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Old 11-04-2011, 05:28 AM
3 posts, read 40,581 times
Reputation: 10


Hi guys,
I'm currently laid up in hospital.
I am 33yr old and was on a working holiday as a dive instructor here when i was getting a lift with one of my work colleague on a motorbike, when a car came round the corner on the wrong side of the road and hit us head on. My colleague was killed instantly and i was extremely fortunate to only have a broken left leg in 3 places.

My hip has a small fracture. My femur wass badly broken, and i had a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula.
A steel rod was inserted in the femur, 2 screws for the hip, and a steel rod in the tibia.
I have a plastercast from just below the knee down, and the surgery was performed 3 weeks ago now.
My question is this:
After seeing my before and after x-rays, i was worried because the fibula is not even connected where the fracture is. The gap on the x-ray(after op) is about 1.5cm, and the broken parts of the bone are vertically past each other in alignment!

I am not a doctor, but this does not seem likely to repair itself with time? The doctor has told me that the bone will realign itself over the course of the next 3 months while my leg is in plaster?
I have read online that the fibula does not bear much of the weight, but is it normal for this bone to be left unaligned to heal on its own??
Also, my knee is swollen under the bandages, and pretty sore in the evenings, but i believe this is because of the incision made when inserting the steel rod into the tibia.

How long does it take for this pain and swelling to go away?
This is the first time i have broken any bones, and i am just a bit worried that being in the DR and having heard many horror stories about doctors here, that i might be a statistic?!
Any insight greatly appreciated...
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:21 AM
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,497 posts, read 26,258,309 times
Reputation: 28010
Can you call your doctor back home and ask if it's a concern, or get a second opinion where you are? You should be able to get your xrays from the hospital so another doctor can look at them and you won't have to go through the discomfort of more xrays just to get a second opinion.

In my case, only the fibula was broken and it was not a compound fracture. It was a spiral fracture and there was some distance between the bone ends. They put a metal plate and a bunch of screws in, and that left a small space between the bone ends which filled itself in over the next few months. The worst of the pain took about three months to go away. The swelling can take a year to go down.

If you're having pain bad enough to disturb your sleep, you need to ask your doctor for stronger pain meds.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:30 AM
3 posts, read 40,581 times
Reputation: 10
Thanx for your reply.
I am trying to get a 2nd opinion now, but from the info i am finding online, it looks like another surgery might be required!
The last thing i want to be honest, but if its necessary, then so be it!
My knee is the only part of my body in pain at any given time. Apart from that its just the boredom of lying in bed all day!
I get the staples out on the top half of the leg on monday, then its just the cast in a few months time.
Everywhere i look online i see the same words repeated..."long, slow recovery".
I'm positive i can be up and about in as little time as possible. Just really frustrating to be out of all forms of activity cos i normally hardly ever sit still.
This is definitely teaching me a lot of patience!
Praying i dont need another op, but need to look after my health and recovery...
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