Compound Fracture Tibia : LUSENET : About Joints : One Thread

17 year old male, compound fracture of the small & large bone (tibia/fibia?) Shattered lower part - Physican placed steal rod above growth plate,pieced bones together best he could, 5 l/2 hours of surgery-- 3 months post-operative - no healing of bones. Surgeon wants second surgery with some type of other prothesis vs. steal rod. Would delay in surgery (three hours before operation) would that interfere with healing process or is his body just not healing due to vitamins, lack of calcium????

-- Donna Kurz (, March 26, 2001


I found myself in a a similar situation #tib&fib Operated on 5 hours post accident. Seem to be quite clean compound breaks. Callus formed around 2-3months post. I dont think milk will fix this alone. How about bone and cartilage supplements. Do steroids strengthen or promote bone healing? Get well soon 25yr old male

-- jamie brooking (, July 29, 2001.

Listen to me... First off I am sorry that this has happend to you! Second, I just went through it my self double compound fracture of the Right Fibia/Tibia. My opinion is there is no worst injury- Except to be burnd on the body.. 8 months to the day of my injury I can walk without a limp,I cant run yet although I think In time I will get on a tread mill! I also have bone growth problems but this comes from one of the- operations they took my right calf muscle and moved it to the front of my leg where the bone poped out. Listen you take care of yourself, do as the doctors tell you and dont get depressed you will come around. God bless you. Take care,

-- Robert Zerillo (carguy507@hot, September 24, 2002.

this happened to my son 2 months ago, he is 15, they did not place the steal rod in the bone since he was still growing. they put 4 metal pins outside of leg into bone with 2 rods to keep them in place. he had to have a second surgery due to the area where the bone punctured the skin. We have a very very good doctor and told us this is not uncommon but it takes alot of time to get better. My son will have the pins in his leg for about 3 months then hopefully a walking cast and losts of therapy. It is a long long healing process and remember this is the worst type of break but it will get better. 16 weeks to completely heal is not unlikely. Get a second opinion before you do a second surgery.Good luck and hope it all turns out well but most of all have lots of patience

-- Sue (, October 22, 2002.

Eight months ago a had a Tib/Fib Compound. Surgeon put a rod into the Tibia, screwed that 3 times. The Fibula got a metal plate and 11 screws. I heal fast. Callouses started forming right away. Infection was the scare. 6 months later I got a bone infection (I could swear it was due to debris (internal sutures) being rejected from the first surgery, i.e. sutures that didn't dissolve) Surgeon took out all hardware in the Fibula, which was where the infection came from. Went on IV therapy for 6 weeks. (They literally nuked it) I walk normal. The weather bothers me but I'm doing great. There is hope.

High calorie, high calcium in the diet. Ice cream every day. Yeah! Lots of meat, fish, eggs, vegetables. Don't forget the vegetables!!!

-- (, October 30, 2002.

i am 23 yrs old. i got in car accident and labor day weekend. i broke my fem and tib. the fem is healing well but the tib show know growth 3weeks ago. i putting weight an it know i walk but not for long with a slight limp.i am in the army so they take good care of you. i have a follow up o 27 nov. i hope my bone is healing. if its not then i have asurgery on the dec 3 2002. it s been 2 monthsand i am this far. i go to the gym and constantly do strertches, so my le g can get stronger.

-- sgt oliver pottinger (, November 12, 2002.

September 6, 2002 I had was air lifted and operated on for 9+ hours for multiple Tib/Fib compound fractures to the left leg. I am an otherwise healthy 34 yr man with an adrenaline addiction to motor sports. I have taken incredible care to ensure proper healing- but still managed to fall down in the house around week 3 1/2 , went to the doctor that day to xray, and they said everything was fine. The next morning I went to lift my leg out of bed and I felt & heard the leg re-break! The ambulance came and back to the hospital I went. Almost ten visits to the doctor from September to now and now they tell me that the bone is not growing over the steel rod in my Fibia and the tibia is healing about 1/2 in apart. No cast was applied to to the leg due to an open wound- therefore the 'not important' tibia is healing off set; the Fibia is not healing over the rod to cover 1 1/2 in gap in the bone. Elctro therapy is not an option, NOW they want to do a bone graf from my hip. Why not do it right off? I am looking at another 8 months according to the doctors- on cruches! Any advice on how to heal the bone? I eat red meat every night for the protein, have salad at least 4 nighs a week, and drink 3 gallons of milk a week.

-- Jay Halford (, December 31, 2002.

I am british, I guess most of you guys are American.I was 35yr old when I fell through a safety barrier at work and hit the ground from approx 30ft resulting in a severe compound fracture to my left leg.At hospital I was told it was touch and go whether I lost my leg due to the massive bone loss and tissue damage coupled with the fact I had severely damaged my ankle through the driving impact of falling such a distance.The treatment was intense via 2 hospitals,the first set my leg out via an external fixtator and numerous cleaning operations to rid the dead tissue and the second hospital was a unit speciallising in plastic surgery who removed my latitimus dorsi muscle from my back and grafted it to my leg to cover the defect even using leeches to suck the excess blood from the site and keep it clean,all this happened over a 4month period and I was allowed home.Unfortunately the bone did not grow and unite and 3 months later I was back in hospital for a bone graft where the surgeons removed bony tissue from my illiac crest (hip)and grafted that to my bone.After a further 5months, so 12 months from the initial accident I was free of plaster and walking on my own!!The trip was not without its difficulties but that was 15 years ago now, I still have a viable limb although prone to some discomfort at times (cold etc)but I am thankful to the progress of the surgeons who made it possible bearing in mind that this form of accident prior to 1980 would of almost certainly led to amputation. Be positive because the surgery is only half the battle, the key to success is a strong will and desire to get better.....good luck to you all do not hesitate to contact me if I can help...Paul

-- paul wall (, January 26, 2003.

I don't have an answer but a question. My son, 38 year old male was hit by a car at 40 mph and had compound fractures in tibia and fibia. Jagged breaks. Orthopaedic surgeon placed steel rod in leg and screw placed in ankle. That was Nov. 16, 2001. The doctor removed the screw in ankle several months later and still to this date he remains on crutches. Doctor says at least another year on crutches. Does anyone out there have any similar situations that they can email me with? I would appreciate anyone's help. Thank you, The mom of Steve LeMay

-- DOROTHY JONES (CADOROTHY122000@YAHOO.COM), March 24, 2003.

Wow, I got on this site looking for information on the average healing time for a Tib/Fib fracture and these above messages are pretty scarry. I am a 30 year old male that was in a motorcycle accident seven weeks ago. I also had an open fracture of the Tib/Fib that sent me to the hospital for two surgeries ending up with a plate and screws. I am currently using an orthopedic device called an AV- Impulse that mimics walking in my injured leg. It's function is to increase blood flow prevent blood clots and reduce swelling. Since I'm only seven weeks out, I'm not sure how the bone is healing yet, but it seems to be working great on the pain and swelling. Good luck to all you guys above and if anyone has any good info on how long it typically takes for weight bearing, please let me know.

-- Mike Inmon (, March 25, 2003.

I am 35 years old; a fairly healthy happily Mom of two children ages 4 and 6. I also babysit a now 22-month old boy.

AUGUST 8, 2002: We had just gotten back from our 2 week vacation visting family in Las Angeles, CA. We went grocery shopping,unpacked the car, and I remained outside to put the extra carseat back in the 3rd seat of our minivan. It was hot (Wisconsin); I had the side door open. To my surprise my 4 year old daughter climbed into the front driver's seat (something she's never done before) to tell me proudly she helped Daddy put all the groceries away. The van was not was in started rolling backwards down only slight incline of a slanted driveway with Michaela in the front seat! I tried jumping to the front to get to her; I was wearing sandals and fell out of the sliding side door behind the van. The rear right tire rolled over my right calf. I lied there helpless as the front right wheel again rolled over my right calf. I felt nothing. I couldn't move. I looked over my shoulder and could see my daughter in the van. I prayed and Jesus kept her in the car. Most children panic and jump out and die. Thank the Lord my remaining story starts with me and Michaela's ends with a Miracle of God's protection. I ended up with a compound fracture of the tibia. There was some type of metal in the tire which also cut my leg in several places. The removable case rubbed on the wounds and delayed healing. This also later was a blessing. It helped switch my type of immobility device. After ten weeks I had started to walk without crutches for brief periods. Note: Prior two months had been worse pain than I had ever experienced - including childbirth via C- section and VBAC! Only to be topped be what was comming next. I began getting awful muscle spaSms. Such terrible muscle knots and spasms I barely slept. Then such burning pain and skin sensitivity that even the light touch of cotton pants felt like fire or rough sandpaper. Well, Thank God for my Dr. Papandrea! He took a two minute look at my leg and foot at at my next appt. and said "RSD". It was a sympathetic nerve disorder and if left untreated after the first six months it is less hopeful it can be treated. I got lucky. I needed a second surgery on my tibia fracture! It is considered a "nonunion". My doctor had to break the fibula to help prevent the tibla from growing crooked again and insert a metal rod. While doing so I was given 3 1/2 days of basicly an epideral to basicly "kill" the RSD. IT WORKED! This was January 13, 2003. Things have been healing nicely. I started using a cane. Now April, I am still feeling numbness in both my "good" and "bad" leg...I failed to mention that: I had patches of numbness on both legs since returning from surgery - was told nerves were slow to wake up. Now the numbness has spread to my entire thigh on both legs. I also have been having pain in my left foot and heel (good leg) and muscle tightness again in joints in both legs.

I am more than frustrated. I am having an x-ray taken by the doc that admin the epideral for the rule out infection of the spine. But that's just for legalities I am sure. Then I am on my own I guess! I've been told it's probobly nothing related to the epideral. Funny My legs had all feeling before though. Anyways. Almost one year later and I am back to my cane. Both legs are in pain now. And my four-year old Michaela who usually has faith to move mountains asked me just yesterday, "Mommy, WHEN is Jesus going to heal your legs?" I do not understand why or what causes things to take so long. But I have learned Tibia fractures are the worst fractures to heal. And sometimes the trauma triggers other issues. I am allergic to milk. My doctor said a lack of calcium would not have caused the delay in healing. I used a bone stimulator...but was not very impressed. Although I noticed if I had a lot of pain or swelling in particuliar and I used it the bloodflow produced by the bone stimulator seemed to help. Hang in there. Follow all doctor's directions. Do your own! Make sure physical therapy is a part of the plan and that the exercises are done as recommended! That is very important! And a strong support system is the most important healer because this is a very long road! Take Care

-- Liz Sarkissian (, April 08, 2003.

I was struck by a motor vehicle while out jogging. I suffered a compound fracture to my tib/fib. I had surgery to correct the problem. I actually had the opportunity to have my leg operated on by two very good ortho doctors. The first stabelized the injury and inserted the rod. The rod was screwed in to aid the tib to heal properly. The fibia healed on its own. He also had to stitch up the laceration that occured from the fib puncturing through the skin of my leg. This healing process took some time. I would have monthly appointments for x-rays to keep tabs on the progression. I was amazed when the last pieces of bones came together.

I am very pleased with the outcome of this injury. I did not think that I would ever be the same and feel especially thankful to the man above for giving me the opportunity to totaly heal from this life changing experience. The insertion of the rod, caused a long scar down the inside of my lower leg. It is not very appealing to the eye, but I am lucky that I still have my leg period. I could have lost my leg totaly. The therapy was difficult and quite painful. I could not stand for more then a few minutes after the surgery. I had to start all over again. I did not have a cast put on, because their was too much swelling in the leg to do so. The therapist put my leg in a machine that caused my leg to bend in and out continously. I cant recall the name of this machine off the top of my head. I never did what my physical therapist told me to do. I did more. I was not going to limit myself from getting back to where was I today. I walked on the injured leg and put as much weight on it as I could stand. I never treated things like I couldnt do things on my own again. Move it or lose it became my mode of operation. I massaged the leg and loosened up the facia, that developed in my leg. Today I am back to running daily. My calfs do tighten up more easily because my gait is not always as fluid due to some tightness and flexibility in my entire leg. I am working on my gait to get things back to as normal as I can. God Bless!

-- G Love (, April 17, 2003.

i can't quite understand some of what is going on right now, but I sure know this whole situation stinks. I am a 36 year old male involved in a motorcycle accident on April 16, 2003. A car hit me from the right. This resulted in lifeflight to the hospital. I went into surgery to repair a tibia, and fibula compound fracture to the right leg. With this break there was a large chip of bone that was separated from the tibia. The doctors had to repair the fracture with the external fixators ( steel rods going into the bones). The third day the doctors had to go in and do a 4 hours skin and muscle graft. They took the muscle from my left side and the skin from my left thigh. My wife and I thought this was the end. Well I am 5 weeks post-op and now they are saying that I must have a bone graft because of the lat=rge chip of bone taht they could not reattach. Well they will get this bone from my pelvic bone. My question is why couldn't they just fix this in the beginning. And to put the icing on the cake they never even repaired the fibula brake. There answer to this was " This is a nonweightbering bone so this is not important. How long is the healing and what do I have to look forward to?

-- Lee Gomes (, May 20, 2003.

THANK GOD I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE!!!!!!!!! I had a GRADE 3 tib/fib compound fracture and it's still not healed after 3.5 years!!!!! I'm actually just about ready to have my rod removd from my tibia(compound) and my fibula with a butterfly fracture neved fused. they said there was nothing i've could have done or NOT done to make my bones fuse. some say it was due to smoking and drinking coffee:-( does anyone know the pros/cons of taking the rod out vs. leaving it in? ANSWERS-- fibula is a non-weightbearing bone! DON'T GRAFT IT UNLESS YOU GET 2ND OPINION!! AND A THIRD!! REMEMBER!!!SURGEONS LOVE TO DO SURGERY!!that's how they make their boat/rv payments(haha).. seriously, bone grafts hurt more and infection of the bone is very hardto heal and commonly diagnosed with bone cancer-------commonly treated by amputation.. if i had to do this all over again(which i wouldn't wish on my worst enemy) i would...stay off the leg!!!!! stay home and elevate it. i was lucky if i even stayed home, let alone elevate it.. ice it too!! don't drink, smoke, drug or anything bad for you. your body is your temple, treat it accordingling. i would also eat better..i was a vegetarian for years prior to my break and it def. did not meat, chicken and tons and tons of calcium. that's it..3 things- stay home and rest, eat better, and don't party hardy!

-- aleigh lundquist (, May 23, 2003.

my leg hurts.. im sick of lying on my couch reading Faulker and feeling bad for myself! At least now i know the rest of you guys feel my pain. Not to relive it, but 2 weeks ago i was in my school parking lot and was hit by a car being driven by one of my closest friends. I have a compund fracture of the tibia and fibia being secured by a metal rod and two pins (one in my knee, and one in my ankle) and 3 bones were broken in my foot. I'm finally out of the hospital and on crutches but life sucks and i was expecting to walk, at least with a cane in a month or so...

-- amy (, June 03, 2003.

I was involved in a motorcycle accident on April 27th this year. It seems to be a popular way of breaking the Tib Fib!! I had an open Fib fracture and also fractured my Tib. I have a rod going through my Tib but nothing on my Fib? The gap between the bones looked scary to me? Anyway..I do PT three days a week and I am seeing progress each week. I am not weight bearing yet but cant wait until that happens. My ankle does not move very much but I have patience. I think thats what we all need. Not only with this injury but also in life. Hope all of your injuries heal well and soon.

-- Gmauz (, June 04, 2003.

GOD I AM NOT ONLY ONE TO GO THROUGH THIS TORTURE. I am a 35 years old male, was healthy and happy before 30th November 2002, when I involved in a motorcycle accident and have very bad compound fracture of CIII grade in which both of my small and big bones broken just below knee. But I was lucky enough to get a very good orthopedic surgeon. He did two surgeries- one to fix my bones and second to graft the skin on the open wound. I find him not only a good surgeon but also a very good human being who encouraged me on all stages of treatment. Hence I feel that positive attitue of patient and encouraging and cooperative behaviour of doc play very pertinant role in such cases.

I am afraid of looking back of all four torture, pain, sleepless nights, frustration of laying down whole day, frustration of depending on others for all actvities.

Now even after six months and after physiothepahy of around two months, I cannot walk properly. Such fracture takes time in healing and coming back to normal. But I have full faith that after some time, I will be able to walk normal. Thinking about the day of accident and period of treatment, I am happy that I can walk n

-- Suresh Kumar (, June 05, 2003.

Hey 17 year old male...I was 26 when I got into a car/motorized scooter accident on Sept. 2nd, 2003 (Can't never forget!!). Anyways, Dr. Darrell Hayes M.D. (heard he was good) done 2 surgery to my shattered tibia and tendon connection from knee cap to tibia. Due to my Medi-cal termination (Denied) I had to switch to a county hospital and the new doctor haven't seen any healing or calluses showing until past 6 months later. I wasn't mobile for at least 4 months after the accident occurred. I started going to therapy doing gravity stretches for my knee to bend and my foot. Since then I started going back to the gym and do double workout for my leg. It's like I lost my strength and I have to start back up like a baby. Im doing alot better now, then before! Im walking with a kane. I have a slight limp if I walk without it. So after about 6 months, I end it up with a kane, doing everything that I can without putting alot of weights on my tibia, can't move my great toe up due to nerve injury, can't bring my foot back by itself, sore on my foot & knee to due to tendon reattached, and brand new life. Words from me to you,"Don't ever give up, just stay focus and the number one healing process is to stay happy!!" Take care...

P.S - Did anyone had Bone Graffting Surgery and Prolotherapy before? (reply please!!)

-- Gary Sutanto (INDOE76@YAHOO.COM), June 13, 2003.

I had my motorcycle on May (Memorial Day) 2001. That's been 2 years ago. I had a compound fracture of my fibia/tibia and fractured the femur all in my right leg. At 5'2 and 105 lbs. the doctors had a hell of a time matching veins and finding steel rods and pins to fit my leg (by the way, i'm a woman). They talked about amputation twice. The first 2 weeks were spent battling infections. They harvested the skin from my thigh to cover the holes in my calf and back of my ankle. Hospitalized for a month and a half, I was sent home and assigned a home health nurse to help me wrap my bandages. I eventually learned to do it myself. The wounds were pretty gruesome. 3 months after my accident, I was pretty good with the crutches. You could tell that my body was trying to heal itself. The hair grew fast there, I wasn't gaining weight (and I tried to eat a lot of protein). My leg atrophied pretty bad, it was a big as my arm. Also I took vitamin supplements and Chondroitin (misspelled probably) to help with the joints. I still didn't leave the house though. Being so bed ridden and house bound, riding in cars made me nauseous.

3 months after that, I started driving. I practiced walking with only one crutch, putting minimal weight on my leg. It freaked me that my knee couldn't bend past a 90 degree angle. I started pushing on it, but the joint felt blocked. (it healed really tight).

I no longer had to apply bandages by fall since the wounds were starting to scar. Ace bandages helped with the swelling, which was causing a lot of discomfort. But I really wanted to get myself off of the codeine. My goal was to walk without aid by the end of the year. Small achievements helped. My physical therapist didn't push me, so I did. I would go for walks by myself and I had to rebuild a lot of muscle loss from being so inactive. I eventually transitioned from crutch to cane. By December of that year, I could walk with a cane and a slight limp.

By my one year anniversary of my accident, I decided to treat myself. I had the screws taken out of my ankle (to reduce swelling). I ended up with an infection and was hospitalized for 3 days. Then had to wear a cast for 2 weeks. That was a tough setback. But by then, I had rebuilt a lot of muscle that I could walk without a limp. I requested to keep the screws. They were once apart of me. I celebrated by buying myself a treadmill. I wanted to run again.

Today, it's been 2 years, 1 month and 3 days since my accident. I run about 5-7 miles a week on my treadmill. I still run with a limp since the bone healed over itself and jaggedy. I think it's interfering with a nerve. I'm thinking about surgery to shave the bone smooth so that I can run without pain. There is always going to be discomfort. The scarring is pretty bad, and I might go to a plastic surgeon. My only hesitation is being back in a hospital bed again.

