19 July 2012

How to Survive a Broken Foot

I decided that I should do a write-up about the whole broken foot ordeal for someone's use. So here you go. (This post is dedicated to my athletic trainer sister. After all, it is her birthday today.)

Twenty observations and tips for dealing with a broken foot/ankle and a cast on your foot/leg:


1. Don't listen to anyone who tells you that the time will go by fast. Six weeks in a cast will feel like seven years.

2. Healing a bone, fifth metatarsal or otherwise, is a lot of hard work and you will get super tired (bone tired, ha). Your first inclination will be to act like life is normal except for that small inconvenience on your leg, and then you will crash. Take it easy. Those kids who broke their foot or leg and still did everything back when you were in school? They had moms to drive them around all day.

3. Facebook is going to make you feel worse than you usually do when you see all the fun things other people are doing. Just a heads up.

4. Crutches are tools of the devil. They hurt your armpits, your sides (especially if you have an underwire), your hands, your wrists, your shoulders, and even the good foot to the point where it hurts more than the broken foot (in my case, anyway).

5. Wheelchairs: there are downers, but they are definitely the way to go (or you can use a rolling computer chair). Look on Freecycle and tell everyone you know that you are looking for one to borrow. Sure, they have horrible back support, and you or whoever is steering will bang up the walls and doorways, but you will save both of your feet and your sanity once you get over the fact that people will think you're a wuss and that you should just use crutches. Also, your seated legs will become a shopping cart/carrier much more easily than crutches will, even with a bag.
You will learn just how cruel the world is to people in wheelchairs, especially in San Francisco. An apartment building may have an elevator, but there's a step to get into the building. Public transportation may have elevators, but they're often out of order and what are you supposed to do once you get there? Sure you can get into the church, but this will become threatening:

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6. Some people will be nicer to you because of your injury. Some will completely ignore you because of it.

7. Piggy back rides are not as passive as they look. Holding your weight onto someone is very tiring and quite the workout for both people, but at least you can get around where wheelchairs are impractical.

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8. Stock up on the least-smelly Icy Hot and painkillers and ice and heat packs. Your whole body is going to hurt as you compensate. Slather on the icy hot, don't forget the ibuprofen every six hours (actually, you'll notice when it's almost time anyway) and the acetaminophen in the hours in between. Use ice and heat packs, depending on what each area needs. Sometimes I had heat on one foot, ice on the other, ice on my knee, and heat on my back.

9. Make a mountain of pillows and blankets for elevation. It may be uncomfortable and really painful for your back, but it gives the swelling in your foot a break each night. Oh, P.S. good luck sleeping, especially with the cramps and shooting pain you'll have at first. I have to add, though, that if you're trying really hard to avoid getting a cast like I was, forget about it and just get it. The stable support will make staying asleep so much easier.

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10. Have people around you who are willing to jimmy-rig things to help you avoid pain. Your foot is going to be really tender and falling off the footrest will hurt like the dickens. Also, if you have an old-school plaster of paris cast, you will leave behind white chunks everywhere you go.

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11. No one will like your injury story, so start making things up--the more grandiose, the better. This makes for hilarious situations where you say you were playing soccer and someone answers, "At least you weren't walking to work or something" . . . uh, yeah. Landing a jump off El Capitan is a better story.

12. Forget all the garbage-bag-on-your-cast-for-showering stuff. I sat on a picnic cooler in the tub, and put my casted leg on a higher stool outside of the tub. Again, this will be hard on your back. Shower quickly. The stool will also be good for leaning on to get in and out of the bathroom and for sitting on while brushing teeth or blow-drying hair or putting on makeup.

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13. Get over the fact that you will be wearing the same frumpy things every day. Until I discovered a random pair of too-big capris last week, I wore leggings with a dress/skirt/long shirt or knee-length yoga pants every day. It gets really old, especially when you have mint skinny jeans to long for.

14. Ignore medical warnings not to put anything pointy in your cast. Those medical professionals don't know the desperate itchiness that goes on in there. While a hanger does an okay job at scratching, a mylar balloon stick will give you relief like nothing you've ever known. Until it breaks. Resting your leg on the air register in the car also has nice effects.



If you forget your balloon-stick-itcher-thingy when you go out to eat, you're just going to have to eat dinner without your knife or chopstick. If you're judging me for saying that, you have never been in a cast or you've forgotten how it is.

15. Every drink or food will have to go in a closeable container if you want to carry it somewhere.

16. Keep your itching stick, your chapstick, your eye drops, your meds, your water bottle, your book, your phone, your tissue, and anything else you might need in the same place and with you at all times.

17. Once you stop hurting everywhere, you will want to get some exercise. I embarrassed myself just for you (or you can just look at my list of on-the-bed exercises in my description here):




18. Get someone to take you outside at least once a day. Looking out the window is not enough.

19. Don't put weight on that broken foot until the pain is achy and not stabbing.

20. If you need to take a flight somewhere while casted, beware. Both of your feet are going to swell up to the size of Canada and they will THROB LIKE THERE'S NO TOMORROW.

Now I will answer the questions I had before getting the cast:
"Won't that thing be heavy and further hurt my knee?"
Yes, and your hip. And every other joint in your body--at least at first. You'll get used to it.
"Won't I have one wimpy leg when it's off?"
Yes.

"Won't it get stinky?"
Yes. And your toes will be all cracked and peeling and absolutely itchy and disgusting.

"How will I shower?"
See #12 above.

"Don't casts make your skin all flaky in there?"
Yes.

"How in the world am I supposed to go hiking this summer?"
You're not. Find a nature reserve that has a paved pathway. Then find someone willing to take you there and push your wheelchair on that paved pathway.

"I'm still not going to be able to sleep, am I?"
As mentioned, you'll still have a hard time falling asleep, but you'll stay asleep better because of the stability of the cast. 

"Will I be able to wear anything besides a skirt or dress every day?"
Not really, and even then you're going to have to wear leggings so you don't flash people all the time, at least until you find that pair of too-big capris that fit over your cast. Guys, good luck. Sweats? Cargo shorts? 

La la la. Maybe some day someone will thank me.

148 comments:

  1. Laura Marriott2:23 PM

    I just watched your entire exercise video. I don't even have a cast. But I do have an infant, which also makes a person sore to carry around all day. You are so cute and I hope your leg heals (and then returns to normal) quickly!

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  2. Hey Thanks :) So kind of you for sharing your stories :)
    God bless you :)

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    1. No problem, God bless you, too.

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  3. Tania5:56 AM

    A couple of days ago I broke 3 of my metatarsals and got a lisfranc fracture in my foot so this advice has really helped me!
    Been feeling such a wuss about wanting a wheelchair to help me get around when the journeys are too long for my weakling arms to handle, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who has found things difficult!
    Definitely going to be trying your way of having a shower too, it's been such a struggle so far.
    Thanks a lot for the advice!

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    1. Oh my goodness, that really stinks. I hope you heal quickly!

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    2. Anonymous11:52 PM

      Thank you for all the information it really helps.I have valley fever and it destroyed part of the bone on my left foot.I am in a cast with a repaired bone.But now my rigth foot is hurting on the top part.I am hoping is the result of the use of the crouches and not the valley fever destroying my other foot.May I ask what pain or what damage it caused you to develop on the one good foot.I dont go to my doctor until next week ,and I was hoping is just the constant weigth on one foot.Please forgive my writting.And thank you again.I dont know much about how to use computers .I dont mind not being anonymous My name is Fidel.

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    3. Hello Fidel, thanks for writing. I'm sorry about your Valley Fever, and I'm happy to answer your question. The constant weight on the one foot caused my bunion-prone big toe to become very painful and stiff. It took physical therapy to get it back into somewhat-working order. I'm sure that won't be a problem for everyone, but I wish you good luck with whatever it is.

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    4. Anonymous9:43 PM

      Hi Michelle.Thank you for answering me.What I have is a fungus in my lung that got deseminated.The fungus is in the air and is found in the ground ( dirt) cause by spores in the air by rain or dust storms in Arizona or upper California.I have been in crouches since March and I problably wont go back to work till January next year.I am glad you are well now.And I am sorry about your good foot.I am going to try to get me a weelchair to avoid over using my good foot.Next friday they will problably put a third cast on me.I have alredy have the 2 for about 6 weeks.And not weigth bering since March.Some times I feel like I going to lose it ( mentally) But then I am lerning how to type.And maybe one day.How to correctly write .Thank you so so much.Fidel

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    5. Anonymous9:49 PM

      And also once the fongus spreds on the body it atacks the bones.Is serius stuff but i dont want to scare anyone.Is more serius and expensive to treat than the cdc makes people belive .Is not contagius only the one that has the bad luck to breath it in.How well it makes one appreciete more life and live a day at a time.Thanks be to God for people like you .(Fidel)

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    6. Since March--that is a very long time and I can completely understand feeling like you are losing it, because I felt that way after a much shorter time. I hope you can hold out until it's taken care of.

