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Me and My Trimalleolar: A Life-Changing Tripulation

Me and My Trimalleolar: A Life-Changing Tripulation

If you are here reading this post, I will assume you’re dealing with or have dealt with a Trimalleolar. Please, don’t suffer alone. Write in the comments section any questions you have.

Things will get better!

I’ve called this blog Travels and Tripulations and never before realized that my pretend word Tripulation could be anything other than a travel story.  A friend reminded me how this event now gives an entirely new meaning to the Trip in Tripulation. Hence, arriveth, Me and My Trimalleolar: a Life-changing Tripulation.

Trimalleolar Fracture - swollen ankle
Little did I know that having a dislocated talus for two days was a bad thing…

The Life-Changing Tripulation

On July 3, 2011 Scott and I were walking to the beach to watch the sunset.  It was just about 7:30 pm.  A fresh, clear, and cool Santa Cruz evening prepared us for what was expected to be a gorgeous sunset.  We were heading to a cliff that offered a stunning view of the surrounding area and a chance to see dolphins, sea lions or sea otters.  Barely 50 yards from the car and walking on a dirt path that was rocky and uneven, I took a bad step and sprained my right ankle.  Not a moment later I heard a cracking popping sound, and I was down for the count.  While my body was contorting and trying to correct herself from the right ankle sprain, I fell badly on the left.   VERY BADLY.  I knew something was acutely wrong when I looked at my left ankle and saw a bone attempting to pop out of my skin.

I was paralyzed with confusion and pain.

Scott, only steps ahead of me, heard the POP POP POP of three different bones and rushed over, pulled me off the ground, and got me into the car.  I was in the back of the car, on my back, with my knees bent, and holding both feet in the air.   Elevation was the only rational thought I had along with many other irrational thoughts such as ‘it’s probably just a dislocated joint or somethin’ and they’ll be able to pop it back into place at the ER’.  I told Scott, ‘Let’s stop off at home so I can change into cleaner clothes’.  It was Sunday, I hadn’t showered.  Naturally, he refused.  At least one of us was thinking clearly.  That two-mile ride seemed to last a long time.  I didn’t know if I was going to puke or pass out, and each bump on the road was an agonizing reminder that something was greatly amiss.

We arrived at a busy ER.  It was the July 4th weekend in Santa Cruz, and we were surrounded by firecracker victims, some guy who had a badly bleeding hand (knife wound?), a young, very ill-looking woman leaning against (I presume to be) her mother, families, and a bustling group of nurses.  X-rays were hell at best.  I thought that trying to hold my feet in various positions while shaking like a leaf from shock was the greatest test of my strength, but I was naïve.  There have been several tests since then including waiting 3 hours for any pain meds while holding my dangling, left foot, but even that paled in comparison to what I’ve since felt.

After two doses of morphine and some Valium for good measure, I began to feel some relief.  The Nurse Practitioner, a sweetheart, as were all the folks who helped me, came to me to set the ankle in a soft cast. She asked, ‘please point your knee forward’.  You see, she thought my leg was bent to the left because my foot was hanging loosely in that direction.  When she realized the dislocation of my foot, she excused herself and promptly dialed in to the Orthopedic Surgeon (OS) on call.    While she was on the other side of the wall from my bed, I could hear bits of her conversation:  “something something…lovely 44 year old woman (or maybe it was ‘unlucky 44 year old woman’.  My head was, after all, rolling in a blur of narcotics), dislocated something something.  Trimalleolar something something.”  The NP thought the Ortho should come and see me but she was instead instructed to relocate the foot and place it in a soft cast.  Timidly, she pulled my toes straight up and with the help of another nurse they put on the cast/splint.   They put an air cast on my right ankle, which was ‘badly sprained’.  I vaguely recall hearing the word ‘surgery’ and thought they must be referring to someone else.  The helpers went away for a while tending to others and returned to release me.  By this time, my left ankle sank back to the ‘falling to the left’ position and no one seemed to notice.  I was scheduled to see the OS on July 5 since the 4th was a holiday n’all.

Trimalleolar fracture, broken ankle, swollen foot
VERY swollen foot…but damn, my nails look nice, don’t they?

My friends Percocet and Valium got me through those days.  I barely recall going to the OS office and waiting to see Elisabeth Siegler, MD.  She looked at my dangling ankle, and had what I would describe to be a muffled, surprised look on her face.  She thought the ER folks ‘reduced’ it.  She informed me that she would have to do that straight away and that it was going to hurt.  With some local numbing on the top of my foot and Scott holding down my thigh, she confidently and forcefully pulled, yanked and twisted my bones so that my foot would be pointing in a near upward direction.  I have NEVER before in my life felt that kind of pain.  Scott told me all I said was, ‘Oh MY!’.  I don’t remember.  Dr. Siegler rewarded me with ‘good job’ and a nod of tough-girl approval.  The only good thing I recall from that visit was Dr. Siegler telling me that I ‘must have good skin’ because that bone didn’t break through and a compound fracture would’ve been much worse.  And considering that I already had a (this phrase has been mentioned many times to me) “severe” fracture, I suppose some luck came my way.  Hooray for hydration!   I was diagnosed with a Trimalleolar Fracture.  Three broken bones that makeup my ankle.

The lateral malleolus is the anklebone along the outside of the ankle (away from the other leg), Bimalleolar means both the medial (inside closest to the other ankle) and lateral bones were broken. A trimalleolar fracture refers to fractures of all three malleoli of the ankle: lateral malleolus, medial malleolus and the bottom posterior (backside) tibia. This portion of the tibia is sometimes referred to as the posterior malleolus.

According to  Over five million ankle injuries occur each year in the United States alone.  The vast majority of ankle fractures are malleolar fractures: 60 to 70 percent occur as unimalleolar fractures, 15 to 20 percent as bimalleolar fractures, and 7 to 12 percent as trimalleolar fractures. There are similar fracture rates overall between women and men, but men have a higher rate as young adults, while women have higher rates in the 50 to 70-year age group. 

The surgery was scheduled for July 12 ASSUMING that my swelling was down.  She showed me how she wanted to see ‘wrinkles’ on my feet otherwise she would have to wait an additional week to operate.

My next appointment on July 6 was with our GP to get the pre-op blood tests, chest x-rays, blood pressure and EKG.  Should’ve been a piece of cake, right?  Everything was fine EXCEPT the EKG showed an abnormality.  The nightmare turned into a night terror, and I was in absolute disbelief.  Turns out I may have an uncommon condition called WPW Syndrome, which is a slight mis-wiring from my atria to my ventricles. Whaaa?Supposedly I’ve had it my entire life and most people are asymptomatic, yet this didn’t stop our GP from scheduling an appointment with a cardiologist.  For two days I awaited that appointment wondering how my life could be turned so easily to upside-down in a matter of seconds.  And still I had small doses of optimism, because at that time I was certain the entire healing process of this fracture would be about 4-6 weeks. Frankly, I don’t recall where I got that info. It might have come from my two new buds Perco and Val.  I spent the week dazed and confused with the sole focus of reducing swelling.

Before we got the script for a wheelchair, Scott was rolling me around in an office chair.  Every day I elevated like the Chrysler building, iced, drank about 2 liters of water and consumed anti-inflammatory foods and spices. I found this supplement that includes a number of anti-inflammatory herbs and spices.  

It also comes in a tincture.

None of this would have been possible without my superhero husband who waited on me hand and foot – literally. With a severely sprained ankle and a Trimalleolar fracture that was to have ZERO weight bearing, who else do you think helped me skip to the loo?  He wheeled me to and fro, got me in and out of bed, brought me water, food, and ice, and rigged up the shower so I could take at least one shower that week.  I wondered several times throughout the week how folks who live on their own handle this situation.  How painful and difficult that must be.  Or for those who are not in good physical health or shape to begin with.  So very hard.

A consult with the Cardio, Dr. Potkin lead me down the path to two days of heart testing including a STRESS test (don’t ask) and a NUKE test.  Here I am a total anti-prescription, anti-toxin, eco-girl, and while I was doped up on prescription meds and actually allowed a stranger to fill my blood with radiation (enough to equal 50 chest x-rays) so that they could take several images (30? 40?) of different angles of my heart only to tell me what I inherently knew, your heart looks good!  I was good to go for surgery only it had to be rescheduled from July 12 to the 13th moving me from a surgical center to the hospital so that I could be monitored by the cardiologist…just in case my heart exploded.


This was rescheduled for 5:00 pm on July 13th.  The surgery is called ORIF (Open Reduction, Internal Fixation).  After a few calls back and forth between the OS and a radiologist the night before, it was confirmed that I could actually eat a piece of toast that morning at 8:00 and drink water until 9:00 am.  I’m such a water-aholic I was freaked out about not drinking throughout the day, yet my worry of surgery overrode all the other anxieties.

Scott and I were sent to a hospital room, because they weren’t sure if I would be admitted after the surgery.  There I adorned myself with one of those lovely snap-button hospital gowns.  I recalled a story my Dad told us after he had surgery:  He was walking down the hall with his ass hanging out the back.  A nurse approached him and said, ‘Mr. Swartz, would you be more comfortable if I button this up here in the back?  He replied, ‘No, would you be more comfortable if you buttoned me up in the back?’

I was wheeled out to wait in the recovery room and Scott was sent to the waiting area, which vaguely resembled an isolated hotel lobby and looked comfy.   I gave Scott my good-byes…ya know.  Just in case.  And off I was sent to a little corner of the recovery room passing two others who had just emerged from surgery.  A curtain surrounded my little space.  Mind you, I still, at this point, didn’t know if my swelling was reduced enough to actually undergo the surgery.  I suspected so, though, given all my efforts.  I was correct.  The OS came in, tested my wrinkles, and I was given the ‘okay’.  The Radiologist, whose name escapes me, was funny.  He asked if I had any questions, and I did; yet they were for the OS and not for him.  He called her back, and to my astonishment, she was abrupt with me.  Curt.  Basically appearing from behind the curtain and asking, ‘What?  I felt my anxiety rise and after a moment of speechlessness responded with, ‘Oh.  You asked me so abruptly I now can’t remember my questions!’  Eventually I did.  Everyone departed, and I dozed off.  I was rolled into the operating room, a very sterile place, which is exactly how I would want it to be given the stories I’ve heard about folks getting infections while IN the hospital.  The two nurses were rummaging about their tools n’such and prepping me.  I was still concerned about the skill of my OS, because I had a difficult time finding info on her success rate.  The one nurse told me, ‘As far as I know, none of her patients have been brought back to correct any problems and she is very careful and takes her time.’

The radiologist came back and told me he was going to move me onto my stomach in order to give me a behind-the-knee shot called a popliteal block.  He said this would make my life easier for the next 18 hours as it numbs my entire leg from the knee down.  Right on!

Post ORIF, trimalleolar fracture

Next minute, I awake in the recovery room chatting, babbling, really.  The nurse waiting on me said I had been talking before I was even conscious.  I’m sure that doesn’t come as a big surprise to those of you who know me.  Her name was Hari and she asked, ‘How are you?’  At the time, I was feeling pretty darn good and asked, ‘How are you, Hari?’  Somehow we landed in a discussion about her grief around the recent death of her father, and I recalled the grief counseling I had done in the past with a strong desire to help her.  Really, though, I remember very little of the conversation and according to Scott my speech was very slurred, but in my world Hari and I had a very healthy and healing discussion.  Scott suddenly appeared as if he had been beamed down, and that might have been one of the happiest moments in my life seeing him.  I was dressed, wheeled out and sent home about 10:00 pm.

Post Surgery

I awoke the next morning at 7:00 am feeing amazingly refreshed regardless of the plate with five screws on one side of my leg and the torn ligament screw in the middle and the other screws on the right.  I seriously couldn’t believe how great I felt, and NO real pain – just a kind of heavy discomfort.  But workable!  I felt very optimistic about my recovery and healing – big ‘ole fiberglass cast on my left ankle n’all.  That euphoria wore off about 12:30.   I was able to squeeze 19 hours of numbness out of my popliteal block, and then my current reality set in.  Pain.  A progression of pain.  I was prescribed Norco (hydrocodone) that I discontinued 3 days later as it made me ill.

One week post ORIF, incision with two screws
One week post ORIF: Left foot – right side: incision with two screws
Left ankle: One week post-op and Right ankle: Still sprained (swelling mostly on the right)
Left ankle: One week post-op and Right ankle: Still sprained (swelling mostly on the right)
ORIF post-op, Trimalleolar fracture
There’s a plate with five screws behind those bandages…oy – and the bruise beneath my knee. I have no idea where that came from.

Tanya, at the OS office called to schedule my first follow-up visit for one week after surgery, July 20.  I was informed that if my swelling was reduced enough, they could get good x-rays otherwise I’d have to wait another week.  Again, I went on my de-swell journey.  This time I visualized the OS saying in astonishment, ‘This looks GREAT!  I can’t believe how little swelling you have!’

For the most part, the week was challenging.  I was either on the meds or confused, unmotivated and unfocused, or off the meds and in pain and not sleeping.  Somehow I still managed to do some work. FINALLY on the day of my follow-up appointment, I was feeling very little pain.  Just that constant discomfort that I will describe shortly.

The Follow-Up Appointment

We waited in the OS office for two hours before we were seen.  The wait lent itself to our hearing some interesting stories.  One guy with a shattered heel from chasing a fugitive out of his house, one woman with two broken arms from dancing at her nephew’s wedding.  My story was boring.  Still, I was very anxious and eager to see what was lurking beneath that massive and oddly-shaped cast on my foot.  I actually thought there was some type of draining device in there, because it was so heavy.  While there were draining pads, there was no device.  I anxiously watched Tanya cut away at the cast and pull off those pads, I felt some fresh air on my skin and looked down at what could’ve been Frankenstein’s foot.  YET Tanya was surprised at how little swelling I had.  It was almost exactly as I visualized only it was the assistant and not the OS sharing the good news.  The new x-rays showed the plate and five screws on the lateral part of my fibula and a long screw (a syndesmosis) used to repair a torn ligament and the other two screws on the right.  I was informed this screw would have to be removed in 12 weeks.  I forgot, however, to ask the reason but later discovered that 12 weeks is the necessary amount of time to heal the ligament.  This means I have to undergo another surgery in 12 weeks, and while it is a less debilitating surgery, it is surgery nonetheless.  I will also have the option in about a year to remove the other hardware should I choose.

I came armed with questions for the doctor.  And while she seemed like she was in a hurry, she did take the time for my questions.

Devastation smacked me upside the head when she told me I would not walk for FOUR months.  As in, I will be only taking steps in four months, not even actual walking.  I have since discovered that actual walking without a walker or cane or limp could take up to NINE months (don’t worry folks, this is a crazy conservative estimate and now know it’s certainly not at all true).  I was blown away and trying not to break down.   At that moment, my heart was more broken than my ankle. The instant Scott got me back into the car, I sobbed uncontrollably.

Dr. Siegler departed and Tanya returned to put me in a boot, because my ankle looked ‘great’ according to the doc (again, visualization does work!).  Das boot is a 3-pound ski boot.  My heel had to touch the bottom, which meant it had to be turned back up from a pointing forwarding position to a near 90-degree upward angle.  Scott said I was levitating with the pain.  I seriously thought I had a high tolerance for pain, and this entire event is making me question that assumption.  But we got the foot into the boot managing the trick of pushing it in while not bearing weight.  I was scheduled for another appt. in 4 weeks and told STRICTLY NO WEIGHT BEARING.  I was also scheduled for physical therapy the following week:  Gentle flexing only.  I was in agony the rest of that day and night.  I even took drugs that night and couldn’t sleep.  Add insult to injury, I had a webinar scheduled for 7:00 am the following morning.  Scott got up with me at 5:30 to get ready.  He reconfigured my office so I could elevate both legs while teaching the class.  I was essentially spread-eagle sitting at the corner of my desk and laughed to myself because the learners could only see my face and had no idea what else was going on around me.  The training could’ve bordered on unethical had they seen me as a whole person.  Which brings me to this…being a whole person.

A Shift in Priorities:  An Ankle-Altered Reality

It’s not good days and bad days that I have, it’s good moments and bad moments. And they shift continuously throughout the day fluctuating between total despair, fatigue from inactivity, pain, discomfort from poor posture elevation, the makings of acceptance, nauseousness when I feel the screws in my leg, anxiety, fear, fleeting thoughts of opportunity and dashes of hope.   Many folks have told me this is the ‘universe telling me I had to slow down’.  While that may be true, surely there could’ve been a less traumatic, painful, or depressing way for the universe to deliver the message.  Did I really need to be smacked down like this?   Was I really that unconscious?  All signs point to YES.  I was given an opportunity in May after receiving a speeding ticket driving back from Southern California.  A trip that should’ve taken 6 hours took 9 because of traffic in…you guessed it, LA.  Clearly, I wasn’t ready for the message, and that one cost me $250.00 and traffic school.  Well, I hear it now.  I, indeed, slowed down.  I went from 100 to 0 in an instant, much like getting pulled over by CHP, only there were no flashing lights involved in this go-around.

I’m reading online about various people’s situations, and so many of them say they have pain and swelling for years.  Runners are no longer running.  Jumpers are no longer jumping.  Can this be real?  It hardly feels like it.  It has given me such a massive appreciation for people who live with chronic pain or who are confined to a wheelchair.  I refuse to believe there are not just as many success stories to match the dismal tales I’m reading online.  I also try to remind myself that my situation is temporary (even if months and months feels like a miserably long time), so can I really relate to those who are permanently in chronic pain or confined to a wheelchair?  Really?  Probably not.

I was a total neat-freak ensuring that every item has its place in my home.  Dust was dusted, plants kept well-watered, and dog hair was found mainly on the dog.  Now, I must accept the fact that things I need have to be within reach, and disarray has to be okay.  Scott can take on only so much.  I don’t want both of us to lose our emotional stability.  And he has been amazing taking care of me, the dog, and the house.

A visit to the bathroom can take 15 minutes (with the getting there, dropping trou and returning being the most time-consuming part).  A shower is an event. It involves plastic bags (yes, they are biodegradable) duct tape and strategically placed chairs with towels.  Water covers the floor on the outside as well as the inside of the shower.  I only shower now twice a week and would probably do less if I could stand the smell of myself more readily.  Getting to my office (the only room in the house that is upstairs) means scooting around on my butt (I call it ass-taxi) with my left leg in the air and asking Scott to lift me into my chair.  I no longer worry about getting dog hair on my clothes, because I spend a lot of time on the floor getting from one place to the next especially when I want to switch things up from using the wheelchair.  Oh, and the wheelchair.  Turns out I’m not good at driving that either.  I have banged up every corner and door jam downstairs.

What was once an obsession with moisturizing my hands and face has completely disappeared.  I haven’t touched hand lotion in three weeks.  Flossing is now a luxury, and wearing the same clothes everyday for 3-4+ days is commonplace.  Yes, I am changing the essentials.  I haven’t seen my face or hair in the mirror up close for three weeks.  I have a 20-second moment between brushing my teeth and wobbling on the right leg to spit when sometimes I check myself out.  It ain’t purty.   I wash my face and hands less because the sink is so high that even reaching over to wash my hands takes effort, and sometimes I just don’t feel like pulling myself up on the sprained ankle.

One of my new goals is seeking comfort – morning to night I try to find a good elevated position for my foot.  One night, shortly after surgery and after several pillow rearrangements, I was so desperate for additional comfort that I wheeled into our master bedroom closet in search of another pillow.  It was about 2:30 am, and I got stuck in there.  It took about 30 minutes and a 100-point turn to get myself out.  I didn’t want to wake Scott, who is in the guestroom with Stella, but the expletives poured out nonetheless.  I sometimes find myself envious when I see people in the news or in a movie who are walking and especially engaging in higher impact activities.  I daydream about weeding and walking Stella.

Oh….night sweats and nightmares add to the bedtime fun.  For some reason, I am operating on the ‘warmer’ than usual side.  I can only hope it’s my body’s healing system all fired up and working her magic.  The other night I had a dream…a dozen or more small, alien-like animals came into my bedroom, only it was my bedroom from childhood.  They pulled up the mattress and knocked me off the bed onto the floor.  They were scurrying all around me as I was trying to get them off of me.  I grabbed one in the comforter and when I saw it up close, it was a Dachshund.  In my dream, I thought, ‘This is just a cute little dog?  Why am I getting so upset?’  Then one began biting at my foot, and I kicked my leg out really hard (in my dream and in real life) as I was trying to yell for my Dad, only there was no voice despite my efforts.  I awoke with a very sore leg in the air.

My darling and wonderful husband waits on me constantly.   Have I mentioned yet how amazing he is?  Still, I feel guilty about this.  His days are filled with making sure I’m fed and watered and taking over most of the chores at home.  There are some things we just have to let go.  The only fortunate aspect of this situation is my timing:  1) Scott took early retirement from Cisco, and that began July 8 which means we really only had a couple days of his dealing with finishing up work stuff and helping me and 2) My current contract has slowed down dramatically and my next month of work can all be done at home.

But what next?  And how fair is it that my husband should be working so hard when he’s supposed to be enjoying some time off before delving into his next thing?  And furthermore, while it’s been a few years since I was an athlete, I am (was) still an active person.  Sure, I haven’t skated 50k inline races or tackled trail races up Mt. Diablo (17 miles up and down a mountain) for a while, yet I had the goal of getting back to regular running this summer when things slowed down, and regardless of the day, walked a couple miles with Stella every morning.  But that is no longer, and I may not be doing that for many months to come.  It’s simply shocking as are most acute tragedies, I’m sure.  One really doesn’t know from any moment to the next what will happen.

And what about my work?  I’m a corporate trainer spending much of my time on-site in front of an audience.  Hopping from table to table during breakout sessions.   Up and down and all around.  Carrying loads of supplies and bursting with energy on my feet.  I work for myself.  There’s no disability for the self-employed.  No work = no pay.

While it used to be a joy to hit the hay, now each night, I have to build courage to go to bed to face the battle between comfort and my boot.  I am unfortunately a very light sleeper.  Admittedly, I went back on the pain meds a few nights ago, because I needed sleep so badly.  Finding a comfortable position with this boot is challenging.  I feel sharp pains around the incisions and screws, numbing in my toes, poking, pulling, tearing, searing, aches on my heel.  The pain meds definitely help, yet I’ve begun to back off again starting last night.  Somehow I need to figure out how to be with this, because I’ve learned I can expect to have this discomfort for a long while.  I don’t think I’ve had one moment since this ordeal in which I was unaware of my discomfort – even that morning after surgery when I felt the best.  It seems like there is very little escape from it.

Many mornings seem just as challenging as bedtime, because I have to get up and face my day.  Folks are saying, ‘Four months, it’ll fly by’.  I know those words come from good intentions and are meant to ease my pain, yet sit on my couch day after day and try to focus through the agony of this situation and share that sentiment.  Sadly, turns out this thing will last longer than four months. Rationalizations from others just don’t work at the moment. Not now. Not yet. Not at this very moment.  Just acknowledge my situation with me, and that will help it dissipate much more quickly than dismissing it.  I realize that one day I will look upon this time with great relief and think, ‘I guess that really wasn’t so bad’.  For now, at this very moment, it’s a challenge.  And yes the challenge now is a bit less than it was three weeks ago, so I get it.  I can see how this whole ‘time heals all wounds’ thing works.  And I have certainly been there with other painful or grief-ridden events.  It’s just…for now…theory and reality are not aligned.

Why Me? And Other Tough, Whiny, Anxiety-ridden, Bitchy, Questions

Sometimes I have a big ole WHY ME pity party and the different parts of myself and I cry together in persecution.  There are some folks in my life who think that perhaps my veganism has diminished my bone density and lead to this demise.  That is absurd. One thing I can make clear, my calcium levels are very good, not that I have to defend the healthiest diet on the planet.  Almost everything I eat throughout the day has calcium in it, and I am not lacking vitamins.  My last blood test showed my calcium on the ‘high’ end of the standard range, and the only thing that might have been low (but still in the acceptable range) was Vitamin D.  This goes for most people.  And of course, I have since learned that this fracture has little-to-nothing to do with bone density and is simply a fracture from torque (as opposed to impact). And I suspect the order of events began with the dislocated talus rendering my ligaments unable to hold muscles which were unable to hold the bones. If anything, this injury is a result of my placing a priority of work over exercise.  And now that I know weak muscles can wreak this kind of havoc on my body, those priorities are going to change.

I have read that folks who have issues with ankle spraining are more prone to ankle fractures.  Turns out I have had a lifetime of ankle sprains and rolls.  I estimate about once a year I sprain or slightly roll an ankle.  I’ve grown so accustomed to it and for the most part they have been so mild. In some instances, I used to RICE:  Rest (R), Ice (I), Compress with a tight sock (C) and Elevate (E). In other instances, I just dealt and did nothing.  They recover and I move on.  Perhaps I have not treated them properly enough or taken them seriously enough.  A shout out to those of you who are also prone to ankle sprains, do some research on strengthening those ligaments and perhaps check in with a PT about how to avoid a future ankle fracture.  Tanya at the OS office told us that 80% of the ankle fractures they see are from regular folk like us taking one bad step.

Update: New research is suggesting that icing may impede healing!

There is one other thing that I have not yet mentioned:  I was wearing two different shoes on that day.  And while both shoes were sturdy and both were the same height, it might have been a contributing factor even though some experts don’t think so.  And why was I wearing two different shoes you ask?  This is embarrassing and a clear sign of my acute sensitivity and complete disregard for fashion…so a couple times a year I treat myself to a pedicure.  July 1 was one of those times.  I mean, a real pedicure at a real place that brings a bowl of hot water dressed with orange peels, garden roses and essential oils to soak my feet.  This was not a cheapo $12 in and out the door kind of place where you wonder if the pedicurist is talking about you to her friends.  It was like a spa kind of place.  Well, I told my pedicurist that I like to have my toenails very short, because they grow fast.  She took me seriously and cut the first toe (the big one on the left foot) so low that it was below the pink part.  Ya know, the underneath part of your nail that is not to be exposed.  For two days I couldn’t touch that toe to anything. I couldn’t wear a sock or even have the bed sheet touch it.  It didn’t hurt, it skeeved me out.  That evening, July 3, was cool here in Santa Cruz.  I had been wearing my hiking sandals all day (to keep my left toe exposed and unskeeved) but decided I needed to wear something warmer on the other foot.  Thus I put on a sock and a walking sneaker.  Granted, I don’t know if the shoe-thing contributed, because the foot I first twisted was the one with the walking sneaker. On my left foot was a Chaco sandal, very sturdy.  Chacos are made for hiking and being in water.  My guess is the different shoes had something to do with all of this. Needless to say, I no longer feel that irritation on my big toe.  I will never truly know the answer to the question:  What’s the most expensive pedicure you ever received?

Other questions I hear myself asking:  What about when I do start walking?  What if I slip and it happens all over again?   Is it possible to get a Trimalleolar on the same ankle twice? What about my other ankle?  Could it happen to that one too?  What about Scott or other people I love?  What if this happens to them?  Will I ever run again?  Will I regain my confidence?  Will I regain a ‘normal’ life?  Will I have the strength and fortitude to make the best of this situation, to face the next several months?  Did I get a good OS?  How do I keep my incisions from getting infected when there is nothing protecting them but this boot that I wear 24/7?   Will my atrophied muscles build back up?  Why don’t I have an appetite? Will I be able to successfully complete physical therapy?  When does it stop hurting?  Will I be profiled and patted down in airports for buzzing through security with all this metal in my body?  Why am I getting anxiety attacks?  Will I be able to look back at this time without fear or PTSD?  Who am I?

I know.  Enough of the bitching and whining already and pull up my bootstraps.  Well, it just so happens I have a boot and while the straps have Velcro, I can kind of pull them up.  Unfortunately, this particular boot is not made for walking.