My advise, push yourself at small steps. Healing is such an intricate process and it takes time. But you can help yourself during that waiting period. Knowing what I know now, I would've stretched lightly so that the joints wouldn't have healed so tightly. My toe flexers still curl when I lounge. But I believe that this accident can be 100% curable. It's the mental scars that will never go away. I'm still scared on the road. And whenever I feel pain, it always rushes to my right leg. At least I still have it though.

-- Krystal Mills (, July 02, 2003.

I am an atletic 29 year old male who had the displeasure of being in front of a big car going 45 mph on May 9th 2003. First of all, from what I'm reading (motorcycle spills, run over joggers and the like) seems that some of us got out easy with just a broken leg. Yes, yes it sucks the big donky dong, but it beats having our brains oozing out our ears. My compound tib/fib was reduced in a 2 hr surgury shortly after the hit. Two days later, my doc, good Irish guy, inserted a titanium rod down the center of the tibia. Nine days in the hospital and PT 3x a week. I have been working my butt off in PT, eating very well and taking a multi vitamin, vitamin C (500mg) and vitamin E both internally and popping the E pill on the external scars. Today, (seven weeks post)X-ray shows the beginnings of knitting, zero pain waling with one crutch and my black velcro walking boot. Expect to be waling like a normal human in six weeks. DO NOT SMOKE!!!!! Smokers are 8x more likely to experience non-union of the bones...learned that today. PT is king the knee and ankle are almost 100 range of motion...strength is next. Walk with as little assistance as possible, let pain be your guide. This is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. Be well.

-- D.J. Ames (, July 03, 2003.

I am a 38 yr. old female with an open tibia and fibula fracture that occured on May 29, 2003. My "accident" wasn't as exciting as all the rest I have been reading about here. I was standing on a chair hanging drapes. As I stepped off of the chair I sprained my right ankle and came down just the right way on my left leg to break it. I don't remember the pain, just the actual feeling of the leg buckling beneath me as I came down. It was the worst feeling and I just can't shake the memory. The doctor placed a rod in my tibia and attached it with several screws. The fibula I was told is not a weight bearing bone and they just left it alone. The doctor says that by three months I should start to be weight bearing. I have 4 scars from the surgery. The one on my knee is the strangest one, as I have feeling on the skin to the right of the incision, but to the left of the incision the skin is completely numb. At my 3 week doctor appointment they removed the post-op splint and placed a hard cast on my leg. The technicians tried to bend my foot 90 degrees to my leg, but they weren't quite able to manage it and the doctor says it will take longer for me to be able to walk properly because of it. It's great to find a place to discuss this with other people that are going through the same thing! I wish everyone well and good healing.

-- Vija Twardzik (, July 06, 2003.

Memorial Day Weekend 2002. ATV riding in the deep mountains of VT. DON'T double ride!!! Coming down the mountain, too fast around a corner caused a head of heels roll over, bike and all. I was a 28yrs old female. I was on the back. I suffered a compound fracture to my right Tib/Fib in my shin area). Bones came through the right back side of my leg. Major degloving with the break. Degloving, as my surgeon explained is compared to wearing evening gown gloves, when you pull them on up to your elbow and then scrunch the glove down to your wrist. All the muscles and tendons "scrunched" away from the break site, up towards my knee and down towards my ankle. The surgeons main concern was straightening my leg and preventing me from losing it all together. They laid the muscles back down around my bones as good as could be, but again, placing the muscle correctly was secondary. The muscles around my break site are still not in the right place and probably never will be. But I can't complain, I'm alive and I still have my leg.

The human body is an amazing thing!!! And today's medical technology is a blessing. After going through such a traumatic injury, I never believed I would EVER heal, nor the less ever be the same. But I have. It's been a long road, with a lot of doubt, but time DOES heal, most wounds.

I too, could not be cast due to the degloving part of my injury. Had to change bandages every other day. One huge blister covered the entire front of my shin and wrapped around to the open wound site on the back of my leg. I'm usually not too patient with healing wounds, but I left the blister alone and the large scabs that followed. It was the BEST thing to ever have done, because my body was able to heal in it's own time. I knew, when my body was ready, it would deflate the blister and shed the scabs when the skin underneath was rebuilt and strong. And indeed it did. It took 8 weeks for the blister to have fully deflated and harden over. It took 5 months before all the scabs fell off. But underneath, sure enough, was brand new skin, now strong enough to stand alone.

I too have a rod in my tibia. Two locking screws, one towards my knee, the other near my ankle. My foot was frozen in a Barbie like position for 4 months. If I tried to put my foot on the floor, the only part I could get to touch was my toes and the ball of my foot. My arch and heel were a good 3-4 inches from the ground (like Barbie). I had NO range of motion in my ankle.

PT slowly and painfully corrected that problem. For some unknown reason (to my orthopedic surgeon and my physical therapist) my toe next to my big toe was effected. It was permanently curled into itself. Similar to a hammer toe. The only way to straighten the toe was to painfully stretch it out, but as soon as you let go, it would curl back up. 6 months of PT did nothing to improve it. Finally in Dec. '02 I had surgery to remove the screw near my knee and to correct my toe. They did a tendon release (the tendon that runs on the bottom of my toe) which did straighten it. I can't bend the toe anymore, but I was limping up until it was released, so I gave up bending for walking, which has been well worth it.

I too had very slow bone growth. From one x-ray to the next, some months there would be no bone growth. It was very discouraging, but after the screw near my knee was removed, growth began. Surgeon swears it is due to removing the screw and allowing the bone to shift somewhat down towards the break site, which eventually has filled in.

I did nothing unusual in my eating habits. I had always consumed a lot of vegetables, protein and calcium anyway, and continued to after the accident. I did apply a lot of vitamin E on my outside scars. I believe my healing had a lot to do with my determination to heal and to get back to my normal daily routine as quickly as possible. PT played a MAJOR part in my recovery. I worked REAL hard in and out of PT which definitely brought me to where I am today. My PhyTherapist reminded me constantly that if it wasn't for my drive to succeed and walk again, that I may not have, or I may have ended up walking with a limp forever.

My Fibula still to this day has never fused together AT ALL. Surgeon says it's not a weight bearing bone, so it doesn't matter that the bones have not re-joined. My surgeon would have left it broken like that, but I've been pretty insistent that I don't want to leave it broken like that, so he will be manually fusing them together with a metal plate. But I guess it is common to leave the fibula broken, since it's non-weight bearing. Surgeon said when marrow is needed, they often remove the middle of a fibula, leaving only the top and bottom of a fibula, so it's NOT necessary for the fibula to be fused back together, because you can live a normal life without the bone even there.

1 year and 6 weeks later, I am walking without a limp, I am able to carry my children (individually; both over 45lbs) while walking, and have most of my ROM back in my ankle. I'm not running nor jumping yet, but hopefully soon. Good luck and well healing for all. I began searching for more information on this type of a break and I found this message board. It's amazing that this type of injury seems pretty common in motorcycle and pedestrian accidents. I wish you all the best and feel free to contact me with any questions. Initial surgery done in NH, PT and 2nd surgery in MA where I reside.

-- Misti Knowles (, July 06, 2003.

I'm 17 years old and I broke my tibia/fibia in december. The doctor had to put a rod in with 2 screws. After reading ya'lls posts, I would have to say I'm a lucky guy. I didn't have any kind of infection and was walking without a limp 4 months after surgery. And now i'm sprinting a little 6 months after surgery. So for all of you, there is hope!

-- Trent Tilghman (, July 08, 2003.

I'm a 24 year female and I'm so glad I've found people who can relate to my injury. April 28 2003 I was in a horseback riding accident and got a double compound fracture of the tib/fib. I was taken to the hospital and rushed into emegency trauma surgery. A titanium rod was placed in the tib with a screw twords my ankle. There was peices of shattered bone that had to be removed from my muscle. It's been eleven weeks and it's been hell. I still have a one inch gap in both the bones and they show no signs of healing. I'm going to get a bone graph next week and hope that makes things better. I am weight bearing some and hope the bone graph wont set me back to much. I wish you all the best! Good luck!

-- Terra Van Arsdale (, July 12, 2003.

Hi guys - having read all your stories, I reckon I can count myself incredible lucky! I had a car accident on May 29 2002 and broke both tib/fib, both legs. The orthopaedic specialist decided to try save my feet and used external fixators to keep everything together. I started walking on crutches in September 2002, had the one fixator removed in January 2003, and the other in February 2003. I walk with a bit of a limp and some pain in the right leg (weather dependant), but otherwise am well. Due to the massive soft tissue damage, they couldn't do anything about the torn ligaments so my left foot is now a drop-foot which will hopefully be able to be fixed next year. All the skin grafts have recovered beyond expectation. I wish all of you with injuries the best of luck - the best advice my doctor gave me was - 1. Don't get impatient and 2. Don't get depressed.

-- Gary van der Walt (, July 14, 2003.

I'm a 31 year old military guy. I got in a motorcycle accident on june 5th, 2003. I had a compound fracture to Tib/Fib. When the ambulance took me to the hospital i had to wait 8 hours before they could send me to the O.R. They installed a titanium rod im my right leg. After six weeks the opening which is about 1 1/2 inches from my ancle Has not close due to skin infection where they put the skin draft. I went to the hospital where they cut all dead skin and exposed the hole back out. To me it looks really nasty even though everyone says it's fine. None of the bones have even started to heal yet; they don't hurt that much, even though i'm seating on my Butt all day. There is some discomfort to the leg but the Doctor says it takes a while. He sayd that it could take about six month to heal, but after that he wants to remove the rod from my leg. He thinks that because of all the time i had to wait for surgery there might be infection inside the bone. I DON'T Know

-- Francisco Guzman (, July 20, 2003.

Greetings! I am a 55 y/o male. May 24, 2003 While attempting to get a tractor unstuck, a chain broke and a "Come-a-Long" struck my left leg just below the knee. The results was a multible compound fracture of the large bone and a clean break of the small. The small county hospital importes an O-Surgen who didn't discuss treatment with me. When I awoke from surgery I had an External Fixator on my leg and a lot of confussion. He did not open the area and clean out the bone fragrements. I was dismissed on May 27. On May 28 I checked myself into the Lexington, KY VA hospital with my leg severely infected and seriously dehydrated. I was taken to surgery to correct the mess from the previous surgen. I still have an EX-FIX on my leg, the X-Rays show no sign of new bone growth. I am told this bone takes along time to heal, maybe eight months. In a few weeks I wil be getting a steel rod in the bone and the EX-FIX removed. I anticipate a long recovery period. I realize it is very hard to "WAIT", but sadly, that is all we can do. Talk, talk, talk to your Doctor and listen to what he/she says. There is a lot of history of our problems and the Doc knows most of it..... God Bless

-- Dannie R. Overton (, July 23, 2003.

I am an 18 yr old and I broke my leg at work about 2 months ago...a forklift ran over my leg. It more or less sucked up my foot, rolled over my foot, ankle, then broke my left leg. Bone went through the skin my leg looked like a J. The surgery was about 3 hours long leaving me with 4 bolts and a metal rod from my knee to my ankle. Now, i probably have about less than 50% movement in my ankle with a lot of pain still. Although, x-rays show that a callus is forming which is a good sign. I drink a lot of milk, probably helps a little, but maybe not. The doctor said I'm very very lucky i still have my leg especially because a forklift ran over my leg. Best of luck though to all who broke their leg, I just hope I get full movement with my ankle and leg because i'm very active and I dont want to be depressed forever! :) Smile, you've got another day!

-- David (, August 11, 2003.

I am a 43 year old female. Received a compound fracture of the tib- fib on April 14th, 2003. I laid on the floor for 2 1/2 hours before the ambulance finally got to me. It was about 9 or 10 hours prior to receiving surgery. After three months (post-op) there was NO visible sign of bone growth. Have spent the last 6 weeks using an Exogen 2000 bone stimulator. In two weeks it will be decided whether I will need bone grafts. It has been so disheartening thus far and I dread further surgery to graft bone. I was never much into vitamins, disliked drinking milk, and on top of everything else I smoke. Since the accident I am eating healthier, taking vitamin supplements, tanking up on the calcium and have cut down the smoking. My surgeon has informed me that everything I can do to help the body along is great -- keep it up. "However," he said "there is a small percentage of the population that just doesn't grow bone." These unlucky few require more extreme measures -- like bone grafting. I have 2 plates and 13 screws in my leg and, other than swelling by days end, relatively little pain. I am more frustrated by the inability to do all that I was able to before. It sounds like this process is going to be continuing for quite some time. I am just taking it week by week and praying for the best. Good luck with your situation -- I certainly empathize with the frustration and fear.

-- Jana M Bultsma (, August 12, 2003.

i fell off a cliff 6 weeks ago, double tib and fib break and smashed elbow. had to wait 9 hours before rescue got me down. had a pin inserted inside the tibia with screws at top and bottom. x rays today ( 6 weeks post op) showed only very minor calcification around tib break, surgeon says anything up to 3 months should be given for bone growth. must control swelling and keep leg up in early days to improve blood flow. calcium is goo idea. see a physio to keep muscles in shape and to limit posture problems which may arise, walking in swimming pool is good. make sure you are keeping your achilles stretched. count yourselves lucky as due to my elbow break i can not use crutches and am wheel chair bound! delay in surgery not a problem unless there was damage to blood vessels - if these are damaged healing is slower. go well.

-- andrew pedley (, August 14, 2003.

I am a 32 year old female that was a passenger on a motorcycle that was run down by an elderly person leaving a garage sale on July 13th, 2003. My right tib/fib was shattered--they called it the "cornflake break" and that did not make me feel any better. I have had 2 surgeries and am wondering when I'll be able to get off the couch and have a more normal life. Can't help but get a little depressed from time to time. Any more advice about staying healthy and avoiding paralyzing boredom?

-- Elisa Cadwell (, August 19, 2003.

22 y/o female involved in an ATV accident on July 3. Compound fracture to my left tibia and 3 hair-line fractures to my fibula. 15 days in the hospital and 2 surgeries. Rod inserted and 3 screws. Almost 7 weeks later and I'm back at work for about 5 to 6 hours a day, physical therapy twice a week. I still have an open wound so I have that cleaned every other day. My doctor is allowing the wound to heal on it's own. Hopefully I'll be back to walking soon without crutches and no limping. I have a strong desire to get well.

-- Cecil Fisher (, August 20, 2003.

Motocross accident. 32 year old male. 3 months post break. Tibia not straight (8-10 degrees off). Now (tomorrow) surgery to include bone graft from hip, and plate on tibia.

Anyone use bone from the bone bank vs. hip bone? Thoughts.

Anyhow, I am bummed, should be in a walking cast now, but instead they are re-breaking tomorrow. Take care all!

-- Trapper (, September 02, 2003.

Has anyone who experienced compound fractures to the leg learned anything about calf implants? It's been 3 years since i've fractured my tib/fib, and regained full function. Now i'm curious about reconstructive surgery to make the leg aesthetic. Is there any way calf implants would help my injured leg resemble the other leg?

-- Krystal Mills (, September 16, 2003.

I'am 34 years of age and have a great wife and dog. I had an eighteen whealer pull out in front of me and had conpound fracture (tiba) & broken fibia to the left leg, along with an ankle fracture & dislocated hip on the right leg. Had a steal rod & three screws placed in my left leg, along with a steal plate and three screws in my right ankle. Had a muscle flap done to close my wound (4hr surgery) on the left leg and was very succesful. Was layed up in the hospital for 2 and half weeks before released. Three and half months later I feel great & I am jogging and playing golf all the time.The accident was June 17. This accident was the best thing that ever happened to me because i receaved Jesus as my savor and this body is only temperaly on this earth. When we all die we will have no more pain and suffering.

-- David Gimmi (, September 22, 2003.

Hi, I am sorry i dont hv an answer but i am a very tensed brother as my brother is admitted coz of a tibia, fibula fracture. The DOC has put in a steel rod in his tibia with three pins & today they are trying to make him walk with a 'walker'. Its 4 days since he is admitted. Ppl who have had similar accidents, will you please email me & let me know how long will he be in this condition. When will he be able to walk freely . . ... thanks

Isaac (

-- Isaac Koshy (, October 07, 2003.

32 year old female looking for some answers to constant swelling, "charlie horses" and sharp pains (not shin splits) in the lower legs due to previous injuries.

In a 1989 MVA, I suffered a right (R) leg clean tib/fib compound fracture, left (L) leg "degloving" from the knee to the ankle, broken right wrist, and 5 pelvic fractures. 7 week hospital stay, traction, many surgeries including a muscle flap(R), external fixator (R), re- break of the leg 1 year later due to bad regrowth (R), steel rod placement (R), debreadments (L) skin grafting (L & R), crutches for at least 6 months, full leg casts, half casts, walking boots, teds stockings...the list could go on.

15 years later, I'm still feeling the effects of the accident. During my two pregnancys, charlie horses were experienced almost every night to the point of crying. Bad weather (storms, humidity, severe cold) tightens and stiffens the legs. In the past year, walking causes sharp pains to run from the top of the foot up through the shins, almost to the knees. I've seen a physical therapist to rule out shin splints. X-rays have been taken of the leg (R) and there is quite a bit of excessive bone growth around the break site & even some around the 9 pins holes that held the external fixator in place. I've been told maybe surgery to remove the excessive bone growth. I've contemplated chiropractic care.

Any one out there with a similar post accident/surgery situations and any suggestions (ie. changes in diet that may have worked for you, using an eliptical machine vs. treadmill/pavement walking, chiropractic care, etc...) Ideas and suggestions welcome...

For all of you with your tib/fib injuries, keep a positive attitude. It may be a long road, but you'll come through in the end. And as some of you have said, scars and all, you have your legs. Count it as a blessing from God!!!!!!!!!

-- Jennifer Tjernagel (, October 24, 2003.

GOOD LUCK & GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU!!!! On Mothers Day May 11, 2003 I was in an motorclcle accident w/broken fib/tib & gaping hole in my leg. Along w/ head trauma. Head is doing great. Leg is healing much slower. Open wound has finally turned in scar. External fixieator just removed now I have a leg brace and still can not put any weight on leg. After x-rays next week may have to have rod & pins inserted (bone is weak).Maybe I can start walking by Christmas. I THANK GOD I STILL HAVE MY LEG (insurance wanted to amputate) AND MORE IMPORTANTLY I HAVE MY LIFE.So I sit and wait and heal. It's tough but I know somebody somewhere has it worse than me GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL

-- Victor Dillon (, November 04, 2003.

My husband was hit by a car on June 16, 2003... that is why your story stuck out to me. He has a compound fracture of his left tib and fib. He underwent emergency surgery for placement of an IM rod and 4 screws. Aside from minimal bone growth and a pesky wound that wouldn't seem to completely close, things were going well. UNTIL Sept. 3, 2003 his IM rod broke, about 2 inches above the fracture site. He had surgery for rod removal and replacement the 8th in which they found a Staph infection present and a lot of decayed bone. During the surgery they scraped back the bone to "pink" and he was then given an antibiotics regimen for 6 weeks via a PICC line to clear up the Staph infection. When the removed the stitches on Sept 30th, his wound just sprung open, which caused immediate concern. He was immediately hospitalized and given a wound vac for the excessive drainage. He was released the next day with follow- ups to happen in 2 weeks. During that time, we decided it was time to get a second opinion. We not only got a second, but a third opinion, and since have switched all doctors from his primary to his ortho and plastics. The new plan of attack is to do a free flap using either his muscle from his groin of abdomen and a skin graph. They are considering removing the rod and placing an external fixiator on. He has had some bone growth over the past month. He has started to take vitamans listed in the book, perscription for nutritional healing. He takes Calcium, Mag, zinc, Horsetail, Papaya Enzyme, Vit C w/ bioflavornoids. I will say he had not had any bone groth until the past month and 1/2 so, it has not hurt him... he also looks much healthier (he had been very pale). We still have a VERY long road to recovery.

-- marcia cullinane (, November 10, 2003.

