T Nation

Fractured Tibia

Hello folks,
Last Saturday I had a skiing accident and suffered an open displaced fracture of my right tibia which required emergency surgery (intramedullary nail). I’ve been discharged home (I’m staying with my parents just now, as I wouldn’t manage well in my flat). I’ve been told that I won’t be able to weight-bear at all with my right leg for 6 weeks, but doing some extra reading it looks like it will be 6 months before I no longer limp and can move normally.

My current plan is this:

  1. first few weeks - move on my crutches often, stand from my armchair using a concentric pistol squat on my left leg, get a band for my upper body

  2. when I feel a little more confident stabilising my lower body (but still can’t weight-bear) I’ll try hitting the gym for upper body

  3. at 6 weeks I’ll start climbing stairs, bodyweight calf raises and stationary bike

  4. start working in bodyweight squats

After that it’s more difficult to predict, I’ll just have to see how it goes.

Some background: 25yo, 215lbs, 6’2", training for 8 years (most recently focusing on kettlebells). I’m also a Dr, so I have reasonable background knowledge, but not much in the way of physio.

I’m just looking for any advice at all. Additional safe exercises to try, expectations etc.

Thank you very much for your time.

Find out from your doctor how long it will be before the fracture is actually healed. I think this should be 12 weeks. If you load it too much before then you could re-injure it. You can do way more damage to youself if you are held together with screws as compared to being fit. Since I just had a knee replaced and am having to play nice for a bit here is a list of exercises that work great with a bum leg:

Stuff on the floor, does not require standing
Hanging rows. Elevate feet if needed
Pushups (feet elevated on an SB if you like)
KB chest presses (floor is good, heavy one-armed are great)
KB screw drivers, prone and supine
ITYs (hey get that rotator cuff happy while you have a chance)
Leg lifts and in particular clam shells (so your glute medius will work when you can walk)
Stability ball rollouts/stir the pots
SB hamstring curls (once you can, do 'em right)
Shoulders on SB, glute bridges (ditto)
SB jacknives (always seem to improve my front squat)

None of these really require loading of the leg, except that last few, partially. Also, I am doing stuff for my rotator cuff since that is an issue. Since you have to behave for a wee bit, think if there is some maintenance work on you that needs to be done and just do it for the next month. Several years back I had some minor surgery and could not lift heavy for a month. I did do just about every exercise I could think of that forced me to stabilize and when I got back, my deads and squats had gone up. That was an awesome surprize. This time around I am doing the same.

Hope this helps…
– jj

Man that sucks, get some good books take is slow and heal well!

Thanks a lot guys, I appreciate it.