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 Tibial Plateau eracture 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 Tibial Plateau fracture. 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 (in the knee and ankle joints) as well as pain, heat flashes, edema and stiffness Some of these will be caused 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 Tibial Plateau 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 knee and 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

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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 Tibial Plateau fracture. 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 Tibial Plateau fracture 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.

1,583 thoughts on “Recovery

  1. Hi , great page and comforting to read how others have been through the same journey,

    I had my Opp in april and was feeling very good now in December. Yesterday i slipped and fell down my steps.

    my leg hurts a little but and i still have all the hardware in my leg , has any one ever refracted their bone 8 months post surgery ?

    i can still walk with out a crouch just wondering if anyone has had this happen to them

    thanks – Luke

    I

  2. June,
    Yes, I’m having the hardware removed because of the intense pain from the screw coming through the bone and tightness around the plate. I also just want “my leg” back. I want to see if ROM improves and pain diminishes. I know that metal can shift and so perhaps that’s what yours is doing. My doctor noticed the screw coming through the bone on my third X-ray but when I look back to the first X-ray, it was already coming through. It was just a poor choice of length of screw.

  3. Hi,

    I am 4 weeks post break and its hard… I love this post because I don’t feel such a victim seeing so many other people in the same boat. I have been NWB and working really hard with my physio so am hoping that I will be ready for PWB before Christmas – I know its a big deal and I dont want to rush it – but this is sooo hard sitting here staring at Jeremy Kyle all day! d

    • Debbie,
      sorry about your break. I had to wait 8 weeks before I was partial weight bearing and it was a long time. I couldn’t use crutches- I had to ‘hop” with a walker. I also have a townhouse with a lot of steps- which I had to navigate- up and down – on my butt. Gradually it all got easier and better.
      I read a lot, watched TV, e-mailed on the computer, called friends and had visitors when I could handle it. I was very tired and took naps. I made my recovery my focus. Do you have any help ?
      Do whatever you have to do to keep moving forward- you will get going and you will get better.
      PATIENCE IS THE NAME OF THE GAME, THOUGH.
      GOOD LUCK.

  4. My boyfriend did the intramedullary(tibia and fibula)operation two weeks ago, we don’t sleep at night because of the cramps, can anyone advice me on which meds to buy for the cramping pls?

    • Debbie,
      sorry about your break. I had to wait 8 weeks before I was partial weight bearing and it was a long time. I couldn’t use crutches- I had to ‘hop” with a walker. I also have a townhouse with a lot of steps- which I had to navigate- up and down – on my butt. Gradually it all got easier and better.
      I read a lot, watched TV, e-mailed on the computer, called friends and had visitors when I could handle it. I was very tired and took naps. I made my recovery my focus. Do you have any help ?
      Do whatever you have to do to keep moving forward- you will get going and you will get better.
      PATIENCE IS THE NAME OF THE GAME, THOUGH.
      GOOD LUCK.

    • I was given Tylenol post op.
      However, when I got home- I started taking Motrin- as I had very little pain.
      I recently read- never take Ibuprofin!! who knows what I did to myself.
      nest thing- call your orthopedic DR and let him make the decision!!!
      good luck.

  5. I broke my tibia in May. I had one screw removed in September- it was outside of the bone and hurting. I did very well with healing and therapy, but, everything is still stiff. Working out too much- causes pain and stiffness, not working out enough-causes pain and stiffness. Now, I am also feeling like another screw is piercing through the bone.
    What was the reason for having ALL of the hardware removed- I have a plate and 5 more screws in there. Does it prevent further improvement? Does it CAUSE some of the pain and discomfort that I feel ? Going up Stairs is still not great- but better than before. Does that ever get back to “Normal”???
    I also have a bad shoulder and tendonitis in my arm from compensating for my leg. I was a great swimmer and cannot swim. I take aquasize classes- but have to be very careful. I was recently quite depressed, but that seems to have passed.
    Any more help or info to share, anyone?

    • Hi June,
      I’m afraid I can’t really answer any of your questions as I have many of the same. My tpf happened in January. I have a plate and 6 screws and one of the screws is hanging out of the bone like yours was. It’s very painful. For reasons I can’t explain, it’s the worst when I wake up in the morning. Like being stabbed awake but no one removes the knife. I feel the rest of my hardware, though not half as much. My doc said that it’s all or nothing for him so I’m having all of my hardware removed on Jan 3rd. What struck me about your post was your questioning of the impact of hardware on your ability to climb stairs. I am a very athletic person. I am doing weighted squats (with a VERY respectable weight), am spinning again and nearly back to my previous resistance levels, but watch me to go up or down a staircase and I look like I’m a hundred. I also have difficulty taking a long walk. I’m a little surprised as I’m nearly a year out. So…I wonder if it’s the hardware too! I also cannot sit on my heels, get on and off the floor like a normal person or sit cross legged. I’m happy to keep you posted and let you know if these things improve after all of the hardware has been removed. Best of luck to you!

