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Anyone major-fracture victims out there ?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by The Dude, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. The Dude

    The Dude
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    I'm hoping for a bit of feedback from anyone in the know, or worse anyone else who's been here...

    Back in January I was involved in a major RTA, chopping my beloved RX7 clean in two , as well as me nearly.. :eek:

    I broke my left thigh in half, and had it nailed (literally) together internally, using a quite impressive 12mm nail, which now runs from my knee to my hip.

    I've made an almost miracle recovery so far, I was out of the wheelchair after two weeks, and walking (sort of) after six. :)

    I'm fine with the leg generally, a few pains from the screw in my hip ( all my fault I think... I broke the one in my knee by walking on it too soon :rolleyes: ) but nothing apart from that. I'm walking normally now, and can even 'run' if you can call it that..

    I'm just about to start back at the Gym, as I've got a few shoulder probs too which are only gonna be fixed the hard way..


    My question is this:


    How careful should I be? as I'm so far ahead of the projected recovery that what I get from the Orthopedics team is almost useless. They as much as admit it themselves. Initially they told me it was gonna be 6 months before the leg would be weight-bearing...? I was walking un-aided after 6 weeks !

    Has anybody else had a similar leg-op, and then gone back to serious training / sport ?

    How long did you wait, did *you* make the call, or listen to them?

    All I get is "Dont do anything more strenuous than walking or simple excercise until after the removal operation" etc....

    The first possible opportunity to have the thing out would be July 2006, and that's if I went straight to the top of the waiting list, whereas I personally will go straight to the bottom..!! :eek:

    I was leg-pressing 255kg this time last year, You can imagine I'm not that happy with their optimistic outlook on my future.. But should I just wait a bit longer before starting over?

    The bone has healed 'beyond their wildest expectations' but they still tell me not to even jog on it.... are they just playing safe or can broken thighs still go horribly wrong months down the line?

    Has anyone else here had the same type of internal-fix ?


    Cheers :)
     
  2. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    I can only offer my own experiences which differ because;
    1) The part is question is an ankle joint rather than a bone
    2) I am familiar with the idea of gyms but don't frequent them.

    My left ankle is held together by five pins and is effectively permenantly dislocated without them- this has been the case since I was eleven years old.
    From the very beginning, the attitude rammed home has been "better safe than sorry." More damage to the joint would require it to be partially "locked" and this would have ramifications going forward on my social life and potentially my ability to drive a manual car. As such efforts at football have been half hearted and jogging is not really a great idea. As ever swimming is the best exercise but its boring.

    I have never been sure if I fully "recovered" the potential in the joint as obviously I've done a lot of growing since then. I can tell you that it is never discomfort free for me, the joint aches on cold days and when I get up in the morning, I can feel the joint "slot" into place when I stand up. I don't think that this will ever change.

    I wish you all the best for your recovery however :).
     
  3. samjet

    samjet
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    broke my hip about 1996 - off all things was on crutches due to a groin strain and a stupid woman knocked me off my crutches - heard the snap like a dry stick :eek:

    was fine for about 3 years (but never was the same as before) - but then it started to be painful and i was diagnosed with osteo arthritis in the hip :( has got progressivly worse and for the last 2 years i've been in constant pain with limited mobility :mad:

    my consultant says i should avoid a hip replacement for as long as possible since technology is changing at a rapid rate - and the traditional hip replacements have a high failure rate especially in younger people who try to resume an active lifestyle
     
  4. The Dude

    The Dude
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    Yeah, the metalwork is coming on in leaps and bounds apparently. ( no pun intended ) :D

    The fix I've got was performed on a 'must be removed' basis until quite recently, whereas I'm advised that the metalwork can stay indefinitely, as long as I'm happy with the situation etc..

    I'm having mine out at the first opportunity, but it could be left as is until further notice, which is a lot better than it was before.

