Recovery


A tibial plateau fracture is really not much fun, but it helps if you are prepared and in many cases doctors will not prepare you properly for daily life after your injury. If I had to give you only one piece of Advice on TPF recovery it would be: be patient. And in the end, it’s not as bad as it looks.

Below is a more elaborate list of time-tested knowledge and information on different subjects related to your TPF. There are also separate sections for the different stages of recovery (from the menu above choose “1-8 weeks” etc.)

*Note: this website is not intended to provide medical advice. Your doctor is a much better source for medical advice.  This information is based on firsh-hand personal experience and research*

What to expect – overview

You will be leaving the hospital on crutches, usually with a hinged brace. For the first few weeks you will experience quite a few different uncomfortable symptoms but these all pass quickly. Natural symptoms include limited range of motion in your leg as well as pain, heat flashes, edema and stiffness Some of these will be cause by the fact that you are not completely mobile. Things will progress from here until in the end you are (in most cases) completely able to do your everyday activities, but it will take some time and hard work.

Time to recovery

Recovery from a tpf fracture is different from person to person. It depends very much on the exact type and specifics of injury, your age, prior issues, level of physical activity, physiotherapy, nutrition and many other factors. Given all of these differences it is still quite safe to say that for most people, if you the injury was treated by surgery, you will still be in some kind of recovery for a complete year after your injury¹. In most cases it will be more than that, Improvement showing up to three years after. This sounds like a lot, and it is, but I can assure you that it does get better and that for most people after a few months your the injury will not prevent you from continuing with you daily life and you will be able to do all your daily activities to some extent including walking short distances, going out, meeting with friends, going to work etc.

Weight Bearing

For a period of about 6-8 weeks after the surgery you will be NWB (non-wait-baring), this means that you can not put any pressure on your leg and will need to use a wheelchair, crutches or both. For some injuries it might take up to 12 weeks until allowed FWB(Full weight bearing). Depending on your doctor and your specific health condition you will be moving from NWB to PWB (Partial Weight bearing) or FWBAT (Full weight bearing as tolerated). This period of NWB will cause many mobility concerns and will affect your daily routine.

Mobility

You will be spending a few days in a hospital bed then progressing to a wheel chair and crutches, which you will be using for about 2 months, possibly followed by a single crutch and walking stick (see paragraph above – “weight bearing”). It could be up to 3 months on crutches, and up to 6 still using a walking stick (but usually much less). Also expect that initially you won’t be able to bend your knee much for a few weeks. This is called limited ROM (range-of-motion). Crutches are hard to use at first, and may be painful on the hands and shoulder, but don’t worry you will get used to them very quickly. And as a bonus you will develop very strong arm muscles. In some cases, overuse and pressure on your hands can cause secondary injuries to your wrists, arms or shoulders. If you are in pain from using crutches take it easy and use a wheelchair for a short while. You should also consider testing different types of crutches. Forearm crutches are usually more comfortable (then underarm) and come in ergonomic varieties. Today many advanced crutches also support ergonomic designs, anti-slip, and special features (link, link). Underarm crutches are usually safer then regular forearm crutches (link), but tend to be less comfortable, and don’t come with as many smart designs. Platform crutches might be good for people with a poor grip, but I haven’t tried them myself. Some crutches will also have shock absorbers to help your wrists and arms absorb shock (link).

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All this will require that you prepare for a period of partial mobility. Things you might be limited in doing include – walking up and down stairs, house jobs (cleaning, cooking, washing), carrying things from place to place (no free hands when using crutches), reaching high and low cabinets, showering. At first, you might also have trouble getting dressed and undressed but this will pass quickly. The best way to deal with this is have friends, partners & family help you with everyday chores and prepare the house as much as possible to make things easier. A few things you could do are:

