Kasia 10:04am Jun 15 2017
I am very sorry for you injury.
Usual protocol for the cast treatment of tib/fib fracture is 8 weeks in a long leg cast and 6 weeks in below knee cast. Of course every injury is different and the given time frames may vary depending on severity of the fracture and your ability to heal. So your consultat was right saying that you will be looking at a few months of cast immobilization.
When you go with the surgery the immobilization period will be shorter and recovery quicker since you will not have a cast at all or you will have it for first few weeks. Usually patients can start bearing weight very soon (several days or weeks after surgery, but again it depends on severity of the fracture).
Hard to say which option is better. Cast usually means longer recovery because you cannot move your leg at all and joints get really stiff after several weeks of total immobilization. Not to mention struggle the patient has to go through with daily life... But surgery has its own risks like infection. Putting rod means cutting your knee open, so there will be some pain, stiffness and scaring. They also may want to remove the nail after a year or so.
I myself have a IM nail (rod). Didn't have much choice since my case was an emergency (open fracture). I didn't have a cast, started indoor cycling after several weeks post surgery and walking normally after 3 months. Fracture healed in less than 4 months and everything would be fine despite pain at the knee after surgery that I am struggling with. This is not uncommon complication.
I would recommend discussing all your options with the consultant and try to choose the best for your case. Ask about everything.
Good luck!! I will keep my fingers crossed!