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Exercise after traumatic injury

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Old 01-12-2012, 02:55 AM   #1
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Exercise after traumatic injury

I shattered my right leg in September 2010. I was mounting a horse and before I could swing my right leg over him back he dropped his head and proceeded to buck as hard as he could. I jumped clear of him (emergency dismount) and landed on my feet, big mistake. I felt the bones break and go through the skin. I sat down immediately and pulled my leg out from underneath me.

I shattered both shafts of my tibia and fibula. I also shattered my distal tibia which was what broke thru the skin. 3 major surgeries including 6 weeks in an external fixater, I now have 3 plates and 20 permenant screws.

I have limited range of motion in my ankle. I can not point my toes down enough to even slip on a pair of boots. If I step on something with my toes and my ankle goes down, I feel crunching and my knee will buckle. I also can not walk down stairs without holding on to a handrail or walking sideways and flat footing the steps.

I started walking and cycling. So far the most discomfort is in my lower legs, right above my ankle. Also my right thigh (knee to groin) is very tender. My knees are not an issue. Stretching is very limited and normally is more painful then the actual act of walking or cycling. I will also mention that my right calf is still 1 inch smaller in diameter then my left.

Does anyone have experience with this sort of injury? I have exhausted the experience of my physical therapist and have called around to several others who are not comfortable going any further then I have. I have made leaps and bounds in my recovery but I know it can be better then it is. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 01-12-2012, 08:28 PM   #2
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Re: Exercise after traumatic injury

Congratulations on such a substantial recovery from such a devastating injury!

You may not be able to GET much more range of motion in the ankle, depending on what the inside of the joint looks like. Did the surgeon give you any guidance there?

It's possible that some of the pain in your leg is muscular due to not being able to move 100% normally. Massage or self-massage might help, depending.

Old 01-13-2012, 08:37 AM   #3
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Re: Exercise after traumatic injury

Have you considered swimming? Its an amazing total body workout that places zero stress on your bones.

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