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Tips to heal fracture?

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SunnySideUp
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Tips to heal fracture?

Postby SunnySideUp » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:16 am

58 yo F, 4/4

I did something really stupid a couple of days ago and broke my ankle as a result. X-ray showed "mild displaced fracture of lateral malleolus w/overlying soft tissue swelling." GP put me in walking boot w/crutches and said to elevate leg as much as possible. I've got a follow up with orthopedic dr. in 10 days and want to make sure I show that it's healing to avoid possibility of surgery.
Any ideas on how to do my best to speed healing? I've read avoid alcohol, coffee, salt. I'm taking Vit D3, zinc, magnesium, fish oil. Eating calcium rich greens, yogurt, almond milk, eggs. Took 1 ibuprofen last 2 nights to help with sleep and reduce inflammation but have read there is chance it can block the production of prostaglandins which can slow healing. I am heterozygous Factor IV Leiden so don't want to sit still too long.
I will get a bone density scan but think my bio-identicals and active lifestyle have given me good bones overall.
If this were January, I'd likely be happy binge watching Netflix several hours a day but it's summer and my gardens and dogs need attention! Would love to hear what others have done to heal their broken bones :)

NF52
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Re: Tips to heal fracture?

Postby NF52 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:47 am

SunnySideUp wrote:58 yo F, 4/4
I did something really stupid a couple of days ago and broke my ankle as a result. X-ray showed "mild displaced fracture of lateral malleolus w/overlying soft tissue swelling." GP put me in walking boot w/crutches and said to elevate leg as much as possible. I've got a follow up with orthopedic dr. in 10 days and want to make sure I show that it's healing to avoid possibility of surgery...If this were January, I'd likely be happy binge watching Netflix several hours a day but it's summer and my gardens and dogs need attention! Would love to hear what others have done to heal their broken bones :)
Hi SunnySideUp! As someone who did spend January and February and a good part of March with my right foot elevated after bunion surgery that involved removing bones and joints, putting a pin in my second toe, realigning my foot with titanium plates and screws in several places--I have three key pieces of advice:
1) Nothing you did was "really stupid". Any orthopedic surgeon will tell you that some of us have weaker ankles, or bones that make it more likely we will fracture them. So forget the apology and proudly tell anyone who asks: "I have an ankle fracture and soft tissue damage; if would be great if you can walk the dogs, weed the garden, shop for me, drive me to..." etc.
2) Elevate the leg--"as much as possible" should be "every minute you can, with periodic cold packs". Swelling doesn't go down if the fluid isn't able to move, and it moves best when it's not 5+ feet below your head. As for broken bones, they have their own time schedule, which the Dr. will monitor with X-rays. Putting pressure on a broken bone that hasn't healed isn't going to speed up your recovery. My bones took about 7 weeks to heal, which was 3 weeks more than I had expected--but I'm 67, not 58.
3) You'll be happiest if your goal is both getting better and being kind to yourself, what my PT calls "A patient patient". I was not, and needed her to gently remind me and point out what I was able to do from one week to the next, to counter my comments on what I was not yet able to do.

As for those crutches, it can be exhausting to use crutches. I was sure I would only use crutches until I tried them out pre-surgery with a PT watching. Turns out it's hard to hop on one foot (since even with a boot, you won't want to put all your weight on that foot. I found it much easier to use a walker with no wheels, which allowed me to stabilize my weight, use just my heel in a boot, and most importantly, handle a few steps. Your insurance may cover an initial evaluation by a PT which can include instructions on how to use either crutches or a walker--ask for it is the Dr. doesn't offer. That initial visit, and about 10 sessions with the same PT afterwards on gait training, offered me tips that made a huge difference in my recovery.

Your diet and supplements sound very healthy, so don't sweat the ibuprofen--studies are based on people on high doses for VERY long time periods (years, not days or weeks). I needed ibuprofen about 3x/day for 2-3 months, and at the end of that time did just fine on a battery of cognitive tests in a clinical trial.

And let those dogs give you some therapy--nothing like the unending patience of most dogs to brighten our days!
4/4 and still an optimist!

SunnySideUp
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Re: Tips to heal fracture?

Postby SunnySideUp » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:14 pm

Dear NF52
Everything you write is always wise and positive - like a big warm hug! Wow - you went through a very scary procedure. Are you able to walk okay now?
I gleaned lots from your post - especially about being a patient patient - not one of my virtues :) And I'm now more serious about keeping my foot elevated at most times (glad you caught me so soon). You might think this is strange, I have a brand new gel cooling mat for dogs, chilled in the fridge - that wraps around my foot and lower leg. It's good for a couple hours and doesn't freeze the skin like ice can. Crutches do hurt my armpits so I will see about getting a walker. And I am glad I can continue taking an ibuprofen at night because it really helps with sleep. Lastly, you nailed it - dogs are simply the best medicine of all!
We are so lucky to have you on our support team - thank you so much for your advice!!

BrianR
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Re: Tips to heal fracture?

Postby BrianR » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:33 pm

SunnySideUp wrote: Would love to hear what others have done to heal their broken bones :)

About two months after I fractured my hip last summer, I lost a fair amount of upper body muscle. I had stopped lifting weights, so it wouldn't have been a surprise to lose a little, but losing quite a few pounds of muscle over a few weeks was unpleasant. I don't know what caused it, but I know that during that time, I was playing around with Valter Longo's longevity diet and eating less protein that I had been consuming previously. Hardly a smoking gun, but I'd still recommend that you keep your protein consumption on the high side while your body is healing.

circular
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Re: Tips to heal fracture?

Postby circular » Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:59 am

BrianR wrote:
SunnySideUp wrote: Would love to hear what others have done to heal their broken bones :)

About two months after I fractured my hip last summer, I lost a fair amount of upper body muscle. I had stopped lifting weights, so it wouldn't have been a surprise to lose a little, but losing quite a few pounds of muscle over a few weeks was unpleasant. I don't know what caused it, but I know that during that time, I was playing around with Valter Longo's longevity diet and eating less protein that I had been consuming previously. Hardly a smoking gun, but I'd still recommend that you keep your protein consumption on the high side while your body is healing.

I agree. Bones are made of protein. The minerals are add-ons, so to speak.
ApoE 3/4 > Thanks in advance for any responses made to my posts.


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