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Injury Rehab (femur)

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Anyone have any good online resources with information regarding Femur Rehab?

Got the Ti Rod on May 5th, and my followup x-rays this Thurs, May 27th.

More on the accident will be coming when I have more time.. Nursing and bringing this injured website back has been my main focus for the past 2 weeks.
post #2 of 33
check out nutrition....

eg heaps more arginine needed to build collagen than body can make....

Also remember if they cut lots of holes in you that if the skin gets stretchhed it forms more scar collagen - so support the skin even after it closes for about 2 months so it can get strong but not thick & lumpy
post #3 of 33

Get better soon

Damn, Chan! Nice job. Ouch! Glades? Sorry dude. My buddy got through it, he might have slacked a bit on the re-hab, took quite a while, no major complications, another operation to get the rod out (my uninsured friends leave the Ti in, brag about their bionics, stupid). Good luck!, From your video you look too controlled to break the big bone. Maybe you should always ski like you're being filmed! Or was it a moment of Kodak Kourage!? Bro now skis better then he ever did, you will too, come back strong!
post #4 of 33
Correction, J's leg hardware is inside the bone, never an option to get it removed. and it was lower leg, not femur. M had the metal removed from his femur after the bone healed. I don't really know much details. J has several pieces of Ti in him. The latest, last week, a plate and 10 screws on his clavicle.
post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
My understanding is the Ti rod/nails are designed to be left in. After 2 years it would be evaluated on a case by case basis. If it's bothering you are causing enough discomfort, the option would be given to have it removed. It's not a matter of money or bragging rights but is it necessary? Removing the rod is major surgery and involves a second lengthy rehab so if it's not causing any problems it's usually left in.

Pins and plate's are a different matter because they can be removed with much less trama soft tissues. Removing a rod that's imbedded the full length of a femur is major.

As far as my status, the leg continues to get weaker and weaker but the pain is getting less and less. I go in for my 6 week x-ray Tuesday and will hopefully get the go ahead to start weight bearing and beginning to start to rehab the muscles. I have begun to stretch and do passive flexion and am almost to full straight and about 90 degrees of flexion.

It's more frustrating than anything. I hate depending on everyone else to get around. I know they keep telling me it's not a problem but I would much rather be helping others and not having them helping me all the time.

I keep getting up at night and having to remind myself to reach over there and get the crutches. Now that most of the pain is gone I swing my feet off the bed and start to stand up and a few times almost gone down because I forget I can't stand on my right leg. :

It will be so nice to get to put some weight on this leg...
post #6 of 33
It's so frustrating, isn't it!

I don't envy you at all! Glad to hear that things seem to be on track for you. I hope you are able to start the rehab soon and you regain full range of motion and strength and are back on skis for first tracks of the season.

We had a kid do the same thing on a ski trip this year. It was March 27th (the only reason I remember is because I was not there, I was at Bonni and Jeff's wedding at Stowe). He still is not back in school. I hear he is having major problems and had to go for a second surgery. In the midst of all this they found out that he is a diabetic which is negatively effecting the healing time.
post #7 of 33
The only positive thing I can say is that a broken bone usually heals much better than a torn ligament. Most health plans do not pay for enough physical therapy sessions, so your post rehab work will be very, very, very important. Some PTs also work as Personal Trainers. You may want to find out if yours does that.
post #8 of 33
April 24 I broke my wrist no big deal right? But I managed to tear ligaments, so I had surgery on May 5 also and had a plate put in. I have had a cast on now for 8 weeks up past my elbow on my right hand. What a pain in the neck. I hope to be getting the cast off some time this week and then begins the PT. Good luck DCHAN on your recovery process.
post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks LM.

I'm not sure about my health plan but I'll mention one thing for me and any other people that might help.

Something we talk about in teaching skiing, Desire plays a very high part of learning. I suspect that in rehab the same thing applies.

My desire is probably higher than most average people. I also have a brother inlaw that is a PT (sports speciality) as well as many good friends that are PT's as well. My wife and several of my friends are OT's so I don't think my wife will let me sit around. She doesn't want to have to take care of me: either so I'll be working hard on my own. If my health care does offer PT, I'll save those sessions for evaluation and access to specific equipment.
post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 
Alright! Doc says 50% weight or 70-80Lbs on my right leg

Time for exercises! besides walking any body got experience with a broken femur and what makes exercise more interesting?

no equipment yet (per doc's recommendation) but I got my thera-band and pillows for exercise on mats. The balance ball is replacing my rolling chair in front of the computer.