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    7. Anonymous7:47 PM

      Hi Michelle .I have a boot now, for about 4 to 6 more weeks no weigth bering yet.I dont know when will i learn to walk again.I only itched once until now,it may have been becouse of my medice that dries me out.And the doctor said the right foot pain is from the imbalance I being tru.I hope you guys are ok.

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    8. Anonymous9:01 AM

      Hi everyone i broke my 5th metatarrsal 6 weeks ago and decided due to lack of discomfort to put my regular shoes back on a couple of days ago. Big mistake. It appears after stubbing it again that i have gone backwards. Seems to be broken again.
      I just wanted to tell everyone about an amzing contraption in the event that you are non weight bearing.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KBXDJRj-XM

      I bought one and it was hugely helpful. It looks really stupid yes and they don't really disclose that you have to go downstairs backwards but it does free up your hands which is great if you want to walk with a cup of coffee.(it's the little things)

      If anyone is based in New york city or within reason in Brooklen. I would be happy to donate this to you. I no longer need it.

      Thanks

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    9. I'm sorry that your healing time has been extended. :( But wow, the iWalk looks really great! Thank you for sharing. I hope someone from New York finds this. Maybe you could try to post it on Craigslist (the free section) or even Freecycle.

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  4. What a great post! I'm stuck in a boot with a broken foot....I can't wait to link to your post

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    1. I'm sorry! Get better soon!

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    2. Anonymous10:16 PM

      Love your story, but to bad I did not read it before I broke my foot 9/2/2013. I have a boot and yes the itch is enough to make you crazy. I still have the stabbing pain and the throbbing pain. Sleep at night? well the hell with that for now. I also get lots of back pain. But enough about me . I just want to say thank you. I pray for all who suffer from a broken whatever.

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    3. You've still got a long road ahead of you. I hope you can get some sleep one way or another. Get well soon.

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  5. Rachel7:18 PM

    You nailed this right on my friend and gave me a good giggle as well.

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  6. Michelle,
    Writing you all the way from France to say thank you for this and for the video (which you should NOT be embarrassed about!) both were very helpful to me as I'm feeling all of those emotions and can really relate and NEED someone to relate to right now! 3 weeks into 6 weeks in the cast... glad to read your story and ready to move my blood a bit now...

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    1. :D Reading it now is kind of funny. I sound so direct and grumpy. I hope I never, ever, ever have a broken bone again, and I hope you don't either!

      Oh my gosh, to people without the cast, six weeks seems like nothing. To the person with the cast, six weeks is an eternity. Good luck on the next three!

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  7. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I broke my foot today and am already sick of this stupid, velcro "boot". I can't believe how much my foot HURTS! I know you recommend a hard cast, and I may end up with that. Have you seen those wheeled cart things that you rest the knee of the bad foot on and push with the other leg? Kind of like an elevated razor scooter. I was thinking about asking for one of those. Thanks again.

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    1. Hi Angela, I'm soooo soooo sorry. :( I hope you have plenty of distractions for the next many weeks to keep your mind off of the pain and the misery and inconvenience.

      I have seen those wheeled cart things. I haven't tried one, but I think in my case it may have caused the same problem. It turns out that there's more to the story than I included here (and which I may blog about some day), but basically my non-broken foot ended up having way more problems than the broken foot because of all the weight I was putting on it. I guess the wheeled cart thing would take off a lot of weight, so maybe that would have been a good solution. If you end up getting one, could you please let me know how it goes? I would really like to hear (and maybe it would help other people going through the broken foot thing).

      Get feeling better!

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    2. I got my "knee walker" on Friday. So far, it's been a God-send. It is definitely better than crutches (at least for me). However, I spent too much time cruising around on it yesterday and now my knee hurts. I added an additional pillow to the knee rest for comfort. I found out that some insurance companies won't pay for it. Luckily (I guess), my injury was work-related and workers compensation agreed to pay for it (probably cuz they want me to come to work). The knee walker works great on smooth pavement and not so well in grass or rough areas. On another note: I was quickly getting depressed because I was having so much trouble navigating the stairs in my house with the crutches. Because of how my house is designed, I have decided to "live" on my upper level where my bathroom, bedroom and craft room are located. For me, it was more important to be closer to the bathroom than the kitchen. My goal is to use crutches on stairs as little as possible. Mostly because it's so dang hard, but also because I had a couple of close calls where I almost fell. Thanks for your words of encouragement. I wouldn't wish a broken foot on my worst enemy!

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    3. Wow, so they're called knee walkers? Good to know. I remember that whole thing about every other body part hurting because I had to compensate. So lame.

      Thank you so much for coming back and reporting about your experience; I'm sure it will be useful for someone. Don't go falling down any stairs and take care!

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    4. Anonymous10:00 AM

      i'm based in new york and just got over using one. i'm hoping to donate mine. If anyone is in new york city get in touch lorriw13@gmail.com and i will give you mine

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  8. Anonymous4:04 AM

    Hey, thanks for making me laugh as I sit here with my throbbing foot :-)

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    1. No problem. Laughter is the best medicine. :D

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  9. I broke my foot 2 weeks ago and am in a full cast. I HATE it! I have crutches, a knee roller and a wheelchair. My friends who have been casted are very understanding. My friends who have not can't understand why I can't just hop. I suggested they try it with a weight attached to their leg. I go back to the doc in 2 days and plan to insist on a boot. My mental health is suffering! Your blog made me laugh!

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    1. Hi Beth, did you try a boot at all in the beginning? I did and I was never really able to put weight on it without a ton of pain, so the cast was the way to go. But a full cast!? Do you mean up to your thigh?

      I was so depressed while I waited for my foot to heel. Now I think, "Man, I could have done this and this and this while I was sitting there." Maybe you can try to focus on something you haven't had time for before but have wanted to do for a long time. Oh, and don't watch sad movies. ;)

      Good luck with the doc, the healing, and your mental health!

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  10. I broke my foot 2 weeks ago and am in a full cast. My friends who have been casted are understanding. Those who have not have suggested that I just hop on one foot. I told them to try that. I have crutches, a knee roller and a wheelchair. I go in 2 days to see the doc and plan to insist on a boot. I talked them into seeing me a week earlier. My mental health can't take another week! Your blog was funny and made me feel less crazy and wimpy!

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  11. The cast ends below my knee. I just am bored and feel so limited. I did not get a boot. He casted immediately. I have found some things to do so I am not totally crazy. It is my right foot so I can't drive. I miss my freedom and being able to go places with my kids. Thanks for your suggestions!

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    1. Oh no, no driving! Eek. I hope the time goes by quickly.

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  12. Anonymous10:55 PM

    Your article was very helpful. I just googled how to deal with a broken foot and this came up. I feel like I'm living hell right now. I'm a teacher and having to teach from a chair for 8 hours a day is almost as painful as the injury itself! Thanks for your tips... only 3 more weeks for me to go! (already been 3... there is a light at the end of this tunnel, right?)

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    1. Oh my goodness, I can't even imagine trying to teach from a chair all day while trying to let your body heal. You must be exhausted and sore everywhere. I'm so sorry, and I hope that the last three weeks fly by.

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  13. Anonymous11:42 AM

    Thank you so much for your exercise video! I'm 71 and into my third week of a cast for a broken metatarsal. Was in relatively good shape prior to this event - yoga, treadmill, walking, some gym machinery. Now - nothing. I've been feeling so stultified but, after following along with your video, I actually feel like a human being again - not a blob! I have no idea why the doctors seem to give no exercise suggestions at all. So glad I found your video. Again, thanks! - Linda

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    1. Linda, that's great that you've been so active. I hope that simple exercises will help you transition back to a regular exercise schedule once your cast comes off. You're right--why don't doctors give exercise suggestions?

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  14. Anonymous5:02 PM

    So great - 4 weeks walking on lisfranc injury after 2 xrays and finally went to podiatrist who casted it - 6-8 weeks - This is so much harder than I would expect. Thanks for your exercises and suggestions made me laugh. You are so right about people who have been casted get it and the others think you are making it up! Wish the doctors gave more advice and suggestions to stay sane - I'm 58 and it is hard thankful I exercised before this because otherwise it would be dreadful.
    Thank you for your funny informative post.

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    1. Oh, I know what you mean about the doctors giving advice! I keep thinking that every medical student should be required to go through the treatments they would be administering. I almost feel like I can give myself better symptom-soothing advice than doctors, who usually just say, "Take some ibuprofen and ice it and you can make another appointment if you need it," but why would I make another appointment if that's what they're going to tell me? Ha.

      Best of luck with the healing process. Try not to go crazy!

