Fractured Neck of Femur/Pinning Brucelily in recovery


new member
May 30, 2023
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I had a skiing accident and femoral neck fracture with cannulated screws, garden 2 injury.

I have been reading here with interest after reaching 12 weeks post op today. I'm pretty good but the healing is taking much longer than expected.

A few findings for anyone observing here:
  • It is a serious injury. I broke my ankle and tibia before through sports (I don't have osteoporosis) and this is the toughest.
  • I am a 53 year old male, fit and a non-smoker (UK based).
  • The first 2 weeks are difficult and it is important to rest and take the meds.
  • I had the accident and surgery in another country and when I flew home 2 days later my leg was badly swollen and I had to go to ER. I had to take anti coagulant injections for 50 days and the swelling subsided over a few days. The hip is still swollen but not badly.
  • After 45 - 60 days I was expected to be 50% weight bearing and >60 days weight bearing. I am still using 2 crutches. It is easier to walk on my tip toes of the injured foot when getting in and out of showers.
  • The hospital doc (#1) told me the bone was collapsing and I would need a hip replacement - 99.9% sure, as there was arthritis in the hip. The screw heads have moved slightly to the outside of the muscle and it is painful to lie on that side.
  • A second opinion from another Doc (#2)said to rest up and I would not necessarily need a new hip. He said it was normal for the screw heads to move as they compress the bone and it is healing. There was no arthritis in the hip! He said do not put much weight on the injured leg and come back to him after 12 weeks which is next week. He also told me to stop all meds, except paracetamol. I take supplements - Vit D, C, Glucosamine, CPD and refrained from alcohol etc.
  • I have to say the injured leg is a little purple at times so I suspect blood flow may not be the best! We'll find out in time.
  • I have been to a Physiotherapist a few times but 2 weeks ago (10 weeks post op) they asked me to walk up the stairs just holding on to the rail, it was excruciating.
  • I have walked unsupported and whilst it is sore, I can do it awkwardly but I have a numb feeling afterwards and it is sore to move my leg upwards when seated. The main pain is the groin principally but abductor tendon (I think) is sore when moved.
  • I have an appointment with Doc1 today (the one that said I would need a new hip) and a further X ray.
  • Appointment with Doc 2 is scheduled for this coming Monday.
  • I am curious about the next steps, getting to my old self and being able to do the things I previously did without pain, e.g. running, walking, cycling etc.
  • Doctor Google doesn't help and everyone is different.
I'll add some updates here that hopefully will be of help to anyone reading here.
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@Brucelily Welcome to BoneSmart! I moved your post to a thread of your own so that you can continue to update and chat with our members here. Thanks for your detailed input. I'm sure anyone going through this recovery will benefit from your detailed post.

Twelve weeks is early days in this complex journey. Hang in there - patience is the hardest part of this recovery.
Thanks Jaycey.

Update, I had my appointment yesterday with Doc 2 yesterday and he advised to progress to walking with 1 crutch. I have been hobbling about now and it is fine.

Doc2 said I should walk without any crutches in 2 weeks time and I am free to fly now which was great news.

Important point to make here, Doc 2 was familiar with the surgery, the recovery steps and time. The other Doctor didn't and caused a scare instead.

Overall, the surgery appears to be working and it is looking more unlikely that I will need further surgery at this stage. Doc 2 said it wouldn't be a big deal anyway if I did and not to worry.
Wow, that’s tough. Best of luck as you recover. Hopefully, this all in the rear view mirror this time next year.
Hi Brucelily,

It’s tough isn’t it? I am in similar position to you but only at 3 and a half weeks post surgery. I shall watch your progress with interest. I am in more discomfort now than I was a week ago and I think I was doing too much, so I am going to rest more - hanging around doing little has hit me hard. Stairs I find hard as I find it impossible to go up or down stairs without weight bearing at all. We’ve come on holiday to france for 5 weeks and don’t have stairs to face here. My bad leg often has a blue tinge so I’m elevating it often and making sure I keep moving it, even if only wiggling my toes or doing foot pumps. My wound is healed and very neat but I have pain just underneath it. I guess they had to cut the big muscle there, so I guess that’s what’s hurting as it heals.

I’m remaining positive but have reluctantly accepted that this is going to take time, and my previously very active life is going to take some work and time to get back. Some things I may never do again, skiing probably one, just for fear of breaking it again. Fortunately I love swimming, which is very useful exercise in recovery.

Anyway, I’m rambling. Sorry that your progress has been slow but you are making progress. I’ve found there is often little information or conflicting information on hip fixing. Even NHS patient information leaflets on cannulated screw fix on the internet range from don’t walk or weight bear to do walk and weight bear. You can feel a bit like you’re on your own in this. I’m going to concentrate on being sensible for this first 6 weeks - I even accepted the wheelchair on the ferry to France yesterday!

