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).

???????????????????????????????????????

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

{adinserter manual0}
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.

2,205 thoughts on “Recovery

  1. My biggest fear, will i be able to go back tp the physical demands of my job as a CNA? I did this at home on Nov 14th, 2020 with a 5mm displacement, i walked on it prior to surgery and once i was opened up on Nov 25th found out it was actually a crush? Will i be able after fmla which is only 12 weeks be able to handle the demands of my job realistically?

  2. I did not have surgery, I was in a ROM brace NWB for 8 weeks now 12 weeks on I am struggling to walk my knee feels unstable and I get sharpe stabbing pains in my knee when I try to put my full weight onto my affected leg. I am going to physio twice a week and doing my exercises at home. I can push through pain but the unstable feeling makes it impossible to walk without the aid of crutches . Was everyone able to just walk again once allowed?

    • Did you have any ligament damage as well? Also, I’m just getting close to WB and can tell that it will be wobbly. Having had ACL MCL in the past, I know that muscle loss really makes us unstable on bad leg for a while.

    • No. It took months before I was able to walk. Now, one year and three months after my injury ( like you, no surgery, just immobilization w brace) I am walking up to four miles daily. I am slower than before my injury, but am very happy to be able to go on short hikes and walks around the neighborhood. The most surprising part of the process to me is how much muscle mass I lost in the injured leg. Now with walking it is slowly coming back somewhat. This recovery is very slow in my experience, but it Does happen. Don’t get discouraged.

    • I had my break on Aug. 9, 2020. (No surgery) 12 full weeks of leg brace-no bending knee. I began putting weight on leg w/crutches right after. I was then able to move quite well (with one crutch) but was so frustrated with, Not being able to lift my leg to walk. My frustration lasted nearly another week. Around the 13-14 week I finally began taking real steps. I have issues with my swelling ankle. I’m at 15 weeks and some days are really painful. My patience for the most part has run out. It is depressing. But, it is getting better. Patience and time.

  3. I had TPF fracture on 16/8/2020. Required surgery due to bone being depressed by 6mm and displaced. I am into week 4 of recovery and still NWB. I have been told to do one exercise only by the physio at surgeons rooms. I’m just a bit concerned that that is all I have been told and to come back in 4 weeks. I’m really worried about getting a blood clot. If anyone has had a clot, how do you know?

    • Hi, I had TPF surgery on August 6 2020. I was given a prescription for Xarelto 2 tabs daily, to help prevent clots. I also wear a 15-20 compression stocking on leg during the day. I keep flexing my foot/feet and ankles while elevating my legs on pillow in recliner. These suggestions may help. Good luck

    • I believe if you had a clot it would be red and the area would be hot. That’s how I was being checked in the hospital. I was on 325mg of aspirin for 40 days after I left the hospital to prevent clotting. I also broke my tibea plateau. I have a plate and screws. I have a nervous habit of shaking my foot so my swelling went down after a week. I kept my leg elevated for blood flow. After 4 weeks I was allowed to start physical therapy. NWB. Mostly stretches and leg bends and a lot of ankle movement. Went back to surgeon at 8 weeks. He didn’t change anything for physical therapy. Still stretches. I do them at home everyday also. Today is 12 weeks and now he said I can put 100% weight and ride a bike in physical therapy. No squats or lunges. So I got out of my wheelchair and was able to hold on to the walker with both feet on the ground. I lost a lot of muscle so I am terrified to walk. I will keep practicing standing until I am ready to take my first step. I too was afraid of clotting but just keep your leg elevated and moving that ankle like a nervous twitch. It can be frustrating at times but be patient and wish you well. Regards Nancy

    • I had a clot in tibial vein 2 days after fracture. The pain was as excruciating as the fracture. I was in a brace and the clot was right where the bar in the brace was

  4. I had a tibial plateau fracture on March 28, 2020. It was minorly displaced and luckily I did not need surgery, had to wear a brace for six weeks nonweightbearing, then partial weight bearing. This has been a very long journey and times it is made me so depressed. I am walking now with strong physiotherapy that is now only going to once a month as I do all my exercises at home. However my knee always has a feeling of bruising and gets stiff if I don’t exercise after sitting after a long period of time. And even when I walk I have to try very hard to limit myself as it gets sore. I am getting better each day but I know I have a long ways to go. It’s so frustrating. I feel like things are never going to be the same.My bend is 118° which is great considering I was at 12 degrees at one point. Walking is hard if I’m doing longer distances I have to really pace myself. I just wish I knew that things will get better over time because I feel helpless nine feeling in my knee, and the soreness but I just wish that would get better. I would love to hear from people one year from injury on how they’re doing because that’s what I’m being told that things will get better but I always feel like it won’t be. Any encouragement would be great thank you

