Tibial plateau fracture and Ankle issues

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On January 5th I was trampled with result ending in a tibial Plateau fracture. it hasn't been easy especially since I had a external fixator for two weeks before I had my surgery and now I'm non-weight-bearing for the next 8 weeks. I'm not having any pain just a lot of muscle spasms and ankle issues. right now my ankle still swollen a little bit but I was wondering if anybody else experiencing some ankle pain and ankle stiffness. I haven't started my physical therapy yet so I'm wondering what you guys have experienced.

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  • Posted

    Everyone healing process is different... I had orif surgery ankle broken in 3 places and that time of my life was challenging so I know how you feel. Your ankle will feel stiff cause your not able to move it but when you start pt that’s when your progress will start... work on moving your toes for now
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  • Posted

    I'm at week 5 and yes stiffness is normal for this stage. The muscle spasms are what bother me, not pain. I go back for my 2nd postop appointment on Wednesday and am supposed to be able to start physical therapy after,as long as the xrays show good healing. I'll check back in and let you know how it goes. I'm anxious to start PT but nervous that it could be painful,

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    • Posted

      I'm nervous as well. I go for my first post op appointment on Tuesday and I'm scheduled to start PT week 3 which is next week I don't know what to expect. I'm just hoping that everything is okay and I get a better understanding of what's going on with my knee. I guess we both can keep each other updated on our status and maybe be each other's encouragement through this time.

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  • Posted

    I am over five months into my tibial plateau fracture& ankle fracture. Still doing therapy, I still have stiffness and ankle pain. When on feet to long swollen ankle also! I started with fixation for eleven days before surgery, multiple plates and screws in ankle and knee. I wonder if I’ll ever be the same again! 6 moth surgery follow up soon. Good luck it takes a lot of recovery time & work

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    • Posted

      Happy to have found this thread! Have been searching for 7 weeks to find someone else who broke both ankle and knee at same time. I fractured my ankle (tib/fib) and knee (tibial plateau) in mid-April while XC schooling. Had surgery on both and and knee April 18, 3 days later. NWB 6 weeks. X-rays good enough for doc to let me start PWB a week ago. Thought at first I might be able to get back on horse by October or so...but now that I'm trying to put weight on leg in air boot and brace, not so sure.

      Have worked really hard on ankle and knee flexion but ankle is pretty painful most the time, swells, and stiff especially in front. And knee, although not as painful or swollen just feels so unstable. Start PT next week so hoping will give me details confidence that I'm gonna be OK at some point. Up until now, I've always been super athletic and agile. Still climbing, running and jumping at age 58. Have a physical job also... training dogs for service work and working with shelter dogs at risk. Don't really expect to be able to climb, then jump off a 4 ft fence without even thinking about it anymore but sure hope I can regain at least a good amount of strength and freedom of movement. How are you doing now? Any words of wisdom? I'm a realist and would rather prepare myself for a longer recovery that be frustrated and disappointed should things progress more slowly than what I'd anticipated. So I'd really appreciate any insight you can give me. 😐

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    • Posted

      I’m 7 months into fracture, still have some pain and limp, fracture healed now but still lacking strength. I have my doubts if will have 100% recovery, time will tell! My surgeon said give it at least another year. When I’m on my feet for a while it hurts, and from not being able to do my normal routine I have less endurance! It will take some time, Ankle hurts and knee gives out sometimes
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  • Posted

    Thank you reading these experiences really help.

    I have a grade 6. Tibia plateau fracture. It happened the end of October. 2017 I am trying to learn how to walk again. I find I have some ankle pain and my muscles are weak. It is now almost the middle of may. Sometimes I feel like I am not progressing as fast as I should.

    +4' extension, 111'flexion.

    Had manipulation with debridement surgury #4

    I had my 5th surgery ( an infection) the first part of last month. I want so much to walk and ride horses again but I'm still using crutches. Have a great physical therapist started a little late on PT. Most of my pain is coming from my weak ankle with weight(but no need for medication) I fractured it 7 months prior to the tibia plateau fracture. I am 60 years old now and I am overweight, but I'm an equine athlete and healthy. I don't know what to expect to be able to walk on my own without canes or crutches, any ideas? Also, is anybody else losing their hair, and how long does it take to start growing back? I'm hard on myself, should I be weight bearing and walking without crutches by now almost 7 months since accident.

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    • Posted

      It's only been 7 weeks for me but I'm glad to finally find a couple of folks who are in pretty much same boat as I am. Were you riding again 7 months after ankle fracture?

      Then had knee injury? Boy that sucks. I did both at same time along with back. But back just compression fracture at L3. Pretty much healed now. Been partial WB in boot, brace for a week. Pretty sobering as there's no way I can weight bear at all without boot on. And need walker for everything unless hopping around on one leg. And that's starting to bother right knee and hip. So yeah this sucks. Ease let me know how your doing. I'm most concerned about my gait and something else going south in the meantime because of all the compensation.

