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Old 03-24-2009, 10:37 AM
21 posts, read 115,987 times
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The 108 page thread is a bit like a needle in a haystack for me. I've tried searching through it but my question gets lost v. quickly & also everyone seems to have much worse injuries in that thread than i do

Basically, a follow on from my other thread ... nobody knows what i've done. the problem lies with the fibula approx 3 - 3.5 inch above the tip of the ankle bone. They told me it was a stress fracture but after yesterdays appointment, they seemed to backtrack slightly. I think someone has fouled up & now there's a cover up job going on. Nonetheless i just want to get 'normal' again.

Action has been taken for me to have this internal fixation surgery after my 2nd bone scan.

Most people in the 108 page thread seem to have wiped out their fibula, or at least broken virtually every bone in their leg. I'm not that severe.

I can do everything at the moment, but running for a good length of time (30mins+ say) (especially day after day) will bring on discomfort which will then turn into pain. Being on my feet 10hours a day doing manual work will by the end of the week make my leg feel 'tired'. <--- because of this, you can tell i am not really a SEVERE case. This is more of a niggle. The specialist thinks it might be because my fibula is possibly thicker than it should be in the problem area. As said, nobody knows the answer it seems.

This is the ONLY time i notice i've still got a problem.


So for anyone who has just had a plate fitted to their fibula ....

* what was your recovery like, including time?
* what was you like pre-surgery & post-surgery in terms of activities you could & couldn't do?
* i guess there wont be many on here who've had their plates in for YEARS, but if there is, how long have you had your plate fitted to answer the above 2 questions?
* Is there any additional tips/information etc that you would give to someone awaiting this surgery?

Right now i'm like a sponge, i just want all the information i can get to prepare myself for what's going to happen. It's just that all my searching has returned cases that are NOTHING like mine - in that everyone else has shattered their tibia also for example.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:45 AM
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I'm hoping just one of you guys can put this in laymens terms for me...

Had a surgeon report through today as my employers have asked for a doctors report, so a surgeon report was attached. This is basically it........

  • Bone scan 12-Nov-08 showed increased activity lower 1/4 of the fibula, but 'they' haven't committed whether it was a stress fracture or not as the reaction around the bone was too diffuse
  • Radiologically we haven't been able to identify any fracture and bone changes are just sclerosis around this area
  • MRI scan has excluded any soft tissue problems including peroneal tendonitis
  • I (consultant surgeon) have been speaking to some of my senior colleagues in the foot & ankle meeting and nobody seems to have the answer to this problem
  • ...a repeat bone scan and if the reaction is still the same (as 1st scan), then perhaps we will proceed with plating of this area using a DCP plate with two or three screws proximal and distal to the sclerotic area
  • the sclerotic area starts about 10cm from the tip of the lateral malleolus, we will use a plate around 7cm from the tip of the malleolus and the plate will be about 7-8cm in length so it covers the sclerotic area as well as normal bone on either side
  • This is such an unusual problem. There are no documented cases to go on
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Old 04-09-2009, 03:42 PM
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If not, does anyone know what that sclerotic area means? & that the changes are just "sclerosis"?

I did a search & found sclerosis is something like hardening tissue

So they're saying that my muscle/tendons/ligaments etc are becoming hard around that area?

Doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by stinkydonkey View Post
If not, does anyone know what that sclerotic area means? & that the changes are just "sclerosis"?

I did a search & found sclerosis is something like hardening tissue

So they're saying that my muscle/tendons/ligaments etc are becoming hard around that area?

Doesn't make sense to me.
Sclerosis in this context means increased density of bone on xray...its an area that looks more white or dense than the surrounding bone

Sclerosis can be a sign of fracture healing, or at least stress reaction of bone
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:20 AM
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ahh thanks for the feedback, that makes sense

on the bone scan, there was a small section of bone that was really white in the problem area.
When looking into it, i thought it was hardening of tissue, but what you say makes sense now.