  • Get a shower chair so that you are able to shower without bearing weight (link) and possibly also invest in some big bags or drycast or other cast covers (link) so that you can shower without taking your brace or cast off during the first few weeks.
  • Be very careful when using crutches in a wet surface because you could easily slip. Even more dangerous is if the crutches are wet and the floor is not. Make sure to dry the bottom of your crutches on a towel before leaving the shower.
  • If your crutches are very old and the tips are cracked, replace the tips with new rubber tips. The come very cheaply (link)
  • Use a gripper (link) to be able to reach those unreachable cabinets and to be able to grasp and retrieve items you would not be able to otherwise while on a wheel chair (link).
  • Make sure that someone prepares food and goes shopping for you. Other options include ordering in prepared food and ordering groceries online.
  • If your bed is on the second floor, Consider sleeping in a different room if you find it hard to get up the stairs. You can also climb stairs with crutches, or sitting down.
  • High and low cabinets are are hard to reach. Try moving things around so that they are easier to reach. Doors on low cabinets can also be unhinged to allow for easier access with a wheel chair. They can easily be put back on later.
  • More useful ideas can be found in the “logistics” section and “Tips & Tricks

Physiotherapy


Physiotherapy is going to be a regular part of your life. The are several goals: increase ROM, increase muscle-mass, teach your musculoskeletal system to operate as before and increase your stability. It is very very important that you start physiotherapy as early as possible and keep at it until you are completely better. This is the one factor that will affect your recovery more then any other and it is completely up to you. I’ve written a complete section on physiotherapy alone. Usually you will be given exercises to perform from your physiotherapist. At the very beginning you will probably not be able to bend or straighten your knee at all. This can be quite frightening but don’t be alarmed. Initially exercises will aim to teach your neurological system to control the leg again. It might even only be hours before you will start to be able to bend your leg, or it could be a few days.  After this, during the NWB (not in all cases) period you will be performing gentle exercises to enhance your ROM, strengthen your muscles and reduce stiffness, sometimes using stretch bands(link). Exercises might be done at home or in a medical center. It is very important that during this stage you follow PT instructions and do the exercises as soon as possible and as much as possible. This will reduce stiffness, boost recovery and give you a better chance at developing good ROM. When you progress to WB, physiotherapy will include many exercises with weights and machinery with the aim of gaining stability and muscle and to exercise everyday activities like walking. I can not emphasize enough how important it is that you keep at it (even if it means you go to work less). To be able to do physiotherapy at home you can consider purchasing light ankle weights(link).  For more info and tips, have a look at the physiotherapy section.

Medical professional

Several medical professionals will be involved in your recovery process, including the radiologists, the OS (“operating surgeon”), Physiotherapist and sometimes others. You will be having regular checkups with them. It is very important that you make sure your OS is a good one, and that you consult with him on every question you have. Be curious and ask everything you want to know. Sometimes doctors will not be generous with information, make sure that you get your answers. You deserve them. Seek extra information in sites like this one (more sites in the further reading section). In many cases the PT and the OS will be discussing your condition either directly or passing notes through you. Make sure that they talk if they are not already talking, but remember that when they give contradicting advice – the opinion of the OS is always the one to go by. You might also want to consider getting a second opinion both before or after your surgery.

Diet

Bone healing requires quite a lot of nutritional help, especially during the first 3 months(This is when the bone is healing), so make sure to eat well, and consider supplementation. For your healing to progress well you need to make sure that you get a lot of Calories, Protein, Antioxidants and minerals. During the first few weeks of healing your body will consume about 2-3(!) times as many calories as normal. This is about 6000 calories per day, so no need to feel bad if you’re eating a lot and very hungry. It’s all going to healing.

Protein is an Important nutritional ingredient. By volume, roughly half of your bone is comprised of protein, and you will also need to get a lot of it to reduce muscle atrophy as much as possible. If you think you are not getting enough protein consider using protein powder to supplement your daily protein intake (link), or adding protein rich food to your diet (meat, eggs, milk products, nuts & seeds).

Minerals are very important for several reasons. By weight bone is about 70% minerals. These are the building blocks of your bones. The high need for minerals will mean you might no be getting enough of them, which can cause other problems. If you are depleted in magnesium for example this may cause muscle cramps which are not much fun during a tpf. Consider using a multi-vitamin(link) containing minerals during the recovery process just to be sure. Studies have shown a lower rate of complications in healing in people taking multi-vitamins (link). The most important minerals to consume are Zinc, Copper, Calcium and Silicon.

Vitamins are the catalysts for the process of healing and are also in high need during recovery.  Vitamins that play an important role in bone healing include: Vitamin C, Vitamin K, the Vitamin B-series. Be sure to eat a varied diet and Consider using a multi-vitamin for Vitamins and minerals (link).

