Embonious 3:55am Nov 20 2018
Hi, so sorry to hear about your injury. The first few weeks-month of the fracture can be really tough, so I hope you get through them well.
I am recovering from an open compound fracture in my leg as a result of being hit by a car on Sept. 14th. Because my bones were so displaced and sticking out, I had no choice but surgery. I now have an IM nail in my fibula and 5 screws, 3 near the ankle and 2 near the knee. I am coming up on 10 weeks since my accident. My experience with this surgical correction has been pretty decent. For me the biggest pro is you can start physio much sooner, to work on ankle/foot and knee mobility, and you can keep your achilles lengthened with daily stretching. I am 28 and was active/fit before the injury, so that helps also, but physio has really made a difference quickly. I also started partial weight bearing at around 6 weeks, which encourages healing and keeps your muscles slightly active, although I do have a decent amount of thigh and calf atrophy. Sleeping is another huge pro- I found it really difficult to sleep on my back only for the first few weeks when my leg was too painful to move, but now with the help of strategically placed pillows I can sleep on both sides. I haven't had experience sleeping with a cast, but I can imagine it takes some adjustment.
Biggest cons are the pain as result of surgery- especially in the knee and sometimes around the screws. I also have nerve damage on the side of my knee and foot, which will slowly heal but can be uncomfortable. It's really weird to adjust to having no cast or bandage on the leg- my break was very severe and I'm still highly protective of anything coming close to my leg, so not having a super obvious visual cue that I have broken bones is a disadvantage when I'm in public space.. sometimes people don't respect the crutches enough. Same with heavier blankets- I still sometimes have trouble with weight like that on top of my leg, and the cast would protect you from these kind of minor irritations.
I will have a screw removed Dec 4th in order to allow the metal rod to flex more and force the bones to take on more weight. I am not sure how that will go, but it could be considered another con that there is more surgical intervention with the IM nail- my doc suggested that my hardware will be taken out in a year or so, which is not something I'm looking forward to, although the healing time isn't too lengthy.
Whatever you choose, you will heal eventually! It's a huge plus that you are an active/sporty person- generally healing moves more quickly and recovery to your normal is less slow. Sometimes I still feel like I can't imagine walking as I used to, or being able to move my foot and ankle at a healthy range, but when I look back even 2 or 3 weeks ago my improvements are very noticeable. Good luck!!