A Focus on Healing and Making the Best of a YUCK (You Understand Crap, Kid) Situation

Now, three weeks and one day from TF (Trimalleolar Fracture) day, I have to focus my energy on healing.  A couple days ago, I had a fabulous conversation with a highly skilled PT who was trained at the Mayo Clinic.  His name is Dan Vold (best friends with my friend and colleague, Bob), and he told it to me straight and explained in greater detail the technical aspects of my situation.  I can expect to bear weight in 8-12 weeks post surgery and begin walking in about 4 months.  I can expect to be walking without assistance or a limp in nine months.  Dan also suggested I get a knee scooter which I will do as soon as I have my right ankle sprain healed properly.

I do believe the pain is subsiding and while I still feel those zinging shots of pain around my incisions and the plate/screws (almost like little electrical jolts), and while my toes for the most part have to be wiggled constantly in order to prevent them from feeling like they’re falling asleep, and while I need to keep the foot elevated thus it begins throb and feel very heavy, I really do believe things are getting better. For one, my ‘severely sprained ankle’ can hold all of my weight without wobbling and shaking.  I have learned to go to the bathroom and put on pants while holding my left leg in the air.

For folks who have taken too many NSAIDs and worry about leaky gut or get sick on narcotics, an alternative to pain meds is Metagenics Kaprex. This will also help with inflammation.
Do not expect it to be as efficient as the narcotics, but it will be a whole lot gentler on your body.  

– Food
I am eating three times a day even if I don’t feel like it.  My focus is on bone healing, and the good news is that many of the foods I like and that are already good for bones, are foods I eat regularly:  Kale, lentils, almonds, beans, chickpeas, whole grains and apples.

– Water
I drink lots of it. All day long.  And yes, while it may mean an extra trip or two to the bathroom, which can be such a hassle, I still do it.  Caffeine is a goner now too, as I’ve recently learned it’s not good for bone growth.

I’m fully aware that my positive mental attitude plays a vital role to healing.  I am working on it when I have the energy.  On the same token, I let myself have those down moments, because I know if I resist the anger, sadness and fear, they will only grow larger.  I have never seen myself as part of the ‘norm’.  I don’t mean that in an arrogant or self-effacing way.  I have simply had the belief that 1) there are always options despite the difficulty of a problem and 2) I believe in the healing power of the mind.  So if normal means beginning to walk within 4 months, I envision myself walking before that.  If normal means walking without a limp or pain in nine months, it will be less than that for me.  If normal means swelling for the rest of my life, that is absolutely not an option for me.  I will be one of the success stories. I’ve already made up my mind. There is no other option.  Hmm….now…where again did I place the courage to help me meet that goal?

-Prescription for perspective

A dear friend and physician, Dr. Anteneh Roba, of the International Fund for Africa, gave me a dose of perspective today.  He takes groups of doctors and nurses to small villages in Ethiopia to administer healthcare to folks who may never otherwise receive it.  Here’s what he shared:

On my medical mission in March, I saw a young man who fell three months before and broke his hip, he lives in a small village in the middle of nowhere, the nearest hospital is 100 km away and they don’t perform surgery. He fell 3 months prior to seeing us with no pain meds whatsoever hobbling on one foot for three months with a hip fracture. When I saw him he was wincing in pain. Imagine the kind of pain he is in everyday with no chance of being treated. Condemned to hobble around for the rest of his life. The only thing I could do is give him Motrin.

Surely, I am not experiencing pain in isolation.   And perhaps you, the reader, have no connection about my particular experience with this particular injury.  Yet I know any person reading this sentence right now knows pain.  Just as you know healing. Just as you know about the inner strength that somehow emerges even when you’re feeling weak, tired or ill.  I realize I will need to muster up some courage and find that strength lurking in the recesses of my soul and then share it with my psyche. I realize I have to deal with the existential element of this situation and overcome the fear about how one instant can dramatically change a life, and it’s not always bad, permanent or depressing.

-Where’s the opportunity?

And perhaps it is time for me to work more toward the change I’ve been talking about for years.  Writing and painting have played major roles in my life – in the past.  And while painting currently feels out of the question (too much up and down getting materials, cleaning brushes, etc), writing is a possibility given my new immobility and small laptop.  I have my new kids book coming out September 15 and since Scott and I won’t be taking that campervan trip up the coast to Vancouver that month as we had planned, perhaps I need to work on another book.  Just the other day an idea came to me…

– Dealing with the present

In the meantime, I will try my best to focus on the work I have and work toward becoming an armchair marketer for my book, and I certainly welcome any assistance anyone can offer in getting the word out to your local bookstores for ordering it.  Ironically, the book is called Well Earth Well MeFunny, given my current state of wellness.

First day out in the hood…the sun did wonders to my spirit.

If there are any immediate lessons, they are to cherish any good health you have, embrace the love that surrounds you, and be present.  I feel very blessed with the love and support that have been offered to us.  Oh, and if there’s another lesson in this… watch your step!

Today, Scott and I took the wheelchair down the street.  It was good and refreshing to see some of our sweet neighbors, to move around a bit, and get some sun.  Physical therapy begins next week…looking forward to that milestone.

To see all the  posts in the trimalleolar series, click away!  Things DO get better!

This is Post #1 Me and My Trimalleolar:  A Life-Changing Tripulation
Post #2 Me and My Trimalleolar:  Transcending the Funk
Post #3 Me and My Trimalleolar:  Tiny Bubbles of Progress
Post #4 Me and My Trimalleolar:  A Healing Ankle
Post #5 Me and My Trimalleolar:  Talus All About It
Post #6 Me and My Trimalleolar:  A Week of Firsts
Post #7 Me and My Trimalleolar:  Cast of Characters
Post #8 Me and My Trimalleolar:  9 1/2 weeks…
Post #9 Me and My Trimalleolar:  The Screw, Some Scars, and a Busted Uvula
Post #10  Me and M Trimalleolar:  Walk a Mile in My Screws
Post #11 Me and My Trimalleolar:  11 Months and Moving Right Along
Post #12:  Me and My Trimalleolar Go to Mexico…with my husband and our pooch


  1. Chelsea

    Happy Mother’s Day!
    If you remember me, then you remember that last year on Mother’s Day as I was walking out of church, I fell in a pothole while holding my baby and resulted in a tri-mal. I CANNOT believe it has been a year. But, phew! I am so glad it’s over. I have not been dreading this day. It doesn’t make me feel sad, but I have been counting down the days to get past it. Obviously, with breaking my leg on a holiday, my family and I will never forget this once in a lifetime event.
    I am happy to report that I’m pretty normal. The metal in my leg does not bother me. After some chatting and research, I’ve learned that my ortho surgeon was actually a combat surgeon in the military. I’m not sure if that makes a difference in how he is in surgery, but I like to think that he did an awesome job since I seem to have no issues with the metal placement itself. On the flip side, the metal does suck living in a very cold place with lots of snow! On days where the temps fluctuate a lot, I notice pain in my leg from hip to toe. I expect that will become the new “norm”. In addition, I still find that if I don’t work my leg that it will become stiff & achey. So just more motivation to get my butt moving (as if rearing toddlers isn’t enough). Overall though, I’m doing pretty good! Happy to be able to walk normal, and I can jog a little now. In an instant reaction one day I ran to check on my daughter, so that gave me the green light with my leg that, “okay, I can run if I want to”. If anyone has any recommendations to help with scar healing? That would be great! The scar on my fibula side healed beautifully & it’s barely noticeable. But the scar on the inside of my leg is a whole different story. Thanks for reading! -Chelsea (Mother’s Day 2019).

    1. Jane Dev

      Chelsea, Happy Mothers Day! How could I forget your story – except I did forget that it was Mothers Day! I remember Kenda commenting on something about you saving the baby in the fall! A year is a wonderful milestone – sigh of relief and Congratulations! It is a big one! My original fracture was also a holiday on January 1st, a few months before you. Unfortunately, I fell in Germany a week before my year anniversary, this past December and broke my foot and spent my year anniversary injured – but no surgery so that was huge! I think we have to celebrate many milestones along that way and pat ourselves on the back for being so brave, especially you having to take care of a baby and now toddlers! … and btw, I love the story behind the surgeon – it seems TV worthy, lol. How wonderful you are able to run now – I assume your youth is on your side with that! Great to hear about the hardware – I hope you can figure out the scarring issue. The one on the outside of my leg is barely noticeable at all, and it’s 5 inches long, the inside one is smaller, S shaped and a tiny more visible, but still fine. I wonder if others have the inner scar as more noticeable. I was always told to rub with my finger in a back and forth motion, briskly and firmly, perpendicular to the scar, not lengthwise on the scar, as often as possible. I was told this would break up the scar tissue. Maybe you can try that. I also used early on some scarring skin – not sure what it was made of but I did use that for a bit, if you need more information I can get if for you. And lastly, you can try acupuncture for scarring – I have heard good things. Mederma? I am sure others will provide their experiences as well. Loved hearing an update from you..and a good one at that! I have thought of you along the way and so glad to hear you are doing super! Stay well! Jane (1/1/2019)

        1. Jane Devereaux

          Hey Kenda! Was not sure where to pick up a conversation. I have not heard from anyone in many months. I cannot forget my “Travels and Tripulations” friends and supporters. I think about what I am grateful for as we go into this week of Thanksgiving. I am so grateful for all the support I had in my recovery (ALMOST three years ago this Jan 1st), without which, I would have had a terrible void in my emotional recovery. I always want to remember how wonderful that support was. I am doing well – fingers continually crossed! The latest is that I have been on a Bone Density journey for the past couple of months! I joined the Bone Coach for his program and it has been hugely enlightening to learn all about my bones and their daily processes and how nutrition and weight lifting affects bone density. As you know, I didn’t break my ankle because of my bone density, but the low bone density made the break worse. I have learned so much more about nutrition, and which exercises are best for bone density issues, and so far so good!…again fingers crossed but I think I am gaining strength and confidence which was a similar need way back in spring of 2019. Anyhow, I hope all is well with you – I’ve been thinking of my fracture friends and hoping everything is doing great! – no news is good news as they say! Happy Holidays! Jane

          1. Ciao Jane!

            It’s so so so great to hear from you. It’s been quiet here on the blog front–from me and the readers. Life keeps us busy.

            Your messages always lift my spirits, Jane. You’ve come a long way in 2 years and 10 months and 3 weeks! Your bone density journey sounds empowering. Have you noticed any changes in your bone density since starting the program?

            I think about you, too, and am eternally grateful for your wisdom, courage, and support of all the new members who have joined the T-team these past three years.

            Wishing you all the joy possible this holiday season. xo

                1. Estelle

                  How exciting that your post popped up in my feed. I just had my one year anniversary on November 21 when I broke my left ankle with subsequent surgery on November 24 the day before Thanksgiving. I am doing pretty good and as I write this my husband and I are spending the holiday at our best friends house at their home at the Delaware beach which is multi level. What’s been a big challenge for me is navigating steps especially since my own home is on one level. Going up is fine but I was concerned about going down as my talus was severely dislocated and still gets stiff especially if I over due it. I was so relieved that I was able to get around albeit slowly and very cautiously. I am in the pool at my gym about 6 times a week where I swim laps as well as stretch my body as much as possible. Helps so much with my recovery and my “new normal”. A friend also told me about the benefits of emu oil for stiffness…anyone try this ancient remedy? There’s a farm near where I live that raises emu’s and I plan to visit there soon and check it out. Anyway…enough of my rambling. Wishing my trimalleolar family all the best in your recovery!

                  1. It’s fabulous to hear from you, Estelle! Congrats on your Trimaliversary! I just made that up. ? You are doing great and have come a long way this past year! I remember the challenges of walking down stairs. For me, in the beginning, it was a double whammy of 1) poor range of motion/stiffness and 2) general intimidation. Now, I only think of it when the stairs are steep or it’s a dark place. The stiffness is gone.

                    I haven’t tried emu oil as I only use plant-based products. Arnica is my go-to for that kind of stuff and it works wonders! I’ve also had talus adjustments with a very skilled chiropractor, which feels soooo good. If you go to a chiro, make sure s/he has that experience and knows your thorough history.

                    I welcome your updates any time. I never see it as rambling. I truly appreciate when folks from the Tri-Team come back and let us know how things are progressing. Keep up the good work. You’ve reached an important milestone in your healing and I think it will continue to improve from here.


                    1. Julie

                      Happy Thanksgiving! I am so glad this popped up in my email because I’m also so grateful for the emotional support and great info you’ve shared so generously here, Kenda! I’m a year and a half from my injury (with surgery on my birthday during the pandemic), and for the last three months, I’ve done Pilates 3-4 times a week and recently started acupuncture, which is helping with nerve damage. If anyone reading is new to this thread, I hope you too will find encouragement here and keep up the physical therapy and movement needed for healing. It’s scary in those first few weeks and months, but with luck I hope you too will be grateful on Thanksgiving for the many accomplishments and sneaky lessons hidden inside a YUCK (love that, Kenda!) situation. Thank you, Kenda!

                    2. Julie, your message…I’m just beaming over here. Thank you so so SO much. It’s a joy to hear from you again!

                      What an ordeal you’ve endured. I mean, how many others here get to say they had surgery ON their birthday DURING a pandemic. You have a compelling story for life. And you’ve overcome great obstacles and reached important milestones. You (and of course all of the Tri-team members) deserve a brilliant gold star for everything you’ve gone through and emerged from including those “many accomplishments and sneaky lessons hidden inside a YUCK”. ?

                      ? Kenda

                    3. Something I don’t mention often enough is the gratitude I have for you, Estelle, and the other contributors on this blog who had the courage and strength to seek out support AND who have so willingly given it to others here. ???

                2. Jane Devereaux

                  Hey again, so nice to read these messages and hear how others feel about recovery, being grateful and moving forward. I wanted to answer you about the bone density journey. Following my injuries, I had some effects to my bone density – the right leg suffered a bit more, and the left held steady, but then when I started using both legs equally, the left caught up and declined more. My right femur neck is now considered osteoporotic. But, I am working hard to try and get things to reverse if I can to a degree. So, the program focuses on needing to weight lift for bone density. I have had to try and ramp things up even though I contend with some back issues. I am trying to work through and increase the weight. It’s all about balance for sure! The nutrition part is about being as bioavailable as possible for the best absorption of nutrients – encouraging sprouting, reducing oxalates and phytates – and again, really maximizing nutrients. I am being educated! On Monday, I start with a functional medicine doctor where we can make sure that my guy is healthy – again for maximum absorption of nutrients. They recommend daily meditations daily, quality sleep for regeneration, ample protein as the building blocks – all the things that were so important during our bone healing! I am feeling great about all that I am learning about. I always felt that I ate healthy, but it’s more than that. Anyhow, that’s a little bit about my current journey which is sort of a bifurcation which began with my injury (if that is a word I can use – thinking of a tree bifurcating!) I love your new trimalaversary! And thanks for remembering the date of my injury and counting the days for me – it was so touching and a good reminder of how far I have come. You are a rock star!

                  1. Jane, I adore you for sharing all of that. The bone density program sounds incredible. I really ? that you’re working with a functional doctor who supports gut health. One more question: What’s the program called?

                    I think that’s a fabulous and creative use of “bifurcation”. I might have to borrow that! ?

                    YOU are a rockstar!

      1. Chelsea

        Thank you so much for your kind reply! I remember reading about your second injury awhile back and thinking how heartbroken I felt for you. I tried to reply, but I know the site was having some issues previously. I am glad you are doing better. Thank you for the scar healing tips! I will try them. My inner scar is quite large, like my outer one. It’s 6 inches and curves like a fish hook down my leg and then over my foot. It’s quite ugly. I developed a stitch abscess about a month after my surgery which required antibiotics/healing cream. I am 100% that the ugliness of that ordeal is what caused my inner scar to heal so wonky.
        Sending you virtual hugs!

        1. Jane

          Aww, so nice to hear from you. Thanks for the kind words. Glad your stitch abscess healed – sorry about you having that. This is a little off, but I am a picker if I can ever find anything, so I would have probably made it worse! good luck with the scars.

    2. Jo

      So good to hear that you are healing well and doing your normal activities. My fracture was 3+ years ago and for the first time this year I have been able to sit cross legged and to kneel in my garden and sit back on my heels without extending my right leg to the side. Felt like a huge milestone to me. So the healing continues even when we think it may be over.
      I had great success with Vitamin E oil. I still rub it on my scars daily. Like you, the scar on the lateral side of my leg is far less noticeable than the medial, although the medial also looks good. I apply the Vitamin E and rub across the incision, as Jane mentioned, and then using a circular motion right on the scar.
      Keep healing!

      1. Hi Jo! You and Jane both faithfully show up with great advice. Thank you for that and for the inspiration that even three years later we can make progress. To this day, it feels odd for me to sit on my heels, so I mostly avoid it. You’ve motivated me to give it another try. ?

        1. Jane Devereaux

          Kenda, why do you avoid sitting on your heels. Is your forefoot weak? That is why I don’t (plus a bad knee!). That weak forefoot is what has caused me the problem with the foot breaks that is why I ask. You are so good to massage the scars after 9 years. I totally need to more. I think that that area is pulling on my plantar facia from the inner ankle so I massage it. I am the same as Chelsea if I do not use my bands and do the three or four motions every night, the ankle gets tight. I suppose I am still somewhat early on with it being less than a year and a half. Fun to touch base again on our ankles – of course for GOOD reasons!

          1. That’s a good question, Jane. It’s not a weak feeling so much as it just feels uncomfortable – just a wee bit tight. I think because I dislocated my talus my ROM in that direction never returned to its original position. It’s odd, but it feels really good to me to massage the scars still.

            You’re only a little over a year out and with an additional foot issue to boot (I really didn’t intend that pun), so I’m not surprised it’s still tight. Your wise to continue with the bands. Maybe I’d be able to sit more comfortably on my heels had I kept up with the bands! ?

          2. Jane

            KENDAY!!! 11 years! Oops, I do not want to slight you those 2 years, especially if it’s the first two! Not sure what happened there on those math subtractions! lol!

    3. Happy belated Mother’s Day to you, Chelsea, and to all you mothers out there who give so much.

      What a year it has been, but you did it and with toddlers! I hope you recognize what a huge accomplishment this is. How fascinating about your OS who was a combat surgeon. The stories he could tell…

      I think you’ll find that stiffness will hang around for a while especially during cold or damp weather. Eventually, it tapered off for me, and I only notice it occasionally. I can’t speak to permanent metal tho.

      I worked those scars every day using different lotions and potions. I don’t know what worked best because I tried different things. But I was told to try to break down the scar tissue, so I think just working it helped the most. Jane mentioned going perpendicular to the scar. I did that and circles and scrunches (going from either end of the scar and kind of pushing/smushing it together in the center and massaging it). This was done after both had healed, of course. They’re barely noticeable now.

      Thank you so much for the update. I’m glad to hear from you and very happy that you’re doing well.

      Cheers to you and your healing!

      Kenda (July 5, 2011)

      1. Chelsea


        Thank you for your continued encouragement! This group truly helped my soul in a way I cannot explain when my tri-mal happened. It is such a mental battle. For me it was at least. I can’t thank you enough for documenting your experience and allowing others to bond together over something so life changing.
        Jane and Jo both suggested great ideas for the scars! So I will definitely be trying those out. I will hold on to your words that maybe someday my leg will not be quite as stiff. I think the biggest thing is what feels like nerve pain that comes with my injury now. I get this radiating pain from thigh to ankle that is so uncomfortable. I massage the leg, but see no relief. It can be exhausting. I was thinking of following up with PT to see if they have any recommendations.
        I browsed some of the other things said, and I agree. My ability to do things is impacted like it was not before. I am not able to sit back on my heels, or to sit flat on my knees. I also cannot have my dogs or kids sit directly on my leg without it being uncomfortable (mostly my dogs as they are 80lbs).
        Be well! Chelsea

        1. Jane

          Chelsea, I know you wrote that to Kenda but I am so bummed about that radiating pain you are having. I d be interested to see what Kenda or anyone else says. Once in a while, I get something that seems similar, and this is why I a writing. It is more uncomfortable than painful. I have no idea what that is for you and nerve pain is awful. I am thinking from what you said, it is in the front, a little on the inside of the leg down to the ankle, but not sure. Total shot in the dark, but you have been through a lot, and maybe have something going on with your hip flexor? Having a surgical cast, a cast, and then a boot with all that weight can wreak havoc on your body…crutches, cane, limping. You may also be walking differently. All this can make a difference. Perhaps hip flexor stretching, foam rolling or using balls to roll… quads, butt, calves, etc – helps me tremendously. Physical therapy is something that can definitely be beneficial in general, my opinion. Anyhow, please let us know how you resolve this! Good luck, and thanks for that virtual hug!

          1. Good guess about the hip flexor, Jane. I actually had some issues with that – a shooting pain down my leg to my knee. I went to a chiropractor, which helped immensely. He also taught me a stretch that I still periodically do if it tightens up: I lay on the edge of the bed (lay on the side that isn’t tight) and drop the tight leg gently over the side of the bed and let it dangle. As it loosens up, I try to touch the floor with it (don’t push it tho until it’s ready).


        2. Ciao Chelsea!

          Your words, so kind. Thank you. It’s an honor to be part of your journey. It’s been 9 years for me, but I still remember the mental anguish very clearly.

          The radiating pain you’re getting from thigh to ankle is disconcerting. I highly recommend that you check in with your PT about that. Or maybe even check in with your OS. I wonder if the metal is pinching a nerve? The sitting flat on your knees part might just be a matter of time. It took me a while to be able to sit like that. I know you’re busy but try to keep up with your stretches and exercises.

          If you get the chance (no pressure ever) in the future, check-in and let us know how you’re doing!


  2. Dolores

    Happy “trimal ” day! On Sunday night, February 10th, 2019, after serving with other church members, at a funeral for a member of our community. Upon pulling into the driveway of the members sister, I slipped and fractured my ankle. This Sunday night is burned in my memory banks. I have fear whenever I see ice, and very careful when the driveway, or parking lot at work, is icy.

    I still do my ankle exercises daily. Had to get a new exercise band, as the one I got at rehab broke into pieces.

    For everyone on this blog, look into your insurance, and what is covered. I was fortunate that rehab was covered under my insurance. If it is covered, take advantage of it. It will help you as you recover from this injury, and surgery. It also takes the stress of off family members, especially if your home is not set up for your recovery. Rehab will give you time to come to grips, and I believe, hasten your recovery. Usually there is PT available at the facility. The ladies that were my PT, and OT were very good, and made everything easier when coming home.

    Stay positive, know that you are not alone with this injury. Take your time to heal, and recover. Yes, it is a slow process, but you will get stronger. Accept whatever help people want to provide. Whether it is friends, family, visiting nurse, county nurse, neighbor, whomever. Notice to be proud. We all need help at some point. Then you might be the one there if someone else needs help.

    I will keep you updated as I progress. Stay healthy everyone.

    1. Dolores, you did it! That was a stellar update. I know there were some major challenges this past year, but you transcended the difficulties and look where you are now! Well done!

      Thanks for the words of wisdom. I’m eternally grateful for the sage advice you and your fellow Trimal champtions share on this blog.

      Cheers to you and to thriving! ?

      1. Jane dev

        Delores! I guess I did not realize you were injured after me, for some reason I thought it was a little before. Congratulations! I am excited you successfully celebrated your year. That was an important milestone …I get it. (As you may have read, mine wasn’t the celebration I’d hoped! But I am so thankful as you are!).
        Delores I cannot imagine walking on the ice again if I slipped on ice and had this injury. This weekend it snowed here in Georgia and I put on my snow treads with metal on the bottom just to walk the little doggies in snow! I always use them. Do you have them ? Mine were from New Balance but I think LL bean has them. I even put them on my ortho boot!! ?. I bought for my parents as well!! So good. Congratulations again!! So please for all your recovery successes and for the wonderful happiness you are feeling … many blessings. Jane. (Jan 1, 2019).

        1. I adore your uplifting messages, Jane. Thank you.

          I’m really curious about the snow treads. Do they totally prevent you from slipping? I am really interested in having something like that in case I have to visit family on the east coast in winter.

          I’ve been thinking about you…I await the day when we can have the celebration of your full recovery!

          Keep on healin’ on!


          1. Jane Dev

            That is so nice. Yes, they totally prevent slipping. Will send you a link if I can find. Love them. #feelsafe

            Thank you for the thoughts. Get out of the boot on Monday – bone was still healing. Starting the Osteopenia Medication on Sunday. Ugh! Nervous…but I have to learn to accept that which I cannot change or control. Work in progress! Happy Valentines Day!

            1. Well done on getting out of the boot! And regarding the ostepenia meds: I totally support you on doing what’s best for your bones. I realize it hasn’t been an easy decision. My hope is that the meds help and one day in the future when you get a good bone scan, you’ll be glad you made that choice.

              Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too! ?

    2. Jo

      It’s my third anniversary! On February 13, 2017 I was walking in to work and slipped on ice resulting in my first ambulance ride and subsequent ER visit to learn I had a trimalleolar fracture of my right ankle. And today, instead of braving -35 degree windchills and ice in Minnesota, I took myself and my three plates, a skewer, and 12 screws for a walk on a sandy beach in Seaside, FL.
      After three years, my activities have mostly returned to pre Trimall levels. I do still have tightness and some reduced mobility and swelling, however, it’s nothing I can’t live with. I’ve learned to make modifications in my life that allow me to do the things I want. I still have fear of ice – trust no shiny spot – is my motto from November through March in MN.
      Today I only had to watch out for the jelly fish on shore and just laugh when caught in a sudden, torrential downpour. It was rain, not ice, and warm, not cold, so I just kept on walking.
      To those of you who have only recently joined “the club”, please know things do get better! Keep Healing, reading, and writing – hearing the journeys of others helps us all.

      1. Jo! Happy Trimalleolanniversary! I just made that up. ? Maybe Happy Trimanniversary? Trimalleanniversary? Anyway, I cannot believe it’s been 3 years. I’m guessing you can believe it having come through the trauma. But you did it, and I applaud your spending as much winter time in Florida as you possibly can! We should put that on a tee-shirt, “Trust no shiny spot.”

        Thank you for your update and for your continued and valuable contributions on this blog. If you ever get a moment and want to pop over just to check-in or share your thoughts with a newbie, I welcome your visits. Otherwise, keep enjoying those moments of warm downpours.

        Cheers to you and your healing journey! You did it! ?

      2. Jane+Dev

        That is a very uplifting and very CUTE blog entry! I cannot imagine living in Minnesota and being afraid to fall! I think you have the right idea being in Floria. Are you there for the winter, or just a short vacation?! My husband is in Minnesota on business at this very moment and it has been -5 degrees! NO THANK YOU! Congratulations on your anniversary – def something to celebrate! Oh Happy Day!

    3. Julie

      I just discovered this post and it has been such a welcome read. I suffered my tri-mal fracture on March 9, 2020, while finishing a landscape project in our yard during the COVID pandemic in Birmingham, Alabama. Our family had taken the social distancing rules very seriously for two months at that point, and my first thought was that I’d just totally blown it. I had my first surgery ever on May 12 (my birthday—when I also got a walker, a wheelchair, various plates and screws) and was in the hospital for three nights. It’s been a tough time, especially since I won’t let other family members and friends in to help because of coronavirus anxiety. My husband has been my hero, and my 12- and 7-year-old sons have been terrific too. I worry about their summer memories from this time—no school or summer camps, just us and the quarantine. Mentally I’m working on lots of meditation, some contemplative and lots of guided meditations for healing. I’m not quite ready to read future posts yet, but I’ve greatly enjoyed these so far. It does feel like a life-altering event and right now, I can’t imagine trusting my ankles again anytime soon. But thank you for this forum. It’s very inspiring and just what I needed as I make my way forward.

