Me and my IM Nail Part 4 (5mths since the op)

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The end of my last post a month ago ended on quite an optimistic note with what I thought was a conservative aim of jogging for 20mins on nearby Clapham Common. A visit to the physio a couple of days later was a reality check and led to a readjustment of my goals.

The physio visit initially was going well and she said I had good mobility in my ankle and feet. She asked me to stand on one leg which I could do (although wobbly) and stand up down on tip toes which I have been able to do with ease for ages.

She then asked me to try going up on tip toes but just on my bad leg. My cockiness went as I thought, oh, I’ve not tried that. I couldn’t do it at all.

5mths since the operation and the bruise from the tibia break and scars from IM Nail operation are still quite visibile

IM Nail scars 5mths after operation (just below the knee)

She said that I should stop running on the treadmill as if I couldn’t go up on tip toes on just my bad leg (the left) I would be significantly over-compensating on my right leg and this would cause problems. She also suggested that when I practice going up on tip toes that I try to do it more on my bad leg as I had been relying, without realising, on my right leg too much.

I left gutted and annoyed that I wasn’t able to do this and for the next week I practiced a lot every day and it was so frustrating I couldn’t do it. Then, whilst at a work event where 2012 Games chairman Lord Sebastian Coe was visiting my client, I suddenly realised I could do it! Not very well, but I could definitely do it.

I really felt quite happy as I had worked hard for just over a week to be able to do this and also noticed that my limp seemed even less pronounced and was virtually gone.

The next physio appointment was 2 weeks later and felt I had improved although I had noticed in the week leading up to it that I was getting a shin splints pain in my good leg when I did the 15mins walk to my local London Underground tube station.

She came out to the waiting room and called my name and I walked with her to her treatment room. As I sat down I felt good that I had walked well. She had a very different view. She thought my limp had got worse! Whereas I didn’t think I had a limp at all?

Basically I had subconsciously got so used to walking with a slight limp that I had stopped noticing it. She asked me to walk slowly up and down the corridor and describe what pain/soreness I had that was preventing me from walking normally.

She identified some joints in the front part of the ankle that were rather stiff and tried to massage them a little without any effect. She stressed that I should try staying on my left longer as I would put my right leg down too quickly. She also suggested holding off from jogging on the treadmill until this was sorted.

My physio gave me a blue rubber sex aid to add to my collection

This was also very frustrating as I felt I had been impeding my own development by not realising I was still limping. So since then when I walk I really try to stay on the left longer. This means it feels sore but it is necessary to loosen up the stiff joints that are causing the limp. It really means concentrating as it so easy to slip back into limping.

I thought I had been doing well but my neighbour last week said she saw me limp back from the local shop whereas I thought I had been walking well.

In spite of these setbacks, just over a week ago I went for a 9 mile ramble (4hrs) with friends near Windsor. A ramble, for those unaware, is a fancy term to make walking in the countryside seem more interesting and dynamic.

The Long Walk to Windsor Castle

The first two hours went very well and I coped with it fine and my friends said I seemed to be walking normally. Stopping halfway for lunch caused my ankle to seize up a bit so when resumed I started to limp again, but this went (I think) the more I walked. As we got towards the end of the ramble, we walked down the aptly named Long Walk to Windsor Castle and I was starting to suffer a bit.

Windsor Castle - I made it to the end of the 9 mile walk

We got the train back into London and when I got off at Vauxhall station I realised I had a massive pain in my right foot (the good one), on the right hand side almost at the heel. It wasn’t a blister/skin type pain, but felt like a metal bar was digging into the bone every time I put weight on it. So I was in the odd position of now limping on my right leg and the left one was the good one!

It took a good 3 days of rest for the pain to go away on the right foot, but all is fine now. I have another physio appointment next week and hope to be given the all clear to run on the treadmill again.

So it is slow progress, but it is progress and my leg is starting to feel like a proper leg again.

