zd80 (50.32.247.---) 4:42pm Jul 19 2019
Hi Annette. So sorry to hear about your injury and unfortunately having to join our little club. :(:( I can tell you from experience, that it WILL get better eventually, and you WILL most certainly walk again. It just takes a little time. I too suffered a fractured tibia with no surgery back in May along with a fractured ankle and a pretty severe high ankle sprain to my left leg in a fairly simple, mundane incident. It was also my first major fracture or fractures should I say, in the 38 years I've been on this earth. I thought it odd that of all the crazy, much more dangerous things I'd done throughout my life, that THIS is what caused such a serious injury?? Unfortunately for me though, I ended up in a full leg backslab splint for a week and a half, and then transferred to a full leg fiberglass cast. I had a hard time with my splint too. It was BIG, heavy, and awkward to maneuver! It also didn't have much bend in my knee and my foot was slightly out of 90° so using the crutches to get around was difficult.
I didn't move around all that much those first few weeks due to the pain and swelling. I basically stayed put on the couch or in bed with my leg propped up because that was where it hurt the least! It was tough, but I persevered, and you will too. Once I got put into the hard cast, things got slightly better. They manipulated my foot/ ankle (OUCH by the way) closer to 90°, bent my knee a little and it made a huge difference. I no longer was stubbing my toes on the carpet when crutching, and that little bit of knee bend allowed me to be able to actually reach far enough down to put my own pants or shorts on! Lol. However, like you were saying, I continued to experience quite a bit of pain and swelling whenever I would try to crutch around. Even just going down the hall to the bathroom and back would result in a swollen, throbbing leg and ankle. So my girlfriend got me a wheelchair to help out. I must say, at first I was reluctant, but once I started using it, I loved it!! It made getting around soooo much easier while allowing me to keep my leg elevated. In hindsight, I'm not sure what I would have done without it.
I think it's great news that your doctor thought your leg to be stable enough for the short cast right from the start. How high up you leg is your tib fracture? Mine is a good 5-6 inches above my ankle so unfortunately they didn't have much choice with my case. This cast I'm in now is my third "version" of a full leg cast, 4 if you include the splint. I've had 2 completely non-weight bearing ones, and the one I have now, is a full leg walking cast. Although, I am only allowed "minimal" weight bearing whatever that is?? Basically I'm allowed to put my foot on the ground while crutching, but not too much else. But all that should hopefully change tomorrow when I have another appointment. I'm praying for a short cast this time! I thought I'd get one 3 weeks ago at my last appointment but no such luck. My doctor had said that my ankle fracture had pretty much healed but the tibia fracture was lagging behind a little and she wanted to see some more bone growth before she felt comfortable enough to downgrade me to the shorter cast. I was definitely disappointed but the most important thing is to heal correctly and fully. Don't try to rush things. Everyone's body heals differently and while we are definitely not "old" yet, we most certainly do not heal as quickly or easily as young people do! Lol. So be patient, you will be back on your feet soon! :):) And like Nicky says, try to embrace anything you can for motivation. Small victories should be celebrated when in our position! :):) She has had a wonderful outlook and is a wealth of knowledge regarding the ups and downs of this "broken leg thing". Please don't hesitate to post when you have questions or concerns about your leg or anything at all. It's nice to be able to draw from the experience of others who have or are going through similar situations. I'm sending healing thoughts your way and I hope you return to full health quickly. ZD80
5/7/19- suffered fractured ankle, grade 2 high ankle sprain, and fractured tibia. Full leg backslab splint.
5/17/19- 1st ortho appt. No surgery, fiberglass LLC NWB
6/1/19- 2nd LLC NWB
6/29/19- LLWC applied minimal WB
7/20/19- SLC applied