Anti-Infalmmatory Nutrients help reduce inflammation and pain. Bone creates a lot of inflammation which causes pain.  Unfortunately it is not advisable to take NSAID (Non Steroidal anti-inflammatory Drugs) during the bone recovery process as these slow recovery. Natural Anti inflammatory agents that may work to reduce pain include Vitmain C, Omega-3 (link) and others.

There are many foods you should avoid. Some foods will interrupt normal absorption of nutrients and their consumption should be limited. Some of these are:

  • Salt or foods prepared with lots of salt
  • More than one cup of coffee or other caffeine beverages. If possible, avoid coffee altogether.
  • Sugar
  • Chocolate (because to caffeine content)
  • Soft drinks and carbonated beverages
  • Alcohol (it inhibits calcium absorption)
  • Caffeine (it increases rate of calcium loss and inhibits absorption)

Pain

Pain is an unpleasant but normal part of recovery. You will be experiencing different types of pain and discomfort throughout your recovery. Pain might be felt in different parts of the leg, and won’t neccesarily concentrate only around the knee. Most pain comes during the first few days and weeks after the surgery. Pain management is an important part of your recovery and you should not be in constant pain. You should use pain medication as advised by your OS or hospital medical staff. If you are unable to use the medication prescribed by your doctor or are more comfortable using a different type of pain medication remember that some types of painkillers should not be taken for long periods of time(read the label!), and that you should never take NSAID as pain-killer while the bone is still healing. These types of medications will postpone healing. Brands included in the NSAID group which you should not use include Aspirin, Motrin, Ibufen, diclofenac, naproxen and others. Don’t use these. Instead use what is recommended by your medical staff or another medication that is not a NSAID. In some case, mostly in the first days you might experience more severe pain that can be treated with stronger drugs. This is normal, but if you experience abnormally strong pain or other abnormal symptoms, get yourself evacuated to a medical center as this is usually nothing but could be a sign of a complication. Make that in the first few weeks you have a bottle or box of painkillers in your pocket so that it’s always handy. Remember – liquid pain medication usually act faster then the tablet equivalent of the same brand.

Staying at home/Mental Health

You might be staying at home a lot and will be quite immobile for a while. This can get affect your mood very much and can at some point get depressing, especially if you are used to being very active. There is no magic pill for this, choose a good book, and a good TV series and try to regularly talk to as many friends, family and close people as possible. The proximity of  friends and close ones is very important. You might also want to find a community of people who have suffered from TPF before who share your experiences and feelings. There are several such communities, and some of them they can be in the further reading section of this website. Also, try to do as much exercise as you possibly can. Even if this means exercising while sitting or lying down. This can give real boost to your mood. Another good Idea is to start watching a new TV-show you’ve never had time to watch, or subscribe to online video providers like netflix or amazon prime (link). If in need, consult a psychologist or mental health professional. It is quite normal to be affected by a prolonged period of immobility and recovery, and a psychologist will be able to help with this.

Physical Activity

You will eventually probably be able to do anything you were able to do before your injury. However, this might take a long time (1 or more year for some sports) and you might have to be careful when doing extreme sports. There is a limited amount of things that you may not be able to do exactly as before, for example some yoga postures will not be possible with limited ROM, but you can always work around these limitations by doing things slightly differently. Also, you might experience some pain which will be limiting. If you want to take up a fitness activity shortly after the injury bicycling and swimming are both good options which will also help with recovery. Upper body weight training might also be a good option but will not directly advance your recovery.

Work

You Might be dying to get back to work or could be in need for a vacation. Going back to work is something that very much depends on you and on your specific job and state of mind. Some people go back to work on crutches after 4 weeks (me, for example), while others might wait a whole 6 months.  There is a good side to going back to work (aside from money) since you will be interacting with people all day long and will not be bored. The important thing to remember is that you must avoid overworking and stressing yourself out. When you go to work it is important that you leave enough time and mental energy to be able to do your physiotherapy as much as you need, to rest, to relax and to visit your medical professional. This will allow your body to recover. You might be tempted to sacrifice your physio for your career. Don’t do that. Your career will still be there when you recover, the condition of  your leg is something you will be living with forever.

Sex

There is no physical limitation from having sex as soon as the initial pain has subsided, but this injury can affect your sex life, something which you will not find a lot of information about and your doctor might not tell you. Decreased mobility in one leg and one leg which is half the strength of the other can naturally affect sex. This gets better as your leg heals and strengthens, and you will need to ask your partner to be patient as you progress through the recovery process.