      1. Dear Julie,

        I’m reading your comment with my mouth agape. That must’ve been one helluva birthday – having your first surgery and hanging out in a hospital for 3 days during a pandemic. I hope you feel like you can breathe at least a little sigh of relief because the worst is over. I know that’s easier said than done right now, because the pain for the first few weeks is a major challenge of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual strength. And you have the added burden of navigating all of this while protecting your and your family’s health. I’m curious to know your experience in the ER and hospital (surgery). Were additional precautions taken to protect you from the virus? Has your OS given you any indication of when PT will start and how that will play out?

        How can we best support you? It sounds like you have a good plan with the meditations and I’m grateful for your fabulous husband and sons. But I’m so sorry you can’t maximize on the support of your community right now. One day when you get through this, you’ll have the most riveting story to tell. Your sons, too, one day in the future, will have stories to tell about the summer of 2020 when they were in quarantine and helped their mom through her serious injury.

        You will be able to trust your ankles again, yet I recall that feeling very clearly. In time, as you heal and as your strength returns, that worry will dissipate. For now, my suggestion is to take this one day at a time so that you can minimize your stress and keep your immune system strong because your body needs all her resources to heal.

        When you have a moment and (only if) it feels convenient, please share updates. No pressure ever tho, because you’re #1 job at this moment is to focus on healing. If I don’t hear from you, I will assume it’s because you’re taking care of yourself. In the meantime, I’m sending some major healing vibes/thoughts/energy your way.

        To your healing, comfort, and security,

        T-mal July 3, 2011

        1. Julie

          Thank you, Kenda. I really appreciate your response and encouragement. I am taking things very easy and making a little progress every day. As for the hospital—lots of precautions and protocols were in place to protect everyone. We are fortunate to have a renowned academic medical center here, and I trust our caregivers.

          Part of my journey has been to marvel at the kindness and generosity of friends and family — and to accept it. I am DIY to a fault (hence the big landscape project that maybe I should have handed over to professionals—it would’ve been so much more cost-effective in every way!). But I’m also allowing myself to open up a bit more in a very genuine and heart-centered way. Thank you for being part of that process. I am looking forward to being a regular reader of your blog and dream of once again participating in just a fraction of the travel that you enjoy. I hope all is well with you during this time of so much upheaval and uncertainty.

          And again, thank you for providing a forum for connection, encouragement, and hope!

          Best to you,

          1. Julie, I read your words and can feel your authenticity and power and know you will emerge from this whole. A little progress every day…such a worthwhile acknowledgment. It’s a relief to see you are in the hands of excellent caregivers.

            Keep on healing on and accepting the kindness of others! My guess is ‘receiving’ will be a vital part of your healing process. How kind of you to think of me at this time. Thank you. I reckon ? I’m not alone in saying that this difficult time in our history is teaching me many lessons about myself and is forcing me to figure out how to trust and hope even on the stormiest days. But one has to turn her back to the light and face the dark sky in order to see a rainbow. ?

  3. So thankful for finding this blog!!!
    I sustained a tri-mal fracture with dislocation in my right ankle on June 29th and had surgery July 8th. The injury necessitated implants of two metal plates and thirteen screws (I wonder if the surgeon uses a power drill to install the hardware? LOL). The OS informed me that the hardware will remain in my ankle forever. For me, because I live alone and have 2 dogs and 1 cat to take care of I have met my share of challenges. My bedrooms are upstairs in my house so the recliner remained my ‘bed’ for the next 2 months. I was never able to climb the stairs during this time frame. Like everyone else on this blog, I too will always remember the day of my injury. It is indeed a brutal injury and the recovery is so S-L-O-W! I experienced isolation and loneliness that was driving me crazy. I was out of work for 15 weeks and difficult because I am an active 68 year old. My timeline of healing is as follows:
    July 8 – surgery
    July 10-released from hospital in a cast with 2 crutches
    July 8-10 extreme post op pain…wow!
    July 17-went from below the knee cast to ortho boot-still NWB; using 2 crutches
    Aug. 21-OS finally permitted WBAS (weight bearing as tolerated) with the cam boot on and allowed PT to begin
    Aug. 26-PT began with ROM-literally there was none. Still using two crutches. Therapist shows me how to walk up and down steps with both crutches-hallelujah!
    Sept. 3-i am permitted to walk upstairs on my own. I am now able to sleep in my bed! I am using 1 crutch, switching to a walker. ROM greatly improving. PT is still twice a week and I do my exercises 3x a day; every day.
    Sept.7-took my first standing shower- oh what a JOYFUL occasion that was. Decided to shower 3x a week. Still using 1 crutch.
    Sept. 9-PT now has me using a cane only.
    Sept. 18-After 9 weeks in the boot, OS told me to discard cam boot and was provided with a splint. I am still using a cane, but can walk without it if I choose.
    Oct. 2 -I am permitted to drive; taking practice drives in neighborhood.
    Oct. 8-returned to work full time. Still PT twice a week. ROM close to normal as could be.
    Oct.18-OS advised me my bones were completely healed. PT ordered to continue 2x a week. Next appt. Nov. 27. Still doing stretching, ankle strength building exercises and warm ups 3x a day. Swelling still very present. Discomfort and some pain still exists. I have good days and not so good days. PT making very good progress with massaging scar tissue around incision areas.
    Four months post surgery-I can stand on one leg (injured leg). I can walk up stairs one over one. I can walk unassisted and for the first time, I will walk into the office of the OS next week unassisted. I shower every day, I work 8-9 hours a day, I go grocery shopping, I clean my house and do my laundry. I returned to church services. I am living a fairly normal life and I am grateful for that. Prayers helped A LOT and I kept my faith. It would seem whenever I started feeling sorry for myself, I would see a commercial showing a military member with missing limbs or see someone out and about with a twisted body and it always helps me realize I don’t have it so bad. I have come to realize that this injury has humbled me and that is not a bad thing for sure.
    11/27/2019-Five months post op update – I walked into doctor’s office completely unassisted-yayyyy and no longer use any assistance with associated devices. My OS and PT are extremely happy with my progress. OS informed me I will have swelling for quite sometime due to dislocation and healing of all the soft tissue; probably up to a year+ OS completely satisfied with the job my PT is doing, so I am continuing PT twice a week for a few more months.
    7 month update-01/28/2020: I still cannot do calf raises on the injured ankle alone without support. Ankle still very tight in the morning and must do runner’s stretch 3x for 30 sec ea time before I can walk downstairs. Swelling better, almost gone in the morning but returns as I walk around, but not too bad. I’ve come a long way but still experience some discomfort; and For now at times may walk with a slight limp because of it, therefore my gait is still not normal. – OS is extremely pleased with healing and that there is no arthritis present. Wants me to return for a final visit in 3 months. Advised that I may discontinue PT but I do not wish to so OS provided a script for another 6 weeks of PT.
    Overall, I am happy with everything and will never take for granted the simple things we do every day that I was suddenly unable to. LIFE IS GOOD! Thank you everyone for your posts….so, so helpful and much comfort found in them. May God bless you all!

    1. Jane Dev

      Hello Kathleen!!! I love your post and all your details! Sorry about your accident but you seem like you are doing amazing! I literally almost feel like I could replace my name and change the dates because our journeys were super similar as most of would also be able to say! Except I slept in the first floor bedroom in the beginning not a recliner. I will tell you the one part of your journey that I WISH WISH WISH was part of mine, and I tell you this for a reason….on my last PT – one day short of five months, my PT had me stand on my bad foot in a single leg calf raise and HOLD it. I broke three of my metatarsals, (I thought two but recently learned it was three)!!!! I could have gone months without doing that and I get frustrated every time I think of WHY I DID NOT SAY NO TO HER! I said I have not done that yet, and she said, let’s just do a test. I realize you are saying at about 7 months you cannot do that, but TAKE YOUR TIME!!! There is no rush. That was such a set back for me, and my forefoot has felt weak ever since and on December 23rd I broke my foot again!!! I have no doubt that if I did not do that stupid single leg calf raise that I would be not be IN A BOOT AGAIN with a broken an chipped bone and a sprained mid foot joint! PLEASE TAKE YOUR TIME. You sound so committed to your exercises and your PT at home and your independence is there – keep up the good work and go at your own pace. I love and appreciate this blog as well. Thankful for Kenda and everyone who can share because of her!! Happy Healing (1/1/2019 injury)

        1. Jane Dev

          Kenda, I secretly love when you write a response to a “fellow Tri-mal champion”, even though I hate that someone is hurt!…but, I love what you write and can always learn something from your response, even if it is just to try and become an better human being and friend. I truly appreciate you.

      1. gail

        I am at 8 months after open trimalleolar fracture. Tightness and stiffness is there, which concerns me. I have a good trauma trauma and surgery and recovery went well. I can walk and go bike riding. Top of foot in joint get sore cause of lack of range of motion still. If you have any thoughts, let me know. I think there are a lot of differences if fracture was Open.

        1. Hi Gail, thank you for writing. And as always, I am just so sorry for the reason you had to come, but I’m glad you’re here.

          I agree that a compound fracture could lend itself to some different circumstances. We don’t have many folks on here who have had a compound fracture so I don’t know if anyone else can speak to that directly. But what we can speak to is our individual paths of healing. From my perch, you’re doing well at 8 months! I believe the tightness and stiffness are normal as is the reduced range of motion. Most of the folks who write in have those specific complaints even a year out. Definitely talk with your OS and/or your PT about it. Just the fact you’re walking and bike riding (outdoors, I assume?) sounds good to me.

          Are you still in PT? If not, see if your insurance will cover additional sessions. Be your own best advocate. These are definitely questions to ask a professional. Something you probably have found and something the rest of us have found is that internet researches tend to raise anxiety levels rather than quell them.

          My thoughts are this: Each individual heals differently, from what I’ve experienced you’re on a normal trajectory of healing, and it’s always best to check with a professional when having any kind of doubt. I relied heavily on my PTs because they had all seen trimalleolars before and could give me a range of expectations to meet or exceed.

          Please update us when you can or if you have more questions. I hope this has helped you in some way?

          Cheers to you and your healing,


    2. Hello Kathleen!

      Wow. That was the most thorough review I’ve ever seen. Thank you for sharing it with us. I think it could be very helpful for new readers.

      You have made it through the storm and with a sense of humor (the OS using a drill ?) and high spirits. Well done! I know you had some hard days especially living alone with all those little beings to care for. How did you do it? Did you get some help?

      I applaud your taking the additional 6 weeks of PT, because PT is (IMO) equally as important as the ORIF surgery. You’re right that for some, the swelling lasts through the first year and a little longer. I also had the dislocated talus (which I think is the reason my ligaments couldn’t hold my bones together), and my timing was very close to yours – July 3 only many years earlier.

      Are you able to or have you considered getting some bodywork for the gait that’s not quite right (which also is very normal btw)? It really helped me, because when my gait was off, it threw my body a little out of whack.

      This July will make 9 years for me, and like you, I have so much gratitude–for my ability to walk and jog and dance and skip everything else my ankles allow me to do! I find gratitude is a helpful healing companion on this journey. ?

      I know you’re busy with the long working hours and your furry family, but if you get a chance, please send an update. I appreciate seeing how things work out for my fellow Tri-mal champions.

      Thanks for being a part of this blog. Cheers to you and your continued healing!


  4. Sharon

    I have a question ?
    I had a dislocation trimalleolar fracture two
    And 1/2 years ago , Hardware still in place. I hike and ski and love to exercise. I’m
    Beginning to have problems With pain and swelling after Skiing and working out… what should I do now ?? Thought I’d get an X-ray and try PT again?

    1. Jane Dev

      Hello! This must be very frustrating for you, and I hope you are not in too much pain! I am only a year out now, so I am positive someone on the blog has more experience to offer. IMO, and that’s all it is …. I would think seeing the doctor would be beneficial as you are having changes of some kind. An x ray may let you know if the hardware is still in place, or if there have been any changes. Please keep us updated with any news as many of us could experience something similar in our future. Best of luck.

    2. Andrea

      Update! So I had the surgery to remove the hardware in my ankle. It wasn’t an easy decision but I think in the long run I’ll be happy. I had the surgery last Tuesday and I’m back to work tomorrow. The recovery is definitely a-lot easier than it was after my initial injury but the first 72 hours were brutal. I am walking on it using a cane for support but I’m walking!!

      Hope all are well.


      1. Jane Dev

        Andrea, Your message about the surgery sounded so good until you wrote that the first 72 hours were brutal! I am so sorry about that! How long was the surgery, and were your scars as big as the original wounds? Will it take the full 8 weeks to heal the wounds? Are you in a boot? Did he take it all out, And also, how long had it been since your original surgery and what made you decide to take it out? I hope the recovery goes well for you. Sorry I am so curious after you wrote about this and that you just had it done.
        Jane ( January 1, 2019)

        1. These are all great questions, Jane. When I had mine, I was in a soft cast for a week (I think) and no boot. My OS cut on the same lines as the original surgery so that I wouldn’t have any extra scars. Interestingly enough, I can barely see my scars now. I worked that scar tissue every day, and I had a chiropractor who suggested I put hydrogen peroxide on it. I tried that and almost every other suggestion given to me. Are you thinking about it for yourself? I know you’re dealing with a new injury, and that’s probably consuming a lot of your energy right now. How are you doing? ?

          1. Jane Dev

            Hi Kenda, doing well – feeling so much better – hoping for continued safety. ! Five weeks weeks today since the injury, one more week in the boot before I see the doctor. Looking forward to that appointment and finding out about the next step. Been going to functional training and working on strength and hopefully bone density. Prob PT in my future for the foot. Been busy here – one son is starting up his last spring season so that means travel; my daughter moved into her first apartment since graduating last May. Thankful that life is going on…focusing on being healthy, and grateful. Thank you, hope all is well with you!

            1. Thanks for the update, Jane. I appreciate it. I’m glad to see you’re doing well and feeling better. Between all the activities with your daughter (congrats to her and her first apartment!) and son and your training, you’ve been busy despite being in the boot! Your spirit continues to shine through. I hope the next week goes swiftly and you get the answers you need from the doctor.

              If you get a chance, please let us know how that appointment goes next week. All is very well with me! Thank you. ?

      2. Oh wow! It seemed like only yesterday you were working on that decision. You jumped right on it. You’re not even a week out and walking! Rock on, Andrea!

        Thank you so much for taking the time to update us. I do wonder and worry about you all.

        If you ever feel like checking, we’re always here. In the meantime, congrats for working hard and getting back to normal life. I wish you well! ?

    3. Hi Sharon,

      I always love hearing from active folks who go right back to their favorite activities after healing from a Trimalleolar. Well done. Now, about the pain you’ve been having these past 6 months: Definitely go back to your OS and get it checked. Something is obviously different if you’ve been hiking, skiing, and exercising without pain for all that time and now you have pain. My first guess is the hardware. Is it an option for you to have it removed? Is that something you would even want to do? Please get i t checked out, get the Xray, and let us know what your OS says.

      To your continued healing,

    4. Deb

      I’m hoping your surgeon has an answer I like better than mine told me! Mine believes it’s the expected arthritis from this injury. I find a soak in the whirlpool at my gym helps.

  5. Jane Dev

    Hey, it’s Jane Dev..this is long, sorry! I finally decided to post – I hesitated so as not to infuse negativity into the blog. The family trip to Germany was a time to be cautiously optimistic as I approached my year anniversary of the ankle injury on Jan 1, 2019, but in a moment, I slipped on wet moldy wood and bent my foot too far. Christmas in Germany on crutches with a broken foot was not the best. I was trying to keep a stiff upper lip – but inside, I was struggling. I kind of felt like I was right back where I was a year ago. My OS saw me when I returned home, and there was no surgery required, thank goodness. He and the ER doc both said it was an avulsion fracture from a tendon that pulling bone off, maybe a sprain, not sure about metatarsal fractures. So I went back in the birkenstocks, as I did with metatarsal fractures in May for 2 or 3 months. Being able to walk was huge for my psychtwo e and over the next week I found my spirits started to pick up. I also had a friend who was helping me through some of the jagged emotions (thank you) and I started to feel my hopeful self again. The issue for me is my bones – the osteopenia – and if I continue to have fractures, this will severely affect my life, and future. Anyhow, I ended up going to another doctor this week – it was hard to have the courage to ask my OS who saved my ankle, for my new x rays for a second opinion. I chickened out and said I wanted to follow up with someone more local. I am so glad that I did though because the new doctor ordered an MRI which I had two days ago. Turns out it is more of a compression fracture due to the intense bend and pressure as I slid. I have a Lis Franc sprain as well in the mid foot joint which can be serious, but the MRI specified, thankfully MILD! So back in a boot now for a month – but ever so relieved, and thankful for no additional breaks. He did mention there were three old metatarsal breaks, not two which I thought I had from May! Not sure if that third happened in May or after? Maybe that’s why my foot felt so weak for so long. So, I am on the mend and feeling hopeful. I never did walk in my boot before. Does anyone love a boot that gave good heel padding? I have a thinning heel pad, and I don’t want to flare things up. Cute story – I stopped at my kids old pediatrician today to get records, and I said pardon my appearance – first time driving since I injured myself. He asked what happened – and I said I had bone injuries three times this year – I had to laugh at his response – he FIRMLY said to me, and I quote, “YOU NEED TO BONE UP ON SOME VITAMIN D”. Cute play on words, and of course I have been. I have been taking my symphytum “bone knit” for healing bones. I have also been trying to eat Alkaline which helps to keep calcium in the bones, using my Bemer, watching Calcium, all that usual stuff. Starting to drink Kefir which has lactoferrin which is also good for bones. Also trying to keep weight bearing as we all know from recovery, weight bearing is ever so important to build bone density. I am going back in to speak to Doctor about the Fosomax, but I am terrified to take that for the side effects. Not sure if anyone on here takes any medications for the bones. Thanks for any feedback that anyone can chime in on is welcome! Happy New Year – Jane

    1. Dear Jane,

      I’m glad you wrote in and shared your story with us. I’m really sorry you’re dealing with this on the heels (no pun intended, I swear) of everything else you’ve dealt with the past year.

      I can see already your spirit is shining through this latest obstacle, and that’s what will carry you on this next healing journey. Still, it’s totally normal to have moments in which you don’t feel positive, moments you might be feeling crappy or worried or angry. I come from the belief of letting yourself have that space to feel it all so that you can free up your energy to heal.

      Well done on getting the 2nd opinion. That advocacy paid off with valuable info. I never before heard of a Lisfranc sprain. I had to look it up. I’m glad it’s a mild one…I’m also super relieved you don’t need surgery and that this can be managed with a boot! I wore my husband’s gym socks in my boot. The extra cushion gave me some comfort plus he has a bunch of them so I could change them out regularly.

      Thanks for the cute reminder to take Vitamin D. I am not taking any meds for my bones outside of supplements. What are your thoughts about consulting with a naturopath? Maybe you’ve already done so. I don’t remember.

      I really appreciate your update, Jane. You can write in anytime with any news. I would love to see your updates if/when you feel like it.

      I’m wishing you a happy 2020. I realize it’s been a rough start, but I predict it will get increasingly better for you.

      Cheers to your healing,


      1. Jane Dev

        Thank you Kenda. I have considered a naturopath. I tend to turn to “Better Bones”, Dr. Brown – a PhD and I believe an anthropologist or something. She has a strong interest in bones and for me has been a good resource. I have considered doing a consult with her – it’s not covered by insurance but she looks at everything including recommended blood tests and the ones that have been done. I saw the doctor to day again for my foot when getting fitted for a shorter boot – he thinks I should go on the medication although the Better Bones site is not a fan at all. Decisions, decisions! Thanks so much again.

  6. Andrea

    Hi all! Seeking some advice!! I had a trimalleolar fracture in December of 2018. Recovery was long but I’m definitely doing much better. I am scheduled to have a surgery this coming month to remove one of the screws that is messing with one of my nerves and causing lots of pain. I’m wondering though if I should just have all hardware removed if I’m already going under the knife a second time. Any advice?

    1. Hey Andrea!

      It’s so nice to hear from you and am happy to see you’ve been healing well despite the screw pain. My take on metal removal may be different from others, but I can tell you I’m really happy I had it all removed. I would definitely check with your doc and PT to make sure you’re a good candidate for it, but since you’re already having surgery and assuming your docs confirm, why not? The metal removal surgery was the easiest recovery of my three surgeries, and my ROM improved after. It also took care of the discomfort I was feeling. Let us know what you decide. There aren’t many comments here from folks who have had the metal removed. It could be useful for current and future Tri-mals.

      Buona fortuna!

      1. Jo

        Hi all. It has been a long time since I have written. Like many of you have said, this blog and all the information it contains was a true gift for me. It got me through some of my toughest days and weeks.
        I have debated having my hardware removed. It will be three years, in February, since my fracture. My OS recommended removal to increase my ROM and so they could remove some of the scar tissue. I had a second opinion – she did not recommend it. The two plates on the sides of my ankle would not pose a problem for removal. She didn’t think those plates, however, were the ones giving me problems. She believes is is the one on the back of my ankle that is anterior (?) to my Achilles tendon. And in order to remove it she would need to, either, cut the tendon or significantly stretch and displace it. Her opinion was the recovery from the resulting tendon damage would be significant and may not have a huge impact on my ankle status overall.
        So, I haven’t done anything yet.
        Each injury and each repair is so unique. It seems there is not a single solution. So it really helps me to hear the experiences of others.
        Happy New Year to all! Wishing for a year of no new Trimal members.

        1. It’s so lovely to hear from you, Jo! Thank you for your encouraging words! I can’t believe it’ll be THREE years this February! Wow. Look at how far you’ve come. I agree, each person’s situation is unique when it comes to hardware removal. Your situation sounds more invasive than was mine. Andrea, this is why it’s important to ask your docs what removal would mean for you.

          Wishing you all a beautiful new year! One could hope for no new members, but we’re here if so!


      2. Andrea

        I’ll be contacting my OS to discuss removing it all. We have a family friend who is an OR physician and he had a tri mal too and highly recommended removal of all hardware. He gave me a couple of research articles regarding this. I’m going to try and post them here.

          1. Andrea emailed me a link to the article – very interesting! It’s entitled, “Hardware removal halts the majority of postoperative foot and ankle pain”.

            I’m not sure if the link will post, but here goes:

            I also added it to the end of the post, “Me and My Trimalleolar go to Mexico…”:

            Thank you, Andrea!

        1. Okay! I’m curious to hear what you decide. I don’t think there’s a way to upload any PDFs through the comments, but I will shoot you an email and you can send them to me. I will then upload them as an update to one of the blog posts and share with you all (giving you credit, of course for the share). ?

  7. Katie

    Hello! My name is Katie and Im 28 years old. I suffered a trimalleolar fracture April 5th 2019. I was walking down the stairs with my 1 year old son. Thankfully he was completely unharmed, but I broke my ankle in three places and needed a plate and screws.

    During my recovery I read this blog every day to see how close I was to recovering and being “back to normal”. It has been such a comforting and informative blog to go through during my healing. I did learn that every person is different and the healing process is different for everyone. Lately (8 months later), I have been able to drive, walk, use the bike, chase my kids, etc. My leg still feels a little weak going down stairs, jogging and I am not able to run yet. My leg also gets quite stiff at the end of the day or during the mornings. Does anyone know if the stiffness comes from having the plates? I was thinking of removing the plates if the stiffness if causes by the plates but I’m not entirely sure.

    I am writing to get some insight on the recovery from here on out. I don’t really know anyone who can give me honest insight on what to expect in the future. Does it get better than this or is this what it will be like from here on out? I would really like to run/jog normally in the near future but I don’t see myself doing it anytime soon. I am definitely feeling a little discouraged and would love to hear from other people’s experiences.
    Hope to hear back!!

    1. Hi Katie!

      So glad you wrote in, I’m just sorry for the reasons that brought you here. But wow – you are well through the worst parts of this. You are well over the “healing hump”. I’m honored to know the blog has been a help to you. I’m also amazed you managed to protect your son from injury while falling down stairs!

      You are so right – everyone heals differently so all of our paths could look different. You are doing GREAT! It looks like you’re back to most of your normal activities. Well done! The weakness and stiffness at this stage sound normal to me. While eight months is a long time, I’ve heard and experienced you have to give yourself at least a full year to really get back to feeling like your old self. Now, it is possible some of the stiffness is due to the metal. We’ve had a number of discussions on the blog about that. I was impacted by the metal in a big way and some are not impacted by it at all. I think it depends on the placement and your sensitivity level. I’m super sensitive to what’s going on in my body and to my environment. I wish I weren’t but I am, thus I had to remove the metal. For me, I had increased mobility after, but again, there are folks here who manage just as well without removing the metal. You can talk with your OS about metal removal and see what s/he suggests, but in the end, you are your own best advocate. Most insurances will cover it if there is a symptom that makes it necessary to remove it. For me, I felt discomfort with the cold and something else bothersome that I don’t remember (it’s been a while).

      I believe it will get better for you. You still have a good 4 months of healing, and I think if you can keep working at it, you’ll get back to where you were or very close to it. Plus (added bonus) you’re still young! I was around 45 when I had my T-mal and was able to run again. I understand your sense of discouragement because it’s easy to see where you were and where you are now, whereas it may be harder to see where you will be (not sure if that makes sense). But, keep focusing on where you want to be and keep working towards that goal. I believe you will get there and like most of the rest of us, one day you’ll reflect back on this time with an incredible appreciation of your own physical, emotional, and mental strength for overcoming one of the greatest physical challenges of your life.

      Cheers to your healing!

      1. Chelsea

        Hi all,

        It’s been awhile! I tried to post last month, but I now see that the site was having some issues. I’m commenting now, but not entirely sure that it’s not to a reply, ha! Sorry if I’ve jumped on someone’s thread. I’ve been getting a lot of updates lately from comments. They have been really great to read. It’s really awesome how far everyone has come.

        I am doing well. I am 7 months post break & surgery. I did a few months of PT and totally crushed it. I’m still very proud of myself. I am back to being the old me for the most part. Except, this winter has been a brutal challenge. We live in the upper peninsula of Michigan and it gets extremely cold here, with LOTS of snow. I have been experiencing pain in my leg due to the cold. But, overall it’s been good. No issues with the metal. I still can’t run. Maybe someday. I still have a stiff ankle in the morning, but my swelling has gone down considerably. Overall, I feel really happy to have come this far with my leg. And bonus, I’m still “super mom” to my kids.

        1. It’s so great to hear from you, Chelsea! Apologies for the site difficulties when you tried to post last month. I think it’s all straightened out now.

          But YOU! I chuckled reading the part of your “totally crushing” PT. Rock on! You should be proud of yourself. Another young mother recently joined the group, so maybe you have some advice about how to power through this injury with children.

          I’m bummed to see that winter has been a brutal challenge. I think having pain and some stiffness – especially in cold weather – -at 7 months is still normal. It sucks, but it’s normal. Given what I know about you, I think you’ll run again someday if you feel like it. The older I get the more I realize running is super hard on my joints, so I resort to biking or long hikes now. I do miss the runner’s high, but my knees and hips are happier.

          Thanks for the update! You’ve come a long way! If you get a chance around the 1-year mark to write an update, I’d love to hear where you are at that point. No pressure ever. In the meantime, have fun in the snow and watch out for ice!

          To your healing,


    2. Cindy Brine

      Three things I used for the healing of soft tissue and swelling part of my healing from this horrible break are:
      1) SofPulse. You need a prescription from your doc.
      2) Beurer Infrared Heat Lamp
      3) DMSO
      A rehab doc from Harvard told me about these products.
      I hope this helps everyone with the soft tissue part of the process.

    3. Cindy Brine

      Hi, I posted three things that can help with the stiffness….look after the next reply. Can take couple of years for swelling to completely go away, but elevate a few times a day, some ice, and the three products I listed. Hope that helps you.

