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Broken tibia/fibula.. healing time
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Broken tibia/fibula.. healing time

Hi, I sustained a comminuted fracture of the distal end of my left tibia and fibula in a motorcycle accident on Jan 12. I underwent open reduction and internal fixation with a T-plate and screws on the same evening, and was discharged walking with crutches 5 days later. 5 weeks later ie last week, X-Rays showed ''fixation solid with early healing'' (surgeon's words.)  They took off the cast and gave me a cloth brace which grips my lower shin and ankle and most of the foot very tight. It is tight enough to cause some pain, though I take it off at night and put it back on in the morning. The surgeon said I should put some weight on the foot, and could start swimming in a few days to help flexibility and muscle building. But he said it would be about 6 weeks before I will be able to walk unaided. My worry currently is my toes and forefoot are still swollen.He said that is normal, and they could stay swollen for months. But I wonder.. and would appreciate if if you could help me understnd this. Also, does the tight brace help reduce the swelling, or will it aggravate it? Many thanks for your advice..
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18 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
The swelling in your toes could be an inflammatory response to your fracture and other corrective surgery. Putting on brace usually helps relieve the swelling.
You can put on brace and keep your leg elevated.
The brace should not be as tight as to compromise the venous circulation as that would further aggravation of swelling.
Keep me posted.
Bye.
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Avatar_n_tn
i broke my right fibula yesterday and would like to know how i am able to take showers or bath.  i do have a splint on and i am afraid to take it off.
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Avatar_f_tn
I broke my Fibula and Tibia ONE year ago, screws and bars were inserted to help it heal. Here I am a year later and I still have a lot of pain and can not go about my day normally at all. I was told to wait another year and then see about removing the hardware. Does this make sense?
Thank you in advance for your answer.
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Avatar_n_tn
I broke my fibula 7 weeks before and i am on cast for 7 weeks. Yesterday i took a X-ray and found the same way it was before 7 weeks, Doctor told 50% healing was done and put me a new cast to wait 4 more weeks. Is this normal healing time for fibula fracture at the end ?
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Avatar_n_tn
I broke my Tib/Fib is 3 diffrent locations on Aug. 23rd 2009 so it's been just over a month now. I had to undergo Internal Fixation getting the two plates and over 30 screws. Both bones broke just inches away from my ankle. I have had 2 xrays taken so far and both show that the Fib is still clearly broken and the tib has started to heal. I have been told by the Surgent that it could take 4 to 6 months just to start walking without crutches or a walker. Some people continue to have a great deal of pain for many months to come and might have to have a second surgery to remove the hardware. As far as swelling, my foot and toes even after a full month are still very swollen and even turn a dark purple unless I kept it elevated. I hope this helps you. I was told the healing time would be 4 to 6 months and I saw a guy that came out of my doctors office with the same type of break and he was 10 months and still walking with a limp.
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Avatar_m_tn
I broke my fibula in two places above my ankle and the mallelor of my tibula.  I had surgery three weeks ago.  One week after my surgery, they removed the "soft" cast and put me in a boot with crutches and compression socks to help with the swelling.  For those above who were asking about swelling - I believe you can buy these socks at any pharmacy.  They also recommended to ice the surgical area..as well to keep any swelling down.  Of course the typical keep elevated as much as possible.  The socks do work, are a pain to put on by yourself, but they do help keep the swelling down.  If you still have your stitches - or want to just cover your incisions you may want to get some steri-strips.

