How soon can I start riding again & screw removal (should I?)- broken fibula

I broke my ankle (Weber-C fracture) that has had ORIF on 20-September. No cast post operation and walking around on crutches at the moment with mild pressure on the damaged ankle. A couple of questions as follows:

 

1. How long should I wait before getting back on my bike (endure/on road)

2. Will the screws result in weaker bone i.e. should I get them removed as I both ride and parachute?

 

I've attached the pics of both the break and the fix in place.

Broken Fibula.jpg

Fixed Fibula.jpg

Oooff! My wife broke hers but didn't require a plate. We just doped her up and went 1 day later to the hospital. She was in an air cast for a good month+. She did ride an ATV with us about 5 weeks later in trevorton PA. She took it easy of course. I think she was back in business about 7 weeks out but again took it easy for 10 weeks. Then it was back to normal riding. Now her injury was not as bad as yours, and she was 36 at the time. I'm pretty sure back then she wasn't quite the rider either. Slow and easy. She did ride out back to camp on fire roads shifting only with her heel. About 25miles with mx boots. Now we have a few in the tool pack and med kit. Broke bone? Take pill, get home/hospital. These are leftover from crashes and unused scripts. I hate taking those so usually don't finish the script. Good luck with the ankle. If your a young one, you should be good quicker I would imagine. If your doc is worthwhile and knows you he should be able to give you a good timeframe. Don't listen to our posts as gospel, just gauge what people write as approximate time frames. You're doctor knows best. You don't want to reinjure or possibly disable your foot.

Ps we have a wall of shame in our finished basement "rider cave". All tickets, pics, and X-rays ARE REQUIRED to put up on the wall!! It reminds us of the good times and bad. Some pics are pretty graphic like the one time with the air lift with leg bones through the skin and getting your gear cut off by the medic. My buddy almost lost his leg and reminds him to SLOW THE KUFC DOWN!!!

Edited by absynth01

When to return is best determined by your surgeon. He/she was there and he/she know how tight the screws went in.

I only remove hardware when it is symptomatic. Most cases, the hardware is left inside. After removal of hardware, I allow patients to return to sports in six weeks.

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1382016543.948704.jpgImageUploadedByThumper Talk1382016561.550011.jpgImageUploadedByThumper Talk1382016581.975398.jpg

Just looking at pics......be careful guys. Her break was hairline where the white mark is. Minimal compared to yours. Glad to see we've got a doc here!! Thanks doc!!

Ps those are all separate accidents.

Edited by absynth01

Thanks for all the info folks. Just had a follow up with another ortho (the one who did the operation is on the other side of the country). He says that given the length of the fracture, it should grow back nice and strong. No need to remove screws, unless they are causing problems. In that case, removal after 1 year. Can start putting more weight/pressure on the leg now and after 6 weeks in total put full weight back on and start returning to exercise. Follow up x-rays to be done in 2 weeks. Broke my left ankle as a 18 year old (pole-vault accident) in 5 places and that healed up just fine. I'm not a young one anymore (well, my body isn't but my mind is still 18;) but expect a solid recovery. Take care out there

Quick update - saw ortho on Monday and he says things should heal up nicely without a lot of ligament damage. I'm back for a set of follow up x-rays and final consult with him (assuming all is good) in 2 weeks time. He expects that I should be able to bear full weight at that stage.

i had a weber b fracture and partially torn syndesmosis last october. got a plate and several screws (one through the fibula into the tibia because of the syndesmosis and the rest to hold the plate that fixated the fibula).

 

i started light PT (no load, just range of motion) two weeks after surgery. started load bearing PT at a sports medicine place 6 weeks after surgery (also shed the crutches at that point and just use a walking boot for a couple weeks...got rid of that after about 2 weeks of PT). went for my first street ride about 4 weeks after that (so, about 10 weeks after surgery). first dirt ride was about 4 weeks after that (so 14 weeks after surgery). built back up to full speed pretty quickly after that, but i'm just now feeling like everyting is completely back to 100% (got to like 95% very quickly, but that last 5% took close to a year to really get back).

 

i'm not planning to have the hardward removed. once in awhile (particularly when it is raining), i will feel it in there. but it never actually hurts or is in anyway debilitating...just kinda know something is in there. but that is even rare at this point. 95% of the time, i don't even realize anything is in there.

 

my main advice is GET PHYSICAL THERAPY. my surgeon said it was optional. he would write me a prescription for it, but said i probably wouldn't really have to do it if i didn't want to. he did an awesome job with the surgery, but i think it's nuts to not do PT. he wrote me the scrip, i went to a good sports medicine place, and i built the strength back up in my ankle and leg quickly and completely and without risking further injury.

 

good luck with your continued recovery. you'll be back to tearing it up in the dirt before you know it.

 

oh, btw, i'm 43 now...42 when this happened...so i'm no youngun' anymore either, but still healed up fine.

 

just because i find x-rays--and the whole concept of basically doing carpentry on human beings (it is amazing to me what ortho surgeons are capable of)--fascinating, here are some before and after shots:

 

Before surgery:

 

pre-op_front_resized.jpg

 

After surgery:

 

Follow_up_1_front_2_resized.jpg

Edited by LittleRedToyota

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