Hello and Merry Christmas fellow TPF’s! I haven’t posted in a while, but wanted to give you an update on my progress. I suffered my TPF the end of August, when my new labrador retriever crashed into my leg. I had surgery 8-27 with a plate and 5 screws. I was non weight bearing for 6 weeks-very depressing to say the least. I am a physical therapist myself, and I had never treated this injury, so I had no idea what to expect.
The 6 weeks NWB was brutal being confined to a wheelchair, elevated toilet seat, shower bench etc-having to get assistance from my wife and two young sons for most everything. I was a terrible patient I have to admit. I was in great shape before the injury(I used to do Ironman triathlons), so to go from being very active to a couch potato overnight was very humbling. I was in a lot of pain for the first 2-3 weeks. I couldn’t sleep very well due to the knee brace making it impossible to roll over over on my stomach, so I averaged 2-3 hours at a time before waking up. I watched a lot of Law and Order on tv, and read a lot of books. I was depressed-will I be able to return to my job?, Will I be able to play with my kids again?, Will I be able to work out like I used to? Will I need a knee replacement in a few years, and suffer early arthritis? These are the kind of questions that will go through your mind.
October 9th, the surgeon said my fracture was healed, and I could begin full weight bearing. So I left his office with my crutches to begin physical therapy. I really recommend therapy with access to a pool for gait training in a pool. When I tried to use just one crutch and put weight on the involved leg I almost collapsed. It took 2-3 weeks in the pool before I was able to put much weight on my leg-My foot hurt worse than my knee. I strongly recommend to everyone to do as much range of motion exercises to their knee and ankle and foot as possible while you are non weight bearing. I didn’t, and my recovery was delayed because of that I feel. As a therapist it was very interesting and humbling to be the patient rather than the PT. Do what your therapist advises. I was in therapy from Oct 9 to December 5th. I had hoped to be back to work a lot sooner, but with my job I have to be very stable on my feet,and be able to keep my patients from falling. When the surgeon released me Nov 20th to return to work 2 weeks later, I was excited, and scared. No one told me how much my leg would swell daily with increased time on my feet. A few hours after leaving my surgeon’s office, my leg was so swollen I couldn’t believe it.
I did return to work Dec 2nd. Now 3 weeks later I can report I am doing well. I have a long way to go. My leg doesn’t hurt, but my leg swells daily. I wear a compression stocking. My balance is okay, but not great. I’m not confident going up/down stairs. I can only walk one speed. I cannot speed up to get across a parking lot, or get out of rain. I still limp. But I am SO MUCH BETTER than I was a month ago, and I know this recovery will take a LONG time to fully recover. I hope this helps other TPF’rs out there who are wondering what to expect, and feeling confused, depressed or scared especially during the holidays. Attitude determines altitude. If you rest, you rust. I would advise everyone to take their recovery very seriously. Make your recovery your full or part time job. I find that if I just sit for 15 minutes, I am very stiff trying to get up and walk. So try to do SOMETHING every 15 minutes! Stand up, mini squats, calf raises, ankle pumps etc.
All the best to everyone here! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 2014 will be better than 2013! Chris