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weesmallangel 07-07-2010 01:37 AM

polio: broken bone in affected limb
Has anyone out there broken a bone in an affected limb? I recently broke my femur in that leg and am not sure of how the recovery is going to go. Anyone???

sue5678 07-07-2010 05:10 PM

Re: polio: broken bone in affected limb
Im so sorry that you are going through that, but i have never been through that, i have broken my knee cap in my "good leg" and it has left it damaged. Please try and keep me posted on your progress, i hope all is well....

weesmallangel 07-11-2010 03:35 AM

Re: polio: broken bone in affected limb
Thank you so much for your reply. I'm new to message boards and the like but am desperate to try to find out as much info as I can about my current situation. Eight weeks ago I fell and broke the femur in my left leg, the "little leg", as well as damaging the knee. It took three hours of surgery, an 8" titanium plate, and eight screws to repair the fracture which is on the distal part of the femur, with some intrusion into the knee capsule. My orthopedic surgeon hasn't even fully evaluated the knee yet because he said the bone needed to heal completely before further surgery but did mumble something about probable total knee replacement. So far the leg and knee is still swollen and I am still unable to walk at all. Thanks to physical therapy I can now bend the knee just beyond a 45 degree angle but things are moving SO slow...

sue5678 07-23-2010 09:51 AM

Re: polio: broken bone in affected limb
I hope everything works out for you, it's traumatic, when we injure ourselves, due to not knowing about the outcome... please take care of yourself, God Bless.

weesmallangel 07-27-2010 06:56 PM

Re: polio: broken bone in affected limb
I saw my orthopedic surgeon yesterday. The good news is no more surgery unless something drastic happens. The not so good news is, to quote my doctor, "Kid, this is as good as its going to get." The femur has healed completely but a major problem is that the knee won't even bend 45 degrees. Sitting "normally" is a problem. Doc doesn't think I'll ever be able to walk unassisted again. Post-polio rearing its ugly head again. Even walking with a cane is iffy according to him. Well, my parents were told I'd never walk again after first coming down with polio... and I did. Doctors told me I would never be able to carry a baby much less deliver one... and I did. So, if I've learned anything, never say never.
I was on my way to the last day of the college semester when I fell and broke the leg. My finals began the day I had surgery. Well, I'm already registered for six hours this fall semester! As I told my daughter, "Walking isn't one of my degree requirements." I'm going to shake, rattle and roll on my merry way.

sue5678 08-02-2010 06:04 PM

Re: polio: broken bone in affected limb
I admire your determination! YOur right, we can't give up on ourselves and the life we want to live. Polio has been a battle we have had to fight for what seems like our entire lives(mine has been a battle since the age of 2 mths). And we must continue to keep fighting... Take care of yourself and be sure to get plenty of rest, and take time to heal, let's prove these doctors wrong! What I have came to realize is that it's all about learning new ways of doing things and just understanding that I need to pace myself. Good luck & keep me posted...

arogerskid 08-04-2010 09:59 AM

Re: polio: broken bone in affected limb
[QUOTE=weesmallangel;4280934]Has anyone out there broken a bone in an affected limb? I recently broke my femur in that leg and am not sure of how the recovery is going to go. Anyone???[/QUOTE]

Sorry to hear about your break. Over the past 40 years I have broken an affected foot and had compound fractures of both affected knees. My experience has been that "softer" polio bones need a little more time and patience to heal. Can't speak to the average survivor's experience or statistical data. Also at the time of the knee fractures I was a quasi-TAB meaning that I could walk but not as far as a block. Foot was broken several times over the years when I could walk reliably and since I've taken to wheels.

Be sure you get vitamin D and lots of calcium if other health issues don't limit those intakes.

If you are told that you might be needing bone-spur surgery in the future, like I was, you might try the following. I was told to do this by a lady in her 90's and I still haven't had enough problems to warrant surgery.

