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Author Topic: How long will it take to recover  (Read 1258 times)

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Offline ljoseph9

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How long will it take to recover
« on: June 04, 2006, 08:26:24 PM »
Thanks to anyone who can help with this.

I got run over on April 17th and broke my Tibia with a clean break.  I also tore my lateral miniscus.  I had surgery a week later and now have 6 screws and a plate that will come out in 1 year.  In addition I had an artheroscapy and repair to the miniscus.

I am now out of the cast and using a leg brace with physio once a week.  I start hydro therapy this week and am not yet weight bearing. 

My problem is that nobody is prepared to put a time line on the recovery process.  I have been told everything from another 4 weeks to 6 months for recovery and I need to know how this will affect my work, holidays and so on.  The speciaist has told me to go back in 3 weeks and I may be able to start weight bearing.

Has anybody got any views on how long it will be before I can:

Walk short distances without crutches
Climb stairs
Drive an automatic car
Drive a regular car
Walk significant distances
Run

Any advise would be appreciated.

Thanks again

Lee

Offline Doc79316

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Re: How long will it take to recover
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2006, 12:19:35 AM »
Hi Lee,

I'm sorry you got run over and have leg/knee problems as a result. Are you suing the driver? I would!

As far as recovery is concerned, it's a personal thing. If you have asked your OS how long before you can walk/hobble without crutches and run, you may well have been told from 4 weeks to 6 months. It depends largely on how your body heals, how aggressive your physio is and how determined you are to progress through your rehab and get better.

If your OS has told you that you should start weight bearing in 3 weeks when you next see him this doesn't necessarily mean you can go walking about without crutches. This may take an extra few weeks as you have to both get used to using that leg again and also build up some muscle strength. Initially, you may start weight bearing, then progress to one crutch, then to a cane and then to nothing at all.

Climbing stairs is a difficult one and depends on you personally. Please bear in mind that the forces going through your knee joints going up stairs is much greater, and going downstairs is greater still. For this you will need a lot fo muscle strength to climb stairs "normally". Having said that, as soon as you are weight bearing you can go up stairs with the good leg first followed by the bad leg. Going doenstairs is the reverse - bad leg first then good leg following.

Driving depends largely on which leg is affected. If it's your left leg then you can drive an automatic car as soon as you can get yourself into and out of the driver's seat. If it's your right leg then obviously it would be a little more difficult and you'd need time to increase muscle strength to be able to push down on the accelerator and brake without too much pain. If you want to drive a manual car and it's your left leg then so long as you can confidently use the clutch then there's no problem, If it's your right leg, then bear in mind that you need your right foot to perfom an emergency stop. Therefore you'd probably be further down the recovery line by this stage. Also, you can quite legally drive with a leg brace so long as the brace allows for the ROM required for you to be fully in control of your vehicle at all times. As the leg brace would therefore have no effect on your driving, there's no need to tell your insurance company or DVLA.

Walking long distances is personal to you. The advantage to this is that it's something that you can build up yourself regardless of physio. I doubt you could do any extra damage by walking too far but if you overdo things you are REALLY gonna know about it later in the day. I think running is a long way off for you yet but is a perfectly attainable goal, so long as you work hard at your rehab.

I'm sorry I couldn't be more specific with regard to actual dates when you can do certain things but I hope I've helped a little. Maybe you should write down all of your questions and ask your OS next time you see him.

Take care,

Laura x
Left knee surgery
08/06/02-L/Release
13/08/03-Fulkerson TTT
05/06/05-Stabilisation & Medialisation/Tendon Transfer
13/01/06-Proximal Hamstring Superior Stabilisation
06/03/06-RSD/CRPS diagnosed
20/07/06 + 03/04/07-Excision of scar tissue
29/05/15-Arthroscopy
02/03/20-Left transfemoral amputation

Offline ljoseph9

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Re: How long will it take to recover
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2006, 12:42:39 PM »
Thanks for that Laura.  It's cheered me up a bit.  It is my left leg and I can bend it 90 degrees so I may be able to drive an automatic car which is something.  I can't take the driver to court as I was working in China when it happened and I didn't get his details.  Anyways, thanks again for your help.

Offline Doc79316

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Re: How long will it take to recover
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2006, 12:58:57 PM »
Hi Lee,

At 90 degrees you are able to drive a manual car, o long asyou feel comfortable with it. I managed to drive when my knee brace was set to 60 degrees without any problems. Just give it a go and see how it feels. The first time you drive it's gonna ache like hell anyway so may be worth stocking up on pain meds too!

Take care,

Laura x
Left knee surgery
08/06/02-L/Release
13/08/03-Fulkerson TTT
05/06/05-Stabilisation & Medialisation/Tendon Transfer
13/01/06-Proximal Hamstring Superior Stabilisation
06/03/06-RSD/CRPS diagnosed
20/07/06 + 03/04/07-Excision of scar tissue
29/05/15-Arthroscopy
02/03/20-Left transfemoral amputation

Offline JSW82576

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Re: How long will it take to recover
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2006, 04:37:36 PM »
Hi Lee:

Ouch!  Broken leg and knee surgery, you are one brave sole.  I had artho. LR and medial reefing with a mini open 7 weeks ago and I am just now starting to make head way.  My OS and PT won't give me a time table either which sticks but like Laura said, it's kinda personal.  I was off my crutches and weight baring 4 days after surgery but my OS left that up to me, I will say it propable wasn't the best idea to go off so soon, I feel a few times but it also makes your quad do some work so it has it's bonuses going off crutches as soon as you can.

I just started to drive again last Friday but it is my right knee so I had to make sure I felt comfortable driving b/f I started doing that, my quad gets really sore really quickly when I drive but that's because it is weak. 

I would get the ok from your OS or PT before you attempt stairs, they are hard to do and keep in mind, if your knee buckles going down or up the stairs, you could wide up back in the operating room.  If you want to do stairs, just make sure you hold on to the railing at all times even if you are feeling strong enough to climb up or down, your body can fool you. 

Walking long distances is kind of up to your pain tolerance, go for it and see how far you can go, just take a friend with you in case you need a shoulder to hang on to or God forbid, take a spill.  I was told I wouldn't be able to start running again until I was at earliest, four months out but more like 5 to 6.  You put so much stress on your knees when you run and if you already have a bum knee, it only makes that worse.

Being patient isn't one of my strong suits, I want it all done like now but I just keep telling myself that I only have one body and I don't want a broken body when I get older so I take the time to do it right now so I don't have to do this again.  Good luck w/ your recovery and God speed!

Jamie
Knee dislocation 2/04
Knee dislocation 2/05
Scope LR and open medial plication VMO 4/06

Offline ljoseph9

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Re: How long will it take to recover
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2006, 04:58:30 PM »
Cheers Jamie















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