  8. Emily

    Hello! Its been 7 weeks since I’ve had surgery for my trimalleolar ankle fracture. I’m so happy to have found your blog. For so long I’ve felt like I was being over dramatic about how depressed and pessimistic I was being towards all the seemingly little changes and discomforts and challenges that came with healing my ankle. But since reading this first post on your blog I dont feel so alone anymore in that. The impact a broken ankle can have on your life is really intense, and I definitely never expected to struggle with recovering with it like I have. I had surgery, then a splint for 2 weeks. Then a hard cast for 4 weeks. I currently have a walking boot, and PT is supposed to be getting scheduled here soon. I’m very worried about limited ankle mobility, even though I’m not super active with running or walking etc. I am a mom of 2 young children (both under 4) and the orthopedic PA told me to just try and move my ankle around as much as possible before my PT starts. I’ve heard horror stories of the pain in which PT brings you. My husband is in the military and we are currently stationed in Germany, although I broke my ankle in the Untied States with my 2 kids while visiting family. I’m trying to get back to my husband as quickly as possible and hoping to be there by the end of January. Now hearing some personal stories of PT I’m worried about pain (again) and also timing of getting back to my home. Anyways, I guess I just needed to let all that out to someone to understood and not family who think maybe I just need to “buck up” and be strong for my kids. Its exhausting. All of it. Thank you for being a light in my recovery darkness.

    1. Hi Emily,

      Thank you for writing in. I’m so glad you found this blog, but I’m so sorry for the reasons that brought you here.

      Let me begin by saying, you are not being overly dramatic. Please, if you can, release that self-judgment immediately because you need all the energy you can get to heal through this injury. It frustrates me when family members add the complication of “buck up” to this (physically and emotionally) excruciating injury that requires all of your available energy to heal. But I get it, because until you’ve had a Trimalleolar, it’s almost impossible to understand the extent of its challenges. Most folks think, “it’s just a broken bone, move on.” First off, it’s three bones and secondly, these are the bones that connect your leg to your foot. This is a seriously severe injury as my doctor informed me – over and over again until it registered.

      I’ve met other women through this blog who have had small children, and I truly don’t know how you all manage. I hope you’re getting a lot of help. You have the added challenge of needing to travel across an ocean to get back to your husband/home in Germany. I applaud any and every effort you’re making to get through each day. Feeling depression is totally normal. Like most folks here, that feeling starts to really diminish when you get to PT and start to build strength and mobility.

      Now about your PT. Because you’ve made it through the first 7 weeks post-op, you may find yourself pleasantly (I use this word kind of loosely!) surprised about PT. From what I recall, the pain of PT was minimal compared to the pain I felt the first couple/few weeks post-op. I was psyched about PT, because to me, it signified the part of the healing journey that would get me on my feet again. PT will help with your ankle mobility. It will be difficult at first, so please do everything you’re told to do. My PT started with toe wiggles. They put me on a stationary bike on the first day. Granted, my other leg was doing the work, but it indirectly helped the broken ankle begin the process of getting mobile. I suggest you wiggle your toes as often as you can. It can help get the blood circulating, but if it causes pain, wait until PT. Then I moved onto other slight movements. It was all fairly gradual at first and then they pushed me forward. Do whatever you can to keep other parts of your body strong as you’ll need those to help support your healing ankle.

      How will this work for you? Will you start PT in the US and finish up in Germany? PT is a long process (as it should be to ensure you become whole again), so I’m curious how you’ll work that.

      I can suggest right now that if you will be flying in an airplane, as I’m assuming you will be, to get some compression socks. I hope you won’t be flying alone with your kids. Please make sure someone joins you on that journey as you’ll need the help.

      Do keep us updated if you get a chance! I’ll be cheering for you from afar. One day, you will look back on this and be amazed at your ability to have mustered up the strength to get through this. And you will get through it.

      To your healing!

      Kenda ?

      1. Emily

        Thank you for the reply!
        I finally had my first PT appointment on the 26th, although it was only an evaluation it definitely gave me some hope. I’m not exactly sure how the PT situation will work out. I assume I’ll do enough to be able to travel comfortably with my kids and be able to climb my 59 stairs to my apartment we live in in Germany. ? I’m growing less confident I’ll be able to do that reading some of the comments on previous posts but my Therapist seemed somewhat confident we would make it there. Then I would have to go to my primary doctor back there, get a referral to an ortho doctor for a evaluation and go from there on physical therapy. This hasn’t been told to me by my doctors here Stateside, just from previous ways I’ve gone about having to see specialists. I’m really hoping they will refer me to more PT once I’m back, from reading your blog and replies on it I worry they will say I won’t need it and I’ll struggle and lose a lot of mobility. Military doctors can sometimes give you the bare minimum care possible. I’m praying it all works out. So far this trip has been the biggest challenge of my life. Along with the break, my insurance was so incredibly complicated in the beginning. I didn’t get seen for over a week after breaking my ankle. But thankfully it’s been working out better now.
        Unfortunately I wont have anyone on the plane with me to help me with my kids. I’m pretty nervous about that. Everyone has taken off so much time when I got hurt (my parents and my husband) that nobody is able to take off more time/has the money for tickets. I’m praying for enough strength to be able to do it. If I dont feel confident I will definitely push back my date for going home.
        Thank you for your cheers and support. I’m praying I’m on the upswing from all of this. I will definitely try and keep my comment updated!

        1. Hi Emily,

          Thank you kindly for writing back and filling in some of those gaps. I cannot believe you weren’t seen for a week after the break. THAT is nuttiness!

          I think, like many of us, you’ll have to advocate for yourself when it comes to PT. I had excellent insurance and a lot of PT sessions but still wasn’t ready when it was ending So I got my physical therapist (and maybe the OS too, it’s been a while) to contact the insurance company and agree to give me more sessions. There are ways you can make it work, but like many things related to insurance, you may have to fight for it.

          Yes, I’m assuming, too, that you will have to get to the place of feeling strong enough to 1) take a long flight with 2 small children, and 2) be able to climb those 59 stairs. Here I am prematurely tossing around solutions (ignore at will!): There are services at airports to help with those who have disabilities – temporary or otherwise. You can get help from family to the security line and once past that get yourself wheeled around by someone from the airlines. Ideally, get a nonstop flight or have someone waiting for you at the layover. I would definitely suggest a plan for when you’re on the plane. For instance, can you put the kids in diapers and avoid taking them to the bathroom? Or maybe a trip to the bathroom is one way to get the blood circulating in your ankle. Something you’ve probably seen is that ankle swelling is a big deal at the beginning of mobility. You may find some difficulties moving around on the plane, hence the compression socks. The first flight I took after my break, I spent the majority of it doing ankle exercises just to keep the blood moving around. There’s time to figure that out. Let’s keep you focused on the present. I’m thinking that you absolutely have the strength to pull this off because there doesn’t appear to be any other option. One thing I suspect you’ll recognize in yourself (and it may be a year out from now) is just how strong you are. One day, you will look back on this and be like, “I am a superwoman” because you are. Please remember that. You’re already through the worst part (IMO) of this injury, and sure, there are some challenges ahead, but if you can get through these first 7 weeks, you can get fully well again. I believe this.

          I look forward to hearing about your continued progress, but we’re here for all of it – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

          Cheers to your healing,


        2. Deb

          Hi Emily,
          I agree with Kenda. Especially to use help when you can. You are strong and have gotten through the hardest part. Just take it, everything, slow and steady-not that you have a choice. But that’s normal. Going up and down stairs is not a problem as long as you take your time and step sideways. Ideally, someone attending the kids. If you are wearing a boot, I found an Even-Up shoe elevator (for your uninsured foot/shoe) very helpful to avoid limping and soreness in your back and hip.
          If your medical team does not push PT, it isn’t necessarily bad. Many surgeons believe research that says that formal PT does not generally improve outcomes. Movement, stretching, and time are what counts. That said, it is a forced opportunity to get out of the house, which is important to your mental health. Good luck.

                1. Emily Hardey

                  Hello again ladies! It’s been about 2 months since I’ve last wrote in. It’s been about 3.5 months since my surgery (break was October 26th, and surgery was November 6th 2019) for my tri mal fracture. I’ve made it back to Germany! And I did it BY MYSELF with my 2 kids! The flight was a breeze, it was an overnight one, and both my girls slept quite a bit of it. Once I arrived to the airport in Germany it was a long walk from getting off the plane to arriving at baggage claim. Probably 10 or 15 min walk. So that was rough. I stopped using any equipment for assistance in walking in January. I actually took my first unassisted step January 9th! So since about mid January I haven’t been using a boot or crutches or anything. My ankle was pretty swollen after my flight. My 59 stairs up to my apartment have been rough as well. Its easy going up them, but coming down them is very difficult for me. Bending my ankle the way I need to in order to go down stairs is still not flowing or smooth. I usually have to go down the stairs while turned sideways so I dont have to bend my ankle. I’m also usually carrying my 11 month old. Which makes things a little challenging. I’ve gotten groceries twice now, on my own, and taken them up the stairs with my kids! It was horribly exhausting but I did it! Since arriving in Germany, I have to see my primary doctor in order to get a referral to orthopedics here and get an evaluation and get referred to PT. They are always very backed up here on appointments and I wasnt able to get an appointment with my primary until the 21st of February! Since not going to PT the way I had been, my ankle is in a lot more pain every day. It’s been tighter, and stiffer and it hurts more than it did before I came back to Germany. I’m trying to make time to do all my stretches and home PT exercises, but sometimes it only happens once a day! Or sometimes not at all. My husband works until 8 or 9 at night and since getting back home (I’ve been back for 2 weeks now) I’ve been so busy getting my house back in order and taking care of my kids and running them to appointments and groceries and all the regular day to day chores that I’ve been not doing since living with my family back in the States, and some days I’ve simply run out of time and strength to get my exercises done. And my ankle is definitely paying for it.
                  Otherwise, my scar is healing really amazing. I can’t believe how light it already is. Although it never really bugged me too much. My girls are definitely happy to be back home with their dad.
                  I guess that’s all of an update I have! Thank you for your support!

                  1. Emily, it’s so great to hear from you!

                    I am thoroughly impressed with what you accomplished. From the first step barely 2 months after your surgery to managing an overseas flight BY YOURSELF with two kids to the 59 stairs to your apartment (carrying your 11 month old nonetheless) to getting groceries and carrying them back up the 59 stairs. All of it! You’re doing amazingly well. I know you’re busy getting things in order now that you’re back, yet I highly encourage you to get back to the range of motion exercises as soon as you can. It’ll help you go down the stairs more easily. You’ll hopefully be back in PT soon after that Feb 21 doc visit. One thing you can do if you ever stop to watch something on your tv or computer is to really work/massage the areas where there may be scar tissue. That could help increase your ROM.

                    This is really good news (including the scar healing), and I’m so happy to see it. So glad your family is all back together again and that you’re doing very well!

                    Cheers to you and your healing!

                    1. Emily Hardey

                      Hello Kenda! It’s been almost a year since my Trimalleolar ankle fracture. So much has happened in this last year! After arriving back in Germany I did PT for about 10 visits which is all my insurance would pay for. My husband and 2 children then visited Paris (we lived about 4 hours from the city) where we preceded to walk 18K in ONE day. My ankle was definitely swollen but hardly bothered me. It was stiff the next day but nothing like I expected. We then moved from Germany to Texas at the beginning of September. It was a long 3 days of travel but my ankle was surprisingly not as swollen as I expected. The weather here in Texas definitely seems to affect it. Somedays my ankle is very achy. And my scar will have a tingly burning feeling. But it’s only happened a couple of times. Nothing major. My 1 year anniversary of my accident is coming up on October 26th. It feels weird to be this far out from all the trauma. Thinking back on the accident still gives me chills. I still have a lot of anxiety when stepping wrong or slipping or even just thinking about it again. But every day my life feels more normal. My scar is super light now and it doesn’t really bother me too much. I can wear sandals now! Sometimes my ankle is sore after a day of wearing them but not terrible. The shoes that surprised me the most I can continue wearing are Toms. They were my favorite to wear before my accident and I’ve been able to wear them more then tennis shoes recently! Anyways, I just wanted to update because it was so helpful for me to see every phase and timeframe of others recovery on your blog. Hope you’re doing well and I will always appreciate the support and kind words I received on your blog during the hardest parts of my recovery.

                    2. Hi Emily!

                      It’s really lovely to hear from you. Thank you very much for the update. As you approach your trimanniversary, you can reflect on all the hard work you’ve done and the incredible challenges you’ve overcome this past year to get to THIS place. I mean walking 18K in one day – amazing! That’s a great testimonial for Tom’s too, and you can wear sandals! Hooray! I think having a little tingly sensation around the scar and a little achiness at this point is still normal as is the anxiety about misstepping. I believe that will all continue to dissipate as time passes. For me, it was like the courage increased in relation to each passing day. But really, even for me 9 years out, I find myself paying attention to walking on uneven ground that I would’ve otherwise taken for granted.

                      Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. I’m beaming at the prospect that something I’ve created has helped you through a difficult time.

                      Cheers to you and to your strength and determination!


  9. Nic

    It’s almost been 6 weeks since I had ORIF surgery for a Trimal ankle fracture – sounds a lot like yours. I’ve just started reading your blog and wanted to post immediately as this is really useful! Thank you:)

    1. Hello Nic, and welcome to the Tri-mal team! I’m sorry for the reasons that brought you here but glad you found us. I’m always honored to know that the blog is helping.

      Six weeks post-ORIF is still fairly early in the process. How are you holding up? How’s your pain? Do you have PT scheduled? Let us know if you get a chance. No pressure tho. The top priority is self-care.

      Cheers to your healing,


    2. Deb Cote

      Glad to see the site back up and running. And welcome Nic. We are here for you and glad to help soften your journey. We’ve been there so truly understand what you are going through. You will walk again, normally. That seems to be our main concern. It just takes a while.

      1. Cindy Brine

        Thank you for this comment. I had my break on 12/3/2019, surgery on 12/11. I keep wondering if I will walk normally again. This is the second time I have fractured this left foot, and the first time was 28 years ago. It took a lot of P.T., but I did walk normally after a few months. I ended up having a lot of back pain after I started walking…about a year after. The therapist said it was because I walked a little differently from my accident. I ended up going for Myofacial Release PT, and then seeing an Osteopath. That took care of the pain.

        1. Hello Cindy and thank you for all this useful info! I’m so sorry about your recent injury.

          It sounds like you have been very proactive about your healing. Was the fracture 28 years ago also a Trimalleloar? Given your previous experience and all the knowledge you have on healing, I’m thinking you’ll master this injury too. I know it’s still early on and this is a scary time, but I predict you’ll walk normally again. In the meantime, please keep us updated if you get a chance.

          Cheers to your healing,


    3. Jane Dev

      Nic, So sorry for your surgery – glad to see you found this wonderful blog. This was a great support for me a few months ago. Please reach out along the way for any support or questions you made need help with. We care about you and your recovery. Kenda is a blessing. It’s sure a process!

  10. Chelsea

    Hey fracture fam,

    A new update to follow. July 31st I was officially cleared from ortho. I began to work in full weight bearing. Overall, it’s been really hard. But, also easier than I ever thought it would be. I have a feeling my age is contributing to that. I have been doing PT since July & have made incredible strides (literally). I went from not even being able to bend my foot or toes/no driving to being able to walk pretty normal. I can’t run, and I probably won’t ever be able to, especially with a chunk of bone missing. My metal doesn’t ever bother me. It doesn’t hinder me per say, but I do notice that it’s there. I still have a long road of recovery to go, and months of PT – but I’m happy.

    Does anyone have any tips for the end of the day? I get to the end of the day and my leg throbs from hip to toe. I still experience a lot of swelling in my ankle. The surgeon & PT said it could be that way for years. (May 12th – 14 weeks post break).

    1. Jane Dev

      Chelsea! Another great update. So amazing. Glad to hear especially your spirits are up and you are believing in your recovery – the mental challenge is real! And what a blessing that the metal is not bothering you! Wow, such amazing strides. I feel like at the end of the day – ice, rest and raise that foot in my book. I always do that at night and also try to do my band exercises to move the fluid that builds up during the day. Not sure if everyone else can chime in. I am not sure that you are going to have a significant amount of swelling for years – but believe there will be some. It gets better with time – and you are so early in still – I am just over 7 months out and my swelling is significantly less than it used to be. Not back to my normal thin ankles- (lol), but the swelling is less obvious. I believe over time your leg will start to feel less heavy, and just overall start to feel more like it used to. All the best for continued improvement and recovery. Jane – ( January 1, 7.5 months)

    2. I SO appreciate your updates, Chelsea. You ARE making incredible strides (literally!). Have the docs told you that you won’t ever be able to run? I don’t recall your telling us that. I mean, if you want to run, I wonder if they have some kind of hack that could help? I dunno, maybe some special insert or something? That may be something to look into in the future, if it’s something you want. I do believe you have overcome the hardest part of this journey. It’s all fine-tune healing from here IMO.

      End of day tips: Yes. Take extra special care of yourself. Get pampered and spoiled by anyone and everyone who is willing to spoil you. Swelling at this stage is still very normal. I wouldn’t think years tho. I noticed (and have been reading comments from folks for 8 years now) that it continues to dissipate when weight bearing increases. Raise it up, do air circles or air alphabet (like while hanging out on the sofa), get the blood flowing and massage around the scars. Scar tissue can disrupt lymph drainage. I had someone tell me to massage around the scar (working to break up scar tissue) but also wrap your hands around your ankle and with a gentle but firm upward motion pull your hands toward your knee to get stuff circulating in your ankle and leg. Granted, advice that was given to me doesn’t also apply to others, but it may be worth a try? Ask at PT, too, to see if they can use a TENS to stimulate healing and fluid movement.

      I really appreciate your checking in. Thank you and may your continued healing be swift and easy. ❤️

      July 5, 2011 – eight years, 1 month and couple weeks post tri-mal)

        1. Dolores

          This made me chuckle. I remember the day. Actually have the wrist band from the hospital that says “Fall Risk”. Put the injury date on it and put it on my Christmas tree the other day. When my scar heals fully, the plan is to have a tattoo on my ankle, where the screws and plates are. But that will be for the future.

          Just keep up with the PT, do the ankle circles, the alphabet. If you sit at work, this can be done as you are sitting at your desk, or wherever you know you will be sitting for an extended period of time. Elevate when you get home. Ice and heat as needed. Massage the scar tissue if you can, using cocoa butter lotion.

          We have all been where you are.

          1. Dolores, I love that your wrist band is being used as a Christmas tree ornament! Brilliant! Have I asked yet if you’ve thought about what tattoo you want on your ankle? I like that idea too.

            Thanks for your words of wisdom and cheers to your healing!

            1. Dolores

              As far as the future tattoo. My idea is a trellis, following where the screws and plates are located. I took images of my x-rays, when attending my OS visits. Will use the best image, then have flowers indicating my family members, and of course, one for this site. Everyone here has been very encouraging. Will have to make sure all of the scar tissue has healed before this is done, so maybe by next Christmas, or on the second anniversary of my fall.

              Everyone, have a wonderful holiday season, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanza, and the best in the coming New Year.

              Will keep you updated for progress.

              1. Nancy

                Dolores- the tattoo sounds perfect! Hopefully, you can figure out a way we can see it!!!! My surgeon gave me my two plates and 18 screws- I was thinking of making a necklace? or maybe a collage?!

                14 months and 17 days since my trimal break (who is counting?) and I too want to thank Kenda and the Blog for all your support, helpful advice and always being there. Wishing everyone very happy and healthy holidays!!!

                P.S. My pug Henry and I did the Fort Lauderdale Turkey Trot over Thanksgiving. We finished last and we didn’t exactly trot, but we did it. If I can do it-anyone reading with a trimal in progress -you can do it too?

                1. Ciao Nancy!

                  I still have my plates and screws too. One day they will become part of an art project. For years, I’ve periodically pulled them out of their box. I look at them and hold them feeling grateful they helped make me whole again. I love your necklace idea!

                  14 months and 17 days. You’ve come a long way and now you’re out there Turkey Trotting. Well done trot or not! The point is you persist. You get out there and make it happen. Your determination is admirable. Henry has been your devoted companion and caregiver this entire time. Give him a smooch from me, please.

                  It brings me great joy to be with you on this end of the journey.

                  Cheers to you!

                1. Deedee

                  Hi Everyone.

                  It’s been 1 year and 5 months. Keep postponing my hardware removal because I don’t want to stop traveling. My orthopedic surgeon said that there is no rush and one year to three years isn’t going to make Mitch of a difference. I thought it became more part of my body as the months go by but he said that took many many years. Hope everyone is recovering well

                  1. Jane Dev

                    Hi Deedee! Love to hear the updates! Happy travels – I give you a lot of credit! Yah, my surgeon said it makes no difference at all when it’s removed either. I am curious does it bother you….I forget why you were thinking of removing the hardware? I have a spot on my inner ankle – just a super nervy area. I feel like it’s getting worse, or growing a bit. I would want that one screw out but afraid it could cause more nerve damage to cut open again, and doctor won’t take out one screw, he will only do anesthesia for everything. Are you thinking of getting everything out when you do Deedee? Nice to hear from you. Heading to a co workers wedding this week and all I can wear is sneakers or birkinstocks since December foot break. I may try to wear a pair of dress boots – but that’s what I was wearing when I broke it, so I have a little PTSD with the boots. We will see! (Jan 1, 2019 – just over 13 months ago)

                    1. Jane! If you get a moment after the wedding, please let us know what you decided to do – sneakers, Birkies, or boots. I totally get why you have the boot PTSD.

                      I’m also concerned about the hardware spot that seems to be getting worse. Looks like you have a decision to make…I suppose nerve damage is possible, but my surgeon cut precisely on the incisions and I didn’t notice anything different after it healed. I think she also removed some scar tissue, because the incisions were less bumpy and “bound up” if that makes any sense. The incisions healed very nicely and no one can tell I had two major scars (not that I care, really).

                      I look forward to seeing what Deedee has to say.

                      Have some wedding fun! ?

                  2. Thanks for writing in Deedee with your hardware removal update. I know a lot of folks are curious about this topic. I look forward to hearing how the surgery goes after you’re ready to take a little respite from traveling. In the meantime, keep on keeping on and enjoying life! ?

    3. Louise

      In Belfast, Ireland suffered same injury may 28th 2020 had surgery. 3 plates 22 screws. Covid 19 had no support. In and out of surgery in 24 hours. 20th August 2020 and walking. Husband and family suffered first few wks but strong woman I am back where I’m needed on my feet. Physio every 2 wks and improving immensely

      1. Jane Dev

        Louise! The first thing that comes to mind is “SHOW OFF!!! Hahaha. 🙂 You sound so positive and it sounds as if you have done very well – on the heels of what sounds like an awful injury and at an inopportune time. We know all too well how hard this recovery is, especially when you have a family that depends on you. Good job! “Bob’s your Uncle!” Hope your recovery continues to go well!

      2. Hello Louise,

        Thanks for writing in. You clearly had a horrific injury (22 screws!) but look at you now! Your strength shows through, and I’m very glad to see you’re doing this well. It’s not often when someone writes in at this point of recovery, yet I love it when it happens! I always appreciate seeing the success stories of this serious injury.

        Keep up the good work and if you get a chance, updates are always welcome.

        To your healing,


      3. Julie

        Louise, I’m in the same situation! Surgery May 12. 5 plates and 18 screws. Walking unassisted now, plenty of swelling and stiffness, but progress. COVID makes this situation particularly unnerving, isolating, and challenging, doesn’t it? We are just now getting our house back in order after moving furniture out of the way and taking down interior doors for the wheelchair (which I have thankfully returned!) Hope you are feeling hopeful now.

        1. Julie! I’m so happy to hear from you. I’ve been wondering how you’re doing, and it looks like really well despite the added burden of navigating a serious injury during a pandemic. Hooray for returning the wheelchair and for all the progress you’ve made!

          Cheers to you and your continued healing!


          1. Julie

            Thank you, Kenda! I think about your story so often — it is really a wonderful thing you’ve done here. I find myself checking in once every week or two. Though some of our details are different, you did a wonderful job explaining things and I can relate to so much of what you’ve written. Thank you!

  11. Deedee

    10 months ago today I had my trimaran fracture. Here is my update. I can walk. I still get stiff and my Achilles’ tendon is bothersome. I went to Spain and cruised Alaska (hiked a small trail in Alaska). Finally I can go up and down stairs normally. I have PTSD on stairs and see everything as a fall hazard that I seem to need to point out to my husband. Lol. I can’t run. I can jog 90 feet. Lol. I can ride a bike. I can stand on one leg. I wore shoes other than my orthopedic to go to dinner and for formal dinner night. I’m still a work in progress. I’m grateful for every single day of my mobility. We will recover. It takes a lot of time. I was discouraged after 6 months but things finally started working themselves out. For some of us this will be a two year battle. For others not so much. This is not a race. Give yourself the mental freedom of not worrying if your not exactly where others are on month xyz of this journey. I got real caught up on it and that made me a bit depressed. Oh, I still use a cane occasionally (it’s got a silver lions head and people think it’s a fashion statement) like Blake Lively in the movie A Simple Favor. Lol. I especially use it in train stations and airports. So there you have it. Upward and onward.

    1. Deedee! I’ve been wondering how you’re doing. You’ve come a long way, GF. I’m forever grateful for the words of wisdom you and the others post here. Your phrase that I’m lovin’ today is: “This is not a race. Give yourself the mental freedom of not worrying if you’re not exactly where other are on month xyzzy of this journey.” How true! I think the comparing can contribute to depression and anxiety.

      Would love to see a photo of you rocking that cane.

      From my perch, you are doing fabulously. I love how you can LOL too. Your sense of humor carries us all upward and onward! ❤️

      1. Jane Dev

        TS, so sorry from the bottom of my heart to hear about your injury and surgery. I am so glad that you found this blog. You are correct – this is an absolutely awful experience that will push your limits of positivity, tenacity, mental and physical toughness. You are going through probably the toughest time – just after the surgery, a difficult, and trying time, even lonely at times. Stay positive, there will be better days ahead, rest assured. Please take care of yourself and do everything you can to get good sleep, eat well, drink water, and be good to yourself to give your body all that it needs to help heal your bones and wounds. Kenda and others will reach out to you soon, hopefully you will feel support from reaching out to this amazing blog. Feel free to ask anything – if you have questions, ask – we have all been through this life changing experience. Prayers and healing to you friend, Jane (January 1, 2019 – 7 months and a few days!).

          1. Jane Dev

            Kenda! Need to update – I am sorry! I am hanging in there and doing quite a bit better. Still limping after the secondary broken foot bones and going down steps one at a time! Recovery is going slow as I did that injury on May 31st but it’s coming along! I did go for a follow up x ray three weeks ago when I was able to start putting some weight on that foot – and he said it was looking good. He said I should be very worried though. I need to go to a doctor – I think an endocrinologist to see about going on a medication for the bones. Do not like taking anything! PT says that a healthy 18 year old will heal in 8 weeks, and I am 56 and have the osteopenia so it will take the bones longer to fully heal in that foot because it has been so long since I have used it normally. Truth be told, I am afraid to put weight on the foot for fear of reoccurrence. If I walk slow, I can put weight on the forefoot but I am still not pushing off the toe at all, and if I walk regular speed I can’t put too much weight on it. Thankful the ankle is feeling good though! I do feel the inner ankle hardware at times. He told me the other day he will not take one screw out – if he goes in, he will take it all. That makes me nervous – he said I would have a full scar again to take out the 7 screws and the plate. The inner ankle one could be a little shorter scar. I have fared so well, especially with the outer one being almost invisible – I feel like I could never be so lucky again! Also super worried about anesthesia with my mom having had Alzheimers – and also, I could not have that nerve block again – still having issues with that as far as nerves – but not too bad. I think it is because I am not using full weight on my foot and going it normally.
            The dang continued issue is the plantar fasciitis issue where my injured foot hurts. I would be doing so much better if not for that. Still wear the PF boot every night. I have been having a lot of burning issues in my feet – they could not identify the issue when I had this two years ago – seems to be back – hurts so much when I stand too much or walk, and limits my life a good deal. I actually think it could be related to blood flow? or maybe my back issues – nerve related – likely that. I have had a bad back for thirty years. Overall I am super grateful for my recovery. I think if I had not broken my foot I would be doing a lot better! I am grateful when I wake up at night and can walk to the bathroom – the scooter became crutches, become one crutch, then just painful hesitant walking, then painful walking and now it feels almost normal – just the foot injury limping and some PF. Lots to be thankful for. Thank you for support. I hope you are happy in your new location and enjoying the summer Kenda. All the best to everyone reading – Jane – January 1 – 7.5 months

            1. Hi Jane!

              Thank you for the update!