50 responses to “Me and my IM Nail Part 4 (5mths since the op)

  • jo

    Great to hear your progress. I also had a double leg fracture in Jan (Tibia smashed and nailed). Interesting to hear your comments about tiptoeing from the physio. Just got clearance to jog but suspect will have same problems as you as can’t balance very well on right foot on tiptoes (bad leg).

    Keep up your posts

  • Les Robertson

    Great to compare another persons progress, I had a double fracture about 7 months ago, still have pain in my knee and ankle joints.
    I have some nerve damage down the outside of my leg but about to have an operation to remove some screws that appear to be pressing the nerve.

    Look forward to your next post.

  • Lisa


    I am now 5 months in (break in April 2011), I am having issues with a non union! So am booked in for another operation in November am absolutely gutted, it’s basically not healed at all! So I’m walking around on a broken leg.

    I have been doing weight baring exercise and going yoga, spin etc to keep my fitness up, just started talking a bone growth supplement in the hope it will help! Consultant at Queens basically said get on with my life live with the pain an hope it heals… The reality only 15% non unions go onto heal without surgery 😦

    So the plan is to have a bigger IM nail, push bone closer together and fingers crossed that’ll help it regrow and stop hurting as much.

    Am trying to remain positive but it’s bloody hard, working, having a 19 month old and a broken leg has it’s daily challenges. Must stay focused on recovery 🙂


    • jakemcmillan

      Sorry to hear your recovery is taking longer than you’d hoped for, but you seem to have a really positive attitude and am sure keeping up the fitness will help a lot. Best of luck and hope the operation in November goes well!

    • Elena

      Hi Lisa,

      I’m sorry to hear that you are having issues with non union, but impressed that you are managing to work, go to the gym and look after your little one! I have a few questions for you; I had an IM nail inserted in my tibia in June after being run over by a taxi which I thought was healing but have now been told that I too have a non union issue!

      I’m curious to know when it was decided that you would need further surgery, after how many months? I have an appointment with the surgeon in two weeks which is when I’m hoping a decision will be made as to whether I will need further surgery? It will be 20 weeks since my original surgery. My GP has known for a month that my leg isn’t healing as I’ve had two xrays in that period.

      Also, did they suggest any other options for you or is surgery the standard option for non union? And was is it your original surgeon who made the decision to do a second surgery?

      Thanks and all the best in November!

      PS. Jake – Your blog has been really helpful, so thank you and hope your recovery is going well!


  • Lisa

    Firstly I broke mine on 17th April 2011, was on crutches until 1st July. Then was basically told to get on with my life. So I did! Went back for check 26th August to be told non union and that 85% of non unions will not heal. So need bigger nail. 

    I’ve never seen GP only consultant specialist at Queens med. He gave me this advice, weight bare and do weight baring exercise (I do body pump, yoga, spin), drink skinny milk, eat healthily, avoid sugar and alcohol. I’m also taking a bone growth supplement.

    As far as he’s told me they will wait at least 7-9 months to confirm non union. If you need 2nd op it’s 6 weeks on crutches then back to walking. 

    I’m assuming you’re not on crutches any more?? Are you doing physio/other physical activity? Need to build up muscles around bone.

    My attitude is purely one that I am 29, a broken leg does not affect my day to day life. Yes it hurts physically and emotionally but I suck it up and get on with it, because I have so many reasons to stay

    Sent from my iPhone

  • Sue Rogers

    Hi Jake,

    I broke my leg on 4th August and my injury is very similar to yours. I found your blog very interesting and amusing and it’s great to have another case to compare mine with. As you rightly state there’s not much info on the net re IM nailing and I don’t know anyone else who’s had it done. I’m at the no crutches stage now, but have a really comical pronounced limp! I can’t walk far without the pain becoming bad either, but it’s so much better than being on crutches. I’m really fed up with the whole thing now and just want to be normal again! I’d love to know how you’re doing at the moment so I can see if there’s light at the end of the tunnel!!!