    • Jenny, you injury sounds like mine. I didn’t need surgery and I have a minor displacement. I broke it on 10/24/20 and feel like I will never walk again. It’s only been 5 weeks since the break but I’m encouraged by your post since most of your concerns seem to be my same thoughts. I’m an active person and sitting is so depressing and the tears just start to flow. I am able to bend and move with the hinged brace and 5 weeks later I still see bruising up and down my leg that is just now showing up. I’m nervous that when I’m able to begin weight bearing that I won’t be able to. This whole thing is so depressing. I keep telling myself it could have been so much worse. I hope your recovery is going along a little faster and easier since you posted. Keep me updated so I can follow and use your recovery time as a timeline for mine.

  5. I fractured my tibial plateau on 2/22/20. I had surgery with a bone graft, plate and pins on 2/27/20. It was out patient. I was sent home with my leg wrapped and in a stability brace. So, I’m now on day 5 of recovery. I stay in bed unless I need to use the bathroom. I was on Norco for a couple of days but it made me so sick. Now I take Tylenol every 4 hours. I’m frustrated with the slowness of the recovery process. I’m a first grade teacher who did regular exercise (yoga and spinning) and I am not used to being sedentary. Today I am feeling depressed as I feel helpless and in mild to moderate pain. Standing on my crutches makes the pain worse. Any advice on getting through this awful post surgery time? Thanks!

    • All that you’re experiencing is totally normal and you have earned your feelings of frustration, isolation and depression. As it’s been about two weeks since your post, hopefully you are in much less pain, and perhaps the bleak outlook has lifted a little. If not, don’t worry – things WILL get better for you Sharon! It is very difficult to be a patient patient, and as active as you were – and will return to being – it must be very difficult to trudge though the lack mobility. But your yoga and spinning background will serve you well here. Let your mind help you stay in the present moment, breathing in and out to get you through the toughest times. As a fellow yoga class participant and spinner, I empathize with your frustration and depression. My tibial plateau fracture on 12/25/19 required surgery on 1/17/20 (I also fractured my wrist at the same time and had surgery for that on 1/2/20). Not to share my woes, but only sharing as I am a few weeks ahead of you in the recovery mode, want to provide encouragement to trust that your recovery will come and in the meantime, have compassion for the recovery period. As a first grade teacher (what a wonderful profession!) I imaging that you would comfort the child in your classroom, with understanding, love, compassion and a little distraction. You’re on your way !

    • I sympathize with you I had the same surgery in August 2019 and still cannot really do much. I still have moderate pain daily doct have said it is still “early” in recovery which can take a year or more. Just continue with your exercises and try to walk as much as you can it does help. I am guessing you are much younger than I am ,although I was a very active senior doing child care for a toddler and traveling a fair bit. The frustration is very hard to deal with a caring circle of friends is a big help. I do hope you are feeling better now. I have just found this site and hope to find some inspirational thought as how I can progress as well.

    • Hi I just finished my 3 months. It’s not easy but I too fractured my tibiel plateau. I was having a hard time with the walker and crutches. All that weight on one side of my body is not easy. I bought a wheel chair on amazon go $65. I was spinning around the house. I was able to do some light cleaning and stand in front of the sink and know the chair is locked behind me. It folds easy too. I also put a commode next to my bed for the middle of the night. It’s a long process but you have to have patience. The wheel chair was my savior.

    • As a teacher myself, at what point was you able to return to work? I broke my tibia plateau in a few places on Oct 9th 2020 playing in. One week later and it’s to swelled to do surgery yet. I go back to my orthopedic onOct 20 in hopes of scheduling surgery. How much work can I expect to miss. I’ll probably have surgery towards the end of October. I know I’ll be getting a plate and screws inserted.

