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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board


Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index


My husband fractured his heel on August 15. The following week he had 12 screws and a plate put in, with bone pellets instead of a bone graft. He is NWB for 12 weeks after the surgery, which ends (Thank God) in 1 1/2 week, so I can't tell you how he will end up. He's in a removable cast and going to PT for ROM exercises. If the doctor will do it, your hubby definitely wants a removable cast. 12 weeks of no movement at all is too long, he will take a long time to walk right again. It takes 6 - 8 weeks for any broken bone to begin to knit, so I'm guessing either way he's out of commission for at least that long. Sorry.

I can share with you what I learned. The main concern is for the sub-talar joint, which is the lower of the two ankle joints, it connects the calcaneus to the talus and controls lateral support of the foot. If the patient is having post-surgical pain and difficulty after he returns to walking, chances are that that joint will have to be fused in a second surgery. If he does not have surgery in the first place, he may need a fusion down the road. If he does have the surgery, there is still chance of a fusion, but it's not as likely. Every health professoinal we have talked to thinks my husband may need a fusion, even though the Xrays look good. Apparently, about 3/4 of these fractures end up fused.

I recommend that you see more doctors, and preferably a sports doctor, and ask them straight up how many of these he has operated on, and his percentage of eventual fusions. A LOT of the outcome depends on the skill and experience of the doctor repairing it. No doctor should be insulted by your "shopping" and asking questions. This is important, and could affect the rest of your husband's (your) life. The doctor who did my bunion surgery wouldn't touch it, neither would our local ortho surgeon. We ended up driving an hour each way to a sports doctor who has done about 30 of these in 15 years. From what I hear, that's a high number, this injury is fairly rare. Let us know what you decide.

One other thing I just thought of - If they do not perform surgery, and the heel does not heal in the proper placement, what can be done to repair that? I think once it's back in one piece, that's it.

Cindy





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