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Spiral Fibula Fracture

Mar 06, 2008 - 88 comments
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Pain



Hello. My name is Cristina. I am 28years old. I broke my ankle 32 days ago figure skating. I have a spiral fibula fracture. I could not put my foot in walking position. My lower left leg was casted for the first two weeks and I was no weight bearing. Doctor told me at the end of the two weeks I would get a walking cast. During that time the pain was terrible. I passed out because of the pain. At the two weeks, I visited my doctor and he said looks good see you in four weeks and I was still no weight bearing. No explanation. I had to stop him from running out of the room to remind him that my foot was still not in walking position.He said not to worry because I would probably regain full motion in my ankle and he didn't see any need to change the cast. I went home and gradually started to feel better. I was happy because I felt like I was healing. However for the past I started feeling alot of pain. It feels like I broke my ankle again. I feel like my foot is not connected to my leg. It hurts alot at the site of the injury. Is this normal to feel like it has gotten worse instead of better after 32 days? Should I call the doctor? I'm not happy with my doctor because I feel like he doesn't have time for me and he does not explain anything. I really feel ignorant about my injury. What should I do?

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by Petron, Mar 16, 2008
Hi Cristina.  It is common for people to feel some increased pain as the broken bones start to "glue" themselves together.  I've broken a few bones in the past (spiral fracture L tibia, spiral fracture R hand 5th metacarpal, L clavicle, ribs) and am currently healing from R tib/fib spiral fractures.  I'm  2 weeks into my present injury, and do recall that with all of my other fractures, I had a spike of pain at about one month, when the broken fragments are laying down a lot more calcium phosphate and are getting better.  

As for your relationship with your doctor, speak openly with him and tell him your concerrns.  Ask him to give you a detailed description of what to expect over the coming weeks to months.

Pete

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by priyaj, Mar 24, 2008
I am having an ankle fracture too and its been more than two months now ... though i am walking in a cast ... the pain in the ankle has noticably increased in past 1.5 week .... i am not sure if i have craked it again or it is normal to get the pain spikes after 2 months of the injury????? Should i start using the crutches again and get back to immobilization of the ankle or continue with the normal walking and rehabilitation exercises???

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by joanne112, Apr 02, 2008
I did the same thing February 1st and have had the cast off for 3 weeks.  I am still experiencing aches and slight swelling at the end of the day.  Of course, I do not have a brace or band on the ankle/foot.  Any suggestions about exercises that could help?  I can't go to therapy as I no longer have insurance having lost my job.

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by hazela1, Oct 03, 2008
Somebody, please help me understand!  Hi there, is there anybody who can tell me more about the healing period for a spiral fracture on the left ankle.  I fractured my ankle a month and 5 days ago.  It was on a late saturday night, I went to the bathroom, on my way back, I kicked the base of my bed and missed my balance and fell, this bone like popped out and I heard a pop sound. It hurt for the moment, then I stepped back into bed and fell back into very deep sleep.  By the time it was morning, I completely forgot that I had fallen the previous night and then tried to get of the bed.  My God, the pain was terrible, and the ankle had been swollen badly already.  My toe was twice the size and my entire foot felt heavy. I shouted for my husband at that time, who has now left me since my injury, because I became too much of a burden already by the way, and he helped me onto a chair.  By then it was Sunday, then he took me to the nearest Medi-cross Clinic to have them look at it.  They x-rayed the ankle and said to me not to worry, it was just an ankle sprain and that i had torn my ligaments, so they put a transact and a bandage on me and sent me home wtih pain killers. The told me that they could not see a fracture.

Now, after three days of changing bandages, I noticed the pain just getting worse, and eventually my entire foot started turning black.  Fearing that it would be an infection, I went to see my family doctor this time for her opininion.  When I got there, she looked at my X-rays and my condition, and she was so upset that the guys at the clinic did not put my leg in a cast.  She advised me to make an appointment right away with a surgeon and get his advice.  By the time I eventually managed to get an appointment with one,  and my husband lets me down with the appointment.  he disappears, without a word and leaves me alone with our child.  I cried my heart out, eventually asking my sister for her assistance in taking me to the same doctor the next day.

Guess what? I went finally.  It was such a relief to finally meet "The Person"!  At last I would get some answers.  When I saw the doctor, he immediately sent me for new x-rays.  He had a look at it and smiled.  He said to me that I had a spiral fracture and a broken toe.  My word, I was shocked.  He immediately put me in a cast. I went home.  Since then up to yest i was experiencing terrible pains.  I went back to see him because I was concerned, and also it feels like a flapping feeling of the bones, its so hard to explain. I have like a pins and needles, like a poky sensation under my foot as well and experienceing alot of pain.Its like this feeling of a nerve pulling at the calvesdownwards. When I saw him yesterday, he did not even look at my leg.  he just told me that I am concentrating too much on the pain and that is why it hurts more.  He says to me that he prefers not to operate but rather give me a chance to heal on my own....Now I am not sure what to expect.  I can't sleep properly.  Not even on my sides.  I am in so much of pain.  

Is this normal?

What can I do?

How long has it been for some of you guys out there?

When and how do I get back on my feet again?

I keep my leg elevated most times, except when I have to got to the bathroom.  I feel so lost inside.  I feel like I am never going to walk again, yet alone dealing with other stress. I am unable to get anything done. I move around with crutches, but I cannot for not as the weight on my foot is terrible. Somebody please help me.

Thank you

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by JMcCormack, Oct 04, 2008
Well hazela1

Bones do heal and sometimes it takes quite a while.  You're surgeon wants the fracture to heal on its own.  There is a reason for this.  If it does not he/she will have to essentially get in there and do a fair bit of work and you'll be back to square one in the healing game.

What sort of time frame are we talking about here?  Minimum you're looking at 6-8 weeks for improvement.  Have you seen your family physician since?  Perhaps you can ask her about vitamin supplements or dietary changes that may aid with the healing, also if you are on any other medications ask her if there are any side effects that may slow the healing process.  The pins and needles sensation perhaps swelling related causing a nerve to be impinged.  I am thinking on a side note, perhaps you should consult a therapist to help deal with depression related to your recent marital troubles sometimes people tend to forget to eat properly when they are under great stress.  

Get well







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by Shaun55, Oct 18, 2008
I broke my ankle on September 18, 2008 playing floor hockey. The x-rays showed that I broke my tibia and fibula (spiral fractures). They were considered "clean breaks" and didn't require surgery. A back slab was put on the night of the accident. An ortho specialist was seen 2 weeks later at which time the back slab was replaced by a solid cast almost to the knee.

As of today, October 18, 2008, I'm awaiting a follow up appointment scheduled for October 29, 2008 where I will most likely be fitted with a walking cast (hopefully). This will be 6 weeks since the injury.

After reading many blogs and speaking with people that have gone through this; I have to admit, it was more difficult than expected. From the initial severe pain / swelling to the discomfort and inconvenience of having to hop around everywhere, including work, this experience teaches you to never take your health for granted.

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by NK76, Nov 07, 2008
Hi, broke R fibula 4.5 weeks ago playing football, I thought it was just a sprain but seems like really strong sprains ends up in fibula fracture. Got my xrays, tomography and there´s no difference between the last ones and the ones I took 4 weeks ago. Got a cast the first 2 weeks and walker boot since then but not bearing any weight by using crutches.
I have to say that swelling was not a problem as I continuously get ice gel pads and keep my leg above waist level and got DICLOFENAC 150mg per day (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diclofenac).
After all these weeks I´m feeling some stitches near the fractured area, I don´t know what that means.

Every doctor tells me that we are talking of 8 weeks to get results... and I hate them.

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by jenntyash, Jan 20, 2009
upon reading everyones stories, i feel better about the fact that i was wondering..WHAT THE HECK IS TAKING SO LONG TO HEAL?  i dont really have pain, but when i put on my sock, sometimes i feel it pop or feel like it is broken...make sense?  i have had three sets of x-rays, due to the fact that it was a spiral fracture of the fibula..wanted to watch it closely..I am able to put partial weight bearing and often over do it and that is when i have pain....does anyone have similar feelings like i just explained?

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by NicoleBF, Feb 17, 2009
I'm in the same boat in terms of the spiral fracture of the fibula (at my ankle).  I was given a walking cast (the kind that you inflate with a little hand pump) after a week of no weight and then I went back to the hospital the next day and begged them to put a regular cast on.  It hurt so much every time I moved with the walking cast and I felt like my bone was being pulled apart with each movement.  They put the walking cast back on two weeks later and I still have the same feeling.  I feel like I'm back to square one.  It's 5 weeks later, and I feel like it hasn't healed a bit.  I'm taking extra calcium, too.  I'm scheduled to go back in a week, so we'll see.  But what's the big rush with the walking casts, though?  I was so much more comfortable with the regular cast and they haven't given me any range of motion exercises to do or anything.

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by Sherri75, Feb 26, 2009
This site makes me feel better about the unusual pain I'm having.  My situation is unusual in that on jan 13th2009 I fell down my steps at home. The foot was dislocated and I had a a fracture in the fibula which required a plate a nd 7 screws placed on Jan 19th. On Feb 24th I saw the surgeon for x-rays to determine how far along the healing was and to start physical therapy. She spotted 2 additional fractures in the tibia, missed the previous month, which will require the cast for an additional 4  weeks. How often are such fractures missed? I complained of more pain in the tibia than the fiula from the beginning. Physical therapy starts tomorrow, and the pins and needles are terrible tonight.