Look out world, here I come!
post #11 of 33
Originally Posted by dchan
Thanks LM.

I'm not sure about my health plan but I'll mention one thing for me and any other people that might help.

Something we talk about in teaching skiing, Desire plays a very high part of learning. I suspect that in rehab the same thing applies...
If my health care does offer PT, I'll save those sessions for evaluation and access to specific equipment.
I never broke a femur only a wrist that did not set correctly and had to be surgically reborken and reset. The total time it was disabled amounted to 16 weeks. The result was major atrophy of all muscles from hand to shoulder before rehab could begin. The best advice that I continually received from PT's and Doc's was folllow the rehab plan prescribed for me carefully. Don't do less but be very careful not to do more either. Either approch can negatively affect ultimate degree of recovery. Ask questions. If your plan doesn't include rehab., I would suggest that you pay to have a program prescribed and your progress monitored periodically. It will be worth it. As I uderstand the proccess, if you make a 75% recovery post injury when proper rehab could take you to 95% you will not later be able to pick up the additional 20%. Maybe some health care professionals here can validate or dispute that.

A broken femur can be fatal if an artery is severed as a result of the fracture. I am sure glad that you are still with us. Good luck with your recovery.
post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 
A month ago I was told to start 50% weight bearing. So I started to experiment with the bathroom scale and found I could support about 40 lbs. (far short of 50%) so I started hobbling around trying to get more weight on the leg.

Yesterday I got x-rayed again and now my Ortho says 100% weight bearing, No Impact or very low impact! And I can get a bicycle stand to start doing more exercise.

Continuing with the lifting leg against gravity (no weights)

And a PT friend looked at my flexion/extension of the knee. Think I got about 70-75% of my range of motion back. She commented that sometimes it takes a full year to get to 100% and I'm doing pretty good.

It's nice to be able to drive.
post #13 of 33
Dchan, Can you fill us in on what happened? I've seen a limited number of femur fractures and most involved collisions either with other sliders or immovable objects, although one was a young kid that got caught in a huge mogul trough--(huge relative to the size of the kid).

Just curious and "No" is an acceptable answer!
post #14 of 33
Glad to hear you are doing well and are able to drive again!

Skier_j http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=17525 tells where he was when he broke his femur if that helps.
post #15 of 33
Thread Starter 

Long explaination of what happened.

No problem.

I was taking my Level III exam at Mammoth in Early May. The snow couldn't have been much better for that late in the season. The snow had softened up pretty nicely but was not spring sticky slush (thank goodness). It was our third day of skiing hard and we had just finished lunch and were taking our warm up run before returning to teaching. As we sped towards the bottom making medium and short radius turns (probably doing about 25-30 mph maybe more at times) I just caught an edge and went down.

I find this is expected from time to time and usually I can recover or I just pop out of my skis and just have to dust off and put my skis back on. This time both skis released (that in itself is ok) but I just landed funny. I suspect my left leg got under me and my right leg came down on top of my left boot and snaped my femur.

I started to do my normal checks to see if everything was ok and looked at my leg and realized it was not "right". Just then my examiner skied up and I told her, "I'm not moving, I just broke my femur. You better call for a Patrol"

The patrol came in a few minutes called for the ambulance and proceeded to traction my leg, get me onto a sled. By this time the rest of my group had come around on the run and were watching the whole process. Suprisingly to me, I was in very little pain. I didn't need any pain killers or O2 and was pretty awake during the whole process. I joked with the patrollers a bit trying to keep my self from getting all depressed. so the sled guy joked back that he was going to ski me down "switch"

When we got into the ambulance I asked for a little Oxygen because I was getting a little light headed. Probably from being "head down", at High Alt, and losing some blood (bleeding internally into the leg)

They called ahead to the Hospital and told them we were coming in and as usual, they report my status, vitals, pain, etc. I found out from the ER nurses later that they radio'ed in Male, early 40's broken femur, no pain killers, ??? Oxy, and pain around "3" (which is what I think I told them during interviews) All the nurses were joking "pain "3"? that guy doesn't have a broken femur, He's just a wimp!"

When I arrived they looked and were almost in shock! After a few more interviews and exams, paperwork, etc they gave me a quick acting IV pain killer so they could get my boots off and wheeled me into x-ray.

