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Broken talus bone, crutches for 8 weeks - any tips?

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  • Broken talus bone, crutches for 8 weeks - any tips?

    I broke my talus bone on Tuesday in a fall (landed right on my foot but went over on the ankle and heard/felt it snap). I will be non-weight bearing on the left ankle for 8 weeks, and it's my first time on crutches.

    If anyone has any tips or tricks to share, they would be much appreciated! I don't start work until September, so can spend August visiting my parents to recover, but for the last 4 weeks or so of the 8 week period, I will be back in Toronto, working downtown, and commuting on the subway.

    Fairly upset that this injury means I can't ride my 26 year old retiree who lives with my parents...was looking forward to some nice trail rides while visiting!

  • #2
    i was in a soft cast for 6 weeks with a broken foot bone.

    A soft cast is way better than a hard cast if appropriate because you can take it off, wash the foot, itch the foot. Hard casts get really itchy inside and when you finally get them off all the dead skin sloughs off, very icky. And you can't get them wet.

    Honestly, don't count on being able to go anywhere while you are on crutches. You are not going to be riding the subway on crutches. You just don't get that far on them. If you have any kind of sick leave from your job, take it. Otherwise get some kind of car service lined up or live very close to work or work from home.

    While I was nonweightbearing, I went up and down the 3 flights of stairs from my condo to the parking garage on my butt, once a week when a friend drove me for a checkup at the bone clinic at the hospital. From the parking lot to the clinic I used a wheelchair. Other than that, I didn't get further than the sofa. I also couldn't shower, because I couldn't step into the bathtub. Which foot leads, which is weight bearing? If you live with another person, they might be able to help you in.

    Have your grocery deliveries lined up. Get a cleaning service in. Line up your friends to do visits.

    There might be a rolly thing where you support your bad leg on a chair with wheels, and scoot along. But only if you have no stairs in your path.

    Now there might be exceptional folks who can swing along on crutches. Teenage boys with skiing injuries (fit boys with lots of upper body strength) can look very nonchalant on crutches at school, as I recall. But crutches take a lot of ab strength, and they really hurt your armpits until you get the core strength to stay above them.

    You also can't carry anything. I could make my breakfast and coffee leaning against the kitchen counter. But I couldn't take a cup of coffee to the sofa. Anything I carried had to be in a pocket or down the waist band of my pajamas.

    After I was cleared to walk again I had lost a lot of fitness and the broken foot in particular was atrophied a bit. I was injured at the beginning of December and it took me until the summer to feel totally fit again.

    I do think it is important to follow doctor's orders and not start limping around too early in the healing process, because ultimately that will delay or impeded proper healing.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
      Honestly, don't count on being able to go anywhere while you are on crutches. You are not going to be riding the subway on crutches. You just don't get that far on them. If you have any kind of sick leave from your job, take it. Otherwise get some kind of car service lined up or live very close to work or work from home.

      While I was nonweightbearing, I went up and down the 3 flights of stairs from my condo to the parking garage on my butt, once a week when a friend drove me for a checkup at the bone clinic at the hospital. From the parking lot to the clinic I used a wheelchair. Other than that, I didn't get further than the sofa. I also couldn't shower, because I couldn't step into the bathtub. Which foot leads, which is weight bearing? If you live with another person, they might be able to help you in.
      Unfortunately, it's my first week at the job. I can maybe delay my start by a week, but not much more. I already live in my condo, so can't live closer to work. I do live only a block from the subway entrance, and then it's two blocks from the subway to the office. I can try to Uber to work for those weeks, and might be able to work from home some days (although I'd prefer not to work from home when just starting the position).

      I live alone, so don't have that option either. Thankfully (I guess?) my left foot is injured, and I lead with my right foot.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Cabaret SK View Post

        Unfortunately, it's my first week at the job. I can maybe delay my start by a week, but not much more. I already live in my condo, so can't live closer to work. I do live only a block from the subway entrance, and then it's two blocks from the subway to the office. I can try to Uber to work for those weeks, and might be able to work from home some days (although I'd prefer not to work from home when just starting the position).

