Pinned tibia break not uniting after 16 weeks

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I broke my tibia, fibia and ankle (4 breaks) paragliding into a mountain.

I have a pin in my tibia and never had any plaster. The operation was in Spain.

When I returned to the UK, a junior consultant took an Xray and said all was well. Two consultations later, he says the same. The three Xrays all show the same gap in the tibia.

The senior consultant popped in during the second consultation and quizzed the junior consultant about the gap, saying that it had not healed and perhaps the screws holding the pin would break hopefully. Hardly inspiring.

I have been attending the excellent physiotherapy gym and can put full weight on the affected leg. I've just started work on my allotment too. I can feel the unhealed gap.

Another 8 weeks to the next appointment. I can't get hold of electronic copies of the Xray because the hospital cannot email my GP! They can only send a faxed copy which cannot be zoomed in to the gap.

I'm just wondering if I should ask to see another consultant at a different hospital.

 

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi.  You could ask for another opinion at the same hospital or if you preferred another one.  I had an accident abroad and my x rays were sent home with me.  Is the pin you mention an external one?  My break was a malunion and I eventually had to have an external fixator.  This was done at another hospital by a different consultant.  
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    • Posted

      Clarissabelle being abroad is far superior than in the UK I have found. If I have an MRI, the minute I leave the clinic I am given a CD for myself to take a look at on my computer. Seems very backward in UK if you can't get a copy of your xrays. I have all of mine.
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  • Posted

    Thans for the reply Clarissabelle.

    I have a rod inside my tibia held in place by screws. The screws keep the gap open as far as i can tell. But the communication skills of the consultants are appalling, so I don't really know what they plan to do apart from wait.

    I think I'll go to my GP and ask to see someone at a different hospital. But I'll have to wait another 8 weeks for that of course.

    I'll post any outcome here.

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  • Posted

    Sometimes the only thing they can do is wait and watch the healing process.  You could phone the consultants secretary and ask for an appt to see him as you would like to know more about your prognosis.  Also think about asking your GP if you can see the hospital letters which have been sent to him.  If you ask at the hospital you should also be able to get a copy of each clinic letter sent directly to you after your appointments.  Good luck and keep us posted.
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  • Posted

    Heaven's above The Xray should surely have been put onto a  CD? All they have to do is to send that to you. This day and age usually everything is on a CD which you can get a copy of and view it on your computer. I would see another consultant elsewhere as this seems a rather backward business.  
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    • Posted

      £10 an xray and I wanted all three for comparison.

      I wrote to the scretary as suggested and she rang me back. She suggested I ask the registrar a few more questions. I'll atend my 4th appointment in about 5 weeks and see if he can explain my progress.

      She also explained that the NHS is not joined up electronically. Didn't they scrap the previous scheme, wasting millions if not billions of pounds? Incredible.

      I'll make a post after the next appointment.

      In the meantime, the NHS gym is going well. Now that is a great resource. But I cannot use some of the machines until I know the break has healed.

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  • Posted

    Just saw a different surgeon, 6 months after the break. He clearly showed me the sequence of Xrays and that the breaks are now healed.

    I asked about the fact that my foot now points outwards by about 7 degrees. He said that my gait would adjust. Is this normal? Anyway, that's the last appointment. I'll post back in 6 months after my physio is complete.

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