broken flowers and concrete

Broken ankle recovery: learning to walk again

broken flowers and concreteSeptember 6, 2015 is the day I went from a healthy, strong, independent woman to an instant cripple. You see, while walking on the sidewalk in my platform wedge shoes, I stepped on a pebble and lost my balance. My left foot went sideways and my leg landed right on top of it.

Have you ever twisted a chicken wing to separate the joints? Well it was kind of like that. All the bones were broken in what’s called a trimalleolar fracture. Basically my foot was disconnected. It’s the worst fracture you can get and the worst case my surgeon had seen in many years.

And from that fateful day the only thing I wanted to know was when can I walk again. The short answer to that question is this: I was able to walk on my own 20 days after the doctor said I was allowed to walk.

But there’s a lot more to the story, a story I wasn’t sure I wanted to tell because I’d rather pretend this nightmare never happened. But reading other people’s stories helped me, so here goes.

Broken ankle: waiting for surgery

There was surprisingly little pain. My ankle was stabilized at the ER and I was sent home with instructions to stay off my left leg (non weight bearing or NWB) and keep it elevated while awaiting surgery. Oh, and I wasn’t allowed to shower either. (Try washing your hair in the kitchen sink while standing on one leg.)

Being NWB means I had to use crutches which is its own little nightmare.

Using your hands for crutches means you can’t carry anything, not even a cup of coffee. Luckily I had a small thermos and bottled water which I packed in a tote bag along with my phones and other items. I had to plan every excursion from the couch as if I were going on a long trip: what did I need to take with me, what did I need to bring back, how many stops did I have to make.

Sometimes I would take a break from crutches and roll around the kitchen in an office chair. That’s how I was able to prepare meals for me and the dog.

Drive Medical DV8 Aluminum Steerable Knee Walker Crutch Alternative

My borrowed knee scooter looked like this

The week after the accident my sister-in-law borrowed a knee scooter for me. This was life changing! I could get around faster and, with the tote bag hanging from the handlebars, was able to carry a dish in one hand and steer with the other.

Even with the scooter, the physical exertion of going from one place to the other left me extremely tired. I spent much of the time napping on the couch. I think my body was in shock. This exhaustion continued for several weeks.

Broken ankle surgery

That happened 11 days later on September 17. Right before going into the OR the nurses told me this was going to be a painful surgery. Such an inadequate word to describe the horror of the next 24 hours. The pain was excruciating. It felt like someone was sawing away at my ankle with a hacksaw. I counted the minutes until I could take the next pain pill, and this from someone who doesn’t even take headache medicine.

The next day the pain was about 50 percent less and each day it got better. By the fifth day I stopped taking pain pills. There was still pain but it was tolerable.

The surgeon installed a metal plate and six screws on the left side of my ankle, and one screw on the right side.

My foot was in a cast for two weeks and then I had a decision to make.

flowers on broken concrete

Removing stitches, and do you want a cast or a boot?

The cast came off and I didn’t want to look at my foot but got a glimpse of it anyway. My exact words were, “I look like Frankenstein.” My foot was laced with wounds: a five inch long one on the left side, one inch across the top of my foot, and three inches on the right side.

The stitches came out and there were lots of them. It didn’t hurt as bad as I expected, just mostly felt like someone snapping me with a rubber band.

Did I want another cast or a boot? A cast makes the foot more stable but you still can’t shower or exercise much with it. It’s also much lighter than a boot.

A boot costs extra, it’s heavy and bulky, but you can remove it to bathe. And this is what really sold me—I could start physical therapy two weeks earlier which meant I would be walking two weeks earlier. Done.

That being said, I hated every minute wearing that boot especially in bed where it was nearly impossible to get comfortable. Still, it was the right decision.

Then the doctor dropped a bomb on me. I would have to go another six weeks without being able to walk.

I was crushed thinking it was only going to be four weeks because bones take about six weeks to heal. I think he was being extra cautious due to the severity of the fracture.

The long road to recovery

dog laying on my pillow

My little doggy nurse testing out my pillow. Puppy approved!

The next six weeks were hard and I counted down the days until I would be allowed to walk again.

I rented a ramp for the back door so I could do a few things in the garden and dump my trash. Being able to finally get outside lifted my spirits somewhat.

I kept up with light housework, running the vacuum cleaner, keeping the bathrooms and kitchen clean, doing a little bit of cooking.

In the evenings while lounging on the couch I would take a break from the boot and let my foot out. By that time it really seemed like a very fragile foreign object attached to my body. I massaged it a little and did various exercises like curling my toes, bending my ankle and making little circles.

I noticed that the surgery had left me with slight numbness on the skin and a lump on the bottom of my foot.

I started physical therapy on October 23. I’ve done a separate post with more details about the exercises I did on my own as well as the ones that were prescribed to me.

Being released by the doctor, I can walk again…or can I?

Finally the day came on November 12 when the doctor told me my X-rays looked good and I could now walk! Well, I think what he meant was that I was allowed to walk, having previously stated it would take 3 to 5 months before I would be able to walk.

He told me I was allowed full weight bearing (FWB) with no restrictions except that he wanted me to wear the boot when I went outside, and after a few weeks I could throw it away.

Anyway, I was so excited leaving the office that I thought maybe I could just walk right out of there. But I didn’t, so I rode my scooter one last time to the car.

Then I put my left foot on the ground for the first time in over two months, and ow, OWWW, that really hurt! I picked it right back up again, dejected with the realization that I would still be dependent on the scooter for a while.

Learning to walk again after a broken ankle

When I got home I took out the crutches and practiced walking while putting some pressure on the left foot. I found it impossibly clunky to try and walk with the boot on so I ditched it immediately. My foot needed a lot of support which the boot did not provide. Not having anything suitable I ordered orthopedic shoes which helped me a lot.

my fuchsia vionic shoes

My fuchsia orthopedic shoes help me walk without limping

The next day I went to the physical therapist. They gave me a walker to use for as long as I needed. They told me to practice putting pressure on the foot, shifting from one side to the other.

And they also told me to practice walking around about 5 minutes a day. I ended up doing a lot more than that though, sometimes too much, resulting in a couple of setbacks.

One of the scariest things happened to me two days after being FWB. It was midnight and I was trying to see if I could vacuum using the walker. I used my left foot to release the vacuum cleaner, lost my balance and fell backwards, landing on my rear end.

I wasn’t hurt, just scared at what might have happened. The tension of being alone and feeling vulnerable for so long overflowed in that moment and I just sobbed my heart out.

The next day I kept at it, using the scooter to get around and practicing with the walker. I would tell myself, “You know how to walk, just walk!” But it was too painful and I couldn’t…yet. Each day I was able to tolerate more pressure on my foot.

And then one day I walked…on my own. Granted, I looked like a monster come to life but I was walking! Like Quasimodo without the hump. Twenty days after being FWB and 87 days after the accident, I could walk on my own at last!

Driving after a broken ankle

It’s illegal to drive with a cast or a boot on either foot. When I became FWB I was legally allowed to drive but couldn’t since my car has a manual transmission which requires the use of both feet. So I had to learn how to drive again.

A week after being FWB I started getting ready to drive. I practiced turning on the motor and shifting the gears with my right foot on the clutch. Then I turned the car off and practiced pressing the clutch with my left foot, using it as an exercise machine, pressing it 50 to 70 times. That was the first and second day.

On the third day I pressed the clutch 100 times, then drove up and down driveway a couple of times.

On the fourth day I drove around the block.

On the fifth day I drove to Trader Joe’s. And this was 11 days after being FWB. I was actually able to drive a stick shift before I was able to walk. Going to the store meant I had to take both the walker and scooter.

I needed the walker to get to the back seat where the scooter was. Then I took the scooter into the store where I was able to steer it with one hand and steer the shopping cart with the other. People stared at me but I didn’t care. I was finally on the road to freedom.

Walking without a limp

While I was able to walk on my own, limping was a problem. I began using one crutch (on the good side) for support most of the time while training myself to walk properly.

Believe it or not, it takes a lot of mental concentration to walk normally. It was frustrating as I told myself, “Why am I limping? I know how to walk.” My foot wasn’t strong enough to support my weight through each step. I would automatically throw my weight to the left and as I began falling to the right, my right leg took a step. Spending unequal time on each leg produces a limp.

To conquer that I actually had to practice walking while repeating “heel, toe” and trying to balance my weight in the center instead of throwing it out to the left, spending equal time on each step.

I also found it very helpful to do calf stretches followed by a 15 minute walk unaided.

I was finally able to ditch the crutch 53 days after being FWB.

flowers on concrete

Pain during and after a broken ankle

Pre surgery

For me there wasn’t a lot of pain when I first broke my ankle. I rated it as a 3 out of 10.

I was sent home from the ER with my foot wrapped in an ace bandage with splints which doesn’t provide a whole lot of support. I was happiest when my foot wasn’t flopping around too much. I used ice packs and occasional prescribed meds to combat the pain.

By the day of the surgery I had no pain at all.

Post surgery

I’ve already described the horrendous pain following the outpatient surgery. That was definitely a 10 out of 10. I did a lot of foot icing the first two days which was hard because the weight of the ice bag was too much for me to bear and I had to use very little ice.

I took my pain meds on schedule for the first two days, gradually increasing the time in between doses so that by the fifth day I stopped taking it altogether.

The pain greatly diminished with each passing day. Toward the end of the eight weeks while waiting to be released by the doctor, I was once again pain free.

Post FWB

The pain returned for the FWB phase. My foot hurt all the time but obviously the most when I was putting pressure on it. It felt like pins and needles combined with very sharp pain concentrated in the heel. I would rate it a 5 or 6 but I refused to take anything for it.

The one thing I did do was get acupuncture because it’s helped me a lot in the past. Right after I began driving I started the treatments, five in a three week period. I was using the walker at that time and desperate to walk on my own. The treatments did help but were not the miracle I’d been hoping for.

After I began to walk, I was still in constant pain and also began getting leg spasms in the left leg which kept me awake at night. My shins hurt too. And then my left knee started hurting as a result of limping.

Sometime in early January I noticed that there were some breaks in the pain, mostly when I wasn’t moving. It’s been gradually going away since then (but not entirely).

And I haven’t mentioned it before but there was a lot of swelling from the time I broke my ankle which continues to this day. The more swelling there is, the more pain I have.

Timeline from broken ankle to recovery

9/6/15 broke ankle, couldn’t walk, NWB

9/17/15 ankle surgery, in cast, not allowed to walk

10/1/15 cast removed, stitches removed, given walking boot but still NWB

10/23/15 started physical therapy, NWB exercises

11/12/15 released by doctor, allowed to walk, FWB

11/19/15 started “driving” practice

11/23/15 able to drive, made my first trip to the store

11/25/15 began acupuncture, five treatments

12/2/15 could walk a few steps unaided but used walker then one crutch part of the time

1/4/16 stopped using crutch, walking entirely on my own

1/23/16 walking without a limp, went dancing for the first time

My life today (March 3, 2016)

Very gradually my foot went from being something strange attached to me, a separate entity with its own needs, to once again being a functioning member of my body.

