View Poll Results: How long before you could "play" like before after a broken femur ?

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  • 0-2 months

    0 0%
  • 2-4 months

    1 6.25%
  • 4-6 months

    3 18.75%
  • 6-8 months

    0 0%
  • 8-10 months

    5 31.25%
  • more than 10 months

    7 43.75%
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  1. #1
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    The complete broken femur/hip blog

    Hi everyone.

    I am new here, but my interests and now, challenges, coincide with many of yours, so I decided that I should start this blog. Iīm a healthy and active 35 year old skiier, golfer, skater, surfer etc. etc.

    Iīll try and keep the info updated in the top of this thread and reply below.

    Here goes;

    Tuesday 03/23/10

    This day was when the accident happened. Every other tuesday through the winter Iīve been organizing a skate session with other "Old boys", aka over 30īs in the local indoor skate park.

    After about 15 minutes out I miss a trick and land on my left side. Limping off the miniramp i sat down with some ice-packs for a few minutes but quickly found out that something was wrong. So i got a friend to drive me to the ER.

    After getting there, and with a super-quick examination by the doc, he put me in a wheelchair and sent me on to get some x-rays. Luckily this night, one of my best friends who is an orthopedist, is working. We get the x-rays, but they are inconclusive as to what kind of femural break it is, and so he orders a CT as well to be sure. At this point he thought there might be some distress to the muscles on the outside of the hip that stabilizes the pelvis, and that is something that isnīt an easy fix. It could be me and Dr. House for the rest of my life he said....Anyhow, the brake is classified as a "Fractura pertrochanterica femoris" - classified in the Muller AO scale as a multifracture 31A2.



    He puts me up at the ortho ward at the hospital overnight with morphine through the night and tells me he has to consult the other doctors the next morning before deciding what to do, operation or 6 week cast.....

    Wednesday 03/24/10

    Well, they decided to operate my broken femur and later this day they wheeled me in, gave me a spinal, and heu presto - 30 minutes later theyīre done. Remarkably quick, really ! Also I didnīt loose more than probably 150 ml of blood.

    Here is an x-ray after the surgery, with the CHS in.



    For those of you who would like to know more about the technical aspects of the plate and screw fix, itīs a model from Smith & Nephew called a 2 hole Compression Hip Screw, made out of 316L stainless steel.

    And here is a picture with my thighīnīstitches.



    Thursday 03/25/10

    Had some pain through the night, but asked for some extra medication which relieved the pain some. I have always been extremely careful with any kind of painkillers, so getting some morphine wasnīt really my choice but a necessity I guess. Around lunch-time I bit my teeth together, got up on a sort of elevated stroller, and managed to get to the bathroom unassisted. I did this 3 three times this day. Managed to follow up some practical tasks as well this day. The docīs put me on a total of minimum 6 Paracetamol tabs, 3 Tramadol tabs and a nightly blood-thinner through syringe.

    A room with a view ? My god how boring !






    Friday 03/26/10

    Friday morning and the doctor who operated me, not my friend, tells me everything has gone well. He doesnīt suspect the muscle-pelvis thing to be a problem, which is a sigh of relief for sure. And he asks me if Iīm ready to go home this same day, upon which I reply that I would rather stay another day if possible.

    Then the PT comes to pay me a visit and instructs me in the use of crutches. He gives me some info as to what to do and what not to do. Not a few hours later a nurse comes to tell me they are closing down the ward for the weekend, and do I mind changing ward or do I wanna go home ?

    I decide to go home, as I today have managed to use the crutches a few times, also in stairs and when in the shower unaided. But I must admit, just 2 days after operation, I felt a bit apprehensive.

    Saturday 03/27/10

    Home taking it slow, feeling the operation and the meds. Using much time on the net googling similarities to my case and thinking of how I can make a full recovery a quick as possible.

