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.

201 thoughts on “Recovery

    • Anyone heard of Algodystrophy? Apparently it is a sympathetic feeling(unconsious on behalf of the body ) and can lead to a vicious circle of avoiding painful exercises .If I have understood the surgeon correctly !

  1. Overall a very informative article. I did not have surgery following my injury. I am hoping this might mean I will heal more quickly. I am focusing on nutrition and exercise. Thank you Anne

  2. Thank you. My injury was 5 weeks ago. Surgery was 2 days shy of being 2 weeks after the injury as I do not live in a populated area. It has been very difficult for me lately to deal with not being able to do things. The muscle in my thigh is still paralyzed and reading this is going to help get me through another day.

    • U have to learn how to let people help you. i know this is very hard, it still is for me, but its ok to ask for help. i also live in a small town 2000 people not public trans, so i had to go to an acute and now sub actute rehab facilities. can be wierd at 30 lol. but just keep pushing

  3. I have a question. How long does it usually take for all of the bruising to go away? It’s been 4 weeks since my injury and 3 weeks since surgery. Still have lots of bruising.
    I’m sure it varies but just wondering what others have experienced.

    • Hi Ellen, It can take a few weeks for bruising (also known as contusions) to go away, sometime up to around 8 weeks. The best treatment for bruises is RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) which will help alleviate the bruising.

      If the bruise looks like a big “lump” of water under the skin and does not lessen with time, it might actually be edema which can be solved by wearing a medical pressure sock for several weeks.

      Neither of these symptoms is in any way dangerous or abnormal.

      Thanks for the question! Ive added it to the Frequently asked questions so that other people suffering from this might find a suitable answer for their needs,

      Shlomi

    • The bruising in my knee was mostly gone before I had surgery and the surgery itself did not add much, if anything to the bruising. It took me several weeks to get into care and have the surgery, so that may have made some difference.
      My stomach is a different story. I had a blood thinning medication, while in the hospital, and 7 more days of it after I went home. Those made for HUGE bruises on my stomach (even with rotating and using different injection sites.
      Good luck to you and I hope you are well.

  4. My injury was 6 weeks ago surgery 4 weeks ago. I still have some bruising around my ankle but that is all. The bruising by my knee was gone a while ago, but all I had was one on the back of my knee. Everybody is different. I think keeping it iced as much as possible helps keep the bruising minimal. And helps it to resolve.

    • Amanda my accident was the end of july. i broke both legs, ankles, my rt shoulder and arm. my tpf was in my right leg and this is probally the worst injury i have had to endure. I had compartment syndrome before i went into the or. it has only been since july 22 but i was out of a cast or brace for the first 3 weeks after surgery except for an xfix the 2nd week. After that was removed and all my hardware from knee to foot was all screwed, plated and rods installed my life was all pain and very little gain. i was always asking for ice but i couldn;t really keep the sweeling in check until i got help from an cold machine. this made a big difference. that and eating. my diet was lacking becuase of pain and the realization of how much down time i had infront of me. i luckily was fortunate enough to have substancial muscle mass at the time of the accident so i was able to start moving on my own with my left arm. i did transfers with my left arm and broken leg. i was cleared to bear weight as tolerated on my left leg with the assistance of a moon boot lol. this still was no breeze but i had a lot of support from family, friends, even strangers. this helped a lot. i defiantly was very depressed and in severe pain but was transfered to a great acute care facility. i pushed hard and harder but the gains were limited by the severity of my injuries and def had bad days. however, i tried to see the good and it def wasnt and still isnt easy. u stated that your quad is not firing becuase of down time. something that helped me a lot was doing ankle pumps and focusing on top quad contractions where you push for 0 flextion and also manually moving that patella right left forward back for counts of thirty. also passive leg extensions can help. and def keep icing. i gained a lot of flexion from always pushing and i also used a cool machine all day and slept with it on. just becareful u don;t get any freeze burns and listen to your doctors and pt/ ot. hang in there sounds like you are one the right track. :)

      • Thank you. I am now able to move my leg, it started twitching 2 weeks ago and 1 week ago I could lift it. It was so exciting! I was at the Dr today and my knee is not flexing as much as it should and I will be starting PT this week, also due to the lack of motion I am now growing extra bone where I shouldn’t hopefully this doesn’t continue to grow but it could mean another surgery :( Right now I am hoping for the best! I was cleared to put 50 pounds of pressure on my leg and should be off crutches in 2-6 weeks.

        • Cleared to put 50 pounds is AWESOME. I am 2 weeks out from surgery and still zero weight bearing, probably for another 9 to 11 weeks. I am getting OT and PT from the home health group I am signed up with, so I am a bit surprised at the delay in starting with that.

          • I am a PT, and am going through TPF recovery now. I was worried that therapy didn’t start until 6 weeks out, but I can tell you therapy is mostly a waste of time until you are full weight bearing. Do your own ROM, but until you are full weight bearing, you have to wait for the bone to fully heal. And then the fun? begins. I had asked the surgeon about therapy right after the surgery, and this is what he told me. I did the ROM exercises, and non weight bearing strengthening, stationary bike riding etc. I also recommend patellar mobilizations and scar massage on your own. Those two exercises will pay dividends when you are full weight bearing. Hope this helps.
            Chris

  5. My daughter has just had an operation for a TPF injury. Researching the details of TPF I came across your website and I find it very interesting and helpful. I will be passing the details to my daughter so she can learn more about the injury and recovery. Thanks, Often it takes experience of an injury to help other people.

  6. My injury was about 2 weeks ago. I had an x-ray about 10 days ago. The physician assistant came, who treated me at the urgent care center, came in the room after and said “well you did a good job on your knee there.” She went on to explain that I had 2 medial plateau fractures. One was where the ligament comes to the lower front of the patella. She said that bone was broken. Next, she explained how there was a tear, rip or fracture where the tibia and femur come together. I got in to see the ortho. doctor this Tuesday and just had a CT Scan done Thurdsay (2 days ago). I went into the x-ray room with the mindset that is was a total waste of time, as those only show broken bones, and it felt and sounded like all off tissue damage so there was no way anything would show up on z-ray. How wrong was !?!? Anyone out there with 2 breaks as I have and if so how bad was the tearing of the tendons and ligaments? I am attending college and this is really giving me fits.

  7. I would like to thank all those who put this sight together. I’m 27 years old and am 2 weeks post op on my tpf I am a bigger guy at 240 lbs and did my while skate boarding. This sight is great and is helping get through this whole big fun adventure . Thank you so much !

  8. I wold like to thank you for your help, I’m 31 years old, I had a car accident and my injury was on May 2009 in my right leg, i had tiny TPF so the DR put a cast for 3 months then therapy.

    I was able to walk and run but i don’t feel my leg normal like before, i feel pain when i set for a long time during work, In September 2013 i checked it again with another Doctor and after he looked at my X-ray he said it shows i still have old TPF and prescribe DICLOFENC 75MG for 2 month.

    After 2 months i did a follow-up visit and i told the DR i didn’t felt any improve then he advice a Arthroscopic Surgery to clean the surface

    My leg it doesn’t hurt me when i walk or run but it’s not normal but actually i am afraid from the arthroscopic Surgery :(

  9. Try not to be so afraid of the surgery. I am less than 2 weeks out from mine and they even had to cut into the leg further than they were hoping and my leg pain is surprisingly low. I am not saying it never hurts and not saying it didn’t smart for a few days post surgery, but I think in the long run I will be better for having it done. I know that once they start therapy and working the knee it is going to hurt, but it hurt like the dickens before the surgery to repair it. I had TPF times 2. There was a dent on the inner half and the inner edge of the dent was split, causing a fissure down into the tibia. It is an extremely long wait to be able to do any weight bearing, but that is to avoid causing the repair to collapse. If you have someone to help at home and the time off, I would go for it. Don’t be scared and you will come out the other side a champ.

  10. I am 2 weeks out and honestly I am surprised that the knee is in very little pain. I know I will get some increased pain as PT picks up, but the pain level was honestly way down by the time I left the hospital. The patience part is the hardest for me. I am a very independent person (AKA hard headed).

    • certainily patience part is killing

      Pain increases as PT increases. 6weeks already felling fedup in life. somebody advice

    • That’s awesome Stephanie. I have am almost five weeks in and I have had no pain and almost full range of motion. PT is to be embraced. No pain … no gain!

  11. Fracture 8-23-13, surgery 8-27, FWB 10-9-13- 4 weeks into PT, and I am a physical therapist by the way. Started with crutches, aquatic therapy mostly to start, then one crutch-now on cane and sometimes no assistance. I am very frustrated with my recovery thus far. My ROM is good with 130 degrees flex, and -3 extension. Big complaint is I am still having foot/ankle pain. I know the knee strength is not there yet, but my foot is always the joint I feel is gonna give way. I can go up and down stairs, drive etc. But I don’t feel I am close to returning to work. I have to be able to not only be stable on my feet, but I have to be able to catch my patients from falling, so I have to be almost fully recovered before I can return to work.

    With no disability, and no paycheck in almost 3 months, I am very concerned. My profession requires a full recovery, and I don’t return to surgeon for 2 more weeks, but at the rate I’m recovering, I don’t know if I will be ready even then.

    My question is how long do many people feel it should take before they are really confident about their balance and strength again? I’ve heard 5 days for every day of non weight bearing. If that is accurate, I won’t be fully recovered for close to 10 months! I hope I will beat that time table. Anyone have any suggestions/reports on recovery time to feel confident again? Anyone have any idea how long I should expect the foot and ankle weakness to last?
    Thanks,
    Chris

    • Hi Chris,
      Feeling confident on your is something very personal, however mostly you can feel comfortable walking around for short periods of time and be stable at about 6 -8 weeks after you stop using crutches (about 3.5 months after surgery). Unfortunately gaining the strength in your leg and being able to be out and about all day long, doing physical work etc. could really take up to a full year . It is not definite that you will regain all of your leg strength until a full year has passed (sometimes a little more), and depends on your personal situation and how much PT you are doing. I would consider talking to your doctor about how to adjust to this new situation that can be a reality for a while, and what your expected time line for recovery is. Perhaps consider changing something at work or easing in to it slowly to see what you can and can’t do.

      Also – seeing as you are a physiotherapist, how would you like to help out writing the physiotherapy section of this site?
      I’m sure a professional hand would be able to give a lot of helpful insights.

    • TPF on 08/26/2013- surgery 08/30/213 that included bone graft to fill in compression fracture- NWB until 11/07/2013 with return to work without restrictions on 11/16/2013- I am a registered Nurse and after working two 12 hour shifts in a row could hardly walk the second night from the edema in my leg when brace removed and the pain was mainly in my heel/ankle region. I now feel like I might have shin splints that I am treating with RICE- sure do hope the foot/ankle pain doesn’t last very long since I like you cannot afford to be off work any longer and will have to “work” thru the pain. I figured alot of the issue was needing to restretch the tendons in my ankle and foot. The knee itself feels great, havent had any pain in that area for the most part since the incision healed. Hopefully the other issues resolve themselves soon.

    • I had my accident on 1/22/2014, surgery on 01/31/2014 and did not put any weight on my leg for a full 12 weeks. At 12 weeks I was told to put half my weight on for a week and then full weight after that week. My knee is not what is hurting but my foot is giving me so much pain when I walk, I have to just keep going and take the pain. Why does my foot and ankle hurt?

      • Terri I am experiencing the same. I did not have surgery, however I was NWB for 6 weeks. My accident was on 4/14/14. This week my Dr. said I can start FWB and therapy. I am still on crutches and just started testing weigh on my leg. My foot and ankle have a tingling feeling and my therapy starts Friday. What did you learn from your experience.

        • I did not have surgery either broken ton/fin March 29th no in boot as of Friday. NWB still but in therapy hope to walk soon!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hi Chris,

      Broke my tibia 9 days ago (playing rugby), surgery straight away the morning after, fixed the two bone parts with a titanium rod and a screw at the knee and one at the ankle… I know it is very early, and am lucky as they haven’t given me a cast but only a moonboot and let me put weight on it as tolerated (FWBAT).
      First time with a big injury like this, haven’t got a direct comparison – of course, anything is too slow… ROM in the knee is getting there fairly quick, but the ankle is taking its time. Feel like this will be the problematic part in rehab, too – can definitely feel the screw down there, especially at night when the leg is resting.
      How are you doing now? And how long did it take you to get rid of the ankle pain / restriction in mobility? Are you fully recovered yet, and if not, how fare along are you? I know everyone’s different – but would love to have a rough outline from someone who went through a similar situation. How soon did you start with aquatic recovery, and how did you cope with your frustration?

      take care,

  12. Shlomi, I will be more than happy to help this website anyway I can. I’m glad I found you after you responded on kneeguru. I have found that this is a very unusual injury for younger folks unless they participate in mountain biking, kite boarding or skiing primarily. And then a lot of people get hurt like I did by having their dog take their leg out. However the TPF occurs, it is a devastating injury. Look at Olympic skiier Lindsay Vonn. When she was injured last year, fracturing her TPF as well as tearing ACL and PCL, most journalists focused on the ligament injuries. But doctors quickly pointed out the tibial fracture was much more of a concern for her to return to world class skiing form. She is still wearing a brace now almost a year later. So the TPF is a serious injury to overcome.

    I have been a physical therapist for 16 years, and I have never treated a TPF. So this has been a real eye opening experience for me. And any input I can add from my experience, I’ll be glad to help.

    I had a reassessment yesterday, and my therapist thinks I’m doing well. I’m hoping to return to work in some capacity in 2 weeks but I still have a lot of work to do. My foot/ankle and calf are still very weak, but I have some new exercises to focus on. Because my job entails I be completely stable on my feet all day to prevent my patients from falling, I have to accelerate my progress as quickly as possible. I always tell my patients that how fast they improve is up to them, and now I have to practice what I preach. Once the surgeon says the bone has healed, it is then up to the patient to determine how fast they will improve. And because I daily document how my patients are progressing, I’m doing the same for myself. And hopefully my experience can help others as well. I’ll continue to update here.
    Thanks,
    Chris

    • Hey Chris,
      I hope you are getting better by the day, and thanks for the insights and offer to help. If you take a look at the physiotherapy section you will see that it is somewhat lacking, as I don’t have any professional PT training, and only wrote from my experience and research. If you would like to send me some text or exercises that you think would provide better guidance to people suffering from this injury that would be great. Or, if you prefer I can give you access to directly edit the PT page, and add stuff as you like.

      I’m available at info@mytpf.com

    • Going on 6 weeks from fracture and 4 weeks from final surgery. I’m still having a great deal of pain although more like very strong ache in the front of my knee. Oddly my heel also hurts from time to time. My range of motion is very good but i’m still NWB. My knee also just doesn’t look right to me. I understand there is a lot of hardware in there, but my lower leg looks and feels shifted to the outside. Anyone else have this? I’m not in physio yet but I have been doing movment exercises and hand manipulation as recomended by a few places. My knee cracks and groans alot too, which I don’t know if its just because its not bearing any weight or because its just not right.
      @Chis the physio guy, yep . . moutainbiking . . miss it tho!

