Broken Bones :: Tibia/Fibula Rehabilitation
May 6, 2014
I'm a 22 year old male. On March 18, I broke both Tibia/Fibula bones in my right leg while playing basketball. The fracture was diagnosed as a displaced oblique fracture of the tibial shaft. The break is located fairly close to the middle of the bone, maybe just a little closer to the ankle. I had surgery on March 25, where an IM rod was placed in with two pins each above and below the break. Three weeks after surgery, the orthopedic surgeon told me it was okay to bear partial weight on my leg using crutches. It is May 5 (6 weeks post-op), and I have been walking around using my injured leg with the assist of crutches for the past two weeks. I have also been loosening my knee/ankle, and using foam rollers to loosen up muscles in the injured leg. I have no serious pain, just small amounts of swelling throughout the day. I was just wondering if weight-bearing on the injured leg is okay considering it is an oblique fracture. Is it normal to put weight on a fracture so early after post-op? Also, when do most people who experience a fractured tibial shaft begin to start driving again?
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Thank you for any advice and help in advance.
Background: I suffered a closed spiral fractured tibia and fibula about 1/3 up the leg in a skiing accident exactly 6 weeks ago. The fibula has a bone fragment at the break and looks as though two points of the fibula are touching with the fragment rotated 65 degrees in place. After IM nailing the tibia and leaving the fibula as is, I was put in a walking boot and given crutches, I ditched the crutches after the first 2 weeks and have been in the walking in the boot around my campus slowly but surely as instructed. I'm 21 years old and was fairly active (gym, basketball, skiing regularly and some occasional running). At 4 weeks, I started physical therapy for mostly range of motion of the ankle and some small exercises for thigh muscle. My first X-ray will be this week and the Orthopedic Surgeon ideally wants to take my boot off at the 7 week mark. I have been doing everything I'm told my Surgeon and in my PT. My goal is to be able to sprint/run/jump as soon as possible and at least by next year. My ankle is still swollen (not bruised but swollen), I would say I have maybe 30%-45% range of motion and my knee gets tight if not active for awhile, but no pain usually unless I walk A LOT during the day, which feels like having very bad growing pains with soreness.
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1) Generally is this the speed a usual Tib-Fib fracture progresses in terms of recovery?
2) My Surgeon tells me that fibulas will "heal on their own" and that "They are not that important anyway" even with the fragment, but if my fibula doesn't show signs of recovery should my boot still come off? Or should I seek a second opinion/surgery?
3) Could my early ankle ROM exercises have impaired my fibula healing process?
4) How important is a second opinion if it eventually looks like the fibula is not healing? (I believe my surgeon would tell me to take boot off and walk or just wait for healing to start)
5) Generally how long is it before someone like me is able to do leg curls, swats, leg lifting, and distance running again?
Thanks for reading! Lmk if you have any questions or comments!
I broke my fib and tib on January 22nd, nearly 23 weeks ago. The fracture was treated conservatively, in a long leg cast for 6 weeks. After 1 week, x rays showed angulation, and wedges were applied in the cast. This seemed to be successful, as there is no evidence of malunion. After 6 weeks, a sarmiento cast was applied and 50% weight bearing initiated. At 12 weeks, x rays showed healing was being slow and after a further 4 weeks in a second sarmiento cast, at 16 weeks, although there had been some growth, it was deemed necessary to have a further 4 weeks in a Miami cast. At 20 weeks, the registrar was of the opinion that healing was still no adequate, and a CT scan is being arranged. Options suggested if there is evidence of delayed healing, are: bone stimulator or bone graft.
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There is no pain on standing although there are some occasional twinges over the fracture when walking. Weight bearing has now been increased on advice, to 70%. I always use a walker.
I have a spiral fracture of the Tibia. It has been fixed with a plate however the surgeon left a gap in the bones. (This gap was not present in the original x-ray prior to surgery). After 12 weeks there is no sign of the bone healing. I sort a 2nd opinion & was advised that the bone is unlikely to heal because of the gap & further surgery was recommended to join up the gap & possible a bone graft.
