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Old 11-11-2010, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Orange County CA
76 posts, read 372,319 times
Reputation: 31

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Oneleghopper -- I am the one that had the blood clots in leg and both lungs -- talk about fear of another surgery! But, at 11 months after initial break of tib+fib, and 5 months after bloodclots (and not being able to weightbear for FIVE months), I sucked it up and had surgery to remove 2 plates and 15 screws! After surgery I started walking same day with black boot, NO crutches and back to work 3 days later (office job)! I noticed pain from a screw in front of my ankle gone immediately. Of course, you have to deal with taking a shower w/bag over your leg to protect your stitches, etc. I woke up at nights every couple hours for about 3 weeks to check to see if I was still alive but that was a fear of more bloodclots but the surgery is actually much easier than I had anticipated and I had same thoughts/feelings as you -- go for it! Michele
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:41 PM
 
32 posts, read 135,504 times
Reputation: 22
MIchele53:
Thank you for responding. My doctor has informed me that I must wait . Surgury was Oct. 5, 2009 (NMB as you for 5 months)and in April I was walking with a cane. Dr. said it is to early and perhaps in April or May.. However, another surgery. Dr. made it seem like it is another big surgery with one month on crutches.. I have pain in my leg and feel the plate on a bad day. You had 15 screws? I have only7 so you are indeed a champ.. My fear is losing the ability to walk .. I was miserable last year and now that I am walking appreciate it everyday..Did you need PT?
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Orange County CA
76 posts, read 372,319 times
Reputation: 31
no PT after. It's been almost 20 months since I broke my leg -- My first OS told me however I am at 18 months will be what it will be. I still have tightness in my ankle and some sensations from ankle to toes with some numbness in toes ocassionally. I don't walk alot (work in an office) but when I do go shopping to mall, I really feel it in my ankle after browsing a few stores. The one thing I have a hard time with is going DOWN stairs since I don't have 100% range of motion in ankle. I go down one step at at time sideways. We are in process of moving to a single story --- can't do stairs anymore. I will probably end up with bad arthritis and worse case senario would be an ankle replacement -- HOPE NOT! But, yes, I can relate to not having setbacks after being NWB for so long -- I know, it did seem like forever! I don't think I ever felt the plates as much as a screw in front of ankle that seemed to be working it's way out --
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:25 PM
 
1 posts, read 6,071 times
Reputation: 10
I broke both the tibia and fibula in my right leg on Oct 9, 2010. I have a plate and 12 screws and was non weight bearing for 6 weeks. I went for a 6 week check up and xrays today which showed no healing yet. Have been put non weight bearing for another 6 weeks. I take it that this is a very slow healing process. I am taking Vitamin D supplements and my OS has me taking 325 mg of aspirin daily. I experience no pain and work on my ROM 3 - 5 times a day with no pain and minimal resistance. My circulation is good, color is comparable to my other foot and I elevate as much as possible. The incisions have healed and I have little to no scarring. (use Vitamin E oil as moisturizer) My OS has practically threatened me that if I don't quit smoking I will lose my leg. I know I need to quit but being "laid up" is not helping with my quitting motivation. Has anyone heard of someone who lost a limb because they smoked?
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:48 AM
 
4 posts, read 20,190 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by at holm in south carolina View Post
I broke both the tibia and fibula in my right leg on Oct 9, 2010. I have a plate and 12 screws and was non weight bearing for 6 weeks. I went for a 6 week check up and xrays today which showed no healing yet. Have been put non weight bearing for another 6 weeks. I take it that this is a very slow healing process. I am taking Vitamin D supplements and my OS has me taking 325 mg of aspirin daily. I experience no pain and work on my ROM 3 - 5 times a day with no pain and minimal resistance. My circulation is good, color is comparable to my other foot and I elevate as much as possible. The incisions have healed and I have little to no scarring. (use Vitamin E oil as moisturizer) My OS has practically threatened me that if I don't quit smoking I will lose my leg. I know I need to quit but being "laid up" is not helping with my quitting motivation. Has anyone heard of someone who lost a limb because they smoked?
I haven't heard of anyone personally, but my new surgeon is refusing to operate unless I quit first. Smoking dramatically reduces the blood flow to the wounded area and therefore limits the amount of white blood cells coming to the area to heal it. It is fact that smokers heal a lot slower than non-smokers and are more susceptible to infections. I will give an update to my story, so you can understand the dangers of smoking and healing. Hope this helps! BTW: Doctors are putting me on Champix to help me quit.... dear God let it work!
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:23 AM
 
