AP commented with his experience and thought it would benefit more people if it was made into a separate post. AP graciously agreed to post the story here. Here it is in AP’s words:
What you have started is a very nice blog and it will surely help many to prepare themselves for a recovery. I am just including my experience so far after a year from ankle fracture here.
I was working on the roof and section of roof collapsed, while falling down my right foot got stuck between two objects and my whole body rotated around the foot and broke the ankle bones in 12 pieces before falling down another 15 feet into concrete floor. Luckily I didn’t fall on my head. But unfortunately, my ankle turned 180 degrees (inversion) and broke bones were sticking out of joint (open fracture). I was taken to emergency and foot surgen performed the surgery on 6/17/2011. I had my talus bone fractured into pieces and lost all my ligaments and tendons in ankle area. Heel bones and tibia were fine whereas fibula had a chipped bone at the edge. Doctor said that was the worst level of fracture he had seen in his life. I have the picture of my ankles taken at ER (if you want I can share).
Initially, doctor was not hopeful at all that I will ever be able to walk straight. He said I would be able to walk slowly but running/jogging/jumping I should just forget about.
First 3 months I was under a cast with crutches and then next 3 months I had PT where I pushed myself as much as I can despite pain. I was able to walk without a support and pain and that point my PT were done with some exercises advised to be done at home.
For next 6 months, I kept stretching my ankle with various exercises and now I am at a stage where I can walk on my tippy-toes. I am still unable to jog or run mainly because of limited foot movement.
All, please have enough patience and take your PT very seriously. If you avoid some exercises because you are having pain, you will not get flexibility back as scar tissues get stronger and stronger day by day which prevent your movements.
It has been over a year since the surgery and now no hardware in my foot, I am able to walk fine now but still there are following issues.
1) I have a very less flexibility in my ankle. I can move foot up and down about 50% of original (compared to left foot). I can move my foot inward only about 20% of original (compared to left foot). I can move my foot outward almost 100% of original
2) Looks like doctor put my joint in place in such a way that my right foot points 5 degrees outward. His reason was that my foot wanted to keep turning in the way it broke and he had to do some over correction.
3) If I sit down for more than 30 minutes, I am limping until I take 20-25 steps
4) Climbing stairs is absolutely fine but going down the stairs is something that is still not smooth. Although slowly slowly in last 2 months I reached a level where I can go down the stairs without doing one step at a time and also without holding any rails or support.
5) I am unable to sit down with crossed legs.
6) My right foot points outwards, while trying to walk when I try to keep it straight then it gets me pain in my right knee and left hip joint area
7) If I stand on my ankle for 4-6 hours (mostly standing and some walking) when I visit some amusement parks, my ankle swells up and pain starts increasing.
I sincerely hope that I reach atleast 80-90% of original flexibility in next few months.
I kept reading about massaging scar tissues to break those free for further flexibilities but I think my scar tissues are way down the surface so I am not sure how to massage those. My insurance won’t cover any more physical therapies.
If anyone can help me with instructions on how to massage scar tissues I will really appreciate it.
I will post back my progress in another 6 months or so.
If you would like to contact AP, Please leave a comment