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Old 05-23-09, 12:39 PM   #1
mbs
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Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

I broke my leg in multiple places last week playing softball. I slid into third and got called out right as I was convulsing in horrible, massive amounts of pain.

Fractured my tibia right above my ankle and a few inches below my knee. They said the one about my ankle was a "spiral" fracture. I also fractured my fibula, a bit above the ankle. After last week in a splint (to allow swelling to reduce), I had surgery to fix everything this week (involved a rod down the center of of tibia as well as a plate somewhere above my ankle on my tibia. Also got some (sounded like 4-6) pins put in various places.

Anyhow, I'm still in massive amounts of pain, but now I'm wondering when I will be able to run again. I'm getting my cast off in 2 weeks, but was told it would be 10-14 weeks minimum before I could begin walking (will have a boot once the cast comes off). I read online it can take 6 months to get back to playing recreational sports and running. Ugh.

Anyone have a similar injury in the past? How long did it take to start walking? What about running?
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Old 05-23-09, 12:40 PM   #2
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

That sucks. I have no idea, but i like that you're in "massive amounts of pain" but already thinking about running
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Old 05-23-09, 12:43 PM   #3
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

See about getting a mobile cast. You can start hobbling right away.
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Old 05-23-09, 12:44 PM   #4
mbs
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

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Originally Posted by Venusian View Post
That sucks. I have no idea, but i like that you're in "massive amounts of pain" but already thinking about running
I'm worried I am going to get fat. That and I was planning on running my second-ever marathon this Fall. That isn't going to happen this Fall, but it's depressing being stuck in bed. The more I google about recovery times, the more depressing it is.
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Old 05-23-09, 01:01 PM   #5
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

you think you will get fat from not using your legs?

you still have a functional upper body dude... go work that out.

chest, back, abs, arms.
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Old 05-23-09, 01:02 PM   #6
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

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Originally Posted by mbs View Post
I broke my leg in multiple places last week playing softball. I slid into third and got called out right as I was convulsing in horrible, massive amounts of pain.

Fractured my tibia right above my ankle and a few inches below my knee. They said the one about my ankle was a "spiral" fracture. I also fractured my fibula, a bit above the ankle. After last week in a splint (to allow swelling to reduce), I had surgery to fix everything this week (involved a rod down the center of of tibia as well as a plate somewhere above my ankle on my tibia. Also got some (sounded like 4-6) pins put in various places.

Anyhow, I'm still in massive amounts of pain, but now I'm wondering when I will be able to run again. I'm getting my cast off in 2 weeks, but was told it would be 10-14 weeks minimum before I could begin walking (will have a boot once the cast comes off). I read online it can take 6 months to get back to playing recreational sports and running. Ugh.

Anyone have a similar injury in the past? How long did it take to start walking? What about running?
Spiral fractures are bad. They're hard to describe, but imagine taking a piece of PVC pipe (and imagine that's a long bone) and putting twisting pressure on one end until it breaks-- try to imagine what that might look like (i.e. not a "clean break"). There's usually a great deal of damage to the bone, and it can take quite a bit of time to heal. I haven't had one myself, but I've seen a few firsthand. I've seen a few (and heard of a few more) really bad fractures sliding into bases. In such a case, you're doing some bigtime axial loading into your leg (especially if the base doesn't move) which could result in multiple fractures.

The fibula is not a weightbearing bone, so that's probably the least of your problems. All of the weightbearing happens in the tibia (the medial/inside bone of your leg, aka the "shin bone"). With an injury like this, I suspect there's going to be some muscle atrophy while it's immobilized, so you're probably going to be doing a good stretching/strengthening program to get back up to speed before you're 100%, and this could take a while. Good luck with everything. It sounds like a very nasty injury.

ETA: Just curious, was your leg straight/knee locked when you slid? Did you hit the base with your foot?

