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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board

Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index

Hello everyone!

I sprained my ankle about four years ago. It swelled immediatly after the injury (literally in seconds) but I was able to weight-bear right afterwards, though with a limp. Didn't do RICE, partly because I was outside and didn't have an ace wrap at hand, partly because i did not think it a very bad injury. I trained two days after the incident, with a taped and moderately swollen ankle. Never was on crutches. (Which is wierd, since it later showed that the CFL was completely torn - feels like I should barely have been able to weight bear after two days...)

As you can see, I didn't have any really "bad" symptoms; therefore I never went to a doctor in the beginning. However, I did when, two years later, the ankle was still swolen and giving out when walking on plain surfaces (it always felt really loose). I was sent to a physiotherapist. After two ore years I still had these problems and were remitted to a orthopedic surgeon. The MRI showed that the ligaments (CFL and ATFL) had healed in a stretched position, but were not torn; still it was decided that I should have surgery due to my instability problems.

So, I had a month ago. It turned out the CFL was completely torn, which had not shown on the MRI, so the ends were sewn together, and also the ATFL was shortened. I think that was all that was done - no screws or anything (my OS said that because I'm so young I should have a good outcome without the ligament being anchored to the bone (?)).

I was put in a fibreglass cast, given a cast shoe and a pair of forearm crutches (standard where I live) and allowed WB as soon as tolerated. Stayed completely NWB for maybe two or three days, then PWB with crutches for an additional week (though the last days of that week I only used the crutches when going outside) and since then I'm FWB and able to walk completely normal - nobody would notice I'm in a cast, weren't it for the cast shoe. I haven't had much pain at all, stopped taking the prescribed pain meds after 2 days when really I should have taken them for two weeks. I'm going to change the cast for a brace, and have my first PT apt. in three days.

If anyone read all this - thanks. I don't really know what I want with all this, but maybe if anyone have any experiences or thoughts to share... About rehabilition and such. Anyone else who was weight bearing so soon after an ankle ligament surgery? Or anyone who also torn only the CFL but not ATFL - if I understood it correctly, that's kind of an odd injury?
all i can tell you is what i went through. i had to get surgery because i ripped all that stuff up as well as peroneal and its cover. i swole up right away and barely hobbled but i knew i was in trouble. did the rice thing before starting my history of doctors before i finally found a nice ortho that did surgery.

i stayed home and did rice, my whole world revolved around getting better.

i was told i needed like 6 weeks in neutral position although the doctor did say i could put my foot down but it hurt like hell for me the first month so i didn't do it. i went into the boot soon but didn't start walking around the house until a few weeks post op and started pt as well.

pt was minor stuff with massage, stimulant machine and very basic movements they planned in stages to i guess keep things moving but not in extreme ways weight bearing.

i was surprised i could walk around in the boot the first day. i had no cast but an early splint and went into the boot which goes to knee and is strapped and then pumped to fit. for me this help contained swelling and pain and provided a nice safe area. boot was annoying when i went to sleep where i raised my legs, it felt heavy enough to hurt things side to side. so i would nestle it into a bundle of pillows/blankets spanning whole width of bed.

pain for me was more the nerve zaps and i took pain meds for 2 weeks then practically nothing ever since. i couldn't put my foot down for over a month without swelling and pressure.

we kept pushing with new exercises in pt each week and i insisted on pt for a few months after.

at just under 2 months i was put into my regular shoe with a brace and we proceeded with specific exercises again after that because i was hobbling around at first and had to be very carefull to watch where i was going. i think i lasted 5 minutes at walmart before i had to raise my foot up in pain and i wanted a nap :)

by month 3 i was doing all sorts of exercises and walking an hour+ day outside and doing steps. still lacked range of motion, strength and proprioception at that point but i was functioning allot better almost with a normal walking stride.

i kept wearing that brace for risky activities for months longer and then would take it around with me and go by feel. as somebody who was always active and has a physical job it took me a long time to get more confidence back, like the year mark. these days i continue on what what i used to do, still have aches and pains but i don't obsess about all the little problems along the way. my biggest hurdle looking back was thinking i just needed to heal from surgery and then be normal and pain free, when i don't think they ever can be.
Hi jird
I have had a very similar surgery to you along with a lot of the same problems. My ankle pain all started about 6 years ago when I had a major sprain but I just kind of brushed it off and continued to participate in my sport as I didn't think it was too bad. Then it started to get more painful over the next year so I finally went to the doctor they told me PT would do the trick. PT didn't work. So I just wore a brace all the time and took some time off of activity. Pain kept coming and going and I was in and out of pt and different doctors all the time trying to figure out what's wrong. It got better for awhile until I sprained it again super bad 3 years later. After that sprain my pain increased and so did the instability to the point where I would sprain my ankle every day. I went to an orthopedic surgeon who told me the MRI showed nothing so he just recommended PT again. We went for a second opinion as I had already been through PT so many times.

After my 1st orthopedic surgeon I went to a new one who specialized in foot and ankle. She tried more things like PT, cortisone injection, time off sports but nothing worked so she decided on surgery. Although my MRI showed nothing she went in and found my ligaments had healed in a very loose position and just shortened my ligaments no pins to the bone or anything. They thought that since I was so young (15 years old) I wouldnt need complete reconstruction.

After this surgery I was nwb for 4 weeks and then was up to fwb by 8 weeks post op. So you are allowed to walk sooner than I was but all surgeons have a different approach. As long as you are comfortable and not in pain from bearing weight so soon it isn't a problem.

Months after my surgery things still weren't right an my pain continued. My ankle started getting loose again as well. Over the next year after my surgery it eventually got as loose and as painful as it was before surgery if not even more painful and unstable. I went back to my surgeon about a year and a half post op and she had me do more pt and get orthotics. None of these worked so the next step was surgery #2.

I am now 2 months post op from lateral ligament reconstruction with bone tunnels and cadaver tendon. So the 1st surgery that they thought was going to hold up did not and I ended up have to get holes drilled into my bone and a cadaver tendon weaved in and pinned in place. This surgery surprising had a shorter recovery time even though it was a much more intense surgery. I was nwb for 2 weeks and fwb by 6 weeks. Everything was going good until 3 days ago when I rolled my ankle. Hoping this isn't the start down the road to my 3rd surgery. I've already had 2 surgeries by age 17 and do not want another.

So recovery times are all different and it really depends on the surgeon or certain situations. As you can tell from my 2 surgeries having different recovery times. I hope everything turns out well for you and that the surgery helps you as much as possible and can get your ankle back to its stable self.

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