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  1. #1
    Registered User whiskeyboarder's Avatar
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    Fractured Fibula, Dislocated Ankle, ORIF Surgery

    This sucks. I had been hitting it hard; running and lifting daily. And, then in a single instance, it all came to a temporary end. As I deal with the initial phase of my first really debilitating injury, I ask for the advice of any of you that have experienced the same.

    I completely dislocated my ankle. There is a gap between my my talus and my tibia and the talus is pushed to the side. Moreover, I fractured my fibula about an inch and and half below my knee. From the site of the fracture, the fibula is also split from there, down its length, nearly all the way to the ankle.

    I am scheduled for two surgeries on Christmas Eve morning. The easier of the two, repairing my ankle, just requires a pin being shot into the dislocation, pulling the joint together, like a clamp. My fibula is going to require an incision so that the surgeon can adhere a plate to to the bone with screws (those in the know like to refer to this procedure as an ORIF) and insert a screw at the site of the fracture to secure that section of the bone.

    From what I have been told, I will only be in a full leg cast for about a week. However, I will be totally non-weightbearing on my injured foot until the pin is removed from my ankle in six weeks.

    Has anyone else experienced a similar injury? If so, how did you cope with being sedentary? How bad was the lower body atrophy during recovery? How long after becoming weightbearing were you able to exercise the leg again? Were you ever able to push the ankle to pre-injury limits (squats, leg presses, running on pavement, etc)?

    Thank you! All comments are appreciated. Here are some pictures of the injured foot a week later, on my birthday nonetheless, for your viewing enjoyment.







    Last edited by whiskeyboarder; 12-22-2009 at 06:48 PM. Reason: grammar
    "In vino veritas"

    Been straight #Misc'n for ten years, and all I got to show for it is a rod in my leg ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=121142611 ) and memories of words with the GOAT ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=143424943 )

    "My aspirations are leaking from a hole I can't repair" - NoFX

  2. #2
    Registered User PitbullJR's Avatar
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    Just take your time and heal first before you do anything. Becoming upset and depress is very normal. Listen to everything the doctor and your PT tells you. It is going to be a long process but there will be bright days ahead in the near future. Stay positive

  3. #3
    Registered User whiskeyboarder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PitbullJR View Post
    Just take your time and heal first before you do anything. Becoming upset and depress is very normal. Listen to everything the doctor and your PT tells you. It is going to be a long process but there will be bright days ahead in the near future. Stay positive

    Thanks for the encouragement!
    "In vino veritas"

    Been straight #Misc'n for ten years, and all I got to show for it is a rod in my leg ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=121142611 ) and memories of words with the GOAT ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=143424943 )

    "My aspirations are leaking from a hole I can't repair" - NoFX

  4. #4
    Registered User gridironwarrior's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by whiskeyboarder View Post
    This sucks. I had been hitting it hard; running and lifting daily. And, then in a single instance, it all came to a temporary end. As I deal with the initial phase of my first really debilitating injury, I ask for the advice of any of you that have experienced the same.

    I completely dislocated my ankle. There is a gap between my my talus and my tibia and the talus is pushed to the side. Moreover, I fractured my fibula about an inch and and half below my knee. From the site of the fracture, the fibula is also split from there, down its length, nearly all the way to the ankle.

    I am scheduled for two surgeries on Christmas Eve morning. The easier of the two, repairing my ankle, just requires a pin being shot into the dislocation, pulling the joint together, like a clamp. My fibula is going to require an incision so that the surgeon can adhere a plate to to the bone with screws (those in the know like to refer to this procedure as an ORIF) and insert a screw at the site of the fracture to secure that section of the bone.

    From what I have been told, I will only be in a full leg cast for about a week. However, I will be totally non-weightbearing on my injured foot until the pin is removed from my ankle in six weeks.

    Has anyone else experienced a similar injury? If so, how did you cope with being sedentary? How bad was the lower body atrophy during recovery? How long after becoming weightbearing were you able to exercise the leg again? Were you ever able to push the ankle to pre-injury limits (squats, leg presses, running on pavement, etc)?

    Thank you! All comments are appreciated. Here are some pictures of the injured foot a week later, on my birthday nonetheless, for your viewing enjoyment.









    I had a grade III ankle sprain that stole my senior year of football. Just rest it. All you're missing is 6 weeks of lifting. Really use the time to recover and reflect on why you're lifting and running.
    Football > Rugby, end of story.

  5. #5
    Registered User MrDANNY's Avatar
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    I may have missed it, but what caused the injury?

