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Bone Disorders Message Board

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Well, heres a quick anatomy reminder:
Both on your lower leg bones, Tibia and fibula, are what makes up the "mortise" wich is basically the female part of the ankle join. Fibula in on the outside on the foot, and tibia, the inside.
While the fibula only takes approx. 10% of your body weight, the tibia takes the rest.
I do not know what type of fracture you had, but i figure if youre already in your air cast, that means it was a lesser fracture, and non displaced.

It takes around 10-14 days for either sides of the fracture to "reconnect" with lil links, and once that stage is reached, some weight bearing can usually begin to take place.
it usually takes another 4-5 weeks for the bone to re-harden.
At that stage, even with x-rays, youll still see the crack in the bone, this take a few months to dissipate.

By looking at your progression so far, youre pretty much at the same stage i was at 3 weeks.
Im also a very active person, i play hockey 2-3 times a week, i bike like 3-4 miles everyday, i snowboard, play tennis, etc..

Healing time will depend on alot of things.
Your age, basic bone structure, nutrition, etc.
Its mostly important to avoid the exact same type of motion that actually cause the break( mine was a twist inwards of the foot) until you get your doctor's ok.

You lose muscle mass and flexibilty VERY fast in an unactive state.
By left calf reduce by like 1/3 compared to the other in the first 3 weeks, luckily i started working it out fast enough.

But remember to take your time, because healing is different for everyone.
Im pretty lucky to be skating after 2months, almost day for day, after my accident.
Its not without pain( wich you can have for several weeks after full healing)
but at least i can get back at doin what i love, and hoefully, so will you soon:)
[QUOTE=amarie59;3728290]I broke my ankle on my right leg 3 weeks ago. I wore a hard cast for the first 2 weeks and then had it taken off. After another x-ray, the doctor said it looked good so I could go into the aircast walking boot and now at the end of the third week, I am attempting to put a little weight on it. He said I could lose the crutches whenever I was ready but I am scared to walk on it. It is still very painful and I have a hard time with filling it with air. It always feels like I have a rock between my ankle and the boot on both sides. Can anyone give me some pointers on what I am doing wrong in this boot and how to go about trying to put weight on it?[/QUOTE]

I also broke my left ankle back in November of 2008 and was handed one of these walker aircasts in a large plastic bag given to me by the hospital. Firstly, these casts go by shoe size and the one I was handed turned out to be two sizes too large. I didn't know the difference and thought one size fits all, but this is not true. The hospital should have taken the duty of care and fitted the cast properly to make sure it is the correct one. I wore my cast for two months and complained that it was too loose and the right blow tube was pushing up against my fracture location. The very WISE doctor didn't even notice the cast went up to my knees and was simply too large. She wisely told me to only blow up the left side and this is what I did. The problem now is I have additional knee and hip pain after wearing this oversized DUCK boot with blow tubes, wish I would have got a fiberglass cast and bear the itchiness, etc. The oversized boot was for a person with size 13+ shoes, I wear a size 9.5 to a 10. The calf size for the boot I got was 26 inches, my calf size is 16". The toe width on the cast I got handed to me in the infamous large plastic bag was for someone with a toe width 6.5 inches or more, mine is just 4 inches. Because my DUCK boot was so large, the only thing holding it to my foot when walking was the fact that I blew up these tubes so much that it gave me the pain you are describing. The boot may work fine if fitted properly and it doesn't press upon the injury area,. This is why the manufacture has four different sizes from small, medium, large and Xtra large. These figures are from the manufacturer of the Air cast who emailed me back and stated that I needed a medium. There is nothing wrong with the proper air cast if the blow tubes are in an area not affecting the injury and there are four models to chose from. There are also socks and a heavy duty cast with extra foam, so if the right application is given, these casts are supposed to be great. I changed doctors as my Wise Doctor allowed by her negligence, the very painful experience I am going through now with knee and hip pain added to my already complex fracture and soft tissue damage. To make things worse, once you are out of the Walker boot from hell (at least the one I got), you may find that if you were given the cast I got reaching up 17 inches and basically immobilizing a healthy knee for two months as you must walk like Donald Duck with a sidewyas gait to your walk. My cast went right below the knee and I am having arthritic like pains in my twisted knee. Also, your hip may act up, and this is why it is so important to have been fitted for the proper cast from the get go. I feel my injury was made worse by wearing the Xtra large duck boot! I recommend the shortest cast which will allow the knee to move properly. I have a McConnel wrap on my knee at all times and am trying to get WCB to buy me a knee brace that allows proper tracking of the pettela. WCB can't figure out in their also WISE minds why I am taking so long to heal. Hope this helps you!
Thanks JaggyGT. The back-slab I was casted in was very badly done and at some point the jagged edge (no pun intended!) was cutting into my leg and foot. My foot was just swelling so terribly that I had to get a second opinion from a more experienced orthopaedic specialist last week.

