It’s now eight weeks—to the day—since I went base over apex and broke my leg.
I’m actually quite surprised, if not a little relieved, at just how fast one’s body can heal itself. Not that it has been all plain sailing.
I’ve attended an outpatient fracture clinic three times since I discharged from hospital. On the first visit, a week later, the plaster cast was removed, and the scar checked for healing. It was replaced by my lovely purple cast. A week after that, in my second appointment, that cast was removed, the stitches taken out, and a new cast (red this time) fitted. My third appointment, after another three weeks, was quite momentous. I achieved such a lot in just over an hour. The red cast was removed, I had X-rays taken, spoke with the surgeon, had a ‘moon boot’ fitted, and saw a physiotherapist who gave me a pair of crutches and checked that I was safe to manoeuvre with them, especially going up and down stairs.
Since then I’ve been much more mobile, and have even been outside on a number of days for walks up and down the road we live in, and even slightly further afield. I actually managed over half a mile just a few days ago. But I only stray outside if the weather is fine. It has been frosty on a number of mornings recently. Frost and ice and me don’t go well together!
I’ve also had two physiotherapy sessions at the local Princess of Wales Community Hospital. This is very convenient as I don’t have to travel the nine miles or so to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch. The physiotherapist has checked that everything is healing as it should be, and has given me a set of exercises that I have to do several times a day.
This is an interesting exercise (left) using a contraption called a Theraband. Actually it’s just a length of elasticated rubber (could I develop a latex fetish it’s so nice and soft), that allows me to stretch and flex my ankle.
And of course I’m now expected to place an increasing amount of weight on the damaged leg as that will encourage the healing process. So while the breakage is held together by the steel plate, the ligaments and tendons in the ankle below the tibia will take some time to heal fully. Even after eight weeks my ankle and parts of my leg are still quite swollen, with some bruising visible.
But on the outer side of my leg I can now feel the metal plate and screws through the flesh, and it feels rather uncomfortable. So while I’m no longer in any great pain, some days there is quite a lot of discomfort, and on others hardly anything at all. A bag of peas (should I have chosen ‘petit pois’?) make an excellent ice pack, applied for about 20 minutes after an exercise session.
But what is clearly progress is that the physiotherapist has got me walking around the house in bare feet—but supported on crutches—to add even more weight to my leg and to get all the muscles working together properly once more. In some ways it’s like learning to walk all over again.
Onwards and upwards!