    Sue, aka (as my husband calls me!) Hopalong!

    • jakemcmillan

      Hi Hopalong! 😉

      Thanks so much for your comments and glad to hear you are off the crutches now. It feels so good to be off the crutches and have independence again doesn’t it?

      Yes, there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel so please keep up the good work, battle through the soreness and really concentrate hard on your physio exercises. Even when the limp seems to have disappeared, it is really helpful to keep it up so that you don’t get muscle imbalances when you walk or run around. This can lead to very pain shin splints or other complications.

      For me it is nearly 2 years since the accident and my leg generally feels good. It is not the same as it used to be and after I jog (I go 2-3 times a week) it does feel stiff and sore just below the knee. I am contemplating having the IM Nail removed and need to arrange a meeting with the consultant to talk through the options and risks.

  • amanda Ratcliffe

    thanks for your blog it was good to read, I had a fib and tib break on the 21st august this year and an IM nail. I have found swimming is good for the leg and mind, but am getting a lot of pain and stiffness in my knee yet , I guess I will have to see around the 6 months mark. I am 52 and did it fell running, not sure if I will be able to get back to my sport but swimming and walking will do for me. Thanks again for sharing your healing. good Luck .
    Amanda R

  • David

    Brilliant blog pal. I am a week into breaking my tib and fib and this has given me hope and a great idea of the challenges ahead

  • fiona

    So pleased to come across your blog. Broke tib and fib in September after being hit by a car and now 12 weeks in. Last xray at 6 weeks showed no healing. Seeing consultant next week so hoping to see progress. Great to hear other people’s experiences to know what to expect and what is normal.

  • Erin


    My name’s Erin and I’m 21 years old, I had a compound fracture of my tibia and fibula in my left leg after a girl kicked out my leg in a soccer game. I am currently 8 weeks post op today – but I am getting better by the week. Tomorrow I go for my check-up appointment to see if everything is healing properly. I am hell’a nervous to tell ya all the truth… I really hope that things are healing the way they are suppose to. I really enjoyed your post because it was easy to relate too… and I could definitely agree with many of the post – op landmarks that you described. My doctor did not refer to me physio because he said my range of motion was excellent at my 2 week check – up. I do though practice stretches everyday with my leg and act as my own physiotherapist. Definitely a difficult bone break to recover from!!! I can relate to you all… I was able to walk without crutches at about the 4 week mark. I still walk with a limp today, but I try really hard to correct it – because like you stated, it starts to become instinct to walk with a limp. I try to push myself everyday by doing walks outside and practicing working on my balance and range of motion. I hope to be playing soccer in a few months again. (cross your fingers for me everyone…)

    Best of luck to you all!

    • Erin

      Although one thing that I forgot to mention was that I had signs of healing at 2 weeks… so I am really hoping that it has continued to heal as fast as it was 2 weeks after surgery!

      • amanda Ratcliffe

        sounds like you are doing really well, I found that it wasn’t the break site that caused me the most grief but my knee after the im nailing I am 6 months on and walking is o.k. but I feel it all the time running is still a no no , my advice is get your head round the fact it will be around 12 months and anything before that will be a bonus, but you are younger than me I am early 50,s so you should heal up really quick, I wish you all the best.

      • Les Robertson

        I am almost 18 months post IM rod surgery and 3 locking screws removed, I still have pain in my knee walking and tightness from the knee down. I keep positive that it will improve. I am also very close to 50.

      • jakemcmillan

        Hi Les! Many thanks for your comment. When/Why did you have the locking screws removed?

      • Les Robertson

        Hi Jake, they were removed to release pressure on my peroneal nerve which caused numbness down the outside of my leg. my surgeon thought one was too long. still giving me some grief!

      • jakemcmillan

        Sorry to hear that! Were they removed long ago? Hope the situation improves for you!

      • Les Robertson

        Hi, They were removed in june 2011 and I returned to work on protected duties until recently, pain in my knee got too much going to visit doctor again. Running unfortunately still a no no. But could be worse!