I had a CT scan of my foot and it appeared that a chip of bone was plucked out by the ligament following a fracture of the top navicular bone, and 3 weeks after my fall, there was still no union of the bone. If my ligament had snapped, my bone could have been saved. I did not have much pain by then, so the ortho specialist removed my ill-fitting back-slab cast, put a tubigrip stocking over my foot and calf and I have been wearing the aircast walker since. While wearing the aircast and holding a crutch on the good side, I have been able to walk without putting much weight on the broken foot. The walking must have done some good for my broken foot as the oedema has reduced significantly and I need not put my entire weight on my left leg. I was told to use the old back-slab cast while sleeping just to prevent twisting my broken foot but my heel hurts so much that I resort to sleeping with the aircast on. Not that it is comfortable, but better than the ill-fitting hard cast.

When and if you should use the aircast really depends on the types of fracture and severity. I know how frustrating it is to be immobilised but really, keep the weight off your broken foot if you have to. It just doesn't pay to delay your healing. I will re-xray my foot in 2 weeks' time, but I am keeping the aircast on most of the time. At times, I take off the aircast and prop up my foot while sitting down and move my ankle within a limited range.

Hope to get some good news about your recovery. Meanwhile, stay positive.
Hi wicked willows, hope you are coping well having to sleep with the aircast on. I have been through this stage and jolly well know what it's like. I woke up everytime I changed my sleeping position because the aircast was just too heavy for me to move my leg.

Just a note of caution - while you are walking with the aircast, make sure your good foot is wearing a shoe that is of equal height as the aircast. Otherwise, the awkward walking gait will do lots of harm to your back as well.

I have been off the aircast for the past week - some 6 weeks after my fall. I feel pain at the toes and sole areas initially when I put my broken foot on the ground, but the pain has been easing off a little for the past week, though the toe joints seem to be still stiff. If anyone knows why, please tell me. I have not seen my ortho yet since he took off my aircast. And yes, I have been taking calcium tablets. My ortho strongly suggested I do so.
[QUOTE=Swirlylocks;4184318]Hello, Well this is my first time posting on a forum and I am desperate to find people that understand what it's like to go through breaking a bone in your leg. So frustrating! I broke my fibula (right leg) December 13th. It was a spiral fracture. Was in a cast for 8 weeks - NO SURGERY and didn't need to be reset before the cast - (well had x rays every few weeks) but this last Monday, 2/8, was given a walking boot (the kind with the bars that run up the side and velcro straps)...I was so excited and all I wanted was the walking boot but it's much harder to walk then I thought! I am still using both crutches and each day I try to put more and more weight on it...but it does hurt - I can't really tell if it's hurting where the fracture is (3 inches up from the ankle) or if it's just my ligaments, etc from literally not moving for 8 weeks...doesn't that seem like a long time to be in a cast? I guess everyone's's a throbbing pain where the fracture is.
Anyway, I admit I am a smoker - have cut back but not able to quit yet...I know I need to quit and maybe that's why it's taking so long to heal (probably) but I haven't fallen on it (with the cast, etc). I broke it slipping on the ice down a stair and just thought I had rolled my ankle. This is my first broken bone.
So my concerns are the following (if anyone out there can relate or give me advice)...
1. How can you go from 8 weeks being a cast to immediately walking in a walking boot? My co-workers and other people in my life think I should just be able to walk and are basically treating me like a wimp...
2. Can you drive with a walking boot? My husband's been taking me to work (that's the only place I go outside of the house right now) and he's getting real tired of it.
3. Any suggestions on how to stay sane through this? I go through bouts of crying (usually when alone or at work in the bathroom).
4. Should it be hurting (throbbing) like it is?
I am kind of a hypochondriac so I don't want to run back to the doctor right away. Maybe this pain is normal. Thank you for listening. It's getting harder with people telling me what to do and how to do it...very very frustrating. Thank you for your reply in advance! Just looking for someone that can relate.[/QUOTE]