At the present time I usually only have pain when I walk or do my foot exercises. If I’m on my feet too long, it will hurt afterwards even when I’m resting. I mostly feel pain on the right side of the ankle and the top of the joint.

The numbness is almost gone but the lump on my arch remains.

I’m still going to physical therapy, with only two sessions left.

I can do almost everything I could do before. I can climb ladders, go up and down steps normally, and of course dance to about 90% of my former ability. The dancing does cause me to suffer for a day or two afterwards but hopefully that will improve soon.

I can’t wear high heels yet and had to buy some low-heeled booties to dance in.

my low-heeled shooties

These boots are made for walking…and dancing!

At night I sleep with my legs on top of a flat pillow. I’ve been doing that ever since the accident and it’s still too uncomfortable sleeping without it.

I recently resumed my kettlebell exercises.

I’m able to walk much faster now, almost up to my pre accident speed, although I’m very mindful of where I’m stepping.

To look at me now, nobody can tell anything happened. Things are looking up!

If you have any questions on things I may not have covered, please leave them in the comments below.

Update: June 14, 2016

It’s now seven months FWB and my ankle is feeling so much better. I’m able to stand for as long as I want doing my normal things like cooking, cleaning, shopping and working in the garden. In fact, I just completed a large garden project which involved a lot of digging.

I can dance for hours without suffering afterwards.

I don’t need to sleep with my legs on a pillow anymore.

There’s still some pain doing certain movements and some swelling, but not enough to make me want to ice my ankle. I haven’t used the ice pack in a couple of months.

Now I can even get out of bed in the morning and walk perfectly without having to stretch first.

I would say I’m 95 percent recovered.

I still can’t wear high heeled shoes but I don’t need to wear my magic pink shoes all the time.

Standing on tiptoe on just the left leg is difficult but getting easier every day.

I’m able to squat all the way down to the ground like I could before even though the dorsiflexion is not quite back to normal. I suspect that might be the last thing to come back.

Related posts

Rehabbing my broken ankle

My magic shoes for broken ankle recovery

Broken ankle recovery: one year later

191 replies
  1. John
    John says:

    I was crushed by a tractor at work on January 30 2019 and suffered a compound trimalleolar crush injury. I was rushed to the hospital and had emergency surgery that same day. My surgeon told me it was the worst ankle injury he ever repaired ,that my bones were in pieces and let’s hope for the best. I recieved 3 plates and 15 screws. After 3 days in the hospital I went home in a pist op cast and everything seemed good. Saw the doctor for a follow up and got a hard cast put on. Follow up two weeks later when he removed the cast it was infected. I was immediately admitted into the hospital and the surgeon performed a debridement and immediately started iv antibiotics. After 3 days in the hospital I was told I would need to do 6 weeks of antibiotics at home a picc line twice a day and they had to be exactly 12 hours apart. So for 6 weeks my wife had to start a antibiotic at 5 in the morning and 5 at night. each time it takes three hours to disperse. May 18 I went in for another surgery to have two of the weight bearing screws removed. At the follow up 10 days later I was told I can walk with the boot for 7 days no walker and come back to see him. At that appointment he cleared me FWB. I’m now in physical therapy, still not working, and it’s been almost 5 months. I can walk but, but not barefoot , and my ankle stays swollen and now my lower back is inflamed due to the foot overcompensation. I’m going to get thru this and walk normal again. Nobody understands the way it feels. I just read your story and it gives me hope. It also feels good to write my story. I’m not sure if anyone will read it but it feels good to just talk about it. Thank you.

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi John, you’re welcome! I’m sorry you’ve had to go through such a horrendous experience. I can’t even imagine what that’s been like. You have the determination and perseverance to walk normally again and I believe you will do it. Wishing you all the best!

      Reply
      • John Dellanini
        John Dellanini says:

        I’ve been walking with tennis shoes for about 3 weeks and am going to physical therapy twice a week. I’m hoping to go back to light duty at work july 9. My foot hurts. I cant walk on uneven ground, barely climb stairs and walk with a horrible limp. My ankle stays swollen and I ice it twice a day. I am a positive person and know I will get better but I was non weight bearing for 4 months I gained 30 lbs and my ankle looks like Franken foot. I’ve been told 10 years ago they would have had to amputate so I guess I’m lucky. I’m keeping a realistic outlook of pain free and no limp by july 4 2020. Fingers crossed.

        Reply
    • Chris Wignall
      Chris Wignall says:

      Hi John, I read your story! Keep at it and stay positive. Work hard as you are doing! I suffered a bi-malleolar fracture on Jan 26/19, surgery on Jan31/19. One plate and eight screws. Casted for 6 weeks and then 6 more in an air boot, the last two of those weight bearing. It’s amazing the amount of muscle atrophy that can happen in that period of time. I am back to work, have completed physio for 8 weeks and graduated being told I’m the fastest progressing bi-m they’ve seen. Still have a limp, still have trouble descending stairs, back on my hybrid bike and trying to rebuild my leg muscles. It is NOT easy but anyone who goes through this type of injury, stay positive and work hard to regain as much range of motion and muscle as you can.

      Reply
    • Marsha
      Marsha says:

      Thanks for sharing your story John. You really went through a tough time. I broke 3 bones in my ankle April 27, 2019. I returned to work last week still using my knee scooter. I’m unable to bend my ankle to the 90 degree ankle, but I’ve come a long way. Hopefully I’ll be back to normal by September. At least that’s what I’m hoping. Still going to therapy twice a week and and still using my walker and knee scooter.

      Reply
  2. Scott S
    Scott S says:

    Thank you for your post. I wish I had found it sooner. I also have a trimalleolar fracture and am 44 days after surgery. Frankly, nobody has given me a good explanation of what to expect during recovery despite numerous questions. Your posts here are really helpful to give me some expectation of what will happen when I’m FWB – hopefully later this week. Thanks for taking the time to write all this up.

    Reply
    • Bev Griffin
      Bev Griffin says:

      Scott I also had a trimollear fracture on Feb 8. Was operated on Feb 13; two plates and 10 screws. Lynda’s post kept me hoping. I read it many times when I felt I wasn’t going to get better. Thankfully I did. 8 weeks of PT and I walked almost normally! I am a senior! You will be fine; just do what you are told and hopefully you will have great PT like I did. Good luck.

      Reply
    • Chris Wignall
      Chris Wignall says:

      It is a very slow process. My orthopedic surgeon told me to expect one year of recovery. Ugh! Really! I’m an active person and hated being laid up as long as I was. Expect to be frustrated a lot! My physio was very hands on and did incision massage to reduce the scar tissue and encouraged me to massage the scars, which I hated, but I did, and continue to do. I apply essential oil ointments to the scars…. massaging the foot pushing upward to the leg and not down to the toes worked miracles for me and reduced the swelling immediately. Try to make the foot part of your body again because it will not feel like it belongs. All the best! Work hard!

      Reply
  3. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    Lynda- Your blog made me feel so much better. I had the ORIF surgery on 2/26 and i’m now FWB. My ankle still gets swollen, which has me worried, but after reading your blog, I see it’s normal. Any advice on when there will be no swelling? Hard to put shoes/sneakers on due to this

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Michelle, it will slowly get better but will probably last for at least a year as it did for me. I had to buy footwear that would accommodate it. Take care!

      Reply
  4. Denise Finnegan
    Denise Finnegan says:

    Dear Lynda. Your blog has lifted my spirits today. Had cast removed and now WB last Thursday. Doctor just told me to go home and walk, use boot outside and go back in 3wks. Did not know what to expect at all. Having read your blog, what you experienced is exactly what is happening to me. Boot feels awkward but shuffling along with crutches at home. Foot feels alien to me and aching and stiff. Felt really miserable at weekend thinking I’ll never walk properly again. Your story has made me feel more confident as I now know what to expect. Thank you so much. Regards Denise (London UK)

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Denise, I’m so happy my blog is helping you through this difficult time. I hope you are back to walking normally soon. Take care, my friend!

      Reply
      • Bev Griffin
        Bev Griffin says:

        Lynda my boot was removed today after 10 weeks post surgery. Dr told me to use a cane but to begin to walk without it. My foot has turned outward and PT will work on that. My ankle and heel are painful. Dr did not put an ankle brace on because of the plates in both sides. Told me to get an ankle sleeve which is very
        uncomfortable. Did you have an issue with your foot? I don’t recall from
        Reading your blog if you ever had an ankle brace. I’m glad to have the boot off but sure hurts without it! I guess this injury is a double edge sword!

        Reply
        • [email protected]
          [email protected] says:

          Hi Bev, no I never had an ankle brace. The doctor told me to use the boot outside but I never did because it gave me no support and made my gait more uneven. My physical therapist told me to get supportive shoes with laces.

          The pain is unavoidable but will start to go away as you progress with your physical therapy. Best of luck to you!

          Reply
  5. Linda
    Linda says:

    Thank you for this blog, I really felt so isolated with my broken ankle injury. I couldn’t do anything by myself, nothing! No weight bearing for 2 months and in a cast, I was and am so miserable, I just want my life back the way it was. My biggest fear is I’ll never feel confident walking with out my walker or crutches. My knee on the same side as my injury feels weak and sore when I attempt to walk and all the muscles in my upper legs are hurting and weak. I can only be up for short walks and a limited amount of time. Swelling is a problem I have but my injury was only 8 weeks ago. I have to wear a compression sock to the knee and an ankle brace and will be starting PT in about a week.walking is still very painful and I took my first shower today standing up, I was scared to death of falling! My anxiety level has been through the roof from the very beginning of this, since the day I fell out my front door and felt my Ankle break, will I ever be the same….?

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Linda, everything you’re describing is exactly what I went through. I remember being scared of just about everything. It’s normal and all I can tell you is take it little by little, day by day.

      Once you start getting stronger and your walking improves, you will begin to get your confidence back. It will also help if you repeat this mantra in your mind several times a day: I’m healthy, I’m strong, I’m well-abled, I’m restored.

      Your brain will listen and your body will follow. And one day it will be true and this nightmare you’re currently living will be in the past.

      Blessings to you!

      Reply
  6. Nasthenka
    Nasthenka says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience!! You really lifted my spirit. I had surgery a month ago and I still have numbness on top of my foot, this worries me so much thinking that is going to stay forever. I read you had some numb on your foot but I didn’t saw if it went away completely or some of it, and how long until the numbness goes away? Thank you so much for your time!! God bless you!

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Nasthenka, yes the numbness did go away. I can’t really say how long it took. It was gradual.

