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  1. #351
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    24
    3 month follow up today....cleared for PWB on two crutches....went directly to PT and nearly had an emotional breakdown as my PT put one crutch on the opposite side of the room and told me to go get it. Now I guess it's about the mental game...trusting my leg wont snap in half as I step on it. I must admit it felt good to step on it. Ankle was the only thing really bugging me as I put weight on my foot.

  2. #352
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by 97r82 View Post
    Soccergirl
    Remember this. You are young. Plenty of time to heal. It takes time and this injury takes more time than any other that I know of. Good to see you are so positive. Hang in there no one can tell you if you will ever play soccer again. You do the best to get back to normal and you will know if it iis worth it or not?
    For now you have to keep yourself occupied to kill the boredom. This site is a great place to vent. Hang in there you will do fine.
    thank you so much, great encouragement!!

  3. #353
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryanrene View Post
    soccergirl:
    believe it or not things have gotten a bit better since that dark post back in January. My steri strips finally came off with some Emu oil. My OS told me not to wait too long as the adhesive would stick to the skin and sure enough it did. I spent the next few weeks getting the sticky off my leg. My foot and ankle have also gotten better with time. The skin on my foot would peel off in chunks like I was a burn victim. Pins, needles, burning. My foot is better with the sensation and peeling. It still gets purpleish when I have it down too long but the swelling is minimal. [...] I still don't have full ROM in my ankle and my calf is tight and contracted which isn't helping me. My PT gets on me about that. My toes also don't have the flexibility my other foot has and if I squeeze them, they hurt. But I see progress, just not as fast as I'd hope.
    [...] I hate this injury. I hate my crutches. Ugh.
    Ryanrene: thanks for the update... glad things have gotten better!! Hm i will try ask my OS about the steri stips then (nurse told me just leave them be till they naturally fall off). So glad you mentioned about skin peeling off foot cuz i been having this too (though not quite as extreme-sounding) -- it weirded me out! Whenever i take a shower (which is not often cuz it's so difficult, haha ), that foot gets thick layer of dead/peeling skin (never the other!). Sadly my 29-years'-hard-earned calluses are peeling right off... hope i can get them back one day when God willing i'm running/ playing sports again

    Sounds like getting ankle ROM back is a slow thing since you're 3 months out... i'm just one month post-injury... it's getting a bit better but i'm in same boat as you (ankle ROM, calf shortened/painful)... everyone's right: how long this takes can be discouraging... but it really does improve with time, just so slowly! I have been getting angry at my crutches too, and at how ridiculously cumbersome it is to try to carry something (does anyone use backpacks?), and at how they always crash down when i need to reach for something or whatever (hasn't somebody somewhere invented by now some sort of crutches-stabilizing-device for when you have to set them aside for a second? )

    I know I have to work hard to fight depression and practice gratitude. i should love my crutches not hate them cuz they at least get me from one place to another vs. dragging my butt on the ground or something Some humor would be so helpful right? It's hard to be lighthearted when you want to cry or yell in frustration!! All of this pain and cumbersomeness etc. week after week + month after month really starts to wear on you!

  4. #354
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by liamy View Post
    ... I looked forward to the doc saying I could weight bear and I thought that I would just walk out of his office! I wasn't prepared for how hard it would be. I didn't take real steps, without a crutch or cane for about two more months. It was hard at first just to place my foot flat on the ground. But at the same time it was so exciting!
    Here's my timeline:
    Fracture: June 20
    Allowed to start to bear weight and increase as able: Sept 19
    Transitioned from two crutches to one crutch then finally a cane: Nov 8 (my BDay gift was to cane-walk
    First unassisted steps: Nov 24
    Ditched the cane for good: Jan 5th

    Listen to your body (hard to do sometimes) and only push it so far. You're bound to have set backs here and there. Don't let that stop you. During the time I was using the cane and was close to not needing it, I pushed myself to hard in the pool (I did pool PT for a couple months). I ended up going back to two crutches for a week or so. I hurt so much, I wasn't even putting the foot on the ground again. It was devastating. But it got better and hasn't given me to much grief since. About week or so ago it flared up but it was nothing like before.
    Good luck tomorrow and I look forward to hearing how it goes!
    amy
    thanks for posting liamy... is a good reality check for my lofty conceptualizations of the day i switch to weight-bearing! (At one-month-post injury, i've still got 1-2 more months) And wow two more months till real steps even PWB you said? yeah this is a slow healing injury! Your timeline is cool how Thanksgiving and Birthday were milestone days for walking/ cane. Indeed perfect days for gratitude to be able to walk and for receiving a burst of New Life so to speak. Thanks for the tip on setbacks too. It is indeed discouraging for me that one day i'll be able to push my knee past 90 degrees but the next it's so painful/ stiff i can't even get 90... it's true you have to try balance not pushing too hard and make sure to ice/ elevate after working it. Hard to do when you also have the fear of not doing enough to give yourself best shot at recovery!

