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Experiences when ankle/leg cast comes off

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by lilypot, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. Hi
    I'm after other peoples experiences please.
    After breaking my ankle at the very start of January, I've had a big operation (plates and screws) followed by 2 weeks in a non-weight bearing cast. They then changed the cast and did one with a velcro shoe on it and the doctor said I could walk normally on it. The following day, I'd ditched the crutches and have been walking on it since (it's been just over 3 weeks). I've been back at school for the past 2 weeks so am fine with walking, allbeit slowly. I've not used painkillers or ibuprofen since the cast change and consider myself really lucky that I've been pretty mobile.
    I'm due to get the cast off on Thursday as it will have been 4 weeks since the cast change (so 6 weeks in total) but am getting rather nervous for some reason.
    From what I've read on the internet, people seem to find it a real struggle to walk and although I've been walking for the last 3 weeks, will I too struggle to walk (or is it because the chances are that these internet experiences are from 6-week non-weight-bearing people?).
    I'm hoping I can just put on a pair of shoes once the cast is off and be on my way! But am I being unrealistic? I'm also hoping I'll be able to drive pretty quickly soon after, but again, am I deluding myself?
    Part of me thinks that if they took the cast off now, I'd be fine as I'm walking fine (well, as fine as can be in a cast!).
    (following on from a previous thread I started about getting rid of the dead skin): Have realised that my ambitions to 'scrub' away the dead skin after is actually a bad move though as the skin will be really sensitive. So, it's a good job I didn't get any fancy body scrub! I think someone also mentioned that on the thread so thank you!
     
  2. Hi
    I'm after other peoples experiences please.
    After breaking my ankle at the very start of January, I've had a big operation (plates and screws) followed by 2 weeks in a non-weight bearing cast. They then changed the cast and did one with a velcro shoe on it and the doctor said I could walk normally on it. The following day, I'd ditched the crutches and have been walking on it since (it's been just over 3 weeks). I've been back at school for the past 2 weeks so am fine with walking, allbeit slowly. I've not used painkillers or ibuprofen since the cast change and consider myself really lucky that I've been pretty mobile.
    I'm due to get the cast off on Thursday as it will have been 4 weeks since the cast change (so 6 weeks in total) but am getting rather nervous for some reason.
    From what I've read on the internet, people seem to find it a real struggle to walk and although I've been walking for the last 3 weeks, will I too struggle to walk (or is it because the chances are that these internet experiences are from 6-week non-weight-bearing people?).
    I'm hoping I can just put on a pair of shoes once the cast is off and be on my way! But am I being unrealistic? I'm also hoping I'll be able to drive pretty quickly soon after, but again, am I deluding myself?
    Part of me thinks that if they took the cast off now, I'd be fine as I'm walking fine (well, as fine as can be in a cast!).
    (following on from a previous thread I started about getting rid of the dead skin): Have realised that my ambitions to 'scrub' away the dead skin after is actually a bad move though as the skin will be really sensitive. So, it's a good job I didn't get any fancy body scrub! I think someone also mentioned that on the thread so thank you!
     
  3. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I know I may be stating the obvious here, but I think it depends on the injury. I've had 3 casts in my life: 2 broken feet (thankfully not at the same time lol) and a broken ankle.
    With the feet, I had a cast on for 5 weeks and 6 weeks respectively. The first time it was a proper plaster cast, with a shoe attached for walking. When it came off, my leg was hairy (eurgh!) and in desperate need of a good wash, and it was a bit weak and floppy for a day or two, but soon regained strength. I couldn't jump or hop on the foot for quite some time though.
    With the ankle, it took a lot longer to rehabilitate it. I wasn't able to walk comfortably for a couple of weeks, although it was a particularly bad break.
    Good luck with yours.
     
  4. Hi Lilypot
    Glad to hear you're making a successful recovery. I'm in a similar situation, though not quite back at work yet.
    I broke my ankle in mid December, had an op, was non weight bearing for 6 weeks and am now in a removable walking cast. Although I've only been in it for a few days, the ankle seems to be getting stronger - I feel like a kid at the moment, learning a new skill every day :) However, it's hard to know the 'right' thing to do - medical advice has been fairly minimal and I'm having to trust my judgement about what I can and can't do. I can go on what hurts / doesn't hurt in the here and now, but not having experienced this before I feel a bit uncertain about the future.
    I think moving the joint around as much as you can and introducing weight gradually is probably a good thing. I've tried walking a few steps without the cast this morning and was fine, so will do the same tomorrow and gradually build it up.
    Like you I've read lots of stuff on the internet, and I'm not sure how helpful some of it is - there are a lot of doom & gloom stories. I'm now telling myself optimistically that there are many cases of people breaking bones and then recovering normally & unremarkably, and just not bothering to document their experiences online.
    Not really advice, cos I don't know much about these things myself, but good wishes to you - hope that when the cast comes off your mobility returns quickly. x
     
  5. Red wine fan

    Red wine fan New commenter

    Hi Lily, glad you're doing so well!


    As has been said, your leg will look pale and hairy, if that's not a contradiction. I wouldn't go for a scrub because the scar may well be tender - it's still cold enough to hide your leg away for a while. If you are a Lush fan, you might want to get hold of one of their "therapy" bars because they are gentle and nice to use on scars.


    The ankle will probably swell at the end of the day, so get yourself a cheap pack of frozen peas, wrap them in a towel and put them over your elevated ankle regularly. Just don't eat them later! Take it slowly. As for driving, I couldn't wait but I simply couldn't put enough pressure through the ankle to press the clutch. However, once out of plaster, I hired an auto for a week and it was fantastic :D. Hope that helps and keep asking. I've tried to use paragraphs on safari today so am looking forward to see if they worked....
     
  6. Thanks for all the replies.
    I'm expecting the ankle to still be swollen when the cast comes off and for it to look rather grim (yes, thankfully it is still cold enough for trousers so can hide it away!).
    Driving wise - it's my right leg so has to be able to control the accelarator and brake. I will try in a stationary car to see and then just do little journeys if all OK. Fortunately I only live a 10 min drive from school so I'll never need to do long journeys for the time being.
    Yay it worked!

     

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