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Tibia Fracture - Recovery Time?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I broke me last week ... and I wasn't even skiing!! :(

 

 

Fractured my tibia when I slipped off a steep section of trail while hiking along the AT in western MA.  I've had surgery to insert a tibial nail to hold things together and have been told by my ortho to expect about 10-12 weeks.  The nail means I won't be in a full leg cast, but I still won't be able to put full weight on it for several weeks.

 

This is obviously a huge bummer coming as it does at the start of the season, but I still may be able to salvage some of the season in March/April.

 

Has anyone experienced a tibial fracture repaired with a nail?  If so, what was your recovery like?  Any suggestions for exercise to keep up strength and flexibility while waiting for permission to put my boots on and go skiing?

post #2 of 18
Oh no!!!!
post #3 of 18

Oh no Marty!  Heal fast!

 

Sorry, no experience with broken leg bones here...  I only specialize in broken arm bones  :o

post #4 of 18
I had a tib-fib spiral fracture at the start of the '10-11 season. Surgery, hard cast for a month, boot and PT through May. Was approved for an ultrasound device to promote bone growth since the break wasn't joining as quickly after the first 6 months. Wasn't cleared to ski until August. Still have the titanium rod (nail) though 3 screws were removed in Sept 2011, along with a bone spur that developed at end of the tibia.

Getting back on skis for '11-12 was great, though I needed several boot fitting sessions to adapt the the new shape of my leg.

Sounds like your recovery time will be better. Best of luck!
post #5 of 18

So sorry to hear the terrible news.  I'll miss skiing with you a lot this year.  No training for cert exams, just skiing with friends like you.

post #6 of 18

I think I'm probably the outlier case, but it took me 2 years to get back on skis due to multiple complications and severe pain when putting my leg back in a ski boot.  Hopefully your situation will be far better.

post #7 of 18

My break was a little more intense ~~Total destruction of ACL, MCL, meniscus, patella along with tibia plateau and tibia shaft fractures.

It took me almost 3 years before I could put a boot on and not scream in pain from the pressure the boot placed on my scar.

Once I got over that, I was good to go.

Biggest obstacle for me though was my brain ( I know, women are too much in their own heads) and not trusting that my leg would hold me.

Best of luck in your recovery!

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alison76 View Post
 

My break was a little more intense ~~Total destruction of ACL, MCL, meniscus, patella along with tibia plateau and tibia shaft fractures.

 

 

How'd you do that? 12 gauge slug?

post #9 of 18
Quote:
 How'd you do that? 12 gauge slug?

 

The most ridiculous way possible. You wouldn't even believe me if I told ya. ;)

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alison76 View Post
 

My break was a little more intense ~~Total destruction of ACL, MCL, meniscus, patella along with tibia plateau and tibia shaft fractures.

 

Ouch! :eek

 

That would definitely qualify as "more intense". 

 

My injury was "just" a broken tibia.

 

I can certainly see how the brain gets in the way.  Although I've got a titanium rod holding things in place, I still feel really uncomfortable moving my leg .. even though I know intellectually it's not going to move or shift, I can't get over that mental image of my bone in 2 pieces.  I've been cleared to start putting partial weight on the leg, which I know is the best thing for my recovery time but it's sure not easy trusting the leg to hold even a small portion of my weight right now.

 

Doc does say that the alignment is very good after the surgery.  There's a small concern about a bone shard, but he's hoping that will close up when the bone's fully knit back together.  I'm hoping that there's not much change in the leg after I've recovered ... although it may give me an excuse for a pair of new boots :)

post #11 of 18
My tibial plateau fracture happened towards the end of a season (March). I had a plate and 7 screws plus blown MCL and some damage to the ACL. I was back on snow in December. But I was not fully fit the whole of that season.

If you are cleared for partial weight bearing the situation is good, but you must get on and start puting some load on it. It will encourage bone growth and stop muscle wasting. Keep it moving as much as you can and do at least double the rehab prescribed. I did 2 hours of rehab a day for over a year.

Keep working hard and see how it goes. Even if you don't make this season, training hard will mean you are ahead of the game for next season.

Mark
post #12 of 18

I have 2 titanium rods with 16 screws in each and a whole lot of scar tissue holding my leg together so I know exactly what you mean about mental images.

I was NWB for months and moved from a chair to crutches to a cane and then on my own. I literally felt like I was learning how to walk all over again. My surgeon told me I'd never have the range of motion to walk correctly again.  To me, that was a challenge! I walked in for my one year post op in 4 inch heels and a mini skirt...showin' off my scar and showing him he was full of $hi#!

