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Fall - advice please

Hello, haven’t posted for a while. I wonder if any of you could advise please. Approx 2 weeks ago I had a bad fall. I was walking back to my car, one minute I was standing upright and the next flat on the deck. Totally stone cold sober. I spent all night in A & E - no fracture but ligaments tore apparently. Two weeks on and the swelling is only just reducing, the bruises are reducing from their vibrant shades of blue and black. In the past I have fallen, but the cause has always been obvious i.e slipped on ice, uneven footway etc. But there was absolutely nothing there to trip on (I looked). I have no idea what happened - and am a bit in shock about it tbh. To my knowledge I don’t have footdrop (not really sure how that manifests). I have mentioned the fall to my MS nurse - and she has just said to keep an eye on it and they can’t assess me at the moment as my walking will not be as my normal (i.e having to use crutches to get about). Can someone give me any advise please. I am going to private physio for rehabilitation of my ankle anyway. I am thankful my wrists were ok, as when I slipped on ice previously I broke one which has now left me with bad arthritis in it. I don’t want my ankles to go the same way. It has also left me feeling quite apprehensive. Not having the best of times with other things as it is and I didn’ t need this on top of other non ms issues.
thanks in advance.

This sounds just like my story only yours is very much worse!
Last summer I was out for a short walk on a warm evening. One minute I was walking with my husband and the next I was on the ground. I know I didn’t trip and on examination there was nothing to trip over. I was a bit bloodied and bruised but that was all.
My physio said that there were probably a few issues that caused it: the heat, the lateness in the probably meaning I was a bit tired, and the fact that I was chatting and not concentrating.
I can only hope he was right.
Really sorry you’re struggling and I hope life improves soon.

Thanks Moirah, I think you are right - I was probably a bit tired and it had been a warmish day. It’s just I can’t stop thinking is this just bad luck or is it my MS. I hope your physio is right as well. Mine has said he will give me exercises to help with balance positioning (not sure of the correct term) when the ankle has recovered enough -so hopefully that will work. I actually hired a mobility scooter for a couple of weeks as well - which was an experience in a lot of ways. I’ve also bought a fold up stick as well - as I’ve read people on here use them and I think it will come in useful for me. Thank you for taking the time to reply. Unfortunately, my mum has been diagnosed with myeloma recently and things aren’t looking particularly great at the moment. Hopefully circumstances will improve.

Hi Chatterbox,

Sorry to hear about your fall, they seem to happen so quickly and can leave us pretty apprehensive. I would stick with the physio and try to strengthen as much of your body as you can. The thing with some symptoms (in my case anyway) is that you might feel as if you are moving or walking as normal but the signals your brain is sending may not be doing what they used to do. In 2006 I was skiing; I was never very good but I was being particularly rubbish on this trip. I worked out that even though I thought I was lifting my leg a bit and transferring weight, nothing was actually happening. Later I had the same with foot drop, I thought I was lifting my foot but the stupid thing did not actually lift. My comment to you is be hyper aware of where your limbs are and not just where you think they are. (I can only do this for short periods as this conscious active thought process is pretty tiring) You may find that actual reality and how things feel are not 100% synchronised.
Just one of my random thoughts. I hope your bruises and damage heal quickly and that you are happily moving around with confidence very soon.
Mick

I am sorry that you had such a horrible fall. Once you get off crutches, may I suggest that you use two hiking poles while you get back to strength? They are very good for confidence and staying safe while you build up your muscle strength again after the enforced rest. I hope that life gets a little easier for you soon.

Aw, falling when you had no reason to has happened to so many of us. I remember falling over pre formal diagnosis. No reason whatsoever. I was embarrassed to go into the group I was training with bloody knees and hands. It didn’t give the greatest impression. But I was lucky then, I didn’t break any bones or do serious damage.

I like Micks idea of being hyper conscious of where your various body parts are. But suspect that’s easy to start doing but hard to do 100% of the time. The chances are that the 5% of the time when you’re not paying attention, whoops, there you go again!!

Alison’s idea of hiking poles is a good one. I don’t know that I’d have done it if I felt stable at least 80% of the time back when I ‘could’ walk without aids. Obviously there was still 20% of me that was a clumsy oaf. Who fell on the way into the library one day and had to beg the library staff for help with blood all over my hands. Or fell on the driveway of my house putting the rubbish out and landed on my chin.

I did have foot drop, it took quite a long time before I recognised it as such and got help for it. Strangely my local physiotherapists (I saw several) didn’t see it. I figured it out myself with the help of adverts for FES and other aids in the MS Matters magazine.

Eventually I got a stick. Then I got crutches. Then a wheelchair. The rest is history.

Hopefully you’ll get some good physio help for your current injuries. I imagine they’ll be able to assess your gait and identify any problems which are making you unsafe.

Best of luck.

Sue

Cor blimey Chatterbox, you’re not having a very good time. What an aweful experience!

It crosses my mind that no-one has mentioned vertigo, I’ve had that a few times, it comes with no warning and I just go down, hard, wherever I am. There is no rhyme or reason to it, it just happens. For a while they thought I had Meniere’s disease, but now they have excluded that.

Fortunately, it doesn’t happen too often; I can have three falls in a week and then stay upright for several years.

I hope the medics find the cause of your falls soon.

Wishing you well,

Ben

Hi
I am sorry to hear about your fall. I am afraid I have no explanation except I was once told that messages from my brain failed to get through to my legs! I have had several of these falls resulting in a broken finger, two black eyes where I hit a door frame, and nasty bruising. Three weeks ago I fell again when holding a cup of coffee. I found myself on my back still holding the handle of the mug (it shattered) and lying in a puddle of coffee! I had a badly bruised hip and elbow.

It has been suggested that I attend a falls clinic but as I have no warning and suddenly find myself on the floor I am not convinced this would be helpful. I attend a FES clinic as I have dropped foot.

Hopefully your fall will be a one off but a stick/walking poles might prove helpful.

Take care
Sue

Thank you for all your replies. I’m going to private physio, so will see how that goes. It’s just the ms nurse didn’t seem overly concerned and I wondered if falls did indeed just happen out of nowhere with ms, when things seem ok (but as you have all said you can’t always see how you are walking) It would seem they do from your responses and experiences. I managed to avoid getting blood everywhere as I was (thankfully) wearing thick trousers- I did graze my knee through them but that was relatively minor. I was also relived my wrist was ok this time. It’s as you have all said the worry it could happen again. I will take on board your comments. Thank you.

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Hi sue, I’ve read falls clinics are meant to be good. It’s my first fall without ( any know) cause. It sounds like you are incurring a few injuries unfortunately so might be worth investigating. Let us know if you go on one.

Hi, sorry to hear about your falls. I was good at falling before I became a full time wheelchair user! Don’t mean to sound fascitious! You say you wonder how foot drop manifests itself…I suffered with this before I realized I had it! When you walk, your brain sends a message to your feet to pick up…except in MS, the message doesn’t reach it’s destination. Your foot fails to lift and down you go! This is a very typical early MS symptom.