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    2. Sheryl, NB, Canada6:02 AM

      That is exactly how I feel right now. At first, they told me I fractured my second martersal and put me in a boot and to rest, ice and leave the boot on except to take a bath and yo ice it... So 10 days later went back and her exact words were "it's just a sprain". If this is just a sprain where you oringally thought I cracked it.. Does not make sense. Now, I want to go to my family doctor to get a second opinion but I cannot drive (right foot) and the pain and swelling (still) are all in my midfoot region and a deep, dark red color on one side. But if emergency has already told me one thing, will she just tell me the same? Ah. I didn't think they would cast for a lisfranc injury, which is what I think is actually wrong after tons of research... Suggestions?

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    3. If you don't feel comfortable with diagnoses, definitely get your foot checked by another person! Good luck!

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  15. Michelle, Thanks for your thoughtful, humorous post. It was helpful to hear from someone else who went through something similar.

    I sustained a Lisfranc injury a little over three weeks ago and it's been a little over 2 weeks post-surgery. I am to remain non-weight bearing for 3 months post-surgery, to allow all the ligament damage in my foot to heal. Your post hit on so many of the things that I have been feeling. I've never been a patient person, I tend to MAKE things happen (which is kind of how I broke my foot in the first place), so 3 months may as well me 3 years for me! :S I fell off a breakfast bar stool in my kitchen reaching for something in a cupboard over my fridge and the stool smashed my foot on the way down... stupid, needless and boring. I've been tinkering with more interesting stories like a mountain climbing accident, rescuing a stray cat from a tree, or maybe even a shark bite to explain the scar? Yes and who thinks it's a good idea to put steps EVERYWHERE, I never really noticed the silly one right in front of my front door?! The exercises are fantastic, because I feel my life side getting weaker and I want to try to strengthen as much as humanly possible to prevent re-injury, or damaging something else. Lastly, my husband and daughters leave everything I need within reach before leaving me on my own.

    A question for you Michelle, how soon over the course of your recovery did you return to a normal routine, like school or work, or did you? I'm working from home 5 - 6 hours a day, any longer than that and every joint in my body aches at the end of it. I can't imagine what a full day at the office with a one hour car ride to and from the office will do to me. Would love to hear from you or anyone else about when most people found they could return to a normal routine.

    Many thanks, Amy

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    1. I really didn't think doing a normal workload would be a problem, because I was just sitting around, right? But it took me probably five of the six weeks before I could even stay awake all day. Even after the cast was off, it was still tiring to walk around. I hope it will be better for you. Best of luck.

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    2. Anonymous4:05 PM

      Thank you, Michelle! I really needed to hear that!

      Amy, I also have a lisfranc injury with multiple fracture-dislocations which required surgery. I was in a cast (or splint) for 8 weeks. Now I've transitioned into a boot. I hope to begin bearing weight in 4 to 8 weeks. I'm finally off the prescription pain-meds, but have not returned to a normal schedule. Everything still wears me out, and my foot still swells if it is not elevated. My doctor swears that it is all normal and that I am making good progress, but it is a very long road to recovery with this type of injury. The best advice I was given is to think small and celebrate every little victory (like painting my toe nails, making my own breakfast, having a cocktail or getting my cast off). It feels more like I'm making continual progress, which is helping me stay positive. Good luck!

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    3. That's a really good idea--celebrate the small victories. I should do that even when I don't have a recovering broken bone . . . :)

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  16. Anonymous3:56 PM

    Wow!!! Such an awesome post....thank you....funny I was already using your ytube workout video before I even saw this....which both are fabulous!!! I broke my calcaneous bone (my heal bone), last Monday a week ago .... feels like months ago....they could not put the full cast on til today as the swelling was too great. Anyways I paid the extra $125 to get a swim/waterproof cast put on so I can at least swim in the pool this summer....we'll see how that works out for me. I know what you mean about the crutches....my armpits are killing me, I am getting a wheelchair in a couple of days YEHAW!!! THANKS TO THE RED CROSS!!! They dont charge for the use, of course donations are greatly accepted!! Anywayz thank you so much for taking your time to share all this fabulous info with us!! Cheers

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    1. Wow, I didn't even know about waterproof casts. Report back on how that works for you, would you?

      I'm sorry about your calcaneous bone. How did you manage to break that? I'm sure that bone gets even more pressure from walking than the fifth metatarsal, so that sounds really painful. I hope it heals well.

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  17. Anonymous8:33 AM

    Michelle! Hi.Thank you for this article. I(like most of your comment-ers) have been feeling bad for myself and googling around and came across this. I am a guy (and yes, cargo shorts are definitely the way to go! plenty of storage!) and I dislocated/fractured my foot. What a pain in the ass! Your exercise video is awesome and I'm going to bookmark this page and do them everyday. Anyway, just wanted to say thank you!
    -TF

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    1. Hi Mr. Anonymous with the dislocated/fractured foot. I did the googling thing as well, which is what made me think that I needed to do a writeup, because I didn't feel like I found many useful pages about this subject. Maybe you want to share any extra tips you would add as you heal?

      I'm glad you like my exercise video--I felt like such a dork doing it, but now I'm really glad because it seems to have helped a lot of people. :)

      Best of luck!

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  18. Thanks Michelle! I really needed to hear that too. Anyone who I talk to, who hasn't broken anything, can't believe how long the recovery takes. I too have the same problem of swelling if my foot isn't elevated, even up to 4 weeks after my accident. It's good to know that I am "normal". I love the idea of celebrating the small victories. I sat on a stool near the stove on Monday, to make my daughter lunch... I'm counting that as one of my small victories! :)

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  19. Michelle you are the best! You don't know what this article did for me ! Moments ago I was sitting her crying in pain looking at this dumb pink cast trying to figure out what tools are in the shed that could help me get out of this cast its only been 7 days since I fractured my 5th metatarsal. Now I'm sitting here crying from laughter!! THANKS SO MUCH

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    1. If only I could keep you laughing until you get the cast off. I'm so sorry about your metatarsal. Just try to think of this time as semi-vacation time--it's forced and painful, yes, but maybe you can do some things you've wanted to do for a long time--read some books, watch some movies, talk to your friends, etc. Maybe I can recommend some other sites . . . hmmm. How about Studio C on YouTube? Or MLIA (my life is average)? Best wishes to you!

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  20. I had a horse fall over on my foot and I broke the 3rd and 4th metatarsals on my right foot. I am very active and a wheelchair is not always practical around the farm and to get in and out of the house. To avoid the underarm pain and rash, I put plastic baggies on the arm pit pads of my crutches. It helps reduce the friction and I am no longer sore there.

    My foot however is incredibly painful as it has only been 2 days since they inserted the pin to keep the bone together.

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    1. That's a good idea with the bags!

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  21. THANK YOU!!! I am into it 2 weeks and wondering HOW I am going to stand the next 4!I have a 6 year old AND I live in a two story house. It's been fun! Not.
    Some great suggestions. I am also using this rolling stool thing that I rented from the local pharmacy. I just use it in the house as I can't lift it to get it down the front steps and outside by myself. But it is super relieving to get off the crutches and quite a bit smaller than a wheelchair.

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  22. Just read all the other comments, I too am not supposed to put any weight on my foot for the whole 6 weeks, and the knee roller works fine for that.
    I also got a shower bag, it's got a super tight seal, kinda hurts but feels SO good to really get in the shower. We put a garden chair in the shower so I can sit or kneel on it.

    Anyone else try putting cotton between the toes? trying that too.

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    1. I'm glad the knee roller works for you. Good luck with living in a two-story house. I hope that the main entrance is on the floor you spend most of your time on anyway!

      What are you putting cotton between the toes for? I don't know if I've heard of that.

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  23. Well, kind of embarrassing but my little toe especially is so stuck together to the next toe that I was worried about funky toes. This morning I put some tea tree oil between them. It is anti-fungal.

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    1. Oh! I think that happened a bit while my foot was swollen. THat's a good idea with the tea tree oil.

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  24. Anonymous6:25 AM

    I'm glad to find this blog...thanks! Just broke my ankle 4 years after breaking metatarsal. Right foot both times, so no driving. These comments have helped my spirits immensely!

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    1. Oh, no! Does an ankle take longer to heal than a metatarsal? I hope you have at least come up with a good story. ;)

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  25. Hi all, I fractured my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metatarsal just one week ago and was just put in a cast today. I had been cheating a bit and had been putting what weight I could on my foot when it was in my splint and a boot last week, but with this cast on for only a few hours, I'm already going crazy. Now that I can't stretch some of the muscles in my ankle, I feel like my foot hurts more than it did before it was put in the cast. The sock liner thing is all bunched up by my toes and it's driving me nuts. I live in a second story house, so the wheelchair isn't a very good option for me, so I'm crutch bound for 5 more weeks, at least. Oh, did I mention that it's my right foot? No driving for me! I loved this post and all of the comments, as I sit here in my bed waiting to fall asleep. Thanks for the laughs and the tips!

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    1. Oh, wow. Cassie, the fact that you could even put weight on it with three broken metatarsals? You are tough. Good luck fighting off the cast crazies!