  13. I am 13 weeks post surgery for tibia plateau fracture and full weight bearing. Physio advised walking round house with no crutches, but using one outdoors which I am doing and all is okay. However, I have developed a small soft swelling at the bottom of my stiches, not red or sore by any means, which goes down with rest, but comes up when I walk. Just wondering if it is worth bothering my physio about. I have never broken anything in my life (50 plus!) so not sure what to expect – any advice please.

    • Hi Jenny,
      Thank you for your question. I’ve copied the question to the new forum page on the site and also posted a detailed answer there.
      In general – it doesn’t at all sound like something to worry about at this stage.

  14. Hi Everyone!
    I’ve added a forum page to the site so that other people can find and read everyone’s questions and their stories in one place.
    Feel free to use the forums for questions, answers, personal stories or anything else. I will be coming by there every once in while to answer questions if I am able to help.
    Shlomi

  15. HI Shlomi, Great website about TPF, thank you, I have just had my Hardware removed, 4 weeks ago, so was back on crutches for a few weeks, and now recovering again, its a long road.. but reading all this information gives me hope for the future.

  16. I suffered with tpf on 7th September and at the time was not xrayed until a week after when i was put in a full leg cast for 4 weeks and then a hinged knee brace for 4 weeks, am now weight bearing and awaiting appointment for physio. I slipped last night and am worried to death i may have damaged myself again but i seem to have movement i had before that and no further swelling. I agee it is a long process and i am sca.red about walking without crutches. I also suffer with sharp pains now and again in the middle of my knee and swelling in my leg and foot. Is this normal?

  17. Diane-thanks for the question/comment- I am AMAZED that you were able to return to work a week after beginning weight bearing-WOW, you are much tougher than me-I am just now walking some without a cane-My body is so sore and weak in general now just doing basic daily tasks at home-my balance is not stable enough yet to work-I have to be able to work with geriatric patients so in order for me to feel confident with them, I HAVE to make sure my strength and balance is excellent-
    Foot ankle pain was so weak and painful that I had to do a few weeks of pool therapy before the pain in my foot really was able to put full weight on it. I started PT oct 9th, and I went to my job today and I am telling them that I would like to return 1st week of dec-probably half days or so for the week I return. I so have to get to work-3 and a half months with no paycheck has been brutal-but I just can’t return until I feel totally confident. Tell me about your ROM/strength overall–Did you have ANY therapy to help you? I cant imagine doing your job so soon after getting off NWB status- for the ankle/foot I would recommend doing ankle alphabets, towel slides where you use foot to curl towel towards, picking up marbles with toes,stretch ankle with theraband both dorsiflexion and plantar flexion with resistance, calf raises, calf stretches standing against wall.
    I hope this helps you-those are great ones to be doing– Are you able to balance on the affected foot for 30 sec? Single leg stance abducting your leg out without holding on to anything? Sidelying hip abduction 2 x 20 reps under control is key before you do them in standing etc
    Ice your foot ankle as often as you can-I really recommend ice massage with water frozen in small paper cup for 5 minues at a time-Way better than regular ice packs IMHO-last thing on foot,grab the top of toes and manually stretch toes curling foot under holding it for 10-15 sec-do that for 10 or so reps
    I hope this helps you-if you have other questions let me know-my email: healthierhome@cox.net
    Chris

    • I had home health therapy that came to see me a few times and gave me some exercises to do on my own, mainly just heel slides, straight leg raise, and quad sets. they were not very helpful so I talked to some of the PT at the Nursing home for their recommendations. I am going to try your recommendations to help build more strength in my right leg. I am able to walk unassisted but still have to wear a brace and probably will for a few months. Hoping that it gets easier soon, as I to work with Geriatrics as well as ortho rehab patients and must be able to care for them as well as myself. Main thing I learned thru all this is that maybe I really am to old to be riding dirt bikes…of course was having the time of my life up until the moment that I wrecked. Now doing a lot of “Grinning & Bearing it” to get thru everyday.

  18. Hi Everyone!
    Please Try to use the forum page to the site so that other people can find and read everyone’s questions and their stories in one place. The forum is better suited for multiple comments!

    Feel free to use the forums for questions, answers, personal stories or anything else. I will be coming by there every once in while to answer questions if I am able to help.

    Shlomi

  19. Hi all,
    My injury was 7/14/13. I had surgery on 7/17/13. It has been 19 weeks, with 5 of them Weight Bearing. I broke my right leg (why always the right one I ask) in 3 places, both sides and down the tibia to 2 inches above my ankle. I have an 8 inch plate and 7 screws (or whatever I can tell from my xrAY). The outside plateau break required a bone graft. The day after I was released, following 4 weeks in the hospital and nursing facility, I had to call 911 on my husband. Dennis had Congestive heart failure and a tear in his aorta. He spent a month recovering in the hospital and the same nursing facility. August was a rough month. They called us Romeo & Juliet.

    I’d like to comment on the kindness of friends, family and strangers. The fire chief accompanying Dennis’ paramedics, set me up with life alert that day. He sent over a Senior Service lady that same day, to see what she could do for me. Amy even went to the grocery store for me. A home health care agency stayed with me during the next week. I had OT, Pt and a personal aide come to my home. One friend’s husband built me a wheelchair ramp. Neighbors took out my trash, brought in my mail, and store shopped. Meals on Wheels kept me fed and checked on me daily. They even gave water to my cat, and helped with the litter box changing. The Provide a Ride service transported me to doctor appointments, to help keep my ambulance costs down. Friends and family took my husband clothes and visited him in the hospital. Joe, his best friend, did everything he could to help us both. My sister helped with everything else.

    I teach Software programming 2 days a week. Cab drivers assist me in and out of the house and work. People I don’t know are so helpful.They help me open doors, hold them open, push me into and out of elevators, and get things off store shelfs for me. Students bring me coffee in class.
    I’m still reliant on a walker and wheelchair to get around, but I’m 66 years old and heal slower. Life is good. Glad to meet you all.
    Chris

  20. I suffered my tpf 6/12/13. I’ve been through therapy and now workout on my own. I can’t walk or stand for long, I don’t feel secure on uneven ground like a golf course. I have a lot of pain behind my knee and in my foot. Doctor says my leg is healing fine, I am also seeing a foot doctor. Does anyone have comments or suggestions? Luckily I am retired so I don’t have that worry, but I want to enjoy being retired. I hope you all heal fast!

    • Hi K. I was a little disheartened to read your post because I am now almost 4 months post op and am frustrated that I cannot stand or walk for longer than 10 minutes. How long are you able to walk and stand now? I also have a lot of pain behind my knee and foot. I wonder why.

  21. Has anyone had this injury and did not have surgery? I just got the results of my MRI today. 2 1/2 weeks after my injury. I have a horizontal linear nondisplaced fracture line involving the medial tibial plateau. No talk of surgery. Should I be worried about having to have it eventually? Will I ever be able to run again? My injury was due to the inpact while running. I’m 45, 5’4″, 140 lbs. How could this happen just from jogging?

    • mine shattered while walking across the street.. I will never forget the sound, good luck, I havent had surgery either, not sure if that good or bad?

      • Oh the SOUND. That popping sound. I remember that vividly. I was the only one up, cause it was the middle of the night and I got up to use the bathroom. I manged to get to my roommate’s door knob and into her room and onto the end of her bed. She is hard of hearing. Well death, because I screamed bloody murder and she never a thing. I tried to explain the popping noise and how that was along with the feeling that I had torn everything in my knee, but unless it is you, you just really don’t know. Don’t feel back about just walking across the street, because I got up and took like 3 steps and then planted the left foot and realized the leg was asleep. Then BAM I went down.

    • I suffered a non-displaced type-I tibial plateau fracture on 2/10/14 while snow skiing in Colorado. I have gone with conservative treatment – immobilization for 4 weeks. I am weight bearing now at 3 weeks with no pain. If things are going well, I should come out of lock-down on the brace and begin riding a stationary bike. I am a marathon runner – anyone familar with a good training plan following the injury?

  22. I slipped getting out of the shower on the 19/12/2013 and therefore ended up with a TPF shatzker 3, I had surgery 3 days later and was released from hospital on the 28/12/2013 completely NBW for 8 weeks, I flew home only to experience a cyclone a few days later. I have had a few falls eg. Supermarket door closing on me, slippery floors. It has been three weeks now, and I have not come across any informative information on the net until I found this website. Thank you now I know what to expect, I have my first physio session tomorrow and I can’t wait to get into it.

  23. I tripped and felt my TP shatter, and was admitted to hospital, they told me my Tibial Plateau was “shattered” but no surgery. They used fiberglass splint and immobilizer. I was wondering what is this burning sensation on my kneecap, and is it okay to flex my ankle and calf muscle?? my calf muscle hurts but is really stiff, so i feel like I NEED to move my foot around.. I just had a baby 7 wks ago and I have two small kids at home, IDK how I can deal with all this

    • I would go as far as to suggest that it would be recommended to flex your foot up and down and also to move the foot around in circles (foot only my using ankle) both clockwise and counter clock wise. This is something small that you can do while seat and without twisting or bearing any weight on your knee. It should help stretch the calf muscle some (but probably not to total relief, but some) stretching of that calf of yours. If will also help your circulation in your ankle and foot. I feel at the end of September, 2013 and I still have some swelling in the leg and mostly in the floor. My physical therapist, who came to my house, let me remove the immobilizer while safely seated and doing these little exorcises. The immobilization is a necessary evil, but it sure does tighten the calf muscles. Mine even cause some pinching and sciatica at the top end of it.

      You need to tell your doctor that you are home bound and need help from a home health agency. When I got home from the hospital there were some days where I had 3 different people coming in to help. If not a physical therapist (because not a lot of that can be done yet) or an occupational therapist, they should at least get an aid to come in and help you. Are you allowed to put weight on the knee? If not, how are you even able to shower. There was an aid that helped me do that for weeks until I finally got a shower transport chair and was able to learn how to do if myself from the chair. An occupational therapist could come into your house and talk to you about how you are getting around the house and how well you can or cannot do certain activities of daily living tasks. Mine was able to give me ideas on where these could be moved around. She had some clever ideas, which I would not have thought of on their own. It can’t hurt to ask the doctor for this help. The worst thing that can happen is he will say no and you have lost nothing by asking.

      I wish you the best of luck.

  24. On New Year’s Eve fell trying to get the mail at a community mailbox. Have a lateral tibial plateau fracture. Had surgery on jan 9th plate and screws. I am 5.5 weeks post surgery. Still no Weight. Crutches didn’t work for me so I have a walker. I am 35 years old with 3 kids age 2,3 and 8. I hate everything that goes on around me as I hAve no control, my In laws watch the kids during the week, they are home on weekends. My husband works long days and my mom is helping me, but I am not pleasant to be around these days. To top everything off during my surgery they accidentally broke my front tooth. I now need to pay for an implant. Nothing to smile about here! And iam a Dental hygienist! Can’t wait to be mobile again! Love reading other stories. Gives me hope!

  25. Really enjoyed this site !! I got a good amount of useful information from it . I am going on one full week since my tpf, it’s been very painful and very uncomfortable . I fractured my left knee while skiing went to stop and my right ski turned perfect , my left ski did not and I heard my knee crack

  26. My tpf happened in a car crash on 12/13/13. Also broken ankle, all on right leg. Surgery on 12/20/13. I have been through breast cancer, ruptured appendix..nothing compares to this. Pain and frustration. I am almost three months post surgery. I have screws, plate and bone graft. The ankle has healed, but of course very weak. Just started pt two weeks ago. Prior to that , nwb. Using walker now. The biggest problem seems to be my ROM. I was in a brace and not allowed to bend. Then swelling in my foot would never go away. Finally found i have a DVT..three days in hospital at the beginning of February for that. So had to get an OK from primary to start pt after starting treatment for blood clot. I am blessed that it wasn’t much worse. Someone ran a stop sign and hit me. I have a wonderful family helping me. Encouraging to hear other’s situations. Feel like I should be doing better than I am at this point. Best wishes to all.

  27. Well I can certainly relate to your frustration and feeling that you should be doing better than you are Diane. My tpf occurred on Nov 23 after falling off a step ladder while painting. Fortunately my surgery was the next day; I don’t know how you managed it for a whole week before your surgery; I kept telling people the pain was worse than childbirth. I was too afraid to use crutches so I spend the first 3 months in a wheelchair, using my walker sometimes to keep my other leg strong. I live by myself so it was a real challenge but like you, I have a wonderful family helping me. I started wb on Feb 3 with a walker and a month later I switched to a cane. Since I started wb I cannot remain on my feet for longer than 10 minutes without excruciating pain and discomfort. I do my exercises daily but I honestly don’t feel like I have progressed at all. I can imagine how hard it must be for you having to postpone your pt because of your blood clot.; I’m sure it has impacted on your recovery.

    • Wow Judy, it has been a long time for you as well. It is so frustrating! I also only used a wheelchair until two weeks ago. Still can’t put all my weight on bad leg. I need and want to get back to work but my job is ten hours on my feet.I don’t know how people do it. Like you said, you have horrible pain after standing just a few minutes. It all can get overwhelming. My family encourages me alot, but everyday just feel I should be better. It does help to see that others are going through the same . Are you going to pt still? Wish you the best in your recovery!

    • Hello Everyone,Thank you so much for all this input.My tpf happned on 12/15/13.I am 55 years young. I was on the roof of my house taking off snow and I fell off the ladder coming down off the roof.I landed on one foot.My right!! I knew I broke something but not sure what.My problem was,I went to the hospital and they took X rays and said nothing was broken!! REALLY? Sent me home and said use it as much as possible,it was a muscle spazm.I then followed up with my Dr.One week later and he said how does it feel to have a broken leg,again,REALLY?I spent one whole week with a tpf and didn’t know it!!! How’s that for a good hospital!! Anyway,had surgury, screws,metal plate,bone graft and now I am still not able to walk.Going to P.T.two times a week.Do not see much improvement.*85% back.Hearing all of you and your systems makes me feel not so alone.I am so sorry all of you got hurt!! But to know that someone out there knows how I am feeling makes me feel not so alone.Or crazy.I am trying to keep to keep my chin up but it is very hard.My best to all of you. and again thank you for this sight.DEBBIE

  28. Hi
    Looking for any younger TPF patients… my beautiful big girl (14) fractured her left lateral tibial plateau on a family skiing holiday on Feb 18th in Austria. What a journey so far. She has an external fixator for ??? months and really would like her to be able to be in touch with other young people who have had this terrible injury. So when it looks bleak she has some hope. Sporty skier and hockey player, a different life for a while I think.
    thanks
    Michelle

    • Hi michelle,
      You might want to try finding someone in the tibial plateau fb group as well as here. A link can be found in the ״further reading” section.

      Beat of luck, and a hasty recovery for your daughter,
      Shlomi

  29. The above information as well as the comments is the most information I’ve received about TPFS seen since my accident and subsequent TPF on 12/15/13.

  30. I’m in my 10th week of recovery. I stated physio at 9 weeks. The first week was only toe touching ground. The second week was heal-toe walking with very little weight. Next week I will have 50% weight bearing leading up to full weight bearing by the 4th week. My question is, I have a lot of pain in my foot, especially the bottom of the heel when I try to put any weight on it. It hurts more than my knee at this point and I have not seen anyone post a similar complaint. My physiotherapist told me its from bone loss from being NWB for so long. Has anyone else experienced this?

