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Surgery following Tibia Fracture

AZTeri

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I'm new here and looking around but in a brief glance, I didn't see this as a topic. I had a bike accident on June 5 and fractured my tibia plateau. I've been total non-weight bearing since then. There are multiple small cracks in the head of the tibia along with a larger fracture. Because I was already anticipating a TKR the doctor advised against repairing the fracture with plates/pins/rods, which would mean a second surgery to remove those before a TKR at a later date (three surgeries in other words). He recommended letting the fractures heal as much as possible then proceeding with the TKR. I've been having physical therapy in an attempt to get to a 90* range of motion and weight-bearing before surgery will be scheduled. I'm currently at approximately 30* but have only been working on ROM for the past 3 weeks or so. Once I reach 45*, I think he will have me starting to put some weight on it, but I'm not sure, as it's slow going and I'm sure a lot depends on the larger fracture. The small cracks are healing nicely, but the larger fracture still has a long way to go. He is anticipating surgery sometime in November or December.

Is there anyone here who has experience with something similar? I have a feeling my recovery time will be much, much longer, and more difficult than what is considered "normal".
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!

I‘m sorry to hear about your accident and that you have to wait so long for surgery. We do have another member whose wife had a tibial plateau fracture, @VolFan0927

Here’s the recovery thread for you to look at:

 

VolFan0927

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Hi @AZTeri

My wife is about 24 weeks post op commuted tibial plateau fracture. She had surgery and is working on rehab now. Her knee flexion (ROM) has been slow to come back, but slowly getting there at 117. It took her 12 weeks before she could weight bear. She has some bone issues and muscle atrophy, and although she is cleared to full weight bear now she is slowly transitioning from walker to cane and hopefully no assist. Would be happy to try and answer questions. Big thing here is patience, and recovery I am finding is taking longer than knee replacements. Some of the time of recovery will depend on type of fracture, how active you were before the accident, type and approach to rehab, etc.
 
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AZTeri

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VolFan0927 - Thanks, I just got a chance to visit again. I was very active before my accident, in fact, it was in the middle of a 30-mile bike ride when I fell off and fractured it. I'm at week 8. I have about 30* flex now, the doctor wants me at 90 and walking before surgery.

One weird question - did she have problems with her foot? Part of my issue is I had foot surgery on that foot (right, the damaged tibia is right) and it's numb feeling. I exercise it as much as I can, doing the exercises my PT gave me for it and my quads and glutes as well, doing all of them about 4-5 times a day as I sit in my recliner. I am more mobile now with my walker partly because I can move my right leg now without a lot of pain. In fact, I'm down to only 2 Extra Strength Tylenol at night. The other thing I've noticed with my foot, besides the swelling I still am getting, is the skin is really tight and sloughing off. One of the visiting nurses suggested an Epsom salt bath to try to ease up some of the issues, but besides getting rid of the dead skin (not objecting to that at all!), it really doesn't seem to be doing much else.

I just came off of a home health visit and will be changing to a different PT next week. I'm interested to see what my OS says on Friday when I see him again. I'm hoping the X-rays are more encouraging.
 

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