      • I seem to have a similar injury. My tibia injury was 7/3. Two surgeries, first, 7/4, to align leg bones. Second, on 7/13, to repair leg with screws and plate. Wait time between surgeries to ensure swelling reduced prior to second surgery. My immobilizer cast was removed 10/8. On 10/8, Orthopedic Dr said I can place full body weight on my repaired left leg. Within 24 hours, I started walking with the walker. First step felt like razor blades on bottom of foot due to nerves asleep. To get prepared to walk after about 3 months, I stood up using the walker with foot not injured flat on the floor and started to gradually put pressure on the injured foot. Next, I alternated between right and left feet with one foot flat on the floor and other foot lifted. The weight on the repaired leg can be controlled by your arm strength using the walker. Now, I have completed two weeks of physical therapy. I can easily walk with the walker. Focused on fully waking up foot nerves & strengthening leg muscles to go to cane walking.

  6. My 33yr old son had an upper tibial plateau fracture iv 4 years ago, after a untraced hit and run on his pushbike. He had 2 plates and 13 pins, 3 months later he had what they call a late tibial collapse and has suffered ever since. One hospital took all the metalwork out to attempt to reconstruct and to cut a long story short, we had to move to a different county. The hospital now said they cannot do anything as it may make it worse. He falls and stumbles daily and cannot walk for more than 2 minutes. He got an electric bike, but after a 20 minute ride, he gets severe unexplained brusing around the old injury. Im at my wits end of how to help him. Anyone else had a late collapse?

  7. Fell on 11/19/2019, diagnosed with tibial plateau fracture. Went to surgeon on 11/25/2019, took off the cast that the hospital put on me and put me in a hinge brace and scheduled surgery for 12/5/2019. Ended up with a plate, 5 screws and bone graft. Currently NWB — have been having random pain in my knee lately, is this normal? I am tired of sitting home….want to get physical therapy and get back to work. This has been such a long recovery…☹

    • It is a long process but it will at some point be part of your past. I had a TPF last summer. I was NWB for 3 months. It seemed like forever and it was especially frustrating because we were in the midst of a big project of getting our house ready to sell. Really a tough time. I’m 7 months out from the injury now and pretty much fully back to normal. I still have a little bit of trouble with some yoga poses I used to be able to do easily, but as far as day-to-day functioning I’m doing just fine. You will be too. Getting through those first 3 to 4 months is the hard part, 80% of the recovery. The last 20% will come over time, with PT, with exercise, stretching, strengthening and so forth.

    • Hi… hope all is going well with your recovery. I shattered my tibial plateau and fibula in August 2019. I’ve got two plates and several screws. I’ve had very few good days. It’s been a bit since you’ve posted. Are you still struggling or have you turned the corner?

  8. TPF happened to me mid-November 2019 while I was out hiking with my dogs on the land. There was a great deal of trauma involved with the rescue and being exposed to the elements for multiple hours while I lay on the snow awaiting the cavalry. Ten days after the injury occurred I was back home where I was alone and terrified. I have never felt so vulnerable, so helpless, so hopeless and so angry. My mood was foul and all I wanted to do is lay in bed and weep. I am thankfully now at eight weeks in my recovery. I just started to weight bare without the use of crutches. I see physio twice a week. I can drive and I am starting back to work half days this week. Are there others who would like to comment on the mental health anguish that this kind of fracture can cause? And did any of the health professionals involved with you validate or educate you on this?

  9. I had my injury on the 6th of September in france, had pin and plate and then was evacuated back to New Zealand with inadequate assistance. I got of the plane in a wheel chair but fell trying to get into my house. I have fallen another two times and have an internal rotation and depression of the tibia. I also had mild cellulitis around the drain site and wound infection. A day after arriving home I was admitted to hospital and had 4 days of iv antibiotics. On the 20th I have the screws and plates removed and then apply to ACC for a total knee. My work want me back to finish up my clinical notes so I can then retire. Reading the above information has finely made me realise that my life line of distance walking to manage a client load is not going to happen. I wish I had read this piece of information sooner. It is a nightmare.

  10. I am almost 18 months out from a TPF ORIF bone graft with a 2.5 cm depression. I was 11 weeks NWB with hinged brace. At 6 months I had HWR ( hardware removal ) and a scoping to clean up the frayed cartilage. I never improved and continued to have pain with every step and my knee turned valgus by 10 degrees. I had post traumatic osteo arthritis set in almost immediately. At one year, after a second and third opinion I decided on going through with a total knee replacement which was done in May 2019. I am wondering if anyone else on this site has had the same experience. Though I am walking better now and my knee is straight and have full extension and ROM is 130, I still have numbing, tender and almost bruised feeling below the knee joint on the lateral side where the original surgery was. I am curious as to what type of pain folks are feeling? Is it numb, tender, bruised and stiff feeling? I keep wondering if the day will come when I wake up and not think about my KNEE. I still ICE everyday. We are warriors for sure! I am anxious to hear others describe their pain……..

