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  1. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1

    Broken Fibula commiseration

    I too recently snapped my fibula about an inch above the ankle joint, but due to relatively good alignment, was advised that surgery would not be required. I'm skeptical, as I'd prefer some hardware for added reinforcement, but I finally gave in after two surgeons came back with the same opinion. I'm out of the temporary plaster cast and in an air cast after a week, but the weight of this mofo is comparable to a bulky ski boot. Frankly find it hard to believe that something this heavy is good for a healing bone, especially when it rotates even slightly. Cannot understand why they cannot develop a composite material that's protective but lighter in weight for this type of circumstance. Technical woes aside, I'm already stir crazy. Will probably be on a stationary bike against better judgement, in a couple of weeks. Right now I feel like progress is going to be very slow, as I'm still in a significant amount of pain. An unelevated position creates such pressure that it feels like my foot will explode. I'll document my progress on the site from week to week so others in the future can know what to expect. I assumed the surgeon would have provided a guide of this sort, but I guess the breaks vary too much to produce anything that applies consistently from person to person.

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    2
    Broke my fibula 10/8/11 and walked on it for 2 weeks in total pain. Finally went to ER and it was non-displaced fracture. Been in a walking boot for 2+ weeks with 2 weeks left to go. Should I still be having pain at the site?

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    2
    also need to mention I have not used my crutches nor have I stayed off of it.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    46
    chopnhack - A little late on the reply but stay the hell off of it ;-) Bones need time to heal unlike most soft tissue injuries where you want to hammer the injury to regain mobility.

    The pain from swelling can be *insane* and I agree that doctors should be better about giving warnings. I had a plate installed for my fibula and a microfracture performed via arthroscopy to attempt to repair the cartilage. The entire site was held together by 20-30 staples and I was convinced it was going to explode during that first week. Hang in there.

    sk8ng accident - From what I understand, nondisplaced fractures of the fibula can heal pretty quickly. Still you need to go easy. Everyone has heard the stories of fracture nonunion where they eventually need to go in and plate the thing. Prolongs a month long injury into several months. Doesn't hurt to get a second opinion on how you should b e handing your recovery either.


    Update on me: After a year and 10 months, I had a surgery to have the plate removed from my ankle. Also had the pins removed from my hip on the same leg from a break 2 years 2 months ago. I was on crutches for the first week. Since then, it's been a slow steady recovery. The ankle piece was simple. Felt pretty good after a day and almost excellent after a week. The hip was more painful b/c they need to do a 2" incision right over the hip to remove the pins and this causes pain, compromises agility, etc.

    Decided to get the hardware removed b/c the plate area was still pretty painful after a day in a ski boot. Doc says the bone will be 100% in 3 months. The key thing is not to fall or have traumatic injury while the holes are still filling in but I think I'll be skiing in 6 weeks. Feel great. Good decision.

    Sadly, it looks like I damaged the meniscus in my right knee as a result of being on crutches for 5 months. Likely going in soon to get scoped. Should be 100% after that.

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Dundee
    Posts
    1
    Hello all,

    I'm new to this so bare with me. In July this year i was injured in an IED blast in afghanistan. I'm a soldier in the british army one of my subsaquent injurys was a broken fibua which caused compartment syndrome, its been almost 5 months and im still in pain i was never put in plaster or anything else to support the break, has anyone else been through this if so how long did it take to repair?

    Thank you

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    bellevue, wa
    Posts
    7
    me age 77. Dec 2- broke fibula above ankle, plate and 8 screws. Six weeks no weight on leg! In velcro boot now- what are prospects for "reasonable recovery" for my age, as to golf carrying bag, fishing freestone rivers, or just walking the dog?

  7. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    46
    Jack - I'm optimistic that you'll have a full recovery. Your bones heal more slowly now than when you were younger but the fibula isn't technically a weight bearing bone and the plate itself can take a bunch of the stress. Just keep hitting the calcium + D pills.

    I fished Sun Valley and Jackson this fall and no pain the ankle. Unless you had some sort of soft tissue damage, I bet you'll be the same. Good luck

  8. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    bellevue, wa
    Posts
    7
    Thanks for this, Biggsie- seeing doc Fri for re-boot and rehab. Taking D- and 200 mg calcium. Should be more? Expect I can float tube Silver Creek below the bridge this fal!!! all, best, Jack

  9. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Golden, BC
    Posts
    1,355
    I broke a bunch of stuff in a single fall (left kneecap, right wrist, and fractured pelvis) in addition to broken right fibula (non-complete break). It didn't get noticed by the doctors because all the other stuff hurt so much worse, and it only got noticed a couple weeks post-break. With my left leg being really screwed up, my right leg took up a lot of slack, and it was all good in the end.

