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What are the long-term problems due to immobilized ankle in plaster cast?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2000
Answered : 170 Questions
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Dear Sirs,
what are the long term problems when an ankle is completely immobilized in a plaster cast for 6 months the prevent movement of broken bone above the ankle joint.
Regards
Andy Chanter
Posted Tue, 24 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
 
 
Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 2 hours later
Dear XXXXXXX
Thanks for posting your query.

The long term effects of immobilisation in a plaster cast are primarily stiffness, muscle atrophy and osteoporosis in immobilised bones. I am somehow perplexed as to why is it only put in a cast and not fixed with some implants.

Anyhow, you will have to work on your range of motion. The early you bear weight on the affected limb, the sooner you get rid of the osteoporosis. These in turn will help gaining the muscle strength.

Hope this answers your question. If you need more help, I'm available for follow up.
Good luck.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: What are the long-term problems due to immobilized ankle in plaster cast? 43 minutes later
Dear Sir,
thank you for your prompt answer. with regard to implants there where none I have to tell you that whilst in plaster I fell and knocked my leg. As a precaution I went to A&E to have it checked out, the doctor there described my treatment in hospital as "ridiculous" his choice of word and put in writing in my notes.
I broke my leg on the 9th Feb 2010 and I still have pain and stiffness in my ankle and foot tendons.
I have have been back to see my consultant, and had a MIR scan only to be referred on to a Orthopedic surgeon with suspected arthritis!!!
My question is do you consider that this arthritis can be contributed to my accident and or treatment.

Regards
Andy
 
 
Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 2 hours later
Dear XXXXXXX

Thank you for writing back.

Ridiculous is an appropriate word. Why were you not operated in Feb itself when you sustained the fracture?

Let bygones be bygones and lets hope the fracture has healed. If it has, all you need is physiotherapy. The arthritis is very obviously due to the trauma. You may want to start the physiotherapy soon to prevent further damage to the joint.

Hope, this answers your query.

Wish you an early recovery.

Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: What are the long-term problems due to immobilized ankle in plaster cast? 2 days later

Dear Sir,
many thanks for your reply, I am interest in your statement that "the arthritis is very obviously due to the trauma".
Within the UK or the world is there a leading a authority that Orthopedic surgeons in general look to/respect and that would come to the same conclusion that you have.

Regards
Andy
 
 
Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 2 hours later
Dear XXXXXXX
Good to hear from you again.

I'm glad you found my opinion interesting. In any country including UK you will find a local and national orthopaedic associations. They are usually the authority over controversial decisions. But yours is a straight forward case of post traumatic arthritis which all authorities will agree.

Wish you an early recovery. Good luck.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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