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by DLB11, May 15, 2009
Agree about the site making one feel better, and nice to know one's not alone. Spring break, last week of March 09, I was skiing with friends and family. We were resuming skiing after a lunch break, and as I turned my right foot/leg to push off down the hill I felt and heard a pop in my lower leg. The result was a spiral break of the tibia from below my boot top down to the ankle. I had surgery the same day. Surgeon put a 10mm rod down the shaft of the bone from knee to ankle with screws below the knee and above the ankle. I've struggled with the swelling, and the overall pain and discomfort and have experienced some numbing around the knee, which I understand is from the hardware. I'm now in aggressive PT following 6 weeks non-weightbearing. Most of the pain is gone, and I'm getting some relief from the discomfort with progress from PT.

Although this is one of the most painful and challenging things I've experienced in my adult life, I'm highly confident in my surgeon and PT. However, with the optimism, comes curiousity about what the future looks like from a patient perspective.

Here's to strength and endurance of our mental game. It's all about learning to accept and adjust to our current physical condition. To all... best of healing both physically and mentally!!!

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by Melissa0527, Aug 05, 2009
I spiral fractured my fibula/ankle.  Have a great surgeon.  Feeling depressed however.  I am a very very active person.  Now, all of a sudden, its like I hit a wall.  Anyway, blah blah.  I am in physical therapy and I want to push push push myself to walk so I can be "normal".  I am scared b/c they have me walking on the leg and I still have a slight fracture...according to x-rays.  Hate taking meds.  If they have me walking in PT on walking cast... will I be walking w/o crutches in two months?  Help

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by scooby1968, Aug 21, 2009
Melisa, I feel your pain but because the most weight of walking is on the tibia , people have been known to walk okay even without complete union of fibula, though after a long while of P.T. But take one day as it comes. Mine is a bit worse cuz I broke my right tibia in two places and after 2 1/2 months healing just showing well on the lower fracture but the upper is not as fast. Because my bone was not displaced but well aligned, the O.S. opted out of screws and plates. According to him there is improvement though he still needs to have the long cast on for another 2 months. I am 41 years old so maybe its slower. I however do get a burning sensation once in a while at the lower fracture, I hope that is a sign of healing.

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by kauluwai, Oct 13, 2009
Never mop!  After making the enormous error of doing so, I turned as I began to step down the two steps to my living room to tell my three year old granddaughter to be careful because the floors were slippery.  My weight-bearing foot slipped and I fell, about as clumsily as a person can manage, forward onto the other leg as it cracked against the hard wooden steps.  I admit to howling loud enough to alarm the dogs as well as the grandchild who explained patiently to me that I should have walked around the dining room table where the floor was dry.  Surrounded on the floor by concerned dogs and a wiser than I three-year-old, I waited four hours to go to the emergency room where I learned I have a spiral break of the fibula.  It hurts more than any injury I can recall to date, and I'm 67.  Reading your comments has been both depressing (the healing time) and comforting as it shows me that I am not just a whiny, woosie  woman who simply, as my daughter tells me, needs to buck up. This happened four days ago and I am definitely not up and about and back to my high school classroom. Also the very thought of crutches terrifies me.  I never got the knack of them at 23 so at nearly triple that age, the prospect does not seem rosy.

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by Christine1266, Oct 20, 2009
On August 15th I fell off my dirt bike and now I have a spiral fracture of the tibia and a fracture on the fibula of my right leg. I went into surgery the next day and they were unable to place a nail, so they put a plate and ten screws in my tibia. I have been non-weight bearing this entire time now. I have a appointment this thursday to have an x-ray and find out if the cast comes off. The last x-ray four weeks ago was very depressing because it showed no signs of healing. I am only 28 years old and that seemed odd to me that at six weeks there was no sign of healing! I have been taking extra calcium and vitamin D to encourage healing. I am also very concerned like the rest of you, I too have a lot of strang pains. My pains are very diffrent all the time, like right now it is a shooting pain, and also a pins and needles pain. I am also concerned because my swelling really has not gotten any better since surgery. I also agree with you all, this is the worst pain I have ever delt with in my life, I have told many people I would much rather give birth to ten more children than do this again. I wish the best to you all, and may your recovery be short and as painless as possible.

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by leafyfern, Oct 29, 2009
Ok, now I don't know what to think.  I broke my fibula 4 weeks ago and I can SEE it is broken on the x-rays, but it doesn't hurt all that much.  After the second day, I went back to work.  When the elevator went out, I actually walked down 1 flight of stairs.  Am I weird or did I just not have that bad a fracture?  The only medication I took was Tylonol.

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by Christine1266, Oct 30, 2009
Leafyfern,

It all depends on what kind of break it was. Also it might not be hurting you because I was just told by my doctor that they are not even worried weather or not my fibula heals because it only bears about 6% of our body weight. So that may be why you do not have much discomfort or pain. Hope this helps!

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by Daveyboy65, Nov 05, 2009
Hi all, I'm 43 year old from Sydney. I was chasing a taxi on the 13th Sept and slipped off the curb and fell on my ankle fracturing my Fibula (spiral fracture). I was in a fibreglass cast for 6 weeks. That was 1 week ago. When I returned to the hospital for follow up at 6 weeks, The xray showed very little healing had occurred. The reason the doctor gave for this lack of healing was SMOKING. Smoking decreases the amount of oxygen in the blood, and being that the fracture is at an extremity (far away from the heart) the injury is not getting any nutrients from the blood or oxygen (main requirement of bones to heal). I ceased smoking immediately and have another appointment in 1 week to see if there is any improvement. I have been on crutches since the accident and am getting very very frustrated with the whole thing now. My advice to any smoker is to quit immediately. If they had told me this from the start, maybe things would have healed quicker, but from reading alll the posts so far, and many other articles on the net, it appears that the average healing time for this type of fracture is 6-8 weeks.

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by Jasny18, Nov 14, 2009
Gosh, I know how you feel Daveyboy65, I fractured my right fibula on the 4 Sept, after 5 weeks had it reviewed and was told it had to stay in a cast as it wasn't healed enough. Then I had it reviewed on the 10 Nov to be told it has still not healed enough and had I been offered an operation to have the fracture pinned and plated. Not happy!!! Now in a moon boot but not allowed to weight bare. Next review is the 5th Dec. I was asked the questions are you a smoker? Do you have diabetes? Very frustrating. I'm a mum of 5 kids so I'm finding this whole process very depressing. By the time I have my next review it will be 11weeks and 5 days since I broke it.

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by Christine1266, Nov 14, 2009
Hey anyone who would like to discus their broken leg issues even more on a discussion forum come join us on Mybrokenleg.com

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by cieronic, Nov 15, 2009
Hi guys i have also broken my right fibula just above the ankle falling down the stairs first thing in the morning. 2 Weeks ago i had a metal plate and screws put in my leg. I do not have a cast on it as my foot and ankle is swollen, so the alternative option for me was a back slab. Can someone please tell me when i will be most likely able to start walking on it again, will the swelling stop eventually? and when i will be able to drive again?!, i feel so trapped not being able to get in my car and go where i wanna go. Plus i have put on weight because im not as active atall anymore and dont have the energy to do any kind of exercise....Can someone help me please???

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by cieronic, Nov 29, 2009
Guess not, never mind!

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by classykaz, Dec 05, 2009
did you not have surgery to get a plate and pins in? thats the only way to secure a fracture like this, you also need to eat plenty of calcium foods. it takes up to a year for everything to heal. my cuz has had long term problems with his for over 2 years . i sustained my fracture on 7 nov.

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by kcwilly8, Dec 07, 2009
hi cieronic, I slipped on a muddy incline whilst out walking my dogs last Wed and sustained a spiral fracture to the fibula, and am just coming to terms with the long healing process ahead. I am starting to take Arnica for the swelling and Comfrey to assist in mending the bones, both are homeopathic remedies. As  have only just started taking them I have no feedback as such but you might want to look into it as an option. Good luck!

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by rrglare, Dec 31, 2009
Greetings!  I was rear-ended which caused a slight concussion.  Because my perception was off, I fell and broke my fibula 11-11-09 when out running.  I work as a healer and transformational bodyworker.  I knew my foot was hurt badly so I sat right down and did a brief healing on it.  Then I walked the mile back to my car (carefully), iced it, applied healing essential oils, and by next morning it was clear I had fractured it.  Still walking without too much trouble.

Was treated and put in temporary cast-splint for one week and given crutches.  Then given CAM boot to wear w/crutches.  Two days later I stopped using crutches because I was feeling NO PAIN.  So I carried on limping in the CAM boot w/o crutches for a week.  Then WHAM, pain hit which caused me to take this incident much more seriously.  My caution to others, is don't bear weight too early!  I may have retarded my healing because I did, though I was experiencing no pain.

To the gal above frustrated with not driving, there is no reason not to drive using the other foot for the pedals.  Take your time until you have that down.  Drive in off times with low traffic and you'll be fine.

My doctor told me yesterday there are ligaments, and soft tissues damage can complicate healing a badly twisted ankle with varying healing times.  I'm instructed to wean off the crutches now.  Icing several times a day and massage make a difference, diet, and oxygenation.  And LOVE your foot.  Being all frustrated and irritated with it does not help.