    • jakemcmillan

      Hi Erin! Many thanks for sharing your experience! Hope your check-up appointment has gone well today and you are feeling reassured you are well on your way in the recovery process. Tibia breaks do take a long while to heal, but being 21 your bones are made of more magic stuff so hopefully you should be back playing soccer again soon 🙂

  • ian

    Hi jake,very pleased that i managed to find your blog,i broke my tib/fib last week after slipping on a wet pub toilet floor and had surgery on tuesday resulting in an IM nail being inserted.
    I came away from the hospital with very little information regarding my injury,so your blog has been a tremendous help,a crystal ball that i can peer into to see the challenges that i face.
    Just wondered,a few days after your operation,did you experience any strange feelings in your big toe?,i have a kind of hot/not quite numb but almost,sort of sensation,and a tightness in my calf.
    I was lucky that a friend gave me a wheel chair,as the crutches aren’t really practical at this early stage of the recovery process,but find i cant have my leg down for more than 5/10 minutes before it starts to swell and change colour.Like yourself,the medication/pain relief doesnt seem to agree with my stomach,resulting in constipation,sickly feeling and drowsiness,but the pain at this stage is still fairly severe,especially during the night.
    Anyway,im a little over a week in,with what sounds like a long road to full recovery ahead,again,your blog has been a brilliant read,so thanks for that,my first check up is friday,so im looking forward to that,i feel a little more prepared and clued up now after reading your posts.
    many thanks
    ian 🙂

    • amanda Ratcliffe

      Hi Ian,
      Do go back to hospital if you have the tightness in the calf as if can be a DVT and its best to be safe than sorry so if your concerned dont wait to check it out.good luck and I hope your recovery goes well I am 9 months on now and doing most things but no running yet which was how I did it .Still having some pain under the knee but I think that is normal at this stage. Keep cheerful and things do get less painful if you want a non medical anti inflammation Boswellia is good with turmeric you can do a search most good herbal supply has them, you can also get the doctor to give you a stomach protecter which you have on an empty stomach at the start of the day . Codeen(not sure of spelling) causes constipation as the Diomorphine they give you have some dried figs they work works, hope all this helps.

      • ian clark

        thanks amanda,iv an appointment at the hospital for tomorrow,so hopefully wont be too serious,im feeling a bit better just now as iv cut back on the pain relief,still sore,especially during the night,but im managing all the everyday things much better…my stomach is much better since cutting out a lot of the medication,and i found good ol senokot helped a lot.
        thanks a lot for your kind reply,and i wish you all the best with your recovery.

    • jakemcmillan

      Hi Ian,

      Thanks so much for your comments and sharing your experiences. After the end of your second week, everything should start to get better, the pain and swelling reduces and you can start to focus on recovery and physio work.

      I hope your appointment today goes well! Do let us know how the rest of your recovery goes.


    • Sazofraz

      For anyone using a wheel chair, you can get an attachment on which to rest your raised leg.

  • Ruth Kinder (@MamaRoo24)

    Hi Jake

    It’s been 5 months since I found you blog and found more information here than everywhere else on the whole web. Just thought I’d give you an update.

    As you know i had a screw removed in September from the front of my ankle. This seemed to set me back a few weeks, but I’m sure has helped in the long run. Going back to having to elevate my leg was very tedious even if it was only for a couple of days.

    I’m now 5 months and 13 days (very similar stage to you when you wrote this part of your diary).

    Unfortunately I haven’t healed as fast as you (I’ll put it down to screw removal and age (10 years older than you ish) or maybe down to my non-existant fitness levels before the break).

    I still have quite a limp and going down full height stairs (normal house stairs) is still difficult, my leg still doesn’t bend properly, I can stand on my tip toes of my bad leg only if I pull myself up there and then everything seems to lock and i have to put all my weight on the other leg to ‘release’ my bad one.

