- October 1, 2013 at 7:43 pm #237
A place to write and share your story. Get your troubles off your heart and show others they are not alone.
- September 10, 2019 at 2:31 pm #110474
- December 24, 2017 at 7:00 am #110419
- February 25, 2015 at 9:49 pm #6183
I did not know during the early months of my misery that I would be blessed with such a wonderful recovery. Now, I want to share knowledge and encouragement with those who are just starting the journey to recovery.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by shlomi.
- February 20, 2015 at 9:46 am #6153
Thans so much, Francine and Eileen. I have been a bit pushier with the doctor and am making sure I’m seen. I got arm weights and am doing those exercises you suggested. It’s nice to hear from people who understand. I hope you guys are doing okay xxx
- February 17, 2015 at 3:44 pm #6144
Sorry to hear about your injury. It does take time to even realize this is not a dream. I found laying on my back so hard. My butt felt like it would fall off. Do eat healthy, you will find that you do loose weight. I believe this sight says it takes 3000 calories a day to heal a broken bone. These are the leg exercises I understand a person can do. 1) ankle bends, and circles with ankle 2) stretching toes 3) straight leg lifts. 4) carefully bringing foot up and bending the knee.
It has been about five months since I fell and I am much better. Not like I think I should be, but I can walk about a mile. Still limp when I get tired and my foot bothers me more than the leg.
Hang in there and be sure to go to physio once you are weight bearing. They seem more helpful with recovery than the surgeon.
- February 17, 2015 at 3:49 am #6142
You will feel much better after you can begin weight-bearing again. Meanwhile, grief is normal. Try to do your best each day. Eat healthy, exercise what you can, talk to people who care.
I am fortunate to have a PT who is committed to my full recovery. Try to get the best assistance you can.
- February 16, 2015 at 12:10 am #6138
Hi all. I am a new TPFer!! A very reluctant member of this club. I am so glad I came on here. It has been about a week and a half since my operation and I have been in a sort of day dream about it, not even owning the experience. Just sort of slumping watching tv and feeling utterly depressed leaving behind a full schedule of work and friends to… this. I was cycling to work on 3 Feb in the snow like a genius and I hit an icy slope. I put my right leg down to steady myself but it ended up being wrenched and turned around with the bike. The pain was such that I didn’t even register hitting the ground. After sitting in the road for 10 mins in snow minus shoes and gloves I was picked up by a passing taxi.
I deep down knew it was serious but played it down – until the xray came back. Even then it didn’t register and all i could think was ‘arthritis’. I was at the JR in Oxford and they operated the next day – a metal plate and 6 screws. I left hospital after a week. The physio told me a few exercises to do but I was mostly clueless until coming on here and reading your stories. All i have been doing is rotating my ankles and doing bum clenches. That isn’t enough, is it? I am slowly coming to the realisation – right now – what lays ahead. I spent 10 minutes crying before writing this. I am an events manager and so I can do the desk bits from home and I was concentrating on that rather than recovery. Someone mentioned on here that recovery is a full time job now. Does anyone have any tips for me? I’ll have another 4 weeks with no weight on the leg and I am just in the dark about what comes after that as my next hospital appointment is the day before I am due to put weight on again. That’s a long time to leave me alone.
Also, I am overweight and I want to lose fat to make recovery easier – it is a contant battle. Do you think it would be safeto do the 5:2 diet alongside recovery?
I am babbling now so will sign off. Thank god for all of you! But obviously wish it were not so!
- January 6, 2015 at 7:56 pm #4695
My story is probably better than others…
100% ROM by the time 12 weeks rolled around …
used a walking crutch for about a month…
passed physical therapy, did my exercises.
i can’t believe it’s over!!! it will never truly be over, but the hard part, im back to work, walking, little to no pain even with the weather change. Cheers!
- December 31, 2014 at 4:37 pm #4644
Wishing you all a happy and accident free New Year. My tpf was on 18th Sept ( collision with one of my two choc labs) and I had surgery on 22nd Sept. Today I was out walking with my dogs and feeling so thankful that I’m so nearly able to do all I used to do. I still wear my leg brace when I’m out and I use a walking pole BUT I feel I’ve come so far from those early days when I felt I’d lost all my independence. I still have pain and it’s likely I ‘ll need a knee replacement sometime sooner rather than later, but for now I just feel thankful.I really appreciate all who have shared their stories and progress on this site. You’ve given me comfort and encouragement. May 2015 be a good year for you all.
- December 29, 2014 at 11:39 pm #4605
Sandra, Catherine, Francine, Susan, and all,
I wish you a happy New Year with much encouragement. I am six months into my TPF and just had a plate and nine screws removed. Ten days after surgery, I am walking without pain and without crutches. I had good mobility going in and am hoping to run again about one year after the injury. I have found faith that sustained me through the dark times–it was really ugly spending the summer on the sofa!–and I want to encourage fellow TPFers to keep going, because it does get better.
- December 27, 2014 at 9:52 pm #4547
My fracture was also in Sept. Had 2plates and screws. Was weight bearing at 6 weeks, but still fund it difficult to walk. Have a a ROM of about 108 degrees and am working on it. My bottom of my foot is still sore. Am not sure why, but after reading it sounds quite common. This does get depressing after awhile, but we just hve to hang in there. Happy New Year to you.
- December 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm #4500
I hope you are all recovering well. Thanks for sharing your stories. I also sustained a Tibial Plateau Fracture and had surgery (Plate and five screws with bone graft and meniscus repair) in September. Happy New Year, may 2015 be better for us all. Catherine
- November 15, 2014 at 1:07 am #3633
Hang in there, it will get easier. Remember, the mind is a powerful thing, so don’t let yourself doubt recovery. Be gratefule for each day’s success, no matter how small they seem. They all add up! I am now about 15 weeks post op. Full weight bearing with about 120 deg of bend. I can’t walk very far, yet. However, the word we all need to remember is “yet” – because tomorrow ther will be more improvement. This injury will test your patience, but it WILL heal.
- November 8, 2014 at 6:52 am #3550
Donna – I so admire your positive attitude!! I am 7 months out and still having a fair amount of pain no aching and some major clicking from that knee but your attitude after having not one but two TPF is a great inspiration! Thank you for your story.
- October 28, 2014 at 12:13 pm #3360
I am almost 8 weeks on from my tpf.I managed to get it at my youngest daughters 30th birthday party.We had a marquee set up outside with barbeque,tables & benches & everyone was having a wonderful time.
We were playing a team game and our side won.
In the ensuing celebration one of the lads grabbed me and we were jumping up and down when he fell over & landed on me with my knee hitting the edge of one of the benches with his weight on top.OUCH!! That was the end of my party but it provided lots of jokes for ambulance & hospital staff.
Have spent 6wks in full cast & I am now almost 2wks in hinged cast and struggling to bend my knee again.Having been a very active 51 year old and always busy doing something,I have really struggled emotionally with the never-ending inability to do very little.
My husband,family & friends have been fantastic but I still find it hard as they are all busy with life,work etc.It seems like months instead of weeks since it happened with the unknown lying ahead.
Trying to stay positive & succeeding for the most part.Not knowing how full a recovery I will make plus the fact that my OS said I will definitely develop arthritis in the offending knee plays on my mind a bit as I was a keen hiker.
I find it difficult to tell people around me how I feel & what concerns I have so this site has been fantastic & it feels better sharing with fellow sufferers.
Best wishes to all.
- October 19, 2014 at 5:33 pm #3183
Another coincidence – I’m an English teacher too. At least I was, because I retired when we move to this area 4 years ago, and I do private tuition now. My consultant offered physio when I saw him ten days ago, but didn’t seem very hopeful about getting it speedily and that ties in with the impression I got from the hospital physios who taught me to use crutches. Ah well, onwards and upwards I suppose.
- October 19, 2014 at 9:05 am #3175
I should have said exercise bike in the previous post. That will teach me to proof read more carefully!!
- October 19, 2014 at 9:03 am #3174
Hi Sue and welcome to the my dog caused the tpf club! It sounds as if you are making good progress already. I am 12 weeks post surgery and am struggling to get good ROM and a full leg extension so although I can now walk around the house unaided, I have a limp and a bend in my knee. I too had a leg brace which was set at 45 degrees to start and then to 90 after 6 weeks NWB. I am not sure that has helped me to get a good extension and in my area – Luton – the follow up physio has been pretty poor to say the least. I have now booked private sessions with a good sports physio to help me with the next stage. Push for decent physio would be my advice. I pushed but even my surgeon agreed it was not a good situation. He suggested twice a week at about 8 weeks post surgery but the NHS physio almost laughed and said that just was not possible. Ask about keeping your ankle supple and stretching exercises for your upper leg and calf. When my leg brace came off – I also had to sleep in mine- I had a lot of muscle wastage and I am working hard now to regain strength especially around my knee. I have an exercise. I’ve that I use each day. I can now manage 20 to 25 minutes in one go! I am a teacher but this has really given me time to think so I am going to take early retirement as I will be 58 next month. I want the time to get fit and well and after 36 years in the profession, I want some ME time. As I am at the moment, I can’t imagine having the strength to negotiate the school site let alone all the marking and prep involved in teaching English at GCSE and A Level. I have not returned this term and won’t be ready for the second half of the term. I have an apt with the Head on Wednesday and I will be giving in my resignation. Then I will press the button to submit my Teachers Pension form!
I used to walk my dog a lot as well- the perpetrator of the crime- but my son has taken to power walking him so he is getting quicker exercise. I am looking forward to taking him out again when I get my leg back! That’s one of my targets along with driving and getting out of the house more.
Stay strong and healthy healing. Let me know how the physio situation is in your area. I think that is key to recovery and I think that is one of the reasons mine is a bit slow.
Best wishes to you.
- October 18, 2014 at 12:46 pm #3156
I’m new to this site but am inspired to join in by your story. I too was injured by one of my dogs – a chocolate labrador at full speed in my case. To give him his due, I think it was partly or wholly my fault as I distrusted his sense of distance and probably stepped into his path. Anyway, I had no idea that this fall was any different from other dog related falls. My leg felt numb and I rubbed it for a while then borrowed my husband’s walking stick and limped back to the car, about an hour away. Then I applied my fail-safe witch hazel compress and got on with the day – walking our dogs in the local park before going over to babysit for my grandchildren. Oh yes, and I drove there and back (right knee damaged and driving an automatic!).
But. The next morning I thought I was going to faint when I stood up. It wasn’t just the pain, I think it was also shock. So I went off to A & E ( I live in Surrey, England) expecting to come out with a bandage and some painkillers. Being admitted for surgery came as a complete shock to me.
That was on 18th September, and the surgery took place (eventually, but that’s an NHS longer story!) on 22nd September.
I had a full cast until last Friday when that was removed, to my surprise and delight, and replaced with a leg brace, which I can remove whenever I want. And I had about 60degrees movement which pleased the consultant. He gave me a target of 90degrees by this week, which I think I’ve nearly reached.
After the initial excitement of losing the cast, I realised that there is still a long way to go.
I’m finding the emotional journey perhaps more challenging than the physical at the moment. I’m used to walking my dogs for 2 hours every day in the woods, and seeing the seasons change and enjoying my dogs’ enjoyment. Now I feel they’re not having the kind of life they deserve. We have borrowed a wheelchair from the Red Cross and my heroic husband loads us all into the car when he can and we ‘walk’ the dogs at a local WWII aerodrome (hard surface for the chair and grass for the dogs).
I’m a retired teacher, but do some tuition work, so I’m still able to do that at home. Overall though, I am just impatient to regain my old life. I keep calculating when that my be, and recalculating….
- September 27, 2014 at 5:05 am #2827
Totally understand where you’re coming from. I was hoping to start bearing weight earlier than the original 3 months advice but I was told on Thursday that it would take all of that time. Really disheartening but on the plus side I am booked with the PT twice a week for the next month and once a week for hydropool therapy so I can’t knock them for lack of treatment!
Keep your chin up.
- September 24, 2014 at 9:20 pm #2793
I went to my doc on Monday, he said another month NWB. GRRRRRR not a happy camper. But i understand due to my frame.. All the years lifting weights my joints are what they used to be.. Getting old is not fun. On the bright side i get to watch the swimming pool/ hottub being built in the back yard. So that has been fun. i hope everyone has a great day.
- September 23, 2014 at 6:36 pm #2773
Thanks for the good wishes. It appears our surgeons may have split a donor between the two of us….I must have received the right leg, as it is also a funny color and refuses to bend. I am sure it belongs to someone else.
Getting a second tpf is devastating, to say the least. I just keep reminding myself that I got through this once, so I can most certainly do it again….and on the humorous side – my knees are once again a matching pair. No longer is one a different shape than the other!
Wishing you a speedy recovery.
- September 23, 2014 at 7:20 am #2767
Just to let you know someone else is thinking of you. It’s bad enough to have the TPF once let alone twice. I am now in the second phase of WB but my ROM is not great so working each day to get my leg to bend although sometimes I think my left leg does not belong to me as it is a different colour and refuses to bend! I have just progressed to doing a bit on my exercise bike so I must continue to be patient.
Best wishes to you.
- September 23, 2014 at 12:22 am #2762
First one was multiple fractures that required a Long plate, 6 compression screws and a good amount of grafting. The meniscus, ACL and PCL were also repaired. I am not sure of the classification. The hardware is still in place. Because of the placement of the compression screws (very close to the plateau), they do not want to remove it.
I am pretty bummed about doing this a second time, but trying to apply lessons learned from the first time!
- September 21, 2014 at 10:20 pm #2743
Your story sounds a lot like mine- runner, yoga hit by a speeding dog! I can’t believe how quickly a life can change:-(
- September 21, 2014 at 2:48 am #2703
I am sorry this happened to you twice. Was your first injury a level one? Did you have hardware in the tpf knee when you had your second accident?
- September 20, 2014 at 7:33 am #2668
Ok so I took the leap and bought a wheelchair. Best move I’ve made so far. Just to be able to go into town, have a coffee and people watch lifted my mood so much. It really is all about trying to make your life as comfortable as possible while recovering. You get a totally different perspective on life as a wheelchair user. Makes you realise how lucky you are.
- September 19, 2014 at 6:19 pm #2656
I know that once the initial sting of being in a wheelchair is over, getting more mobile and out of the house is so much better. Remember: this is only a temporary solution while you heal…there is no “defeat” in it.
I spent 15 weeks in a wheelchair.
- September 19, 2014 at 7:52 am #2651
Hi Donna thanks for the confidence booster. It must be devastating to have this happen a second time. I can’t begin to imagine the turmoil your mind is in. You’re 100% right about the fear of every twinge. I guess I’ll just need time to build confidence. I’ve just purchased a shower stool and a wheelchair to try and make life more manageable although I must admit I am apprehensive about the wheelchair. It almost seems like admitting defeat. However if it gets me out of the house and lifts my mood then I’ll suffer anything.
I hope all goes well for you this time around.
- September 19, 2014 at 2:04 am #2643
I understand the fear about returning to your pre tpf activities. I am going through my second round of tpf (right knee about 10 yrs ago, and did the left on 6 August). I can tell you from experience that this does heal and you will be back to normal – it just takes time and patience. Fear is the biggest battle, every time you twist or feel pain, the brain puts you into a bit of a panic mode of whether or not you have injured the knee again. First time around, I was back to good activity levels in about 7 months, and able to do everything in about a year – skiing, dirt biking, hicking, climbing, and so on. At about three yrs, I didn’t even think about it anymore. When I had the second accident last month, the old injury held together under extreme stress (1200 hundred lbs of horse on me). So, that is pretty good testimony of just how well these injuries do heal. It is also handling all of the workload now as my right knee heals, without any complaints. Have patience, and don’t let worry hold you back. You will be good as new again, just sporting a bit of extra metal 🙂
- September 18, 2014 at 7:28 pm #2642
I had to ask my doc when i can return to work and workout. As work goes Light duty ( dest jocky ) and back in the gym in December. I think you will be back to getting toned out before you know it. We are a breed that has no quit. so i have faith that you will be back to Firefighting. i will say prayers for you and everyone else on this group, and leave you with this little prayer!
When I’m called to duty god
wherever flames may rage
give me strength to save a life
whatever be its age
Help me to embrace a little child
before it is too late
or save an older person from
the horror of that fate
Enable me to be alert
to hear the weakest shout
and quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out
I want to fill my calling and
to give the best in me
to guard my neighbor and
protect his property
And if according to your will
I have to lose my life
bless with your protecting hand
my children and my wife
- September 18, 2014 at 7:22 pm #2641
Hi Paul and thanks for your thoughts and support. Another worry for me is whether or not I will be able to return to work. I’ve been firefighting for 28 yrs now and don’t know what the bell else I would do if I can’t make it back. Had my second physio session today and I think they lulled me into a false sense of security lol. So sore now. I hope all goes well for you and you recover fully.
St Florian pray for us.
- September 18, 2014 at 6:57 pm #2640
Like you im a firefighter aswell. I know what you are going thru with muscle wasting. I love the gym and now i cant do a thing for at least 3 months. my left leg is now smaller than my right. Dont beat your self up over this as it is not your fault. I hope they got the [email protected]# holes that did this to you. Just remember you have a fellow Firefighter going thru the same thing right now.