On a good note

Tibial plateau Recovery takes a long time but at the end of the process you are looking at excellent recovery and usually a fully functional life.  Moreover, trying to find the good embedded in the bad, this injury can help you put things in perspective and appreciate all the things you have in life: friends, family, health, a loving spouse. It gives you an opportunity to stop and think about what matters most.

299 thoughts on “Recovery

  1. Hello,
    I had TDF and Fibia neck fracture July 10, ‘ 14 (left leg). Surgery with plate and I forget how many screws! It has been a life-changing injury. At 61 years, I wasn’t in very good shape anyway; albeit active enough to work full-time and manage a large yard and many flowerbeds. I am a serious outdoors person and found myself basically homebound. One item that I suggest is that people with this injury needs to be able to talk directly with your surgeon. I was expected to leave the hospital on crutches. My husband bought a wheelchair. No matter how much the hospital PT and doctor thought I was able to do more — o simply COULD NOT! I am a strong-willed person and did not enjoy others trying to.convince me of things that I couldn’t physically do. I found myself very weak and had difficulty even using a walker at first. Looking back, I was emotionally drained. One reason may have been having to deal with so many people that insisted I do things. I was supposed to go to a rehab facility after being dismissed from the hospital. But, I was so frustrated that I would not go and went home. I don’t have a way of knowing if I have not progressed as quickly. I do know that having people trying to convince to do things was maddening.
    I went back to work about 3 weeks after injury- using my wheelchair and had to have someone get to to the car, get me out, get me inside…etc. Each day, I was exhausted.

    I’m not sure going back to work was a good decision. I continued with an altered schedule but it was very difficult. It also think the schedule hampered going to PT. Plus, it was hard to get others to work their schedules to take me to PT. Point: stand up for yourself. ASK. EXPECT. .. pay others back later…. but go to therapy and rest. Eat right. I couldn’t eat for about 6 weeks – lost about 20 pounds.

    Right now, I cannot imagine being able to walk! I was NWB until 12 weeks post surgery. The day before my 12 week checkup, I fell while using a walker and broke my left arm– plate and screws. A week later- kidney stone surgery. YUK.

    Now, I’m almost six weeks past arm surgery. I believe my arm is healing well.

    At PT, the last few times, I’ve practiced walking. It feels like my knee cannot support me. But, I have managed to waddle across the floor with the Therapist holding me via a belt. I’ve been very excited yet I am nervous because it feels like my ‘plateau’ is missing. I know I’m fearful of falling again… I REALLY do not want another fall!

    Can anyone describe the feeling in the TP area when you began learning to walk? Helps or other advice?

    I feel badly for those who live alone. The injury is not only debilitating; it is also mentally challenging. It has given me so much to think about. From now on, I will have a new sympathy for those who lose a limb, etc and those who have injuries that change life.

    Blessings to all of you.

    • Sorry to hear about your horrible experience. Obviously your doctor and PT at the hospital are not as familiar with this fracture as they maybe of others. I ended up at a level one Trauma Center with the best orthopedic trauma doctor in the state. They see quite a few of these types of fractures. I went home with a bedside commode, wheelchair and walker. I bought crutches because the walker irritates me. I haven’t gone back to work yet, in fact I no longer have a job. I am a nurse and that requires the ability to move quickly and to walk or run. I have been looking for telephone nurse positions. I am worried and I get very depressed. but I am strong. By the time I see doc again it will be17 weeks non-weight-bearing, give or take. I will get better again, just gonna take time and persistence. Keep on going as best you can.

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for this site, I actually landed here looking for an answer to a specific question but what I actually found was honest information and some amazing comments to people going through similar.
    I had injury on 11/10 (am british if anyone thinks dates seem odd), I had ORIF surgery on the 18/10, which included a synthetic bone graft and 6-8 screws. So far i’m at 60degree rotation and NWB. Last week I went to consultant and was told I needed to wait till the 10th of Dec before he would even consider the idea of me going onto PWB. I seem to have a different problem for most. Since released from hospital, I slept without the brace as I hadn’t the slightest sleep with it, I took myself off from 100 morphine twice a day to 25 once a day (Evening – only feel pain at night) and over past two days been walking without crutches (when away from caring but telling off eyes) without any pain. My knee is still swollen mainly around the ‘scar’ but otherwise is on. I’m ready to start building movement and WB, but feel I aught to ask if I’m causing myself any damage or if there are any major dangers before I do! Consultant appointment isn’t till the 10th of Dec and its not like I pick up the phone and ask, so do I wait despite every other part of my life including job, degree, and stupidly I know my 3 hour a day walk with my dog (which I wouldn’t do immediately – just 5 mins would be nice). I don’t want to hinder progress, health has to come first but, I’m on a zero hour contract, if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. Thanks if anyone can offer even a glimmer of advice!