This injury is helping me slow down and come into a better alignment with my own life flow.  It's been a great teacher.  I wish you all speedy, and full recoveries.  Using everything for good!



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by Bettyhall, Jan 02, 2010
I broke my ankle (Fibia) on 31st October, I was put in a Backslab for 1 week then a full plaster for another 5 weeks. When I was x-rayed there was no sign of my bone healing at all. The doctor was happy that my bone was in the correct position therefore, the best thing to do was for him to take the plaster off and for me to walk on it, so that the bone could heal itself. I have managed to do this quite well and to be fair I am not in too much pain However the swelling comes and goes, I am not able to get a pair of shoes on, so I am going out with one shoe and one slipper on. I was told that it can take up to a year for this to settle. Although I try to keep my leg elevated when I can, the swelling just keeps coming and going, Has anyone any idea when this will settle down please.

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by jkloi962, Feb 01, 2010
I have broken my heel, I did it dancing on the beach at new year. It was missed on x ray to begin with and I tried really hard to walk on it for a week, then got the call to tell me not to walk on it and get to the hospital as it was broken and  I could do more damage if i walk on it. Great.
Its been a month now and I really have no idea how long this will take to heal. I was initially told 6-9 weeks and now have been told no weight bearing for 3 months. I have been put in a moon boot, but only because I was struggling with the cast.
Its so difficult to function using crutches, I can't even carry a drink or a plate of food. My house is in need of a big clean, my kids and husband are helping but its so frustrating. I'm lucky i can drive as its my left heel, so kids are getting to school. Just wish I knew how long this was going on for. Does anyone have any experience of this injury?????

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by ghoobbear, Mar 03, 2010
Had a spiral fib fracture of left ankle on Dec 31st, 2009. It's been 2 months. The doc never put me in a cast bc it was a stable non-displaced fib fracture. Got the boot and been int he boot since. After 3 weeks (Feb 1st) he told me to get get rid of the crutches and put full weight with the boot. No weight without the boot at all. No exceptions. At night, I don't wear the boot but wear a brace just to give it support. This is the deal...after a 6 week followup and xrays...only a soft callus has forms but no hard callus (which is what he is looking for so he can get me out of the boot). We can't figure out why it's taking long. I have followed his orders to the tee. He told me to get rid of the crutches after three weeks and walk with the boot with full weight. Is that too early. Mind you...this is the Fibula and non displaced and is not a weight bearing bone. I am 43, healthy, no diseases, do not smoke, athletic, and eat very healthy. To this date, it has been 2 months. It's slower than expected in healing. He (doc) was mentioning maybe less blood supply at the break area (2 inches above the talus)...if it had been at the talus he said that has more blood supply. I am going out of my skin...

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by Mieren78, Apr 15, 2010
Good Gawd this is awful.  I broke my right fibula 10 days ago.  I play roller derby and when I fell I basically fell straight down sat all my weight on my foot and cranked it the wrong way.  I heard it snap and it was so gross I thought I was going to hurl on the rink.  Went to hospital and ex-rays confirmed.  They put me in a half cast (plaster on the back, ace bandage around the front) and sent me to follow up with an ortho.  He put me directly into a walking boot and told me not to bear wait and come back in 10 days.  I go see him tomorrow.  The pins and needles are excrutiating.  The swelling and bruising is gross.  The boot is super heavy and feels like it is pulling my foot down and does not feel good on my ankle...I don't see how it can be helping.  I even called the ortho afraid that maybe they put me in a boot that was too big.  They said I just should "pump it" up tighter.  I too went back to the work immediately but I can put my foot up most of the time.  I'm just worried about all the cases that are "Hey let's see if it it will heal on it's own" and then the Dr. goes ahead and performs surgery later thereby delaying and elongating the healing process.  I want back on my skates damnit and these crutches suck!

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by ouchmyfoot, Apr 20, 2010
i broke my fibula 2 years ago next month still having lots of trouble with it, was in plaster for 10 weeks had a operation on it last September to remove scare tissue still in pain, at this stage i have no idea where to go to get more help

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by jcsharp, May 12, 2010
This is a great site, I spiral fractured my right fibula about 3 1/2 weeks ago playing flag football, I'm 34 years old....I know flag football, how'd you do that?  I managed some how, my teammates rolled me off the field and continued playing ( we won ), then proceeded to carry me to my car and I drove home left footed.  Anyways a few days later had a plate put in and six screws, I'm currently in a removable walking boot but not allowed to put weight on it.  I quit all the meds a few days after surgery, hate them all.  Doctor did want me to start ankle exercises and I've been trying but to much mobility in the ankle yet, still swollen and black&blue.  Next appointment is in 3 1/2 weeks, not sure what they'll have me do next....I'm hoping start walking on it, since I'm going on vacation(Riviera Maya, Mexico) in 5 weeks.  Still driving left footed, does anyone know if this is legal to do or covered by my insurance company if I get into accident???

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by THEGOLDENBOY, May 17, 2010
HI I work for a company were I have to apprehend shoplifters and I have cough over 4000 of them some try to fight and every occasion is different. This last time I was not so lucky, I was walking back with the shoplifter and suddenly he pushed me and we both went to the floor and I fell wrong and injured my ankle. I went to a orthopedic surgeon and he said I had the worst of the worst ankle fracture. Orthopedic stated that I had a trimalleolar ankle fracture a torn ligament and a spiral fractured fibula. when the fracture happen my body was full of adrenaline so I did not feel much pain but the next day I could not even sleep. the doc preformed surgery three days later. Dr put like 12 screws in my ankle. came out of surgery with lots of pain. even the pain killers did not help much but I layed in bed for three days after like the Dr told me and like magic the pain was gone the third day. I do not take pain killers any more and I only take them if I have like a head ache but not for my leg. again this is only the fourth day and I hope I can recover fully cuz i am a very very active person. I sometimes wish I could fast forward time to start to walk.all I worry is that I want to walk straight with out a limp. I know how pain full it is to be in these damn crouches especially if you live in a trailer like me were there is limited space. Luckily this happened at work so I still got paid for the days off but I was in the middle of getting a better payin job does any one know if I quit the job where I got injured will I still get covered my medical expences?

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by zarein, May 19, 2010
hi, Im a 13 year old boy and I have a spiral fracture of my left fib. I saw the doc 3 days later and he YANKED and poked the area asking "dose this hurt?''. I said yes to all and he left foe 1 min and told me no casting was needed and it dose not  hurt bad to start stepping down on it. it hurts so bad now and my mom is debating getting a second opinion.

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by beatle880, Jun 03, 2010
Hi I am a ten year old boy who suffered a spiral fracture of my left tibia 4 weeks ago. I was told that I would be fitted with a full length cast but was actually only fitted with a below knee cast. The Doctor said I would be on crutches for 3 months but not in plaster. We went back today and following an x-ray have ben told that I need to keep the plaster on for at least 8 more weeks. I am a bit concerned because this seems along time does anyone else have similar experiences. Alex 10

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by beatle880, Jun 04, 2010
by Zarein,

i an repliey to alexs coment i have its alfull


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by jcsharp, Jun 07, 2010
Update on my post from on May 12th.  It's been just over 7 weeks from time of injury, doctor said X-rays look good and start putting weight on it and ween off the crutches.  I start physical therapy tomorrow.  I've been walking slowly without crutches for short distances already with just a little discomfort and my ankle cracking occaisionally.  I've got to work on flexiblity in my ankle and gaining muscle back in my leg.  I'm hopeful to be totally off crutches by the end of the week.  Still have swelling and like a purplish looking leg/foot.  Can't wait to start doing things again; like cutting the grass, walking the dogs, etc. etc.  Going on vacation in less than 2 weeks, I'll give an update when I get back and let everyone know about going through airport security with my new hardware i my leg.

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by strugglng, Jun 16, 2010
I am a 41 year old female and just broke my ankle on June 13 while hiking.  I have a spiral fracture of the left fib.  I was told only NWB for six weeks.  I'm in an air cast and expect to stay in the air cast for the entire six weeks. I understand from reading that I'm likely to need crutches beyond that and PT.  Would love to hear from others what kind of exercises I can do to keep the leg and ankle in better shape than they would be if I do nothing and just drag it around all that time.  I'm thinking upside down bicycle, leg lifts...but what else? Any recommendations appreciated.

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by missjuliet, Jun 20, 2010
Hello all,
I am sorry for your injuries.  I too suffered a spiral fracture in my right ankle 13 years ago after slipping on the icy sidewalk.  I am now 46 and I have a plate with 5 screws on the outside and a long pin on the inside of my ankle.  Recovery from this injury is quite painful, but if you are in extreme pain you should definitely consult your doctor.  At the time of my injury I had no problem staying in shape as I had a 4 month old and 2 toddlers.  I borrowed a wheel chair and my husband moved the baby's crib downstairs.  At bedtime I would put the little ones on my lap and go backwards up the stairs while keeping my foot elevated.  Great for the triceps!  Living in Minnesota I had very good medical care and many therapy exercises to do.  Because I was so busy with my children and was in quite a lot of pain most of the time, I didn't do my exercises as much as I should have and so I have lost some flexibility and my foot points to the outside a little bit.  I notice this a lot when going down stairs.  Also, because of my foot pointing out a bit, I have developed a bunion and it seems to be getting worse.  So do your exercises!  It took a year and a half to stop limping and it still acts up now and then.  When that happens, I just take it a little easy till it passes, usually within a few hours.  When this happened to me I was told repeatedly that this was the worst break you could have in your whole body and also, how lucky I was that I was going to keep my foot and be able to walk again.  So be patient and count your blessings.  Looking back, this was a life changing experience for me.  It made me look at my life in a different way.  It wasn't all bad.
Good luck!