4 posts, read 20,190 times
Reputation: 11
Ok... so here's my story til this point:

Dec 14, 2009: fell on the ice and broke the right distal tib/fib; spiral comminuted fracture.
Dec 15, 2009: had surgery with OS#1, plate and 11 screws placed on the tibia on the inner leg.
Dec 24, 2009: complained to OS#1 that the leg had been put back on an angle (tipped out to the right); for months he refused to acknowledge this.
Early Feb, 2010: noticed an infected area after the scabs had peeled off.
Early Mar, 2010: Saw OS#2 who agreed the leg was rotated and would need surgery to correct it. He would not take me on as a patient as he was "colleagues" with OS#1 and left me in OS#1's care.
Apr 14, 2010: had surgery to remove the hardware as they thought I was rejecting it.
Mid Jul, 2010: Wound had still not closed, sent to a wound care specialist and MRI was done.
Late Jul, 2010: MRI showed area believed to be dead bone and osteomyelitis (infection). Asked to go to an Infection Control Specialist who said the dead bone would need to be cleaned out or the infection would be recurring.
Early Aug 2010: Went to OS#1 with ICS's advice and was told he was only going to put me on stronger antibiotics. Asked for a second opinion.
Late Sep, 2010: Finally got an appointment with OS#3, who did a simple test (ran his fingers down the bone) and said it was indeed rotated and should have been fixed immediately, because now the bone is healed and much harder to fix. He sent me for more tests to be certain the bone is dead (CT scan, bone scan and white blood cell scan) because he is afraid I will need a bone graft and a skin graft and doesn't want me to be opened up unnecessarily.
Oct & Nov, 2010: completed these tests.
Today: Went to see OS#3 today and he told me he can identify areas of concern in the scans, but not for certain that there is dead bone. He has referred me back to the ICS (appt Nov 26, 2010) and then back to him Dec 14th, 2010 to draw up a game plan. He demanded that I quit smoking or he will not operate. (which I believe to be a threat more than fact, but I am heading it nonetheless)

The wound has still not healed since day 1. It remains an open and draining infection. I can't believe that this has slipped through the doctors fingers for so long. A year has gone by and this infection is still wreaking havoc in my leg.

So, at holm in south carolina... it is in your best interest to quit smoking. You don't want to be sitting there a year down the road with no help in sight. In my case, there have been other contributing factors, but don't let it fool you into a false sense of security that it can't happen to you.

And to all, remember that you are your own best advocate. No one else will look out for your care like you will. Everything I got the doctors to do for me (seeing the Wound Care specialist, seeing the infectious control specialist, and asking for the second opinion) I have done on my own. These were not offered or even suggested. Stand up for yourself and if you believe there is a problem... MAKE them see it and acknowledge it too! It is your right to fight to get the best possible treatment (in Canada, anyways). Don't stand for poor care.

And may all of you who are suffering or are frustrated find peace!
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Orange County CA
76 posts, read 372,319 times
Reputation: 31
I agree you truly are your own best advocate! I am a non-smoker but when I was at my OS#2 there was a skatingboarding pro there next to me who needed another surgery and YES, they told him they would not operate unless he quit! FIVE months non-weightbearing for me on my right leg ---- couldn't imagine how long it would have been if I was still a smoker.....best thing I ever did was quit...20 years ago so at holm in South Carolina it is time to quit or you may be reading these posts for a long long time while you are sitting on your bed! Also, like it that your OS put you on aspirin...maybe had I been on them I wouldn't have gotten bloodclots! AND also, NO Ibeprofin while bone is trying to heal!
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:17 AM
 
