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BIRTDIKE

Broken leg with rod

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So i recently broke my tibia fibula in September racing and did it good enough to get a rod installed from my knee to my ankle. My question is...... what happens if it breaks again? Ive been searching the net and havent seen any horror stories but i know more of you have had to come across this or even experienced it. Do you ride with hardware? I ordered new boots and new knee braces to focus the load away from that area but you can only do so much

 

 

 

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So i recently broke my tibia fibula in September racing and did it good enough to get a rod installed from my knee to my ankle. My question is...... what happens if it breaks again? Ive been searching the net and havent seen any horror stories but i know more of you have had to come across this or even experienced it. Do you ride with hardware? I ordered new boots and new knee braces to focus the load away from that area but you can only do so much
 
 
 

Good question! That goes for plates too. Is there any difference between having a rod or plate as far as riding concerns. Been nine months since I’ve got the plate installed. Still a bit sensitive, still not walking with my foot straight. Not planning on quitting riding. Maybe not as aggressive.

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My Mrs, who is a nurse and knows about broken bones (she used to ride)  said if you break it again, it'll shatter the bone, as it goes up the inside of it.

Don't break it with the rod in it, it will be bad.

Plates are better to wreck, they go on the outside, and often you just pull the screws out and bend the plate. Doesn't destroy the bone as much.

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I had the same rod in my leg. My dr got it removed after a year to mitigate the risk of a horrible re-break.

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15 hours ago, NZracer said:

I had the same rod in my leg. My dr got it removed after a year to mitigate the risk of a horrible re-break.

Heard the same from other hard core riders.  Maybe age and type of repair/fracture is a factor.  I would take it up with the specialist but I heard that generally they are not to keen about removing.  If they would offer me the option, I would have it removed.

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Thanks for all your input guys. Ill look into having it removed in the future after it heals. As of not it is still pretty necessary haha.

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I have the same rod in my leg, no issues these days.

Did your doctor suggest to remove a set of bolts? mine said generally it is a good idea to remove the bottom bolts as it forces your body to regrow the bone to the same strength as previous. if the rod stays joined the bone doesn't need to be as strong to support your weight etc. I never got mine removed

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19 hours ago, HevyRotashunz said:

Don't crash.

Spent 28 days in Nero ICU after a crash and bleed in my brain that didn't stop for 3 days!  I still ride I will never give it up, I just don't launch long triples any more.  I ride with my family and taking care of them keeps me out of trouble.

Bottom line be careful.

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I have the same rod in my leg, no issues these days.
Did your doctor suggest to remove a set of bolts? mine said generally it is a good idea to remove the bottom bolts as it forces your body to regrow the bone to the same strength as previous. if the rod stays joined the bone doesn't need to be as strong to support your weight etc. I never got mine removed

They told me they would be in there permanently. But being a mechanic on heavy equipment and not giving up my hobby i think the discussion will need to happen. And removing a set of screws isnt a bad idea. Hopefully once its all healed up i can look towards doing that as a minimum.

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I had the same fracture except in the distal portion (lower) which is harder to heal.  The fix was a bone graft, screws and a plate.   When healed, I had it removed. 

If you're going to continue to compete, I strongly suggest to have the rod removed.  

See a SPORTS DOCTOR

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Posted (edited)

What you have in your tibia is an intramedullary rod, originally called a "Kuntscher nail" after a WWII era German scientist who developed the technique to enable all members of the German army with long bone fractures to return to service quickly.  As a result of a pro flat track racing accident in 1965, I had one in my left femur for a year.  The rod was made of stainless steel with chromium and nickel added. It is 19.5" long and I still have it in a desk drawer.  When I was discharged from hospital, the surgeon said, "Don't race again until it has been removed.  If you re-break it with the rod inside, don't come back to me".  It is a headache to repair a broken leg with an internal rod in it.  