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  26. Anonymous7:31 PM

    I've just finished my 4th week with "The Boot" which is better than a plaster cast but still not a lot of fun. I injured myself twice with the crutches (once landing on my broken foot & once badly spraining the ankle of my good foot -- that was a fun couple of weeks when I had NO good foot)before giving up and buying a knee scooter (and ramp for the front steps). I think what I miss most is having access to an actual BATHROOM. I live in a 2-story house & the bathroom is on the 2nd floor, so I have a commode in the living room & am sleeping on the couch (the bedrooms are on the 2nd floor, too). Twice a week, when the kids are at day camp, my husband sets up a bench & shower attachment for me. And a walker that he holds steady at the top of the stairs. Then I sit on the steps & push myself up on my butt using my hands & one (semi-) good leg so that I can bathe. I am going completely insane.

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    1. Oh no, that sounds just horrible! Crutches are bad, bad news. I hope you find a way to avert the insanity!

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  27. Anonymous5:37 PM

    I am 6 days in to my sentence of eight weeks. I am having lots of pain in my hips and butt, not moving enough? i just can't get comfortable, can't sleep, any suggestions. Teresa in st Louis

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    1. Maybe try some Melatonin to help you fall asleep? And of course, follow all of my other suggestions above (such as having a lot of pillows).

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  28. Hi Michelle, glad to have read your humorous post, even tho' it's been a while since your injury. Hope all is healed and strong now. Thought I'd add my 2 cents of info for those who might read your post.

    I broke a bone in my foot/ankle 5 weeks ago and have another week until the huge velcro boot comes off and I move into a smaller ankle brace. My injury is "weight bearing" as much as the injury allows, while wearing a big velcro walking boot that goes almost to my knee. That said, within hours of putting that gigantic boot on I knew I had to find a way to get the other foot taller to avoid back/hip injury from leaning. My good leg/foot took about 2 weeks to get strong and not hurt from carrying the extra weight, and wearing a good shoe that was the same height as the bad foot helped.
    - on the good foot wear a hiking/work boot with good support on foot bed and ankle and put a lift in it (find lifts on line). Borrow a boot if you must, but find one that is leather and sturdy. Mine is 8" tall from Redwing Shoes with a slight heel (I have an outside job so sturdy supportive boots are a must).
    - in the shower change the shower head to one with a hose on it and find a plastic something to sit on (I used a 5 gallon bucket)
    - I live in a 2 story house and the first 2 weeks I had others fetch and cook for me. By the second week I could put a bit of weight on the bad foot so I could cook briefly. I have no idea how to cook and use crutches. I tried and failed. I was so glad when I didn't have to use crutches and could put weight on (with the velcro boot)
    - exercise the rest of the body as soon as possible. Yoga type stretches, push ups, sit ups, etc. the whole body weakens from inactivity. Do lots of leg lifts and get the injured leg moving too.
    - once I could hobble tolerably I got rides to the store each week and bought food myself. Couldn't stand being in the house any longer. Husband (or son) pushed the shopping cart and I filled it. Pushing the cart is way too hard when a foot is broken.
    - since it is summer and my vacation plans were shot, got son to take me for 2 nights to a pretty vacation spot about 2 hours from home (can't stand the car longer than that).
    - sedentary living: read lots of books, assemble puzzles, create artwork, play a musical instrument, sit in the sun reading, internet, movies, play with cats, phone calls, pretend you are living 100 years ago on a farm where there was nothing but chores to do and be thankful there is so much to distract you nowadays.
    -if you have a sedentary job, get back to work asap. unfortunately, my job is very physical so it wasn't until week 4 I started back, part time and have to find sedentary things to do. don't even think about ladders or working on uneven terrain.

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    1. Wow, thank you so much for contributing; that is a lot of good information!

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    2. louise5:22 PM

      thank you so much for this post michelle im writing all the way from ireland i broke my foot 3 weeks ago and am so fed up ur post made me not feel so crazy for feeling this way. im a flight attendant so im nit working so am so fed up.thank u

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    3. Louise, I'm glad I could help, though everyone needs to be a little fed up sometimes. :) Please get well soon!

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  29. Hi Michelle, Thank you for this post. Broke my fifth metatarsal four weeks ago. Was very lucky to be able to wear the boot rather than cast, but with dr. insistence absolutely no weight bearing for 6-8 weeks. Got the knee scooter which has really saved me as I am able to get around and it even locks so I can position myself at sink or washing machine, etc. to do some things around house and not go crazy. Have been doing upper body weights sitting on the scooter and also some pilates like your tape. I do agree that you have to give the uninjured foot special attention and icing so as not to stress it too much. Loved your tape and also all the contributors' info. I agree with person's comment about pretending it is 100 years ago. Has been a humbling experience as I am very active and don't like to rely on others although friends and neighbors have been supportive. Dr. says maybe can start weight bearing slowly in boot but wondering if anyone knows how you know how much or how often to do as don't want to break it again. Good luck to everyone who has ever broken a foot.

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    1. Judy, I remember just staying completely off of it because of the pain, and then after a few weeks, I tried to put a little bit of weight on it, and I didn't end up yowling in pain--that's when I knew it was okay. It's scary to worry that it may not be ready, but I would suggest wiggling some toes first and then trying to gradually put more weight on it until you know if it's okay or not. I hope that helps!

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  30. Anonymous11:02 AM

    Thank you for your humor and encouragement. This has been really helpful. I have been in a boot for 3 months with a torn ligament and have at least another 3 to go. Doc said to stay off my foot all this time, and since it is my driving foot, I am out of luck and going crazy indoors! I have a knee walker, which is wonderful for getting around when someone does take me out.

    By the way, my story was I did too many backflips in a row and fell off the mat - much better than that I fell down some stairs!

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    1. Wow, backflips! I always wished I could do those, so props to you. Are you a gymnast? My aunt was a famous gymnast at one point--Diane Ellingson?

      I've heard a lot of good things about those knee walkers. I hope you can get back to doing backflips before you lose all sanity. :)

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  31. Anonymous3:16 AM

    two weeks after fracturing a bone in my right foot and I am cracking up! I can't put any weight on it, have crutches and am in a partial cast- have an appointment next week to get full cast on. the pain is awful. I thought it would have stopped by now. I have children and work fulltime so am finding it really hard to be stuck here not able to do much. people who haven't experienced this themselves don't understand why I can do so little. have to go up and down the stairs on my bum! -which is a full workout in itself! I'm wondering how long once the cast comes off that I can get back to normal. Got no info when I got the first x-ray and cast so hopefully next week they will tell me more.

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    1. Cracking up, that's punny! I hope I didn't cause your fracture to re-open. :) I'm glad you'll be getting a full cast. It is no fun, but it saves you a lot of pain in the end. I wish you happy healing!

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    2. Anonymous8:18 AM

      Just back from the hospital. They gave me a walking boot instead of a full cast which I think will work out better- though it feels really weird so far! Am having to judge how much weight I can out on it but at least I can take it off at night and in the bath! Back in another 3 weeks to see how things are going. very sore today after the doctor examined my foot! So hopefully if I can just sit it out for another 3 weeks then things will be back to normal.

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    3. I hope the walking boot continues to work well for you, and good luck with the pain after the examination. As my sister would say, "RICE and Ibuprofen--rest, ice, compression, and elevation."

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  32. Anonymous2:45 PM

    Wow ! I love this. I just recently fracture my foot .. And it's been hell for me, your blog just made the rest of four weeks that i have with is stupid cast better . Thanks for that :) .. ( ps. Love the first bullent point that you it does feel like 7 years !!!!

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    1. I hope that feeling lasts for the four weeks, but if not, you can always come back and read the post again. :D Good luck!

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  33. Anonymous6:49 PM

    Hello Michelle, thanks for this post, my story is I broke BOTH of my feet!! To be exact I broke the 5th Metatarsal Neck on both feet, with my right foot being displaced! I wasn't allowed surgery for my displaced foot since I didn't have a good foot to rely on, then I couldn't even get a cast because not having a good foot to rely on. So I'm stuck here with two Velcro boots and two broken feet and crutches. Let me remind you I'm a 23 year-old female who is in college! Yay! So my first day at a university was just terrific! I've found myself constantly researching how people feel after, during all of it. I am on week 5, I go to my doctor next Monday hopefully to hear that I do not need surgery and I can be out of these boots. Just wondering when the cast was taken out how did it feel to be back on both feet? Did your broken foot have pains and if so for how much longer? I'm so nervous to hear that I'm going to have to sit out longer or worst get surgery. That or have the boots off and experience horrible pain like the stories I've read about. Overall thanks for the article. I love hearing successful stories!!

    -Sattie

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    1. Sattie, both feet!? I'm sure getting around university is just miserable. I got my cast off at 6 weeks, and the pain was gone, but there was a lot of stiffness that really should have been treated with physical therapy or at least a list of stretches and exercises to build up the strength. Best of luck!

