Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Orthopedics Forum

Broken Leg how long it will take for me to heal

Must Read
Think you might be experiencing bone loss? Check out this Intro to Osteoporosis and evaluate your risk for developing bone weakness. ...
Although bone mass loss is normal as we age, some people are more at risk of developing osteoporosis than others. Are you at risk? More here....
Do you have severe back pain? Do your bones break frequently or with little pressure? You might be experiencing osteoporosis. Found out more here....
I broke my tibia and fibula during football on Sept 17. I am 17 and healty with no medical problems. I need to know how long it will take for me to heal. How long will it take for me to be able to play basketball in a game? We are a small school and i am important to the team. I need to know how long it will take.
Did you find this post helpful?
|

User Profile
replied November 11th, 2011
Especially eHealthy
fty26,

Sorry about your injury. You might find the following information helpful:

Time to Union for Tibial Fractures;

- low energy fractures: 10-13 weeks;
- high energy fractures: 13-20 weeks;
- open fractures: 16-26 weeks
.....type 3B & 3C open fractures requires 30 to 50 weeks for consolidation;
- distal tibial fractures may be more prone to non union than proximal fractures due to absence of muscular soft tissue envelope;
- in a study of 64 consecutive patients with a tibial shaft fracture, 12 months after the injury, 44 percent had not regained full function of the injured leg, although all but two of the patients had returned to their preinjury working status;

- Reference: "One-Year Outcome After Tibial Shaft Fractures: Results of a Prospective Fracture Registry" Anne Skoog. J Orthop Trauma. 15(3):210-215, March/April, 2001.


You should note that the times given above are for union of the fracture, not for rehabilitation of the limb.

Every patient and every fracture is different.

You should just now be reaching the time when the bone is pretty well healed. But, now is also the start of the hardest part, rehabilitation.

You do have youth on your side and a motivation to get back to the activities that you like to participate in.

You should follow your surgeon's instructions. If you have a trainer to help you with rehab, have the trainer contact your surgeon to get the exact protocol that the surgeon wants you to follow in your rehab. Then, once the bone is solidly healed, work hard in PT.

But, getting over a tibia fracture does not occur overnight. And it takes a lot of effort and hard work on your part.

Good luck.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 16th, 2011
i had a broken right femur right now due to a motor cycle accidents...the dr. inserted a intramedullar rod on my bone...its been 9 weeks after the surgery...i am 23 and healthy...i need to know how long will it take for me to be able to walk again..?im using 2 crutches now...the dr. said to put a little force on my bad leg around 25%...and i can only fold my knee to 50 degrees...can i be able to fold my knee again?and how long will it take for me to be able to walk again...im a little confused because the dr. said it would be around five to six months but others said it would be early because of my age...please help...
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied November 16th, 2011
Especially eHealthy
charles,

There is a difference between the time it takes for the bone to unite and for you to rehabilitate the limb.

In femur fractures, the time to union is usually between 12 to 16 weeks for low energy fractures and around 16 to 20 for high energy fractures. But, these numbers can vary widely depending upon the age and overall health of the patient.

However, this is just the time it takes to get the bone to heal. Once that is well on its way, the patient must then really work hard in rehabilitation. Unfortunately, this can take up to a year to 18 months sometimes, before a final outcome is known. That is not to say that you will be laid up for a year, you will be up and about long before that, but it may be that long till you get to the end of your rehabilitation.


As to flexion of the knee, this is always a problem with femur fractures. When you break the bone, it is not the only thing injured. All of the soft tissues around the fracture site are also ripped and torn. These soft tissues heal, but with scar tissue. So, it is very common for the quad muscles to scar down to the femur and to themselves. Thus, it becomes very difficult to flex (bend) the knee.

But, now is the time to work on flexion of the knee. The scar tissue is still being laid down, so now is the time to stretch it out. It will take a lot of hard work on your part. femur fractures are life threatening injuries. It takes a lot of energy to break the largest bone in the body, so there is a lot of trauma to heal.

Do try to weight bear as much as the surgeon allows. By placing stress across the fracture, it will stimulate the body to lay down more callus. The bone will respond to the stresses applied to it, this is called Wolff's Law. Just as when you lift weights, your bones get stouter and stronger, and when you don't use them (aging, injury, space flight) osteoporosis sets in.

Also ask your surgeon how long he thinks it will take for union of the fracture and also how long till you get back to your regular activities. He/she is the one who knows how well the fracture was fixed and what it can withstand.