Sorry no ansewr to original question but 9 weeks ago i broke my tib/fib (did not pierce the skin) riding a bmx bike in a forest in essex in england.i had to wait 1 1/2 hours laying on the floor for the ambulance to arrive and when it did it still took 8 people another hour to get me to the this time i had finished off the whole bottle of gas and air so the pain started to kick in.once in hospital i waited 2 days for a opperation.i had two elastic pins put in my fibia which went from my knee to has been 9 weeks since the opperation and i have had to return to hospital many times for xrays and to realine my leg new bone has now started to form and it still needs to be alined one more time to make it perfictly in line and straight.for me to sit almost still for nearly 3 months is torture and at times ive felt like it is never going to end but after reading some of these storys it has made me realise that i am lucky. hope you all get well verry soon and if any one else has had the same type of break as me plese e- mail me with more information as the NHS are about as useful as a chocolate hammer chris basten (essex england)

-- christopher basten (, November 21, 2003.

47 year old mother, wife, very active until november 8th. we are building a house and we were moveing a man lift and it fell on my right leg. my ankle was going one way and my knee the other leg broke in three places and two fractures. i have a titanium rod and screws. i was interested reading the other responses. i know everyone heals differently, but i am ready to get on with it. crutches suck! i ride horses daily and this is really killing me, not to be able to ride. some people say to push the exercises and the leg, and some say to keep it propped up?? wonder which is the best? i have been taking vitamens, and i do smoke a me with your suggestions. thanks, lisa van winkle

-- Lisa Van Winkle (, November 24, 2003.

I am in my mid twenties and in the summer of 2002 I fell only 2 1/2 foot off a boat dock and had an open compound tib fib fractue ( my big bone was in 7 pieces and my little bone split once and came out of the skin). I had to have emergency sugery because of the lake water and I was rushed out to a hospital. The hospital then put a rod into my leg. After sugery my leg looked really funny. Come to find out they left the rod over an inch under my knee, my knee cap on the side of my knee, my little bone over lapped and 1 1/2 (so i was now an that much shorter on that side also along with not being able to bend my leg)and to top it all off they left my ankle turned in so my toes on the right foot hit the inside of the left leg. I spent months in bed, about a year in a wheel chair but with almost two years of pt two sugeries, and one more coming up just to try to fix me after what they did, I am getting there. So what I am trying to say is be very careful and leary of the doctor you are seeing. If you do not think somehting is right, there is a good possibality it isn't.

-- Broken (, December 17, 2003.

I 43 yr old male. I slipped on a patch of ice in the parking lot at work on Saturday 12/13/03. I felt my right leg snap like a dry tree branch. After laying on the frozen ground for 20 min the ambulance came. I was rushed to a local ER where they put my leg in a splint without setting it and sent me home. The xray showed a clean break in my tibia just above my ankle and a break in my fibia just below the new They even told me I could return to work on Monday. They were nuts. I got into a specialist on Monday and they did surgery that day to install a steel rod along my tibia. I'm eating good food and taking my pain meds on a regular interval. I was told this would take 3 to 4 months to heal. I go back on the 23th of Dec to get a new cast put on. My leg is still swollen. I need to go lay down now. Good luck to all of you.

-- Tim Radtke (, December 17, 2003.

well it has been 7 weeks now, and i am putting weight on my right leg with my walking cast on, i can shower, and dress myself, and cook sort of. so i am happy for those things. it is so very hard to carry things when you have to use crutches. the doctor said my bones are fusing together well, and i can use just one crutch. he said to use the crutch on the left side. does not make sense to me, since my right leg is hurt??? anyway i am afraid to try it on my own. i thought they were trying to kill me in the hospital moving my leg around all the time, so i guess i am still afaid of the pain. i have not taken any pain pills since i got out of the hospital, but maybe i should, and then try to walk on one crutch??? i get in bad moods sometimes, feeling sorry for myself. i hate it, it is hard to be postive when you can't do much, i hate having people wait on me. until next time. keep in a good mood...

-- lisa van winkle (, December 29, 2003.

Well everybody, here's a fresh one! I'm a 22 year old female and I broke my tib/fib six days ago. We had a horse that was colicking and I was trying to help my dad get him up. Instead of rising, he rolled his 1300 lbs over onto his side and on top of my leg, snapping both bones. Of course it was nearly midnight and pouring rain but the ambulance finally made it (after the six cops and 20 first responders who couldn't seem to do anything very helpful, however their presence was appreciated) and got me off of the cold wet ground and to the hospital. They put a titanium rod in my tibia with one screw near my knee. Fortunately neither bone came through the skin so that potential complication was avoided. After three days in the hospital and some crutch coaching, they sent me home with an Ace bandage from thigh to foot and some pain medication. So far so good I guess, my first check up is next week so I will keep everyone updated. Wish me luck and Happy Healing to All!!!

-- Courtney Duhe (, January 03, 2004.

21 year old male, On October 16, 2003 nearly fatal motorcycle accident. Left leg: Compound fracture tib/fib fx, shattered femur and list of internal injuries. Rods were inserted into tibia and femur.

Pics of x-rays can be seen here: med.jpg med.jpg

Its been 11 weeks Post-Op and I am limping around. Doctor gave full weight bearing at 9 weeks and I have minimal pain. There are 2 broken bones in my back and the 11 inch incision/scar on my stomach that limits my walking ability. I start physical therapy on Jan. 20th and hope it will help with muscle loss. BTW, my fibula is still fractured.

One thing we all have in common, We're still alive.

-- David (, January 06, 2004.

My husband had his motorcycle accident on October 19, 2004. He suffered a compound tib/fib fracture, 6 breaks in all. It has sure been a long haul. He spent the first 8 weeks in bed for the most part. He was not able to use the crutches because of several broken ribs. He is now motoring around a bit, and can put some weight on the injured leg. He is definitely lucky to be alive. The helmet was the difference.

-- Lou Ann White (, January 06, 2004.

Somebody who has broken ribs and whose life is not threatened in October 2004 is achieving foresight previously undone as the previous correspondent would have it. I snapped the tib and fib in two in February last year. the foot hung loose and was looking in the opposite direction. When I got to hspital a clever physician surgeon said they did not need to do anything because it was a special case of an ankle break which would heal itself. It is known as Potts something after aman who healed himself with out any surgery at all after this type of acident. It was a closed break no skin break at all. I was asked whether I would like a rod or not and I agreed to it as I could not believe that natural healing of a clean snap in both bones after manipulation would be sufficient. Regrettably after getting the rod inserted from knee to ankle the surgeons began to get interested and insisted on my having cosmetic surgery. I actually thought they were joking when I agreed to it but I found myself having four days of intensive and throughly intrusive surgery to graft muscle and skin from the other leg. It was a thoroughly botched job and BOTH surgeries the rod installation AND the muscle graft were quite unnecessary, on account of the special case I have described. The muscle graft (my own) has thoroughly impeded the natural healing that would have occured had I had NO SURGERY WHATSOEVER The surgeon left about thirty steel clips in and thought it was funny when I requested that they be removed . They became infected, are still coming out a year later from an albeit superficial infection which will not heal . I am now told I may have to have the leg amputated because the rod has impacted within and cannot be removed. It has to be. Thanks to the skin graft and infection so called cosmetic surgery the rod cnnot be removed until it has completely healed on account of diseases in the hospital which I might catch. I should have taken somebody's advice. Whose was it??

-- Dave Jones (, January 08, 2004.

Obviously I mean't October 19, 2003.

-- Lou Ann White (, January 08, 2004.

first i hope everyone is healing well.on oct 5 me and my girl were returning home from skydiving as we do every weekend.riding my motorcycle as i do all summer and going through a green light when this nice lady decided to turn left in front of us.we slammed into her and my girlfreind was thrown about thirty feet and only sustained a few scrapes me on the other hand slammed into her car and received a compound fracture to the tib/ has been 3 months and 1 week.i was in surgery 3 and a half hours and had a plate and 10 screws put in.a week ago i started weight bearing but will still be on crutches another month or so.i go to physio and work my butt off.i would like to know if there is anything else i can do besides vitamins and calcium pills to heal the best i can.any info would help.thanks and everyone get well.

-- kelly burton (, January 12, 2004.

To help bones heal you should eat a healthy diet and maybe do some exercises that you can that dosen't involve or put strain on your broken bone. Like if you break a leg maybe you can do arm exercises with light weights. Exerciseing increases blood flow to injured areas and increases circulation which will help bones to heal. Perhaps most important do not smoke or breath secound hand smoke because it inhibits bone growth and slows it greatly and in some cases when they don't want to hardly heal it may prevent it from healing period.

-- Bruce Hart (, January 19, 2004.

More surgery on this end. One of the six breaks is not healing because of a bone infection. A screw also needs to come out. Two more months of no weight bearing. Ain't we lucky!! This time it is a new surgeon. A trauma specialist with the University of Florida. Great credentials. We will see. Hoping for the best. Wish us luck.

-- Lou Ann White (, January 20, 2004.

Wow, I was suprised to see all the responses on this site,about the same injury. I broke both Fib & Tib on Sept.13 2003 after stepping backwards from a moving scafold. When I stepped back from about 2 feet high, I stepped onto some pipes laying on the concrete floor which of course caused my feet to go out from under me causing the breaks. I was in shock and at that instant I stood back up causing the bones to break through the skin. The doctor put a 9 inch rod up from the ankle into the tibia to align the broken pieces. For the fibia he put a plate along side with 9 screws in it to hold all the pieces together. After 4 weeks I developed an infection that could only be cured by doing a muscle flap transplant from my thigh and a skin gragh from same thigh. The doctor removed the rod from the tib Jan. 21 2004, and I am starting Physio Jan. 26 2004. I really miss work and walking. Sitting around in the house is not what I call a good time. I still have the poor me attitude sometimes, but I remind myself how fortunate I was to get awesome medical care and no matter how bad I suffered there is others who are much worse than me. I hope & pray you all heal quickly. God Bless you all.

-- Norm Pierce (, January 25, 2004.

Hi There, 01/31/04

First of all i hope you're All doing much better and may be even healed by now :) I'm a-35 year old female, on march 30 2003, as a pedestrian in NYC a reversed car hit me and caused open fracture tib and fib. Since then its been 10 month by now and there are little signs of bone growth. The doc. says that by now I should have surgery that he will bone graft the tibia and plate it as well. But There is a risk of geting an infection that will cause major problems in the future. Did anybody go through a bone graft surgery, and if used own hip bone vs. bank bone? please e-mail me, Wishing you best of all, Dalit H.

-- Dalit H. (, January 31, 2004.

Oh ALL the hardware has to come out and be replaced. Rod, screws, name. Probably a bone graft from the hip too, but they won't know for sure until they get in there. Another 8-10 weeks of no weight bearing......they say maybe walking with a cane in 6 months. The surgeon, however, cautioned us about the need for even more surgery in the future if it does not heal this time. I said, "its a long road isn't it," and he agreed. Looking forward to a good year in 2005!!

-- Lou Ann White (, February 04, 2004.

32 year old female, Wow I went searching on the net to find info on Tib/Fib fractures and bone graphs and found all you guys. Finally my feelings of frustration and wondering don't make me feel alone. I am taking a bone builder suppliment along with calcium daily but so far its not doing much good. I ride horses (jumpers) and work with race horses for a living. In November 2003 I was jumping an unruly stallion and after a fence he pitched me over his head via a big buck and then proceeded to gallop over/stepping on my right leg over the dome of the ankle and the Tib/Fib connection. Open fracture of both bones-nice. Seems many of you have had similar injuries. For those of you not healing, what are you being told? I am approching three months, doc says no healing and the tib plate was put in too long by the trama surgeon so it will have to come out but its too soon. Problem is that plate is hurting so how does one indure therpy with that type of pain/interference? I have 2 rods, 4 plates, and 16 screws. I dont' want to heal just OK, I want my atheltic life back, anyone else in this place? Our farm vets say at best I can be a broodmare, great what a life! ;-) JEM

-- Janine McCullough (, February 06, 2004.

Yea, I had this really minor compund fracture happen on the 9th of jan. 2004. The fracture itself was a butterfly fracture (with bone fragements), and only a little bone popped out because the fracture was a bootleg fracture and the boots I was wearing held most of the bone in. Both the tib. and fib. broke. The weirdest part is this. I was walking like I do almost every day of the year to get a cup of cofee. I always walk down this small hill to bypass uneccesary walking. I stepped off the sidewalk like usual, and my bone just broke. I was wondering if anyone els has had a similar experience. I have been running it over in my head over and over again, I heard a snapp, and then I slipped with my left foot. I am healthy, not a lot of milk but cheese and vitamins. I exercize regularily, walk the same rout the same way almost every day. I mean I've jumped like ten or fifteen feet to the ground and been fine. This particular moring I was just walking and the leg broke. I read in a couple of places it take like a year for the injury to heal but I am not so sure of how realistic that is but it's real weird to me that a 6in' step can do that to a leg. Anyhow I really enjoyed all the stories on how everyone else got injured. I hope yall' heal quickly and get back to your jobs which I am currently out of as well. -Peace-

-- john dort (, February 10, 2004.

Hi everyone. I am a 40 year old male that was riding a motorcycle on Dec 20-ish, 2003 and my shin hit a rock or a stump or something at about 25 mph. A grade 3b compound fracture of the tib/fib resulted. I was lucky that no arteries were severed and the break was relatively clean in the tibia about six inches above the ankle.

I have external fixators and a fib pin. On day 49 post-op, the fib pin was removed. (man am I glad, that think annoyed me!) Also on day 49, the fixators were loosened, but the foot "sagged" and the X-rays showed no callus formation. It's day 51, and the wound opening is still quite unhealed, but there is good granulation. Swelling is still happening due to the wound, but not as badly. I am disappointed that I am not a fast healer, but thanks to your descriptions above, it appears that I may have unrealistic expectations for my level of injury.

-- J Tal (, February 11, 2004.

3rd time i have written: i had my accident on november 8th. it has been 3 months, and i get better each day. i actually got on a bleacher and crawled on my horse. i also started driving two days ago. i was suprised, it is much easier to drive, than it is to walk. i am walking with a cane, and exercising my leg daily. i went through a lot of feeling sorry for myself, and i hate that. we live in texas and each time a cold front comes through, i either stay up all night with pain in my leg, or just take 1/2 of a vicadin, and go to sleep. i have so much compassion for people with this injury.. it hurts, plus, it is so hard to get around and do things. it was raining yesterday, and i walked like a 100 year old lady to the barn. i really miss running and jumping and riding my horse. we go to rodeos all the time and i can't even help my daughter get things ready. but one thing, all of our horses have learned about crutches, and how to also be patient with me when i lead them, or when i walk around them, they have been great. keep a positive attitude, rest, and remember when you feel really bad, remember someone always has it worse than you do. poor lou ann white... hang in there girl.

-- Lisa Van Winkle (, February 12, 2004.

I hate to post here but have not found anywhere else even close to this site. I am a 34 year old male. I fell at a skating party on Dec 6th 2003. Resulted in a spiral fracture of Tibia about 4 inches above the ankle and spiral fracture of Fibula about 6 inches below the knee. It has been 11 weeks and I still have trouble walking without cruthches for more than a few steps. My ankle feel like it won't bend enough. Last visit to the doc, he gave me a shot of cordozone. It has made no real improvement. The breaks only hurt after a few steps, mainly the lower. The ankle hurts alot. It hurts to the point of an awful limp when i try to take a few steps. I can bare my full weight as long as it is straight up. What can I do... I know this was not a compoud fracture but I was hoping someone here could point me in the right direction.

-- Scot Gayle (, February 23, 2004.

I'm a sixteen year old male who had an open fracture to the tibia/fibia during a football game. The doctors couldn't figure out how i could get a grade 3 fracture playing football, but i just remember my leg flopped over on its side when i went to move it, and i saw the bone sticking out of my calf area. it's been four months and now they just recently found infection in the bone,so they had to debris it,plus take my rod and 3 screws out. My bone has actually had resorbtion in the area of infection,but some healing in other areas. I went from being the fastest guy on the team to being told i may never walk normal again. The sound of amputation is very scary to me and i would like to know if there are other methods of getting rid of osteomyelitis. It is really good to know that there are others out there with the same type of injury who have healed.

-- kevin (, February 24, 2004.

Tibia fractures can be quite serious as they often also injure the adjacent joints - the knee or the ankle. This may result in degeneration of either one of these joints (i.e. accelerated arthritis).

Stiff joints are also common after this type of injury - particularly when treated in a cast or in an external fixator (treatment method was not specified in the question). This may result in pain.

Generally speaking, I think it is still too early to tell what the final outcome will be. Healing for these types of injuries often takes up to 6 months. Therapy may be helpful as well at some point.

-- Mesfin Lemma, M.D. (, February 24, 2004.

Hello all my fellow gimps! (no offense intended) Wow, its great to have so many stories to compare to. I'm a 19 year old female, my friend and I were riding our motercycle in October 2003 when a truck struck us on the left side. Lucky for us, he gave us both compound tib/fib fractures on the left side. I have a metal rod and two screws. No cast for me though, too many open wounds, personally I think no cast is better! I also had about a three hour delay in surgery. The only thing that seems to do is increase the risk of infection to your leg, that is, if the fracture is compound (open). It took about three months before I got rid of any walking aids and could begin to try and fully wieght-bare, and now almost five months later, I still suffer with much pain (especially in the mornings, and when the weather changes--which here in Alberta Canada is a lot!!) and I have a slight limp. It just takes practice and pain to make your leg walk again. I have a great suggestion for healing, and I know it sounds kind of wacko, but try taking Gelitin (that stuff Jello is made of)--mix one tbsp in with some juice and drink it (really fast or its gross) every day. It surrounds the joints, so that there is no arthritic-like pain. Also, taking glucosamine and Calcium helps. Walk backwards on a treadmill, and definitely go to the pool--that creates reverse pressure on your leg and helps the muscles to strengthen much quicker. Well, best wishes to everyone, your submissions have definitely helped me out!

-- Nikki Hancocks (, February 26, 2004.

I thank the internet gods every day for sites like this. I am a 36 year healthy female who had a compound open fibula/tibia fracture back in November 2003. After 12 weeks of normal recovery and no problems, my foot swelled up, my fever shot to 104 and the pain in my foot, ankle and leg was enough to want me to chop it off to relieve the intensity. I checked in the hospital on February 15th. The doctors thought it was a blood clot, but it turns out it was a staph infection. They did not do anything for three days, but finally took me into surgery. I found out later that it was hours from literally exploding, which would have destroyed my life at the least and taken my life at the most. The infection was so aggressive, the orthopedic doctors were talking amputation this week because they could not stop the spread of the infection. The infection was so bad that they had to cut my skin off that would normally cover my ankle due to damage. The wound looks like a third degree burn. My saving grace was some specialists from Ohio State University and an awesome ortho doctor trained out of Hopkins. I was released from the hospital after 11 days with a portable IV line that constantly pumps Narcillin and a portable V.A.C. Freedom System that literally vacuum packs the open wound and sucks out the infection as it is reproducing. I'm far from independent and have to use a walker in order to haul both equipment pumps wherever I go, but I'm out of the hospital and the doctors have high hopes for a recovery without amputation. All the wound specialists that have helped me through this swear by the power of this VAC machine. It would be worth looking into, especially for anyone that has a possibility of amputation. It's not a definite cure, but it's worth a shot and may save limbs for atleast a year and a half, giving the doctors more time to beat the infection.

-- Jodi (, February 26, 2004.

I hope everyone is on the mend and doing well. We are home from the hospital. A larger rod, new plate and new pins. Two bone grafts as well. Not as much pain as the first time around, of course that involved being run over by a utility van. Hopefully the leg will heal this time around. We will know in about 8 weeks. The positive thing is the surgeon found absolutely no infection in the leg. What had been there cleared up on its own. Take care everyone!!!!

-- Lou Ann White (, March 03, 2004.

Note: See my July 23, 2003. Since my last note many things have happened, most of them discouraging... It took 4 months for the open wound to heal from the bones piercing the skin. In Sept. one of the EX-FIX pins broke loose and a long cast was out on my leg. (mid thigh to toes) On Oct 31, 2004 the surgeon put a titanium rod in the Tibia from knee to ankle and did a bone graft taking bone material from the top of my left hip. The X-Rays are finally indicating bone growth and I am supposed to be walking on one crutch now. I am getting impatient an walk without the crutch short distances. We didn't realize it would take so long for the bones to heal and it has been flustrating. Go back to the Doc April 6 and am hoping and praying to hear good news. Thank God for a wonderful wife that has put up with my attitudes for over 9 months and good friends. Anyone that thinks details on my injury/treatment would help, feel free to e-mail me...