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  34. Anonymous9:23 AM

    Thank you so much for posting this! I crushed my heal 11 days ago. It has not been fun at all. Luckily for me its not displaced! I find I have my ups and downs. This article has brightened my spirits! I started on crutches and HATE them! They hurt my hands so bad. Found a knee scooter and love it! Its still frustrating and a pain to get around on but its so much better than crutches!! Just please be careful of throw rugs. The first day on my scooter I flipped it and really bruised my pelvis bad. Not what I needed! Pick up the rugs!! I'm not casted just in a boot. I was told if I put ANY weight on my heel it could displace it. That would mean surgery and more time down. Love your excercise video. Thank you for the great advice, very helpfull! Wishing everyone a speedy recovery! Thanks again Michell's!

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    1. Isn't it crazy that no one tells you just how miserable crutches are? Seriously. I'm glad you got the scooter, but man a bruised pelvis in addition to everything! Take care.

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  35. Val Hudson12:43 PM

    This brought a smile to me - and I totally agree with all of it! I'm just shy of 3 weeks non-weight bearing and in a cast and it totally sucks! Crutches are indeed the devil's tools. No matter how carefully I prop them up against anything, they fall over. Today I had an accident crutching up stairs and ended up planting my weight on my trashed, casted foot. Probably have undone any healing that had taken place, and will be on crutches for at least another month now. Stay away snow! Also, crutches are pretty ornery on wet surfaces. It is amazing how even 5 drops of water can render the bathroom floor a potential deathtrap. Nice to read everyone's comments and experiences. Misery loves company!

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    1. Ow! I had to plant my weight on the bad foot once, too, and man, oh man, it was bad. Maybe you can have someone lay out a towel on the bathroom floor so that it's not so slippery? Actually, scratch that--I can totally imagine getting a foot or crutches tangled in the towel, and that would be no good either. I hope you can be careful so as to avoid anymore hang-ups in the healing process!

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  36. Thank you for this... nice to know I'm not alone. I broke 4 bones in my foot and one in my ankle 7 weeks ago and I'm still in the no weight bearing stage. I am going to work on a reduced schedule in a wheelchair and since I bring my crutches along people look at me like I'm lazy or something. I have a desk job but its a long walk in! People really don't understand all of the exhaustion your body feels and what your limitations are unless they've been there. I'm praying I am in a walking cast at least soon because this is getting old and I am miserable. Not to mention the way my arms feel after pushing myself in a wheelchair and using crutches all the time.... and my good leg feels like it's developing some issues as well. Ouch. Anyways thanks for sharing and I guess we can be grateful these things are not permanent.... but this 7 weeks has felt like 7 years. Oh and did I mention I have a 2 year old? Lol

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    1. I can't even imagine how crazy that would be to heal and have a two-year-old child. I hope you have some help? I absolutely hated the walking cast because it made my knee and hip hurt as well. I guess it's hard to win no matter what, but when I got over caring what other people thought, I felt a lot better. Take care!

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    2. Thank you so much! I do have a husband, who has been picking up extra hours to make up for the money we were short while I was out of work a few weeks praying that this would heal faster than they said (it didn't lol). My mother also helps me a little bit, but I still have found ways to manage a lot on my own. I got my walking cast last week and am able to bear weight, but it's terribly painful so I'm afraid I'm rushing things. Right, after 8 weeks how could I feel like I'm rushing them! I am hoping to not need the crutches at all in about another week or so, however I'm in this walking cast for 6 more weeks and start physical therapy next week so maybe that will at least answer some more questions for me! If anyone who has been through this is reading, did the walking cast hurt when you walked? I figure it will hurt a little bit but I'm not sure how much is too much. And thank you again, Michelle, I return to this page often during this difficult ordeal!

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    3. Nicole, I'm sure your husband working extra hours is good because it makes up for the money, but I'm also sure it's frustrating because you don't have him around to help when you need it. Way to go on making it through 8 weeks. I was really scared about putting weight on my foot and I waited so long that when I finally did put weight on it, I was surprised to find it wasn't so bad. It felt more achy than painful, and I think that's what you're looking for, so if you still have a lot of pain, you may want to wait a little longer (horrible words to hear, I know!). I'm glad to hear you'll be doing physical therapy; I hope that will help your spirits and your healing process!

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  37. Thank you Michelle for your helpful commentary and the exercise video. I probably have 45 years on you (I'm 70) and I found all but the most strenuous exercises very helpful. I sometimes did them slower and fewer of them. I have a broken ankle but no cast, just a brace and the awful Buzz Lightyear boot that I wear during the day and the plastic velcroe cast at night. As a retired teacher, I'm glad I didn't have to teach from a wheelchair. I do work at my one day a week job as a weekly newspaper proofreader which gets me out and a little less isolated. I use the knee walker and it is great, especially when I grew tired of knocking into the woodwork with the wheelchair and hopping into our bathrooms because the doors are narrow. The knee walker fits thru nicely and I can maneuver it to turn around fairly well. I have two more weeks of my eight week weight-off the ankle detention period left. Showers are a hoot and would make a good Lucille Ball routine in the nude. Our shower door measures only 18 " and there is a 6 inch stepover to get into it. With a stool outside and a shower stool inside and a helpful old husband we manage to get me in the stall about once a week. I can wear the plastic, velcroe brace in the water because it dries quickly afterward. Otherwise I sit on the shower stool by the sink and do a "camp bath daily. I've never realized how restricting being a one legged sloth can be! Fortunately my husband has been a helpful cook, bottle washer and laundry man. He hasn't met the vacuum cleaner, floor mop or dust cloth yet, however. That can wait and I find I have the agility to dust a little. He puts the stuff in the washer & dryer and carries the clean stuff to the bedroom where I can do my part folding clothes. Thanks again for the information, good humor and exercise regimen...hope you have long since recovered from your injury and returned to your active life. Yvonne Greene in Texas

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    1. Hello Yvonne, I'm glad that the knee walker seems to be working for you and that you have great help. Your description of yourself as a "one-legged sloth" made me laugh. That sounds about right, as does the Lucille Ball routine and the "Buzz Lightyear boot." All the best for the last stretch of healing!

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  38. Thank you Michelle for your helpful commentary and the exercise video. I probably have 45 years on you (I'm 70) and I found all but the most strenuous exercises very helpful. I sometimes did them slower and fewer of them. I have a broken ankle but no cast, just a brace and the awful Buzz Lightyear boot that I wear during the day and the plastic velcroe cast at night. As a retired teacher, I'm glad I didn't have to teach from a wheelchair. I do work at my one day a week job as a weekly newspaper proofreader which gets me out and a little less isolated. I use the knee walker and it is great, especially when I grew tired of knocking into the woodwork with the wheelchair and hopping into our bathrooms because the doors are narrow. The knee walker fits thru nicely and I can maneuver it to turn around fairly well. I have two more weeks of my eight week weight-off the ankle detention period left. Showers are a hoot and would make a good Lucille Ball routine in the nude. Our shower door measures only 18 " and there is a 6 inch stepover to get into it. With a stool outside and a shower stool inside and a helpful old husband we manage to get me in the stall about once a week. I can wear the plastic, velcroe brace in the water because it dries quickly afterward. Otherwise I sit on the shower stool by the sink and do a "camp bath daily. I've never realized how restricting being a one legged sloth can be! Fortunately my husband has been a helpful cook, bottle washer and laundry man. He hasn't met the vacuum cleaner, floor mop or dust cloth yet, however. That can wait and I find I have the agility to dust a little. He puts the stuff in the washer & dryer and carries the clean stuff to the bedroom where I can do my part folding clothes. Thanks again for the information, good humor and exercise regimen...hope you have long since recovered from your injury and returned to your active life. Yvonne Greene in Texas

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  39. Anonymous12:32 PM

    Thanks really interesting I fractured my fibula and tibia very close too my ankle ive been in a cast for one week and ohh god its soo annoying everyday I cant sleep I woke up today with my foot hurting alot but its not even swollen idk maybe cuz I was weight bearing but I just dont like the crutchss ughhh im soo depressed but I really like wat u said it really made me feel alot better thanks:)

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    1. Ouch! Not sleeping just makes everything worse. Maybe some Melatonin could help? (If you could find someone to pick it up for you, of course.) Best of luck.

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  40. Thanks for the advice about the cooler-I have a severely fractured calcaneus (the back ball of the foot) and have been in a boot for 2 months, going on three. No weight allowed at all. Severe pain for three weeks, pain medication left me with drug withdrawal type symptoms for another week, ouch! After reading this, I had my wife put a large cooler in the tub and for the first time in two months I managed to get in the shower/tub and get some real water on me, almost a real shower and it felt great. I also purchased a military type messenger bag off Amazon which I keep around my shoulder with all kinds of stuff in it, even for around the house, sort of my "man purse".