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What is the conventional thinking on this? Should bones be fixed touching to heal?
I have broken my tibia just above the ankle I have had a steel rod inserted through the bone and it has been two weeks since the operation and doctor has told me I can start walking with crutches. Still unsure how much weight I can put on it and what to do to help it heal?
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About two weeks ago I had a nasty tangle with a rusty old swing set, and to make a long story short, the swing set kicked my butt and gave me a spiral fracture in my tibia (about halfway down my shin) and a hairline fracture through my fibula (right up near my knee.)
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I've got the sucker casted and have been staying off of it, but recently had a nasty scare. I fell off my front porch (about three feet from the ground, which is solid concrete where I was sitting,) and only managed to keep from seriously hurting myself because I knocked my poor cousin over as he was walking by.
Again, I'm fine, but it got me to wondering: How likely is it that, had my cousin not been there, I could have broken my leg despite it being in a thigh-to-toe cast?
I faced an accident one month ago and broken my tibia and fibula of right leg... i was operated with a rod surgery.. a rod and 3 nails were placed.. please tell how much time it will take to recover... and after how much time i should go for a xray...
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I broke my ankle 3 weeks ago now by rolling out wards stepping down a step I broke my tibia and fibula think it is a bimalleolar fracture? I had a half cast on for a week then a full cast and after a week put into an air boot. I have struggled to put weight on my foot and still need the crutches but tonight examining my ankle I've noticed I still have lots of bruising and swelling on the able it also looks deformed like a bone is sticking out prominently and feels hard to touch there is still pain and I also can't bend the last three toes on my foot.
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I'm really concerned this isn't normal and the ankle isn't healing properly or the cast was taken off too soon does any one have advice? There was concerns I would need surgery but was given the all clear last Friday. I've also been discharged by the fracture clinic for no follow ups which I thought was also strange.
Dec 2012 I broke my fibula in 1 place, my tibia in 2 and shattered my ankle.
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I have had 2 surgeries and currently have one 10 inch plate, one 12 inch plate and 19 screws in my leg.
I realize I am only 9 months into recovery. My surgeon and pain management dr both have said the typical recovery is 18months to 2years or longer.
My question is this.. can the screws become infected or have issue at this point in recovery? While the majority of the pain is obviously deep bone pain, I have no feeling on half my leg and the other side the nerves go crazy and fire at random times.
However the last month I am feeling this weird pressure high up on the tibia plate where 4 screws are located. It is definitely warmer than the rest of the area and a small swollen area.
I still have major issues walking and stretching, but the last few weeks the largest area of discomfort (besides the ankle which is always there) is high up on the tibia where I mentioned.
I saw my surgeon two days ago and he said x rays did not show any issue with hardware and it is probably just my bone and muscle getting used to walking again.
I broke my tibia and fibula while playing soccer 7 weeks ago. I had an IM nail and 4 screws put into my tibia. I recently had my full leg cast removed at 6 weeks, and the doctor told me I could start partial weight bearing (25-45 lbs).
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My question is, when the doctor said 25-45lbs, is that because that is the most that my bones can take? Or can my bones take my full body weight at this point? Is my doctor simply taking into account the fact that my joints and my muscles will be very atrophied (which is true)? So can I simply start bearing my full body weight as soon as my joints and muscles let me?
I also got a walking cast, but I do not enjoy using it. Do I have to use it? I can just be careful when I'm outside.
I meet with an accident on 24 sept and and my left leg broken both tibia and fibula at the lower end and I gone through a surgery .
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It is almost 12 weeks now I want to know that my doctor is telling to remove one screw from the upper part of the rod. Is it a good decision or not as my broken bone is not yet joined totally and there is a pain at my toe also.
I broke my Tib and Fib near the ankle on January 18 (two days before this post) and it's been ok. When it itches I use a blow dryer in cool setting to blow it, and apply ice to it every few hours. I'm trying to keep it above my heart, but it is very uncomfortable and I can't find a proper position. It's a little tight around my ankle, but it's manageable. Any tips for me guys?