      When you start doing physical therapy and walking, it should start to improve. You can also stimulate the nerves by lightly rubbing your fingernails over the foot, stroking it, etc. The nerves need to be desensitized. But you’re only a month in so it’s still very early in your recovery.

      Good luck to you!

      Reply
  7. Christine
    Christine says:

    I was just released to FWB yesterday after a trimalleolar fracture. The Dr. said I coul get rid of the boot and just wear an ankle brace with my shoe. Uh…I don’t think so! I mentioned my concerns to the tech that fitted my brace, and she recommended the boot for outside and uneven/unknown surfaces.
    Today my biggest pain is the bottom of my heel…like a stone bruise. Did you experience anything like this?
    Your post is super helpful, and I found it at just the right time. Thanks so much for sharing!
    BTW, I am also in academia, si I totally understand your issues with conferences!

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Christine, when I became FWB heel pain was the most prominent. As my recovery progressed, different areas of my foot would take turns bothering me. All this is normal. Good luck for a speedy recovery!

      Reply
    • Jason
      Jason says:

      Hi,
      I was just cleared to start FWB on April,10th which was exactly 6 weeks after surgery. I am also experiencing horrible pain in my heal, which is the main reason I came back to this page. I am starting to guess heal and bottom of the foot pain is to be expected.

      I wish you and myself the best of luck on our recoveries. I am excited and scared at the same time.

      Jason

      Reply
  8. Renata
    Renata says:

    I’ve revisited your story about every 2 weeks since breaking my ankle (bimalleolar fracture) on Jan 2nd. Thanks so much for sharing, it’s really lifted my spirits a few times when I hated the world:). Surgery was Jan 21st and it’s been 23 days since they removed my thermoplastic splint and released me for WB. I never would have thought that a broken ankle could have such psychological consequences. The first few weeks, I was in a depressed funk, physically I could barely drag myself to the bathroom and back to bed. Now it’s like a roller coaster–one day I feel I’ve made great progress and the next I have more pain and less movement and feel like I’ve taken 2 steps back. I can hobble a few steps in the kitchen between countertops w/o crutches but it’s not fun. I can’t even imagine when I’ll be able to drive again, and I wonder if my car will even start! I’m thinking about switching to elbow crutches but worry that my klutziness could make it dangerous. I fell backward with the axillary crutches the first week after surgery and tore a rib muscle, which ended up being more painful than the ankle. Anyway, I’m so grateful to have found your blog, I’ve used it to compare my progress and it’s always made me feel better about where I am at any particular time. I hope to put this far behind me as soon as possible, but I already live in fear of next winter and more black ice conditions that caused my current injury. Keep dancing!

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Thanks, Renata! Last night was an epic night of nonstop dancing and I loved every minute of it.

      I’m glad my blog is helping you. My physical therapist told me to use a walker instead of crutches while I was learning to walk again. Maybe that would help you too. Best of luck on your healing journey!

      Reply
      • Amanda
        Amanda says:

        Hi,

        Broke, dislocated and fractured ankle in multiple places. I had surgery 6-20-19. I just had stitches removed and was told to start PT next week. The thought of someone or me touching the foot makes me so nervous. I can wiggle toes a bit and flex foot into me. I am so nervous about actually WB in about 6 weeks due to pain. Did anyone have a rumbling sensation by hardware sensation….almost like a pulsating?

        Reply
        • [email protected]
          [email protected] says:

          I didn’t but let’s see if anyone else can weigh in on that.

          Don’t worry about the PT. You will be fine.

          Reply
          • Debbie
            Debbie says:

            PT is your friend. You will be so happy to go and wish you could more often. This is your road to walking. I have been in therapy for 3 weeks..slow, but so helpful.
            Debbie

        • Scott Schechter
          Scott Schechter says:

          In 6 weeks, you will feel completely differently. The ankle is just beginning to recover. In 6 weeks, you may still have some pain and fear, but you’ll probably be anxious to try to use your ankle. I was no weight bearing for almost 9 weeks. I went to FWB after that. I was given exercises to do before weight bearing that basically amounted to spinning my ankle around in circles, stretching it in all four directions and curling my toes. All of those things were painful, but I worked them hard. They helped a lot. When I started PT after 9 weeks, using my ankle was painful, but my therapist said I had good range of motion. Do the PT, work the exercises and you’ll get better. A couple times, I overdid it and had to take a day off, but that’s just part of the learning process. I’m now FWB for a bit over 2 weeks and I am walking in hiking boots with 3/4 ankle support. I’m using no support or crutch walking around the house, but I’m taking a cane when I go out. I’m happy with my progress, and I hope you will be too.

          Reply
    • Bev Griffin
      Bev Griffin says:

      Renata, I was so glad to see that this injury affected someone else like it did me. I never dreamed it would have that kind of affect on me. Then I felt bad for letting it affect me like that. I also could not walk on crutches and had a fall on them. I got a walker and a knee scooter, neither of which are easy to maneuver for me. I have been NWB since my accident on February 8. I start PT on April 1. I fully understand all your feelings! Hopefully we both will feel better soon.

      Reply
      • Renata
        Renata says:

        Bev, we’ll get through this! I had never heard of knee scooters before, and I actually spent 6 weeks after surgery in a wheelchair after I fell with the crutches. I took up the crutches again after I was released for WB. I work at home and the wheelchair helped me get back to work far sooner than I would have without it. It was cumbersome in my smallish apartment but I was able to push it right up to my desk and work at the computer, saved my bank account! The feelings of helplessness haven’t fully disappeared though, and I’m so sick of having to get groceries delivered! Let’s hang in there, we have to trust that things will return to normal sooner than later 🙂 Hope your PT goes well.

        Reply
  9. Bev Griffin
    Bev Griffin says:

    Although my dr. told me to stay off all websites dealing with my injury, I enjoyed reading Lynda’s accounts of surgery and all the info from all who replied. I had a trimalleolar fracture of the left ankle on February 8 and surgery on February 13. I have two plates and 10 screws, two of which are very large. I was in a splint for two weeks and a hard cast for two weeks. This past Monday I was put into a walking boot for but still can’t weight bear at all until April 1, at which time I will have my first PT appointment. I can feel the plate rubbing on the left side of my ankle in the boot. It is painful and I’m not sure how well I will tolerate the boot when I actually walk on it. Did anyone have plates removed? If so, what was the time frame?

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      I’m glad you found my website and I hope someone will come forward with their plate removal story.

      My doctor told me I had to wait a year to remove the hardware, up until the second year. After that, it’s too late. You should also ask your doctor about that.

      Everything is really tender now but after a year it might feel okay. Good luck!

      Reply
    • Chris W
      Chris W says:

      I am recovering from bi-malleolar left ankle, Jan. 26/19, surgery on 31st. One plate and eight screws. Eight weeks NWB and just started WB while in an air boot. No pain while weight bearing at approximately 50%. Lots of swelling which the surgeon says to expect for up to a year. I wonder how I’m going to put a shoe on in a few weeks. Apparently a very small number of ppl have the hardware removed. Such a horrible type of fracture to experience!!

      Reply
      • Bev Griffin
        Bev Griffin says:

        It’s my worst experience to date. I’ve had a child, a broken hand from a motor
        cycle accident and a broken foot! I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. I am afraid to even try to walk. My Dr said because my ankles are thin one of the plates will be prominent and possibly will have to be removed. Just what I want to hear, another surgery!!
        Good luck on your recovery.

        Reply
  10. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    Reading your blog just gave me a little boost of positivity. I broke my ankle 40 days ago exactly, went to surgeon today for follow-up and he said I could start putting as much weight on it as I can take BUT when I asked how long till I’m “recovered” he said he wasn’t sure because the bone is only JUST starting to heal on the edge! Very discouraging and really brought me down, but reading your blog was very informative and boosted me up that even though it takes time I need to be patient and trust the process! Thank you for posting this!!!

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Lauren, you’re welcome and I’m glad my blog is helping you! Broken bones heal in six to eight weeks so I can see why you’re only partial weight bearing at this point.

      I’m assuming you may have only broken one bone? If so, full recovery will come a lot faster than those of us who have broken two or three bones. In those cases full recovery takes two to five years based on my research. Best of luck to you!

      Reply
  11. Heidi
    Heidi says:

    I had a trimallular fracture too
    I have a doctor who said at 7 weeks after surgery said It looked great. Told me to walk on it , just walk he says to me Not knowing anything when I got home I walked into the front door and around the house a bit or should I say I limped. About an hour after that tremendous pain tremendous pain in the inside of my left heel which is the broken ankle foot anyway trying to recover from that he did not prescribe physical therapy so I slowly keep trying to walk on my walker with minimal weight sometimes more weight anyway it hurts I just don’t know how long does anybody know it’s going to hurt like this I still can’t feel normal I can’t do anything I really want to do yet because it’s just too painful it hurts It hurts on the top of my ankle when I walk and the muscles in my calf the whole thing just aches sometimes feel the ligaments move can someone tell me how much pain lasts after you were told you could bear weight?

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Heidi, it’s shocking how little the doctors tell you about recovering from a broken ankle. That’s why I wrote several posts about my experiences.

      I encourage everyone to get physical therapy or at the very least, read my post Rehabbing my broken ankle and do the exercises at home, faithfully several times a day.

      I wrote that I still had some pain one year later. The pain cannot be avoided. It starts out as constant pain and gradually you’ll begin to have moments without pain. Those moments then stretch into minutes, hours, etc.

      The pain will not go away on its own until you get rid of the underlying cause (weak muscles, tight ligaments, atrophy, nerve sensitivity), not just in your ankle but your entire leg. To fully recover you have to push through the pain during exercises, but not too far. It’s a delicate balance that you have to experiment with.

      With patience and persistence you WILL make progress. Full recovery will be slow (up to 5 years) but it will happen. So hang in there and I wish you the best of luck!

      Reply
      • Heidi
        Heidi says:

        Thank you much !! I still can’t believe he said your good just walk on “just start walking on it”!!! But thank you and yes I am going to do those exercises
        It been one week weight bearing
        I have hardware on both sides !
        Uggggg

        Thank you

        Reply
        • [email protected]
          [email protected] says:

          You’re doing much better than me after one week so I hope that means you’ll have a faster recovery. Good luck!

          Reply
    • Michelle
      Michelle says:

      Heidi- I had the same fracture and needed surgery (open reduction internal fixation). Surgery was 2/26 and I am now finally able to put sneakers on (was wearing slides before). Had a metal plate a 11 screws put in. My only issue right now is the swelling, which doc says “every person is different” so not sure when it will go down. I didn’t go to physical therapy. I’m doing exercises at home with the rubber band. Try taking an anti-inflammatory pill to help with the pain and swelling. Lots of luck!

