I wish I had found this site weeks ago! My story is probably dullest of all. I slipped at home on some paper spread to protect the floor during our remodeling project. That happened 7/22/2014. Had surgery on 7/30; I’ll have to ask what Type it was, I’m guessing Type II or III. I think I’m pretty lucky compared to a lot of folks here: a wedge of the plateau was broken loose and a vertical fracture of the tibia below it, but not displaced. I have a couple of screws holding the wedge and fracture in place, along with some grafting near the wedge. I have an adjustable brace that falls down constantly, drives me nuts!!! Anyhow, I’m 56 next week and got the disappointing news from the surgeon that the bone is osteoporotic (!!) – this despite a normal DEXA scan this past April… I’ve been in a wheelchair because I just don’t have the upper body strength for crutches and I’m too afraid of falling.
At the ER, they told me NWB for 12 weeks, but my surgeon told me last week I can start WB (6 wks after surgery, 7 wks after the fracture). Earlier WB is now considered better as some stress on the bone, as long as it is healed enough, helps to promote further healing and strengthening. I started PT at 4 weeks, mostly ROM, stretching and isometrics on the quad. I’m at 105 for the ROM now, but pretty worried about the WB. I’m frustrated with the communication from my doctor, I have to pull every bit of information out of him. When I asked how to approach WB, he said ‘Two crutches for 3 days, then 1 crutch for 3 days, then a cane for 3 days and see how it goes’ (!!!!) So I’m not in shape at all and overweight and this is what he tells me? At PT, they said his instructions were ‘as tolerated’. I would have rather had something on the order of 25% weight the first week, 50% the next, etc. because I have a pretty high tolerance for pain and not sure that I’m a good judge of what ‘as tolerated’ should be!
I really overdid it at PT last week, walked 75 ft with a walker and was in a lot of pain that night (knee as well as shoulders and back)…. I’m only doing about 30 ft per day since and will discuss with them tomorrow for my next PT.
So I have a few tips:
1. Elevation and ice. I’ve had surprisingly little pain from this injury once I elevated and iced the knee regularly. I have my late mother-in-law’s wheelchair that has a horizontal leg support, so it’s been easy for me to keep it elevated. Before I got this chair, my leg hurt like h*ll.
2. All our bedrooms are upstairs and there’s no way I can handle stairs. As I mentioned, I’m overweight and felt a lot of stress on my good knee getting up and down out of a recliner – last thing I needed was to blow out that knee. So I rented a lift chair (power recliner that lifts you up to make standing easier) – lots of folks don’t know about these, but between my late mother and mother-in-law both had these as they were very frail and needed help getting up. I sleep in that and it’s probably the smartest thing I did to help myself. I live downstairs (if you want to know how I shower, that’s another post!!). My husband set me up down here with my clothes, toiletries, etc (he’s been an angel doing everything at home as well as hauling me to doctor and PT appts). So it works well for me.
3. Netflix/Amazon Prime/HBO GO have been sanity savers. I’ve watched all of Downton Abbey, Orange is the New Black and am halfway through the first season of House of Cards 🙂 I’m not a big TV watcher so probably would not have seen any of these ever, despite wanting to…
4. Binge watching only goes so far. I’m on STD from work but got my doctor to agree to release me to part-time, from home. I have a desk job, and my boss has been very supportive, so this has helped me mentally.. That said, STD is only approved to the end of this month and I know I’m not ready to go back full-time – my doctor thinks I don’t need any more STD, so I need to get through to him somehow that I won’t be ready in a couple of weeks… I can’t see myself walking yet from the parking garage to my office – it might as well be 20 miles now…..
OK this is way too long, just wanted to jump in! This is a great site and I’ve learned a lot already. Thanks for setting this up, Shlomi!
Best wishes to everyone for a quick and complete recovery!