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Broke Ankle Recovery

Old 08-07-16, 09:25 AM
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iTrek
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Broke Ankle Recovery

Yesterday while MTBing my wife broke ankle. No gnarly MTB stories, she had made it through the technical stuff and was doing great and then had a tip-over in sand. They say it was a clean break, but broke both sides.

I know in the past I've read some have had ankle surgery, how long is typical recovery until back on bike? As she typically rides 4-6 days a week she is really BUMMED by this.

Just a concerned husband trying to encourage his wife.
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Old 08-07-16, 11:19 AM
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If goes in the space boot, it will be 1-2 months after she gets out of it. @TrojanHorse knows allot about wrecked ankles
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Old 08-07-16, 03:08 PM
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I have no advice but sending fast healing mojo so she gets back on bike fast
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Old 08-07-16, 03:43 PM
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Thanks, @jsigone and @Beachgrad05. @TrojanHorse, we're waiting for info.
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Old 08-07-16, 05:09 PM
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Aha! That is truly awful news, tell Mrs i I feel her pain. Literally. I hope it wasn't her right ankle, it's so hard to drive with your off foot.

Actually, I never broke my ankle - I had 3 foot surgeries to repair a lisfranc injury (so now I have a plate in there) and then I had some super fancy surgery to repair a tendon in my ankle - all the same foot and all in the span of about 9 years. Been in a lot of casts for a long time.

As we are all aging at the same rate, it should probably be pointed out that we don't recover as fast as we used to and if you over do it TOO SOON after you injury, you can injure your lisfranc tendon on a diving board goofing off with your kids. Don't ask me how I know. Find a good PT place that rehabilitates athletes and can work with her on getting her back in cycling shape.

Oh, and ditch the crutches - I finally broke down and bought a knee scooter from amazon - this is the one I got, and it was $216 when I bought it. (Maybe you can get lucky and get your insurance company to provide one)

https://smile.amazon.com/Drive-Medic.../dp/B003VMAKVS

They're a little unstable, and I didn't get the fancy sheepskin cover, so it's more comfy with pants on but it was worth every doggone cent. You are MORE than welcome to borrow mine for as long as you want. SO much better than crutches and faster too. Comes with a hello kitty bell. Pink.
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Old 08-07-16, 07:05 PM
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This is too complex to wag it. Surgeon said a year for me but I was able to start riding after 10 months. My mother broke her's years ago and was walking with a boot the next day.
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Old 08-08-16, 10:03 AM
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I had a broken foot with severe ankle sprain last fall. Dr said it would actually heal faster with the surgery, but he wanted to try to let it heal on it's own first. It eventually healed, but i wasn't back to normal till late spring of this year. It seemed like the ankle sprain caused more pain and issues than the actual broken foot did.
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Old 08-08-16, 06:14 PM
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Thanks for input. We're now dealing with insurance. In order to get surgery on this broken ankle Insurance requires her to visit primary care physician and get referral. So today was wasted on that. Now waiting for referral to be approved and they're telling us we're looking at end of week or possibly next week. UNBELIEVABLE!!!
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Old 08-08-16, 08:52 PM
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They postponed my surgery for a week in order to allow the swelling to subside. The local surgeons declined to take my case but as I had expanded network coverage a sports surgeon for the U of I took my case. Like you, I was concerned about getting it fixed but he said we had up to 3 weeks.
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Old 08-09-16, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by iTrek View Post
Thanks for input. We're now dealing with insurance. In order to get surgery on this broken ankle Insurance requires her to visit primary care physician and get referral. So today was wasted on that. Now waiting for referral to be approved and they're telling us we're looking at end of week or possibly next week. UNBELIEVABLE!!!
Ah, HMOs.

You think you could get a referral over the phone for something as obvious as a broken freaking ankle.
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Old 08-09-16, 10:17 AM
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TrojanHorse, I agree!!!!
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Old 08-09-16, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by iTrek View Post
Yesterday while MTBing my wife broke ankle. No gnarly MTB stories, she had made it through the technical stuff and was doing great and then had a tip-over in sand. They say it was a clean break, but broke both sides.

I know in the past I've read some have had ankle surgery, how long is typical recovery until back on bike? As she typically rides 4-6 days a week she is really BUMMED by this.

Just a concerned husband trying to encourage his wife.

Just read this - sorry to hear about your wife's break - I see her riding all the time... I broke my ankle last year and had surgery (actually suffered a massioneuve fracture of the ankle and leg)... you didn't say if right or left but I have a nice boot she can have (it's good to have more than one to trade off - I had a clean one for the house and one I usede outside) and also a "knee-Walker" (or knee scooter mentioned by Trojan) she can borrow and used until better. Look up knee walkers...much better choice than crutches!!! Just PM me if interested. The one in my garage is very high end and adjustable. It works well outside but for inside I got a smaller scooter from a medical equipment rental place.

PS my injury was really bad as I tore ligaments etc and it was 6 months before I could ride again... if your wife's was a clean break should be 6 - 8 weeks or so... just remember to encourage her to do reguired exercises etc.

ALSO... I am retired and if your wife can't drive and needs assistance getting around, let me know.
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Old 08-09-16, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by iTrek View Post
Thanks for input. We're now dealing with insurance. In order to get surgery on this broken ankle Insurance requires her to visit primary care physician and get referral. So today was wasted on that. Now waiting for referral to be approved and they're telling us we're looking at end of week or possibly next week. UNBELIEVABLE!!!
PS ALSO...know an excellent doctor if surgery is needed and also a great rehab place...
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Old 08-13-16, 09:09 PM
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I have one of the knee scooters that TrojanHorse has. I bought mine at spinlife.com. I use an old t-shirt folded on top of the cushion. There are places that rent them.

