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ryannorthcott 05-27-2014 02:22 PM

Question re ankle recovery
I am hoping to get some advice from those who have experienced the same thing as me, or a medical professional.

I had surgery on my ankle to repair a fractured fibula and displaced joint exactly 6 weeks ago today (original thread here with pics
The surgery went well and to be honest I never felt any intense pain after the surgery, and the ankle has been completely pain free for the last 4 weeks. Over the last 2 weeks, swelling and coloration has gone back to normal and while i do experience minor swelling if i exert it, it looks like my normal foot again.
Now here is the problem, my surgeon said at my follow up appointment (3 wks ago) that he would see me in another 3 weeks, at which point we would begin walking exercises and physiotherapy to continue the recovery process. Problem? He is away on vacation until June 13, and is not able to squeeze me in until the 16th. I understand the need to adhere to his directions for a proper recovery, but on the other hand, I also want to get on with the next stage of recovery as every day i am not walking is costing me money foregone and other opportunities afforded to normally functioning bipeds.
What I am asking is has anyone been through my type of surgery, and what was your recovery? Did you listen to the doc or go it on your own? Ill effects?
I can say right now I am not going to be confined by crutches while I await my appointment. It's simply too long and I need to be back walking soon.
Upon testing the ankle around the house without the boot or crutches, it feels quite strong to me, it will swell up after about an hour or so, but it is very minor and goes away quickly. I feel like I am ready to begin walking again.


Mizu Kuma 05-27-2014 06:23 PM

You know ya body better than the Doc does, but make sure ya not just mentally convincin yaself just cause ya "need" to get back into action!!!!!

When I did my Achilles, I was back surfin before the Doc rang me to book in my first physio session!!!!! But I knew it was 100%!!!!!

ryannorthcott 05-29-2014 11:52 AM

Ya i agree. I mean i have been slowly easing myself into it. Sometimes it will start swelling and getting achey after 10 minutes, sometimes not for a couple hours. I'm not one to push myself to heal or try and convince myself it's ok when it's not. I do legitimately feel like it can take full weight.

chomps1211 05-29-2014 03:40 PM

Just be careful. It would suck big ol' goat balls to push it and have a relapse that would limit or even kill your next season. Best wishes on a full and speedy recovery! :thumbsup:

boarderaholic 05-29-2014 05:56 PM

Holy shit dude. Didn't see this until now. I don't have much constructive to say but to heal up quick, and to listen to your body. If it says stop, stop. There is nothing worse than setting back recovery from that.

ryannorthcott 05-30-2014 02:24 PM

Thanks dude. Unfortunately I haven't really gone through a serious injury like this before, so am completely aware of the possibility of setting myself back if I push it too far. That said, I do feel like I can progress back to walking at a controlled rate, slowly weaning myself off the crutches. We will see what the doc says in a couple more weeks, I'm sure if I have done any damage it will be apparent by then.

chomps1211 05-30-2014 02:28 PM

Uhmmmmn,.. BH is a chick man! Carefull, she'll kick you in your other ankle. ;). :laugh:

boarderaholic 05-31-2014 08:35 PM


Originally Posted by chomps1211 (Post 1722841)
Uhmmmmn,.. BH is a chick man! Carefull, she'll kick you in your other ankle. ;). :laugh:

All good, I get called "dude" all the time hahaha.

ryannorthcott 05-31-2014 08:40 PM


Originally Posted by boarderaholic (Post 1723473)
All good, I get called "dude" all the time hahaha.

My bad! :dizzy:

DevilWithin 06-01-2014 04:59 PM

I'm about two weeks ahead of you on recovering from my own ankle surgery. Not exactly the same thing, but similar. I broke my ankle in three places towards the end of March during my last trip to CO for the season. I needed to get a plate and pins for one of the three since it was displaced. I figured I could share my recovery process so you at least have a reference to use while your doc is out.

My surgery was on 4/1 and I was in a hard cast (non-weight bearing) for 6 weeks post surgery. I then moved to an aircast walking boot for two weeks (no crutches). I was able to walk around the house short distances during that time without the boot and did toe pointing exercises twice a day to help start getting my range of motion back. I'd push my ankle forward from a seated position like I was pushing a gas pedal and hold for 30 secs. Then pull up towards me in the opposite direction and hold 30 secs. I'd repeat this three times. I'd also spell the alphabet with my big toe using capital letters (doing it twice per session). I started physical therapy on week 9 (this past week). I am still instructed to wear the boot when I'm working or walking longer distances. Goal is to transition out of it in 3 weeks.

I go to PT twice a week and do exercises every morning and evening. The first exercise is a single leg stance on my injured leg while my good leg is bent behind me for 30 seconds (could only hold for 5 initially and after a few days got it to 30 secs). This is to help rebuild balance. I also continue doing the alphabet spelling exercise (ankle ABC's). Then I have five exercises using a resistance band: seated calf stretch, ankle dorsiflection, ankle plantarflexion, ankle eversion, and ankle inversion. Let me know if you can't find a video of them and I'll describe the specifics. Additionally, I was told to massage the scar tissue daily. It was a lot more fun having the cute PT girl massage it for me though.

All that said, my first PT visit focused on assessing my injured ankle compared to my good ankle. My range was better than expected, so my specific plan may not be the same your doc or PT would recommend. I'd just focus on basic stretching, but I wouldn't walk without a boot until your doc gives you the green light. Better to wait a week or two then push it and get stuck with arthritis or a permanently damaged ankle.

Good luck man! I know how it really starts to return quickly though once you're body is ready. Feel free to message me if you have any questions about what I wrote.

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