Tips and Tricks

*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*

Surviving at home:

  • A shower stool will help you shower (link). A garden stool is not recommended, because the plastic leg could bend or slip causing you to fall. The stool should have rubber at the end of the legs
  • Always wipe the bottom of your crutches before leaving the shower room.
  • If your hands hurt from using the crutches consider getting a crutch with shock absorbers, or ergonomic crutches (link)
  • Replace the rubber at the bottom of your crutches if it cracks. this could be a safety issue.
  • A gripper (link) will be very useful in allowing you reach, grasp and grab all those out-of-reach items. If you are on a wheelchair you will be very happy you got one.
  • Use a big bag or drycast (link) to keep your cast and brace from getting wet while showering.
  • Use a small bowl of water and a towel to wash your foott while you cannot wash them in the shower.
  • Hinged braces will fit over tight jeans, but wide sweatpants are much more comfortable and will fit right over the
    brace. Make sure to get a pair that is wide enough to go over your brace (link).
  • An electric massager can help relieve muscle tightness and spasms. Use it gently (link).
  • keep a set of dishes and healthy snacks on the counter for easy access.
  • Use your wheel-chair and a tray for taking food and dishes from place to place. A cushioned tray is perfect for holding with one hand as it rests on you thighs, leaving your other arm free to maneuver the chair (link).
  • storage bowls with lids (link) will also work to help transfer food, especially if its liquid.
  • Always keep at least one bottle/box of painkillers in your pocket.
  • In most areas It is possible to get groceries delivered home, but it’s best if you have someone else do the groceries.
  • A backpack (link) is very useful for moving things around while on crutches or going shopping. Just make sure nobody in the shop thinks you’re trying to steal!
  • Holding plastic bags while on crutches is not very comfortable
  • prepare a library of entertainment. You have a lot of free time on your hands. This is a chance to watch that show you always wanted to watch, all 300 episodes of it. consider registering to a service like Netflix or Amazon prime or similar.
  • keep a positive attitude

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Hastening the recovery

  • Don’t overdo it. Your body needs rest
  • Smoking will prolong the recovery and might cause complications. Try to avoid it.
  • Alcohol, Caffeine and salt should be avoided
  • Eat well, supplement if you feel you need it. Make sure you eat enough protein(link).
  • consider taking a multivatamin. Studies have shown this helps the healing rate and reduces the rate of nonunion (link)
  • Do your exercises
  • Do you exercises
  • This is not a mistake.. Do you exercises

Legal

  • Consult a lawyer to understandweather you should be filing an insurance claim.
  • Keep all receipts for all medical expenses, and other expenses caused by the injury.
  • Keep a detailed log of how the injury affected your life

General

  • If relevant, ask for a “disabled parking” authorization from your OS. This can be very helpful.
  • If someone offers help, they mean it. You should take their offer.
  • A “clicking” or “cracking” feeling in your knee or ankle is normal and are caused by joint instability
  • Find a doctor to give you a second opinion
  • Talcum Powder is very useful in preventing itching while using a cast or a banbdage
  • don’t use long objects to scratch an itchy spot inside the cast or under your bandage. This carries a risk of damaging the skin or surgical wound and could cause an infection.
  • When replacing your bandage, make sure to wrap it from the foot all the way up to the knee. This will prevent the  edema.
  • If you have edema, A medical pressure sock will help. wear it for a few weeks, but not during sleep.
  • Drink a lot of water. this has a lot of medical benefits when recovering from a fracture.
  • painkiller can cause constipation. Consider using natural laxatives (link).
  • Some studies have shown that ultrasound may help bone healing. This is not yet medically established.
  • It’s very easy to announce that things are getting better prematurely. sometimes things go up and down and get better before the become worse. Be hesitant to announce to friends and coworkers that everything is OK now.

 

Hope is was all helpful. If you have any more tips or tricks, post them below or email me at [email protected]

 

Shlomi

172 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks

  1. I had an accident on my scooter and after a week had ORIF left knee . I am on postoperative week 8. Sure finding the isolation tough, I am a nurse and used to helping people all day so quite the change, plus my husband was away working for the first six weeks. Stairs to my house are tough with crutches but I can do it with a standby assistance. My incision healing well, but my mood is a real struggle plus figuring out how to reduce pain meds without getting awful withdrawals really sucks. I will get through this with a new appreciation for mobility.

    • I’m a nurse and I felt the same way, useless. I also got very depressed I used to be a marathon runner too. Not very recently but many. I also have two big flights of stairs to get into my house. Dr’s appts were a nightmare. I did learn a little trick abt stairs tho. I /we would cover the stairs w a comforter and I’d slide down. It was better than descending w crutches! But you need a “spotter”.
      Yeah, pain meds is another thing. Try weaning yourself down slowly a little each day.
      Stay well and get well soon.

  2. Wow! And to think of how much I complained! That’s quite an injury you sustained. I’m sending you best wishes for recovery. Idk if I would’ve made it through. God bless you and quick healing. Must be tough.
    Best regards ,
    Mickey

  3. Hello. Fell off low level of a ladder and got this fracture, surgery was one week ago on June 1, day after injury. I also broke two bones in my elbow (same side) and had that surgically repaired same time. Wheelchair bound now since can’t use that arm at all either. Hope to have staples out on Monday. I am 62 yo active woman. Bike, hike, swim, ski. Doc says all will be possible again, but I realize now that May be yearsnot months away. Grateful for this site and all your comments.

      • Thanks. Long process is understatement, no? I have felt that each day was a little better, but I feel forewarned by this forum to now also expect setbacks. Good to be mentally prepared.

    • Yes, it will be a while, unfortunately.
      Like I said, mine was 2 yrs ago and honestly, hasn’t been the same since.

    • If you can get lymphatic drainage and acupuncture, it will accelerate the healing process and decrease the pain and swelling to help you get through this part of the recovery. People seem to be afraid of doing anything that their doctor or PT doesn’t mention, but these protocols work miraculously. Also, google “comfrey cast” to help mend bones faster. I would not put it over the incisions though.

    • . People seem to be afraid of doing anything that their doctor or PT doesn’t mention, but these protocols work miraculously. Also, google “comfrey cast” to help mend bones faster. I would not put it over the incisions though.

    • I also fell off a ladder (August 2016) and fractured my tibial plateau and shoulder on the same side. Two surgeries on leg, and I was non-weight bearing, in a wheelchair, for three months. I have found recovery very slow, but steady, first clutching a walker for dear life, then hobbling with a cane, then without any assistance at all. My sense of balance was way off from having only one usable leg and arm, so I couldn’t use crutches. I did P/T for 6 months, both on the leg and the arm. Hardest part of recovery for me was lack of energy and muscle strength. But I am determined! Now, 1 year in, I can do simple hiking and biking. I find a water aerobics class very helpful — you can do a lot of things in water before you can on land. I never skied and don’t plan to try now! I’m still slow when climbing steps. Looking back, I didn’t believe the surgeon when he told me it would take a year to get well. But I know it now! My message to you is to keep trying, stay positive, and you WILL get stronger and better!

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