Talus fracture

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 alexiadr 12 Jul 2021

Hello everyone, I have fractured my talus on 18th of June during a bouldering accident. I fell about 13ft and my foot overly dorsiflexed & inverted when I landed funny. I have a type II hawkins injury (talar neck fracture with subtalar dislocation), with comminution (many small bone fragments). I have had surgery on it almost 3 weeks ago - 5 screws and 1 plate - and will be non-weight bearing until late September, 12 weeks after the injury. Risks of avascular necrosis and post-traumatic arthritis are at up to 50% for this kind of injury...

I was wondering if anyone has suffered a similar injury, and how the recovery process was for you? When were you able to walk on it properly, with minimal pain and functional impairment?

If anyone can share anything about the short and long-term issues they had and if/how they managed to overcome them, I'd be really grateful! Thank you!

 Jus 12 Jul 2021
In reply to alexiadr:

Hi, I had the same injury in 2003 with screws and a plate.

I was told I would be lucky to walk properly again, let alone climb, and be in pain etc.

About a year afterwards I was back to my pre-accident form. I never looked back after my accident and I have been climbing better and stronger ever since.

Good luck in your recovery - my tip is to seek as much advice and different treatment as possible, Osteopathy, acupunctre and physio helped me. Also do lots of route climbing, not bouldering, when you start climbing again.

Post edited at 21:29
In reply to alexiadr:

I broke my talus in June 2010 and had two screws inserted.  Was out of plaster/boot etc by October and was walking without a crutch and driving by December.  

I did get frustrated at times with the pace of recovery, but stick with the various exercises the physio gives you and be prepared to go try different things if you feel your recovery is stalling.  I went to a very good physio - a retired footballer who had had various injuries in his career and understood where I wanted to get to.

Still getting out in the hills and climbing - the only necessary adjustments are some over the counter painkillers and having to sit and rest in the evening after a long day on the hill.  No sign of the various long term problems that were mentioned.

In reply to alexiadr:

A lot of climbers have suffered this injury and you’ll hear about all sorts of different ‘outcomes’, at different times post-trauma.

My wife ‘did’ hers badly and I’ve got a good mate who’s just had further surgery on his ankle, years after the initial injury, in the hope of better mobility. 

My advice would be to seek out and see a specialist ankle surgeon privately if you can afford to (even though you’ve already had surgery). And get a good physio. My wife had a long recovery and effectively didn’t work for a year, focussing on physio/rehab during that period. Maybe she went over the top with it, but you’ve got to live with the injury for the rest of your life, so do everything you can now for the best outcome.

Good luck!

 david morse 19 Jul 2021
In reply to alexiadr:

I had a similar problem in 2007, see thread above. My ankle continued to improve for around 5 years after the accident, fairly consistent improvement at first then slower as the years went by.

I can still boulder if not too high, trad and sport climbing is fine. No highballs or anything where I might hit the ground or a ledge. Alpine/winter climbing was tough, one or two big days was enough. My balance is still really poor, I can run up and downhill offroad but not on the flat or on roads. I do however know lots of people who have made almost a full recovery from this injury. I was really worried about the blood supply returning but fortunately it did, I thought about having it fused but decided against it. If you have a look at my logbook from summer 2007 you can see how long it took to get moving again. Going to the swimming pool helped alot with recovery early on, and get yourself some nice walking poles for the first few months. 

Any more questions give me a shout, good luck

 JohnV 19 Jul 2021
In reply to alexiadr:

Regarding the avascular necrosis, do a little research into what you should / should not eat, to give it the best chance possible. No smoking, limited / no alcohol etc. 

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