-- Dannie R. Overton (, March 10, 2004.

I am a 25 year old female w/ a tib fib fracture. It happened almost 2 months ago at elk mountain. My advice.. never use snow blades. Sure thay give u more controll but if u loose it the blades do not come off like ski's tend to do if u fall. my right leg instantly swelled to the point of bursting. I got to take a ride on the,very embarising, florecent orange sled. i of the worst parts was getting the boots off. Then the 45 min ride to the hosp after an 1/2 hr wait w/ out pain meds for the ambulance to arrive. Then the dreaded realignment of the bones.....AAAAHHHHHH. I have a 6 yr old. I believed there was no pain worse than child birth....wrong! I have a rod and 4 screws in my tibia. The break in my fibia looks bad to me but they say it is not important. I hope they know what they are talking about. It is starting to get beautiful outside.. I am going crazy. It was great tio hear eeryone's stories. Thanx for getting my mind off the pain and weaher for a while. If anyone else is laid up. I would love to hear from u. Happy mendings to all:)

-- Julia Kline (, March 12, 2004.

Sorry i have no answers . I just wanted to share my story ,. My name is liz i'm 26 have a husband and 2 kids , im scottish and live in england, anyway enough of my life story. On may 2003 i fell down some stairs while holding baby, i hade a compound fracture and broke tib-fib i have been having x-rays every 6 weeks to check the healing , my consultant has decided to do a bone graft taking the bone from my hip and putting it in my leg to stimulate the bones to grow , i'm realy annoyed about this as they could have done the graft ages ago , iv'e got the metal rods and fixater on my leg and to be honest i just get on with as much as i can but it's the fact that i've been left like this for over 10 months, i'm,suppose to be going to new zealand to live next year as thats where my husbands family live, and now i dont know when i'll be able to go . anyway good luck to everyone out there who is going through the same as me . keep a grin above your chin.liz

-- liz sharland (, March 14, 2004.

Hey everyone. My name is Julie. I am a 24 year old female who broke my tib/fib in a car accident May of 2002. I have 2 plates and 15 screws in my rt. ankle. My fibula has healed but my tibia never did. I am going for surgery March 19th to have ORIF PILON. They are taking out the hardware in my tib and doing a bone graft from my hip. Im pretty freaked out but ive been in so much pain for so long that it can't be worse. I will let you guys know how it went. Anyone wanna e mail please do. I would love to chat with a fellow gimp. God bless.

-- Julie Seeley (, March 15, 2004.



-- CRAIG DAVIES (DAVICRA3@AOL.COM), March 21, 2004.

What an amazing site! I have no answers, just my story to recount.I'm a 39 year old mother of two young children from Nottinghamshire, England. On 29th March 2003, I simply took one wrong footstep (on a paving slab that I'd put outside the back door, so that our three month old Jack Russell dog puppy didn't scrape his undercarriage going in and out of the cat flap). I put my left foot down awkwardly, heard a crunch and managed to dislocate my ankle. When I arrived at our local Hospital I was given the date rape drug Rohypnol so that my foot could be put back in its rightful position and X-Rayed. I had fractured my Tibia, Fibula and another smaller ankle bone in the back of my heel. I had a back slab put on my leg and went onto a ward for the night. Sunday 30th March (Mother's Day in UK and my 8th Wedding Anniversary- what a memorable day!) I went into the Operating Theatre , had an epidural and watched the Orthopaedic Surgeon do his thing-well worth staying awake for, it was fascinating. I had what looked like a strip of seven-hole Meccano screwed into my Fibula with six screws and two longer screws were put into my Tibia to hold it together, a back slab was bandaged over the whole lower leg to complete the procedure. The next day I was shown how to use crutches and sent home to recover for several weeks. The worst thing about that period was the constant nerve pain ,the need to scratch awkward bits of my leg, and the red hot feeling where blood had dried the cast and skin together like super glue. When I returned to Hospital to have my dressings and stitches removed I was amazed to see just how gorey everything was under the bandages. I had a light weight cast put on because I was worried about my children and dog knocking my ankle. Three days later the cast had to come off because it was more uncomfortable than the initial back slab. I had crutches until I had the final all- clear from the Orthopaedic Department in July 2004, I wasn't sad to give the crutches back , the callouses did finally go. It's nearly a year on , I can walk normally, suffer some ankle stiffness and aching especially on cold or wet days, have numb areas around the scarred areas because the nerves were severed in my ankle but find running difficult, a fast trot is the best I can do. Best wishes to the poor souls who have to go through the pain connected with fractured ankles, there is light at the end of the tunnel eventually.

-- Louise Udall-Waring (, March 23, 2004.

Hey everyone. Its Julie again. I had my surgery one week ago today. I decided to have the bone graft taken from the shin on the broken leg. The procedure went on without a hitch. I went home the same day. Had a nerve block for the first 18 hours which was nice. My ankle does not hurt at all but my shin sure does. I have this huge uncomfortable splint that is thankfully being removed in 6 days. One week down.....five more to go. I just pray it fuses this time. I will update when somthing new happens. If anyone wants to chat please feel free to e mail. Good luck to everyone.

-- Julie Seeley (, March 26, 2004.

March 28, 2004

On 02/06/04 I was involved in a car accident that left me with a compound fracture tib/fib of the right leg. I was amazed at the scene of the accident that I did not feel more pain than I did. My 10 month old daughter was with me and by God'd Grace was not injured-I believe my focus on her allowed me to "ignore" the pain temporarily.

I recieved emergency surgery at my local hospital within 3-4 hours of the accident. I have a rod from my knee to ankle and 3 pins. I still have a very large open wound that i am now seeing a plastic surgeon for. So far all he has done is prescribe Accuzyme once daily on site. I am very worried about infection and pray daily that the Lord will keep me well. I did come home from the hopital with a picc line for 8 days of antibiotic as well as 10 days of an oral antibiotic- so hopefully this will help. I am walking unassisted after 7 weeks however I still need a cane for stairs or uneven ground- I feel very fortunate that this was the only injury I sustained however I can identify with the depression many of you are feeling-it is difficult to stay positive some days-I feel especially concerned for the young teenagers-please do all your doctors are telling you, it will get better-you have one up on us "older" ones- your youth and your health.

Prayers to all of you and thank you for your stories-it is nice to know others understand.


-- Traci Ervin (, March 28, 2004.

In Feb 1997 I was Skiing and had a compound spiral fracture of the tib and fib in my left leg. Surgeon inserted tib nail (rod) and 3 screws. Nothing was done to the fib. Recieved a bone growth stimulation machine after about 2 months of healing. Went into walking boot at 5 months and out of that at 10 months. All of you who have suffered this injury be strong there is a lot of rehab if you want to run again. My leg is now totally normal except for numbness on the left side of my leg. Doctor says it will always be that way. I consider myself lucky thats all I have to deal with. If this injury had occurred 20 years ago I would be walking with a limp and would not be able to run. Have Faith all!! God Bless!!

-- chris (, April 01, 2004.

Every case is different and each persons bones heal (or not) at their own pace. I would strongly consider a steel rod. They have that procedure down to a science now and the results are excellent.

17 yrs ago I took my boys youth group roller skating. They were 6 and 7 at the time. Bad move! Murphy's Law being what it is, one of the children slipped and fell, hitting my leg, while I was standing still ohhhhhhhing and ahhhhing over their accomplishments. Upon falling the leg fractured several more times. You have all been through this so I will spare the rest. End result, a devastating compound fracture of the right tibia and fibia, and nerve damage. As you have read repeatedly, the pain from this type of break and the necessary surgeries to repair are far worse than the most difficult of labor and deliveries. My nerves were severed when the bones broke and my toes would no longer work. There is the typical surface nerve damage that has never returned and I still tend to drag that foot just a bit. Through nerve induction therapy I did get the use of my toes back. About 2 years after the accident, I had the knee pins removed because of the pain. That went very easily and helped a great deal. For those of you who are new to the steel rods, know now that you will be the local weather forecaster! You will also not be able to kneel for some time to come, if ever. Work VERY hard with the physical therapist, and do MORE than they tell you to do. That will determine how movile you will be down the road. You WILL walk again and with hard work you will not limp! Other than the weather changes and the natural fear of falling or reinjuring again.....all will be well. But, it will be on your own time frame and not someone else's. I walked with crutches for about 9 months and then graduated to a cane for about 3 months. The newest wrinkle for me, after 17 yrs is that the rod is backing it's way out. With each step it hits the tendon about the tibia and into the miniscus. The last two years have gotten progressively worse and I am now in a great deal of pain with every step I take. Due to the fear of more surgery and the enormous pain that goes with it, I have put this off. I am now at the point that the pain from walkingis worse than the fear of the pain that goes with surgery. The positive: I know that once it is done, I can heal and move on! I will be having surgery soon to remove it. If anyone has had a very old rod and pins removed, please let me know of your experiences and advice. God Bless each of you. Work hard and talk to those of us when you are down. It will make ALL the difference. Feel free to contact me at either of these addresses: OR

-- Nancy L. mitchum (Nmitchum@SCVRD.STATE.SC.US), April 02, 2004.

Hi Everyone-I originally wrote several weeks ago re: open wound 6 weeks post tib/fib compound fracture--my local plastic surgeon referred me to WPAFB hospital for possible Hyperbaric Chamber Treatment-however, once reviewed by the wound care specialists team they seem to think the slow healing is due to edima-so to all of you out there that are suffering with slow wound healing after this type of fracture-don't ignore the swelling!--I now have a compression cast (soft)with special meds underneath which will be changed weekly and re-medicated. i just thought the swelling was normal from the trauma and my local plastic surgeon only recommended an over the counter elastic stocking-so hopefully this more agressive tx will work-- anyone with a similar experience I would love to hear from you-Again good luck to all of you and God bless- Traci from Ohio

-- Traci Ervin (, April 03, 2004.

I think this is the third entry or so. We are now almost 5 weeks post second surgery. The bone grafts have taken hold and physical therapy began last week. It will be 6 months since the inital injury on the 19th. Not walking yet, but the leg can now bare some weight. The biggest problem at this point is BOREDOM!!!!! I am sure many of you can identify with that.

-- Lou Ann White (, April 04, 2004.

I posted somewhere above about my traumatic motorcycle accident last October. It was an open tib/fib and shattered femur. The ortho doctors at Ben Taub - a level 1 Trauma Hospital were able to put me back together. Hardware included: 2 titanium rods, screws/nails. anywayz, i posted some pics of my x-rays.

LEFT FEMUR: tures/23972david_s_rod_004-med.jpg

LEFT TIB/FIB: tures/23972david_s_rod_018-med.jpg

Its been 24 weeks since the surgery and I am doing great. The leg and thigh are still weak but i'm working it out. Walking without a limp and managed to play a few games of basketball. The fractured bones in my back have been causing me problems lately. Mostly due to muscle tightness in abdomen and lower back. I have one more appointment with ortho and smooth sailing from there.......................I hope :p

Wish yall the best, David

-- David (, April 04, 2004.

here goes the correct links:

LEFT FEMUR: tures/23972david_s_rod_004-med.jpg

LEFT TIB/FIB: tures/23972david_s_rod_018-med.jpg

When copying make sure there are no spaces in link. Oh well, hope it works.

-- david (, April 04, 2004.

i'm 48 year old mother and wife and was very active. nov of 2003 i broke my tib & fib in 3 places. i have a rod and screws. they took out one screw last month. it has been 5 months, and i actually am riding my horse once again. i loped yesterday and what a wonderful feeling!!! i walk with a limp and can't jog at all. my foot turns out and i try to keep it straight but .... anyway no more crutches, or canes, so i am feeling pretty good. i was very depressed for quite a while.. this note is just to say, hang in there, it does get better....

good luck to all of you, i know how you feel. the intial break did not hurt at all. just for the next 4 days!!!! whew, having a baby is nothing compared to that...i thought they were trying to kill me in the hospital! good luck, work hard at getting better, and keep a positive attitude!! lisa

-- lisa van winkle (, April 06, 2004.

Hi to all--I just wanted to post to let all of you know that the compression wraps are really working--- I had about 15% more granulation of the exit wound than I did just one week ago. So the edima was really the contributing factor in my having an open wound for 8 weeks-it is still open but at least now there is progress in healing. So please anyone just seeing their orthopedic or plastic surgeon, my advice is to consult with a wound specialist team-they really take a closer look. Hope this helps anyone out there still struggling to heal. God Bless--Traci

-- Traci Ervin (, April 13, 2004.

I have only my story. Im a 29 year old Male. On Jan-17-04 I was out riding my dirt bike on a fire road in Upper Lake, Ca. and went head on with a truck. Major compound facture to lower Tib/Fib. The Tib got crushed into 8 pieces and fib 4 pieces. The Tib. sticking out of leg. After about 6 hours I had surgery. I got 2 steel plates and 15 screws. No cast due to open wound. Just a splint at first, then a boot. The first month seemed to go well. Then I started having unusual sharp pain at the fracture area. There was no signs of infection or other problems. Except a increasing sharp pain. At 10 weeks my surgery scar blistered and stared draining alittle. After a blood test Doc said no infection. On week 11 it was draining alot more and infection was obvious. Now they want to cut me back open and clean it out. O ya and there is no sign of bone growth yet. GOT TO THINK POSITIVE. I will be back with a follow up later.

-- Joe Steinmetz (, April 13, 2004.

You guys are scaring the crap out of me. I just had my accident and surgery five weeks ago on March 20, 2004. The swellinf is pretty bad and it appears to be infected now. I had a Harley Davidson get loose on me and gave me the spiral break of the Tib and Fib. The doc says forget the fib as its not a weight bearer and choose to leave it to mother nature. I had a plate and nine screws placed on the tib. From what I've read of your situations we are all different and the healing process differs from each of us. I think the answer is in good medical treatment. As for myself the Veterans Hospital is doing the honors so I need prayers for sure.

-- Terry Yarbrough (, April 22, 2004.

Hey everyone! I have a compound fracture of my tibia/fibula that occured last year at the end of May. They placed a rod and five screws in my leg. As of my last doctor visit the bones have finally grown together. But as a result of the injury, my knee was really screwed up and now the doctor is sending me for an MRI of the knee. I know this is a bit off topic, but has anyone out there had an MRI done after their injuries? I'm extremely worried about the impact of the MRI on the implant. The doctor says not to worry ... but as I see it, I have a large piece of metal in my leg and the MRI is magnetic.

-- Vija Twardzik (, April 26, 2004.

sorry for the long post! You'll be fine in the MRI--

30 year old girl, I had a car accident march 13 2002. trapped in the car for 45 minutes, lost about a 1/3 of my blood; butterfly compound fractures to tib fib; double fractures to the collarbone; fractured vertebrae at t12 and l1 that were fused with bone from my hip and titanium (titanium's out now) two fractures to the pelvis; fractured tailbone; broken arm; torn mcl and acl; and lots of lacerations. Week in the ICU, 10 days in rehab hospital, bed rest at my parents, wheelchair and then finally crutches. Feeling almost 100% now.

My tib fib was repaired with titanium and 4 screws plus skin grafts to the front and back of my leg taken from my hip. In general, my knee feels weak and I donít have normal feeling throughout that leg. You can barely tell where they took the skin cells from my hip, but my leg grafts are quite unattractive. Iíd say they covered 45% of my lower leg. Iíve just last month had the titanium removed so that I can have acl surgery if I want to, though I might not ever do it. I have a good knee brace that seems to do the trick on the slopes. I also am having ďflap extensionĒ procedures done to close the gap of the skin grafts. I was so scared to take the metal out, but so far all has healed great and I have a little less pain in the ankle and knee. My first Ortho, Dr. Diduch at UVA (horrible personality imo) had scared me off of taking it out by telling me how painful it would be. But I moved to NYC and my great Dr. Lorich said many Drís donít like taking metal out b/c itís hard and they donít get much $$ for it. He said it was a no brainier and to do it. (Originally, I was only going to take the screws out). I have no regrets.

Acupuncture was able to bring back feeling in my foot and improve my circulation (and spirits) and I would highly encourage anyone looking for another alternative to try it. Pilateís also helped me to regain strength after being discharged from the pt hospital. Strength training at the gym is huge too. You have to FIGHT for your mobility, try anything and everything. And the sooner the better (once the Dr. okís it of course).

I was looking for info on swelling. Believe it or not, I am up and about doing everything I did before the accident. I ski, ride horses, bike etc. I won't be entering any beauty contests, but it's all there and working well with the exception of the lower circulation for which I have to wear a compression sock at all times. Has anyone tried surgery to repair their vascular deficiencies?

I feel grateful that I healed very quickly. I did what the doctors told me, made sure to ask anytime I had questions or didnít think something was right, and made sure to push myself in rehab. Pain and especially fear of pain can hold you back from getting better. Make sure that you stretching as much as possible. I would have my boyfriend flex all my joints for me several times a day when I was immobilized. Itís scary how quickly the body disintegrates. But also amazing how quickly it CAN recover. July 4th 20002 I was walking around in heels (slowly) but surely. I kept a good attitude by reminding myself that I couldnít take back the ER phone call my parentís got in the middle of the night, or the base amount of time I would be in the hospital, but I COULD control how quickly I got better and my attitude around my family and friends. I wasnít going to make it harder on them than it already was. I also got off the meds as quickly as possible. Good luck to everyone!!!

-- Katherine Jordan (, April 27, 2004.

I am a 53 YO male who on Sunday 2-15-04 slipped on the ice (Pennsylvania) breaking the tib/fib of the left leg. Had 3 hrs. of emergency surgery 5 hrs. after the fall. Have a SS plate approx. 6" along with 9 screws holding the tib together approx. 3-1/2" above ankle. The fib was broken near the knee and is being held in place by the tib. Plaster cast to knee for 2 wks. Fiberglass cast for 4 wks. Started light therapy with large "rubber band" to return mobility to ankle. Wearing embolism stocking for swelling. X-rays as of 4-29-04 show healing is coming along. Allowed now to put 50% of body weight on left leg with crutches. Possible full body weight at end of May depending upon X-rays, then major physical therapy. Doctor says full healing may take as long as 6 months. It is a slow process of healing. Have to take it as it comes and one day at a time. I wish healing and God's blessing to all.

-- Lewis J. Anderson (, April 30, 2004.

Hi Everyone,

It has been about a month since my last posting and I am doing much better. At almost 12 weeks post surgery I can now walk completely unassisted. I still go to physical therapy 3 times weekly and I am still being treated weekly for open wound, however, each week shows great improvement. There are actually days now that hours go by without me even thinking about my injury! Per doctors wound should heal by mid summer-Hooray! About the only activity I still have trouble with is carrying my 1 yr old daughter up and down the stairs-I thank God for a very supportive family that helps a great deal. God Bless to all of you and if anyone needs info re wound healing, I have much of it! Also, my email was listed incorrectly on my initial posting-oops! (must have been all those pain meds)-so if I missed your email I apologize.....Take care of yourselves-Traci

-- Traci Ervin (, May 01, 2004.

After almost 11 months of pain and disappointments, the Dr. tells me "The bone is healed." I have a limp and pain in my knee, but am walking. ( 4 miles+ ) It has been a long, hard recovery. It is so good to be back on my feet... I pray each of you are well soonest...

-- Dannie R. Overton (, May 01, 2004.

I am a 50 year old father of 4.I had a compound fracture of my left tib/fib in November 2001. I fell off of a latter at home with only my 7 year old daughter with me. She is now my guardian angel. After an abdominal nuscle flab, infection, ex. fix., plaster cast, walking boot for 1 year was I diagnosed with a non union. Last August I had a bone graff and plate installed. Nine more months of plaster cast and brace. Last week I was cleared to have 100% weight bearing. I am walking well and riding a ex. bike regularly. I will be resuming my golf hobby shortly. Thank you to my wife, children and good friends. Don't ever give up!!!

-- steve foley (, May 03, 2004.

