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Comment : Broken ankle similar to yours
Posted by Ruth on Sun 7:20am 22 January 2006

Hello Annie,
I've been contributing to the BL site since last suummer, but for some reason I never came across your diary until today. I'm so glad I found it, as I can relate to much that you say.

My broken ankle was not dissimilar to yours, and it happened exactly six months after yours, ie. 7th July 2005, when I slipped on a sloping patch of wet grass and fell awkwardly to my left, but with my right ankle underneath me. I heard the crack as it broke. There was no pain (like in your case), but I was unable to stand up. It happened beside a busy road, fortunately for me, so I was able to flag down a driver to ask him to call an ambulance. (Now I always carry a mobile phone with me.)

At the hospital the X Rays showed that - again like you - I had fractured both medial and lateral malleoli, and the tibia had somehow dislocated over the talus, making their attempts to reduce it without surgery impossible (and agonising!) So they put screws in the tibia and a couple of plates and screws in the fibula, as it was pretty well smashed up. Again this sounds similar to what you had done.

It makes me laugh now at my naivety, when I came out of hospital after five days, thinking that after six weeks in a lower leg cast, my ankle would be good as new...but maybe it's just as well I couldn't see what lay ahead of me - it's now six and a half MONTHS and my ankle is still giving me a lot of trouble!

For this reason, I found your diary particularly interesting, as most of the people I've shared experiences with on the BL site who broke their ankle round about the same time as me (or even a couple of months later,) now seem to be in full recovery, and I wonder why I am not. In fact, just the opposite seems to be happening: during the 5-6 month stage I have begun to experience more pain, but in different sites: first, the tendons around the back of the lateral malleolus give such a sharp pain that I limp when I walk - which I wasn't doing before; also I get a pain under and at the back of the ankle bone, which is also new, and thirdly, there is sometimes a dull ache at the front and side of the tibia. Three weeks of intensive exercises in the PT gym have only made it even more painful. I wondered if osteoarthritis is setting in - I am 59 years old - but a doctor told me it was too soon after the injury to be that; so I really don't know what's going on. My OS told me in November that he didn't need to see me again unless I had further trouble with the ankle, so I asked my own doctor if he would refer me for another X-Ray. They did two - a front view and a side view - and I am now awaiting the results.

I liked your description of the 'donut swelling' of the ankle! That's it exactly. I've had this swelling all day every day since the cast came off in mid-August; although it does go down overnight. That I can live with, but the pain is really getting me down, even with painkillers. I have to walk every day, as I have no car, and I try to carry on as normal a life as possible, but it isn't easy.

I can see from your diary that you've had a long and difficult recovery too, so I'm glad for you that removing the hardware has made such a difference.
Best wishes,

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 Sun 7:20am 22 January 2006
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