  31. Janice, I had the very same problem when I was allowed to begin weight bearing. My surgeon said my xrays showed the fracture had healed, and I could begin walking. I’m a physical therapist, although I had never treated this injury. I went to PT, and the therapist said to lose the crutch on my affected side and put weight on the leg. I almost collapsed from the pain in my foot. The therapist then put me in the pool for the next 3 weeks. The first time in the pool, I was having excruciating pain in my foot. She suggested I call the surgeon immediately to make sure there wasn’t damage to my foot that had gone undetected. The surgeon’s assistant said this pain in my foot wasn’t that uncommon. Nothing was wrong she said except that all my foot muscles had atrophied from being in the splint post surgery for 6 weeks.
    The mistake I had made was I did very little stretching and strengthening of my foot and ankle while NWB. I have high arches so the first thing I did was get a Dr. Scholls gel pad to put under my arch of my foot. I used that pad in my water shoes which allowed me to gradually put more weight through my foot as I walked in the pool. I also kept the pad in my regular shoe on land. The pain in my foot seemed to move from my heel to my forefoot. I was really frustrated. My knee didn’t hurt but my foot did. When off my feet, I really focused on stretching my foot muscles with such exercises as curling my toes with my hand forcefully forwards and backwards. Being non weight bearing causes your plantar fascia to really tighten as well, similar to plantar fasciitis. I also did a lot of calf stretches, and standing on a foam pad (Airex balance pad or Hemingweigh balance Pad-I have a hemingweigh pad I use for balance training with my patients-most PT clinics have these-you can get one on Amazon for $35- the airex is much more expensive) The pad was crucial for me to begin putting more more weight on my foot on land-I also did a lot of tennis ball massage to my foot rolling the ball back and forth under my foot- Pool therapy was the most important aspect of rehab for me when I started weightbearing. If you can get in a pool, that would really help you beginning to weight bear.

    I think it was probably 6 weeks at least after starting PT that my foot started to feel less pain, and I could put full weight through the foot. I hope this helps allay your frustrations a bit. The foot pain was my most frustrating part of my rehab. But it will eventually subside. Just remember to also do your quad sets as much as possible. That is the most important muscle group to strengthen. I’m 7 months post op now, and I’d say my leg is only about 40% as strong as my other leg. I was in great shape when my dog broke my leg, and I’m still very weak. I was out of work for almost 4 months, before I felt I could return to my job as a PT. Since my job entails me being on my feet all day, I had to be able to feel stable on my feet as well as be able to support my geriatric patients if they were to stumble. If I had a desk job, I would have been able to return in 2 months probably. Be patient. From what I have learned thus far, this is a very serious injury, and we need to give ourselves at least a year before we can truly gauge how far we have recovered.
    You will get stronger and have less pain one day at a time. Recovering from a TPF is a full time job. You have to treat it like a job, and work just as hard on your own time as when you are in the PT clinic.
    I hope this helps. Take care,
    Chris in Va. Beach

    • Thanks so much Chris. I couldn’t find anyone with this same complaint. About 15 years ago I had plantar faciitis surgery on both feet. I had suffered for years and tried physio, cortisone injections but nothing heiped until the surgery. Not quite sure what it is they did, but I know they cut into both sides of my heel and somehow released the plantar fascia. Could it be that with being NWB for 8 weeks that the facia has shortened again? Our pool at the hospital physio is closed right now but I can see that being extremely helpful. I would be too nervous to go into a public pool and slip on the wet tiles as I am only PWB right now. I will try the tennis ball exercise and let my physiotherapist know about this info. I was hoping to get back to work on the 7th of April that would be 13 weeks post op but as I am in teaching in a very large school, I think I need to be healed a bit more. Once I can put that heel down I’ll be fine.

  32. Chris,
    Thank You for your comments on exercising foot and ankle of injured leg. I have a TPF and am non weight barring until 4/10/14. Since hearing of your issues of pain in foot once weight barring I have started focusing on foot and ankle of that foot.

    • I was advised to begin doing excersises with my foot right away. Of course in the beginning you are in too much pain to even think about inflicting more upon yourself. After a week or so I started bending my toes towards me and pointing them away from me. I rotated the whole foot in circles each way. I did feel like something was tearing a bit on the bottom of my foot though. The sole of the foot felt like I had shards of glass in it when I used my good foot to touch it. I don’t know if everyone experiences this. Just my experience. I do think the more you move your leg, bend your knee etc. The easier it will be in the long run. I can’t believe the progress from day to day now that I have started physio. Good luck to you.

  33. Janice and Dottie-Glad to hear my experience may help you both. Janice as far as getting in a pool, I was nervous as well. But as I said the pool helped me the most. I used 2 crutches to walk, and I wore those non skid deck shoes that slip over your feet that windsurfers use. I wore them into the pool and never took them off except to put on a pair of sweatpants to leave the facility. I was in such agony and frustration when my surgeon told me to start walking, and my foot wouldn’t allow it.

    Since you know what plantar fasciitis is like in a big way, if you remember the first steps in the morning were usually the worst, and then your feet loosened up a bit. That was because as you slept, the fascia in your feet actually started to heal from the micro tears to your fascia during WBearing during the day. So now imagine 6-8 weeks without putting any weight on that foot. EVERYTHING in the foot as far as muscles, fascia, tendons etc shorten and atrophy. Just like your knee stiffens up being in a splint/brace, so does your foot ankle stiffen up. Weight bearing is the only way to fully stress our muscles etc. Think about astronauts being weightless for a month or more-when they return to earth, they are too weak to walk.

    Another way to stretch/massage the foot is with a raquetball or use a whiffleball bat, a wooden rolling pin etc to roll under your foot. I also recommend calf stretches using a piece of foam which puts your foot at an incline i e toes on foam wedge, and heel flat on floor. We need to get our ankle flexibility back in order to help extend our knee and strike the ground with our heel as our feet contact the ground. Just wait until you start testing your balance on the wobble board. That was a rude awakening for me. But it gets better everyday. Have patience.
    Chris

    • Very scared! My physiotherapist has talked about some sort of balance board when I am weight bearing. As my balance sucks to start with, not really looking forward to finding another way to fall. She is excellent, and I trust her 100% but still sounds scary. Every day I feel I am making such progress it’s exciting! I am faithful about my exercises at home and love to push myself even though I am 55 and overweight. Last visit she introduced me to a wonderful machine that is like a sit down cross trainer. When I first sat down and tried it it was a bit tricky, after a few pushes though I was more comfortable. She said I would find my rhythm, and boy it was fun! After 1min. I was off and running and feeling better with every push. Got kicked off after about 10 min. Because another therapist wanted it for her lady. This is such a wonderful forum. I’ve never been on one before, but so helpful to learn from others that are, or have experienced this specific injury. Hopefully if another person experiences this heel and foot pain they will know they are not alone.

  34. Don’t worry about the wobble board. You will be holding onto some bars against a wall most likely. It will really point out your balance deficits, but you improve fast. Sounds like the sit down machine is a Nustep. They are great. Below is a great article on recovering from TPF. It is the only scientific study I have found studying TPF’ers for a full year to gauge their recoveries.
    http://www.bjj.boneandjoint.org.uk/content/87-B/9/1233.full
    This was an interesting article I found studying recovery for TPF after a year. The basic conclusion of the study is that only about 15% of TPF injuries have full quad strength back at one year’s time. So this is a marathon, not a sprint. Great to hear you are trusting of your therapist. That is very important. And you have a great attitude about this whole ordeal.. ATTITUDE DETERMINES ALTITUDE!
    Chris

    • Chris,
      I read that you are 7 months post op in March. So now you are 9 months in May. Do you still feel stiffness in your injured knee/leg?

      I had tpf surgery on Dec 17, 2013. I fell while skiing in Korea and had a type I tpf. So I am now 5 months post op. about 3 months FWB. I still feel stiffness in the injured knee/leg, but it gets better with rest. I can do almost everything, walking (no limping) slow jog, cycling, swimming. Walking down stairs I do feel a pain at the patella especially if the knee needs to bend at a sharper angle. Squatting is still troublesome, with about 5 minutes of warm up just to get the muscle to accept the squatting position.

      I tend to agree with the Scottish study that quad muscle takes a long time to recover. I told my OS of the patella pain, and he has told the physio to ease off the squat exercises. And unfortunately squat exercises is the best way to build up the quad muscles. SO now I do a lot of leg presses at the gym to strengthen the quad.

      Anyone who has tpf and is now more that a year post surgery? Would like to hear about the experience with stiffness and quad strength.

      Thanks
      BH – from Singapore

  35. I am nearly 8 months post op for tpf and seemed to be doing okay. Taking a stick with me outdoors but not using it, only have it with me as I seem to have “no brakes” when going down a slope or hill. Now, unfortunately, my ankle on my “good” leg seems to have developed soft tissue damage!! I have wanted to scream with frustration as it has hampered my walking. I’m using ice and gel on the bad ankle, as per doctor’s advice and she thinks the ankle has become “stressed” due to taking more weight than normal. My ankle may be “stressed” but so am I. Sometimes it feels like one step forwards, two back. Frustration, as you all know I’m sure, plays a big role with this condition. Anyway it’s good to “rant on”. Hope other sufferers are going on okay.

  36. Please tell me long the pain lasts….especially around the fracture area? Almost any activity at all seems to aggreviate my leg. I am 2 weeks out from surgery and was just fitted for a brace that is thigh to ankle with a locking mechanism at the knee. I use a walker now , instead of crutches .
    I would very much appreciate some input as to how long this leg will hurt!!
    Or any tips to keep it from hurting in the first place. Early mornings are the worse right now .
    Thanks , Cary

  37. Please advise how to join the Facebook group for this injury ???? I would love to see more of what others have experienced !!
    Thanks , Cary

  38. Very useful site, I was really wondering about the nutrition and supplement side for the healing process–great advice!! I am just starting week two of my recovery from two fractures of the tibia plateau and have found this site extremely useful, including the suggestions for keeping my affected foot more mobile during this long recovery. I am in a cast from the hip to the ankle and finding the inactivity is truly getting to me in so many ways. Kathy

  39. Ice has been my best friend. I am seven weeks out and still icing in the evening and when I go to bed. A walker worked so much better for me than crutches. I put my stuff in the seat and could travel so much more independently.

    • The hospital sent me home with a polar care cube after surgery and I used it 24/7 for two weeks until I had my stitches out. It made the biggest difference.

  40. I just injured myself on March 23, 2014 and was told that i have a non-displaced TPF and will not require surgery; presently my Doctor has be on an ice machine and an Optiflex motion machine to provide 20-degrees of knee movement.

    typically how long does it take before i can bare weigth on my leg for a TPF that did not require surgery. Will I be able to run and jump again?

  41. I had my skiing accident on 2/10/14 which caused a Type I Tibial Avulsion Fracture (non-displaced). I was immobilized x 4 weeks with weight bearing at 4 weeks. I was taken out of immobilization on 3/12 and have began working on range of motion and riding a stationary bike while wearing my brace (ankle to thigh). I am a distance runner so I hope to have more freedom on 4/9. Getting better daily.

    • That is good to here. I had a collision playing soccer. My soccer days are over. I was doing alot of crossfit and hope to be able to return to it in July. I hope that is not to optomistic.

    • 17 weeks post fracture……I ran a 5K race today with a run/walk method (3 min run/1 min walk) and ran 9min55sec average. Not the 8 1/2 minute mile I am used to, but I am VERY pleased with my progress. If my progress continues to move forward, I will be successfully running the New York City Marathon in November. To all those recovering: keep a positive attitude, take one day at a time, set goals and be patient. After 25 years of skiing – the question would be “Am I going snow skiing next winter?….the answer would be “No”. I have lost too much of what I enjoy daily for one week of enjoyment a year.

  42. I broke my tibial plateau February 7 skiing. 6 weeks with the brace straight, then bent for the past three. I started PT two weeks ago and have made progress with ROM, however, my right leg is quite bent. They say it will straighten, but I’m freaked out that it won’t and I won’t be able to resume with my hiking, skiing, snow shoeing, and kayaking. No one has mentioned this. They say it will straighten when I build my muscles. I pray to God it does. Can someone attest to this?

    • I know what you mean Gail. My TPF was on 2/12 on a ski trip. I’m 7 weeks post-op & no longer wear the brace & plan on ditching the one crutch for a cane this weekend. Yippee! My flexion has progressed well from 90 degrees 2 weeks ago to 115 today @ PT. But the extension is another story…I can’t seem to get any progress with it. I learned a good exercise today, lay on your stomach on your bed or somewhere you can dangle your foot over the edge, place a towel or something semi-bulky under your quad/thigh & apply 2-10 pounds of an ankle wgt. ( whatever you can tolerate) & simply let gravity pull the leg straight. Just simply lay there 5, 10, 15 minutes or however long you can. I was amazed after that he measured my extension & it was cut in half.

      I think our collective fears are likely quite normal. I too hope to get back to a very active lifestyle of hiking, cycling, etc. But as many have said, this is to take many months, not days or weeks. Hang in there, best of luck.

      • Acupuncture helped me get my leg straight. Seriously if I hadn’t witnessed it first hand I wouldn’t have believed it

        • Thanks for the recommendation Pauline. I’m now 9 weeks post-op & have good flexion but poor extension. I went to see my Ortho today & he injected a steroid in the joint hoping that would help…and advised me to start taking Iboprofen ATC (Around The Clock) for the next 6-8 weeks to see if that would/should help. I got a name of a good Acupuncturist that I will look into if I don’t get results soon. Like you I am/was skeptical but we all need all the help we can get!

          Best of luck.

  43. I like you had my injury skiing on Feb. 10th. I am having difficulty with getting the leg straight. I am improving….when I am laying down or sitting in a recliner, I put a small pillow under my foot and put something on my knee (ice bag, etc) to put a small amount of pressure on the knee to assist in lowering it. It is working, I am within an inch of touching the back of my knee to the surface. Be patient, it will come. I was allowed to come out of the brace 2 days ago(after 8 weeks) but have been doing rehab for 5 weeks. Once I was able to get enough range of motion to ride a stationary bike – progress continued. I am able to ride about 6 1/2 miles and begin on a treadmill.

  44. I hurt my knee skiing on the 12th Feb, I had surgery on the 28th Feb, and have only just been given the go ahead for partial WB. It has been so hard for me normally at the gym three to four times a week, can’t drive my lovely new car that I only had three weeks before I hurt myself! However, the positives are it has given me a lot of time to think and get my life into perspective. I’ve had to learn how to ask for help, and stop my pride getting in the way. My leg is stiff and sore and I worry that I won’t get full mobility back, but my surgeon says I will with perseverance and giving it time, I think that is the watch word – time.

