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Comment : Re: Re: Welcome to the club you really don't wanna join
Posted by Matt Conn on Tue 12:56am 9 May 2006

Hi Alan,

I suffered a similar injury playing soccer in 1998 at age 25, a compound fracture of the tibia about 4 inches above the ankle and fracture of the fibula. I was operated on about 10 hours after the accident where the wound was cleaned up and closed as much as was possible. The doc treated the tibia with two titanium plates and 7 screws, which required a cut down my shin which took 12 staples to close. The fibula was left in a displaced nature. I spent seven days in hospital. A plaster backslab was applied only as they had to keep the puncture wound and the staples clear for cleaning. I was doing basic exercises while in hospital, basically just trying to get some movement in the ankle and achilles reagion. This invloved a physio (very!) gently rotating the foot. I kept my leg elevated for two months, apart from physio sessions of about 3-4 a week. During that time I also walked on crutches with partial weight bearing. I bascially did variations of the exercises Arno recommended in order to increase movement in the ankle area, as it went very stiff after the stay in hospital. I can't emphasise enough how important they are. I did then 3-4 times a day or more.

After 3 months I was walking with one crutch and returned to my office job, and after about 4 months I was able to walk completey unassisted. The wound was slow to heal but was pretty much helaed after three months. After about 6 months the pain was much less and I was able to walk without much of a limp and even run short distances. Unfortunateley I never returned to outdoor soccer. I started training with the boys about 18months post accident but whenever I took a hit to the leg the pain was pretty severe, although not long lasting. I did start to play indoor soccer where there is not so much tackling and continue to this day. This probably more psychological on my behalf and I didn't want to risk injury with my young family re work etc. Lost a bit of pace!, but apart from a bit of pain no other complications.

it has now been about 8 years since the accident and although I can't run like I used to, I have had a pretty good recovery and can do almost anything. I do have aches and pain after exercise, but nothing too severe. My ortho , who I recently saw for a check for the first time since 2001 reckons it has been a good recovery given the severity of the injury. I have no doubt if you stick to those exercises and take it slowly, you will be almost back to normal in 6-12 months.

All the best in your recovery Alan,

Matt (Sydney, Australia)

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