  6. #6
    Registered User whiskeyboarder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by aka1234 View Post
    I may have missed it, but what caused the injury?

    Just stupidity; I was wrestling around with a friend. His body rolled on my leg and it snapped immediately. I refused medical treatment initially, also because of idiocy: 1) there were hot girls present and I refused to be seen with my guard lowered and 2) I didn't want to believe that this was more than a sprain and that my physical activity would be restricted.

    Not that it matters, upon going to the ER the following morning, I was misdiagnosed with a sprain, as the urgent care doc did not identify the dislocation and did not x-ray high enough on my leg to observe the incredibly explicit fracture.
    "In vino veritas"

    Been straight #Misc'n for ten years, and all I got to show for it is a rod in my leg ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=121142611 ) and memories of words with the GOAT ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=143424943 )

    "My aspirations are leaking from a hole I can't repair" - NoFX

  7. #7
    Strength/Speed Coach Jhawk Fitness's Avatar
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    Almost 5 years ago now; http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...&highlight=hip

    I went on to play football again 10 weeks later and play another season of indoor football before moving on into coaching instead. Hopefully gives you some light at the end of the tunnell.
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  8. #8
    Registered User whiskeyboarder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jhawk Fitness View Post
    Almost 5 years ago now; http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...&highlight=hip

    I went on to play football again 10 weeks later and play another season of indoor football before moving on into coaching instead. Hopefully gives you some light at the end of the tunnell.
    At work now, but will check out your thread after. This seems entirely helpful. I really appreciate it.

    I have some current trepidation, just because - as the swelling has gone down, so has the pain - and, instead, I can literally feel my injury now. As in, I can literally feel the displaced ankle. And, while it is not painful, if you have ever experienced this condition, you can imagine how you may be inclined to wonder how that joint will ever return to full strength.

    I am sure after reading your thread, I will have more hope.

    Thanks.
    "In vino veritas"

    Been straight #Misc'n for ten years, and all I got to show for it is a rod in my leg ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=121142611 ) and memories of words with the GOAT ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=143424943 )

    "My aspirations are leaking from a hole I can't repair" - NoFX

  9. #9
    Registered User whiskeyboarder's Avatar
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    I am going to provide a quick update in case anyone in the future may come across this thread with a similar injury, in the hope that I may able to answer some of the questions that I had before my procedure.

    I had my surgery on Thursday morning, Christmas Eve. It was expected to take an hour and a half; it took nearly four because the surgeon had a lot of fragments to clean out. The plate they inserted to support my fibula apparently has 8 (!!) screws, although the resident who told me this post-op may have been mistaken.

    The good news: I was only in pain for a total of two nights after the procedure. Once the nerve block used during the surgery wore off a couple of hours post-operation, I was in nearly intolerable pain. It was ridiculous. So, I guess that's bad news with the light at the end of the tunnel, the good news. After those two days, the pain just totally disappeared.

    I have a cast on that reaches from my toes to just below my knee. About five days after the surgery, I had my first post-operation doctor's appointment. They removed the cast, cleaned the wounds, and replaced the cast. I return for the same sort of check-up in one week.

    It is a bit frustrating because the complete lack of pain makes me feel like I can do anything I want. However, the cast prevents me from driving so I can't really work. It's a pain.

    I don't know how long I will be wearing the cast.

    That's about anything pertinent I can think of, and maybe some more. Thanks.
    "In vino veritas"

    Been straight #Misc'n for ten years, and all I got to show for it is a rod in my leg ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=121142611 ) and memories of words with the GOAT ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=143424943 )

    "My aspirations are leaking from a hole I can't repair" - NoFX

  10. #10
    Registered User gridironwarrior's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by whiskeyboarder View Post
    I am going to provide a quick update in case anyone in the future may come across this thread with a similar injury, in the hope that I may able to answer some of the questions that I had before my procedure.

    I had my surgery on Thursday morning, Christmas Eve. It was expected to take an hour and a half; it took nearly four because the surgeon had a lot of fragments to clean out. The plate they inserted to support my fibula apparently has 8 (!!) screws, although the resident who told me this post-op may have been mistaken.

    The good news: I was only in pain for a total of two nights after the procedure. Once the nerve block used during the surgery wore off a couple of hours post-operation, I was in nearly intolerable pain. It was ridiculous. So, I guess that's bad news with the light at the end of the tunnel, the good news. After those two days, the pain just totally disappeared.

    I have a cast on that reaches from my toes to just below my knee. About five days after the surgery, I had my first post-operation doctor's appointment. They removed the cast, cleaned the wounds, and replaced the cast. I return for the same sort of check-up in one week.

