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 13 Weeks - A Normal, Uncomplicated, By-the-book Recovery
Caoimhin    6:45pm May 17 2018

Summary: By-the-book recovery, exactly as my OS had expected.

The internet is replete with stories and anecdotes of failed unions, delayed unions, and all sorts of other complications during recovery from these types of injuries. For every positive story, there are 15 negative stories.

Not to take anything away from the less-than-perfect experiences, I wanted to share a bit of my own experience, in hopes of providing balance to some of the more demoralizing posts one may come across when researching what to expect during recovery.

I'm a 33 year old male with generally good health. Non-smoker.

Sustained a bimalleolar fracture of left ankle on February 17 following a skiing accident. The medial malleolar fracture was the more severe. It was quite large (not a chip--rather, it was a large chunk of the medial malleolus with a distinct vertical fracture line separating the entire malleolus from the "trunk" of the tibia.

Because the ski boot maintained the positioning of the bone, the fractures were non-displaced. OS did not advise surgery under the circumstances, provided that I remained compliant.

I was NWB in a short leg cast for about four weeks, followed by NWB in a boot for another 3 weeks. On the eighth week, I was given the go-ahead for full weight bearing as tolerated (in a boot). I gradually transitioned from two (forearm) crutches, to one crutch, to no crutches.

During the transition, I had a few scares--some falls or impacts, which were heavily borne by my healing ankle. In each case, follow-up x-rays revealed no displacement or re-fracture of the bones. In one case, the urgent care NP believed that I had re-fractured the medial side based on my reports of additional pain and visibility of the fracture line. She advised me to return to NWB for a few days until I could be seen by the OS. Evidently, false alarm. The OS cleared me to continue full weight bearing, and begin PT. Right on schedule.

I'm on my third week of PT as of today. I am still a bit stiff, am still weak in some of the musculature, and have a limited ROM. Still, I am now comfortably walking WITHOUT a boot for up to five miles per day (I have an occupation that requires a lot of time on my feet, managing staff across a large outdoor property.

I have good days and bad days, with "bad days" defined as a bit more swelling and soreness. Still, on balance, there are far more good days than bad. I have a bit of a limp as the day goes on and the swelling builds up, but all in all, I'm thrilled with the progress.

During recovery, I tried to keep a healthy balanced diet, and took the following supplements daily: magnesium, vitamin D, calcium, multivitamin, whey protein, and vitamin C. I cannot speculate as to whether these supplements had any affect on my outcome--I just offer this as additional information that may or may not be relevant.

Of course, nobody can guarantee any outcome (indeed, something could happen to me tomorrow that sets my progress back by months). Still, I was depressed after reading far more stories detailing complications than successes. I'm hopeful that my post will help someone keep their head up when they begin their journey.

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 13 Weeks - A Normal, Uncomplicated, By-the-book Recovery  new
Caoimhin  6:45pm May 17 2018

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31 May 2020