      Reply
      • Bev Griffin
        Bev Griffin says:

        Heidi, 12 weeks ago today I had a trimalleolar fracture. Surgery five days later. Yep plates and 10 screws. Today I walked for the first time without the use of a walker or a cane. Very slowly and carefully but walking. Have been going to PT since April 1 and will go until the end of May. Good luck on your recovery.

        Reply
  12. Shirley Gannon
    Shirley Gannon says:

    Thank you so much for your report on what happened to you. I really felt for you and your struggles, and admired you at the same time. I fell on January 2nd 2019 and broke my ankle (tib and fib). This was 1 day before I was to fly my daughters wedding which took place in Mexico. Everyone else was already there which was a good thing. Because there was no one home, I was admitted to the hospital right away. My foot was very swollen so I was operated on Jan 7th.and they put in 3 screws and a plate. As of Feb 20 I am allowed 50% weight barring which I do a few times a day for a few steps. This has caused my foot to swell, and a bit of pain, but not too bad. I am supposed to be able to weight bare 100% on March 20th, but not too sure about that after all the reading I have done! I have had a boot from the beginning and I swear that thing weighs 50 pounds, so I will be very happy when it is finally gone.! Thanks for letting me tell my story!

    Reply
    • Polly Hawkins
      Polly Hawkins says:

      So with all of you I slipped and broke my Tibia Fibia 12/15/2018 surgery 10 p.m the next day with the big cast. First Dr visit two weeks another cast two weeks later Dr visit another cast. I have been in Therapy for two weeks twice a week and in a cast Boot. I went back to work on 2/21/2019 with the last cast with a scooter. With the Boot at now 75 percent and therapy and walker with wheels getting better. Still in pain and ankle gets soo swollen gets so annoying. The therapy is really helpful and I try and follow up at home.. Like all of you this is growing to be a long process. I am able to use my stairs but very carefully still come down on my butt. I take the boot off at night and use to go to the bathroom without the front plate and use walker. Yes I cheated and walked a couple of nights (wrong move) my ankle told me know way and I suffered for it .
      My therapist educated me. Next surgeon appointment is 3/15/2019 Just a note my family took me in to stay in their basement for (2) Months bless them thank goodness the surroundings were light and bright as I only left to go to Dr Appointments . I was fed all my meals down there and being put to bed every night and waited on hand and foot. As a very active person I did not go mad just hang in there it will get better.

      Reply
  13. Nicole yeager
    Nicole yeager says:

    Hi,
    I just fell last week when a gas station failed to even salt their parking lot I dislocated it and gave a trimalleolar fracture the initial break and everything since is excruciating and I take pain well . I see the orthopaedic surgeon tomorrow to determine if I need surgery…I don’t mind if I have to have it im actually more concerned with working as I can’t even sit upright without severe pain in my leg… of course it’s my right ankle so I’m trapped and a single mother of two…I reaaaallly appreciated your story so I have at least some sort of timeline…. I am going stir crazy laying here but not being able to work is what’s bothering me the most…

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Nicole, it’s so devastating to go from being a normal active person to being confined to your couch. Most likely you will not be able to work for a few weeks. Just spend that time taking good care of yourself. Good luck with your surgery and recovery!

      Reply
    • Angel
      Angel says:

      Had surgery 2 months ago and I have 5 kids ,one with disability and a toddler. I feel your pain. I thought I would never get through this, but God is good. You can do this! Stay strong. Biggest lesson , let people help you.

      Reply
  14. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey! Very helpful information after having surgery last month. I was told I can now walk a few steps per day but it hurts!! Starting PT in 2 weeks.

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      You’re welcome, Sarah! I’m glad my story is helping you. Yes it’s very painful learning how to walk again. Best of luck with your therapy!

      Reply
  15. Corinne
    Corinne says:

    Hi Lynda. Your article made me laugh so hard I cried! Your description of planning any movement from couch being like planning a major trip is SOOO true! When you saw your ankle and foot you thought Frankenstein; I thought mummified! Anyway, thanks for a very good laugh. I found your article while doing a search trying to figure out if how much it hurts now that I am FWB is normal. I see it is, so – thanks. So glad you healed so nicely. Best.

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Oh thank you, Corinne! Life was quite a struggle then. Now things are great. Wishing you the best of luck with your healing!

      Reply
    • DEBBIE
      DEBBIE says:

      I HAD THE SAME REACTION TO LYNDA’S JOURNEY AS YOU DID. I WAS SO TRAUMATIZED WHEN THEY TOOK OFF THE CAST TO SEE THE STITCHES FOR THE FIRST TIME AFTER SURGERY. I COULD NOT STOP CRYING. MY JOURNEY HAS BEEN CLOSE TO HERS. I HAD 10 SCREWS AND A PLATE. I AM AT THE POINT OF TAKING OFF CAST IN 4 DAYS AND TRANSITIONING TO A BOOT. IT REALLY DOES HELP TO HAVE SOME IDEA WHAT TO EXPECT EVEN IF IT IS NOT AS POSITIVE AS YOU WOULD HOPE. IT IS REALITY AND THAT HELPS ME MOST OF ALL. I APPEREICATE EVERYONE’S INPUT.
      DEBBIE

      Reply
  16. Priscilla
    Priscilla says:

    So I’m so glad I found this… I’m 100% sure your break was worse than mine because luckily I didn’t have to have surgery however I feel like this whole process of healing has taken FOREVER!!! I broke my ankle August 1, 2018 and it is now February 1,2019 and at times the pain is ridiculous. I still have a limp sometimes but other times it’s better and so it’s so easy to get absolutely frustrated with how long it will take. Honestly I questioned myself as to if it would ever fully get back to normal because standing for too long sets me back insanely and I just want to get up and run sooo reading your post has helped tremendously. I am not in therapy nor have I been so idk if maybe that is slowing things down but I will try getting my own “magic shoes” and pray for the best. Thank you!!!

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      You’re welcome, Priscilla. I’m sorry to hear that you’re still sometimes limping and in pain. I highly recommend therapy, or you can read my post Rehabbing my broken ankle and try doing it on your own. “Magic shoes” make a big difference, the shoes with the Tuli’s heel cups for extra cushioning.

      Best of luck to you!

      Reply
  17. Kira
    Kira says:

    Oh this gives me hope, i broke my ankle a week ago, still havent had surgery yet, but as long as i can walk and drive a car again and walk up and down ladders and stairs ill be happy

    Reply
  18. Margi
    Margi says:

    Thank you for your inspiring posts, it was helpful and encouraging! My story is pretty much like everyone else’s except with a little twist. I broke my ankle 10/28/18 zip lining and had surgery 11/2/18 and had plates and screws inserted as well. Right before Christmas my incision got infected and started breaking down which required me to go to wound specialist. My bones are healed but the infection has delayed FWB as they are concerned the wound will open back up. Once the wound is safely closed I will be able to start physical therapy.

    Reply
  19. Sergio Gallardo
    Sergio Gallardo says:

    I want to day thank you for this beautiful and hopefull timeline. You have given me hope to believe I can be able to walk again even after a few months of limps. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. God bless you

    Reply
  20. Melissa Johnson
    Melissa Johnson says:

    Wow. Great timeline blog! Thank you! Im on week 4 of trimalleolar fracture and everything is so up in the air. Even the doctor doesnt have dates for me, as everyone heals differently. But i am a runner and have been running 8years/8months doing a half marathon a month and completing the 50 states for breast cancer awareness. I was on state 40. #pinkfeet

    Reply
  21. Anna
    Anna says:

    I am 10 days post-op after my trimalleolar break. Accident was on 10/27 and surgery was on 11/1. I just moved to Eastern Portland in September, away from all of my friends and family in San Diego. Luckily I am here with my boyfriend and he has been such a help. I had my mom here with me for a week, but she had to leave to go back to work. I am suffering severe depression after my break/surgery. Really missing my mom, friends and family, and feeling so isolated and confined to my bed and couch is making matters much worse. I thought adjusting to my new home was hard…but being confined to the 4 walls of my bedroom and living room is 10x worse. How did you all deal?

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Anna, I feel your pain girl! This is the most challenging, depressing situation, even if you have loved ones nearby. What really helped me was having something to look forward to in the near future. For example, I planned a big birthday party for myself and I also spent a lot of time thinking about and shopping for a really cute outfit to wear my first time back dancing. You might plan a vacation or get concert tickets, whatever your interests are. You deserve to treat yourself!

      Another thing I did was to watch comedies like reruns of Frasier and the Golden Girls. I couldn’t bear to watch anything violent or serious. Also, music is good for changing your mood.

      Hope that helps. Hang in there!

      Reply
    • Carol
      Carol says:

      I was on vaca in Ireland when I had my trimalleolar break on Sept.2. It is the end of Nov. and I’m still in a NWB boot. I had 2 surgeries in Ireland with 2 plates and 10 screws, in the hospital there for 6 days before I was able to fly back to Florida. In two days I see my doctor and I’m hoping I will be able to walk and drive after these 3 months of doing neither. I appreciate reading how you progressed and I am very hopeful! I have a whole new respect for disabled people now!

      Reply
    • kelkel
      kelkel says:

      I had the same injury and was confined to bed for months, I just watched a lot of youtube on my phone and shows I liked while in bed. My dad put a recliner sideways in front of my computer desk so I could keep my leg elevated and I set a chair next to it to put my mouse pad on so I could use the computer, I played games and watched stuff while in the chair, it really helped me.

      Reply
    • Tere Anguiano
      Tere Anguiano says:

      Anna,

      My accident happened 10/28, the day after your accident while on vacation. I started PT last week & just staying positive but I definitely have my moments. We got this. Love that I found this site!

      Reply
  22. Karen Bennett
    Karen Bennett says:

    I just found your blog and am so thankful for the information you provided. I initially broke my ankle in a fall 15 June 2018. Had my first surgery 28 June, followed by the expected recovery of casting and NWB. I was able to progress 50% WB with a Camboot. Well, that didn’t work very well and I ended up having to go through surgery again. On the 9th of August, I went through surgery again because of non-union of the fracture. That time they put in 8 screws and a plate. I’ve again gone through the NWB and PWB. I am now FWB, tennis shoes, and no assistive device. My orthopedic physician hasn’t recommended PT; I was told there wasn’t any for ankles so have had to pursue that on my own. PT starts next week. I continue to have pain but am encouraged by reading your blog and comments that were left of other’s experiences. I now have a better idea of what I may go through as I continue to recover.

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Karen, I’m glad my blog is helping you and also that you’re going to do physical therapy. That’s very important. Good luck with your recovery!

      Reply
      • Elizabeth
        Elizabeth says:

        I am so glad you mentioned the dancing part! I have a passion for dancing and ask God to please allow me to be able to walk with limp and dance! Thank you so much for sharing your story sooo similiar to mine! I am 6weeks post op tomorrow.