    This website has been the best one I’ve found helping me understand what I’ve been through and what is yet to come.
    Thanks

    • Hello Everyone,
      I wish I had seen this website weeks ago. I had my accident on 1/22/2014 skiing, surgery on 1/31/2014 with instructions not to put any weight on my leg for 12 weeks, the doctors told me I would have to have knee replacement if I damaged it again, that made me follow the instructions. I am very active and have always run and lifted weights, my legs were the one thing I really liked about my body. Now I have this skinny awful looking leg that makes me mad and sad. I am 48 years old and have always just done things without thinking, like skiing as I did when I was 20 years younger. I have really had the worst time with my mental. As soon as they said I could start stretching I did, all day I would do as many stretches as I could physically stand. During the 7th week of not being able to walk I fell in to this awful depression and my husband kept telling me to get up and do something but I had no desire to move. At week 12 I went to the doctor and was told I could put 50% weight for a week and then 100% weight with crutches for a week then I could walk with no assistance. I didn’t follow those instructions but I did use a cane and made myself walk. My foot is killing me, the knee is a little painful but nothing like the foot. I ice my knee and foot every day and make myself walk even though the pain is awful. It has been almost 14 weeks since I had my surgery and I’m so ready for all this to go away. I guess I’m trying to say thanks for all the posts, I felt crazy, I felt like I was just feeling sorry for myself but after reading what everyone has to say I now know that all these feelings were normal and experienced by several. This has been awful but I had a great husband and friends but people who have never had this happen to them just do not have a clue. Not only is it physically painful it is mentally draining. When I get well enough to walk without so much pain I would love to help anyone in this situation even if it is just going and cleaning their house!!!
      Thanks

  45. Hi all
    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.

  46. I also had the same problem with my foot! I read everyone’s stories but couldn’t find anyone complaining about their foot. My TPF was on Jan. 6, 2014. I was NWB for 8 weeks and then was to start physio taking another 4 weeks to get to WB. The first week went OK because I was just to have my toe lightly touch the floor. The second week when I was supposed to put my foot down I almost dropped to the floor. I felt like I was walking on a floor of broken glass. It turned out it was the plantar fascia giving me this pain. Being NWB for so long was the problem. You also lose bone like the astronauts when in space. Your body decides you don’t need the bone if you’re not using it. You were NWB for even longer than me so I imagine that’s what it is. If you can get in a pool to walk around that helps and physio can help with excersises for the plantar fascia. I found this set back very frustrating. When you go through the terrible pain of the fracture and then the surgery followed by the pain and boredom of recovery and then are finally excited to begin your life again just to find out you have hit another snag. The thing to remember is it WILL go away as you start using your weight more. Good luck with your recovery.

    • Thanks for the comments, this has been so great for me to hear from people who understand what I am going through…one thing I did when I was NWB is get in my wheelchair and walk around the house. At first it was like Janice said about the broken glass but after a few weeks I was so much better. I looked crazy dragging myself around the house in my wheelchair, I removed the feet supports so it was just the chair. It worked my thigh muscles as well as my foot, just a thought for anyone at that point in their recovery. I also ice my knee, ankle and foot every single day. I figured what could it hurt, it made me not so guilty feeling when I was watching TV. Today is the first day I feel close to normal, still painful to walk but I make myself walk as normal as I can without limping, it hurts but I make myself do it and just go very slow. Today is almost 16 weeks since my injury and I still cringe thinking about the long journey it has been just to get where I am today. Patience, stretching, ice, and walking is the key and friends that understand!! Thanks

  47. BH,
    Yes I still have stiffness in the leg. Whenever I have been sitting for 20 minutes or more the first few steps when I try to walk are slow and unsteady. Getting out of bed is the same for the first few steps then I loosen up. I still have trouble going up stairs as well as going down. As far as the squats I do more half squats with a 25 pound kettlebell which works pretty well. I recommend doing step ups on a couple of phone books taped together to simulate stairs with the involved leg on the phone books maybe 6 inches off the ground, then try to lightly touch the ground with my heel concentrating on fully extending my knee going up. Single leg calf raises are also a great exercise. Quad sets are still a must every day. I still limp at the end of the day, but it is getting stronger. I would say at this point 8 months post op that my repaired leg is about 50% as strong as the good leg.

    I ran into my surgeon a few weeks back, and he told me to expect 18 months before I can truly say I have recovered. I used to do Ironman triathlons, and recovering from this injury is much more difficult than training for those races. The key is to be patient. Sounds like you are doing well. I also recommend the website kneeguru.uk in their forum section to learn from people who have had the injury for years. You go to the main page and scroll down to the “Bone breaks around the knee” section to find other tpf stories. Everybody recovers differently, so keep that in mind. Those of us who were pretty active before the injury usually recover sooner than those who weren’t as active before the injury. But this website is the best for general information.I am a physical therapist, and info on this injury was difficult to find when I initially got injured. But Schlomi has done a great job putting this site together for all of us.
    Hope this helps. If you have other questions feel free to contact me.
    Take care,
    Chris

  48. I had a rod put in my tibia just over a year ago. I have knee pain wich I know is common with this surgery however I still have pain at the sight of the break when I run. Is this normal, (I’m assuming not) has anyone else had the same issue?

  49. Had a bad fall 01/05/2014, have had a weak knee for some time now and that night I stepped onto the second step down and BAM I went down, heard two cracks and then the pain OMG, nothing to compare with it! Rushed to casualty, put onto a drip to ease the pain, sent for XRay which revealed the TPF, the Dr in casualty put a bag leg plaster onto my leg and bandaged the leg. The Ortho Sugeon operated on 3/5/2014, had to insert a screw as there was a break and he has had to secure the bone back into place. Cannot use crutches, have tried before! Using a frame and wheelchair and generally coping at home but OMG do not sleep at night, can bend my knee with no problem but cannot straighten my leg out in bed with out terrible pain, have tried using a pillow. Am in a metal brace during the day which does help and have relatively little pain. However after a couple of hours at night I am woken by such pain that I cannot sleep and feel terrible from lack of sleep. The medication made me so ill I was throwing up so he put me onto PANADO only and just no good at all! Have also had the burning flushes at night and pain in the foot and ankle (full of bruises) If I could only have more sleep life would be a lot better. Waiting for the Ortho to phone me today perhaps he can suggest something I could take at night. I do have help a few times a week and hubby works full time so have had to manage so far. Thanks for all the follow ups on this site, strangely enough the Doctors do not fill you in on all the problems you can encounter as a reault of TPF.

    • Make sure you use the pillow under your heal and not your knee, I made that mistake, putting the pillow under your heal will hurt more but will force you to straighten your leg. I still have a lot of pain at night and it wakes me up, I just thought it was in my head but it hurts, like a burning from the top of my leg to the foot. This has been the pits!

  50. Hi Dee, I can’t help, but I suggest you join the tibial plateau fracture recovery group on Facebook, where there will be people who can advise. The details are under the further reading tab.

  51. I just had the tpf a week ago and see the ortho in 2 days. He said it was non displaced but the tibia is fractured in 3 places and the fib in 1. So they are waiting to see if the bones remain in place so that I do not need to have surgery. I have a plaster half cast on that is wrapped for now and I am afraid of having the surgery due to many of the issues indicated here. I am worried about not doing the exercises soon enough either as I really do not want to lose all ROM. What are people taking for pain control?

  52. Hi Everyone. Im just viewing this site for the first time. I was in Lake Tahoe skiing when I fractured my right tibial plauteau. I got distracted on one of my favorite runs; I turned my body to the left to respond to my friends kid who was shouting something and naturally my legs followed. I then tryed to correct myself turning my body straight so I wouldn’t crash into her. It happened so fast. What I’ll never forget was the pain I felt in my knee while still upright on my skiis and then looking down at my right ski which was turned perpendicular to my body. All my weight was on the right knee. My left ski released. Then as I went down I felt a deep “thud” and heard a loud crack like a dead branch breaking off a tree. I thought, “oh man, I really did it this time; to my cartilage.” Talk about denial!! I’m a former professional dancer and very active and had previous menicus and mcl injuries on the same knee. In shock I stood up to assess the damage. It hurt like someone was hammering on my knee and was wobbly at the same time. I knew I did not HAVE A LEG TO STAND ON. Pun intended! My friend helped me over toward the bank to get out of the narrow path of other skiiers. I started piling snow on my knee while my friend went to alert the ski
    patrol. I texted my husband who was on the other side of the mountain and wrote, ” hurt my knee bad. SKILL Patrol on the way.” Later we had a good laugh
    about the irony of my misspelling. Fast forward to the little emergency clinic. The pain was getting worse and down my tibia a deep ache. I was getting more worried when the xray tech kept asking me about my toes; if I could move them. Still in much denial. I kept thinking why if I just injured my knee, thinking cartilage and soft tissues, is he taking so many xrays and why the shin bone ache? Later the emergency physician approaches, looking at my xray and asks me what kind of work I do. “Um, I’m a Pilates instructor and used to dance professionally.” “Well, he says, you won’t be dancing for awhile.” I think my brain translated that to mean: ever again. He explained I had a tibial plateau fracture and may have a depression and if so would need surgery. What?! I’ve never known anyone to fracture their knee joint! It’s not like I was going that fast. They finally give me percoset, put a soft splint on and give me crutches. We decide to drive thirty miles to a local hospital thinking maybe I could have the surgery done right away. After talking with two OS’ s we realized it was better to
    have the surgery closer to home and also to let the swelling go down. It was a long 4 hour drive home with my leg elevated and an ice bag on top. I could not sleep that first night as I was reading as much as I could on TPF. Over the next few days I was gathering referrals and made 3 appointments with an orthopedic trauma surgeon, and 2 sports medicine orthopedic surgeons. We went with the trauma surgeon since he did about 4 of these sugeries a week. I had the ski accident on February 23, 2014 and surgery on February 27. I had a Schatzer type 2 with an 11mm depression. Seeing the hole in my tibia on the CT scan was unreal. Side note: I had been taking ibuprofen the first day we left Tahoe along with percoset. I found out from the surgeon to NOT take ibuprofen due to bleeding in the joint! Fast forward to now 12 weeks post -op. I have been NWB for the duration. The biggest challenge was figuring things out as the days moved on. I had 30 degrees of flexion at 2 weeks. Recovering from anesthia and all the drugs took awhile. I had no appetite for 2 and a 1/2 weeks. My husband gave me injections of the blood thinner I was on. Plus, he had to do all the chores plus take care of me while working full time. He’s been a real champ but its been a rocky road at times. I had to get comfortable asking friends for help, but it made all the difference having support and meals. Eventually I had the appetite of a horse and craved burgers. It’s certainly true that the knitting of the bones takes a lot of energy.
    It took awhile for me to keep weight on. I went back to work probably too soon, but only five clients a week. I have a wheelchair at my studio and at first would cry everytime I opened the door and entered the studio. I now average 12 hours a week with clients and have no residual hip or tibialis anterior (calf muscle on tne front of the shin). My knee flexion is at 170 degrees the same as my left knee and knee extension is normal. I have a lot of flexiblity so I had further to go on getting that knee to bend. That was the most painful but I had a very good PT to manually push the bend in my knee to get the scar tissue stretched. Doing passive range of motion and later active range of motion exercises diligently made me feel so much better. Plus using weights for upper body strengthening was a huge mood lifter not to mention things I could do on the Pilates equipment. In 4 days I see the surgeon and hope to be given the green light for FWB but partial is okay too! It will be a whole new ballgame to start walking again. Warm wishes to everyone!!!

    i

    patrol.

    t took awhile for them to find me. Moving my leg on the wooden sling took two guys and hurt like heck. Shock was wearing off. Finally they get secure me into the sled

  53. Pliz let me know abt tibia plateau recovry time bcoz I don’t hv big facture it just a crack but docter use plate and screw on it so when I can able to walk as b4 I walk ? When can I walk a normal wtout any support

  54. Appreciate all the work in putting this website together. Very informative. I was playing with my large , strong, lab dog 21 days ago in the backyard. She ran at me from about 30 yards away and hit me directly on the right knee causing a nondisplaced tibia break. No surgery but suppose to stay off leg for 6-8 wks. Doc said I have a little arthritis in knee and probably will need surgery in4-5 years because of the arthritis. Have strap on brace that doc gave me.I’m doing well. No pain. But having hard time on crutches and staying completely off the leg 24 hours straight. A little cheating, but not much. I know what can happen if I screw up.

  55. This is such a wonderful article. 10 months ago i did mine on a last minute evening jog. Going from being very active to not at all was incredibly hard. Physio is still on going and having an arthroscopy in a couple of weeks due to continued pain but back to walking the dogs and using the stationary bike at the gym has helped.
    Can’t wait to run again.

  56. I had a TPF from car accident on 4/7/14. I had an external fixator before surgery on 4/18. I immediately began PT. I was so glad to find this site today. I am still in a lot of pain, mostly my ankle especially if I get in the wheel chair for any period of time. I felt from the beginning that I have to beg for pain medication. ice all night and mostly when up but still the swelling and pain can get out of hand. I haven’t been able to sleep in my bed since the accident. I tried a couple of times but the pain was worse. I take Norco now and the told me next is Tylenol 3. I’m afraid it’s not enough. I’ve been hording pain pills for the most painful times. I do the exercises, but I’m glad to know that I’m pretty much experiencing the same problems. I see my OS on 6/9 and hope to be returning to work part-time soon after that. Maybe that’s wishful thinking.

  57. I wish I had found this site earlier – it certainly would have helped me understand what I was going through and what to expect next. I suffered a TPF and ankle fracture on Feb. 23, 2014, (hit by a large fast moving dog at a dog park) and received surgery within 18 hours – plates and screws inserted for both fractures. I was NWB for 10 weeks – that was a killer. I can certainly relate to all the comments about depression. As an active independent 53-year old, I did not take well to being completely dependent on others, though I tried my hardest to maintain a positive outlook. The good thing about all this was the outpouring of kindness from family (especially my husband), friends and strangers – I could not have gotten through this without the support of lots of people. I wore a splint for the first two weeks and everything seemed to be healing well, but my big issue at that time was swelling. Any time I moved my knee or got up to walk with the walker, my leg would swell terribly. A trip to the GP proved there was nothing to worry about in my case, as circulation seemed fine. I was lucky to be able to start working from home within about 5 weeks of my accident – I was going stir crazy. There’s only so much bad daytime TV a person can take, and I didn’t feel like reading – normally a favorite pastime. Working helped me re-engage with my co-workers and get my mind off my injury. The surgeon was not happy with my range of motion (ROM) at my week 6 visit, so I started physiotherapy. I was going at it pretty hard, but progress was impeded by pain and swelling. At week 10 , still unhappy with my ROM (knee was bending to about 70 degrees at that point), the surgeon ordered AGGRESSIVE physiotherapy and put me on Celebrex. The Celebrex helped immensely with the inflammation and allowed me do my exercises. I borrowed a stationary bike and eventually was able to pedal full revolutions – I now ride 30 min/day comfortably. Almost 4 weeks after my last surgeon visit, my knee is comfortably bending to about 115 degrees (140 would be normal for me), and, thanks to my fantastic physiotherapist, I have progressed from walker to crutches to cane, and am now starting to walk unassisted. I still have a ways to go, but I am confident that I will get there. I go back to work Monday – another step (ha ha) towards normalcy. To those of you who are at the beginning of your journey, hang in there, and celebrate all those little achievements along the way. My advice – start physio as soon as you can, work hard, and be patient. Good luck to you all!

