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I’m posting this to give others some hope and optimism.
I sustained a TPF in March 2017 at Snowbird. It was, according to my doctor, a 6.5! I had an external fixator applied at the Intermountain hospital. A week later I flew back to Boston and had to wait another two weeks for surgery because it took that long for the swelling to go down. I had to purchase an entire row on Delta. It was the flight from hell.
My doctor was the head of orthopedic trauma surgery at Beth Israel Hospital. He installed two plates and 20 screws during a 2.5 hour operation. Unfortunately I had some complications that made my recovery a bit of a nightmare. The long and the short of it is that I sustained two infections afterwards plus a blood clot. This slowed my recovery significantly. The first infection almost caused them to take one of the two plates out. My doctor said that he really didn’t want to do that because my bone would not heal straight and would adversely affect me going forward. But the infection was bad enough to consider it. Fortunately the infectious disease team at the hospital got it under control. I took several weeks of two types of intravenous antibiotics. I had a pic line in my arm to administer them at home once a day. After that I took antibiotics in pill form for another 6 months! The blood clot was controlled with three months of a very expensive drug. In all I spent 17 nights in the hospital between Utah and Boston.
After about ten weeks I was able to put half weight on my leg. I began physical therapy and worked my butt off for 5 months to get my leg strength back. By the fall I was hiking moderate hills and feeling encouraged. But my leg kept swelling badly every day with significant edema on the inside portion of my leg. But I still thought I was on track to ski during the 17/18 season. I had both plates removed in late November 2017 because of the swelling which I felt was due to irritation from the plates. But because a lot of bone had grown over the plates, the surgery was more complex than anticipated. The recovery was also much longer than I had been led to believe. My goal of skiing that season was put on the shelf. It never happened.
During 2018 I continued to work out regularly to build up the muscles. This all led to me being able to ski during this season. Admittedly I’m not back to where I was before the accident. My knee gets sore and my strength is not 100% yet. But I’ve been told that it could take 3 full years to recover fully. I’m hopeful that I will get there. I did take another trip back to Utah this year in March and skied Atla and Snowbird for 6 straight days. I can’t hit the steeps quite like I used to yet but I did do them. The first three days where better than the last three. My leg got progressively sore. However my leg is much stronger today and I’m confident that I’ll be near 100% next ski season.
I was told by some that I may not be able to ski again but I never believed it. I didn’t want to. So I worked as hard as possible to get my strength back and prove them wrong. I’m 60 years old and have been skiing for 45 years. I plan on skiing for at least another 20!
My message is to never give up! Think positive and take PT seriously.