After nearly 40 years of fracture-free skiing I had a pretty nasty boot-top tib and bib break, plus the bottom of the tib at the ankle kind of broke apart too. I blame old-school technique on modern shaped skis (AC4s) and crappy integrated bindings - but that's another story.
The surgeon's view was that the metalwork would be in for life unless it caused problems. I bought new skis from my hospital bed on the 'net [Scott Aztecs - still got 'em, still love 'em, but just ordered a set of Missions on-line yesterday]. Main reason for the ski change was I wanted to choose the bindings and I wanted a diagonal upwards toe rellease, that I think would have addressed the issue first time round. Reason for the ski/binding change was it struck me that there's no reason I shouldn't find myself in that particular position again in terms of ski angle, twist etc., and so no reason not to expect the same outcome on the same gear. It's worth thinking about though - quite apart from boots, will you trust your current ski/binging combinmation again. First time out on new skis I had regained 100% trust in the new/different equipment.
OK, as to boots, I had similar thoughts there too. No point in putting pressure on the spot that broke so as soon as I was relatively pain free I went shopping with the main aim being finding boots with a different height, and then getting comfortable. In the end I moved off my trusty Langes to Salmon Impact 10s.
I had the break in April, and was skiing again [indoors ina snow dome] in October I recollect. No real problams for for short stints [one hour sessions] not too painful with just standard boots. But once the season proper started in December I was getting real pain and really had to ski with pankillers. The only solution I found was with home-made 'foam' inserts to take the pressure off the area with the metalwork and on to the surrounding less painful bit of leg. I messed around with all sorts of things but the best solution I found was these neoprene add-in tongues. I butchered one to take the pressure off and it was fine. I should add I also bought a pair of Intuition liners as I guess the overlap/no tongue would be better but they were too hard and even more painful than the original liner plus neoprene bits.
The main focus is skiing pain-free and that just comes from experimantation. The pain I had was the flesh over the metalwork and some days after skiing it looked a real mess under the skin. Rub-in ibuprofen cream also helped.
I only missed 1 ski-day in total, as the break was the 2nd last day of the season, and I was skiing again the next. Apart from discomfort I was skiing the same as before in all conditions.
But I was real keen to get the metalwork back out. I've got a feeling that surgeons, while skilled at their profession, don't always grasp basic engineering. I was told on a number of occasions that the tib with the plate would be stronger with the plate than without. What they seemed to be missing was that the introduction of screw holes added new weaknesses at these points. But I never got rid of the pain completely over the plates and eventually they agreed to remove the metal alltogether. I had this done last summer, and so skied the 09/10 season metal-free and pain-free again; just normal boots and no extra padding. I still have some troble with swelling in the lower leg when I'm not skiing as I damaged a few of the valves the control the blood supply, but I'd say I'm skiing now exactly as I would have been doing had I not had the break...if that makes sense. BTW I'm 53 now so things maybe take longer to heal than young folks, but on last years 'boys trip' to Chamonix despite being the oldest I could ski harder and longer than anyone else on the trip - so there's certainly no long term problems. I also 'raced' the wife down the gunbarrel at Heavenly last year - she took the tram, I skied and got there first No bumpmeister or superstar, but the leg works fine.
To summarise - I'd get new skis and top-of-the-line bindings and found the most comfortable boots I could get where the tounge missed the wound/metal and the height was different. Prepare to ski with no restrictions on what you can do with the metalwork in, but you can expect pain for anything over a couple of hours, or bumps...and ruts were especialy sore. Get the metal back out and then you should be 100% back to normal and pain-free the next season.