:) I was in cast for 6 weeks and finally got my Aircast through the UK NHS last week. Really comfy, but hygiene clearly going to be an issue, I think wise to leave it off or open for an hour before bed and after washing in the morning (my thoughts). Sorry, most posts say driving not good until you have had the boot for a good month. You must take it slowly the boot makes you think as your ankle supported and foot that you can put more weight down than you actually can - I am looking for an MBT shoe or similiar for my other foot so they are the same height. I can understand that the boot really works the tendons as well, its a great product. So I would think 4-6 wks normal - tell your co-workers, there are so many stories of sports people who tried earlier and now back in hospital, just not worth it. :wave:
Hi there!

I stumbled across this forum whilst trying to find advice about walking boots (the kind with plastic bars up two sides, velcro straps and a thick padded "sock" underneath) and I have to say it's been really comforting to read other people's stories.
Personally I broke my ankle on April 24th of this year. I don't actually know the technical terms for what I did (my surgeon has been less than helpful on the communication front) but I know that I broke both bones and did major damage to the ligament in between (I basically pulled it apart a bit) - I also dislocated it at the time. Worse still was that I did it in my driveway, and when you call paramedics and tell them you've slipped in your driveway, they tend to not think it's going to be all that serious ;) I've never felt such agony as that. Anyway they transferred me to one hospital where they knocked me out and fixed the dislocation, then they put on a stupid backslab up passed my knee (which, incidentally, caused me major pain in my left hip from twisting with the weight of that thing holding it down) until the nurses at the new hospital took pity on me and cut it back so it wasn't so ridiculously heavy. I had to wait a week in hospital with my foot ridiculously elevated because the swelling was too much for them to perform surgery. On the 2nd of May I finally got surgery and ended up with two screws in one of the bones and two more screws in the other going across the ligament to try to hold it together, which I apparently have to get removed in three months.
After surgery they put me back in the backslab for two weeks, and just two days ago I finally got in the "walking" boot, except I'm not allowed to put any weight on it for another four weeks at least.

The main problem I'm having, and what I really wanted to get some advice on, is that when I sleep in the walking boot I wake up with terrible pains in my foot or ankle. I don't know whether this means that the straps are too tight at night and are causing me pain, or whether it's just the opposite and they're not tight enough and I'm moving in my sleep!
If anyone has had this problem please let me know. It's making me absolutely dread mornings.
Hi, Sharenlee...I truly hope that this finds you and everyone else in our situation doing better with each day. I had my cast removed yesterday (5 weeks post-op) and I can not tell you how wonderfull and scary it was at the same time, but you are all too aware of the feeling. After 7 LONG weeks, I thought, finally, I can stretch and move my foot - WRONG! The stiffness was more than I had envisioned, and there was some slight swelling and quite a bit of soreness, of course. To my surprise, my dr. said that I did not need any other boot or brace and did not prescribe any professional PT - the no PT part kinda upset me. He told me to mimick my left foot's movements with my right and to begin putting some slight weight on the healing ankle. The first time standing with both feet on the floor was like a baby standing for the first time. I literally cried tears of joy and pain. My husband and I went directly to a thrift store and purchased a walker - I looked at it all evening and thought, a few more days and I will be ready for it. Well, I took another look this morning and said no time like the present (I am impatient), and took a few innaugeral steps. I took the walker to work with me and used it whenever I had to leave my desk, but had my wheelchair on standby. I have probably done too much today - remember the 25 steps up to my office - well, I went down and back up today, THEN back down again when I left for the day...the last time down, my recovering ankle let me know that it was a tad angry with me for pushing a little too hard. But, I can tell that the soreness is working itself out and with all that I put it thru today, there is hardly any day at a time. I am also soaking the foot a couple of times a day and then using a hand massager on the areas that are the stiffest, but not on the incision area. Now I am worrying that the vibration of the massager might work the screws out...our minds takes us to the worst case scenerios, right? Anyway, I feel like the soaks and massaging are helping so I am going to continue with them. It was almost heaven being able to go to bed without the cast last evening - I had my ankle wrapped in an ace bandage like the dr. instructed me to do and I did take some pain med. before retiring. I only woke up once with some discomfort, so I removed the bandage and it subsided. I will share that after my husband left for evening classes yesterday, I had a total meltdown. I really did not expect to hit the floor running yesterday after the cast was removed and was thrilled not to have it - but without it's protection, I was so paranoid about moving about. Maybe it was cast seperation anxiety...hahahahahaha. Anyway, I sobbed and sobbed all evening and even opted out of applying eye makeup this morning for fear of the sobs returning and having raccoon eyes at work. There are so many worse things that we can experience in our lives, but this it right up there with one of the most traumatic situations that I have had to deal with physically and mentally.

