Bone breaks around the knee :
Tib plat frac--Safe to walk 8 wks post-surg?   - - Posted by CHendri887 (CHendri887), 9 August 2003
I'm new to the board and just looking for a little feedback and support. I had a tibial plateau fracture 8 weeks ago (flew off my bike after being stung by a wasp). I had the surgery 2 days after the accident. The indentation in my tibia was not too large, according to the doc and the cartilage was intact. Saw my doctor at six weeks post-surgery and he said I could start weight bearing. I did limited two-crutch weight bearing for the last two weeks. Saw my PT today and she suggested I go to one crutch. I did and walked around a bit today, but noticed lots of weird pinchy slippy feelings where the injury was/is. I am just wondering: What are other people's experiences with going off the crutches in tibial plateau fractures? Did you get pinchy slippy feelings too? My PT (who I like and trust) is encouraging me to bear weight and not be scared. I tend to be neurotic about everything and am not sure if what I am feeling is normal or if I am perhaps causing my cartilage to "slip" by walking with one crutch. (And damn, I sure want to walk again. Sitting around is really starting to bug me!) I know this is a question for my doctor. Perhaps I will go in next week. I'd just like to hear other people's stories with regard to this issue. All feedback appreciated. And good luck to anyone else with this crappy annoying injury!
Posted by Judy_W (Judy_W), 9 August 2003
Hi Chris, I also suffered a tibia plateau fracture 1 yr ago. I was not wright bearing for 12 weeks, dont let that scar you, because I had a bone graft and hardware so my break may have been worse than yours. I also expereinced a wierd sensation when I became weight bearing. It felt like my knee was not solid or gushey when I put weight on it, it did go away after a while. It took me one month to wean myself off crutches and even then I my walk was not great. Now I can walk 2 miles without pain. The only problem I have now is muscle stiffness. Hang in their it does get better. Best Wishes Judy
Posted by Lorene (Lorene), 9 August 2003
I think the answer as to whether or not to walk or put weight on the leg must depend on the severity of the fracture.
I suffered a fracture of the tibial plateau during a total knee replacement procedure. The fracture went unnoticed for several months. I did the required therapy for the TKR with the fracture. When I was almost finished with the PT, I began to notice more pain and less progress. I went back to the surgeon and the fracture was apparent on an x-ray that day. The previous x-ray was retreived and it also showed the fracture. The dr. said he believed that it occurred during the surgery. He ordered a leg brace that I wore all the time except at night for one month. Then only if I planned to walk for some distance. now I am through with the brace but my knee has stiffened and I am doing exercises to get it back to as near normal as possible.
To sum things up. I never stopped walking on my leg with a tibial plateau fracture. Your fracture must have been much more severe. With mine, the part that broke away from the main bone, never displaced. Of course this was a big help in the recovery and healing.
Posted by CHendri887 (CHendri887), 9 August 2003
Thanks for the replies. I had the bone graft put under the injury and with single screw. The doctor said it was for security more than for the severity of the injury. He said the surgery went very well, and the cartilage (which had been indented a small amount, 5 mm, if I recall correctly), went right back into place. He told me I could start bearing weight two weeks ago (6 weeks post-surgery)...but I am just...I guess I am too sensitive...or I can never tell if I am imagining feelings in body or if they are real.
I hate being injured because I am so neurotic and I never know when I am being too worried or not worried enough. Anyway, I go back to see my PT in a few days, and I guess I'll just consult with her again. Thanks and good luck to both of you too.
Posted by kgrosskurth (Kathy G), 9 August 2003
Hi, Chris - welcome, but sorry you had to join us!
I am nearly 11 months recovering from my break - sounds like your break wasn't as severe as mine was. I am now getting around fine without crutches, but I am like Judy - experiencing stiffness, swelling, and muscle soreness, which I think much of it will go away with time and with removal of my hardware (which in about another month I will be able to get done).