  58. My TPF was from a ski-ing accident on 20/2/14 and I had a stainless steel plate and eight screws to mend the IV fracture in France on 22/2. Around a month ago – early May – after making steady recovery in ROM and pain reduction – my knee swelled, became incredibly painful, hot to the touch, with a rash of small red spots all around the scar site.
    I was admitted to hospital overnight, had blood tests and was released with a diagnosis of probable internal tearing of soft tissue by over-doing things.
    Now, four weeks on, I’ve had a whole body rash for two weeks (not on face or scalp) – its intensely itchy and knee has remained hot to the touch all this time.

    Saw my GP and was referred to a consultant dermatologist (after ruling out scabies, other allergic irritants) – he immediately said it is a severe allergic reaction to metalwork in my leg. He took biopsies initially that I’m waiting for the results from.

    I’m pretty scared and anxious about the outcomes of this – as at four months post-op I’ve not returned to work or normal life yet and now face potentially a second op before the first one had even healed.

    Has anyone any experience of such am allergic reaction?
    Nic

  59. I did not realize, I was going to have to learn how to walk again after only being NWB for 6 weeks. Slow progress. My ankle and foot is giving me the most problems, not my knee. It feels like I have a bad ankle sprain and a falling arch. Still on crutches Dr. say for another 3 weeks and have aquatic therapy twice a week. Cannot understand this ankle and foot problem. Has anyone had a similar experience?

    • Jackie
      Many of us have had issues with ankle pain during recovery and when commencing weight-bearing again.
      I was 7 weeks NWB (meant to be 8weeks but I had a problem where the strap from the brace had caused my wound to break down).
      I have always had issues with ankle pain and inability to perform ROM exercises which I have now found out was related to ligament involvement from the initial injury.
      I am now 11.5weeks from surgery and exercising to strengthen both my knee as well as my ankle.
      The TPF facebook group has many members who have also had trouble with their ankles.

      • Just passed the 6-week mark from accident (depression and displacement, with partial ACL tear and total MCL tear, repaired with metal and cadaver bone; surgeon refused to give a I-VI number, saying it didn’t really fit any) and got a smaller lighter brace (Townsend Rebel), a prescription for anti-inflammatory Mobic (prohibited before to allow the bone to heal more), and the order to start getting more active including “touchdown only” weight and adding some resistance on the stationary bike, all this for 6 more weeks before real weight bearing is allowed. I can finally wear some of my pants, yay!

        I was always heavy but went to the gym 5 days a week and had halfway decent curves; now, my lower abs and the right side of my pelvis (the injured side) look like a toasted marshmallow that toasted and re-congealed. So, abdominal crunches have been added during the supine leg raises, and a set of reverse crunches afterward.

        I can’t tolerate even the walker much, forget about crutches, due to preexisting wrist and thumb problems, and have a rolling stool for inside the apartment. I’ve just started standing up from it to do things like put dishes away up in the cupboard instead of fishing them out of the dishwasher as needed from a sitting position.

        Also, after reading all the comments about the feet and ankles when walking begins, I’ve added non-weight-bearing calf raises (basically, lift the heel off the floor and keep the toes and ball of foot on the floor) while seated here at the desk… for the first few in each set, the bottom of the bad foot is all pins and needles, but the sensation passes. Maybe 6 weeks of doing this will enable me to start walking when the time comes!

        • Hi Elaine,
          I am in a similar situation in regards to the having to use a frame, compressed carpals in wrists. I have just started the past week (week 8, 2nd week of pwb) using crutches majority of the time. And it is getting easier. Your injury is worse I imagine. I hope things start progressing for you soon.

  60. Hello everyone:
    It’s been a while since i’ve posted so wanted to give an update. I’m now 4 months post-surgery & doing well. As I’ve read this & many other forums it’s becoming clear to me that the length of NWB seems to play a major role in the length of time of recovery; in case that wasn’t obvious to everyone?!! As for me I think I fell into the “lucky” group as I was able to start PWB at 6 weeks. I drove from that appt. to my local pool/fitness center to get a membership! Yes, it could be said I’m VERY MOTIVATED to get this leg & the rest of my life back!

    As we all know this is not an ‘overnight success’ story, this is a long haul requiring constant persistence, motivation & patience. I’ve been back to work a month now & just noticed yesterday that my limping has dramatically improved from when I first got back. What that means is now my limping is the EXCEPTION, not the RULE. The mornings are still stiff & slow but I’m noticing how that time is also decreasing each week. Stairs continue to be my only major hurdle & they too are becoming more smooth & flowing. As a side note I feel that a great rehab exercise would be to simply go up & down stairs multiple times a day. The skill & range it requires on the leg & knee are tremendous & the regular repetition would help a great deal to hasten recovery.

    I alternate swimming with riding one of my bikes nearly every day. I swim now for approximately 45 minutes & notice using a kick board to be the most difficult but also the most rewarding stroke for recovering my nearly absent quad! The biking started off at about 7-8 miles but now I can safely do 20 on my road bike or about 2 hours on gravel roads on my mt. bike.

    Extension progress continues to be much slower than flexion although in the last 2 weeks that has also improved. A month ago I was considering calling my Doc as my lousy extension was starting to scare me but now I feel that will also improve, slowly with time. What has seemed to help it progress the most has been after a walk or bike ride I lay on the floor next to the refrigerator (or wall) & place one leg up on it & try & push my knee downward toward it. I used to do this as a great hamstring stretch but now it also serves as my ‘extension’ stretch! I’ve noticed a direct correlation to my progress with extension & how that has lessened the limp in my stride. Since the biking doesn’t require full extension I’m guessing walking the dogs every day (& the refrigerator) are the ones helping it? Also, quad strength helps with extension & since mine shriveled down to a stick I’m guessing that weakness had something to do with it progressing so slowly as compared to flexion?

    This is a major insult to our lives but luckily most of us can overcome it with time & persistence. I never realized how impatient I was until this!

    I will reiterate what so many have said before me, the degree of progress we each achieve has a lot to do with our diligence to rehab. This is a long battle, but since I really want to get back on skis next Winter I’m going to do all that I can to make it happen.

    Best wishes to everyone.

    • Excellent post Bill. I’m with you on the optimism. I’ve got great range of motion after 3.5 weeks out and I fully expect PWB at 6 weeks after my followup. Pain has been minimal since I got home from the hospital. all good!

  61. I am in my 7th week of having my TP. I didn’t have surgery. My main concern is foot drop to my left foot which I have a brace for. My other concern is that my muscles in my lower leg and foot feels very tight. What could I do to alleviate that?

    • I used to stretch my foot back and forth all day when I was non weight bearing, almost like doing a toe touch sit on the bed and pull your toes in to you and then out as far as you can, you are going to get really tight muscles bc they are not being used.. Just be careful and dont try anything the doc says not to do. it will only set you back.. After a month they allowed me to take everything off and lightly rub my leg to help my skin and stuff, Lotion it up to avoid rash.. Which I needed help from the hubby bc sudden movements hurt so bad..

  62. I hade surgery on my tibial plateau on Thursday June 12 th. It is now June 17 th and I’m in tons of pain still.. Having a hard time standing up on my crutches without dealing with a ton of pain. Just wondering if I should just get more rest and stay in bed for a bit longer.? They plated and screwed it togther by the way. I’m also 33 year old male

    • Colin, I’m 32 yr old female and abt 10 days post op, I’m still in a lot of pain and I’m finding it very hard to get around as well. I was wondering how your doing now and when I might expect to start feeling better.

  63. Good reading from all of you – this is a really nice support group. I’ve not read a lot of you talk about any knee injury, but I fractured my tibia badly and also completely destroyed the knee. Any of you have thoughts on how a bad knee affects the recovery? I had compartment syndrome so my actual hardware was not put in until probably mid-late April so I’m almost 2 months post surgery and still not sure when I’ll be NWB. To top it off I also have staph in my leg and they’re not sure if it’s in the bone or not so I’m on daily IV treatment for 6-12 weeks.

  64. I am having similar problems with my foot and ankle. I started aquatic therapy and it has really helped a lot. I’m in my 9th week of TPF and third week of therapy. I was 6 weeks NWB and was surprised how atrophy set in. This is a lengthy recovery that I have had to accept.

  65. Hello everyone and what a great site. Wish I’d come across this months ago.
    I had a TPF of the left knee back in February 2014 after a work accident and surgery within 48 hours resulting in 2 large screws being fitted to re-connect the fractured bones. The fracture caused a piece of bone to be broken away from the main joint just next to the fibia, one of the worst placed to have a fracture (so all the specialists kept telling me)!! Up to this time I had been fortunate enough not to have been off work ill for around 25 years+ (I’m now 53), as I’d always been fit and healthy.
    I can relate to almost everyones experiences and I guess the one thing I can’t quite get my head around is the recovery time, I just really want to get back to work and full normal life, but as yet I am not allowed to drive (manual car that is). I have been fully weight bearing since mid/late May and have gone through the pain in the foot, swelling of the knee and muscle/joint aches. My knee still feels that it may give way on me sometimes and I certainly know if I’ve overdone it. I’ve also been back into hospital for day surgery where the consultant who originally operated on me cut away a tear in my cartiledge and had a good old poke around to make sure all was as well as my xrays had been showing. I have noticed that the pain in my foot from walking has mysteriously gone, so I can only attribute this to the consultants actions during surgery. He did tell me he would manipulate my leg to check all was working!
    Having read a lot of the above stories I can see that perhaps I need to be a little more patient and keep in mind that my health is worth more than work and any hasty decisions to get back to work could result in further complications, which is not wanted. My manager is quite understanding, but as I’m probably the only employee to have long term sick leave in quite a number of years, they are obviously anxious for me to fully recover and return to work.
    I have been asked by quite a number of people about whether or not I have made or considered making a claim, but my reply has been me getting better first then I may consider. There seems to be lots of companies out there who deal with claims, but can we really trust any of them?
    I wish all of you good luck for the future and hope all goes well with your own recoveries. I’ll make sure I visit the site regularly from now on. Kind regards.

  66. The suggestions from fellow TPFs on this site has been incredibly supportive in my own recovery – thank you! Much has been shared about the earlier stages of recovery so I’d like to ask about some later stage concerns. First about my TPF – I did mine skiing on Feb 9, 2014 and had an excruciatingly painful external fixator for 2 weeks before they did the full repair. I’ve now got more screws in my knee and leg than I think we have in the garage. I guess mine is pretty bad as when I asked my surgeon exactly what I had broken, he told me it would be easier to say what I hadn’t broken! Around wk 13 I started WB and had the toe and heel pain mentioned in earlier posts. I got through that but then started a stabbing feeling towards the side/back of my knee. The PT said it was just the bones waking up but, surprise, surprise, it was one of my screws making a break for the surface.It almost popped through the skin so I had it removed a couple of days ago – Question #1 – has anyone else had this happen and if so, did any more screws come loose? My WB is going OK but my ROM is not. I’m only at about 88 degrees and 5 degrees so my surgeon is planning a manipulation to break the scar tissue. Question #2 – has anyone had this manipulation and does it work well? Thanks for responding – I’m going to join the FB page too! Good luck to you all.

  67. I’m in my 50’s and obtained my tpf falling off a ladder. I was quite active before so it was hard to be non-wt bearing for 11 weeks. I had 1 week of the external fixator and then 2 plates. I was warned to bend my leg or they would do it for me so I really worked at it. It wasn’t fun. No PT but did fine without it. Once weight bearing, I was shocked at how weak my leg had gotten. Spent much time in the current pool at the fitness center and lifted weights. I was trying to get in shape to go back to work at my hospital job which requires about 3 miles of walking in 12 hours. I did it. The hardest thing was the energy level. I went from sitting around to hard labor. I still have a bit of a limp at 17 weeks out but as I continue to strengthen my leg, it feels better. I have been lucky in that I have no pain, just weakness. Advice. Bend the leg early and often and things will be better for you in the long run. Also stretch the ankle.

  68. I am 2 weeks out of surgery for fractured tibia plateau had 6 screws and plate installed think i tried cutting pain meds off to soon as i dont believe in them but think i will bite the bullet and take them as bending hurts so bad.I am not in a brace or immobilizer which i find odd but think maybe its due to previous patella dislocation and the ROM issues i had was worried about it but getting around on crutches well cant wait to be able to shave and get haircut due to blood thinner injections

    • Brendan, it does seem strange that you do not have any brace or immobilizer fitted, but I guess that is up to the consultant surgeon and his team, as to what they feel is best for you.
      Whilst I was in hospital I was fitted with a brace that could be adjusted at increments and secured in place, so any attempt to move the leg beyond its setting was impossible. When I was discharged I was given meds to take (29 tablets per day, plus anti blood clotting injections), never had so much in all my life and after about 10 days I stopped taking them, as this was when the injections finished. I was lucky not to be in any pain at all, so I felt taking the tablets was a little fraudulent really.
      My pain started when I was able to go without the brace (nearly 12 weeks) and do real exercises, but thankfully this was short lived as the muscles, tendons and ligamnets started to get stronger. Foot pain kicked in as soon as I started full weight bearing, but this has stopped as per my statement above.
      I found crutches difficult initially and had a couple of stumbles (nothing bad), but I also used a wheelchair, which brings a whole new view on life to you.
      I’m now able to walk with a slight limp but take it easy and use ice packs if you overdo things.
      Hope all goes well and as everyone else on these boards say – take it easy.

  69. I am 2 almost 3 weeks out of surgery. I was put in a brace in the hospital emergency as soon the TPF was found. I still wear the brace but the staples came out yesterday. I also received a copy of the OS report who did yesterdays exam and my fibula was also broken at the neck. Surprisingly not much pain, and I came off the pain meds after week one. Sitting in the cast clinic with the other Ortho patients I had myself half convinced that I would back in the saddle in a couple of months. The OS told me I would be off work 6 months to a year. Crutches are getting easier to use and I fill my day with little victories, like sitting in the back/front yard watering the garden. The one big scare I had was my crutches slipping on the ceramic floor which had a wet spot and I had to step down on the injured leg to keep from falling. Didn’t hurt but scared me. The x rays yesterday came back without any new damage so its a wash I guess. This is gonna be a huge exercise in patience. Going from all out to 0 is tough.

  70. I had my injury 6-9-14. I am currently 1week post op. I had a level 6 TPF. I had 3-4 different fractures. ( having trouble remembering everything the surgeon said). I am still in a lot of pain and will be going back to see the doctor in two days. This has to be the worst thing I’ve ever gone through but I’m trying to keep a positive attitude. I have been do some ROM exercises already but find it very difficult to be able to do any daily activities. My mom has been staying with me to help. My question is how long should I expect to need full time help at home?

