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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    5

    Default Broken Tibia and Fibula + swollen foot

    Hello,
    My husband had an accident on March 31st of this year and broke his tibia and fibula about 3 inches up from the ankle. He had surgury and ended up with a rod in his bone along with 3 screws. He also had two pins in the back of his ankle as well as one on top, right where you would bend your foot. It did not break his skin, but after surgery, there was a 3" hole that was there which I did the wet-dry gauze and saline solution. It is finally healed. The pins were pulled out (literally yanked out to the point of blacked out from pain) on June 11th.
    His foot is still swollen. Really bad. We have stopped going to the place that did the surgery because no one wants to spend more than a minute with us and we are very concerned. It hurts real bad (he can tolerate pain well, but this is killing him). It is red/purple in color. It looks as though if you poked it with a pin it would either shoot out fluid or deflate. Our regular doctor seems to think it's infected, and he has been on antibiotics twice and still nothing. It's still swollen. Today it looks as though there are two pinkish spots on top along with the red/purple color. We went to get a second opinion from another surgeon who shook his head a few times when we told him what was done. He took his own x-rays but the next day left on vacation. We won't hear anything until the 28th of July.
    It has been almost 15 weeks and he is still in a wheelchair and not allowed/ or cannot put pressure on it. He's lost so much muscle everywhere and going into a state of depression. He was always on the go before. I have done so much research as to what might be the cause, my head is spinning. If anyone has any suggestions or thoughts, I would be very greatful. Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    Jul 2006
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    1,758

    Wink

    Hi Lori,

    I can't believe the way your husband has been treated. Just shows you how important it is to go to the right people.

    I feel for you what you must be going through right now. It's a good thing you went to get another opinion from a different surgeon. I know it's hard waiting, but best to wait and see what the new surgeon says. Currently I'm waiting to see my knee surgeon after I had scans done a couple of weeks ago. I have to wait 6 weeks from the last time I saw him. It's really hard, but I just have to be patient as he's one of the best for patella instability in Melbourne. Whereabouts are you based ?

    It may also be worth going to see a sports physician. They may be able to give you some good ideas on your husband's rehabilitation and whether he will be able to do anything at this time. Might just help until the new surgeon is back from holidays.

    Has your regular doctor done any blood tests ? This can help to determine if there's any infection. Can also often tell by looking at the wound. When I had my last knee operation I developed an infection afterwards. It took two lots of anti-biotics until it completed cleared up. My stiches were also coming through the skin so my knee surgeon had to take out the offending stich.

    I would also encourage your husband to continue icing throughout the day. Don't ice it for more than 20 minutes at a time. If he does it every couple of hours it should help with the swelling. Also, it's important to get on top of the pain. At the moment I'm recovering my shoulder surgery and is still very painful. So, at night I'm taking Panadeine Forte and then Panadeine or Panadol during the day.

    Good luck and let us know how you go.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thank you for your response. We are located in Michigan. The surgery was done in Toledo Ohio. He went by ambulance to the local hospital, then they transferred him to the trauma unit in Ohio.
    Sometimes I think doctors forget there's a real person on the other end with concerns. He also had two dopplers done and seen a vascular surgeon. He does have a small blood clot in the calf of that leg, and getting blood work done every week. They have him on Warfarin for it. It is small and has stayed the same. They are keeping an eye on that.
    He just talked to his regular doctor today and waiting for a call back to see if he should be admitted to the hospital here locally.
    I have a list of 10 different things I found on line that could be (?) the problem from RSD to accute inflamation.
    It scary to not know and no one be able to tell you.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,758

    Smile

    Hi Lori,

    Totally agree what you're saying about doctors. They aren't all like that. There's only some like that. Fortunately all my specialists are pretty caring which is great. They also have a joke with me every now and then.

