Recovery


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

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

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

What to expect – overview

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

Time to recovery

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

Weight Bearing

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

Mobility

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

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

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

Physiotherapy

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

Medical professional

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

Diet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pain

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

Staying at home/Mental Health

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

Physical Activity

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

Work

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

Sex

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

On a good note

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

2,056 thoughts on “Recovery

  1. Tibia plateau fractured from a bike accident. Had surgery a week later had 6 screws and a plate put in and left hospital with no cast on. Currently 5 weeks post surgery doing physiotherapy and slowly getting better. However it is really numb and I don’t know if it will change. Thoughts?

    • It will change! I was numb, too, in the foot, until I began to put weight on it (at 12 weeks). The numbness takes time to go away. Massage your foot often and any other numb areas. Be patient; this injury takes time to recover from. All the best!

        • I had that, too, and I am fine now. I feel everything on, near, and around the incision. FYI, December 9, 2017 will be 2 years since my surgery. On December 4 of 2015, I was hit by a car crossing the street. TPF and meniscus tears. I was out of work 9 months but was able to return to work at 6 months. I stayed out another 3 months because I had a 2nd surgery to remove the hardware in August of 2016. My surgeon’s recommendation and I am so glad that I did it. I am 61 years old and was never an athlete and I am doing great! That leg is better now than my other leg, actually.
          Good luck and do your exercises!

          • Thank you! And sorry to ask again but was your numbness down the side of the leg? And is it 100% feeling or how much

          • No apologies necessary! Please ask as many questions as you need to. That’s how this forum works. We have to help one another.
            No, it wasn’t down the side of my leg; it was only numb around and on the surgical site and my foot was numb. I have 100% feeling now; as soon as I began to put full weight on it, the numbness began to go away.

    • I am really numb as well. I am 6 weeks post op and some of the numbness is receding. I was told that it is different for everyone.

    • my TPF is about 3 years old, I am fine, but I still have a numb area, particularly around the incision. At this point I am not convinced the feeling will make a come back, but I can honestly say I don’t pay attention to it

  2. Hi, hoping for advice. Small TPF early August, didn’t need an operation. NWB for 6 weeks, wearing a full leg brace and on crutches. Just been back to the doctor who said the bone is healing well. I’m now partial weight-bearing and have been given knee bending exercises to do every two hours. I have a holiday booked, supposed to be leaving in another two weeks. Looking at a 24 hour flight, then travelling around in Spain for 2.5 weeks. At the moment, I can walk with one crutch, partial weight bearing. How do you think I’m going to be in another two weeks? Is it possible that I’ll be down to just a knee brace and walking stick? I don’t mind if I’m slow to get around, but if I’m going to be in pain, exhausted and wobbly on my feet, I think I should cut my losses and cancel now. For anyone who’s been through the recovery process, would really appreciate your thoughts.

    • I strongly recommend that you consult a physical therapist. Walking around Spain for 2.5 weeks could be strenuous for a recently healed knee.

    • I agree to cancel. If you paid with a credit card for your flight there is a way to recover your money. Also, the heat and uneven streets could be difficult.
      If you do go book in for wheelchair for your flights

  3. Mary, I have been hesitating to reply because I don’t have a great answer for you, but I want you to know you aren’t alone. It’s almost 2 years since my injury (sounds similar to yours–multiple broken bones, a couple of surgeries) and I’m still in pain. I also choose to not rely on medication.

    You may want to try a TENS unit (it’s an small electrical stimulus machine). It provides short-term relief when used directly on pain areas.

    Heat was never good for me. Ice was better.

    One of the best things my physical therapist taught me is “Motion is Lotion” meaning, movement helps ease pain. It is hard at first, but once you get going the pain decreases. I found even a short slow walk outdoors helped. I also found that if I sit around too long, my pain skyrockets and I cannot get comfortable.

    Finally–my hardware (plates and screws) was contributing quite a bit to my pain. I had it removed, and it helped.

    Jennifer

  4. I fractured my tibial plateau about 4 weeks ago and I under went surgery to put in a plate.

    Currently I am none weight bearing and have to wear a huge brace. The brace is heavy and uncomfortable, and I think reduces my circulation. Did everyone wear the brace for am extended period of time? Or did healing work out ok without it?

    I didn’t have the brace for the first two weeks and I felt like I was healing much better.

    • What sort of Brace was it?? I Have been given a ACL-PLC Brace, Mine was 100% uncomfortable and heavy as I was getting around whilst being NWB it felt like it wanted to go flat on the floor. It does get easier as it will help you to gain strength in your leg again. Due to your leg resisting it to touch the ground.