    • Hi Andrea,
      I’m so sorry you are going through this! Your question about how much full time help you’ll need was/is one of my concerns, too. What did your doc say as far as the nwb period? I was told I was going to be nwb for 12 weeks. I have 3 kids so my biggest concern was how the heck to take care of them. I had my mom and then my mother in law out to help for a total of 5 weeks. I then hired a gal to help with the baby and light house work. She lasted 3 weeks. I’ve been about a month on my own with the occasional babysitter. Let me tell ya, its rough. But it is also amazing what you can do when you have to. The pain will go away very soon and then it will just be time and patience. Keep bending and straightening that leg and do anything to get some blood flowing. It helps everything. My advice: get a wheelchair and one ofthose arm gripper things. The chair is so much easier than crutches when you are in your home, plus you can carry things. The gripper let’s you reach things without constantly having to stand up and down on the good leg. I can take care of the kids for the most part and feel a not-so-small victory after i cook dinner. I still cant go to the grocery, carry laundry, put away dishes etc. My husband picks up a lot of that slack. Anyway, I don’t know what I’d do without some kind of help until I am fully able to walk again. I hope that comes sooner than later for you. Hang in there. It is slow but it really does get better, and you can learn an awful lot about yourself in the process.

  71. Excellent read. Thank you. My biggest concern is longer term complications that restrict my activity levels. It’s comforting to read that, should I stay patient (which I’m struggling with) and carry out physio diligently (which I’m not concerned about, I’m just itching to get to the physio stage) that I can expect a full recovery. Ill be bookmarking this page and reading over regularly as it has raised my spirits considerably. Thanks again.

  72. It takes a lot of time and care in order to be ‘normal’ again. I slipped and fell of my bike and suffered a TPF Schatzker VI, plate and screws.. Nearly 7 month ago. I immediatly started little exercises even when i was NWB, stretching, pointing foot and such. After 6 weeks i was FWB and had to learn how to walk again… I trained very hard to walk without a limp and always listened to my body, pain is stop!
    At the beginning i was very tired which is normal because your body needs lots of energy to heal, i didn’t have to work luckily.
    This can take up to 2 years the whole proces! Now i function okay, i cannot run, nor sit on my knees, jump and other things which i used to do without thinking, annoying because i feel confronted with the fact of still being limited. Seeing where i come from after sitting in a wheelchair and being completely depending it is anyway a huge improvement and i cherish that daily!
    Whish you all the very best and take care!

  73. I was out of school alone for 2 weeks and basically bed ridden the entire 2 weeks. After that I would say I would have been ok if I was on my own around the house. Granted my surgery did have some complications that put me in more pain, I would guess about the same is true for you since you had multiple fractures. The meds they had me on also made me very fuzzy and even simple things like getting out of bed on my own was very difficult because I couldn’t keep my balance. Don’t push anything. I would keep someone around until you feel comfortable being on your own.

  74. I am now 3 weeks post-op from my TPF, which was about as bad as they get. I also tore my ACL, MCL and had a proximal fibular fracture. I am a resident physician and am lucky my program is letting me do a research month from home while I recover this month. I have always been a very independent person, and been the one to take care of others. Now I am reliant on my boyfriend to help me with nearly everything. I have begun to feel more and more depressed, and don’t know how to get out of this “funk”. I am also becoming terrified about returning to work in 2 weeks. As a resident, we work 80 hours a week, and I just don’t know how I will be able to do it. Residency has been so hard even without an injury. Starting at week 8 post-op, I will have 28 hour shifts every 4th day, and work everyday in between. I am non-weight bearing for 3 months. How will I be able to function when I am so deconditioned from sitting all day? I am not doing any PT now, as my ortho told me that won’t start until after 6 weeks. I just didn’t expect it to be this hard. I am trying to keep a positive attitude and put on a positive front to my friends, family and coworkers, but it’s getting harder to do. I don’t want to take time off residency, because that could push my graduation back and I have already been in training so many years (7) and I want to have my own life someday. Any advice on how to push through? Wheelchair or crutches when I return to work? I will have to cover a lot of ground everyday at the hospital. Thanks.

    • So sorry to hear about your injury Megan.
      Your fracture is quite involved and takes quite a while to recover. Many of us are NWB for 8-12 weeks and then physio before we are able to go back to work. I am an RN in a busy Dialysis/Oncology unit and work 8-12 hour days.
      I have only just gone back to work on short shifts 16 weeks after my injury and mine was only a Type 2. You are allowed to feel down and negative at times as unfortunately it is part of the healing process (unfortunately).
      I am not sure if you use Facebook, but if you do can I suggest you join the TPF group as there is much support and just being able to talk with others in your position might help with the depression we all go through.
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/tibalplateaufractures/

  75. Megan,
    Sorry to see you or anyone on this site. I had my TPF last August, so I am 11 months post op. I was out of work for 4 months before I could return. I am a home physical therapist, so in order to return to work, I not only had to be stable on my feet, but make sure I could react quickly if one of my patients were about to fall.
    Even if your injury wasn’t as severe as it is, I don’t think it is realistic to think you can return to your residency for those 28 hour shifts unless you were in a wheelchair. After being non weightbearing for 8 weeks, it took me another 3 weeks in the pool before I could bear weight on land, then another 2 months of land therapy. My first month back was really tough with my leg swelling, wearing compression stockings, and just general deconditioning.
    If your residency will allow it, plan to be in the wheelchair. As a PT I thought I would recover within 2-3 months. How wrong I was. I have done 4 Ironman triathlons, and this injury blows those races out of the water in difficulty. Whatever your projected date of returning to work full time is, I would say add 2-3 months to that realistically. My surgeon told me to expect 2 years before I know if I am fully recovered. I may never run again, or jump or play ball with my kids.
    BUT
    This injury has been a blessing to me. As a PT this injury has totally changed my perception of how important my profession is. I have total empathy for my patients, as well as instant credibility. When my patients see my scar, they know I have been through some tough times. So as bad as this recovery has been, I am a better clinician as a result.
    With you as a physician, I pray that you will experience a similar realization that this experience will make you a better physician. I recently treated a very well known orthopedic physician. He thought he knew what physical therapy was all about. It wasn’t until he broke his hip, and became a patient that he understood the importance of what we do. Because you are now a patient, you will have a newfound respect for your patients, as well as a new appreciation for what YOU do. The lessons learned for you will be worth it in the long run. I know you may not understand this now, but things happen to us for a reason. This injury made me a better PT, made me a better husband and better father. The 4 months I was away from work sucked financially, but the time with my wife and 2 boys was priceless. I pray that in time you will realize this terrible injury made you a better physician.
    At 11 months post op, I still limp, cannot climb stairs without a railing, and have difficulty standing up after sitting more than 20 minutes. But when I think back to those first few weeks in a wheelchair, elevated toilet seat, and shower bench, I don’t remember how I persevered. The pain and depression and doubts you are feeling now will get better. One day at a time.
    Take care,
    Chris

    • Chris, your words mean so much to me thank you. I can already see how this injury will helps to empathize more with my patients. I know I will make it through….it just seems like such a long road. I have never been one to give up, and I won’t now. This website is really helping me and I’m so grateful for the support and understanding.

  76. Thank you so much for your response Lee. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have someone understand what going through. I will definitely join that Facebook page. I’m just having such a hard time having everyone tell me it’s going to be ok. This is not ok, it sucks. But I will survive and I know it could be much worse. Your words have meant so much to me thank you!

  77. My accident was 12/8/2013 when the ladder I was one slipped out from under me. Still can only guess how I landed on it but ended up completely shattering my left tibia/tibia plateau, shattered my right humerus and breaking my nose in 2 spots. By the time I was taken in the ambulance I was starting to go into shock and BP was too low to get any painkillers. Which led to the worst 3-4 hours of my life with the most pain I could ever imagine–even begged them to just cut my leg off because it hurt that bad. After getting to a room, I was told by the OS (head of orthopedics) that they grade TPF’s between 1-6. Mine was about a 10 on that scale.Ends up that my TP was in over 20 pieces. Surgery on the arm was 1/3/2014, and left on 1/6/2014 (yes, I had to wait 4 weeks for surgery due to the holidays). Anyway, after 2 plates and 13 screws in knee/leg, and 1 plate and 7 screws in arm, I was released from rehab facility on 2/20/14. As if TPF wasnt bad enough on its own, I had a broken arm to recover from so that delayed me being able to get around. Was NWB on arm until 3/6/14, started to use a walker about 2 weeks later. Was completely NWB on leg until 4/29/14 when I got 50% WB, and didnt get WBAT until 5/27/14. Was using crutches about mid-May So yes I was not able to really use my left leg for almost 6 months. Unfortunately my at-home therapist wasnt much help and never did any passive-assist ROM exercises on the leg, so that also set my recovery back at least another month. My leg atrophied to the point that it looks like it belongs on a 15yr old kid.
    So here it is in end of July and I only have 70 degrees ROM on the leg, and 110 degrees on the arm, and very little strength in both. I started to use 1 crutch about 2 weeks ago, but I pushed it too hard and screwed up my back by compensating. And the crutch-side is the one that is used with the broken arm. Go figure.
    The area of the TPF is always feeling “tight” and makes it that much harder to get it to bend during therapy. My goals are (a) to get to 90 degrees for stairs and to start using a bike,(b) to be able to walk, even with a limp, by the end of Sept and (c) be back to “normal” by 2/2015. Even my PT says those are aggressive goals, considering the severe damage I’ve gone through. But no matter how far I’ve come, its still mentally frustrating making such slow progress. The only thing I wish I could improve right now is the ROM so it gets to 90degrees soon, but with all the tightness and swelling it just never seems to want to bend. So thats how I got here, looking for any hints/tips/revelations in that respect.

    btw, on 7/1 my ortho told me I came “this close” to really losing my leg. so the fact I’m actually walking is nothing short of amazing. his original prognosis was that it would be at least 6 months before I could even start any walking on the leg (ie any weight-bearing). I’m planning on using a cane sometime in August. I know that being off my leg for that long means it will take quite some time to get it back. Was told for every day it wasnt used, it takes 3 days to recover. So by that note it should take me well over a year to recover from this. But I’ve already beat the doctors words once so I plan on doing it again.

    • I’ll tell ya, life really sucks! I can’t even imagine the stuff you’ve been going through, you’ve run the full gauntlet, maybe I should say-limped. I suffered my TPF on April 3rd, but it was a Type 3- non displaced and no surgery needed. Every time I come to this web site, I read others’ stories and am so grateful (?) in regard to my injury. I had my last appointment with OS today, he’s pleased with my recovery and I don’t have to see him anymore- too bad, he’s real easy on the eyes!
      I’m really not in any position to offer advise, your injury is so much more severe than mine was. But, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to offer any. Don’t push it- listen to your body, this is an on-going process, take your time. You’ve already seen what happens when you try to do too much. I know it’s frustrating, we all get so impatient because our lives have been thrown into disarray, and WE JUST WANT THINGS TO BE NORMAL! Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen for a long time.
      I bless each and every one of you that is dealing with this horrible injury and I thank all of you for the support and information that I’ve gotten from this web site. It’s lifted me up from self-pity and given me an outlet to vent to people who know what I and everyone else is going through.

  78. I had my injury on 1/28/2014 had an external fixator until 2/11/2014 when I had surgery to fix my type 6 tpf which happened when I had to jump from a work truck from about 15 feet it has been and continues to be a very difficult recovery ! I was 10 weeks nwb I have read a lot of people having foot and ankle pain I still struggle with that also its very hard to stay positive ! I have had a lot of ups and downs physically and mentally because like a lot of you I could do pretty much anything I wanted when I wanted so it was very hard when I had to rely on everyone else . I now have 3 plates and several screws holding the bottom half of my knee together but I’m back to work 4 hours a day and continue to do physical therapy 3 times a week for about 2 hours each time progress has slowed but thanks to my awesome support system ( wife and family) and now the inspiring stories on this website I will continue to work as hard as I can to get back to as normal of life as possible. !

    Thanks for sharing your journeys

    Rick

    • Hi Rick,

      I also had an ex fix until surgery to repair a type 6. I now have 2 plates and 14 screws in my lower leg. I am still NWB (by the time I see my otho surgeon next I will have been so for 15 weeks). I also suffered an insanely awesome knee dislocation.

      Yes, the emotional stuff has been the hardest for me. I have spent my summer in a wheelchair, and I used to be very active. Very, very hard.

      Hang in there!

  79. Rick , I too had the external fixator for 10 days till my surgery to repair T6 TPF. I have 2 plates and 17 screws. I’m 7 wks post surgery.If you haven’t already found it there is a wonderful Facebook page just for TPF suffers ( Tibial plateau fracture recovery) there is a link to it on this site. I have found it very helpful for information and support. I hope your recovery continues to process and that your back to “normal” life soon.

  80. I wish I had found this site sooner! My lateral tibial plateau compression fracture occured on May 17, 2014 – a dog slammed into me at a dog park and down I went. My surgery (plate and screws required) was on May 27 and as of July 10 was PWB for 2 weeks then was allowed to go FWB. I started outpatient PT as soon as I was PWB and have been continuing 3 times a week. I am 55 years old an d before this was clocking an average of 18 thousand steps a day on my fitbit. During all of this process I had to move as I had sold my house. I am grateful that I have family and friends who came through for me as I don’t know what I would have done without all the help I got. One piece of advice – if you have a hard time asking for help – get over it and ask! I am now walking my dogs short distances and hope that I will soon be back hiking the trails with them. I have not yet returned to Pilates and Yoga but I expect to be getting back to that soon too. I still do experience some pain and swelling if I do too much (I’m still unpacking at my new house so that happens fairly regularly). I am encouraged by the stories from those of you who had injuries over a year ago and are back to (almost) normal and hope that I get there too.

  81. Kathleen, I too was hit by a dog at a dog park (who knew they were such dangerous places), but I was 12 weeks NWB after surgery, so a much longer recuperation. I also broke my ankle, which at this point is giving me more grief than my knee. I am 53 and, almost 6 months later, am only starting to resume activites like going to the gym. My walking is still limpy and slow, but I did manage a 4 km walk while on vacation last week. I think yoga is still a ways away from me, though I am slowly trying to incorporate different positions into my daily workout. A long road, to be sure, but I am hopeful that I will be able to eventually do all the things I was doing before my injury. Good luck.

  82. I had my tibia plateau fracture on 8th June this year, totally random accident, was standing next to my horse when he was spooked by a football causing him to hit me side on leaving me to hit the floor! Weirdly there was no pain, I’ve always been under the impression that a broken bone leaves you writhing in agony but it just felt like a lead weight! When I was finally helped up (I had been on my own) as there wasn’t any pain I wanted to go home and sleep it off!! Luckily my friends ignored me and took me to A&E where I was xrayed and told it was a TPF, cant remember what level it was classed as but was told it was “quite a break” and it had fractured in about 4 parts. Surgery was a week later, 15th (I was bypassed for hip operations which can apparently be fatal) where I was told that they would be trying to lengthen the compacted tibia as well as they could, build up the loss with a bone graft and then a plate with screws. Was sent home after 3 days with a cast which came off along with the staples coming out on July 3rd where I was given a brace with 20 degrees motion. All this time being NWB. 2 weeks after (17th) went back in where they extended the brace to 40 degrees, at this point, they gave me directions on how to change the brace myself and told me to go up to 60 degrees in a following 2 weeks (31st). I had my last appointment on 14th August where they told me I could go PWB, have loosened the brace right off but was still told to wear it for slight support. It is frustrating as although I now have a “bionic leg” the ankle is as weak as jelly and always feels like its going to give out on me. I am not very confident on the crutches, as always feel they are going to slip from under me! I haven’t officially been given physio as yet and can only think its because its hard to give exercises to people that aren’t very stable. I have been doing the ankle flexes from the word go as was told the Achillies would seize up and possibly snap due to non use, so didn’t want to tempt fate! My next appointment is on 11th Sept so am hoping to be given some then, my parents are being very optimistic that this will also be when I’m told I can go FWB but I’m not so sure, although this will be just over 12 weeks post surgery I don’t want to get my hopes up!