I talked to the Ortho and we made the decision to do the TI rod through the knee and they checked how much blood I was losing and scheduled my surgery.

A few friends from my home resort got my Van and stuff down from Mammoth and made arrangements to get me home as soon as they released me from the hospital.

I was taken to Pre-OP around 7:30 PM and remember waking up around 11:30 PM in the recovery room. From there it was the usual waken up every hour for feeling check in the leg/foot, vitals, bathroom, pain check, etc.

By 9:00 AM the next day I had enough of the hospital and was trying to figure out when I could leave and come home. the Ortho came though to check on me and talk about the options. My friend came by ready to take me home and the nurse accelerated my antibiotic treatments so that I could leave. We arranged to get someone to pick up pain and antibiotic meds from the pharmacy.

The PT came in, and at my begging she got the nurse to remove the Oxy feed (it was very uncomfortable), she handed me my crutches and attached a belt around my waist so she could catch me if I fell. I swung my legs off the bed, stood up and started to get a feel for the crutches. She was kind of shocked that I was willing to bend my leg so much and was happy to see I didn't need much help moving around. We did the step climb to make sure I knew how to climb stairs on crutches and checked to make sure I was doing transfers to bed and chair ok. They finished up my IV meds and released me.

The rest has been slow and frustrating recovery.
post #16 of 33

Welcome to the club

While performing my duties as a UPS person *Politically correct* I fell on a 45% grade and cartwheeled down an icey hill for about 100 yards. I knew I was in trouble when my left leg felt more like a fence post than an appendage on each rotation of the rolling mass of brown.

After I was "discovered" and packed into an ambulance *an experience more terrifying than the event that caused the injury* (emergency vehicle parked on same offending 45% slope and medics strapped me onto gurney that threatened to turn into luge and merge into traffic, I was wheeled into the ER while exclaiming "UPS delivery".

No painkillers taken here either. I was worried about additional injuries to the battered body and I wanted to be able to analyze all input from adjacent appendages.

6 hours after admittance to the ER, I was informed by the OS who now drives a BMW acquired through increased income from my mishap, I had suffered the worst femoral break he had ever seen. The femoral neck had been shattered into 5 or 6 pieces and the only remedy would be to perform a total hip replacement.

I was also informed my skiing days were over.

I find it hard to type my response in its truest form, but it went something like....*BLATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT*

The injury occured on April 4, 2002. The 2002-2003 ski season was the first I had missed since I started skiing.

Rehab...rehab..rehab.....home grown, PT, relentless, with the help of many who helped mend my head as well as my hip. I would not let the doctors forcast of my future become a reality.

Yes, the road back is a bumpy one with many obstacles and detours...


It was all worth it!

I took my orthopedic surgeon's advise (to never ski again), and sold my Atomic Betarace 9.16''s

Then, I bought my season pass.


Fischer WS SC Worldcup boards in 155cm

And beamed when my ears heard from many.."You have never skied better" *GASP* YOU DID WHAT??!!!

The rehab is difficult, but it has its rewards. Do not give in to depression and keep thinking snow.

Then you can do as I; look back and wonder why even one thread of doubt ever crossed your mind!



PS Thanks Si !!
post #17 of 33
dchan, I remember seing you from the lift and thinking it was not that bad because you looked so calm. I did not even know it was you. As far as rehab is concerned, stick to your PT friends and doc advices and if you need some more advance program when you are functional again send me a mail and I will be happy to help you. We are not living that far after all.
post #18 of 33
having read Frenchie's posts, as a fellow fitness professional, I can only give him my highest reccomendation!
post #19 of 33
Thread Starter 
I'm up to 100 % weight bearing! Friends keep telling me "hey, you're walking pretty good!" I just smile and remark, "Nah, Getting there but it's still a hobble!"

I got the ok to start cycling on a training stand so I got to "cycle with Lance" during the tour. The trainer is set up in front of the TV so I would get up each morning and cycle for about 20 minutes while I watched the tour.

I can almost climb stairs but after I sit for a while it's painful to start walking for a while. Swelling is still a problem but I'm slowly getting better.

My range of motion is probably around 85-90% when my knee is at it's best.

Most of the time I'm moving around with no assistance. If I have a long way to go or the ground is un-even, I use a cane. The crutches are hung in the closet. YAY

Going to have to put my boots on just to do it!

post #20 of 33
Ouch! Femur fractures are some of the most painful inuries you can get.
post #21 of 33
dchan, how goes the recovery?