      Hope this helps!

    • Hi Kate,
      I am 15 weeks post op. I have a plate, 9 screws and bone craft. I know the brace is a pain but wearing that is going to heal your fracture. Did your OS explain the purpose of the brace? My brace for the first 3 weeks never came off. After the staples were removed it came off for showers.

    • I had my surgery on my TBF on Sept. 13th and I only had to wear my brace the first two days and now only when I leave the house as “cheap insurance” as the doctor says.

      I notice that where my incision is that when doing my PT that I have a part that bulges out more that the healthy leg, my PT said that is normal because there is still swelling in the knee and joint

  5. So above I’m currently 6 Weeks Post OP without any Physiotherapy, Was told I would be getting it but never did every time I tried to contact them about it I was hitting a brick wall. Today I saw my Doctor and he has told me I can start to weight bear now, I have another appointment in 6 weeks and he wants me to for the first 3 weeks partial weight bear, then the last 3 weeks before my appointment he wants me full weight bearing, This is good and all but he said I won’t have Physio for this and I will be doing this alone. This Worries me how do I know how much weight to put through. I can’t even straiten my leg fully so its going to be harder I’m assuming. I’ve done a little walk today and as soon as weight went through my leg It started to tingle and I feel to the floor. Will this get easier?? Did any of you have Physio to help you with this?

    Thank you all in advance.

    • Luke Paul, I started with home exercises through a therapist 2 weeks post op and am still continuing with outpatient therapy several months after my surgery. It helped me immensely with range of motion etc. in healing and I can’t imagine trying to heal without it at all. The tingling and numbness does get better as you proceed with weight bearing but be sure to use crutches, walker or cane as your doing pwb and even into fwb. Also you can probably find some exercises on-line to help with the process as you go along if you’re not able to have professional help with therapy. Take care and good luck.

    • Luke Paul,

      I wonder if you could get a second opinion about getting PT…? I can’t imagine recovering on my own, and worry that you might re-injure yourself, especially with a fall.

      My surgeon told me to get on a stationary bike as soon as I could tolerate it (a recumbent bike is best) and pedal every day. Starting at a low resistance, and moving up as you are able. This helps move fluids, fascia, etc. It also was very helpful in getting my knee cap moving. When I first started my “good” leg did all the work, and my other leg just went along for the ride, but it still helped wake everything up. Pedal forwards and in reverse to balance things out.

      Perhaps there is someone in your community who could lend (or give) you a machine you could use at home.

      Good luck.

      Jennifer

      • Thank you Jennifer & Diane,

        I’m hoping I should be alright by myself I’ve done some Walking today adding a tiny amount of weight onto my bad leg, Feels like its going to snap in half at some points due to it still not being able to be fully straight, And to do with the swelling. What did you guys do about the Swelling, I’ve been told nothing really on how to get better, I’m going crazy not being at work, Theres no sort of Job I could do either Working in a Wetherspoons Pub requires alot of Foot work. I’ve also got a Zimmer frame so I might have ago a using that instead of crutches might be a bit easier. Is there anything else you guys was made to do To help Walk again?? Apart from the Bike. I do have a treadmill at Home not sure if that will be useful or not.

        Thanks
        Luke

        • I agree with Jennifer and it sounds like you really need to check into at least an evaluation with a therapist considering what you have listed as “symptoms” on when you try putting weight on that leg. For swelling you need to ice it for 20 min. 2-3 times a day. That will get better as you increase more to full weight bearing. I know it’s hard to not be able to work etc. (I have been off for 8 months now due to a second surgery) but it’s important that you don’t rush it. Focus on taking up some hobbies that you can do with limited mobility in the interim to help take your mind off the isolation, depression etc. Take care and God Bless

        • For swelling: Elevate the broken leg and do “ankle pumps”–you flex and point your foot vigorously as often as you can while the foot is elevated. That forces the blood and fluids to circulate. I would lie flat on my back on the couch with my bad leg up on the back rest to support it, and then pump the ankle until I got too tired to do it any more. It really helped–you can see the swelling reduce while you are working the leg. Then ice.

          None of my therapists recommended a treadmill. Seems like that would be very hard on the injury.

        • Hi Luke. I’m into my 13th week post TBF cat. VI surgery, and I’m still not fwb. All nwb still, about 3 more weeks I guess.After my week 10 Dr. visit I was shown on my x-ray where my bone hasn’t healed enough yet and was sent to phys. therapy for first time just specifically to help with the swelling (sucks big time, the swelling i mean) they gave me a daily routine of stretches and flexes that help with reducing the swelling, but not enough yet.I think it just takes forever with these breaks i am learning. I can’t wait til I’m FWB, its been so long already. Hang in there and heal well, but I’d ask your Dr. to send you to some kind of phys therapy. From what I’ve read the more therapy the better.heal well all!