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About 7 months ago I broke my femur, fibula, and tibia in a MVA. These past 7 months have been brutal to my mental health for the reason that I led an active lifestyle. So I've been through tons of PT and home exercises, bike riding in the past 4/5 months to try and get back my normal life. I've progressed tremendously. Been to the orthopedic doctor also and he said my bones are looking good and were pretty much healed. That was about a month ago.
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If it's useful I have a rod from my hip to my knee with 6 screws in it. Then I also have a three inch plate down on my fib/tib with some screws in it as well.
So my question is, when will I be able to start skateboarding again normally. I've been a skateboarder for ten years so I do know what I'm doing. I can "ride" my board quite well. Anytime I start trying tricks though my lower leg has pain from the impact of jumping.
Is it just a mental and physical block from my body that I have to slowly progress out of or does there need to be more time before I start going at it again. Maybe because my lower leg needs some more time?
On April 30th of this year I broke my Fibula & Tibia in a work related accident. They had me in a External Fixture for four months which meant I had to hop around on one leg using a walker (My youngest likes to run around so I refrained from using crutches)
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Now over time three of my toes (the middle ones) were starting to curl down, which I suspected was due to gravity just messing with me, but now I've been able to just have my foot on the ground for a while and to no success they remain curled.
Now when my foot is non weight bearing I can stretch my toes (By hand) just fine without it giving me too much trouble except for the fact it will slowly go back to position.
When the foot is planted on the ground the toes are way harder to straighten... Anyone have an idea what's going on.. The doc keeps telling me it will be fine and my therapist says it's something she's never seen before and can't really explain it.
On 2/1/14, I broke my tibia (spiral, slightly displaced) and fibula falling off a motorcycle (not at high speed). OS said I didn't need surgery and on 2/3/14 I had a long-leg cast put on. I developed blood clots from the leg which shot to my lungs and OS removed cast early on 3/5. I am now in a walking boot, although I cannot bear weight just yet.
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I'm worried about the bone not healing or fusing properly since I am no longer in a cast. Will there be longer healing times since I am no longer in a cast?
X-rays were taking on 3/3 and OS says the bones are back in place nicely but no fusion.
Hey I play tennis to a good standard November 15th I fell whilst playing tennis and completely fractured my fibula and tibia and another smaller bone that sits at the top of the ankle I also tore most of my ligaments in my ankle but no my ankles ...they placed 10 pins in it and had to cut through all my torn ligaments to do so how ever I have two out just before christmas and yet not one surgeon or doctor can tell me how long my Recovery will be and if I'll be able to play tennis again also playing tennis means that 3-4 times my bodyweight goes through my ankles and knees when I change direction so can't leave the metal acres in at all any guesses ???
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I have broken my tib and fib -(think it's called a bimalleolar fracture?) I did it on a pair of high heels at Xmas party, stupid or what? I climbed up one step and it was gone over, my future for next however many months mapped out for me I a nano second! I have the usual metal plate and screws like many of you folk in here. I had my cast off on Monday and went to a physio today who advised me to not use the airboot and "try " to use just the crutches in the house and airboot outside. I a m confused as the consultant at the hospital said keep boot on for two weeks then ditch it AND the crutches. I am really confused, I want to push myself but don't want to do any damage. I am so down, fed up and FRUSTRATED? I have been given exercises from the physio man which he said to do every couple of hours and push through the pain as he said it needs to get moving ASAP. My ankle is so swollen, STIFF and painful. I just don't know what advice is the best? I am 49 WAS fit doing spinning, gym, swimming and lots of classes.
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Broke fibula and tibia Feb 17, 2016. Had surgery March 1, and had 2 screws put a n fibula and a plate on tibia. After 8 weeks in cast and NWB I am now in a boot. I am doing exercises for therapy but after walking on it for about an hour leg hurts and ankle and foot swell. Also get sharp twinges now and then in ankle area. Has anyone else had these problems and how long before you can put full weight on it and be able to work. I'm a waitress and have to be on my feet for 4 hours or longer without sitting.