    Sunday 03/28/10

    Here Iīve got Medscapes take on the situation:

    "For femoral stress fractures of the medial compression side, protected crutch-assisted, touch-down weight bearing is implemented for 1-4 weeks, based on the resolution of symptoms and the appearance of callus. Progression to full weight bearing can gradually commence once pain has resolved. Patients must avoid running for 8-16 weeks while the low-impact training program/phase is completed. The progression can include (1) cycling, (2) swimming, and (3) running in chest-deep water before resuming more intensive weight-bearing training. Patients must maintain upper extremity and cardiovascular fitness and avoid lower extremity exercise early in the healing process."

    Which is basically the same as the ortho and PT told me at the hospital. IĻll therefore try this program until told otherwise on my next PT appointment, which should be around 06/040/10:

    Alle excercises to be done 4-5 times daily, reps. 20-25.

    Excercise 1 - Walk as much as possible every day. Focus on proper technique. Maksimum 20 kg weight on my left (injured) leg.

    Excercise 2 - While standing, crutch assisted, move left foot slowly as far forward from the other foot as possible. Try not to "help" by swaying the body.

    Excercise 3 - While standing, crutch assisted, move left foot slowly as far to the side from the other foot as possible. Try not to "help" by swaying the body.

    Excercise 4 - Take a seat on a chair, angle the left foot as much as possible and move the foot forward and up as much as possible.

    Iīll let you know on my progress.

    Update 19.34 hrs - Iīm able to lift my left leg up in the air whilst lying on my back.

    Monday 03/29/10

    Had a fairly god night without too much pain, not feeling to bad today and minimal fever. Pretty tender around the insertion area of the CHS and very tired as the evening came. Stiff around the knee and the front left thigh muscle is not very mobile.

    Tuesday 03/30/10

    A good day today ! Got out today to hand in my sick-leave notice to work and also managed to get to the tax office no problems. Walking on crutches works fine. Looks like getting around as much as possible helps speed the mobility part up, if not the bone growth. Itīs also a big difference sitting with my knee inclined as much as possible as opposed to stretched out, epecially when getting up afterwards in terms of stiffness. Significantly better hip movement today. Did not do my excercises today as I walked and moved around a lot.

    Wednesday 03/31/10

    ROM (Range of movement) - a week after surgery







    Thursday 04/01/10

    Nothing much to report today, got outīnīabout a bit. Getting dressed is getting easier as I am now able to put my trousers and socks on without too much trouble. Still pain in my operated thigh and stiffness there. Canīt wait to get to PT next week !

    Fri-Sun 04/02-04/10

    So I have found a walking route where i live that takes appx. 15-20 minutes, and I am walking this twice a day. I am feeling significantly improved moveability and flexibilty as a result and getting dressed is getting easier every day. Just another few days until I get to se the doc and PT again and I canīt wait to hear what they are saying in terms of my improvement. The only worry I have now is that I might be placing too much weight on my injured leg, but I am trying to do it right and not more weight than instructed.
    Last edited by Superduper; 04-07-2010 at 07:20 AM. Reason: Blog update

  2. #2
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    Anyone else with a similar conditon here that wantīs to share how quickly they got back to "normal" ?

  3. #3
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    Apr 2010
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    Hi, I got your message physiobob forum - thx for referring me here.

    Yes, my injury is almost identical to your own except on my right leg.

    I had the accident on 4th March. I was prescribed some basic physio but nothing too much. Whilst it's obviously good to have a schedule for your exercise, also be aware that rest is just as important in the recovery.

    The first 10 days were the hardest, where just coordinating kitchen and bathroom activities seemed to take up most of my energy. Also, I seemed to have had the added complication of my affected leg swelling up massively, which took a over a week to subside.

    Pain - I was prescribed '2 paracetamol + 2 tramadol' thrice daily. They got me through it I guess; the hardest part was waking up at night and being in pain, plus not being able to turn over to my side was also uncomfortable. I reckon a large part of the pain in my leg was the atrophying of the muscle in the leg due to non-activity. So, it's obviously good to try and offset this process as much as possible. I was off the painkillers after about 2 weeks, which was a relief as they mess up your body's natural balance.

