Broken Ankle Xrays With Plate and Screws
Here's my experience when I saw my husband's broken ankle xrays for the first time. I knew the surgeons would be operating to insert a plate and screws to hold the broken bones in his ankle and tibia together when they wheeled him into surgery, but I had no idea what the hardware would look like until his broken ankle xrays appeared on the screen.
The size of the wounds surprised me when his bandages were first removed. At that moment it was clear any plates they'd used to hold his bones together were larger than I had imagined.
The doctor very kindly agreed to me taking photos of his broken ankle x-rays while they were displayed on the screen. I am sharing the photos with you here in case you have a friend or family member who had similar surgery but you missed the chance to see their broken ankle xrays. Here's an example of the plate and screws used by orthopaedic surgeons.
Broken Ankle Xray Shows Plate and Screws
My Reaction to Broken Ankle Xray
It was important for me to see the damage, but I wasn't prepared for my physical response to his broken ankle xray. As I raised my camera to focus on the break, I was forcing myself to concentrate and capture an image that I could reflect on later.
The damaged ankle wasn't even mine, yet I felt ill. As I looked at this x ray on the screen, I felt my head drop and my shoulders scrunch. My husband lay on a bed on the opposite side of the room with his bandages removed. I was conscious of the fact that he would see my reaction to the x-rays so I struggled to make myself stand tall.
I am a great believer in the need for gathering as much information as possible when trying to address any problem, particularly a medical problem. If I can understand what needs to be achieved, I can search for a solution. That's why it was important for me to pay attention to the broken ankle xrays.
Broken Bone In Xray
Doctor Explained Plates and Screws in Broken Ankle Xray
The doctor beside me stood patiently as I looked at each image. My youngest daughter, then 12, was in the room and came to stand slightly behind my line of vision. When she asked which of the bones were broken on each image, I pointed out the breaks. Then I took a photo.
The doctor, a younger member of the orthopaedic team, clicked to the next x ray each time I lowered my camera. He chatted with me and explained the plates and screws as though I was familiar with all his medical terms and comfortable with the images of damage on the screen before me. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
It obviously takes a particular type of person to be a surgeon. A surgeon looks at a broken ankle xray and sees a challenge. A bone is just a bone, and a stainless steel plate is just one of the tools of their trade. I respect their ability to distance themselves from the emotion and pain associated with broken bones. Patients need surgeons who can fearlessly strive to fix a major problem without being overwhelmed by sentiment.
Yet as I look at these broken ankle x-rays in the privacy of my own home, I am still slightly overwhelmed.
Multiple Fractures in Ankle
Broken Ankle Physical Therapy
I don't know how many people with broken bones receive ongoing monitoring of the performance of plates and screws after surgery. We are very fortunate to have access to a dedicated team of surgeons who continue to show interest in my husband's recovery. Access to xrays helps determine appropriate broken ankle physical therapy.
In the interests of sharing information about what to expect if you suffer a broken ankle that requires similar treatment, I am including examples from the 'gravity view' xrays and the series of 'weight bearing' x-rays taken a few months after surgery. My husband says the most difficult aspect of the weight bearing xrays was holding his balance.
Broken Ankle Xray ~ Gravity View
Weight Bearing Broken Ankle Xray After Surgery
More Than Just Broken Bones
I try to look at these photos and distance myself, seeing just broken bones. 'It is really very simple,' I say to myself. 'Just look at the damage. It is there in black and white.' Seeking information and knowledge comes easy. I will ask appropriate questions, search for useful answers, and comfortably process and analyse any relevant information ... on just about any topic. But I cannot look at his broken ankle xrays and just see broken bones.
Wrapped up in the package is the memory of watching my husband falling from a great height and my fear that when he landed he might die; the relief when he landed on his feet not his head. And a perverse kind of pleasure that he broke his ankle when he hit the ground, because he could have broken his neck.
Multiple Broken Bones
A broken ankle is no excuse for being idle, in my husband's mind, even if he does have the x rays to justify spending time with his foot up.
The surgeons predict future arthritis after surgery of this type but we are confident we can prevent arthritis with natural remedies from nature's medicine chest (in normal circumstances) so that doesn't frighten us as much as it might.
Just what difference a stainless steel plate and a bunch of screws through his bones will make remains to be seen. Whatever the outcome, I will look occasionally at his broken ankle xrays and remain grateful to the surgeons who repaired the damage in a way that, just years ago, was impossible.
Alternatives to Old-Fashioned Crutches
For those who are interested (and particularly those who require encouragement that they might be back on their feet quite promptly), it only took about three months before my husband had recovered enough to walk without crutches.
He was diligent about exercising his ankle, deliberately ate foods to encourage repair of broken bones, patiently endured my applications of comfrey, and in the early months always wore a sturdy work boot and an elastic support (with velcro strips) to provide extra support for his ankle while out and about.
In many ways he has been very lucky. But much of his successful recovery is due to personal effort.
If you have a broken ankle, I encourage you to take positive action to speed and encourage your own healing. As these broken ankle x-rays show, my husband's injury was significant. His speedy recovery was unexpected ... but he has proven it is achievable.
More about my husband's Broken Ankle
- How to reduce swelling fast on a broken ankle
The natural remedy I applied to quickly reduce swelling around my husband's broken ankle allowed doctors to operate three days earlier than normal. He was home before most people reach surgery!!
- Broken Ankle - photos after surgery
5 days after surgery to insert a plate and screws to repair my husband's broken ankle, we had a chance to assess the scars, swelling and bruising. If you've broken an ankle, how do the pics compare?
- Broken Ankle - Foods for healing broken bones
Have you ever wondered which foods help heal broken bones? I have researched the best foods to help heal my husband's broken ankle. Here is the list, with photos and explanations.
© 2013 LongTimeMother