Fractured Fib, dislocated Fib & Tib
Never saw this forum before but I'll share my recent experience.
St Paddy's day I went for a night ride with my neighbor on some local trails, about 4 miles into the ride I was trailing him on a narrow gradual down slope with about a 4 - 8" deep errosion washout running down the trail, snaking from side to side. The trail also had some football sized loose rocks here and there. There is a narrow manzanita canopy which had me in a slightly awkward crouched position and as far as I can tell I hit one of those rocks that bounced my tire into the washout where it promptly washed out and sent my bike back down on my left leg, both wheels pointing downhill with my full weigh (-left leg) pressing on bike as we crashed down the trail.
I was clipped into my SPD's and normally pop right out while crashing but due to my weight being on top of and pushing down on that leg I really had no control on that foot and felt the strain then *POP* I was free of the bike but knew something wasn't right.
The pain wasn't localized at first, my entire leg from knee down hurt and at first I thought it might be a knee or mid shin injury but after about a minute of cursing and cringing I realized it was the ankle. I managed to ride out about 1/2 mile on my buddies bike scooter style with seat post dropped, one leg pushing and one leg elevated, two vicodins, lots of ice and a couple fingers of bourbon got me through the night. Next morning was x-rays, I knew something wasn't right when the xray tech cringed and said ewwww! It was a clean break but was dislocated and my Tibia had pulled away from my ankle bones too.
surgery was the next day, went well and I'm now healing nicely and last Sunday managed to ride back to where I crashed and came to terms with my lameness.
My rehab plans involve more road miles to improve my endurance, strictly flat pedals off-road at least for awhile and daily stretching/strenthening of ankle itself.
Has anyone on this forum had a similar injury and have any tips or tricks for rehabilitation and general care? Did you heal fully? Do you have any nagging pain with the change of the weather or any other times? Note that I'm 39, nearly 40 160ish lbs and fairly active so at least I have that going for me.
I haven't broken my ankle but I am 7 weeks out from breaking my proximal humorous at the shoulder ball and my wrist. I had surgery on both. My sister did the same thing as you did. She isn't nearly as active so it took her a long time to heal.. I am not on my bike yet but can't wait. From what I have learned is you will get out exactly what you put in. IF you bust ass in your PT, stay active, always stretch and keep riding you should recover fine.. You will prolly know when its gonna start raining tho
Been there done that.....except that mine was broken at both Tib & Fib, with dislocation.
Mine swelled up so bad, they could not surgically repair them for 10 days. However, once they reduced the dislocation, pain wasn't as bad. This was @ age 38.
I damaged the cartlidge between Tib/fib and foot.
I was off out of commission for 15 weeks.
Physical therapy was not done, but I got back about 95% of range of motion back.
Advice, take it easy....if they offer PT...take it, I kinda regret not doing it.
I find that my leg doesn't like hiking on off camber trails....and 4 years later it still gets sore and achy from time to time.
Hasn't slowed me down, back to riding with no issues.
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Wow mine was almost exactly the same except I did it playing rugby. Even our xrays look alike...mine was the right foot though. This was 12 years ago and the only issues I have now are if I do things like jump rope or sprint and any running/ cutting/ stopping like playing basketball or such...this causes my ankle to ache like a mother. So when I know I will do these things I tape my ankle up and no problemo. I do have a lot of noise and popping when I move my ankle around but with the kind of injury it is there is quite a bit of scar tissue built up around those ligaments and tendons.
As far as rehab, I got permission from the doc a week after surgery to pedal my bike on a trainer. This was somewhat painful...not in a bad hurt kind of way but a really sore kind of way but I did it 3x's a week while on crutches. I also used resistance bands with the ankle. I was told I would be on the crutches up to 9 weeks and he let me off in 7...he was impressed with the healing. I am convinced it was pedaling. I wore my boot while pedaling...just for support.
When I was off the crutches I started going to the gym and for the first few weeks I swam and did things in the pool...for example calf raises and jumping side to side and forward and back...also "running" in the pool. Obviously I started in deeper water where greater buoyancy helped and gradually over time I would force myself into shallower water. As far as swimming as soon as I could stand it I was swimming with fins on. This was great for stretching out my ankle.
Also, I am not usually a fan of the cardio machines at the gym but I used the elliptical for several weeks to regain flexibility in the ankle. I had to start with my heel coming up off the platform but I kept forcing myself until I could keep the foot flat the whole time.
All said and done, I was back riding 3 months after surgery (chill riding) and was playing pickup games of basketball 5 months after. There is definitely a period of "fear" you go through coming back from the injury but eventually you get your confidence back and go for it. I did all this at 32 y/o but I feel you are still young enough to have as good result. Good luck!
I just saw your post in the ankle break thread. I'm amazed you are back on the hobby horse so soon. Congratulations. I turned 50 on crutches. It was the first time I felt my age. I'm coming up on 18 months now and ride better (both mtn and road) than I did before, and lost some excess weight. But it took quite awhile to feel good. It still never lets me forget. I still can't run worth Shi'ite.
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