              It bothers me that your doc is telling you to be very worried. I mean, osteopenia is not osteoporosis. Granted, we all need to consider our bone healing and bone density, but to warn you to be very worried sounds counterproductive. Maybe it’s just me. In any case, I do hope you see a doctor that can help clarify the situation. I didn’t realize that endocrinologists deal with bones. I understand your not wanting to take medication. My mom had severe Osteoporosis and the medication has actually added density to her bones. She, too, really loathes medication, but here’s one instance that has helped her. She takes a pill each morning when she first wakes up. She even took a major tumble last winter on the ice and nothing broke. If you’re really adamant against the meds, maybe see a naturopath first? Give it a chance, and if that channel doesn’t work, then go western med? Unfortunately though, alternative docs are rarely covered by insurance, so there are costs issues. You have probably thought about all of this stuff already. ?

              I understand your hesitation to bear full weight. You’ve gone through a major trauma and then had to deal with another issue on top of that. It’s totally normal that you’re shell-shocked now. My only concern is that you need to bear weight to heal the foot. Somehow, we have to build up your confidence again. I’m cheering for you from afar.

              My OS took out the metal going though the scar she made with the original incision. And while that scar looked like crap for about a year or two, now it’s not even noticeable to anyone but me. I even got myself a pedicure a couple months ago, and the woman giving it to me didn’t even know until I pointed out that I had two scars on both sides of my ankle. That said, you may also get totally accustomed to the metal to the point of not noticing it. From reading your comment, I’m hearing that the risks involved of removing the metal may be too high. Take care of yourself in any way you can. Maybe for now, you can just table this idea until the time comes to make a decision. You have a lot of other things to deal with at the moment. No need for extra stress that doesn’t serve a purpose.

              Now about your plantar fasciitis. This concerns me, because it’s encroaching on your overall recovery and seems like a big ole bummer to boot. What can you do about that? Is there someone who you can see to help? Can your OS add this to the PT Rx? Chronic foot pain would be rough, and I imagine discouraging too. Yet, you still seem to have incredible spirits. I really hope you find someone that can help you with the PF. If it’s related to back pain, can a chiropractor help? I have a recollection of your already telling us of all the things you tried. Sorry if I’m forgetting about that. I just want you to feel great…every day.

              I’ve just begun the long process of writing an eBook about bone health. I’m collaborating with a very talented doctor. It will be short, more like a guide with nutritional advice, recipes and ideally some fun interactive activities. I’ll be shouting out to the world when it’s complete. I also welcome input from this lovely community about things you would like to see in a guide about healing bones.

              Thank you for your continued communication, Jane. I appreciate it immensely. ❤️

          2. Jane Dev

            Delores. Did you just post this non Dec 2019?? it’s strange that it’s sandwiched in between comments form 7 months ago. Sounds like you are coming along. How long has it been?! Having a little trouble too with this post. I’m so glad your feeling positive. I think keeping up with the exercises at home is so important. It’s sure a work in progress and seeing results is motivating!! Happy Holidays!! I am coming up on a year and am feeling a bit traumatized! Nervous for some reason. Feel like I need to be more careful than ever. January 2014 broke ribs and 2019 ankle. I’m layin low!!! Heading to Germany for 10 days for the holiday. ?????❤️. Jane ( January 2019)

            1. Ciao Jane!

              I know you’re coming up on the 1-year anniversary. I think it’s totally normal to have a twinge of PTSD. Do whatever you have to do to take care of yourself. Ten days in Germany sounds like a great distraction! I’m sure you’re packing sturdy shoes. One suggestion I have is to wear the compression socks on the plane. I still wear them 11 years later and am glad I do.

              Now, about your trouble with the comments. Tell me, did you have trouble with the comment you just posted? If so, please give me some details. I’m trying to figure out if I solved the problem a couple weeks ago or if it still exists.

              I’ll celebrate you on your 1-year anniversary! Look how far you’ve come in a year, and you’ve managed to keep your spirits up during this difficult time.

              Cheers to your healing!

              1. Jane Dev

                Hello Kenda! So, first of all, I was on my phone which may have made it harder. Secondly, when I got on today and pressed reply from my email, I had to search a bit for this – the ones from four months ago are at the top of the thread – not sure why that is. thanks for the rec for the support hose – will do. Do you only wear for travel, or all the time. I really don’t have swelling in my ankle and have not for some time. I am still getting over the slight limping from my foot (metatarsal fractures) – the forefoot near the toes is still not feeling real strong as far as bearing a lot of weight, but I am slowly increasing it. It has been bizarre – I think having them break while just trying to hold a toe raise has been mentally scary and even my PT completely understands. It blows everyones mind that happened doing that. I have been seeing an endocrinologist for the bone density and will see her again tomorrow. She will review my latest bone density. I feel lucky I made it through the year and my bone density did not suffer too much. My back actually improved almost 9% but will see if she is impressed by that. Yes, shoes for Germany are a priority! But honestly, the main problem or issue with that still remains the Plantar Fasciitis. I am still fighting with that issue – four years now this month. So annoying, but doing everything I possibly can! Still trying to figure it out. I wear the same “sneakers” all the time, and will just bring some boots for maybe going out for dinner. I have to see what the ground looks like! I will bring the rubber attachments that have cleats for any snow or ice – or I will stay home. I already told Paul, I don’t want to take any chances! Fingers crossed and prayers. I was thinking of getting a pair of Doc Martins. What do you wear. I started to go to this thing called Whole Body Systems this past week which is supposed to build bone density. Feels like there is a lot of pressure on the bones to do this though – does anyone have any experience with this (if you have even read this far into this message!). Let me know about that or boots. I do feel the boots on the hardware, and am a little curious about the cold and the hardware in Germany. I have been working out now again for about five weeks, and doing well with that. My Surgeon said he is so amazed at how well I have done and healed for such a terrible break. I feel lucky, but pray for continued bone health and no injuries. That’s the key!! Love and Happy Holidays to everyone!

                1. Ciao Jane!

                  Thanks for the input. I’m not sure why messages from 4 months ago are at the top. I’ll have to look into that.

                  I only wear the compression socks while flying yet I know of folks who wear them regularly. I also know runners who wear them.

                  That’s GREAT news about your not having swelling! I was wondering how the metatarsal fractures were healing. It sounds like that injury is coming along too. I agree. What a challenging time you had with all of it. But hey, good news about your back! From my perch, this message is replete with good news despite some of the continued annoyances/discomforts like the PF.

                  I wear my trail sneakers plus an insole everywhere and not only for the support but because they’re comfortable and sensible. I have thinning pads on the bottom of my feet, so I need extra cushioning. I’m glad you have the cleats (and others here might want to know more about those), but I agree, avoid walking on the snow or ice whenever possible. It seems like winter brings the most trimalleolar fractures. Doc Martins are cool and seem to have lots of support!

                  I’ve never heard of the Whole Body Systems and just looked it up. It looks thorough. I’ll be curious to hear if anyone else here tried it out.

                  Jane. You’ve come a long way. I know your surgeon is amazed, and that’s incredible validation for your great attitude, strength, and perseverance. I knew from the beginning that you’d emerge from this shining brightly. I’m grateful for your contributions here and hope you stay in touch with us periodically if you get the time.

                  Cheers to you! ???

                  1. Jane Dev

                    Thanks! I will stay in touch! I wish we could have a “union” (like a reunion) for all of us to meet! Haha. I feel like I know you especially and it feels so strange we have never met. Interesting ! I guess you are used to this as a blogger. I think of you often in Italy and wonder how you are liking it. We are all so used to you “giving” of yourself to us, but I do think of you and hope that you are happy in your adventure! You are a wonderful person and you deserve all the best. Love, friendship, thanks and best wishes for a beautiful holiday season! Jane ( January 1, 2019 🙂

                    1. Jane, this message brought tears to my eyes. Your words. So kind. Thank you!

                      I am super happy in l’Italia! I’ll be blogging about it soon. It’s been an incredible adventure and some days it’s just an extremely normal life wrapped up in a beautiful place surrounded by lovely people.

                      I love your idea of a reunion. A couple of others have suggested a Trimal meet-up up over the years. I guess we could plan a virtual meet-up on zoom? I wonder if folks would be interested in that. It could be the first Trimalleolar Recovery meeting in the history of the world! ?

                      Thank you for thinking of me and for your generous heart, Jane. I am sending wishes for you to have a beautiful holiday season and a wonderful trip! Love and friendship too. ?

                      Kenda (July 3, 2011) ?

      2. Jo

        Good morning TS. I’m sorry to hear about your injury, however, am happy you found Kenda’s site. My TM fracture was in February 2017 and I thought I would never recover. You are so right, it is brutal! And recovery does happen as you will read from so many who contribute to this blog. I found the stories and comments to be encouraging and informative, especially as I would move into a new phase of the healing journey. Please keep updating about your progress.

      3. Hello TS and welcome to the blog. I’m sorry for the circumstances that brought you here, but I hope we can offer some support and comfort on this difficult journey. Brutal, indeed. I believe you are at the worst part, so please hang in there. Eat well, drink fluids (even tho it’s a major pain to get to the bathroom, so maybe a bedside pot?) and keep other parts of your body strong in between lots and lots of rest.

        If you get a chance, please share your story and update us. I really do appreciate seeing how it all works out for folks.

        Cheers to your healing,


  12. Chelsea

    Good afternoon fracture friends,

    I come with good news, thank God! I had my follow up with ortho. He said that my xrays and incisions are healing well and I was cleared for partial weight bearing! I am still in the big black walking boot. But, he said that I can start using my crutches to walk and put weight on my leg while standing. I have a follow up to start physical therapy. As you can guess, my ROM is awful. My ankle is very tight. So I am excited to get going on that! He said we will follow up again in 4 weeks and if all looks well then we will move on to full weight on the leg. I am getting there, slowly!

    I also think that my mental health is in a much better place. My anxiety is not as crazy as it was. Now if I could somehow make all these little aches and pains magically disappear…. sitting and using crutches 24/7 is not kind on the body. (May 12th – 7 weeks post break).

    1. Jane Dev

      Chelsea! That is wonderful news – the dimmer knob is turning up the light! So glad to hear from you and to hear that you have good news from your doctor. ROM is always a work in progress….physical therapy will help a lot with that – something to work on for a long time! Will it ever end? And the stiffness too – I am still working on all of these things. I will be curious to see how your weight bearing goes – you are young and my guess is that it will go well! So pumped to hear that you are doing well emotionally – the emotional rollercoaster seems to be this hidden gem that comes along with these injuries #sarcasm.
      Not sure what aches and pains you re having – I have a terrible back so I always have issues. I went to bed every night with my heating pad from the very beginning to keep my back loose. I can imagine that would help anyone. I was sleeping in a different bed, and my hip flexor was killing from lifting those big casts up all the time! The heat helped with that as well. I do not miss early post surgery weeks. I feel for you. I did start stretching at about three weeks – I was getting down on the floor – I still had my cast on so that helped protect – but I started stretching to keep limber. I am glad that I did. Anyhow, keep up the great healing! Are you taking any specific vitamins or is there anything special you are doing to heal yourself up so nicely – if so pass it along! (Jan 1st – 26 weeks post break!)

      1. Chelsea


        Thanks for the advice on the heating pad! I have SO many aches and pains. A lot, I am sure are completely related to being sedentary. I am having a lot of left side pain/arm pain/breast pain. I think all of it is related to being on the crutches for so long. I think I am subconsciously baby-ing my broken leg too much.
        I am not taking any additional vitamins other than a normal multi-vitamin. I suffer from lupus and a host of other auto-immune issues, so everything I can take is very regulated. I think the only thing I’m doing differently is I have upped my calcium intake. Although, I recently had labs done and everything came back great. So no bone issues (which is great). I thought with how easily my leg/ankle snapped that I had to have some sort of bone disorder. But, alas, it was just a freak accident.

        1. Jane Dev

          That is good to hear. Yes take care of yourself. So glad you have no bone issues. I have a few years on you, and I do have bone issues now – very very scary. Take your calcium and make sure that you weight bear! It is the weight bearing that actually helps to heal those bones – that is what my OS kept telling me! I had no idea that stopping my walking for exercise for three years while having plantar fasciitis, at the same time I hit menopause would deplete my bones as it did. I never even thought of that. Be sure to take care of yourself. Again, so glad for your improvement. Stay strong!

        2. This is what my OS and PT told me, too, that the tri-mal is an injury of torque not of bone density. Having lupus and other autoimmune issues makes your quick (er) recovery even more admirable. Rock on!

    2. Debbie

      Chelsea, I’m so glad you found us early in your recovery. It sounds like you are right on schedule for recovery. You will have the tightness for quite a while. It is the swelling that nature provides to support the ankle structures while healing. Expect to freak out as you relearn to walk- we all did. It takes an while to strengthen the muscles and ligaments. I laugh now, as you will later, when I see people in various points of recovery because you can guess pretty well where they are. Today I saw a nurse at my PCPs office limping exactly like I did at 12 weeks. When I asked if she had broken her ankle about 12 weeks ago, she asked how I knew…we had quite a support session. Anyway, we are here to help you through with all we have learned.

      1. Chelsea


        You are so kind! Thanks for your insight. I appreciate that everyone across the board (including my surgeon) has been very upfront with me about the recovery time period. It looks like we are all in it for the long haul! I am super excited to begin physical therapy, but also a tad nervous. The office showed me xrays today of the back of my ankle, which I shattered. I was aware of the fact that they said my bone fragmented off and they had to use a plate to correct it. I was unaware of the fact until today that I no longer have that chunk of bone at all. It was irreparable. So, PT will be more intense. I am worried about having a permanent limp because I am missing a chunk of ankle bone. But, I am trying to have a positive outlook!

        1. Debbie

          Chelsea- I had the same injury and am glad to tell you you will not limp forever. The repair makes up for the bone loss. You will limp until 1. You strengthen the stretched ligaments and tendons
          2. Until you convince your brain that it is OK to not limp- which takes conscious practice walking without a limp. Pushing a stroller is great for this! Somewhere around 16 weeks your limp will improved enough that you won’t feel like you need a crutch. It took me about 6 months to mostly get rid of my limp though.

    3. Hello Chelsea!

      My sincere apologies for this delayed response. I’m in the midst of earning my CELTA certification to teach English, and it’s been an incredibly demanding process. But I had to respond and congratulate you for the good news! You’ll find that PT will help with the ROM. And I saw your other message about bearing weight. My gut tells me to make sure you get it signed off by your PT before walking, but my heart says WOW! It’s amazing you can bear weight already! If you’re moving ahead with the full weight bearing in the absence of a PT, do it carefully. But yes, weight bearing will facilitate the bone healing. You’re really moving along well! I hope with each passing day, you’re seeing that light at the end of the tunnel.

      Cheers to your healing!

      Kenda (Tri-mal 7.5.11 – eight years!)

      1. Hi Kenda,
        I was coming home after my daily 2 mile walk on Saturday morning November 21st when I walked around my driveway gate and lost my footing and landed very hard on my driveway. Immediately I knew something very bad happened as I was in immediate pain. I looked down at my left foot and couldn’t comprehend what I saw. My foot was pointing sideways and I was swelling fast. I was on my walk earlier than normal and I didn’t have my phone with me so I was waiting for someone to walk by to call my husband down my long driveway to our house. After about 10 minutes a car saw me through the trees and brush and put his window down as I asked if he had a phone. He and his daughter came and called my husband about what happened. Called 911 and transported to ER where I was X-rayed after waiting a couple of hours in the hallway. Finally got my first set of X-rays…excruciating pain. Got to a treatment room and got twilight anesthesia twice to reset my dislocated trimalleolar fracture. Discharged several hours later in a splint cast until I could see a foot and ankle specialist on Monday afternoon. Had my surgery yesterday and see him in two weeks for follow up. Got a nerve block for the first 16 hours and on a pain relief system called On-Q which delivers a steady stream of Novocain and supplementing with Tylenol and narco. Trying to drink more water, but it passes through me very quickly so trying to figure that out. Tomorrow will try to get out of bed transferring from my wheelchair to the walker for the bathroom. BTW, I am 69 years old, plant based, jewelry artist, nature lover with an amazing supportive loving husband of 46 years. Kenda, I discovered your blog while researching my trimalleolar fracture. And, so glad I did…I immediately felt a kindred spirit with you! Thank you for helping me see what to expect for my future.

        1. Hello Estelle,

          I’m also so glad you found this blog! Kindred spirits, indeed! I checked out your website and gorgeous jewelry and discovered we’re from the same state (I moved away as a young woman). It looks like you were in really good hands at the hospital. I think my recovery would’ve been easier had they reset my dislocation on the spot. Instead, I had to wait a couple of days over the 4th of July holiday weekend to see the OS who was surprised that my talus was still dislocated. Long story short, I feel hopeful about how you were treated. And they got you into surgery quickly as well. Your pain relief system sounds magical. Yes, drinking a lot of water while on those meds (and throughout your healing) is important but it comes at the cost of using the bathroom more. In retrospect, I would’ve gotten myself a bedside pee pot for the first couple of weeks to minimize the pain of getting up and navigating the toilet several times a day. No one can fully understand the challenges of a woman using a toilet with a severely broken ankle until it happens. Who would’ve thought how much we use our ankles to stabilize? Another option is a she-wee as I think standing would actually be easier than sitting down. TMI, I’m sure. ?

          How are your spirits? You’re at the beginning of what will seem like a long journey at first – especially given the pain is worse the first few weeks. It will subside with each passing week. When you start PT is when things really get moving along. I don’t know how all of this is managed during a pandemic, but I’ll be curious to hear how it unfolds for you if you have a chance to write back. In the meantime, lavish in the beauty of your adoring husband and any other support you can get. Let me know if you have questions, and I’ll do my best to answer.

          To you and your healing,
          Kenda ?

          1. Hi Kenda,
            Thanks so much for your response. My spirits are pretty good so far but I am on my meds so the true impact…no pun intended hasn’t set in yet. Fortunately, we built a a home almost 6 years ago incorporating aging in place features. One level, concrete floors, wider door openings, barrier free shower in master bath, pocket doors etc… Never thought I would be taking advantage of these features so soon…so grateful. Taking one day at a time!

            1. Ciao Estelle,

              Well, from my perch, you’re doing great – true impact or not! Smart move on the house. I ruined every door jamb in our home with a wheelchair. It’s inspiring you have gratitude at this time. Thank you for that. ?

              1. I so appreciate your openness and vulnerability in sharing such personal aspects of your life. I believe in so many ways that my accident will be an open window for me to help others as you have in your journey.

                1. Thank you, Estelle. I think writing this blog saved my mental well-being at a difficult time in my life. I have a sense you’ve spotted a the silver lining on this dark cloud. Let me know how I can help you help others. ?

                  1. Estelle

                    Thought it was time to share an update on my trimal healing as I approach my 7 month anniversary. My OS is happy with my progress and I see him again in August for a checkup. My X-rays look good and starting to grow bone. I’ve been going to PT twice a week since the end of January and making good progress. Working on balance, strength and flexibility. One of my many goals has been to master the 8” step. At this point I need to hold on with both hands for support and going up is easier than going down. The front of my ankle gets stiff no matter how much I work on it. Some days are better than others and hope over time it will improve more. I am walking now and make sure my cane is nearby in case I need it. Being an artist, I decided to hand paint my cane to make me smile and feel happy. Invested in a recumbent bike during the pandemic so I could work on my strength and flexibility on off days from PT and it’s been very helpful. I now have access to a pool this summer which feels fantastic for added stretching. Starting to add in some short flat walks with my husband as well. Question though…other than walking shoes, what type of shoes do you recommend for summer? My feet get so hot in my closed shoes. Thanks for my rambling!

                    1. It’s lovely to hear from you, Estelle. Thank you for taking the time to update us. It means a lot to me as I often wonder about folks who write in.

                      And what a stellar report! You’re doing great at 7 months. I feel confident the stiffness will continue to improve as you continue to regain mobility. But I always recommend, when in doubt, check with your OS and PT. Maybe it’s inflammation or maybe it’s scar tissue? For me, personally, it took at least a year before I felt like the stiffness decreased. I worked the hell out of that ankle too. I massaged it whenever i was sitting and not working–really digging into the stiff area in an attempt to break up any scar tissue. I did those wall exercises too, trying to push the foot flat against the wall while lying flat on the floor (legs at a 90degree angle). I’d love to see a photo of your cane. I wish there were a way to add that to the comments.

                      I wonder if a solid pair of Teva hiking sandals would work for you? A couple folks here got Birkenstocks. I’ve found Teva works for me. I wore hiking boots for months before I felt comfortable without the support. Do you have an REI near you? They have solid hikers there and may be able to help guide you. They’re expensive but their products last. And, if you find something you like, you can go home and check the REI used gear site. They resell all their returned items at about half the retail cost. That’s where I get my REI gear.

                      Any and all updates are welcome!

                      Cheers to you and your continued healing!

                    2. Jane Devereaux

                      Hi Estelle!…and Kendra and others reading and commenting on Estelle. So nice to hear from everyone and Estelle, I think it sounds like you are doing amazing and doing all the right things for your recovery and mental well being!! It’s a bit of a surreal time when you are at the point you are in …over six months out. I remember those days of trying to navigate through all the work, and being a constant supporter and cheerleader for YOURSELF! It must be done and it’s a full time job! Sounds like you are on a very good path for health, healing and recovery. I am curious- is the doctor saying you are still laying down new bone? I have some recollection that it takes a year but not sure. Either way, great news! Thank you today for the reminder to be grateful for all that we have accomplished and all of our blessings. Best of luck and prayers for all being careful, ???

                  2. Estelle

                    Was trying to reply to your comment but don’t see a reply button, so went to an older post to reply Also, not sure how to send a picture of my canes. Thank you for the shoe suggestions and massaging my ankle to break up the scar tissue. Had a nice walk this morning with my husband…probably a mile plus!

                    1. Sorry about the reply button, Estelle.For me, it’s in an email I receive. Unfortunately there’s no way to attach a photo to comments. I’ll send you an email and you can email it to me if you’d like? With your permission, I can add it to the post at the bottom.

                      Well done on the mile+ walk! And you’re very welcome for the suggestions. Hope you find something that works for you.

                      Cheers to you!

            2. Jane Devereaux


              Hi, this is Jane and I am a member of this blog too! Kenda opened her heart and soul up all those years ago when she experienced this unthinkable injury and started this blog. From what I remember, Kenda was fully awake during her fracture reduction which is unimaginable to me. I am so sorry for your injury but am encouraged that you found this blog so early in your process. This can be a great support for ANY questions you may have or feelings that come up! From the day I found this blog, I never felt alone. Even yesterday I almost reached out to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Somehow it feels like a fracture fam! Please don’t hesitate to reach out. Family support is wonderful and needed, but in the end, this is something that you will endure on your own ultimately having to find the inner strength every day as you progress and improve. I am glad that you have a house that will accommodate you! We are currently designing our next home and are making accommodations that we hope we NEVER NEED! I pray for my friends on this blog most nights, and will include you in my prayers. I find your pain program interesting. Sounds like it will be helpful as you definitely want to stay ahead of the pain for the first couple of weeks. We have all been there, hearts go out to you!
              Jane (injury 1/1/2019)

              1. Hi Jane,
                Thank you for reaching out to me! You are right when you say this is a family as well as a great support system. I found this site when I was trying to learn about my trimalleolar fracture and I appreciated Kenda’s engaging writing style, honesty and humor. Yes, I know my recovery will be very challenging but I can feel better to know that I’m not alone. Glad to hear that you are planning ahead with your house design. If you need any help or ideas on universal design please don’t hesitate to ask. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers❤️

              2. Jane, reading your words feels like being wrapped in a cozy blanket. Please reach out whenever the mood strikes – holiday or not. I’m always happy to hear from you and your wisdom is eternally helpful. You are an important part of this Tri-mal fam.

                For some reason I forget the word “reduction”. Maybe my subconscious blocks it out! The OS reduced the talus dislocation (I was put under for the ORIF) in her office. ?

                Jane, can you believe your 2-year anniversary is coming up? How have things been with the foot?

                ? Kenda (injury 7.3.2011)

                1. Jane Devereaux

                  Hi! Ankle doing well – have not broken my foot in 11 months! That’s a win! I still have a lot of nerviness on the inside ankle and wish I could have those screws removed, but I really don’t want to be under anesthesia and of course there are always risks. I have some issues with my big toe and mid foot, nerve pain at times, and feels like clay on the inside, like numb sort of. Went to the Dr last week and he said it is a nerve that runs along that side of the foot and on the knuckle between the foot and big toe, if shoes put pressure on there it can cause nerve irritation. Ive been wearing birks for a long time. He said to not wear shoes that put pressure on that and it will get better in a year or a little more! I was glad it was not the ankle nerviness causing the issue! I do not run or even walk for fitness because of the Plantar fascia issue but do work out three times a week and – do lots of work around the house for getting it ready to sell. I remain grateful for where I am at. Miss you and hope all is well. Is ESL teaching is on the horizon for you? I looked into that and it seemed very interesting! Good luck! Hope all is well with you and hubby and staying well and happy.

                  1. Thank you for that update, Jane. I’ve been wondering how that foot business is going. It looks like you may only have to wear Birkies for another year, maybe? I still have some nerve stuff going on in my big toe, but I only notice that numbness when I’m scrubbing it. It’s not painful. I hope your pain passes swiftly. I’m bummed to see the PF is still bothering you. Any hope on the horizon for solving that issue?

                    How exciting you’re preparing for a house sale. I know, it’s a ton of work too, but there’s something about it that thrills me. It’s not just moving, but moving forward. I hope it all goes well.

                    No ESL teaching yet. I have the certificate for when I’m ready. I was supposed to volunteer at a local school this past spring, but well, COVID. I do have a remote gig that keeps me busy tho. Considering what a nutty year this has been, we’re well and happy. I hope the same for you.

                    Miss you too! xx ?

  13. Chelsea

    Hi all,

    I, too am joining the Tri-mal club. On Mother’s Day I was walking out of church holding onto my one year old daughter. I was playing with her and not paying attention and I walked right into a pothole. Instead of catching myself, I caught my daughter and heard a pop and a crunch! An ER trip later we learned about the fracture and I had surgery 4 days later. I am currently 5 weeks post surgery. I have 2 plates, 8 screws, and 1 long screw through my ankle. The surgeon says that this metal will stay in for life. I am still NWB. I have an appointment on July 2 for more xrays. I was told that if those look good then we can talk about partial weight bearing and maybe some flexing of the foot. This will be another 4 weeks. Then they said in August we will talk about putting weight on the leg with PT. So that means that I will go 11+ weeks before I can try to walk again. This has been the most stressful event of my life. I am 26 years old and I broke my leg so severely in just an instant doing a normal activity like walking! This break has made me crazy. All I do is sit day in and day out. It has given me anxiety. I am stay at home mom of two little ones. So I basically feel useless to my family. We love the outdoors and live in a more remote area that we can enjoy all that the land has to offer. This has just been a totally soul crushing event. I am afraid that this break will cause me to not be able to do the things that I love, like hiking, kayaking, camping, etc. I’m so grateful to have found this thread though. It’s good to know that I’m not alone.

