Recovery of a Broken Ankle Part 1: diagnosis and surgery

When I started scouring the internet for blogs from runner who had this I didn’t find much. It led me to start writing to document the journey. This is part 1.

Four weeks ago I went out for what I thought we be an amazing long run in fresh falling snow.

Suited up and ready for 12 glorious miles…

I was so happy. I had been through Emdr training the weekend before and stuck inside on the treadmill. I was really looking forward to some outside running at my favorite local trail spot Mines Falls. But then….

That’s thick black ice and you can see where my spikes tried to grip but slid and failed.

All of a sudden I was signing praise and worship and the next minute I was flying in the air and landed with a crack. I laid down in the snow and I paused. I knew right then and there my bone broke and my biggest fear in running had happened. My ankle broke.

I laid in the snow for a minute catching my breath and grouping my thoughts. I was so sad and mad all at once. Part of me wanted to just lay there in that snow and avoid getting up, I knew getting up meant I had to face my reality. I got up, and I snapped that pic and felt excruciating pain as I hobbled back to my van.

I saw my friend Caite waiting at her car she had no idea what happened. I told her and her face sunk. She knew what this meant for me. She followed me home (luckily it was the left ankle so I could somehow drive) so I could get the van back and watched the kids so the husband could take me to urgent care.

I waited to get X-rays and then heard the urgent care physician confirm what I already had known: broken.

I was numb. I think it took 24 hours to set in, that my June goal race of 100 miles was shattered, and simply just trying to be a mother to my 6 young children was now going to be difficult. I went through stages of grief, I was mad at myself for going out to run. I was sad that my mental health was suffering because running is so much of a coping mechanism for me. I was mad because I was in a lot of pain and unable to do much about it. Most of all I was angry for losing my independence. I couldn’t even get in and out of my van with the boot on and I felt trapped.

They sent me to a podiatrist and he told me I was fine. I was kind of shocked but glad to hear no surgery. Everything I had researched and been told suggested I would need surgery. The next day the podiatrist office called and basically said they misread the X-ray report and I had to immediately see a surgeon. I was nervous and relieved. We saw the surgeons assistant and she said it was 50/50. What did that even mean???? I was so tired of the uncertainty!

A week later the surgeons assistant called and said they wanted to operate on me tomorrow. At this point it felt like a never ending rollercoaster. So 2 weeks after I fell I headed into surgery.

Post operation…

I woke up in excruciating pain. Nothing could have prepared me for that pain. I was devastated! I felt like immediate regret at agreeing to the surgery. But I knew I had needed the surgery. The surgeon had showed us the X-rays from multiple angles and explained that the break was a Weber B fracture and the bone was completely shifted and the only way to ensure proper alignment and healing was to screw it together and use a plate to stabilize it.

I FaceTimed the husband who due to covid was in his car in the parking lot. I needed out of there. I felt awful upon waking up and just wanted to be home in my bed. I went home with a prescription for pain medication and a follow up appointment for 2 weeks. They had my ankle ace wrapped and I couldn’t let it get wet or unwrap it for the next 2 weeks. I was just thankful I avoided a hard cast and could continue in a boot.

4 responses to “Recovery of a Broken Ankle Part 1: diagnosis and surgery”

  1. […] Part 1 of the broken ankle saga is here. I decided to blog about my recovery and experience given there is not many posts from runners. I hope it inspires someone who is going through something similar. […]

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  2. […] went. I know for me it is always helpful to google an injury and see real stories of the journey. So part 1 and part 2 are there feel free to check them […]

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  3. […] then, life hit again, this time with a broken ankle that required surgery. The day after I fell I scheduled a call with my primary care physician and […]

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