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by phoebarella, Jun 21, 2010
I had a spiral fracture of my left fibula (4 places) and severe sprain to my right ankle three years ago.I was in a half cast for 8 weeks on the left and an air cast on the right, Dr. couldnt put me in a walking boot because I fainted from the pain. It was a long recovery, three years and I still have a lot of pain. Went back to the Dr. and after an MRI it was found that I have swelling in the talus bone, which could lead to another fracture. I was placed in the boot for 21/2 months and now have an ace type support. Still have pain and may have to have the ankle fused, but am not able to see the Ortho Surgeon again until August...am afraid I will always have pain and lost mobility, this has definatley changed my life, a lot of what I can do is limited now.

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by pansyd, Jun 21, 2010
Last week was horrible.  On Monday my husband of 5 yrs (attempted to as I refused them) served me with divorce papers out of the blue. On Friday I fell walking down the front steps to go to work. I have a non displaced spiral fracture of my left fibula and a pretty bad sprain of the right ankle. I don't know know which is worse the emotion or the physical pain I am feeling. My left leg was splinted and I was given a short cast boot and crutches. Doc told me today I could get rid of the splint because of irritation and itching. I am leaving the ace wrap to control the swelling, somewhat. I am only partial weight bearing and using the crutches. It feels like my Achilles tendon is shortening. The swelling definitely causes some loss of sensation. I am feeling pretty helpless. Just when I needed my husband the most, he is gone. I guess my question is, when is it safe to start some range of motion exercises on the broken leg? I have already started writing alphabets in the air with my sprained ankle and it actually helps. I am supposed to go back to work in 2 days, only 5 days after the injury for a half day. My job involves a lot of getting up and down.

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by Clarko55, Jun 26, 2010
Spiral fractured my right fibula near the ankle while playing AFL footy three weeks ago.

I first thought i had just sprained it and was limping and even drove with it to the local medical centre. Got it checked and found out it was an undisplaced fracture and that i might get a plate and screws put in.

Luckily the doctors decided not to operate and put me in a plasta back cast for two weeks while the swelling reduces.

I know from experience with a plate and screws in my wrist how crazy the whole ordeal is so i was stoked i didnt require surgery.

Anyway its been three weeks and i'm now in a fibre glass cast for the next thee weeks (so total of 6 in a cast).

The injury never really hurt and i feel as if i can walk on it. But i'm talking plenty of calcium suppliments and eating healthy to get me along.

Also been exercising by doing one legged rowing, which i recomend to anyway going crazy without physical activity.

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by willsand, Jul 08, 2010
Hi there all, billy here! copped an obtuse spiral break of tibia and fibula bones at the end of feb this year, 20mm displacement of tibia, shattered fibula. titanium rod and five screws later, set myself for 6 months out of action as advised by surgeon. 6 weeks in was x-rayed and tibia showed no sign of healing, fib had started to mend. 21/2 months passes and xrays show some healing of tibia, decision by surgeon to remove screws in ankle to increase mobility. screws removed at 41/2 mths, very painful. medication went from morphine in hospital to oxycontin and endone for first month to digesics and trammel, then after 4wks to trammel and p-forte, back on endone for 1 week afterscrew removal then back to trammel and p-forte. Aloe vera gel from plant helped with scar healing,excellent for all wounds. have been taking calcium, vit C, fish oil, multivitamins to supplement healing process, coloxl with senna for binding from pain killers, not a funny problem! rehab consists of exercise bike, hydrotherapy, rubber band exercises, isometrics and massage. time in the sun to assist calcium good too, or vitamin d at a pinch. Moonwalker boot rom wk 1, better than cast, can remove for showers, cold packs, itching relief, sleeping after a while.

question i need info for is whether to have rod and upper screws removed, some say yes, others kept rod as reinforcement, i ride m-bikes and dont want permanent damage if accident and leg breaks again. at same time dont really trust leg to heal 100%, as obtuse spiral break increased circumference and depth of break, i.e longer and deeper break face of tibia suface area, hence longer recuperation. gp riders and extreme sports people suffer similiar injuries and are back riding quickly, note that valentino rossi in same situation. surgeon has increased recovery to 12 mths now. THAT WAS DEPRESSING NEWS. is anyone going through something similiar, like to hear views cheers!

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by Midge16_8, Jul 10, 2010
Hi there. Well in the middle of April of this year I was team roping in an indoor arena and rode my two year old stud at the end of the night. I was following a steer around, and he was working great considering how many rides he had had. Everything was goin great until the steer turned back on him and scared the living daylight out of him. He started to buck and because of a recent skull fracture ( non horse related) I chose to bail off. My foot got caught in the stirrup and I ended up breaking both tibia and fibula. The surgeon told me that this was an ugly ugly ugly break. The next day I had surgery and they put a metal rod with two screws on my tibia and a plate on my fibia with seven more screws. Got out of that surgery, but a few hours later I got compartment syndrome ( by far the worst pain I have ever felt) and lost a pulse in my foot. The surgeon said I could have an ugly scarred up leg or possibly no leg at all. I chose ugly leg. So I was rushed in for surgery number two where they sliced my leg open from knee to ankle on either side and left it drain for two days. Surgery number three they stitched one side together, but had to take a skin graft from my upper thigh to stitch the outside incision up. I am still not weight bearing, have weaned myself off of any painkillers ( night time is by far the worst ), and do my physio every day. The surgeon told me that this particular break will take 12 months to completely heal. I was told to not look forward to losing those crutches any time soon. I am a very active person, and I miss riding. My leg scars are absolutely hideous, but I am just thankful to have a leg. There is no point in whining about your injury, because whining won't make it heal any faster. Word of advice : if you bail off a broncy horse.......pull both feet out of the stirrup or just ride out the storm.

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by lulu18, Jul 12, 2010
Your fracture didn't heal at all. You should go to a hospital, to ER, not to your doctor. If you'd go toEr straight away, they would call a surgeon to consult or they would direct you to Fracture clinic where it'd be determined whether you should have a surgery or not. In some cases, surgery may secure a better healing and better progress, rather then just putting on a cast.
I broke my ankle 9 weeks ago, was taken to ER and then directed to fracture clinic where a proper diagnosis was done - a spiral fracture of distal fibula. Also, all ligaments and tendons on inner side of my right ankle were torn and shattered - terrible pain! There, in fracture clinic, it was explained aand suggested to me by a surgeon that by having a surgery done right away - my recovery will be progressing in better and faster way than if I would not have it. By inserting a metal plate and 7 screws/nails in to my right fibula would become stable and therefore my ligaments & tendons could also heal in much better and efficient way than if it would have been just "to heal on its own". - Your fibula probably didn't heal properly and it's not stable.
I was also told that fractures of the lower limbs heal the longest and the worst due to fact that circulation is the furtherst and I sholud expect to heal completely in 3 months if everything goes the way it supposed to, or if I', not try to do something stupid, like trying to walk too soon. I should be wearing a cast for 10 - 11 weeks, and after 12 (3 months) I may be able to start putting a whole body weight on my broken ankle. So far, I'm being very patient and following all surgeon's advices and I'm healing exactly as expected. - I suggest, avoid your doctor and go straight to ER or find a nearest fracture clinic and take time off to heal properly, have a lots of patience & discipline, be good to yourself. It's hard (Believe me, I know!) but it's do-able.

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by lulu18, Jul 12, 2010
Also, I broke my right fibula and torn all my ligaments & tendons on a way to work, on subway stairs. It was totally not my fault. Stairs have been in desolate state and they've been crumbling apart but I couldn't see it while taking steps down because it was covered by a ply-wood. (I'm suing transit commision!!!) That was 10 weeks ago, I had a surgery 9 weeks ago and I am still not allowed to put a weight on my right ankle. I'm in Air-cast (the best invention ever!) and attending physiotherapy for past 3 weeks. BTW - physiotherapy is really good idea, it makes a huge difference in my healing. Be patient!

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by lulu18, Jul 12, 2010
I just read some of the comments - I had a tremendous pain of the bone right after the surgery and 2 weeks after, when it slowly went away. After that I haven't experienced any pain at all in my bone. However, I had a lot of pain on my other side of the ankle, the inner side where my ligaments & tendons were shattered to taters. This is so until now, although the level of intensity went noticably down. I can feel the progress in healing of the tendons & ligaments  but it's still tendre and sensitive - and I was told by my physiotherapist that this will last even when I'll be allowed to put a weight on my broken ankle, I just have to be patient. I was never told by anybody, not by my surgeon, nor by my physiotherapist that it's natural to start experienced a pain again due to calcification of my fibula. Again - I would seek a surgeon to get a second opinion at least, rather than going back to your doctor, unless he's not a surgeon as well. Surgeons, especially the residents in the ER, see a tons of many types of fractures every day and therefore have a better grasp on situation. I'd skip visit to a family doctor unless you don'rt need a recommendation to pschylogist/conselling as well. I need one because I suffered a nightmares and insomnia after surgery/injury. Good luck!

