How Fracturing a Bone Changed My Life
Fracturing my Fibula Bone
Back on October 6th, I fell down my basement stairs. The result was a spiral fracture to the fibula bone close to the ankle. I never imagined how much doing something like this could change my life.
A Bit of Background
When I first went to the hospital, they put on an air cast, shown in the picture above. I was told to go to the fracture clinic five days after having the put on. They told me in the emergency department that the only time that I could remove the air cast was while taking a shower. air cast
When I went to the fracture clinic the doctor that I saw there recommended a fiberglass cast for the following five weeks. He asked me, “You haven’t taken the air cast off at any time have you?” I then told him that yes I’d taken it off to have a shower and then put it back on again. He then proceeded to tell me that you should not have done this, and I explained how the nurses in the emergency department had told me I could. Anyway air cast came off and fiberglass cast went on.
10 Ways This Injury Changed My Life
- Putting on my winter boots is quite the challenge as my foot, ankle and leg are still quite swollen.
- Housework takes me three times longer to complete than it used to. You should see the state my house is in!
- Stairs are fun. But I’ve graduated from bumming it down to walking down with the help of my new best friend the cane. The stairs stayed cleaner though when I was going down them via my butt.
- The only shoes that will fit on my one foot are my Birkenstock sandals, without socks.
- I had gone on a diet last year and lost 20 pounds. Because I have become less active I’ve put most of the weight back on. Thank goodness I still have Slim Fast left.
- Before this happened, if my dogs were outside, I had no fear of retrieving them if they would not come into the house. Now I just pray that they’ll obey me. They are pretty good but then are those times when they just want to bark at the world. I do a lot of knocking on the window when this happens.
- If there is not a phone close by there is no point in trying to hobble to find it to answer it, as it will usually quit ringing by the time I get to it. Thank goodness for answering machines.
- Cooking dinner takes a bit longer these days and we seem to eat at late hours now, even though I have all day to prepare a meal.
- Hearing "you're slow" from my husband is really annoying. Even though it’s the truth.
- Putting socks on some days can be a bit painful, so I am usually barefoot now.
Good Things That Came Out of the Injury
- I've had so much support from my husband and my sons. Thank you, family!
- I've not had to go into the basement to do laundry for three months now. Sadly, I’m sure this will change shortly.
- The first 2 months I didn’t have to do any grocery shopping. Have started going with my husband now though.
- My husband has become an excellent bargain hunter when it comes to food shopping. He never went food shopping before I hurt myself.
- I found out what a good cook my husband is, except I gained weight from his cooking.
- I’ve been able to spend more time on the computer.
- Family members do way more around the house now than what they ever did before.
- All I have to do is ask for the garbage to be taken out and poof it’s gone.
- I’m not asked to shovel the driveway.
- I hate winter so being inside has not bothered me at all this year.
From Fiberglass Cast to Crutches to a Cane
I got the fiberglass cast off at the beginning of November. I used crutches for a few weeks then graduated to a . I now only use the can when absolutely necessary. I think I am doing all right except for the excessive swelling. A good friend of mine ordered me to go see my doctor a few weeks back. I finally made the appointment and will be going this Tuesday. I was a bit surprised that physiotherapy was not recommended but it could be due to the back up they have at our hospital. Who knows? cane
I do hope by the spring that I'll be able to run in a marathon, not that I've ever run in a marathon before, but stranger things have happened.
I went and had X-rays taken after my doctors appointment, and apparently, my bone is not healing properly. I have an appointment with a surgeon to determine where to go from here.
Diagnosis RSD aka Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
I've had two appointments with the surgeon. After seeing me the first time he sent me for a cat scan, blood work, and an ultrasound that same day. When he looked at my leg and ankle and saw how red and swollen it was he thought that perhaps I had an infection. He prescribed antibiotics for a week. From the ultrasound, he discovered that I had two blood clots in the bottom of the injured leg. Because of where they are in the bottom of the leg he is not too concerned about them but will keep an eye on them with further ultrasounds. The cat scan showed what I already knew about the bone not healing properly. I also had a bone scan done. He felt that I should be wearing ankle support and be applying ice to the area. I went and purchased ankle support lace-up boot along with an ice pack similar to what you see here on Amazon.
The antibiotics did not work at all in bringing down the swelling. From all the testing that I've had done, his diagnosis is that I have RDS or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy AKA Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. He told me that the blood is flowing in my leg too fast, therefore, washing away the calcium buildup needed to properly heal the bone.
I've been recommended to go for physiotherapy, which I will start on March 12th. The surgeon hopes that the bone will heal and that the physio will help with the RSD. So, for now, I suppose only time will tell. I have another follow appointment, x-ray and ultrasound to go to in April.
Good news: The bone is healing. The RSD is still present but the swelling has gone down with the help of physiotherapy twice a week. The physiotherapist feels that through acupuncture, which is done twice a week, and daily exercises the ankle and leg should be almost back to normal. He is not sure how long this will take but is pleased with the results so far. Follow up the appointment with my surgeon to check on the bone is in June.
One Year After Fracturing My Bone
It has been exactly one year, and I am back to walking with only a slight limp. For the most part, I'm pretty sure that the RSD has disappeared. I feel that the acupuncture and physio helped immensely There is still a bit of swelling but nothing that I can't handle. I have an appointment with my surgeon this month and I'm hoping that when I have another x-ray it will show that the bone has completely healed.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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© 2012 Susan Zutautas