Take care Brother.
- September 18, 2014 at 6:47 pm #2639
hope all is going well with you Susan..
- September 18, 2014 at 6:46 pm #2638
Im a month and a half into healing, still not weight bearing at this time, The docs had to plate wrap the top if the Tibia and along the side with 8 screws. My problem with weight bearing is that im a healthy 240 pounds and was in great shape when the accident happened. My local surgeon and i are avid body builders, and we work out together so he knows my habits. He told me that i will be NWB for the full 3 months. Bites to be me haha. I have not beat myself up over this other than having to miss a Spartan Race in November. That is paid for 🙁 but over all in good spirits. I have learned to do everything my self, It is a sight to see haha. i had to over come the challenge of dressing myself, taking a shower was a trick the first time. but i got a shower chair and now not so bad. I go to see the Doc on Monday and hoping for some lifts in restrictions. we will see. I was able to remove the leg brace one week after surgery, but to sleep only. I do remove it when i am just sitting at home.
Sorry to hear about yours. I have a Mastiff so i can relate to yours running you. I lawn surf with mine.
- September 18, 2014 at 3:16 pm #2637
So what stage are you at now. My tpf was 9th July with surgery on the 25th. I am now partial weight bearing and am allowed to remove my leg brace from today. Poor ROM at the moment but working on it!i want to hear the rest of your story – sounds like a scene from a film!! My tpf was caused by my dog who ran into me at speed. This is a brilliant site for motivation and advice. Best wishes for your recovery.
- September 18, 2014 at 2:06 pm #2636
Hello everyone. My name is Paul. on July 27th 2014, I as on my way home from Nashville Tn when we ( party Of 3 ) was riding our motorcycles and stopped in Memphis to eat.. We were downtown Memphis and after we ate, we were headed back to the interstate, when we topped a hill in the downtown area Trolly track came onto my lane. A car was pulling onto the street and coming int my lane, in order for me to keep from hitting the car i had to move quickly. My front tire fell into the track and the bike laid down. while this was happening i used my leg to try to stop the accident. I know that this is not a good idea, but it was a normal reaction. after all was done and the accident was over i lay there in the street not moving, wondering if i was hurt. I was doing a mental check of myself, starting with my head and working my way down. I wasnt sure what was bad and what was not, because i was hurting all over. My buddys at this point was kneeling over me and was holding me down because i tried to get up. HAHA tough guy i was, telling them i could walk it off.
word of advise do not wreck in Memphis. We was downtown and the area is not a good area. the crack heads came out of the wood work. My buddys are cops and i am a fireman. They actually had to pull there guns on the crack heads as they come over with knifes tring to rob us as i lay there..
I was transported to the hospital and i was in the ER for 18 hrs, after 16 hours they finally took me for MRI, no pain meds yet. That was the most painfull thing i have ever had.
The ruling was TPF two places. Four days later i had surgery to repair the fracture.
The Doctors were great and the hospital was wonderfull after i got out of the ER.
- September 16, 2014 at 6:15 pm #2602
Thanks to all for the replies to my post. This site is a godsend. It’s so reassuring to know that others have experienced exactly the same rollercoaster of fears and emotions this injury causes. I wouldn’t wish it on anybody (except perhaps the two guys who inflicted mine upon me!). Reading Lesley’s post has also made me realise how lucky I am to be receiving PT so early. I can’t understand why she has had to wait so long. I will be having my second session on 18/09/14. I guess I owe a lot to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for moving things on so quickly. I take on board the other comments about training the upper body and I can assure everyone I will not push too hard although that is mostly because I’m still terrified of doing anything! Time will hopefully give me confidence in my leg again.
Best wishes to everyone on this site and I hope we all recover fully, no matter how long it takes.
- September 16, 2014 at 5:35 pm #2601
This injury is bad enough without it being caused by an assault. How awful! My sincere sympathies.
I’ve been crazy bored and went back to work part-time, from home, after a month – easy for me with a desk job but obviously not for you. My point is to make sure you are intellectually active, even if you can’t be physically active: one thing I regret is that during my month off, all I did was binge watch stuff on Netflix etc and web surf a lot. That was entertaining and passed the time, but didn’t do a lot for me mentally or emotionally. I’ve felt so useless! So my suggestion is that, if you’re inclined, you might want to look at iTunes University or other free online classes – I wish I had thought to do that instead of wasting my time on entertainment. I might have a new skill or at least know more about something new….
I know what you mean about muscle wasting. The difference in my two legs is remarkable (and I wasn’t all the muscular to begin with). But I don’t know if it is advisable to work your upper body too hard though, you should probably ask your PT about that. Healing a fracture takes a huge amount of physical energy (Shlomi has some info on that and there is other info on the web) – you need extra calories, vitamins, minerals and extra protein – I don’t know if you might be taking anything away from the healing process. That said, it’s been a hard transition for me from wheel chair to walker and a lot has been the upper body weakness (that I have always had). There’s probably a happy medium somewhere?
Lastly, my husband has taken over everything, he has been my rock and I too feel guilty about the load he has taken on. I know the best thank you is to get well, but still, we must come up with some extra-special way to show our spouses how grateful we are, any ideas?
You are fortunate that you were fit and healthy when this happened and this will help you heal quickly as long as you get the nutrition you need….
- September 16, 2014 at 2:39 pm #2598
I totally get where you’re coming from with the depression. It’s like being pummelled in the stomach over and over again — for weeks on end. I went from hiking Mauna Kea and zipping around Oahu on a moped in March…to being in excruciating pain from shifting my leg in July. It sucks an awful lot.
Keep moving that body, though! If you want to retain upper body strength, you’re going to have to push yourself harder than you ever thought possible. You’re going to hear from plenty of people to treat it conservatively, to lay back and take it easy, but how many fires do you know put themselves out? Very few. Like a fire, this injury needs a strategic plan for getting past it and keeping fit will help the rest of you. As long as you’re not putting weight down on your knee, it’s pretty difficult to injure it.
Do pushups with one leg, use crutches to walk as far as you can, stretch out your hands as far as they can go past your toes, rotate your ankles and flex them like you were a ballet dancer. I’m almost 11 weeks out from my injury, and my only regret is not doing more of the above. Every little bit helps in getting your body ready to bear weight once you get to that point.
- September 16, 2014 at 11:57 am #2594
I am envious of your visit to a pt. I had my accident on 9July. My lovely dog ran into my leg and the rest is tpf history. After a misdiagnosis, I had surgery on 25/7/14 and was NWB for 6 weeks and now I am partial weight bearing still in my leg brace. I see the consultant on Thursday when the brace should come off for good and then I can try and do something with my poor misshapen leg. I have had my first appt with a pt this morning and she only told me what I was already doing. She has told me to work on ROM which is only 90 degrees at the moment. I will do her exercises religiously but my next appt is not till 8/10 so I am seriously considering getting some private pt as the NHS is not going to do it for me! The first couple of weeks are the worst as you do feel pretty helpless and it is difficult relying on others when you are normally so independent. I am a teacher in a high school so my life is incredibly busy and hectic. I am also 58 so not as fit as I was. This injury is much more debilitating than any of us on this site expected and we have all done different things to keep our minds and hearts intact. You will get into routines and you will spend some time working out how to do those things you want to do without doing damage to your tpf. Focus on getting back to normal and the time wil pass. Stay in touch with people on this site as soon they will become your friends. I have been really encouraged by posts here and I dip in and out on my I pad several times a day.
You can still do upper body exercises on a chair. I’ve been doing aerobics to an old M People cd and my mini weights all on my kitchen chair. Your pt will have given you ankle and foot extensions I’ m sure. Keep those stretches going as moving your foot and ankle is important.
Try not to feel too down. You WILL get there.
Wishing you all the best for your recovery.
- September 16, 2014 at 9:06 am #2591
I got my tpf after being assaulted outside our local Tesco store on 04/09/14. Operation on 05/09/14. Had my first PT session 15/09/14. The physiotherapist showed me my X-Ray and I have a plate either side of my tibia and I lost count at 20 screws! I’ll be having my first fracture review on 22/09/14 and will get more info then on the operation. My biggest battle at the minute is depression. I’m a 47yr old firefighter and have always been active, mountain biking and weight training. The inactivity and lack of sleep is bringing me down so much and I have noticed considerable muscle wastage in the 12 days since my fracture. I wish there was some way I could continue training my upper body but I’m also extremely nervous of doing anything that will affect my healing. Another worry is the stress all of this has had on my wife. She works full time and yet she still comes home to run around after me. It’s taking its toll on her and I feel so guilty. I don’t really have much else to say, just wanted somewhere I could sound off.
- September 14, 2014 at 11:41 pm #2575
Welcome…my fall was during a shopping trip, never knew stores were so dangerous. My OS is the kind of guy that just throws you out there told me after 10 weeks said three rules 1. Safety 2. Use the walker and 3. Don’t overdue. No PT until I see him in four weeks. I am a couple of years older (63) have a badly arithic left knee that has barely supported me thru this ordeal. I can relate to walking any distances. I too have watched everything there is watch, can’t focus to read, think I fried my brain on pain meds.
I would try to hold off work because once you go back you are back. I am sure most companies would not want something further to happen to you on their watch.
I have found that since June 20′ 2014 I have become a different person, less confident, fearful, etc. I can that this injury just keeps on giving. Every time you take steps forward something happens and pushes you back one step.
Good luck in your recovery
- September 14, 2014 at 8:52 pm #2573
I wish I had found this site weeks ago! My story is probably dullest of all. I slipped at home on some paper spread to protect the floor during our remodeling project. That happened 7/22/2014. Had surgery on 7/30; I’ll have to ask what Type it was, I’m guessing Type II or III. I think I’m pretty lucky compared to a lot of folks here: a wedge of the plateau was broken loose and a vertical fracture of the tibia below it, but not displaced. I have a couple of screws holding the wedge and fracture in place, along with some grafting near the wedge. I have an adjustable brace that falls down constantly, drives me nuts!!! Anyhow, I’m 56 next week and got the disappointing news from the surgeon that the bone is osteoporotic (!!) – this despite a normal DEXA scan this past April… I’ve been in a wheelchair because I just don’t have the upper body strength for crutches and I’m too afraid of falling.
At the ER, they told me NWB for 12 weeks, but my surgeon told me last week I can start WB (6 wks after surgery, 7 wks after the fracture). Earlier WB is now considered better as some stress on the bone, as long as it is healed enough, helps to promote further healing and strengthening. I started PT at 4 weeks, mostly ROM, stretching and isometrics on the quad. I’m at 105 for the ROM now, but pretty worried about the WB. I’m frustrated with the communication from my doctor, I have to pull every bit of information out of him. When I asked how to approach WB, he said ‘Two crutches for 3 days, then 1 crutch for 3 days, then a cane for 3 days and see how it goes’ (!!!!) So I’m not in shape at all and overweight and this is what he tells me? At PT, they said his instructions were ‘as tolerated’. I would have rather had something on the order of 25% weight the first week, 50% the next, etc. because I have a pretty high tolerance for pain and not sure that I’m a good judge of what ‘as tolerated’ should be!
I really overdid it at PT last week, walked 75 ft with a walker and was in a lot of pain that night (knee as well as shoulders and back)…. I’m only doing about 30 ft per day since and will discuss with them tomorrow for my next PT.
So I have a few tips:
1. Elevation and ice. I’ve had surprisingly little pain from this injury once I elevated and iced the knee regularly. I have my late mother-in-law’s wheelchair that has a horizontal leg support, so it’s been easy for me to keep it elevated. Before I got this chair, my leg hurt like h*ll.
2. All our bedrooms are upstairs and there’s no way I can handle stairs. As I mentioned, I’m overweight and felt a lot of stress on my good knee getting up and down out of a recliner – last thing I needed was to blow out that knee. So I rented a lift chair (power recliner that lifts you up to make standing easier) – lots of folks don’t know about these, but between my late mother and mother-in-law both had these as they were very frail and needed help getting up. I sleep in that and it’s probably the smartest thing I did to help myself. I live downstairs (if you want to know how I shower, that’s another post!!). My husband set me up down here with my clothes, toiletries, etc (he’s been an angel doing everything at home as well as hauling me to doctor and PT appts). So it works well for me.
3. Netflix/Amazon Prime/HBO GO have been sanity savers. I’ve watched all of Downton Abbey, Orange is the New Black and am halfway through the first season of House of Cards 🙂 I’m not a big TV watcher so probably would not have seen any of these ever, despite wanting to…
4. Binge watching only goes so far. I’m on STD from work but got my doctor to agree to release me to part-time, from home. I have a desk job, and my boss has been very supportive, so this has helped me mentally.. That said, STD is only approved to the end of this month and I know I’m not ready to go back full-time – my doctor thinks I don’t need any more STD, so I need to get through to him somehow that I won’t be ready in a couple of weeks… I can’t see myself walking yet from the parking garage to my office – it might as well be 20 miles now…..
OK this is way too long, just wanted to jump in! This is a great site and I’ve learned a lot already. Thanks for setting this up, Shlomi!
Best wishes to everyone for a quick and complete recovery!
- September 8, 2014 at 2:47 pm #2433
Thanks for responding to me. I will keep everyone posted on my progress after my Thursday appt.
- September 6, 2014 at 1:44 am #2387
So sorry you are going through this pain. It will get better. I remember feeling the same way. Walking will be very difficult, but you can do this. It is learning to trust your leg again and take it slow. You will hobble because of the pain, but eventually your gait will be back to what it was before the accident. It just takes time and PT and the will to work through the pain because it’s the only way to get where you want to be again. Just proceed at your speed and what is comfortable and safe for you. Find the best PT and work on getting yourself moving and feeling like you use to feel.
- September 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm #2376
I just started using crutches 2.5 days ago after 15 weeks in a wheelchair with NWB. It does feel good to be upright on both legs after such an extended period, but my knee aches! It feels like a bag of small rocks is in my knee.
I am 25% weight bearing and next week I am to move to 50%. I have been assured that this discomfort, and the swelling at the end of the day, is normal for such injuries. In time it will get better.
- September 5, 2014 at 2:53 pm #2372
Hi guys…punched my TPF Fracture card on 6/25. Medial side, one clean fracture from the front top middle of the bone, diagonal to the back of the leg. Leg had to be realigned.
Supposed to be NWB for 11 weeks until I see the Doc.
I have full ROM, but some drop leg when I try to bend my knee while standing. Should improve with strength training and conditioning.
I’m 10 weeks post op. I have no pain, some weird shooting pains sometimes but they go away quickly. I can sleep on my side, have been off pain pills since week 6. Ditched the brace while at home a couple of weeks ago.
I have assumed nerve damage and numbness from the mid knee cap to the mid of my tibia bone (lower leg). Not sure if that is easing my pain. They would not give me a nerve block in surgery.
I accidentally took 2 steps at week 6 but held up. Took a casual drive yesterday with some minimal braking, no issues but I’m not pushing it.
Very anxious for my visit with the Dr. who I haven’t seen yet. Surgeon who did my surgery was off my case after that day in the ER, I think he did a great job so far. 6 screws and a plate on the medial side.
I toe touch around the house for balance but no weight bearing, test my leg just resting on the ground at the dinner table.
Docs were very surprised at my ROM in the hospital and how quickly I was flying around on crutches 2 days after surgery.
I’m 30, and in moderate shape, maybe 5-10 lbs over my ideal weight now after all of this inactivity.
Was interesting to read people’s issues with going from NWB to WB. I will report back on how I feel. I’m sure it will hurt but I am a quick healer and have a high pain tolerance. Any insight there would be appreciated.
Cheers guys! Keep your heads up, life sucks, this sucks, but I know I will get through it and adapt to however my body needs to work go forward. Going to miss running, skiing, etc. but oh well. At least I am alive.
- September 5, 2014 at 3:20 am #2362
I echo what Eileen stated: slow and easy. Be mindful of walking to avoid rushing that leads to possible falls.
TPFs are tremendous fractures. No one explained to me the emotional and mental impact, and even if they did I don’t think I would have believed them. This truly has resulted in some of the hardest moments in my entire life.
I began 25% weight bearing yesterday after 3.5 months of NWB and in a wheelchair. My leg is so weak and feel like a bag of small rocks are in my knee. I was told walking would be a challenge but it will come back.
What I am trying to say is everything you are going through with this life changing fracture is normal, and you aren’t alone.
Hang in and practice self love and care.
- September 5, 2014 at 3:00 am #2360
Do not push too hard, too fast. If possible, have a PT work with you. Begin by doing light stretching and strengthening. I found crutches to be more useful than a walker when I was allowed to partially weight bear. My foot/ankle are taking longer than my knee to adjust and stop hurting. Again, stretch and be consistent. Just don’t do too much too soon.
You will find much information on this site. Be sure to browse–including thread on foot pain.
- September 5, 2014 at 2:46 am #2358
My story is not as exciting as some of the others. I broke my tibia plateau on June 20, 2014(bicondylar V). I was shopping and tripped on some boxes in an aisle. I never knew shopping could be so dangerous. I am only 5’3″ so I didn’t fall a great distance but oh what a fall it was. Spent 11 days in the hospital, two surgeries, two plates and eleven screw.
