Grade VI TPF

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  • #870 Reply
    Jane W

    Hi all

    This is the first time I’ve ever posted to a forum so apologies if I ramble. I sustained a grade VI fracture just over 3 weeks ago after falling off a ladder and had to wait over a week for surgery due to the swelling (skin wasn’t broken which I guess was a good thing). I’ve been home now for just over a week with a full cast on my leg. It hasn’t been particularly painful (very uncomfortable though) since a couple of days after surgery and I’m managing pain/discomfort with paracetemol and ibruprofen. The real issue I have is with swelling which I’m trying to deal with by gentle massage. I’m due at the fracture clinic tomorrow (just under 2 weeks from surgery) and am hoping that they’ll remove the fixed cast to enable me to start bending my knee slightly though I am aware I’ll need to remain NWB for around another 6 weeks or so yet and won’t be able to drive for around another 10 weeks or so.

    I just wondered whether anyone else has been through similar and how they’re doing and what challenges they faced along the way (apart from the obvious frustrations of being able to do very little).

    I’m trying hard to stay positive and realise that it could have been so much worse (I could have fallen on my back and be paralysed etc) but it’s just so frustrating having to sit for the majority of the day with my leg elevated when I’m used to be reasonably active – working, gardening, walking, housework etc.

    Thanks for reading

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    • #3243 Reply

      Hi Lesley

      Sorry to hear you’re struggling and don’t feel you’ve had the best physio. I’m also UK (in NW) I didn’t have much physio to be honest as there weren’t many exercises they could give. What I was given was squats (use a table or landing rail), lunges (using same) then lying down and doing clam exercise using tera band – lie on your side with hips aligned vertically. Keep your heels together and open your knees ensuring you keep your hips aligned. Another is to lie on your back with hands at sides, feet flat on floor and knees bent then lift your bum off the floor – hold for 5 then slowly down. Repeat these in sets of 10 about 3 times a day to help with core stability.
      I also go to the pool and do walking on toes, walking on heels, side to side, squats, lunges and of course swimming as the resistance works well.

      I was discharged after about 5 physio sessions and told to continue with the exercises to build the bone and muscle back up.

      I do seem to walk with my left (damaged) leg turning in a bit so consciously try to walk at 10 to 2 (with feet turned out).

      Wishing you well

    • #3242 Reply

      Hi Jo,
      Thank you for your words of encouragement. I am making slow progress and I can walk around the house unaided now. I still rely on crutches for longer distances but I am getting there. I have some private physio booked for tomorrow with a really good sports physio I have been to before with my Achilles. I am hopeful he will be able to get me moving more freely again. I have had a poor experience with follow up physio on the NHS. I live in Luton and even my surgeon agreed the physio is not as good as he would like. He talked about going twice a week. I have been twice in 6 weeks! Now I am going to pay but I feel it will be worth it just to get my leg a little straighter!
      I have been to work this morning – I am a teacher – and I have handed in my resignation. I have decided to take early retirement from December. The Head was pleased to see me but he agreed with my decision. Teaching is for fit people. I teach exam English and I do not want to go back to those endless hours of prep and marking. I will be 58 next month and I have been a teacher for 36 years in between 3 children. I want some ME time so I can recover fully without the stress of achieving targets and excessive workload. I have done my bit for the nation’s youth. I will survive on my pension and I will be happy. I may even do some supply work when I get my leg back and if I need some extra money.
      It was good to hear from you. This site has been my guide for the past 3 months and I feel as if I have made some new friends albeit in distressing circumstances. You are right about being patient. That’ s why I am retiring. I will have the time to recover without rushing it.
      Very best wishes to you and good luck with work.

    • #3230 Reply

      Hi Lesley, I too suffered a TPF type IV in March this year due to motorcylce accident. I had surgery the day after to put in grafts, plates and pins and spent 9 days in hospital. I have only just returned to work in the last two weeks on reduced hours and office based. I can say the more physio you do the better the outcome. I too live in the UK and have received great treatment on the NHS. I still walk with a limp and suffer from swelling but to think six months ago I thought I would never walk again. I can only be grateful I had a great surgeon on the day who has done a good job.
      A positive attitude also helps even though like many I had some very bad days but I was determined to get back walking as it’s the thing I enjoy as a hobby. I have walked three miles in the yorkshire dales lately and felt amazing after.
      Good luck for your recovery and stay positive it just takes time for this injury to recover.

