email: Mihal.Freinquel@gmail.com
twitter: @MIHALdot

Friday, January 31, 2014

ankle hardware removal surgery: part 2

Continued from part 1

Waking Up: As if no time had passed, I was waking up in the wake-up room. My throat didn't feel sore at all like last time and I remember asking the nurse if they used the throat tube to help me breathe again. I have no idea how she responded. I also remember telling her that, if she has anything to say about it, I'd really prefer Hydrocodone to Oxycodone - it made me way less sick last time. I don't remember her response to that either. She asked me what my pain level was, I said 4-5. She pumped some drugs into my veins and then it was like a 2-3.

Recovery: Eventually the nurse wheeled me into my recovery room. My dad said he met up with us for the ride, which I don't remember. He asked me how I was feeling and I said: "I feel well," and smiled. And I did! The procedure itself was like 10-15 mins. I was under anesthesia way less time than the first one, and I could definitely feel the difference. I was groggy, but not INCAPACITATED like I was before. I was really cold so they gave me lots of blankets. I also had a feeling in my tummy that either felt really hungry or like I was gonna puke. J bought me a gluten-free muffin from the cafe so I ate that. Then a new nurse found me some gluten-free bread and toasted it. I immediately felt better. My lips were really chapped but, unlike last time, I brought a recovery kit which included chapstick, a huge waterbottle, and arnica (a homeopathic remedy).



The Wound: I didn't get regular stitches as they had planned (which I would have had to keep in for 2 weeks) - they gave me some self-absorbing/dissolving stitches. Then they wrapped it up with some gauze and an ace bandage. 


There you can see some writing on my leg so they knew which one to cut into - better safe than PISS ME THE FUCK OFF. My toes were cold so we made a toe-hat out of my sock, because it wouldn't fit over the bandage.


Peeing: Eventually I had to pee. It was the same kind of crampy feeling as last time - I think that happens when your bladder tries to wake up from the anesthesia. They brought the potty to me like last time, except the one last time was basically a stool. This one was a chair...nay a throne...it had to be documented for you guys :)


Like last time, I couldn't get it all out - and I would continue to pee in incremental stages the rest of the day. 

Home: I went home around 1p - just a few short hours after the surgery. They wheeled me out, I used crutches to get back into the house, plopped into bed to elevate and ice. My mom met us at home because I knew she'd cry if she saw me in a hospital. She then made me some sliced cucumbers with salt (a favorite after last surgery). 

Walking: Right now I'm walking with 2 crutches, but already bearing a little weight. My ankle is sore, but not terrible...like a headache in your foot - kinda tight, kinda sharp, just achy. I'll probably make some walking videos like last time so you can see the progress. 

Drugs: I'm taking Norco, which is a combo of Hydrocodone & Acetaminophen (Tylenol). I don't feel too terrible - the dosage is 1-2 every 4 hours and I've beens ticking with 1.  I took it a few times throughout the night, along with rice cakes to avoid nausea. 

Sleep: I slept with my leg elevated last night, but everything is so much less sore than last time, and now I'm a professional broken ankle position sleeper, so it came a lot easier this time around. Like I mentioned in part 1, I didn't sleep much last night - it felt like the night before school starting. Thankfully I found Jared Leto's instagram page which kept me more than entertained. 

Changing the Dressing: This morning I changed the dressing...here's how it all looked under there...


Not too swollen or bruised. A little bit of dried blood on the gauze but nothing oozy or smelly. I put new gauze on, wrapped it up again, and put my sock toe-hat on.

So that's that!!! I have a massage tomorrow and a follow up with Superhero Gellman on Wednesday morning. I'll certainly keep you updated. 

118 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I am doing it tomorrow.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm having a plate and 11 screws removed from my ankle this month, so I'm trolling for all the info I can find on the subject!

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  3. I'm debating about getting my plates and screws removed from my ankle. I'm just really worried about how long will the recovery time take I can't afford having another 3 months to recover the area coach was telling my boss to let me go but there was no way they could because I was already on Medical leave with my job.

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    1. Carla, I say do it. The recovery time is NOTHING like the first surgery. You can do it on a Friday, and best case be back at work on Monday. Worst case, give yourself a week off. I highly highly recommend it!!

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    2. Awesome im going to do it up I had an appointment to talk with my dr on may 28th. I'm so tired of being woken up with the feeling like someone is squeezing real hard on my ankle. So glad it's not a long recovery time. I have the surgery set for June 27th can't wait.

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  4. 3 months post op I had my hardware removed which was a plate and 8 screws on one side and 2 big screws on the other side. My surgeon says I may be allergic to the metal. Had an infection about 7 weeks post op and had 2 days of IV antibiotics pumped in me. The pain and swelling never went away so he schedule my hardware removal but had to wait until I hit 3 months. Now my dissolving stitches are being rejected. He pulled 1 a couple of weeks ago and now I have 4 welts which hurt and is probably the stitches trying to get out. So over all this.

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    1. Oh Deborah, that sounds like a nightmare. This thing is hard enough without complications. I wish you a smooth recovery from here on out.

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    2. My son had a plate and 14 screws for a fibula fracture and 4 weeks after surgery got an infection. They put him back on antibiotics and within a week of being off the antibiotics the infection would come back. Finally after 5 months, I got a second opinion and they are finally going to take all the hardware out.

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    3. Hi unknown...I want to ask if your son has an infection from 4weekspost op until it reach 5months?

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  5. Hi Mihal,
    I just had my surgery last Monday, it's now been a week. I still have a little bit of swollen and some bruising. The nurse said I can put bearing weight on it, but I've been trying to stay off of it as mush as possible. How long was your ankle swollen? and when did you remove the tape from the incision?

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    1. Hi Imelda! Swelling and bruising - from my experience - are COMPLETELY normal after 1 week. That's amazing that you're allowed to start bearing weight already, that must mean that your injury wasn't as severe as mine. They put the tape on my incision when they took my stitches out, and I believe I had to leave them on for 2 weeks. As far as my ankle swelling, it was a long process. Even when I was fully weight bearing, my ankle would still swell after a lot of walking or a long day on my feet, or sometimes after working out. I don't think there was ever a date that it stopped, it was a gradual process. Just make sure you keep icing, elevating, and when you're ready, get a compression sock. Have you read my e-book? I think you may find it helpful: https://gumroad.com/l/whattoexpectwhenyoubreakyourankle

      Best of luck healing!

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  6. I don't believe that I got stitches because I have tape since day one. I broke my ankle back in 2007, just recently I started to have discomfort every time I walked. I finally decided to see the doctor. I got an X-ray and they found that one screw was broken. They said that my bone was completely healed and that they can take all of the hardware out. I was under the impression that the hardware was going to be in me permanently. Anyways, I will call the advice nurse to ask about the tape. Thanks for your feedback I will checkout your e-book.

