/ Padding for broken ankle

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thomasat - on 27 Oct 2011
I broke my ankle in March. It's more or less fully mobilized now, however I have a big problem with the winter season coming up. I broke the "outer" bone, I think the medical term is Fibula (the bone facing "outwards"). I've had a plate with six screws mounted on to the Fibula. Problem is, when I wear shoes that cover the heads of the screws, they irritate the skin covering the heads. I've tried padding, but it does not do much good.

Anyone got experience with this or hints on how to solve this?
nniff - on 27 Oct 2011
In reply to thomasat:

Are the screw permanent? I had a plate taken out of my collar bone because it was incompatible with rucksac straps - it was wearing my skin away from the inside out. Two screws remain, but rucksac friendly.

There's not a lot you can do other than attempt to avoid pressure on it
thomasat - on 27 Oct 2011
In reply to nniff: No, the screws are not permanent. I can take them out early summer 2012.

I'm just afraid to lose the entire upcoming winter season...
nniff - on 27 Oct 2011
In reply to thomasat:

That's a positive. In my experience you need to work out some means of reducing the pressure on that point, or prevent the skin moving over the screws/plate. Tape, perhaps?
JudyB on 27 Oct 2011
In reply to thomasat: Hi, I have exactly the same problem (broke the end of my fibula at end of Feb, have plate and 7 screws), and was thinking of posting to ask exactly the same question! I may be able to have the plate taken out next year but in the meantime I'm a bit worried about the winter too.

My ankle is more or less fine now and I've been hiking in the mountains and done a few ferrata, but wearing low-cut shoes. Tried my hiking boots the other day and managed a reasonable walk, but it's really uncomfortable over the screws after a while, and I haven't tried ski boots yet.

Would appreciate any ideas too. Let me know if you come up with a solution.

thomasat - on 28 Oct 2011
In reply to JudyB: Sounds like you've got exactly the same problem as me yes. I've bought some foam padding now and my plan is to make doughnut shaped pads (with a hole in the middle) to put around the screws. Hopefully that will "isolate" the screws from the inside of the boot. Stay tuned!
ice.solo - on 28 Oct 2011
In reply to thomasat:

yeah, was going to recommend the donut idea too. can even buy such things.

ive evacuated a few people with fractured ankles (and its often the outside ankle that gets smashed) and weve used this, then kept the boot on as part of the splinting (and to protect feet from the cold, obstacles etc).
JudyB on 23 Nov 2011
In reply to thomasat: Any luck with the foam padding? Where did you find suitable foam? I've just tried my ski boots on and they really press on the screws, hurts just standing in the house.
baldie - on 24 Nov 2011
In reply to JudyB: Have had this problem for years with screws on the front of my shin. Have found the best material for relief is the foam from a good mouse mat between a liner sock and the main sock. cutting holes to coincide with the screws never seemed to work
JudyB on 27 Nov 2011
In reply to baldie: Hmm, thanks, mouse mat could be worth a try. If all else fails I'll just have to stick to snowshoeing this winter, or maybe take up cross country skiing (seems to have softer boots....).
thomasat - on 21 Dec 2011
In reply to JudyB: Update: I've been skiing five times now, all of them alpine touring trips. I bought new boots (Dynafit TLT5 Performance) and had them fitted with some extra padding where my screws are. I've since then tried both the mousemat and the donut pad, none of which works, if anything, they increase the pressure and pain inside the boot. Basically I've gotten used to the pain and at the moment I'm just sticking it out. It seems to be getting better each time, because the first time was absolutely agony. I think a fitting exercise is probably the best option, so that the thermoliner will have som extra space where the screws are.
JudyB on 21 Dec 2011
In reply to thomasat: Thanks for the update. Not sure I can afford new boots but a thermoliner with space over the screws would prob be the best option. As you say, extra padding over the screws just seems to increase the pressure... I went snowshoeing the other day but even with hiking boots it was really painful and is still a bit uncomfortable now. Glad to hear you're managing to ski, hope it keeps getting better.
kevin stephens - on 21 Dec 2011
In reply to JudyB:

Chirpodist felt: self adhesive felt padding in 2 thicknesses, available from Boots

I never got round to having my fibula screw removed; I've learned to live with them after more than 20 years

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