    But ‘land’ PT is really good and I’ve been going once a week for a month now (hydrotherapy before this). I realised that as soon as I started getting better movement in my ankle the muscle/tendons at the front of my leg below my knee didn’t work either. But I see improvement every week now and can do harder exercises.

    It’s funny, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has used you diary as a guide to getting better or trying to beat your recovery stages. For me I have used it to try and keep up with and encourage me to keep going. I am hoping I’m just a month behind you and that I lose my limp by the end of January. It is very ’boring’ limping everywhere. And I want to be able to run across a busy road! No other sort of running for me though, my running didn’t look too good before I broke my leg.

    The only thing i can’t relate to in your diary is the painfree cold damp days. i just feel like i’ve been kicked hard in the shin and can almost feel the cold getting into the break.

    Thank you again for this diary, i’m sure i’m not alone when i say it has kept my head together through a long drawn out recovery. That’s the thing i remember most, your advice about short term goals, bit by bit you get better.


    • jakemcmillan


      Thank you so much for your kind words! It really is appreciated!

      Sorry to hear you recovery is not as quick as you would like, but sounds like you have a really good approach and attitude to the recovery. The limp is very annoying isn’t it? But somehow life doesn’t allow us the time to walk slowly or carefully, I was always needing to rush to the bus stop or tube!

      I think I must be lucky with the cold not seeming to have an affect. Maybe (and this is a wild theory), because I had my operation when it was very cold, it doesn’t seem to affect it as much?

      Wishing you the very best of luck with the rest of your recovery!


  • Cliff

    Hi jake

    I had a compound fracture of tib and fib in mid October when I was knocked off my motorbike. tib was nailed and I have been weight bearing since 3 weeks after the accident. I have been following your excellent blog and other people’s comments for a couple of months. It is really comforting to hear what is “normal”.

    I still suffer a lot of pain in the shin (at the fracture site) when I walk even small distances. after a day at work my ankle has swollen up massively. i assume this is normal. How long does it last?


  • Joanne Telfer

    Wish i had found this bloggy thingy weeks ago. 13th june 2013. 13 weeks since ski accident, spiral fracture lower tibia. Happened in france, operated, plate and 13 pins. Only this week been allowed partial weight bear. Have aircast boot to wear. Brilliant item. Have also developed mortons neuroma (nerve in foot swollen, painful), making things awkward. 50 year old, signs on osteopenia now bottom of tibia. Have had ups and lots of downs. Am amazed at the different methods / approaches to fractures. Not impressed with my physio, have notd what Jake says about his etc. am going to continue to read. Have looked so much on interent for a similar experience, as find it helpful. Am happy to share information with anyone to assist my and your recovery. Regards. Jo (north east lincs uk)

  • Nicola

    I’ really interested that you have a bruise over the break. What do you think was causing it?
    I wondered if it was because you were doing a lot of physical activity. I realise that one of the key benefits of the INail os that you can move and exercise more, but I honestly wondered, if you thought on reflection if what you were doing was too much on your bone, although, clearly it was keeping your muscles in good shape and enabled you to get moving and keep you motivated. Are there any things that you would have done differently; either more or less weight-bearing, or more or less activity? I have heard that passive activity might be advantageous in early stages.

    My reasoning is that, my break is particularly complex and I can’t weight-bear and won’t for some months still, even if at all – it’s interesting that I don’t have any further bruising – well at least after the initial whole blue leg went away, I don’t! 😉

  • elizahurdle

    Hi Jake, just found your Blog while looking for info on healing time and advice for my “nail”
    I slipped on Wednesday while on a country walk on holiday in mallorca.
    I had the op on thursday and flew home Saturday.
    I had no real Idea what to expect or even what it was called as my Spanish is terrible, I’ve seen a gp here now but learnt little.

    I thought I’d be up and teaching my dance and fitness classes in no time, September at the latest.
    I will have to rethink my plans as I read though your months of recovery.
    All in trying to say is thank you for your blog.

