My 16 y/o son broke his tibia - a closed fracture while skiing. The orthopedic surgeon who saw him in the emergency room said it was a "classic boot fracture." (The boot didn't break from from the ski.) A week ago, he had a titanium IM nail put down the middle of his tibia with two screws on the bottom and one on the top. We went for follow up, and his doctor reviewed the x-rays is pleased with the results so far. He is now in a boot, and using crutches.
He was running for his high school, where he is a Junior, and was doing well enough at cross country, the mile and two-mile to receive scouting letters from various NCAA Division 3 college coaches. I am trying to help him with his expectations about his recovery and his ability to run competitively both in his senior year and in college. The doctor seems to think he can do some light jogging in two to three months, but this seems aggressive to me.
I have a few questions
1. When can he expect to get back to running competitively?
2. Any advice on physical therapy? Timing? Progression? His ortho says he can do pool walking, and light exercise-bicycling starting as early as next week.
3. Is it realistic for him to think about being a competitive college runner with all this hardware in his leg?
I am trying to help set his expectations and not do more harm by trying to recover too fast. He's a teenager and not very patient. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.