Take care and I look forward to hearing how you’re getting on
@Blueyonder I feel for you and as I went through very similar experiences but I am in a much better place after the initial suspected clot and compounded by the fact the first Doc said I would need further surgery. After all it is only 3 months really as I reflect but some further points:

  1. Stairs were a nightmare and I still am concerned with our curved staircase. My crutches have slipped a few times to cause me to support myself on my bad leg suddenly - it is painful in the hip flexor and the groin.
  2. The pain you feel in your leg is like mine a few weeks ago and was deferred pain I was told. I dont really have that now.
  3. Discolouration of the leg is similar. My leg is purple at the knee and it is expected I was told. It will recover hopefully.
  4. I wont ski again, ever.
  5. Accept the situation and fix it. Mini-goals. Stay mobile, even if you walk on crutches further. It all helps.
  6. The NHS details are scant, Royal Berkshire I think were the only ones that offered appropriate advice.
  7. You can feel on your own, I can give you the 9 weeks ahead story if you want.
  8. Everyone is different. I expected to be off crutches after 10 weeks and off them within 12.
  9. I am down to 1 crutch after 12 1/2 weeks. I will off them altogether in another 2 weeks.
  10. 12 weeks was the biggest success point, everything vindicated, patience the key and I went easy eating and drinking healthy - not an easy task.
  11. Hip flexor is the sorest right now after walking on one crutch.
  12. I am now walking up stairs freely holding onto a rail on one hand. Progressing.
  13. I still cant sleep on my bad leg for long. As soon I move off it, it is a bit painful for a few seconds.
  14. If it doesnt work it isnt a big deal, just get a new hip!
Anything else just ask...
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Hi Brucelily,

thanks for your detailed reply, I very much appreciate you taking the time to give your experience. It’s very helpful to have someone with the same injury & op but further down the road. It’s very easy to get despondent, but I am now prepared for a bit of a long haul, even if it takes me more time than I’d like to get there. Your experience is very helpful, in giving me positivity whilst importantly tempering my possibly unrealistic expectations for the immediate future.

I am staying active and moving about as much as possible whilst minimally weight bearing. However, I have accepted my folding wheelchair as a necessary evil whilst on this 5 week holiday, if I want to get the most out of our tour. My golden retriever is getting used to having to walk nicely alongside it whilst my husband pushes!

Sleep is possibly one of the worst things, or rather the difficulty getting it! I have never slept on my back ever and having to do so for the last 3 and a half weeks has been rough. I can now lie on my good side for an hour or so, but I think maybe I shouldn’t. I can’t lie on my bad side. Good sleep makes everything feel better, so I look forward to being able to side sleep again.

I don’t have any pain moving my leg frontwards, backwards and out to the side but rotating my foot outwards or inwards hurts, so I am avoiding that. If I do put slight weight on it it’s just uncomfortable rather than painful but I obviously haven’t tried anything more. I am a tall women of 6 ft 1’ and all of my 12 stone on my bad leg seems a very unwise thing to do for a while. I am really enjoying avoiding any stairs here! Being tall, I have big feet and stair treads often don’t actually accommodate my whole foot, which makes me feel a bit uneasy whilst using crutches.

So many things we previously took for granted huh? I am going to persist with non weighbearing using the crutches and wheelchair whilst here in France. I don’t want to tempt fate whilst away from home. I will be over 8 weeks post op when I get home and I’ll take advice from a physio before I do anything different. I am taking care with the alcohol too whilst here, as tempting as it is. A few too many glasses of wine might have me thinking I’m invincible!!

Keep your chin up, you’re doing very well despite some initial difficulties.

Take care.
Hi Brucelily,
Thanks for joining us and also for sharing the detailed account of your journey so far. I am sorry something you love and enjoyed has caused such an injury. It’s great you and Blueyonder are able to share progress as you both heal.

Please give us the date of your surgery and which hip so we’re able to create a signature for you. Wishing you all the best as you continue healing!
Update: 18 weeks in and making progress. I was off the crutches from 14 weeks and having spent 4 weeks, I have been regularly doing my exercises and walking up to 3 miles at a time. The leg becomes stiff as soon as I sit or stop and restarting takes a while to move more freely. I am definitely improving and if there is anyone out there struggling I would read my story above and stay positive.

At 16 weeks, I was told the fracture still hasnt healed totally yet or it was difficult to say but the NHS hospital staff were encouraged. My private consultant said it was healing well and there was no reason to return in the short turn.

I have to return to the hospital on the year anniversary next March. I've just had my first flight for a holiday and I could safely travel through the airports.

I will drop back in and provide a further update.
Update: 24 weeks post operation (7 March 2023 right femoral neck fracture).

My walking has improved but it can take a few minutes after sitting to walk correctly. I have finally walked and played 18 holes of golf and I am very grateful of the improvement.

Oddly, my sleeping hasn't recovered fully so I have to ensure I get loads of rest.

I am following my physio's exercise regime and will loading weights to improve the recovery. Same as before, long road but there appears to be more light at the end of the tunnel...
Sounds like you are progressing wonderfully!
Thanks for the update.

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