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    1. I'm so glad the cooler helped. There is something amazing about being able to feel a bit cleaned up when your body is a mess in the process of healing. That's a great idea with the messenger bag, and I love that you called it your "man purse." :D

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  41. Dear Michelle and Everyone,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences and advice. I've been beating myself up for feeling depressed and sorry for myself. I try to put on a brave face but can only manage that for so long. I thought I was the only one feeling this way. Some of you even make me chuckle. This type of information should be handed out in every podiatrist and ortho office.

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    1. I know exactly how that goes with beating yourself up about being depressed. It's a miserable cycle, isn't it?

      I definitely agree about coping info being shared at doctors' offices. Best wishes from me.

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  42. Hi Michelle,

    Please add my voice to the many that have explicitly thanked you above plus the undoubted thousands that have read your post in anonymity!

    I broke my right fibula last week and just had surgery last night to have some stainless steel enhancements. I actually have a great story with elements of truth, bear with me as it is a twisted tale:

    A few weeks ago I ruptured (tore apart) the last tendon in my pinkie while pulling my dog and the neighbors dog apart (aka mallet finger). It looked like they were trying to kill each other, but I was the only one of all three of us with any apparent injury. Sat in Emergency for four hours only to be told they couldn't do anything & walked out with my pinkie hanging loose (no splint). They did set me up with an appointment with the plastic surgeon a week later...who asked why wasn't it immediately splinted! So anyway, they set me up with a splint and on the way out of the exam room the doctor says 'Oh, and do not play hockey!'

    Here's where an otherwise OK day turned bad--playing recreational hockey is the only thing that keeps me sane. So of course, being the genius that I am, I promptly ignored the doctor and played shinny the following night after MacGyvering strong support with the metal visor clip off a garage door opener and taping it to the neighboring finger. That actually went OK, just some further deterioration of my already lacking puck handling skills since I was using only three of five fingers.

    The trouble actually happened a couple days later when I played a league game. Apparently I got the attention of Asclepius, the Greek god of medecine, and he is one wrathful SOB! My team was up 3-1 and things were going fine when their top player came in on the attack. As a defenceman, I did my job to angle him off and get in his way. Here's where things get fuzzy...not sure if I was run over, collided with, was pushed, hit a rut, or was stricken by Asclepius' snake-entwined staff--or all of the above! Regardless, I heard and felt a fleshy snapping noise and it felt like my foot moved about an inch further than the rest of my leg did.

    Oh, I also drove myself home at 1 AM with my right leg lying across the passenger seat and went two lights worth of road with a police car beside me :)

    Thank you to those that stayed with me, here's the dual moral of the story: A) listen to your doctor about activity levels, and B) karma is a b**ch, don't mess with it.

    Thanks again, Michelle, I surfed to your article as I was desperately looking for information on whether this pounding throbbing was normal or not...apparently it is and I should have not been a 'tough guy' and let the Tylenol 3's wear off the day after surgery (damn, there's that 'listen to your doctor' again!!!)

    Kindest regards to all that read this, try and find something to engage your mind so you can live through the now and make it to that lovely tomorrow (6 weeks ahead for me) when the bone has at least healed.

    Dean

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    1. Dean, that is indeed quite the story! All of us have probably ignored the doctor at some point, so don't feel too bad about that. I hope you weren't in too much pain on the way home with your foot propped up. I wonder how good people are at driving when they're in shock . . . ;)

      Best of luck finding something besides hockey to keep you sane as you recover!

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  43. Wow such an awesome and motivating post! Good for you! My post is going to be so way down low thus not sure if it would benefit anyone but throwing my 2 cents in:
    1) I am surprised your toes are covered in your cast - OMG I would have died of heat in my foot had they covered mine entirely like your's..I walk outside (in crutches) in the cold weather and feel such relief when the cool air hits my toes!
    2) Taking anti-inflammatories slows down the healing process of the bone per doctor.. that, and smoking.. I know some folks are used to taking some sort of pain relief, I just never did or liked it for myself.. I rested when I ached.. but why I ached, is the next point..
    3) I am on crutches for week 5 now. After the initial PAIN everywhere ie., in your armpit, shoulders, on the side of your ribs, good foot, etc, my muscles developed enough in my shoulders and right leg to support me.. but it turns out to be more exercise than my typical exercise! I am sooo hungry everyday! Which means I burn more, which equals more cramps on my inactive foot - that part was absolutely no fun..
    4) Thank goodness I got good with my crutches.. but my good (right) foot that used to support 1/2 of my 124lb body weight, now carries all of it and that is a killer/damper. Type A that I am, I probably over did it with my crutches so now I have to 'rest' my shoulder blades & shoulder joints so much more..
    4) I used my computer chair in the kitchen to prop up my left knee, stood on my right foot to cook for the family - the only chore I felt compelled to do.
    5) Depending on the breakage in the foot (i was originally diagnosed with Jones fracture - 5th metatarsal - which my friend, yes, friend re-read and said is Tuberosity avulsion.. Jones has a really bad healing rate then one tends to and has to be more careful, because non-unions do happen when they finally may go into surgically fix it after 12 weeks!!!! Can u imagine? Tuberosity though has much better prognosis 5-8 weeks! Yay! Hope this helps someone, just as your post helps me!

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    1. Molly, great tips! I thought covering the toes was normal (since I'd never had a cast before), and that was in the hot summertime! I had no idea about the anti-inflammatories, and knowing that now makes me wonder if I would have taken them anyway, had I known that then. I think I would have, at least sparingly. It's good to know that you were able to build up strength for the crutches. I failed miserably and never want to use them again! :P

      Thanks for making the effort to share your tips and good luck!

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  44. Thanks for your most awesome post :) and also to everyone that took the time to post there story.

    I fractured my 5th metatarsal just over a week ago and was confirmed jones fracture - i honestly in between the crying from all this pain i could only laugh as well. I couldn't believe my luck!!! started thinking i was cursed or something but have in the past couple days been looking at it more positively - more like a "blessing in disguise"

    Beginning of august i ended up having a surgery for an incarcerated umbilical hernia which i was gracefully "awarded" after having caught a terrible cough the previous month. Had the surgery and no sooner after being discharged i was back in hospital as wound was infected and had also gone gangrenous in all of a matter of a couple days. Spent a further week in hospital as after going in to fix this up i was then on vac therapy to heal this incision/wound. It took weeks to heal by secondary means...not long after that i started getting pain in my left foot ( off the vac therapy unit now and just starting to sleep on side - could do little bits of "tummy time")...again went back to Doctors and was told i had a stress fracture ( advised this would either heal or break completely). I was sooo careful for like a few weeks, kept the foot up and everything. Was even super careful at work (work in retail store) and then came that dreaded evening :P... i had a little bad footing -was not even a big trip -just a little one and landed stress fracture on a freak'n hairdryer cord...and SnApPPP -bone gave in and broke completely - i have never in my life jumped sooo quickly onto my bed in pain.

    Hence why i started joking about being cursed :P in a matter of 3 months all of the above. I am 29 and have four children and a very supportive husband, and a wonderful mother that has stepped in to also help.

    the first week seemed like forever! i think we have to keep a positive and humorous approach to being in a cast as much as we can or it will bring us down.

    It is totally frustrating not being able to do things for your family like cook, clean, washing etc. and on top of it everything one usually does for themselves also becomes a mission. I have found time to do the things i have not had much time to do with work and family life in between trying to heal- i have been catching up on my art, paintings i haven't touched / finished i now have the time to finish. Even face-painting the kids faces- i can't go running or playing outside with them so i find the face-painting gives me that time to hang out with them and not have them run off wanting to do something active that i can't participate in. For anyone that has active boys building a "tank" using your walker and crutches is a total hit! invent creative games you can play with your kids - the kids always have awesome ideas too. Enjoy the time off from your busy life and do some stuff that you haven't be able to do for a long time i.e., paint, read a book, catch up with friends near and far away, i have even thought of trying some sculpting hahaha - but what ever you do keep positive and keep smiling.

    thanks again for the awesome post and for posting the exercise vid - i think i will be a PRO bed swimmer by the end of this jones fracture /cast business.

    tamlyn (New Zealand)

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    1. Tamlyn, it sounds like you really are keeping a good attitude. I admire you for that, especially since you have a lot on your plate (with four kids) and have had other recent health problems. You're right that catching up on things that life gets too busy for is a great way to spend the time. Being stuck with a cast really can be seen as an opportunity to re-focus on what brings you peace in life.

      Here's to hoping that you'll be healthy and happy.

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  45. Thanks for your most awesome post :) and also to everyone that took the time to post there story.