1 posts, read 6,001 times
Reputation: 11
Default my experience

[SIZE=3]I'm 30 year old man and I'm used to do sports 3-4 times a week. I broke my Tibula from 2 places and Fibula from 1 place in March 2010. I walked with crotches for 2.5 months, went out for a 1-2km walk every day. Then after 3 months had passed I had 1.5 months of acupuncture therapy - this really helped me. I started to walk after that, I felt much better. 4 months after the surgery (rod + 5 screws) I started training again. I started to exercise 10-15 minutes with exercise bike at a time, 3 times a week, but it was very painful. I love to swim, so I went swimming 1-2 times a week, but maximum 20 minutes and did gym exercises 1-2 times a week. Now my walking is not great, although I can walk 2-5 km daily if I need, but I'm still limping, if feel pain in the lower part of the leg and Achilles’ area. I don't see or feel that limping anymore, but my girlfriend and the other can see it easily. It really doesn't sound great. Now I swim 2 times a week, every time 2 km and I am almost as fast as before the accident on icy street and I go to the gym 1-2 times a week for 1,5 h workout, 30 minutes is totally for the leg muscles. But this might sound quite good for some of the readers, but I have to say that I feel pain with almost every step and move I make during swimming or gym or just walking. There is a very long way ahead for me if I ever want to run for example - but I still hope that I recover. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]I discussed the removal of the rod with the doctor and I think that he’ll remove the rod (nail) from my leg after 1 year has passed. I feel too much nerve pain - I think this is connected to the metal inside my leg. And as I live in Estonia, where winter is -20C and summer is +20C I feel pain in my leg during climate changes. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]So I think that everybody should exercise as much as possible (even with some pain), because this will avoid the muscle atrophy, which will happen very fast as you all know from your experience. I also take vitamin D plus calcium and other multivitamins. [/SIZE]
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:25 AM
 
1 posts, read 5,999 times
Reputation: 11
You may want to consider hyperbaric oxygen therapy. I have a friend that went to a wellness doctor in Matthews NC for infusions and hyperbarics and had an amazing recovery from his injury. Best to you!
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:20 PM
 
1 posts, read 5,977 times
Reputation: 12
Hi! Newbie here and first post. Short story: 9/5/10 walking along and was blindly struck from behind by a person on a fast moving mountain bike, who immediately after the impact, took off never to be located. Five fractures to my left tibia plateau. Went straight to ER and was admitted, however the attending OS said i should wait for their specialist, so two days in hospital pure agony. Morphene is not a pain killer, but a pain reducer. It really hurt and leg to ankle was swelled up like a watermellon. large plate, 10 screws and a 14" zipper scar along left leg from calf to thigh.

3 days after operation was sent home. Loving family was here to help, since i was literally helpless for a month or so. We have a 2 story home and since stairs were out, we moved in a rented hospital bed making the family room my sleep space. (Netflix thru the Wii is great!) I am also a ham radio operator and moved in a radio to stay active on the air. Read a stack of great books as well! Went thru hot/cold swings, intense pain and sheet soaking night sweats. Oxycodone was a big help, but the itching, constipation and irritability, drowsiness was hard to take. Lost 25 lbs thanks to this 'crash diet.' LOL. Stopped the meds after 3 weeks after i swear i saw giraffes out the back window (was the fall-colored trees) so i stopped that. We do not have wild giraffes in nevada.

Have marginal insurance and no sick leave benefits at work-- no work, no pay. Missed all of sept and october and 11/2 started back part time. Cannot drive my truck, jeep or motorcycle, so am driving the wife's subary, since its an automatic transmission. For the first 60 days i was feeling rather depressed and do not like being such a burden on family. Just to get a glass of water required assistance. I am active outdoors and feelings of self worth and possible no future ability to enjoy my passions hit me hard. Sure, others are hurt more and pain is better than dead, but still... I kept reminding the other side of my brain i'll get better and i have. Whew, that was a wild time.

Going to PT 3x/week really helped me get out of the shell and doing the exercises at home (unlike many i'm told by PT) helped get my wasted muscles moving and the pain eventually diminished to where the bum leg was more of a nuisance than painful. MD and PT said no weight bearing at all until 12 weeks. Ugh! Was getting pretty good zipping about on the crutches until last week when at 12.5 weeks post op, MD said bear weight as tolerated. The first steps, crutch assisted, were woobly and uncertain. Now i understand the rationale for all those leg lifting exercises. I think the actual PT sessions are exaggerated, they say to do my exercises, then the PT comes over and feels, squeezes and after getting the electric zapping treatments, they say bye bye. Huh? At $50 USD per visit its getting expensive. I believe the dedication of home exercises is a direct relationship to quick recovery. Learned how to lean back against the wall on the crutches and do ab crunches.

Now i can walk straight-leg a few paces but still keep the crutches close at hand. Feel like a toddler making slow progress. Knee bends back to about 135 degrees!

Blessings to all that go thru this and while the body heals, i also experienced somewhat of a spiritual revalation. I'm much more patient with others, take all things slower, am more appreciative of the small things in life, thankful to be alive and have a supportive spouse.

Will check back in here to follow your progress. 2000 + pages are a lot of posts and i read most of them. Then since my annual deductable will re-set 1/1/11, i have elected to have much needed ACDF cervical fusion of 5-6 and 6-7 thanks to buldging discs-- unrelated to this unplanned accident.

AB in reno, nv usa.
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