These last eleven weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions and pain. I heard so much bad news that when I heard good news I couldn’t tell the difference. I am not an emotional person but I have cried every day. My world this summer has shrunk to only getting out to doctors appointments and a few in and out errands.
The first six weeks I must have taken a dump truck of pain meds and now I am down to Tylenol extra strength. I still have pain and numbness and sleeping has been hard but today my doctor told me I can begin walking again with the aid of a walker. I was so happy when he told me that. He told me to be careful keep safety in mind because the fractures are not completely healed and he didn’t want to get a call from me saying that I fell and my leg broke. What he didn’t tell that how hard learning to walk again was going to be. I thought it would be one foot in front of the other but it isn’t easy. I could barely put any weight on my foot without pain….when does the pain end? I knew this was a devastating injury when the ER doctor wished me luck but I never thought that it would be the hardest thing I have ever done.
Thanks for hearing my story…my road to walking starts now!
- August 30, 2014 at 4:58 pm #2267
peddalling,buy a float and lift your legs up ,slowly, move the float backwards anf forwards ALL whilst holding onto the pool sides. Heel and toe exercises ,pushing the float doN ro the pool floor with your bad foot .Walking in the pool
- August 30, 2014 at 4:52 pm #2266
I suppose ot depends on the injury and the surgeon in my physio hospital I have seen many types of injuries and many solutions
- August 29, 2014 at 3:48 pm #2245
First, thank you for this very informative site and sharing your stories. I experienced a Complete TPF in 2009 while vacationing in Paris (fracture occurred second day of the trip and spent the rest of the vacation plus an extra 3 days in hospital). I was advised that I absolutely could not fly with the injury and surgery was mandatory. An Orthopaedic Surgeon who was reputed to be the best in Paris (by shear luck of the draw) performed the surgery. After coming home, got the all thumbs up from American surgeons that the surgery was a success and were impressed at the straightness of my leg and the work of the surgeon. Non-weight bearing for over 2 months and was not allowed to flex leg for 8 weeks – my wheelchair, lazyboy recliner (kept my leg raised) and (of course) my pain meds were my new personal friends. Many, many months of PT rewarded me at 150 degree flexion (extremely happy with that!). I was always able to comfortably go past 150 and touch the back of my thigh – and still can with right leg – thank you to years of gymnastics! I had the hardware plate and 8 screws removed in 2011 because it was causing a hematoma and sever pain (guess my body was telling me my hardware wanted out). Surgery was a success, hematoma from hardware was gone and did not come back. Five years after accident, I still have intermittent shooting pain, cracking, stiffness and muscle cramping in my knee and pain/numbness in my shin. I’m young (okay, coming up on middle aged), but thin and in shape. I just can’t imagine still having pain that sometimes wakes and keeps me up at night 5 years after the accident. I am sure I will need a knee replacement one day. Sorry, don’t want to be a Debbie Downer for others who have had TPF, I am certain the severity of the impact probably results in the most damage and residual pain, and mine was deemed high impact. On the bright side, I can still walk, bike, hike and rollerblade. However, my running days are over. I sure hope I am never chased by someone…because “flight” is no longer an option for me in the “fight or flight” decision! LOL. Guess I better learn krav maga. I would love to hear from others who are years out from the TPF to see if what I am experiencing is normal.
- August 28, 2014 at 5:26 am #2225
Wow! Well, look on the bright side: you ave no more tibia plateaus to fracture. You got ’em all!
I like the whole idea of not worrying about something until you have something to worry about. Meaning: right now, today, your functioning knee is doing OK. Your brain has enough to deal with coping with the injury you are facing TODAY…don’t put it through the extra strain. Picture a big stop sign and just tell yourself to stop it and that TODAY the knee is OK…and you’ll deal with tomorrow’s problems when/if they happen.
That being said, practice your ROM exercises to keep things moving and not to let the knee get too stiff. Move with more intent and awareness: just don’t rush through movements and transfers so you don’t twist that knee because you are in a hurry.
I do wish you well.
- August 28, 2014 at 5:07 am #2224
Good evening all – so glad to have found this site. I am 2 weeks post op, (tpf with displacement and 6mm depression. I am now the owner of a shinny new plate, 6 screws, grafting and a newly repaired meniscus. Now here is the crazy part – I did the same injury to my other knee 10 years ago. Yes, this is my second time at this rodeo (no pun intended, as both injuries are the result of bad tumbles off a horse). One would think I learned my lesson the first time – apparently I am a very slow learner. I am trying to remain calm about this, as I know first hand that this is a very long recovery. Big problem – fear that my healed knee will start becoming problematic under the stress of handling the full work load while my newly injured knee heals. Anyone have any tips on keeping the healed knee healthy through this (and keeping from going bat-arse crazy from worrying about it)?
- August 22, 2014 at 9:39 pm #2120
Hi Lisa and Lesley, thanks for your replies. I’m really glad I found this site – like you said, it’s nice to be able to communicate with other people who have first-hand experience of what you are going through.
I can’t believe the number of people who have serious injuries (tpf and other fractures) due to their dogs! And some people think paragliding is dangerous!
Seriously though, I am amazed at how long the recovery process is – I always thought of fracture injuries as being 6 weeks in a cast and then pretty much straight back to normal. Bit of a shock to the system all this. Still, I’m feeling positive about it all and I’m willing to be patient and work hard so that I can go back to life enjoying time with my lovely family (I have a wonderful wife and two daughters aged 3 and 5) and doing all the things I like to do, mainly flying, spearfishing, and surfing. I need my knee back!
The occupational therapist visited today and she has sorted me out with a walking frame to use around the house (much more practical than crutches as I can use one or even both hands to do things while standing so I can help my wife out a bit more), a toilet raiser, a helping-hand grabber thingy, a leg-lifter (soooo useful), and a wheelchair so that I can get around more outside. The wheelchair will arrive next week and I’m really looking forward to getting outside and getting some exercise – I’m a very very outdoorsy kind of person.
Life’s feeling pretty good considering what has happened. I just need to make sure my wife stays positive; I think she’s feeling very down about it all. Not so much about the flying (she flies with me on the tandem and loves it) but more about life in general and what hard work it is for her at the moment. So I’m looking forward to using the walking frame to be able to help out more with things like washing-up and cooking (I love cooking, and can’t wait to get back in the kitchen).
So thanks for your kind welcome to the site, and I look forward to reading and contributing more to the forums.
- August 22, 2014 at 8:35 am #2113
I echo Lisa. This is a fantastic site for support and info. I log in several times a day As it feels like you are talking to friends. My TPF had a much less dramatic cause – my staffie cross ran into my left leg at speed – nonetheless, I have had to have surgery with a graft, plate and screws and I am now 4 weeks out of surgery and still NWB for another 2 weeks when I will be back at the fracture clinic to see how the healing is doing. If all is well, I will be partial WB for another 6 weeks. I had no idea what this injury was all about until I found this site and now I know it is all about patience and perseverance in order to achieve a pre accident state. I wish you well in your recovery.
- August 22, 2014 at 6:59 am #2112
Hi, Tom. Welcome to the club.
That’s a story you have there (and thanks for sharing the videos).
I suffered a Type 6 TPF, along with a major knee dislocation and a tibia shaft vertical fracture, on a May 13 motorcycle crash.
I had 2 plates and 14 screws placed into my leg, and I am still NWB, although I hope in 2 weeks that will change when I see my doc next.
I am happy to say that with physical therapy I now have just about all of my ROM back. I think that is important. When talking to your doc make sure you cover this topic.
For me, the hardest part of this whole mess has been the emotional/mental piece. I was very active and losing my hiking, bicycling, swimming, and everything else that has been a struggle. Find things to fill this void as you heal. This web site is good for support and validation.
Good luck to ya!
- August 22, 2014 at 6:17 am #2111
Hooray, I slept 2 and a half hours! Woke up at 0630 after drifting off around 0400. Feel a little more refreshed!
I stumbled across this website last night when trawling the internet for more information about exercises I might be able to do. I am really pleased I found it! It is so good (and sometimes rather scary) to hear other people’s experiences.
I suffered my injury on Friday 15th August at 9pm. I was flying my tandem paraglider at a local hill in Dorset. I was taking a group of three friends up for their first tandem flights. The first two flights were wonderful and we had a lot of fun. On the last flight I took my friend Ruth. By then it was about 15 minutes after sunset (it is legal to fly up to 30 minutes after sunset) and the wind had dropped right off so it was only a very short flight from the top to the bottom of the hill, only a couple of minutes. Usually we take off at the top, fly around sometimes as high as the clouds, and then land back where we started ready for the next flight. Still, it was better than nothing so we headed for the bottom landing field. However, there is a barbed wire fence running along the end of the field and I misjudged our approach. When I realised we were going to hit the barbed wire I stuck my legs out either side of her to protect her, and took all of the impact on my right leg. Thankfully she was completely fine. She quickly saw how much pain I was in and suggested calling an ambulance. I said that I thought it would be ok and that although it was painful perhaps with her help I could hop to the nearest road. So I stood up with an arm around her shoulders, screamed bloody murder, and flopped back down on the grass! So then I agreed to call an ambulance. To cut a very long story slightly shorter, Ruth dialled 999 and the other two made their way to the bottom of the hill to find the nearest road which turned out to be about 500m away across waterlogged muddy fields. They managed to find a house that was fairly near by, and the owner of the house came out with his 4×4 truck. Between the 4 of them it took 3 hours to get the ambulance directed to the road nearby. That was with 4 people, a police helicopter, and 3 GPS receivers and 2 iPhones sending out coordinates. Meanwhile I was going in and out of shock, shaking violently and breathing in short gasps. Very frightening. Eventually Mark (the local with the 4×4 truck) loaded the paramedics into his truck along with stretchers, drugs, entonox, and other equipment, and brought them out to me. They drugged me up and manoeuvred me onto the stretcher. It was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced, even with several morphine injections and chugging away on the Nitrous. They loaded me into Mark’s truck, across the fields, and finally into the ambulance. We then went to Dorchester hospital. By this time it was almost 1am (4 hours after the crash) and I was still in shock and rather panicky, drifting in and out of consciousness. Thankfully they managed to calm me down and start me on regular morphine and they started doing x-rays to find out what the damage was. At this point I had convinced myself that it must be just some bad bruising and maybe a bit of muscle damage. I was rather shocked (although not surprised) when the doctor gave me the diagnosis:
Right knee injury with vertical shear medial femoral condyle and medial tibial plateau fracture with involvement of posterior tibital spine and anterior tibital spine.
They transferred me to a very nice ward, where I spent the following week. They took 5 days to make the decision not to operate, at which point they put my leg in a full-length fibreglass cast and I came home the day before yesterday. Since then I have been on the sofa day and night, using crutches to get myself to the bathroom. The night before last I tried sleeping on a mattress on the floor, but I woke up after an hour in such intense pain that I crawled back onto the sofa and had a short sleep there.
The doctors in the hospital told me that I would be NWB for at least 6 weeks. They will be x-raying my knee every week to assess progress. They said that they can’t rule out surgery, but hopefully it will not be necessary as it is a fairly risky procedure to get the 4 screws in through the back of the knee past all the blood vessels and nerves. If all is well, they will replace my cast with a brace fixed at 20 degrees, and then after a few weeks they will allow a 45 degree movement in the brace.
The physio at the hospital told me that if I work hard on my exercises then I should be pretty much back to normal in around 3-6 months, although it could be up to a year.
I can’t wait to fly again, but I guess I’ll have to be patient…
If you are interested to see the two flights before the one on which I crashed (which thankfully I wasn’t filming), have a look at my youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/tomandsophie/videos
The specific videos are here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW9kt8Bj2LQ&list=UUe327QKcfP4PgneFlIv7VwA and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8RswjjEHTI&list=UUe327QKcfP4PgneFlIv7VwA
- August 20, 2014 at 10:18 am #2088
I am reading through the posts here and I have noticed quite a difference in the approach to the treatment of tpf from the US and other countries. I could be way off here, it could be more about the injury than the medical field…but I see so many on here that have been braced in a hinged device that bends for them. I left the hospital after surgery with only an elastic wrap to cover the wound for a couple days and then that was gone and I was working on bending exercises the day after I came home. By 3 weeks post surgery, I was bending 90 degrees on my own and could straighten it as well. I am so thankful that I didn’t have to wear a brace. I have done all my own therapy at home until now that I am PWB…I say that I am PWB, but truly at 10 weeks, he turned me loose to be PWB but basically said use the crutches for stability. I am doing Physical Therapy 3 times a week for a month to regain the muscle I lost in that leg from non use for 11 weeks. I have been to 2 appointments so far and at this point, I can walk around inside my house without any crutches for the most part.
Those of you that have been braced for recovery, how has your recovery compared? I am just curious…
- August 20, 2014 at 8:54 am #2087
my physio told me 20 mins of ice in one area no more and then 2 hours of no ice,out the ice in a flexible plastic container ,can be bought on line and then in a gauze stocking ,never directly on the area as you will get frostbite !I am very “lucky” that I live 8 klm from one of the top physio centers in France !So have wonderful care from a team of physios that treat international sports men and women ,not that the food is top.At the moment I am coming in for 5 afternoons a week as an out patient after spending 12 wks there as a full time patient .The pool is an essential part and really helps also if possible walking in the sea ,if youare brave enough with Brittany sea temperatures.I have to admit I haven’t tried yet .I think this is a wonderful site ,depressing to be on it but full of hope also
- August 20, 2014 at 8:34 am #2086
can’t understand why you don’t want PT ,if done by professionals it is the quickest way back to a full recovery !They are trained to know what to do and just when to STOP exercise.In the pool you need a float ,U shaped to do backward and forward knee bending exercises,pedalling!It exercises and pumping exercises !Also practicing walking ,think Silly walks
- August 20, 2014 at 7:32 am #2085
Yes it does. The consultant told me he would reset my leg brace to 90 degrees after my next x ray on 4 th September. I do need to apply the ice pack more so that will be my target today – more ice! I have some pain today but nothing too bad. It’s all manageable at the moment – just! I’m having a ramp built today so at last I can go out into my back garden. I haven’t really been outside over the past month and I am sorely in need of some fresh air. Having just heard the weather forecast, it will be fresh at 17 degrees- typical British Summer!
Thank you for your support.
- August 20, 2014 at 1:43 am #2075
My brace allowed 0-90 degrees ROM, but I sat with my leg elevated most of the time for the first 4 weeks. Ice and elevation lessen the swelling and stiffness, so I am still elevating the leg when possible.
I hope this helps.
- August 19, 2014 at 10:31 pm #2072
Just wanted to thank you for your support. I am nearly 4 weeks out of surgery and being very sensible about resting up. I know it will be a long haul and we are all different but if you are like this after 9 weeks, then I feel very hopeful. It is difficult being on my own now although my sons have all been very helpful and I have a best friend who is always on the end of the phone. I am still grieving. It is 14 months since my husband died but I still have days where I still can’t quite believe he has gone. He was only 58 and that seems so unfair. Strangely , my TPF has given me time to do a lot of thinking – something I did not really want to do but I’ve had to stop and take stock of my life. I M not in too much pain now but my knee still feels very swollen inside the leg brace. If I sit at the PC for too long, it feels very stiff but is relieved if I sit with it up and outstretched. Did you experience anything similar in the first weeks after surgery?
Best wishes to you for your continued recovery.
- August 19, 2014 at 10:17 pm #2071
You have no idea how much your posts have helped me over the past couple of days where I have felt angry , frustrated and sad by turns. I am very heartened by the way you describe PWB as I really want to do those things too. I can’t wait to have a long hot shower! A nice young man is coming tomorrow to build a ramp from my back door to the garden. I really need some fresh air and as it almost like Autumn here at the moment, I think it really will be fresh. I want to see what has happened to all the plants I put out earlier in the Spring. I think I have missed the best of the blooms but that’s just hard luck. Thank you again for your invaluable support. I will be in touch by e mail if that’s okay.
- August 18, 2014 at 4:09 am #2054
These are the dark times — made so much worse because you are already grieving a great loss. I know I would think I was doing okay and then I would crumble. I would call friends and cry or pray, depending on the day. Exercising (lying down) helped me feel better. But PWB made me really happy. My surgery was 9 weeks ago, and I am walking without crutches with very little pain.
I wish you well.
- August 17, 2014 at 8:18 pm #2050
Sometimes a good sob is in order. You have been through a LOT!!!!! You are entitled!!! PWB will improve your mood!! You should be on crutches and putting some weight on which makes it much easier to get around. My doctor told me that I was PWB but didn’t give me a percent or when to increase….sooooo, I am doing as tolerated. I use the curtches for stability mostly. So, sometimes, I only use one crutch and if I am in the kitchen doing something, I will go no crutches. My physical therapist says that is fine for short distances. I am working on exercises to get my leg muscles back to support myself on that side again..11 weeks of non use is a lot to overcome!!!
