Broken Tib/Fib


28 replies to this topic
  • Utah Joe

Posted July 10, 2006 - 07:22 AM

#1

2 weeks ago now I broke my tib/fib. I was wearing my CTI2 brace and it broke right around the base of the brace. My leg was going into a hyperextension postion and the knee brace stopped and the end of my leg didn't. So I had no knee or ankle damage. It was a compund fracture and they inserted a rod in my tibia. 2 weeks later it feels pretty good. No real pain and I am only taking some motrin once in a while. My question is what are the pro's and cons of taking the rod back out? Will my insurance cover that? Obviously breaking the same leg again would be bad with the rod in. I know there are plenty of differing opinions about the braces. Personally everyone one I have spoke to tells me that it is better to have broken this then my knee, but I know there are many different opinions on the subject. I have two friends that have had major knee injuries and they have told me that they wished they did what I did.

  • DrMark

Posted July 10, 2006 - 09:34 AM

#2

Anyone who thinks that a coumpornd fracture is not as bad as a knee injury is abosulutely crazy. While you are lucky, a compound fracture that leads to a deep bone infection, will change your life forever, and commonly leads to amputation.

If you ride you need to have the rod out when the bone is healed. A nonrider doesn't need it taken out. However a rider faces new fractures with another bad get off. When the bone and rod break, getting the rod out is absolutely hell, and a serious infection is not unlikely. As noted in the first paragraph, bone infections have a signifigant amputation rate.

The rod needs to come out next year.

Good thing you had your knee brace on, you could have sprained you MCL, leading to a month of PT, possibly outpatient arthroscopic surgery. That ain't nearly as bad as what you have had, and are still facing.

  • Utah Joe

Posted July 10, 2006 - 11:14 AM

#3

Anyone who thinks that a coumpornd fracture is not as bad as a knee injury is abosulutely crazy. While you are lucky, a compound fracture that leads to a deep bone infection, will change your life forever, and commonly leads to amputation.

If you ride you need to have the rod out when the bone is healed. A nonrider doesn't need it taken out. However a rider faces new fractures with another bad get off. When the bone and rod break, getting the rod out is absolutely hell, and a serious infection is not unlikely. As noted in the first paragraph, bone infections have a signifigant amputation rate.

The rod needs to come out next year.

Good thing you had your knee brace on, you could have sprained you MCL, leading to a month of PT, possibly outpatient arthroscopic surgery. That ain't nearly as bad as what you have had, and are still facing.


Well I am obviously not a doctor, so I am not about to argue with you about which is better or not. However I know many people who have had knee surgery and every one upon hearing the news of me breaking my leg told me "good thing you had your knee brace, my knee has never been the same" Maybe they had poor doctors? I have no idea. A friend of mine tore his MCL playing hockey, he was the first one to tell me of his constant knee problems, even after his surgery. Like I said I am not a doctor, but I am an engineer. So I can understand that you might get better work done at one firm than another.

  • coffee

Posted July 10, 2006 - 01:46 PM

#4

FWIW - I have had many knee issues over the years and always had problems. When I got tired of engineering I tried a more physically active line of work and my knee problems went away. My tib/fib was on memorial day.

Do not underestimate web shopping and home grocery delivery. Shopping for groceries on crutches is no fun to me.


.

  • DrMark

Posted July 10, 2006 - 03:46 PM

#5

All those people who told you that never had a coumpound fracture of the tibia, a condition that has a well known percentage of cases leading to amputation.

Perhaps someone who has suffered a severe fracture would make a comment.

  • Keith731

Posted July 11, 2006 - 09:48 AM

#6

Well, I have not had a compound fracture, but I broke my fib, nice and clean, and shattered my tib, that was on Jan. 13th of this year, 5 surgery's and 17 days later, I was out of the hospital. I got plates, and screws, not a rod I guess because it was such a bad break. I was told, it would have been better to have a compound fracture, because I ended up with, what the doctors called "compact syndrome" and had to have a skin graph to close the 1st operation. It was been nearly 6 months, and I can walk with one crutch, and I have been going to the gym, to work out my leg, 3 times a week and riding a stationary bike for like 48 minutes a day 5 to 6 days a week, and I just started working out, and ridding the stationary bike 2 weeks ago. I am 37 years old, so I am sure I heal a bit slower, but I think I would have rather tore up my knee, than go thru this. GOOD LUCK

  • DrMark

Posted July 11, 2006 - 10:34 AM

#7

Good luck Keith. Unfortunately your story is typical. I have never done an amputation resultant from a sprained knee, but have done more that I care to remember as a result of unreconstructable compound fractures. Anyone who disagrees, just Google: Mangled Extremity Severity Score.

  • Keith731

Posted July 11, 2006 - 10:50 AM

#8

Dr. Mark, does it sound like I am doing enough rehab?? Would you recommend anything different?? I have been doing some upper body on my bowflex for like 3 months now too.

  • Riel250f

Posted July 11, 2006 - 11:47 AM

#9

Well, I have not had a compound fracture, but I broke my fib, nice and clean, and shattered my tib, that was on Jan. 13th of this year, 5 surgery's and 17 days later, I was out of the hospital. I got plates, and screws, not a rod I guess because it was such a bad break. I was told, it would have been better to have a compound fracture, because I ended up with, what the doctors called "compact syndrome" and had to have a skin graph to close the 1st operation. It was been nearly 6 months, and I can walk with one crutch, and I have been going to the gym, to work out my leg, 3 times a week and riding a stationary bike for like 48 minutes a day 5 to 6 days a week, and I just started working out, and ridding the stationary bike 2 weeks ago. I am 37 years old, so I am sure I heal a bit slower, but I think I would have rather tore up my knee, than go thru this. GOOD LUCK


"Fasciotomy is a surgical procedure in which the fascia is cut to relieve tension or pressure (resulting in loss of circulation to an area of tissue or muscle). Fasciotomy is a limb saving procedure when used to treat acute compartment syndrome. It is also sometimes used to treat chronic compartment stress syndrome. The procedure has a very rate of success, with the most common problem being accidental damage to a nearby nerve."