  5. #355
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    6
    I crushed my tibial plateau on August 17th 2010, had the hardware (2 plates and 13 screws that I STILL carry around in my pocket book) removed on August 11th 2011. I am now through a lot of physical therapy able to run, run upstairs and down, ride my horse without my leg hurting, and most importantly keep up with my 2 year old and 5 year old. It has been a LONG recovery and my leg will still lock up or give out about once a month. I have a slight tear in my ACL... It seems like it took forever to get my range of motion back and to be able to walk normally. Everyone on here is great and it really does take about 2 years to recover from an injury like this!! I still do my PT and my leg no longer looks like a femer with a swelled up knee attached to it! I just want to give EVERYONE some encouragement to stay strong and keep up with your PT and it just takes time! This thread is a wonderful form of support and really helps to know there are others out there with similar stories and issues with their leg; good luck to everyone!

  6. #356
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    2

    recovery time?

    I am a very active 58 yr old, ski, ride and manage horses, hiking, etc. I had a tibial plateau fracture thanksgiving weekend (as well as a similar fracture on my humerous involving the shoulder) from a fall from a height. Had external fixation for a week before internal fixation with plate and 7 screws. Luckily for me I have had full flexion of my new. But it is now 4 months and I am not full weight bearing. At 10 weeks, I was partial, but when revaluated at 14 weeks, the leg still felt very unstable with it shifting outward at the knee when bearing weight. Dr says another 4-5 weeks with partial weight bearing and strength bearing exercise of the quad and hamstring which I have been doing. I do not feel much improvement. I get a lot of pain along the outside plate when bearing weight. I have broken several bones with surgeries, including a similar one to an ankle (came off a horse and got stepped on) without such complications and full recoveries in a short time. I guess I'm wondering how long it will take to get on with my life, even just walking unassisted and if anyone has had a similar experience.

  7. #357
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by rsmorgans View Post
    I am a very active 58 yr old, ski, ride and manage horses, hiking, etc. I had a tibial plateau fracture thanksgiving weekend (as well as a similar fracture on my humerous involving the shoulder) from a fall from a height. Had external fixation for a week before internal fixation with plate and 7 screws. Luckily for me I have had full flexion of my new. But it is now 4 months and I am not full weight bearing. At 10 weeks, I was partial, but when revaluated at 14 weeks, the leg still felt very unstable with it shifting outward at the knee when bearing weight. Dr says another 4-5 weeks with partial weight bearing and strength bearing exercise of the quad and hamstring which I have been doing. I do not feel much improvement. I get a lot of pain along the outside plate when bearing weight. I have broken several bones with surgeries, including a similar one to an ankle (came off a horse and got stepped on) without such complications and full recoveries in a short time. I guess I'm wondering how long it will take to get on with my life, even just walking unassisted and if anyone has had a similar experience.
    Hello
    I had a tough time with the non weight bearing. They never let me go partial though. 2 plates and 22 screws. 11 weeks of non weight bearing then started trying to walk. It gets better but slowly. Everyting about this injury is slow to heal. Find something to keep your mind busy because you are in for a long boring recovery. PT was the highlight of my day for a while. I will be returning to work tomorrow. Accident happened 10.7.11. I am still limping a little. Tire easily. Taking Tramadol instead of loratabs. Doc said my scar will look healed about the same time my tibia is mostly healed up. Can take up to 2 years. I have come to realize what was normal before the accident isn't normal now but that's OK. I am finding new ways to compensate. You have to. Good luck be patient. Get a good therapist if you don't have one. I regret two things. I should have insisted on the water therapy when I was still Non weight bearing to reduce the atrophy and I should have bought,rented stole one of the little 4 wheel scooters you can rest your leg on instead of wheelchair, walker or crutches.
    thanks
    jesse

  8. #358
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    9
    Hi. I'm a new poster child for tpf. Had a tough two weeks dealing with the sadness of losing my active lifestyle. I was an avid runner doing a couple marathons a year. I was a legacy runner for the rock n roll marathon in San Diego hoping to do # 15 this June. All that came to a halt when playing volleyball and a head collided with my knee. Surgery the next day ( very little swelling). 6 screws and a plate....sounds average from this website. Sitting all day is killing me. My lower back is my biggest pain. So here are my questions:

    What pt can I do now?
    The knee can bend and be straight (but not too far....almost a rt angle)
    Any advice on the back issue ( I haven't seen much on that)

    The good news....I'm back to work in two weeks. That should help.

    L

  9. #359
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    19

    Spiral tib, fib, lateral TPF, ++

    Iím now 6 weeks post-op, though Iíve been lurking on the forum for a month, so I feel that I already know many of you and have had you in my thoughts and intentions. Iíve been fortunate to have a job I can partly do from a recliner chair, so Iíve been busy and just finally found time to get all this typed out. Hopefully, Iíll can make up for the late report with a good one.