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  7. Hi Mihal,

    It's great reading and listening to your stories and updates! My surgery was 5 months ago and my Dr. and I have discussed hardware removal. I'd like to ask you what the greatest advantages are in having the hardware removed? Does your injured ankle feel closer to normal afterwards? Does it feel lighter or more flexible as a result?

    Thanks!

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    1. There were a few advantages for me. For one, my ankle got really cold in the cold weather, and with the hardware out, it no longer does. Also, I had one screw inside my ankle bone that made the joint feel really stiff. Now that that's gone I feel less stiff but it's not back to 100% normal. Sadly, I don't think it ever will be. I think regaining flexibility is all about stretching and massage - at least it has been for me. I FULLY recommend getting the hardware taken out. I was scared to have more surgery, but it was way less of a big deal...again, my personal experiences. Hope I could shed some light on the whole thing - Good luck!

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  8. I need help asap. I broke my right ankle in Nov. 2014 now it is Sept 2015.. I have 18 screws and 2 plates in it. On each side, my right side healed fine.My exays shows that my bones are strong now. But I have one spot in my left incision that will not close. It causes me a lot of pain each day. I cant wear my hard booth on it,.just a soft cover booth, I put a lot of padding on it. It has a fluid that drain from it and bleeding each day. My bone doctor, stated that I made need to have the hard wear removed. And that I made need to have skin graft also alot of scar tissue. Can someone please help with this matter? I thank you in advance for your time and advise. Thanks again/

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    1. Veronica - it sounds to me like you should definitely do what your bone doc recommends! It sounds really annoying and I'm sorry you have to go through yet another step...blah :(...but if you let things stay shitty now, they're never going to get better.

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  9. So glad to run across this tonight! I'm getting some of my hardware out in 2 days and I've really been freaking myself out. I was half contemplating canceling the surgery because my ankle hasn't been hurting or swelling as much as it had all summer. Thanks for helping me see that it'll be a much easier recovery time, (which I know, but seeing it and reading it makes it easier to digest). How soon were you able to resume normal activity? And how severe was the swelling once you started walking on it normally? I just remember the days of my ankle turning purple and throbbing something fierce...and can't go back to that place! HAHA!

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    1. Hey there! YES. Based on my own experience, I'm a huge huge advocate for getting that hardware out. I know it sucks to have "elective" surgery - especially since recovery from the first one was so difficult. Ugh, the purple ankle and foot! Terrible. I'd say within 2 weeks I was walking around pretty normally, but there was still a little swelling - which ice/elevation helped with. Within a month things were close to normalish. Normal is, of course, relative...because I don't think we ever go back to NORMAL normal after ankle surgery. At least I haven't. But as normal as possible. Best of luck with your surgery! Let me know how the recovery goes!!

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    2. Recovery has been crazy fast compared to the original surgery. Unlike you, I've had to keep my dressing and bandage on the entire 2 weeks, I have another day until I get it off and I can't wait because the itching is driving me mad! I completely forgot about the itching. The swelling and throbbing weren't even half as bad as I was expecting. Still hoping I don't have to get the other plate out (that will require me being off it for about 6 weeks), however, I know recovery will still be a lot faster because the bones are completely healed. Again, so glad I ran across this site!

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  10. glad i found this site--am considering having hardware removed--plate and pins. very hard making this decision--i am in no pain during the day-somewhat annoying at night though-have to keep foot positioned in a certain way--uncomfortable if ankle rolls onto bed..fearful that this minor discomfort may turn into something much worse with the surgery--nerve damage, chance of refracture..doctor assures me risk is low.also said i will be weight bearing (in boot) immediately. will stay in boot for 2 weeks,careful for 6 weeks- then good to go...does this sound familiar to you?

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    1. It sounds familiar-ish. Of course I was scared too - but I wasn't in so much discomfort at night. That sounds like a no brainer to me - if you don't do something about that pain now, my guess is it won't just go away. If your surgeon recommends it, then I think that's probably the way to go. It's no doubt scary to have the surgery. Just check out the other comments on this post - you're definitely not alone in that.

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    2. hmm, i entered a reply yesterday and it's gone--will try again. mine is the right foot--wondering about driving/ doc says more of legal than medical question. i, too am a yogi--when were u back on the mat..at what point were u exercising--at all? how about pain level--better after a couple of days? thanks, cindy

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    3. Hey Cindy - if you search my blog for 'yoga' you'll see all of my yoga posts. I got on the mat pretty soon after surgery - but it wasn't "successful" - it took me about 2 months to figure out how to make it work.

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  11. Hi!
    Loving reading about your experience, and other people's. (and that it is generally a successful surgery!) I'm booked in for removal of plate and 5 screws from my right ankle in 3 days.. Like everyone else I'm a bit freaked out by all the unknown factors - surgery risks, reinjury, re-fracture, recovery... Driving after surgery (I'm a single mum, so I really need to be mobile! I was non weight bearing, and therefore no driving being my right foot, for 14 weeks when I broke it.. Worst thing ever!) I'm hoping I'll be back behind the wheel on Monday - school runs and work won't do themselves! I've debated cancelling the removal, but it annoys the shite out of me...I toss and turn all night, and wake up several times with either a burning sensation inside like the metal is heating up on my electric blanket, or a stabbing pain if I'm sleeping with it resting on the bone/metal :( can't wear certain shoes, etc...
    I'm wondering how long until you were able to drive? Did you sleep in the boot or wear it during the day? And has anyone else had similar issues with sleeping?

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    1. Hey Alli! I know, the unknowns are super scary. I think I had about a week before I started driving - but that's because I gave myself that time. I probably could have done it after like 5 days comfortably. 4 if I pushed it. It was really just my scar that felt super tight, but I wasn't really sore or swollen at that point. I recommend getting the surgery on a wednesday (taking wed, thurs, and friday off work), and arrange for some kind of help to take the kids to school wednesday through friday - then Monday, if your healing time was like mine, you should be ok.

      I didn't wear the boot at all after the second surgery. I used crutches the day of the surgery, and one crutch the next day for extra support. my hardware didn't give me trouble sleeping, but it made my ankle much more stiff when it got cold, which was enough reason for me!

      good luck Alli, let me know how it all goes!

