Hi to all honourable doctors,
this is the 18th weeks from the time i did my operation, i would like to know that how many percent the tibia and fibula united? normally this will takes how long to recovery?
your answer is needed... thank you
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First Helper User Profile Gaelic
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replied January 6th, 2013
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daniel_on,

If you are speaking of a tibial shaft fracture (a tib-fib fracture), then the following in the usual times given for the union of the tibia:


TIME TO UNION:

- Low energy fractures: 10-13 weeks;
- High energy fractures: 13-20 weeks;
- Open fractures:
… Type 1, 2, 3A fractures: 16-26 weeks
… Type 3B & 3C fractures can require 30 to 50 weeks for full consolidation;

- Distal tibial fractures may be more prone to non union than proximal fractures due to absence of muscular soft tissue envelope in that region;

- In the report by Skoog A, et al., the authors studied 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 preinjury working status;
- reference: “One-Year Outcome After Tibial Shaft Fractures: Results of a Prospective Fracture Registry”,
J Orthop Trauma. 2001 Mar-Apr;15(3):210-5.



So, depending upon your injury type, you could be right on schedule for healing. In other words, if you sustained your injury in a high energy accident, such as a motor vehicle accident, which can take 13-20 weeks to unite, you are within the normal healing range for a tibial fracture to unite.

Tibia fractures take a long time to heal, mainly due to the poor blood supply.

You should follow your surgeon’s instructions on what activities you are allowed to do. If your surgeon has allowed you to start to weight bear on the limb, try to do so. Weight bearing places stress across the fracture site, which can actually stimulate the body to heal the fracture faster. This is known as Wolff’s Law - bone will respond to the stresses applied to it.

If you are not immobilized in any way, you should be working on ankle and knee range of motion.

Again, follow your surgeon’s instruction on how much weight bearing you are allowed to do. As soon as you are allowed to weight bear, do so. When you are allowed to weight bear, start doing strengthening exercises. Stationary cycling is a great activity. If you have access to a pool, you can do a lot of activities in the water. The warmth of the water makes the tissues more pliable and stretchable. The buoyancy makes the activities nonweight bearing (in chest deep water). It is very safe in the water, as you cannot fall. There are many activities which you can do to strengthen the muscles, even if you do not swim. In some pools, they have weighted vests, which a patient can wear to “run” in the deep end of the pool. Thus, in the water you can work on strengthening, stretching, and overall conditioning.

But, you can find a lot of activities to do, in which you can strengthen the muscles of the calf and thigh. If you have a physical therapist, you can ask him/her for activies which you can do.


So, if you have questions or concerns about the healing of your tibia fracture, you should discuss this with your surgeon. But, again, depending upon the type of fracture you sustained, you could be right on track for healing of the tibia.

Good luck. Wishing you the best.
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replied January 14th, 2013
Thanks you Gaelic..
My doctor allow me to walk with single crutch on the 19th week and now is my 20th week and i walk without crutches slow inside the house compound. this makes my lower leg's muscle and intrinsic foot muscle feeling pain. i am so regret i walked without permission from doctor. is there any harm to my leg due to what i have done?
Thanks and your advise are needed .
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replied January 14th, 2013
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daniel_on,

It is expected that you will have tenderness in the muscles around the fracture site.

After an injury and surgery, you lose a lot of muscle mass (called atrophy of the muscle), which will have to be rebuilt through a lot of hard work and exercise.

As long as you do not have a lot of pain right at the fracture site, on the bone, you have not done any damage to the limb.


Again, it is very common for patients to have tenderness in the soft tissues around a fracture.


Work hard in therapy. It is going to take some time and effort to regain your function. Recovery does not "just happen", it has to be worked at.


Good luck. Hang in there. Wishing you the best.
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replied January 14th, 2013
Thanks a lot Doctor. Gaelic.
i dint feel pain on the fracture part but the muscle is a bit sour pain. so i dint harm the bone? Should i continue to walk without crutches?
Your advice is appreciated
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replied January 17th, 2013
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daniel_on,

As long as you are not having any sharp pain right at the fracture site you are okay.

It is very common, to be expected, to have pain in the muscles around the muscles in calf.

Again, as long as you do not have sharp pain right at the fracture when you bear weight, you are probably just fine.

If you are having significant pain directly at the fracture site when you bear weight, then you might want to back off a little. Go back to using your crutches or a cane.

It is going to take a long time to recover from a tibia fracture. You might want to do exercises in a pool, where you can exercise but not have to worry about the weight bearing aspect.

You might also look into stationary cycling. These are both great for patients recovering from a tibia fracture.


If, however, you have any concern about how your leg is healing, do speak with your surgeon.

Good luck.
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replied January 18th, 2013
Thanks for the advice Dr. Gaelic
Can i try to up a staircase? Or i should wait for permission from surgeon?

Your advice is highly appreciated.
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replied January 18th, 2013
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daniel_on,

It is always best to follow your surgeon's advice.

In terms of activity, when advancing how much you do, you should always let pain be your guide. If it causes you pain to do something, then you should not do that activity.

If it does not hurt to put weight on the leg, then it is probably okay. But, again, just be careful.


If you can go up stairs without any pain at the fracture site, then you are probably okay. But, if you have discomfort around the break, then do not do the activity.

It is always best to gradually advance your activity slowly, "listening" to your body. If there is pain, do not do that activity.


Hope you are healing well. Hang in there. Good luck.
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replied July 9th, 2013
After 6 weeks in a long leg cast I have been in a short leg cast for a week and allowed to walk with a minimal amount of weight on my distal tibia & fibula fracture. In a further 3 weeks I am hoping to switch to an orthopaedic boot. How much weight may I then place on the leg and for what time/distance may I walk? With or without crutches or sticks? How long is likely to be until I may stop using the boot and walk without it?
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replied July 9th, 2013
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Shrimper,

That will all be determined by your orthopedic surgeon, based on how well your fracture is healing.


If your fracture is healing well, you will most likely be allowed to advance your weight bearing as tolerated. And, at the same time, if you are switched to a fracture brace, you will usually be allowed to start doing range of motion of the ankle.

You will have lost a significant amount of muscle mass, all of which will have to be regained. Your ankle joint will be stiff and sore.


Remember, recovery does not "just happen". It takes a lot of hard work. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.


Every patient is different. So, there is no way to tell you exactly when certain things may occur.


Wishing you the best. Good luck.
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replied July 15th, 2013
Pain in Right knee
In April,2012 I had a material cabinet that weighed 1800 lbs fall on my right leg. Broke my tibia and fibula had surgery, Dr. inserted a rod and 4 screws. In July my knee started bothering me a lot had sharp shooting pains. Told my Dr. he suggested steroid injections did 2 separate injections in my knee pain never went away. In October he scoped my knee and took out a good bit of scar tissue. Well since then the pain is still there in full force, had 2 MRI's done and nothing showed in them. Dr. keeps prescribing me anti-inflammatory's which are not helping at all. I just had my 3rd MRI done a few days ago. I go back today to get results, for some reason the only thing that takes the pain away a little is pain killers and my Dr. doesn't want to prescribe them to me anymore. My knee hurts no matter what I do getting into my office trailer at work it's like I'm getting stabbed in my knee with an ice pic sharp stabbing and burning pains. Do any of you have any clue what might be my issue.
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