          Mike

          • Thank you everyone, I’ve asked for a second opinion as some of you said, And The only time they can fit me in is 4 weeks after my next appointment, So doesn’t look like thats going to happen, Walking is getting a bit easier but still not there yet, I’m now walking all the time instead of hopping Need away to build the strength up so my leg can support me.

  6. Thanks a lot for the info never knew how tough an injury could be but I shattered my TP in 8 places broke my heel and shredded my miniscus it’s been 7 months today and I have been back to work for a month I am in theconstruction field and I’m having a lot of trouble with the pain, staying positive is getting rough with each passing day at work and not feeling much relief from the pain. But reading the time table on recovery makes me feel a little more optimistic!!

    • wow Brad that’s amazing to be able to return to work on a job like yours after all you went through and only 7 months. I agree that the pain and patience are the hardest parts of this type of injury. I have been off work 8 months in an office type job because of a botched first surgery to repair my TPF and am finally looking at going back to work in a month and part-time. If you’re having that much pain I would definitely question it with your doctor or get a second opinion. I know that if I hadn’t done just that I would not be on the road to recovery like I finally am. Never second-guess what you are feeling especially with this type of injury. Good Luck and I hope you are able to find some relief!

  7. Just had a fallow up X-ray. Today. Which the surgeon said looked great. I was able to hit 90degrees motion. Can bend and lift my leg. But have lost a lot of muscle. Can do all my paso but can’t lift my leg from the flat position. Yet.
    Was told come see the doc in three more weeks. And see where we are. Sigh. I just wanna walk around.
    I still have the whole incision that is numb. Feels weird. Wanting to get a tattoo over the area. Now. With the skin ripped open and gears. And rods. Showing. I can feel the plate. Through the skin. Kids tried to stick magnets on me. When I was napping. Little buggers.
    I am hoping to be back so I can go to Wales. In 9 months. So.thsts my goal.

  8. Yesterday was my 2 week post-op mark, got stitches out and I’m SO excited to finally shower without a bag on my leg. I’m up to bending my knee 70° (active and passive), and I starting working out again! I couldn’t lift my leg last week, and now I’m doing around 100 leg lifts/day and not using my arms to move my leg around. I have this awful numb area around the incision though, did anyone else experience that? I read online that can happen if they damage nerves with the incision, and it can take a few months for th nerves to repair.

    • Yay! Keep it up Kelsey. The numb area is normal. The nerves will take a long time to heal. My plate was somewhat larger than yours (so I’m assuming a larger incision) and I have regained full sensitivity.

    • My orthopedic surgeon told me it could take a year for the numbness to go away. I don’t even notice it until I touch it. At least when the physical therapist uses that medal tool to break up the scar tissue it doesn’t hurt.

      • I’m looking at numbness to be a good thing! I have surgery tomorrow and wheelchair/crutches for 3 mos. In January I
        plan to be on the dear horse that kicked me and if my knee is numb, all the better! Any other horseback riders been through this?

  9. Hi everyone, I am 24 days post op from having a ORIF surgery to correct a post tibial fracture that occurred a little over a month ago. I was on Nwb for a little less then a month and recently had a follow up with the surgeon that performed the surgery and he placed me on toe touch weight Bering. My question to you guys who have had this surgery done is, how much longer is it going to take for me to be able to walk normally? As I am now starting to become bored at home from not being able to do much besides watch tv. I am a nurse and am used to being somewhat active but mainly miss being at work…. anyone have an idea of possibly how much longer I would have to wait to be able to be full weight Bering? Or how long it took you guys to become full weight Bering and being able to go back to work?

    • Lauren, difficult to give you a timescale as everyone heals at different rates. My experience is as follows. TBF ORIF surgery on 29th May 2017 – 2 weeks in a cast – then staples removed and 4 weeks in knee brace restricted to 90 degrees (stopped using brace after 3 weeks) – told by Dr I could partially weight bear still using 2 crutches (put approx. 5 stone through my leg) and to return in 4 weeks – had x-ray and Dr wanted to continue partially weight bearing and return in 4 weeks – another x-ray and Dr wants to be cautious and go down to 1 crutch and return in 6 weeks, which will be 18th Oct 2017 (although as of today I can walk comfortably without crutches, with a slight limp). So in total to go from operation to walking comfortably albeit with a slight limp it has taken about 13 weeks. I am now doing increased physio (lunges, back slides against walls, about 10k on exercise bike, etc). My knee flexibility got better and returned to about 90% about 3 weeks after removing knee brace. My hyper-extension of the knee has been slower, which is normal but I would say it is comparable to pre-injury now. I have noticed small improvements daily and don’t push myself, as soon as leg/knee feels tired or trembles/fatigues I stop physio exercises. I hope this helps