I can’t imagine losing my husband…we have been married for 30 years and dated/engaged for 3-4 before that…he has been so much help taking care of me. I am sure it would be so hard to go to your husband’s grave. I remember watching my Mom struggle when my Dad was killed. They had been married nearly 30 years and if there was such a thing as a “perfect” marriage, they had it! I always looked to them to pattern mine after. My Mom was so lost!! My heart broke for her. I was still living at home as I was still in high school. I watched all the stages she went through. My heart goes out to you!!! If you ever need to vent and don’t want to do it in open forum, you can email me…my address is: [email protected] Please, feel free to use it!!!
Big difference for me between NWB and PWB in my day described below:
NWB day-sit on couch and play on iPad…shower sitting on chair, get light snack for myself and carry to living room in baggies, Use walker to move about. Get tired washing dishes. Watch hubby do laundry, use walker to get to bedroom to help fold it, sit on bed because one leg got tired.
PWB day–Showered without a chair! Carried laundry basket to the breezeway, went down the 2 steps, did the laundry. Cooking chicken to make homemade pot pie, vacuumed my house after cleaning out the dirt cup, washed dishes, rest a little and will make the pot pies next.
Hope that gives you an idea!!!!
- August 17, 2014 at 12:32 pm #2043
Thanks for the encouraging words. I have to admit, I had a good sob when I read them and felt very sorry for myself. It was very hard losing my husband as we had been together for almost 35 years- all my adult working life. We had been through so much together and I miss him every day. I can’t even visit his grave at the moment. I keep imagining what he would say about all this. Hearing his voice in my head actually makes me laugh!
So now I am sitting here about to tackle a pile of ironing. Nothing like keeping as busy as possible to pass the time. I have friends coming to visit next week and a carpenter coming to build a mini ramp at the back door so I can sit in the garden in between the rain! Things are looking up.
I have had some pain around my knee for the past couple of days but it is much improved today. NWB for another 3 weeks and then PWB for another 6 – whatever that means. I don’t know what PWB entails yet but I will find out 4th September when I return to the fracture clinic for my next x ray.
Hope you’ re doing okay today. I don’t have Facebook at the moment but thinking about setting up an account.
- August 14, 2014 at 10:44 pm #2013
My sister, who battled breast cancer, and eventually lost her battle at 49 used to say, “It’s ok to throw your own pity party, as long as you don’t stay too long.” She made a lot of sense!!! Everyone is allowed to be down sometimes it is when you wallow in that it becomes detrimental to your own healing. So, allow yourself those moments in time then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and know things could be so much worse!!! You have 3 wonderful sons and students that are waiting for you to get better!!!
I am so thankful that my tiny house is only one floor with a basement, and 2 steps down into a breezeway/laundry room. So, my bathroom is easily accessible. Our local pharmacy loans out medical equipment for situations like mine. So, they loaned me a wheelchair and a shower chair. A friend loaned me a walker. Today, my husband retuned the walker and the wheelchair. Those were both godsends to me.I am still using the shower chair but not for much longer. I know all about washing up at the sink and washing your hair in the sink. It sucks!! I used a bar stool in the bathroom to sit on while I styled my hair, did my make up and brushed my teeth, that helped a lot. Also, I tied a cheap nail apron purchased at the local hardware store to my walker so that I could carry small items (cell phone, bottle of water, pen and paper, baggie of snacks, etc.) and have my hands free to use the walker. That might be helpful for you. A cinch sac bag for your back might be helpful too.
Dogs sense what you need. My dog stayed tight to my side for the first few weeks. He just now lets me go by myself to the bathroom! lol He knew to avoid my leg too…it is odd how they just know!! My dog is a miniature dachshund, much different than the Pitbull that attacked me!!!
I am so sorry that you have had such a rough year. It just doesn’t seem right. Any one of those things is enough all by itself…let alone having them all happen to you in one year!!! Keeping your positive attitude will help with your healing!!!! I am so very sorry!!
Do you have facebook?
- August 13, 2014 at 4:36 pm #1990
I have taken heart from your post this evening. I too do the bed thing. I am having to sleep in my lounge as I cannot get upstairs to my proper bed or my shower room. I wash in a bowl in the kitchen sink and yesterday I managed to stick my head under the tap and wash my own hair. I don’t have a wheelchair but I do have a walking frame to cling onto. It is a struggle but I am making myself do things like prepare dinner and washing up – not easy as you know standing on one leg! My friends have phoned and visited and I have 3 great sons especially my youngest who lives with me. I won’t be starting the new school term in September as I will still be nwb. Then I have been told I will be pwb for another 6 weeks. I am pushing for physio at my next hospital appt. had a bit of a low morning this morning but I have chilled out now.
My own dog caused my injury. He is a staffie cross and a pretty hefty boy. He has kept me company since the accident on July 9th. I am so looking forward to walking him again. He seems to know I have a bad leg.
I did miss my holiday in Ibiza and I had been so looking forward to it as I lost my husband last year. This tpf has really been the culmination of a very bad year for me but I refuse to be beaten.
Good luck in your final leg of your recovery – no pun intended of course.
- August 13, 2014 at 10:14 am #1987
Eileen, I know what you mean…I have experienced ALL the emotions. The first couple weeks, I had a lot of anger…mostly at the dog owners that didn’t keep their dog contained as they should have. A simple walk to get some exercise ended up ruining my summer completely! My husband and I were about set to book a trip to Jamaica for the day after school got out and thankfully, we hadn’t done it yet as obviously, that would have made me even more furious. I would get angry that every small task took even more steps to complete and then the people who meant well when they said things like, “Well, it’s not like you have anything else to do all day, so what if it takes you longer…” I also was very thankful, it could have been SOOOOO much worse. That Pitbull could have eaten off my face while I was laying in the road, could have attacked my dog as well, I could have been walking my granddaughters and they could have been hurt, the list is endless. I am thankful that I had strong, muscular legs prior to this and that will make my rehab easier.
Christina, I have pushed myself hard as well. I followed the doctor’s orders to the letter because I didn’t want to do ANYTHING that might lengthen my recovery, but I made sure all my prescribed exercises were done perfectly daily, I didn’t just sit on my butt watching tv. I have helped around the house in whatever capacity I could even if it meant I had to struggle some. My husband works 2 jobs and then had to do all the household stuff and take care of me so the sooner I could do things here, the better I would feel. I am still on crutches for stability but doing those 3 loads of laundry and being able to get down the steps into my laundry room and put it all away after was a great feeling yesterday!! It will come!! I know that feeling about wanting to just be able to get up and go to the bathroom without thought! I feel that way about the shower too. I am still using a shower chair but that won’t be for much longer!!! Hang in there!!!
- August 13, 2014 at 2:21 am #1982
You are so right. The dark days of anger, depression, frustration, and fear were made more bearable by doing all I could to exercise and do my own chores. Friends on the phone and faith got me through the worst days. I danced on one leg when I learned I would be PWB. Four weeks later, I can walk without crutches and I am striving to be able to do what I could before the injury. I keep coming to this site to encourage others to have faith and keep believing — it does get better.
- August 13, 2014 at 2:10 am #1981
haha I actually chuckled at your description of making your bed. Me, I’ve not bothered with that. I don’t have A/C either, so I’ve actually just rolled my comforter off the bed entirely, and am just making do with the top sheet.
And loved your train/light analogy. I know that one day, there will be a time when I can just walk to the bathroom, but it’s not coming anytime soon. I’ve refused to take this injury sitting down and have pushed myself hard. It’s brutal, though: going a block makes me feel like I’ve sprinted a mile, and I’m so sensitive to temperature changes. I know my mom thinks I should be doing more of what you are, of just sitting back, taking it easy, and letting my body heal, but I’m too gosh darn stubborn for that.
- August 13, 2014 at 12:46 am #1979
I read this thread and thought I would add my 2 cents. My tpf was caused by a neighbor’s Pitbull running full tilt into my leg while I was out walking my dog. I, too, work at a high school, and lost the last 2 weeks of work and am currently waiting to hear if I will get to return for the opening day in Sept. My injury happened May 21st and I had to wait 6 days in an immobilizer for surgery. I have a steel plate, 6 screws and cadaver tissue. I was released with just an ace wrap and some crutches. I was told I would be NWB for 12 weeks…an eternity!!! I am not a tv watcher and being an independent, busy person, sitting around the house has been maddening!!! I have read books on my kindle, played on my iPad, and found ways to do simple chores. I could do dishes from my wheelchair. I learned to make my bed…by laying in it, I could make the opposite side and then roll out of my side, stand with my walker and work on my side of the bed. I discovered that all the people that said they would come visit had great intentions but lousy follow through…lol My husband works during the day so most days I spent alone. My oldest daughter would come visit when possible but she has kids and of course couldn’t come daily, my other daughter works daily. Not being good with crutches and steps, I did managge to get good at going out my sliding glass door and so I would sit out on my deck and read in the sun. That helped my mood and provided me some new scenery!!! I have played a lot of Words with Friends, Dice with Buddies, 2048, and games like that.
I just got the OK to start bearing weight and it has opened a new world!! I start therapy on Friday and maybe I will drive in a couple weeks!! Hang in there ladies…there really is a light at the end of the tunnel and it isn’t a train!!!!
- August 12, 2014 at 7:53 pm #1974
Yes Christina sleep and boredom are big factors
- August 12, 2014 at 7:53 pm #1975
Yes Christina sleep and boredom are big factors
- August 12, 2014 at 7:08 pm #1973
This injury has been horrible: the dependence on others, having to cut down on work (and worrying about bills), not being able to walk half a kilometre without stopping several times, thinking twice about going out because it’s such an ordeal to get on buses, streetcars and subways, and the sheer waiting of it.
I’m not taking this well at all. I’m so angry a lot of the times, I’m looking for anyone to blame (luckily, my hospital’s one-size-fits-all ness has given me a great outlet for venting), and the time is passing by so slowly.
My sleep is all messed up because it takes me hours to fall asleep, inner thigh pain wakes me up during the night, it wakes me up around 5 or 6 in the morning again, and then I feel like a zombie during the days.
- August 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm #1972
Thank you Lesley,I have 3 grown up children non at home they have been doing things for me and I have good family and close friends,I’ve been on my own 7 years so have become very independent in how I live so having to rely on others is hard but for now I will have to accept it,let’s see what Thursday brings then I can start to sort things out thank you Lesley I’m let you know the outcome. Michelle
- August 12, 2014 at 6:24 pm #1971
Warm thoughts are sent your way. Your not alone.
Hang in there!
- August 12, 2014 at 6:10 pm #1969
Sorry to hear you have had a bad day but it is perfectly understandable for those of us who are normally very active. I teach in a high school and I know that the earliest I will be returning is November. I am 58 and I also lost my dear husband last year so I have had plenty of time to reflect since 9th July when the 100 mile an hour dog did the damage. Bizarrely, I have been forced to think about my lifestyle. Since my husband died , I have worked and worked, not slept properly and neglected my diet. Now I am sleeping – at last even though I have had surgery and my leg is in a brace. I am eating healing foods instead of junk and masses of chocolate. I have spoken to friends I had neglected and I have learned to be a little more dependent on my sons instead of them always leaning on me.
I am watching a lot of tv which is boring at times but not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I know I am in for the long haul so I have resigned myself to it. I try to do things for myself as much as I can even some ironing by sitting on a chair.
I do read a lot but not all the time. A KIndle is handy as you can download in seconds.
Do you have family and friends? I live with my son of 22 and he is my rock. He is becoming quite a cook!
Stay in touch with people on this forum. Since I found it, I do not feel so isolated and I value the advice. I think you will feel better when you know for sure what is happening.
- August 12, 2014 at 6:01 pm #1968
Yes I agree got to get on with it,it’s happened so I have to deal with it.Thanks Lisa
- August 12, 2014 at 5:46 pm #1967
Yes, I, too, had been a very active person before my TPF. I get antsy and frustrated, but there is nothing I can do besides mass acceptance…acknowledging I am bored and frustrated and bitter…when those feelings hit.
I am not Willy Wonka, I can’t sugar coat stuff.
Maybe this is a good time to learn a musical instrument or knit or sew or learn another language?
- August 12, 2014 at 5:39 pm #1966
Thanks Lisa it’s good to know other people understand I’m doing games on the tablet,tv,reading but I have a low concentration span get bored very quickly so can’t do films sadly,I get results of CT scan on Thursday so I better get all the ideas I can. Thank you happy recovery.Michelle x
- August 12, 2014 at 5:32 pm #1965
Oh, how I do hear you loud and clear!
The emotional roller coaster has been the worse part of this whole mess. I do a lot of reading and writing a journal about my experience, I have watched tons of on-line movies and TV shows (FINALLY watched “The Walking Dead” and “American Horror Story”…I LOVE horror stories) and doing the exercises that I can.
Good luck to you. Remember, you are human and it’s OK to have some bad moods.
- August 12, 2014 at 4:51 pm #1964
Hi,had a bad day today mood wise feel very low I’m 51 lead a very active life work fulltime on a busy Labour ward in local hospital really struggling with being stuck at home what do people do to pass the time ? Michelle (UK)
- August 11, 2014 at 9:27 pm #1959
I walked around for nearly 2 weeks before my surgery. I was reassured I had not caused any other damage. I had a graft, a plate and screws like a lot of others on this forum. People don’t believe me when I say the dog did the damage! Stay off the leg as much as you can before you get the results of the scan. I was able to do that before I knew what had really happened and I think that helped me. Now I am living downstairs and I am looking forward to having a lovely hot shower!
I am mostly here on my own in the day but my son (22) comes home at lunchtime to check on me and he is home at 4. I can do limited hopping with my walker and I have managed to do the ironing sitting on a chair.
My son walks the dog and feeds him etc but he keeps me company during the day. He has been very good around me even though he is still very young and pretty solid. Accept all the help you can and try to stay positive.
- August 11, 2014 at 7:50 pm #1957
Hi Lesley,thanks for your reply I have to confess that I have been hobbling around the house but after reading people’s story’s I’m scared now it could be worse and I have caused more damage although I have no pain I can’t get my head around its fractured and that they will say it was never fractured it was a mistake.These dogs have a lot to answer to who cares for your dog whilst you are like this ? Thanks Michelle (UK)
- August 11, 2014 at 6:54 pm #1956
My tpf was also caused by my young staffie who ran full pelt into my left leg July 9th. I went to A & E where they told me I had torn ligaments. I was sent home with the wrong support and it took 2 more visits to the local hospital to establish I had a tpf. A ct scan confirmed it. I had surgery 2 weeks and 2 days after the accident. I was told it went well. I have to wear a leg brace and am nwb for another 4 weeks – 6 in total. I will be x rayed again 4/9 and then I will be pwb for approx 6 weeks. I have aframe and crutches.
I am now confined to downstairs where my sons have set up a bed. I have very good support but it is easy to get fed up being immobile. I hop about and do things as much as I can to keep active. I did not initially realise the severity of this injury but this forum has kept me very informed and I am determined to be positive about things.
I am a high school teacher and do not anticipate returning to work till November at the earliest. I want to be fighting fit and have good movement. I will be pressing hard for physio at my next hospital appt.
Good luck to you. Ask as many pertinent questions as you can. This forum is great for suggestions.
I hope it all goes well. Keep posting .
- August 11, 2014 at 3:23 pm #1954
I did my tpf on 23rd July 3 weeks tomorrow I was out walking my 8 month old Labrador who over excited ran into my right knee how I got back home with her Il never now.I was first put in a cricket splint then 2days after a full cast
I have had a CT scan and get the results on Thursday which will also decide if I need surgery,is this a long time to wait if the have to operate and also when will I need physio. Thanks this is a very good site for all Information on this injury.
- August 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm #1953
Good to hear of your experiences. I am going to try and do some of those upper body exercises whilst I have to sit here. I have a 45 degree rotation on my leg brace so I do some gentle bends as instructed by the surgeon and I stretch and rotate the ankle to keep the circulation going. Bit worried about muscle wastage but can’t do much yet. I am as mobile as can be with a frame and crutches but never thought I would feel so tired after making myself a cup of tea! I do find that my foot swells after a period of mobility. Did you experience that? My knee is still swollen and feels hot but not too much pain at the moment.
Thank you for your reply. Good to know we are not alone.
- August 11, 2014 at 1:35 pm #1952
I had a similar surgery two months ago. During the difficult days, I grieved, prayed, and leaned on my friends. The good part is that I am doing much better than expected. Today I am able to walk without crutches and I expect to be teaching when classes begin in two weeks.
What helped me was staying still and elevating the leg and just doing toe and calf stretches for about a week. Then, I saw a PT who told me that my injured leg would respond to what I did with my well leg and the rest of my body. I did all I could with my well leg including stretch bands, leg slides with weights, and walking with a walker or crutches. Also, I did daily workouts with upper-body light weights, weighted sit-ups, and glute and quad squeezes. The squeezes are a constant exercise like the calf-stretches that help you maintain muscle even when you can’t use the leg.
I hope you heal well soon.
- August 9, 2014 at 2:22 pm #1923
I have just discovered this site and was interested in your story as my tpf was also caused by my new staffie cross (rescue dog) running full pelt into my left leg. I had to crawl out of the park dragging my leg behind me.