I suffered a pilon fracture of distal tib/fib when I fell on ice (there was a guy here from PA who did that, no?) on January 16, 2004. Rushed to emergency, scheduled for surgery next a.m. - the cut my new UGGS off! 4 1/2 hour surgery, metal plate over tibia down ankle, plate over fibula. After 2 weeks is partial plaster from knee down, staples were removed and I was left with a large scab over my right ankle and given a CAM walker but could do no weight bearing. Finally, at I started pt at about 8 weeks and was 5 weeks into it when the scab fell off and exposed METAL! I was scheduled for surgey again to remove tibial plate, given intravenous antibiotics to cover infection, checked out by plastic surgeon and infectious disease docs and sent home 2 days later with a plaster cast from knee down and a window to change wound dressing 3x/day. Plastic surgeon prescribed wet/dry dressing with combo of neomycin and amphoteracin (antibiotic/antifungal) switching from one to the other 3x/each day. At one week the wound was healing, at two weeks the cast cut off and staples removed, wound looking good. Plaster cast replaced for a total of six weeks in plaster - HOT PINK! Now, the screw in my fib ankle is pressing against the inside of the plaster and I see doc tomorrow. I wish they could have removed both plates at the sames time but the fractures were apparently too new for that. I found myself craving Pineapple after both surgeries and found that it contains anti-inflammatory enzymes that have been shown to reduce post-surgical swelling. Also manganese aids digestion (bad from the antibiotic i.v.) and fiber (helps with pain med constipation) and vitamin C, iron & Calcium. I am a yoga instructor who also works as a landscape consultant - I've been out of work since Jan and can't wait to get off crutches. I was partial weight bearing for almost 2 weeks before the complication and am TIRED! God bless those of you with kids - I don't know how you do it. Is anyone else who fell on ice considering moving to a warmer clime before next winter?

-- Evelyn Zak (, May 04, 2004.

I slipped climbing up a metal swimming pool ladder at the age of 10. Despite lots of pain and bruising and swelling in lower shin area, family dr deciding it was growing pains and "ignore it, time heals all". Pain and brusing remained consistant...some days good, some days bad. I slipped in bathtub at age of 30, hitting same leg in same again said, leg doesn't look bad, just go home and rest. One week later, in the same ER, compartment syndrome was dx'd and no pulses were found in leg or foot. Vascular surgeon was determined that leg needed to be amputated but fortunately, plastic surgeon intervened with diagnosis of blood disorder which would have made amputation a death sentence. In the years since, there has been a lot of pain, pain blocks, tens unit, pain medication, and cellulitis. There was also a diagnosis of osteomylitis, RSD, and finally a discovery that there has been several tib-fib fractures, all poorly healed. This is a lesson to all out there, you don't get medals for been stoic regarding pain. Address it and find appropriate pain managemnt. It sounds as though you all have been smart enough to know better that to stay with original dx and treatment if "it just doesn't sound right". And now, after 3 months of controllable pains, an Xray and MRI have confirmed sarcoma in this leg. So now remember the saying about "If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all"? Thank you all for being the strong people you are because I'd just about decided to call it a day until I read your emails. Thank you.

-- Lacey (, May 24, 2004.

What a amazing web site! I could have used this Feb.1999 when I broke my tib fib in a spiral compound that didn't heal for years. My skiing accident resulted in me being in a x-fix for 5 months ,the nine casts later on a walker I was in plastic cast I could remove for showers( aren't they fun in this condition).I had a non-union tib fib for 2 years. First surgery was the x-fix and screws. Two years later after the healing started the screws were taken out. Then due to lack range of motion in my ankle I had my last surgery to make my achilles tendon longer( that helped me stop limping - still can't run). I never got my muscles to come back to normal. But I got to keep my leg. The one thing my orthopedic physican told me that turned out to be true was it takes a long, long, long time to heal this type of fracture. I had 40 appointments and my x-ray file is a monster. I did by the way get a second opinion that did agree with my physican. Hang in there fellow tib fibbers. Some where down the road there,s light at the end of the tunnel. Linda Spahn

-- Linda Spahn (, May 30, 2004.

What an interesting site. Looks like there are a lot of people who have been through similar things. I was involved in a car accident in 1999, resulting in numerous broken ribs, smashed shoulder, finger, and an open fracture of the tibia and fibia. Thank god for morphine :-) I spent around 1 month in hospital and had a metal pin and screws in my leg. Around 6 months later due to a gap still being in the bone they removed the screws and let the bone slide down over the pin till they touched again. They hoped that the friction would stimulate growth. Obviously this meant that one leg was now a bit shorter. Luckily it worked. During this period i was on crutches and only walking on the leg in Hydrotheraphy - which was fantastic. Anyway it was around 18 months in total before i threw away the sticks and walked unaided. Since then i have gone from strength to strength - a internal lift in my shoe means i can walk with the very slightest of limps and i have been able to go back to running on a treadmill etc.. Occasionally there is a little pain (cold weather etc). So the decision now is whether to remove the metal pin in my leg or leave it it...??? I had hoped that recovery would have been quicker but feel that all in all i am very lucky. To anyone going through it at the moment, it will get better and a positive outlook is the best medicine. Take care one and all,


-- Neil Franklin (, June 07, 2004.


I have a tibia fractre about six inches above the ankle. The doctor set the bone but after two weeks the new x-rays I took shows the dontor off set by a 1/4 of a inche or so. When I question the doctor if it was going to heal this way he said yes. WHAT?! Is my bone going to heal off set. He said that it would form a small ball like piece of bone and that is what will contect the bone. I don't feel comfortable for the bone to heal this way. But get this I don't have insurance, and I think that he is treating me different for this reason, maybe he is not doing surgery because of this. What do I do, I think that I would feel more comfortable with a pin or a plate there. Lining up the bones correctly. I have a cast from my toes to teh tip top of my hip. So I suggest to the doc that I would prefere this?

-- ANTHONY MONSON (ANTHONY41684@AOL.COM), June 16, 2004.

My advice would be to ask for a copy of your slides (you should try to get copies of all your records as you go along) and show them to another doctor. You could also express you concerns in writing to him and the patient services rep. which would probably scare him into taking you more seriously if he doesn't already.

Depending on the state you live in, you will be covered in different ways as an uninsured patient. If you can't get an appointment, you could camp out in the ER till someone sees you.

IMO, I don't think metal changes the way your bone heels, it just allows you to get around faster. Part of me thinks Dr's do it b/c they get money from the titanium guys everytime they insert them.

-- Not my Real Name (, June 17, 2004.

Hello,I am the fellow from Pennsylvania who fell on the ice Feb. 15 2004 breaking the tibia/fibula of the left leg and had emergency surgery the same day. To give you an update I am down to one crutch ( the side opposite the break)and have started physical therapy three times a week for about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs.a day. Plus I have exercises to do at home as well. Therapy is schedule right now for 6 wks. I walk with a limp without the crutch which they say the physical therapy will correct. The ankle is becoming more mobile and the leg is getting stronger. It is a VERY SLOW! process but praise God it is progressing. One physical therapist said it could take 12/18 months for a total recovery. So keep at it all.

Lewis J. Anderson

-- Lewis J. Anderson (esmalew@verizon.netl), June 17, 2004.

Well, I have really enjoyed reading everyone's stories. I think I am the oldest posting... 44... and the only figure skater! I fell while skating backwards during my low power class (aerobics on ice). I have a spiral fracture to my tibia. The DR explained he could not guarantee proper healing in a long leg cast because of a slight offset and so onto surgery I went.

I never did any research until today about how major a tibia fracture is!!! I am a very optimistic person and was totally devastated at my 6 week post op apointment when I was told minimal weight for another 4 weeks! This site has taught me much and I promise to be more patient.

Loss of independence has definitely been the biggest hurdle. My family, friends and co-workers have been truly wonderful. One co- worker gave me a walker that has a chair built into it. This "Rollater" has been an absolute "sanity-saver". It makes getting around the house and taking care of simple things like laundry, dishes and meals doable. I have been told the major chains like "Osco Drug" are now selling them. Freedom from crutches!

God Bless All

-- Elizabeth Silenzi (, June 20, 2004.

Hi fellow sufferers! I am 53 year old Ohio female who took a dive on black ice while trying to get the mail on Saturday, Feb 14, 2004. I had parked my car on the slight hill (very icy) and ran across (well, part way)what I thought was just water. I remember seeing all the ordinal directions on my way down, and hearing both bones pop before I hit the ground. I did a commando crawl to get off the road to avoid being hit by any possible oncoming cars. I knew better than to try to stand up! The first car kept going, the second stopped. The people were from the neighboring county and when they called 911, it went to that county (who had never heard of our tiny town) and even though I live less than 1/2 mile from our excellent squad in our small village, it was 45 minutes til it arrived, just in time for them to keep my car from running over me. It slid down the hill and was touching my back when they arrived. Wonderful neighbors tried to keep me warm and entertained until help arrived. I was taken to the hospital, they x-rayed and put a splint up the back of my leg and sent me home to contact orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Matt Bernhard on Monday. I went in on Monday expecting to get a cast and be back to school on Tuesday. He told me no way would I be back in time because they wanted to do a cat scan and surgery. That broke my heart; we were to move into a new building on Wednesday the next week and I had looked forward to that for years!! I found out I had a compound spiral fracture to the right fibula (three breaks) and tibia (7 breaks) right at the ankle joint. Surgery was not done until Friday, in the meantime, clutz that I am, I tangled with the crutches at least three times and put full weight on the ankle (the splint was no help at all), which made the injury worse by the time surgery was done. I woke up with an external fixator, 2 pins in my shin, one in each side of my foot and a pin runing through my heel right to left that the other pins by way of 10 rods and lots of knobs were anchored to. It looked like a tinker toy set on drugs and I had never known such a thing even existed. Anyway, 6 weeks in that thing, with a walker borrowed from my dad who had knee replacement 3 years ago. Then crutches, and now finally, last week a cane. God Bless my parents, (my dad finished radiation treatment for Prostate cancer the day before I fell) who ran errands for me, fed me and kept track of me, and my daughter who finished her nurses aid training the day before I fell and did the pin care and other necessary "medical" procedures at home for me. The school found a long term sub qualified to teach my area to fill in for me and I got to go back for the last 3 weeks of school. Thank God for rolling desk chairs! Every week I called my principal to tell him I was coming back the next week and he would just laugh and ask me what I was taking. He had a better idea of what I was facing than I did! I am still in pain and limping; the largest break, closest to the weight bearing surface of the ankle bone, has not healed, the others have. They gave me a bone stimulator machine to use every day for 20 minutes but said that I would not see much improvement for at least 4 weeks. Since the therapist told me that a few years ago this injury would have resulted in crippling for life a best, and amputation at worst, I am thankful and willing to bear the pain. After reading everyone else's experiences, I have gotten off very easy I think. I take lots of calcium and keep a good diet--never smoked anyway and do all the exercises the therapist showed me. I want to be off that cane by the time school starts next fall. I hope I don't have to have a rod. The plate and 7 screws in the fibula is plenty of metal! Thanks to all of you who have posted, I know I am pretty much on schedule towards recovery. Bless you all and prayers for you!

-- Barbara Fisher (, June 22, 2004.

I am a 23y/o white male. I had a very similar injury from a car accident in January 2004 where my honda accord flipped due to an object on the road that i tried avoid while driving back to college (4 hours away). Basically the car rolled and slammed on the guard rail of the turnpike which shattered my left lower leg very severe tib/fib compound open fracture, also broken 2nd 3rd 4th and 5th metatarsals. My leg was pinned down on the car for about one hour because the paramedics/EMT team could not get me out. Finally after about an hour (i was concious and suffering like never in my life) i was airlifted to a local hospital. This was on a sunday but I couldnt have surgery on monday because i had to have two blood transfussions and platelets because of all the blood i had lost. surgery was finally on wednesday at 2pm, lasted 2.5 hours. I have two IM rods in my tib/fib two screws holding them at the ankle and I had external pins (K wires) on all my toes/metatarsals which stayed in for 8 weeks to keep them aligned that was the most painful part since it was an open wound through my foot. I still have both rods and two pins which will come out someday this year (I pray). I most confess that I have never before experienced so much pain and agony. I was on zero weigh bearing for three months until april 4th when I was shocked after my surgeon (the best trauma surgeon in Florida) told me that i can finally start walking (finally on the 4th month). I can tell you I have been off the crutches since april and i am doing very well but to this date i still limp a little bit specially after a long day, but i am very fortunate to have had such an excellent surgeon to put my leg back together so succesfuly. I expect to be limping this bit until the pins come out which then I will continue working very hard to be 100%. The key to a good outcome with these types of injuries is the surgeon and for me it was a blessing to fall under his care. He tells me that after my tibia heals which is still not fully healed at six months, I can then start running and then return some weeks later to remove the rods and pins which he has already agreed to remove. I will keep everyone posted, I see him again in august (8 weeks after the last visit) I pray that there is more bone healing since he did what is called dynamization of the rod which is removal of the top screw (by the knee) to allow for some stress to be put on the fracture and aloow healing. I have been going to the gym 4x/week doing biking, eliptical stepmaster and pool excercises and I strongly encourage EVERYONE with clearance from the doctor go to the gym. It has helped me regain all my ROM in my ankle and the reason why i limp a little bit now is because of a dull pain on the fracture and not because i cant rotate the ankle. PT is ok but you are your own physical therapist, I would otherwise be on a cane if I had not put so much effort at the gym to get better. please email me with any questions, and good luck to everyone... we will all get better! Ciao, adolfo

-- Adolfo (, July 06, 2004.

This is not an answer to anyone'e questions, but I'd like to share. I'm a 50 year old woman. Dec. 15, 2003, I fell down a muddy, grassy, bank taking out a bag of trash. The sod gave way, and my left leg went underneath me. Both bones in my left leg snapped (I heard them...sickening!)My daughter was with me, but couldn't get me up because the leg just hung there. She had to call the squad, who got lost or somthing. A neighbor came in the meantime, and held something over my head to keep the rain from pouring in my face. The first hospital they took me to had no room in their ortheopedic wing, so I had to be transported 50 miles in the other direction. Anyway, I ended up with emergancy surgery, steel rod and screws in both bones. Both the bones are healed, but it was a really long time before I was allowed to walk, because the incision over the large bone would not heal. 6.5 months later I still have an open wound. Being treated for last 3 weeks with Accuzyme. I can really feel for all of you on this site.Glad to know I'm not alone. Guess misery really does love company.

-- Sara Jane Roofe (, July 07, 2004.

Hi there, Iím 33 and fractured my Tib/Fib in a Judo grading 2 months ago (needless to day I didnít grade!). After the doc's tried to let it heal by itself in a full length cast the tibia slipped out of place, so after 5 weeks of convalescing, they hauled me in for nailing. Life is a lot easier since the operation, with my leg out of a cast, but I'm still non-weight bearing for I donít know how long for. No one seems to be able to tell me how long its going to be before I can walk with or without crutches, but I guess if there is one thing Iíve learnt over the last 2 months is that Patience is so important and Iíve taught myself to be patient Ė well, Iím still teaching myself!

This site has been very valuable to me and obviously other sufferers as we are not alone. Keeping depression at bay is hard sometimes, and not letting myself get frustrated with the things I canít do is tough. Trying to concentrate on what I can do, and looking at the improvements. I have gone from a very fit active independent woman to someone whoís afraid to go out the house (despite how desperate I am to get out there!). being alone all day and not seeing the outside world is really getting me down though. Iím lucky that I can work from home, but it doesnít make up for the cabin fever! It doesnít do to beat yourself up about being depressed though, its something thatís common to most patients who have suffered a trauma. But am trying to stay positive (for myself and for the long suffering people whoíve been cooking and caring for me!)

I wonder if you have any advice to what to start with in the gym? I am looking forward to being allowed to get back the gym and getting my confidence back. As soon as the docs say I can cycle I think that will be a life saver. At home Iíve been doing my leg raises/situps/etc to try and build up the quads etc that have wasted away to nothing.

I have a 5 week post op x-ray next week and am hoping the Docís will let me put some weight on my leg at last.

Listening to your stories it seems the more you can do for yourself the better. Wish you all the best with your recovery and thanks for your stories God bless

-- Julia Langham (, July 10, 2004.

i broke my right tib n fib 7 yrs ago and still get pain in cold wether ane one of the screws is snaped in side my bone so i dont want to go and get rod out

-- jimmy dared (, July 11, 2004.

I was in a flying accident on April 18th, 2004. My ultralight (Powereed Parachute) malfunctioned at about 60 feet and spiraled into the ground. Luckly, my major injury was only my leg in this case. I had a double coumpound of right leg. Was airlifted to the hospital where they spent 4 hours picking dirt, grass, clothing, etc out of the wound. Six weeks later i had to have a bone graft of the tibia because such a large piece of bone was missing, it snaped off. I have been in this external fixatur for 3 months now. As one person said earlier, you have those days where the depression gets to you. The lower 4 inches of my tibia shattered into about 4 pieces and is being held together with 3 long screws. I have a steel plate with screws holding the fib together. Then the external fixatur (expensive splint) is holding everything together. I will be so happy when i can walk on it again. It seems like it has been an eternity. It doesnt help that i like to stay active and busy. Hang in there everyone. I hope for the best for everyone that has ever gone thru this, horrible type of accident.

-- Chad (, July 14, 2004.

The very short version........I am 29 year old male. On Jan-17-04 I went head on with a truck on my motorcycle. Major compound fracture to right Tib/ Fib, above ankle. It broke Tib in 10 pieces and Fib in 3. I recieved 2 steel plates and 15 screws. So, 3 months into this, I developed a pretty major bone infection!! WOW. So, back in the hospital for surgery to clean it out, followed by 6 weeks of IV antibiotic. (pick-line) Plus oral antibiotics. At this point, it has now been 6 months and there has been very little, or no bone growth. The infection seems to be gone, or under control. Xrays show a huge gap between one point in the Fib. Bone graph is probaly needed, but Doc is worried about the infection coming back. So, I am currently using a bone stimulater 10 hrs per day. The Doc says if the infection doent come back and bone starts growing, its going to be another 6 months. OMG TO BE CONTINUED......................

-- Joe Steinmetz (, July 15, 2004.

I made a little typo above.. The huge gap between bone that needs graph, IS THE TIB. NOT THE FIB. BIG DIFFERENCE

-- Joe Steinmetz (, July 15, 2004.

Dang Joe, that sounds pretty bad. I was lucky and didnt develop any bone infections with mine (knock on wood). I am almost 4 months into mine now and I am just now showing signs of bone growth in the x- rays. As my doctor put it "its as if the cement is there now, and the cement needs to dry now". My bone graft on my tib went pretty well, so the doc says. Mine was broke into about 4 pieces, not as bad as yours. Hope you get some good news soon ! Doc says i will have my external fixature at least anothe month along with the screws and plates probably being permanent. I asked my doctor about the electronic bone growth stimulators. Not to discourage you, but he didnt have a lot of faith in them. He did say it seems to work for some people though. Hope you are one of those people. I have been taking my vitamins and calcium EVERY day to help with growth. Are you doing this also? If not, i highly recommend it. Just after 4 months i already have signs of osteoperosis in my ankle (loss of bone density). You can easily see it in your x-rays. The calcium will help with this.

Best of luck to you!

-- Chad (, July 20, 2004.

I think this is our third post or so. 9 months since the motorcycle accident and finally walking with a limp albeit. The bone that supports the weight of the leg is not healing properly. The ankle has finally healed. We find out about more surgery on 8/4. This will be the third insertion of a rod and pins and a new bone graft. Hopefully, we will get a good report from the surgeon on the 4th. We are also in FL and this surgeon has a good reputation. Although we have good insurance, the medical bills are a bit too much to handle sometimes.

-- Lou Ann (, July 27, 2004.

Hi. I wish you the best of luck with your leg. I am 27. In April of 2004 I was in a surfing accident (there was no shark surprisingly) and sustained a compound fracture in my tibia and broke my fibula in two different places with some bones im my ankle. The doctors inserted a rod into my tibia. Afther the surgery I have damage to my pereneal nerve making my foot drop. Does anyone have any advice on this subject?

-- Camilla Artois (, July 28, 2004.