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  12. Mihal, first Off thanks for your blog and videos. I have enjoyed them all . If that's the proper way to describe a horrible experience! I am looking at hardware removal in a couple of months, but not because I want it out, but because of a staph infection. I had surgery in April for a bimaellor fracture. 2 deck screws on the inside of my ankle and a plate and 6 or 7 screws on the outside. 2 weeks in a splint and 8 weeks on 3 different fiberglass casts. The day they took my cast off you could see a "divot". Well the divot turned into a hole or sinus tract and I have been under the care of a wound doc since July. He told me yesterday that the hole (which he can stick a probe in and "ting" my hardware!) is not going to heal until the hardware is out. Don't go back to the Ortho until November so I'll probably get it out in December. Unlike you I didn't have a choice in orthos. He was the one on call on the Saturday i did it and had surgery on Sunday, one of his many partners is my knee doc. So that's my life since April. It sucks, so when I have my hardware removed they will have to debridement and get rid of any remnants of infection. That's the part that's unknown... How much damage is done. Anyway thanks for listening and your blog. And I'm f'n amazed that you are still answering people!!

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    1. I'm so glad the blog and videos have been helpful Marg. UGH, I'm so sorry you're going through this whole staph thing!! It sounds horrendous!! At some point though, it will be behind you, and all you'll have to do is focus on healing. Let me know how the surgery goes :)

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  13. I had ligament reconstruction and repair of two osteochondral defects in my right ankle in November last year. Everything has healed except I am still in horrible pain with every attempt to weight bear and I feel very strongly that the metalwork (one plate and several screws) are to blame. My surgeon doesn't want to remove the hardware because of my history of a DVT after the initial surgery and because I am very overweight, so the risk of my fibula snapping without the plate to reinforce it is rather high. I either have to face those risks, plus the additional surgery, or prepare to be permanently unable to walk. I think, having read your experience, that I might not be quite so concerned about removal of the hardware, but I'm probably going to have to lose at least 50 pounds before my surgeon could be persuaded to do it. Kinda hard in a wheelchair and with chronic elbow tendinitis due to overuse! Wish me luck! Above all, thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. Oh I'm so sorry Elizabeth. Of course every removal surgery is different depending on your injury (and other risks that may be involved), but if losing weight would minimize your risk, that's probably a great thing to do! Definitely hard to do when you're in a wheelchair, but not impossible. Have you seen my yoga videos on youtube? There is movement you can do that is non weight bearing. But I would say most of that weight loss would probably have to come from a change in diet. Very best of luck to you, let me know if I can be of help.

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    2. Thank you so much for replying.

      I must look into seated yoga for sure, as my diet is pretty healthy now and my appetite has decreased a lot over the 14 months since the accident that started all this! Ironically, the meds they gave me after surgery were responsible for a weight gain (they tried gabapentin at one point and I was averaging a gain of 14 lbs a week until I researched it and said HELL NO to any more!) I will look out for your yoga videos.

      Your positive attitude is very inspiring, so thank you once again!

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  14. was just wondering what your advice would be for me whther I would need a hardware removal in m y ankel, as I am now having pain and discomfort where a screw on my plate is sticking out. I don't know what to do about this as I can't have anymore time off this year in college as I missed four weeks last year when I broke my ankle.
    Thanks, Caitlin

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    1. Caitlin - I don't have advice for you because I don't know about your particular situation. All I can say is, I'm really glad I did it, and the recovery is nothing like the first surgery. It's much easier.

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    2. I just had harware and screws removed from my ankle on Oct 26. I had a pretty bad fracture of tibia and fibula last Nov (2014). Surgeon had my right ankle in aircast and I am non weight bearing for at least 2 weeks. I am not allowed to open the boot or take it off. I am not in much pain--nothing like the last time. Surgeon found that plate was pressing on tendons, they were all bunched up and moved to the left. I am glad I had it removed because of the pain. I just hope this works and can start PT in about 2 weeks. I hope to just have an ankle brace by Thanksgiving

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  15. Thank you for your great posts. Had a trimalleolar break in February and the orif surgery the same day as break. Lucky I think. I'm walking, but it feels like a clamp is on my ankle and as though the screws are pushing into my tendons/ligaments. I want the surgery for hardware removal. It sounds like recovery is so much easier. Thank you! Have you been able to wear any shoe since you broke your ankle? I also fear my ankle will be not as strong. It's been an adventure.

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    1. I've been able to wear any shoe I want to, but I mostly wear comfortable shoes. Your ankle will not be as strong, unless you make sure to strengthen it!

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  16. I am having my hardware removed in 5 days. I am not looking forward to what I have to go though afterwards. I broke my tibia and fibula and dislocated my ankle in November 2014. I had to go to rehab place for two weeks and then nurse, pt & ot in home for a month then pt outpatient. I was non weight bearing for 12 weeks. I still have major swelling and pain. I also have to walk with ankle brace on (can't walk very far). So Dr is taking hardware out. He said I also have synostosis--fibula and tibia fused together when healing. I keep telling myself that it won't be as bad this time. Dr says 2-3 weeks non weight bearing. He told me to keep boot on and do not remove or open boot until 2 week check up. Has anyone else had these issues? If so how long was your recovery after hardware removed?

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  17. Hi-- I'm glad I found this thread! I have hardware removal surgery scheduled for December 4th. I broke my ankle on May 4th 2015. I have 7 pins and a plate to remove from the fibula and lateral malleolus. I've worked really hard to rehab and I feel like this is the next step to fully healing. Doc says that I won't have to use crutches, or a boot, and that my workout activity will be limited for 2-6 weeks while the bone fills in :no running, high impact, jumping...ect. I'm currently active in cross fit training, hiking, biking, and aerial arts so it's going to be hard to have another round of down time (but certainly shorter than the first round which made me feel like a crazy person ��). Also, He knows I'm a massage therapist and stand all day and he says that I should be just fine to go back to work full time 4 days after surgery. I'm hoping so hard that it will go as easy as the doc thinks it will. Many of your stories give me confidence that it will--I'll let ya know how it goes!

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  18. I had plate and 8 screws removed on November 10th. They gave me staples and a cast which comes off tomorrow. I am wondering if I will be able to walk ok tomorrow

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  19. I had plate and 8 screws removed on November 10th. They gave me staples and a cast which comes off tomorrow. I am wondering if I will be able to walk ok tomorrow

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  20. Good luck, to Taylore!!

    To "Anonymous," and anyone else who has had hardware removed, I have one question for you. Did your surgeon use a scope to clear out any scar tissue during your procedure?

    Thanks in advance for your replies!

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    1. I realize this is a very old post so I am wondering about your experience and healing time. I had hardware removed from both sides of my ankle yesterday. The Doctor said she found excessive amounts of scar tissue that was probably the culprit for my pain and swelling. She removed scar tissue all around my ankle (even in areas that weren't touched in the original surgery). Should I expect a longer, more painful recovery because of the scar tissue removal? My nerve block is just starting to wear off and I have a low pain tolerance. I'm getting very nervous!

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  21. I had an ankle fracture two years ago and had hardware (5 screws, plate, and a single 3" screw ) inserted. Since one of the screws was protruding against the skin my doc said that hardware should be removed. About a month ago, I did have the surgery. Now my ankle (inside part) looks worse than when I had the screws-the bone seems to really be bigger and more noticeable! Please tell me that this will go down in time. It has been only 1 month. No pain, just swollen and fat looking.