I have an online diary on Mybrokenleg.com - feel free to read it, it may help you know what to expect and to also avoid some of my mistakes (I was too timid when I started weaning off the crutches so I prob. could have been walking much sooner had I just not been so scared).
All the best to you in your recovery!
Posted by Barn_Goddess (Barn_Goddess), 10 August 2003
Chris, what you're experiencing is pretty normal. I was 12 weeks non weight bearing after a tibial plateau fracture (an L shaped plate and 6 screws) and each phase of progress comes with it's own set of concerns. I never did the one crutch thing, went from walker to 2 crutches to cane, but the transition from 2 crutches to the cane (or in your case one crutch) was the hardest for me. What I did was use my cane around the house and places I was familiar with walking, then used 2 crutches in public places where I felt I needed more support. You'll know you're ready to completely ditch two crutches when you just get darned tired of lugging them around and using them! It'll get the same way with one.
I got (and still get) the pinchy slippy feeling, which I call the clickie stickies. When I first started really putting weight on my broken leg, it felt kind of mooshy, but it held. Alot of these sensations subside or disappear with time and strength.
It's funny the countless times we've fallen and gotten up over our lifetimes, but that ONE time we go down and don't get up effects us so profoundly. Conquering the fear factor is as hard as working on recovery. I spent a half an hour at the mounting block tonight, petrified of getting on my horse. Once I finally got on I was fine, but I was scared to death to put my foot in that stirrup. So we all go through it. Hang in there.
Posted by Womble4eva (Womble4eva), 10 August 2003
I suffered a tib plateau fracture 13 months ago. I was non weight bearing for 6 weeks, then weight bearing with crutches for 2 weeks, the down to one crutch and finally at about 11 weeks I went weight bearing. As others have said it does depend on the severity of the fracture as to how u r treated and how long u have to be non weight bearing etc etc. If u have any concerns always contact ur OS, but it will feel strange for a while.
Good luck with everything!
Posted by CHendri887 (CHendri887), 10 August 2003
Thanks to all for your support and feedback. It makes me feel better
to hear your stories about recovering from tibial plateau fractures. I am hopeful that the sensations in my leg will subside as I use it more everyday. (I also have a nasty degraded divot on the articular cartilage in my femur, which causes a different type of pain and popping, from which I was just getting better when this stupid second injury happened. Didn't mention that before.) I can't believe the range of this type of fracture...it can be really minor or really devastating. Anyway, hope everyone that replied to me is getting better everyday. Much luck to all.
Posted by Happycructchchck (Happycructchchck), 11 August 2003
I, too, had a Tib Plat. FX and was non-weight bearing for 12 weeks. My injury did displace the bones though and I had 2 plates and 5 screws put in. I have just started to bear weight (last Thursday) and it is a strange sensation. I've been working on going to one crutch around the house and in certain places I feel comfortable, but still use two much of the time. The worst for me is my ankle and foot. My knee does feel weak, but the pain I have is in othe places. I guess it is situation specific.
Good luck and keep up posted!
Posted by CHendri887 (CHendri887), 11 August 2003
I also have a lot of pain in my ankle and foot. But I think it's because I also had two small blood clots in my leg (the fun just never ends!) from the surgery. My foot and ankle are still cold and numby when I wake up in the morning and they hurt a lot when I bear weight on them. It seems like most people here are non-weight bearing for 12 weeks. Hope my doctor made the right choice at letting me bear weight at 8 weeks because it does not feel great right now.
Thanks for the feedback Paige.
Posted by Maz (Maz), 19 August 2003
I moved from 2 crutches to 1 at about 9 weeks. It did feel strange, and I think the majority of it was down to the fact that the muscle bulk has diminished which causes the knee to not be held together as strongly giving a slippy feeling. I had 8 screws and a plate and graft and meniscus repair.
I would ask the doc but it sounds like the timeframe you're on is about right and I would just stay within what you feel comfortable.
Updated Thu Apr 29 2010