    • #3088 Reply

      Hi Lisa, Jane,
      I think we may be starting a post tpf club called the misshapen stiff knee club. I am almost 12 weeks out of surgery and am now full weight bearing and exercising to get strength and movement back. My knee is bent when walking. My ROM is not great nor is my leg extension and I have only had 2 physio sessions – pretty poor in the UK depending on where you live! I use my exercise bike each day and that is helping. I am also icing the knee a couple of times a day if necessary. I feel I may have some additional ligament damage as the inside of my knee feels very weak. I have booked some private physio with a sports physio I have used before and I am very hopeful he will be able to help. I am glad I read your posts today as I was feeling very worried about the knee situation. I do not see my consultant again till the 30th October so it’s difficult to know if my progress is normal whatever that is. My ankle also swells at night and I have had pain in my foot probably because I am trying to walk unaided but I am obviously a bit wonky as I do feel that my damaged leg is shorter than the other one. Do you ladies get pain from your hardware too? I can feel mine at the side of my leg. It feels as if it is restricting my ability to get a better ROM. However, I have made progress. I am more mobile and I am improving albeit very slowly. I can’t see me returning to work any time soon but my main focus must be to get back to good health.
      With all good wishes for your respective recoveries.
      Lesley (UK)

    • #3087 Reply

      Never take pain meds and post! I wrote 15 MONTHS…I meant 15 WEEKS.

      Anyways, yes my leg/knee is also very stiff. My doctor said that the knees tend to go one of two ways with TPFs: very stiff or very unstable.

      I don’t know if my knee will ever NOT be swollen again. It’s like twice the size of my other knee, but no one seems too particularly worried about it.

      Normal. Now that is a loaded word. I don’t know what my “normal” will end up being, since these are serious injuries. I guess we just keep working at it and it will be what it will be.

      Take care!

    • #3085 Reply
      Jane Wood

      Hi Lisa

      Wow!!! you were out of action for a long time but sounds like you’re well on the road to recovery. My leg is still very stiff and swollen and I think I’ve maybe been overdoing it but just so eager to get back to “normal”. So glad to hear positive news and hopefully this will give some hope to those on the beginning of the journey – hang on in there and keep doing the physio xx

    • #3001 Reply

      Hi, Jane.

      Like you I had a grade 6 TPF (motorcycle accident) and after 15 months in a wheelchair I began to bear weight (Sept 3, 2014). I began to take steps a few days after that, and about 2 weeks after that I started walking.

      I hear you when you speak of those dark and sad days. I can still hardly believe the extent and consequences of this injury.

      To all visitors of this page, there will be times it seems bleak and unending, but it WILL get better. It just takes some time and lots of rehabbing back.

      Keep the faith and hang in strong!

    • #2997 Reply
      Jane W

      Hi all

      Just wanted to give an update and (hopefully) some positives for those who are in the early stages of recovery. My accident was at the end of April this year and surgeon said it was as bad as it could be – it was almost 2 weeks after injury before the swelling had subsided enough to operate……………… There were some truly dark and awful times and times when I couldn’t imagine ever being able to walk again………. BUT last week I was discharged by both my surgeon and my physio as I have recently started to walk unaided – it’s a bit of a limp still but I’m confident that with time and exercise, it will get back to near normal. I was initially told it would take 6-12 months minimum before I would be able to start walking but it has been under 5 months which I think’s pretty impressive. The bone is mottled on x-ray so need to continue with exercises and swimming etc to build both bone and muscles back.

      I just wanted to feed this back on the forum to hopefully give you a bit of encouragement as I couldn’t imagine being where I am now a few months back. Wishing you all the very best in your various recoveries.

    • #907 Reply
      Jane W

      Thanks Attie, it’s reassuring to hear how well you’re doing. I went to the fracture clinic yesterday and feel so much better now – they removed the cast and stitches etc and I now have a Breg brace fitted with movement restricted to 30 degrees for 2 weeks and NWB for about 6. The consultant also showed my husband the xray photos of before and now and was really pleased at how well things were healing so I’m feeling much happier than I was. Movement at 30 is still very restricted and I’ve still a lot of swelling but will keep it elevated and do massage to hopefully get this down as soon as possible so they can hopefully they’ll increase ROM at next visit.

      Hope your progress is still continuing well.

      All the best
      Jane 🙂

    • #886 Reply

      I too am feeling what you’re feeling. I wasn’t put in a cast, but had my leg straight in a locked brace for two weeks with my leg above my heart unless I was in the bathroom. Sleeping on my back was not comfortable as I am a side sleeper and sitting ALL day does get old. I am very active and love to be outside playing with my 4 year old. My injury occurred one month yesterday with surgery one month from the 24th. I have started PT and can bend my leg now to 93 degrees! This is my 4th PT visit and I’m doing well. Best piece of advice I can give you is to focus on the next step and embrace this time! The more relaxed you are the faster you will heal. I have had some really rough days, but sitting outside or doing something “normal” is the best medicine! I could not take pain meds after a couple of days because I got the flu. Honestly, it helped me more to get off the meds, but I did use them at night. I know everyone heals at different rates and paid management is a very hard thing, but I was shocked at how much better i felt just being able to bend my leg. Hang in there, this too shall pass!! Get Netflix and catch up on some frivolous TV 🙂 you can’t change where you are right now so embrace it and let yourself relax and heal!

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