I had similar surgery – plate,graft and screws 2 weeks ago and am now nwb for another 4 weeks. After that I have been told I will be pwb for another 6 weeks.
I did not appreciate the full gravity of my injury until I read all the posts on this site and I have now realised that to heal properly I must be very patient.
I am a high school teacher and this is my Summer holiday. I can’t see me going back to school when term starts and I am looking ahead now to the second half of our term in November.
As you are a long way ahead of me, I would be very interested in your experiences and how you have coped with your immobility. Fortunately, my pain levels are okay – just the discomfort of the leg brace really and aching back and hips.
I am being very positive and am lucky to have 3 great sons and a supportive set of friends.
Regards to you,
- July 28, 2014 at 10:26 pm #1823
The only way I could get comfortable to sleep after getting my plate and 6 screws was to put a pillow between my legs when I would lay on my side. I did this for the first few weeks after my accident. I am not at 10 weeks since the accident, 9 since my surgery and the only real problem with sleep I have now is if the sheet and blanket are tucked in at the foot of the bed. I have to have them untucked otherwise that puts too much pressure on my foot and leg. I hope that helps you some.
- July 28, 2014 at 3:14 pm #1822
Hi Paul I suffered a TPF type IV in March. Sleeping was difficult but purchased a bean bag to help elevate the leg in bed and found this the best way to get comfy. I am still not working due to pain in the knee and swelling but physio exercises done every day. This is also helping my mobility, I walk sometimes with a stick for support but it is so frustrating not being able to do things you previously took for granted. Try to keep the foot moving if possible, don’t give up you will get there eventually. I am learning there is no quick fix for this so going with the flown. I like you sustained this whilst riding my motorbike home from work and it was no fault of mine that I was knocked off. Could be worse…..at least I can offer some guidance to another sufferer!!!
- July 28, 2014 at 2:29 am #1816
You can do a lot in a pool, but I can’t understand how you could be in a pool and not be able to do other ROM and exercises. As for sleeping, it gets better as the pain improves. I must say though, when the brace can come off, you will be very happy. I miss my horse. I simply got hurt getting off and it has cost me a summer. I can only advise doing your best until you get well.
- July 27, 2014 at 7:39 pm #1814
Doc said no real exercise or pt until 8 weeks. He did say I can get in the pool. What exercise can I accomplish in the pool? I’m squeezing the butt muscles and moving my foot as far as I can. My calf muscles are sore I quess from surgery. I have more mobility in the ankle than just after surgery. I have been eating much better than while on Percocet.
- July 27, 2014 at 5:18 pm #1812
Welcome. If you can, work on doing some leg lifting and gentle ROM exercises. Are you in physical therapy? If not, ask your doc about it. Due to my tpf and knee dislocation (motorcycle accident) I am still NWB, and will be for 12 weeks post accident. If it weren’t for PT I think I would not have any muscles left to even think walking was possible!
I hear ya about sleeping. Those first few weeks were tough for me, too. But do what you can to rest…and eat well, too. Foods that help bone healing will be your friend.
- July 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm #1809
I am 3 weeks into this injury with 6 screws and a plate. Was enjoying life on my dirtbike when this situation came to visit me. Did not even wreck my bike as I got off the bike and put down the kickstand. Wow the pain was insane. Getting out of my gear,boots especially was really special. I have 5 weeks to go till partial weight bearing. Sleeping is still hard as it’s tough to get comfortable. Any tips anyone has would be welcomed.
- July 24, 2014 at 12:07 pm #1791
Thank you Jay Jay! I will try that. Seems like a logical idea!!! I hate having that flab back there!! Lol I have never had flabby legs before!!
- July 23, 2014 at 11:10 pm #1784
I’m so sorry to hear of this. I suffered my TPF in May. I needed two surgeries and now have 2 plates and 14 screws in my lower leg. My doctor has told me that it can take up to 2 full years before you get back what you have lost.
I am still in a wheelchair and will be NWB until September (at least). I, too, worry about the long term consequences of this injury but I have to hold onto the message that healing from the trauma of a TPF takes time and work, as well as trying to manage the emotional aspect of it all.
Hold on, and keep working it!
- July 23, 2014 at 8:10 pm #1783
i suffered a tpf back in September last year and am still recovering. I was not operated on but put in a full leg cast followed by a knee brace. I am now able to walk but with a limp and do need a walking stick for long distances. I am worried i will not be able to get back to how i was before. I am having weekly physio and had hydrotherapy but i had a lot of muscle wastage so this has held up my recovery, i can still not ride a bike which is infuriating at times and i could just cry. Now suffering with swollen ankle in the heat. How long has it taken others to recover and have you experienced the same as me.
- July 19, 2014 at 1:58 am #1682
Jackie, I find this site is awesome too! Is you can, what you can do is glut squeezes. I think that works you hamstring because your squeezing the glut and thighs. Let me know if that works for you.
- July 17, 2014 at 12:00 pm #1657
First of all…Thank you so much for this site!!!! I was doing some research to find more exercises to build up my leg and stumbled onto your site and I just got lost in it!! LOVE IT!!
I was walking my dog and a Pitbull came on a dead run and plowed into the side of my leg. Result: crushed my tibia plateau and fractured my tibia. I have a steel plate, six screws and cadaver tissue. I have been 8 weeks NWB at this point…4 more weeks to go!!!! I feel I am lucky as I see all these posts about casts and braces and I never had a cast and the only time I had a brace was when I was waiting for my surgery. I am doing my own rehab at home at this point. I am bending at about 105-110 degrees and pretty close to completely straightening it out. My big concern is building up my hamstring safely. I am really trying to avoid Physical Therapy as much as possible. Does anyone have any suggestions to safely build up that hamstring? I have always had muscular legs (before accident) and it was just good genetics….lol So, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!! Thank you!!!!
- July 16, 2014 at 4:34 pm #1651
This year is 10 years since my TPF accident. I was actually hit by a wave in Maui while on vacation. Standing in knee deep water, the wave came in and just pushed the right way on my knee. I felt that warm sensation you get when you hurt your bones. Noticed I couldn’t walk and thought I just twisted or sprain my knee. My knee never swelled up or bruised. We grabbed some crutches and went on with our vacation.
Flew to the big island and had some x-rays done. TPF!! Flew home a few days later and meet my new surgeon. He was wonderful and put in a plate and 4 screws. Rehab was hard. 6 weeks non- weight baring and then a pretty slow recovery after that.
10 years later, I am hiking, doing yoga and running. I do get random knee pain, especially when it is cold out. But for the most part, I am happy with my progress. I did have to have meniscus surgery 5 years after the first surgery, but that was a piece of cake compared to the TPF surgery.
I think this changed my life, but also made me get back up and dust myself off to prove that I would do everything I loved again and more.
This is a great site. Good tips and great way to share the recovery.
- July 8, 2014 at 10:25 am #1581
online t shirt shop
thank you for share!
- July 7, 2014 at 10:33 pm #1565
Thanks for your words. I think being on two wheels, it’s a matter of inevitability that an accident will happen, and I’m just glad it’s not worse.
I feel ridiculously proud for being able to wash my hair for the first time since the accident, but now I’m worried about knee warmth since I sponge bathed myself. I had to take the immobilizer off to change clothes – is post-bathing warmth expected?
- July 7, 2014 at 4:39 pm #1561
Sorry to hear about your accident. TPF’s are a serious injury, and a lot of people don’t realize how long the recovery process is. In another post, I read that someone’s physio had them doing lunges. Can’t believe that! My orthopedic surgeon told me -ABSOLUTELY NO LUNGES, NO SQUATS!! Puts too much strain on the knee and meniscus.
Anytime I get on this site and post, I tell people-get a walker, it makes it so much easier to motivate, balance and you’re not always retrieving your crutches when they fall over. Also, easier on the shoulders, my ortho had told me to get a walker otherwise, after a couple months (or less) you’ll start having shoulder problems.
Just take care, do what your doctor tells you, above all: maintain patience and come to this web site to vent your frustration, it really helps.
- July 7, 2014 at 1:32 pm #1559
On July 3rd, I was returning home from a concert and riding my scooter. When I turn left onto this street, there’s a big confluence of streetcar tracks so I swing way over to the right side to avoid them. That was no problem, but the 3’x3′ piece of styrofoam in the road was. Instead of going straight at it, I tried to avoid it by swerving around it on the right, but caught the triangular edge (it was about 4 inches tall). I started fishtailing quite severely before losing control of my bike, sliding out on my left side while my bike skidded away in front of me, flashing sparks before it came to a stop.
Luckily, I had four guardian angels appear – a family of three and a passing cyclist. They were wonderful and got me ice and water, and called an ambulance. I had to spend the night in the hospital and went over two excruciating hours without anything for the pain.
After some confusion at the hospital over the next few days, I finally ascertained exactly what was wrong with me: tibial plateau fracture, as well as a fibia fracture. The possibility of a radial head fracture was no more, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief that using crutches the last few days hadn’t done even more damage.
For now, I don’t have to go through surgery, but I do have to go back to the fracture clinic every week to make sure my fractures haven’t slipped. They’ve got me on crutches right now, but it’s exhausting going on them even a half block, so I’m looking into renting a wheelchair. Luckily, I work from home, so I’ve barely missed a beat, other than being hopped up on painkillers and shutting down the laptop out of necessity.
I’m 28 and know I’m incredibly lucky every time I look back on the accident. I know it could have been avoidable if I was going slower (I was traveling 50 or 60kmh – about 35mph) or if it was daylight, but that doesn’t change anything. But the helmet I was wearing was the really bulky kind of motorcycle helmet with full face protection and a ton of padding inside, and I didn’t sustain any head or spinal injuries. I got barely any road rash, even though I was only wearing walking shorts and a hoodie. My left shoe was ripped open a bit (it’s a Skechers slip-on shoe, so the elastic over top of the tongue was torn off), but that just makes it perfect to get on and off my left foot. And I don’t have to go for surgery.
If I was a religious person, I’d say someone was looking out for me.
- July 2, 2014 at 11:50 pm #1530
I thought I had posted my story but I guess it landed somewhere else. I’m 54 years old and on June 08 I was hit on my motorcycle by a U turning driver. The left bumper squished my leg and I suffered a TPF which required a plate and 9 screws. The fibula was also broken at the throat which is no big thing. The surgery went well and I left the hospital the next day after displaying my skills at managing crutches. I have a 3mm deformity which I don’t really understand. I’m wearing a brace which allows for a little less than 90 degrees of movement.
I weaned myself off the pain meds after a week. I’m sitting at home, being looked after by my wife. The weather is sunny and warm. My attitude is good. I find sleeping difficult, because of the brace. I see my OS mid August and we will go from there.
- June 22, 2014 at 4:02 am #1433
I know it’s been awhile since you posted this, but I had to respond because I too suffered my tpf when I was run into by a dog running full speed at the dog beach. I can’t tell you how many times I hear “a dog did that to you?” Never underestimate the power of a huge dog running full speed ahead into your leg.
In any case, I’m almost three weeks post surgery (mine was displaced and shattered), and I’m just now beginning to feel the depression. I was a runner, and enjoyed yoga and weight training. Sitting on the couch for three weeks has made me feel purposeless. I’m glad to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I am a teacher, and worried about trying to go back to work. You post has given me faith that I’ll be active again.
- June 16, 2014 at 6:06 am #1364
I am a 34 year old mother of 4, happily married, and I am currently 6 weeks post-op with my TPF repair surgery. (2 plates, 8 screws and a bone graft) Like many others have mentioned, this is the hardest thing my family and I have ever been through. My husband and I were on a date at a local skatepark. Our 4 kids were home with the babysitter. I fractured my tibial plateau stepping off a skateboard trying to break my fall. I was not being reckless or trying a crazy trick, I just lost my balance at the end of a one foot high drop in. I know it seems irresponsible of me to be on a skateboard if I have kids, but I had full pads and a helmet on and I was simply trying to do something my husband and I could enjoy together. Plus I have always been a very active, athletic person. I am so grateful for modern medicine, my surgeon, my husband and kids, my church, my friends, my family, my ice machine, my wheelchair, the thousands of lessons I am learning through this to make me a better person… nevertheless it is tough to say the least. Especially having 5 other people in your life depending on you for so much including a 16 month old toddler, it has been humbling for all of us. Hoping for the best possible though with recovery!
- June 10, 2014 at 10:32 pm #1321
So sorry Vanessa you are young and sure hope you heal quickly and get a great big settlement what was that driver thinking!!!!!!
- June 10, 2014 at 10:05 pm #1320
Vanessa, please join our Facebook group, see further reading tab and you will find so much support, things will get better but patience is needed
- June 10, 2014 at 4:52 pm #1312
Here’s my story: tomorrow will mark 8 months since my surgery. A few days before that I was hit by car while walking my dog and crossing the street (my dog was fine). The driver was turning left and claims she never saw me so she didn’t even brake. It was noon on a sunny day and I was walking a dog so I still don’t understand how someone could not see me! But I digress… I feel very lucky to have survived since I also sustained a fractured skull and a brain bleed. I still have some neurological issues though am mostly back to myself. It’s been a loooooong 8 months and I still have a long way to go. Especially with my leg. I have a plate and 8 or 9 screws in my left tibia plateau. Things seemed to have healed well enough but now I have signs of osteoporosis from lack of use (that will hopefully go away as I get more active) and have a good chance of developing arthritis due to cartilege damage. My biggest struggle is getting my ROM back. I was 37 at the time of the accident and have a 6 year old son so I was quite active before. I’m now at 113 degrees flexion when I really push it. I still can’t fully extend which means standing for any length of time is agony. My right hip is starting to hurt from compensating so much. My surgeon is sending me to a colleague for a consult and I may need arthroscopic surgery to relieve some scar tissue. In the meantime, more aggressive PT and am also doing myofascial release massage therapy and using a JAS brace 4 times a day. I’ve struggled with frustration and mild depression as this has affected my whole life. I’m also dealing with a lawyer and insurance, etc… I feel lucky to be living in Canada so my treatment and coverage has been great but I’m self-employed so it’s really hard to do some of my work but I feel I need to in order to keep my business going. If anyone has positive stories that my ROM will come back and I will be able to ride a bike, ski and go rock climbing one day, that would be awesome. My surgeon said it might be as good as it gets and that was depressing to hear so I’m refusing to listen. For those just starting this lovely journey, hang in there! One thing I did in the early days was learn to knit. Because of my head injury, I couldn’t read or stare at a screen so this helped me feel productive. Many people received scarves last Christmas! 🙂
- June 10, 2014 at 4:23 pm #1311
Thanks for sharing. I’m currently 8 months post accident and may need a second surgery for the same reason as you. I measured my flexion today and am at 113 degrees which is better than 2 weeks ago but there definitely is some blockage and I certainly still can’t ride a bike or do many of the activities I used to. Would love to know how you fare after your second surgery! I’ll post my story below.
- June 5, 2014 at 12:15 pm #1097
I just retired too taught second grade for thirty seven years I am in alabama what part of the US are you in? Sure appreciate all your support .so sweet of you to be so encouraging to others through your trial We really did a number on ourselves with this injury but thank goodness recovery is possible
- June 5, 2014 at 2:08 am #1086
Redness and swelling means it’s time to ice and elevate! It’s totally normal at that stage. Your circulation improves as you begin walking, and your leg will eventually return to its normal color and size. I still get a little swelling if I’ve been on my feet all day, I just put my foot up while I watch TV and things are back to normal in no time.
- June 4, 2014 at 11:46 am #1053
Thank you Kate I too am 60 so glad to hear from you you surely can wonder I have a lot of pressure in my foot it turns red and aches will this get better with weight bearing or did you have this problem happy dancing you deserve it
- June 4, 2014 at 4:25 am #1039
Hi Julie, I am now 6 months out from my surgery for a comminuted TPF. And I can honestly say I am 90% healed. I can walk, but sometimes I still have a limp. I EXPECT my leg to support me and no longer feel unstable. I can swim, climb a ladder, walk my 100-lb. dog, balance myself on a boat, and even dance a bit. Even went out to dinner last week and wore cute shoes! Still have my hardware (plate and screws) and it doesn’t bother me. My legs now look the same size and shape and if the scar is covered, nobody can tell which leg got hurt. I would not have believed during NWB that I would ever get to this point! And by the way, I wasn’t some young healthy athlete when the accident happened. I am a 60 year old recently retired office worker, so I was mostly sedentary and out of shape. If I can do it, you can too!
- June 2, 2014 at 1:47 am #1008
Hey Kate saw you had your injury in December how are you doing now
- June 2, 2014 at 1:43 am #1007
Thanks Katie have you had a fracture yourself? If so how does the hardware feel and do you or have you had it removed? How long have you had hardware in if so. Thanks
- June 1, 2014 at 1:09 am #1001
Julie, I wouldn’t count on being able to walk 2 days after starting weight bearing. Your muscles have atrophied, you will be weak from inactivity, and frankly, it takes time to relearn to walk. From what I’ve read on other sites, many surgeons don’t understand this! All they care about is the bone, which should be strong enough to support your weight after 12 weeks, but they don’t specialize in soft tissue injuries. You may want to think about a back-up plan for the event, like bedazzling a walker if it’s a dressy event. Also think about a dressy slipper or flip-flop, you probably won’t even be able to wear a shoe on the affected foot. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s better to be informed and prepared than scrambling at the last minute.
