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Tibia and Fibula Mid Shaft Fracture

I broke my Tib and Fib falling off my horse on 24th April. As a result I have had a rod and pins inserted. I am now 9 weeks down the line and had a sarmiento pot for the last 4 weeks. I am due to have more xrays on Monday but I am very nervous about the results as to if the bones are healing or not and how long will it be before I can walk unaided without crutches and weight bare. I am also very anxious about when I can ride again.
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replied June 23rd, 2011
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Mellymash,

In the past, many tibia fractures were treated with only a Sarmiento functional brace (but, at that time a little deformity in the bone was accepted). Now, we place the internal hardware so that the patient can get moving quicker, and there is less deformity of the bone.

By placing some stress across the fracture site, it actually stimulates healing (Wolff's Law). But, it is a balance in not putting too much weight on the internal hardware construct, but enough to put stress across the fracture. Once the fracture has started healing, then more and more stress can be applied.


Usually, by nine weeks, there will be enough callus laid down that the patient can progress to full weight bearing as tolerated (of course, it depends upon the fracture pattern and the hardware placed - every case is slightly different).

Then, you have to get all the soft tissue back into shape. When you injured the leg, you did not just break the bone. The periosteum (covering on the bone), the fascia, the muscles, were also all injured. And, you have not used the muscles significantly in the past two months, so they will have atrophied somewhat.

We usually tell the athletes (which you are), that for every day that they are out of training, it takes about two days to get back. One deconditions a lot faster than one conditions. This does not mean that you won't be able to do anything for four more months, but it may take that long to get back to the point where you feel you were before the injury. Fractures of the long bones are significant injuries.

Being anxious will not change anything positively, but can hinder your healing. If there is no reason that you should have delayed healing, then do not fret over something that has not happened. If you do experience delayed healing, then there are things that can be done. But, why worry over things that are beyond your control?


Speak candidly with your surgeon when you see him/her the next time. Ask as to the plan for your rehab and when he/she thinks that you will be able to ride again. Work hard at the rehab program, follow your surgeon's and physical therapist's instructions, and you will be back in the saddle before you know it.

Good luck.
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replied November 1st, 2011
I had a very similar injury, but a different surgery and recovery can you help me?
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replied November 2nd, 2011
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Matt,

I responded to your question in the Orthopedics Forum.
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