      • Jen,
        I am so happy to hear from you. I do want you to let me know about how it is after you have it all removed. I believe I feel one of the screw , again , on the opposite side from the incision and I feel a lot of tightness and pain near the scar/incision site.
        I was in relatively good physical condition prior to my fall- I swim, do aquasize and walk on a treadmill. I cannot swim – I had to compensate for my legs and developed a tendonitis in my arm- so I have to be careful how I move my arms in the water. I can walk on the treadmill- I alternate speeds. The steps are just too much!
        I also became very depressed for a few weeks- I think 2 surgeries- ansthesia and all really did me in. Fortunately, that has passed. I am 68 1/2.and I am too young for all of this!!!! I know women who had knee replacement who did better!
        I get really scared that I will never get back to my prior level of activity. I know I have another 6 months to go to get to the 1 year mark. I am trying to keep positive and working at this. If I do too much- I feel like I have taken 2 steps back again!!
        So- How old are you? I hope the surgery really goes well and it helps . I get these really weird pains- at weird times, too. Oh- I also took Ibuprofin when I got home- I had 10 days in rehab center– my house is a town house- steps everywhere. Then, I read- NEvER take Ibuprofin! YIKEs- what does that mean??
        Do keep me posted!

        • Hi June,
          I’m happy to keep you posted. My surgery date is Jenuary 3rd so I’m hoping to know soon after if it’s made a significant difference.
          Yes, 6 months post op is early! I was still kind of a mess at that stage so you will likely get better as the months progress. I will say though that I’m shocked you had any hardware removed so early. My doctor said I had to be at least 8 months along.
          I’m 47 for reference! Don’t know about the ibuprofen! Maybe someone else can weigh in! Anyway, best of luck to you. Chin up! It gets better!

          • The reason I had surgery so early was that one of the screws was poking out of the bone and caused pain- on the opposite side of the knee from where I had the surgery. I now feel like another one is poking out, too. I also feel a lot of tightness around the plate.
            is this why you are having it all taken out?

  6. Hi Shiva,
    When I was 5 months in from my surgery, I was walking without a cane but definitely much slower than before my surgery and I still had swelling in the knee and my foot and ankle would ache, also. I didn’t have bad pain in the knee at that point; just swelling. My surgeon gave me an anti-inflammatory to take which helped me a lot. I had physical therapy 3 times per week and was doing exercises at home also. Are you going for physical therapy and also doing exercises at home? This injury/recovery takes a long time to recover from. I also had my hardware removed in August which was 8 months after the first surgery. I feel much better without it. I can kneel without pain now. Check with your doctor to make sure that all is going well with your recovery and if it is, my advice is to just be patient and keep up with your exercises. Good luck and keep us posted!

  7. Hello Barbara,
    I have done with my tibial surgery(IM nail) 5 months back.. even now i find it difficulty in walking. Will this be ok? Will i be able to walk normally as before??
    Awaiting your response…

  8. This has helped me.ive broke my tibia and fibula within the knee cap. I find myself very depressed. I’m a very active person being a Carer in the community helping people with mobility problems.i find it very difficult to except this help myself

    • Injured with TP break three and a half months ago. Surgery with hardware. Blackly depressed. Have balance problems because of stroke many years ago. Not yet managing crutches. Physio suggested aqua therapy but in local hospital the necessary hoist for the pool is broken so aqua therapy not available. Getting quite desperate. Has anyone experienced private aqua therapy and how much does it cost? Don’t think that I can go on like this for much longer.

      • Hi Gina! Sorry to hear about your injury. I am almost at the one year mark from when I had my tpf injury. I had a plate and 7 screws in my knee/leg area. I found crutches to be very awkward for me. My balance was awful. I used a walker. That was great. I also had physical therapy and was able to use the hydro tank for part of my therapy. I attribute a lot of my progress to that. Doing exercises in the warm water was great! I was hit by a car so my injury went through my no-fault insurance so I don’t know how much it would cost to just have to pay for that. If you have insurance then most physical therapy places will just charge you whatever your co-pay is. Not all physical therapy places have this hydro tank, however. This injury can be very depressing but please try not to let it ruin your life. Things will get better. You have to ask for help though and take it. I am sure you would do the same for others. Keep us posted on your progress and keep doing your exercises.