    • Reema

      Hi Eliza
      I broke my tibia on May 8 2016. And plan to fly on June 28 2016. I also have an IM nail. Did you consult your doctor about travel issues?

  • Holly

    Hi Jake! Just found your blog looking up IM nails.

    I’m Holly 🙂
    – 23 years old
    – Hit by a london black cab at St Pancras badly 5/2/14
    – 5 months post op now
    – Tib and Fib fracture – fib healed fine, plate and 8 screws in tib
    – Cast for 3 weeks
    – Partial weight bare at 2 months 8/4/14
    – Cast off – Leg Brace 2 months after
    – Been using Exogen Ultrasound for 4 months to speed up the process
    – Discharged on 6/5/14
    – Limping for almost 2 months, no improvement.. and then..
    – Tib metal work started to collapse (one of the screws broke) and not healing as strongly for my age but splintered bits have fused sufficiently and are in line for an IM nail. Having it all removed and replaced next week.
    – Should hopefully be walking almost immediately after I feel well enough as I technically no longer have a break… fingers crossed!

    Totally sympathise with you on every level in frustration, being this young and active gave me such a shock! Same with other patients in wards, made me laugh! I’m limping profusely but I am no longer allowed to fully weight bare. You’ve had a fantastic recovery, I hope everything is well still. This op for IM nail should be the light at the end of the tunnel.

    This is my xray after op so everyone can see. So complicated aha

    All the best xx

  • Mitch

    Man, thanks for such an informative writeup! I’ve just had IM nail surgery for my broken tib / fib as a result of a friendly(!) football game. Really helpful to see what I’m in for in the next couple of months.


  • Jacky

    I keep reading all the positives after the operation but have any of you experienced severe moodswings my husband has and its really taking its toll on us he has constant knee pain and sharp stinging pains where the bone knits please any advice its as if he changed from a loving person into a stranger with those mood changes….

  • Amanda ratcliffe

    Hi jacky , I am sorry to say an IM nailing can be painful I am three years and a few months on and I would say I always have some discomfort / pain with my knee . I think targeted excerise to build up the quads will help with this rather than general excerise. There are many things that change in your life after such a bad injury and if sport or excerise have been a big part of stress coping mechanism this is taken away. It took me a while to get other activities going and be happy with walking not running , not dancing etc . Please have patience with your husband and start him on St john’s wort good for mild depression . One thing I found very hard is that people compare it to a break in the bone which was just treated with a plaster cast . They really need to know that an IM nailing with screws is not your average break and if the metal stays in which it does most of the time the leg will not be as it was before the break but it can recover very well . Amanda

  • suhel

    Hi. I read your blog. I had a same fracture at the same spot where u have at right leg broken tibia fibula . A month ago at Road bike accident. I have rod in side my tibia. Your blog is quite helpful to know about this situation. It is really painful experience. This can break our confidence on our self. But day by day getting fine.

  • Raphaelle

    Hi Jake,

    I found your blog the day after my op, back in November and the description of your bed buddies really helped cheer me up.

    I broke both my tibia and fibula just slipping down some wet stairs on my way home. The ambulance took almost 2 hours to get to me (in central London :/) which I think contributed to the damage caused. I had a tibia nailing 3 days after the accident and now, almost 17 weeks on, I am only allowed 50% weight baring. It’s really frustrating a slow.

    The weird thing is 10 years ago I broke my other leg in a riding accident but didn’t have the operation. While 6 weeks of bed rest with a cast up to my hip was difficult to deal with, I feel like it healed by itself really well. I no longer have any issues with my leg or pain or stiffness. In fact my balance and flexibility is great.

    I’ve not been able to see the last x rays (about 3 weeks ago) as the computer in my consultant room wasn’t working. It makes me concerned that it’s not progressing as much as it should or maybe I’m just being too cautious. Maybe it’s all fine.

    I do have a bit of numbness in my big toe after the pressure bandage was pressing for too long. (My bandages weren’t changed before I was sent home from the hospital.)