    I sometimes get a burning sensation in the area around the pin, which seems to appear after I've been active. I'm due to see the Dr. again in 11 days for the follow up. Hopefully I'll be able to have the pin removed soon after.

    Recently I've started doing some mini-workouts - as much as my body will permit me to do; 3 reps of 10 sit ups and push ups, plus whatever yoga stretching on my upper body I can do. Maybe some free weights whilst sitting on a chair would be helpful too.

    Anyway, good luck and keep me posted. I'll let you know how I get on.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2010
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    Hello again Ahuramazda. It's nice to have someone to compare "notes" with, then it'll be easier to know what I might expect. Tonight was the first night without painkillers. I have had exactly the same prescription as you. And it went ok I guess. I do feel the hip more now than yesterday but it is well below my pain threshold, maybe 3/10.

    Could you be a bit more precise as to when you were able to do what ? Range of movement, whats going on in that dept. and at what time could you do what movement ?

    I'll update my original post later today with some new ROM shots, seeing it's now been close to two weeks since the operation.

    Have a nice day everyone !

  5. #5
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    Apr 2010
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    Hi again,

    Well it's just over 4 weeks, 4 days since the accident - I had the operation 24 hrs after the accident.

    I seem to remember that about 10 days/2 wks after the operation, I was able to limp around without the crutches; however, I could only do this for short periods, otherwise I'd start getting a lot of pain in my damaged knee due to the different angle of stresses placed on the knee joint. Again, the reps you describe are the best treatment for your problem.

    Another thing, supplements? I'm taking plenty of vitamin, mineral supplements along with special supplements for bones, plus even some for joints just to help everything along. The sort of things they give to old people.

    You sound like you're doing more than enough to ensure a good recovery but remember not to push yourself too far.

    I can now walk around quite freely without the crutches, but not too far, otherwise I start to tire and the pain kicks in at the area of the break.

    To tell you the truth, the leg does not feel that strong even though I have a good range of movement. I guess I won't really know until the pin is taken out. Then I'm guessing that there will be a period of regression because the sliced muscles will have to repair themselves again and there'll be a hole in the bone that'll need to repair. That reminds me, I was told not to leave the pin in because it could cause severe arthritis much later in life.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Norway
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    Two weeks after injury

    Been a couple of days on the down side. Having quit the meds and feeling ok enough, but at the same time not being able to do anything is very frustrating. The crutches are impairing my ability to lift or hold anything so Im not much use around the house either...

    But yeaterday, a glimpse of light when I got to see the PT. Extremely lucky Iīd say to get in this quick, but it helps to have had surgey quite recently. Just let me explain that in Norway you do not pay for surgery og PT, itīs all covered by the state. Except if youīd like to do it privately of course. The PT gave me several excercises + I get access to PT training in a heated pool once a week. Canīt wait to get started on the program, even though I am on cruthches for at least another 4 weeks + no more than the weight of the leg itself as weight bearing (appx. 20 kg.). Tried to get on the spinning bike at the PT but my front thigh area is still stiff and sore so no dice. Maybe next week though...

    Hereīs the excercise program, 2/3 X 15 reps, once a day since I am also walking twice daily appx. 15 mins.

    - Sidelying hip abduction
    - Lying straight leg raises
    - Standing knee raise
    - Standing hip abduction
    - Squats
    - Backups
    - Situps

    I have alsp added 2X500 Kalcium in tab form today to my supplement dosage.

    Day 16

    Have had some trouble sleping these last few nights, seems the pain wonīt quite reside yet. Then again I am not taking any meds so perhaps I shouldnīt complain. I must admit that these last few days have been a bit of a downer mentally. It takes some adjusting from being very active to close to nil excercise, both mentally as well as physically. But I just have to keep in mind that itīs just a few weeks of my life.

    Been to the PT today, who says that everthing looks fine and that I should keep up the training regime that has been set up to me.

    Day 18

    Feeling better every dag but have woken up at around 3.30 am the last few nights and been awake an hour or two, annoying. Not really pain as such, more discomfort. Was able to do a 10 min. stationary bike ride this morning !
    I am feeling some discomfort in the muscles due to the training excercises I do every day, they take their toll on muscles that have been cut into....