I have several previous posts. Finally. Good news!!!!!! After 10 long months and 2 surgeries, there is significant bone growth!!!!! While there is still a ways to go, it looks like it is all up hill from this point on. It has been a long haul. I will be happy when life returns to normal.

-- Lou Ann (, August 04, 2004.

Hello, It's good to hear that i'm not the only one that has to suffer.I'm a 32 male and had a motorcycle accident on June 11,2004.I broke my left Tib right above the ankle and my Fib right under the knee.I had surgery the next day.They placed a ten inch plate and 10 screws on the tiba and left the fibula alone.They said it should heal by itself.Well as of my last doctors appointment 8,6,2004 there is no bone growth and now they want to do another surgery and put another plate and more screws on the fibula.I asked about getting a bone stimulator to help with the healing but the doctor says i have to wait at least 4 months to get one.It seams sorta silly to have to wait and suffer when there is something that can only help recover quicker.The doctor says these things take time.It's easy for them to say that,I bet he never has even broken a bone in his life.Well i gotta go and elevate the leg, but if anyone would like someone to talk to,and help each other get thru this email me.Take it easy and hopefully talk to some of you soon.Your friend Jared

-- Jared Conover (, August 11, 2004.

On Feb 22, 2004 I slipped on the ice. This resulted in a spiral fracture of the tibia and fibula. It looked like a cartoon X-ray, all jagged and twisted. I should start with the fact that I am a healthy 5'3", 120 lb, 28 yr. old female who used to run 8 - 10 miles a week before the fall. Doc inserted a metal rod and 3 screws in the tibia, and left the fibula alone. (apparently that is normal because it is a non-weight bearing bone) I don't remember what it's like not to be in pain. It's been 6 months, and 2 of the 3 screws have been removed. I limp, can't run, and standing or walking is very painful. I am a police officer and am not used to doing nothing. I do not like a desk job, but thats what I am stuck with for now. Every day others ask me when am I coming back to work... if they only knew how hard it was to deal with this. It's early August now and I just went to the doctor yesterday. Apparently I did too much too soon, and have now developed posterior tibialis compartment syndrome. Whatever that is, it's painful. The most frustrating part is that this is my second broken leg in 3 years. Last time my horse kicked me and cracked my femur, but I was healed and running in 3 1/2 months! Sorry to hear that others have the same issues and alot are worse off than I, but I feel better knowing I'm not alone. Lets all try to heal quickly and correctly, at least thats what I pray for every night.

-- Amy Ressler (, August 12, 2004.

Hey, didn't know there were so many of us out there! I'm a 21 year old male, destroyed my right leg on a trampoline (the devil's creation) and I had a tib/fib compound fracture, 2 surgeries, titanium rod inserted, the whole nine yards. I was wondering how long this healing process will take. I'm at 5 weeks after the accident, and I'm not putting any pressure on the leg. The wound has almost completely scabbed up, so that isn't a concern anymore. I think joint movement is the most important thing. Don't let them freeze up. As far as the break, vitamins, veggies, calcium, gelatin, all that stuff. Good luck!

-- Mark Ellis (, August 12, 2004.

Well, I also hold no answers but thought I would share my story. I use to be really active, but for the last two years became quite sedentary. I decided I was going to start exercising again. I started jogging, i bought a bike..... One morning I forced myself out of bed to go for a bike ride. I made it across the 8 lane street, into a 55+ quiet community. My rear tire was making noise so i looked behind me and .... oh look, is that a guide wire that goes across the side walk? I swerved, but my handle bars still clipped it which sent my bike at an angle. I stuck my leg out to catch myself and it felt like my leg dislocated. Mind you it's 9:00am and there is no one around, my boyfriend didn't even know I went out! I didn't know what to do. Thank goodness there happened to be two ladies going for a walk, and they called 911. I ended up fracturing my tibia right at the knee joint and cracked my fib near the knee as well. They said I might need surgery so I had to stay overnight in the hospital.. what fun. After reviewing my MRI, the doc said that i would escape surgery, and i was on my way home. The first two weeks I was in constant pain, and i rarely left my bed. Only as of recently have i been able to get a full nights sleep. The accident was on July 6, and i just recently got a bendable knee brace. Everything seems like it's going ok. The worst for me is the attention. The people at my work look at me like i'm going to fall apart any moment, and if someone calls me 'hop-a-long' one more time, i just may go insane!! LOL My doctor said that i may not need physical therapy. This worries me, as my leg has atrophied and the guidance would be helpful. The doctor said Sept 2nd he would decide if i would be able to start putting weight on it. Don't you pretty much always need pt to help when you first start walking? I've already started working out again with free weights, and do leg lifts and stretchs on my broken leg. I try to eat well. I don't eat meat, although i do still get some protein. Any information i find gives conflicting info on whether that will affect the healing process. Although, some of the websites I've come across, even people who eat a lot of meat don't always heal soooo... only time will tell i guess.

-- Gwendolyn (, August 19, 2004.

Hi, just another story I'm afraid. I'm an 46 yr old Australian woman (am I the oldest person in this discussion?) who broke her leg skiing in New Zealand. My web site tells the story at I have a spiral fracture of my tibia, very close to the ankle, and a single break to the fibula nearer to the knee. I have had intramedullary rodding on the tibia, with a screw at the knee and the ankle. I had an 11 hour ambulance trip to hospital, and it was 24 hours following the accident before the operation was performed. I hope this hasn't compromised the outcome. I didn't realise how serious it was until reading this site. My husband says to stop reading - but that's such a guy type of response! I've learned a lot and thank you to everyone. Thanks to you, I've written out two pages of questions to ask my specialist and my physiotherapist. I broke my leg on the 5th August, so it's one month today. Except for a few jaunts on leaving hospital (full of painkillers), I've stayed mainly in bed or on the lounge with my leg elevated. I became scared by the pain levels when I tried to cut the pain killers. I am also sick of the codeine. So now I "RICE" (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). I am not doing much physiotherapy yet - just a very few baby kind of exercises to keep joint mobility somewhat exercised. I've noticed a lot of muscle loss in the effected quadricep. I've read that one of the main causes of pain in the knee (the main probem with intramedullary rodding) is believed to be muscle loss in the quad and hamstring. So now I'm trying desperately to do small exercises that employ my quad (lifting my leg up etc.)

I find ice is a wonderful painkiller - helps me cut the codeine almost in half to what the doctor told me to take. And keeping still. My leg is in one of those "Air Walker" boots - a black knee high boot with a rigid Kevlar strut up the sides and lots of very strong Velcro fasteners holding it together. It's wonderful as it allows me to open it and insert ice pacs (no more that 15 mins). I wear a backslab to bed at night, held on with bandages. I have a lot of swelling, but it is rapidly improving.

Thank god for the internet (esp wireless on the laptop on the lounge), video, DVD, reading, email, and the fact that I live behind a fabulous cafe that has a Michelin trained chef specialising in Jamaican, Mexican and Spanish food. I can just manage to get there on my crutches once a day and kill a couple of hours eating food that is truly amazing, and chat with the lovely people who run the restaurant. I'm very grateful to my husband who 'sets me up' each day on my lounge/universe. I'll keep reading this site, I've also printed out all of your contributions to take to my physio. I hope she finds it interesting as I have. I am hoping that I do not get any infection, that my bone will grow together, that my knee and ankle do not cause pain following recovery. I hope to be swimming, bike riding, running and even skiing again very soon. Quite a few of you have suggested that optimism is very important to recovery, and I'm going to hang on to that. Thanks!

-- Donna Goudie (, September 05, 2004.

Here I am sitting in front of the computer 3 weeks after my accident and 1 Ĺ weeks after surgery with a large metal plate (8 screws) holding my Fibula together and several other screws holding my ankle together. Commuting on my bicycle (with clipless pedals) home a tourist ran out in front of me at Fishermanís Wharf in San Francisco and I hit him hard. I went down and seemed ok except when I stood up and looked down to see my ankle was twisted about 90 degrees to the side. I believe my foot got stuck in the pedal and simply twisted my foot right off the leg. I collapsed and was taken to E.R. where under heavy morphine they forced my ankle back into a reasonably normal position. Had to wait over a week before surgery for the swelling to go down. In surgery the doctor said it was one of the worst ankle injuries heíd seen in 20 years and was picking out bits of bone and cartilage. I thought I was in bad shape but after reading the stories above I realize that it could have been much worse. No guarantee I will be 100% but at least he said I will be able to bike again, which is all I really care about. Except that Iím not going to use clipless pedals anymoreÖ

-- Brett G (, September 12, 2004.

To make a long story short,here it is.I am a 36 years old female,had a compound fracture of my left tibia{just right above my ankle}.Well,this had happened about 3 1/2 months ago.About a little over a month ago,the screws and rods had become infected so he had to take them out{thank goodness the bone was grown back together}.He wanted me to wear this boot-like brace and to be putting weight gradually on my leg.Well, i've been doing that,and know i'm at the point where I can start putting all my weight on it with crutches that is.But I find myself to be in a good deal of pain,even at night I usually have to cry myself to sleep.I am at my wits end!Everyone says that I'm not in any pain,even my own mother tells me that i'm not hurting anymore and that's it's been to long.Well,I'm sorry it does hurt when I walk{with crutches}.Can someone please tell me what could be wrong?Or are they right that I'm going crazy and it's all in my head?

-- Angie Shirley (, September 13, 2004.

Angie, I just want to say that you need to be strong and not let people tell you how you feel! That's one area in life where only you can be an expert - no-one else, not even your mother. If you are in pain, then you know it. I was really worried because my pain was going on for a long time, and I was using a lot of painkillers, but suddenly last week the pain has almost gone. It is like a miracle! I am so grateful, I am totally off the painkillers, but like you I was starting to doubt myself. I see now that's just absolute rubbish and I guess the pain itself is so tiring your mind becomes weak. Let's face it, going through something like this makes you really vulnerable, and as time goes on it effects a lot of aspects of your personality. Try and be strong and believe in yourself.

I can tell you that I attribute the sudden loss of pain in my leg to my wonderful physio who began massage on my leg (very gently at first, but increasing pressure) to stimulate the soft tissue and blood etc. This is what is going to heal your infection and also help the bones to knit. I am also doing a LOT of physio exercises each day now - basically I spend as much time as I can on the mat on the floor exercising my poor leg. I let pain be my guide and I am really careful. Be aware that the lack of soft tissue (muscle etc) around the tib/fib area is what makes it most difficult to heal. The closer to the ankle the less soft tissue and the longer any healing takes. Also the blood pumps in the leg that get blood back to the heart against gravity work from the sole of the foot and in the calf. These pumps are triggered by exercise. Without exercise this blood is pooling and not bring needed nutrients to your poor leg that is trying to heal. Something like that anyway - I'm not a doctor but I've been reading a lot. Good luck Angie, and don't let them get you down.

-- Donna Goudie (, September 14, 2004.

Angie Shirley, if you're in pain, you're in pain!! You didn't mention if you had brought this to your doctors attention. If you haven't then you should right away. If you have and he/she isn't taking it seriously, or isn't really giving you any real answers, find another doctor IMMEADIATELY!! Pain is your bodys way of telling you something is wrong, so if it hurts that bad still after 3 months, don't put any weight on it until you see a doctor. I've read on other sites like and that pain usually is an indication of infection or someother issue that needs to be looked into. Hope this helps....

-- gwendolyn (, September 14, 2004.


It is not in your head. If you are feeling pain, then it is real. Unfortunately, you suffered a very severe injury as did most all of us on this board.

As to the reason for the pain, that is hard to say. You said you had an infection, that could be a cause. Certainly the fact that you have been increasing the weight bearing on your leg is a strong possibility.

You need to try and determine if the pain feels "right/good" or "wrong/bad". What I am trying to say is pain will accompany the healing process and should be expected. I would define this as the right kind of pain. Other pain you experience (wrong/bad pain) could be a warning from your body that there is a problem, and you should not ignore it.

As you are concerned, consult your doctor and physical therapist. Get an x-ray, check for infection.

Anyone who says you are not in pain (including your mother) are way out of line. Lucky for them they never suffered this injury.

I believe that you need to be pretty tough, both physically and mentally, to recover from this kind of injury. If you need to take pain killers you probably should. And listen to your body and learn to take them before the pain becomes to severe.

Hang in there, you will get better!

-- Stu C. (, September 17, 2004.

Blimey! I did a search on the net and never expected to find so many 'real' stories

Im currently sat here nursing a compound tib fracture caused by being on the recieving end of a horses hoof.

I chose not to undergo full surgery on it, even knowing the full implications of this decision. Instead i underwent manipulation and setting under a local anaesthetic.

Its been a week now and am due to go back for re x-ray etc tommorow, having read through some of these posts i *might* be convinced to have it pinned if there are no signs of improvement or there's significant deterioration, though it will be with spinal anaesthetic rather than general. Surgeon stipulatd that anytime i changed my mind over the op to let them know and they'd do it right away.

I sympathise with each and every one of you. It sounds like i got off fairly easily in comparrisson to some. Im usually quite good with pain, but iv never ever felt anything like this before, not yet succummbed to painkillers though - far too stubborn and pig headed for that.

Has anyone else got any experience of compound tib fractures that havenot been operated on?

-- L (, September 20, 2004.

i think it sucks to have no tibia bone...cause i lost mine when i had cancer adn know i cant play footabll and now i have to find a brace!!! o and if anyone finds a brace please email me cause i really need it

-- monica marie fleshman (, September 25, 2004.

Hello all, it has been a while since I posted.....I had a compound tib/fib injury to my right leg back in Feb of this year. It has been a long 8 months but I am healing well and back to doing most of my normal activities. I still suffer from a great deal of swelling after being on my feet all day, however a compression stocking seems to help. My question to anyone out there with some information is regarding the surgery to remove rod and pins. My surgeon says this is recommended after approximatley 1 yr of placement...just wondered what to really expect with this next surgery. I would appreciate any input. Take care all and God bless. Traci

-- Traci Ervin (, September 30, 2004.

Traci, If you scroll up you'll see my original post.

It's been 2.5 years and I had the metal removed last march, two years almost to the day after my car accident. I had the rod and all four screws removed, at first I was only going to take out the screws but my dr. said to take it all out if I was going to go through it. I think it was a couple of hours of surg. followed by an overnight stay in the hosptal. ***take earplugs and an eyeshade if you want to sleep at all. After being released I was off of my feet for two weeks (but I think this is b/c I combined it with plastic sugery to remove one of the skin grafts on the leg) Most likely you will be off it for two days, then minor walking around with crutches. I kept the leg elevated and had a bunch of ice packs which helped a lot. Get the old fashioned ice packs at the drug store, the ones with the screw on lids. The rod comes out through your knee, so that scar will be reopened.

The procedure didn't hurt much and compaired to what you have already gone through it will be a snap. Though you should try and stock up on easy to make food, or just order in and ideally have a family member or someone taking care of you in the beginning so that you can really stay in bed. I was walking around same as before in two weeks and excersizing again shortly there after. Good luck!

ps- I just had my second and final skin graft removal surgery on my leg. Now I just have a long scar down my shin. There is another graft on the back of my leg, but it is smaller and I'll likely leave it there. WHile it was such a drag going through these 2 procedures and being off my feet two weeks each time, I am so glad I dug in and did it. It's a relief to have it behind me now. After 7 surgeries, I'm ready to relax!

-- Katherine (, October 01, 2004.

It appears that everyone heals differently with this type injury. Ask doc any question you want--it's your life, your leg--you have a right to ask. Get 2nd and 3rd opinions if necessary. At age 58 and never having broken anything, On Sep 20 i stepped on a twig, it rolled, I went with it and landed on the concret with fx of my tibia/fibula; on Sep 28 had rod and 3 screws placed. Dr says so far so good. But reading some of these postings isn't very there anyone out there who healed without infection occurring much later on? Its been 3 1/2 weeks and people look at me like I'm a wimp--I cry now and then (pain); feel good now and then (with a little pain); tired of hearing "It still hurts?" Glad to know tho that I'm not overreacting; that the pain does exist for a long time; not just my imagination. Pray God is with you all, helping thru the pain and blesses you with full recovery.

-- Sally Frank (, October 16, 2004.

Just to let you all know that I found a great site at that has good tips and info for dealing with our situation. I wish I'd found it when I first came home and was trying to come to terms with how I would manage. There are loads of good tips for coping in the house with all the associated problems of a broken leg. Also very good medical advice from an Orthopediac Surgeon and FAQ's.

hope you are all getting on OK....

-- Donna Goudie (, October 20, 2004.

no answers unfortunately cause i sure do wish i had some but this site has been amazing. im 33 & on july 27 of this yr i was downtown where i dont normally go & was on my way home & ran a red light that i just simply didnt see & then freaking out because there was a car coming that i knew was going to hit me i accidentally hit the gas & not the brake & unfortunately after a few seconds i floored it bc i couldnt understand why the car wasnt stopping. i had just bought my 02 neon in feb & when the other car hit me (not hard) it swerved me just enuff that i went over a curb & hit a concrete pillar just about dead center of my car. my husband who has been more patient w/ me than unfortunately i have been w/ him said that the front bumper was basically sitting on the dashboard. i was supremely lucky in several circumstances, the first being that the first person on the scene was an off duty firefighter & that i just simply didnt die. i had several bruises from the seatbelt which saved my life & a compound tib/fib break on my right leg. i spent 5 days in the hospital & had 2 surgeries resulting in a titanium rod & 2 screws in my leg (ankle & knee) and let me just say here like someone did previously thank GOD for morphine! i was healing pretty good or so i thought, the pain was getting better & i was starting to prolong the time between pain pills cause i wanted off of them when on august 27th i got this horrible pain in my chest. it was almost as bad as when my leg broke but not quite & i was having a hard time breathing. i honestly thought i was having a heart attack & we ended up calling the ambulance again bc i couldnt sit up long enuff to try to get to the car to get to the er the pain was so intense. after about 2 hrs in the er i find that i have a blood clot in my right lung and spent another 5 days in the hospital all bc i wasnt taking the coumadin. after getting out of the hospital w/ that i went back to the ortho who says im almost there no weight for a mo, i went back on sept 29th & was told light weight trying to walk so it heals. i go back on oct 27th & i know i just know that they are going to tell me still not healed bc i still cant walk w/o the walker. i try & can take about 5 steps by myself but only w/ the horrible hateful boot (you all know which one im talking about). she tells me i can rebreak the little one (not sure which one it is) so be careful & if it hurts to stop. it always hurts the only thing is that its not my leg its my ankle which stays swollen unless im on the couch w/ my leg up. i have never had anything like this & am frankly very tired of the tv. thanks so much for all the stories. its nice to know that this WILL end eventually. good luck to all~!

-- mj thompson (, October 21, 2004.


-- john paul houten (, October 22, 2004.

No answers from me either! I was in a car accident last October when a woman failed to yield at a stop sign. I had surgery on my hand and my ankle (my foot got caught between clutch and brake and shattered my tibia). Was in rehab for a couple weeks and then home. The bone seemed to be healing in December 2003. But the incisions on my left ankle and a scratch on my right ankle got infected. The infection was misdiagnosed as staph when it was actually pseudomonas. I was on IV antibiotics for 8 weeks starting in March of this year........I had been told by my surgeon I could walk on the leg with a walking cast. But the bone hadn't healed, and the hardware inside broke, and my ankle started sliding, yikes! So back to the hospital for surgery in July; he realigned the bones, did a bone graft from my hipbone (youch, very painful), and put in stronger, heavier hardware. Now it's October and I don't think it's healing at all. I have to be in a wheelchair because I am diabetic with neuropathy in my feet, so I don't do too well with crutches, and I am just very frustrated. I want to walk again!!!

-- Nancy (, October 22, 2004.

Hello everybody, I am 25 and fractured my fib & tib on a motorcycle accident. It was a compound fracture, pretty bloody and all. I had surgery and have rod in the tib and a plate on the side of the fib. Now in the 6th week, the doc said the bones look well aligned. The small bone looks good but the big one will need some more time. I have another 6 weeks till the next exam. The fracture broke it in 4 pieces and will take time before bone grows to fill the gap. Other than that the leg heals fine, the scab is almost gone, tho the scars will remain. I am trying to be patient, reading the rest of the stories, I know it will take time. Best wishes to all that are still healing, hope that you all return to normal life soon, including me.