- May 28, 2014 at 11:29 pm #975
Yeah Dan it’s a tough one. Mine was as bad as yours – I’m going on a year and a half now and doing much much better. Lots of PT! Lot’s of ice after PT! Laser, stem, power plate, vit C, calcium, no soda or beer. Heal that bone and tissue. I still have wierd pressure feeling in upper shin area and numbness down to my big toe. You will get better. Work hard!
- May 28, 2014 at 11:19 pm #974
90 degrees in a month is good. I was about 80 at a month and now I can almost touch my arse after one year. It’s a long road but keep working hard at ROM. Get a good physio who is not afraid to hurt you. I’m just a little older than you so kick ass dude!
- May 28, 2014 at 11:13 pm #973
Find a good Physio who is not afraid to put you in pain. You need to bend that leg as much as possible all the time. Push yourself and you’ll see results. Maybe look into the Dynasplit. Good luck.
- May 28, 2014 at 1:33 am #965
My doctor said I can,t put any weight on my leg until after twelve weeks he didn’t say anything about partial weight bearing he thinks I will be able to walk two days afterward for an event we plan to attend anyone have experience with this?
- May 28, 2014 at 1:21 am #964
This site has been so helpful to me. It is all kind of scary territory with a tpf a lot of unknown. Thank you so much for developing this site I plan to share it with my surgeon to share with his other patients.
- May 21, 2014 at 9:47 am #896
HI All,I suffered a TPF last 25th March when jumping hurdles during my running training. It was quite a nasty one due to large fragmentation and damaged my cartilage and joints. I had surgery 2 days later, i required a plate and 5 pins and some bone grafting from my hips. I am a very active 29 year old, i used to train every day, running, gym etc. One week before my accident I had just received acceptance for the London Royal Parks Half Marathon in October which I was going to run with my dad and some other friends to commemorate my dad’s 60th birthday, so it was quite a major blow. I am now into the 8th week, still no weight bearing and still on 45% ROM in the ROM splint. This site has been a huge moral help especially during those dark moments when you feel that your whole world has suddenly collapsed! One thing I learnt so far is that TPF can happen in an instant but takes so long to heal!!!
- May 21, 2014 at 7:29 am #892
I jumped down 3 stairs one night back in late august of last year. Rember landing on the grown in ungodly pain. Tried to get up and walk thinking my knee just gave out again. I immediately fell over. Went to the er where I screamed in pain and they offered me ibprofen, I kept moaning loudly to annoy them till they cared. When they came back with the ex rays they sang a different tune. I guess I had a tpf and it was shattered. They took a pint of blood out of my kneend gave me a external fixated. When back In a month later and had two more surgeries one the doctor said he quite counting pieces of bone in just one side at 32 and found pieces of bone in my thigh which he said he has only seen on a person with a parachute that didn’t open. This was all the worst pain ever. One of nurses stole my morphine upon exiting the hospital. Two months later until I could start walking in jan. Got off the meds, was going to physical therapy for awhile then it there was a transportation issue so I stopped but everything was time hobbelimg around until I stepped in a small hole. Now it hurts every time I walk, it seems more stiff, and now my whole leg hurts even when just lying down. I don’t get it. Made another doctor appt. But it seems like this is going to be never ending. I would also like to add that I read all these stories back in oct and through out. It helped out a lot knowing what others going through the same thing. Thanks
- May 20, 2014 at 10:09 pm #888
Hello all – my story: (54 yrs old). I was run into on the ski slope and was slammed into a tree right below my right knee and above my boot. I was rushed to the hospital nearby and had emergency surgery. Type VI and 20 screws. I am now 10 weeks post op and 50% WB. I am hoping to go to WBAT at week 12. I am no stranger to lower leg surgeries having both Achilles rupture and two hip replacements but none of those were anywhere near as difficult as TPF. Though my pain has subsided to tolerable levels, I stills have sensations that make it very difficult to sleep. I am very active and being at home with such a slow recovery is very difficult. I have watched about every episode of every tv show! My biggest concern right now is the pain just below my knee after doing any PT along with swelling that has still not gone down.
Very glad to have another place to share and encouraged by what I’ve read from others. Seems like everyone has a different experience and there is no “normal and customary”. I can only hope my recovery goes well and I’m off crutches in two weeks which will really make life easier. Thanks for listening!
- May 5, 2014 at 11:57 pm #716
Hang in there! It is a slow process to get better but at least people like us in our situation know eventually we will be better. I felt like you about my foot/ankle and you just have to wait it out. Are you experiencing symptoms of ‘foot drop’? I am 8 weeks post-op and still using crutches. I start PT this week to work up my strength in my leg for FWB but quite honestly I feel like it will take a while for me to get there. Good luck to you and your recovery!!!
- April 27, 2014 at 2:57 pm #647
On March 22nd I fell from a height of approx 2.5feet, landing upright on the medial aspect of my right ankle which caused a comminuted depressed lateral TPF. I had surgery 24 hours later which included screws and bone grafting and was discharged from hospital the next day with crutches, hinged leg brace and NWB for 8 weeks. I was reviewed by my surgeon a week later and my wound has healed well, with only some aching in my knee.
My main issue has been pain, swelling and inability to undertake ROM exercises in my ankle due to what feels like something grabbing at the medial side of my it when I try to move it. I even went to an after hours clinic at my local hospital 2 weeks post injury and requested an ankle x-ray to ensure there was no damage or break that had not been identified at the time of the initial fall. All I kept getting told is I have to expect pain and swelling due the injury.
It is now 5 weeks since my fall and I see the surgeon in two weeks, I’m hoping he will give me the go ahead to start exercising and partial weight bearing then (even though it will only be 7 weeks).
Reading that others have experienced pain etc in their ankle has reassured me that I am not losing the plot or being a typical nurse that self-diagnoses and this site has given me a place where I can talk to others that have gone through this.
Feel guilty when friends ask “how is your leg?” and all I can think of replying is “well it’s still connected to my body”.
Staying positive is not always easy and it’s hard not to get frustrated when you are used to being very active but I will get there.
- April 24, 2014 at 12:06 am #620
Go to bonesmart.org and look up myth busting for ROM and read peoples stories. I am 12 weeks post op and ROM coming very slow. I am about 80 degrees flexion. OS wants to do MUA but I’m holding out because I still am improving. Sometimes I might not make any progress for a week. It’s a frustrating process at times, especially if I stay focused on what I can’t do. When my mind goes there, I write in my praise journal of all the things I can do now that I couldn’t before. The list really adds up quickly!!!!! It helps me focus and stay grateful for how blessed I really am!!!!
- April 23, 2014 at 10:44 pm #619
On 2/28/14(Friday evening)I was jogging at my crossfit gym when I heard a pop in my right leg and went down. I thought I tore something(acl/mcl/meniscus) and waited until Monday to see an OS. He sent me to get an MRI and found out about the FTP. I complained to the OS that I was unable to flex my foot upward, numbness around my shin, and my calf was really tight. He sent me to get an ultrasound to make sure I didn’t have a blood clot. Luckily, there was no blood clot and I had arthroscopic surgery on 3/11/14 to get a pin implanted. I started PT on 4/3/14 with 25% weight bearing. I found out that I was not able to flex my foot and toes up due to nerve damage. Last week, I was able to flex my foot at 10-15% but not my toes. The most frustrating part of all has been getting back the ROM, which I am relieved to know I am not the only one(based on others stories on here). I am at about 100 but it seems like my knee will not budge any further and I am desperate to get to 120 or whatever degree so I can do squats again. Also, I am barely able to get my foot to rest flat on the floor while standing up. My knee also has a slight bend as well. Is it true that if I can’t get full ROM back after 6-8 weeks post op then I will be stuck like this forever?
- April 23, 2014 at 3:25 pm #616
Sally your recent note was like reading my minds memory…or remembering how very hard it was just a short time ago. How many times would I get upstairs (or down) & forget something essential…AUGGHHH!! Your comment about the fork & the dog was just priceless to me. Feeding my two dogs during all this was an unexpected chore, I couldn’t even muster the 3 steps down to the garage, I had to feed them inside twice a day. And then hobbling back to the kitchen to get my water or a napkin, what a chore!
I’m also very active & live alone & was suggested by friends to go on antideppressants. I never did & am glad I didn’t (but truthfully there were times I thought maybe I should). When you say the simple day-to-day is SO WEARING, that rang like church bells in my head. Friends would bring me groceries or take-out & I even had out-of-town family come & stay, which was an immense help, but the insomnia & just getting around my own home (bathing, toilet, kitchen, sofa, etc) was JUST EXHAUSTING. COMING FROM A VERY ACTIVE PERSON THAT SAYS ALOT!
My TPF was also a skiing accident in mid-February. I started formal PT & PWB 4 weeks before the OS in Utah said I would so that has been the highlight of my journey. I’m now 9 weeks post-op & have added 30 minutes on a stationary bike to my already 30 minutes walking & using the kick board in the pool. My flexion has returned well but my extension still seems to be lagging behind. I think the resounding message seems to be: TRY & BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF, THIS IS A BIG INJURY, IT WILL GET BETTER, IT WILL LIKELY TAKE MONTHS OR A YEAR TO RETURN TO WHERE WE WERE.
I also fear that I won’t be able to do what I had previously done but that fear simply won’t help me now. I need to just be where I am…in rehab.
Best of Luck.
- April 20, 2014 at 5:19 pm #607
I fell skiing on Feb.26th – have a TPF with 5 mm depression, but no surgery. My OS goes for 8 weeks NWB, also no PT. He did say I could work on range of motion and my PT told me – on the phone – to slide my heel in just to the stuck place and back out again. I’ve also been doing leg lifts. I have some trouble with my foot swelling when my leg is down for any period of time and the PT told me to do foot flexing (as in gas pedal pushing) to get the muscles working to circulate blood and lymph. This helped immensely. I do that a lot now. I return to work tomorrow, still on crutches. Also start PT and PWB this week. It feels like too much at once, but at the same time, I am relieved to get some of my life back.
Living alone with this put me in a tailspin for the first 5 weeks. I have no family in the area. People have helped, but also, not many – even close friends – understand the physcial and emotional impact of losing mobility. I was told to get on antidpressants or to go live with my son. I’ve had lots of offers and help with getting food or running errands, but just the day to day stuff is so wearing. To get a dinner, carry to a seat and then forget the fork – if only the dog would get it!
I have always been very active. I worry about losing that part of my life forever. It helps to read about others way ahead of me in time. Wish I could have started PWB sooner. Thanks for reading and sharing your story.
- April 18, 2014 at 6:44 pm #604
Hi everyone – my story is that I am now 10 weeks post-op from TPF with plate, 8 screws and a bone graft for the depression to the plateau. “High energy” ski accident on Feb 1. Got follow-up with ortho surgeon in Boston in 10 days (at 11 weeks post-op) but not raising my expectations too high as I have come to realize this is a very long haul. I have been fortunate to have had a home PT come to my house for the past 7 weeks which has been invaluable in introducing me to many basic exercises to bring ROM and functionality to the muscles and ligaments from the hip to the ankle. Now have 120 degrees of ROM and full extension- and I now am allowed to loosen up by doing my own aqua therapy and ride a stationary bike – all while being NWB. So significant progress has been made while NWB, but the area that is still very weak are the ligaments around the knee which have little strength and makes for a long PT ride when I can abandon the crutches and figure out how to walk again. Best of luck to you all.
- April 17, 2014 at 7:45 am #600
Hi there all of you, hope everybody is coping with our given situation! No way to avoid this one! People out there on a cpm, exercise your ankle and footmuscles, try to stretch the muscles in your leg, it will be very beneficial against the swelling of the leg once you’re on your feet again.
My fracture, Schatzker VI i came to know recently, could be set with 1 plate and 6 screws’only’. I’m now 15 weeks post op. and actually doing very well considering the damage that was done…
I walk without crutches, i work a lot on the balance in my body in order to walk as ‘normal’ as i can. I walk one speed only, slow! I ride a bike again and practise many other daily things, climbing and descending stairs and stuff..
I have not much swelling in my leg, sometimes a little in the knee, but i exercised a lot as soon as i was NWB, simple things, but effective plus i kept a very healthy diet and really engaged fully in the experience, the fysical and emotional pains, i lived it. I don’t know for other people, as this ride is so very personal, but those things helped and help me.
Take much care everybody and celebrate every progress, how little it may seem!
- April 4, 2014 at 3:10 am #546
I suffered my TPF the Sunday before Thanksgiving ’13. I was working on an oil well on the North Slope when I slipped and fell of a ladder on the wellhouse. I broke it in seven places, with one long crack down the tibia. I’ve been WBAT for about a month now, but the doc has me out until at least the end of June (I still use crutches for balance). He also let me know that heavy labor is no longer in my future.
I think that was the hardest thing to accept. I figured the slope job was out of the picture, but I’ve always done something that requires lifting, kneeling, ladder climbing (all things on the no-no list).
I get to go through some vocational rehab when he finally clears me. Even though I’m far into the recovery process, I still have daily issues and bad days. I think the swelling is the worse part. I also have to remember to put my brace on if I’m going to be on it for a while. I had a sideways buckle the other day that was a helpful reminder.
I look forward to reading everyone else’s stories and hope you enjoyed mine.
- April 1, 2014 at 4:33 am #534
I’m slowly learning each day I can master things I didn’t think I would be able to! And you are right celebrating those things is the right way to go! Makes it all a little easier! I had not thought about not letting your injury define you. That’s a really good way to think about it! Thank you so much for sharing that with me! I’m going to have to keep reminding myself of that!
- March 31, 2014 at 11:04 am #532
I have found the change in life style is huge. At first that’s all I dwelled on. Then I decided that I was not going to let my injury define me but that I was going to be back in charge of my life and move forward focusing on what I could do not on what I could not do. The thing is as each day passes the can do list grows and I celebrate each of those.
- March 31, 2014 at 5:07 am #531
I fractured my TP on March 8 due to a fall from my horse. I landed all my weight on my right leg and down went my ankle and knee. I also have suffered a fractured heel, torn ligament on the inside of my foot, and two totally destroyed ligaments on the outside of my foot. I am a little over a week post op for my knee. My ankle doctor is making me wait until my knee is healed before she will operate. I seem to be lucky after all the stories I have read. My surgery was a closed surgery and only required 3 screws. I’m currently in a brace that is locked at 30 degrees. I am told to use my ROM machine 6-8 hours a day which I usually do but sometimes I just can’t get in a whole 6 hours. I am up to a 90 degree bend and my machine says 0 degree extension but I know my knee is still bent some. It has been a really hard ride so far. My knee will require me to be NWB for 8-12 weeks and even then I will not be able to place any weight as my ankle still isn’t fixed. Once my ankle is fixed I will be NWB for 4 weeks and then slowly build up from there. I struggle a lot when I think how long my recovery is. I’m a very active person. I ride (jump) horses competitively along with being a lifeguard and swimmer. It has been hard for me to sit at home and do nothing especially since I seem to dwell on the fact I can’t ride. I also worry that I will not be able to ride as well as I did before the accident. I’ve been competitively riding almost my whole life so this has been a difficult thing for me. I try hard to remind myself it could have been a lot worse but sometimes it’s hard to remind myself that when my whole world is changed for awhile during my recovery. I’m so thankful I found this site and was able to relate to things everyone else seems to go through as well! It deffinitely helps to know I am not alone! I wish everyone the best in their recovery!
- March 23, 2014 at 2:33 pm #507
I also had my new (4 year old )lab run into my leg on 1/20/14. Had to wait 10 days for surgery. I thought I was going to be able to start standing after surgery like people with TKR. Boy was I disappointed. I also had the same sleep problems. I was moody to say the least. I am an X-ray tech and was also humbled to be on the other side. I was very grateful to have very nice, compassionate care givers. I did not have therapy until 5 weeks when I was partial weight bearing (25%). I do wish I had been given more at home exercises. I am now at 8 weeks and been given the go a head to put as much weight as tolerated. The surgeon was disappointed that my ROM is only about 45-50. He said he expected that it should be at 90%. This has been a frustrating process. Some days more swelling and pain then others….usually after overdoing it….then back to the couch!!! I am also blessed to have a wonderful family who are very helpful. (they don’t quite understand the emotional swings and moodiness that comes from lack of sleep, pain meds, and overall frustration of not being able to do things but by God’s grace, we are getting through) We also have many supportive friends. It was also a very humbling process to ask others for help and to be completely dependant on others. ( I suggest if people are offering to help, take them up on it early on. It is a long process and very demanding on the care givers) I am very thankful for my family but it is very demanding on them to pick up the extra work of wife and mother!
I hope more PT’s will have a better understanding of TPF. My therapist kept trying to push me to walk more when I was partial weight bearing. (5 weeks) It was too painful and I also have a lot of ankle swelling and decreased ROM in the ankle. Finally, I showed them the X-ray When they saw the plate and where and how the five screws were supporting a bone graph, they became more understanding and compassionate My doc is now pushing for more aggressive PT to increase ROM, which I can say I’m not totally looking forward to. I feel like I am a person, with spiritual
, emotional and physical needs, not just a knee or number or statistic.