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    1. Unfortunately I can't tell you what will or won't happen. I do know that one month after my removal, my ankle looked pretty much back to normal (minus the scar of course) - I wasn't really swelling anymore.

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  22. Paulwalters502@gmail.comNovember 30, 2015 at 8:15 PM

    Thank you for sharing, I had 12 year old hardware and screws removed from my ankle today and became rather concerned when the pain never came as expected. Treating it with Excedrin, elevation, water and good diet. We will see what tomorrow holds, again thank you.

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  23. Dear Paul Walters: just curious as to 1) why you waited 12 years, and 2) what finally convinced you to have the hardware removed?

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  24. An update! Had my surgery yesterday-After being pick up I was able to walk just fine without crutches or a boot! Today the tissue is a little sore from where the incision and staples are but my range of motion and general ability to do normal stuff around the house is good. The surgeon didn't mention anything about cleaning the scar tissue out with a scope. Keeping it iced and elevated, taking aleve, aspirin, and one pain pill yesterday. I'll take it easy through Monday and then back to work tuesday-hoping to stand all day successfully!

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    1. Yay Taylore!!!! So happy to hear that. It sounds like things went perfectly!! Happy healing :)

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  25. Hi! I broke my ankle Dec 6th 2014, which was also the day I was moving. So half of my things we're in my old home and half in the new home and I'm in the hospital with a broken ankle (I'm also a single mom). It was a bad day to say the least :(. Turns out I fractured it in 3 the spots and tore the ligaments really bad. I had surgery on Dec 23 2014 and was non-weight bearing for 13 weeks,one of the hardest things I've ever experienced. I started PT in June 2015 because I wasn't getting the range of motion I wanted and I was still in a lot of pain and very limited as to what I could do. My ankle improved so much with PT and after about 25 visits my progress depressed. The day after one of my appointments I was in more pain than usual and it was REALLY stiff so at my next appt I told my PT and she taped my ankle. Surprising it worked really well and it very slowly got better over the course of about a month. I have lost significant range of motion from what I was able to accomplish at that 25th visit and I am in much more pain than I had been :/. So I made an appt with my Orthopedic Surgeon and went today. He gave me a steroid shot and a numbing agent and I had no pain for 3.5 hours, I could feel a lot of the hardware rubbing against my joints which was irritating but informative. I have 13 screws and two plates put in on both sides and the front of my ankle. I go back next week to report how I am doing and we will decide what to do next then. The doc thinks that scoping my ankle and cleaning it out will help and he said that would be a good time to take out all the hardware too but I am curious if anyone has had the scoping done when they had their hardware removed? The doc and I are trying to figure out the best approach without moving too fast and doing too much to it, if it's not necessary. Anyway, that's my story and it sure was helpful to me to read all these other stories!

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    1. I had my post-op and staples taken out last Tuesday. The doctor said that he didn't have to scope it and he wasn't expecting to have to. But, he did say that I had a ton of scar tissue encasing and hardened on the hardware and it was no wonder that it was a discomfort for me and that my range of motion was limited. What did you decide to do?

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  26. Wow! I broke 3 bones in my left ankle and tore all the ligaments off my foot on January 29, 2015. I went into emergency surgery that night after the on call orthopedic surgeon was free. What an experience. I had a broken wrist at 8 years of age from gymnastics in gym class. Thought a broken ankle would be casted up and a piece of cake, like the broken wrist. Boy!! Was I wrong. I was told my plate and screws could be removed after 1 year. I'm approaching that 1 year anniversary and reading these personal stories trying to decide if a second surgery is worth it. I do have some discomfort and pain where the hardware is sometimes. Can anyone on here make a pros and cons list of their experience to make it more measurable? Praise the good Lord for making it so close to the 1 year mark!! I believe we should all write our experiences in a book and sell them to patients in orthopedic offices!! Just a thought. In February I would have bought one!!

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    1. I did write my experiences in a book :) https://gumroad.com/l/whattoexpectwhenyoubreakyourankle

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    2. I would definitely have them removed, I broke my ankle 8 years ago and have very bad arthritis because I never had it taken out, now I am waiting for a ankle fusion

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  27. I think everyone's pro/ con list is probably subjective to there own experience but mine would be as follows:

    I broke my ankle almost 8 months ago and had the hardware removed 2 weeks ago.

    Pro: improved range of motion, ache from weather changes gone, I had pressure on the bottom of my ankle and that seems to be gone, my recovery has really been pretty easy!, it feels better with the hardware out, I don't have to worry about the hardware ' backing out', one day I'll be back to wearing boot comfortably! .

    Con: to be put under general for another surgery, having another period of restricted activity, cost of another surgery, time off work, more PT, the tissue is still recovering/healing in other areas of my ankle where I didn't have the hardware but where tore/sprained ligaments so I still have discomfort/pain in other areas.

    taylore



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  28. Hello all. I had a major car accident last year and amongst other broken bones, ended up with significant hardware in my right ankle. I just had it removed 2 days ago and am discouraged by the amount of pain and inability to weight bear. I have a gauge dressing and ace bandage which I'm told must stay on until my follow up next week. In my original consult, I was told I would be back to work in a few days.

    I am on my feet all day for work and really worried this is going to be a difficult recovery. I'm extremely motivated but the bandage and incisional pain keep me from being able to apply pressure beyond toe tapping.

    I'm hoping others can share their experience and encouragement. I did this surgery because the hardware had worked itself loose causing daily pain. I didn't think I would be limited and in so much pain as I am now - it is Christmas and I cannot even attend festivities with my children. Any hope would be greatly appreciated.

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    1. Hey Spencer - I'm sorry about the pain you're going through. In my experience, though the removal surgery is NOTHING like the surgery when the hardware goes in, I do think people underplay it a little bit. It's still a surgery - a trauma to the body - and you're allowed to be having a difficult time with it. As far as the specifics of what you're going through, definitely talk to your surgeon if you're not healing how he/she thought you might. But also, have patience with yourself, we all go through this kind of stuff differently.

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  29. Mahal! It's 12-28-15, having my infected hardware removed on 12-23-15!!!! Funny thing is, my original ortho doesn't even know he has been fired! Found a wonderful surgeon in ATL. Done outpatient, do have a PICC line, but I am so glad this nightmare is over. He said he was able to close the hole caused by the infection!!!

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    1. I don't know why it won't let me post under Marg now, but this Marg and the post 12-28 is mine. When I went back on the 31st, they did talk me into cast for two weeks just to give the bone and soft tissue that extra little help...didn't want it but trust this doc 100%....PICC has been no problem. Have to do for two more weeks until I go back to Atlanta...I live 160 miles west of there. I feel like a different person! No freaking hole in my ankle!!!!!!!