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by pansyd, Jul 13, 2010
I think it really depends on the Family Physician you see, because some see and treat many fractures and others don't. I am a Family Physician who doesn't but my partner who does it treating my fracture just the same as many of the people here who have seen orthopods. A collegue of mine who is an orthopod advised me just yesterday, without me asking him to, that this was the appropriate treatment.

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by itamar82, Jul 18, 2010
Its been 5 months since my surgery. Dislocated my left ankle and shattered my fibula with a displaced spiral fracture during a football game. Had a plate and 5 screws put in as well as a 6th syndesmotic screw. No weight bearing for 2.5 months followed by low weight bearing for another month until the syndesmotic screw was removed. The ortho told me to take it easy with the recovery, nothing too agressive, and 5 months after the entire ordeal I'm just starting to walk without a noticeable limp.

My left calf is super weak, lots of muscle mass was lost, still trying to regain range of motion in the foot. However, when I walk it feels as though the fibula hasn't fully reattached and that it flexes. Is this normal? I want to get back to gym and workout already but I don't want to damage my leg again.

Initially I read this injury takes about 6 months to recover from althought I don't see it being the case for me right now.

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by smallbluejellybean, Jul 27, 2010
Hi,
I broke my ankle last Wednesday. Spiral Fracture of my fibula. Going back to the doctor this Thursday to see if I need an operation. I have been walking on it - naughty me!! I have kids and life goes on. I had to go to hospital last night because my back slab just fell off in bed, like a big boot. My swelling went down so much. The put a new one on.
I know I should stay off it, but just can't. I put it up when it gets sore and it aches at night. It was so funny when it came off - I got more freaked out about how black and horrible it looked, than the pain. The doctor told me I was very naughty for standing on it - he saw me walk (without a back slab or anything) to the bathroom. He couldn't get it in the new back slab quick enough. hehehe. Don't get me wrong it really hurt when I first did it and I pretty well knew I broke it. I am just one of those people that have to be dieing before I would even think about stopping or maybe I am just hyper.
The comments I have read have been very informative here and good luck everyone with their healing.

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by PatchToovey, Jul 30, 2010
Broke my right ankle 2 weeks ago.  Had a back slab for a week then have a camboot on.  Able to bear weight but not 100%.  Still feeling pain especially at night time.  Wake up many times at night due to the pain.

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by brokenbonessuck, Aug 06, 2010
Spiral fracture of my right fibula on July 16. Very depressed cause I need to work and can't. Had a splint put on in er. Had to wait a full week to see orthopedic. On July 23rd ortho said i was 50/50 on surgery.  He decided to cast it and see me in 2 weeks. Absolutely no weight bearing and elevate pretty much all day.  Today August 6 went to see if I need surgery. Today great news no surgery and got removable cast. Then he told me I could walk as long as I had walking boot on.  I can't believe it. Its only been 3 weeks.  For anyone with this injury if you follow direction there Is hope to get back on your feet sooner than 6-8 weeks.  I am now Feb after only 3 weeks from injury.  Here is what I did and some helpful ideas.  

#1 don't try to walk
#2 keep it elevated and put ice pack behind your knee to get swelling down
#3 stay cool
#4 rent a knee scooter from goodbyecrutches.com (this was a lifesaver I weigh 325 pounds and crutches are terrible. Also it eliminated the accidental slips onto my leg)
#5 not sure if it helped but ate lots of yogurt Smoothies that were Higgins calcium
#7 doesn't help with healing but get some healthy foods you like and something to entertain yourself.  You have to stay off it.

Again I just want those to know there is hope to walk soon. Stay positive, I just kept telling myself I would get a walking cast today even though every thing I read basically said I wouldn't.  Also just to note I am not super healthy. I am 28 and overweight.  Good luck to others.


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by cpapow, Sep 17, 2010
Hi, I spiral fractured my left fibula by rotating it externally on July 16. One dr said plate and screws, went for second opinion after 10 days and she put me in a walking cast and told me to go ahead and walk on it. If it hurt, get off of it. At 3 weeks I had the cast removed and got a lace up brace that looked like the top of an ice skate. Wore that for 3 weeks when walking anywhere strenuous. I did not have any ligament damage thankfully. I own a cleaning company and have a little achey feeling at the end of a long day, but other than that, it is really just needing to be stretched out more. There is hope! I am a small person so I think that helped that I don't have a lot of weight to put on it. I am 44.

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by dirtbikefromhell, Oct 11, 2010
Recently broke my tibia (in my ankle) and spiraled my fibula (near my knee). Concerned about ligament, muscle damage. Has anyone benefitted from an MRI to determine if there is more damage than originally thought. I'm 1 week in and worse now than ever. Thanks for any advice.

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by Diggit, Oct 15, 2010
On September 9 I broke my fibula (spiral fracture with complete break) two inches above my ankle, tore the ligament on the inside of my ankle, and displaced my tibia where it joins the ankle (a small amount).  ER put me in a 1/2 cast (hard on back and ace bandage on front) all the way up to the top of my thigh (a little extreme if you ask me).  One week later I had surgery to add a plate and six screws and to realign the tibia to the ankle.  The two most painful parts were the initial break and then having the staples removed two weeks after surgery (doesn't "hurt" but it does burn).  Immediately after surgery, they placed me back into a 3/4 cast that was soft on the top of the foot and about a two inch gap going up the shin -- wrapped in ace bandage.  This cast only went 3/4's the way up my calf.  Once they removed the cast and staples (after two weeks), they placed me in a fracture boot with adjustable straps and air pump (still no weight on the leg though).  No pain since surgery.  Aches a little when swollen so I do my best to keep the swelling down with .  Xrays after two weeks showed good healing and realignment.

Go back to surgeon in another 1 1/2 weeks for the next step (it will be 6 weeks after surgery and 7 weeks since broken).  Still no idea what is next...not sure if they will allow me to walk with the boot or what.  I guess I'll wait another week and see what the Xrays and Surgeon says.  I do have a very good surgeon though and have been extremely satisfied.  It is important to find somebody you feel you can trust...it helps with confidence and sanity.

Don't know if I have high pain tolerance but I actually quit taking Rx pain meds after one day of initial break and then one day after surgery.  Used Acetaminophen for a couple of days after surgery and now use nothing.  

At initial consultation following the accident (I was playing Ultimate Frisbee and tried to "out jump" the biggest guy on the other team), the surgeon told me I should be in game shape in 3-4 months.  I know every injury is different and everybody heals differently but it is good to be able to read others posts regarding their healing process and circumstances.

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by Mustanggal56, Oct 25, 2010
I broke (spiral fracture) my right Fibula on 07/31. Today is 10/25 and I am still no weight bearing. Had a cast for 6 weeks only to find out no healing had gone on, so Dr recommended surgery. Surgery was 9/16 for a plate and 8 pins. Took pain pills for 2 days, then there was no pain. My next appn is 10/28 and hopefully I will finally hear the words I have been waiting for, for 3 months. Weight bearing! I have not been able to go to work, drive, shop for 3 months. I guess because of my age (50+) healing is taking much, much longer than I ever imagined! These last couple weeks have been extremely hard, I try not to get depressed, but it ain't easy!

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by bmwzfg, Nov 27, 2010
On 4th November my horse spooked in his stable and unfortunately I ended up getting well and truly trampled, luckily I only ended up with a broken right fibula - the fibula was not displaced so I had a half cast put on for 2 weeks and ordered on bed rest to see if I could avoid surgery.  It worked and I did not need surgery so a full fibreglass cast was put on and have been told to remain in this for another 4 weeks and try to put up to half my body weight on it.  It is to be taken off and x-rayed on 17th December.  I am a bit worried because the majority of information on here says that healing was not good enough after those 4 weeks and the cast was put back on for another 3 weeks.  I am very independant and I work for myself and if this happens it will be a nightmare, I need to get back driving but I have a manual car and its my right ankle that's broke!  Im trying to eat all the right foods and Im amazed that my weight is dropping despite not moving very often.  Anyone have any positive words and timescales for me please?

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by Tuulu, Dec 17, 2010
Thank you all for posting comments on this site! I broke my ankle three weeks ago in a motor accident. I had surgery the next day and a cast was fit on the foot...two weeks later another cast was fit was it was really heavy and painful so doctor took it off three days later and gave me a brace. My ankle has however gotten increasingly painful and yet doc says i should walk with the boot but still use crutches. Do you think Im doing this too early? Also doc says my leg had lost body mass and Im quite worried. is that normal?will my foot be normal again? Will i walk again? These are questions that torment me through the night. Started seeing a physiotherapist today and she is confident that it will get better. Does anybody have comforting words for me?