        Reply
        • [email protected]
          [email protected] says:

          Thank you, Elizabeth! You have the desire to dance and so it will be. I dance for hours every Saturday night, like nothing ever happened. Best of luck to you!

          Reply
  23. Trudi
    Trudi says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, it is giving me a more realistic look at what I am in for. This has been the most painful experience of my life, physically, and I am concerned how it will effect me in the future. I have osteoporosis and I am only 51. I knew that I had osteopenia a few years back and started taking hormones and supplements. It is encouraging to hear that it does get better even though it is going to take a very long time:(

    Reply
  24. Teresa
    Teresa says:

    Just thought I’d let you know about Arnica. It helps speed up healing. You can get Arnica cream and Arnica granules and I think also liquid Arnica. The cream helps heal from the outside (bruises heal in half the time) and the granules and / or liquid heal from the inside. Most Health Food Stores carry it.

    Reply
  25. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    I had a trimalleolar fracture on August 23, 2018. I had ankle surgery on September 7, 2018. My orthopedic surgeon told me “ we are in a long term relationship”. On September 23, 2018, I go to the surgeon for my first after surgery appointment. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this blog. I now have questions to ask and I know what to expect. Thank you all😘

    Reply
    • kel
      kel says:

      Hi Nancy, I’m really sorry to hear about your injury 🙁 I had the same exact injury and my surgery was November 2016 so it’s going on 2 years now. I had a lot of issues and pain after my surgery but the good news is I’m fine now but it took a long time. I actually feel like I am still healing from that injury, it was definately life altering for me. I didn’t have anyone to ask questions and I was afraid a lot about what the future would hold so I’m only too happy to be here for you and answer any questions you have if I can, take care Nancy!

      Reply
      • Nancy
        Nancy says:

        Thank you Kel! Just had my first surgery follow up with the orthopedic surgeon- 8 more weeks of non-weight bearing casts and then 8 weeks of PT!! Hoping no complications!

        Reply
    • Trudi
      Trudi says:

      Hi Nancy, I broke my ankle on the 26th of August and had surgery on the 6th of September. I still have a lot of pain at times. I am going to the Dr Wednesday and they plan to let me start walking:( I have been wanting my freedom back but I am scared of walking. I am a FNP in an ER, go figure. My ortho said I have the worst he has seen in 18 years! I am curious to see how you progress since we are essentially on the same time line!

      Reply
      • Nancy
        Nancy says:

        Hi Trudi-
        I see my ortho on 10/22, but I think it’s just for a cast change and then the next appointment in 3 or 4 weeks will be a weight bearing boot and starting PT. I am jealou😂- you are ahead of me. I have a really bad break-I lost count of all the screws, plates and pins. I am an active 71 year old who had been walking a very active pug puppy 5 times a day, but it may take my old bones awhile to heal. I have pain at night, but it has been tolerable. Good luck and keep me posted of your progress.

        Reply
  26. Beverley Toland
    Beverley Toland says:

    This is amazing thankyoy for sharing your story! I experienced the exact same break on 28th October…and reading your story has helped me judge my recovery rate. Im still using crutches but weight bearing and concentrating hard on walking properly! Loved how you describe that “just walk normally” moment! Thankyou again!

    Reply
  27. Kel
    Kel says:

    Hi, thanks for sharing your broken ankle story, it’s been very helpful to be able to read about someone going through the same experience as me. I had the same injury happen to me and had surgery 8 weeks ago, my issues are very similar to yours except I had an issue with a lot of nerve pain. I’m now trying to walk and its difficult but I wanted to ask you if you ever found out what that lump in your arch was. I have the same exact thing in my arch its like a hard round ball I can feel in there when I rub it and I’m a bit worried about what it could be. Thanks again!

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Kel,

      No one was able to tell me what that lump was but I now think it was probably bunched up nerves. It did go away and this is what helped–rolling my foot around on top of a tennis ball. Start doing this when you are FWB.

      I had a lot of nerve pain too, that’s why it was so painful for me trying to walk. I only learned about the tennis ball trick about four months ago and it really helped to very quickly eliminate the nerve pain in my heel and arch. I also use it to massage around my ankle bone and on top where it bends. I hold the tennis ball in my hand and roll it around while putting pressure on it. It’s a very good self-massage and so much easier than using your hands alone.

      So give that a try and don’t worry, everything’s going to be fine. Take care!

      Reply
      • Kel
        Kel says:

        Thanks for replying so fast Lynda! I’m sorry you had the nerve pain too, it’s a tough thing to go through as you know but it’s getting better as the weeks go on. Yes rolling my foot on a tennis ball makes sense and if it helped your foot then I’m going to do it too! I already massage the foot but going to add the ball into the routine. I have nerve pain on the top of my foot only and it’s still numb on the top and my 4th toe is totally numb. I also have a weird feeling under the toes on the top of foot like there is a rubber band inside or a webbing and I’m hoping that loosens up over time. Well your story gives me hope that all these terrible feelings will go away in time, thanks for keeping my spirits up! God knows I need it after being stuck in a room for almost 3 months lol

        Reply
  28. Jaclyn P
    Jaclyn P says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Unfortunately I’m just at the beginning of this miserable process and to make it even better, I’m 24 weeks pregnant. I have surgery scheduled for 1/11/17. I’m very anxious. I was at 10 out of 10 pain for the first week after my injury(12/21/16) and I can’t imagine going back to that. Did everyone have general anesthesia for the surgery? Because I’m pregnant they are going to do spinal anesthesia with a nerve block. The thoughts of being awake freak me out but I have to do what’s best for my baby. I’m hoping someone had spinal/nerve block and can share their experience with me

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Jaclyn,

      I actually did have a spinal instead of general anesthesia and it wasn’t bad at all. I thought it would hurt a lot when they stuck me in the back but it didn’t hurt that much. I was completely knocked out. I only remember getting the shot and then waking up in the recovery room. I had to stay in the hospital until the nerve block wore off which took a few hours.

      There was a lot of pain the next 24 hours after surgery which I described in detail. I hope you’re able to take something for it. For me at least the pain lasted a relatively short time. Good luck with everything!

      Reply
    • DEBBIE
      DEBBIE says:

      I HAD THE NERVE BLOCK DURING MY SURGERY. IT WAS GOOD TO BE SO NUMB BUT KNOW THAT WHEN THE BLOCK WEARS OFF THERE WILL BE PAIN FOR ABOUT 1 DAY AND THEN IT EASES UP. THE E/R NURSE WARNED ME ABOUT THAT SO THAT I WAS READY FOR IT. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU TAKE YOUR PAIN MEDICINE BEFORE THE PAIN STARTS. STAY AHEAD OF THE PAIN. I AM NOT SURE HOW STRONG OF MEDICATION YOU CAN USE BEING PREGNANT.
      DEBBIE

      Reply
  29. Dawn Richardson
    Dawn Richardson says:

    Hi and thank you so much for posting your journey with a trimalleolar fracture. December 13, 2016 is when I slipped on ice in my driveway and the rest is sort of history. My X-rays were epic. I had surgery to repair my ankle on December 19th, and had my stitches removed on January 3rd. I didn’t get the option to have a boot or a cast, I was casted and obviously still NWB. My doctor also told me I needed to elevate my leg more often than not because the swelling hasn’t really subsided (as if I wasn’t elevating it all the time already!). Showering hasn’t been a problem for me because I got a watertight leg seal, the hardest part is trying balance on one leg and clean yourself.
    I go to the doctor for my next X-ray on January 24th, and hopefully I will get some good news. My folks and I have different levels of opinion as to me getting out and about being NWB, but I am going stir crazy and I just have to be able to go out with my daughter for her birthday in February. I have both a walker and crutches, all I need is a willing driver to take me places. 🙂

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Dawn,

      Well you’re just at the start of your long journey to recovery. I hope you’ll be able to find rides when you need them or just want a change of scenery. That’s always a problem being dependent on somebody else to get around. Good for you for even wanting to get out and about! Take care and have fun at your daughter’s birthday party next month.

      Reply
  30. Tammy
    Tammy says:

    Almost similar situation. Mine happened 9/8/15, I was holding my then 9 month old daughter, tripped down a step and took all of the fall. She had not a scratch. Dislocated my right ankle and ended up with 6 total fractures. Had surgery, 3 plates and 14 screws. I had a nerve block which lasted 3 days, so I didn’t have much pain at all, even throughout the my whole recovery. It’s been over a year since my accident and sometimes it will bother me if I’m on my feet too long or if I rotate on it the wrong way. I’m no way near 100 %, in fact today I pointed my foot too much and it felt strange. I can drive no problem. I used a wheelchair to get around since I had a baby to take care of. I was NWB for 14 long weeks!

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Tammy,

      Oh my goodness I can’t imagine having to take care of a baby with a broken ankle! And 14 weeks is a very long time to be NWB.

      My research indicates that recovery time is at least two years. I do believe it’s possible to get back to normal with a lot of effort. It’s just going to take a very long while. Have faith and keep working on it. Things are going to get better.

      Reply
      • Olga Danes-Volkov
        Olga Danes-Volkov says:

        Two years? Oddly enough, that’s very comforting. When I hit wet tiles at the bottom of a staircase in June this year and sat up to find my left foot pointing left at 90 degrees, I assumed I’d broken my ankle. In the end I found it was my tibia with the titanium rod in it that had broken!!! (Fourth break in 7 1/2 yrs. No osteoporosis, just too many animals!) Not being in UK currently, it was v badly set and I now have a tibia and ankle at quite the wrong angkle. My ankle means my foot is hopelessly over pronated. I doubt at 71 it will ever get completely right. My left leg is a good 1 1/2 inches shorter than the right now but I can walk at last without limping unless v tired. Your researches lead me to believe that if I last two years, I will perhaps be able to walk fast, even run, again!! Thank you.

        Reply
        • [email protected]
          [email protected] says:

          Hi Olga,

          My research was focused on broken ankles and it does take a long time for the body to recover from that. I’d say you’re doing very well if you’re able to walk without limping, especially considering one leg is shorter than the other. In two more years you’ll be doing even better, just don’t break your leg again!

          Reply
  31. tracy
    tracy says:

    I broke my ankle on 11/12, surgery was on 11/18. I have an appointment this Thursday to get my cast off and *hopefully* get my walking boot, depending on how xrays are looking. I am very nervous about the rehabilitation time you mentioned from the walking boot to walking completely independently. I get married August 12th and want to be at least to 85% healed by then.

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Tracy, I think you’re going to be doing really well by the time you get married. Be sure to focus on the proper form even if that means you have to use a cane for a while. Then one day you’ll be able to walk normally without assistance. And that’s going to happen long before August rolls around.

      Good luck and I’d love to know how you’re doing in a few months. Take care!