    • I fractured my tibia plateau and fibula racing BMX at 49 on July 23, 2014. No accident foot just came off the pedal and hit the ground. I immediately knew something was wrong with all that pain. The medical staff wanted me to go to the hospital but my son still had racing to do…lol They took me to my truck on the ATV and when my son was finished I drove home. The next day I went to the doctor and after the x-rays he wanted to know how I was able to get to him on crutches, He said I would need surgery and he could do it but wanted to insure I would get back to my old self so he referred me to a doctor a Johns Hopkins. In surgery for three hours and had a bone graft, a plate and some screws put in.

      After spending three days in the hospital I was discharged with a 61 ROM. I have started physical therapy and seem to be getting better every day. While there has been some pain and pain medication does not really work on me the most depressing part has been the two shots a day I have to give myself in the stomach to prevent blood clots. That and having to have others do certain things for me.

      Well that is my TPF story and I hope all of you end up with a 100 percent recovery as well as any others who may end up getting this or any injury in the future. Patience, patience, patience with proper eating and PT and we should all prevail to at least a comfortable standard if not a complete one.

    • Emma,

      While sitting or lying down, squeeze your abs, glutes, and quads to help maintain muscle and increase blood flow. If you can lift weights with your arms, that is good too. The more you use your body while you are injured, the better you will feel. I think it helped me a lot. Now that I am off crutches, I am doing stretching and strengthening 2.5 hours/day. (I have been missing riding but did sit in the saddle for a few figure-eights in the round pen.) Keep believing.

      Eileen

  83. Hillary,
    My injury was on June 23, too. Spent 6 weeks NWB and the last 16 days PWB. Dr. believes I’ll be full weight bearing at next appointment on 3rd. I believe I will be released then, too. Been to three PT appointments and the seem to help a lot. Besides the e-stem and quad strengthening exercise, he has had me on the “total gym” and recumbent bike. I really think massage can help, too and my PT (who was hand-picked by me because of his cutting-edge approach) confirmed that. He believes there is a lot of static waste from the injury in our leg and overall body. He believes it is important to lightly massage the lymph nodes.
    Holt

  84. TPF-One Year Later
    One year ago this weekend-8-23-12 I had TPF as a result of my new 80 lb English Labrador named Coltrane crashing into my knee. It was the 2nd day I had the new dog. We went outside around midnight for him to pee in his new yard. All of a sudden our motion detector light clicked off, spooking Coltrane, and he jumped into my leg. I never saw it coming. I knew I was in trouble before hitting the ground. I tried to stand up, and collapsed, sure my ACL and PCL were torn. It took me 20 minutes to crawl into the house, suffering the indignity of the leg breaking dog biting my ears and licking my face since I was down on his turf. An hour later I am in the ER. It was the night of a Miranda Lambert concert, so several rednecks were also waiting in the ER in handcuffs with police escorts bloodied from fights. The CT scan eventually showed the level 2 TPF with surgery scheduled for 4 days later.

    When I got home, my church had dropped off a wheelchair, elevated toilet seat and armrests, as well as a shower bench. These items would be crucial for my “new” lifestyle. Two months of NWB would prove very frustrating. I was in great shape prior to the accident. Now I couldn’t do much of anything. My life consisted of waiting for my next percocet, and trying to get comfortable in my recliner with the exact height of pillows under my leg the most important daytime task. Bathroom stops consisted mostly of using the urinal and pleading with my 2 young boys to empty the warm container. I only had about an inch between my outstretched leg and the bathroom wall when sitting on the toilet, so that trip was only made when truly necessary.

    Sleep was the hardest. Being a stomach sleeper was impossible being in a leg splint. The percocet would knock me out for 2 hours, and whenever I tried to roll over, my sleep was immediately halted due to the pain, leaving me up for hours watching every episode of Law and Order SVU, CI, or reading a book. I must have read a dozen books in the first 2 months.

    Because the TPF was on my left leg, I could drive, once I learned how to navigate the 3 steps down into the garage to the car. Being September, and still quite warm outside, I often craved a slurpee from 7-11. My wife said if I wanted a slurpee I could get it myself. Getting to 7-11 was easy, but using crutches to navigate the curb, and then carry a big slurpee back to the car on crutches was problematic. So I usually waited in the car until I spotted a good samaritan and asked them to help me. Pitiful, but I did love those slurpees!

    Finally my 2 months of NWB were over. Time to bear weight. Much easier said than done. When the therapist told me to lose one of the crutches and put weight on the leg, I almost collapsed. 3 weeks of pool therapy eventually got me to be able to bear weight with one crutch, then with a cane. As a physical therapist myself, this ordeal was an eye opening experience as to how important good PT is. Eventually after 4 months I was able to return to work.

    Some important milestones in my recovery.
    1. No longer taking pain meds.
    2. No longer needing the wheelchair.
    3. Being able to navigate the garage steps without help on crutches.
    4. Going from crutches to cane.
    5. Being able to stand up in the shower.
    6. Being able to step out of shower without assistance.
    7. Being able to step ln/out of shower without crutches.
    8. Being able to step in out of shower without holding on to anything.
    9. Being able to return the elevated toilet seat and armrests.
    10. Being able to climb stairs to sleep in my own bed.
    11. Forgetting where my cane was, signifying I was able to walk without assistive device.
    12. Actually thinking about returning to work.
    13. Getting clearance from surgeon to return to work.
    14. Not having to wear compression stocking because my foot was no longer looking like it would split my shoe.
    15. Actually feeling like I was stable enough on my feet to treat my patients.
    16. Being able to stand on one leg and dry off the other leg.
    17. Being able to put pants on standing up.
    18. Being able to kneel on the ground and not freaking out that the plate will hurt.

    This experience of the last year has been memorable. I don’t wish it on anyone. I’ve completed 4 Ironman triathlons, and the recovery from TPF make those events seem easy. But I got to spend 4 months with my wife and kids that I will always cherish. I am a much better therapist now. When I show my patients my scar and the outline of my plate, I have instant credibility with my patients, and they realize I have empathy for them as well.

    The idea of running or jumping or playing basketball with my sons is a dream for now. The surgeon says I may never be able to do those things again. I may have premature arthritis. I may need a knee replacement many years before most people would. But surgeon also says to give the recovery 2 years to see what I will be able to do. I still limp at the end of the day. I have trouble going up/down stairs without a railing. I don’t have pain, but I still feel my left leg is about 50% as strong and stable as right leg. I feel like I’m 90 years old getting up in the morning to walk to bathroom. If I sit for more than 20 minutes I have to go easy the first 4 steps before my leg feels like it will support me. I still get off the floor slower than most of my patients. I sometimes step a certain way, and my leg feels like it could snap backwards like a tree branch. Very unnerving. I still have to strengthen the leg every day, so always remember to continue doing your exercises.

    Ironically enough, Miranda Lambert was in concert again last night on the one year anniversary of my accident. I’m still not a fan of Miranda Lambert.

    And I never go out in yard with my dog without knowing where he is at all times.

    • Thank you for sharing, Chris.

      That post had my both laughing AND crying.

      In about 10 days I see my doctor, and I hope I will be given the OK to start bearing weight after 15 weeks in a wheelchair.I, too, was very active until my motorcycle crash caused a type 6 TPF, knee dislocation, and multiple breaks to the fibia and tibia.

      I wonder what walking is going to be like, and I grieve for what I may have lost due to this (Will I long distance bicycle ride again? What about mountain hiking? Running?)

      And I am not a fan of Miranda Lambert, either.

      Take care!

  85. My TPF was exactly 12 months ago and this site gave me encouragement to cope with all the pain and misery we sufferers endure. I am now back to walking my dogs every day, although I do not go perhaps as far as I used to nor quite the distance! , but I feel more “normal” with everyday activities, i.e. shopping,driving, out with friends, housework etc. Although I hardly have any pain, I do find walking down hills, climbing up and going down stairs/steps more difficult. Someone told me my ligaments perhaps are not that strong yet. When I first had this inury I could not imagine doing what I do now. As others will know, the frustration is very hard to cope with, but, now when I walk along my street and someone says “hey you are walking better”, I feel I’ve joined the human race again! I will soon be 60 and thought last year this time “that’s it I’m finished, but now there is light at the end of the tunnel and I hope others with this frustrating injury will be encouraged by me and other fellow sufferers. You will get there, believe me you will.

    Hope this helps, take care.

  86. Hi Chris. Thanks for the post. Good to hear of your recovery. I too was hit by dog (not mine) and suffered TPF and an ankle fracture. 8/23/14 was my 6 month anniversary, so I can relate to your milestones – have checked all those off myself. I think we are both lucky to have had good support networks – it seems really important to the speed of recovery. I was NWB for 12 weeks and couldn’t drive – that was the worst part. I hated being so dependent on everyone and stuck in the house. Fortunately, I have a desk job and started working from home about 5 ot 6 weeks in, which saved my sanity. I am still walking with a bit of a limp and not moving terribly fast, but I’m doing almost everything I was doing before my injury. I’m back at the gym everyday and getting constantly stronger. My next big challenge is yoga, which will be a real test of my flexibility; like you, I’m still a little unsure about putting my full weight on my knee, though my PT says I can. Sometimes, I think the physchological barriers are just as enormous as the physical. And I too keep a close eye on dogs, including my own lovable 80 lb labrador retriever, a little tank. In fact, I’m terrified around dog clusters – hope the terror will dissipate with time. Again, thanks for the look back – really helpful to all of us as we continue to recover.

  87. 6 months post OP. Still cannot walk. Had therapy but pain is still horrible. Thinking about 2 and opinion. want to walk but can’t. anyone experience this??

    • Alan,we need more info about your injury and rehab to give any feedback. Still cannot walk-does that mean you can’t bear weight at all? I had to have 3 weeks of pool therapy before I could tolerate weight bearing. 12 months since my surgery, and I can’t jog, run or even increase my speed in walking, but I know time will hopefully improve these activities. Some people don’t consider walking with a walker or cane to be walking but it is. I don’t know enough about your injury or rehab? What kind of rehab. If you truly can’t walk AT ALL after 6 months, something is seriously wrong. But again, your post doesn’t give nearly enough info to even offer advice. Are you still non weight bearing? When did you begin weight bearing? Are you putting weight on leg? Did you have aquatic therapy? Unless your break has not healed, something doesn’t sound right.
      Looking forward to more info from you.
      Thanks,
      Chris

  88. I am 17 months out. I had it pretty bad as I didn’t “just” have the tpf but splintered my shin vertically and broke my foot. My tpf was not only a clean break but eggshell breaks as well all in the worst possible part of the knee.
    I still have pain and was told by Raleigh Doctor and My Duke surgeon that my running days have ended. It is so upsetting. They say I might technically be able to but my cartilage is almost gone and a knee replacement is not too far away but I am a little younger than he wants me to be for that.
    So, It took me a long time to walk and now I walk but still have pain and don’t do well at all w going down the stairs and w quick movements. I have done everything right and was a great PT patient. Still work out now. I get pretty down about it but my family doesn’t know that. I am sure they are sick if hearing about it.
    Joe

    • Joe,

      (I find it hard to keep up with the posts on the recovery forum, but I saw yours and had to respond.)

      Today, my OS released me and said to I should resume normal activities (I have been walking without crutches for almost three weeks.) When I asked when I could run and jump again, he said never. I told him those ARE my normal activities. I think non-active people do not understand why some of us want to run full-tilt up a rocky hill and down the other side. I am going for a second opinion and appealing to a higher authority. I hope you are able to find a bit of joy each day and keep trusting in the support of people who love you. I wish you well.

      Eileen

  89. Eileen,
    Nicest post ever. Thank you. I had a second opinion as running is something I truly enjoy as well as basketball. Both said no way. As I may have said, maybe I could, but it just means a quicker knee replacement, then if I run with that the quicker that wears out.
    Are you in the tpf Facebook page also?
    Joe

    • Hi Joe,

      I just discovered your comment — as I said I have difficulty following the threads. Am I missing anything on Facebook? It seems there is enough on this site to keep me busy and informed.

      Eileen

  90. Eileen, I would agree with second opinions. I am 6 months in recovery. Once developing the confidence in my knee again, I have been successful with taking things slow during recovery. I am a marathon runner and have done the run/walk method for the 1st time during recovery. I am back to my 5K pace (pre-injury) and training for the New York City Marathon 11/2/14. I have had to make decisions of……I can’t do Step Class at this time due to the side/to/side movement makes the knee uncomfortable the day after. Without a 2nd opinion – I would have ended up with the “you will never run again” mentality. Move forward in slow increments – I had a great gal that had a masters in BioMechanics set up my training plan beginning at Week 4. The biggest thing is to be patient!

    • Debi,

      I have difficulty following posts and just saw your reply. I got a second opinion who said “all the kings horses and all the…” However, he did say I may be able to run again, some.

      Thanks for your encouragement.

      Eileen

  91. Careful of not listening to the Doctor. It all depends on where your injury is and how much damage was done to bone and soft tissue. They never said I won’t run again, but did say I shouldn’t. The reason being is that I damaged lots of soft tissue including cartilage. I am almost bone on bone and technically would benefit from knee replacement now but am too young. If I run (which I can’t now due to extreme pain 17 months out) it will speed up the need for the knee replacement. If I get a knee replacement now it will be too early based on current research as to how long they last. Once you get a knee replacement you can still run, but then you wear those out faster. They recommend lots of activities but not pounding on pavement every day, that doesn’t even make sense that that would be a good thing. BUT some have tpfs are in locations that were easy to reach, simple fractures that were easy to fix, and the surgery went perfectly. Mine was the opposite of that. Some say they had a tpf yet they are up and walking in three weeks like Kobe Bryant. My leg didn’t look like a leg for weeks as I shattered the tibial plateau with multiple big and small breaks all over. I splintered my tibia vertically from plateau to shin and broke my foot. My soft tissue damage was horrible but the bones were so bad they never really discussed that. They wanted to save my leg as main nerve damage was done and swelling was awful. If you have good cartilage, won’t develop arthritis too quickly, not recommended for a knee replacement, then I suggest carry on and run. But depending on your pictures and diagnosis, be careful of “the I can overcome anything” mentality if in the end you end up paying. I had a second opinion, and continue to see this guy as Duke is a bit of a drive. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything, but be knowledgeable and make decisions you won’t regret. You need your knees as we have all learned. As for the marathon runner, I think that is awesome!!!! Congrats.

  92. This is a great point about listening to the doctor. I was put on 50 percent weight bearing at 6 weeks. I am at 9 weeks and a day and will see the doctor at 10 weeks. He said at 6 weeks that he would probably release me at 10 weeks to FWB. Strong temptation to go FWB now, or at least move to a cane. But it has been explained to me that the cartilage and some of the bones are still healing and I could cost myself down the road. so I’ll hold off another week.

