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Thread: SCI Nurse I have a Broken Tibia

  1. #1
    Senior Member HR's Avatar
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    SCI Nurse I have a Broken Tibia

    Last Thursday I was in a rush to go some were and I was leaving the bathroom and I didn't put my foot on the footrest all the way and I turned the corner to fast and my foot caught the wall and snap my Tiba in half.

    I went to urgent care then to an Orthopedic Surgeon and the break is clean no need for surgery to put pins in or a plate and they put my leg in a plaster cast.

    SCI Nurse, I’m a C5-6 Quad and I need to know what I should be doing to take care of this? How long should it take to heal? They said about 12 to 16 weeks, does that sound right to you?

  2. #2
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    HR,
    I did a similar thing and broke my tibia cleanly, too. My orthopedic doc assessed that since I don't move, I wouldn't need surgery or a cast. Instead, he wrapped it nice and tight and gave me one of those big black boots to protect my foot 24/7. The pain in the ass part involved when I was in bed, I had to have it on then, too. But it did heal in just about 12 weeks. I also OD'd on calcium supplements to help the healing.

  3. #3
    My son (T12 para) broke his leg a number of years ago. I hope that the orthopedist you saw is very familiar with SCI's. The concerns are that a cast can cause pressure ulcers (sometimes they use an air cast instead, if they can) and the way that the break heals. If you have or know a local SCI Specialist (Physiatrist, etc.) you could ask for the name of another orthopedist. I believe that healing time can be longer and you'll have to be extra careful for quite a while. There are differences between paras and quads, but I don't think calcium is normally an issue.
    Good luck,
    Carl

  4. #4
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    I didn't want to say anything to worry you but yes, I'd be concerned about the cast as well and how it was treating my skin underneath.

    I'm sorry you broke your leg in such a way - yeouch! Here's to speedy healing!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by carl
    My son (T12 para) broke his leg a number of years ago. I hope that the orthopedist you saw is very familiar with SCI's. The concerns are that a cast can cause pressure ulcers (sometimes they use an air cast instead, if they can) and the way that the break heals. If you have or know a local SCI Specialist (Physiatrist, etc.) you could ask for the name of another orthopedist. I believe that healing time can be longer and you'll have to be extra careful for quite a while. There are differences between paras and quads, but I don't think calcium is normally an issue.
    Good luck,
    Carl
    I agree. A good friend broke his leg and spent the better part of a year treating a pressure sore. See a specialist, his cast was not on very long.
    T6 complete (or so I think), SCI since September 21, 2003

  6. #6
    We try to avoid any hard casts on anyone without normal sensation. Too often when they are removed you find a big pressure ulcer that is harder to heal than the fracture.

    If a hard cast is used, it must be changed at least weekly. See your own orthopedist and either get the cast bi-valved or get changed to a removable splint that will allow full skin inspection daily.

    Healing time can be longer than for an AB with the same fracture. It is doubtful that calcium supplementation will help. Some have experimented with electrical bone growth stimulators, but you should discuss the pros and cons of this (as well as insurance coverage) with your own orthopedist. If you don't have one, ask your physiatrist for a referral.

    (KLD)

  7. #7
    Senior Member canuck's Avatar
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    I've never heard this before about casts with reduced sensation, I have spina bifida & had lots of orthopedic surgery & lots of casts with no pressure sore problems at all. They did do a pretty good job of padding everything though, they did tell us to watch the my skin after the casts came off though..

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