    As I said in my last post I'd strongly encourage you to get your husband to see a good sports physician/doctor. They will be able to give you a much better idea of the recovery and ensure your husband is going to a good specialist. A GP or primary care physician only deals with general things and this is pretty specific. So, need to find someone that specialises in your husband's problem. Here is a link to a list of sports medicine clinics in the US by state, http://www.physsportsmed.com/clinics.htm If you do a search under sports medicine clinics in Michigan on the internet you should be able to find one in your area. If you can find a sports physician/doctor not an Orthopaedic Surgeon that works with an elite sporting team you've be better. They are most likely to up with the latest treatments and ensure your husband is going to the best specialist for his problem.

    I hope this helps.

    Keep us posted on his progress !!

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1

    Thumbs up Broken Leg and complications

    Lori,
    I had a very similiar type accident last year (april 1st) and have only just regained the full use of my leg. My tibia and fibula were badly broken and 3 of 4 ligaments in the knee were ruptured. I had about 4 weeks in hospital had a couple of operations and got 2 massive PE''s on my lungs. The recovery was a real battle... But I am fine now, thanks to my wife's diligence. Doctors need to be managed like children sometimes. You need to speak with my wife Alison. Might be handy if you get the patient onto the net for a chat, especially for the depression (I went through this as well).
    Would love to assist if you feel comfortable about it...
    Cheers, Justy

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default

    This just keeps getting worse! It is now almost 5 months and nothing is getting better. A week ago he went in for screw removal and manipulation of the back of the knee because it wouldn't bend straight. After getting the call he was out of surgery the doctor said his leg wasn't healed and when he took the screws out it was broke. He just told us a month prior that the break looked good! Not all the way healed, but almost. Before he was in a half cast, a removable one that went under his foot up the back of his calf and held on by an ace bandage. Now he comes out with a full cast from his knee to his foot. We had a second opinion and this is the second doctor who did this. We've heard good things about him around here, so we went with him. He's in more pain now than he was the first time it broke. The bottom of his foot has shooting pain. He can't put his leg down for more than twenty minutes because it turns purple. He can feel when I rub my hand over the top of his toes, but underneath he says he can't really feel it. He can move his toes, and when his foot is elevated, it's normal. Normal color, every thing. No swelling.
    Today a lady came by and give him an ortho electric bone stimulator to use 3 hours a day. Anyone else heard of or experienced any of this? Thank you.

  7. #7
    Legend
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    146

    Default

    Hi,

    I recommend that you go and see an ankle specialist immediately, do not mess around with general OS's since the situation just seems to be escalating! I had some really good advice and some bad advice, and now I would definately advise seeing the Ankle specialists immediatly the situation goes from 'normal broken leg' to 'this has complications and the results aren't what we were expecting'.

    I also really understand the depression aspect (I think all of us with major leg issues go there at least once), and it would be good to also get your partner on the web, it makes a big difference to know you aren't the only one going through hell..and that people do come out the other side normal functioning humans...

    I ended up having to get my ankle replaced after 5 previous surgeries (I am 26) and while it is great, you really don't want to end up here in the next few years, and getting things sorted properly now will make all the difference.

    For the possible infection, check the bloodwork to make sure no infection in the bone itself.

    good luck!

  8. #8
    Super Moderator
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    Jul 2006
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    Default

    Hi there,

    I totally agree about seeing an ankle specialist. Last year I saw one for my ankle instability and had surgery to stabilise it. So much better now. One doctor told me nothing could be done, but I was sure there was.

    Hope your husband gets some good help soon.

    Good luck !!!

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thank you for the replies. Even though it was his leg that was broken, about 3 to 4 inches above the ankle, you still think we should see an ankle specialist?
    He went to his regular doctor today and he gave him Gabapentin (Neurontin) to help with the pain. He seems to think it's the nerves acting up. His doctor really tries to do all he can. He calls him once a week to see how he is, which is rare for a doctor to do.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Default

    Hi Lori,

    You really need to get your husband to a foot and ankle specialist. I would also suggest going to see a sports physician too. They have a much better idea of managing these injuries.

    Good luck with it all. !

 

 

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