    It is a bit frustrating because the complete lack of pain makes me feel like I can do anything I want. However, the cast prevents me from driving so I can't really work. It's a pain.

    I don't know how long I will be wearing the cast.

    That's about anything pertinent I can think of, and maybe some more. Thanks.
    I would like to wish you a speedy and full recovery!
    Football > Rugby, end of story.

  11. #11
    Strength/Speed Coach Jhawk Fitness's Avatar
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    Update?
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  12. #12
    Registered User whiskeyboarder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jhawk Fitness View Post
    Update?
    Visited the podiatrist last week, they removed my my cast, cleansed my wound and then reapplied my cast. I was really disappointed. I had been under the impression that the cast would be removed at this point. And, if so, I would bee able to return to driving to work. But with the cast still on, I was wrong. I return to the surgeon on the 19th, at which time, they are expecting to remove the cast and the stitches. But, of course, I have heard that before.


    In any case, if anyone is reading this because they are experiencing the same, I have been pain-free since about two days post-op. My only current residual problem is that the tops of my toes have gone nearly numb. The feeling in them is hard to explain. They are not numb in the sense that they are totally painless; they just constantly feel "dead" (if that makes sense) and all the skin on them is pealing. But the discomfort from this is not an inconvenience. I will continue to update. If this symptom proves to be something more, I will definitely note it.

    Thanks all. I can not WAIT to return to the gym.
    "In vino veritas"

    Been straight #Misc'n for ten years, and all I got to show for it is a rod in my leg ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=121142611 ) and memories of words with the GOAT ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=143424943 )

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  13. #13
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    Well just keep your head up, also make sure you're doing everything you can to boost your immune system function.
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  14. #14
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    i have a good friend... who did exactly what you did...

    he was a current starter for scotland after the autumn internationals... then just before the six nations he was told he would be starting them but playing for glasgow he suffered your injury...

    he was back playing a few months later... but has had problems since and with his poor mental state and retired from pro rugby at 25 years old... he is same age as me... now he just plays for fun and graduated with a degree and is applying for jobs... he was never really hindered after except he seems to have pain after training sessions... he is 6'4 and about 240lbs so a very big guy...

  15. #15
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    Originally Posted by scott_donald View Post
    i have a good friend... who did exactly what you did...

    he was a current starter for scotland after the autumn internationals... then just before the six nations he was told he would be starting them but playing for glasgow he suffered your injury...

    he was back playing a few months later... but has had problems since and with his poor mental state and retired from pro rugby at 25 years old... he is same age as me... now he just plays for fun and graduated with a degree and is applying for jobs... he was never really hindered after except he seems to have pain after training sessions... he is 6'4 and about 240lbs so a very big guy...
    Issues with scar tissue?
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    Sleepy moderator scott_donald's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jhawk Fitness View Post
    Issues with scar tissue?
    i dont know i guess i will have to ask him... he moans a lot!!!

  17. #17
    Strength/Speed Coach Jhawk Fitness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by scott_donald View Post
    i have a good friend... who did exactly what you did...

    he was a current starter for scotland after the autumn internationals... then just before the six nations he was told he would be starting them but playing for glasgow he suffered your injury...

    he was back playing a few months later... but has had problems since and with his poor mental state and retired from pro rugby at 25 years old... he is same age as me... now he just plays for fun and graduated with a degree and is applying for jobs... he was never really hindered after except he seems to have pain after training sessions... he is 6'4 and about 240lbs so a very big guy...
    Originally Posted by scott_donald View Post
    i dont know i guess i will have to ask him... he moans a lot!!!
    Ask him if he's taken anything for joint support (supps) or does any type of proprioceptive training to help strengthen those small stabilizer/support muscles in the are.

    Also, Scott if you don't mind, head over to my site and join the forum. I'd love to have someone with your background offering their input there.
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  18. #18
    Registered User whiskeyboarder's Avatar
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    January 22, 2010

    Update:

    I visited the surgeon earlier this week. They removed my cast, performed X-Rays and, to my great disappointment, placed my leg back in the cast and directed me to return in two weeks. The cast, in and of itself, is no problem; the lack of mobility (i.e. the ability to drive) it causes just sucks. . As I have been told conflicting reports as to whether the pin in my ankle will require removal (and, if so, if I should be bearing weight on the joint before its removal), I have taken to more or less walking on it. Because of the cast, of course, I look funny doing so and, when traveling longer distances, I break out the crutches, but progress is progress in my book. I will admit, however, when my cast was removed for a few hours while awaiting X-Rays, my lower leg felt awkward, for lack of a better adjective. It felt like, and this may very well have been the cause, the atrophied muscles were simply providing no support, allowing totally instability within the ankle which created, as I said, just an awkward feeling.

    Cliffs:

    *Two more weeks with my lower leg in a cast.
    *Joint able to support limited weight.

    Advice: Should any reader sustain a similar injury, be prepared for your mobility to be fairly prohibited for at least a month, which is how long I have now been in a cast post surgery.

    Thanks.
    "In vino veritas"

    Been straight #Misc'n for ten years, and all I got to show for it is a rod in my leg ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=121142611 ) and memories of words with the GOAT ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=143424943 )

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  19. #19
    Registered User whiskeyboarder's Avatar
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    February 1, 2010

    Update:

    I visited my surgeon again today. He had his staff remove my cast and, this time, finally, he did not instruct them to replace it with a new one. My stitches were removed, and I was given a boot. Although I have received conflicting guidance in the past, the surgeon indicated that the pin in my ankle would have to be removed. He also instructed me to keep from bearing weight on the foot. Unfortunately, for the past two weeks, I had been walking on the foot, while in the cast, because I had been told that the pin in the ankle would not need removing, and thus, my logic indicated that it could be walked on.

    So, currently, I have found that I can walk even without boot; albeit gingerly. Of course, I stay conscious not to manipulate the ankle in any extreme way, but I feel comfortable walking free of crutches. In two weeks, I return to the surgeon. From the sound of how he was talking today, I should have the pin in the ankle removed then. He mentioned that it is a quick, basically non-evasive procedure.

    Finally, I have failed to train during the entire period since incurring this injury. I have also been eating very little, just because my lack of activity has created a loss of appetite. As a result, I have dropped from 204 pounds in October, to 184 pounds today. And most of what has been lost is muscle. As I am considering rejoining the military when my injury heals, I am going to begin training again tomorrow; plus, I am just tired of being sedentary. Initially, I will just stick to pushups, situps, and pullups on the bar in the doorway. Look forward to getting at it tomorrow!

    Thanks for following:

    Cliffs:

    One month and one week after surgery, I had cast removed, and I can cautiously walk without assistance.

    Begin limited physical training again tomorrow.
    "In vino veritas"

    Been straight #Misc'n for ten years, and all I got to show for it is a rod in my leg ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=121142611 ) and memories of words with the GOAT ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=143424943 )

    "My aspirations are leaking from a hole I can't repair" - NoFX

  20. #20
    Registered User whiskeyboarder's Avatar
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    Pictures with the cast removed, taken with my sh!tty phone camera:



    The incision from the ORIF surgery.



    My leg has become "crooked" just above the ankle because of swelling.



    Dead skin covering my foot, scars from the ankle surgery.
    "In vino veritas"

    Been straight #Misc'n for ten years, and all I got to show for it is a rod in my leg ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=121142611 ) and memories of words with the GOAT ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=143424943 )

    "My aspirations are leaking from a hole I can't repair" - NoFX

  21. #21
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    Regression Pics...

    I visited the doctor this morning. Upon being weighed, I found that I now weigh 179 pounds. I was near 200lbs when the injury occurred, and over 200 the summer prior. While I have begun to do pushups, situps, and pullups, it will still be approximately two months before I can begin do any compound execises to help regain size. Here are pictures to demonstrate the regression I am dealing with.



    Summer, prior to injury, just over 200lbs.



    Another from the summer prior to surgery.



    My injurt occured in early December. This pic is from the Halloween just before. I was just under 200 lbs at the time.



    Now.



    A month and half after surgery, and nearly 25 lbs lost...
    "In vino veritas"

    Been straight #Misc'n for ten years, and all I got to show for it is a rod in my leg ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=121142611 ) and memories of words with the GOAT ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=143424943 )

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  22. #22
    Strength/Speed Coach Jhawk Fitness's Avatar
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    No reason you can't get in and do some upper body.
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  23. #23
    Registered User whiskeyboarder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jhawk Fitness View Post
    No reason you can't get in and do some upper body.
    I hear ya. It was mostly a mental thing. It was real tough for me to go from balls-to-the-wall to a style of working out where I was just trying to keep from further injuring myself. As I am a pretty intense person, it was tough for me to wrap my head around a mentality that was less than all out. So, for a while, I didn't; I did nothing and just pitied myself.

