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Thread: Restretching leg muscles after 3 + months of immobilization do to fractures

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Northwest OH

    Restretching leg muscles after 3 + months of immobilization do to fractures

    I fractured both my femurs back in late July and up until a couple weeks ago my legs were in large braces that didn't allow my knees to bend (my legs have literally been immobilization and straight for nearly 4 months). The bones are healed & I've stopped wearing the braces during the day.

    Currently my right leg bends about 60 degrees & the left about 40. The doctor says that he doesn't feel any bone issuers preventing them from moving. He says my quad muscles have shortened & also that the fluid filled sacks in my knees have shrunk from being straight for so long. But that both can be lengthened and expanded thus allowing more future range.

    Right now he just has me using gravity to stretch them. I've been told to sit in my chair & allow my legs to dangle for 30 minutes at a time several times a day.
    Does anyone have other suggestions. I'm not suppose to do any true range of motion or heavy stretching yet.

  2. #2

    I think your doctors recommendations sound right. I wouldn 't push it.
    Sitting in your chair and dangling does help the msucle stretch naturally and with gravity. I would concentreate on doing that as many times a day as you feel comfortable. I would not push it but let it be known to yoru doctor that you want proper healing but are anxious to do as mch as you can to regain the optimum range of motion and strength.


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Northwest OH
    Fortunately, my chair has independent power legs, allowing me to bend to almost any degree, so I've started keeping them bent to some extent for the entire day. I only dangle completely with no support a couple times a day. (It's odd since the injury I've gotten some sensation back in my legs... my knees feel sore)
    What really has me worried is getting dressed & transfers. I'm afraid one will get twisted up putting my pants on. As far as transfers, I used to have a single aide manually lift me to my chair. Post breaks, I'm using a Hoyer. But it still doesn't really support my legs much.

  4. #4
    I would ask the physician to order some physical therapy as well. The PT can see you periodically, and using guidelines from the physician, gradually increase the force used for stretching. Some OT, to help you find ways to do your dressing and other ADLs within the limitations created by both your fractures and contractures would also be a good idea.


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