    Another positive note, I read old an article yesterday about an 81 year old alpine skier in Norway who broke his hip, but through determination, strong will and following the PT excercises to the letter, managed to get back on the slopes after 10 months - NICE !!

    ROM (Range Of Movement)



    Day 22

    Had a good PT session on monday with a lot of stretching and massaging to loosen up the thigh. As a result that area felt pretty roughed up the next day. Also agreed that I would cut back on the training excercises and do just 2 sets max with 10-15 reps + not necessary with more than one PT session a weel. Hereīs the new setup

    - Sidelying hip abduction (if it doesnīt hurt too much)
    - Lying straight leg raises
    - Standing knee raise
    - Standing hip abduction
    - Squats
    - The "plank" for belly/back

    And Iīll take my usual 10 min. strolls around the block. Hopefully Iīm able to start training in a heated pool with instructor next week instead of the home excercises.

    Have started to sleep better as well, thank god for that.

    Week 5

    Today I started the aqua therapy and it was a most welcome thing to do. I have the option of doing this three times a week in addition to the PT sessions but Iīll just see how the body responds.

    Right now Iīm looking at a little over a week before Iīm in for an examination + xray at the ortho dept. at the hospital. Hopefully theyīll tell me that bone growth is good and that I can get rid of the crutches and start full weight bearing. Feels like I could do it already, but I wont do it until the doc tell me to.

    Have also been forunate enough to swap cars with a friend who drives an automatic, so I have been able to get around the last week.

    The compression hip screw bothers me though, not excactly pain, more like uncomfortable. So I hope that I can take it out as soon as possible. Guess Iīll have to regain strength and full bone growth though before that happens....

    Week 6

    THE CRUTCHES HAVE BEEN PARKED !

    Finally, after six weeks of limping around on crutches and being of no use at all at home with wife and to kids, I am able to start my real training and be of some help around the house again. Went for an x-ray early today and here\s a before and later image, which doesn't really show that good what is going on, but there is bone growth !



    Went straight to the ortho at the hospital which gave me the good news. Then I have an appointment with the PT this afternoon to work out a training regime that will bring me back up to speed, so to speak.

    Having only walked for a few hours, the plate that is operated in is quite noticeable and the leg is understandably "heavy". It does hurt a little when walking but that is to be expected I would say. I talked to the ortho about the uncomfortableness the plate gives me and he says it will take 6-9 months before I can take it out. But who knows, maybe in a few monthe time I won't even notice it.

    Hereīs the PT programme, a combo of lightweight strength exercises, balance and cardio.

    Strength exercises

    Seated leg curl
    Lying leg press
    Squats
    Calf raises
    Lying hamstring curls
    Step-downs

    All done with 3 sets and 12 reps, increasing weight ever so slightly between sets.

    Iīll start with no weights at all, and only increase minimally the first weeks

    Finish with 10 mins of balance training exercises of my own choice. Start off doing this 2, maybe 3 times a week at the local gym.

    Cardio/Balance

    Regular walks in uneven terrain every day/evening after the kids are asleep
    After a few weeks maybe I can bike to work a couple of times a week

    So there you have it folks, the road to restitution has begun.
    Last edited by Superduper; 05-04-2010 at 01:07 AM. Reason: Updated blog

  7. #7
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    Apr 2010
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    In the UK, it's a pretty similar healthcare set-up but probably lower quality here. I envy you having access to the pool - that'd be nice.

    Today, I actually went out without crutches for the first time, which was nice as I'm fed up walking around the supermarket as an invalid. The problem with not using crutches for the first time is that you put stresses and strains on parts of the body which aren't used to it - this obviously has to be done in moderation.

    Reading your posts has encouraged me. I'll let you know how I'm doing in a few days.

  8. #8
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    Like I mentioned before I've been doing light workouts and a bit of walking most days. Today however, I noticed a big improvement (the result of all the physio and workouts); I was almost walking normally today and I even managed a light jog for a few metres. If I wanted to I could probably ride my bike again, but I think I'll wait till the pin's out - I'm due to see the doc next week.