    1. Hi Chelsea,

      Let me begin by saying that you are such a good mom to take that fall for your baby.

      Reading your post, I was thinking how “soul crushing” is an amazing descriptor for this injury during these beginning stages. I know it’s rough right now. I know it’s anxiety-provoking and can also be depressing. These feelings will shift as you gain mobility. It will happen. Hang in there. That July 2 appointment is right around the corner. I know it seems like forever away, but the time will come when you can bear weight again. Once that starts, then things will move more quickly for you.

      The long screw you mentioned. Is that a syndesmosis screw? If so, that’s a screw that is supposed to come out at 12 weeks, so maybe it’s not that given what your OS said about having the metal for life. Which, by the way, is not necessarily the case. It may be a matter of a second opinion. For most, they keep the metal in, because they don’t notice it. That’s something to think about in the future. Right now, focus on your healing. Allow others to take care of you. You are not useless just because you’re unable to move around. As a mom, you will forever be useful.

      You’re also young, and I predict a full recovery and a normal life for you once you get through this rough patch and heal up. I was 44 when I had my tri-mal, and after I healed, I eased right back to my normal active life. The only real thing that changed is I’m a lot more aware and a little more cautious than what I was before.

      Please, if you get a chance, update us after your July 2 appointment. I also appreciate following the progress of my fellow tri-mal club members.

      Sending healing thoughts your way! ?

      Be kind to yourself. Let yourself have the range of emotions that come with this injury. Then focus as much of your effort as you can on healing. Eat well. Drink plenty of fluids. Get lots of cuddles from your kids. Let others take care of things, because that will help your healing.

      1. Jane Dev

        I love your words of encouragement Kenda. I always say it, but you are a gift as is this blog. Every time you write to someone else, it helps me too. I am forever thankful. My entire family knows how much I love this blog. I even read posts to my daughter!

      2. Chelsea


        Thank you so much for your kind words. It feels so nice to be validated during this crazy time in my life. I feel like I am going from one extreme to the other on the emotion scale everyday. It’s utterly exhausting. I have a very supportive husband and church base, so our needs are being met. But, this injury is stressful on my family as a whole. My babies don’t understand why mommy can’t chase them. However, my son does affectionately tell people that mommy fell in a hole and broke her leg. He now says I have a “metal leg”. “Mama show me yours metal leg”. I do find some humor in that. I am bionic mom now.

        As for the long screw I mentioned before. No, it is not a syndesmosis screw. I wish it was. Having all the metal in my leg freaks me out a bit. I am hopeful that someday I can have it removed.

        I will update again after the July appointment.

        1. Oh Chelsea, I do remember it well, the emotional rollercoaster. I’m relieved to see you have a strong community to help hold you up during this time. It’s so stressful on a family. Nobody in your life who has not had this injury could possibly understand the severity of it. Most folks who have had an experience with a broken bone(s) could lead relatively normal lives, and casts were off in 6-8 weeks and life got back into full swing. It’s not like that with a tri-mal, as you know. But it’s nearly impossible to explain the internal struggles that go on with this injury. We fully understand the depth of the pain and its severity as we try to balance the physical pain with that of the emotional and spiritual distress that strikes several times throughout the day. It’s mind boggling, especially at the beginning. Soon (probably doesn’t seem like soon enough, but soon) the struggles will begin to shift and dissipate as you continue on your healing journey and become increasingly mobile with decreasing pain. Time. It really does heal wounds…

          I await your update in July and send you many many healing thoughts. Hold onto that notion of being a bionic woman, because you are! Your son…his words! So precious! ❤️

    2. Jane Dev

      Chelsea, my heart goes out to you after reading your post and hearing what you are going through. I am so happy you found this blog at five weeks out – even though you probably wish you found it sooner. I can honestly say that if there is a heaven in the injury, it is this blog, if that is even possible. Comfort, experience, and knowledge is here….and hopefully it will help you. I am forever trying to explain what the emotional path has been with this injury, and I can sense that no one I speak in my daily life seems to fully appreciate. It is hard to say this because I do have family members who care, but I never felt like they truly “get” the emotional journey. I will now use the term “soul crushing”. That is a perfect way to explain this. OH, I wanted to tell you, I have noticed something with my doctor and maybe yours is the same. He seems to say everything in extremes and then pulls back as things start to go well! So he also told me that I would have the hardware in for life! Then, at about five months, he said that we will look at that at a year ( and I have osteopenia so he wanted to keep it in, and now he may take it out!). Also, he told my family that I would walk with a limp for a year (I am confident it will not be that long at all – fingers crossed), and he said I would not drive until May (Which I drove in April. :)). Anyhow, please consider that this may be the case for you. I would expect x rays at every single visit, that was my experience. Please take care of yourself, rest and as Kenda said, drink fluids as it helps with the swelling. I feel as Kenda does that your youth will help you to be able to get back to your life. You will be surprised, all of a sudden, you will see some light and then more….. in the next few months, your life will be as if it is on a dimmer switch – the light is very dim now but over time, it will be turned up until the light is bright and more hope comes into play. With encouragement!! Jane (Jan 1 injury)

      1. Chelsea


        I truly appreciate your kind response! The grace and compassion I have read through this blog is so nice. I am so grateful to have found it in my constant google searching about tri-mal fractures.

        You are definitely right about the emotional toll that this injury brings with it. As I stated with Kenda above, it is utterly exhausting. It’s so hard to explain to people that yes, I broke bones. Yes, they will heal. BUT, no I will not be the same. It’s not like we’re taking a cast off in 6-8 weeks and life goes back to normal. This whole experience is just awful. But then at some moments I feel confident in life. I feel like “heck ya!” I’ve got this! Then I go back to, oh I can’t walk. Anxiety. Depression. It’s quite a vicious cycle currently.

        Thank you for being so positive and kind. I’m glad to have met you, even if it’s just via the internet under sad circumstances!

      2. That’s such great feedback, and I totally agree, Jane, that the OS will take the conservative route first until s/he sees how the healing plays out. Then some adjust their instructions with the ensuing follow-up appointments. Also remember you are your best health advocate and have every right to speak up when you don’t understand something or when your gut tells you differently. ?

  14. Andrea

    Hi! I just wanted to thank you for your blog! It got me through the first few weeks after my ORIF surgery back in December!! I am 40 years old and fractured my right ankle (trimalleolar) while walking my dog December 1st of 2018. Here I am 7 months after and I still have some soreness and stiffness. I’m walking a lot better now and am looking forward to some pool time this summer. I’ve just completed my PT but I was wondering about physical activity. I can walk at a pretty quick pace on the treadmill but is anyone close to doing anything more intense? I have two daughters ages 10 and 12 and an active outdoorsy husband. We spend our summers bike riding, camping and kayaking… doesn’t look like I’ll be doing anything like that though . Any sort of impact on the ankle still hurts. Thoughts? Words of encouragement?

    1. Jane Dev

      Andrea. I loved reading your update and feel the same. I had my spill Jan 1 2019 one month after you. Somehow we went through this together!!! I still feel so connected to this blog and the strength and help it has given to me. I’m so glad to hear how well you are doing. I feel comforted to know you are still looking for encouragement as I feel the same way at times. We are blessed to have Kenda and everyone else to here on the blog to help us through and to know we all care about one another. Keep up the amazing work. Good for you for walking well and fast and looking forward to summer and pool. Keep sunblock on your scars! I put it on every day!!! Jane (5.5 months post bimal!)

            1. Jane Devereaux

              Kenda, I am sorry. When you and Dee Dee asked about the appt I had with the Doctor please know that I did answer, I have no idea what happened. I actually wrote twice. To sum it up now so much after the fact – he said it was swollen and it was also painful – the x ray did not show anything. He wanted me back in three weeks – which I am going next Wednesday for another x ray to see if there is calcification showing so we know if it is a stress fracture or not. If not, it is likely a ruptured tendon? Very confusing. The pain actually continued for about 10 days with swelling on top of the foot. I finally just started using a crutch and that helped to take the weight off and then went down to every other day – just for a few days. That seemed to get me over the hump and this week starting to feel better. I am also using my PEMF machine directly on the foot so hopefully that is helping the healing. He wanted me to wear Birkinstocks for three weeks to help support it and just not to bend the foot which I have been doing. I hope next week I can get some answers and can predict how to move forward. I dislike being back to a full blown limp, but what can I do. Also, I have been unable to to any exercises and my calf is back to being wicked small again – I mean not like it had gotten big, but it was improving! Plantar facia still seems to be bothering my arch and that’s annoying. I appreciate your caring! I will def let you know what happens next week. Jane ( 5.5 months out now!)

              1. Ya gotta love a doc who prescribes Birkenstocks!

                Looks like a lot has happened in the past couple of weeks. Some good news, yes? It seems like the pain is subsiding a bit. Ruptured tendon…not sure what to make of that. So, I’ll wait until the doc gives you more info after your next appointment.

                Thank you for taking the time to update, and so sorry it wasn’t easier. It seems like DeeDee had some troubles commenting, so I just don’t know what’s up with the blog. If anyone else is having difficulty, please let me know. You can send a comment through the feedback form. You can find that on the top menu bar under the header, “About Stuff.” On that dropdown menu click “show us some love.”

                You know I’m rooting for you, Jane! I want you to walk without that limp and to build up that calf muscle and to move through the plantar fasciitis! You’re managing a lot. I hope the remodeling stuff is going well at home.


                1. Jane

                  You are funny!!! #newbirks!
                  I think I figured out for some reason the computer at work does not push through a message. The other day it was denied and I may have not noticed before! That could have been an issue if I sent from there. Not sure. ?

                2. Jane

                  Kenda and Dee Dee – went to the doctor today and had a repeat x ray. He was surprised to see foot was still thick and swollen in middle of foot near toes. X ray revealed not one but two stress fractures. Yup. ( second and third toe – probably the metatarsal but I emailed to ask exactly which bone). Stay on course of action I am on. He said wear Birkenstock through July and see how I feel in August. If all is good I can then I don’t need to see him again and I would start to walk regular in August as foot or pain allows – if I can wear a shoe without pain, then I can wear another shoe! So birks it is. Until then he wants me to row, stationary bike and swim. I have done none of that – I guess because of my ankle and plantar facia which everything bothers! Made an appt with primary doc and going tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss osteopenia. Strangely enough the surgeon says he suspects they will do nothing systemically at this point. Interesting. Hope all is well with you guys.

                  1. Well, from the looks of it, your OS doesn’t seem to think this stress fracture business is too serious. That’s a good thing. He also doesn’t seem to be too worried about the osteopenia, so maybe it’s not as dire as you may think?

                    Good to get out there and row, (stationary) bike, swim, just move stuff around so you can heal.

                    Ya know I’m thinking about you and patiently await for that update that tells us all you’re healed! #newbirks ?

                    1. Jane

                      Thanks Kenda. I agree. Birkinstocks for stress fracture – for 8 weeks! He recommended I see my PCP which I did today. He said I am young to have the osteopenia at this level and thinks I should go on meds. He said that if you think about it, you’ll get osteoporosis – just a matter of time, and at 76 I could be looking at a more serious bone. We decided I would go talk to an endocrinologist. I dislike medication for anything. I guess that’s part of getting older. I like this blog because it reminds me even young people can get real bad breaks!

                    2. I think it’s a good idea to get other opinions. Oh yes! This break is one of torque. It can hit all people of any age!

                      Well, at least the Birkies are super groovy. 🙂


    2. Welcome to the blog, Andrea. As always, I’m just sorry for the circumstances that brought you here.

      I think you’re doing great. You’re well through the worst of it and it’s all fine-tune healing from here on out. I think swimming will be a valuable adjunct to your healing process plus you get to have some fun. No doubt you are due for some fun.

      It’s normal, IMO, that you still have some soreness and stiffness. You can expect stiffness to stick around for a while. That and some swelling too. It will continue to improve with time. Something that might help (when you’re ready) is massage. A good massage therapist can help break up the scar tissue that may be contributing to some of the stiffness. I also found relief after removing my metal, but not everyone has issues related to the metal.

      I’m wondering about the summer activities you mentioned. With some adaptations, you may be able to do some of that stuff later in the summer. Light biking (I wouldn’t recommend mountain biking this summer tho!), kayaking with some assists of getting in and out, and camping with some help of those awesome active family members. And with some super sturdy hiking boots and probably at a site that’s close to the bathroom and lit at night. I’m just talking out loud here! I wouldn’t write it all off just yet. With the right tools, you may be able to pull it off if you feel comfortable doing it. And that’s important, the comfort part. Only you will know what feels right. It’s not worth risking reinjury if you’re not feeling steady enough to do some of that stuff.

      With the okay from my OS and PT, I threw myself back into some of my activities (with adaptations in the beginning) just to combat the fear that was seeping in. Clearly, we get PTSD from this injury. I mean, most of us are basically engaging in a simple act when it happens That’s frightening as hell to think we could break so easily. In some ways, I look at my injury as a freak accident. As I have mentioned somewhere in the blog, this is an injury of torque. Our bodies turned just the right (or wrong) way to break those bones. For me, it was a definite wake-up call that I can see as an important juncture in my life, yet I’m almost 8 years out. It’s much easier to look back on the situation totally healed than look ahead when in the midst of healing. One day, you too, will be looking back on this.

      I think you can expect some of the healing struggles to last a year, but I also think getting back to normal grows increasing more realistic with each passing month during that first year. Hope that makes sense. I’m rambling, sorry. 🙂

      I see Jane checked in with you (thank you!) as she’s very close to the same injury date. Hopefully a couple of others will chime in, too.

      Keep on healing on, Andrea! ?

  15. Jane Dev

    Oh dear! I have had a set back – today on my LAST day of Physical therapy, I hurt my foot – the therapist asked me to do a toe raise – still a real challenge. I told her I could not do that so she had me go up on both toes, and then lift my good leg, and hold up myself on just the right foot. I told her I did that last night, and could do that – confident. Well, I heard a loud pop! And oouuch!! I thought I broke my foot near the toes. Still don’t know what happened, something not good. Cannot bend the foot, or really weight bear on my fore foot… and have an appt with my orthopedic Dr. that did my surgery. I am a little nervous – wondering if I broke a bone, or detached a ligament, or tore a tendon or even tore the Plantar Facia. I have to be patient. I am not very happy and will be praying!!

    1. Oh no! Is it swollen or bruised? Are you unable to bear weight because of pain? Let me get this straight – it’s the foot that does not have the Tri-mal. I ask, because I had a couple of big pops post tri-mal and was told it might have been scar tissue breaking down.

      I understand that you’re not happy. I’d be freaking out about now, too. When is your appt? Hopefully soon. In the meantime, did the PT give you any instructions?

      Thinking about you and hoping for the best…❤️

      1. Jane Dev

        Hi! That is the strange thing and yet a positive thing. There is no swelling or bruising. It is so strange because I have no idea what I did. Such a loud pop and immediate pain, and cannot push weight on front of foot, or bend when walking. IT IS the foot I had the ankle injury! Just so hard mentally on last day of PT! You remember asking if I had a stress fracture and maybe that was why I was having so much pain on front of foot with walking? Now I am wondering if it finally pushed it too far. I have no idea. I am bummed, but not broken!! I am more bummed that if I broke something it is because of osteopenia, and also that I cannot keep strengthening my calf muscle. The toe raise has always been the issue and I still could not do it. There was too much stress on those bones I guess. I also wonder after reading if I could have done something to the plantar facial plate where it attaches at the second toe… and with all the plantar issues, who knows? So, I am to live life as normal, try to walk as I can this weekend. If I have too much pain, add a crutch, and boot if needed and then go to see doctor Monday. This weekend we are prepping the house for the floors being refinished, so I will be on my feet a lot. And I was already going to be dealing with ankle swelling and now this joint behind the second toe! Prayers please!! And fingers crossed!! Have an amazing weekend! Thank you for your caring.

        1. And yet through all of this, I can still hear your uplifting spirits, Jane.

          No swelling or bruising. I’m hoping it was just a scar tissue event. Glad you can see your doc on Monday. Please let us know what happens. I know you have a lot going on at home. Try to give yourself little respites here and there? Many many thoughts coming your way! ❤️

          1. If anyone is having an issue writing a comment, please let me know via the feedback form. I tried to change the option of having to input a URL but I think I messed things up instead.

            Also, what have others done in place of using a URL (when submitting a comment)? I’m trying to figure this all out, so I can fix it! Thanks for your patience!

        2. Hey Jane,

          DeeDee emailed me with a message for you as there’s some issue on the blog and she’s unable to write in. I am working on it, BTW, in case others are having issues. Feel free to send me a message through the feedback form (go to the dropdown menu “about stuff” and click on “show us some love”). I’d like to hear what specific issues others are having with writing comments.

          Here’s what DeeDee wrote to you:

          “I feel bad that this happened and maybe it’s not serious. I will definitely be sending prayers and positive thoughts your way. If it really bothers you, you should probably go off to ER to snap an X-ray or at least put in a call and ask your OS what you should do. Maybe wear the boot to isolate movement.”


    1. Jane Dev

      Hello! Dee Dee, so glad the trip went better than expected! Where did ya go? I find traveling hard on the swelling and discomfort – I am almost five months out now! So hard to believe. Curious how everyone else feels in the morning – I am very tight in the ankle and someone what sore. Arch pain still a factor for me as well. 🙁 Went to a water aerobics class today for the first time! Lol – it was fun, but I think I was the youngest one there. When I got there they said the class would let out early because everyone had to get ready and look nice to celebrate “Charlies Birthday….he is 100 today!!!” My jaw dropped. He looked totally amazing, and still drives!!! His wife is 97 and in assisted living, but he goes to take care of her. A light hearted tid bit if I may?! Cannot believe I did water aerobics with a 100 year old man who drove himself there!!! Glad I got out there to try something new!

      1. I love your water aerobics story, Jane. How marvelous for Charlie! Wow. He was born shortly after WWI. Isn’t that incredible? The changes he has seen in his lifetime. Incredible.

        I’m guessing the plantar fasciitis is also a contributing factor, but the morning tightness and soreness may stick around for a while. My suggestion is to start your morning out (sitting on the edge of the bed) making circles and doing the alphabet. Seems to me you may already do that, if I recall.

        You’re doing SO great Jane! ❤️

  16. Terry C

    Hi … I have had same fractures as you and would probably do what feels good for you. It’s been 35 weeks and getting better every day ! Use common sense ! Cheers Terry

    1. Dolores

      Hello All, it has been a while since I was on. Having trouble getting my post to update. Had two big accomplishments in the past few months. 1) attended the New York State Fair. A bus was provided for members of our Community. Managed to walk, slowly to the far side of the fairgrounds. Took my time, rested as needed, and walked back to where I began. Found out there were extra scooters that were reserved, and used one the rest of the day. My daughter and her boyfriend had half a day from work, and met up with me. 2) My other big accomplishment was cooking Thanksgiving dinner. My husband is having back issues, so dinner was left up to me. It all worked out, just was very tired by the end of the night. My insurance has ended my PT, and said I can do my exercises at home. I can walk inside the house without my cane, but do take it with me when shopping. Walking in the store tires me out, as I try not to limp, or rock from side to side. Still a learning experience. I now can do the laundry. Although I take the basket down the basement stairs backward, very carefully. I will not risk going down the stair forward with the laundry. I also still go up and down the stairs like a little kid. My ankle is not bending that much. Although the risers are probably higher than standard. If the risers are short, it it not too bad. Thank you everyone, and stay well.

      1. Dolores! That is a very good update – two huge accomplishments. Thank you for sharing your good news. I do hope you keep up with the PT at home. Keep working on that ROM. Also, you can ask your PT to put in a request to your insurance for additional sessions. I’d recommend it. Insurance is very quick to discontinue treatment and most people just accept it. In my mind, you should be as close to 100% as possible before discontinuing treatment.

        About your having trouble with updating the post, please explain as I’m trying to solve the problems on my site. Did you have that trouble with this particular post or was the trouble in the past? I ask because I discovered a couple of weeks ago that no one was able to post for almost 2 months! But then I thought I fixed the problem and for about 2-3 weeks, things are running more smoothly. Let me know when you’ve had the problem and what the problem was. I’d like to address it.

        Grazie mille and so happy that you’re healing so beautifully.

        1. Dolores

          I love that you reply so promptly. Yes , I am still doing my PT at home. My insurance covered just a certain number of visits in a calendar year. Apparently the limit was reached. Will check after the first of the year. Now that it is much colder, here in Western New York, the winter boots have come out. Found out my foot will not go in the boot with my ankle brace on. Good thing my boots have extra long laces. I can wrap them around the ankle area for a little more support, and tie them tightly. Reminds me of the way my son wears his work boots. But winter here, we are “oh so stylish”. I am at the age where I opt for more warmth than style. I have found that I feel the cold from the inside now, due to the metal. Such an odd feeling. My sleep pattern is still odd. I can fall asleep at 9:00-9:30pm, and wake up at 4:00 am, ready for the day. Thank goodness for the Hallmark channel at this time of the year.??

          As far as your site, it seems to be working now. There was a couple of months where it would keep asking me to subscribe to a forum, and would want a great deal of information. Thought it was a little odd, since there was no problem previously.

          Anyway. Today’s accomplishment was putting up the Christmas tree. Now I am done for the day. Will keep on with the PT.

          Everyone else, do not get discouraged. We have all been in the same position you are. Keep up the good work. Listen to what the OS/PT tell you. Take the time to heal properly. Rushing to try and get back to normal, may only result in a set back. If you were rushing through your life/events, this was a way of telling you to slow down. Take a look and evaluate what is of importance, or priority in your life. Don’t get discouraged, that is what this site is for. To encourage you, and we DO know how you feel.

          If I don’t update before the end of the year, have a good holiday season, whatever holiday you may celebrate, and a very good New Year.

          1. Thank you, Dolores, on all counts! I love this message!

            First off, yes, practicality and comfort over style is my motto.? Looks like you found a smart workaround for the boots. If you can avoid walking on ice this winter, please do! I remember that cold feeling with the metal. It’s one of the reasons I had it removed.

            I’m very sorry you struggled posting a comment for a couple of months! I am glad it’s working now, but I feel bummed for all those people who tried to comment and who might have needed support but instead walked away.

            I appreciate your message of hope and inspiration! I feel so fortunate for you and the others who show up here and inspire in the face of this crisis. You’ve done well, Dolores. Very well. Keep on with your home PT and no pressure ever, but if you get a chance to check-in, please do.

            Saluti alla tua salute!

  17. Lark

    So, I’m three weeks post op (ORIF for my trimalleolar ankle with dislocation) and my surgeon has just taken off my cast and put me into a boot, telling me to start working on weight bearing. At three weeks. I get that he finds him seem to be a liberal dr with regards to treatment plans, but this feels so wrong to me, as we as SUPER painful. My gut tells me to get a 2nd opinion, so I’m meeting with a podiatrist next week. Thoughts? I know my X-ray is “perfect,” but my dr just isn’t listening to me about how this all feels.

    1. Hey Lark!

      Well, I’m not sure how best to weigh in on this one (totally accidental pun!). I started weight bearing at around week 5. I’ve communicated with others on this blog who started earlier, yet you and I have had the same injury with the dislocation. My gut tells you to trust your gut. Get the second opinion from the podiatrist and your PT, if possible. Is it realistic to just go to another OS for a second? I think some docs want to approach it more aggressively as they know that weight bearing helps the healing process. Still, it’s your body, and you have ever right to advocate for yourself.

      Let us know what happens, if you get a moment to write. Your information could be valuable to others who are reading.

      The good news is that your X-ray looks “perfect!”

      Cheers to your healing!

  18. Jane Dev

    Hello and Happy Mothers Day to all the mommies. I have been wanting to update for a while. Everyones advice for driving, patience and all the other tid bits, thank you thank you thank you!
    -started driving for the first time at 16 weeks 4/24, with my sister in the car.
    – Since 4/29 I drive myself where I need to go!!
    – went back to work only 2x now – they don’t need me as much but that’s fine. I am behind on house jobs! A friend comes over and we painted my master bath and dining room! Lots of swelling and soreness, but figuring it out.
    – Walking without a cane or crutch since 4/25 except occasionally when very sore – still limping some as my foot hurts still on top – but that is improving. If I take one Alieve, I have almost no pain and can walk better. PT says we should do that for a little while to get strength going in my foot and calf.
    – PT down to twice a week and going to once next week. no calf muscle to see, and cannot do a single leg raise at all – would LOVE to know from others when they could do a single leg raise – seems impossible! – they tried the dry needles with stim to wake up the muscle so we keep trying!
    – standing up to take shower now for about ten days – still careful and holding on to my hand rails!
    – Walk up and down stairs holding on to rail! Yesterday I found myself on the stairs not holding on – and my shoe got caught on the step. I could have fallen! I was mentally preoccupied and I freaked myself out. scary. I have to remember to ALWAYS hold on! I am going to put a sign up – I am.
    – The main thing is the pressure in my ankle that we have all had for months as we recover is diminished almost completely. The pressure I felt when going to 25% weight bearing, and then 50, and 75 – has slowly gone away and for that I am thankful.
    – still working on nervy issues – inside of ankle just below scar is the most irritating with shoes. You can actually see a red spot below the scar where I think the dislocation was pressing on – not sure if anyone else has that and if it resolved.
    The big news is my daughter graduates college next Friday/Saturday up in Pennsylvania – and I will be there, walking. Thankful to be shopping for shoes now. She does not like my choices! But hey – is what it is I told her! Fingers crossed this week is uneventful and I will be there with a box of tissues on her special day! Flat tie shoes for sure, and a cane just in case as walking on grass is not easy still and I feel unsteady on it!
    Continued healing, love and positive energy to everyone! Jane

    1. Wow, Jane! That’s an incredible update! You’re driving – woot! I love reading that the pressure has diminished. This is so important for others who are in the midst of that annoying and sometimes highly irritating discomfort. It goes away – yes! The nervy stuff, will take some time.

      I don’t remember when I did leg raises. Keep at it. The muscle atrophies so quickly and seems to take forever to build back up, but it does. Keep building those muscles. I wonder if there’s a strap (like a yoga strap) where, while lifting, you hold part of the weight with your arms and give your leg a chance to hold some of the weight as well.

      A big congrats to YOU and to your daughter! Two major milestones accomplished for you both! Enjoy the graduation. No one will be looking at your shoes, and a cane is a brilliant idea for navigating unfamiliar, uneven surfaces, especially during an emotional time.

      Keep looking ahead while keeping your mind at the present. No more falls allowed!

      Big hugs and am so appreciative of the positive energy you’ve brought to this blog. Thank you.

  19. Dolores

    Got the OK to go back to work on May 21st. It will be more part time than before my injury, and subsequent surgery. But out of the house , and dressed like a big person, nonetheless. Going to ease into to the work thing. The OS has advised athe Darco ankle brace to wear. The cam boot can go back on if needed. Usually if I am standing for a long period of time, like making my salad the other day, or my peach pie today, the. It goes back on. Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions for foot wear that provides support and enough space for the ankle brace. I currently have a pair that I am using, but it is a real struggle to get the left one on with the brace. Have to get used to sleeping in a lying down position, after sleeping in a semi propped up position in the recliner. I will have to try the pillow between the knees as suggested in a previous posting. To all of you on this post, stay positive and heal well. To all of the Mothers, have a wonderful Mother’s Day.

