Monday, May 21, 2007

Broken Ankle Photos

Yeehaw, got my medical records. Nothin' like a few photos to remind a gal why her ankle's sore.

Here's the break. X-ray's not real clear, but if you look to the right bone (fibula) just a little above where the bigger bone (tibia) ends, you'll see it's not a nice, clean break. If you mess up your ankle, might as well pull the bone apart, dontcha think?

Photo two's a nice shot of the plate and screws that hold it to the fibula. The crooked screw is placed that way to bring the two parts of the pulled-apart bone together. (Yeah, yeah, I've already heard all the jokes about having a screw loose.)

And last but not least, the extra long screw that goes all the way through the tibia and fibula. I'm guessing shots 2 and 3 were taken during surgery. The long screw was added because there was too much ligament damage to give the plate and smaller screws any stability.

This Friday I get out of the boot. Been in it six weeks, following four
weeks in a cast. Then one week later on June 1, I have another surgery to get the long screw out. That'll put me back in the boot for 7-10 days. Meanwhile the PT appointments continue. (No, PT does not stand for physical therapy. It stands for pure torture.)

Rest of the hardware will come out after a minimum of six months. I'm thinking maybe October, after my fall traveling is done. That will be another surgery and will put me back again--either in the boot or on crutches.

What a pain.


Eden said...

Brandilyn, dear, I hope I never break my ankle in that fashion. Yikes! all those screws!

One summer, I tore all the tendons and ligaments in my ankle and needless to say I didn't behave myself.

I was suppose to wear my cast for 6 months, not play any college sports, and use crutches.

However, I only wore the cast for a week (I sawed the itchy thing off), I played soccer and volleyball that fall. I only used the crutches for about 2 weeks.

I am a rebel at heart.

We will be praying for your upcoming surgery.

We're also looking forward to meeting you!!!


Anonymous said...

What a nasty break, BC. Horrible. And I bet "Pure Torture" is apt. Ouch, ouch.

My husband's broken femur (horse accident) required a stainless steel rod to run the length of the femur. They were going to take it out originally but decided not to do it.

A few years later he broke his other leg with a spiral fracture of the tibia and some fibula damage right down there at the top of the ankle. It was by far the most painful but required no surgery fortunately.

He's got a few more painful injuries from riding horses, but I'll spare you those. :)

Jason said...

Ouch! As soon as I saw that xray I thought, "No wonder they pinned it." (Then again, I'm medical, so I ought to be able to see that)

We already had empathy for you, but I think we can all appreciate what you've gone through with this. Keep it up - you're on the way.

And by seeing your xray - what transparency you have! (Couldn't resist...)

Scrambled Dregs said...

My hubby had ankle surgery done - pretty much the same story...except that he had his because a wall fell on him.

And his post surgery x-rays revealed a screw had fallen out of his steel plate...ha I always suspected he had a screw loose.

Susanne said...

Pure torture sounds like it very aptly describes it. All that stuff in there. And all those surgeries. Youch.

Anonymous said...

Pure torture--you are so right!

But it's almost over! I hope everything has healed perfectly and you're back to running in no time.

Anonymous said...

this may seem like a weird question but what does it feel like when the screws become loose in your ankle?? i broke my ankle in August which required the insertion of 2 screws. Its is now March and my ankle feels very irritable and itchy???

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

I'm not sure if what you're feeling means loose screws or not. I did kind of "feel" the long screw in my ankle. It seemed like it was so close to the skin. I was glad to have it taken out.

You're six to seven months from your accident--about the time you can have your hardware taken out. I'd push to have that done soon.

Jon said...

I can't believe this. I have the same type of injury. Had surgery, and I feel horrible right now, because I have not used "the boot" or crutches much. Like the person earlier quoted, I'm a rebel. I hope I have not messed up the healing. Right now, I am coming up on 2 months. I work in a help desk, so I am on my but most of the day. Not really elevating the foot until I come home. It is not too sore during the day, but by the end of the day, I feel the pain. I hope it is healing OK. I did'nt know I need another surgery for the hardware to be removed. They did'nt tell me that part. The DOC said, if I did'nt have the surgery I could be plagued for life with ankle problems. The first post op X-ray showed things looked good, but the ankle still gets sore. I hope it is healing correctly. I feel bad not wearing the boot, but I can't drive with the dang thing, and I have to go to work, or no foood. Your thoughts.


~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Jon, as I understand it, the boot is important because it keeps some of the weight off your healing bone. It allows you to walk without putting full weight on that bone. You should wear it. You can take it off to drive, but put it on when you get out of the car. You can take it off while you're sitting at a desk. In fact, you should. Whenever you sit for a length of time, take it off and move your foot around to help increase its flexibility.

