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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board


Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index


So here's the story. A year ago, my girlfriend broke her heel bone (calca-whatever). It was a complex fracture, in 3 different directions. She doesn't know how she did it, she's not really athletic, but she's not fat or anything, and she joined an indoor volleyball team. Next thing you know, BAM, busted heel bone. This was again, last September.

She was in severe pain for a while, so the doc gave her an air boot, and crutches. She hobbled for the next 8 months with crutches. At no point, did she ever "STAY OFF IT", she'd hobble around her apartment, and work 8-10 hour days (on her feet for a while, then she switched to a wheel chair).
We got her a knee cart, which she never used once, and a knee crutch thing, which I've also never seen her use. She also ramped up the smoking, much to my dismay as I read that smoking increases bone healing time. I really wanted her to be healthy for the skiing season!

After 3 months, a friend noticed she was still on crutches and this stupid boot and astonished. She told me that her mom was like that for 7 months before she finally said screw it, quit her job, and stayed home and STAYED OFF HER FOOT COMPLETELY. After that, it healed in a mere 6 weeks, since it was not being used. To me, this sounds reasonable. I've broken many bones before, including my femur, shoulder blade, collarbone, probably a few other ones. Immobilize it so it cannot move and don't load it, at all. The bones heal quickly.

So she refuses to take time off. I urge her, and everywhere I read online says "stay off your foot and it will heel". She ignores me. She claims she's doing exactly what the doctor wants and she can't take time off work, because she says they will fire her. So instead, she works 4 days a week, and says that's good enough. Problem is I'm active on the weekends, so I always want to do something, and instead of using somethign that avoids any weight completely (Knee cart, knee crutch), she hobbles around on that stupid air cast and crutches for an additional 6 months.

In the spring, she decided she didn't really need the crutches, and switched to just the air cast. She walks all over the place with it, and it's EXTREMELY affecting my summer, no bike rides, no backpacking, no hiking, no dancing, NOTHING. I hate it. I want it to heal already! I have done research and it seems most heel between 6-12 weeks, if you stay off it. It doesn't seem like she's doing that, and it's now been A YEAR. I am going absolutely insane. I have an engineering background and honestly this is all making me fed up to the point where I am questioning the entire relationship.

She claims she's done everything the doctor asks, and I'm definitely not a doctor but :

1. It's been a year. It should be healed by now, correct? As in, 1 year to heal one broken bone is ENTIRELY UNREASONABLE?

2. She should stay off it COMPLETELY for a while, correct?

3. She should quit smoking to help the healing process, correct?

4. What the hell can I feed her to hurry this process up?

Please tell me if I am being unreasonable or if I am dating an idiot.

Thanks!

PS: She's going to physical therapy. I'm not sure how phsyical therapy improves bone healing time by loading it up different directions and stretching... but whatever. She now claims she has 4-6 more weeks of physical therapy, once a week (friday for about 1 hour) before she can start to walk again. How does 1 hour of stretching help her bone heal? I also wanted to get her some extremely impact absorbing shoes for her ankle, like Nike Airs or Asiac Gels or those shoes with springs, whatever to reduce the impact and soften the blow of walking. She claims her doctors said "Get new balance shoes". Okay, I'm not a shoe expert, but isn't that like saying "Get a Ford"? Wouldn't the specific model matter? I mean there's a huge difference between an F250 and a mustang and a focus, so wouldn't the TYPE of shoe (impact absorbing heel) matter far more than the brand?





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