    1. Jane Dev

      Dolores, congratulations on being able to go back to work – it will be here before you know it. As far as the shoes, I find it is such a personal choice. I have some NB shoes (sneakers) that I wear, went up to a larger size – now it is really getting ridiculous! Went up for inserts and now up again in size! But the NB do rub on the inside ankle area where I am super nervy and they bother me still. For someone else, might be great. Keep looking! Zappos is easy, quick and great for buying and trying shoes with free and easy returns. At work – I have a couple of suggestions…a chair to put your foot up to at least keep it horizontal so as not to swell too much. I bought an icing unit – air cast cryocuff ( think about 70.00). I fill with Ice and cold water in the morning and ice when needed. Only worked two half days so far though! Pillow between the legs – a big YES for me – for 22 years now – can’t sleep without!!! Try a nice down king size pillow for that. I hope whatever you try helps you! Peach Pie – YUM!!!!

    2. You’re on your way, Dolores! I love the “like a big person” remark. ? It’s a good day when we all get to put on our big girl (or boy for some of our mates here) pants.

      I went from the boot to hiking boots with nothing in between. Maybe others here will have a suggestion for you. Yes! Pillow between the knees. I still use that one, eight years later. I grew addicted to the comfort of it.

      Peace pie, eh? You’re doing great! Thanks for the words of strength and positivity. I share your well wishes for all the mother’s here. I know there’s a new mother we haven’t heard from since just before her surgery. I hope all is well with all of you!

      To your healing! If you get a moment, as the days and weeks progress, please send us an update. Once you’re up and running (pun intended!), things will get busy again, so no pressure.

    3. Jo

      Hi Delores. I remember going back to work felt so good. I was missing the routine of my work and the connections with my co-workers. I did find that I needed to ice and elevate as soon as I got home. And some days I needed to resort back to a prescription pain med for the evening. That didn’t last long, though.
      Regarding shoes – i started wearing a shoe about 12 weeks post op (almost two years ago today). I wore my Ecco walking sandals. They provided good support without putting pressure on my incisions. I was able to wear the ankle brace in them and eventually transitioned to a sock style ankle sleeve from Incrediwear that also worked with the Ecco sandal.
      Best wishes on your return to work.

      1. Hard to believe it’s been 2 years! You’ve come a long way, Jo. I wish I had known about some of those accessories when I had my injury. Thanks for the tips and for chiming in. I hope all is going beautifully for you!

  20. LAT

    I broke my ankle in three places about a month ago and went through surgery. It has been very hard to be so dependent upon others. My family and friends have been wonderful but I find myself depressed because I am an active person and I’ve been pretty much been bedridden this whole time and I still have a ways to go to get back to walking.

    1. Jane Dev

      LAT, this is Jane. Hi, I am having a hard time for some reason following the posts. I have not seen a post from you yet personally, is this your first post? I am sorry if I missed something. I am always interested in meeting the new followers of Kendas blog and truly care about you and everyone on here. I am person who has found great comfort in this blog, all the other shared stories and the feeling of support and understanding. I am very sorry for you injury, and how you are feeling – all completely understandable. The physical pain is obviously a part of this, but the emotional challenge is what shocked me more than I could ever imagine, or even explain, except for on this blog! I sometimes still feel overcome by the emotions. Just yesterday, I was an old email from January 1 (my injury day) and seeing the date written down nearly brought tears to my eyes. This is a very difficult experience to go through and sometimes you may feel alone as you lay in bed or the couch and depend upon others. I felt like no one truly knew how I felt until I found this exchange. This left event will challenge you in many ways as you continue one day at at time to move forward, sometimes at a snails pace! From my standpoint, this is all normal. If I may suggest to take one day at at time – take a keep breath. That was one of the first pieces of advice I had, and as simple as it sounds, it helped. I hope it helps you. I literally took deep breaths. I found actually praying for others I had heard about who were also hurting in some way helped me to feel like I was helping others, somehow feeling useful. Feeling unproductive can be hard. Before my accident, I had purchased fabric to recover furniture and had planned on having my wood floors refinished. We had to wait on the floors, but I insisted that we get the furniture recovered, and insists that my living room be painted as scheduled – I felt productive from the couch! …and that was important to me. (truth be told, I was eventually pushing tables in my scooter – not smart and not advised!). Maybe there is something you can find, as small as it may be to feel productive and find some sense of minor independence. If not, it is absolutely OK because your body is working hard and you are being productive in your healing! Be patient with the process, be good to yourself. Patience is a virtue. Please be patient and just think that every day is a new day, every day something miraculous is happing in your body to heal your injury, every day truly is a gift. I do hope you start to feel better.

    2. Dear LAT,

      Thank you for joining our T-mal team here. I’m sorry for the circumstances that brought you here, but glad you’ve arrived. This is the hardest part, reconciling the situation while grappling with physical and emotional pain. You’ve gone through surgery, however, so one major milestone accomplished.

      Your depression is validated. Difficult is an understatement to go from being active and then getting smacked down to the point of being bedridden. Yes, you have a way to go before walking. But you can use this time to focus on healing in preparation for walking. Right now, it’s your time to focus on you. Jane gave some great advice about breathing and taking it one day at a time. Patience will become your best friend or your mortal enemy at this juncture. You get to choose to embrace or reject your inner patient (trying to make a pun here!).

      Please, check in and share your progress. It will happen, and I believe when someone takes the time to write out any progress (even very small milestones), there’s a sort of built-in acknowledgment. In turn, that acknowledgment is like an incentive to keep moving forward. Not sure if that makes sense. In short, take note of any progress!

      To your healing!

  21. Dolores

    I know it has been a while since an update. PT was prescribed after my last appointment with the OS. We stopped at the PT office in our local town on the way home from the appointment. Have been going twice a week, and seem to be coming along fairly well. The PT let me use one of their canes during therapy and it felt very freeing. Like I would be able to do more on my own, without as much assistance. Have been doing the exercises at least twice a day, when not at PT. Still icing the ankle, which is still swollen. Weekends we try and have a good dinner, and was able to make potato salad all by myself. Although, once I was done with that, I was so done. My ankle was throbbing, and my back was tired. It was nap time. I go to the OS on Monday, for the third followup. Hopefully he will let me know if I can drive, and possibly go back to work, a little early. I was holding off driving until not having to manuever a walker would make life easier. Once I get my cane, get out of my way! The only errands have been going to the OS appointments, and to PT. Was able to make it to church, finally, on Palm Sunday. That was tiring. Still wearing, and sleeping, with the cam boot on. The only time it comes off is for showering, and exercises, at home and PT. What a struggle to get my sneaker on for the exercises, with the ankle so swollen. Hopefully the cane will provide a little more freedom of movement around the house. Sleeping in my own bed, instead of my husband’s recliner will be wonderful. Getting up to the second floor was not high on the list. My husband has been really wonderful during all of this. Being my aide, and chauffeur. Also, our main bathroom is on the first floor of our home, and either the dog or the cat must accompany me, to make sure I get there safely. This would not have been safe if I was sleeping in our room, and trying to get to the small bathroom on our second floor, with a walker. This about it for now, and will keep you updated. Everyone, remember, take the time to heal, mentally and physically. This is a shock to your being. It will all get better for you. Stay positive.

    1. Jane Dev

      Dolores – I read your update. I have been trying to go back and read some of your old posts to find out when you had your accident but can’t find a way to get back to all those old posts I want to read! I agree that this is mentally and physically a shock to our life, mind and body. That is literally why I am so thankful to have this blog. This is literally a friend to me during this time. You are not alone!
      One thing that was frightening to me was not sleeping with a boot. The doctor said I could do that at five weeks out of surgery – I was terrified. I thought he was crazy! I actually came up with a transition of my own. I put a large tall knitted sock on my foot, up to mid calf, then I used a padding that came in my Plantar Fasciitis boot – kind of like quilt interlining but it was nice because it was like a boot liner just on the back side – and then I wrapped that loosely in an ace bandage. It gave me a safer feeling to sleep. Of course every time I got up to go potty I had to put on my boot for safety. Anyhow, maybe you could come up with something. I never thought that feeling of pressure and heavy feeling in my ankle and foot would ever go away, but it is – and for the most part, it has gone away. Also, I literally eventually loved my one crutch – gave me support and felt safe more than the cane for some reason, but if you are using the cane that is truly amazing progress! Seems like you are doing wonderfully and improving. You have to re read your own post to be reminded about all of these little improvements that are getting you one step closer to walking and independence. PT, cooking, cane, church (huge!), wearing a sneaker at times, and sleeping in your own bed – keep up the positive attitude and great work Dolores.

      1. I adore your input, Jane. Thank you for being such an upbeat addition to this blog and for your inspiring and kind words. I think your advice of transitioning out of the boot is fabulous!

        You are doing so well! ?

        To your healing!

        PS: I forgot to add that I don’t know how to better organize the comments. If anyone here has WordPress experience and can suggest a way, I’m open to figuring it out. I, too, would like to see the comments displayed in a way that makes them easier to follow.

    2. I’m glad to hear from you, Dolores. Thank you for the update.

      Looks like you’re on your way! Well done on doing the PT exercises on your own at home!

      Not many folks may be able to understand the joy in being able to make potato salad by yourself, but I totally get it. It’s an accomplishment! I so remember feeling wiped out from what most folks take for granted as regular daily activities. I’m really glad you’re able to give yourself time to recover from them.

      How lovely the cane is giving you freedom to get around and even get to church. And yeah, swelling. It will be a part of your life for some time to come. Are you noticing if the swelling is decreasing? It’s so incremental sometimes, it’s difficult to note. Sleeping in your own bed is a worthwhile goal to have. That will feel good on many levels – a sense of normalcy, the ability to be horizontal, and comfort.

      Your hubby, cat, and dog all sound like a good team -keeping you well cared for and safe. It helps to be surrounded by love. ❤️

      Thank you for the update! One day, you’ll be walking and reflecting back on this journey, appreciating your ability to heal (like you said, mentally and physically) through this incredibly challenging situation. You’re getting there now!

      To your healing!

  22. Debbie

    Welcome Ariel. So sorry you had to join us, but we are here to support any way we can. My best two bits of advice: 1: accept all the help offered and don’t hesitate to ask for what you need. It’s hard but I bet your “mothers” want to be there for you. 2: borrow a wheelchair or buy a Rollatoror Walker ($59 Walmart) as it has a seat that you can sit on and push yourself around, get a knee scooter ($99)and a bathtub chair (amazon is the cheapest about $40 and gotta love delivery) and handheld shower attachment . And depending on your insurance these may be partially reimbursable. And, sorry, it 3 things, but ice and elevation REALLY help.
    Enjoy all those extra cuddles from your son.

  23. Jane Dev

    Ariel, I want to add – I saw that you are also very nervous. It is so understandable that you are nervous – this is a difficult thing to face but you will do it. I was told by someone a very simple thing – and that is to take a deep breath and take it one day at a time. Please let us know how it goes. You are very lucky to have found this site for support. I had my surgery on January 3rd and I would have loved to have this site back then for support. We have all been through this, and you will make it through too. I know you will hear from others friends on here too as everyone is wonderful – so please check back and stay in touch!

  24. Jane Dev

    (I hope it is ok to respond first!). Ariel, hello, I just saw your message before bed. I am just another person here on the blog who has taken comfort in this wonderful exchange. I am sure that you will hear from Kenda soon, she has been a blessing to all of us who have been through this, and a wealth of comfort and information. I am so sorry for your injury especially at such a special time your life. I have three kids and nursed my twins sitting on that couch for 14 hours a day doing so – so, lots of cuddling like you said. I hope this will go well tomorrow and you can continue to enjoy your little one. Please – take very good care of yourself and stay positive. We are here.

    1. Ariel

      Jane, thank you for your quick and welcoming response. Here’s hoping third times a charm for my reply (I’m on mobile and keep accidentally canceling my reply!). It’s so wonderful to find this community on the eve of my surgery. It’s comforting to know there are people to talk to. Kudos to you for breastfeeding twins during this ordeal!! One is a challenge. Luckily we finally got our groove and can (now sometimes quite literally) do it in our sleep. I’m so scared to leave him tomorrow, it’s the longest I’ll have ever been away. Mom and mother-in-law are here to care for him while we’re gone, but I’ll still miss him like crazy. He’s going through his 6 week growth spurt and wants mommy and milk more than ever. Tomorrow when I get home and steal his cuddles will be the greatest. Thank you again for the warm welcome. I’ve never felt compelled to join and online community or comment on a blog but this one felt right. I look forward to learning about everyone’s stories and recoveries. <3

      1. Ariel, I’m quite relieved to see that you have family support during this ordeal. No doubt the grandmothers will take excellent care of your little guy. I’ll bet a million bucks they are honored to show up and help out at this critical time. I hear you about being scared to leave him, and I hope the time passes quickly so you can get him back in your arms.

        Thank you for being a part of our little community. One day, you’ll look back on this with great relief that you overcome one of the most challenging moments in your life. It will happen.

        Wishing the very best and speediest outcome today! ❤️

        1. Jane Dev

          Ariel!! No! My bad! I nursed 21 years ago! ??? I’m saying I can relate to sitting on the couch for hours upon hours nursing and that it will be good cuddle time for YOU and your babe!! I’m 56 now!!?! I think your youth will help healing too!!! Hope it went well!!

  25. Ariel

    I have my trimalleolar surgery tomorrow morning. I also had my first child 6 weeks ago. I’m so nervous and overwhelmed and it was wonderful to find your blog and reach someone who really knows what this is like. I look forward to reading the rest of your series as I recover from my surgery. Like you, I’m a go go go person and I think the universe just slowed me wayyyyy down. My current silver lining is this gives me lots more time to cuddle and breastfeed my son. Breastfeeding on top of this (and the limitations on meds) has added a whole next level aspect to this.

    1. Dear Ariel, thank you for connecting and welcome to the Tri-mal club. I’m sorry for the circumstance that brought you here, yet am glad you’ve reached out. I was reading your comment and thinking that you’re a hero for being a new, breastfeeding mom who has to go through this without meds. That sense of feeling overwhelmed and your nervousness are totally valid. Please know you’re not alone in this, even if it may feel like it sometimes as you may find others could not possibly understand the worry and discomfort (pain) that comes with this injury, especially at the beginning. We do. We get it.

      I will be thinking about you today as you undergo surgery. This is the first and most important step to your healing. When you get through this, a major hurdle has been overcome. Yep. The universe is slowing you waaaayyyy down for sure! Let the cuddling begin!

      To your healing!

      PS: I’d love to know how you’re managing the pain. I’m also curious to know if you can breastfeed after anesthesia. Please educate us on that if/when you feel like it. I think you’re the first breastfeeding mom to be a part of this thread, yet others are probably reading. Any tips or advice are welcomed!

    2. Dolores

      Just thought I would update. There is light at the end of the (long) tunnel. This is the second week I have been back to work. Three days a week, for six hours a day. That is more part time than before my injury/surgery. But definitely enough. Beat by the time I get home. Two of the days are longer as I go to PT right after work. Get home, eat dinner, ice and elevate my ankle. Try not to fall asleep in my chair. Does not always work. If the nap lasts two hours I will stay awake until 1:00 am. No bueno! Especially when I need at least 5 straight hours of good sleep. A previous post mentioned body temperature being out of whack. Ain’t the truth! Being post menopausal, this has screwed up my body temperature worse than before. The swelling in the left ankle seems to go down a very little bit. If I over tire myself, it swells. This past weekend, my husband and I drove to Utica NY, to visit my daughter and her fiancé. This 2-1/2 hour drive, one way, did not make for a comfortable ride. Hobbling around their apartment was different. My ankle had to work harder as their bathroom was on the second floor, of an apartment with “granny” stairs. Anyone with a much older home knows what those are. Still trying to get the swelling to go down. Thank goodness PT today had the ice boot at the end. My favorite part. Still walking with a cane, but getting better. Finally took a “big girl” shower, did not use the shower chair. Finally feel comfortable standing in the shower, and my husband put the shower doors back on. Getting there one tentative step at a time. Everyone heals at a different pace. Don’t get discouraged. It will get better, and don’t push too hard. You don’t want any setbacks. Next OS appointment is June 17th. We will see how it goes. Before I forget, had my regular doctor appointment this past week. I showed him my last X-ray, with my new jewelry. He was amazed. I always take an image of the current X-ray. See him in December, he said he expects that I will be dancing. We will see. That is about it for this update. Everyone, stay positive, don’t overexert, journal your feelings if needed, pray if needed, stay on this blog. Suggestions and other insights are helpful along the way.

      1. Jane Dev

        Dolores! Great to hear your update. It’s so hard to keep track Of everyone’s time line. I should go back and write them down! Or at the end of our posts we can put in parentheses either injury date or number of months out? That would be helpful! Sounds like you are doing well. I loved the ice boot so much that I bought one! pT and doctor said I would have swelling for a year so why not ! When we travel in the car or plane I bring it with. I fill up the cooler with ice water and have icing on hand. Came in so handy for daughters graduation in the hotel every night and brought in car between events. If I already said this just ignore me!!! ( Jan 1st, 5 months)

        1. Brilliant idea, Jane! I hope others read your comment and write in their injury timing. I sure wish I had heard of this ice boot when I was healing. Sounds like a good thing to have in the healing toolbox.

          Are you any of you, per chance, wearing compression socks when traveling? I forgot to mention that in the response I just wrote to Dolores. They helped me immensely while traveling. I still wear them just out of habit now.

          I appreciate your insight, Jane.

          To your healing ?

          (July 5, 2011 – exactly 7 years, 11 months!!)

      2. I so appreciate your updates, Dolores! You sure have reached a lot of milestones since last writing in. It’s a BIG deal to go back to work, and you’re doing it. Two weeks now. Well done. I know it takes a toll. Your body is still healing. Most folks have no idea (if they haven’t had this kind of injury) how much energy it takes to heal. I like this ice boot thing you mention. Sounds like a good plan to use it every time you go to PT.

        Looks like some challenges still exist, yet the accomplishments look bigger than the challenges from my perch! I mean, you took a “big girl” shower! That’s huge too! I remember my first stand-up shower. I was so nervous about slipping. I left my right leg unshaved for quite some time as I was afraid to stand on the healing ankle in the shower. Eventually, the fear dropped away and courage seeped in day by day. I believe it’s a part of this process. It’s like an opportunity to find ourselves again. A rediscovery process, if you will.

        Thank you again for the update. I think about you all and really appreciating hearing how you’re doing. And thanks for the words of wisdom. ?

        To your healing!!

  26. Jane Dev

    Thanks Debbie. I am at 15 weeks now. Physical therapy said I have to be able to get out of the car if needed in an accident without any assisted device – no crutches, no cane to avoid being sued. And they said I have to be confident to be able to slam on the brakes if needed! I have been thinking of going and sitting in the car to do what you did – I guess I will! I have been pedaling on that little pedaling device and increasing resistance which should help. Just stiff at times for sure. Thanks so much!

      1. Jane Dev

        Kenda I’ve thought of that with the stress fracture. I asked last time and he said well if you did it’s had all the time to rest and heal – that kind of answer! Made sense. That and PF is what’s holding me back I think. And I had so much numbness too. Much has come back. Top of foot last to get better. Very nervy to touch. And did yours go away? The bottom of foot feeling seems to be better. The big toe on the side still a little strange sensation. Thanks!!

        1. Okay. Well, I guess that question is answered.

          Yes, for the most part the numbness went away. The top of my foot was the last place my nerves healed. There’s still one tiny patch at the base of my big toe that is kind of numb. I do not notice it unless I look for it. It’s a faint numbness unlike a new injury numbness. And nothing like that weird-tingling-numb feeling I had on my leg. Even shaving skeeved me out. That was the first to heal. ❤️

          1. Jane Dev

            All good to know. The top of my foot and where foot meets leg is very nervy. Like if I touch with my finger tips it tingles. I have one spot at the large knuckle before the. Oh toe that has like a horizontal nerve pain only sometimes. Strange we had the same area. And the scar on the inside is numb too. That’s where the ankle dislocated and I had lots of pressure on that side. I thought I had an open sore for weeks only to finally realize it was nerves. And I thought I had tape on the bottom of my foot when I had the cast. All nerves! He stuck my foot with a pin when I got the cast off…many spots felt nothing but seems just about fine now. #blessings. So thankful.

            1. A friend of mine, a body worker, told me to (several times a day) touch the numb areas with various textures to stimulate the nerves. I found myself grabbing all kinds of things – different clothing items (various textures), socks, wash cloths (wet and dry), brushes (including paint brushes), even tapping the area with my fingers. Maybe it helped?

        2. DeeDee


          I had numbness too. I had it on top from the big toe back towards the ankle and by all my scars. Doctor said nerve endings come back about 1 centimeter a month. He was right. I had about 5 centimeters and it took about 5 months

          1. DeeDee

            Hi Everyone

            Well I found out what part of my problem is by OS. My screws up front are right by my tendon sheeth and probably causing a bit of inflammation when I walk/dorsiflex. He wants to wait until Sept to remove them. Okay please chime in on how LONG this recovery is going to take. He is removing my plate too with 7screws and the medial too.

            1. I find myself feeling great relief knowing that you have the cause to the tendon issue. This may be useful to others as well who are having tendon issues. The recovery will be so easy, especially compared to the ORIF. I was walking unassisted in less than 2 weeks after having my metal removed. It was practically painless (and I’m almost ultra sensitive!), again, compared to the ORIF. Add to it, I felt great relief having the metal out. I realize it’s not for everyone, but the doc identified an actual issue you’re having. I’m placing my bets on your having a good outcome. ?

          2. Jane Dev

            Dee Dee, Kenda – I was away for the weekend! thank you for the information on all the nerviness. I will continue to be patient and use my brushing and facecloth and all that! And appreciate the information on the monthly progress to be patient for! Even though he said I the bone is healed (which I suppose that means it’s now one chunk), the area on the side that was all comminuted in little pieces continues to be painful when trying to walk – so I think it is still strengthening and solidifying! Patience I suppose. I heard back today from the girl I met at the doctors office who had a ton of hardware removed six weeks ago. She said she is doing well, back in PT, but she said the removal of the hardware was the right decision for her and she is happy with the progress! (I actually gave her the information on this exchange and we may meet her here. We will see!).

            1. Jane, so I admire your enthusiasm for healing. My best guess is that you’re right about the area with the little pieces especially if the X-rays show that everything is progressing. I would still ask the PT to clarify that – the pain in that particular area. It’s hard to know what’s causing the pain sometimes. I think the muscles are all trying to figure out how to get back to normal, too. And the nerves are all rewiring and healing. There’s a lot of activity going on in that foot/ankle.

              Thanks for sharing the blog to the woman who had the hardware removed. I hope she joins us and shares her metal removal experience.

              To your healing!

  27. Debbie

    Jane, the official time for driving is 9-12 weeks. I was closer to the 12 week time. I would drive to the grocery store where I would throw the crutches into the cart then practice not limping by consciously pushing the grocery ?. Before that I would sit in the car and practice pushing the pedal to strengthen the muscles and increase my flexion. Let me tell you, I couldn’t believe how good it felt getting that independence back. Your day will come. It’s not a race.

  28. Jane Dev

    Love it! My husband Paul and I were talking last night saying, how could biking not be somewhat weight bearing! I get swimming isn’t. I am so glad to hear. I bought a little peddler recently that I have been using. I like it and hope it helps me get back to driving sooon. When did everyone else start driving the car – I may be being super/too cautious.

    1. DeeDee

      I did not start driving until 15 weeks because I was worried about the tension on the pedal. At 12 weeks I could take a shower, dress myself, start sleeping on my side with a pillow between my legs (side that wasn’t injured), make myself breakfast and very very light housework. I still needed help with my hands getting off the couch and could not go up stairs or down (except like a toddler), I could walk 8 minutes without limping. There was a crap load of stuff I couldn’t do well and even now still a crap load I can’t do. I’ll never figure skate again because the risk is not worth the reward (I actually was quite good at it). I’m a slow healer and like I said when I do too much mr tendinitis sets in. But hey we are upright

      1. Jane Dev

        Thanks! Love all this to give me bench marks. Sounds like you’ve been doing amazing with walking for a longtime. (I also broke both sides and dislocated, not tri). I walk but need more strength in leg to get more confidence. I hope I don’t get the tendinitis as I had before but on other leg. The main thing right now holding me back and would love to know if anyone else has/had is the bones and muscles or something in the top of my foot still hurt a great deal when I walk. Especially at the toe bend part of gait. Kenda did you have this. Seeing doc tomorrow and will ask. Going to try to walk in appt without crutch or cane. PT challenging me to try as I do walk well at PT (with foot pain!). Will see?

        1. Jane, I don’t remember specifically if I had the top of foot pain like you described. I do remember, however, having pain when I was “learning” to walk again. For me, I think the bigger issue on the top of my foot was numbness. It took a while for those nerves to heal. I’m wondering…any chance you have a stress fracture on top of your foot? I’m guessing they x-rayed everything tho. Maybe others could chime in about the top-o-foot pain.

          Keep on healing on! Look how far you’ve come!

      2. You’re so organized for logging all of that, DeeDee! Well done. Could figure skating be in your future again if you were fully geared up? I had an ice skating party for my 48th birthday, and brought knee pads. 🙂 You are upright, indeed, and I think you’re doing really well.

    2. I was a late bloomer in my post-recovery driving. Since I had to have my syndesmosis screw operation at 12 weeks, I wasn’t driving until a couple weeks after that. Not sure (I’d actually have to read through the blog to check haha), but I think I was driving at 16 weeks.

      1. Jane Dev

        Thanks Kenda. You did well! And I ready about your skating party at 48. I wouldn’t dare! Even before I gave up skating because of my bad back. Soooo, I went to my surgeon today. He said the bones are healed. I held his hands and said Thank God. The bones inside are not pretty – very uneven on the sides where the comminuted fracture was but he said it’s healed!. And obvi to keep gaining confidence, strength and ROM. I did walk in there without crutches or cane but I’m not ready to totally ditch them just yet In life! My PT laughs when I hug my crutch! ? Paul laughed today when I wanted to go to the school parking lot to try out driving! I thought…we last did the parking lot almost six years ago with our twins, our last “teenage drivers!” And now me?!

        1. Good news, Jane!

          I don’t really understand the uneven sides part. Maybe when this is all over, you can decorate your crutch and hang it (her?) up somewhere. 🙂 Or burn it!

          You and Paul are precious. Love that you want to practice driving. ?

  29. Jane Dev

    Dee Dee, thank you. It still does shake me bit when I think about your friend because I remember last year at some point, I missed a step! Talking to a friend just a few weeks ago, she told me she missed one or two steps and I cannot remember if she fell or not but it shook her – because she saw what happened to me in my closet! I too thought I was so careful, but not careful enough. I am trying to make a deal with myself to be careful. And if I hear myself say – ” it will be fine, or start a though with “it’s just” – then I will think twice and take any the extra effort” !! I was talking to my husband about riding a bike and I told him, I am just not sure it’s worth it. (And I said, it does not even help build bone density so what’s the point! – hahah!) Anyhow, thanks again, I said a small prayer last night for your friend and for all of us too! er

    1. All good points, Jane! You and DeeDee are both offering good reminders for the rest of us to keep paying attention to the thoughts in our heads and our actions.

      I love bike riding and was just reading about whether or not it can help with bone density. Most articles say, “no” but I just found one written by a doctor (who wrote a book about osteoporosis) who says it can help as it’s considered weight bearing for hips and legs. I’d love to hear some of our in-house (in-blog?) medical professionals’ thoughts on that.

  30. Jane Dev

    Kenda – what is the tens unit you are referring to? I try to do everything that I can! I would like to ask PT. Also, I have a unit here that my son used way back when he had a back issue – I wonder if it is the same thing – that was more for pain I think. Thanks, Jane

    1. That might be the same device your son used. A TENS is probably most used for managing pain, but my understanding is it helps with blood flow and healing. Ask your PT about it and let me know, kay?

  31. Jane Dev

    I adore all of you and all of the comments that help me feel that I am not alone in this journey! I feel blessed for that. And my husband wants everyone to know he is a good guy! Haha! He was laughing when I told him what I wrote! I guess he was really just asking for specifics!