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by shelsingleton, Dec 22, 2010
I am so glad to find out that I am not a freak for breaking my fibula.  On Dec. 9th I fell letting my neighbors dog out of his garage.  We are watching the dog while the neighbors are out of town.  Due to another neighbor complaining about his barking we had to shut him in the garage at night.  To make a long story short, I have a non displaced spiral fracture to the left fibula.  I am 56 years old and crutches are not easy for me.  I was put into a boot at the ER, advised to see my primary doctor on Monday and seek the advise of an orthopedic surgeon  which I did.  The surgeon wanted to see me last Monday and made a decision on surgery.  Good news, no surgery needed as he said I was healing and that the break was (sticky).  I am to continue to not bear weight until the 17th when I see him again.  This has been so hard because stairs are a nightmare for me.  Christmas is coming and I can't do the things I normally would be doing this time of year.  The surgeon said not to take ibuprofen since it retards healing.  I just hope that I can return to a normal life after this fiasco.  Thanks for posting.  I t makes me feel that I am not alone.

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by samiam927, Jan 09, 2011
my guy, spiral facture of the tib, comminuted spiral fracture of the fibula and shattered his ankle.  Its been a week.  He did this on 1-2-2011, had surgery on 1-3-2011.  36cm rod placed in his tibia with 4 screws, and a plate for his fibula and a plate and screws in his ankle.  8 weeks of no wb minimum.  He is in a splint for 2 weeks until staples and stiches come out. then we will see what lies ahead.  I have already had to redo his splint 3 times because he keeps messing with it.  I am seeing how long some of you are taking to healing, and he has been doing some snooping online too and he is really depressed now.  He is 52 and a work aholic, i hope he heals well.

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by Rollergirl, Jan 10, 2011
Hello fellow gimps. I'm a 54 year old post menopausal (female, duh) with normal bone density loss. I fractured my left distal fibula by turning my ankle inward, while slipping on ice at work. This was just a week ago on New Years Eve day. I heard/felt it pop/crack. I knew it was not a sprain, as it hurt like hell, and I could not walk on it at all. It was obvious to me right away that I would not be going to the big dance party I was looking forward to for some time. I got a ride to the local ER, and was exrayed, and finally, 4 hours after the injury given some pain meds. Whew! A very nice young guy put my splint on. So far so good. My husband picked me up and we got my pain meds (OC's), crutches, dinner, and went home.
I was lucky enough to get a popular sports Orthopedic surgeon that Monday, due to a cancellation.Yay! Bad news: no weight on the foot for at least 6 weeks. The crutches are crippling to my hands, pits and biceps, so I got a knee scooter.
Now my husband calls me "Roller Girl". Funny guy.
I'm dealing with the pain and helplessness pretty well. My biggest problem is at night, when Mr Funny sneaks some booze and gets negative and pessimistic about everything, from our challenged financial situation, to The Duggars and their 19 kids.  
I can't wait till I can go back to work selling cars. It's just not going to happen till I can get around alot better. Would you buy a car from someone with a great, positive attitude, who uses a knee scooter?
Thanks for reading.

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by Paleo_Man, Jan 20, 2011
My wife fractured her fibula, the distal end, a Weber type B fracture.  It was very frustrating for her trying to get around on crutches or hopping.  We ordered a knee walker from Amazon and it came yesterday, the kind of walker that steers with  small handlebars equipped hand brakes.  It has a foam seat with a groove for her knee and it is an enormous help.    She is scooting around faster with the walker than she was before she broke her fibula and it is very comfortable.   Not much she can't do comfortably now.  Much better than crutches and with a shopping bag hung over the handlebars, she can carry things readily.

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by hbojo, Feb 05, 2011
Hello fellow sufferers.   I fractured R fibula and R tibia,  Sat. Jan29th, 2011.  Don't have a lot of information, but
have been scanning the internet for the past few days.   I myself am retired 62, from the medical profession (so I am not medical-terminology ignorant, thank God).     I'm very, very scared about what the future holds insofar as pain, feeling
I have suffered enough in my short life.  The last two comments from Rollergirl and Paleo_Man were very comforting
and optimistic.   Will get back to you after my Feb 14th follow up appointment.

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by shelsingleton, Feb 10, 2011
It gets better. I am at 9 weeks since I broke my left fibula.  It was a non displaced spiral fracture.  Life is much better now.  I was NWB for 6 weeks then did the gradual weight bearing routine.  I am just in the boot now and am getting around better every day.  My husband was grumpy and a little hard to get along with at first but he has done a super job of shopping and doing the laundry since our laundry room is in the basement.  Stairs and crutches were not a good combination for me.  On the 17th of January my orthopedic surgeon took x-rays and said that it hadn't healed as quickly as he had hoped but not to worry.  He assured me once I started doing weight bearing it would encourage the bones to start healing.  I go back on the 28th of February and I am hopeful that I will be able to toss the boot and get on with my life.  I have increased my calcium intake and am drinking skim milk and taking calcium as well as an all purpose vitamin.  For those still on crutches.  I used an office chair on wheels in the kitchen.  I could move around quickly and do most of the cooking while in the chair.  I no longer use the chair so life is pretty much normal now.  I made my maiden voyage to Wal-Mart and drove myself there and back.  I can do stairs great now so I know I will be so much better by the time I see the doctor again.  My heart goes out to those of you that are just starting this journey.  I was depressed at first especially since Christmas was coming but it came and went like it always does so life does go on.  Good luck to you all.  It does get better!  

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by djbnh, Apr 25, 2011
55 yo male, broke my right fibula in 2 places on President's Day holiday by slipping on ice, displaced spiral fracture. Called the MD's office and left them know what happened / area was severely swollen and tender; idiot nurse said that since I could put some weight on it to ice it for two days and keep elevated, that it was just a bad sprain. Went back to work and walked on it, snowblowed on it that Friday night but leg stayed kept "singing" and remained swollen, so went into see the MD the following Monday and found it was broken (chewed the nurse out pretty well!), and two days later on March 2 had surgery to reduce fractures / install plate + 8 screws. (Had to keep leg elevated for a month due to all the swelling from the injury, NWB as well.) Crutches; narcotics for a few days (couldn't stand them) plus a splint type cast for a week or so, then into a short cast, then got the stitches out (no big deal) and into a long cast until week 6, then a big Imperial Stormtrooper type cast for 2 weeks (still using crutchs)  and partial weightbearing, (got the MD to get me back to work 2 weeks early, but had to wear the boot all the time with the exception of being able to use a shoe to drive to/from work). At week 7+ I've transitioned to a small air cast, still use crutches and can bear more weight; entering week 3 of PT with about 6 more weeks to go.

Been using Vit K2 to promote bone growth, diatomaceous earth in smoothies, bone and joint ease tea. Stretching the foot / ankle tendons is a process that keeps improving but it's an incremental improvement. Swelling still pretty significant but showing improvement, too. Worse part of the whole process was the first 2 weeks after surgery, couldn't stand being cooped up, but what can you do? Patience served me well when I finally caught up to it, and due to my high pain tolerance I think I'm advancing and will advance well with the PT as I'm able to keep pushing to stretch and stretch and stretch. Got another appt with the surgeon on May 9, hopefully will be able to get rid of the crutches and be more advanced in PT with the eye towards complete recovery sometime in June(?).  Best of luck to all of you.

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by szh56, May 25, 2011
By SZH56 poster May25 2011    Hi I Everyone I'm so glad I found this site. On April25 2011 I fell talking out the trash and went off the curb. I fractured my left ankle, foot, and toe. And on my right ankle I have a sprial fracture. I was in the hospital 4 days non weight bearing on both legs. It was a very close call on surgery the doctor decicided to wait 2 weeks and the bones are aligned so non surgurcial. YEAH!! After being released from the hospital I went to a nursing/rehab home for another 2 weeks. I am non weight bearing on the right . So it has been a month since the accident. I'm home using a walker, but mostly I stay in bed due to hoping around on the left foot with 3 fractures. The last couple days I have been trying to move around and I find I'm out of breath and feeling a little sick. Has anyone experienced this?  I have never felt so helpless in my life.I'm also a little depressed since 3 years ago I lost weight and I feel the weight coming back on and can't do anything about it!!  SO a couple of questions 1 is it normal to feel out of breath and a little sick after moving around at first? 2 At night I get sharp pain on my toes they say it may be a nerve issue did anyone have this? 3 what is the progression from non weight bearing until you can put weight on the sprial fx, realizing everyones course of treatment is different I just want to get an idea. I have been out of work with no income so that is hard and can't work since I live in a 3rd floor walk up and steps are impossible, plus I'm in the dental field and need my feet to work some of the equipment. Sorry for going on for so long  just going stir crazy LOL!!

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by Bsilverman, Jul 09, 2011
July 2 2011 My 75 Yr old father slipped walking out a Private plane!! I took him right to the Emergency room! I thought it would be a sprain because he didnt seem to be in much pain! They took X rays and he had a Spiral Fracture to the fibula to the left ankle! They gave him a Black Book with straps! and told him for the next 3 days Just Rest, and gave him Tylenol for the pain! He didnt take pain mads cuz he didnt find he was that bad of pain  ! It was Independence day Weekend so we had to go see the On call doctor on July5th ! The Doctor said he looked at th X rays and told him to just keep the boot on! And made an appoint in 2 weeks to get another X ray! Today is July 9th a Week since he fell and he has been using a walker! He has been moving around, but does get Pain now and then! His leg and ankle is started to show black and blue! I drive for him and get the walker in and out of the car but i Find he is doing well! He Dose put weight on his foot but not a lot! So he can Pretty much do everything jus a a slow pace! But Othr then Work his home resting! I ice his ankle once a day or twice a day! I try to Ice it as often as i can! I need answer on how long till he can be back on his own????

