Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Broken ankle in 2 places

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Marina, CA
    Posts
    11

    Broken ankle in 2 places

    Hi all,

    39yo female, t-9 complete, 17yrs post here. Just broke my ankle last week. I'm not %100 sure when it happened, but I'm pretty sure it happened at the adaptive PE class I just started. The instructor put me into an elliptical-type standing frame, and I think it happened when transferring out of it because the ER doc said that this is a twisting type of injury (bimalleolar fracture). I used the frame Monday, then Tuesday afternoon I noticed my left foot looked swollen, was flushed and feverish to the touch. Went to the ER for an x-ray and got a soft cast put on until the swelling goes down, after that comes surgery.

    I have a lot of questions for the orthopedic surgeon. Is surgery absolutely necessary if I want to stand ever again? What is recovery going to look like? What about skin breakdown beneath the cast post-surgery? I also want to know if the doc who put me on Fosomax and calcium a few months ago due to my osteoporosis did the right thing, since studies seem to show otherwise for SCI? Should I continue to try to stand, or is it too late for me bone-wise?

    I'm not very old, but my injury is. It's taken a week but it's really settling in now, how much my body has changed over the years of being paralyzed. I'm trying to not let depression overtake me. This is my first fracture post-SCI.

    Can anyone think of any other questions I should be asking?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Vintage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Texas USA, female ************** T9 incomplete
    Posts
    307
    I'm curious about the equipment that caused or allowed the twisting break to your ankle. Was there a stirrup? Velcro? And, yes, we don't always know for sure what caused us an injury. We have to 'think back' over the past day or two and try to figure it out. People who aren't sci can easily think, "How could you not notice THAT?"
    Female, T9 incomplete

  3. #3
    I would ask about hardware - are they planning to place screws, etc and if so, will they remove them or do they plan to leave them in place?

    Can you develop dysreflexia?do they have a plan for that in the or and during recovery?

  4. #4
    Ask if your Orthopedist has sub-specialty training in foot/ankle surgery. They'll be more familiar with this kind of fracture in osteoporotic geriatric patients who have fallen, but the treatment options are similar. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00391 Scroll down to the section on bi-malleolar fractures.

    Your cast or molded brace will likely be bivalve to allow for removal, skin cleaning and adjustment for swelling.

    You'll be in and out of the acute care hospital in a few days. Do you have help at home for transfers and ADL's? Would you qualify for a short stay at an inpatient rehabilitation unit?

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Marina, CA
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by Vintage View Post
    I'm curious about the equipment that caused or allowed the twisting break to your ankle. Was there a stirrup? Velcro? And, yes, we don't always know for sure what caused us an injury. We have to 'think back' over the past day or two and try to figure it out. People who aren't sci can easily think, "How could you not notice THAT?"
    No velcro or stirrup, but the footplate does have a large lip, almost like a cup for your foot. So I think it happened when we were trying to get my foot out during a transfer.


    A funny thing: someone opened a door for me yesterday and said, "Come on in here with your hurt foot!" I realized that she probably thought that that was why I was in a chair. It was odd.

  6. #6
    Did you have to give the exercise program a recent bone density test result before they let you enroll?

  7. #7
    If you don't plan on ambulating and the fractures are not displaced and you may not need surgery, as I was told at the my ankle fracture, which involve the fibula and medial malleolus. I used a removable stirrup type brace which I removed when relaxing in bed with my leg elevated and ankle iced, and kept it on all other times. What is normally 2 to 3 month healing process in an able-bodied person turned into a 6 to 8 month process just to get it to the point where I was out of the woods. The osteoporosis and the lack of ability to partially weight bear, which causes a bone strengthening stimulus, led to a fracture that, even after a year, the line was still faintly visible.

    I was pretty scared when the ER for my leg in a tightly ace wrapped molded boot until I saw the orthopedist. I can only imagine how my skin was going to look after just 24 hours, given how short it takes for tissue damage to occur. I was never going to need a functional ankle joint. But once you going into surgery for internal fixation you're opening yourself up to a host of potential problems.

    I was lucky in that I got an overhead lift because of a permanent hand injury which precluded transferring anymore before I got my ankle injury. The lift proved essential in making sure I didn't risk damaging it again during the initial critical healing stages.

    You will definitely need more help to ensure that you do not apply any damaging forces to the ankle joint. This includes turning assistance at night when before you might have been applying some torque to the ankle and not have known it. Granted, internal fixation will prevent displacement, but the trade-off is one that needs to be weighed carefully.

  8. #8
    The surgeon wants to make sure that the work they perform is successful so make sure you have a list of all your questions at your appointment.

    All non-weight bearing people with SCI are at risk of a fracture
    Take the process one step at a time

    pbr

  9. #9
    I have broken mine 3 times. I could see how you do it transferring on a frame. Out shoes sometimes stick on the footplate. I broke my leg transferring to the floor. I didn't real8ze the amount of pressure when you have your legs crossed and sit on them. I have only had soft casts or a boot. They're really cognizant of sores. A cast you can't take off isn't usually a good idea with paralysis.

  10. #10
    make sure they do not put a hard cast on you and if they do make sure you have weekly cast changes to monitor your skin.
    T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

Similar Threads

  1. Broken Ankle
    By bibby in forum Care
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-04-2018, 03:24 PM
  2. Question about broken ankle with a 76 year old woman
    By Curt Leatherbee in forum Care
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 03-10-2015, 07:52 PM
  3. Possible broken ankle?
    By offroaderswife in forum Care
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 01-28-2014, 11:49 AM
  4. Herington rods broken in diff places
    By tekniko in forum Care
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-20-2007, 02:54 PM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-02-2003, 03:39 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •