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Ask Steve -- a.k.a. Oreport Your Own Ques...
Steve -- a.k.a. Oreport
Steve -- a.k.a. Oreport, Voc Rehab Counselor, M. Ed.
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1079
Experience:  Disability/Rehab Consultant. Broad knowledge of many chronic and acute health problems.
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swollen ankle due to broken fibula

Resolved Question:

I fractured my fibula just below the knee and was on crutches for 2 weeks and then in an air/walking boot for close to 8 weeks. I really can't afford another set of xrays and office visit so am trying to slowly work my way out of the boot (after researching approximate healing times). I have been wearing it when I walk a lot during the day and then take it off at night when I work because I sit a lot. Any time I spend more than an hour standing or walking without the boot the ankle below the break starts swelling and becomes very painful-it was xrayed and I am told it is fine. Even with the boot on it was always swollen by the end of the day although it wasn't painful like now. My foot hurts some too. I was told there was the possibility of some nerve damage so am wondering if that is what is causing so much pain or am I trying to get out of the boot too early, or what??? I sure would like some answers....the break occured when a horse fell on me so there was trauma and a lot of bruising. thanks, Lynette
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Steve -- a.k.a. Oreport replied 10 years ago.
According to this article, leg fractures can take up to six months to heal completely.

From your description of your activities, it sounds like you may be rushing things a bit. It is certainly important to continue to wear your walking boot while walking or standing for extended periods of time. However, you should have your affected leg elevated (above your heart level) a good part of the time when sitting for extended periods. This will help reduce the swelling as will elevating your leg at least part of the time while you sleep.

You should of fully periods of extended walking or standing until the swelling issue resolves.

Click above Link(s) (if any) for additional information.

Let me know if you need more input. If not, thanks for the opportunity to assist you... Please honor my efforts by Clicking the green 'Accept' button (located within this post -- above-right). Adding a bonus -- should you wish to do so -- would be warmly welcomed.

Good Luck!

Steve













Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Steve -- a.k.a. Oreport's Post: your last sentence doesn't make sense-sorry...what is causing this swelling? Do you mean that when the swelling stops that will be my indicator for stopping the boot; until then I should be wearing it pretty much all the time that I am up and about? And still elevating it? I am quite active-really don't sit around much except for at work and even then I try to get up and do as much moving around as I can. The swelling does go down fine at night but just starts right back up evey day. Please explain as in-depth as you can as I am really trying to understand and act in a prudent manner. Thanks again!
Expert:  Steve -- a.k.a. Oreport replied 10 years ago.
Thank you for replying. My apologies for the unintelligible sentence in my previous posting. I use voice-recognition software to dictate my answers and occasionally the program misunderstands me and I fail to notice and correct it.

The offending sentence should have read:

"You should avoid periods of extended walking or standing until the swelling issue resolves."

Here is a bit of further explanation:

Because of the fracture, your leg's normal muscle activity is reduced. Since this muscle activity helps to return blood to the heart -- less activity often results in swelling (a.k.a. edema). This is especially true if you sit for long periods without elevating your leg -- because gravity continually has the upper hand in the battle to get blood leg back to your heart.

My basic point is that the swelling will be better controlled (and stop reoccurring more quickly) if you do not overuse the leg (even with the boot) and you elevate the
leg (above your heart level) as much as possible while you are sitting.

Of course, your doctor is the final authority as far as determining how long you should use the boot -- and, how much you should be walking, etc.

Click above Link(s) (if any) for additional information.

Let me know if you need more input. If not, thanks for the opportunity to assist you... Please honor my efforts by Clicking the green 'Accept' button (located within this post -- above-right). Adding a bonus -- should you wish to do so -- would be warmly welcomed.

Good Luck!

Steve





















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