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    2. Wonderful news yay!!! Congrats!!!

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  30. I straddled a weak newborn twin calf between my legs April 27, 2015 in an attempt to get him to stand up so I could move him out of the barn into sunshine to feed him. I heard my right ankle bone snap, and fell to the straw; that's when I began to feel the pain! I had mangled the fibula bone. The ankle was casted at a local rural clinic, and May 6th was surgery in the city. I had a plate, 8 screws laterally inserted on the outer side of the ankle and a pin (rod) going from the right side through to the left side of the ankle...all internally. I was re-casted. The cast and staples were removed on May 21st. I spent 12weeks in a wheelchair; and began weight-bearing bit by bit after that. July 4th was my first day driving after surgery, and I drove 24 miles for PT. After about 9 sessions of very aggressive PT, I mentioned to the therapist the feeling that something was not right, as my below the knee was dark purple, hard as a rock, very swollen, with a pain that felt like a bad bruise about the diameter of a pop can behind the calf...I asked her if it could possibly be a blood clot? (By this time, I was driving a combine; harvesting peas). I was sent to the doctor, and put on Xarelto as a precaution until I could get an ultrasound 6 days later. My suspicions were correct! I was diagnosed with a deep vein thrombosis. My PT sessions were cancelled as a precaution to be sure the clot wouldn't travel, and I continued to take the anti-coagulants. I was taken off the anti-coagulants 3 prior to surgery for hardware removal on December 23rd. Surgery went well; I was back on the anti-coagulants 24 hrs. after surgery, dissolvable stitches, and dressing changes every 2 days so far. As of today, January 5, 2016, I still require a lot of sitting time with leg elevated, cold packs, etc. I can wear a good running shoe, and sometimes use crutches, or atleast one crutch to avoid putting full weight, but I have probably been weight-bearing too soon, as I still have quite a lot of pain when I attempt to walk, and will wear my air-boot again for added protection, when I return to work tomorrow. My message to all, is that carrying too much weight is definitely a detriment to a good recovery. The heavier a person is, the more stress on everything - bones, joints, tissue, etc. I am 5'6'' tall and about 207 lbs. I feel strongly that my healing will take longer or be compromised due to the weight that I carry; but it is so difficult to lose weight when you have to be immobile for so long. I was aware, immediately following the first surgery, that I would require another surgery to remove the pin across the ankle that is prone to breakage, BUT I was in pain with every step I took, and am so happy that the surgeon offered to remove all of the hardware while I was being opened up. I wouldn't want to have to worry about possible complications with the hardware in the future. I think each person's recovery time is as "unique" as each individual is, and highly dependent upon other health conditions, your morale, etc. Although I currently still feel pain, 2 weeks post-op., I am leaps and bounds better than I was after the original surgery, and I am optimistic for a reasonable recovery. My best advice is: when you feel pain, your body is sending you a message that you are overdoing it! Take it easy, and don't push yourself before you are healed enough to do so! Be patient...for a wee bit longer! Good Luck to all of you through the ordeal!

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  31. I fractured my ankle in early 2011 and had 1 plate and 6 screws put in. My scar looks exactly like your last picture. I'm really into weight training (I constantly squat 300-400 pounds 2-3 times a week with no problems). My ankle seems perfectly fine except there are times it feels uncomfortable when pressure is applied to it (like snowboarding boots, and when I sit on my ankle against my bed). There was one instance where my ankle became REALLY sore out of nowhere and caused me to limp slightly for 2 days. I didn't injure myself nor did any training before that. It's now early 2016, 5 years later and I'm at the age of 24. Do you still suggest I have them removed? Thanks!

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    1. Sounds like you should probably talk to an ankle surgeon about ur options :)

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  32. I am thankful for your stories and experiences. I am having the 6 pins and plate removed a week from today 2/8/16. I am nervous and relieved to be able to have the hardware removed. I cannot take the stabbing pain I get in the winter, last winter in New England was a nightmare.I was told there was no recovery time and can go to work the next day so my question is how long did it take for you to be able to walk and put your shoes on?

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    1. I wouldn't say there was NO recovery time. Did you read the blog posts after this one? I talk about my recovery. I was able to walk in a few days, and put shoes on, but all wasn't healed. It's a process - but it's definitely not as long or as painful as when the hardware was put in.

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  33. I am 74 and had a bad ankle break almost 2 years ago. It was complicated by a large hematoma forming across the top of my foot that had to be surgically cleaned then wound vacced 24/7 for 2-3 weeks, before finally having the surgery to fix the 2 broken bones (tibia/fibula?). After a total of 4 months in the boot, most of which was non-weight bearing, I was free of all that. I had PT and was relatively pain free for about a year. The early numbness of the outer part of my foot has gradually moved to the entire foot and I believe is moving up the ankle. Stinging, shooting pains, tingling, much of which is like it was before the surgery. I can still walk without a limp. I'm guessing I have nerve damage in the foot caused by the hematoma &/or the 3 screws. I have an app't w/surgeon next week. I don't know if I can stand another surgery/recovery. I was so optimistic the first year after I got back on my feet; I had virtually no pain and just that annoying numbness but it's gone beyond that now.

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    1. Anonymous, I too am 74. I had a bad ankle break a year ago with a biking accident. I am thinking about having the pins and plate removed. My surgeon that the bad side of the surgery would be more scar tissue. I am thinking that what is worse. More scar tissue or the jabbing of the plate. I want to be able to get my ski boot on again. I walk fine it is just the jabbing when I walk to stairs and at night when it rubs against the sheets. I would like to know if you had more surgery and how it al worked ou.

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  34. I'm wondering if surgeon will think I need one or more of my 3 screws removed. I've been a pretty active senior and now feel like a rather feeble senior. Not the way I wanted to live out the rest of my days.....

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  35. there have very essential info about ankle break experience to be provide. so much provide to better info with us.

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  36. I'm having my plate and screws out tomorrow. This has helped lots, thank you! :)

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  37. I broke my ankle 3 years ago. I am having 7 screws and a plate removed tomorrow feb 19, 2016. I have too much pain now and one surgeon recommended the hardware removal. I hope goes well.

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  38. i just had my plate and 5 screws removed and was walking in 3 days

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  39. I did it! Had that darn hardware removed and felt pain free immediately after!( minus the sting of two incisions and yuck day after anesthesia! But I was so happy to walk and stand in boot and small treks to bathroom without it!! Thank you so much for encouraging me to get on with it and all your experiences here! I drove today to store one week later and get my staples out in one week. Then it's boot on when outdoors to avoid stumbles etc while holes heal.. Any 6 weeks. Doc said I could walk without it just be careful My bones were healed now I hv 9 screw holes to heal and hope not to fall again in my lifetime!!! Hurrah! If anyone's in pain and not progressing despite bone healing, it's the hardware! Get it out!

