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email: Mihal.Freinquel@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Recovery After Ankle Surgery

It's been a year since I made THIS video, so I figured I should make a follow-up. Here's how I am one year after walking - and one month & one year after weight-bearing.



I suppose as long as you guys show interest, I'll keep posting - so let me know if there's anything specific you want me to talk about :)

19 comments:

  1. Glad to hear your recovery has gone so well. It has been 10.5 months since I broke my ankle (whilst 25 weeks pregnant). It is winter here in Australia & the only time I feel my ankle is at night or first thing in the morning when it's cold, however once I have started moving it feels ok. I have been going on long walks with my son in his pram & that has helped a lot. I still have a few issues like squatting down or kneeling but this is also improving the more I do it. I am yet to wear heels as well; I tried to walk in a pair on the weekend but still don't have the courage to do it. Anyway, thank you for the update & best wishes

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  2. Hi, I see it now the post. Thanks for it! Great to hear you are doing so good! I just started after 3 months of not being allowed to do anything with my ankle with rehab. I guess it would be nice to hear what type of exercise you have done to gain strength and flexibility on your foot/leg again? Further, any tips on how to regain the 'normal' walking posture? I am allow to put about 20% of my weight now on it but I can definitely feel the pressure and it is not an enjoyable thing :D Thanks a lot! Warm regards, Marina.

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    1. @ Marina: yoga, yoga, walking, yoga, and walking. Those have been the best things for me. The pressure will keep being there until it's not. I also STRONGLY recommend ankle and foot massage from somebody who really knows what they're doing. It helps with circulation and also to get those muscles loose :)

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  3. Just found your blog via the early walking video. Thank you! I'm three weeks post-surgery. A plate on each side and 9 screws total. It's hard to see life getting back to normal but I appreciate people like you who share the story of recovery to give others hope and encouragement. It's also nice to hear other people say it really sucks...cause it really does. So thank you.

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    1. Hey Melissa! YES - it does really suck. And I'm glad that this blog has actually become more than just me ranting about it, but that other people have shared their stories of suckiness. Let me know if I can help in any way :)

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    2. I think the worst part for me has been paranoia. But mine isn't about blood clots. My surgeon had me out of a splint one week post op (almost four weeks ago) and put me in the wretched aircast immediately. Said to wear it sleeping and moving about but I don't have to have it on if I'm not up moving around. He told me I need to get the flexing and pointing motions going, along with the curling of my toes. Then he took the palm of his hand and pushed hard against the ball of my foot. Holy crap! But I keep thinking back to how much pressure he was putting on my foot to force it to start moving again and only one week after realigning it and inserting hardware (after it had been broken and only partially lined up for two weeks – surgery delayed thanks to a fracture blister). I keep trying to remind myself that he used a LOT of force and as long as I'm not putting any weight on it, no little movements are going to make titanium lose its grip on my bones and move things around…I think. I had that first follow up appointment one week post op and then nothing scheduled for 5 long weeks after that. I'm naturally an anxious person anyway. This is not helping. But he's a foot/ankle specialist. Doesn't have the sweetest bedside manner but is a nice guy and I do trust he knows what he's doing. I just really really hope that my outward healing, minimal swelling if kept mostly elevated and the miniscule twinges of pain that last mere seconds and don't require any pain medication are signs that things are still where he put them and I've done my part to heal properly. But it’s nerve-wracking – I’m still 2 weeks out from seeing him. 2 weeks out from the only post op x-rays other than immediately following the placement of the hardware. It’s so weird to me how every doctor does things differently. Everyone was trained differently and studied different/older/newer techniques and it’s nearly impossible to find people who match EXACTLY your own situation; therefore your own situation seems scary and uncomfortable. I’m not a fan. I just don’t want it to heal improperly and have to do this all again. Gah! Can you imagine? Provided all goes well and my appointment in two weeks shows everything is in place, I think I get to start the process of weight bearing. Oh the joy…and pain! I’m going to try your massage therapist once I’m able. And I plan to start following your yoga progression – it’s much needed. Thankfully I have the luxury of being able to work from home so it’s kept me busy and productive since a few days after surgery and I don’t have any big rush to get back into the office but things aren't piling up, either. Oh - and I'm already dreading trying to figure out how to dress with tennis shoes. Yikes.