        I live alone, so don't have that option either. Thankfully (I guess?) my left foot is injured, and I lead with my right foot.
        I would seriously look into getting Uber for those weeks, maybe you can strike a deal for a ride 5 days a week.

        On crutches you will be hopping on your right foot with your left foot in the air. You will not be able to ride escalators, and you will find it hard to get over any door sills or curbs or anything where you have to swing your whole body over an obstacle.

        I would expect they will let you back on the foot after 6 weeks if all goes well. Maybe allow you to stump around in a walking boot. After the cast comes off your foot might still be swollen, so don't count on wearing nice shoes. I ended up wearing expandable comfort sandals and socks in February

        But I remember my first day in the mall, with no cast: I stood frozen at the down escalator, unable to decide if I led with my good foot or balanced on it. Then I turned and made a beeline for the elevator. The next time I was in the mall it was a non-issue.

        Anyhow, you will be able to practice on your crutches at your parents' house and decide how much you can manage. You will be feeling a lot better in 4 weeks anyhow.

        Comment


        • #5
          My husband has been on crutches since APRIL! He has a broken foot which has been slow to heal. He also wears a boot. He was able to make it through the airport okay, He is quite good with now, and why shouldn't he be?!! You will have to be careful with steps and curbs. Use elevators when possible. He is now using a bone growth stimulator to help the bones knit back completely. No weight bearing is a horrible experience.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 2horseowner View Post
            My husband has been on crutches since APRIL! He has a broken foot which has been slow to heal. He also wears a boot. He was able to make it through the airport okay, He is quite good with now, and why shouldn't he be?!! You will have to be careful with steps and curbs. Use elevators when possible. He is now using a bone growth stimulator to help the bones knit back completely. No weight bearing is a horrible experience.
            I think most men have more upper body strength than most women. If I think about any people I've seen navigating the world on crutches, including one-legged, it is always men. I don't think I've ever seen a woman out and about on crutches moving efficiently.

            Indeed last week I saw a one-legged old man and his dog way out along the horse trails knocking blackberries down with his aluminum crutch. I was impressed. But I have never seen an old woman doing that and don't expect to!

            Comment


            • #7
              I was stuck on crutches for nearly nine weeks s few summers ago - my biggest tip is get body glide to help prevent sores/chaffing from the crutches and use your energy wisely (take the elevator when possible l, etc).
              "No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."
              -Dead Poets Society

              Comment


              • #8
                Talar fractures are tricky, particularly if they have been displaced. Not to worry you but you run a risk of bone death (avascular necrosis). If you have a good relationship with your family doctor or a physio you trust, speak to them about preventative steps to aid your recovery. Or speak with a good naturopath (CCNM graduate) who can help get the basics in place (calcium, vitamin D etc.) to make sure you recover smoothly.

                A friend sustained a very bad talar fracture a number of years ago (grade III) which has an AVN rate of about 90%. With a lot of hard work, supplements and a dose of luck the ortho surgeon declared “a miracle” - but I choose to believe our preventative steps and actions headed this significant complication off. PM if you want to chat - in Ontario as well.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Crutches are tough. Can you use a knee scooter? At least at work or at home?

                  I just had reconstructive foot surgery in April. Due to other surgeries, I was not able to balance on one foot to load my scooter into my car (I am single also so no help handy). So...I had a scooter at work and another at home (one was from a previous foot surgery 6 years ago then bought another one for this surgery) then used crutches for everything else. It was HARD but then I am an old lady (not really that old but it felt like it) and despite working out at the gym for 6 months prior to surgery the crutches just killed my shoulders...not in the armpit but the shoulder capsule itself. I made the 6 weeks of non weight bearing...barely then was able to start partial weight bearing. Now, at the 4 month mark, my shoulders are mostly recovered and the crutches are long gone.

                  There is also a “crutch” called an I-walk. https://www.protherapysupplies.com/i...tm_source=bing
                  For the younger, fitter better balanced person, this might work if you are only in a knee length cast. I wasn’t going to chance it with my other infirmities.

                  Agree with Mouse & Bay. Take care of that talus fracture.

                  Healing jingles coming your way.