Last edited by Dave7393; 05-23-09 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 05-23-09, 01:13 PM   #7
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

I broke my leg last June 5th - same breaks, same spots. You'll be up and running again in 6 months though your leg will never feel the same again. Don't worry about getting fat you girl - just enjoy your vicodin and play a few video games. Oh yeah, swallow your pain meds down with a couple beers and make sure you post alot - I guarantee you'll get at least one suspension.....
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Old 05-23-09, 01:29 PM   #8
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

Do yourself a favor and get on a good multivitamin and calcium supplement now.

These are the two I'd recommend:

This has both citrate and malate calcium molecules.

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Last edited by Dr Mabuse; 05-23-09 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 05-23-09, 01:39 PM   #9
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

Just walk it off. You should be okay in 2 days, tops.
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Old 05-23-09, 01:58 PM   #10
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

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Originally Posted by Dave7393 View Post
ETA: Just curious, was your leg straight/knee locked when you slid? Did you hit the base with your foot?


This is what I'm curious about too. How the hell did you manage such a serious break just sliding into base?
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Old 05-23-09, 02:14 PM   #11
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

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Originally Posted by Dave7393 View Post
ETA: Just curious, was your leg straight/knee locked when you slid? Did you hit the base with your foot?
I broke my tucked leg. All I can guess is that my cleats caught and twisted while I came down on it? I know I heard the snap, it was pretty loud.
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Old 05-23-09, 02:15 PM   #12
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

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This is what I'm curious about too. How the hell did you manage such a serious break just sliding into base?

His real name is Gary Dell' Abate.
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Old 05-23-09, 02:20 PM   #13
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

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Originally Posted by Minor Threat View Post
I broke my leg last June 5th - same breaks, same spots. You'll be up and running again in 6 months though your leg will never feel the same again.
Good to know, I guess. When did you start walking?

I've been doing a lot of xboxing (although I am behind the times, netflix streaming is seriously awesome), but I'm sick of being in bed.

The percocet is nice, but it makes me loopy when I take more than the minimum dose -- even without the added beers.
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Old 05-23-09, 02:33 PM   #14
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse View Post
Do yourself a favor and get on a good multivitamin and calcium supplement now.

These are the two I'd recommend:
I ordered these, thanks. I've been taking my one-a-day vitamins, but will be good to have the calcium supplements. Surprisingly, I have not heard much from the doctors about supplements and diets. Maybe they'll tell me more when I get my cast off. Or they told me post-surgery and I don't recall any of it.
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Old 05-23-09, 02:35 PM   #15
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

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Originally Posted by mbs View Post
I ordered these, thanks. I've been taking my one-a-day vitamins, but will be good to have the calcium supplements. Surprisingly, I have not heard much from the doctors about supplements and diets. Maybe they'll tell me more when I get my cast off. Or they told me post-surgery and I don't recall any of it.
One A Day isn't anything like the Twinlabs multivitamin, you were smart to replace it.
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Old 05-23-09, 03:03 PM   #16
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

I was reading a study recently that determined daily calcium supplimentation is a bad idea. They are finding that increased calcium levels does indeed stimulate the osteoblasts to build bone. The constant high calcium level causes the osteoblasts to work continuously, and this burns out the osteoblasts (turns out they need mandatory vacations also). As a result you get fewer osteoblasts in your older age resulting in osteoporosis.
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Old 05-23-09, 08:21 PM   #17
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

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Originally Posted by mbs View Post
I broke my tucked leg. All I can guess is that my cleats caught and twisted while I came down on it? I know I heard the snap, it was pretty loud.
Initially I thought it would've been a straight leg, maybe going in fully extended and hitting a fixed bag, but I guess you really must've landed that tucked leg in an awful way. You can get all kinds of bad lower extremity injuries when undergoing a rapid deceleration + rotation of the leg/foot, especially when wearing cleats (tib/fib fractures, torn ACLs, etc).
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Old 05-23-09, 08:52 PM   #18
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

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Originally Posted by bwvanh114 View Post
Just walk it off. You should be okay in 2 days, tops.
^^^Future of America's Healthcare^^^

But seriously, this is one hell of a fracture, and it is going to take time. Your leg muscles will come back rather fast. So, don't worry about it. But don't rush your body healing itself or else you'll never play ball again.

