SimonC (216.191.79.---) 4:13pm Sep 28 2017
Sorry to hear about your injury.
I snapped my tib/fib just before new years, and had to make a similar decision. I only had 5 minutes to choose, and I opted to have surgery (rod and 4 screws) since I couldn't bear the thought of a full leg cast for 8+ weeks.
So far the outcome has been positive, and the rod and screws haven't caused me any real issues. However, now my biggest concern for the future is what will happen if something similar happens again; I fear that having a rod in my leg will make any future injury even worse.
There are pros and cons to both approaches, and while it is generally preferable to avoid surgery, some other things to think about are:
- the surgery (confirm with your doc) will probably be relatively minor. For mine, they cut open my knee, drilled into the top of my tibia, inserted the rod, and then put in the screws. The surgical wounds were fully healed after 3 weeks.
- health and risk of infection
- potential for long term discomfort after surgery
- the timeline to full recovery will be longer with cast. I was able to walk slowly by about 12 weeks.
- being in a full leg cast is miserable
- uncertainty in how long you will be in a cast; sometimes it heals slower, or doesn't heal quite right
- how active are you/what activities do you enjoy, and does the treatment option have any impact
On the positive side, for a break in the middle of the leg, as long as it's set properly, chances are the outcome will be good either way.