Hopefully i'll have an appointment through soon for the results & discussion of the next step
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:31 PM
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stinkydonkey-although still more severe than what you are going through, i have some general thoughts about the surgery you are contemplating, but first, my boyfriends story to give you some context...my boyfriend (bless his heart) broke his fibula playing ice hockey on March 1 and had surgery March 11. he is a pretty healthy and active 41 yo guy. right foot, of course, so i've been to every appointment known to man with him, brought him every ice pack, made him nearly every meal...but i digress.he has a ~10cm plate with ~7 screws on his fibula. additionally, he has a long pin in one of the screwholes connecting through his fibula to his tibia, to close the gap in his joint and align the joint properly. his surgery is more intensive than what you are going to have, but i have a few comments about the surgery and recovery that may be of value. at this point he is about 4 wks post op.for a variety of reasons, he had his initial splint cast taken off a little earlier than the surgeon would have liked...about 14 days (he wanted it on for 21). at 14 days post op, his incision had healed to the point of the staples coming out and has healed very steadily since then. he has never complained about pain from the incision area or the plate/screw area...it just wasn't an issue for him. he has had some other nerve related pain issues (which really don't apply to your situation, so i'm not going to drag you down that path of woe) but as far as "normal healing" type pain, i think he would have likely been off the heavy narcotics (ie percoset or dilaudid) within a week or less of the surgery (give or take) and much of that would have been due to all the other tissue damage he suffered. i can imagine with just a plate and screws that this would be a pretty manageable procedure.my boyfriend is non weight bearing due to the pin (it'll come out 4-6 weeks from today). he is in a wheelchair. it's driving him nuts. truth be told, the wheelchair has been a godsend. but still, its a PITA. he considered a knee walker, which is a scooter where you can rest your knee but didn't like them when he tried them. in retrospect, he would have preferred the kneewalker as it's smaller and more agile. it would have been a good compromise between a cumbersome chair and difficult crutches.if you will be non weight bearing for a while, which would seem a reasonable approach, given they don't really have a good clue as to why you are struggling, look into the knee walker. they're much more flexible than a wheelchair.well, there you have it. my 2 cents. good luck!
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:50 AM
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mywaterfront: Thanks a lot for taking the time to give feedback. I really appreciate it & the case is encouraging. I wish your boyfriend a speedy recovery!
I was told today that after the surgery, i should be fit to work again after 6weeks. I could've been put on the waiting list today, but after some thought & mind changing, i decided to wait.

Here are the results of today's appointment which i have posted on another board, so i'll just quote here...

Had my results today for the 2nd bone scan:
The 'hotspot' image looks smaller in this one after the 6week cast than it did in the 1st scan in Nov before the cast, but the hotspot is still there & the report says that there's no SIGNIFICANT change. Says it's either a stress fracture or benign tumour. I think they reckon it's a S.F. but wont commit 100%.
I was told something about the turn over of bone being 2yrs (& TOTAL turn over being 7yrs). That'll take us to Sept. I was going to ask for the surgery today, but the consultant said if it was him, he'd [1] not have it anyway as it's not causing enough pain to keep awake at night, keep off work etc etc but [2] he'd at least wait until Sept to see how it is between now and then.
He said there may be a chance i'll never run or do sports again. I asked how big this chance is, but he doesn't like talking about percentages & said it either will or wont happen, basically. He followed by saying it may be 6months before i can run again, which makes me wonder if he was talking about chances of returning to running QUICKLY OR chances of returning to running AT ALL. I told him that i'm not bothered if i have to wait a year (for e.g.) so long as it'd heal it.
That's the state of play right now. Wait and see how it is between now & Sept. If it's no better, then it's my choice whether the surgery is carried out or not.

The one thing that bothers me greatly is:
1. his comment about possibly not being able to run again or do sports again
2. his seeming reluctance to go into detail on the above. As he followed it up with a 6month recovery EXAMPLE, was he talking about running at all ever, or just for a while? Is there a significant risk, or is it on the scale of, we might get taken over by aliens in the next 5minutes? It probably wont happen, but you never know sort of thing.

Because the only things that flare the problem up are running & football/soccer (so running still) & that my job only makes the leg slightly tired by the end of the week SOMETIMES, he seems to think it's not worth the surgery.
I'm in 2 minds & it's something i need to weigh up

* do i risk having surgery but never doing sports again? But then, if i can't run much now then i don't have much to lose (sort of)
* do i carry on as i am and just leave the surgery meaning i can run a bit. Play a bit of football, butnowhere near the level i could before the injury.

Very frustrating & it doesn't help when the consultant is reluctant to discuss (or at least, SEEMS reluctant at times)
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