"toe-touch" weight-bearing

Tibial plateau fractures, femoral fractures, fractured patella
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MICROgeek (<20 posts)
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"toe-touch" weight-bearing

Post by deluded »

Hi All !

I'm about 2 1/2 wks post-op from ORIF on my left TPF and seem to being doing fine.

Complaints are slight slight swelling, a stiff 60 degrees or so of flexion, general achiness and sharper pain centered on the patella when (weakly) attempting seated leg lifts or flexion while lying prone.

My question (fear) involves the "toe-touch" gait my surgeon and PT recommend when using crutches:
It almost seems as if I could walk normally but i know this isnt true because its basically NWB for 3mos and still partial at sixmos. Is it possible to over-do it, damage the repair (screws) by putting too much wt w/o experiencing any warning pain?
the painless permitted 'toe-touch' is lulling me into a false sense of being healed... i'd almost rather hop around just to be safe and avoid unnoticed cumulative separation damage, developing stress deformity or slowed healng.
maybe i'm being neurotic, but i do take percocet, i hope its not masking warning pain.

i also wish my ROM wouldnt be so long in coming!

Any thoughts? thx
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Re: "toe-touch" weight-bearing

Post by leezard »

Hello! Sorry to have to welcome you to the little group of handicapped misfits. :)

Yes, you can totally overdo it and cause damage. The leg is not stable to bear your weight, and the screws will shift easily if aggravated too much -- this can often cause them to come loose without warning pains, and suddenly you'll have this stick poking out of your leg, stretching your skin like and alien baby trying to get out. As tempting as it is, simply don't do it.

The ROM will come. That you are able to work on it now is a huge bonus -- I was immobilized for... 8 weeks, I think? I'd have to look at my signature to tell for sure! ;D

Take it easy, and heal well!

6/6/09 - TPF (fell)
6/7/09 - surgery: plate; 9 screws
6/9/09 - d/c from hospital w/immobilizer; NWB
6/15/09 - staples removed
7/6/09 - start on ROM
8/6/09 - 20lbs WB, start PT
8/30/09 - stuck @ 75 degrees; start weaning brace; up to 60lbs WB
9/28/09 - D/C from OS care; 92 AROM; 105 PROM
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Re: "toe-touch" weight-bearing

Post by burnbank »

Hello! 2.5 weeks is SUCH a short amount of time in the grand scheme of recovery. You can overdo it and the damage would be regrettable. It's not worth it. I wasn't even allowed to toe-touch until 13 weeks post-op, but we all have different healing processes. Take it easy. ROM will come and you can always get that.

4/27/09 Skiing accident Stage IV TPF, dislocation, avulsed meniscus
5/5 Surgery - 2 plates, 2 pins, 10 screws.  Imobilised 2 weeks.
5/20 PT Hinged Brace, ROM-30.
5/27 All stitches out.
6/17 no brace 106-ROM
7/23 130-ROM PWB - 25%
7/30 PWB - 50% DRIVING
8/10 FWB!!!

9/29/11 hardware removed!
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