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by mococo, Jul 14, 2011
This site is making me feel better and worse about my 3 1/2 spiral fracture on my left leg :).  It's been a little over two months and everytime I go to the doctor he tells me two more weeks with the boot. At home without the boot I was starting to walk without favoring the right leg (feeling almost like normal walking).  I took a business flight and when I tried walking again without the boot as I had done prior to the trip I had pain that can only be described as bone chilling.  It has been two weeks since that flight and haven't had a day without pain and hobbling.  Has anyone else experienced this?  Also, I feel like there might be some tissue damage.  Is there any exercise I can do at home that will break up some of the scar tissue?  Thanks for your help!

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by mococo, Jul 14, 2011
SZH56 poster May25 2011    I too became very depressed about the weight.  I think coupled with the restricted movement adds to the altered mood.  I am more active now, but I still have days where it just isn't fun and clothing isn't fitting which is less than fun.  I also think the muscle loss in the calve is more than a little disturbing.  I do think it's normal to feel strange sensations in your foot.  You haven't moved it normally for months.  When I first started walking in the morning my foot snapped crackled and popped.  The more I move it the better it gets though. (something to look forward to)...hope you start feeling better.

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by missi042, Jul 19, 2011
I fractured my right fibula getting daughter in the car when i was pregnant. i had a c section a week after the fall and i am currently on my ninth week of healing. i was in a fibreglass cast up until yesterday when they finally gave me a walking cast. i had to rent a wheelchair so i could take care of my newborn and 3 yr old independantly. i am trying very hard to use this walking cast without crutches so i can give up the wheelchair. how long does it take to get used to a walking cast and how long does it take to be able to walk on it after the walking cast? I am 24 years old and am fighting depression due to the fact i have to struggle to take care of my children!

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by matchbox81, Aug 11, 2011
Hi..I spiraled fractured the distal end of my left fibula about 3 weeks ago . Somehow got tackled by this bloke during a football match and the bone just popped..heard 3 "pop"s though. Didn't know it was actually fractured until I got an x-ray the following day.

Just came back from an appointment with the OS  and told me that the cast should be off in 2 weeks time. Hope this is true as I really need to get back to work. Will I get a walking cast after this?

Also have to admit that I'm a smoker, but since this whole ordeal started, I've cut back tremendously opting to maybe 2-3 cigs a week. Will this help the healing process?

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by 1Nomad, Aug 15, 2011
So, I'm a nomad and now, non weight bearing for 3 months.....Yikes! 12 weeks is a long time to hop around and hopping jars the bad leg.  Fibula spiral fracture and ortho gave me  the option of surgery which I declined, then the choice of cast or boot, I chose the boot.

The reality is I live alone in a 2nd floor walk up, terribly tippy on the crutches and altho I am now the proud owner of a knee walker, I can't seem to figure the stairs. Whether I crawl up and down or sometime master the crutches and endurance required, I'll need a backpack to haul in provisions..Yikes!  

I'm staying positive, currently at my daughters house and her boyfriend has taken me on a rescue mission for my mail. Guess I'm supposed to learn patience, dependence, and how to ask for help. At 59, all good things to know, but I wish it had come less painfully.

Only 10 days in and haven't decided if I'm counting down by the day or the week. THink I'll call a PT and see if there are exercises I can be doing to help my recovery. I've heard that once the boot is off, there is still pain and relearning to use muscles.

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by Margo879, Sep 10, 2011
by Margo, Sept.10, 2011,

I broke my left fibula while cutting grass on July 1, 2011.  I was carried to Urgent care where  I received a splint because it was 4th of July weekend.  I saw ortho on July 5 and had surgery July 7 where I received a metal plate and 7 screws.  After 2 weeks in a splint, I received a full non-weight bearing cast from ankle to the knee.  I kept that on until August 18, 2011, when I received a black walking boot. I was suppose to be off the crutches in 1 week; however, this did not happen. THe boot is very heavy, and I keep falling forward.  The physical therapist tells me to forget trying to remove the crutches and keep concentrating on therapy. I am getting a lot from  physical therapy and I do exercises faithfully at home-plus heat and ice. My biggest problem so far was when I came off all meds on Aug.18. I was taking hyrdrocodone and oxycodone.  I had taken those for 5 weeks, and I just stopped cold turkey on Aug. 18 and switched to advil and aleve. I ended up in bed for 5 days because I had a drug withdrawl prblem. Do not take those drugs if  you don't have too.  They are awful.  I still have my crutches but want to come off them so bad. I go back Sept. 16  for an air cast, and I am hoping that I can get more mobility at that time when my feet are equal in height, and one is not 2 inches taller.
Best of luck to everyone going through this type of injury. Not only is it painful, inconvenient, and long, but it really makes you appreciate each accomplishment. I am a 63 year old female,and I was beginning to think I would never walk again; however, physical therapy has been wonderful for me.  If anyone has suggestions on how to get rid of crutches sooner, let me know.


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by Bandagemechanic, Oct 13, 2011
I obtained a spiral fracture of the left fibular, and following a Half pop, for  five days, and now entering my 6th week with full pop,NWB with crutches(please someone come up with a better invention) I have just turned 58, with the company of the pop. I am trying to stay positive, but after reading all your stories is leaving me a bit nervous, however some of your comments have been useful. I have had no pain so far, just a bit of discomfort, since the accident I took 2 paracetamol as I was on my way to A@E and not taken anything since, I guess this may change when I hopefully start to walk again.

The consultant said following the result of the Xray after removal of pop, that I would be given a boot. I will get confirmation on this on the 21st October when pop is removed. Wish me luck.

Will keep on reading on this site, and give update. Good Luck to you all. REMAIN POSITIVE. Things could always be worst.

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by Lainey05, Oct 18, 2011
Tomorrow will be 6 weeks in a cast, sitting in a recliner with my foot elevated.  I slipped on a boat deck and suffered a distal fibula spiral fracture.  I did not have surgery.  Doctor is planning to remove the cast tomorrow and xray.  At that time he will make a decision as to recast or put me in a walking boot of some type.  It has been a very long 6 weeks - I have managed to stay positive by reading and having friends visit. I keep wondering if it is healing since I am 62 and female.  I dread using crutches so that tends to keep me in the recliner.  I was told to wear an apron with pockets and that would help me to carry items - I have been very lucky to have a husband who gets me anything I might need - but I thought it was a good suggestion and wanted to pass it on.  Will post again after doctor visit.

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by Lainey05, Oct 19, 2011
Just returned from the OS.  Cast was removed and xrays taken.  Lots of new bone growth - Hurrah.  Did not recast and no need for a boot.  Keep using crutches for the next 2 weeks with very light pressure.  Need to do foot exercises to get movement back.  Then will start physical therapy to get leg strength back.  My advise is to stay calm, sit with your foot elevated at all times, and eat yogurt.  And as Bandagemechanic said "STAY POSITIVE" - it is just a bump in the road of life.

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by Lainey05, Oct 20, 2011
Bandagemechanic - thinking of you and hope you have. lots of new bone growth when you see the doc tomorrow.  It was wonderful to sleep without the cast.  I'm having no pain doing foot exercises.  Keep us informed.
.

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by Bandagemechanic, Oct 27, 2011
Thank you Lainey05, for your positive and kind comment. I went to the fracture clinic with grate expectations, and feeling positive, also seeing several patients coming in with there pop's and going out with there walking boot, I was not so fortunate this time, the ankle has started to heal, but the fibular fracture is still showing on the Xray. The consultant seemed to be a little surprised as I'am not on any medication and I don't spoke, so alas I had to be re-plasterd for a further two weeks. I am due to visit him again this friday 4th Nov, hope I get lucky with the boot this time, he did mention however that surgery intervention was not required. I hope you are continuing with your convalescence well. Will keep you informed.

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by shawnasmith, Jan 19, 2012
Hello all! I was skating on December 10th with my young daughter and she went infront of me while I was at a good speed for i fell to avoid crashing into her and i sustained a spiral fracture in my left fibula. I was in a hard cast for 4 weeks then put into a walking boot. Its been 2 weeks in a walking boot and im walking just fine without support, and all the bruising and swelling are gone. Had an x ray today, just waiting on doc to read it and get back to me... Hope i can ditch the walking boot!!

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by suzzer, Jan 23, 2012
hey shawnasmith, i had a spiral fracture of my right fibula, also while playing with my daughter (2 years old). we hada big snow storm in the seattle area, and i had taken her out XC skiing around the neighborhood (we have ski attachments for the bike trailer, so i towed her in that). but i wasn't very good at it, and the trailer fell over once (she was strapped in and fine). she decided she didn't like it, so we traded the ski trailer for a sled (kept my ski boots on), and went sledding down our hill. BUT neither of those are what caused my injury.

she got tired and wanted to be carried, so i was carrying her back to the house, and slipped on ice or something just as i was opening the front door. down we both went, she was fine (again, thank goodness) but i knew right away i had broken something. it was a weird twisting pain. anyway, i was home all alone (hubby out of town), our power was out, and NO ONE near me could drive in the snow, so we had to call 911. and yes, i had to bring my 2 year-old to the emergency room.

so anyway, i have a right distal spiral fracture. it's in a plaster half-cast right now (i did it 5 days ago). the pain has not been too bad, it's just uncomfortable at night. i can't bear weight at all. and i have to keep it elevated all the time, or it swells and gets painful, and my foot gets tingly. i'm very active, and all this sitting around is driving me crazy! i can't drive yet either.

curious to know how you healed up.

