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Still Bill

Broken Fibula - Autograft or allograft?

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Posted (edited)

I broke my fibula six weeks ago.  Toe caught a root and rotated ankle outward.  Being a hard-headed tough guy, I decided it was just sprained.  After 5 weeks, I went to doctor.  Broken fibula just above ankle.  Partially healed.  I am scheduled for surgery tomorrow.  Today, doctor said he would have to re-break and re-shape and graft with bone taken from my heal.  I just remembered that 25 years ago, when I had my ACL done, and donor site bothered me more than anything else (for years).

Time is short, but I will ask him just before surgery if an allograft would be OK.  He mentioned if my own donor wasn't big enough, he would supplement with commercial product.  So, my question is about pain and healing of donor site on heal, versus healing speed and success rate of fibula for autograft vs. allograft.

Also, he said my inner ankle ligaments are torn and he would be screwing my fibula to my tibia to tighten the joint.  Actually, surgeon did not say this, the referring orthopedic doc said that, and I am assuming that is what the surgeon intends to do.  The first doc said if left loose (big gap in joint on inner side), I would basically be a cripple in 5 years.  Just wondering if that is accurate.

I am an obese 57-year male.  Surgeon is ankle specialist (fellowship from some ankle center in Carolina).  Now at Orthopedic Institute in Gainesville, FL.  I had been impressed with their other surgeons who have worked on me.

I don't suppose to get any useful advice in the next 12 hours before my surgery, but worth a shot.

Edited by Still Bill

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I've had a permanent ankle injury for over 20 years. With a few surgery's, and a fusion. I have know idea what those options are. Other than "donor" as I have a piece of bone, donated from gift of life body.
I pray that you have very skilled surgeon's. As I've had for my last few operations. A good attitude, and positive outlook are equally as important as surgeon's skill. Just be careful with meds and depression while you recover.
I'm 57 (2 months), female and over weight. My fusion was great, skilled surgeon's+ fast recovery. My only regret is waiting to many years to get it done.

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Well, all done.  Feel pretty good (the drugs talking).

Seems the bone graft involved very small pieces take with a syringe, or something - Not a large slice like I thought.  Don't really understand.

The part about screwing the fibula to the tibia with a long screw was incorrect.  Said the first doc (not a surgeon) wasn't up fully on more modern surgical technique.  Or, maybe that the way he fixed the fibula brings  things back into alignment?  Guy has great reputation as surgeon, but not the best at explaining - or maybe 10 minutes before operation wasn't best time to explain without visual aids?  I do know he did some kind of arthroscopic work on ankle  though.  Said I will have arthritis, but not as bad if it was  left untreated - but still worse than if dumbass me  hadn't waited 6 weeks!

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So, they just let the fibula hang there?  Did they reconnect later?

Been 5 days since surgery.  No significant pain after Day 2.  Cast is driving me crazy - itchy and confined.  Had it changed yesterday, but starting to itch again already.

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So, they just let the fibula hang there?  Did they reconnect later?
Been 5 days since surgery.  No significant pain after Day 2.  Cast is driving me crazy - itchy and confined.  Had it changed yesterday, but starting to itch again already.
Yes it just hanging there. It's not needed since the ankle doesn't bend.
That's great you have little pain. Surgeon did good! Follow your Dr's orders and continue doing well.

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Doctor's orders?  He said no weight bearing for 6 weeks.  Ok, it's been almost 4, and I have followed that.

Oh - he also said to leave cast on for four weeks (starting 2 weeks after surgery when they switched from splint to hard cast).

Well, that lasted a week, LOL!  Home Depot sells the same kind of saw they use (won't cut skin) for $30.  So - I just couldn't resist.  Returned to using the Aircast that they gave to use before the surgery.

I did warn and plead with the surgeon that I was a PITA patient, and I would likely cut a hard cast off.  He said that would upset him.  As usual, I think they did not believe I would actually do something like that.

Anyway, it feels great.  Foot gets swollen by end of day, and is rather numb.  Have not tried to flex ankle (because not supposed to).  Peeled a huge dead piece of skin off near incision yesterday.  Been in pool twice so far YEE HAW!!!

See other post about my shoulder.

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that makes no damn sense. left it hanging there, while they were in there should have just fixed it. i call BS on that one.

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that makes no damn sense. left it hanging there, while they were in there should have just fixed it. i call BS on that one.
Are you referring to my pics of my ankle fusion ?
Yes my fibula is CUT.

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