      Reply
    • Lillian Hammer
      Lillian Hammer says:

      By August you should be able to walk down that aisle with a smile because you will be fine once again. Physical therapy will help you do it. I credit them for helping me walk again

      Reply
    • Paulette
      Paulette says:

      Hi Tracy, I had my Trimall on October 4 and my surgery on October 14, 2016. I have been out of the boot for about three weeks and off crutches (95% f the time) for about two weeks. For me, it was really difficult to walk without the crutches, but I practiced quite often in my condo – just a few steps. Now, I no longer need to see my OS. At therapy, I’m moving from three weekly sessions to two. I am walking unaided, but with a slight limp. I’m not sure if it’s a limp or I’m just trying to get my balance. I am walking slowly around my development (a toddler passed me today), but I have been given the go-ahead to bike, walk and swim. I would think that by August, you should be doing quite well.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  32. MM
    MM says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. This post is really helpful because it’s hard to know what to expect in terms of recovery from a broken ankle, and it can be difficult to envision eventually feeling normal again.
    I’m six weeks out from a comparatively simple lateral malleolar fracture – no surgery required. I’m still in a fiberglass cast for one more week, but with permission to bear as much weight as is comfortable. I had kind of expected to be able to walk by now, but I’m not there yet.
    Your post, and your readers’ comments remind me that the healing process is variable, and that there is an emotional component to overcoming the sense of fragility, as well. Positive thinking and patience, it seems, are important now.

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi MM,

      I think you’ll be recovering a lot faster having only broken one bone but it’s still a traumatic experience. Yes, positive thinking, patience and determination will get you through this. Best of luck to you!

      Reply
    • Paulette
      Paulette says:

      I had a trimalleolar fracture on Oct 4 and surgery on Oct 14. I just moved out of my Cam Walker a week ago and am starting to walk for very short periods of time without crutches. However, by later in the afternoon, evening, I need to use one crutch as I’m just too tired.

      Like you, I felt I’d never feel normal again and wondered if I’d ever been FWB. My steps are more side to side instead of moving forward but the idea is to be FWB; I’m not FWB every day or all day but with practice I will be. You will come to a point where you suddenly ‘turn a corner’ and really start to see progress, but for me it really wasn’t happening until two weeks ago when I could easily walk with just one crutch in the Cam Walker. A week later, I moved to just a MalleoTrain brace and hiking boots with one crutch. It really is ‘one step at a time.’

      Reply
  33. Jowanna Burton
    Jowanna Burton says:

    Hi my name is jowanna, and I have a trimalleolar fracture. Had surgery 9/30/16 and been nwb since then. Your story has really inspired me to not give up just yet, even though I did at one point but I have a strong support system with me and reading your story has helped me alot.

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Jowanna, thank you so much! Never give up. There’s a lot of work ahead of you but you will make it. Best of luck to you!

      Reply
  34. Lillian Hamme
    Lillian Hamme says:

    When I found
    Linda’s article it helped me so
    Much. Have faith and you will walk again. I was laid up for 3 months and with physical
    Therapy I
    Am walking again. You will too.

    Reply
  35. TC
    TC says:

    I searched for help, and I found it in your article. Never regret reliving it to help others! Today I’ve gone from a cast to a boot. I foolishly thought I would walk ever so gently out of the Doctor’s office. But my pain, and unused limp ankle had me in tears in his office. I used my crutches to come home and have been wondering how long until I can get my strengh back enough to walk. I’ve been working the entire time too. I have a scooter, but want to walk. Your experience has helped me realize it’s going to take what ever time it takes. Thank You. Incidentally, I broke my ankle nearly the exact same way, wedge heels, but the street was rather bumpy and I went down. It’s been a nightmare. But I’m hopeful. The hard part is seeing a friend who had surgery, she went quickly from cast to boot to her own shoes, not a limp, not an unkept appearance. I know I can’t compare my injury to hers but, it’s got me discouraged. But thank you again.

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi TC,

      Knowing that my story has helped you means so much to me! It’s the one good thing that’s come out of this horrible experience.

      No, you really can’t compare your experience to your friend’s especially if she did not have the same exact injury. Do you know while I was learning how to walk again, an acquaintance had “broken” her ankle and told me she’d rather have a break than a sprain. With her type of injury she was allowed to walk on it the entire time. Well I had to strongly disagree with her! I would have gladly had a sprain!

      Good luck with your recovery!

      Reply
  36. jeannette
    jeannette says:

    I shattered my tibia and fibula at the ankle on September 2 of this year and was just cleared for FWB and no boot yesterday! My ortho made it sound like I should immediately be able to walk unaided, encouraging me do ditch the crutches, so I felt like a failure when I tried to take a step and started crying from the pain. Your post is a great reminder that this won’t be fixed overnight and I still have a long way to go.

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Jeannette, it’s amazing how little information the doctors give you. What you experienced trying to walk for the first time is normal. Hopefully you’ll get a good PT who will guide you constructively. Just do your best and it will happen in due course. Take care!

      Reply
    • Paulette
      Paulette says:

      Jeannette, I had exactly the same issue with my OS. I had a trimall fracture on Oct 4 and surgery on Oct 14. Five weeks ago, my OS gave me a boot with the instructions to use crutches for 2-3 days and then walk without unless there was pain. It was impossible, so I felt so discouraged. I have been walking without my boot since Dec 9, but I still need one crutch throughout the day. In the am, there is pain and then after stretching and walking a bit, I can awkwardly walk with out crutches, but after a bit of time, I definitely need the crutch.

      I’m also experiencing a bit more pain as I’ve started using the treadmill at therapy, along with some weight resistance activities. Tonight, I am back on my knee-scooter.

      I totally understand as does everyone else here!

      Reply
  37. Jennifer L
    Jennifer L says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story of recovery. I broke my ankle the same way on Oct. 28, 2016. I did not require surgery, but I broke my fibula and distal, as well as my arm.
    I tried to use crutches but just couldn’t do it. I have a boot that I wear and take it off go shower and sleep. The doctor said the boot stays on until after Christmas. The swelling seems to me the most painful part, and yet the swelling never goes down when I ice it. It’s just a constant throbbing.
    Do you ever really return to normal? I do nature photography and have a trip planned in March and one in July that will require some hiking. Any good suggestions on how to prepare for it?

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      Yes it is possible to return to normal but it takes a LOT of work over a very long period of time, two years or more. I think a lot of people get to a point where they think “this is good enough” and they don’t push themselves to recover all their range of motion because PT is painful.

      I imagine it will be pretty difficult for you to do that trip in March, but doable. You’ll have to be very diligent with your PT beforehand. Tell your therapist what you’re planning and he may have suggestions on how to best prepare. When you’re FWB, doing daily walks will help strengthen your leg.

      Also, make sure your nutrition is good so that you’re getting all the right nutrients for healing. I go into greater detail in my article Rehabbing my broken ankle.

      In the early days I had the same complaint about the swelling not going down even with icing. Continue doing it because it does help. Over time the pain and swelling will subside.

      I hope that’s helpful and good luck with your recovery!

      Reply
  38. Haley
    Haley says:

    I slipped and fell on Oct 4th, 2016 and I immediately went to the ER! Come to find out, I had a trimalleolar fracture… a real nasty one! This is the first time I have broken a bone in my almost 22 years of life and man did I do a “good job”! 24 hours later on the 5th, I went into surgery where they put in a plate and 10 screws on the left side and then 2 large screws on the right! I spend 4 more days in the hospital and then I was set free!

    Unfortunately, I had to leave school to return home to recover because I had 6 weeks ahead of me in a hard cast NWB. I struggled with leaving because this is my senior year of college, but during my recovery; I was surrounded by love and prayers from my family and friends. My parents were the best nurses I could have asked for and I am truly thankful that they have taken off from work on some days just to care for me!

    I got my cast off a week ago and the doctor put me in a walking boot! I can put as much weight on it as I can tolerate! That same day, I was in my boot walking with two crutches at PT… 2 days later I was walking with only one crutch and then no crutches and I took my boot off and stood on my bad leg for a few seconds.

    Oh man did it feel weird! My ankle and foot are still swollen and tender to the touch. I get quite frightened and apprehensive so I was scared. It hasn’t been painful… just uncomfortable.

    Today at PT, I put my ankle stabilizer brace on that the doc gave me because I will be transitioning to that in a week. My pt wanted me to practice walking with just the brace on… I didn’t like it. He kept on telling me to take longer strides with my good leg and to stop leaning to the right (my good side). I know it will get better in time! I have to practice everyday!

    I am so happy because I am returning to school this Friday! Quick question for ya: did you notice that the swelling kind of changed shapes throughout the healing process? It seems like the swelling is going down in my foot, but my ankle, especially the inside bone, still looks huge! Did this happen to you? I’m guessing it’s because I’m putting more weight in my foot so the swelling is going down but the ankle will take longer to regain normal shape!

    Any advice for me as I go forward as I enter my second month of healing? Thank you so much for posting… this was so helpful for me!

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Haley, thank you for sharing your story here. The swelling does “change shape” a lot. My whole foot and ankle were swollen for a while then it was concentrated around the ankle. Sometimes the foot and ankle were swollen in different areas, probably depending on what type of exercises I was doing. It takes a long time (most likely two years) for the tissues to recover from the trauma of surgery.

      I hate to tell you this but I don’t think your ankle will ever return to its normal shape because of all the hardware inside. When I get up in the morning, before my ankle starts to swell, it’s a little larger than the other one, especially on the outside where the plate is. But it’s probably more noticeable to me than anyone else.

      At this point in your recovery it sounds like you’re doing very well, especially since you’re not feeling pain. My advice is just to do all your PT faithfully, be as active as you can without overdoing it and be sure to get plenty of rest. Also, make sure to practice walking without a limp all the time, even if that means using a cane or a crutch for support.

      You’re doing great! Keep up the good work!

      Reply
    • Paulette
      Paulette says:

      Wow, Haley, you had the same break on the same day. I’m quite impressed that you are already walking without crutches. I am almost FBW with crutches, but not quite. However, I am much older and that could be why. That’s also great about returning to school. I absolutely noticed how the swelling changes. Before my entire calf, ankle and foot were swollen. The left side seems fairly normal and my calf isn’t swollen at all. I also thought my right side (with 2 screws) seemed more swollen, but here is my theory. I believe that it was always that size but with other swelling diminishing, you notice it more. Also, walking and standing are going to cause more swelling.

      What amazing progress you are making. I’m a teacher, so education is quite important to me, which means I’m very happy you can get back to the books. Good luck.

      Reply
  39. Paulette
    Paulette says:

    Lynda, your story has been so helpful to me. I suffered my Trimall on Oct 4, 2016 and had surgery on Oct 15, 2016. Like most people, I had about 3 splints, a hard cast for 2 weeks, and now I’ve had my Cam Walker for one week. My surgeon told me to use LWB and PWB for the first couple of three days, and then lose the crutches if I could. I’ve been freaking out that I can’t walk yet without both crutches, but seeing this page made me realize it’s much more involved. While I’m discouraged I’m not crutch-free, I see that this is typical.