    I’m actually heading off to NY next week and somehow will struggle in the cold and rain with crutches. Uber are making a fortune off me atm!

    Your blog has been really helpful. As others have said, you get sent off without much understanding of what’s happened, what will happen next and what to sort of expect. Thanks for sharing all the silliness and random thoughts you went through.

  • Michelle

    I had a nail 3.5 weeks ago following a break walking up some stairs. (This was due to an old injury where I was hit by a jet-ski and sustained multiple fractures, the leg healed with a bow in the leg which caused a weakness and stress fracture to result in the new break)
    I had a secondary break added to the tibia in order to insert the rod.
    I don’t seem to be troubled with the leg and can to an extent weight bear – but am still on crutches

    I’ve been experiencing terrible pains in the sole of my foot and around my ankle which shoots up my leg. In addition I get both knee and now hip pain.
    Has anyone experienced this… it’s like a shooting, cramping pain and prevents me from weight bearing.

  • krbtech1892

    I have had the unfortunate ordeal of suffering from a broken tibia also , with the same operation taking place ….what I would like to know …as I am a very active person and am struggling lol …it’s been 2 days since my op I’m now back at home…I can honestly say the post op pain once the anaesthetic had worn off in my leg was just as if not more painful than the actual break itself…was this the same for you?…also when trying to bend my knee or move my leg…which is still very painful I tend to get a horrible burning/scratching sensation through my toes and foot ..did you suffer from this ? And finally how long after the op were you in bed for before you truly started mobilising for periods of time ? I’m really enjoying reading all of this so a response would be fantastic …regards


    • Danielle Norbury

      Hi Karl, how are you doing now?
      This page has been a god send to me too knowing that I am not alone in this rather unfortunate situation. I left the hospital without them giving me much information and have been to grossed out for the first week to look up what I had managed to do to myself.
      I broke my tibia on the 30th August, just over a week ago doing a cart wheel (yes really, and no, I’m not a preffesional gymnast, I’d had too many glasses of wine.) and was operated on the following day, the same pin operation as yourself but with the lovely addition of a broken ankle. Unfortunately due to the ankle I didn’t get away without a cast and now have a giant green( choice of cast colour) lower leg as well as the pin running through the tibia. Although I am fit and fairly healthy, I am quite a small lady, age 31 and the added weight of the cast feels like I’m carting a tractor around with me…. I have been up and about on crutches, have mastered making tea and toast and have even been to my neighbours for a cuppa but the added weight does make things more difficult…. And I think walking any distance is some time away yet.
      I do have movement in my toes and my knee, although I cannot fully extend my knee. I am hoping this may be to do with the restriction of the cast.
      The pain has not been too bad, although I occasionally get muscle spasms which can hurt quite a bit. Some pain in my knee during the night or if I have been mobile for much more than 5mins. I am also hoping that some of this is due to the weight of the cast. The swelling in my knee has reduced down to almost normal and the cast feel less tight around the rest of my leg so I am hoping the swelling around the break has also reduced. . I agree the pain during the accident was horrific, the worst pain I have ever felt, and worse when they had to stretch my leg out for the X ray, I screamed so loud a doctor ran in with a double shot morphine and two diazepam to complement the gas and air mix I was already consuming in large quantities, needless to say I did at least manage to get some sleep that night (or day, I really have no idea which it was) How is your pain now? I am slowly weaning myself off the pain killers as I was getting frustrated being so spaced out all the time. I hope the pain is now easing for you.
      Are you managing to get around yet? Like you I am very active, cycle everywhere and am due to start uni on the 19thsept, so I am struggling with getting my head around it all too. I hope you are managing to stay positive and have good company around you. I have found this very important.
      I have not experienced any burning/scratching sensations but occasionally my whole leg will feel very warm, I have managed to convince myself this is what healing feeling like though I will not know if that’s true or not until my next appointment on the 13th.
      I was given conflicting information by 2 doctors as I think the broken ankle complicated things further. One doctor saying I would be walking again in 4-6 weeks the next being rather shady and explained it would take longer due to having the cast on.
      I’m still confused and will ask again at my next appt, but it’s good to hear other people’s experiences, thank you to everyone who posted and best of luck with the recovery.