Once you can soak in a tub or wrap a large wet rag/towel around the limb, I would recommend using a 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar in your bath or 1/8 cup in a bowl/basin to soak the towel in. (not a towel you care about because it will stain and not come out). Use water that is as warm as you can be comfortable with. Do this a couple of times a week.

I also used this method to mitigate discomfort.

Hope your limb "knits" well.


zenbones 11-20-2010 06:49 AM

Re: polio: broken bone in affected limb
HI How are you getting on these days? I have just fractured my femur --distal --medial condyle. No plate or screws but in a cast for past 2 weeks. See the specialist this tuesday. Any words of advice? Thanks!

arogerskid 11-27-2010 10:01 AM

Re: polio: broken bone in affected limb
[QUOTE=zenbones;4626815]HI How are you getting on these days? I have just fractured my femur --distal --medial condyle. No plate or screws but in a cast for past 2 weeks. See the specialist this tuesday. Any words of advice? Thanks![/QUOTE]

I'm ok, I have only the usual broken bones advice, plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Very cool that you didn't require hardware (pins & plates). Don't know if it still holds true but my doc never liked hardware, he thought polio bones didn't stand up to the stresses of screws, pins and plates.

You may find that some radiologists or x-ray techs have a harder time recognizing breaks and healed brakes on the films just because of bone density. So if you run into that don't let them off the hook on future films or if (God forbid) you have another break someday.

Hope all goes well. keep me posted.

corkyskid 12-01-2010 07:10 AM

Re: polio: broken bone in affected limb
Be glad you broke your "bad" leg. Mother broke her good leg which made rehab almost impossible. She could not support her weigh on the bad leg, basically could not do anything the rehab therapists needed her to do to get back on her feet--so to speak.

I wish I had an answer for how your leg is going to do, but the rest of you will be better off, trust me. It has been a little over a year since mom broke her bad leg and she is finally back on her feet, but just not in the same physical condition. I'm sure your leg will heal and if you do everythiing the rehab center asks of you, you will be on your feet in no time Good Luck

hot mama on whe 12-10-2010 01:55 PM

Re: polio: broken bone in affected limb
Oh yes. I fell and broke my knee of my leg most effected by polio. recovery time was just like any other break. Later I broke my hip unfortunately at the joint my bone was to thin to have a hip replacement so the doctor said just sit there until it heals. I was ready to scream, however it healed and I have no pain now except occasionally in bad weather like any other break. I just read further on. I had a similar problem my knee seemed almost frozen at about the same angle as yours. years after I fell on my knee heard a pop it hurt and now I have full movement in that knee.

corkyskid 06-03-2011 08:55 AM

Re: polio: broken bone in affected limb
Just checking in to see how you are doing after all this time. Mom is doing ok but breaking that good leg has really affected her ability to walk safely, so we are walking on eggs shells so to speak.

But here is hoping you are healed and moving well.

zenbones 06-03-2011 09:29 AM

Re: polio: broken bone in affected limb
Hi Thanks so much for asking re my recovery! I broke the medial condyle of my femur --a difficult part of the femur to break but I managed it! After the cast came off I had trouble learning to walk with the full length caliper again! I had worn it for 58 years but it felt weird! Now 6 months after the injury I wouldnt know I had done it expect for 3 things
1. I can no longer walk without the caliper. I used to manage to poolside /night time bathroom but now need 2 sticks if I have no caliper. Just cant seem to put weight on that leg unless its braced with caliper. Dont know if its weak muscles or whether its been set slightly displaced...
2. Psychologically am much more wary re falling. I know always use one stick in the house (always used one when outside) and walk on those egg shells! I guess its quite normal to be extra carefully --I def dont want to do it again!! I fell off my scooter on the weekend --nothing broken . Weirdly I was quite pleased --my first fall since my leg break--I survived!!
3. Still cant bend my leg as far as I could (it was totally floppy and bent like a Rubber Man pre the break!) but at least it bends enough for my driving etc