Hang in there. You still have a long ways to go and a lot of hard work to do. But, it will get better. Good luck.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 16th, 2011
thank you so much for the info..
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 29th, 2011
just got my 3rd x-ray result, my bone has still a small gap its not fully healed yet just like what you said, so i have to for another weeks, its my 11th week now,

i've been to my doctor for my monthly check.up, as he saw the x-ray result he gave me another month for healing, by january if the result is the same as today, he will perform another surgery, he will remove one of the screw on the intramedullar rod, the upper part screw.

But as of now he allowed me to put force on my leg, he allowed me to use single crutches only.

does using single crutches can help the union of my bones?
Can i use a cane instead of the crutches?
thank you!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied November 29th, 2011
Especially eHealthy
Charles,

Many people prefer a cane to one crutch, it allows for more normal gain mechanics. When using a cane, it should be in the hand opposite the fracture femur (not on the same side). By using it in the opposite hand, you walk more normally. Using a cane can take about 50% of the weight off the limb.

By weight bearing, it applies stress across the fracture, which will actually help stimulate it to heal. Bone reacts the stresses applied to it, this is called Wolff's Law. That's why bones get stouter and stronger when you lift weights and do manual labor, and why they get osteoporotic with disuse (age, injury, space flight).

The removal of the screw is called dynamizing the nail. It is a way to get the stress to go through the bone more. When the nail is statically locked, it is a load shielding construct. When dynamized, the nail becomes a load sharing construct and more of the stress passes through the femur. Again, this is just another way to help stimulate the bone to heal.


So, hang in there, it sounds like you are doing well, since the surgeon is allowing you to go to partial weight bearing. Keep working on knee motion. If you have access to a pool, water therapy is a great activity for femur fracture rehab. You can actually walk and run in the pool and the warmth of the water makes the tissues more pliable and stretchable.

Good luck.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 29th, 2011
thank you so much
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 29th, 2011
thank you so much
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 29th, 2011
thank you so much
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 29th, 2011
thank you so much
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 3rd, 2011
hello once again, was not able to ask my surgeon about this matter because he is out of town for a couple of days, i just want to ask that even in this kind of situation i have right now, is it okey for me to drive a car? i hope you can help me in this matter. thank you.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied December 3rd, 2011
Especially eHealthy
charles,

Driving is a very personal activity. There are quadraplegics out there who can drive a vehicle (modified of course), while some people can't drive if they have a hangnail.

Basically, you have to be able to say that you are completely safe on the roads. For patients who are parents, we ask them, would you drive with your children in the car? Do you feel safe enough to take their lives in your hands?

It is a well known, and proven through research, that patients with lower extremity injuries have much slower reaction times to braking, for several months after they begin walking, than the regular population.

If it is your left leg and you have an automatic vehicle (ie the injured leg is not being used on a peddle), then you can probably drive as soon as you feel comfortable sitting in the vehicle. Of course, if you have a standard transmission, it will take a lot longer.


Just remember, if you are in an accident, and you are on crutches, wearing a splint, cast, brace, etc, you may be labeled as driving while impaired. Even if it was not necessarily your fault. I know it is not right, but there have been cases where patients had to go through unnecessary hassels because they had a cast on. Just be aware of this.


Some surgeons are very cautious and tell their patients not to drive till they are able to walk well with just a cane. And again, it depends upon which leg is injured. And, actually a surgeon cannot really tell you when you can drive or not, it is just done to protect themselves from lawsuits.

It is up to you. Do you feel safe on the roads? Remember, it is not only your life, but every other driver on the road. Usually, the best thing to do, is to have a friend/family member with you. You might want to have them drive you way out into the country, away from a lot of traffic. You can then get behind the wheel and see how it goes. Practice starting and stopping, especially stopping. Once you feel comfortable, then it is probably okay.


Hope that is not too confusing. Good luck.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 3rd, 2011
thank you..i learn a lot
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 24th, 2012
its been 9 months now from my operation....my last x ray was march 2012...my bones has a small union only...why does not it healed....since then my dr told me to do bone grafting...i would like to ask if it is safe and effective...?until now i havent done my bone grafting..in your opinion do i really need to undergo bone grafting? hope sumone can help me...
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 21st, 2013
pls Help
i had a broken my right leg tibia bone open fracture. due to a motor cycle accidents...the dr. inserted a intramedullar rod on my bone...its been 6 month after the surgery...i am 24 and healthy...i need to know how long will it take for me to be able to walk again..?im using 1 crutches now...the dr. said to put a little force on my bad leg around 75%...and how long will it take for me to be able to walk again...im a little confused because the dr. said it would be around two more months but others said it would be early because of my age...please help... i am my home itself i will try to walk without crutches but that time i can't able walk normally...
|
Did you find this post helpful?
Quick Reply