    I fractured my 5th metatarsal just over a week ago and was confirmed jones fracture - i honestly in between the crying from all this pain i could only laugh as well. I couldn't believe my luck!!! started thinking i was cursed or something but have in the past couple days been looking at it more positively - more like a "blessing in disguise"

    Beginning of august i ended up having a surgery for an incarcerated umbilical hernia which i was gracefully "awarded" after having caught a terrible cough the previous month. Had the surgery and no sooner after being discharged i was back in hospital as wound was infected and had also gone gangrenous in all of a matter of a couple days. Spent a further week in hospital as after going in to fix this up i was then on vac therapy to heal this incision/wound. It took weeks to heal by secondary means...not long after that i started getting pain in my left foot ( off the vac therapy unit now and just starting to sleep on side - could do little bits of "tummy time")...again went back to Doctors and was told i had a stress fracture ( advised this would either heal or break completely). I was sooo careful for like a few weeks, kept the foot up and everything. Was even super careful at work (work in retail store) and then came that dreaded evening :P... i had a little bad footing -was not even a big trip -just a little one and landed stress fracture on a freak'n hairdryer cord...and SnApPPP -bone gave in and broke completely - i have never in my life jumped sooo quickly onto my bed in pain.

    Hence why i started joking about being cursed :P in a matter of 3 months all of the above. I am 29 and have four children and a very supportive husband, and a wonderful mother that has stepped in to also help.

    the first week seemed like forever! i think we have to keep a positive and humorous approach to being in a cast as much as we can or it will bring us down.

    It is totally frustrating not being able to do things for your family like cook, clean, washing etc. and on top of it everything one usually does for themselves also becomes a mission. I have found time to do the things i have not had much time to do with work and family life in between trying to heal- i have been catching up on my art, paintings i haven't touched / finished i now have the time to finish. Even face-painting the kids faces- i can't go running or playing outside with them so i find the face-painting gives me that time to hang out with them and not have them run off wanting to do something active that i can't participate in. For anyone that has active boys building a "tank" using your walker and crutches is a total hit! invent creative games you can play with your kids - the kids always have awesome ideas too. Enjoy the time off from your busy life and do some stuff that you haven't be able to do for a long time i.e., paint, read a book, catch up with friends near and far away, i have even thought of trying some sculpting hahaha - but what ever you do keep positive and keep smiling.

    thanks again for the awesome post and for posting the exercise vid - i think i will be a PRO bed swimmer by the end of this jones fracture /cast business.

    tamlyn (New Zealand)

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  46. Hi Michelle, I originally wrote to you a few months ago when I first sustained my lisfranc fracture and your blog really helped and encouraged me. You may want to direct your readers (and you may be interested yourself) in a little support group on Facebook called the Lisfranc Fracture Club. It started a few months ago and has about 190 members and growing from different parts of the world who have sustained Lisfranc fractures or Lisfranc ligament injuries. There are folks from all different stages in their recovery, from a few days to several years and there are a ton of success stories too. It is a very informative and supportive group where people can give and gain knowledge, support and understanding. Check it out if you have the time! Amy

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    1. Readers--hear that? there's a Lisfranc injuries club on Facebook! Now I'll have to check about a Jones fracture club. :)

      Amy, that's awesome, thanks for sharing! Maybe you can link to my blog there and see if it helps anyone else.

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  47. Anonymous12:22 PM

    Thank you for your post. It was gracious of you to think of others in your misery and share your experience and the exercises. I hope you recovered well.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. I have so much sympathy now that I understand how it is. I just hope to make such a miserable experience a little bit better.

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  48. Anonymous5:23 PM

    Hi Michelle,
    I'm 55 hours past 3 breaks in my "pinky" metatarsal and one break on the one next over. The Trauma Doc said, "Well, you broke your foot--although smashed might be a bit closer to true..."

    I found your post tonight and everything you wrote resonated with me 100%. I read it out loud to my husband (he thinks crutches should be a synch). Thank you for the honesty and humor of your post.

    I spilled two...yes two _covered_ drink containers today and couldn't even get down to clean them up.

    The cast does stabilize things for sleep and basic life functions, but I can tell this is going to be a long process of healing. Your exercise routine will be on my to-do list for tomorrow. Now for sleep, which is fitful but not impossible.

    Shouldn't my cast come up to my toe "cleavage"? Mine doesn't cover the toes and a good 3/4 inch behind the toes and I wonder if I have enough structure in my cast for proper healing of a "crushed" foot. Wondering if I should return to the doc and ask...will probably just call first.

    Anyway, thanks a zillion. You're a person of great empathy and empathy really helps the most!

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    1. Thanks for your comment. That sounds like you have quite the smashed foot. I'm not sure how far the cast should go because I'm pretty sure that the doctor who did mine is really close to retirement, so his methods are a bit old. For example, the plaster cast--I guess people usually use fiber glass casts. I'm pretty sure that as long as your foot feels stabilized, it can rest and heel just fine. Good luck for the long road ahead of you!

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  49. So good to read your blog and everyone's experience...so nice to know I'm not alone in the way I'm feeling...physically AND mentally! Broke 4 bones in my right (driving!) foot and in a heavy cast...I too am putting on a brave front but even just "bumping" down the stairs, using my "wonderful" crutches (that hurt my hands more than the pain in my foot) to just get into someone's car to go for a drive is exhausting...and since it is week 3, I feel like its old news now and people think I should be getting around by now! Im trying to stay positive and I am grateful for everyone's help, but I guess I just needed to vent haha...im just not used to sitting around and feeling helpless! Thanks again for your blog!

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    1. Lisa, I'm sorry that it's so difficult. It's true that people don't seem to understand just how tiring it is. It took me a few weeks to realize that I just needed to ask for what I needed instead of trying to not look weak. I hope things improve quickly for you.

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  50. So good to read your blog and everyone's experience...so nice to know I'm not alone in the way I'm feeling...physically AND mentally! Broke 4 bones in my right (driving!) foot and in a heavy cast...I too am putting on a brave front but even just "bumping" down the stairs, using my "wonderful" crutches (that hurt my hands more than the pain in my foot) to just get into someone's car to go for a drive is exhausting...and since it is week 3, I feel like its old news now and people think I should be getting around by now! Im trying to stay positive and I am grateful for everyone's help, but I guess I just needed to vent haha...im just not used to sitting around and feeling helpless! Thanks again for your blog!

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  51. I completely agree with you %100. I wish i read this when i broke my leg. The healing process was the worst. They sent me home with crutches but they are the worst. A local curch helped me out tons when they allowed me to borrow a wheelchair for as long as i needed. Baths were the worst but just like you i firgured out a way to get it done. I was absolutly afraid of tile flooring because while using crutches i slipped and fell on my broken foot, thankfully i didnt injure the healing process. Sleeping was hard but i found that playing games and watching videos helped me not think of the pain which was worse at night. I mainly only got sleep during the day and i was ok with that as long as i entertained myself at night. You do start to realize how disabled people must feel while in a wheelchair. There are many people always offering to hold the door but there are also many people who are cruel and act like you shouldnt live amongst them. It is a hard process to over come, the days feel like weeks and weeks like years. My only advice is to get advice from people who have been through it themselves and to have as much support as you can because in the beginning you wont be able to do as much.

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    1. I winced just thinking about you falling on your broken foot. OW!

      You are definitely right that you start to feel compassion for people who deal with things that limit their mobility every day. I'm glad you were able to keep yourself entertained--I'm guessing you're recovered now?

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  52. Anonymous4:45 AM

    This is my first time braking a bone or three.I have broken my fibullar in the middle of my bottom leg and my ancle have been put in a full leg cast. I'm in my fourth week today yipee!! or so I shoul be, but I am still aching!! And experiancing pain even in my knee and toes now! Is this normal? Any one had the same experience? Thanks Zon

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    1. My knee hurt just because it's hard to get used to having a heavy cast on your leg and moving around in new ways. I'm not a doctor, but I think the other pain would depend on the kind of pain. Is it biting pain when you move? Or is it pain like swelling? I know my toes hurt like crazy when they got swollen, so I just had to elevate my cast more often. I hope that helps.

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    2. Thanks for the info! You were right about it being the heavy cast giving pain all over!! I got lucky today went to see the Dr about the pain and he send me for an x ray. He took one look at it and said your cast is coming off! I then said you joking and he said nope I'm not so I told him but is it not sepose to only come off at six weeks and he told me everything is looking good! But the problem now is my foet looks funny a funny shape looks like it could be thinner than my good foet is it going to stay like this or Is It normal and goIng to return to Its normal shape? You should've become a Dr ;-)

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    3. Wow, congratulations! I have never heard of anyone getting their cast off early. Lucky you! After some scrubbing and some careful walking (because your foot is going to get tired), your foot will return to normal, don't worry. :)

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    4. Anonymous9:45 PM

      Hi sorry to be a pain in the but! Just something could you put your foot flat on the ground to slowly wb on it next to the other leg? Because the Dr said I need to but I just can't this is getting to me now! I can put it on the ground but my leg goes on an angle I also can't lift my foot far from the ground is this normal I'm realy stressed!