A year or two later, the late Gary Nixon, the 2-time US Grand National Champion racer, broke his femur at the flat track mile national at Santa Rosa, CA.  A few months later, Gary and his friend went woods riding, just to have a bit of harmless fun.  Gary, being a racer, got a bit more aggressive on his Triumph Tiger Cub 200 and managed to re-break the femur with the rod within.  The surgeon sawed through the rod at the point where it was bent and withdrew the halves from the upper and lower sections of the femur.  Gary was out for a year.  Gary and I were both in our 20s at the time of our injuries and healed well.  Not so likely as we age...

Please take great care with your fractured leg.  It should get back  to 100%.  Once the rod is out, feel free to do whatever.  

Ralph

ps:  After my rod was out in 1966, I resumed pro racing and in 1968 re-broke the same leg in 7 places at a flat track event in Lanham, MD.  I never raced again, but rolled up over 300 miles this past week on my DR-650.  

Edited by krglorioso
Gave wrong race location
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I have the same rod in my right leg. It was broken in the Pontiac Silverdome by some yahoo who got whiskey throttle and rode into my side. Previous poster is correct about being a bitch to remove after another break. Mine is still in place and causes pain for a few days when the weather turns in spring and in fall.

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5 minutes ago, hondaxr650rrrr said:

I have the same rod in my right leg. It was broken in the Pontiac Silverdome by some yahoo who got whiskey throttle and rode into my side. Previous poster is correct about being a bitch to remove after another break. Mine is still in place and causes pain for a few days when the weather turns in spring and in fall.

Is your rod still in place because it's not been in long enough or is this to be a permanent placement?  If the latter, I would take the advice above recommending a consult with a sports orthopedic surgeon to see if the rod can eventually be removed.  

Ralph

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12 minutes ago, hondaxr650rrrr said:

That rod has been in over 20yrs and I have no health ins.

Oh, that answers several questions.  Still, a consult with a sports ortho surgeon might give you some current knowledge about your 20+ year old repair at the cost of an office visit.  You did say it's causes pain at times.   

Ralph

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Had a rod and 3 screws in my right leg since I broke my tib/fib about 9 years ago.. aside from some discomfort in my knee in certain situations due to where they went in for surgery, I haven't had any other issues with it and can ride just fine.

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What you have in your tibia is an intramedullary rod, originally called a "Kuntscher nail" after a WWII era German scientist who developed the technique to enable all members of the German army with long bone fractures to return to service quickly.  As a result of a pro flat track racing accident in 1965, I had one in my left femur for a year.  The rod was made of stainless steel with chromium and nickel added. It is 19.5" long and I still have it in a desk drawer.  When I was discharged from hospital, the surgeon said, "Don't race again until it has been removed.  If you re-break it with the rod inside, don't come back to me".  It is a headache to repair a broken leg with an internal rod in it.  
A year or two later, the late Gary Nixon, the 2-time US Grand National Champion racer, broke his femur at the flat track mile national at Santa Rosa, CA.  A few months later, Gary and his friend went woods riding, just to have a bit of harmless fun.  Gary, being a racer, got a bit more aggressive on his Triumph Tiger Cub 200 and managed to re-break the femur with the rod within.  The surgeon sawed through the rod at the point where it was bent and withdrew the halves from the upper and lower sections of the femur.  Gary was out for a year.  Gary and I were both in our 20s at the time of our injuries and healed well.  Not so likely as we age...
Please take great care with your fractured leg.  It should get back  to 100%.  Once the rod is out, feel free to do whatever.  
Ralph
ps:  After my rod was out in 1966, I resumed pro racing and in 1968 re-broke the same leg in 7 places at a flat track event in Lanham, MD.  I never raced again, but rolled up over 300 miles this past week on my DR-650.  

Wow what crappy luck. Thanks for the response. I hope ill be healed enough by this spring to ride but my guess is it will take a while longer than that. Will prob take about a year to fully heal. It was a pretty nasty break. I will consult with my dr next week and get his thoughts on it as well. Surgeon said it would stay but in my mind i know it needs to go. Just curious on how long it would take for all that bone to head back up where it was drilled out. IMG_8534.JPG

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