Anyway, hope your doing well. Thought it was ironic how much our injury and recovery, thus far,was alike!
- March 21, 2014 at 4:43 pm #502
I too have difficulty sleeping but have found Arthritis Strength Tylenol to be helpful. I am a Social Worker so that being said sometimes need to hop like I talk (can’t say walk since I can’t right now lol) and remember that my feelings don’t make me think a certain way….it’s my thoughts and how I think about things cause me to feel a certain way and subsequently act a certain way. Therefore I need to work on keeping my thoughts positive i.e on what I can do right now not would I can’t do. Another ward not led my injury define me but for me to stay in charge and define how the injury is going to affect me.
- March 21, 2014 at 12:44 pm #501
Sorry voor de late reactie. Je bent een stuk verder dan ik. Ik ben nu ook bijna drie maanden na de (tweede) operatie, maar ik buig pas 80. Wel benieuwd welke Schatzker score je had. Veel last gehad van zenuwpijn van de huid, waar ik nu tryptizol voor slik.
Mijn mailadres is [email protected], ik woon in Rijswijk en ben 52 jaar. Ik mis inderdaad ervaringen van mede tpf patienten.
- March 20, 2014 at 11:11 pm #497
I agree that what you focus on you’ll get more of. It’s rather poignant that people like us get our lives pulled out to a screeching halt. Of course it forces us to try & work on or develop other types of skills…other than the mt. Biking! The mental work is a grueling process at times but im really hopeful it won’t be for nothing. If I become more patient because of this experience then it wasn’t without benefit.
I’m trying to make peace with the fact that it seems like right now I must take some sleep aid/pill each night or I just lay there for hours on my back. I don’t want to get dependent on ambien but it does work well & the laying there for hours awake is getting maddening.
- March 20, 2014 at 11:03 pm #496
Thanks for the kind words Miriam. Yes, being mostly immobile does make me look at other qualities of myself that would have likely been overlooked. Patience has never been my strong suit but I’m trying to actually see if I can allow or even enjoy this terrible situation. Resisting or fighting it seems to only add to the misery.
I also forgot to say how grateful I am to this site. It really has been very helpful to have so many resources and fellow TPF testimonies all in one place. No, we are not alone. Thanks to all that have told their stories…it really helps.
- March 19, 2014 at 9:18 am #491
Hi Bill, all sounds familiar…. And there must be a huge learning out of this! What i noticed is that being unable to move i was confronted with a lot of pains from the past which i had to face, now there’s a lot of cleansing! It is certainly a time in which we have the oppertunity to learn more of who we are and that is very beneficial for ourselves and for those around us, or not…
Wish you and all of us all the best, take care and be patient!
- March 19, 2014 at 2:36 am #485
Yikes Bill sounds like you have had a rather difficult time of it. I feel that the emotional stuff that goes with this is as difficult as the physical stuff. I also was very active before my injury as well as very independent. Therefore the change in lifestyle has been very difficult for me. However in order to maintain good mental health I try to focus on what I can do rather then on what I can’t do. Stay positive.
- March 18, 2014 at 4:21 pm #484
Greetings fellow TP victims:
I’m 47–very active. Sustained my TPF while skiing on 2/15/14. Had to wait until 2/18 for surgery as that was when the “better surgeon” was back in town. It was a blessing as I feel he was very competent at this procedure.
Spent 8 days in the hospital without a bath or any noticeable sleep. Had to change my return flight home multiple times (on my owm in a drug- induced state) since my insurance denied me skilled-nursing rehab. One resident said “this is not a hotel” so after 8 days I got on a 4 hour flight home. As with most other stories mine is also a semi- nightmare. Alone on a ski vacation & having to navigate my rental car, hotel, insurance, logistics, rides, follow-up care was very hard. Then my primary care wouldn’t accept any of the discharge PT,OT & home nursing cares orders (I live alone) since they hadn’t seen me in 2 years!!! They did deliver the CPM machine but couldn’t tell me how it worked (I’m using it right now) so luckily I went to YouTube to figure that out!
I’m very lucky to have family that came to my desperate rescue the first 3 weeks I was home. There was no way I could’ve managed alone even though I was previously very athletic & independent. As for most of us this has been a very challenging injury to endure. I find myself weepy quite often but just allow my humanity to flow thru. On the second week home we lost power (& water) for 4 days just when I was thinking it really can’t get worse. Perhaps this is some kind of cleansing for each of us? To remind us of what is truly important? God knows I’d never sign up for such a debilitating injury but I can’t escape it now. I hope I can maintain some sort of trusting of it all. I just feel there must be some good to come of all this pain & suffering?
Today marks 1 month post-op & I see my Ortho in 10 days to evaluate how the plates & screws are doing. I’m really nervous that I’ll be able to return to my previous high activity life style but right now is where I am at & I think fearing a long or bad recovery doesn’t help me now. I’ve also had a real problem with getting any quality sleep but feel that will improve with time.
I’m at 90 grees with my knee flexion so am pleased about that, and the fact that I got a chair for the tub so now I can take a (mostly) real shower!!!
Blessings to each of you. This ain’t no easy thing.
- March 15, 2014 at 8:06 pm #465
Hoi sylvia, ik heb dat apparaatin het ziekenhuis gebruikt, mijn ft heeft er geen dT was wel jammer voor het oefenen. Ik denk dat het 3 weken of langer duurde voordat ik 90 % kon buigen en nu 12 weken na de operatie kan ik met moeite 115% buigen. Ik voel mijn knie bij iedere stap, in rust is het okee. Pijn heb ik niet echt, maar het is stijf en het trekt. Mijn conditie is wel verbeterd en ik hoop dat ik ooit weer op mijn hurken kan zitten..
Hoe is het jou verder vergaan? Zijndie nare pijnen verminderd en hoe verloopt je revalidatie?
- March 15, 2014 at 4:22 pm #463
Heb je een cpm gebruikt bij je herstel? Hoe snel had je een buiging van 90? Mijn verhaal is hierboven!
- March 14, 2014 at 9:12 pm #457
I sustained my TPF on 12/15/13 due to a fall down a flight and half of stairs. Had fixator installed on 12/16/14. Then surgery on 1/17/14 with the addition of plates and screws. I will be non weight barring until 4/10/14. Then I will start PT. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions as well as recovery and I realize it’s not over yet. I was very active before this happen…went to YMCA 5 X week…road a mountain bike…kayaked etc. Often worry that I won’t return to post accident activities. Heck I can’t even currently apartment search as I can’t navigate stairs. Well enough about me. I’m glad I found this site as I appreciate the sharing from others as it helps put things in perspective.
- March 10, 2014 at 9:04 am #439
Hi you all and hi Debbie, suffering from potential pain in the butts! To avoid or diminish pain in the butts is not to lay on your back, which is very difficult in this situation. What i did was to slowly turn a little and lay on my side being supported by pillows in the back and between the legs, to be able to lay on the side was already a huge freedom feeling! I’m from Holland, i broke my TPF being lanced of my bicycle.. I never knew that aches in bones is soo painful. As Debbie i use good breathing exercises, little exercises as many as possible, letting emotions come and therefore crying occasionally being full of self pity, everything is okay. What is very very important, but most difficult is to accept the given situation, it is also a huge learning experience at least that is how i see it! I am 54, active, never broke a bone, but feel sometimes really old, especially when i try to get up after sitting for sometime. I have a plate and 6 screws and had 25 staplers, Debbie, it will feel much better when they are removed! After 6 weeks i could be FWB, which i could not! Now, 12 weeks after surgery, i walk without crutches, outside with 1 crutch, i exercise a lot, also at home, but always listen to my body, pain is stop! It will take a long time as for the most of us, wish you all a very nice day and keep up the good work!
- March 6, 2014 at 9:03 pm #425
Hi Arin. Tough story, but try to stay positive and with time you will be able to do everything you want to.
- March 6, 2014 at 5:40 pm #424
Hello all, I’m glad I found this website after all this time.
I am currently 9 months from the date of my injury 6/12/13. My story is a nightmare of issues with Worker’s Comp. and the inability for anyone to care about the recovery of me in a timely manner.
I fell off a ladder at work and went immediately to the doctor that my work wanted me to who then took an x ray and thought I had a minor fracture. Next came a month of trying to get the insurance company of my employer to find me a surgeon while I say there with a broken bone and no mobility. I finally see a surgeon (after my pay and benefits are suspended to “investigate” my claim) and he gets me a CAT scan which shows a TPF.
So, after having the surgery and going through therapy and the like, I am now currently still waiting for my second surgery to clear up scar tissue and deal with the ligament damage that I definitely have and that wasn’t dealt with during my original surgery because I got a CAT scan instead of a MRI.
I wanted to post my story and open myself up to questions regarding recovery and what to expect month by month with this injury because I unfortunately have a lot of experience now.
This injury has been the toughest part of my life so far (I guess that’s a good thing) but now being 26 and maybe never being able to do sports and be my former-for self again is heart breaking. I can commiserate with those who are having problems coping mentally with the lack of mobility and the long road that lies ahead. I am glad we. I am glad to have this tiny community to share our stories.
Thanks for reading.
- March 6, 2014 at 1:49 am #423
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- March 5, 2014 at 8:13 pm #422
Hi, I had surgery the 21st of Feb., 2014, for a TPF, left knee – slipped on my icy back deck. I get my 23 staples out in 2 days and am looking foreward to some input from the hospital physio dept. Luckily I’m 64 and in reasonable health and from the beginning not in excruciating pain. I was able to shinny backwards into my house , keep my 2yr and 3 yr old grandkids calm and pull myself up to the counter and call my daughter for help. I’m truly blessed with a husband of 44 years who is a great caretaker. We both have the positive attitude that everything happens for a reason. We’ll be working on our relationship, a healthy diet (luckily lots of frozen home cooking available) and especially on our physical fitness. I’m missing my yoga and zumba classes but incorporating as much yoga–especially the calm, full in and out nasal breaths as I use my crutches, walker, and when trying any moves, toe touching, sit ups, pushing myself up from fists at my hips, spine curls. Basically any move that I can think of I will try moderately and work up the level as I feel I can handle. I’ve added 2 lb. 3 lb weights and hope to work up to 5 lb. Again this controlled yoga breathing helps me feel my body’s reactions and slows me down when I need to. My theory is slow and easy and fewer but more often reps and if it is hurting listen and ease off. I find having an obus for back support with extra pillows as needed is keeping my lower back from staying achy for long. I take an hourly stoll alternating between my crutches and walker and change my locations to 3 different spots for variety. I think my biggest challenge in the next 3 months of NWB will be butt comfort. If anyone has any good exercises besides tense and flex I’d appreciate the suggestions. Thanks for letting me share and for having shared your experiences with me.
- March 5, 2014 at 1:10 pm #420
Mine was a skiing accident on 9th February in France. Had surgery on 10th and left hospital back to UK on 16th Feb. I expect to be NWB for three months and hope to move from a straight brace to a knee brace in 3 weeks. The French hospital was excellent and support in UK from NHS has exceeded my expectations. I am having some good and some bad days, it is good to hear others experiences. I have started bending my knee with my brace off in the evening and movement is coming slowly. A tip from my consultant is to use a plastic supermarket carrier bag under your foot while lying on the sofa and slide foot to bend the knee. The bag moves with your foot and stops your heel rubbing ang getting sore. Same technique can be used with bag under your bottom to help you slide into car seat.
- February 7, 2014 at 7:21 pm #389
Hi Cyndy, I had my TPF on 12/31/13 while skiing! I am 46 years old and also in good health. I had surgery on 1/9/14 and out of rehabilitation facility on 1/24/14.
I agree that it is a bit of an emotional roller coaster! I have had tears off and on during this process. It is hard to go from doing everything to hardly being able to do anything. I have rented a knee scooter (from link on page) and am loving it. I just ordered my groceries online and am trying to focus on the things I CAN do!
- February 1, 2014 at 11:22 pm #386
So glad to find this forum. I had my TPF on 1/26/14 while skiing. I am 56 yrs old and in good health. This is the first time I have ever broken anything or had surgery! Plates and screws were placed on 1/27 and I just got out of the hospital 1/31.
My emotions run the gambit from, ” I can do this!” To tears and total hopelessness! Has anyone else felt that way the first week???
- January 20, 2014 at 1:41 pm #380
Hi Brian, I’m also 52 years old. You can find my story beneath yours. I use a machine to bend my knee.
- January 20, 2014 at 1:38 pm #379
I’m from the Netherlands and very glad I found this forum. I had an accident with my bycicle on dec 18. First I got a external fixature, then I was operated at dec 30. My TPF is level 4-5 and I have two plates and 13 screws. After 8 days I went home with a CPM (Kinetec) to bend my knee. In our country the hospital pays the money for this machine. Now after 3 weeks the ROM is 70 degrees. In about 3 weeks new x-rays.
I have a question: Since a few days I have severe pain of the skin of my lower leg, they call it nerve pain. I got a medicine Lyrica (pregbalamine) but the side effects are awfull: stomach pain, dry mouth, dizzy, and so on. Has someone experienced a same sort of pain?
I think this is the most heaviest period of my life. It’s nice to find here people in the same struggle, and to exchange stories and results! (I hope my English is correct)
- January 19, 2014 at 10:24 pm #378
I am about 4 weeks from surgery. I am 52 years old and have never been hurt before. This has been hardest thing I have ever been through. My question and concern is the ROM of my Knee. The pt has measured it at 43 degrees at this point. I am just curious what other people have experienced at this point and are there any “tricks” to move this along quicker.
Thanks for the site.
- January 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm #366
I thought I would share my TPF story with you all….
I sustained my TPF in 2011 when I was 24 after crashing a quad bike at high speed. My left knee took the impact on the wheel guard and before I knew it was laying on the ground cut up and wondering why I couldn’t extend my left leg when attempting to stand.
When I presented to A&E via ambulance, it was a tedious process to see what injury I had acquired. Due to the way I landed with my leg upright, it was difficult to xray. After putting a Zimmer splint on to pull the joint down slightly to straighten and several X-rays later, it was determined that I had broken my tibial plateau and would require emergency surgery. I was in my last year of studying nursing and knew exactly what the TP was, but the actual damage I had I wasn’t aware of. It wasn’t until I was wheeled into the operating theatre and the surgeon kindly said to me (bed side manner at its best, not!!) “well safe to say your knee is stuffed and will never be the same. I’ll wait and have a look at the damage shortly but at this point in time, we will need to replace the top of the tibia with coral, fix screws and plates to the tibia, clean up any ligaments that are destroyed and assess anything else that may need repairing. And you will not be able to participate in any high impact sports that involved running, pivoting etc.” If that wasn’t a kick in the guts I don’t know what was!! I was petrified! For starters, coral??? Need being able to do any high impact sports?? Not something a dancer and netballer wants to hear.
After the 9 hour operation on my leg, I did in fact have coral to replace the top of my tibia that was shattered, 15 screws, 2 growth plates and a busted ACL. The coral was absolutely bewildering, I had no idea if could be used for such things. It essentially acts as a scaffold for the vessels to grow through and the body takes it on as a piece of bone. I had become the bionic woman!
The immediate recovery was horrendous. To be fair, I didn’t suffer much in the way of pain, it was more the loss of independence. Simple things that you take for granted like taking a cup of tea from the kitchen to the lounge. I had a Zimmer splint for 7 weeks where the leg was to remain at 180 and straight the whole time. Even being a passenger in a car to get to orthopedic appointments was a real test.
Following the 7 weeks I was fitted with an increment brace where each week the angle would change by 10 degrees to allow the knee to slowly start to bend.
12 weeks post op I was able to finally have the brace at full movement and weight bear. Woo hoo!! But this was just the start of a very long winded and frustrating recovery. ROM exercises ruled my life, and walking to the end of the street with crutches and weight bearing at the same time was a high five moment. I felt like I was cautious when walking around and would risk assess everything for fear that the ground might be unsteady, the floor could be wet, there was to many stairs for me to climb etc.
The hardest thing for me since the TPF has been weight gain. Going from being so physically active to struggling to walk up a road with a slight increment. And of course, the more weight you gain the more pressure there is on the joint. But how can you lose weight when you have lost majority of your physical activity!??
I appreciate that the extend of a TPF can differ, but my word of advise is to maintain your recovery exercise from the moment you get the green light to commence them. You need to build up the muscles you lose whilst not being mobile and get use to that foreign feeling of having metal in your leg!
I was told by my surgeon that come the time I’m 30 I would be needing a total knee replacement. Can’t help but be a skeptic and think would this make my mobility any worse or better??
I wish you all the very best in your recovery. Stay strong and use forums like this because you do sometimes think “woe is me”, but knowing you aren’t alone in the drawn-out process is comforting 🙂
- January 11, 2014 at 10:28 pm #365
Hello everyone. Here’s an update. I completely fractured by TP on 11/11. Had an external fixator put on 11/12, and one week later, 2 brackets and 9 screws. I am 8 weeks out of surgery and my bone has healed well. I just a follow-up with my Ortho Surgeon and he cleared me for WBAT. However, he was not pleased that my ROM is still very limited. I am getting about 85 degrees bending, and improving steadily.
