Pain, No Insurance, Need Help

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New Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/21/2011 6:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone,
I've been looking for help and found this forum. I hope I can get some help/suggestions here. I broke my ankle 8 years ago when I was 32 after a fall. I had 3 breaks and a dislocation. I was taken by ambulance to a hospital and was looked over by the chief ortho surgeon. He said surgery would need to be performed because of the severity of my ankle fracture and dislocation. The next day I had surgery. I had a 5 inch plate put in on one side of my ankle and on the other side, 11 screws. After a week in the hospital and the swelling went down on my ankle, I was put in a cast that I had for 8 weeks. Right after the cast was removed, I started physical therapy and did that for 6 months (3 times a week).

So here I am 40 years old now and have been in pain ever since day 1. I still have pain every day with every step. My ankle still swells up every day. I saw the ortho surgeon frequently after surgery and saw him about 4 years ago due to the chronic pain. He said that with the amount of injury that I had, he would not recommend taking out the plate and screws and that I would be lucky if I didn't develop arthritis by the time I was 40. So I kinda just been "dealing" with the pain. But the pain has gotten to the point where I can't enjoy daily activities like taking my 18 month old for a walk in the stroller. Just walking around the grocery store causes extreme discomfort. I've become quite depressed over this also and know I need to seek help. But now I have no insurance and am kinda just stuck. I don't qualify for state/county aid due to my husband making $30 a week over the limit, which really sucks.

Has anyone else had ankle surgery with plates and screws? Are you having any pain? What are my options from here? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 5/21/2011 8:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Even though you do not qualify for Medicaid you may still qualify for financial assistance through your local hospital and many times if you see doctors who are employed by the hospital your bills will either be written off or totally reduced.

Some of the larger clinics also have programs to help people who are uninsured.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16757
   Posted 5/22/2011 10:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kitty, yes a very good friend of mine messed her ankle up really bad too and ended up with a plate and screws. Just like you she suffered every single day. Finally, she convinced the dr to remove all of the hardware and she did much better.

Most drs give a cash paying patient a discount because they don't have to mess around with filing insurance, the same with hospitals. Its sure worth checking in to. I would really expect you to get arthritis in your foot too.

Anyway, I wanted to pop on and tell you welcome aboard. Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1235
   Posted 5/22/2011 4:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Most areas have clinics with various specialty physicians who are paid on a sliding scale. If you have a community hospital, they may have the clinics run through them, and you would simply need to make an appointment to see the doctors. Most even have a pain management doctor that practices through the clinic as well.
And check with the state insurance program again- even if you don't qualify for one, you may qualify for another run by your state.
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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 636
   Posted 5/22/2011 9:20 PM (GMT -6)   
My mother had broken her ankle in several places, she ended up with plates, screws, etc... That was about 15 years ago and she still has pain. I think the doctors have told her its arthritis.

In regards to the meds, keep your eyes open at the various drug stores for their precription discounts. Walmart has $4 for 30 days as do alot of other places, I have seen this at Weiss, Walgreens, Giant just to name a few. The lists arent to big but some things are helpful. It is cheaper for me to do this that to go thru my insurance company sometimes. Also many pharmacutical companies have patient assistance programs. Frequently you can get meds for free if you dont have insurance.
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