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Those who have broken a leg, and have had a plate and screws fitted, come talk to me....

(15 Posts)
Longdistance Thu 02-May-13 16:53:09

....that's it really.
Sigh....fell down the stairs 3 weeks ago breaking my tib and fib, and was in hossy for 10 days before they could operate, as the swelling wouldn't go down.

I had the surgery, and was told it was more complex than he thought, I now have a huge plate on the inside of my leg, and a smaller one on the outside.

I'm currently in a temporary cast, having to tighten the bandages daily as the swelling goes down.
It's so uncomfortable sad and I'm not sleeping properly as a result. I've also developed a chest infection, which is taking its time to go, as I'm asthmatic.
I'm on tramadol, which is great, and antibiotics for the chest infection.

What I'd like to know is, how long did your recovery take?
Do you still have problems?
Any tips on how to make it more comfortable for me?

Come share your experiences with me, however gory, as I'm not screamish either.

NewPerspective Thu 02-May-13 18:12:48

One point... Get a copy of your medical discharge papers (and if possibly a print out of the XRAY) because you're going to set off alarms like Neo in the Matrix whenever you go through an airport.

Longdistance Thu 02-May-13 18:27:30

I was told that was a myth.
I have asked to see my xrays, but they seem top secret, even though I've paid for them ( am in Oz) hmm

Betrayedbutsurvived Thu 02-May-13 18:30:57

My daughter has plates and pins in her pelvis. The good news is she doesn't set alarms off in airports. The bad news is she still gets pain from them nearly three years later.

Sometimesiwonder Thu 02-May-13 18:59:18

I've had a femural nail, which is a similar experience, I imagine - it was frankly a slog to recover from (sorry). I've had it out now but it does get better if you religiously do your physiotherapy. Sad but true, it's really important.

The airport security alarms is a myth usually (depending on what metals have been used). My femural nail did not set off alarms, but the screws I had put in my spine last year sometimes do grin.

gallifrey Fri 03-May-13 11:42:57

I have a plate and pins in my knee after breaking my tibial plateau in 2005. I have flown loads of times since and only set the things off once.

Longdistance Fri 03-May-13 13:43:24

Do any of you hide the scar at all? Or do you wear what you used to wear before?
I'm just feeling I might be quite conscious of it myself, as I have really long legs.
Most of the clothes I wear are summer type clothes as we live in Oz, so think the scar will be on show.

gallifrey Fri 03-May-13 13:56:09

I have an 8 inch scar down the front of my knee, it's very noticeable but I don't really mind. quite a few people ask me what happened.

gallifrey Fri 03-May-13 13:57:49

my recovery was fine but since then it's been giving me trouble. I've had another operation on it and may need a knee replacement in the future.

lljkk Fri 03-May-13 14:21:47

DH set off alarms in airport, he had a nail put down some bone & pins at the ankle.

The leg recovered brilliantly well, tbh, he was back cycling in 5 weeks. But he didn't have a cast at all, or complications like OP has had.

Don't show your x-rays to anyone who loves you; looking at DH's still makes me feel sick.

CMOTDibbler Fri 03-May-13 14:46:49

I have a wrist fusion with a 6" titanium plate which is what holds my hand onto my arm. It never sets any alarms off. The splints/compression gloves/silicon dressings I used to have did attract a huge amount of attention at airports though

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 03-May-13 15:15:06

I also had femoral nail (I was in the original clinical trial for interlocking nails). As others have said it is a slog it took me 9 weeks to be really fit though in the original trial had second surgery at 6 weeks which I had to use crutches until I had had.
I also had a third surgery which they don't do now. I have a total of 4 scars around my knee and three at my ankle. The main one on my knee is not only long but wide as the second surgery in that site broke down and had to heal by secondary intention.
Now 22 years on they are pretty pale, I was offered plastics after the wound breakdown, but there was a risk that could also breakdown and leave a worse scar so I choose not to.
My advice is rest up and take care of yourself, but do your physio like a religion.

Longdistance Fri 03-May-13 15:20:18

I want to see my X-ray, as I'm quite interested and it wouldn't bother me. But, dh I wouldn't want him to see it it, as he's a big girls blouse for that type of thing.
I'd hate wearing long trousers in the heat, although, think I may have to wear long skirts/ maxi dresses. We were supposed to be going to Phuket last week on holiday, but obviously had to cancel. We're now going in September, so will be wearing summer clothes again, and hence mentioning security screening in airports.
I find out Thursday how big huge my scars will be.
Did anyone use anything on their scar to let it heal/ lessen the redness?

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 03-May-13 16:27:24

I was obviously a little bit younger and vainer at the time. But to be frank I never worried about the scars (remembers cavorting on beaches and bars in Corfu less 6 months after first surgery).
The only thing that occasionally put boyfriends off was that the surgical site for the lower set of interlocking screws trapped a nerve so my foot has an involuntary twitch that if you two of you are in a narrow hall of residence single bed appears like you have kicked them.
Nowadays I have varicose veins as well so I tend to hide to below the knee anyway.

Sometimesiwonder Sat 04-May-13 21:50:30

I do cover up my scars really but only because I have pretty dire legs anyway. The scars are just the final straw. I think if my legs were half decent I'd brazen it out with the scars. Plus, the sun on them will help to lighten them as long as you don't fry them

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