    So regarding your recovery, Jack, I think that fall should be pretty doable. Granted, you do have more muscle and ROM to regain, and half a century on me Keep your chin up, it's only going to get better

  10. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    bellevue, wa
    Posts
    7
    Sas- Appreciate your good words!! What does not kill us makes us stronger!! all best, Jack

  11. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1
    Hey Chopnack, I realize your post is from November, but i am in the exact same position. Broken fibula just above the ankle, no displacement. I had a temp cast for 10 days, then re x-rayed and put in the air boot. I am at two weeks since the break which happened playing hockey. I just hit the stir crazy stage, and am wondering how soon till I can exercise? Doctor says no walking on it for four more weeks to avoid displacing the bones / joint. I too find the air boot heavy, and causes pain. How did your healing go?

  12. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    bellevue, wa
    Posts
    7
    Canucks- my doc said no weight for 8 weeks! Have been using a walker! Tomorrow get velcro boot off, then hopefully crutches and rehab. No pain, just boredom! Don't be in a hurry! all best, Jack

  13. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1
    I broke my fibula 13 weeks ago and the latest x-ray taken yesterday is showing that the break has not healed. In fact it is not showing any signs of healing. My first consultant immediately advised once he looked at the x-ray that IO would need a plate and pinning.

    Within 10 minutes he changed his mind and advised that he would give it a week before deciding, as there was good alignment. 1 week later the same story however the nurse let it slip that I couldn't have an operation because there were no beds (UK National Health Service).

    Luckily have private medical but only to find that the consultant was also the man in charge at the NHS hospital so he was hardly going to admit that his team had wrongly advised me.

    So, the same man now tells me to start 4 weeks of 'Light; Physiotherapy and if still not fixed in 4 weeks then I will need an op!!!

    Be grateful if you do not have to rely on the UK NHS.

  14. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    bellevue, wa
    Posts
    7
    Ouch, Tony- sorry to hear! Wish you well- Jack

  15. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    5
    I broke my fibula 5 days ago,i was sledding with my friend.We were going fast, about 70 KM/H, there was a ramp, everyone were yelling: "Don't go to the ramp!", but hell yeah,
    we wanted to feel that adrenaline rush (it was fun also). Then few meters before the jump, i realized that my legs will become macaroni, if i don't move them.But it were milliseconds, and i just had to make a decision.Then suddenly a part of ramp collided (we made it out of snow) , and we fell. I managed to jump of the sledges, my leg was vertical to ground, and at that speed it was impossible to get away without injury. My leg cracked few times from left to right in about 1 sec, i heard the cracking.It didn't hurt much, but i was shocked because of the fact that i have broken my leg.That i will have to lie in bed all day while my friends are having fun.They pulled me on sledges and called my parents.
    Later i went to hospital, and they put me in a temp cast for one week, and i am going to re-x-ray and then i will get a full cast for next 3 weeks.
    Here are the pics:


    This one i made in paint, the red is Fibula so you can see the fracture clearly:

  16. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2
    I broke my fibula on Feb 09 2012.After an X-ray and a cast I was sent home to wait to see the surgeon on Feb 14. He had the break X-rayed then told me there was no sign of displacement and to return for another X-ray on the 21st

    I have fiberglass cast and experience swelling when on crutches and red-purple toes till I elevate my leg.

    I'm sure happy to have found this forum.

  17. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    bellevue, wa
    Posts
    7
    Danlon75- Rest, ice, elevate, compress, (spells RICE!) Me too- and swelling a part of recovery. My doc says for a year! Anyways- ice feels good! all best, Jack

  18. #43
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2
    Thanks Jack.I'm doing the rest elevation and ice part and the cast provides the compress part.

  19. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    5

    Smile

    Just wanted to let you know, i just got my full cast, the swelling was gone (i did the the elevation part), and now i just have to wait another 3 weeks...

  20. #45
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1
    Hi. i broke my fibula feb 17 from a bad fall in a basketball game. i sat on my leg backwards thus all of my body weight went to my Left Fibula. was sent to the ER immediately and they made a back slab after 3 days the ortho consultant told me that it needs an ORIF they will put 9 screws and a long plate. was operated in feb 21. so far so good. no pain in the bones and some itchiness on the opsite. hoping for a good check xray this mar 5. and hoping that i could walk again approx 3-4 weeks after the accident. i was not taking any pain meds and was drinking milk, eating leafy vegetables and a multivitamins for my fast recovery. im on a backslab cast right now. there is no swelling thats why the doctors are very positive for mt fast recovery. God Bless Me.

  21. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1
    Broke my R fibula at roughly 1 inch about the ankle joint on Dec. 29, 2011. Was in a fibreglass cast until Mar. 2, 2012. Am currently in an aircast and am to see the orthopedic surgeon today. The x-rays are discouraging, showing very slow healing. I have given up alcohol, caffeine (except for 1 cup of tea in the morning), I don't smoke and am taking Calcium and Vitamin B to help speed the healing. If anyone has any suggestions about other things I can do to hurry this along it would be much appreciated. Surfing season is coming up fast and I need to be ready!

  22. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    5

    Talking Info....