It also helps to elevate your foot while you're sitting. Keeps down the swelling. Swelling works against healing, so you want to keep that down as much as possible.

The soreness lasts a long time. That could also be because of torn ligaments, not the bone itself.

Blessings on your journey to recovery!

Anonymous said...

I shattered my ankle in 3 places about 5 weeks ago. I have a metal plate and 8 screws....I was also 25 weeks pregnant when I fell. So far, the doc said the long screw, that goes through 3 bones, has to come out later. They're taking the cast off next week so I can do exercises before trying to walk. My friend that's taking care of me keeps pushing me to do what the doc told me NOT to do. He keeps telling me about his friend who is walking one week after breaking his leg. Also about how he's going skiing, because he didn't follow the doc's orders which were holding him back. He's convinced that the doc is just trying to make as much money as possible and that my fractures aren't that bad. What do I do to get him to lay off me? Not only can I not walk, but I'm VERY pregnant. All my joints are loose, getting ready for the birthing process, and that makes you clumsy. He doesn't understand that it makes it harder for me to use the walker. He upsets me to the point of crying at least 3 times a week. I was is so much pain I was crying and hyperventilating for HOURS on end. I kept praying that I'd pass out, but I never did. I think I'm going to have my doc talk to him. When I saw my xray, I was shocked, how do they get all those tiny pieces back together again? I don't know how to get him to understand......any advice?

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

I'm so sorry. A broken bone and sudden surgery is a shock to the body. No wonder you're emotional about everything, esp. since you're pregnant--which adds in even more emotions.

Do what your doctor says. If your "friend" is really your friend, he'll allow you to heal and support you rather than nagging on you to get better at a Superhuman pace. Easy for him to talk, not being in your situation.

Anonymous said...

This site is wonderful! I am in my seventh week in with a ankle break. Brandilyn if our x-rays was side by side it scary how close the injuries are similar.
The only difference is I broke my (Fibula) in three places. I cannot see two of the breaks. Another interesting thing is long screw they used on you.
I seen where you said it was due to ligament damage. I also tore my ligaments and they only used short screws. I received a plate and eight screws.
I am healing well; I got to bare wait at four weeks with boot on. At six weeks, they let me take the boot off and just wear brace with my own shoe.
I was lucky with the swelling in the ankle and did not receive PT. I will have to check your books out.

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Anonymous, thank you for leaving your comment. I'm so sorry you're going through this same ordeal. But it is great to know you can come out on the other side.

As I remember, the reason the docs used the long screw in my ankle was because of torn ligaments on both sides. There was simply no good tissue to hold the mending bone in place, so that mending bone had to be screwed into the unbroken bone on the other side.

Blessings on your continued healing.

~ Brandilyn

Anonymous said...

Woo WOW! I see said the blind man. I think I only stretch the inside ligaments.
One other Question: I know you had your Hardware took out. What is the advantage to have this done?
Besides not setting off the airports alarms lol. I seem to leaning to get mine removed also.
I just do not know if I go through another two weeks of hoping on one foot. I forgot to tell you I broke my left elbow at the same time.
Therefore, crutches were out for the first four weeks. I had to use a walker with a platform so I could get around.
Thanks for your info.

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

I psychologically geared up from the beginning to go through with the extra surgery of taking out all hardware. (In my case this was two surgeries--one for the long screw, then one for all the rest about 5 months later.) I didn't want to leave hardware in my body that's no longer needed. Who knows the trouble it would cause in the future--arthritis, etc.

It really doesn't set you back that much. No hopping around. I was simply back in the boot for one week. Then I needed to wait another 4-6 weeks before I got back into running, allowing for the holes in the bones to close. All in all it's a small ordeal to go through, considering you have many years to live without that steel inside you.

Lorraine said...

hi there, i have just broke my ankle last sat 18th dec and have the hospital this wed, dont know which bone etc or how bad, would appreciate any advice before i go to the hsopital. I am hoping i dont need surgery etc but have no idea as they didnt say anything at accident and emergency apart from i had broke it. Fell on ice. thanks Lorraine

Lorraine said...

Sorry should have said, really like your site and this blog has been helpful thanks

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Lorraine, I'm very sorry to hear of your accident. No fun, I know. It's hard to know what you'll face without knowing details of the break. If you do have surgery, you'll probably go through much of what I did. Read all the posts here to see. If you simply need a cast, you'll obviously skip the surgery part, but the rest will probably be about the same. At any rate, once you get the cast off, don't ignore physical therapy. It's really important to get your motion of the foot back.