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Fraser : Has my leg ruined my plans?
Diary entry posted Thu 7:05am 13 October 2011

Hi all,

I have started this diary a little later than normal...I'm actually out of my cast and on the road to recovery! However I'll give you a bit of background first...

I was playing 5-a-side football (soccer) with some friends on the 29th August 2011. It was only 30 seconds into the match when I went control the ball. The ball took a slight deflection I changed direction a little too quickly. My foot caught in the ground and twisted away from the centre of my body with all my weight on the leg. Suddenly I heard two big cracks/snaps and so immediately knew I'd broken something!

My friends asked what to do, so I said "call an ambulance", however the caretaker of the pitches refused saying that they are only called if someone is unconscious or bleeding! Totally ridiculous, but that's another story.

So my friends drove me to the hospital and after the x-ray I was told I had broken my fibula and torn ligaments. As the fracture was near my ankle, it was quite unstable and sadly I needed an operation to put syndesmosis or syndesmotic screws in my ankle. I was really disappointed because just the week before I had been offered a job as the ski host in a resort for the winter and so resigned myself to the fact I wouldn't be able to do it.

The operation was performed a few days later, and went well. After 4 nights in the hospital I was allowed to leave with my leg in a hard cast for 6 weeks total, with no weight bearing at all. I got the cast changed after 2 weeks so I could get the staples out of my two wounds and then again two weeks later because I could feel that the cast was too loose.

Here is what the X-Ray looked like after two weeks! http://twitpic.com/6kdreh

After 6 weeks I returned to hospital to get the cast off and was told that everything was OK and I could start trying to put weight on the leg. What a relief that it had been healing well! I had been wondering why I had two scars on either side of my ankle - this was because the scar on the outside was where the crews were inserted and the one on the inside was where the ligaments was stitched together. However I found it really sore and so didn't want to put too much weight on it despite what the surgeon said. I found it was loosening off in the evening and was pleased.

I went to physio the next day and I knew this is where many of my questions would be answered. I plucked up the courage to tell him about my ski season plans and that if all goes well, I would need to be on the slopes within 8 weeks, 14 weeks after the original injury. My physio said that because of my age and if I am really determined to rebuild all the muscles in my leg then it is "doable". This was great to hear and has spurred me on.

The actual physio itself was very painful! My ankle is hugely swollen. He massaged very hard and answered all my questions before I had even asked them! My heel is in so much pain, but this is because the heel contains a lot of dead tissue with little blood flow. Now that it isn't restricted in the cast, it heals slower than the rest of the body but should be back to normal in a week or so.

My achilles and calf are understandably tight but I have exercises to do to loosen them off and have noticed an improvement in the two days after my cast has been off.

And so that was yesterday and now I have 6-8 weeks before I'm hopefully skiing. I will obviously have to take it easy when I'm out there, won't manage every day but I'm determined.

Hopefully with this diary, others can read about my situation and compare and ask questions. I feel that I've had really good advice from doctors and physios so if anyone has any questions, please ask.

Hope everyone else is recovering well!

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 Thu 7:05am 13 October 2011
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