      • you’re so right Simon, everyone heals at a different pace I guess. I’m going into my 14th week nwb from a category VI TBF. I don’t go back to the Dr. for a couple more weeks. I hope to finally begin to test my leg after that, but the way it feels now I doubt he let me even then. Hope I’m wrong, I hate that I had this happen to me.Good luck all.

        Mike

    • Hi. I was just wondering how bad your break was.
      I have a plate and 11 screws And I broke my t p back on July 16 th. I am still not weight bearing. And have another three weeks to go before my next assessment. While I have no pain and am able to do extremely well in my physo. I was told I won’t be weight bearing till the end of oct.

    • It can be up to 12 weeks with no weight bearing.very important to do the right excercises at the right time so you don’t pull on healing bones. I can’t believe how many posts are from nurses ! I am used to seeing several patients daily in my role and there is a lot of walking in the job.
      I’m planning to stop in to work once I can drive to try and stay connected.
      Shameless on Netflix was a laugh out loud I needed !
      Probably be off work for at least six months.

  10. I wish I had found this website before. It has been a year since my MVA. Broke multiple bones, had many plastic surgeries. I’ve been out of work and basically stuck in a house for a year. I have become severely depressed and have pain that keeps me in the bed many days a month. I feel I haven’t had a good go with Drs. I was/am an RN. The fact I can’t get holistic, complete care from a physician is beyond frustrating. How do you guys deal with pain? I’m currently on NO meds and use NSAIDS as little as possible. Lots of heat packs, taping and bracing. Still suffering. Advice and tips welcome

    • Mary, I have been hesitating to reply because I don’t have a great answer for you, but I want you to know you aren’t alone. It’s almost 2 years since my injury (sounds similar to yours–multiple broken bones, a couple of surgeries) and I’m still in pain. I also choose to not rely on medication.

      You may want to try a TENS unit (it’s an small electrical stimulus machine). It provides short-term relief when used directly on pain areas.

      Heat was never good for me. Ice was better.

      One of the best things my physical therapist taught me is “Motion is Lotion” meaning, movement helps ease pain. It is hard at first, but once you get going the pain decreases. I found even a short slow walk outdoors helped. I also found that if I sit around too long, my pain skyrockets and I cannot get comfortable.

      Finally–my hardware (plates and screws) was contributing quite a bit to my pain. I had it removed, and it helped.

      Jennifer

  11. Thanks so much for this information! TheHealth staff are fabulous, but don’t have time to tell you everything. I am 26 days after surgery. I have a brace with 90% of movement and am using crutches (😒). Finding it difficult to get up steps without a handrail.
    Looking at the comments below about sleeping – lying on my back all the time is uncomfortable. Try putting a pillow between your legs, which will enable you to lie on your side. Also when lying on back, put a pillow under your bad leg from upper thigh to knee

  12. I’m also suffering from tibia fracture,but after reading these useful information my 80 percent pain,depression are flee away.thaks a lot

    • It’s a long road. Stay strong. I have two kids. 15 and 12. Both play competitive soccer. Which I have never missed any games. And have helped coach for years. Now I have a bunch of games. And had to leave a tournament cause I just couldn’t sit long enough with the splint on. I also just got a puppy. A few weeks before I broke my leg. And have missed all the fun of playing with him. But. I know I’ll get better. So don’t get down. It’s a hard injury to get over. And I’m sure every one on here has gone through it as well if you need some one to talk or vent to. I’m sure the kind people. On here are willing to help

  13. Well. Back in the recliner. I went. It just hurt to much to sleep with the brace off. I was only able to lay on each side for a few mins until the pressure. Got to uncomfortable to lay there. Then had to do the whole. Procedure of rolling over. I also found when laying flat my whole leg roles to the left. So my hip was feeling like it was going to pop.
    Fun stuff at 3 :19 in the morning. So back down the stairs I go. Back to my chair. Feels so much better. Sigh.
    We got a puppy a few weeks before I broke my. L t p. And he has never slept upstairs. He always stays with me. He even had a hard time. Trying to sleep. Now he is in his spot next to my chair. With his little belly sticking up. Snoring away. Lol.
    Oh well , will try again. When I get my leg stronger. Night

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