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    • Posted

      Hi Kinney613,

      I broke my ankle in March of 2017 (Was getting ready to perform at the horse expo) started riding about 6 weeks later, showing my horse 12 weeks later.  Then in October I dropped a generator on my knee and shattered it.  Doing PT still, lots of ankle pain and overall weakness, when trying to walk can walk with a cane and limp short distances, use a wheely walker for teaching riding lessons, and crutches when I get really tired, I cheat sometimes by using the wheelchair to get around inside the house, cooking, cleaning etc.....  but can get in the tractor, and high step up truck.   PT said I should have done exercises sooner with the ankle, we have wondered if I fractured my ankle again with the knee fracture?   meantime all I can say is DO your exercises, and Do as much PT as possible.  I'm really hard on myself for not being further along, but people that have known me from the start are amazed at my progress.

          When walking you need to be as upright, and balanced as possible or it will cause other problems, (my hips now pop, and have needed a chiro adjustment) not leaning on a cane, or walker is important or it will cause long-term damage.

           I have a tendency to overdo, again expecting more from myself than I have to give, (Like thinking I could lift  a 200-pound generator into the back of a truck from a step ladder).   I'm at seven months since the accident.  The Surgeon said 9 months to a year before riding a horse. and then 80% to 90%  in a year for recovery.  I'm 60 yrs old and over weight so sure that makes a difference too. I've heard some people say 2 years, ouch, I'm too stubborn and German for that to happen.

           Hard to be humble, my brother moved in for a while just to help me cook, feed animals, etc... still helps me a lot on the farm.

            Hang in there,  let me know how you are doing. take care of the good knee and hip..... try not to compensate too much.

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    • Posted

      Good morning!  I had a tibial plateau fracture 4 years ago, with only NWB for 4 months, no surgery.  Now my lower leg is crooked.  I am contemplating a TKR.  What type of surgery did you have on your knee?  Did it break thru the cartilage?

      TIA, Jan

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    • Posted

      Desert Jan;  

      My fracture was a class 6, meaning it was the worse type of fracture, counted over 20 fractures, looked like axe spilte my leg like a piece of wood, but closed,  1st surgery was an external fixator, a week later they put a metal plate in the inside of my leg, still had fixator on, the 3rd week they put in the metal plate on the outside of my leg and removed the fixator.   My leg per the paramedics was kind of twisted/dislocated.  I blacked out a lot, so don't remember some of the accident.  if your leg is not straight it will probably cause other problems, but heard TKR are not all that successful.  Soft tissue tore, but not like in a high impact like skiing into a tree.  Do lots of homework.  I didn't have a choice but got very lucky with an extremely talented surgeon.  The local hospital would have taken my leg.

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  • Posted

    wow!  that's a lot to deal with!!  mine was not nearly so complicated.  it was from impact, and broke the lateral portion off the tibia, and the head off the fibula.  Since I am missing the corner, the lower leg is in valgus, or  angled outwards.  Makes it awkward to walk, I feel unstable (not the knee itself), and my foot is crooked to compensate.  Makes a lot of simple activities difficult, but not impossible.  So--I have to decide if I should wait till I can't walk at all (they say I have arthritis in that knee now and will need a TKR period.) or do it now to improve my activity now.  I am 66, slender, but getting less and less active.  

    Jan

     

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    • Posted

      Hi-Desert;

      I would do it now, 66 is still young, because the more you hurt the less active you will become.  I'm worried about this a little because I show horses, so now learning to teach a little earlier than I intended.    I was hoping to be riding into my mid 70's but that looks out of the question without a TKR later on, and then more rehab.....

      Like I said get it done while you are a young 66 so you don't hurt.  Just do your homework and make sure that the surgeon has a great success rate, a lot of TKR is not working, but if it gives you a short rehab for years of pain-free activity get it done.  

      Hope that helps.

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  • Posted

    Hey there! I also have a few questions about tibial plateau fracture & surgery. My husband fell & fractured his tibial plateau. After sitting in the Er for 5 hrs, they finally saw him, did X-rays, admitted him into the hospital & he was in surgery by 8 am the next morning. This was 3 wks ago & the swelling & pain is bad. He’s already gone to one post op appointment & they said everything looks good, but he can’t bear any weight for 9 more weeks. I’m just wondering how long the pain & swelling will last? He owns his own construction business & I took him to the job site today, we were there about 4 hours (he was just observing from his motorized wheelchair) his pain got so bad he was feeling nauseous. I guess I should also say that he also has a metal plate & 12 screws in his foot on the same leg (previous injury). His leg, ankle & foot will swell so big & turn purple. Anyways, I’m just curious how long all of this will last. I’m pretty sure between his metal foot & now with the plate & screws in his knee/leg, his left leg will never be the same.

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    • Posted

      Lori 7274,

      3 weeks is not very long. the swelling may last for a long time, the purple is something that you might be concerned about though.  for the first couple of months, I was wearing a size 9 1/2 on the left foot and size 7 on the good foot.  but had also broken my ankle 7 months early but did not need surgery for the ankle, but is causing problems in PT now.  Accident 10/25/17 Class 6 TPF.  had PT today and my ankle and knee are both swollen today.  usually 6 weeks to 12 weeks for weight bearing, I did a lot of bone-building supplements and protein, and the Dr was amazed at the bone healing was 12 weeks estimated but ok 4 weeks earlier.  I'm still not walking without a cane more than 15' at a time, muscles take forever even with PT 2 x a week and doing the exercises. 

      Good luck, the hardest thing to do is to give it time to heal and do your exercises.

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