Debbie, I haven’t been on the site in a while, but I just read your post, and I want to thank you for the links. They are very helpful. Next week I will be 7 months post surgery for my lateral TPF requiring one plate and 5 screws. My labrador retriever crashed into my leg causing the fracture. Even though I am a physical therapist, I had never treated a TPF fracture. So this has been a very humbling and eye opening journey for me.
I returned to work mid December. I have full ROM in my knee, but I would probably guess my injured leg is about 40% as strong as my other leg. I still noticeably limp, and I have difficulty stabilizing my leg going up/down stairs. If I have been sitting or driving for more than 20 minutes my legs are stiff and wobbly when I try to walk for the first few steps. I walk like a 90 year old man when I wake up! I recently had a retired orthopedic surgeon as a patient, and we talked extensively about my fracture. He was very blunt with me as to the severity of this injury long term saying I may never fully recover from this or return to the activities I enjoyed prior to my fracture. The more I learn about this injury, the one thing I keep telling myself is to be patient. Give yourself at least a year to gauge where you are in your recovery. I know I haven’t worked on my recovery as hard as I should recently as I try to work my job as a PT as much as I can to make up for the 4 months without a paycheck.
Debbie, tell me a bit more about your status now one month post injury. You didn’t have surgery which is great. Are you NWB? If so, for how much longer? My recommendation for you and anyone else who is NWB and in a splint is to do as much ankle and foot stretching, and isometric, theraband strengthening as possible. My biggest shock when I was allowed to put weight on my leg was how painful my foot and ankle were. I actually had more pain in my foot than in my knee! I had to do pool therapy for 3 weeks before I could really put weight on the leg on land. I fully believe this was due to the fact that I didn’t work my foot/ankle while non weight bearing. When we injure a joint like the TPF, the joints/muscles above and below atrophy so much as well. So it behooves us to work the joints we can as much as we can. Ankle/foot circles, alphabets, calf stretches, toe stretches, curling your toes, quad sets, tightening all those muscles are crucial. I didn’t do those while I was non weight bearing, and I paid the price with a lot of pain and frustration when I became weight bearing again.
Hope that helps. Again thanks for the links. Those proprioceptive balance drills are great and I need to work those harder. I have faith that my injury happened for a reason. I am a better therapist now because I can fully empathize with what my geriatric patients are going through with their knee and hip replacements and fractures. When I meet my new patients and they tell me about their injury or balance problem, I pull my pant leg up to show them my scar, and I have instant credibility with them. They immediately realize I know the pain they are experiencing as well as the frustration. This is a great site Shlomi has put together! Everyone stay positive! You will get better day by day. Just be patient.