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  40. Well, I just had my hardware removed today from my ankle under local anesthesia. The surgeon allowed me to walk right away, which I did. I was OK until the effect of anesthesia was gone, now I'm having so much burning pain on that side where the plate was removed from. Tylenol doesn't help either. I don't really remember having this much pain after initial surgery. :(

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    1. Sounds to me like a good thing to talk to your surgeon about.

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    2. I had my hardware removed 7/11/16 and am in quite a bit of pain. More so, actually, than after the surgery for when I broke the three darn bones and dislocated it. The break and dislocation, of course, were a ton more painful. But I remember being pretty on top of my pain levels after surgery then. This time I'm in quite a bit of pain, not weight bearing yet, in a air boot, and on pretty high doses of pain meds. I'm worried the dr may have fractured my ankle and/or foot because anytime I try to wiggle my toes it shoots pain from the side of my ankle up towards the top of my middle toes. I did NOT expect the pain to be worse after this surgery than my last one, it's come as quite a shock to me. I have three rowdy boys of my own, and a fiance who works first shift. It's been very hard doing things and depending on my 7 year old to help me a lot more than he should have to. I hope the dr does an X ray Tuesday when I see him, if not I might be going to my general practitioner for a referral for a second opinion. (The dr who did the original and subsequent surgeries isn't through my normal network of drs, as mine was an emergency surgery due to the fact that my pulse was not felt in my foot at all during the first incident, so they had to reset it and do surgery immediately in order to restore blood flow and not cause any nerve and tissue death. So I was stuck with the on call at the closest hospital to me)

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    3. I had my hardware removed 7/11/16 and am in quite a bit of pain. More so, actually, than after the surgery for when I broke the three darn bones and dislocated it. The break and dislocation, of course, were a ton more painful. But I remember being pretty on top of my pain levels after surgery then. This time I'm in quite a bit of pain, not weight bearing yet, in a air boot, and on pretty high doses of pain meds. I'm worried the dr may have fractured my ankle and/or foot because anytime I try to wiggle my toes it shoots pain from the side of my ankle up towards the top of my middle toes. I did NOT expect the pain to be worse after this surgery than my last one, it's come as quite a shock to me. I have three rowdy boys of my own, and a fiance who works first shift. It's been very hard doing things and depending on my 7 year old to help me a lot more than he should have to. I hope the dr does an X ray Tuesday when I see him, if not I might be going to my general practitioner for a referral for a second opinion. (The dr who did the original and subsequent surgeries isn't through my normal network of drs, as mine was an emergency surgery due to the fact that my pulse was not felt in my foot at all during the first incident, so they had to reset it and do surgery immediately in order to restore blood flow and not cause any nerve and tissue death. So I was stuck with the on call at the closest hospital to me)

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  41. Hi, I just fell on Dec 23,2015 and broke my leg and my whole left ankle came apart. My doctor doesn't seem to think I need the screws out but they bother me. I can tell they are in there and cause pain and swelling. He said they are typically left in and will snap and not be a problem for them to be there. But I'm thinking that they will still cause pain and cracking of the bones ect. And I want them out but he's reluctant to remove them.Besides I don't see why they aren't removed if they don't need to be there.

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    1. I was told I had to wait 6 months to a year before removal was an option, unless I had an infection. I waited longer because it wasn't as bothersome up until the last 6 months or so. I hope you start feeling better!

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    2. I was told I had to wait 6 months to a year before removal was an option, unless I had an infection. I waited longer because it wasn't as bothersome up until the last 6 months or so. I hope you start feeling better!

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  42. I broke my ankle 7 weeks ago skiing. Surgery 6 weeks ago, a plate and 6 screws on the outside, 2 big pins on the inside. I'm wondering what factors made people think they should remove them? I hear the weather thing, but does it make it so you don't want to wear boots? Specifically, has anybody tried to ski with a plate in? I'm eager to get back to it, though my surgeon says it'll be about a year from the accident before I can ski. That seems like too long to me. Does anybody have experience with this?

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    1. I"m having my hardware removed next week.... just over a year from when I broke my ankle. I broke my ankle rock climbing (bi-malleolar fracture and dislocation) and am the owner of a bionic ankle (consisting of a plate and 7 screws on the outside of my ankle, 2 screws on the lower right side and 1 going through both bones). My surgeon told me flat out when I had the initial surgery (24 hours after I broke it) that he was 99% sure I would want the hardware out because my ankles are fairly small and the hardware is just under the skin (I can feel the heads of the screws.... ew) and because it would probably restrict my range of motion enough to annoy me. He was right. I've recovered pretty well over all, but don't have full range of motion back (mostly when doing things like squatting... my knee won't go very far over my foot because ankle just doesn't move forward much). I have mild general pain, which he said is most likely arthritis and won't go away), and lately more pain at the incision sites. Just tender.... I can't wear a lot of my shoes as the cut has to be significantly below the ankle or well above the ankle (on it bothers it). This is supposed to be better once the hardware is out. My surgeon is most likely putting a bone graft in too as he isn't completely satisfied with some of the healing (it's adequate but he'd like to bump it up). My biggest hope is that I get my range of motion back which will make climbing so much easier :) Usually they want to wait at least a year before they remove the hardware to make sure the bone is fully healed (unless you are allergic to the metal). I"m not sure about skiing.... my Physical therapist was the one who actually released me back to climbing.... I climbed for the first time right around 6 months after I broke it. PT is definitely key (I started PT at about 7 weeks post break... as soon as I was moved into a boot). I did sessions 3 days a week for the first 6 weeks, then moved to 2 sessions a week for the next 9 weeks, 1 session a week for 3 weeks and then every other week for a month (overall I was in PT from early July until mid December). I have had to go back to PT on and off this past winter due to development of plantar fascitis as a result of compensating for lack of range of motion. Hope this helps a little.... good luck!!

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    2. Thank you so much. This does really help. It sounds like we had similar injuries. The part about shoes being uncomfortable is hard to hear, but not surprising. Does any sort of padding help? It does seem like the metal right on the bone with pretty much just skin over it will be sensitive. My Doc said I could get PT if "I didn't end up pushing myself enough". Insane, right? I'm getting PT elsewhere - it seems vital. Thanks, and good luck with removal!

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  43. I wish I had found your blog last spring when I broke my ankle! Your account is honest and far more entertaining than other ones out there! Yesterday was the one year "breakaversary" and I have all my hardware coming out in 9 days.... I couldn't be more excited! THanks for entertaining me and giving me a little bit of an idea what to expect this next (and hopefully last) time around!