  • HB

    It’s now also 5 months after my IM nail procedure, and I’m happy to say that recovery has been going well. Can walk normally, and do pretty much all daily activities, although there’s still some pain, and the leg feels ‘different’. Not quite there with any running or jumping though. Nevertheless, when I compare my condition (physical and mental) with when I posted here for the first time, it’s like night and day 🙂
    The first two or three months of recovery were so hard, but now things look much brighter.
    Thank you to this blog, and to everyone here for sharing their experiences!

  • Ollie

    I am another person that through searching for information after having this procedure has found myself here.
    I stupidly ran out across a bicycle path without looking and got completely taken out by a bloke on a bike. Had the op the next day and the day after that was discharged fully weight bearing with crutches.
    After my first physio session 3 weeks later I was walking around inside the house with out the crutches. Its been about 2 months since the surgery now and I ave been without them at all for a few weeks.
    There is still some pain and general discomfort but nothing compared to the first couple of weeks.
    Thank you for making these posts, they have been really interesting to read through and pretty much the only reason I know vaguely what to expect. 🙂

  • Rosemary Bartholomew

    I have found it really interesting and helpful to read about everyone’s experiences. My accident was a little different in that it was the thigh bone (femur) I broke and also because I have osteoporosis, plus I am a bit older (71!). However it was still operated on with an IM Nailing (which I hadn’t previously heard of) and I agree there is very little info about what to expect or to know what is ‘normal’.
    Jake, I loved your diaries and the humorous but factual way in which they were written. Very useful indeed! Is your normal work something to do with writing, I wonder? I laughed out loud at reading about your parents making ‘aarrgh’ noises and being prepared to catch you when you first came home. Also about the rubber ‘sex aids’! I empathised with your craving for independence and to be back in your own home.
    I had my accident on 20th May 2017, when I had a fall in a restaurant and cleverly managed to trip up a step! So it’s only a couple of months ago since the op and early days yet. I was on holiday on the Isle of Wight at the time and due to go back home the following morning, but of course I couldn’t and was kept in for a week and then had to be transferred from the IOW by ambulance to Hastings (a nightmare journey!) where I live, and then I had to be in hospital here for a further six days. I was delighted to have a room to myself but not so pleased to find it was in case I was infectious having come from another area! I had to endure the indignity of rectal swabs!! I’m home now and mainly looking after myself except for shopping. Some years back I broke my tib and fib (same leg) in an altercation with a motorbike and in those days had a plaster cast for five months. My God, was it a joy to get in a bath when the last one finally came off!
    I can now hobble about with two sticks, or sometimes with only one. Only had one crutch for going up to the loo, but don’t use now, have stick instead. Leg is sometimes painful at night and when I first stand after sitting, when it stiffens up. Worse around knee area rather than higher up where the break was.
    That’s it for now.
    Best, Rosemary

  • Paul

    Hi all,
    My name is paul. I am a builder on the Gold Coast Australia. I had a bobcat accident last Thursday and pinned my leg when the machine tipped, onsite by myself I just managed to get my leg out and crawl to my car and drive to help, broken right tib and fib. Pretty lucky I didn’t lose leg or worse.
    Into my first week of recovery from IM Nail op.
    I am struggling with pain, as I think most of you have. Getting up to do anything is extremely painful. Knee feels like it is still dislocated from procedure.
    Doctors gave me very little info on recovery expectations. They actually told me that most patients are 6-8 weeks. But that is not what I a reading as an average recovery time.

    Life can change so quickly, it was good to find this blog and read all the comments.
    Thank you.
    Paul. – PT PoleHomes.

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