    1. I know your husband is a good guy. I knew that from the very beginning of your posts. Please tell him I think he’s doing a great job, and I know that being a caregiver is not an easy job, even for a great patient like yourself. ??❤️

      1. Jane Dev

        Awwe!! I am glad- don’t want to throw my guy under the bus! I think reading “Dee Dee’s update though helped to put things in even more perspective – even 6 months out where I may be. I think she is doing amazing!

  32. Nancy

    Hi DeeDee-
    I had surgery to remove one plate, 8 screws and one button six weeks ago on my outer right ankle. I still have a large screw, a wire and one button on my left side of the right ankle. My surgery was the result of an infection in my surgical incision and was not planned for hardware removal. I was quite surprised when I woke up from surgery for a wound debriment to find a bag of hardware large enough to belong in Home Depot?

    I am an active 72 years old and my original surgery was September 2018 so I definitely thought I was getting DONE with my trimal journey- a second surgery was a shock! To make a very long eight month story short- the hardware removal surgery was not bad and the recovery was much easier then the first surgery. I am back in PT and walking without any assists. I don’t have much pain but I still have limited dorsalflexion and my foot swells when I am active. I don’t have osteoporosis or osteopenia, but my age certainly has been a factor in my lengthy recovery. I hope I have answered some of your questions
    and worries-as the Kenda’s blog says- You will get better- the tough stuff is already over!
    Take care-

    1. ? Thank you, Nancy. I chuckled when reading your Home Depot comment. 🙂 What a surprise tho! Glad you were able to get that infection straightened out.

      And while it may not seem like it now, I think you’re so fortunate to have made it through menopause without bone density issues. Well done on that!

      Keep working on that dorsiflexion. It’ll continue to improve. Sometimes the scar tissue gets in the way, too. If so, your PT could zap it with the TENS or deep tissue massage may help. The swelling is still normal, even 8 months out and especially with the added complication. My hope is that you’re noticing less swelling as the days and weeks pass.

      To your healing!

  33. Debbie

    Jane, I can totally understand your not wanting more surgery. I’m sure they would want to wait now anyway. Hopefully it will improve without surgery. But yes, the surgery is basically making a couple very small incisions and a couple small snips inside to release the cause of the tightness and pain. I need to quiz my doc about heel padding loss.

      1. DeeDee

        6 month update. Walk with slight limp when not thinking about gait. Ankle still swells and foot turns slight shade of pink after being on it but goes away with elevation and ice. Tendinitis still on one side but not both. After 4000 steps to 5000 steps I’m spent for the day. Can walk 3/4 mile on treadmill for 20 minutes then sore and start to feel tendinitis and get a slight limp. Walking outside on wonky sidewalks, I don’t do as well and seem to struggle more with limping and pain. Can go up stairs but not down with one leg in front of the other. Stiff when wake up and must stretch everyday at least a couple times a day. Yesterday I did 4500 steps st the end of my day and I was sore. I think I can feel my screws in front. Trust me there is not a day that goes by that I just forget my ankle at this point. It’s a daily reminder that I screwed up and fell down my stairs. It could be worse, a friend missed only 1 or 2 steps carrying something and is a quadriplegic. I’m grateful for what I have but occasionally miss what I am unable to do or get frustrated with the pain. It’s normal but everyday is a gift

        1. Jane Dev

          DeeDee. When reading your update I could feel for you even though I’m only just over three months out. My therapist says recovery is a roller coaster. You sound like you are doing amazing. I’m upset for your tendinitis- we could do better without all the side shows injuries! My husband asked me this weekend…why do you limp. The question shocked me …I can’t get it out of my head. I told him how I felt at bed time last night- And today I just think …maybe he he just doesn’t get it. But I am sorry for your struggles. I struggle with confidence and doubt and now when you wrote about your friend who missed the two steps I am so freaked out – so upset for her and it makes me even more nervous. ?

          1. A roller coaster indeed! Your therapist nailed it, Jane.

            And you’re right. Folks who have not had this injury truly have little idea of the difficulties. It would take the compassion of Buddha for someone who hasn’t been there to understand. Still, it can be frustrating when a partner asks questions that demonstrate their own lack of understanding of the hardships of a Tri-mal. It’s good you can talk with him. He seems like a good guy who has been showing up for you. I hope your chat straightened things out.

            I found myself feeling shaken by DeeDee’s friend’s injury, too. I reminded myself that anything can happen at any time, and if I fret about all the possible injuries/accidents/diseases that I or my loved ones could get, then I’d never leave my house and would definitely never climb stairs.? For the most part, our days are filled with neutral happenings, but those things don’t steal our attention away like all the possible bad stuff that rarely comes to fruition. If only the good things commanded as much attention.

            To your healing, Jane! You’re doing great!

          2. DeeDee

            Hi Jane

            I want to clarify what I wrote about my friend. She was going downstairs with her hands full and not able to see her feet when looking down, she thought she was at the bottom stair and could just “walk” off. Disaster struck, she was unable to catch herself when falling forward (hands full of stuff in front of her). She was NOT holding the railing, she was u aware where her feet were and where the stairs were and she was rushing that day trying to get things done. Guaranteed none of us will probably do any of those things anymore knowing the seriousness of our injury. Her injury did not make me hold the railing. I fell down my stairs. This TM injury changed everything and makes me careful EVERYWHERE! I always know where my feet are on sidewalks, parking lots and stairways. I’m more careful now. I try not to rush (physically impossible) and I pay attention to my surroundings more. I guess the reason I mention her is because when we have a hard day or even terrible day, just think we can go outside, take a shower standing up, do light housework, etc. When I have bad days and I morn what I lost, I think “chin up” it could be much much worse.

            1. Eight years later, and I’m still aware of where I put my feet most days. I have had a couple moments of not thinking about it, which is both good and bad! Oh how my heart goes out to your friend. Sending all ya’ll healing thoughts…?

        2. Thanks for the update, DeeDee. I do believe the day will come when you’re not reminded about the ankle. I recall feeling wonky going down stairs, too. It was almost like my body couldn’t figure out how to do it. After a while, it all came back. It just takes time. That’s the hardest part about this injury. It’ll get better…it just takes time.

          Your activity level is impressive. I sure hope you’re still taking that vacation. I’m guessing you need it more than ever.

          The story about your friend wrenches my heart. Tragic and troubling. Thanks for the reminder that every day is a gift.

          To your healing! ?

    1. Thanks for this info, Debbie. It’s good stuff, and I’m relieved to know there are some simple treatments (albeit surgical) for PF. I know how annoyingly painful it can be. I would love to hear what your doc says about padding loss – on heels and the balls of feet. That’s where my pad loss is. I’m assuming it’s from a lifetime of distance running, but maybe it’s something else?

      Really appreciate your participation here…thank you.

      1. Debbie

        Heel padding update: it does seem to be caused by wear and tear either from activities like your long distance running or from gait issues that put increased pressure on these areas causing them to wear more. Rest and antiinflammatories seem to be of some help. Also wearing gel type insoles to make up for the loss.
        Jane- he says he wonders if you have PF or the symptoms are from your thinning pads and the stress on the arch. Could be both though. Damn, it’s not fun getting older!

        On osteoporosis- my personal opinion, which is only my opinion, is genetics is a big factor. I’m 63 and so far have been lucky to have minimal loss. I do believe Vitamin D is a factor though, my excuse to get out into the sun! I was happy to learn that ankle fractures evidently do not happen due to osteoporosis, but rather the torque of the fall.

        1. Debbie, this is very helpful. Please thank your doc for me. I need to check into gel insoles.

          Your genetics thought makes sense. Well done on you for only having minimal loss. I guess I better stop dousing my skin in sunscreen and shift my focus to finding a balance of protection and getting natural Vitamin D. My skin is paying for underprotection from youth, and my bones are paying for overprotection in middle age! In the words of my dad (RIP), old age ain’t for sissies! ?

          My doc said the same thing about torque being the cause of (versus impact) ankle fractures.

          Appreciate your insight. Thank you!

  34. Jane Dev

    Try it – done by physical therapist. Game changer for me. That and my bi monthly massages for my back over past five years has really helped me… despite my set backs!

    1. Debbie

      Jane, Have you had steroid injections for your PF? I work with a Podiatrist who believes if symptoms are no better with treatment after one year, then you should consider surgery. This is basically a carpal tunnel like surgery- very quick and good results.

      1. Jane Dev

        Hi Debbie. I did have one or two steroid injections early on. I read they are not great because I already have a thinner heel pad as I have very thin feet too and can make that worse. I did do the PRP injection after a year in both feet and it did help. Ironically I’m not a lover of surgery albeit this time with the injury I had no choice! The injury seemed to bring it back into play in a bigger way again. The dry needling is keeping the pain down some and I pray with time it will heal???. I could not face surgery again now. You are so kind to respond. Thank you for your recommendations and I did not know it’s quick and easy. Is that the one that puts little cuts in it?

        1. I didn’t realize one could do PRP for foot padding. I was told last year by a podiatrist that the padding on my feet is thin, which the cause of some discomfort. This doc said nothing could be done about it because “fillers” aren’t lasting. I didn’t even consider PRP. Thanks for that idea. ?

          Does anyone else have any suggestions for dealing with foot padding that’s thinning?

          PS: Just read this again. It looks like the PRP was for your PF? Sorry for any confusion.

          1. Jane Dev

            Hey. I did not do PRP for the thinning heel pad, I did it for the plantar fasciitis because many times cortisone shots can be used for PF. I read however that Repeated cortisone could cause even more thinning of the foot pads. NOTE: This is something I read and for that reason I opted to do the PRP instead – but again for the PF. Maybe something to ask the doctor as far as PRP for the foot pad! Let me know!

  35. DeeDee

    Hi Delores

    Yes I have Osteopenia too. Same thing. A 50 years old normal and at 55 a nose dive to Osteopenia. I wonder what impact this is having on our healing too. I find that the younger crowd (before menopause seem to have an easier time at this). I wonder how many of us are over 50 when this happened. I broke my ankle falling down the stairs in October.

    1. Thanks for sharing that, DeeDee. I’m curious to know what a nose dive to osteopenia means. You both mentioned that. I realize that’s very personal info, so no pressure at all sharing here publicly.

      I thank you both for bringing up this topic. It’s a really important one!

      1. DeeDee


        Strangely I had a bone density test done at 50 right as I went into menopause. All was normal under – 1. Now that I had this TM fracture I did a new one almost 4.5 years later and I am -1.8 in neck and spine. I’m going to ask my doctor about it. I have 1200 mags of calcium and 2000 iu of vitamin D3 plus magnesium and k2. So who knows. Does anyone do more D3? I eat mostly plant based diet. My PT says start weight baring activity now! I’m talking with my OS this week about it. I was running before everyday but apparently not enough to spare me. My question to anyone over 50 did you have hardware removed? Were you Osteopenia? If so how did you heal? I wonder if Jo or Paulette are still on here because they are older and a few years out. Hoping Anyone chimes in

        1. Jane Dev

          Hello. My sister has great bone density and takes so much D 3. She takes like 10k units and has been told it’s too much. I take a lot but not that much and I hope the drops are good since I take a couple of the 2000 per day plus what is in my Nordic Naturals. I’m interested in any osteopenia information too!! Thank you Kenda again for this entire blog!

        2. Hey DeeDee,

          I hope those over 50 with osteopenia chime in about metal removal. I’m curious too.

          It seems totally unfair that women lose their estrogen and their bones start to degrade (not to mention other things sigh). I mean, what kind of designing is THAT? I recall a family member telling me her doc told her to boost her Vit D to 5000 IU/day. Still, I would get a doc’s blessing before doing that.

          It looks like you’re really on top of it. I see you’re also taking in nutrients that help the absorption of Vit D. Boron and Zinc may help as well, but with a mostly plant-based diet, you’re probably getting that stuff already. I’m right in the mix now, too, figuring this all out. I take Vitamin D drops every few days, but because I have little control over how many drops come out (I have to basically shake the little jar to get them out), I’m probably getting about 3000-5000 per dose; hence every few days instead of daily.

          I so appreciate the direction of this conversation as it’s important to many of us here. ❤️

  36. Jane Dev

    All fractures it seems. Never mentioned stress fractures. Looks more like pieces of bone, or crushed bone and splintering. A lot of movement in the joint and bone due to the dislocation towards the medial side. Not sure if this is different with osteopenia.

    1. Okay. Thanks for answering that question. I’ve read other comments from folks who have had multiple pieces of bone broken. It never crossed my mind that was a result of osteopenia. Maybe for some, it’s also the angle from which they fall/land?

      1. Jane Dev

        I can say that the surgeon said vitamin D vitamin D vitamin D! . I’ve taken a good amount over the years but now I am faithful daily and Also work to get the 1200 mg per day of calcium. I am always looking to learn as much as I can. The surgeon did say we may need to revisit medication but I m so against any medications ….but then again that’s how I got here because I did not want to take so much calcium. I try to get most through diet and I drink almond milk in my bone building shake daily and try to get another glass each day and green leafy veggies too and then supplement as needed. If anyone else has any other insights I’d love to hear. I’m so afraid of this happening again. I want to feel strong and confident again while being realistically cautious.
        So by tanking on bone density, I can give some specifics for you. I am an open book, ask away. So at just under 51 years I was normal for all three areas – spine was-1.0, neck left -1.3 and neck right .9 (femurs). Total mean was 0. Confusing to me. At age 54.2 osteopenia in all categories. Spine was -2.0, said it was down 10.9%, neck left -1.8 down 7.6%. right neck -1.7 down 12.1%. Total mean was down 20.8%.
        Way down. Then this December 2018 at 56.2 I was down 5.1% more to – 2.4 in spine and down 6% more in left neck to -2.1 and down 2.7% in right neck to a -1.8. The mean was down 5.6%. I felt hopeful that I went from a decrease of over 20% to a decrease of 5.6% like I had slowed things down. Still bad though. IF I had focused on more calcium and being more faithful with all my D over the past five years and I did not have to stop walking for three years because of plantar fasciitis maybe I could have been better off. As best I can tell watch the calcium. Keep exercising and take D,D,D. -2.5 is osteoporosis and like my spine is at -2.4. I have a neighbor who has to take shots daily now and she fell on the ice this year and did not break a thing. I think it does depend one on the circumstance of an accident as well. Stuff happens. My 21 year old son was just hit in a game and two bones in his back broke from the muscle contracture.

        1. Jane, this is a very helpful post. Thank you for being so open about sharing your bone density info and the advice of your surgeon. I gave myself a little extra Vitamin D today in your honor. It does sound like some of the actions you have been taking had a positive effect given how the percentage of decline slowed. I also wonder if there’s any kind of weight bearing exercise you can do (once you’re healed!) that wouldn’t exacerbate plantar fasciitis or if there is a way to heal it so you can get back to walking? I’ll be curious to hear how that all unfolds. Would it be possible to tell your PT about the plantar fasciitis to see if s/he can give your some pointers while you’re working on healing your ankle? Apologies if I’m throwing a bunch of solutions at you at a time you may just need to deal with what’s in front of you.

          I totally agree that the circumstance of an accident helps determine the outcome. I was told that my injury was a result of torque as, supposedly, is the case in a majority of Tri-mals. My doc told me that usually 1 or 2 breaks is a result of impact whereas 3 is a result of torque. I’m guessing there are folks who will disagree with this.

          It sounds like the medication is working for your neighbor. My mother has severe osteoporosis. She’s been on medication and took a fall on the ice – nothing. She was a little sore, but no broken bones. While I prefer to handle my health in a natural way, I also see the value of western medicine! I was “put back together” thanks to it! And your son – is he okay?

          1. Jane Dev

            No problem. I value to exchange of information. Yes the OT is now helping as I am walking some now. She is dry needling the foot which is helping. We are trying to advance without heightening the PF! Tricky. I do a lot of foam rolling! And trying to get some calf strength is paramount now with out again irritating the PF. The surgeon had hoped the immobility might have helped it but so far it’s still an issue. But hey things could be worse! I like to do things naturally as well. I appreciate that. Be proactive now though. Bone density I believe is hard to improve naturally. I MAY be able to stabilize it and slightly improve naturally from what I read. Weight bearing is tricky with foot issues as many can likely attest. My sons injury should heal fine but crazy. Interesting on the torque versus impact. When the ER said the talus was broken and the OS said it wasn’t, it was confusing but I feel ever so lucky for sure! Your ROM sounds so good. I have always been able to point my toes right to the floor, very flexible and I can’t seem to get to that!

            1. Hi Jane,

              I never heard of dry needling before this! I just looked it up. Do you notice how it’s helping?

              All good points and advice about the bones. Thank you.

              Your ROM will continue to improve with PT. You have a great attitude. Keep it up and let the healing continue!

  37. Jane Dev

    Kenda,I hope I won’t be kicked of for being a Bi instead of Tri! :). I am so thankful to be on this and reading all the experiences. And I am grateful for not breaking the talus too! It’s been a heck of a journey even still. When I first saw the surgeon, he said, Yah, Bimalleolar pretty common – like no biggie. My husband and I were like, ok, cool.. cuz we thought it was a Trimal. Then he walked back in after looking at the x – rays and said, yah, umm, this is not what I thought it was going to be, do you have osteopenia?

    1. You are welcome here for as long you need to be here! We don’t discriminate between types of ankle fractures. 🙂 I welcome others with different types of breaks if they need to be here.

      I’m so curious about how the osteopenia impacts your injury. I’m certain other women on this forum also dealt with that and would like to hear their thoughts. I know I have a little osteopenia now in my back but not, as far as I know, if my ankles. Could the doc actually see it on your X-rays? Did he state any specific difficulties?

      1. Jane Dev

        Kenda, I was shocked when the doc walked back into the room and asked me if I had osteopenia. Somehow hearing him say that made it more real than ever. I had bone density when I was 51- fine. At 53 – started to decrease a little. At 55, it had taken quite a nose dive. I felt like I was such a healthy eater that I just started to take one calcium a day faithfully, and took lots of Vitamin D. I should have taken more calcium, and really watched it closely from 53. I struggled with not wanting to have too much calcium. I had just had my bone density scan about a week before the fracture and it had decreased small amounts, so the progression slowed significantly. They said you have to be careful for sure. I said, OH, I am careful! Boy I ate those words! So, the deal was that the bones broke “in a way that he would not have expected for someone who did not have osteopenia”. I only know that my fibula broke in one area where it was in so many small in pieces. He did not expect the breaks I had from falling off an ottoman – the complexity of the fracture. I personally feel it was partially also that I have very loose joints and my ankle had tipped over twice that week and was unstable. The dislocation along with falling off the ottoman caused the injury; I do accept it was worse because of bone density. He told us that it was not his most difficult case, but it would be a tough one for sure – again prob because of the osteopenia I think. He was not able to surgically repair that part of the bone and said that since it was still in the bone sheath, he would leave those pieces to heal naturally, and hopefully it would. He did not want to disturb the vasculature that was there. It does have a plate along the side, a long one and he did have to use traction on the bone to get it back to it’s normal length. It is braced above and below that to deal with the other fractures above and below that one area. When I told hi that area continues to hurt when I walk three weeks back, he said that is the area where it broke in pieces. I guess bones that have osteopenia can take longer to heal. For some reason, he also says that the tibia was also a difficult fracture/ repair – but I see two screws like everyone else. So maybe he saw something there in the way the tibia broke as well? It is hard to see on an x ray due to the screws, but he hopes it is knitting well. I have started to take the homeopathic medicine for bone healing just as an extra measure, and I have started to do PEMF therapy on my own as well. This is used for non – union fractures (which I do not seem to have) but I have a friend who sells these devices in another state and recommended using it as well for good measure and that it could not hurt. It is my understanding that bones with osteopenia can take longer to heal. At five weeks though, he had me starting with 25 to 50% WB and after I fell at 8 weeks out on my scooter and the hardware held, he said that he was “being cautious because of your osteopenia” but now, let’s get going with no restrictions. It has taken me another five weeks to go full weight bearing. I may be a couple of weeks behind others but I have been pushing myself based upon my own pain an everyone is different. I searched back and did not see osteopenia mentioned on the site. I feel like the osteopenia is another reason I have PTSD – I have to be careful. I mean, if I had been on a step stool this would not have happened!!!

        1. Thanks for all the info, Jane. This is really waking me up to the potential issues of the Tri-mal with osteopenia. On the one hand, your OS was being extra cautious, yet on the other he had you up to 50% weight bearing at 5 weeks. To me, that sounds early! Looks like he has his confidence back in your recovery/healing ability.

          You’re right. Osteopenia, as far as I recall, has not been mentioned. I’m so grateful you’re bringing it up. When I fell, I was early-mid 40s and osteopenia wasn’t anywhere on my radar. It is now that I’m post-menopausal. Surely, this has impacted others here, so thank you for broaching the topic. I think we could have some rich dialogue here about it.

  38. Dolores

    Just got back from my second post op appointment. Had new X-rays done, and was told everything is looking good. When the PA came in, she saw that there were two staples that were inadvertently left in my ankle. They were covered up by the scabbing. No biggie. She just used the staple remover for them. She also removed the tapes that were place during over the stitches at the last appointment. I was told they would come off in 7-10 days. I did not want to remove them myself, as I did not want any of the screws flying out of my ankle. (??) I was told that I could start putting 50% weight on my ankle, and start PT. We stopped at the PT office in the local town, and got an appointment for this Wednesday to start. Have another follow up with the OS in four weeks to see how i am progressing. Hopefully I can go back to work, on a minimal basis. It is very difficult to have to be so dependent on my husband for so much, that I was always able to do on my own. I keep praying that he will stop stressing over everything, and that we will get through this. I just do not like being a burden on anyone. Whether it is my family, or anyone else. So I just keep praying that I will heal quickly and be able to do more, and more, on my own. Thank you for this sight. It has been helpful. Everyone have a great day.

    1. Hi Dolores,

      I smiled out loud when reading “no biggie” about the two staples they left in your ankle because they were covered by scabs. Many folks would probably totally freak over something like that. Well done on taking it in stride (no pun intended!).

      I would heed her advice and let the tapes fall off when they’re supposed to. I don’t think you have to worry about the screws flying out of your ankle tho. ?

      Today you start PT! Please let me know how it goes! You may find yourself a little more swollen and sore after PT. Totally normally if you do. That said, someone suggested I take pain relievers before PT and I did not and was just fine. I actually preferred to use my body’s message system to tell me when I was doing too much. That said, it’s different for everyone so do what you must.

      I am surprised they’re already suggesting you put 50% weight on your ankle. I do hope you wait until you get to PT so they can guide you on that. It’s hard to know what 50% is, and the PT will be able to help you do it correctly. The PT may even suggest you wait a couple of weeks before bearing weight.

      I understand that feeling of being a burden on others, and I know the stress that comes with it, yet I hope you’re able to let that one go and just focus on your healing. It’s valuable energy you’re expending on stress -on a situation that will only change through healing. You will get back on your feet and in a timely fashion if you follow the healing journey as it is meant to be followed. If you do or try too much, you could relapse and then you prolong the healing and that sense of helplessness.

      You and your husband will get through this, and when you do, you two will be better and stronger than ever. This may be one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a couple. Focus on managing it in a way that fortifies your love and patience for one another and tolerance for handling stress as a team.

      You’re not alone as most of us have or are going through it. I can tell you from one own experience that I learned a lot about myself, my husband, and how we function as a team. My love for him grew stronger than ever when I saw how much he showed up for me despite the angst he was feeling over this whole thing. It really put the “for better or worse” thing to a test!

      Cheers to your healing and thank you for taking the time to check in with us!

  39. DeeDee

    Hi. I to am having trouble with Achilles Tendinitis and pronation. I can speak a bit about what has helped. Epsom salt soaks twice a day in very very warm water, a roller pin to gently roll my soleus muscle and gastroc muscle in calf (Tendonitis is caused by these stiff muscles not firing correctly and tendons due the work) (DONT roller if you have DVTs) and then physical therapy to rebuild my muscle.
    I had to go to true orthopedic shoes that DO NOT allow me to pronate with orthopedic orthodics inside. No walking barefoot , even in the house. I can walk for about 3/4 of a mile in my special shoes then absolutely spent after about 20 minutes. Muscles are fatigued and then tendons and ligaments try to keep me up and stable (not their job).
    Trying supplements for inflammation (vitamins c, e, b, d3, magnesium, bromelain, omega-3 and collagen to heal tendons and muscles and ligaments). Our bones are healed but this is now a muscle tendon and ligament problem.
    Guy and kid on the internet really discuss Tendonitis (I think he’s called The Tendonitis Expert) didn’t buy his book but another kid discusses same thing and how to relax the soleus and gastroc muscles and then you need PT to really build the calf, thighs, gluts and hips. How are problems are tied to above the ankle, I find interesting.
    Have you tried any of these things? Just curious.

  40. Mindy

    I have epilepsy and happened to have a seizure that came on so fast that I didn’t have my usual aura that alerts me. Typically I go unconscious for several minutes during the event, however my ankle snapping pulled me out of it almost immediately due to the pain. I knew it was severe from the start. It was immediately swelling and hanging at such an angle that my husband almost got sick when he saw it. An ambulance and er trip confirmed a displaced trimalleolar fracture. My talus had been shot backwards nearly breaking through my skin. I had seen the entire bottom of my foot as I went down and a pop as I landed on my leg. I had 5-7 pieces on one side and 7-10 on the other. Immediate surgery 10 hours later with two plates and 14 screws. My surgeon said a rep from the company that supplies the hardware happened to be there, and stated it was the worst he had ever seen. Not very comforting. A total of 3 days in the hospital. I have lupus so of course my inflammatory reaction was severe. Sent home in surgical boot and replaced two weeks later with a fiberglass cast. Two months later transferred to air cast. Now 9 months later, I still have swelling, highly visible veins, swollen tibial and Achilles with aafd where my arch has collapsed making walking impossible with my ankle rolling in. Now facing tendon transfer or ankle fusion/replacement. Down for another year. My foot looks deformed with virtually no arch and misshapen sides. The pain is horrible still after only improving briefly when I first tried walking. Has anyone any experience with post-op problems like these? My foot is also still bruising on both sides of my ankle and across the top of my foot where the nerve pain is still significant. Can anyone relate? It’s so hard to find info on this.

    1. Dear Mindy,

      That is quite a story. Thanks for providing all the background info. This seems to be the most severe T-mal I’ve read about on my blog. Some of the things you mentioned like the swelling and visible veins seem to be within the norm for some. Swelling is a part of this journey until well past the walking stage. For many, it decreases as the movement increases. Yet, I surmise that some of the continued inflammation you’re experiencing may be exacerbated by the Lupus. I have a friend who has basically cured her Lupus through nutrition, and she has her own business consulting with folks. I will happily share her information if this is something you want/need. I also realize this is probably an overwhelming time for you, so no pressure from me.

      I had to look up AAFD as I didn’t know what it was. From what I read, it appears as if there are treatments, likely surgery, to correct it. I’m curious to know if you’ve gotten 2nd and/or 3rd opinions. For something this serious, I highly recommend. From what I’ve read, the treatments you mentioned can help you regain your ability to walk, and hopefully without pain. It seems you’re still having pain as a result of the AAFD. Even plantar fasciitis, which isn’t even as serious as the AAFD, comes with some serious pain and discomfort.

      We also have a couple of nurses on this thread. I hope they chime in.

      How are you holding up – I mean, emotionally?

      I do hope you continue to update us, if you get the chance, as no doubt there are others who may have a similar situation but have been reading the blog without commenting.

      My heart is going out to you as you navigate all of this. Many wishes of healing and full recovery are coming your way from me.

  41. Jo

    Tricia, I remember thinking I would never be able to do the things I could do, and loved to do, before I fell. I’m two years out and I’ve had my life back for quite a while. Some things I do differently than I did before but there is really noting I can’t do. I’m glad you found this blog. It helped me immensely when I was really struggling with all of the fear, pain and unknown. Jo