Broken leg with tissue injury

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My partner was struck by a van on November 21st last. Her tibia and fibula were fractured combined with severe tissue damage. Her leg was operated on and a rod was inserted with screws to hold it in place. Her leg is still quite swollen. When she is walking it hurts particularly around the ankle and behind the knee.Anybody able to tell if this is normal with this kind of injury; will it take long for this hurt to ease? 

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  • Posted

    I can understand your partner's suffering and pain too. I fell and fractured my upper arm December 13. I had a pin and plate in my arm and this may be removed soon. My humerus in the upper arm is healing and the fracture soon was healed too. I only become mostly pain free in July 14 after physio and pain relief tablets. However I have less movement when static eg recent flu. I have a new job good. The swelling on my upper arm is reducing with diet and excercise. I take some paracetomol if i need occassional pain relief.

    Talk with medics and physio for best advice. Kind wishes

    Sue

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  • Posted

    I know it's not quite the same but I broke my femur last April and had a rod put in that is secured with screws at my hip and knee.  I had slipped over in the garden and wasn't sure if I had broken my leg or pulled a muscle as it looked as if I had a football stuffed up my trousers.  It was only when I moved the top half of my leg and the bottom half stayed where it was I realised that it was broken completely in half.  I had to drag myself about 40 feet up the garden back to the house and was very glad that I  hadn't broken the skin. It's good that a rod was put in rather than a plaster on it because it meant that I could walk with a zimmer then sticks after a couple of days, it was very painful for a few weeks  but when I went to the hospital at about 2 months post operation I was told that it had started to heal. A couple more visits and was told it had completely healed and that would have been at about seven months.   That doesn't mean that I have no pain or problems because I find it difficult to walk upstairs as it can be quite stiff and mildly painful some days.  Also there is a crunching/grinding feeling in my hip and knee which is probably to do with the fact that the screws are quite near the surface.  It helps in one way that I am quite slim so it was easy for them to put the rod in but it also means that there's not much flesh to cover the screws.  If they cause me a lot of pain and have worked their way out so that they can be removed easily then it can be done but the pain is quite bearable at the moment and may not get any worse.  The funny thing was I wasn't given any advice on how much exercise to do except to put weight on it straight away as weight bearing makes it heal quicker and I also had no physiotherapy whatsoever. 

    As your partner broke her leg near the end of November it's still quite a short time.  I remember that my thigh was swollen for a few months and felt quite hard to the touch but after about eight months it had softened quite a bit.   These things can't be rushed and she should expect to take several more months before it really settles down.  I'm just really grateful that I did have a rod inserted and that I was able to walk on it straight away (the day after the operation which surprised me)  My sister broke her lower leg and had a plaster from toes to hip for months which really curtailed everything she did.  I'm afraid to say that patience is what is needed with a broken leg, especially if there is bad tissue damage as that can take a long time to heal just on its own.  Sorry if this isn't quite what she wants to hear but she has to wait a bit longer for the swelling to go down and hope that there's no problem later on with the screws or arthritis setting in but just think herself lucky that there could have been a much worse outcome to the accident.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much, for your kind and wonderfully extensive reply. I am very grateful that you went to so much trouble. Bless you. 
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  • Posted

    These kind of injuries can take some time to repair especially when it comes to orthopaedic surgery. What you need to remember is not only was the bones fractured, but all of the muscle, ligaments and tendons damaged in the process of the injury and need time to recover in their new positions.

    I recently had planned orthopaedic surgery and it has taken me three months so far and I still have another three and a half months still to go.

    No doubt your partner is getting anxious for not being able to do anything. This is good, but when she is given the go ahead...start of slowly and when resting keep the foot elevated to help against the pain.

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