Non fused bones after 3 1/2 months

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I fractured my tibia and fibula in March, no surgery but just cast for 2 1/2 months. I'm on 50% WB on boot for 1 month now also on therapy but not aggressive. My bones are healing but slowly. Is this normal? Will it fused eventually? I'll appreciate any response. Thanks!!!

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  • Posted

    Hi, I had surgery to a shattered ankle and I had a cast on for 2 x four weeks because bones had not heeled to my ankle, after 8 weeks my break in my ankle was still there so I'm now in a boot, the dr says weight bearing will help the bones to fuse, so I'm in a boot and I do partial weight bearing and I've been doing this for a further 4 weeks, I go for my X-ray this week so hoping for a good result. It's over 4 month since my break, I cannot walk yet, I believe the plates and screws are causing me to be very restricted but it could be in my mind,3 time seeing my physiotherapist he says I'm doing well, another 2 months I should be walking. Chin up, read a lot it's helping me get through this life changing circumstance.

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  • Posted

    Hi Araceli,

    It's hard to give you any comparative advice since you provide so little info about your condition. On this forum brevity is not more desirable.

    I fractured my ankle (bimalleolar on medial side of right ankle bone) about 1/2 year ago. Fracture was displaced but I went against my orthopedist's suggestion to consider surgery and let it knit tightly together on its own (I was in a CAM 'moonboot' and NWB for about 6 weeks).

    My outcome was a resounding success. Fractures healed up handsomely-- even the orthopedist was amazed at how good it looked on X-rays at end of 6 weeks.  I then went to 50% PWB, and then soon to FWB.

    If you do your research online, you'll find that the 'average' broken bone heals sufficiently for weight bearing in 6-8 weeks. Of course some in cases a fracture may heal a little quicker or later depending on severity, location of break, age, and lifestyle habits. Your doctor should have told you all of this.

    One of the most pernicious habits that can derail bone mending is smoking-- smokers often have difficulty with bone mending, even to the point of non-unions (broken bones that just don't join together and form solid bone). A faulty diet without sufficient bone nutrients can also put you behind the 8 ball in getting bones to set properly.

    In my personal case, I used a PEMF device called ICES to speed bone knitting. PEMF (look it up) is pulsed electromagnetic frequency therapy that has been shown to speed recovery in bone and soft tissue injuries, even if difficult cases. This technology has been known for at least 40 years and is well documented, and safe. But my doctor never mentioned it, so I guess it is a well-known 'secret'.

    ICES (I am not promoting any products here or giving medical advice, just reporting my anecdotal experience) is one of the cheapest and and yet effective PEMF devices available. There are many, many PEMF products on the market. You can spend thousands of dollars on many of them if you have tons of money.

    There are also so-called 'e-stim', or electrical stimulation devices that are reported to help in injury recovery and pain relief. I have one, but rely on ICES more.

    Good luck on your recovery. I hope you are able to report back to the group soon on a successful outcome, and give hope to others in same predicament.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your immediate response.I have unstable fractures of tibia and fibula. My orthopedist suggested 2 options- surgery or cast placement. Accdng to him results will be the same only cast takes a longer time to recover so I choose cast . I'm 61 yrs old and also I have poor appetite since the accident so these are probably reasons for the delayed healing but I'm taking vitamin supplements and protein shakes.By the way,I checked PEMF ICES. Even though it's not FDA approved I'm trying to consider it since you're the proof. It costs more or less $500. The rests of the PEMF device are so expensive. There are times I feel frustrated and sad but I don't want my family to worry so I just keep it myself. I have so many plans after my retirement and this happened to me so I feel so sad when I think about it. Any recommendations on how to handle this depression. Thanks again for your response.

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    • Posted

      Araceli,

      I understand the sadness and depression. Based on reponses on this forum, many of us suffer mental and emotional trauma in addition to the physical trauma in injuries like this. It is truly life-changing for a lot of us.

      I don't have any specific recommendations for overcoming the negative emotional side to it. Everyone brings their personal physical and mental baggage to a crisis.

      Since mind and body are intimately connected, the more you can do to build up your health (diet, exercise, sunlight, etc.) the more your emotional side is likely to brighten. Conversely, dwelling on negative thoughts and worrying can affect bodily well-being too. They say laughter is healing, so if you can enjoy jokes and good comedy I'd suggest that.

      I'm glad you checked out ICES. Now, if you are in a cast ICES is less likely to be effective-- it probably depends on thickness of cast material. The PEMF energies will go right through the material, but the power intensity decreases with distance from injury. ICES does have a high setting, so it might work well after all. Be sure to use something like an elastic wrap to hold ICES coils to injury location on cast.

      Interestingly, some people (including Dr. Pawluk, a respected authority on therapeutic uses of PEMF) put ICES coils on their head to improve brain function and clarity. I haven't been adventurous enough to try it, but it is an idea.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your response again. I haven't met or seen you but you're such an amazing person. Your words of encouragement will help me and others who are in this difficult journey. The problem with me is, I always think of the worst outcome and I can't stop. I was an oncology nurse for so many years and I relate my injury with those patients. I don't know why. If you have time can you drop me a line once in a white. I have a lot of friends who are doctors and nurses but the more I get sad when I talk to them especially when they say why I didn't have surgery. Thank you very much again!!!

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