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  44. I wish I had found your blog last spring when I broke my ankle! Your account is honest and far more entertaining than other ones out there! Yesterday was the one year "breakaversary" and I have all my hardware coming out in 9 days.... I couldn't be more excited! THanks for entertaining me and giving me a little bit of an idea what to expect this next (and hopefully last) time around!

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    1. Thank you! And I'm glad you like the blog. Congrats on the upcoming removal - you'll do great!

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  45. I had my surgical jewelry removed two weeks ago; a plate and five screws on the outside and two long screws on the inside. The implants were making me walk on the outside of my foot and I couldn't progress past say 66% recovered. I had the surgery six months after my original surgery (my doctor didn't make me wait a year!) and I can say I am so glad I did it!!!! The first two days were a little rough, nothing like the first surgery but pain from my incision and I didn't walk as well as before the removal surgery, but then I have progressed very quickly to where, in two weeks, I would say I am now at 85%. I have residual stiffness and my left ankle is still weaker than my right (I can stand my bodyweight on that leg, but not on tiptoe yet), but all in all it is MUCH improved and I have hopes for a complete recovery. I am using a cold laser to speed healing. My stitches were removed the day before yesterday and that removed all the tightness (I had 15 sutures). My doctor has lifted all restrictions and I get to ride my horse this weekend!!!!!

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    1. I forgot to say that today I walked a mile outside and I had not been able to do that before the hardware removal. Thank you for providing the support to go ahead and do it...I was really nervous before the second surgery, but I am so glad to have all that junk out of my ankle!

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    2. I had my hardware removed today. Virtually pain-free. For the next three days I can toe touch with crutches and then I can be full weight-bearing. I too have horses and haven't ridden since last year. So looking forward to the day when I can ride again. Glad to know you will be back in the saddle. Be safe!

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  46. Calcaneus Fracture With Repair of Achille's tendon right foot surgery in January. Two screws are near the back of ankle. The scar is still healing with the scab off after 4 months. I had no idea when I had the surgery that I'd need another 10 minute surgery, anesthesia, stiches, the costs of outpatient surgery. 62 yrs old taking a while to heal. Then today being told by a Wound Care Specialist to have the screws removed confirming what the surgeon said. Thank you for putting your experience with removal hardware. Any one have this Calcaneus fracture with repair of Achille's tendon right foot?

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  47. Hi everyone! My name is Shannon. I suffered a bimalleolar ankle fracture (broke the tibia and fibula) about a year ago. My doctor did surgery and put it all back together and left me with a total of 1 plate and 9 screws. I just had another sugery last week to have all of my hardware removed. So far it's been a much easier and less painful experience than it was when the injury happened. I was just curious if anyone that's had hardware removed had any numbness across the front of the ankle and top of foot? I am 9 days post o.o so I would expect that any anesthesia and numbing agents would have worn off by now.

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  48. Padding does help... And the further I was post op the less sensitive it was... At the end it was more uncomfortable than flat out painful. I'm 10 days post removal and I can tell you that my range of motion is already significantly improved and overall pain reduced (despite having 3 sutured incisions). Definitely push for pt as often and as Early as you can. I found a pt at an ortho sports medicine clinic and it was great as they work with a lot of athletes (I'm far from an athlete but wanted to get back to climbing) as well as general patients. I liked the sports medicine focus as it pushed me but within reason. Any stretching you can do early on is super helpful... That's what I did primarily until I started bearing weight again which took me a bit mostly because I was nervous.... I'm still learning to "trust" my ankle however the weekend before surgery I went hiking in an area that requires climbing some boulders a bit and I slipped (it was wet) and realized for the first time I didn't immediately worry about my ankle... I worried about my phone instead... It was a nice feeling :). Good luck with your recovery.... I think you could be skiing by winter!

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  49. I have removal surgery of 23 screws and 3 plates this week! I'm nervous because I just started walking without a crutch but I still have swelling and pain. I know my break was extreme since I shattered some parts of my ankle completely! I've gained nearly 20 pounds since my fall in February 2016 and after three times per week of pt- I think I'm ready for removal. I'm scared of recovery time and my ability to walk normal again. I have pain and swelling now; is it too soon to
    Take it all out???

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    1. Definitely can't advise on whether or not it's too soon to take it all out. Did you ask your surgeon?

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  50. I broke my ankle in 3 places 1 1/2 ago and had a plate and screws put in. Still experience sharp pains, general pain, stiffness, swelling and limping which is causing issues with my hip.

    I went for a 2nd opinion and found some screws were too long and I had already develop some arthritis. He suggested to remove the hardware and gave me 2 shots and arthritis medication to get me through until surgery.

    My question is, has anyone felt relief from limping after hardware removal?

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  51. That you for writing this blog! I broke my ankle today, well yesterday. It's in a splint. The Er doc thinks I'll need surgery, but my mom still has to call the orthopedist because stupid hospital doesn't have one in residence/want to make more money that way.

    The Er doc thinks I'll need surgery because where it broke is where the ligaments are supposed to keep it together.

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  52. I have a question, how do you feel now that a lot of time has passed? Did your ankle pain stop?

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    1. I talk about all of this stuff on my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/mihalfreinquel

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  53. Hi - I had a plate, pin and 5 screws removed from my left ankle 4 days ago! They were there for 17 years and the surgeon said it was a little tricky to remove so he had to remove some bone too! ! Because of that, I can't bear any weight on it for 2 weeks which was disappointing as I thought I'd be mobile with a boot! It's actually quite sore ( made me tear up a few times) but just taking my needs and hope in a few weeks I can get rid of the stiffness and get back to light walks etc! I'm glad I got them out though as they were causing me grief and one of the screws actually came out and was causing soft tissue damage. I'm just hoping i have more movement in it come a few weeks time and of course less pain!!
    I'll keep you posted! Anyone that had similar already, would love to hear your stories of recovery! :)
    Cheers Kelly :)

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  54. Taking my meds.... typo! lol

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  55. Thank you so much for your blog! I've read all of your posts on ankle surgery/removal. In two months I'm having my two plates and gentle in foot (not ankle) taken out and I'm ALSO in Portland! Where did you go for the massages? I love how honest you are, the doctor is so sure the removal with be "nothing" but surgery is painful and you give realistic advice through your experiences! -Jyoti

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    1. Hi Jyoti! Best of lucky with your surgery and healing. I saw Ashley at TeaScape :)

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  56. I broke my leg in early may, ended up with 5 screws and a plate. I was able to go back to horseback riding in August with agressive PT. The riding really helps with improving my range of motion, which is awesome. With a safe horse, it's a zero impact sport. That being said, my ankle wakes me up throbbing regularly. The plates and screws are in a joint area, so they interfere with tendons. I would like to remove the plates in December so I can do it on the same insurance deductible, but my doctor believes I should wait until it has been 1.5 years, because that is what is traditional. I'm also a PhD scientist, so I naturally question why.. why would he want to wait so long when I already know the plates and screws are bothering me?