But I’m really concerned about my extension. I am around -15 to -20 degrees, on any given day. I stretch and I stretch and doing physical therapy. I just don’t see the improvement.
Does anyone have any suggestions about a good leg extension stretch? What worked for you?
- January 3, 2014 at 2:14 am #364
Wow, Judy, I’ll be praying for a good outcome for you! This recovery is hard enough without having to do it twice. Hang in there!
- January 1, 2014 at 9:20 pm #363
Hi everyone! so very glad i found this site. My fall was 11.26.13 and i feel like my life has forever been changed. i too cry for no reason. I am praying all the time for healing and grace. the lesson i have learned is i need to slow down and smell the roses. i went to the doctor on thursday and instead of healing, my fraacture shifted .5mm. i know not a lot, but not healing. my leg immobilizer has been on wrong, i believe the whole time. it was readjusted very different from before and i am hoping this will fix the problem. if it continues ill have have more surgery, which i am not looking forward to. so i sit and wait until monday for another xray. please keep me in your thoughts and prayers and it anyone else has experienced this i would look forward to you input. Thanks…and Happy New Year!
- January 1, 2014 at 4:31 pm #362
Hi my fellow TPFers,on 11/1/13 I fell from the top of a 6 ft ladder,landing on my right foot/ leg which proceeded to crunch in my knee and then rolled the ankle. I knew immediately something was very wrong since leg wouldn’t move .I also was at work ps. My “new job less than a year great impression” anyway one ambulance ride later to a trauma center and xrays tada!!!! I have a Type 5 TPF, might be a 6 asking for sure Monday 1/6/14. Oh I shattered my tibia plateaux 2 plates 10 screws and broke fibula,with a severe ankle sprain that is tender to the touch still,surgery was 4 days later due to swelling,whick by the way my incision is still not healed PO 8 wks. Don’t remember going home and the first few weeks ,my pain was beyond excrutiating!!!! I too exp depression and was diagnosed with PTSD by MD. Have that under control now so far, I have done my very best to learn as much as possible about this very cunning,individual,rarely happens injury lol.I have to wait 1 more month til PWB hopefully started Physio last week at office been doing the prior at home with home are worked my ass off last 2 weeks to get ROM to 90 or OS threatened Manipulation so I said No way am goibg back to hospital!!! So on Monday I hit 114 ROM yeah me!!! What I have learned so far,ask for help ,get fresh air,occupy your brain,educate yourself,be patient I have now accepted MY recovery will probably be in the 1-2 Year range. Last that EVERY TPF is unique and no recovery is the same, they say its the injury that keeps giving back!!!! Lol Happy New Year everyone,and heathy healing, I have to work on my diet I have lost a ton of weight and muscle boo, but reading your page has shown me what I need to be doing.So grateful to have found this site!!!
- December 26, 2013 at 2:09 am #361
My family has always joked that I am a klutz. I proved it on a cruise vacation. We were docked in Nassau, Bahamas. My friend and I had a GREAT day. We were on our way back to the cruise ship and I fell. Just walking, mis-stepped, and fell. At first I just laughed at myself until I realized I could not stand back up… at all. Then things got scary. My friend had to leave me on the sidewalk by myself to go back to the ship to get help. She had my id, money and everything. I was paranoid of not being able to get back to the ship and being left there. Finally someone came with a golf cart. Scooting across the ground to get into it was probably the most painful experience of my life. They took me back to the ship. In the infirmary of the ship they were able to take x-rays and give me a temporary cast. There were still 2 days left of the cruise. I laid on the couch the rest of the cruise. Once back home I went to an orthopedist and had MRI and CT scans done. Luckily I did not tear any tendons or ligaments. Just a small meniscus tear that the doctor says is not enough to be concerned about right now. My surgery was originally supposed to be outpatient, however the CT showed more damage than originally seen in the X-Ray. I had multiple fractures – one extending vertically down the bone about an inch and a half and one horizontally across the top. I required 2 metal plates – one on each side of the bone, and 9 screws. I am 13 days post-op now. I use a rollator, which is great. I recommend it over crutches if you are like me and cannot keep your balance on crutches. I had a wedding planned for March 1st, which I now have to postpone. I find myself experiencing huge emotional “episodes.” I want to cry for no apparent reason except the extreme frustration of not being able to do anything easily myself. The doctor is not releasing me for work for at least 3 months. He says I can go back after Christmas on “light duty.” Not an easy thing to do as a hotel manager, but I am hoping I can figure it out and stay sane.
- December 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm #359
Thank you for the update, Chris! My injury was only one month ago, and I’m still NWB. You gave me hope, much needed on this rather depressing Christmas. It helps tremendously to know what to expect. Merry Christmas and may you return to your old activities in 2014! Kate P
- December 25, 2013 at 6:36 am #358
Hello and Merry Christmas fellow TPF’s! I haven’t posted in a while, but wanted to give you an update on my progress. I suffered my TPF the end of August, when my new labrador retriever crashed into my leg. I had surgery 8-27 with a plate and 5 screws. I was non weight bearing for 6 weeks-very depressing to say the least. I am a physical therapist myself, and I had never treated this injury, so I had no idea what to expect.
The 6 weeks NWB was brutal being confined to a wheelchair, elevated toilet seat, shower bench etc-having to get assistance from my wife and two young sons for most everything. I was a terrible patient I have to admit. I was in great shape before the injury(I used to do Ironman triathlons), so to go from being very active to a couch potato overnight was very humbling. I was in a lot of pain for the first 2-3 weeks. I couldn’t sleep very well due to the knee brace making it impossible to roll over over on my stomach, so I averaged 2-3 hours at a time before waking up. I watched a lot of Law and Order on tv, and read a lot of books. I was depressed-will I be able to return to my job?, Will I be able to play with my kids again?, Will I be able to work out like I used to? Will I need a knee replacement in a few years, and suffer early arthritis? These are the kind of questions that will go through your mind.
October 9th, the surgeon said my fracture was healed, and I could begin full weight bearing. So I left his office with my crutches to begin physical therapy. I really recommend therapy with access to a pool for gait training in a pool. When I tried to use just one crutch and put weight on the involved leg I almost collapsed. It took 2-3 weeks in the pool before I was able to put much weight on my leg-My foot hurt worse than my knee. I strongly recommend to everyone to do as much range of motion exercises to their knee and ankle and foot as possible while you are non weight bearing. I didn’t, and my recovery was delayed because of that I feel. As a therapist it was very interesting and humbling to be the patient rather than the PT. Do what your therapist advises. I was in therapy from Oct 9 to December 5th. I had hoped to be back to work a lot sooner, but with my job I have to be very stable on my feet,and be able to keep my patients from falling. When the surgeon released me Nov 20th to return to work 2 weeks later, I was excited, and scared. No one told me how much my leg would swell daily with increased time on my feet. A few hours after leaving my surgeon’s office, my leg was so swollen I couldn’t believe it.
I did return to work Dec 2nd. Now 3 weeks later I can report I am doing well. I have a long way to go. My leg doesn’t hurt, but my leg swells daily. I wear a compression stocking. My balance is okay, but not great. I’m not confident going up/down stairs. I can only walk one speed. I cannot speed up to get across a parking lot, or get out of rain. I still limp. But I am SO MUCH BETTER than I was a month ago, and I know this recovery will take a LONG time to fully recover. I hope this helps other TPF’rs out there who are wondering what to expect, and feeling confused, depressed or scared especially during the holidays. Attitude determines altitude. If you rest, you rust. I would advise everyone to take their recovery very seriously. Make your recovery your full or part time job. I find that if I just sit for 15 minutes, I am very stiff trying to get up and walk. So try to do SOMETHING every 15 minutes! Stand up, mini squats, calf raises, ankle pumps etc.
All the best to everyone here! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 2014 will be better than 2013! Chris
- December 6, 2013 at 1:59 am #356
Hi everyone. I was in a car accident yesterday on the way home from work and received a TPF in my right leg as well as a concussion (and 15 minutes of time that I was either unconscious or don’t remember). I’m normally a very active person and can’t stand laying around doing nothing. I know I have a long recovery ahead, and the “fun” is only beginning, but I doubt my ability to stay same the entire time. My amazon kindle and laptop computer were both broken in the accident so I’m stuck laying on the couch watching tv all day.
I at least managed to beg the doctor to allow me back to work on very light, sitting only duty after missing only one day. I go back to work tonight (graveyard shift).
I saw a surgeon today and found out that I’m going to need surgery on it, likely sometime next week. I’m really not looking forward to the long road back, especially because I would be fine if a specific someone decided not to run a red light yesterday.
Any tips anyone can offer on staying sane would be appreciated
- November 30, 2013 at 7:19 pm #354
Hi Everybody. I skidded off of my moped on 9/27/13. The full weight of my body and the scooter slammed on my left leg. I tried to bend my leg to get up then and could feel the bone under the skin move in ways it never should. What a memory.
I had two surgeries for external fixators…one was put in wrong! Then I changed to a trauma surgeon and all went smooth. I had orif surgery 10/14… needed over two weeks for the swelling to go down enough for surgery. I have 1 large plate and 1 small one and 14 screws in my leg. Almost like a cup holding the peices together inside it. Doc says I can start to try to walk on Christmas day, a few steps. My recovery has been slow but steady and I have a long way to go. It will be 10 weeks nwb before I try.
I just stopped taking my hydro meds because I was concerned with dependence.I get discomfort when bending my leg, but not enough pain to need opiates.
I am close to 100 degree bending and maybe one degree off in extension. I do easy yoga stretches and they help me with not only extension, but in easing the feeling of my muscles being restless.
Some days I struggle with feeling like this is forever and that I could be doing so much more. Then my fiance reminds me that I will need this leg the rest of my life, and that healing and taking my time is the most important thing I could possibly do. Very true.
My advice to anyone is to make sure you are getting your rom back… even tiny increments because it will get there over time. Don’t compare others injuries or recovery to yours because there are too many variables. And try to take it easy. Enjoy this miraculous thing our bodies are going through. Don’t rush recovery!
- November 25, 2013 at 5:02 pm #351
I had TPF surgery with plate and 5 screws end of August. Then 6 weeks NWB, before being allowed to begin full WB October 9th. Even though I was to begin FWB then, I had so much pain in my foot that it took almost 3 weeks in the pool before I could walk with one crutch without pain. The last 3 weeks I have focused on getting ROM and strength as well as walking with a cane. I have not had any pain, and I have full ROM and OK strength. Walking on treadmill for 10 minutes 3 days a week in PT has felt great.
So I saw surgeon this past week, showed him what I could do as far as balancing on the one leg, squats etc. The surgeon discharged me saying I can return to work next week light duty/half days for a week, and then ease into full duty the following week. Ironically I am a physical therapist. So I have to be on my feet most of the day, as well have good stability to prevent my geriatric patients from falling.
So I have begun walking more and more, and I am having a lot of swelling-I haven’t had this much swelling since the initial TPF injury. The swelling in the foot/ankle is so great that it really increases my limp and decreases my stability. Is this a normal reaction to increasing my walking? I was so excited to finally get the go ahead to return to work after 3 and a half months, so maybe I have been overdoing it. My employer is willing to work with me, knowing I won’t be 100% for a while. But I can’t do much if I’m limping because of the increased swelling. I was so psyched just a few days ago, and now I’m a bit bummed that I won’t be able to do my job.
Elevating my leg and ice helps return my leg to almost normal. I also got a compression stocking today which should help. I have been getting better and better each week since being FWB. And I felt really strong as I left the surgeon’s office. But now I feel I’ve taken a step back. I just wanted to post here to learn if this is pretty typical, how others have dealt with the sudden increase in swelling. I didn’t have any swelling in weight bearing until the last week. Is it all due to increased time on my feet? Is there anything else I should be doing to help control the swelling? Does the swelling get less and less quickly or should I expect severe swelling for many months?
Thanks in advance for any input.
Chris in Virginia Beach
- November 24, 2013 at 4:09 pm #350
Hello everyone, I discovered this informative website once I got out of the hospital. I fractured my left tibia plateau in two places playing competitive basketball. I had to have an external brace put on for 1 week and then just last week the brace removed and screws and plates installed.
This is my first week of recovery at home. It’s such a struggle to do everything. It’s not easy, I am glad to find this website for support.
- November 19, 2013 at 8:07 pm #346
I am sorry to hear you are having pain, luckily everyone I work with does not allow it to get that far.
I can be full weight bearing on the bad leg, actually doing that is another story. I do put weight on it with the crutches. If I am going any distance on the crutches I wear my biking gloves, it has alleviated almost all the pain of using them.
For the most part I am very positive and have been having fun picking out canes to walk with later.
- November 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm #345
Thank you for your response. I woke up this morning in so much pain. At physio yesterday they tried to get me to do lunges. I couldn’t do one, now I can’t even bend my leg without a piercing pain down my tibia. As much as I don’t like to hear that someone else is going through this, it is somewhat comforting knowing I am not alone. I understand about the frustration of not being able to drive. I also didn’t drive for a while, I even took the insurance off my car as it was just sitting there. It makes it more difficult when people say “can’t you drive? You probably can”, but you know your body and only you know whether you can or not. And when you can, you will know and you will give it a try. I am driving now but have to get in slowly as I can’t twist my leg or put too much pressure on it. As for the crutches, I am completely with you on this! My hands were SO sore! I would dread even having to crutch to the washroom because it would hurt my hands so much. My surgeon recommended trying one crutch which slowly decreased the pain on my hands. I even started hopping around on one foot to avoid using them. Are you able to put any weight on your leg yet while using the crutches? You will be without them soon enough, just try to stay positive. Thank you again for the post and I hope the rest of your healing goes well for you, I’m sure it will. 🙂
- November 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm #344
I have been dealing with some depression issues too. Mine is mostly from not being able to some things I used to do. I still am unable to drive, my reflexes are so bad I don’t think I could, although I have not tried.
I am almost 18 wks post surgery, I am using forearm crutches to walk, but it does get painful after a while. Physio is rough, I have under 90 degrees of flex in the knee still. My physical therapist is a cheerleader and everything is going to be great! My doctor thinks things will be fine, except you might need another surgery or three.
I am happy enough to be walking with crutches, much better than the wheelchair or the walker. I know it is going to be a long road and that gets to me.
I have read other pages and some of the younger folks recover well under a year and are back to doing the things they love, running, snow boarding, skiiing, etc.
You are not alone out there, and sounds like you are doing pretty well for only a few months.
- November 19, 2013 at 2:54 am #343
At the end of August I had a bad collision playing soccer which ended with me in emerg and sent into surgery with a tibial plateau fracture. I fractured my tibia and dislocated my knee, “broke my knee” the surgeon calls it. I was a very committed athlete. I loved running. It was my favourite thing to do, it helped me escape, it release stress. I have been doing physio but am still unable to do much. I try to go for walks to get some cardio in but can’t walk any longer than 15 minutes. Is anyone else going through this type of depression? I’ve asked my physio when I can run again and she just laughs. I see it isn’t as important to others as it is to me. Looking forward to this process being over. Happy to find a page with others who might understand.
- November 17, 2013 at 1:36 pm #342
It was 15 weeks ago I had surgery for TPF (a plate and screws). I have for the past month been fully weight bearing, walking outdoors and taking a crutch with me, but walking around the house with no crutch. It’s a most frustrating injury and a lot of patience is needed, but I am following my Physio’s instructions to the letter and it’s paying off. When you start partial weight bearing don’t try and over do it, your leg will let you know when it’s had enough. You will get good and bad days, but don’t dwell on the “not so good” days, we have all been there with a TPF and positive thinking goes a long way!! Best of luck.
- November 16, 2013 at 8:59 am #341
hello! I just discovered this site! My tpf happened 2 months ago while standing on an old step stool, trying to attach a curtain rod above a window. While on the stool I realized I forgot an important tool so instead of getting off the step stool and walking 3 steps to get it, I stayed on the stool & reached as far as I could to grab the tool from a nearby shelf. The next thing I remember was the stool going out from under me and being airborne with my leg mangled up in the stool. Then came the worst pain I’ve ever experienced! It’s been 2 months since my surgery and I’m healing well, but was told today it could take another month or two before I can put weight on it. I’m looking forward to hearing how you all are doing and any tips, etc…Thanks!
- November 13, 2013 at 7:11 pm #340
Greetings and Salutations fellow TPFer’s!
My name is Ken. I suffered a type V TPF and fractured both bones in my ankle on 05 July 2013. I basically fell off my bicycle when the front tire slipped out from under me…
I had ORIF surgery on the ankle on 06 July, my TPF ORIF surgery was on 08 July. I had an external fixation after the ankle surgery that was removed during the TPF surgery.
I was NWB for nearly 16 weeks. I did some PT and have about 90 degrees of flex in the knee. Since getting permission for full WBAT I have started aquatherapy. I am walking with forearm crutches, I personally like them better than standard crutches or my walkers.
I will work on getting some x-ray pictures up for viewing. I have after the accident and one month after surgery.
Good luck to all of you out there.