Female, 52 years old. Had a "clean" simple fracture of the ankle a year ago in September. The PT said it was the bone that is used for balance and not weight-bearing. The surgeon put in a plate and 4 screws. Completed 2 months of PT and range of motion was back to within 5%. The pain wasn't very bad . I never took any of the pain meds.
My question is: Why is it still hurting a year later? It makes a popping feeling (and sometimes audible) quite often when I flex it, and the pain is mostly a "burning" sensation. It seems to hurt more now than 6 months ago. (4 to 5 on a 1-10 scale) Is this all normal?
My guess would be that the plate and screws are irritating a tendon or something. I had screws in both bones not just the smaller one like you and December was my one year mark. I was still in pain so I went back to my doctor and he took the plate and all the screws out this past Friday. So far I can walk on it some and the pain isn't much worse then before he took the screws out. But I've talked to a few people who had similar symptoms and they healed completely and are walking without pain after the getting the screws out. I'll try to check back with my progress in a month or so.
The important thing is when you start walking all of your leg and foot muscles are coming into action. You body weight is being supported by your feet so with ankle injuries if there is inflammation and irritation of any tendons there is a chance for this pain. Another reason is recovery and healing and age/body weight are other factors. I would suggest you to get an X-ray done and follow up with your orthopedician about the recovery and if required get the hardware removed if all other parameters are fine.
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