    I've gotten back into it though. My cast was removed three days ago. Once my leg is fully recovered and I can pass the physical, I am planning on reentering the military. Because of that, I decided to use this time to catch up on my pushup and situp abilities. I did about 500 pushups and 700 situps during each of the past two days, and plan on continuing with a goal of being able to do a 1000 of each daily.

    Thanks for keeping tabs.
    "In vino veritas"

    Been straight #Misc'n for ten years, and all I got to show for it is a rod in my leg ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=121142611 ) and memories of words with the GOAT ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=143424943 )

    "My aspirations are leaking from a hole I can't repair" - NoFX

  24. #24
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    Full Recovery in 3 months

    Brief and, probably final, update (You may notice that this seems directed to a different audience. It was; I originally wrote it for another forum and did not feel like rewriting specifically for BB. Thanks for following):

    I had posted previous updates as to my condition.

    I fractured my fibula and dislocated my ankle late last year. I underwent ORIF surgery on December 24, 2009. I also had a pin placed in my ankle that was removed in February of 2010.

    I would not advise my methodology to everyone. However, I am a very active, extremely healthy young male that adheres to a strict diet and fitness routine. I do not know if these factors aided my recovery. I do know that I pushed my recovery in the sense that I began weight-bearing as quickly as medically possible, began walking when comfortable and, soon after, resumed running.

    By February of 2010, just about two months after surgery, I was able to walk without a cast. It is now mid-March and I am able to run, jump, and have full confidence on my injured leg. My doctor placed my date of my Maximum Medical Improvement at April 15th. I am basically fully recovered now though.

    I know most others are having results different than mine. However, my injury was pretty severe. I suffered a complete fracture of the fibula just below the knee, and, along with the dislocated ankle, had bones chips scattered internally throughout my lower leg.

    Nonetheless, my recovery has been prompt and complete. I hope this gives others hope.
    "In vino veritas"

    Been straight #Misc'n for ten years, and all I got to show for it is a rod in my leg ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=121142611 ) and memories of words with the GOAT ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=143424943 )

    "My aspirations are leaking from a hole I can't repair" - NoFX

  25. #25
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    Good to hear the recovery went well.
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  26. #26
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    I did the exact same thing, and required the exact same surgery!

    I had my cast removed two days ago and they said that I can put weight on 'as tolerated.' The thing is, I can stand up on my own two feet but I cannot walk without the crutches due to two things:

    1. My Achilles tendon is very tight, preventing me from flexing enough to walk.
    2. I am having pain on the top of my foot when I apply weight to it.

    If you're still around, did you have any of these problems? Also, how is training going now?

    If OP isn't around, anybody else with experience would be greatly appreciated to comment.
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  27. #27
    Rugger w/ a throwing prob xxtwistedxx's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by A_Shellum View Post
    I did the exact same thing, and required the exact same surgery!

    I had my cast removed two days ago and they said that I can put weight on 'as tolerated.' The thing is, I can stand up on my own two feet but I cannot walk without the crutches due to two things:

    1. My Achilles tendon is very tight, preventing me from flexing enough to walk.
    2. I am having pain on the top of my foot when I apply weight to it.

    If you're still around, did you have any of these problems? Also, how is training going now?

    If OP isn't around, anybody else with experience would be greatly appreciated to comment.
    cant say i blew my ankle up like this but 2yrs ago i did tear my MCL. i went with my own creedo i tell my athletes
    "your legs busted and that sucks but if i am not mistaken the rest of your body still works right?"
    so yea my squat, dead, clean, etc. all went to crap but i still hit the weights with my upper body and to a limited effect back and such.
    plus i was in physical therapy 2 days after the injury and rehabbed the crap out of it in the water. was back on the field after 4 weeks. still had some pain and a big ole brace but that didnt slow me down much.

    ....vicodin may have had something to do with it as well =)

    water workouts suck but was great for rehab.
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  28. #28
    Vortex, Buy 1 Get 1 Free TheFugitive's Avatar
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    I broke both legs at the same time, I feel your pain
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  29. #29
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    Originally Posted by TheFugitive View Post
    I broke both legs at the same time, I feel your pain
    Beer bro.

    Bumping in honor of the Spider. Though I can't extrapolate my recovery to his potential return as I was, what (?) 15 years his younger.
    "In vino veritas"

    Been straight #Misc'n for ten years, and all I got to show for it is a rod in my leg ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=121142611 ) and memories of words with the GOAT ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=143424943 )

    "My aspirations are leaking from a hole I can't repair" - NoFX

  30. #30
    Registered User dvasco83's Avatar
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    I just broke my fibula/dislocated ankle. You are very inspiring. I go to surgery tomorrow. How long did u wait until doing squats again?

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