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Flanagan : 2 Days after Surgery (my Post from Discussion forum)
Diary entry posted Fri 11:59pm 16 September 2005

Flanagan (Janice) (---.proxy.aol.com) 3:32pm Sep 14


I haven't yet unwrapped the ace bandaging and gauze to see the incision. The OS said that he went right through the old scar (which had been about 5" long, on the outer side of my leg) to remove the hardware. I think that the new incision will be the same size as the first one was.
Cosmetical changes from the hardware>>
I wasn't overly bothered about how that original scar looked as time went by. However, my ankle itself, looked misshapen, big and flattened, due to the fact that the plate was curved to fit "around" the knob of my ankle. My ankle stopped swelling after a few months. Even after spending an entire day on my feet, it no longer swelled up. The area over the plate was a different story. I have thin ankles. I could trace the shape of the plate with my finger, because the whole area was puffed out and swollen in a rectangular shape. The area was tender to touch, and remained that way. Some days were worse than others.

My problems with the hardware became evident when I "learned to walk" again. My foot was not tracking properly. I didn't know it then, but the hardware was restricting my movement. (I was not expecting any problems at all, as I tended to be very optimistic through my entire recovery. My OS had told me that there are professional athletes who continue in their sports wearing hardware. So,I figured, "well if THEY can live with it, so can I!")
I went to PT 2-3x a week, and there was little to no change in my "hardware related" problems. I made gains in other areas by going to PT 2-3x a week. I'd regained balance, was able to point and flex, I got back my speed of movement and many other improvements. I felt back to normal EXCEPT for a very localized pain in the exact place where the hardware was, and of course, the movement restrictions.

I kept waiting for this to get better, but it never did. I thought for a while that it WAS improving, but in actuality, I was simply becoming used to the pain! I couldn't wear flat shoes or walk barefooted. However, if my heel was lifted up 3 inches or more, I could walk painfree. My gait was normal in heels. So, I wore them all summer long, even for walking through Hershey Park, and Echo Caverns, and the Dutch Country. By the end of the summer, even heels weren't helping, I was having pain while wearing them.I started holding back a limp, and felt my foot not tracking properly.
2)I wasn't able to get up onto the ball of my foot in the months following my break. (It was at that "ball of my foot" part in each step of my walking, that I felt the pain and restriction.) This was another thing that never improved as I recovered.
It wasn't as if I was lacking in the strength to do it. I am strong, with muscular athletic build. I've danced and done other sports my entire life. Yet I couldn't get up onto the ball of that foot????? It seemed almost rediculous. I couldn't raise up. It was a sharp pain directly behind my ankle. It was as if the mechanism that was needed to be there for me to perform the movement did not exist anymore, and in it's place was a sharp sharp pain to prove it.
My PT had me doing different types of exercises that would hopefully get me back up onto the ball of my foot. She'd have me holding onto a Ballet barre with two hands, and raising up onto the balls of both feet simultaneously. When I attempted this, ALL of my weight was always on my good leg. She said, "You're not putting ANY of your weight onto your left (mending) foot!" I said, "I physically cannot do it." She looked at me and said, "Let's see you try." I did the best that I could do. I'd start to raise up, but I physically couldn't. At one of the sessions she asked me if the reason why was because I was "afraid." That insensitive question annoyed me. " If I could do it, I'd BE doing it. That's how I am."
3) My knee bend was restricted as well. I could only bend a few inches. The PT tried working with me on this, and it was a no-go. It seemed crazy for me to keep attempting to go lower, when I could feel the the metal pressing hard in my ankle each time I tried. It felt like my ankle was cemented closed, and I KNEW that I was not going to get even one inch lower.
I don't want to sound as if PT was not helpful for me.It was instrumental in regaining things such as balance, strength, etc. It's just that the limitations that I had due to the hardware, were not going to get better through stretching, bending or adding on weights. Now please bear in mind that this is only my opinion based opon my own experience, which I am sharing with you. Your outcome may be much different than mine.

After several months of no improvement in pain or ease of movement, my OS said that the hardware was to blame. Though he is not a big advocate of removing it once it's in, he said that mine needed to come out.
That's it, in a nut shell. I am only 2 days post Op.
I'm walking with crutches, so I don't know how my walking or range of motion will be changed. As I sit here typing this, I curiously pressed the ball of my left (mending) leg down into the carpet, and lifted my heel. Usually this movement (done even while sitting,) would cause me a great deal of pain. This time, all that I feel is the tug from the metal stitches that are holding the incision closed.

Hardware is out! (plate+6 screws from Fibula
Flanagan (Janice) 7:40pm Sep 13
Re: Hardware is out! (plate+6 screws from Fibula
Chris L. 8:07pm Sep 13
Re: Hardware is out! (plate+6 screws from Fibula
JoyceCC337 8:10pm Sep 13
Re: Hardware is out! (plate+6 screws from Fibula
Tonisha 8:37am Sep 14
Re: Hardware is out! (plate+6 screws from Fibula
Chris L. 9:02am Sep 14
Re: Hardware is out! (plate+6 screws from Fibula
maura 9:31am Sep 14
Re: Hardware is out! (plate+6 screws from Fibula
maura 9:34am Sep 14
Re: Hardware is out! (plate+6 screws from Fibula
Chris L. 10:09am Sep 14
just (gross) curious question
Rie 11:50am Sep 14
Re: just (gross) curious question
Tonisha 11:56am Sep 14
Re: just (gross) curious question
maura 12:04pm Sep 14
Early I suppose
Rie 12:31pm Sep 14
Re: Early I suppose
maura 1:15pm Sep 14
hardware decreases ROM
heather1 12:41pm Sep 14
Re: hardware decreases ROM
maura 1:10pm Sep 14
Re: just (gross) curious question
Flanagan (Janice) 3:32pm Sep 14
Re: just (gross) curious question
maura 3:53pm Sep 14
Are you a redhead?
heather1 12:40pm Sep 14
Re: Are you a redhead?
Flanagan (Janice) 3:36pm Sep 14
how about that!!!!
heather1 6:31pm Sep 14
Re: Are you a redhead?
HeatherM 8:35am Sep 15

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 Fri 11:59pm 16 September 2005
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