    ( It's not a nice removal.. :rolleyes: I wouldn't be very happy if I were being forced into it, even though I suppose I am... )
     
  5. The Dude

    The Dude
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    ^^ Up she goes.... ^^


    Not a single mangled biker out there? :confused:

    No skydiving nutters? :cool:

    What the hell, I'm going for it today anyway.
    If I'm not back here by midnight, I'll see you all again in another 6 months.. :eek:
     
  6. ukdan

    ukdan
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    I broke my left leg below the knee in a RTA 5 years ago.
    It is important to keep the muscles active but obviously don't over do things.
    If you start aching or get tired move onto a different exercise.
    Just keep it regular.
     
  7. The Dude

    The Dude
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    Cheers UKDan..

    First session didn't go too badly really, apart from bumping into a guy I used to train with.. I've shrunk just a wee bit...!! :rotfl:
    Between the 6 Mths off, and the infection that got me in hospital, I'm down to 9 stone from 12..!!

    17" collars look so cool on a 9st weakling... 'new wardrobe please'... :rolleyes:

    No real aches of any kind since going though, things are looking good!
    I'm Definitely having the metalwork out too, I've booked in next month to have the screws done, at least it's a start..

    Just counting down the days now.. :cool:
     
  8. Kramer

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    Not mangled but I did break my ankle recently :D

    One bone healed well & very quickly, the other (Fibula) was a lot slower to heal. I'm told it's nearly fully healed now though.

    I'm undergoing physio once a week for the last 2 months (boy do those girls know how to inflict pain :eek: ). Mobility is slowly returning but I've been told I'm pushing it too far too quickly. Well, of course I am! I want it back to normal as soon as possible :D

    Apart from the mobility, pain is my only other concern. Constant dull ache with regular sharp darting pain which seems to be coming from the break site. I'm told it's probably RSA & should subside with time.

    Fractures...........not a nice experience :( .

    All the best with your recovery :smashin:
     
  9. The Dude

    The Dude
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    Sorry to hear about your ankle mate.. :(

    The 'fracture pains' do ease up over time, I had the exact type of thing myself... almost as much 'annoying' as actually painful ? The stabbing pains certainly went all-together after around 4 months, just the aches to live with now, for me.

    You've got to respect the Physios really, me personally, I honestly don't think I'm hard enough to put somebody else through the kind of 'rehabilitation' we're both recieving..:eek:

    7Mths down the line... the only real pain I get is from the screws in my hip, but their days are numbered anyway!! :thumbsup:

    I do a full hour in the sauna at the Gym every single day, this REALLY HELPS with the aches etc, have you got anything similar nearby?
    - Well worth a visit if you have..

    To be honest, I think I certainly got the better deal out of the two of us...
    I've seen so many Lazarus Cages in the last 6 months..! Everything I'm 'wearing' is internal (intra-medular locking nail), and i didn't even really wake up until the stitches were already out.. I'm pretty lucky on that basis really..

    What did you have done? Screws, or a cage, or both! :rolleyes:
     
  10. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    Sorry to hear about your accident The Dude.

    I broke my femur just below the hip with a vertical break down the bone. Also the part where the back muscles connect to the femur came away in a separate section.

    Anyway, it was put back together by a rod through the bone into the ball of the femur and a plate and 8 screws.

    This was at the end of last year.

    As you are probably aware, rehabilitation started within 48 hours of the operation. 25% of body weight at 6 weeks, 50% at 9, and full weight bearing at 12, but didn’t start walking unaided til 16 weeks. At this point the leg can withstand as much as the muscles could hold.

    No contact sport or activities that will cause a sudden shock to the leg (ie jumping of the back of a trailer) until the end of this year. Not sure if this is more because of the nature of my break where the bone is more likely to shift up.

    At my age (40) I am more inclined to leave the metal in.

    Good luck with the rehab.
     
  11. The Dude

    The Dude
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    Vertical Femur Break?!! :eek:

    Unlucky mate, how did that happen?


    Thanks heaps for the info!, that's probably more than I've had in 4 Orthopedic checkups! I probably wouldn't have listened anyway (self-employed) but you think they would at least clue people up a bit more...:mad:

    Do you get any grief still from the screws in your hip-ball?
    I'm sometimes tempted to leave everything alone too, but then I have to sit down / stand up / turn around / drive / .... :(

    Anything 'in a straight line' is fine, but that's about it for now..?