I am sincerely interested in hearing of your progress - and to others, hang in there, the days do turn into months and it does get better. I dreamed of the day that I could report that - OH HAPPY DAY! And, graciously accept the help of others and forgive those that may get in the way of your healing. They will need help of some sort one day. Cry, scream, or whatever you need to do to deal with the frustration and do find something everyday to laugh about through the tears!!!!!!!!

SharenLee - is there another thread on this website to post about just the general healing of this type of injury? I don't know if it is appropriate to keep posting when I really have no advice on how to walk in an aircast or boot.

Happy Healing to all!
Nice to find this board! It has already answered a lot of my questions.

I am in my fourth week in an aircast after getting a spiral fracture on my left fibula during a fall while mountain biking. I had to ride/walk/limp out of the woods and ten miles home. Thinking it a sprain, I elevated and iced. Next day went to my Doc who sent me to an Orthopedic guy the day after, who gave me a walking boot. I had crutches from my first doc. He said I could begin walking on it when I was comfortable to. Frankly, I have not been 100% off crutches yet, but walk more and more each day.

The first two weeks I had pain if my ankle twitched left, which is the direction it was heading when it broke. So it did take a bit to get active.

I do sleep with it at night as directed by the Orth, resting it on a big pillow with an old pillowcase, and then pull my sheet and blanket up half over me. Our bed is a mess of sheets! I try to keep the boot clean because I sleep with it. No barn chores for me!

I traveled this week down to visit my parents as my Dad is in the hospital. It was hell through the airports with my carry on slung over my back but I have to say I am stronger in the upper body from the crutches. Meantime, in the hospital with my Dad we make the rounds in the hallways and I have been doing that now two days without crutches. I still use the crutches going from the parking lot to the hospital or if I know I am going to be some place awhile where I may need to move more than the walking cast allows.

I find the walking awkward - kind of a lunge forward with the booted foot, pick up the slack with the good foot. Probably not great on the hip so I am trying to use my core muscles as much as possible. I am wearing a flat shoe - maybe when I get home I will wear my hiking boot or athletic shoe.

I am anxious to get back into training again once the boot is off. I had to give up an October Marathon but I am still riding a September Century ride. I think next week I will set myself up on a trainer on my bike so I can spin. I did take the boot off yesterday and swam in my folks' pool. I kept the injured side stationary and crawled with my upper body, kicking with the good foot. It felt great.

I do find when I change it that the boot is damp from sweating in the arch area of the footbed. I remedy this by using the hairdryer on it for a few moments.

I also got some epsom salt lotion and work that in before putting my sock on in the a.m. after my shower.

I also have used in place of the athletic sock that came with the boot a compression sock you can buy at the pharmacy.
I alternate compression sock with the athletic sock and it seems to work well.

I so love to hike and walk and am bummed that on uneven surfaces, the boot is really unstable. So much for walking the dog.

Nice to be on the board - hope everyone is well soon!

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