Big question, did you pass any part of the Level III, or at least the examiner you were skiing with? I mean a hit like that had to impress them.:

Hope you are back up and at.
post #22 of 33
Thread Starter 

Break Through!

After many months of working at it, (still not in formal Therapy but I suspect next month) I've reached a milestone!

I've been on a stationary bike (bike and bike stand), stretching, lifting light weights, walking, climbing stairs, etc.. I've been without a crutches for about 3 months, and without the cane for about a month.

This week for the first time, I've been able to stand and balance on my right leg enough to put on socks, shoes or pants without leaning on something.

post #23 of 33
Glad to hear the rehab is going well.
post #24 of 33
Good to hear that things are progressing,
Obvoiusly you should follow the advise of your medical team where you are & I am all the way on the right coast(& have no lic. in your state). Still if you have any questions as you get closer to higher level rehab & return to skiing shoot me an email...I have some exp. from a pescky job that pays for play in the mtns

Brian R Finch MSPT, PT, CSCS, CCCE
Senior Physical Therapist
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist
Center Coordinator of Clinical Eduacation
( 80 day a year skier & former coach/inst.)
post #25 of 33
Thread Starter 

This is where I wish we had modules instead of one long exam. PSIA West requires the whole exam in a 3 day format. I Might have passed the teaching portion except for the fact my demos's were not "spot on" I really didn't expect to pass but was going to give it everything I had. I knew where my flaws are and on a good day I could work them out. A great 3 days might have put me over the top. biggest thing is progressivly getting that high edge angle earlier in the turn. (it's really more than that but that's a simple way to explain it) I know what that kind of skiing feels like, it's just not naturally in my skiing yet. That one flaw trickles up into all of my skiing and helped me score mostly 3's in the skiing portion. Unfortunatly they didn't break down the tasks so I don't know how the tasks scores were but I am pretty sure some of my skiing tasks scored better. (side slipping, pivot slips, retraction turns etc)

The written was a pass, If I had one more teaching segment I might have been able to push the teaching high enough to get a pass. But that's the way PSIA W runs their certs so I'll have to go through the whole process again. Of course I'll train for the whole thing and hopefully this year I'll make the grade.
post #26 of 33

Sorry you didn't get any credit.

Your right, the module system here in the east is great. First you pass skiing then you are allowed to take the teaching and tech. Its the same for Level II.

We have another great thing, the Master Teacher Program. Its 20 days of classes with two exams. (Both on snow and in classroom courses.) When you pass, if you are a Level II you become a Master Teacher. Its a different pin. With it to get Level III all you need to do is pass the skiing portion.

They have several majors in the Master Teacher Program; Children's Specialist, Special Populations, Sport Science, and, new this year, Adaptive (There's a couple of others in there.) Great program that was aimed at the older instructor who may not be able to get to the Level III skiing, but wants to become a better teacher. I've taken a few of the courses and they are great.

When they offered the first set of in door courses they were expecting about 40 people, they got close to 120. (The response blew their minds.) Most of us attending had grey hair. Great concept for advancement. I hope other divisions pick up on it.

More info can be found at the PSIA-E site http://psia-e.org/direct.htm Its under Education. There's four "articles" about it including a list of courses.

Keep rehabbing and get stronger. Give the exam hell this year.
post #27 of 33
Thread Starter 

I just got back from the Orthopedic doctor!. I now have the go ahead to exercise/workout with no restrictions! The bone is not totally healed but it's far enough along that he is telling me to go back to normal activity. The only limiting factor now is strength and pain. He says listen to my body and respect the pain. Otherwise it's time to get in shape!

The bike is moving back to the basement so I can take it out riding!
post #28 of 33

Glad to see you're getting some light at the end of that long tunnel. Did the doc give you any perspective regarding the upcoming season?
post #29 of 33
Thread Starter 
He doesn't see any restrictions for me to ski this season. There will be one last evaluation in early December to verify. When we talked he asked what my goals were and I told him I wanted the ok to teach and he said unless something strange happens between now and December, I should be good to go.

post #30 of 33
Originally Posted by dchan
He doesn't see any restrictions for me to ski this season. There will be one last evaluation in early December to verify. When we talked he asked what my goals were and I told him I wanted the ok to teach and he said unless something strange happens between now and December, I should be good to go.

: Sounds great!!
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