Some videos of my ankle in motion and my brace and shoes that let me walk normal-ish

OK I’m going to post some YouTube videos on this page to try to illustrate some of the things I have figured out about my ankle and how to live with it.


New video…home made ankle brace

17 thoughts on “Some videos of my ankle in motion and my brace and shoes that let me walk normal-ish

  1. Thanks for creating this blog. It really helps to know your not the only one going through this horrible injury. I have read the posts for a few months now and now I’m finally getting around to posting. I joined the club on Jan. 8, 2016 after falling about 5 feet from the the back of a flat bed tractor trailer at work. On impact, my tibia broke completely a couple inches above the ankle joint, and proceeded to drive down against the fibula ripping it from the joint and breaking through the skin on the outside of my ankle. Yeah, I was lucky enough to have an open compound fracture, just what i always wanted (joking, of course). I was rushed into emergency surgery that morning and had an external fixator put on to realign and stabilize the bone. All went well and 2 weeks later, Jan. 22, I had a second surgery to perform the ORIF and remove the external fixator. All said and done I ended up with 1 plate and 20 screws…..thankfully no infections.
    Now, 9 and a half months after the injury I’m in just about the same boat you are…..arthritis has taken hold of the joint and I have 0 degrees of dorsiflexion. It’s very tough and uncomfortable to walk barefoot. With every step my ankle can only move so far before the tibia comes in contact with the talus “blocking me out” from even attempting any more movement. It is a very horrible feeling. It makes any attempt of having a normal, fluent walking pattern impossible. Plantar flexion, is not as limited and I think the only thing limiiting full motion in that direction is the stiffness of the tendons and scar tissue that has built up. When I landed, all the force must have been focused on the front part of the joint. Watching the video you posted, it amazed me at how similar our arthritic problems are. I have good side to side motion, my main issue is the lack of dorsiflexion.
    I’m at a point now, where I am battling some depression. Like you and many others on this site, I was very, very active before all this happened. I never slowed down, I was always on my feet, I absolutely loved anything that kept me active and on the go. Now, some days it’s a struggle to walk from the couch to the refrigerator. It’s hard to accept that the person you were before doesn’t exist anymore. I am back to work now (I’m an electrician), and am on my feet all day and I do seem to be gaining more stamina as the weeks go on, and I try to do everything I can possibly do to resume a “normal” life, but the problem is what used to be enjoyable has now become a constant battle with pain, discomfort and limited functionality. I am thankful that things aren’t worse than what they are (they always could be worse), but as you said in your earlier posts, that doesn’t make my situation any easier to deal with. I too hold on to a blind faith that I will be out of this dire situation some day. When there is nothing else people can tell you that can help you, I think that’s when your faith is put to the test. I don’t know what your faith is in, and I’m not here to tell anyone what that might be, but in times like these I’m just glad I can pray and can believe there is a God that will be with me through anything life can throw at me. Keep up the good works your doing here on this site…..it really does make a difference to people facing similar situations, even if it doesn’t seem like it all the time.

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    • Thank you so much for posting this Ryan. We’re a fellowship of hobbled and arthritic!

      We have very similar limitations! Are you using a brace? Are you using heel lifts? I bought womens high heel flip flops for walking around the house because that 1″ heel gives me a normal-ish walk without having to lace up the boots.

      We have a baby due in April, and that is throwing a wrench in mt plans for ankle fusion surgery. I now need to wait until mom and baby are self sufficient enough for me to take a few months off from being helpful… which seems like around two years from now.

      We land on our feet because thats our instinct, but I always catch myself thinking “if id only landed a little sideways, id have broken the leg but saved the ankle…”

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    • Yeah, They didn’t give it much credit. In fact, nothing I have found has reliable results when it comes to cartilage regeneration. I didn’t find much hope in the efficacy of any of the cutting edge cartilage regeneration technologies- but they do tout themselves. I started following cartilage research topics on facebook and Flipboard and I see there are trials in animals showing some hope but those are years away for humans.

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          • Dr. appt. yesterday, all going well. I am in a boot, non weight bearing until Dec 10th then I can use crutches with the boot. I am to send weekly text messages pictures to show how the incision is healing. There is one part of the incision that has not healed up yet. If the incision is good the Dr said he may let me on the stationary bike by Thanksgiving. I won’t be able to put any power out but just spinning will feel good. Then back to the Dr Dec 20th and if all is well I will leave without boot or crutches, fingers crossed.