I learned what that word meant in my 2 week hospital stay.

Welcome to the club.
Doc you told me the nail could stay in when I asked you in a previous post.
http://www.thumperta...ad.php?t=355406
My nail has been in since 02'. Aches and pains, sure, but I got right back to racing 10 months later.

I was like this for 1 solid week, the doc would come change the dressing once
a day, the pain was unbelievable! Even on hydroc. and morphine. They were
hoping they'd be able to stitch it up, but after a week of the swelling not
going down, had to do the skin graph ultimately.
http://img.photobuck...50f/027_24A.jpg

  • mauricedorris

Posted July 11, 2006 - 11:58 AM

#10

Another fine reason NOT to wear knee braces....

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • Keith731

Posted July 11, 2006 - 12:18 PM

#11

I didn't have knee braces on??? I wonder how I didn't break my knee instead.

  • Flyin Dub

Posted July 11, 2006 - 01:12 PM

#12

Perhaps someone who has suffered a severe fracture would make a comment.



Spiral tib/fib fracture snowboarding in 2001. I counted eight fracture lines on the x-ray. They installed a 10-inch plate and ten pins in my tibia, but no hardware for my fibula or maleolus (also broken in three places).

I spent nearly eight excruciating months on crutches, then four months walking with a cane before I could walk without a limp. I've never met anyone who had that lengthy of a recovery after knee surgery.

Five years later, it still hurts after a hard ride. I never regained full range of motion in the ankle joint, either. Impact activities like jumping rope and jogging are still painful. Once a competitive snowboarder, it is simply too painful to be fun anymore.

My history includes minor knee sprains, a major ankle sprain, wrist fractures, rib fractures, concussions, and a variety soft tissue injuries. Nothing even comes close to the life changing effects caused by the tib/fib fracture. No knee braces for me, thank you.

  • Utah Joe

Posted July 11, 2006 - 01:32 PM

#13

Saw my doctor today. I had two orthopedic surgeons tell me that it what I did better than blowing my knee apart. Perhaps because it was a clean break, I dont know. But they told me that in the long run, this would heal better. So that was the opinion that I got.

  • DrMark

Posted July 11, 2006 - 01:50 PM

#14

Maybe they never had a patient like FlyingDub.
Perhaps they never Googled Mangled Extremity Severity Score.
Perhaps they didn't want you to feel bad about what happened.

  • Utah Joe

Posted July 14, 2006 - 10:46 AM

#15

Well I had my 1st therapy visit yesterday, man what an improvement. After and hour I could bend my knee and ankle considerably moreso than when I started. I have been walking with my crutches and so far it feels very good. I can't quite get my heal down yet, but I am much closer than I was yesterday. I feel very lucky that I have not seemed to have some of the problems that some have mentioned. After 3 weeks, everything seems to be going well.

  • Utah Joe

Posted August 25, 2006 - 04:08 AM

#16

So its been 8 weeks now since my accident. I have gained back alot of my mobility, my ankle is not fully flexable. I can walk decently, but I still bring my cane with me for stairs. The pain is pretty much gone, every once in a while I will bump it or something. Dr. Mark, I do have one question. After my x-ray yesterday, the doctor told me that he wants to remove the lower screws in tibia rod. He told me that this will help with healing, as the screws are supporting most of the weight. I was just wondering if this is a normal proceedure?

  • Riel250f

Posted August 25, 2006 - 05:54 AM

#17

So its been 8 weeks now since my accident. I have gained back alot of my mobility, my ankle is not fully flexable. I can walk decently, but I still bring my cane with me for stairs. The pain is pretty much gone, every once in a while I will bump it or something. Dr. Mark, I do have one question. After my x-ray yesterday, the doctor told me that he wants to remove the lower screws in tibia rod. He told me that this will help with healing, as the screws are supporting most of the weight. I was just wondering if this is a normal proceedure?


Mine were removed up at the knee area, the ones in my ankle are
still there, along with the nail. But yes, it's normal.
Sounds like you're healing up good, as I still had much pain at 8 weeks.

  • Utah Joe

Posted August 25, 2006 - 06:33 AM

#18

yes, I feel very lucky actually. I have not had the horror stories that others have had. When the removed your screws, was it like you were starting over again with the healing? I mean he told me I would be back to 50% weight bearing, he did not say how long though. Was it a painful proceedure?

  • Riel250f

Posted August 25, 2006 - 08:13 AM

#19

No it wasn't like I was starting over again.
Just the knee area was sore for a week or so.
But it was an operation non the less, put you under and all.

Yeah mine was bad, took 10 months for me to be able to get
back on the bike.

Now years later I have a weaker ankle due to it being in one position for
so long, and I also developed issues with my sacrioliac joint which is my
main issue these past couple years. sux
:thumbsup:

  • DrMark

Posted August 25, 2006 - 09:11 AM

#20

Removing the locking screws above or below is a common occurance in care of these fractures. Typicall I remove the upper one, but its dealer's choice.





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