    On February 10 I was skiing with two friends at Snowbird, last run of the day on a fast runout near Tower 21 on Peruvian Lift. I either caught an edge or hit an unseen bump and went head over heels. The skis released, but I took what must have been a hard, twisting impact with my left boot. I skidded to a halt, looked first uphill to see how far Iíd have to walk to get my skis, and then checked myself for injury. My left leg had an obvious extra bend between the boot and knee. I shouted every skiier's nightmare: ďIíve got a tib/fib break,Ē and two fellow skiers were immediately on cell phones to the patrol, while others helped me unzip the bottom of my ski pants, unbuckle the boot, and pack snow around the break. There was no prompt pain, I suppose due to shock. Page and Bjorn of the Ski Patrol were quick getting me down the mountain on the sled, escorted by my friend James, who was still in earshot when I called out my injury. The Snowbird clinic provided Dilaudid and initial x-ray. It showed a spiral tibia fracture extending toward the knee, clearly beyond their means to fix, so they helped me remove the boot (no fun), and put me on an ambulance to the Level 1 facility in Salt Lake. The ambulance crew called ahead for a roll-through emergency admission, put me in a hospital bed, and they scheduled me for surgery the next day. Another x-ray series indicated the fracture extended up to the lateral plateau, which was markedly depressed.



    A follow-up CAT scan showed the plateau fragmented into many pieces, another small, undepressed fracture at the posterior side of the plateau, as well as some great imagery of the ice bags.



    The OS was fantasticóthe best doctor Iíve ever worked with in skills and bedside manner, though during the procedure itself, he was laser-focused and didn't talk much. The anesthesiologist offered me a wide menu of options, so I went with a spinal block plus opoids (in/around?) the spine. As I understand it, the spinal block didnít work but the opoids did, because I had fairly complete sensation throughout my leg and could feel everything they did, screws and all, but with absolutely no pain. The OS said heíd never seen anything like it before, but I was warm, awake, and comfortable, content to be at least a passive participant. About halfway through, I asked the anesthesiologist what all the monitors were for, and he connected the one near my head to the live x-rays, so I could even watch with x-ray vision. It took over three hours to screw together the tibial shaft, push the platform pieces up and screw them back into position, add some allograft underneath, install the upper plate, and thread a suture all the way around the meniscus. By that time I was getting more sensation and just a touch of pain, so they put me under for the final steps of installing a long LISS plate and closing up. Overall, I count 18 screws, one of which he somehow curved (!!).



    It wound up being a five-day hospital stay, due to compartment swelling, a fasciotomy, two days on a wound pump, and then a successful closure. Thereís some hopefully temporary damage to sensory nerves, which has probably been a blessing in terms of missing the worst of the pain. My wife flew out the second day and back with me on the fifth, sleeping in the hospital room. Sheís been an absolute saint, attending to me. All the medical staff were fantastic: Utahns are second only to Canadians in cheer and kindness.

    The OSís discharge orders anticipated partial weight bearing around 6 weeks. Back home in Northern Virginia, I chose a local ortho trauma surgeon based on personal recommendation, medical website ratings, and a video of one of his lectures to other doctors about proximal tibia fractures. Insurance coverage is solid, after completing my maximum annual co-pay. So Iíve been on 2-3X weekly PT for aggressive ankle ROM and gentle knee. The ankle still needs work, but I can go about 5 degrees above neutral and have fairly good extension. He's also gradually gotten my knee to within 4 degrees of full extension. Thatís equal to my uninjured knee, so presumably Iíve been walking like a leprechaun all my life. Knee flexion is about 110 degrees.

    The local doc has been fine, but his entire group seems to consider 12 weeks of non weight bearing to be a Standard of Care for TPF, and he regards that as a completely settled question in the literature. So I did some reading, and that does not seem to be the case at all. In fact, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21586783 documents fine results with immediate partial weight bearing after platform repair with screws and plate.

    After my 6-week checkup, I got a copy of the x-rays on CD, set it up for download, and went back to the OS for a second opinion. He communicates very well by e-mail and responded with a recommendation that I should go to 25% weight now with a knee brace, gradually moving to 100% in another four weeks (which will be 10 weeks post-op). So Iím going with his advice and will figure out how to communicate that to the local surgeon at my next appointment in six weeks. Iím not sure what the etiquette is if I waltz in when he still expects me on crutches.

    Iím now looking forward to PT tomorrow, so I can learn how to properly do the 25% and finally start using my now-wasted calf, quads, and hamstrings. It will also be the first sense of how my much-changed knee is going to work under load.

    Thanks to everyone who has posted and poured out their experiences, thoughts, wishes, and sometimes souls. Your intentions are always appreciated!

  10. #360
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    28
    Jesse: you've gone back to work, right? How is it? I hope it's gone well so far!
    Ryan: I haven't heard from you lately, how are things going? Is your ROM progressing?