                  Susan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ask your Drs about this:

                    https://iwalk-free.com/product-intro...SAAEgI7lfD_BwE

                    When I was 13, first two colts I ever started on my own, under direction of the riding instructor, they both had about ten days of riding, one of them missed the turn in the oval indoor wall and climbed it and fell against it, my leg caught, foot pointing backwards.
                    I broke my fibula in a spiral fracture below the knee and something or other on my foot, plus some dislocation, so soft tissue was involved.
                    It was a Sunday morning, the owner of the one colt I was riding was riding another one I had started a few months before as a test pilot, the instructor did all the ground work.
                    He was a Dr with his own clinic, so he drove me there, opened it up and took x-rays, bandaged my leg with a splint, gave me instructions not to put any weight on it, as if I could have and gave me crutches and drove me home.
                    I was alone home, everyone was gone for the week.
                    I remember how miserable it was to try to get around anywhere with those crutches, around the house or much less outside.
                    All healed super well, no problem at all from that.

                    Hoping all goes well and you heal quickly and well.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I echo Kyrabee-- get knee scooters! My deductible was covered by my surgery (fusions/neuroma removal/toe shortening) so my scooter was covered by insurance. I was non-weight bearing for 6 months out of 2 years due to foot surgeries and scooters saved my life! I am a teacher and crutches are just a no-go. Talk to your surgeon to see if you can use one (though I can't see why not...) and get one! Craigslist is a great source for used ones, and Walmart has them at a great price, too. Get a decent quality one, add a basket and upgrade the cushion because your good knee will be sore for a couple of weeks while you get used to it.

                      Also buy a shower cover for you leg-- I get mine at the same medical supply/pharmacy store I rent my scooters from.
                      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Mobi Legs are more comfortable than regular crutches.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Thanks everyone! I am allowed to use a knee scooter, so it sounds like that may be worth looking into. The surgeon also recommended the iWalk crutch, but when I went to get fitted, they determined my thigh is too short for it to work (the medical supply store said I wouldn't be able to lift the crutch without hitching my hip, based on my leg length).

                          Mouse&Bay - you have a PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Bummer on the IWalk but at least there as someone to measure and actually fit you.

                            Definitely look into a knee scooter.

                            How’s it going. Continued healing jingles.

                            Susan

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Speaking from experience (broken tibia, fibula and talus bone) get a knee roller with a basket! It will give you mobility. I displaced my ankle and fractured all three bones in my ankle, had surgery and was non weight bearing for 10 or 11 weeks and the knee roller was a blessing. Get one ASAP if you haven't done so already. The basket is essential. I tricked mine out with a horn and handle bar streamers. After surgery I was able to "walk" the dog on my knee roller.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Also speaking from experience, get 2 knee scooters. 120 at wally world, order online, deliver to your house. Leave one at work, Uber there and back, leave one at home. Yes to the basket, I was super efficient with mine, really helped with house cleaning, picking up, laundry, drinks, books, etc. I didn't get the one with outdoor wheels, probably a good thing, I may have overdone it if I had one. Hubby fed for me for a month. I also used the bone stimulator, worked great, bummer on the price tho...

                                Follow Dr's orders, good luck to you!

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Thanks all! I picked up my knee scooter last week, and it's been really helpful. The swelling has gone down a lot, although still dealing with some pain.

                                  Trying to figure out the best way to deal with the commute, as Ubering every day for 3 weeks is going to get expensive. I may attempt the scooter on the subway - both my station and the one by work are accessible.

                                  As of today, it's 2 weeks down! Only 6 to go...

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Update: 6 weeks down, 6 to go! (I was overly optimistic hoping for 8 weeks...)

                                    Managing the scooter on the subway and city streets just fine, although I'm pretty done with this whole not being able to walk thing! I'm back to work full-time, which is filling up my days.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I'm impressed you can get around on the street and subway OK. I would not have thought that really possible. Good for you!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Something no one bothered to tell me when I broke my ankle (in three places) in 2017 is that, after being non-weight bearing for so long, it HURTS when you start to be able to put weight on the foot again. It's not from the break--it's soft tissue pain from muscles and tendons contracting while not in use.

                                        When they tell you you can start bearing weight again, go gently. You're not going to be able to hop off the exam table and just walk out of there, no matter how emotionally ready for it you might be.

                                        Comment

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