I don't know anything about broken bones, but best of luck on the recovery!
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Old 08-15-16, 06:09 AM
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This is the exercise log after my ankle fusion
AFO = Ankle Foot Orthotic

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exercise log.jpg (106.2 KB, 94 views)

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Old 08-16-16, 06:55 PM
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So what's the update @iTrek? How's the missus holding up?
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Old 08-17-16, 11:15 AM
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Thanks for all who replied to thread. @TrojanHorse Deb had surgery last Thursday. The ankle had broken on both sides and the ligament was compromised which surgeon said will add to recovery time. They put in two rods and also ended up putting in two long screws to hold all together that will have to be removed in a second surgery. Thankfully since sunday pain has subsided and she is feeling well. Just ready to be off the couch and on her bike. LOL
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Old 08-17-16, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by iTrek View Post
Thanks for all who replied to thread. @TrojanHorse Deb had surgery last Thursday. The ankle had broken on both sides and the ligament was compromised which surgeon said will add to recovery time. They put in two rods and also ended up putting in two long screws to hold all together that will have to be removed in a second surgery. Thankfully since sunday pain has subsided and she is feeling well. Just ready to be off the couch and on her bike. LOL
Argh, the second surgery.

I had a set of "put the screws in, take the screws out" surgeries for my initial lisfranc injury back in 2006... the point of which was to let the ligaments heal (mine didn't, and I ended up with a fused foot and a plate). Deb will be in much better shape than I was because she didn't wait two months to get it repaired. Le Sigh. Men and doctors, what can I say.

The recovery from the second surgery was much easier, obviously, but the total time elapsed was months. Do you know how long you'll have to wait for the unscrewing?
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Old 08-17-16, 12:03 PM
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@TrojanHorse Depending on how its all healing when we go in next Friday, the surgeon talked like it could be 8-10 weeks.
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Old 08-17-16, 12:04 PM
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That's really not bad at all!
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Old 08-17-16, 05:11 PM
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We're definitely hoping for fast recovery, but very thankful that at least she's not in pain.
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Old 08-18-16, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
This is too complex to wag it. Surgeon said a year for me but I was able to start riding after 10 months. My mother broke her's years ago and was walking with a boot the next day.
A year! That's crazy talk! Doctors are way, way...and in your case...way too conservative now days. I feel that they are thinking that bicycling is the same as running or walking but it really is a very low impact/weight bearing sport.

I broke my ankle almost 40 years ago, had surgery that put a pin in one side and a plate on the other and I was enrolled in an exercise/weight reduction program that was supposed to in 4 weeks. The preferred "exercise" was supposed to be running but with a 6 inch screw in one side, that was out of the question so I picked up my old Sears bike and started riding...the rest is history.

I thought that breaking my ankle was such a great experience that I decided to break it again about 25 years later...stress fracture over the top of the plate...and had to go through the whole rigmarole all over again. I was actually on the bike as soon as they took the cast off.

Personally, I'd tell any doctor that told me to stay off a bike for a year because of an injury to go pound sand. A year off the bike would do more damage to my health than any injury to a broken bone would.
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Old 08-23-16, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by iTrek View Post
Yesterday while MTBing my wife broke ankle. No gnarly MTB stories, she had made it through the technical stuff and was doing great and then had a tip-over in sand. They say it was a clean break, but broke both sides.

I know in the past I've read some have had ankle surgery, how long is typical recovery until back on bike? As she typically rides 4-6 days a week she is really BUMMED by this.

Just a concerned husband trying to encourage his wife.
Sorry I missed this when you posted.

I had the surgery the day I broke mine (Jan 1st, 2013). 6 screws on one side, 2 on the other. Took a long time to get back to normal. I was on the bike on a trainer in 3 months and riding a 6 mile loop around where I live at 4 or 5 months. First major ride at 8 months. Took me about 2.5 years to where I could stand up and hammer on the pedals on my road bike. Bone takes about 6 weeks to heal up after an internal fixation. The surgical wounds and soft-tissue required at least 12 weeks. The rest was regaining range of motion and about 8 months of intensive physical therapy. I had never broken anything before, and it took me by surprise.

I ordered a custom bike with a 9 month lead-time (long waiting list for a popular frame builder) so that I would have something to look forward to.

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Old 08-23-16, 09:54 AM
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Also, buy her one of these:

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Old 08-24-16, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by iTrek View Post
Yesterday while MTBing my wife broke ankle. No gnarly MTB stories, she had made it through the technical stuff and was doing great and then had a tip-over in sand. They say it was a clean break, but broke both sides.

I know in the past I've read some have had ankle surgery, how long is typical recovery until back on bike? As she typically rides 4-6 days a week she is really BUMMED by this.

Just a concerned husband trying to encourage his wife.
If it required screws and surgery, expect crutches for 12 weeks and no bike for 6 months. I broke my femur a few years ago and that was the deal.

12 weeks on crutches may have been due to my femur break being at a right angle to load bearing, I snapped the head off that sucker. I believe I was instructed to put no weight on it for the first 6 weeks and 25% weight for the remaining 6.

The 6 months was because the bone could not take another shock until then, and bike riding posed too high a risk of said shock. This was according to the orthopedic surgeon. I believe I began doing some light, slow road riding after the fourth month, IIRC. But, I imagine MTB would be much more risky. I really did not start logging real miles again until after the 6th month, as he instructed. It basically cost me a full season.

What I did instead was a lot of hiking. Even while on crutches, I walked at least 5 miles a day.
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