    Good news: For the past few weeks, I've noticed a huge difference in my knee. It feels great. I still limp but I can tell its getting better. Bad-ish news: My ankle hurts again, different and worse than before. This morning I had a big goose-egg swollen area and blue bruise on the outside of it. Coincidently, I had a checkup with my OS today and he said it's peroneal tendonitis. Maybe with a cycst where the tendon inserts to the bone. I have two weeks with an ankle immobilizer and maybe an MRI to make sure it's not torn. I'M SO SICK OF THIS!

    I hope everyone is doing well!! And to the few new people: I'm so sorry you're here but I'm glad you found this site, it's so helpful!

    amy

  11. #361
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    24
    Hi Amy! And everyone...

    I am doing ok...better...I am really progressing with the PWB in PT. He's got me using one crutch during our sessions and really focusing on my extention, moreso than the flexion right now. As a result, my foot pain is moving away from the pins and needles and stiffness to just a general soreness. I'm nearly to 0 extension...nearly. but my knee is so bulbous. I looked at myself from the side in a full length mirror and I look like I'm in a ski boot. My ankle is still stiff but not nearly like it was in the beginning. My goal now is to strengthen my hip and butt muscle so when I walk, my knee doesn't rock to the inside, which it happening now. Overall I am happy that I am progressing forward and see the progress and hear everyone tell me they see the progress BUT it's still so damn slow!

    Things I don't like: My shin is numb. I hate the feeling of it. Esp. when i try to shave it. *shudder*; My foot still gets all purpley and I still get some mild edema; calf and hammy are still tight; I hate going to bed all limber (but exhausted) and wake up tight and stiff;

    Things I like: I can finally sleep on both sides and not stuck on my back (yes!!); I can finally sleep in more than 3 hour chunks without waking up in pain; I can stand in the shower (no more bath bench); oh and that the 15 lbs of weight I lost puts me back in my skinny jeans (too bad I can't really go anywhere )

  12. #362
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    2
    The numbness will go away in time. Happened when I broke my ankle, but I agree, shaving is an interesting exercise. I too have to strengthen my upper leg muscles to keep my knee from rocking (mine goes out, but if I concentrate on stiffening those muscles, its only a little bit), any good exercises for that, that do not include weight? I too lost 20 lbs and it was a grand moment to be able to stand in the shower. Just in the past few weeks my leg is feeling more stable. It is now 4 months with only partial weight bearing. Drs appt in 2 weeks, hope I get the go ahead for full weight. Is one crutch then cane the usual progression?


    Quote Originally Posted by Ryanrene View Post
    Hi Amy! And everyone...

    Things I don't like: My shin is numb. I hate the feeling of it. Esp. when i try to shave it. *shudder*; My foot still gets all purpley and I still get some mild edema; calf and hammy are still tight; I hate going to bed all limber (but exhausted) and wake up tight and stiff;

    Things I like: I can finally sleep on both sides and not stuck on my back (yes!!); I can finally sleep in more than 3 hour chunks without waking up in pain; I can stand in the shower (no more bath bench); oh and that the 15 lbs of weight I lost puts me back in my skinny jeans (too bad I can't really go anywhere )

  13. #363
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    28
    East Mtn: What a story! I can't believe you were awake during your surgery...amazing! And so cool! I think I might be a little jealous! It should like you're already making good progress. My OS explained that the 12-week non weight bearing time frame is more to do with the bone graft than the healing of the fracture site. The bone graft is pliable, like putty, so there's risk of it collapsing on itself with weight bearing. Once your body remodels the graft and lays down new bone, it's safe to bear weight. I wish you much luck on this long journey! Keep working hard....

    Ryan: I absolutely hate touching, let alone shaving that art of my leg. It's hard to describe the sensation, it's more than just numbness. I think it's going to last a really long time, hopefully we all get used to it. I also enjoyed the weight loss, also 15lbs. I guess it's one of the few good things to have come from all this

    ....amy

  14. #364
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by liamy View Post
    East Mtn: What a story! I can't believe you were awake during your surgery...amazing! And so cool! I think I might be a little jealous! It should like you're already making good progress. My OS explained that the 12-week non weight bearing time frame is more to do with the bone graft than the healing of the fracture site. The bone graft is pliable, like putty, so there's risk of it collapsing on itself with weight bearing. Once your body remodels the graft and lays down new bone, it's safe to bear weight. I wish you much luck on this long journey! Keep working hard....