    I do see small progress each day (standing up on both feet without crutches, standing on both legs without crutches and today I actually shuffled a little bit with one hand on the knee-scooter and both feet on ground. I had my first PT session yesterday, so I’m very excited to have some exercises to do.

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Paulette, I’m surprised the doctor is allowing you to put any weight at all on your foot now since it’s barely been a month after surgery. It sounds like you’re doing very well and yes it does take a long time to begin walking again. I’m glad my story has been helpful to you. Good luck with your recovery!

      Reply
      • Paulette
        Paulette says:

        Thanks so much Lynda. I see it was about three months before you were crutch-free. Most of what I read online also shows about three months or so, which is not what I’d expected. Now that I know, it makes it easier to endure as I know I’m probably where I should be. In fact, I am doing well with PWB; I have started walking about 15 minutes around my development – not very far and could do it in about two minutes sans crutches.

        Reply
        • [email protected]
          [email protected] says:

          You really are doing very well to be able to walk that much. I think you’ll be making a speedy recovery. Take care!

          Reply
    • Catherine Eddy
      Catherine Eddy says:

      Oh…what a relief to ready a positive story. I fell over on Oct 14 with a dislocation and trimalleolar fracture and haven’t heard anything but horror stories since. My scooter has been fab, I’ve been kept in a fiberglass cast for 4 weeks with a regular plaster cast for two weeks post the pin and plate op (NWB). 9 days to go. Woo hoo! I’ve been documenting the experience and while I can’t say it’s been fun, I think attitude might have a bearing. Anyway, let’s see. I might fall into a screaming heap in 9 days time. AND, I should add, I have a hubby who isn’t working at the moment so I’ve been incredibly lucky having a full time driver and carer. I only wanted to kill him note first day home; since we’ve developed a mutual healthy respect!

      Reply
      • [email protected]
        [email protected] says:

        A positive attitude helps a lot, and so does having someone there with you full time. Hope your recovery goes well and that you get back to walking soon!

        Reply
      • Paulette
        Paulette says:

        Hi Catherine, it sounds as if you are progressing nicely. Attitude is so important. My niece died the day after I broke my ankle, but she has been my inspiration. She fought so hard to live, enduring the loss of her hair, 2-3 rounds of chemo, metastasis of her cancer, radiation, and then surgery to put in a peg as her esophagus was completed damaged by the radiation. This meant that for the last few months of her life, she could have only liquids. She was positive and hopeful for most of that time and her motto was “I’ve got this.” She said it so often we believed it. So, if I’m having a pity party, I remember how much worse her condition and pain were and that helps me. However, as long as you don’t break anything when you fall into a screaming heap, this too shall pass! And, you have’t killed your husband yet!!!

        Reply
        • Catherine Eddy
          Catherine Eddy says:

          Hi Paulette,
          I’m so sorry to hear about your niece – that must have been absolutely devastating for you and your family; but the bright light is that she is your light and your inspiration. Hang in there!
          Catherine

          Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Nila, if he left you after surgery then he’s the one who’s worthless. Lean on your family and friends to get you through this difficult time. The only thing that matters right now is your recovery. Good luck!

      Reply
      • Nila
        Nila says:

        Your post helped me so much.
        I have hope i can be who i was before my accident.
        He is the father of my son…and a lie of an ex girlfriend came between us…she harassed me to the point i filed a police report.
        I begged him…to come back and not turn his back to me right now…
        But he didnt bother….
        I was with him for 10 years…
        Did you ever feel you were not going to be able to have a future? Like a normal female…
        How did you pass your days?

        Reply
        • [email protected]
          [email protected] says:

          I’ve had many ups and downs in my life. It feels like you won’t get through the bad times and be happy again but you will. Nobody needs that kind of drama. Just focus on yourself and your child right now.

          Your future is up to you. I recommend that you read 10 Stupid Things Women do to Mess up Their Lives by Dr Laura Schlessinger. That really helped me to stop making bad choices. That’s my best advice. You have a lot of work to do and I wish you well.

          Reply
    • Paulette
      Paulette says:

      I have read that depression does happen after a Trimall even if there is no other outside influence. I’m sorry he left you, but try and focus first on getting well. I know it’s difficult but would you want a ‘man’ who is only there in good times?

      For me, I broke my ankle on a Tuesday, my niece died the next day and Hurricane Matthew came through the day after. I live alone in a condo with stairs, so I definitely had some meltdowns and bouts with depression. I hope you have a support system as it’s very important not to go through this alone.

      Reply
  40. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    I’m so pleased to have come across this post. I broke my fibula on Sept 10, I’m in the U.K. And was away from from home at the time, the hospital admitted me for an op the following day but were unable to do it, so I travelled home to my local hospital, they couldn’t admit me so sent me home with crutches, never having used them before I fell trying to get into the house, which caused a dislocated fracture…sheer agony! Anyway I’m now cast free, boot free and have crutches. I knew it was going to be tough walking but I never anticipated it would be this bad. I don’t have to be up for long before it looks as though I’ve swallowed a tennis ball. I’m still waiting for a physio appointment but reading this has helped enormously so thank you…and thank you for everyone else’s experience too. I know it’s going to be a long road to walk, hobble or maybe even hop!

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Oh my goodness, you’ve been through a lot! Crutches are so dangerous. I know what you mean about the swelling. My ankle used to look like I had a donut around it. The swelling gets better in time. Good luck with your physical therapy, Rachel!

      Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      The benefit is for pain relief and it did help somewhat. Acupuncture addresses the cause of the pain, not just the symptoms.

      A few years ago I had a crippling case of plantar fasciitis and it was cured with acupuncture, never to return. Now I’m dealing with tendon pain after ankle surgery and I may get more treatments. I only hesitate because it’s expensive and I have to pay for it myself.

      In the meantime I’ve been testing an herbal ointment (Dr Christopher’s complete tissue and bone ointment) that’s been very well-reviewed on Amazon. (Their comfrey ointment is supposed to be very effective in healing bones.) In 10 days I am noticing a bit of improvement, not as dramatic as acupuncture though.

      Hope that’s helpful, and please be sure to check out Rehabbing my broken ankle for more tips.

      Reply
      • Seryan
        Seryan says:

        Hi Lynda how are you? I’m already FWB for almost 2 weeks now and I’m getting this heel pain. My PT told me I might have the Plantar Fansctiis because I had the hard cast for almost 3 months no bearing weight. My question is how do you fight this Plantar F? It’s really killing me to practing walking because of the pain. Any advise to lessen the pain? Is the accupuncture is realling helping you to treat the Plantar F? Thanks for the help.

        Reply
        • [email protected]
          [email protected] says:

          Hi Seryan, I’m doing fine and will be posting a one year update on Saturday.

          I had PF years before I broke my ankle and it went completely away with acupuncture. Right after becoming FWB I also had severe heel pain and I thought I had PF again. The therapist examined me and said I did not have it. I’ve since discovered after doing a lot of research that heel pain is normal. The whole foot becomes very sensitive during the time of immobilization.

          As I wrote in my post, I did have acupuncture again and it helped a bit with the pain. You really need to just continue with the physical therapy and practice putting weight on the foot to desensitize it.

          If you can, please check my post Rehabbing my broken ankle for more details.

          Reply
          • Seryan
            Seryan says:

            Thanks for the reply Lynda. Actually my PT told that’s the other reason maybe my heel is hurting because the nerves and tendons are stretching again after non usage for almost 3 months. I had the massage therapy and it helps to loosen the tension on my ankle. My ultimate goal is to walk unaided and to become normal again. I’m scared in needle so I’m not sure If I can do the accupucture. Is the needle hurtful?

          • [email protected]
            [email protected] says:

            Sometimes the needles hurt a little but so much less than the pain I’m being treated for! Another way to massage your foot is to roll it around on top of a tennis ball. Spend more time on the areas that are bunched up and sore. That really helped me a lot.

            You will be able to walk again on your own and it’s going to take a long time and lots of PT to get back to normal. Don’t give up!

  41. Adria F
    Adria F says:

    Hi there! I broke my ankle on April 8 2016 (tripped on a duvet that I was carrying down the stairs and broke both my tibia and fibula) and am still walking with a lil limp now. I had 9 screws and a plate fitted in and it took awhile to get to FWB but today for the first time ever I am walking around without a crutch for support. A little scary but I will get my confidence back! I find that exercising in the pool helps as it makes stretching and other exercises recommended by your PT much easier. I just can’t wait to walk properly and even start running again!

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Adria, congrats on being able to walk without a crutch! Swimming is very good exercise for you. Keep at it and I’m sure you’ll be running again some day. Good luck!

      Reply
  42. Lillian Hamme
    Lillian Hamme says:

    Let me tell you all. You need a lot of rest . I start the day thinking I can accomplish all the things that did not get done when I was in rehab for 8 weeks and now that I am home I don’t even have the energy to empty the dishwasher or fold the laundy. The pain in the ankle is still there and drains you and I find myself laying back down a lot36

    Reply
  43. Brian
    Brian says:

    Thanks for your account. I am also in the process of recovery and as everyone knows, it sure isn’t easy. I had a tri-mall on August 4th playing baseball and sliding into third base. It wasn’t pretty when i saw the x-rays. Surgery Aug 9th (3 plates and 10 screws). I went FWB on Sept 14th, but that in my opinion ended up being a bit too early. My doctor gave me very little instruction, just said i was healed. Take my advice, as much as getting back on your feet sounds like the most important thing in the world, TAKE YOUR TIME. I am not 11 weeks post surgery and have been trying to make progress at PT and working on Range of Motion but have been dealing with more foot issues than ankle. When I do walk the bone around my 5th / pinky toe has a lot of pain. The entire outside of my foot has pain, and i am unable to really move my pinky toe like i can on my other foot. Has anyone else had this experience as they start to walk again?

    Either way. I know it’s still early and things will take time to work out. Just need to stay positive and do what you can to get better.

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Brian, I feel for you as you are at the beginning of a long and painful recovery. I had pain everywhere at different times. When I first started learning to walk the pain was the worst in the heel. My pinky toe wouldn’t move either, but now it does. It’s going to take a very long time to regain range of motion. Just keep doing your PT as directed and rest as much as you need to. Good luck to you!

      Reply
  44. Lillian Hamme
    Lillian Hamme says:

    I am now home from 8 weeks in rehab for my fractured ankle. It was quite emotional come because truthfully I never thought I would ever walk again. But I am walking some with the walker and other times by myself. Ankle still hurts but nothing I can’t bear. Pt people at rehab were wonderful..don’t think I could have done it without them. The one thing is troubling me is since I blacked out while driving (didn’t know I needed a Pacemaker/since never had signs of a heart problem) I am fearful of driving again. When you have a car crash that scares you and you lose confidence. Thst I need to work on

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      You’re making progress, that’s very good! The pain is going to get better in time. Recovery is a very long process.