    Quote Originally Posted by sixpackalab View Post
    Broke my R fibula at roughly 1 inch about the ankle joint on Dec. 29, 2011. Was in a fibreglass cast until Mar. 2, 2012. Am currently in an aircast and am to see the orthopedic surgeon today. The x-rays are discouraging, showing very slow healing. I have given up alcohol, caffeine (except for 1 cup of tea in the morning), I don't smoke and am taking Calcium and Vitamin B to help speed the healing. If anyone has any suggestions about other things I can do to hurry this along it would be much appreciated. Surfing season is coming up fast and I need to be ready!
    The fibula is the bone commonly referred to as the calf bone. This important bone bears a lot of weight throughout our lives, and damage to the calf bone can make it incredibly difficult to walk. Proper recovery from a broken fibula takes time and effort. Doing it incorrectly can cause further damage to your leg. Don't drive until you are recovered.

    Bones heal on average in about six weeks.
    A well-balanced diet high in protein will help promote faster healing. Eating more fiber and drinking more fluids will help prevent any potential constipation.

    A healthy diet will aid your body in the healing process. Eat a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, low fat diary products and drink 8-10 glasses of water a day.

    Apparently "pure" oxygen speeds up regeneration.If you have swelling you must keep your leg higher than your heart level ,because swelling is keeping that old blood and you must keep it elevated,then the new blood will come and bring oxygen and everything it needs to heal faster, and if you do that the swelling will be gone in few hours...

    I can hear that you need to be moving again, but beware that doing too much too soon could re-injure your leg and slow the process. You will have some restrictions from sports after that for a few weeks.As it is, you're likely to be back on your feet.

    That's It (well almost) ,so do everything correctly and you will be up and walking in no time

  23. #48
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    7
    @Brutal Hamster: My break looks very similar to yours. I broke my fibula 7 weeks ago (Jan 23rd). I had a splint and after 2 weeks, I got a cast for 4 weeks.

    @sixpackalab: When I got my cast off I was expecting that little gap to be closed up, but it wasn't which is discouraging.

    I'm one week removed from having the cast and I still don't feel like I'm anywhere near close to being able to walk. Swelling is constant and when I put weight on it, it feels like it is crushed in the joint. I'm able to put 120lbs on it via the scale but I weigh 212 lbs. Of course, the achilles tendon is very tight.

    @Bingo: I also broke my fibula playing basketball. I felt like such a klutz doing it, so I'm glad I'm not the only one.

    I'd be curious to share experiences with a few of you that are going through similar injuries at the same time as I am. Feel free to hit me up.

  24. #49
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    5

    Reply to JDfromBR

    JDfromBR@ I broke my fibula on feb13th.I got my cast off yesterday.On the X-rays the fracture was almost the same like before 3 weeks.When i saw the image i was shocked. The gap as you sad was open.But the doc sad it is OK,and that you cant see the healed bone on scan even after few months.He also sad that i must do some workouts(like moving my foot in circles,stretching on fingers and heel) and reduce the swelling.After i got home,i tried to stand on it,i am about 165 lbs last when i checked.I also read somewhere that when your younger the healing time is also much quicker.I was just 2 weeks in a full cast,and before that one week in a temporary(because of the swelling).

    The first day i wasn't trying to walk, just did some low pressure workouts around the joint.I also applied some gel on the spot(i think its called "Fastum Gel" somewhat),it reduces swelling and relieves pain.
    Next day-today i started to do some workouts with my leg and joint.But i was using
    crutches all the time.This morning, it was impossible to walk ,but i could stand
    with all my weight on it,although i felt some pain mainly because of the swelling.
    In the afternoon i tried to walk again,without crutches,my doc sad if i try to stand
    first few days i will definitely fail,but i didn't.I managed to maintain balance,and walked ,but just one step.
    And right now while i am writing this to you i did it.Just two days after i got my cast off.
    But yet it cant be called a normal walk,and i felt some pain afterwards.

    The list:
    -Do the workouts (they are inevitable to walk again)
    -Apply any gel against swelling and pain (It helped me,the swelling and pain is reduced)
    -Ice therapy (get some ice and rub it on the swelling, it takes important part in recovery)
    -Special diet (fruits,vegetable,-you will need a lot of vitamin C)
    -Elevated leg (if the swelling is extreme,then you must keep your leg above the hearth level,all that old blood gathers up and block new blood with oxygen and other
    substances needed for healing process, getting there
    )
    -Drink water (you must drink at least 6-10 glasses of water a day)

    All this you must have did while having the cast on,and even after you got it off the leg isn't fully recovered,it will maybe take a week to start walking,but even after a
    month the gap wont be filled fully if you don't do things that are on the list..

    Sources: "personal experience..."

  25. #50
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    2

    fib broken and I'm using a plaster cast

    Hello, I broke my fib skiing on saturday and now I have to bear a plaster cast. The docs first decision was to practice an operation due to a slightly displacement of the bone but later when they put a plaster cast and made an Xray, everything was in the right place and now seems that I should bear the plaster cast ofr 6weeks unless something happen. I mean if the bone goes again to another strange position. The sweelling is not heavy and the pain is not big enough to take pills. I dont know if I should be worried about the first displacement the docs found. Please I need some support from the forum, I don't want to stay so much longer than this 6 weeksm in this situation. thanks

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