    Ryan: I absolutely hate touching, let alone shaving that art of my leg. It's hard to describe the sensation, it's more than just numbness. I think it's going to last a really long time, hopefully we all get used to it. I also enjoyed the weight loss, also 15lbs. I guess it's one of the few good things to have come from all this

    ....amy
    Hello Amy
    I went back to work Monday. Man talk about tired after 12hrs. I made thru the second day a little better but still exhausted. 2 more to go then 3 off. It sure feels good to be back in the working world. Kind of weird though. I think it's going to work out good. Pain is manageable but I have been taking some Ultram to make it thru the day. Luckily I have so much work to catch up on it keeps my mind occupied so I don't think about the leg much. Calf and back of the knee talk to me more as the day goes on though.
    Sorry to hear about another setback for you. I take it you are wearing a air boot? Hope that gets better quick. You need some relief. I made the same statement to my wife about showering last week. It is really nice to take a shower without the bench and all the preparation. Now I just take a shower without really thinking about it. Luckily I don't have shave my legs (i did for a while because they were taping the scar) that is a very strange feeling. My upper outer thigh is still numb. I guess it goes away with time?
    thanks
    jesse

  15. #365
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    36
    Hello Eastmnt
    Man you have a wilder story than mine. No way I could stay awake thru any surgery but I have a needle phobia and hate anything to do with hospitals anyway. You really busted the whole tibia up. I would sure be careful not to mess up all the good work the OS did. I know what you mean though the faster you can build the muscle the better. My OS had me NWB for 11 weeks. I fractured the plateau and split the tibia lenghtwise (two plates 22 screws). Each surgeon seems to have their own way to tell how you are progressing. Mine wanted to see a fuzzy l?ook to the x ray? He said that meant the bone was starting to callous over. He gave me a Smith Nephews bone stimulator (ultrasound). I think it helped. I wish I had done aquatic therapy when I was at your stage. At least you can walk then and start building muscle faster. Good luck with your therapy. Get a good PT. Fire one if you have to. It is your choice. Keep moving.
    thanks
    jesse

    Quote Originally Posted by East Mtn View Post
    I’m now 6 weeks post-op, though I’ve been lurking on the forum for a month, so I feel that I already know many of you and have had you in my thoughts and intentions. I’ve been fortunate to have a job I can partly do from a recliner chair, so I’ve been busy and just finally found time to get all this typed out. Hopefully, I’ll can make up for the late report with a good one.

    On February 10 I was skiing with two friends at Snowbird, last run of the day on a fast runout near Tower 21 on Peruvian Lift. I either caught an edge or hit an unseen bump and went head over heels. The skis released, but I took what must have been a hard, twisting impact with my left boot. I skidded to a halt, looked first uphill to see how far I’d have to walk to get my skis, and then checked myself for injury. My left leg had an obvious extra bend between the boot and knee. I shouted every skiier's nightmare: “I’ve got a tib/fib break,” and two fellow skiers were immediately on cell phones to the patrol, while others helped me unzip the bottom of my ski pants, unbuckle the boot, and pack snow around the break. There was no prompt pain, I suppose due to shock. Page and Bjorn of the Ski Patrol were quick getting me down the mountain on the sled, escorted by my friend James, who was still in earshot when I called out my injury. The Snowbird clinic provided Dilaudid and initial x-ray. It showed a spiral tibia fracture extending toward the knee, clearly beyond their means to fix, so they helped me remove the boot (no fun), and put me on an ambulance to the Level 1 facility in Salt Lake. The ambulance crew called ahead for a roll-through emergency admission, put me in a hospital bed, and they scheduled me for surgery the next day. Another x-ray series indicated the fracture extended up to the lateral plateau, which was markedly depressed.



    A follow-up CAT scan showed the plateau fragmented into many pieces, another small, undepressed fracture at the posterior side of the plateau, as well as some great imagery of the ice bags.



    The OS was fantastic—the best doctor I’ve ever worked with in skills and bedside manner, though during the procedure itself, he was laser-focused and didn't talk much. The anesthesiologist offered me a wide menu of options, so I went with a spinal block plus opoids (in/around?) the spine. As I understand it, the spinal block didn’t work but the opoids did, because I had fairly complete sensation throughout my leg and could feel everything they did, screws and all, but with absolutely no pain. The OS said he’d never seen anything like it before, but I was warm, awake, and comfortable, content to be at least a passive participant. About halfway through, I asked the anesthesiologist what all the monitors were for, and he connected the one near my head to the live x-rays, so I could even watch with x-ray vision. It took over three hours to screw together the tibial shaft, push the platform pieces up and screw them back into position, add some allograft underneath, install the upper plate, and thread a suture all the way around the meniscus. By that time I was getting more sensation and just a touch of pain, so they put me under for the final steps of installing a long LISS plate and closing up. Overall, I count 18 screws, one of which he somehow curved (!!).



    It wound up being a five-day hospital stay, due to compartment swelling, a fasciotomy, two days on a wound pump, and then a successful closure. There’s some hopefully temporary damage to sensory nerves, which has probably been a blessing in terms of missing the worst of the pain. My wife flew out the second day and back with me on the fifth, sleeping in the hospital room. She’s been an absolute saint, attending to me. All the medical staff were fantastic: Utahns are second only to Canadians in cheer and kindness.