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last year on 30th November I had an accident and resulted my right leg both bones tibia and fibula are broken “ just above the 5 inches from the ankle”. I went to a hospital which is located to near my home and met doctor , after watching my x ray doctor said its a compound fracture nd asked me to have an road fitment surgery. As me and my family was not having any experience about any fracture so my parents decided to meet more doctors for consultation.
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They forwarded my x ray to some more doctors and one of my relatives references 1 doctor replied in this case we don’t need to have an surgery. Me and my family was believing into that if Doctor is saying there is no need for surgery then why should go for surgery by our self.
We followed this doctor , and he treated my leg with the help of “C ARM Machine” technique and the given alignment treatment to my broken leg by pressing hard by his hands many time . he casted my leg fully with the plaster and asked me to meet after 2 months.
After 45 days of my accident i went to that hospital which is located to near my home for x ray , suddenly that doctor( who suggested me road surgery) came in front of me and i met him and shown my latest x ray. He replied i asked you to have an road fitment surgery ,now as per your x ray your bones alignment is done properly, may be your leg can fall on land wrongly and may be i cant walk in right shape like before and may be will give you pain for long time also. He asked me i still can go for surgery...he made me confused fully......i hate this
I was worried....after 2 months ..i met my doctor again and told him everything and said some other doctor is saying this....he have seen my latest x ray( 2 months xray) and replied everything is perfect , there is only little angle difference and that may not result you all these things ....its acceptable. He said that doctor is misguiding you and want to make money through surgery only. There is no need for surgery that's why i did this best treatment for u, even your bones alignment is almost about 85 % and it cant be more better than this through this manual process treatment.
I was panic thats why very next day i went back that hospital’s doctor and asked him to do road fitment surgery and shown my 2 months x ray , this time he taken his step back nd replied its 2 months passed already now don’t go for surgery it may not give that much of good results as my fibula bone is already healed. He said there are few chances only ...or may be everything will be alright also......he made me so confused....i hate this......
So i trusted again my old doctor nd decided to follow him nd next day went back to him...he cutted my old full leg plaster fully and casted new plaster till my knee only...he asked me to move my knee slowly slowly by using sitting on chair, he told me i will feel some pain because my knee is not in working mode for past 2 months...he asked me if i want to walk then i can use crutches by pushing my broken leg little up.
Now 15 more days has passed ...totally 10 weeks ..........i don’t know whats going ...i am trying to move my knee by some exercise nd it was paining in the starting .....but slowly slowly its moving better nd pains little when i start exercise for first 5 minutes only .
Still i am worried internally ....i want my leg as before ...don't want to walk in any wrong shape...i just recently got married nd having my full life ahead.....kindly tell me how much more time it will take to heal completely...and when i will be start walking normally....plz give your comments about alignments of my bones also...i m attaching my 2 month x ray pic in my profile , want to attach in the main body but not able find this option
Last February 11, 2014, I fractured my leg (distal tibia and fibula). My doctor calls it Pilon Fracture. Spiral comminuted fracture of the distal tibia and fibula involving the articulations.
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February 15, 2014, I went through MIPO (minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis). 4 weeks(March 11) after the operation, my doctor advised me to put some weight on it and so I did. 4 weeks(April 11) later, I had an xray and it appears like nothing's changed from my 1st x ray 4 weeks ago. I tried to put more weight on it but surprisingly, it doesn't hurt nor caused me any discomfort.
How long does a distal tibia and fibula fracture that went through MIPO heal? Exactly when would I walk again without my crutches?!
So glad to have found this blog. Going a little nuts here in New York City. Broke my fibula and tore my syndesmosis on February 16 while skiing in Italy. Emergency room and stabilizing cast there and managed to get back to New York where I had surgery on February 20. March 8 the cast was removed and replaced with an air boot. Unfortunately, I can't be weight bearing for a total of eight weeks because of the syndesmosis tear. The long screw for that comes out at week 12. I've managed to do okay with a rolling 'knee walker' but approaching week 5 now and getting mighty depressed about all of this. Hardest thing I've ever been through. Can someone tell me what to expect after week 8? I'm scheduled for home rehab but when will I actually be able to walk normally again.
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