Supplements are a good idea, but don't take too much right now. You're body isn't moving, so you could have some serious issues...like stones. And you don't want to pass those with a broken leg. You won't know what pain is until this happens.

Think of it this way. Sit this one out for a year (yeah, I know, types out really easy on my end), and after that, you'll be back in the game. Sounds shitty, but once the cast comes off, you can train even better for the upcoming year. So, you're looking at about 3 months where you need to really get your mind in the proper zone.

You're still a softball player. Even with your cast. And you will be playing softball again.

Impact sports can do this to you. They are risky, and sometimes you really get fucked up. But a true player is determined by how you deal with this right now. Get yourself mentally prepared. Tell yourself to not rush the healing. Just let your body take its course. And when you can start to walk again, take it easy, do some workouts, etc.

As far as getting fat, you should be able to do ok as long as you don't eat a lot of fast foods and things you used to but could burn off. This will probably be tougher than waiting to get well again.
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Last edited by DVD Polizei; 05-23-09 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 05-23-09, 09:50 PM   #19
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

I'll share a related story about weight gain and recovery from foot/leg issues. My uncle was really into sports, very athletic, ran all the time, and was in great shape, but had DJD in his hip and went in for surgery last November.

Since the surgery, he's had issues with "drop foot" on his right side (that may never go away), and issues with severe pain and inflammation in his foot and leg due to nerve damage that happened during the surgery (but the hip is fine now, ofcourse ). He's put on probably 20+ pounds in six months due to the drastic change in his activity level. Granted his problem is probably worse than yours, but if this (weight gain) can happen to him, it can probably happen to anyone, so just keep an eye on things.
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Old 05-24-09, 12:04 AM   #20
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

Consider other forms of exercise that have less impact on the lower leg, like biking or rowing.
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Old 05-24-09, 12:26 AM   #21
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

Put a hungry lion behind you, I'm sure you'll be able to run.
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Old 05-24-09, 09:46 AM   #22
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

First question is did any of your fellow men at the game tell you to walk it off, you pussy? If not, you get to bro-shambo them when you get back on your feet. Its a man law.

In all seriousness though, that sucks, man. Once you can hobble around, I'd highly recommend a work out regimen for your upper body just to keep it in shape and to burn off calories. What everyone else here is saying is 100% correct. If you're active and all of a sudden you're not doing anything, unless you have a frak ton of lean muscle on your frame, you're gonna pack on an easy 20 pounds. For your upper body, you should totally do Tabata Interval Training, just to keep your cardio going strong. Check out Muscle and Fitness for the regimen, but it involves doing half the weight you would normally do on each exercise and doing that weight as fast as you can for eight 20 second intervals/10 seconds rest between each interval.

I'm currently finishing up week 5 of the four week regimen of it (one week just to get the hang of it) and its the first serious workout regimen I've done since popping out a hernia back in December. Its allowed me to torch 22 pounds off my frame in the four total weeks I've been doing it and probably put on 10-15 pounds of lean muscle as I'm able to do weights now that I wasn't before the hernia.

Good luck with the recovery!
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Old 05-24-09, 06:58 PM   #23
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

I did the same EXACT thing you did, sliding into third cleat stuck, and my body rolled over and I heard a pop. Sucks man, still get slight pains where it broke when weather is weird.
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Old 05-24-09, 07:02 PM   #24
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

I'm totally drunk right now. WHen shoulkd I b abl to run again?
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Old 05-24-09, 07:23 PM   #25
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Re: Broken leg (tibia and fibula): when will I be able to run again?

j/k
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