    The OS’s discharge orders anticipated partial weight bearing around 6 weeks. Back home in Northern Virginia, I chose a local ortho trauma surgeon based on personal recommendation, medical website ratings, and a video of one of his lectures to other doctors about proximal tibia fractures. Insurance coverage is solid, after completing my maximum annual co-pay. So I’ve been on 2-3X weekly PT for aggressive ankle ROM and gentle knee. The ankle still needs work, but I can go about 5 degrees above neutral and have fairly good extension. He's also gradually gotten my knee to within 4 degrees of full extension. That’s equal to my uninjured knee, so presumably I’ve been walking like a leprechaun all my life. Knee flexion is about 110 degrees.

    The local doc has been fine, but his entire group seems to consider 12 weeks of non weight bearing to be a Standard of Care for TPF, and he regards that as a completely settled question in the literature. So I did some reading, and that does not seem to be the case at all. In fact, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21586783 documents fine results with immediate partial weight bearing after platform repair with screws and plate.

    After my 6-week checkup, I got a copy of the x-rays on CD, set it up for download, and went back to the OS for a second opinion. He communicates very well by e-mail and responded with a recommendation that I should go to 25% weight now with a knee brace, gradually moving to 100% in another four weeks (which will be 10 weeks post-op). So I’m going with his advice and will figure out how to communicate that to the local surgeon at my next appointment in six weeks. I’m not sure what the etiquette is if I waltz in when he still expects me on crutches.

    I’m now looking forward to PT tomorrow, so I can learn how to properly do the 25% and finally start using my now-wasted calf, quads, and hamstrings. It will also be the first sense of how my much-changed knee is going to work under load.

    Thanks to everyone who has posted and poured out their experiences, thoughts, wishes, and sometimes souls. Your intentions are always appreciated!

  16. #366
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    7
    East Mtn,

    Our timing, accidents and damage sound very similar. I was near the tail end of a high speed groomer at Solitude in mid February when I caught an edge and ended up with a fractured tib / fib and a trashed tibial plateau. I've had hundreds of ski wrecks in my life, many infinitely more sketchy. This one just seemed randomly to be the one that caused serious damage. Frustrating.

    While I feel incredibly bad for everyone posting here, I'm glad that I found this thread. Most of what I've read about this injury elsewhere online has been fairly depressing and only vaguely informative. This thread in contrast has some motivational recovery stories and a wealth of knowledge. Before I found this thread I had started a blog about my recovery:

    tibfibxib.com

    If you're interested, please feel free to check it out. I've been updating it every week or so.

    Thanks to everyone for their contribution to this thread and speedy recoveries to you all.

  17. #367
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    19
    Quote Originally Posted by tibfibxib View Post
    I was near the tail end of a high speed groomer at Solitude in mid February when I caught an edge and ended up with a fractured tib / fib and a trashed tibial plateau. I've had hundreds of ski wrecks in my life, many infinitely more sketchy. This one just seemed randomly to be the one that caused serious damage. Frustrating.
    The coincidences are a bit spooky. Like you, it wasn't instantly obvious to me that this was worse than ones I've walked away from. I guess this is the only wreck that had me tumbling so violently, but it comes down to the dissipation of energy, and that much in one leg at one time will do a lot of harm to hard and soft tissue. As I've seen attributed to Gandhi, "Speed is violence."

    I found it funny how many of the Utahns hadn't gone out all season. They seemed to regard anything short of bottomless powder as incredibly dangerous. To us Easterners (and one German), conditions seemed pretty decent.

    Quote Originally Posted by tibfibxib View Post
    Before I found this thread I had started a blog about my recovery: tibfibxib.com
    Great blog. I'd encourage all here to check it out. I left a couple of comments.

    My 25% PWB is going well. My PT remains excellent, getting me started with the new gait, which will take some time to get as natural and fast as the old one. It just plain feels good to stretch that calf and do something with the leg at every stride. There are also a number of new exercises possible now. Sunday I fly to Denver to speak at a trade show, which I'm looking forward to. I've already found the crutches add a bit of drama to any public speaking occasion, if only in terms of suspense as to whether I'll first run out of material or pitch off the stage.

    Legs definitely do better when they are under at least some kind of load. I'm quite happy I got the second opinion to go PWB but still not sure how best to communicate it to my local doc.

    Thanks Amy, Jesse, Ryan, and all for words and kind thoughts,
    Chris

  18. #368
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    30
    Hi Everyone!

    I am now a member of this club.

    I injured myself at Whistler on March 10th and had surgery in North Vancouver on March 13th. (a plate and 4 screws) The doctor told me my tibial plateau was smashed but I don't know what classification and now that I have read some of your posts, I will enquire. I was out of the hospital 3 days later and home for a week after that. This week has been my return to work (in a wheelchair with crutches for quick travel around the office) It sounds like from what I have read that is not bad for week 3. I just know the 2 weeks on my back were driving me crazy. On Tuesday this week they replaced my immobilizer brace for a brace with dial in ROM. I am set at 45 degrees and in 2 weeks I can dial up to 90. At that time I will start to work with a physio. I am quite concerned that the pain will increase as the ROM increases. Any insight on the rehab journey will be helpful. From what I've read here it sounds slow. I have started to ice and am hopeful that will help with the swelling.