    When you start feeling well enough, I would recommend doing squats - start small and build up. I found they relieve the pain a lot and help to get all the muscles in the affected area working again. I wish I'd started doing them a bit earlier but anyways.

    One thing that bothers me though is that when they take the pin out, they're going to slice through all the muscle I've been rebuilding over the last few weeks and then I'm going to have to start again...I'm guessing that it won't be as bad as the first time but I'll see.

    Chin up, and keep up the physio.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2010
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    Cheers mate - good to hear you are recovering well ! Iīll definately keep up the PT and, as described in an earlier post here, I have squats in my excercise program. Will be doing the program 4 days a week, always good to have some rest in between.

    Seems you are good on your way to recovery - well done !

  10. #10
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    Aug 2007
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    I broke my left femur last Saturday and was operated Sunday. I am still in severe pain and moving it even the smallest amount can hurt so much I want to cry. I'm hoping it improves soon, I understand the fracture was displaced a lot so maybe that is why it is so much worse than yours.

    Docs told me 6 weeks non-weight bearing to begin with

  11. #11
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    Apr 2010
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    Hi,

    I can't seem to find any information on recovery post pin removal and what to expect. I'm seeing the Dr. soon and will probably have the pin out in the next 10 days. It'd be useful to read some blogs/diaries of those who've gone through the same process.

  12. #12
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    Updated [ame="http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2824376&postcount=6"]THIS[/ame] post.

    +

    Quote Originally Posted by ahuramazda View Post
    Hi,

    I can't seem to find any information on recovery post pin removal and what to expect. I'm seeing the Dr. soon and will probably have the pin out in the next 10 days. It'd be useful to read some blogs/diaries of those who've gone through the same process.
    Here are some links

    http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...hlight=removed

    [ame="http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=109123"]Dear Diary: My ski season will end Feb 17 - Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame]

    Havenīt look properly into this site but methinks there should be quite a few stories here;

    http://www.mybrokenleg.com/
    Last edited by Superduper; 04-15-2010 at 03:26 AM.

  13. #13
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    Apr 2010
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    Hi, thx for the links. I made the error of searching for "pin removal" rather than the more common "rod removal".

    Judging from what I read, it seems that getting rid of the rod ASAP is the best option; however, this doesn't seem to be what happens in many cases...of course, every case is different.

    Hopefully, mine is a less complicated case but I'm seeing the Dr. soon and so all should be clear. It's about time as I'm fed up with sitting around getting fatter.

    IDEALLY, the rod would come out in the next week or so. Then, there'd be a period of 10 days or so as the muscles rehealed again. THEN, I'd be free to rehabilitate without interruption...well, that's the ideal scenario. Fingers crossed!

  14. #14
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    Hi again, saw the Dr. and there are no complications - all is well at the moment.

    One thing that's worth knowing is that there's a very small chance that when they remove the rod and unscrew the screws, the bone could break again - I think he said that the screw could freeze into its position and so when they try to remove it, it would break the bone, which would mean starting over again.

    So, I'm free to start my recovery properly now whereas before it was half hearted.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahuramazda View Post
    Hi again, saw the Dr. and there are no complications - all is well at the moment.

    One thing that's worth knowing is that there's a very small chance that when they remove the rod and unscrew the screws, the bone could break again - I think he said that the screw could freeze into its position and so when they try to remove it, it would break the bone, which would mean starting over again.

    So, I'm free to start my recovery properly now whereas before it was half hearted.
    Great !!

  16. #16
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    Apr 2010
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    Six and a half weeks since the accident. I'm finally beginning to feel normal again - I can actually do sun salutations again.

    One thing, the angle of my right foot (injured leg) looks further out to the side than normal - I hope this isn't permanent.