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            • Very cool! Good luck!
              I remember i had a spot on my incision that took forever to heal.
              Its amazing how different doctors methods are…. ad i can best remember, I tapered into weight bearingness over several weeks from 15% weight to 25% to 50% to 75% to 100% weight and only then no crutches but still in a boot for weeks. The boot came off around 6month mark. It was such Slow process.

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  2. Dude i have the same problem exactly like you.. Its been 2,years…i can walk normal with a little heal… I uze my sisters sleepers in house to walk normal… I dont feel pain but there is very limited movement in my ankle… I sometimes exercise with resistance band… And after some exercise i can walk normal for sometime but when i wake up in morning… Its stiff like before.. I cant wear flat sneakers… I want a little heal… I can walk straight in boots… Dude i seriously want to get in touch with… And if possible can u give me ur no. So that we can have little talk on whatsapp or maybe fb… I have so much to talk to you…

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    • Hi Asif! This is the forum I’d like to share experiences through so others can read and learn and benefit.
      I think using a raised heel on my foot where is helped me quite a bit but I realized it has a lot to do with the fact that the injury really damaged the front of my ankle more than the rear and I still have some cartilage back in the rear. Sounds like the way this injury hurts people runs the gamut of variations.

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  3. http://www.hangerclinic.com/bracing-support/adult-le/Pages/Limb-Salvage-ExoSym.aspx

    Just wanted to share this device I have found and am in the process of acquiring. It is called the Exosym. It is a joint sparing device that off loads the weight that would normally be transferred through your ankle to struts that run behind your calf. I have been told I’d be a good candidate for it, having no cartilage left in the front of my ankle and zero degrees of dorsiflexion. I highly suggest anyone with arthritis in their ankle to look into this before opting for fusion surgery or anything else out there. I have talked to people with the device and the results sound pretty amazing. Also be sure to check out the IDEO/Exosym Facebook group to see some incredible/inspirational/life changing results people have experienced after receiving this device. Hope this helps someone out there

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  4. This looks AMAZING!! Run again?! Yes please. I’m kinda emotional right now. Of course the first thoughts better following are what if it’s not for me or what if I’m not the right kind of injury or what if my situation doesn’t work for it. It’s a little scary to get hope because hope has been gone for a while. I lost a lot of Hope at the seven-month point and Ive even thought about elective amputation. Those thoughts are gone and I know there’s got to be some solution but I always assumed it was mandatory surgery. A brace like this is something that gives me a whole new idea about what the future holds

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    • Trust me……I know EXACTLY how your feeling man. I’d venture to say I’ve had pretty much all the same thoughts go through my head as you have. I actually came across this device while researching elective amputation. When I saw this device, my wife and I were pretty emotional too. It was such a ray of hope in an otherwise pretty hopeless situation. Get in touch with the clinic, they’ll send you a questionnaire and ask you to send a video of your range of motion and of you walking to let you know if your a candidate. From what it sounds like you and I have pretty similar injuries and they told me I would be a good candidate, so there might be hope for the both of us. If you have Facebook, join the group. I’ve been in contact with people who have the device and they have told me it has completely changed they’re life….it’s gotten them back to full time work, on they’re feet all day, keeping up with they’re families, back to doing things they thought they would never be able to do again. I’m trying to contain my excitement just in case for some reason I don’t have as much success, but I’m very hopeful at the same time. Search the internet, they’re are many incredible stories and blogs about this device. Why it is not known by more doctors around the country….I can’t figure that one out. Best of luck. Keep me posted on how you make out.

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      • So I went and saw my surgeon I got a prescription I sent it all my paperwork and I have acknowledgement from The Hanger Clinic that they’re going to review my case and they think I’m a good candidate for this brace. Hopefully my insurance helps out. And hopefully this thing gives me more freedom. My surgeon was really excited about it too. She didn’t know about it but her fellow did. (Old dogs can learn new tricks)
        My surgeon also said that I might be a good candidate for some Ortho scopic cleanup and hardware removal but they don’t want to do fusion yet. They said they wanted to fusion when I’m basically in tears from the arthritic pain.

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  5. That’s great news!! I really hope it works for you. Hopefully insurance can help out as well. I’m going through all the red tape that goes along with Workers Comp. Still waiting on a doctors appointment to get a script. Who knows, maybe we’ll be out in Washington at the same time. Best of luck!!

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