-- Jordan Marinov (, October 27, 2004.

I empathize with you....and although I don't have the definitive answer, I can tell you from personal experience that 3 months doesn't seem to be too long.. i was hit by a car while walking across the street (me in crosswalk)5 major surgeries on both legs and hip with nails and rods and screws and spent 2 months in hospital, NWB on both legs, and 2 months in rehab, still NWB, and then 5 weeks later was allowed limited weight bearing on right leg and still NWB on left leg......YES -- recommended by my pt's at Mayo excellent, fresh food, vegetables, and vitamins are essential for total you, I am impatient to resume my 5 miles per day hiking... Best to you...

-- Sue Benson (, October 28, 2004.

19 year old male, i jumped to far for my leg to handle and broke the tib/fib compound fracture and severed the nerves, they did surgery and i have a metal rod and two screws in my tib. its been four and a half months and im getting around with one crutch but i was just wondering if anybody has had this happen and how long it took for the nerve to regenerate, also if the scab on my leg should be healed up, and one more thing, if it is normal for your range of motion in your ankle not to exceed 90 degrees when you lift your toes as high as you can, and how long it takes to regain that? thank you for all your info, hope to be jumping again soon.

-- henry james desmidt (, November 01, 2004.

48 yr male, grade 3b compound fracture of tibia / fibia. Flap extention failed, free flap sucessful following stomach muscle transplant. 5 weeks in hospital. Able to go back to work (desk job) at week 8. At 4.5 months I am able to "walk" with 1 crutch.

Best advise I ever received is from my ortho surgeon: Choose between your cigarettes or your leg... I chose my leg & have not smoked since.

So, if you are a patient with this injury & smoke... Repeat this question to yourself. It may very well come down to that.

I feel very fortunate & am in the 90% in recovery.

good luck to all.


-- Steve Johnson (, November 06, 2004.

I have posted several times before. 6 tip/fib breaks in a motorcycle accident 13 months ago. 3 surgeries with 3 different rods; the latest in September in between hurricane Frances and Jeanne. Talk about adding insult to injury! Walking with and without a cane. Lots of soreness and still some swelling. Someday we'll get there!!!!! Do not smoke whatever you do, and eat well. Most of us will heal; it just takes FOREVER........but then we are sooooooooo... happy.

-- Lou Ann (, November 07, 2004.

Hey all! If you have had surgery PLEASE READ ON in hopes of you being able to recognize a possible problem of infection in the future! I had a motorcycle accident in July 82'(female - age 21)- double compound fracture in the right tibia, broken jaw, 3rd vertabrae, and ribs. An open wound from knee to ankle left me in a Hoffman Device (6 pins anchoring the tibia with exterior hardware), only in hospital for 3 weeks though, and went to a windowed cast within 2 months. 5 months later, not healing, I got the rod and went through the electrolysis treatments for 6 months, 12 hrs per day. I was told I would never walk without a cane. It healed beautifully!!! I stayed active and biked about 100 miles/wk and swam 3 miles/wk - no limp! Quite ugly but it worked better than could ever be expected. They took the rod out from the electrolysis in the late 1980's. Minor aches and pains along the way. A couple of times my ortho Dr. needed to extract staples that had somehow gotten loose through all the plastic surgeries (4 in all). He did this right in the office, no big deal. Now, it's 22 years later and all of a sudden my leg starts to have so much pain for no real reason. I thought maybe I overdid it, (gardening/hiking/jogging) and I saw doctors and even had an MRI but no one had a good answer. This went on for about 6wks. One orthopedist literally answered "Well, you should be happy that you had 22 good years!". He suggested physical therapy for a month. All of this was after an MRI. Time for another opinion! Well, within a week, I tracked down the orthopedist that did the original reconstruction and after the 1st x-ray, he saw an abnormality. That lead to a bone scan and it tested positive for infection which stemmed back to the original surgeries 22 years ago. He said he's seen cases as old as 30-40 years after surgery. Apparently the infection was always there, just dormant! Another MRI showed extreme signs of bone infection. They admitted me that day and had to remove a portion of my tibia (right below the knee) that is about 2-3"x 1" right down to the marrow. They filled the open space with antibiotic beads that disintegrate over time. The infection was staff(sp?) infection and the specialist has a PIC line that I use to administer my own antibiotics 3x/day. This will go on for a month to fight off the infection. Two weeks after surgery, they tell me that a bone graf is definitely needed to fill the hole. I'm on non-weight bearing orders until all of this comes to an end.The hole is so big that if I were to take step, my leg would just snap! I'm looking at about 4 months without any other complications. Does anybody see themselves in this same type of scenario? Have you had a bone graf? Any insight on what lies ahead would be greatly appreciated. Oh yeah, for all of you who worry that this may happen to you - get disability insurance! I wish I had! The extra strain on my family, financially, is part of the fight. My kids are now my nurse and orderly.I'm glad the leg is still mine though and I'll keep fighting like I did the last time. It's definintely different now that I'm in my 40's. On that note, we all will get through our tragedies and the triumph is worth the wait! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

-- Shay DeForge (, November 21, 2004.

I've read the incredible stories posted here for the past two years. I'm in awe at the lessons, courage, and strength that were shared.

I'm a 44 year old male and fell 15ft on October 6, 2004 to receive a compound fracture to the tibia, fibula, and ankle of my left leg and broke my right heel. 20 years of meditation paid off, because I wouldn't take any pain medication, wanting to experience everything to the fullest. The ambulance arrived only 5 minutes after I hit the ground. My tibia was sticking through my Levis. The local hospital determined they couldn't handle the injury so I had to ride 2.5 hours on bumpy rural roads to Springfield, IL. 7 hours after I fell, they were ready to take me into surgery.

By some incredible stroke of luck, my surgeon was a specialist in ONLY this type of injury. He, himself, had the same injury as a freshman in college. He has the deformed left leg to prove it. He recommended that we don't set the bones on the first two surgeries, but merely focus on cleaning out the wound. He wanted to make sure there would be no infection later on, although he did install an external fixator. I put my full confidence in my surgeon. A week later they set the tibia with a titanium plate and screws and screwed together the fibula and ankle. The right heel seemed to set itself, so they just put it in a splint. I spent 9 days in the hospital.

My doctor recommended changing the bandage twice a day, and so we do. As soon as I got home I ordered a bone calcium supplement, and glucosamine sulfate to prevent arthritis from setting in. I also installed a negative ion generator next to my bed. Being an herbalist all my life I also take comfrey tea and yarrow capsules. The comfrey encourages bone and skin growth, and the yarrow keeps up my immune system. On Oct 20 I had a post op visit. They took x- rays and I couldn't count the number of screws in my leg. It looked like a hardware store.

On November 11 I gave up the vicodin pain killer entirely. The minor discomfort in my legs could be controlled by gently massaging the bottoms of my feet and the full surface of my leg. I also make it a point to move my joints and do situps in bed a couple times each day. Despite moving my joints regularly my muscles are becoming atrophied and I'm developing light incontinence.

As soon as I had fallen I had a positive attitude and I continue to maintain it. For me, this event has been an adventure, complete with pain, struggle, and triumph. I had felt so confident that I thought I would try to get on my feet in record time. But after reading the stories of people here and elsewhere, I've decided I'm going to take the doctor's advice to stay off the leg for 6 months.

It is become clear to me that the most prevalent reason for these injuries to be ongoing is due to people trying to walk on the leg too soon. Boredom is often cited as the motivation to push the progress, but extended suffering seems to be the only result. I have learned to find enough things to keep me busy on my back in bed to not get bored. Let's see if I can keep it up for 4 more months.

I'm sorry that I can't take away the pain of those who have suffered far more through this than I, but I do thank each of you for sharing your story and your advice. I learned something from you all and it may very well save me unnecessary suffering in the future.


-- David Thomson (, November 24, 2004.

im an 55yo aussie from sydney ive mulltiple injuries from a 1975 auto hit me recieving shoulder rib and r/ankle break now im 55 i need pins and plate r/ankle minimum 1month hospital stay but ive avery good bone doc who teaches at the same hospital where i just had a bone biopsy in sydney but in 1975 when i started physio i ordered a taxi yep the same driver who hit me picked me up not only that on the way to my physio the same taxi driver hit and killed a german shepherd. six of his clients listed him as a no go driver. good luck guys from aussie pete

-- peter hewson (, November 27, 2004.

I'm a 40-year-old woman who just had a car accident resulting in a grade 1 compound left tib/fib fracture. I have a rod and four screws holding my tibia together and like some, they left my fibula alone with about a half-inch gap to heal itself. I am humbled by everyone's struggles and join you in healing.

I have a QUESTION though, I haven't heard anyone discuss bone chips. I have about a two or three inch chunk on the shin side of my tibia that won't lie down. It's like a trap door open. The doctor said he did everything he could to get it to lie down. He told me to massage it in hopes that I can get it to lie flat. This is extremely painful, but I am willing to do this if it will help. Anyone else heard of this? If it doesn't work, I'm looking at another surgery to file it off. Thanks. IRene

-- Irene Ekleberry (, December 02, 2004.

another question to throw in the pot. I broke my leg 4 months ago, have a titanium rod with a screw top and bottom. Things are going well - I'm walking around now (with a limp) and physio and exercise is quickly getting rid of the limp. BUT....... I have tendon sheath inflammation in the dorsiflexion tendon (runs up the leg over the front of the ankle) around where the bottom screw is. If I move my foot up and back there is a lot of crunching in my tendon. The crunching is called crepatis. It's caused by scar tissue. The sheath around the tendon is inflammed and has scar tissue which is rubbing on the tendon when it moves inside it. Worst case the tendons can get stuck and you can't move the foot - or the tendon could rupture and I would get 'foot drop' whereby I lose control over my foot and cannot lift it up. My physio has been working the soft tissue to get rid of the scar tissue (twice a week) and I use ice, compression and apply washing soda at night (it draws fluid out from the inflamed area). These methods have not had much success. My physio wants me to try cortisone injections, but my orthopedic surgeon want to put me in hospital and operate. He said the screw at the bottom is exaserbating the situation, creating scar tissue. Basically he would 'scrape' out the scar tissue. My physio has sent me to a Sports Medicine specialist for a second opinion. I'll just go with what the doctors say is best, but I wondered if anyone out there has had this problem? There are a lot of us with rods and screws, does anyone else have the crunchy feeling when they put their hand over the bottom of the leg near the front of the ankle and move their foot up and back? Anyone had their tendons 'scraped' out? I'd really love to hear of your experience.

-- Donna Goudie (, December 03, 2004.

Wow, this is quite the response thread! It sounds to me like a lot of people don't have access to good PT and OT. Some also seem to have bad medical care in general. If you doubt the care GET A SECOND OPINON!!!!!! I have 8 fractures from being hit by a motorcyle and thrown through the rear window of a van (1 foot non-op, 1 very bad spiral lower tib/fib right above the ankle, 1 compound in the upper tib/fib right below the knee, my knee was a 5, 2x hip fracture (non- op), one small bit smacked on my sacrum (non-op, no pain), and an open olecrenon (tip of the elbow). All on the right side. I should be weight bearing on the right arm in 3 weeks and expect to start using crutches.

I lucked out in that NYC has some good trauma centers. After I was stable in the trauma hospital with an ex-fix and the emergency surgery for my olecrenon (pins and springs), I was tranferred to another hospital with one of the best trauma surgeons in the city, who plated and screwed my knee, plated the upper tib/fib, and put a nail through the lower tib/fib. I have some missing bone on the lower tib/fib fracture, so I may need a graft from the hip in another month, but that is yet to be determined. My doc saved my knee; the first trauma hospital was going to put my knee in a brace and see what happens. This guy gave my knee range of motion instantly. I was put in a CPM machine (continuous passive motion) for my knee THE DAY AFTER SURGERY. I did 0-70 degrees and 2.5 weeks later, was up to 90. Since I was going to be in a wheelchair for a month or so, I was admitted to a rehab hospital and they got me hopping 120 feet with a parallel bar and made my transfers in and out of a chair strong and easy.

I have to use a commode toilet until I get good enough on crutches to navigate my tight bathroom and I have a home health care aide give me sponge baths 2x a day until crutches allow me to get into the shower too. I have the visting nurse service with home PT and OT to work the elbow, ankle and knee.

My arm is almost 100% range of motion already. That's because I do my exercises often and want to get the hell out of my wheelchair as soon as I am weight bearing on that arm. Most people don't do their PT or are not given proper PT, and orthopedics is all about movement. I was told by my surgeon on Friday to remove the big boot and start moving the ankle. It hurts, but I do it.

My question, if anyone cares to answer it, is if you have had a lower tib/fib fracture and have had a rod inserted and are told to move the ankle, can you feel the rod? Because I can, and it's not too comfortable to say the least. The surgeon said it's expected, but it still freaks me out, though I move my ankle as often as I can during the day.

-- John P. (, December 06, 2004.

Sorry Donna - but I don't have an answer. I do have a question for others on this site. Briefly, my son now 20, was in a head-on MVA on 9/9/01 in which he suffered multiple injuries and had to be airlifted by helicopter to the nearest trauma center. He too, as all of you here, had severe fracture to his tibia and femur requiring rods in both along with a "floating" kneecap and his colateral ligament is still stapled back on. He had no pulse from the knee down, which resulted in nueropothy in his left leg. I believe that lasted for about one year. No one could go near or touch his left leg and gradually it has improved. He still, three years later, has some sensitivity in it. He had an arthscopic surgery in 8/03 for removal of painful hardware (his knee locked up - I felt a screw pushing out of his skin)and his second one was this past august which revealed a large piece of cartilage missing from his knee. His Patella needs to be surgically fixed -unsure of name of procedure- but this will finally make his knee stable and he will have an O.A.T.S procedure in which the surgeon will graft cartilage plugs from other areas of his knee. The problem is his knee cannot be fixed until his rods (both) are removed. This will involve opening the knee where his original scar is. The original ortho has not wanted to remove these but the specialist told us today that he will not remove another doctors hardware. I noticed Nancy, Katherine and Adolfo were in the process of having their rods removed. I believe your last post Katherine was that you handled it well. Is there a name for it? I believe Nancy's post was that her rod moved after 17 YEARS!! It is just over three years and thankfully, he has not had any infection from from the rods, although he did have Staphylococcus aureus (not MRSA) of his left lower extremity at the time of his accident. I know they treated him with high doses of intraveneous antibiotic for that. My son and I are very nervous of this procedure and any input from those of you who have had them removed would be greatly appreciated. If anyone has specific knee problems, and someone else mentioned this website, I found very informative. Thanks and wishing you all recovery in whatever stages it comes. Kerry Sprague (

-- Kerry Sprague (, December 08, 2004.

It's total bunk that your Dr. won't remove another Dr's hardware. That shoudl have nothing to do with it. What if you had moved to another state? I would push him on it or demand he recommend someone who will. It may be like my previuos ortho that he doesn't make much $$ for the time involved and so is blowing you off. Not all Dr's are kind generous people. My operation was the same, through the knee. Every case is different, but I have healed just fine and feel better for having it removed. Good Luck!

-- Katherine Jordan (, December 09, 2004.

Hi Katherine Thanks so much for your reply. If you don't mind my asking, how long was your surgery to remove your rod(s)? unsure if you had one or two. Did you have to stay off your leg for any length of time and was there much pain? I wonder how soon the bone starts filling in once those rods come out. I believe the new surgeon said he wait about two months after the rods come out to do the other two procedures. It's a relief to hear from someone who has gone ahead and a procedure done that you are about to undergo. It helps take some of the fear away. Thanks again :):) Kerry Sprague

-- Kerry Sprague (, December 09, 2004.

I think my rod (1 rod, 4 screws) came out 2 years to the date after they were in. Just depends on when your bone has healed. Was on my back for 2 weeks, then crutches for a week though my situation was different as it was coupled with plastic surgery. It was nothing compared to the initial break.

-- Katherine Jordan (, December 13, 2004.

Thanks again Katherine - we are waiting for the ortho to call today and if he feels unqualified to remove them, hopefully, he will find another to do this. Appreciate your response. It must be COLD in NYC now,here in SWFl, it is in the 40's. I put my heat on, which is almost unheard of down here. I came from Long Island 22 years again. I do miss the seasons but we are able to make a living here. Maybe we'll retire somewhere in the Carolina's, kind of in between. Take care and hope things are going well for you Katherine. Sincerely, Kerry

-- Kerry Sprague (, December 15, 2004.

Hello everyone , I was involved in a car wreck Nov 10,2004 and substained an compound fracture of my tibula and fibula.Like everyone else Ive got the famous rod and 2 screws implanted in my leg.My question is how long does it take before you get your strength back? It has been a little over a month now and I still tire easily. I know my hemoglobins went from a 14 to a 11 , but shouldnt that had already went back up.... Also Ive got to admit this sucks dearly..Im about to go stir crazy sitting around with nothing to do .Also my Dr is telling me its going to be atleast 5 months before I can fully walk again...This is going to be rough really rough.I feel so confined... :( could be worse though...

-- shelly (, December 16, 2004.

Don't get too discouraged! Try and do a little physical therapy each day if you can. My DR. said it would be three months before I'd be walking and six months before I "felt" like I was walking normally. My accident was Nov 14, and I'm already starting to work on getting the correct motions for walking. I'm probably putting about 10-15% weight on my leg, but I'm working very hard with range of motion. At home, I take the cast/boot off and put a shoe on my foot and that really helps. Let us know how you're doing! Once everything solidifies, I am looking at one more surgery to take care of bone chips.

-- Irene (, December 16, 2004.

Hi Can anyone help? I have just had my plaster cast removed after 16 weeks. I Broke my Fibia and Tibia after falling through a roof I traied to fix. The surgeon did not plate he just manipulated. My knee is the size of a coconut and the ankle is so stiff I find it hard to put weight on the leg even a little. If I put a training shoe on it helps a little but I feel my injured leg is shorter. How long would it normally take to walk unaided?

-- PAUL TAYLOR (, December 19, 2004.

Hi Paul Sounds like you will need some very intense physical therapy. It is amazing how quickly your muscles will atrophy from non-use. Maybe you have some swelling or fluid on your knee for it to be so large ?? Your ankle should lose some of the stiffness once you start moving it and doing therapy. Hope all goes well with your recovery. Sincerely, Kerry

-- Kerry Sprague (, December 19, 2004.

Um 5wks ago I was raving at a club, slipped on beer on the dance floor and fractured my tibia and fibula. the doctor still hasnt put a cast because the inflamation and swelling hasnt gone down. is there any remedies that can help the swelling and slight purple bruising go down. and is there anything i can be taking for my bones to get better faster or stronger. I alreayd want to walk on it, but i cannot put pressure on it cus it hurts. by the way im 20years old male. Um also, i think the reason it taking a long time cus the night i broke it and for a couple of days i was walking on it, cus the pain wasnt bad. to today, i dont have much pain. k hope someone can help. how long does it also take to get healed so i can walk on it? k laterz

-- Felix (, December 20, 2004.


My boyfriend is an arborist and he fell 30 feet from a tree. He has bilateral compound tib/fib fractures. This happened on September 15, 2004. He is wondering how long does this process take, from the other emails a long time. Does anyone know about the dorsi flex and how long that takes to come back to normal, 90 degrees? He also had the hole covered up with the soleus calf muscle as well. He right foot appears to be much better than the left. The left, when you push on it, hardly moves at all? Any ideas?

God Bless all you souls with this horrid injury


-- Angie Valente (, December 27, 2004.

I'm 17 and I had a tib-fib fracture from a collision in a soccer game and ended up getting a rod w/ screws and then i developed compartment syndrome and had to get even more surgery to save my leg. This thing changed my life and I am wondering if my leg will ever be the same again. Its been about 1 year and 3 months since my injury and i can run and stuff but its stiull sometimes painful, and i was wondering if ill ever be able to play soccer like i did before. after my injury the large tendon or ligament on the inside part of my leg behind the knee also feels like it might have shrunk or somtehing, bc any quick or hard movement will make it feel like it gets pulled out and it hurts alot. does anyone know what this is and if it will go away?