    I am almost out of the prescription medication that I received at discharge. I am finding pain manageable with Advil and Tylenol. Should I be asking my doctor for another prescription?

    I am grateful for where I live and the HandyDart affordable wheelchair transit. My work has made this transition easier. My friends have been amazing and I have had to ask for help because for most of this time my husband has been working out of town.

    I find the scariest thing getting in the shower. I have to have someone with me. Everything takes a long time. Unless I am in a wheelchair, preparing simple food is impossible.

    I am grateful for finding this site and I hope to continue to be inspired by your courage and persistence.

    I am almost at work, so signing off for now.

    All the best,
    Sue

  19. #369
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    25
    Shaving!! y'all said it!! I shudder every time and try to go as fast and light as possible over that area. Doc warned at least part of that area might never return... sure hope he's wrong!

    Hi Sue, sorry for your injury! Yes, preparing food, carrying things, transferring from fridge to counter to table or whatnot, etc., is ridiculously difficult with crutches and only being able to stand on one leg -- a leg which tires very quickly at that! Taking a shower is a veeery long process, i hear ya. You mentioned Advil -- lay off it if your bones are still not reunited!! Ibuprofin delays/ impedes bone fusion. Lots of research out there. My doc was up-to-speed and corrected an innocently ignorant recommendation from the home health nurse.

    Re: EastMtn, i have to chime in that it is absolutely wild you were awake and feeling the whole first part of your surgery! That was a fun (albeit tragic) read!

  20. #370
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1
    Feeling so very fortunate to have found this forum! Realizing that others have experienced the same kinds of things has been very helpful.

    I suffered a type III fracture on Jan 7 th underwent surgery Jan 14th. PWB began after 8 weeks but I've been complaining of a purple cold extremely painful foot since two weeks after the surgery. Thank goodness my family doctor sent me to have an ultrasound of my lower leg--2 blood clots found.

    Now that I'm on anticoagulants the foot isn't as cold but is still pretty painful. The joints ache and i have pins and needles in it, but the weight bearing will take that away, right?

    Gotta run, so to speak...thanks for sharing your stories.

    Annie

  21. #371
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    25
    Hey EastMtn -- sent you a private message if you have a minute! Being from Northern VA too it would be interesting if you could share more details about doctors and PT you've found up there, thanks!!

  22. #372
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    19

    Your membership card is enclosed

    Welcome, Sue. Sorry you had to join us

    Quote Originally Posted by SueBee View Post
    I am almost out of the prescription medication that I received at discharge. I am finding pain manageable with Advil and Tylenol. Should I be asking my doctor for another prescription?
    I've also been fortunate, in that the pain has been relatively minor. That's great if you can avoid the narcotics, if only for the benefit of your digestive system. However, I'd still suggest renewing the prescription so it's available. You may be reaching for it when you start PT.

    In the meantime, RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) is your friend for swelling, especially if you aren't getting a "rebound" on the pain when you stop the ice.

    Quote Originally Posted by SueBee View Post
    I find the scariest thing getting in the shower. I have to have someone with me. Everything takes a long time. Unless I am in a wheelchair, preparing simple food is impossible.
    A cheap shower chair has been invaluable to me, plus some gimp bars installed by a friend who is a carpenter. (As you say, friends are great!) Two of them are real handicapped bars, and the other is just a piece of treated lumber screwed to what was the bracket for a sliding shower door.

  23. #373
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    19
    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher.gurl View Post
    Feeling so very fortunate to have found this forum! Realizing that others have experienced the same kinds of things has been very helpful.
    Amen. There is nothing like sharing experiences, knowledge, and support with others in the same or similar boats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher.gurl View Post
    I suffered a type III fracture on Jan 7 th underwent surgery Jan 14th.
    Price of admission is telling us how it happened. I think the gardening accident is the best so far. Shades of the drummer fatality in This is Spinal Tap. (My wife is actually making a business of being a garden coach and suffering carpal tunnel, so I'm not making light of anybody's TPF. Just shows the range of ways it can happen.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher.gurl View Post
    PWB began after 8 weeks but I've been complaining of a purple cold extremely painful foot since two weeks after the surgery. Thank goodness my family doctor sent me to have an ultrasound of my lower leg--2 blood clots found.
    Wow. That's exactly what I mean about support. Your report of that experience could literally save somebody's life, down the line.

    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher.gurl View Post
    The joints ache and i have pins and needles in it, but the weight bearing will take that away, right?
    PWB is definitely helping my foot, but the pins-and-needles may be from nerve damage. According to my PT, if the motor control is undamaged, the sensory usually regenerates, but very slowly, at about an inch per month. If it is nerve damage and gets bad enough to interfere with work or sleep, you might consider prescription gabapentin, which I started a week ago, though I'm not certain if the low dose I've used is having much effect.