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by Unluckylisa, Feb 17, 2012
I was walking my dog this morning and slipped on ice. Heard the crack and struggled crawling home. I wasn't far. I used a fence. Went to ER and I have a spiral fracture of the fibula. Right leg. Can't drive. In two days I'm supposed to go to Mexico! Didn't get cancellation insurance! I'm in an air boot or robo boot . It's first night cants sleep and I'm scared to travel. Worried and upset about the money, doc said it's ok to o, sun might help..joked about tequila. This *****  

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by Unluckylisa, Feb 17, 2012
This site is very helpful. Thank you all that post.

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by Brokenfib, Mar 02, 2012
Comforting to read all the stories on this site. I am almost eight weeks post break.. I broke my lower left fibula  playing hockey on January 7...no surgery and have been in a walking boot since it happened.. no cast.I am 32(just), healthy and active.  Thought all was well... but just had an xray and the bone is not healing. I can walk on it and it does not give me much pain at all. Doctor says I can try ultrasound therapy at a whooping 2500.00 or wait it out or get surgery and have a pin put in and start the healing process all over again. Need some help deciding what to do?? Will a non healing bone start to heal at some point?? Thanks!

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by Harvey05, Apr 26, 2012
Hi all. Broke my tib and fib (spiral break) last August whilst walking my dogs. I was admitted to hospital, had an operation the same day and remained there for six days.  For two weeks my leg was bandaged, then I was put into a half leg plaster for six weeks and given elbow crutches to encourage bone healing. In December I had another operation to remove the plate and screws at the top of my tibia as the fracture sites were not healing. To cut a long story short, 9 months later I am still using one crutch, still receiving weekly physio, still have knee pain, however yesterday I was advised by the os that my bones are nearly healed. I am to receive ultrasound on my knee and fracture site of the fibular to help with the pain. The bad news is that the bones around my ankle now show serious signs of thinning and I will need another operation to remove the nail and final plate and pins to stop any further bone thinning. I had a bone scan a few months ago and the results were fine. Has anyone else had a problem with bone thinning and does ultrasound work? My sincere sympathies and good wishes to all of you who have suffered a spiral break.

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by hecallsmeironside, Jul 03, 2012
Hello there from Devon England UK , what a great site this is, both informative and supportive.

I sustained a spiral fracture of rt lateral malleolus which spreads a few cms up the right fibula.  I fell off my bicycle and landed in a drainage ditch.  My husband put me is a passing car, I was delivered home and hobbled to bed, I passed out with the pain and when I woke and tried to weight bare, knew immediatley that it was broken.

I was put in a back slab for a week, then a cast for 6 weeks, I have recieved 3 x-rays throughout. I had my cast off yesterday and was provided with a Beckham boot to begin some weight bearing with the use of crutches. I've had pins and needles all over the sole of the injured foot, a stinging feeling around the injury when I have overdone it.  I have fallen 3 times on my crutches, I am covered in bruises and yesterday flew into fracture clinic on my back arriving at the reception desk in the most undignified position having placed my crutch in a pool of rain water.  

I've used a wheelchair to get around the house as well, this has allowed me to do the washing, cooking etc, I've done any shopping via the internet and had it delivered. My friend Sue provided me with special pastic seal tight boot so that I could shower and I have used it to bath as well, it inflates so that my leg floats to an extent.

I can't wit to walk the dog, simple pleasure and one I will not take for granted again, looking on the bright side I think I have developed a jot of patience and acceptance, both qualities I seem to have failed to adopt along the way.  Six weeks ago I thought my family would fall apart  without me driving and orchestrating, working and cleaning etc etc but we've managed alright really. Wev have a sailing holiday booked for two weeks time, if all goes well I will be wearing the bootand will not crew but will rest and swim and avoid a wet deck...it's what's keeping me going...I'll keep you posted.  Thank you for all the entries, keep posting!


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by janie5694, Jul 09, 2012
I broke my ankle on my 28th wedding anniversary. It was early in the morning, I was getting ready to water my gardens before heading out on a daytrip. Daytrip it was, I fell on dewy grass and broke my ankle in 3 places. I spent the first half of my anniversary in the ER. I required surgery including a metal plate and screws, and this was 2 days before my daughter's High School graduation! It was my goal to make it to her graduation, and I did, high on pain killers! I'm now in my 3rd week after surgery, no weight bearing for the forseeable future. I get my post surgical cast off tomorrow, probably into a regular cast for 6 weeks, and then a boot for 8 weeks! We had to cancel our vacation, and I feel so frustrated and helpless, only able to do the bare minimum. I'm a horticulturist, and tried to garden by sitting at ground level, but found it was too much of a strain on my hips and low back. I do feel like I am reaching some kind of rhythm, but can't wait til this is just a memory!

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by Wizwiz, Jul 29, 2013
Is anyone using a knee scooter, are they as good as they look online, and how long after the break can I start using one ?

Here's my little story so far, for those interested.

I broke my left ankle, spiral fracture to the fibula, and pulled all the ligaments off the RHS of my leg two Tuesdays ago on the 16th July.

Drs had told me to increase my exercise levels with some light jogging and cycling to help manage blood pressure and cholesterol etc.  So I was jogging in the park on Tuesday lunchtime.  Left the path to sprint the last section back to the office, and put my foot down a rabbit hole, going at full tilt. Foot stopped, I didn't.

Heard a loud crack, lots of pain and my left foot looked to be at a very strange angle.  No phone, no body around, and about 1/2 mile com the office.  

Grabbed the top and bottom of my foot whilst still in the running shoe, and before it started to swell and yanked it back into place as best I could, another big crack and lots more pain.  I had to lay down to 10 mins to,get my breath.

Hobbled the 1/2 mile back to the office.  Suspected I broken it, but was not sure.  Drove myself to A&E in my automatic car.  

NHS staff all great (UK). First set of x- rays showed ankle break.  Lots of gas and air, some morphine, and an additional manipulation form the A&E Dr to get it the last 10% back into place - then cast number one.

re-x-ray that evenings by another team, and they found the spiral fracture in my fibula further up the leg.  Overnight in hospital, surgery to put 2 pins in the ankle, awoke to new expanding half cast, wrapped up in bandages.  

Hospital for another observation night - lots of pain killers then sent home with crutches.

Home for a week now, leg elevatated all the time day and night during  week 1 except when using crutches, to go to the bathroom etc.

Co-codamol tablets every 6 hours,for the first week - definately helps,with the pain.  Although waking several times,in the night in discomfort. Have now managed to drop the pain killers in the day, but take a couple at night - so I can get off to sleep easier. ( label says they are addictive if you take them for more than 3-4 days )

Dr initial estimate was 6 weeks non weight bearing in a full cast, 3 months on crutches, 3-6 months of physio.  1st check up in two days to see how the operation has worked.

Reading other people's posts on here, I see how lucky I am to have friends, family and work colleagues around me who are being so supportive.  

I've also realised that I've been rushing everything, I've rediscovered reading, properly reading not just skimming things to get the main points as quick as possible.  Also using YouTube to teach myself better photography skills - getting more a good understanding of what a camera can really do in the right hands.

I wish everyone on here a speedy recovery, thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences - its good to understand how others have been affected, how their treatment is working out, and how people, are feeling.

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by rishagorig, Jan 11, 2014
Hi I have a distill fibula fracture on right ankle… this happened dec 18th i had it raised four days and after that started walking with crutches…on 5th day I walked without crutches and it hurt…I then got x rays and they told me it was a fracture…I was then in the cast for 2 weeks met an ortho doctor who then said I should walk without crutches…with a plastic air walker boot….why would he want me to walk without crutches does he want me to have a set back…he never calls back this doctor whats wrong with him…anyone have anything similar thanks

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by Kim32e, Apr 02, 2014
This is months after the most recent comment, but after reading all of the above...id like to reassure most folks with a spiral fibula fracture, i had the same i did it up right and walked home on big toe of that leg (R) layed down it hurt so bad i was laughing, my version of dealing w it. My daughter removed shoe, then sock by the sound she made i knew i was screwed. Went to ER, then ortho doc, got jammed(literally) into air boot, when the pain got worse i pumped that sucker up as much as possible, and yes i walked on it, as said above the fibula is not a weight briefing bone and i have 6 kids ;) at night i took boot off and put leg up on pillows. After about 6 weeks i was allowed to choose when i wore boot, i only used it when i would be on feet got a long time, i am a smoker but it healed well with lots of pain, and 5 years later i can predict the weather with ease. It still aches for no apparent reason of course im an old hag now at 46, have heart ya'll it will get better. A parting note... As the patient you are the consumer, THE CONSUMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT!! If you feel you arent receiving the proper care or the almighty doctor brushes your concerns away, politely tell them how you feel, if you get no better service immediately go to another doctor, its your health regardless of your problem, doctors are taught to listen, when they stop listening they are no longer fit to treat patients. I used to just keep my mouth shut too because dr's are somehow revered, but I've learned that if u dont speak up, you wont get the care you need and deserve. Its your right as a patient use it!

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