    I've got a BIG screw going up into the femur ball, this is all that still hurts 'properly'..... has this side of things started to ease up for you yet?

    My fracture was absolutely straight across, and exactly half way down, which is apparently the worst lateral break for load-bearing (movement a big issue again, as yours) but usually heals really really well. ( I have bone growth the size of your fist at the fracture site, good for the bone, not so good for the muscles..!)

    I get no pain now from the fracture site, and none really from the nail, just the bloody screw... ( I could tell you the size, direction, type of head :D )
    It's almost like there is just too much metal concentrated in that tiny piece of bone where the femur branches off into the ball..?

    Absolutely amazing what these Intramedular nails can do though... I took a big bang on the head, AND caught a mystery 'sepsis infection' :nono: (not that suprising really, I was basically just one big open wound apart from my face) and consequently went just a tiny bit mental while in hospital... 2 nights after the Op I was running around pursued by nurses with sedatives apparently... they put me well under for a couple of days once they caught up.. :rotfl:

    How often are you going for checks, x-rays etc?
    Have there been any setbacks, or are you making progress at every visit?

    Hope yours goes really well too mate :thumbsup:
    it sounds like you're certainly over the tough stuff already, you had some major repairs done there!!
     
  12. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    My accident happened with a ladder. A very common occurrence apparently.

    Anyway, I live in Australia, and was treated privately (rather than the public system), and I do not know much about your health system.

    I do find some level of comfort from the surgeon who is a specialist trauma orthopaedic surgeon reviewing the x-rays commenting each time “That was a big break”. If you are going to do something, do it properly.

    No screws in the hip-ball. Only the metal rod through the middle. I have no discomfort at all. The first step after sitting down is a little stiff, and perhaps my flexibility in my back has been reduced, but I was never that flexible anyway from having a couple of collapsed discs in my lower back. Occasionally, I can feel the muscle rubbing over the plate, but it is a sensation rather than discomfort.

    From what I understand the middle of the leg is not good, it’s a maximum flex point. And the larger the surface area to mend the better.

    It is a fine line between pushing things, and pushing things too far. Your leg will start telling you when you have done enough. Listen to it.

    I am also self-employed (and like you from memory in the IT industry), but made sure I listened as my mother had a hip replacement a year or 2 before and made a remarkably good recovery. Whereas a friend had a motorcycle accident 10 years ago, and pushed things to far and fast and continues to walk with a limp.

    X-rays at 1 week, 2weeks, 1 month, 3 months, & 6 months. Physio weekly from 4 weeks. Leg exercises from 2 days. No more visits to the surgeon planned. Just need to get motivated to get to the gym to build up the muscles that have wasted away.

    All in all I am very happy with how it has all turned out. No setbacks at all. I do consider myself lucky, as I would hate to think how it would have turned out if some other part of my body took the impact.

    Take care, and all the best.
     
  13. The Dude

    The Dude
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    Cheers Harry, you're a star.


    I'm feeling pretty lucky too..! My car was so badly smashed (both chunks of it) the Police didn't even bother checking it over, it went to a salvage yard and straight in a crusher.
    I'm wearing a premanent seatbelt 'tattoo' right across me, the full impression of an RX7 belt from shoulder to hip to hip!!! I get some funny looks when I'm sitting in the Jacuzzi now.. :rotfl:

    I even managed to get out of the wreckage somehow, god knows how I did that with a broken leg and all the other damage, RX7s are tricky get out of even when they are in one piece ! :D

    My knee got off without any damage at all, that is the big big plus from my point of view.

    I know what you mean about the Surgeon too... I think I literally had the entire Orthopedic staff at the local hospital poking at me on my first few checks. I've got some new variation of the locking-nail fix, which has only been done a few times in the UK so far I think. Could be the fact I walked in with the crutches in my hand for the first one too.... they were both 'annoyed' and 'impressed' in equal measures.:D

    Mechanically everything seems really sound, I've just got these damn screws to see the back of, then I'll be almost as good as new.