    • Kat, Sorry you had a TPF. It is a life changing injury. I had mine over a year ago this past August. But I have to be blunt with you. If you are supposed to be NWB until Dec 10th, you should. Jobs come and go, but your leg won’t. You had your injury less than 2 months ago, and are walking without crutches?! Recipe for disaster. I was NWB for 2 months, before weightbearing began. I then spent 3 weeks in the pool learning to walk and 2 more months before I could return to work. If your work requires you to be on your feet all day like mine does as a physical therapist, you won’t be returning to that job. Sorry..

      If you cause a microfracture to the leg while healing, you will be starting over. I wish I could tell you differently, but if you read a lot of stories on this site, you won’t find anyone who healed faster by ignoring MD orders. You don’t know what is going on in your leg, but your doctors do, and hence the NWB status for 2 months.

      A year later I still limp, and have trouble with stairs. I can’t run or jump. This injury takes at least 2 years to see what your recovery will be. Don’t risk it by walking now a month after your injury. Nothing good will come from that, and you could really screw up your recovery. IF your job doesn’t understand, it’s not a good job. Health will always be more important than any job.
      Sorry I can’t give you more of a “glimmer” of hope, but it is good advice from someone who was in your position. Read more stories here, and you will realize it is better to be safe than sorry. Plan for the worst, and hope for the best. But if you continue walking on the leg against MD orders, you will be sorry. As a PT I deal with people going against orders all the time, and it never works. You should plan on at least 4 months to be able to walk without a cane. After 2 months NWB, when I was told leg was healed and to start walking, I almost collapsed taking my first step. NWB does quite a number on your leg strength. Be patient. If your doctor told you to take such and such medicine for 2 months to ensure the bone heals, you would take that medicine right? So why not stay off the leg for 2 months? Just my opinion….You were told Dec 10th before “even considering” PWB. You still have swelling around the scar…It’s nowhere close to being healed at 5 weeks.

    • Hi.

      TPFs are no joke. The tibia plateau is the most critical weight bearing point in your body. The bones need to be strong with a good deal of healing before one can safely bear weight. You may be ready, but your bones aren’t.

      That is why it’s important you follow your doctor’s advise regarding NWB status. I know this is a rough pill to swallow…I know because I was there, too. I was in a wheelchair for 15 weeks and was out of work for 4.5 months.

      I am sorry I could not tell you what you wanted to hear, but it’s only because I don’t want you or anyone on this website to suffer anymore than what has already occurred. I truly wish you well.

  3. Pingback: Family Rooms Tibial Plateau Fracture Management - Hotel Rooms

  4. Yep, the external fixation rods are the absolute worst part of the whole thing. The pain after surgery is also bad, but not as uncomfortable for sure.
    I’ll be 7 months since the fracture on the 24th. I can walk painfully with a bit of a limp and have almost full extension. Missing about 3 degrees of flexion. Pain is still terrible, especially when cold, and I just don’t have the agility or trust of a real knee. My knee is more of a “crunchy meat hinge”

  5. Thanks, This is all new I’m at the beginning of this. Fell 2 1/2 weeks ago currently have an external fixation device on my leg, surgery next week. Guess I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me! Ugh!

    • Ugh is right!

      I had an ex fix, too.

      Of ALL things I disliked about the early days of my injury, the ex fix topped them all. I absolutely hated that thing, so my blessings are with you and anyone else in that contraption.

      Take care!

  6. Just an update on my condition so far.

    Recap: Accident happened 10/5, TPF Type IV to my right leg, 1 screw inserted during 10/8 surgery, released from hospital 10/13

    5 weeks to the day after surgery, the full-leg splint was removed after 3 weeks. Had brace put on Oct 31 at 90′ and one week later moved to 120′. Still no weight bearing, but will have an x-ray and consultation 11/21 to see if the brace is off and can weight-bear.

