Embonious 11:04am Oct 2 2019
I have an IM rod. I had emergency surgery as I was hit by a car, so I can't speak to the waiting aspect, which sounds very difficult. My surgery took around 2.5 hours. an the IM (intramedullary) rod is inserted into your tibia, into the intramedullary cavity (hence the name) where bone marrow is stored. It is then screwed into place in above your ankle and below your knee. The surgery is pretty straightforward. It's pretty bloody, and I had to have my bandages changed quite often in the days following.
For me, my injury day was extremely difficult and I had multiple injuries, so while the surgery was quite painful to wake up from (I didn't have any type of nerve block) it wasn't the worst, and I was immensely relieved to know my leg was fixed. I spent a week in total in hospital, but again, I had other injuries that needed attention and monitoring. I doubt you'd spend that much time there.
The IM rod is great for getting you to walking faster. If I hadn't had it, my surgeon told me I likely still (a year out) wouldn't be walking. It's also great for allowing you to do PT sooner. I never had a cast, as my leg was seriously banged up and needed to be examined regularly, and therefore I was able to do extremely basic PT (trying to wiggle my toes etc) starting in the 2nd or 3rd month of my injury, and progressing as I was given permission to bear increasing amounts of weight.
As I've become more mobile, the hardware has become more painful, but I'm still very grateful for it despite the drawbacks. I will have it removed once my fractures are fully healed.
Best of luck, things will certainly improve.