    You should definitely get back to the gym as soon as you're up for it, I've just done my first two sessions since the accident (an experienced personal trainer is a MUST if you ask me, with tricky damage such as ours) and it has made a big difference already. Just getting things moving like they used to, rather than 'girly' physio excercises, has certainly knocked a few aches&pains off the list already..It's feeling much more like 'my' body again. Hurts like hell the day after, but definite improvements after that... just like regular Gym routine basically..

    All the best with yours too mate! I Hope it all keeps going to plan ! :thumbsup:
     
  14. gjc-ortho

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    The Dude,

    You may have gathered from the forum name that I may know a little about whats going on. As far as removing the nail there really is no ruch if ever. They can ache a bit "when the weather changes" but the removal of nails is not without it's potential problems.....
    The screws are a lot easier but again you do have risks associated with this. Also, if you have been playing "silly buggers" with your weight-bearing there is always the chance that you may have or could yet snap them; that does pose a tricky problems to get them out and more often than not more damage is done to the bone by trying to get them out.
    I'd be interested in whcich IM nail they used and where you had it done.

    Cheer all
     
  15. The Dude

    The Dude
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    Hi, I kinda figured you were maybe in the trade.. ;-)


    To be honest, I've been really careful apart from the initial 'ICU marathon' incident..!
    I've definitely broken the small locking screw down at the knee end, it's almost V-shaped!! I think that one is going to be just a bit tricky to remove, as you say..:(
    No pain from that one though, it can stay as long as they say it can be left in.

    I'm very happy with the nail itself too, just the bigger locking screw at the top is causing no end of problems really.

    I get no pain at all, but any kind of outward/inward rotation of the hip joint causes me to use colourful language, and then sit down for a while. :D

    I can find out the nail-type on my next checkup visit, I'll PM the details when i have them as Im not mentioning names just at the moment.... fall-out from the 'mystery' sepsis infection which very nearly killed me and strangely didn't even get recorded properly on my notes!!! naughty naughty... ;)

    From the Xrays I've seen, it's the 12mm nail that fattens up to about 20mm at the hammer-end... :eek:.... no fancy blades or anything, just the nail and the locking screws... I got some sort of subtle variation on the normal method, not sure at all why to be honest, I haven't asked so far.

    Are you up to speed on recovery times for this type of fix?
    I'm confused... as at the time, the surgical consultants were pushing around figures like '6-12 months' for recovery... But everything I've found on the web (a much better source of information) seems to suggest my 'miracle' recovery was actually fairly normal for this type of job.

    Any ideas on this?

    Cheers for the info so far mate, very helpful to have an expert in the house!! :thumbsup:
     
  16. UZUBAIRU

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    You guys are very brave. This is an informative read.
    Reading your posts is making me very squeamish.
    I've not read the last few posts. I'll come back to this interesting thread when my stomach can stand it.

    Umu
    (Yes, I am female!)
     
  17. ukdan

    ukdan
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    I'll have to try and take a pic of my x-ray and post it here. Surgeons snapped two drill bits in the upper screw before finally getting it through. They then left them in which got infected and had to have them removed......
     
  18. The Dude

    The Dude
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    I'll try scanning an Xray too, if my copies ever turn up!

    In the meantime......It's the wrong leg, but you get the general idea... :D
     

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  19. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    Not the best quality, but while we are playing show and tell.

    Hopefully you will be able to see the results.
     

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  20. The Dude

    The Dude
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    Harry, that's impressive! total respect mate.. :thumbsup:

    how far down your leg did the staples go? Were his hands shaking a bit? :D



    I can't wait to ge mine now... back in on the 17th !
     
  21. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    Staples?? Do you mean the cut. About 30 cm. The plate is about 25cm.

    But I think I got out of it pretty easy. Yours looks horrendous.
     
  22. Kramer

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    No pins or plates for me..............very minor fractures IMO compared to you guys :eek: .

    I think the fact it's my ankle is what's making it worse...........joint took a fair old battering.

    [​IMG]

    'Twas a little swolen :D

    Glad to hear everyone's on the mend :smashin:
     
  23. The Dude

    The Dude
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    Awesome! :D
     

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