    I started work 2 weeks after the accident (teaching), and started driving last Friday to work. My classes were moved to first floor or buildings with elevators. Not much pain usually, though sometimes the odd pain comes and goes. Worst was a couple of falls I took in my house as a result of the crutches. (I live alone and had to go through this injury alone). Leg is starting to feel much better though it’s much thinner than the left leg now. Trying to remain optimistic.. it’s been a long 5 weeks of first sitting home, 2 deaths of friends and my gf breaking up with me, and just sitting home all the time. I find its as much of a mental injury as it is a physical one. Thank god for Netflix.

    • hi man. hang in there. it is just sometimes we have to been through some tough times all our own . i had an tpf on Oct 19. now i can bend my knee to 120 but still no weight bearing. i have to move my farther in law house coz my gal cant take care me herself. too much for her. now i am also facing a problem of how to deal with them day to day.
      good luck!

  7. I had a 6 inch vertical fracture, severe soft tissue damage and compartment syndrome but no fracture to the fibula. I so appreciate your input. I am 12 weeks post injury and still NWB for about 4 more weeks. I know I have to alter certain aspects of my career and I accept that. Ready to start walking!

  8. I have Type VI TPF- does anyone else have this stage? How long does it take to recover? I suspect it is going to be a really long time before I am healed. Because of this site I started looking for other job options that I can do with crutches or a wheelchair. This site has been the reason I am slowly but not gracefully accepting my injury. I am not into orthopedics so I really only have a basic knowledge of different fractures. I had 3 surgeries within 6 days for my leg. I had severe compartment syndrome and I had a skin graph because on wouldn’t close. I would love to have advice or just talk to someone who has had the Type VI TPF. Thanks!

    • I had a Type 6 TPF. I also had a knee dislocation, a long vertical tibia shaft fracture, and 3 fractures in the fibula. Sounds as if you did not have these things, but you are dealing with stuff I didn’t. It’s safe to say we both have had complex injuries.

      I was in a wheelchair for 15 weeks, and went I was given the OK to bear weight, in early September, I spent 2 weeks with crutches and still use a cane. I go to PT weekly and do my home exercises.

      I have been told by my surgeon and PT team that I can expect to be working at recovering for the next 2-3 YEARS. I continue to need pain meds depending on the day. I need to remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Coming back from such an injury takes time.

      You are not alone. The worse part of this, for me anyways, has been the hit to my mental/emotional health. I have always been an active person and now I can’t even walk stairs normally (picture a zombie walking on stairs…you get the picture). It does take work to keep the spirits up at times. But then again, as time passes it has gotten better.

      Take care.

    • Danna, I had a Type 2 displaced fracture requiring plate and 5 screws-2 months NWB, then 2 months of PT to be able to return to work-out of work for 4 months-15 months later, I still limp, and have trouble with stairs. I’d estimate my repaired leg is 60% as strong as uninvolved leg. Surgeon says give leg 2 years to see what full recovery will be. I don’t have pain but I feel like a 90 year old man when I sit for more than 20 minutes.

      One thing I will add, this experience has made me a better physical therapist having been a patient. More empathy for my patients, but I can also tell when they are not working as hard as they should.
      Hope this helps.
      Chris

      • Thanks Chris!
        Your information in previous replies made me reevaluate my recovery time. So now I am hoping to find a position within the hospital that I can do from a wheelchair/crutches. Have a interview in the morning for telephone triage in oncology(my specialty), yay! The word “I can’t” aren’t well imbedded in my vocabulary because I always had to or wanted to. Just driven, always, to put 200% into everything I do. I will do the same with this injury too.
        I have had 3 kids, 2 without pain meds and I was in the worst pain ever with my fracture, tissue damage and compartment syndrome. I did loose it. I have always taken my patient’s pain seriously. I do expect them to give 100% and I can tell when they aren’t. It is hard to watch someone not do the work that would ease suffering and improve quality of life. The ones who are the most physically capable seem to be the ones who try the least. Worse if they just don’t care. I think that is hard to watch for me anyway.
        I will behave myself and allow my body to catch up with my mind.