    SoccerGirl: I just PM'd you back. Amazing the coincidences in this forum. No doubt, next we'll get two people here who literally ran into each other.

    As a general note, there is quite a range of practice out there on things like Standards of Care for PWB (0-16 weeks) and Ibuprofen (yes, no, maybe). The conclusion of my OS was that the studies showed poorer bone healing in rats with constant, heavy dosage. He found that evidence insufficient to recommend against occasional use, and the anti-inflammatory effect of Ibuprofen does have value.

  24. #374
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    36
    Welcome Sue
    Sorry to meet this way but it is what it is. This is a great bunch of people who are going thru or have been thru what you are dealing with. Go to your regular doc and have him prescribe something for pain. They gave me Ultram generic is Tramadol. It is kind of half way between Loratab and Tylenol but it is not a narcotic. Easier on your stomach and you won't get addicted to it since it isn't a narcotic. Stay away from the Ibuprofens they prevent bone healing.
    Someone brought me a shower bench. It's wider than the chair so you can sit on it then slide over into the shower. I was able to shower by myself after a while.
    Glad to see you are working. That was my biggest issue. Bored to tears but I could not return to work until I had a full release from the surgeon. Started back last week. Almost 6 months off work.
    Ice is your friend along with lots of leg lifts and other PT they give you. Seems silly but all the little exercises build you back up. I still waddle like a duck if I don't think about how I am walking.
    Patience is not my strong suit but I now have some.
    good luck
    thanks
    jesse

    Quote Originally Posted by SueBee View Post
    Hi Everyone!

    I am now a member of this club.

    I injured myself at Whistler on March 10th and had surgery in North Vancouver on March 13th. (a plate and 4 screws) The doctor told me my tibial plateau was smashed but I don't know what classification and now that I have read some of your posts, I will enquire. I was out of the hospital 3 days later and home for a week after that. This week has been my return to work (in a wheelchair with crutches for quick travel around the office) It sounds like from what I have read that is not bad for week 3. I just know the 2 weeks on my back were driving me crazy. On Tuesday this week they replaced my immobilizer brace for a brace with dial in ROM. I am set at 45 degrees and in 2 weeks I can dial up to 90. At that time I will start to work with a physio. I am quite concerned that the pain will increase as the ROM increases. Any insight on the rehab journey will be helpful. From what I've read here it sounds slow. I have started to ice and am hopeful that will help with the swelling.

    I am almost out of the prescription medication that I received at discharge. I am finding pain manageable with Advil and Tylenol. Should I be asking my doctor for another prescription?

    I am grateful for where I live and the HandyDart affordable wheelchair transit. My work has made this transition easier. My friends have been amazing and I have had to ask for help because for most of this time my husband has been working out of town.

    I find the scariest thing getting in the shower. I have to have someone with me. Everything takes a long time. Unless I am in a wheelchair, preparing simple food is impossible.

    I am grateful for finding this site and I hope to continue to be inspired by your courage and persistence.

    I am almost at work, so signing off for now.

    All the best,
    Sue

  25. #375
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    20
    Hi Everyone.
    I am new here and am finding all of these posts very helpful. I am 6 weeks post-op and have found my normally very upbeat, positive self very depressed lately and feeling like I will never recover. Your stories give me hope.
    I was skiing in Vail, CO on February 18th when I took what seemed like a pretty minor fall on a slope that was steep but not super challenging. After the initial screaming pain when my right ski didn't pop off, the pain seemed to go away so I figured I was fine. When I went to stand up, however, my right leg felt like spaghetti--not super painful, but no way I could put weight on the leg and I figured it must be an ACL tear or something. Since we were all the way in the back bowls, the ride to get down the mountain and to the emergency room seemed to take forever. I had to be skiied over to the nearest lift, loaded on to the lift, then unloaded and snowmobiled down, into an SUV, then to Vail Valley Medical Center ER. The whole way there I kept telling myself it wasn't a big deal, although the pain was getting worse. After listening thru the curtains at some of the others in there with me, I actually felt lucky. One lady had a broken back. Another guy had multiple broken bones--ribs, wrist, and leg. When the ER doc came back to discuss my XRays and said I needed immediate surgery I was in complete shock. A plate and 8 screws later, here is my post-op picture:

    I just went for a post-op doctor appointment and was told I won't be getting any PT. He said I can just do it myself, and that with my co-pay it would be incredibly expensive. I was told that on Tax Day I can go down to one crutch, then 5 days later I can walk. But how the heck do I do that?? I cn't even straighten my leg enough to get my foot flat on the ground. Can any of you getting full PT please give me some advice?
    On the pain meds note, I found that I can't tolerate any of the narcotics (I cannot move even my head without barfing!) Not even Tramadol, which is supposedly easier to handle than the others. I also have been told that Advil causes bones not to heal, so all I can take is Tylenol. In my experience, Tylenol is just about as helpful as eating a Tic-Tac. So frustrating!
    Thanks a bunch in advance for any advice.
    -A-

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