it now.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:06 PM   #27
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Isn't is just a mental challenge at this point? Your doctor gave you a time line but right now you probably can't imagine the pain ever going away. Hang in there, think positive and it will heal.

I got into bicycles and they are talking about recovery socks like diabetic socks. When you can wear them they should improve circulation and help expedite recovery a little.



More info.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:16 PM   #28
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Thanks to all for their input.
I saw the orthopedic surgeon today; 9 days post-op. Her assistant took me to an exam room and removed my bandaging, splint and skin sutures. She was oohing and awing at every new view. Last time I saw my ankle was the day following the surgical repair during a bandage change in Spartanburg, SC. It was swollen, but not too badly. Today what I saw was hideous. Incredibly swollen (i.e., couldn't get much worse before exploding), and black and blue. I then had radiographs taken. The surgeon came in with copies of the radiographs, showed them to me remarking the repair was well done, and then after examining my foot said "Looks pretty good". I'm not sure of my exact words, but they were pretty close to "You've got to be kidding me." She said "What were you expecting after dropping a 500 lb motorcycle on your ankle? Looks pretty good to me." Point taken.
I'm now sporting a blue cast. I had a choice of a dozen colors, but I selected one that would most closely match the color of my calves. Before the cast was applied I had to stretch my Achilles tendon. They brought in this rather simple contraption, I'm sure dates back to medieval times, on which I had to place the ball of my foot and press down until getting the foot to the correct angle, then hold it. It hurt like hell! I was repeatedly assured if I didn't achieve the optimal angle they had a guy who would come in and assist by rolling me on my stomach and flexing my foot. My bet is they keep him in a closet til needed and he looks like a Hun. While uttering many 4 letter words I got it done. Two weeks and I go back for more.
The pain seemed to reach a crescendo 5 days after the surgery. I'm now coping well with 2-500 mg hydrocone tablets spaced throughout the night. I was told to keep my ankle above my heart to reduce the swelling. This was already recommended by a response in this thread. I told the surgeon despite being advised not to take a shower or bath I had done both. She said she didn't care what I did as long as I didn't get my cast wet.

Dave
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:27 PM   #29
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Dave,

Out of concern I tell you about a guy on the Yahoo XR605R forum. I was looking at the pictures he posted on the forum. He shows his swollen ankle and his wounds, Then I see a nub at the knee....I read more and find out he crashed, smacked his leg pretty good then 2 months later the doctor said he wasn't getting circulation due to nerve damage and they amputated his leg at the knee.

When you mentioned it looked bad it reminded me of the XR650R guy. Keep an eye on it and heal quickly.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:33 PM   #30
Guano11
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She said she didn't care what I did as long as I didn't get my cast wet.
Seems to me somebody would've invented a breathable (dryable) cast material by now. Just sayin'....
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