  9. i broke my tibia plateau 2 weeks ago bin in plaster since but had a brace yesterday its so uncomfortable cant sleep at night feels really weird all around knee and down my shin is numb is this normal ? am not allowed to put weight on it for at least 2 months either its a nightmare.

    • Hang in there. I am 7 weeks post surgery. 9 weeks since accident, bad landing off horse. 8 screws plated and filler. Get a body pillow for between legs. It will help a lot when you start rolling over. Pain will ease up soon at night. I am pain free now except when I push for bend with physio. I wheel around in a small wheelchair , so I can do things to pass time. I can do quite a bit because our house is open concept and one floor, thank goodness. I am 61 years old and I am not going to let this stop me for long. Call everyone you know. Accept help. Yes I do loose it sometimes, but then I just give my head a shake, say suck it up princess, it’s not forever. P

  10. 2 reasons for the foot issue. One is because you havent used it for 7 weeks. Nerves and muscles havent been used Your body literally doesnt remember the feeling. At the very least I hope they had you doing foot pumps to keep your ankle flexible. Two is that its due to the nerve tunning down your leg that was disturbed from the surgery. If thats the case you should also have numbness in the front of the leg (shin).

  11. Your numbness is likely caused by damage to the nerves from a surgical incision and your injury. It may or may not resolve. I know it feels weird but you will get used to it. I had enough nerve damage before my accident and now I have more. yay me…lol

    • My TPF occurred about 6 years ago now and still get odd sensations but it happens a lot less than it did to begin with. Almost daily I’d either have pins and needles or loss of feeling where they operated so just bare with it, it should get better.

      I was also NWB more around 5 months with a full length leg brace on. Sleeping to begin with was awful but I soon got used to it, almost to the point that I couldn’t sleep without it once it came off. I certainly didn’t want to walk without it to start with.

      I also found that I could turn the brace to my advantage – people would go out of their way to make me tea at work ;-)

      • Hi Ross,
        I am a little concerned at your comment that you still get odd sensations 6 years after TPF. May I ask what these odd sensations are? Also what Type TPF was yours (Type 1 being least serious going all the way to Type 6). Finally did you have a second surgery to take out the hardware (what are they? plate? Screws?).

        Mine is a Type 1 on lateral side. Got it exactly 11 months ago skiing. Operated 2 days later, and NWB for 6 weeks, PWB for another 2 weeks. I did twice a week physio sessions for about 6 weeks then have been to the gym almost every day. I can do almost everything, walk, swim, jog and full squats (with a little pain on the ITB down to the ankle). During these past two weeks the stiffness after half an hour of not moving the knee is gone, the limping in the first few steps is gone. So I am very happy with the progress.

        The muscles in the affected leg are back but not to the full extent as the good leg. I would say about 80%. I would advise to concentrate on building up the quads, because this seems to be the weakest. Stand on a platform (old phone books for example) with the affected leg, then lower down the body bending the knees until the good leg heel touches the floor. Purpose built gym platforms are more stable if you can get hold of them.

        I am 60 years old and I was concerned initially about full recovery, but I have been very happy with the recovery so far. I will be talking to my surgeon about whether to take out the hardware (1 plate and 8 screws). So anyone with this experience, appreciate sharing – thanks.

        For all out there who are recovering from this horrible fracture, don’t and never give up. You just have to be persistent and continue to do the exercises, At my lowest point, I struggled with a weight of 5 in the hamstring raise at the gym when I first started at the gym exercises. I almost cried. I have no problem with 70 now, about 9 months later. Same for the other exercises. The first few weeks were the most difficult, and I would recommend doing more reps with lighter resistance initially. Then in about the 6 or 7 months later, build muscles by increasing the resistance and doing fewer reps.

        One thing good about all the frequent exercises – my cholestrol has gone down, my resting heart rate has reduced, my blood pressure has gone down and I didnt catch any cough or cold in the past 11 months. My dog has been getting more and longer walks! So cheer up, there has to be something good that comes out from this!

        Cheers and thanks for reading.
        BH from Singapore

        • It would be cool if we could upload images of our xrays here. Probably everyone has digital images of their injury and I’d be interested in seeing how other fractures compare to mine. Who is the admin? can we add this feature to the forum?

          • No need to see my Xrays.

            Just take one of those old Gumby wire/rubber dolls and bend the lower leg going all different directions somehow all at the same time.

            That was me after the motorcycle wreck!

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