      • Aqua therapy should be a covered expense-just like regular PT.
        You could also check with a YMCA. Mine has a lift to get people into the water. they may have a professional trainer who could also help you move.
        Once I became weight bearing I got into the water and it really was terrific.
        I am almost 7 months out from my original fall, but, I had a second surgery after 3 months to remove one of 6 screws which was hurting a lot.
        I am struggling a lot. I also got – but, took an anti-depressant for 2 weeks which did help .I had to stop -it was weakening my leg muscles . I am not depressed anymore, so I hope your feelings are temporary, too. Good luck!

    • Hi Ann, please accept any help you can get. It’s important to get the rest you need and you won’t be able to do that if you are doing everything for yourself. Keep up with your p/t, too, and keep us posted

  9. Yes! I highly recommend removing the hardware. I had a lot of swelling and couldn’t kneel without having pain. When I would sit, I could see and feel where the plate was, bulging out of the side. When I sit now, it is so much better. The surgery was ambulatory and I had it in August and walked out of the hospital without the use of anything. I went into the hospital in the morning and was out in the afternoon. I had pain the next day but nothing terrible. Was bandaged from the thigh to the ankle and wasn’t allowed to get it wet for 2 weeks which is when the stitches were removed. I went back to work a month later. Have never used my cane or walker since April which was 4 months after the initial surgery. I went to the surgeon last week and he released me from his care. He was very pleased with my recovery. I had my last physical therapy session last night. I am still doing exercise at home as much as I can and the leg is a bit weaker than the other but it is getting better. I definitely recommend the removal!

  10. I broke my tibia and dislocated my knee in August. I found this reading very informative. I started PT twice a week and can feel a big difference in my leg in the past 2 weeks. I am doing my excercises 5 times a day. My knee is bending around 93 percent. I have a hard time realizing it will get better, but everyone keeps telling me it will get better. Thanks for this information. I am nwb for 12 weeks. My injury was one of the worst they have dealt with. I am on week 10. 2 weeks to go then I can put 50 percent of wt on it. I am looking forward to it. Bored yes! I am trying to stay busy! Even on crutches I have found unique ways to do laundry and some housework.

    • Hi Laurie,
      I just broke my tibia also…having my surgery to remove fixater and have plates installed in my leg tomorrow. My Dr also said I could not have a worse break. Hope to talk to you in a couple weeks. Maybe you will have some good tips to share with me.
      Wish I was 10 weeks out

  11. Hi Barbara mam…
    Priyanka here…how r u…mam…when was the hardware removed from your leg…i mean how many mnths aftr postop…please do reply

    • Hello D. Priyanka!
      Sorry for the late response; between going to work and still going to physical therapy (I have 2 more visits and then I am finished), I am exhausted and don’t always have the opportunity to check my emails.
      I am fairly well, thanks for asking. How are you? I am just having an issue with my right hind foot; not related to my tpf leg. I have a torn tendon in the hind foot most likely as a result of the overuse of it when I couldn’t use my tpf leg. The tendons and ligaments got over-stressed and one actually tore so now I have a soft cast wrapped around that foot and I am wearing an orthopedic shoe. I will have to leave this on for at least 6 weeks but at least I can continue to walk and go to work. The soft cast and shoe just immobilize the foot so that it isn’t bending and being overused. After having a tpf injury, this I can handle! 🙂
      I had my hardware removed 8 months after my surgery. My first surgery was December 9, 2015 and the hardware removal was August 4, 2016. My doctor and I first discussed the hardware removal 6 months after the surgery, which was in June, and I was supposed to have the surgery the end of June, beginning of July; however, I had to wait for the insurance to approve it and it took them 6 weeks to do that. I am so happy that I had the hardware removed; I have no pain at all and I can now kneel without discomfort. The knee is still stiff when I get up from sleeping or sitting for a long time but once I start walking, the stiffness goes away. I went back to my orthopedic surgeon on Monday and he has dismissed me. I no longer need to see him. I am to continue, however, with leg strengthening exercises as the leg is still weak.
      Are you considering having your hardware removed?

      • Hi Barbara: Was there any downside to having the hardware taken out? Did you have to go on crutches and/or nwb after that for a while? I wonder if most people do get the hardware out? My wife has the option to do so but is a little apprehensive about another surgery, the risks that go along with that, and further round of healing/PT/pain.
        Am I right that you recommend getting the hardware out?

        – Jake

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