    At the moment, my physio routine is this:

    Morn: 20 mins yoga
    20 mins physio on leg

    Aft: Day 1) 40 mins work out
    walk (30-60 mins)
    20 mins leg physio
    Day 2) 40 mins yoga
    walk (30-60 mins)
    20 mins leg physio

    I need to feel I'm doing all I can. A couple of weeks of this and I reckon I'll be back on track.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahuramazda View Post
    Six and a half weeks since the accident. I'm finally beginning to feel normal again - I can actually do sun salutations again.

    One thing, the angle of my right foot (injured leg) looks further out to the side than normal - I hope this isn't permanent.

    At the moment, my physio routine is this:

    Morn: 20 mins yoga
    20 mins physio on leg

    Aft: Day 1) 40 mins work out
    walk (30-60 mins)
    20 mins leg physio
    Day 2) 40 mins yoga
    walk (30-60 mins)
    20 mins leg physio

    I need to feel I'm doing all I can. A couple of weeks of this and I reckon I'll be back on track.
    Have you got more info on the Yoga - Iīd like to check it out...

  18. #18
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    Apr 2010
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    Yoga, the best thing to do would be to go to a few classes. Find a good teacher somewhere, explain your situation - that you've played a lot of sport over many years and that you're recovering from a broken femur.

    Yoga basically stretches every part of the body and helps to align all the muscles. Obviously, when recovering from an injury like we've had, slowly rebuilding in synchronisation with the rest of the body is important.

    For a beginner, just look up sun salutation on youtube (there are 1000s), and start practicing. After doing a few, you should realise that it helps with back alignment, arm+shoulder strengthening, and working the legs together.

    Another good pose is this one: [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-ne53PR2oE"]YouTube- UTTHITA PARSVAKONASANA (E) - yuna | urban yoga center[/nomedia] - it works all the parts of the leg.

    It may still be a bit early for you to do these.

    Good luck.

    P.S. another good site for physio exercises: http://www.physicalfitnet.com/exerci...ss_search.aspx

  19. #19
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    Great information on this thread. thanks!


  20. #20
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    i broke my femur in 4 places feb16th and was only able to walk april 12! consider yourself lucky. But i guess it should be taken into consideration the type of brake, i dont know the medical terms for it but i broke it right in the middle with two large pieces and then 2 smaller ones like a lower case t with the cross bit being the smaller pieces on either side.

    also looking from the x-ray on the 12th it is still broken but i have a ti rod thru the femur so i can walk.

    I can post x rays if interested.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peace View Post
    i broke my femur in 4 places feb16th and was only able to walk april 12! consider yourself lucky. But i guess it should be taken into consideration the type of brake, i dont know the medical terms for it but i broke it right in the middle with two large pieces and then 2 smaller ones like a lower case t with the cross bit being the smaller pieces on either side.

    also looking from the x-ray on the 12th it is still broken but i have a ti rod thru the femur so i can walk.

    I can post x rays if interested.
    Please do - Maybe in the broken bones x-ray thread also ?

  22. #22
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    here ya go






  23. #23
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    I went out on my bicycle today for the first time since the accident and there was almost no reaction - in fact, it's harder walking than cycling...non-weight bearing I guess and so less stress on the bones.

    They won't take the rod for at least 6 months.

    Your post operative treatment sounds far better than mine - you Scandinavians and Norwegians have it easy! All because you have oil! That is not fair!

  24. #24
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    Am I in for a nasty shock now I'm back in the UK? I have already sourced a private physio I might go to once a week.

    I'm 3 weeks post injury now, so hopefully halfway through the toe touch weight bearing stage. Not building my hopes up too much though in case the bone isn't healing that fast. I sure hope it is.

    It will be good when I get cleared to go swimming/biking. Then I can go fucking nuts on exercise and try and get the fitness/muscle back!

  25. #25
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    May 2010
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    Dear Jimlad, I am about 14 weeks out from my spiral fracture, and I can say that spinning and swimming have been great to resume. I am currently in Mexico at the beach working on my recovery, walking in the sand, snorkeling, and I have joined a little gym. I have come light-years in the past several weeks, I would not have believed how far I have come from then. I highly recommend a good sports-minded physical therapist. They show you how to exercise without hurting (or should I say without injuring) yourself.

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