-- Caroline Clark (, January 02, 2005.

25 year old male GDAY ALL! what a site, i never knew this kind of injury was so common! well 1st id like 2 say that you are all soldiers. the pain, deppression and immombility is terrible! as hard as it is you have to stay positive and do everything possible 2 aid the repair. my story is not so common, 6 weeks ago i was in a KICKBOXING fight, we both threw a round kick at the same time and our shins collided, unfortunatley from the impact my tib/fib snapped. my leg folded up around his leg and then i went 2 stand back on it and it just folded up. luckily my shin pads svaed the bone from protruding threw the skin. now ihave a titanium rod thru my tib with 2 pins holding it in place. the pain is gettin bearable now but what cuts me up is i may never be able 2 fight again :( i would really appreciate it if any 1 has information on broken bones and combat sports and i f the bone will ever be strong enough 2 kick again! STAY POSITIVE, AND DONT THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU CANT DO, THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN DO!!!!!!!!!!! CAM.......................

-- cameron james wilson (, January 04, 2005.

Good afternoon all...My story is boderline comical!! September 3, 2004 I was walking in the grass, bare foot, completly sober and I lost my balance. There was no pain and there wasnt a sound, just complete silence.I couldnt walk so I crawled into my house and laid on the floor and my mom called the ambulance and I was taken to the ER. I thought i had a sprained ankle because my ankle was discolored & slighly swollen.

I had shattered my fibia & tibia in over 10 places. I was operated on 23 hours after I was admitted to the ER. I now have 2 plates & 13 screws in my right lower leg. I was homebound for 2 1/2 weeks and in a wheelchair for about a month. I went from a soft cast with stiches to a hard cast to an ace bandage. I went to physical therapy x3 a week for 2 months and it was the greatest thing!!

At my 3 month checkup, my doctor felt I was on the road to recovery and scheduled a 6-8 month follow up. I now shin splints and horrible shooting pains every time I put my heal down. I have irritation around a portion of my plates and I have aggressive scar tissue. I can no longer walk without at least a crutch. I am scheduled for a reevalution next week.

Im looking at this as a setback and not return to misery!! I can still walk & Im not giving up. I know it's hard & I know some days are harder than others (depending on the weather)but try to stay positive. Take care

-- L.Fisher (, January 06, 2005.

Hey everyone, (fellow gimps). I wrote last year and was just cruising the site again. Its funny how, when you read other people's experiences on this site, it makes you feel like you are part of this elite little group, and very thankful for sites like this (is that geeky?) Its been exactly one year and three months since a truck hit my friend and I on a motercycle and left us with compound tib/fib fractures. I have surgery next month to take out my pin, two screws and nail. Things have progressed fine with the leg, but I'm just wondering if anyone else's doctors tend to ignore all of the other injuries, or is it just my doctors? They seem to think its the only thing that happened, but I've got a LOT of other problems from this whole thing....ah well, guess thats for another website or something ha ha. Hope everyone is healing well, and keeping out of trouble, especially all of my fellow bikers out there. Chin up, take care, The Canadian, Nikki.

-- Nikki Hancocks (, January 10, 2005.

Hi All,

4 Weeks ago (December 21, 2004)I slipped on ice and suffered a closed spiral fracture to my Tibia near my ankle and with a break to fib just below my knee as often occurs. I was transported to the hospital by ambulance and that evening underwent surgery to have an IM Nail inserted in my tibia. My doctor examined the x-rays 3 days ago and tells me the fracture is healing fine and that I should start to put as much weight on my leg as I feel comfortable. He told me I could not do any damage. In the last couple days the transformation has been amazing. Flexibility is returning to my leg and the swelling is minimal. I feel so fortunate compared to some of the stories I have read here.

I am really hoping that in the next week or so I will be walking without crutches but it is scarey to start putting weight on my leg and I don't know how far to push it. Anyone got any advice? Will I need a cane?



-- Wade Z (, January 18, 2005.

Hi All,

4 Weeks ago (December 21, 2004)I slipped on ice and suffered a closed spiral fracture to my Tibia near my ankle and with a break to fib just below my knee as often occurs. I was transported to the hospital by ambulance and that evening underwent surgery to have an IM Nail inserted in my tibia. My doctor examined the x-rays 3 days ago and tells me the fracture is healing fine and that I should start to put as much weight on my leg as I feel comfortable. He told me I could not do any damage. In the last couple days the transformation has been amazing. Flexibility is returning to my leg and the swelling is minimal. I feel so fortunate compared to some of the stories I have read here.

I am really hoping that in the next week or so I will be walking without crutches but it is scarey to start putting weight on my leg and I don't know how far to push it. Anyone got any advice? Will I need a cane?



-- Wade Z (, January 18, 2005.

15 year old male. I was in hit by a pickup truck on 9/10/04. i had a combound tib/fib fracture. One of my bones just snapped in half but the other broke in two places and has a traingle wedge broken out and the bone came out. I went into surgry for about 3-5 hrs and came out with a steel plate and 4 pins. I got out of the hopisital and was in a cast for about 1 month and then i was in physical therpy until 12/16/04 when i went for a checkup and was admitted due to an infection. I went into another surgery and had the plate taken out. After that i was in the hopisital for about a week. When i got out i was put on a picc line and i am still on it. I was also told that i might have to have a thired surgery

-- Evan Nelson (, January 19, 2005.



I am an 18 year old male. On october first i had a fib/tib fracture. It came from a late hit a kid took on me in my High school football game. I have to say this is the hardest thing i have ever had to do. I was going to be all-metro and all state in 2 sports this year( my senior year) football and baseball. But due to my injury they had to go in and put a rod in my tibia from knee to ankle and put a few screws in it. I was unable to play even half my senior season of football was unable to wrestle this winter and may not be able to play baseball. This has driven me into a depression and i just needed to get it out there and im glad to hear that im not alone in this.

-- Jesse Scheidecker (, January 22, 2005.

Hey everyone (Again). OKAY, got a HUGE and important question for you: I have surgery in a few weeks to take the pin, one nail and two screws out of my left tib/fib (its been about a year and a half). Of course my boyfriend and friends would pick that week to go to Big White ski- hill, British Columbia Canada to go snowboarding. We are leaving the day after my surgery. Now, I won't be going up on the hill snowboarding or anything, of course I'm kinda crazy, but I'm not THAT crazy!!!! I'll sit in the lodge and recover with a beer in hand (*haha). But I'm just wondering what the recovery was like for anyone else??? Were you ultra sick? Did it hurt REALLY bad? I've heard horror stories from some people, but then my surgen (who also has high expectations might I add) says that I should be walking out of surgery THAT DAY!! Since she didn't say limping, I figured it shouldn't be that painful, but then I had a sudden flashback of the bone sticking out of my leg and reconsidered. Look, come hell or high water, I'm going to go to that lodge! I mean, if it comes to a choice between sitting at home and recovering or sitting at a warm lodge in the mountains surrounded by friends and liquor, I'll choose the latter!! But I do want to prepare myself for the pain. Did your leg swell? Did you have stiches? How badly did it hurt scale of know, all the usual q and a's. So if you can help me out that would be just peachy. Also, just to check, if I go in the hot tub, I'll have to keep my leg OUT, right? Thanks so much everyone. Your Crazy Canadian friend, Nikki.

-- Nikki Hancocks (, January 25, 2005.

They will take the pin out through your knee, opening the same scar. You will have stiches there and where they take the screws out. For me, the skin had shifted w/ plastic work so that they had to cut new opening to remove it. I had swelling and was pretty out of it on meds. Basically laid in bed the whole time and let my mom take care of me. I think you are going to be very uncomfortable driving up in the car. Your Dr. is right in that your bone is healed so you can walk on it, it's not like when you broke it, here they are just removing the scaffolding. But there will be holes from the screws which will need time to fill-in, so take it easy and follow their advice. They will give you all the info you need regarding whether it can get wet, etc.

You will be tired, most likley. Try not to drink!! It will slow down your recovery and make you more likley to do things you shouldn't (just as in life in general, ha ha) It would be a real bummer to complicate your recovery because you slipped going into the hot tub....

-- kajdflkj (, January 26, 2005.

August 21st 2004 was the most horrible day in my life; It was 3.30pm; about 5 minutes walk from where i live; i got of the bus crossed the road was half way when i was hit by a car and slid of the car bonnet landing in the middle of the road; moved to edge of road using hands and bottom;

Ambulance came and was told when i got to hospital i had a compound Fracture of FIB AND TIB IN MY LEFT LEG; i was operated on 6hrs later and had a operation; during waitign in A&E the person in next cublicle died and that scared the hell out of me. I had a operation at 11pm and had a 50cm metal rod held by 4 screws and was in hospital for 16 days before returning home; I passed out twice during hosptial stay when trying physio; i also had allergic reaction to the anastetic; did not use crutches because of balancing problems; so used a Zimmer Frame;

When i went to hosptial for my 2nd consultant checkup 6weeks later and discovered that the bone is seperating instead of fusing together; thats got better;

Now 5 months later i am using walking stick for long distances; having classes in a hospital gym to stengthen my leg; it is still oozing a clear liquid; but that is only ever so often; i also have pain in my lower back and have problems sleeping on my side;

I hope it gets better.

-- Achal M (, January 29, 2005.

I'm not too sure if this site is for people with just fib/tib breaks but anyways. I was in an accident about 15 mths ago now, I had a grade 3 compound femur fracture. I am now finally able to use one crutch after all this time, I never believed that pain from an injury could last so long - its depressing! I am now able to bend my knee to about 95 degrees.Time is the only healer!

-- your full name (, January 30, 2005.

My 5 year old has a compound break of her left leg, tibia and fibula are broken completely in two! She was in severe pain for awhile we are now into the fifth week and my concern is that EVERY week when we go to the doctor they do two xrays. Don't xrays cause cancer if you are overexposed?! This weekly xrays don't include all the emerg room xrays and the continued xray during surgery. I am worried about the risk of cancer due to radiation exposure now when she is older. Jen

-- Jennifer (, January 31, 2005.

This reply is for Nikki Hancocks My son had surgery to remove two rods (one in tibia and one in fibula) on January 11, 2oo5 and three screws. They cut him open at the knee and made an incision at the top of his thigh and another one at the ankle. The screw came out easily from the ankle but the doctor explained that he had to go through tissue to get to the one in his thigh. His hardware had been in almost 3 1/2 years and because of this amount of time, his bone started growing around the head of the screw. It took more time for the ortho to remove it and had to chip away some of the bone around his screw. I don't believe yours has been in that long. You probably won't have that situation. Unfortunately, his ortho took a little chunk of cartilage off his knee while removing the rods so had to "pin" it in place. This has made him non-weight bearing for at least 6 weeks so it has a chance to heal (graft) back into place. He just had his staples removed (two weeks after his surgery. His knee is still swollen. The doctor said he may need to drain it. He has had this draining with a needle before and my son said NO WAY will I have that done again. He has been keeping it elevated and using ice throughout the day. He was sleeping with an immobilizer on up to about a week ago. His pain level was tolerable with Hydrocodeine. He used that for a few days and on occasion if it was feeling more sore than usual. His surgery was supposed to be .45 minutes to an hour and the ortho came out 2 1/2 hour later. The did keep him overnight and had some kind of a drain in his knee and they wouldn't let him go until the bleeding slowed down. He was released the next day. I think his was a lot more complicated that yours. He did fine, certainly better than his original MVA of 9/9/01 when he broke it in a head-on collison with a tree. He was in a drug induced coma for two weeks and was weaned off the drugs slowly. If I had to compare, it was NOTHING like what he went through three years ago. I wanted to share his experience with you and reassure you, you will get through this. There may be a possibility they keep you overnight. It really depends on the ortho and what he has to do once he starts. It would of been so much better if you could have a week or two to recuperate before traveling. I wish you all the best with your upcoming surgery and know that others have had it done and you will be fine. We've been told that doctors don't typically remove hardware but my son will need a knee PCL reconstruction and an O.A.T.S. procedure on the inside of his knee and the rods were in the way. So the poor kid has another surgery to look forward to sometime this year. One good thing, the crutches are giving him well-defined arms which seems to be important to 20 year old males :):):) I'll look forward to hearing about your outcome. Warm Regards Kerry

-- Kerry Sprague (, January 31, 2005.


broke my tib and fib four weeks ago whilst playing football.

Im an active healthy 43 year old Physical Education Instructer so this break as come as a pain (ha ha) as i dont like laying about.

got a couple of questions for u guys.

I've got a I M pin running down the lengh of the tibea held in place with four screws, two top and two bottom. The thing is im partial weight bearing on crutches but think i could go full wb but with a limp. not due for xrays until another four weeks to see if bonees are healing.

whats the quickest healing af the above type of injury any of you guys have heard of.


-- (, February 09, 2005.

My wife jumped off of a five foot high fence after retrieving a ball my daughter accidetally hit over. When she landed she shattered the tib/fib and crushed about one inch of the larger bone. The exit wound was so large the surgeon had to remove a muscle under her thigh and micro surgery it to her ankle area for coverage. The accident happened January 2004. She had her sixth and hopefully last surgery in October 2004 to remove all of the hardware, screws, plates, rods, pins, etc.. Besides the pain the worst part has been the depression of not being able to do anything. Other than eating right and taking alot of supplements her ortho prescribed a bone stimulator eight hours a day. This January, almost a year to the day, she was given permission to remove the boot and start wearing tennis shoes on BOTH feet. She has a very slight limp due to the muscle and achilles not being used; however, through walking it is getting better each day.

-- don pesquie (, February 09, 2005.

Hello, I also Fractured my Tib/Fib and cracked my pattela in my knee while jumping down from a 6' fence, it happened at my house after my car door shut and locked my keys in my car. I was alone but Luckily I had my cell-phone and called 911, I laid there on the ground for over an hour before they came. They took me to the hospital and it was'nt till the next day they could get me in surgury, By then I developed compartment syndrome and they had to do a Fasciotomy and put in 2 plates and 17 screws around my Tibia, and also took some bone from my hip to do a grapht to repair my knee. It's a year and a half later now and I still have some pain and walk with a slight limp and where the did the fasciotomy along my calf muscle always swells up real big, does anyone know if it's normal to have this kind of swelling going on at this point? My other question I wanted to know is normal to have the hardware taken out after the bone has healed? Any Info you could give would be appreciated. It's comforting to know I'm not the only one out there that has had thier lives turned upside down because of this injury....Thank You all for sharing you stories and positive outlooks, it means alot to me. Ron

-- Ron Hays (, February 09, 2005.

Dont know particular circumstances, but the lower area of the tib/fib could take a very long time to heal. As my lower tib/fib took 8 months before there was ANY sign of bone growth. I was non- weight barring for 10 months. I have a couple of posts above. I am the guy that went head on with a truck on my motorcycle. Then developed a infection after 3 months. Well I am back to say "yeah" I can walk and I am back to work finally. It has now been 13 months to the day. The doctor says the two steel plates and 15 screws will have to stay in for at lease 1 more year because the bone is still growing so slow. I can run on the tread mill and walk with a small limp. The is hope after all. Hang in there everyone. EMAIL me if youn want to chat or want more details on my story.

-- Joe Steinmetz (, February 16, 2005.

compound fracture of the tibia and fibia

hi i meant to leave this for an answer but do no know how to do it. approximately 5weeks ago i was doing a plumbing job for a company called telair in spain. i had a 150litre tankful of water fall on my leg which snapped the bottom half in 2. i had initial op just to straighten leg then another one two insert 2 nails, then another one i do know what for. i am totally lost! does anyone know when i can excercise it, average time for walking etc? i had the plaster above my knee for 5weeks and my knee swelled and now i find it very hard to knee. please help as i am very distraught thanks jason in spain

-- Jason John Eacups (, February 17, 2005.

It is 10 years on February 22nd that I was run over by a large lorry in Cambridge, England. My foot and calf were crushed - the lorry's 4 sets of wheels ran over it one by one. The doctors managed to save my leg after compartment syndrome and a facshiotomy (don't know how to spell this!) and I had a number of skin graft ops until the skin would take over most of my calf and part of my foot. I am still suffering immense pain - every single day. I am able to walk without a limp if I have shoes on but not if my feet are bare. I used to be a rower at university and persevered with the help of morphine based pain killers and dihydracodeine but eventually gave up due to the pain. For the first time in a while I had a wonderful gym session this morning - 2 hours of training - I can't run but I was determined to work hard. I struggle with keeping my weight down and really need to exercise to keep it down which in turn should help my foot and my self esteem. But am feeling the lowest I have been for some months now as my foot is so painful after my gym session - the pain normally comes an hour or so after when the foot realises what I have put it through - I can hardly walk. I am feeling quite low anyway as I lost my first baby in early December last year, so am probably experiencing mild depression anyway. Does anyone know of any experts in repairing nerve damage after crush injuries such as theses. There is so little information on the internet and it is so hard finding anyone an expert in this area as it is an injury that has not had much research into it - particularly in the UK. If anyone does know of anybody I would be really grateful. I am desperate to make my leg feel better, it just gets me down so much - not so much the look of it (as it is pretty horrible to look at - being a female I find I just don't feel confident wearing skirts etc) but the pain is just unbearable.

Thank you

-- Sarah Cross (, February 19, 2005.

Sarah, I had some nerve damage on my leg as well, which had 2 skin grafts. I had one of the grafts removed and in doing so the Dr. cut through the nerves which had become stuck to the graft's scarring. (maybe this is your problem??) He reconnected it which was really painful at first. No wonder babies cry all the time!!! New nerve feelings are awful. I would absolutely see a specialist. I know some people whose nerve feelings have come back after several years, but 10 years is prob going to get you what you already have. You may try acupuncture, it helped me a great deal.

Also, I had a skin flap extension to remove one of the grafts and it made me feel much better about the appearance.Hear you loud and clear on the skirt thing. Can I tell you how much I love fall and winter? Boots and stockings rock.

Good luck and try to keep a positive outlook, as hard as that is sometimes.

-- kja;sdhf (, February 23, 2005.

hi there everyone! I posted earlier (aug.04)... Just thought I'd update and possibly get some advice from everyone. It's interesting, nobody that i've seen here has mentioned the dreaded IM nail replacement surgery. I'm sitting at 8 months post-op... i don't think I have non-union in my tib fracture, but there is still some signs of a gap in my xrays. My surgeon is recommending that he take out the hardware and replace the nail with a new, slightly larger one. The reasoning behind this surgery is that the boring of a new canal in the bone will create bone chips, which will stimulate new growth. It sounded far too invasive, so I opted out of the surgery. I'm still walking with a noticeable limp, and running is out of the question. ANybody else presented with this surgery? Anybody still experience sharp pain in the fracture site this late after surgery? ... I realize that, compared to many of you, 8 months is not that long... but is it normal? Feel free to email me with your thoughts. Thanks everyone, good luck, and quick healing to you all!!! Mark

-- mark ellis (, February 25, 2005.

On 2/4/05, I dropped my Harley Davidson on my leg in an emergency stop when a woman ran a red light, and snapped my left tibbia and fibula, with the bike landing on my leg and pushing my foot up to my ankle. Man, the 3 hour surgery to put a titanium nail down the tibia wasn't half as bad as the next three weeks of heaviness and rehab. They actually had me up and weight bearing on the leg after three weeks with the most difficulty. They literally had to teach me to walk again. It was hell. After release from the hospital after three weeks and pretty intensive rehabilitation at a very understanding hospital, it's five weeks + 3 days, and I just walked 2 miles with my walker. Don't know if I'm overdoing it, but gosh, the foot and ankle are still so swollen and it hurts so bad at night. I guess that's because of the bone having been stimulated to grow during the day, it grows at night. Anybody know when this stupid limp and slowness will end!! I hate this feeling of feeling like an old man, unable to move quickly. (Course I am 60) but until 2/4, I was playing tennis pretty well and riding the Harley. I'm often getting hopeless feelings, like will it really come back. Somebody, please relate to these feelings and assure me the speed and flexibility and no pain will return. Right now, I realize at five weeks I'm well ahead of the curve, but it's a terrible process to go through. The uncertainty!

David Band

-- David Band (, March 13, 2005.

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