T Nation

Broken Leg

I’m a senior in high school, and in the first football game of the year (August 26th), I snapped both my fibula and tibia while attempting to block an extra point. Surgery, loss of 15-20 pounds, blah blah blah, and I’m finally home. I’m done with football and basketball for the year, which sucks, but the docs say that I might be healthy by the time track rolls around. I was the favorite to win conferences in the 110 and 300 M hurdles until my injury.

As happy as I am that I might still be able to play a sport, there is one major, very obvious concern; my legs, especially the broken one, are really small and really weak now.
I’m not talking “dang I lost a few pounds”, I’m talking “I probably won’t be able to squat 135 after I take this damn cast off”. I was never a big kid, so losing so much weight so rapidly pretty much made me go from “you’re lucky you’re fast” to straight up anorexic-looking.
But enough on the back story; I’m here for advice.

The only rehab that the doctors have suggested is “moving the ankle around once in a while before you go to sleep”. That’s nice and all, but I’m looking to win some track meets.
Has anybody else here ever been in a similar situation, and if so, what did you do to speed recovery, how quickly did you regain your strength, or did you ever recover %100 in order to compete at the level you once did?

I don’t know, but you could try asking at the elitetrack.com forums as well.

Why don’t you ask the doctors to refer you to physical therapy? I’m in a kind of similar situation where I couldn’t walk for 8 weeks because of a torn plantar fascia. I’ve been in therapy for about 3 weeks and probably have 2-3 more to go. Good luck.

At least you can train your upper body lots…Benching, chest support rows, abs…That’s all I got man.

Walk with ankle weights. Get a 20lb set (up to 10lbs each leg), and start off with 2.5lbs on each leg. Each week move it up 2.5lbs and wear it pretty much everywhere. IMO That’s the best thing that you can do. By the time you get to the 10lbers on each leg, your legs should be pretty strong once again.

Then once you complete that, go into leg exercises (squats, DLs, etc) and go with whatever weights you feel comfortable.

-DTC

At least train your non- broken leg& upper body.
Do alot of single leg exercises.

[quote]DTC wrote:
Walk with ankle weights. Get a 20lb set (up to 10lbs each leg), and start off with 2.5lbs on each leg. Each week move it up 2.5lbs and wear it pretty much everywhere. IMO That’s the best thing that you can do. By the time you get to the 10lbers on each leg, your legs should be pretty strong once again.

Then once you complete that, go into leg exercises (squats, DLs, etc) and go with whatever weights you feel comfortable.

-DTC[/quote]

I don’t know why–I just don’t like this advice. The ‘on paper’ concept of ankle weights was plausible at one time, but I don’t think it ever translated to real life. But again, I can’t put my finger on it, I just don’t like it.

I’d rather see you add weight to a vest or backpack than an ankle. If that is even a proper form or recovery???

I don’t think I like the idea of ankle weights; I don’t see how they could be the most effective method compared to a lot of other choices; I’m going to be lugging around a cast for the next couple months, I don’t think the solution will be more weight on my leg.
About single-leg training: I’m already noticing a pretty bad imbalance forming between my two legs, if I do single-leg lifting for the next 4 months, will that exasperate the problem? I remember reading that single-leg training helped keep the injured limb strong, but what could the repurcussions be if my left leg becomes too much stronger than my injured right one?

I don’t mind ankle weights while you have your cast on, I mean afterwards.

A good friend of mine who was/is a stellar tri-athlete (soccer/swimming/baseball), broke his leg really badly while playing soccer once, and his legs looked so skinny that you could swear that was nothing more than bone and skin. He didn’t recover well for 2 weeks, then he started using ankle weights (in the increments I recommended) and swimming and he got back in shape pretty quickly.

It’s your call, I’m just letting you know what worked for a friend.

Do you know why that would work? I’m just wondering, because I don’t see what ankle weights would accomplish. If I have a better idea of the logic behind it, it might be something I would do.