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    5. I'm not sure what you mean. What is "wb"? What do you mean that your legs goes on an angle and that you can't lift your foot far from the ground? I'm guessing that whatever it is, it will get better with time and practice. I hope your doctor has prescribed some physical therapy for you so a professional can help you.

      Delete
  53. Nancy A9:26 AM

    Fabulous blog and posts! Just got home from the hospital yesterday afternoon. Dislocated ankle and broken leg in three places. Ow! One plate and two screws later I am mending. Humor keeps me going, so I love the posts. I have to find a good story though I'm still working that out. I am determned to keep a positive attitude through 6 weeks of no weight bearing movement. Goodwill in our area has walkers and crutches for free use. They ask for just a donation when youa re able.



    I love the idea of the whel
    led computer chair for mobility. I will definitely try that one. Although the cats will scamper away when I roll over the tile floor.

    A friend suggested a toilet seat riser. She is bringing me one and I think it will definitely be a blessing. 4 inches can make a lot of difference when sitting down and getting up again.

    Good luck to all of you out there with mobility challenges. This is an opportunity for my husband and me to take a closer look at our "aging in place" plan. Wider bathroom doors and flooring choices when we remodel.

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    1. Ouch, three places! You sound so upbeat--thank you for sharing your positive attitude here, and I agree that four inches can make a big difference. :) I also think checking the "aging in place" plan is a great idea that will save you a lot of work and/or problems later.

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  54. Anonymous9:25 AM

    I have broken my fifth metatarsal (last Friday at the gym tripping over) I have a rocker shoe. It is very tiring. Having a nap every afternoon. Not sure about going back to work. I teach Autistic pupils with behaviour issues and feeling a bit worried about getting my foot trodden on or knocked. I have been told that it can be up to 6 weeks to heal. Have a follow up appointment in January.

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    1. Wow, yes, if you can, I would wait a little until the initial shooting pain is gone, at least. Good luck!

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  55. Anonymous11:23 PM

    Your post is the only honest to goodness account that's really helpful to anyone who's broken a bone in their foot! I'm twelve weeks into a severely broken and dislocated big toe and can relate to so much of what you wrote. I pulled most of my back muscles just in the first few weeks trying to take a shower and my elbows took an extra few weeks to recover from using crutches!

    Everything I've looked up on the internet about breaking a big toe says light-hearted things like its six weeks tops to heal and get back to normal life and all of that is clearly written by someone who's never broken a big toe in the joint and so severely that six weeks barely touches the surface! I've been wearing what I like to call a "frankenboot" because it makes me feel like Frankenstein or a duck. Either way I've felt ridiculous trying to walk flat footed for weeks on this thing but without it I can only walk on the side of my foot which has resulted in painful joints and a terribly weak uneven side where I'm not using my muscles and joints properly. I would love to have physical therapy but I can't afford health insurance and nearly went into debt just being treated when I initially broke and dislocated my toe. The worst is when its really cold outside and my toe acts like its full of sharp needles in the break area. The bone bruising is still there and one foot looks a completely different color to the healthy one. When I broke it I kept wishing I'd broken a finger or something instead since I don't have to stand on my hands.

    I found arnica and comfrey tincture to be my main homeopathic drugs of choice as I didn't have a cast but wished I did as even the slightest movement was astonishingly painful. Being able to touch the skin on the broken joint took weeks and I longed for a cast so that I could simply not have to touch it. & on all the online articles people mention taping the broken toe to the normal one next to it "Buddy taping" so it heals and the one thing they fail to mention is that when you first break the big toe (in the joint and with a dislocation) then the last thing you want to do is touch the toe or put tape on it as just the freaking air around it is painful!! It took me beyond the 5th week before I could try the buddy tape system and then it felt lots better.

    The truly worst thing about this break was the doctor yanking the dislocated socket and broken bits of bone back into place with no anesthetic. It took me days to recover from the pain that caused and I think I taught some seriously bad words to anyone within a five mile radius when it was yanked back into place. Never go to the doc in the box places as they don't even offer anesthetic and if I had to go back and redo anything it would be to have the damned anesthetic. Compared to the actual act of breaking a bone, what the doctor did was a million times more painful. -Fran


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    1. Yeah, most things online don't seem that helpful or realistic, do they? That's one reason I wrote this post. I'm sorry its been such a long and painful journey for you. I would suggest looking for some online toe, foot, and ankle stretches to do on your own.

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  56. I believe my chiropractor worsened my stress fracture. I have a tibial stress fracture...causing pain I thought was my knee. The chiropractor said my leg was out of alignment, pulled my leg and whacked the sides of my knee to put things back. I told him this was hurting...but he didn't stop. The pain got worse, and I had an MRI from the sports doctor and found a severe stress fracture. No more chiropractor for me.
    metatarsal stress fracture

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  57. Thank you for telling your story and much needed tips

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  58. I believe my chiropractor worsened my stress fracture. I have a tibial stress fracture...causing pain I thought was my knee. The chiropractor said my leg was out of alignment, pulled my leg and whacked the sides of my knee to put things back. I told him this was hurting...but he didn't stop. The pain got worse, and I had an MRI from the sports doctor and found a severe stress fracture. No more chiropractor for me.

    metatarsal stress fracture

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  59. Thanks so much for this article. I'm nearly 6 weeks post surgery for an ankle dislocation and tib/fib fracture, and this article was just what I needed today, someone to acknowledge that it just really sucks. Thanks :)

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    1. I vow never to forget just how horrible it is. I'm glad that I could help and I hope that the sucky-ness lessens. :)

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  60. Anonymous8:23 AM

    Thank you so much for your post. It is light hearted and informative. I just fractured my 4th & 5th metatarsals when I partially dislocated my ankle on Sunday while dirtbiking. I am soooooo frustrated right now. I also get wicked tired around 3 - 4 pm. I am glad that I am not the only one. I have no pain which is a blessing but at the same time because I have no pain, I want to be up and walking around like I normally do. I am really active both with hobbies and everyday living so this is killing me. Guess life is telling me I have to work on some of my other virtues, such as "letting go" and patience. All my best.

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    1. One metatarsal wasn't enough for you? You had to add another metatarsal and an ankle to the problem? You sound like an over-achiever. Ha, just kidding.

      I can't say enough how lucky it really is that you don't have pain. Is that because you have some great drugs? I can understand, though, how that would make you want to move around. I never was one who was good at patience or letting go, so I think I had to deal with that a lot as well as I healed. Best of luck to you and don't forget to take care of yourself in every way.

      Delete
  61. Hi Michelle! Thanks baby! I read your post, laughing, and thinking, YEP. I broke my ankle in 2 places, pins, plates, screws, etc. Your post was invaluable, and clever, and much appreciated. I was looking for some exercises to do while, sitting, thanks. I hope you have fully recovered by now, and are feeling great. It is humbling to have to depend on someone else for normal things, and humbling to discover your body is not the same. All the best to you.

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    1. Thanks--I wish you a fast and full recovery!

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  62. Get the knee scooter, I am renting one for a month and I love it. I broke my foot so I was in a boot for awhile then I had to have my peroneal tendons repaired. That surgery was ten times worse than the two broken bones in my foot. Anyways the knee scooter is a live saver and I can have a life with it.

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    1. The knee scooter definitely seems to be all the rage. Wish I'd known that when I needed one, but I hope I never need one again!

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  63. I got ankle surgery 4 weeks ago, I am in a boot now and have been non weight bearing. But I fell the other night. It didn't hurt too bad and didn't swell up or anything. But I've been worried about it. I don't want another surgery. Have you ever fallen on it while recovering? Like I said it doesn't hurt and isn't swollen. So I'm probably worrying for nothing.

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    1. Hi Laura, lucky that it didn't hurt too much! I think everyone with a cast has accidentally put weight on it at some point and it's never a fun thing. If you haven't seen any negative effects, you're probably fine (I would say). Take care!

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    2. Lol that's what I thought but I was just curious Haha thanks a lot! I'll definitely be able to sleep better tonight! Thanks! You take care as well!

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  64. I got ankle surgery 4 weeks ago, I am in a boot now and have been non weight bearing. But I fell the other night. It didn't hurt too bad and didn't swell up or anything. But I've been worried about it. I don't want another surgery. Have you ever fallen on it while recovering? Like I said it doesn't hurt and isn't swollen. So I'm probably worrying for nothing.

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  65. I got ankle surgery 4 weeks ago, I am in a boot now and have been non weight bearing. But I fell the other night. It didn't hurt too bad and didn't swell up or anything. But I've been worried about it. I don't want another surgery. Have you ever fallen on it while recovering? Like I said it doesn't hurt and isn't swollen. So I'm probably worrying for nothing. Thanks!


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  66. Hey Michelle! I just broke my right foot a week ago and just been so down, it's been the longest week of my life, thanks for the post, some awesome tools that I will be putting on use on the future. Thanks a lot.

    William Phipps.

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    1. Hi William, it's so, so horrible, isn't it? I hope it becomes manageable soon enough. Best wishes!

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