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    3. Wow. You're going through it. All really normal anxiety in my book - so many unknowns. Unless you've been through it before, you have no way of knowing what to expect. The weight bearing process is scary and awesome - for me it was more good than bad because at least I could DO something and had somewhere to focus my attention. It sounds like you're in PDX? Who was your surgeon?

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    4. Yes! I'm in the PDX area and had Dr. Jeff Feinblatt as my surgeon. I'm feeling way better than I was for a while and my energy level has picked up for sure, swelling is almost non-existent and incisions are looking great. I head in tomorrow to see what it all looks like in there and find out next steps. I'm nervous and excited but it will be good to at least know what's been going on for the last 6 weeks inside my bones. :-)

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    5. All good and ready to (slowly) start walking! Surgeon was very impressed with my range of motion and said all looks great and it's time to start moving forward. Yayyy! It doesn't hurt at all to put 50 lbs of pressure on it walking. I'm a little shocked. I'm sure it will hurt more as I keep going and put more weight on and walk farther. But I guess I expected shooting pains and muscle weakness and to collapse onto the crutches or something. Ha! Thankfully none of that happened.

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  4. I had to say hello...I also live in PDX and Dr. Feinblatt is my surgeon. My first surgery was Valentine's Day (yikes). I broke my ankle (tri-mal) during the terrible snow storm. I've had complications in getting my wound to heal. The doctor is seriously considering hardware removal but I am really scared to have another surgery. He thinks I could have a nickel allergy. Thanks, Mihal, for sharing your story. Makes me feel better to know that someone else has come through this for the better!

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    1. Regena! Well, if you've read the rest of my blog, you know I was terrified to have another surgery, but so so happy that I did it. I came to think of it as closing the circle. The last step to complete so I could move on. If you're ready, and your scar is in tact, do yourself a favor and go see Ashley Mueller - she's the most incredible massage therapist - and knows feet and ankles really well. And she does scar massage, which is 100% essential. Tell her I sent you :)

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  5. So, Mihal you still have this one rear plate ? I can' understand everything you speak and I am not sure, if you mention this issue.
    Write please, if 2nd tissue cut was in the same line. I'm almost 2 months after surgery of both ankle break.
    Best wishes from Poland/Poznań City.
    Andrzej Kubicki

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  8. I love your blog! I have been keeping up with it as I go through my ankle breakage! I broke my Fib and Tib and have 2 plates and 15 screws in my ankle... ouch. I recently broke it On November 3rd, 2016 during a head on collision car accident and didn't get surgery until December 3rd, 2016 because it was too swollen to operate. The whole month of November I was in a cast, which every 2 weeks I will get a new one and get X-rays. I finally got off my cast roughly around January 4th and into the black boot. I started partially weight-bearing which was 50% and as of March I was at 100%, of course with the help of physical therapy. I'm now in the same air cast as you and I have limited range of motion, I'm back to driving which is great (right ankle). My therapist and doctor have agreed to get me off crutches... so I'm using a cane to get around and I can finally fit a shoe with the air cast on! I'm excited but I'm worried about going down the stairs. I've managed to go up the stairs but not go down the stairs. Do you have any advice on activities you have done to get you to go down the stairs? I have therapy this whole week and that's what we're working on but I'm not sure if I'm scared to break my ankle again or that it's my knee. I've been negligent to my knee it seems because when I stand up and I bend it I barely can bend without my ankle having excruciating pain.

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    1. Yoga yoga yoga! It helps with range of motion, it helps with balance, it helps with flexibility (as you know, even though it's your ankle that's broken, your whole body gets tight and weird). Going down stairs is basically just awkward until the back of your ankle gets a little looser. Also, MASSAGE! Find a good massage therapist to work on your feet, your ankle, achilles, calf, quads, hamstrings - it's all connected.

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