    On the knee replacement, at 51, i have heard the same thing about delaying it as long as possible. Advances in medicine being what they are, it makes sense.

  93. I am on my second round of TPF. The first time was my left knee (a bit over 10 yrs ago). This one is my right knee and I am about three weeks post op. Both injuries were from the same situation – taking a bad tumble from my horse.The horses were unscathed in both incidents – the rider on the other hand now has a plate and 6 compression screws in each knee. Yes, I now have a matched set of knees- and the side by side x-rays look like something out of a bad sci-fi movie. My first round (at 36 yrs old) – I was walking with a cane at about month six, unassisted at a year, and feeling pretty normal at 3yrs. I saw continued improvement for another few years, until I was able to forget about it and was back doing all of my “normal” activities (competitive horseback riding, motocross, hiking, climbing, and the list goes on.). When I was injured the second time, I immediately recognized the familiar pain and knew exactly what I had done before having it confirmed in the ER. All I could think was “Seriously – again? Is there something I have done to earn this bad karma that I don’t remember????” Well, in honesty, the answer is that I choose to ride and compete in equestrian events – which means I choose to take some pretty big risk that comes with the sport. I am now 47, and facing another very long recovery period. This time it means taking extreme care and going back to the PT routine on my left knee to keep it healthy under the heavy stress, while getting ready to start the painful process on my right knee. Oh, and did I mention that I have a 6yr old, and we moved 2 weeks before this happened. Yup, house isn’t unpacked, and looks like it won’t be for many months. The bright side, my kiddo loves playing with the boxes!!!! Anyway, would love to hear from anyone who has also managed to injure both knees ? How are you coping? How is recovery going?

  94. I fell on vacation 8-3-14 when my bike tire got caught in the San Fransisco trolley tracks. I went straight to the ER, had surgery the next day and now have a plate and 3 screws. The tibia was fractured in 2 places and I was told it might affect joint mobility. The surgeon said he thought I had soft bones too. I’m not taking a cal/mag supplement. I’m now the end of my 4th week of recovery and am frustrated by how long it seems to take for the atrophy in my calf to go away. Both the calf and thigh have muscle tightness. On top of that, the surgeon had to cut a muscle around my knee to get in the plate.

    I’m working from home and going into work only for meetings. I’m normally a busy person and find it very difficult to be doing nothing. The ortho I’m seeing now (not the same as the surgeon since I don’t live in CA) didn’t want to prescribe any PT but I asked for some. He didn’t want the PT overworking me. All my PT I do at home since I can’t afford to go in multiple times a week. I wonder if it’s enough. I go to PT every 10 days. How much should I be expecting of myself?
    Jill

    • You may not want to hear this, but you may be in for a long recovery.

      I suffered a type 6 TPF in mid May. I have been in a wheelchair SINCE THAT TIME. TPFs are serious injuries and as such they take lots of time and TLC to recover from. There is a reason why the doctor is concerned about overworking the leg. The tibia plateau is a critical weight bearing point of the body. The more I research the details of my injury, the more I am aware how intense a TPF can be.

      Do what you can with gentle exercising of the knee, but remember to be patient and practice self care. Learn ways to occupy your time that does not risk straining the leg. Visit this site regularly for support and validation and information. Find someone to talk to about the emotional stress this causes.

      I truly do wish you the best!

  95. Jill,

    Typically, they don’t want you to do PT until you are partial weight bearing. It has been nine weeks and three days since my surgery. I’ve been in PT for three weeks now with great results. The quad muscle is returning. Maybe you can find a PT, who will at least allow you do some e-stim in their office at a reasonable price, which will help bring the muscle back.

    Holt

  96. My wife broke her tibial plateau February 23, 2014 and has just begun walking short distances with a walker. She had in home PT for 6 weeks after surgery and has continued out patent PT twice a week since. Its now been 6 month and still has horrible pain. We are going to obtain a 2 and opinion from another Ortho doctor. It seems like the pain should be letting up during periods of rest. Any input would be appreciated.

  97. I’m coming up to 12 weeks post surgery and am currently PWB, I’m due for my next consultation next Thursday (11th). Can anyone help me with the psychological issue I’m having regarding putting weight on my leg? I joke saying that I now have a bionic leg (plate & 5 screws) so in theory there should be minimal pain in that area, I am just having trouble thinking that either the ankle/foot are going give way under me and I crash to the ground causing further damage or that I will get the most unbearable pain shoot through the foot….any help gratefully received!!

    • I too have this fear as the last time I stood was 6/20/14. I go to the OS tomorrow and he said maybe he may let me do a little weight bearing and I am scared to death to put weight because after my accident I stood up and my leg gave out. Had external fixation for ten days followed by two plates and eleven screws so I know my leg should hold but am still afraid. I fearing mostly pain since we all know how grueling this injury is. I still gave pain in the shin and that is without weight ….

    • Hi, Emma.

      I hear ya. Just today I was given the OK to start 25% weight bearing after 3.5 months of wheelchair NWB.

      What you have been thru, what we all on this website have been, has been traumatic. You wouldn’t be normal if you didn’t have these fears and anxiety! I tell myself that the worst is behind me. If I survived the initial trauma and kept my leg, then I can handle rehabbing it back into shape (I have 2 plates and 14 screws).

      The thing is: you have to constantly remind yourself that to believe it. Have faith that you can do this, and take waking slowly and be mindful of the actions involved to lessen the chance of being too rushed to get back on your feet safely.

      Good luck, and happy healings

  98. Just went in for my 10-week visit and was released to full weight bearing!

    I can’t believe it.

    A little nervous.

    Very thankful.

    Keep the faith people!

    • Hi holt…full weight bearing… how is that … its really good na.. after 10 weeks..i’m very happy…:) give us the updates… abt full weight bearing… r u able ride bike… and how abt to walk on steps..and all..

      • Yes, stationary bike, total gym and stairs. I have felt a twinge in the back of my knee a couple times when I have moved awkwardly. so taking it slow.

        • Holt, nice, hay i’m at 7w5days, i’m able to walk for a mile, but with limp, of course i’m able to bear weight, but, if i try to stand stiffly like straightening the leg and put the knee stressed back/stiff, it’s paining….is it reduced slowly? whether u also faced it at early FWB? my foot was pain for the first two days of walking, now foot is ok, i really fearing about limp …:( am i able to walk very normally…?

  99. Congrats, Holt!

    I have good news myself. After 15 weeks of being NWB and stuck in a wheelchair, I can now walk with crutches to 25% weight bearing. Next week I am to move to 50%, and in 4 weeks the dr. wants me full weight bearing.

    The doctor said there is reason to have high hopes with my long term recovery, and that I was amazingly lucky.

    Stay strong people! If I can come back after the mess I made of my leg, so can you (because I REALLY made a mess of my leg).

  100. Thank you for sharing this great information. It was nice to put my 1 week post op tibial fracture displaced surgery I to perspective. I have a long way to go, but your comment on putting this in perspective hit the nail on the head. I was going 12 hr days hard working horse training schedule. Injury non horse related, surprisingly.

    Anyway, really wanted to thank you for the informative view of recovery.

    Regards,
    Lyn
    Boise, Idaho

  101. It is great to meet people who is crossing the same river as I do and even better to hear about their recoveries, I had 2 TPF, one of them in multiple pieces on May 28 from a motorcycle accident, I had surgery 2 days after (1 long plate and 6 screws), after 6 weeks I was diagnose with an infection (Staphylococcus aureus) and a long process of surgical cleanings started (6 total), after 2 weeks hospitalized, they removed the plate and screws and added external fixation, they also removed 4 x 2 inches of infected skin, In order to add a skin transplant, I had another surgery (8 total), fortunately, this last one was a success.

    After the infection was stabilized, I was sent home with a nurse for 30 days to apply Vancomycin 2 grams a day IV , thank God it was over 2 weeks ago because I had to be at home for the IV twice a day.

    12 weeks and 3 days after the accident I have shown little symptoms of bone healing because the infection delays the healing process. Today, I had blood work done and the values on my blood are still abnormal and I am terrified that the infection might get back, does anyone on the blog had a similar situation?

  102. It is great to meet people who is crossing the same river as I do and even better to hear about their recoveries, I had 2 TPF, one of them in multiple pieces on May 28 from a motorcycle accident, I had surgery 2 days after (1 long plate and 6 screws), after 6 weeks I was diagnose with an infection (Staphylococcus aureus) and a long process of surgical cleanings started (6 total), after 2 weeks hospitalized, they removed the plate and screws and added external fixation, they also removed 4 x 2 inches of infected skin, In order to add a skin transplant, I had another surgery (8 total), fortunately, this last one was a success.

    After the infection was stabilized, I was sent home with a nurse for 30 days to apply Vancomycin 2 grams a day IV , thank God it was over 2 weeks ago because I had to be at home for the IV twice a day.

    12 weeks and 3 days after the accident I have shown little symptoms of bone healing because the infection delays the healing process. Today, I had blood work done and the values on my blood are still abnormal and I am terrified that the infection might get back, does anyone on the blog had a similar situation or have heard of something similar?

    • Hi, Hugo. Like you I bought my TPF by crashing a motorcycle.

      Your healing was complicated by an infection, that is true. You are normal to worry about another infection. You would not be human if you didn’t considering what you have been through.

      My take is if a doctor has not called you to tell you to begin medications for infection or (worse) go to a hospital, maybe you have nothing to worry about until medical staff worry. I am not a doctor, but I think I read that some antibiotics can interfere with bone healing, so maybe your doctors are taking this into consideration if a suspected infection is brewing (?)

      When you speak to your doctor, ask specific questions and let he/her know about this concern about infection. What I learned from my ordeal is that doctors will not go near the emotional/mental aspects of this trauma. You have to bring up these concerns to get a better sense of where to place your energies.

      Take care and wishing you well!

  103. Great post!
    I am 29 years old and i had broke my TPF July 28/14. Surgery 2 weeks after. I am 5 weeks post operation and go back to see my surgeon next week!
    hopefully i can get the okay to start putting some weight on it.
    I broke it by playing baseball. Hoping i can maybe play again one day.
    Surgery was hell,so much pain i was not prepared for. after 2 weeks past from surgery i started to turn corner. Now feeling anxious to put leg on ground (maybe to soon) but i do not like to sit around.
    tough asking ppl tohelp, but you have to get help cause its impossible right after surgery to do everything on ur own….
    Question, how tough is it to get back walking? is it long process? i realize everyone is different but hoping with my age, and legiments being in place i can be walking by mid-november… is that realistic?

    • Terry, depending on when you are given the go ahead on FWB, if you are given the green light soon, you should be “walking” by mid November. Of course this depends on how you define “walking.” Beginning weight bearing was very tough for me. At 4 months I was walking, and able to return to work as a physical therapist which has me on my feet all day. And I’m 20+ years older than you, so you should be fine. Again it depends on the severity of the injury, how long you are NWB etc. But by 4 months you should be fine. I would recommend getting into a pool to jump start your walking. I had so much pain in my foot when I first started FWB, that the pool was my home for 3 weeks before I could weight bear on land. It was very strange. My therapist wondered if I had broken my foot I had so much pain initially with weight bearing. Do as much as you can now to move your foot, and do resistance work on it now(theraband etc) to pay dividends when you get the green light.
      I’m 13 months post op, and I still limp and have trouble with stairs. I might not ever be able to run or jump again, but remember this injury needs 2 years before you can definitively say what your recovery is.
      Hope this helps.
      Chris

  104. I’m 51, but in pretty good shape. At 10 weeks out from my surgery, I was allowed to go full weight bearing. Today is 12 weeks and I took my Beagle on a 1-mile walk this afternoon. Physical therapy has been instrumental in getting me moving again. Stay positive.

    • Thanks for responding Holt!
      Hoping i can stay on a path like you had! my PT says everything looks great i just need okay to start adding resistance and weight baring to gain my muscle back.
      how long until you could drive if it was ur right leg?
      also how did it feel when u first put weight on ur leg and how long until you lost the crutches?

  105. Hi everyone! Am in my first week of FWB and have my list of physio exercises that I need to do…(knee bends, leg stretches & pushing back of knee into a towel). although I’m fully weight bearing, I still have to use the crutches for stability as my quad muscle is still quite weak. Just wondered how long I have to expect to be on the crutches for until the thigh muscle can hold me up! Frustrating as been given all clear to drive again, but still limited to what I can do as have to use the crutches

    • Hey Emma,
      Congrats on being FWB! Having been through this, and also being a physical therapist, I’d really recommend getting in the pool for fast tracking your weight bearing if you can. When I first went FWB after 2 months NWB, the pool was the only thing I could do for the first 3 weeks of FWB. I don’t know how long you were NWB, but one exercise I recommend to everyone is standing on a few phone books taped together, on your weak leg, and slightly bend knee allowing your off foot to kiss the floor with your heel under control, as if you were stepping up on a stair. You want to stress straightening your knee out as strongly as you can. As you get stronger increase the height of the phone books until you are close to a true stair height. The exercise is called a step up if you want to see a video of it. I am 13 months post surgery, and I still do this exercise. I still have trouble doing this going up and down real stairs, but until you can do this equally on both legs, your leg is still weak.
      Hope this helps.
      Chris

  106. Hate to critique the doctor, but they should have had you doing the PT at partial weight bearing. The E-stim machine is an invaluable compliment to the exercises to building the proper strength in the quad.

  107. Thanks Holt, only exercises I was told to do while PWB were the ankle flexes, I did think that a bit odd but like most people I didn’t question what my consultant was telling me…

  108. First, I wish this site had existed 4 years ago, when I “shattered” my tibia plateau in a motorcycle accident. I was non weight bearing for 14 weeks., and was in lots of pain. I am still in pain, and I would like to know if anyone else has suffered this. I felel like my foot has been in a really tight ankle brace sine the surgery. They call it neuropathy, but say there is not much that ca be done. Also in the next week they want to remove all the metal in my leg and knee. 13 screws and two large plates. Does anyone have any experience with this surgery

  109. Hello all,
    I shattered my TP into 4 pieces on the 6th of Sep 14 (2 weeks ago). I am 40 years old and had an unlucky mountain bike crash. The surgery was on the 9th and involved many screws and 3 plates, 2 follow up surgeries to close up the wounds and then I was home on the night of the 16th. I am a pretty healthy guy with no other ongoing problems, don’t drink or smoke. Despite lots of cycling I am still over weight though, 80Kg’s for a 5’6″ height. My BMI is 28 and while I don’t hold much stock in the BMI ratings I do need to lose some weight, it will only help speed up my recovery. Losing weight while trying to feed the body enough calories for recovery is going to be a challenge.

    My work is a desk job so I guess I will be going back at around the 4-5 week mark if the DR says its okay. I have (had) 6 weeks of sick leave saved up as I don’t usually get sick, I have just used 2 so far.

    So anyway I guess my 1st milestone to look forward to is having all of the staples removed and the wounds heal up.

    Its great to read up on other peoples experiences with this injury. I’ll be checking in on this site every week or so for support and motivation. Its already provided me so much.

    Thanks

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