      I can understand why you’d be scared to drive. Dealing with a broken ankle is already a horrendous experience, and I can’t imagine having to deal with additional health problems and more anxiety from the car accident.

      Hopefully you don’t have to do all this alone. Take care, Lillian!

      Reply
  45. rosa
    rosa says:

    Today I started walking but I think I over due it I’m hurting and ankle swelling up a bit. August 2, 2016 had a car accident it was a hit and run that’s how I broke my ankle had a surgery August 3,2016 after 5 weeks cast is off and was walking on boot for 5 weeks I will start my theraphy tomorrow Oct 14 I hope it will help me to walk better. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Rosa,

      I’m sorry to hear about your hit and run accident. Unfortunately, pain and swelling are a natural part of the recovery process. Physical therapy will help you walk better. It just takes time. Be sure to use an ice pack to relieve some of the pain and swelling. Good luck to you!

      Reply
    • Lillian Hamme
      Lillian Hamme says:

      Therapy really helps. Now that I am home I hate to say it but I don’t practice anything they taught me but it was in therapy that I knew I must learn to walk. again despite the pain. And pain there is

      Reply
      • [email protected]
        [email protected] says:

        I can’t stress enough how important it is to do your therapy as directed. Even if that’s the only thing you do all day, it’s the one thing that needs to get done every single day if you ever want to get back to being somewhat normal. Pain is an inescapable part of the process but I think it’s better to suffer the pain now so that you will come out on the other side pain free. That’s not going to happen if you don’t learn to walk properly and strengthen your muscles.

        Some of the exercises I do hurt so much I almost want to cry. But when it’s over I feel better and every day I can see small improvements.

        Reply
  46. Vern
    Vern says:

    Thank you so much for this, I broke my ankle and assumed I was doing well, evdn walking and standing myself. Physiotherapy however triggered my pain, and now it’s a daily constant. Even with pain medication there’s still a nagging soreness. I am unable to walk medium distances or standing very long, and the irony is I was doing it in my own before I started the exercises… I broke my ankle in the beginning of August, and if it took you 7 months to heal… seems I may have a very long road ahead. I’m 29 years old and have my own cake business which I’m unable to do now because of the injury… I’m also studying and can’t concentrate through this pain for my exams which are this month. I’m really frustrated. But thank you for sharing your experience and letting us all know we aren’t alone in this, it really helps.

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Vern, it means so much to me that writing about my experience is helping you and others. Recovering from a broken ankle is a very long process. After the bones are healed there’s still a lot of pain from tendons and ligaments that have tightened up and/or become inflamed. You really do need physical therapy to get everything back to normal. Your injury is still fairly recent so I’m not surprised that you can’t endure a lot of walking or standing. Don’t push it too hard and keep resting and icing your ankle in between. It really will get better. Good luck to you!

      Reply
  47. S
    S says:

    So ladies i am a 26 yr old healthy female. I broke my ankle July 14 2016. Went to emergency. Got surgery a few weeks later. Everything seemed ok then the doc took cast off. Did am xray then said shucks you gotta have another surgery tomorrow. I had no time for a second opinion. Got another surgery. Now 16 screws later my bimalleolar fracture hurts more than ever. Im still nwb. I had to cancel an appointment and he won’t me for another month even though last appointment he said i would be able to walk in a boot by this time I know what to do. and another doc take me unless i have post-op reports which i only have the first one. My second surgery was over a month ago and he still wrote it. Either that or i find it on my medical records. Smh……whyyyyyyyy

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Well you’ve had more than your share of bad luck with this injury. So sorry you had to have a second surgery. Remember that it takes at least six weeks for bone to heal. I had to wait eight weeks before being allowed to walk. It’s the hardest thing waiting for that to happen. I hope you’ll be back on your feet as soon as possible.

      Reply
  48. Lillian Hamme
    Lillian Hamme says:

    Some days I just want to bawl. Other days depression sets in as you try to vizualize walking again and just don’t see it. I al going into 2nd fwb using a walker for fractured ankle after 8 weeks of no walking and am in pt. Ankle hurts like heck and I am wobbly with limited balance I am trying my best to be positive but it’s tough. I am icing ankle now as it swelled up petty good today

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Lillian, I feel your pain. You WILL walk again, I promise you. Every day you’re getting better and better. Say that to yourself even if you don’t believe it. It’s going to hurt for a while but that will get better too. Just keep moving as much as you can without overdoing it. And if you get a chance, please check out this article for more tips on making a speedy recovery. Hang in there, Lillian!

      Reply
  49. Tally
    Tally says:

    Very helpful! And good to know I’m not the only one going through this. I’m 9 weeks and 2 days from my fracture date, 3 weeks and 1 day out of the cast, and only 5 days into physical therapy. # of days walking without crutches: 3. When the cast came off the doctor said I’d be walking in two weeks (I thought I would be walking out of the doctors office – little did I know!!), but in reality the muscles and ligaments are rigid. Even now three weeks later with doing exercises and great improvement I can see how this is going to take a LONG time for recovery. I’m lucky as I don’t have the swelling (it only became inflamed the first week or two) but now my hip, muscles, and joints are killing me on the fracture side because of the limp and lack of use. Major body protest, I literally have to think through every step I make to walk correctly and even then it’s the slowest I’ve ever moved. It’s like baby steps (What About Bob, anyone?). I live in a walkable European city and was shocked to learn crutches on this side of the pond are different as well. Today I did about 2 miles. Doc says no bikram yoga as the heat will only swell the area so I think I’ll head back to the gym and not do legs. It’s been an interesting experience. Hope everyone heals well! My thoughts and prayers are with you all; keep to happy thoughts (anyone in a cast and crutches don’t get too depressed – some depression is inevitable but this time will end). Netflix, delivery, and inviting friends over for dinner helped me stay sane. I also set up the kitchen with high top chairs so I could cook and hop around. Eventually I had a high top chair pathway so after I cooked I could slowly move the food plate from the kitchen to the living room coffee table, one chair top at a time. Also helps to put a stool in the bathtub. And zip tie a cup holder to your crutches – most genius thing I’ve ever seen in the doctors office!

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Those are some good tips, Tally, thanks for sharing them. I used to eat at the coffee table too since I was camped out on the couch during the day. I’m glad you’re walking now and hope you’ll be back to normal soon.

      Reply
  50. Olga Danes-Volkov
    Olga Danes-Volkov says:

    Found your posts really helpful. I imagine you live in the US. I am/was a very active 70yr old who had already broken her left leg three times in two and a half years! Now living in the Caribbean, I live in a house on a 45 degree slope with five sets of Stairs! I had a right malleolar fracture nine weeks ago, slipping on wet tiles and am a week out of plaster with my left foot still splayed left and my already damaged leg looking like the Creature from the Black Lagoon! Having to move everywhere like a crab and being dyspraxic, thus unable to use crutches without fear of falling, I was despairing. However, a week before FWB, I have today “walked” with crutches, which is to say, using my left foot as a slight balancer instead of hopping. The timescale you describe now at last leads me to feel that while I never expect to be pain free (I wasn’t before!) I do think that eventually I may walk properly again (though my left leg is now 2 ins shorter than the right) with slightly less of the awful pain and instability I now feel. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Olga,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your horrific injury. I wouldn’t want to have to deal with all those stairs! I’m glad my story was helpful to you and I wish you a full and speedy recovery.

      Reply
  51. Ti
    Ti says:

    Thanks for blogging about your broken ankle. On May 20th, I broken my ankle, dislocated it, and broke my leg. I look forward to FWB…hopefully on Aug 1st (next appointment). I wish you the best getting to 100%!

    Reply
  52. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    This is the most helpful info I’ve found online having broken my ankle on both sides six weeks ago. My surgeon said I could start walking full weight bearing today, but the pain and tight muscles in my foot make that impossible. Your experience gives me insight and hope! Thank you for sharing it!

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Thank you, Michelle. That means so much to me. Recovery is a long, hard road but you’re going to make it! Best of luck to you!

      Reply
  53. bden b
    bden b says:

    thank you so much for this article, you are really helping people, i am on on week 3 after my tri molleolar surgery, scariest thing ive ever been through, i am overweight and scared i wont be able to walk right or will break it again trying to walk,i sure needed this article today, thank you!

    Reply
  54. Christina Smith
    Christina Smith says:

    Hello im so glad I came across this article. I broke my ankle on May 4th (playing on the sliding board with my son). The worst thing ever. But I made it.Im day 2 of FWB with the boot. I wanted to read up on similar situations for things I can do at home. Thanks for posting your experience. Its very comforting and informative.

    Reply
  55. Mary M Smith
    Mary M Smith says:

    I’m 43, overweight and just now three weeks into the same fractures and dislocation of the talus. I was walking down some steps on a porch and on the second step down I went. I had surgery 20 hrs after my break. I’m an emotional wreck and feel defeated. How do you get past the fears in your head. I just had my first pt session and I can barely move my foot. One week ago it had been completely locked. Doc said he wants me to walk into his office, with the boot, on my next visit. That is only 21 days away. I don’t see it happening. I’m just wondering what kept you going, what kept you from being defeated?

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Hi Mary,

      Well the first thing would be to believe that you can do it. I know it’s hard and I hated every minute being disabled. But I concentrated on all the things I was able to do to promote healing. I detailed all of these things in my followup post Rehabbing my broken ankle. Please take a look at that and I’m sure you’ll get some good tips.

      Take care, stay positive and you’ll get through this.

      Reply
  56. Chris M
    Chris M says:

    Thanks for writing about your account. I have only been FWB for 11 days and thought it was taking forever. I can’t believe it takes this long to recover. I broke and dislocated my ankle and tore a lot of ligaments on 1/21.

    I was told to roll and put pressure on a tennis ball with my foot to get rid of the pain in my heel and bottom of the foot. It worked in a week.

    Doing the PT excersises and icing the ankle when it is swollen helps alot.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      You’re welcome, Chris! It does feel like forever when you’re struggling to walk. Healing takes time and it’s different for everyone. Best of luck to you!

      Reply
  57. Danielle Bush
    Danielle Bush says:

    Omg I’m so glad I came across your article. I had a Trimalleolar fracture on Feb. 2, 2016. This is so depressing. I’m so ready to get up and walk. I have a lot of help but I’m so use to doing everything thing on my own. My 16 year old daughter and 10 year old son are so helpful. Just really glad I seen this. It makes me feel a lot better about the future.

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      Danielle, I’m glad that my story is making you feel better while going through this very difficult time. I’m just about finished with a follow-up article about exercises, nutrition and motivation so I hope you’ll come back and check that out. Good luck with your recovery! You’re going to make it!

      Reply

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