Wishing you all the best. I had craniao sacral manipulation and lots of acupuncture plus swim 2x a week --all helped! Love, Vicki x

Poliosurvivor 06-08-2011 07:25 PM

Re: polio: broken bone in affected limb
[QUOTE=weesmallangel;4280934]Has anyone out there broken a bone in an affected limb? I recently broke my femur in that leg and am not sure of how the recovery is going to go. Anyone???[/QUOTE]

I had this happen to me. Surgery went well, recovery went well. Hated to have to use crutches full time until I was allowed to put the brace back on the leg and apply weight.

Cowboymom 07-12-2011 10:54 PM

Re: polio: broken bone in affected limb
I have never broken a bone but I should have. Throw salt, spit. I had polio when I was eleven weeks old. I have worn a KAFO my whole life. I was told by my ortho when I was 18 that my joints would be through by the time I was 23. Needless to say, I decided to make the most of my "active" years. I have been kicked by every kind of livestock known to man, dumped off of numerous horses and have had them fall with me. I have fallen down and off of about everything possible. I am now 55 and going strong, again. I say again because I received a concussion about three years ago and was put on cymbalta for the pain. It about killed me. I got to the point that I could not walk, was dizzy, brain fog, etc. I was told that I had post-polio but I knew that I did not.

The reason for this post is to tell people not to dispair. If you have a "weak" leg, then wear a brace. I have always worn what my orthotist refers to as a SUV brace. It protects my leg and supports it. When I was so sick from the cymbalta, which I didn't know at the time. I had to teach myself to walk again, twice. I did that with the help of a swim spa. I cannot say enough good about those things. We have a swimming pool but I had the swim spa put right next to our house and it is heated to 98 degrees. It cost 20k complete. I know that is not cheap but what price is mobility and independence. Once you quit walking, that is it. I don't know how many people I have run into in the course of my life that say that they don't want to wear a brace because they are ugly or uncomfortable. I bought a scooter when I was so sick and I thought they were the most tiring and uncomfortable thing in the world. The only reason I tolerated it was that I got one that went really fast so I made my very tall son and husband trot to keep up!LOL!

Also, many orthopedics and surgeons do not know what "polio hips" and joints are suppose to look like. This is only going to get worse. I was told by one orthopedist about five years ago that I needed an immediate hip replacement. I went back to an older orthopedist who x rayed my hips and told me that my hips were perfect. He said that they were polio hips but they were perfect.

When I was so sick and the learned doctors who decided that I had post polio, who had actually never seen a case of polio, I refused to accept their diagnosis. One neurosurgeon wanted to fuse my neck, which I told NO. I finally contacted Dr. Jacquelyn Perry, who founded a Polio Clinic at Rancho de los Amigos in Downey, Ca. She is only 95 years old and semi-retired. My case intrigues her and she was the mentor for my original orthopedist. I went down there, she took one look at me and told me that I did not have post polio, would never have post polio and that it was endrocrinological. I finally met with an endocrinologist who took me off of the cymbalta. It has taken a full year but I am about 95% back to where I was before this nightmare. She also told me not to let anyone operate on me.

You just have to not weaken and keep moving! If you have a limb that is that much weaker, for pete's sake, wear a brace. I receive O & P magazine and there are so many new braces out there that are not invasive. Like my mother used to tell me, that if anyone ever said anything about my feet being two different sizes, to kick them in the face because they shouldn't be looking that closely anyway!

When you fall, not if, tuck and roll. Do not try and catch yourself! That is when people hurt themselves. Trying to catch themselves when they are falling is a real bone breaker. Tuck your arms in and take it with your body. Yesterday, I went to stand up and both my feet slipped out from underneath me. Instead of trying to scramble to stand up, I just sat down on the ground. I got up from the ground and was fine. It doesn't have to be pretty, just do it!

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