Hope this helps....
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1283812_tn?1271557190
I broke (spiral fracture) my fibula 11 months ago and underwent surgery. They dropped in a plate with 7 screws.. To this day, 11 months later, I am still experience swelling, aching and uncomfortableness. I am a pretty active person as well, so I try to exercise it whenever I can.. Long story short, don't get your hopes up for "feeling normal" any time soon.. I imagine it will take a few years to recover. Good luck :)
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Avatar_n_tn
Had exactly the same injury and repair job as sl26t from playing rugby. Had the op in early october of last year, i've done alot of sporting activity since rugby/10tors55/running/swimming but still get alot of swelling after these activities, usually have to rest it for a bit to bring the swelling down(bit annoying but i can live with it). Does any of your metalwork ever ache btw? Consultant says it's completly normal and its gunna take a good year before the swelling regulates. Hade a bit of discomfort with the tendons (arch on foot never recovered properly) every now and again but the doc says if it's not any better in a few months he'll give me some key hole surgery. All in all the swelling goes on for ******* ages after the op and it's the same for most, it doesnt stop you doing anything you did before, it just contributes to the 'not feeling normal' which i got the first couple of months after being out of crutches, the trick is to just forget you had the injury and treat any extra discomfort as just normal aches and pains and just fight through it when doing anything strenuous. Hope to join the royal marines in the near future, not sure whether to get the metal work out or not, has anyone had a similar injury and had theirs out?

Hope this helps :D

ps do what the physio says!!!! my mates got loads of tendon/flexibility problems from not doing the exercises!!!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
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Avatar_f_tn
Does anyone know if removing the hardware will help with mobility, discomfort and may be pain?
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Avatar_m_tn
I broke my leg in a motorcycle accident 4 months ago just had the hardware removed and now in a hard cast for a month hope to start walking soon but worried about constant pain in the Marine Corps so running and being on my feet is kind of my job any words of encouragement
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Avatar_m_tn
I broke my left tibia and fibula about 3weeks ago. Im surprised the guys in the motorcycle wreck went through the surgery the first night.
I live in california. I went in the morning after and the dr. told me that they usually like to get it done within about a week but not right away because of swelling. i broke them on the 21st of august, had my surgery the 7th of sept. Little late because the surgeous got food poisoning the night before my surgery go figure ha.
I was told i would be in my soft cast for a little over a week then thrown into a hard cast for another month in a half to two months. At that time I get a walking boot and go through therapy.. I was told these breaks are pretty serious and if not taken care of you can end up with pain for the rest of your life and have a walking cane.. I dont think you want a brace on your leg so tight it hurts.. You need a soft cast with some room for the swelling. keep it elevated!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I broke my tibia and fibula quite severly Aug.17th and also had to wait a week to get my 2nd surgery with the plate and screws put in...ugh. the first surgery was three days after the accident (fixator) to stabilize the bones till the swelling went down.  I was hospitalized for 10 days and left with a hard cast.  Two weeks later they removed the cast and stitches giving me a removeable splint(to my surprise) so I could begin to move my foot again...  I am nervous about getting my range of motion back and am working hard with the exercises.  Most diificult is flexion forward...anyone else?  My body temperature seems to get really low at night...wondering if this is common due to lack of movement? (im 25 years old)
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Avatar_f_tn
do the plates vary in size?
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Avatar_m_tn
I broke my tibia & fibula in 3 places whilst playing football, had 12 screws a wire and plate inserted on June 2nd 2010. 6 months on and I am leading a normal life but walk with a limp. I have been going down the gym recently and find it annoying that I cant run...........The consultant seems to think it will take upto a year to get back to normal. The swelling is also very frustrating. I want the metal work removed when I can, has anyone ever had it removed? Is it an improvement?
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Avatar_n_tn
I broke my tib and fib just above the ankle. I have a external fixator and have yet to have sergery (surgery) its been since oct9th i go see dr, today. however im wondering how long will it be before i can put my foot down without pain from blood flow  cause it realy huts when not elevated.  Thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
Broke my fib tib whilst on holiday in koh samui. Had the op there with metal plates and screws. 9 months later am still walking with slight limp and have pain. Have started with a new physio but just like cptrimpy993 said "do what your physio says" because I didn't do everything my First one said and now I am still in pain
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Avatar_f_tn
I broke my tibula and fibula back in march, wore a hard cast for almost 8 weeks, was put in a walking boot for 6 more weeks, but I have been walking some without the boot in my sneakers, will this hurt the ankle area it is still swollen and tight around that area, just don't want to wear the walking boot as it is hard to go up steps with it on verses my shoe,,  foot hurts the same with the boot or shoe on while walking ..
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