 

I didn't find physical therapy/rehab was giving me the results I was looking for. I was going 4x a week which was hard because I had 3 little ones at home and was a new single mom.

I scoured the internet looking for either an alternative treatment or something I could do in conjunction with rehab. I found a relatively new therapy called blood flow stimulation. It's EMR in the form of a knee wrap that helps to increase the blood flow to my knee in an effort to heal faster. In my research I found that a lot of athletic therapists use this therapy on their patients, many of whom are in professional sports. That's all I needed to hear. I ordered it, began using it and haven't looked back!

post #13 of 18

There are PTs out there that are actually worth something.  I finally found one after many years of really crappy PTs.  One of the things she introduced me to was Deep Needle Therapy (DNT).  DNT does amazing things for breaking up old scar tissue that's deep inside your injury.

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

No "old" scarring yet .. just the new stuff :)

 

I'm just doing some range of motion stuff right now on the doctor's orders ... my ankle and knee are still really tight. I'm sure it's partially lack of mobility over the 1st few weeks as well as the surgery.  Doc says no strength training just yet.

 

I had a pretty good experience with a local PT clinic after a shoulder injury a few years back.  Probably be starting formal PT after the new year ... hoping for the best.

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldEasternSkier View Post
 

No "old" scarring yet .. just the new stuff :)

 

I'm just doing some range of motion stuff right now on the doctor's orders ... my ankle and knee are still really tight. I'm sure it's partially lack of mobility over the 1st few weeks as well as the surgery.  Doc says no strength training just yet.

 

I had a pretty good experience with a local PT clinic after a shoulder injury a few years back.  Probably be starting formal PT after the new year ... hoping for the best.


Cold therapy will help with the stiffness. After surgery, you will have a lot of inflammation in the soft tissues from your knee to your ankle.

A bag of frozen veggies works great and molds to your knee, ankle, etc. Just limit treatments to 20 min on, 20 min off and make sure you have a barrier in between you and the frozen item. You can actually suffer nerve damage from leaving something frozen on for too long. Inflammation will be max after PT which would be an ideal time to use cold therapy.

 

I don't envy you  :( 

 

Good thing is that you know it will get better, the rest of us are living proof of that.  :)

post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldEasternSkier View Post
 

No "old" scarring yet .. just the new stuff :)

 

I'm just doing some range of motion stuff right now on the doctor's orders ... my ankle and knee are still really tight. I'm sure it's partially lack of mobility over the 1st few weeks as well as the surgery.  Doc says no strength training just yet.

 

I had a pretty good experience with a local PT clinic after a shoulder injury a few years back.  Probably be starting formal PT after the new year ... hoping for the best.

 

Good luck OES. Expect to miss you again on the hill this year....been too long.....

 

:(

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrstrat57 View Post
 

 

Good luck OES. Expect to miss you again on the hill this year....been too long.....

 

:(

 

Yeah .. it has been w-a-y too long :(

 

I was getting pretty stoked for the season before my injury and looking forward to catching up with old friends. Unlikely to be skiing this year (although if recovery goes well, I might get a little spring skiing in).  While we may not get a chance to ski together, I will be relying on you and SMJ for plenty of stoke in the Wachusett thread to keep me motivated!!

post #18 of 18

i almost just got hit by a suv at 60 k when i was tunning across an intersection to catch a bus 
NOT EVEN worth it mannn 
i was going to look at a place so i was homeless at the time too
the discharged me in 3 days 
i had a titaniam rod put in my tibia and my fbia broke too 
i almost jumped out of the way at the last seccond 
but no that fucker got me running a yellow so idn 
both tires over and both bone purtruding like 4 - 6 inch each 
foot just hanging muscle turn out 
well its been 2 weeks and im walking without crutches 
that said it was some fast stuff my 22 staples and stitches cme out after
1 week! man idn if im all hopped up on the half lives of my pain meds or if im healing 
it hurts sometimes but its actually not even bad just awkward to walk but 

when it happened man 
i feel it writting this 
i voculd have never imagnined pain like that 
now my whole body achy and shit it hit me in the side than almost ran my whole body over

luckly i fell away from the side of the bumper onto the pavement 
and chipped my elbow
its like it horrible i cant iimagine how all  you fellows feeel

TOTAL RESPECT 

  hats off to  yous      

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