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    1. Did you ask ur surgeon why? I had to wait to make sure everything was stable in there.

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    2. Hi, I had a triple fracture, but took all my hardware out 10 months after. Same here, lots of inflimation where hardware was located and seemed like it would be a good idea to take out the 9 screws and plate. So I did.
      I figured why wait, I have good insurance, in good health, better do it now or maybe regret later.

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  57. Thank you so much for documenting your experience. I broke my ankle 10 months ago and I have had 3 surgeries on it already. I am scheduled to have the hardware removal of 12 screws and 1 plate this December (incisions on both sides). I am in college, but I have 2 weeks off for Christmas. I really hope to feel well enough by he end of the 2 weeks to be able to go straight into Spring semester. How long was your total recovery time until you could walk and drive again?

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    1. I was walking and driving within a few days. You should check out the posts after this one.

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  58. I fractured my right ankle in March 2016 had pins and screws implanted. I could not bear weight on my ankle for 4 weeks I was in a cast I went back to the doctor and was told my ankle was not healing. I was in moderate pain and it was swollen I could tell from the tightness in the cast. This continued until August. One night I felt severe pain I could not move my foot without considerable pain I went to the Emergency they took x-rays and could not find anything wrong. They sent me home with painkillers. The next night I couldn't tolerate the pain so I went back they assured me nothing was wrong that they could see. They also took bloodwork. They also removed my cast in hopes that would relieve some pain from the swelling. I looked at my ankle and it was extemely swollen and black and blue. I thought it was from the fracture not healing.The doctor put in in a half-cast. And started me on oral anti-biotics for 10 days. A few days later my ankle swelled up and tightened the half-cast. It had started to bleed. I went back to the Emergency and the doctor took a swab of the wound it came back and I found out I had a staph infection. They started me on i.v anti-biotics for 14 days and was referred back to my surgeon ( the doctor who done my surgery and had been seeing every 4 weeks since then) I saw him when I was done my anti-biotics. I went to my appointment he took a x-ray he informed me that I had a bad infection and that I would need surgery. He also referred me to a surgeon who specilized in the operation I would need. When I saw her she told me I would have to have the pins and screws removed and some bone and that after surgery I would have to have a picc line inserted to administer anti-biotics for six weeks. I had the surgery the next day. I had to have a cat scan prior to surgery so I did. Right before surgery the doctor came to me and said that the infection was serious and into the bone and if it wasn't taken care of with the anti-biotics I would have to have my foot amputated. She told me this right before I was to go into the operating room. I was very upset. The surgery was incedibly painful on a scale from 1 to 10 I would rate it a 100. So today I am in week 5 of my anti-biotics and have no idea if my infection is gone or going. My doctors appointment is in 4 days. I also picked up C diff in the hospital and continue to have very loose bowels since. What I need to know is what happens next? If I don't lose my foot and everything goes well. If anyone has had a similar experiance can you tell me what happened and is happenning? Do they replace the hardware? and if so when? also what is my recovery time? and what type of pain can I expect? If you can help me with information please do so.
    Thank you, Kim

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    1. I'm so, so, so sorry Kim! This truly sounds like a nightmare. I'm afraid I can't offer any advice because I didn't go through any of it. But good job being your own advocate - that's a great lesson - nobody will do it for you. Don't be afraid to be pushy and get the answers you need, and get 2nd and 3rd opinions!!! Ugh, sending you a huge virtual hug.

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  59. Having a plate and 6 screws removed from my left ankle in 3 days due to hardware pain and screws backing out. I broke my fibula at the lateral maleolus 5/20/16. This page has made me feel so much better about it all. Surrendering my ability to walk is causing me anxiety, as it was the worst after the first surgery. I was depressed at being incapacitated, so I'm hoping it's short-lived this time. Thanks so much for sharing your journey.

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  60. Had my hardware removed 10 days ago. The surgery was a piece of cake and I had no pain other than some sensitivity at the incision site. Saw my surgeon on day 7 for xrays and bandage change and noticed I can't feel the top of my foot. Like at all. He assures me that sensation will retur, but I'm afraid there's nerve damage. He told me I could start bearing weight while wearing my boot and to get rid of my crutches. Since I've been weight bearing I'm now having some moderate ankle pain, kind of like a headache in my bone and shooting, electrical-type pains through my foot. The numbness continues. Hoping this is all a normal part of the healing process.

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    1. Kimberly, I had that too and sensation did come back. Have you tried massage?

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  61. So great to read everyones messages. I broke my ankle late September, I now have a plate and a couple of screws. The screws are due out in a couple of weeks (eek). I initially told they were going to be removed under local but in the confirmation letter it says general anaesthetic...any idea why? Also what is the recovery time like afterwards and will I be able to bear weight straight away or will I be back on the dreaded crutches/

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    1. I had general. Keep reading through the blog if you want to know about my removal surgery healing. Good luck!

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  62. I had 3 fractures in my right ankle and had surgery just over 2 years ago. A couple of months after my surgery I got an infection and was hospitalized and put on 3 IV antibiotics one being vancomycin. The pain and swelling was extremely bad...bone pain. It was determined that there was a change in my hardware and my surgeon wouldn't remove the hardware until I was 3 months post op so my surgery was scheduled for my 3 month anniversary from my surgery being 5/4/2015. I continued to experience pain and swelling so I was out back in a boot for an additional 5 to 6 weeks. I have been fine since. About 4 days ago I started having unexplained pain and swelling in my left ankle but no injuries or wounds. Each day the pain and swelling is increasing. The pain and swelling is very similar to when I had the infection. It is pain that hurts to the bone. My ankle is red with no bruising but warm to the touch. They x-rayed it but found no fracures. Is is possible that the infection could've been dormant and then reappeared in my other ankle. Wondered if anyone ever experienced this. My surgeon would not admit I had an infection despite the fact that 2 different ER doctors disagreed and the second one admitted Mr and started IV antiobotics. My surgeon refused to test for a bone infection because he said it was t necessary. I feel like I am reliving the infection again but minus the fall and 3 fractures. Any input would be much appreciated.

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    1. get 2nd (and 3rd) opinions from other surgeons! it sounds to me like you're not being listened to.

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  63. Hi Mihal, I'm so pleased to find you and read all the comments! My name is Issy and I am 5 months post surgery for a broke tibia and fibula.. the fibula broke at the bottom end so i have an open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) which is plated to the ankle with 6 screws. Its healed ok and isn't painful but the range of movement I have is limited and I am completely unable to point my toes, my foot just wont bend that way at all. I'm going to talk to the surgeon this week about removing the hardware as it seems that patients can get better movement back this way. Not sure that he'll want to do it this soon though.

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    1. I had a lot of toe stiffness too - have you tried massage? yoga?

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