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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Fitness, Health, Nutrition, Injury, and Recovery › Skiing accident resulting in 2 broken legs. Any advice and help please.
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Skiing accident resulting in 2 broken legs. Any advice and help please.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi, In a skiing accident on december 15th i broke both my legs overshooting a jump. What a way to ruin the season. Both lower legs essentially snapped in half. The left leg was an open/compound fracture and both my tibia and fibula were fractured completley. The right leg was not open however the tibia fractured completely twice and also i fractured the fibula. I had surgery on both legs when they inserted a rod into the tibia with screws at the top and bottom. I was transferred back to the UK from france after 9 days and discharged myself on 25th december. By this time i was no longer on any drugs and had and still have no pain. I have found a lot of info on healing times of broken legs but very little on people who have broken both at the same time. In hospital i did actually walk a bit on crutches but it was not easy. I am currently in a wheelchair but can easily move my ankles knees etc with no pain and am pretty comfortable getting about. I can stand if i hold onto something but my doctor has advised that i do not put much weight on them if i can help it. My follow up x ays are in a couple of weeks. Basically i just want to know what kind of timescale i am looking at two be walking on crutches? walking without? skiing again? etc etc

If its any help i am 20 years old.

post #2 of 14
Listen to your doctor.  If he/she says no weight bearing, don't do it.  Even if you CAN do it, don't do it.  There's a reason they tell you not to put weight on it. That time will come.   If he/she says PT, do it.

Moving your ankles is a good thing.  Ask if you can do leg presses.........I used the belt off a bathrobe under the arch of my foot to give some resistance and kept the knee and ankle moving.  You can do this while sitting.  You don't want any muscle atrophy.

Best advice:   listen to your doctor.  

Read this forum.  You can learn a lot from the mistakes of others.   You're young and that helps.  Us old poops never heal right. 
post #3 of 14
 My suggestion - www.ps3.com
post #4 of 14
i recently broke my left tib/fib but not both. for me my doctor said anywhere betweeen 12 weeks to 3 months. but i dunno how much having both broken changes things. im sure you're doctor will tell you the next time you see him if you ask. unfortunately, as you probally know, skiing is one of the more stressful activities we put our tib/fibs through so its one of the last things you'll likely be allowed to do again once you get better. but yeah listening to your doctor and PT is the way to go. also yourself and what your body is telling you. its good to push yourself on what you can do, but not too hard or it will cause more harm than good. also, it might be completely different for you, but i know with me swelling in my foot and leg caused a big problem for me at first, so one piece of advice i can offer is to make sure you try to monitor that and don't let it get to bad because once its there its hard to get out and it hurts a good amount. but i guess at this point you probably dont have to worry about it if it hasnt affected you yet.
post #5 of 14
At your age you should heal quickly.  I only did one ( at 47 ).   To be real, I think it's going to be at least a year, and then you may still see improvement for another year.   Hopefully you will have no hardware problems.   Good luck to you young man.  That must have been one hell of a jump!
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
 Jump wasn't the biggest thing ever but was by no means small, just had way to much speed and pretty much cleared the landing. Was leaning back and i just heard snap. Also my boots did not pop out of the bindings. Today i was managing to walk about on crutches very slowly with small steps. It didn't hurt at all and i'm not having any problems with pain in the legs or either knee and ankle. The doctor has said i can put a little weight on them but doesn't want me on the crutches to much but a small amount isn't to bad. Its been just over 4 weeks since it happened and i am getting sick of not being able to walk. My follow up x rays are in 2 weeks so i'm hoping the doctor gives me some good news though due to the severity of the breaks they might not heal without more surgery. Fingers crossed
post #7 of 14

26jc01, sounds like you are doing well, all things considered.  I could not step on my leg (doctors orders) for 12 weeks, which turned into 13.   I know how it is.  You are young so you have that going for you!  Take care, and hope you don't need more surgery!  

post #8 of 14
Very sorry to hear about your accident!
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
I would suggest reading Hermann Maier's book about his accident and recovery, "The Race of My Life". He was in a motorcycle accident and had many serious injuries beyond his broken (and nearly severed) leg, but he was also in a big hurry to get back to his livelihood. Hermann describes many times when he pushed things beyond what he should have done and regretted it...it might serve to help you stay patient with your recovery.
He came back to be a top notch skier again, too, so that's also a good message for you!
post #9 of 14

I broke a different part of my leg (femur) rollerblading and basically what happened is my legs are now different lengths. I applied some weight to it and to compensate my body created a bunch of filler material so now the broken leg is about 1/2" longer than the other. 13 years later I still have a weird walk/limp because my legs are different lengths.

Even if it doesn't hurt don't put weight on them because they could end up different lengths and then you will waddle like me forever :) You're young enough where your body is gonna generate a ton of bone material at the fracture points and so this is actually a fairly serious concern. Enjoy your time sitting around, get some books, etc. Just stay off them completely then when they're fully healed you should be able to go back to full activity levels.

Just my 2c
post #10 of 14
 My leg where I broke my femur is 1/2" shorter than the other.  I have learned to compensate for it and don't limp.  It took discipline for me to overcome that injury as I had no health insurance at that time and couldn't afford PT or follow up care for my leg after getting my cast off.  I'm strong now, but it took a while.  I ski at a pretty high level and don't use shims or such to compensate for the leg length discrepancy.  
post #11 of 14
yeah i compensate too but when i'm really tired sometimes the limp comes out =/
post #12 of 14
 It's been 20 years and I don't limp now.  That could be different  in another 20 especially if I keep skiing full time.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Recovery is goinng really well.Only problems i have and with my right knee, gets stiff sometimes. Lives getting back to normal now which is great. I had the screws in my knees taken out February 15th and was out of the wheelchair onto crutches then and now im walking without crutches, driving etc. Had some more x rays this week and the right leg is going really well. Most of the fractures in the left leg are also healing well other then one which is a large gap but my doctor is happy to leave it for another 2 months as its such a big break and still not that long since the accident. Im returnign to the gym today so will hopfully get some more strength back. Sucks that i can't so my normal sports like kitesurfing etc but providing i don't land on anything hard my docotrs happy for me to surf normally which sould be great once my legs are a bit stronger.

ts less than 4 months ago since it happened and i remember at the time thinking how badly i had screwed myself up. Never did i think i would be walking pretty normally again by now its awsome!!!

You can see the x rays from the day it happened here:
post #14 of 14
This is great news, 26jc01. Heal on!
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Fitness, Health, Nutrition, Injury, and Recovery › Skiing accident resulting in 2 broken legs. Any advice and help please.