    • My pain hasn’t been too bad, however lately my knee has occasionally hurt, hoping it’s nothing and just healing.

    • I am 10 months out from TPF surgery w/ plate and 5 pins. Hardware still in and no intention of removing unless the situation warrants. Used walker, then crutches once released from hospital. Returned to work (sedentary) at 7 weeks post-op. Was hitting golf balls at 12 weeks and playing golf at 16 weeks. There was residual pain and swelling after golf but continued to rest/ice/ibuprofen. It was a good trade off for building strength in the leg…within reason! I was always a runner and began light jogging (treadmill) at 8 months. Not quite ready to run on uneven terrain but getting there. I too experience numbness in the area of the fracture but no pain or swelling. I plan on discussing the numbness with my surgeon at my one-year appt (April 1st).

    • Sarah,
      I would love to chat with you. It sounds like I’m experiencing some of the same issues that you have experienced. I would be happy to share my contact info with you if I can find a way to do so. I need to talk with someone that understands all the issues we have to deal with. Warriors 100%

      • Bill/Sarah,
        I would love to share my TPF stories with you both. I am having my TPF hardware removed in September 2020-then, after recovery, a TKR. My ligaments on the inside of my right knee are gone and the femur bone and tibia (bone/bone). The OS doesn’t want to do the knee replacement until more bone is made stable after hw removal. (June 16, 2019 I shattered my tibia/femur, now I 2 plates, 16 screws. 5 surgeries. 3 were for the compartment fasciotomy, and 4 hw &5 was due to infection (MSRA)). Has anyone had a TKR after TPF hardware removal? If so, did your OS make a new incision for the TKR? or did they use the existing incisions from the hw removal site?

    • OMGosh, I had almost the same TPF! mine was 06/2019. I also have the valgus and im getting my HWR removed in 09/20. Then once the incision heals a full TKR. Did you have any problems with infection due to your ORIF/HWR/incision sites? My OS wants to make sure my bone is healed in my tibia. He states he cant do the TKR with all the hwr so has to remove it all. You sound like your doing really good! A TPF then a TKR! I\’m hoping for a good knee and straighter leg, and the possibility of walking better. Please let me know about your healing w/hwr. Thanks.

  11. I injured my FTP October 2018. I had surgery and they put metal in my leg. I am still struggling walking up and down the stairs still have pain when i do certain movements bending my knee at therapy. It’s been a long recovery and still working at it. I have been out of work since then and not sure when I’m going back

  12. Hi
    I’ve got TPF
    Did mine 20/10/19
    To begin with the drs thought I might need an op , but luckily they decided not to
    Had my leg manipulated back into place , with only gas and air as pain relief
    This has go to be the worst pain ever
    Then a full leg cast for 7 weeks
    I am now in a knee brace and hopefully on the 21st jan I will be able to start weight bearing and walking
    I find even when I’m taken out in a wheelchair that there is not many wheelchair friendly places , things are either too high to get or shops have hardly any idea about disabilities
    This makes life hard and with mostly being in the house a lone very depressing
    Don’t think I could go through this again

    • My wife went through the injury a few years ago with a subsequent operation and is doing fine now. I’d say you are much better off not getting the operation as having all that metal in your leg for a while or for good (my wife’s situation), is best avoided if possible. I am sure that the manipulation was gruesome for you but once all is healed up you should be as good as ever. Make the best of your downtime – do things you never had time for.
      You are way over the worse of it.
      Good luck.

      Jake,
      Ottawa Canada

  13. I suffered a TPF on Dec1, No surgery I was recommended NWB for 6 weeks at week three I got bending brace and started PT. I thought I was on the road to recovery when I suffered a blood clot on Christmas eve. My knee had slight pain but my ankle became swollen and very cold. Now I\’m on XArelto, I can bend my leg 90 degrees and I don\’t have a lot of pain, But not being able to do the things I love plus just the everyday living activities really suck. I\’m depressed.
    For all FTP people just make sure you move, you don\’t want a blood clot. No one warned me.

    • Amy were you on anticoagulant injections? I’m 4 weeks into nwb with no surgery required . 1cm non displaced fracture. It’s such a long process. My doctors haven’t been great and I don’t feel supported at all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *