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Broken leg - swelling won't go away
Old 06-24-2009, 02:46 AM   #1
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Broken leg - swelling won't go away

Dear All,

On Easter DH broke the fibula of his leg. He was fixed in surgery - no cast.
With crutches he had only slight swelling, but they got worse since end of May, when docs recommended to try walking without.
X-rays are ok.
Docs recommend to be patient, physical therapy is ok but doesn't help much, surgical stocking either.

None of us or family has experience with broken legs, so:
What are your experiences with broken legs?
How long did the swelling take?
What treatment did help against swelling?

Chris, concerned.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:37 AM   #2
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I broke my fibula on new years eve. No surgery but had a cast for 6 weeks. I had pitted edema where you can press the swollen flesh and leave a dent. The swelling got worse during therapy, or when I sat for long periods of time. The swelling would move up/down and increase/decrease depending on the constriction caused by type of socks or shoes. The swelling always went down at night and back up when I started walking on it in the morning. It went away very very gradually to the point where I finally have no swelling 5.5 months later. The only treatment I had was the therapist rubbing down the swelling 3 days a week for 2-3 weeks
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:08 AM   #3
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Are you keeping the leg elevated above the level of the heart when at rest ? That usually helps with swelling .
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:56 AM   #4
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Call his doctor and ask if he/she feels a Doppler of the swollen leg is advisable to rule out blood clots.
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:22 AM   #5
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Thanks so far, doppler was done. Fortunately no blood clots.
He keeps the leg elevated for some time each day, but might be not enough.
He is a bit of an unptient patient...
Chris
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris2008 View Post
Thanks so far, doppler was done. Fortunately no blood clots.
He keeps the leg elevated for some time each day, but might be not enough.
He is a bit of an unptient patient...
Chris
I sprained my ankle badly before Christmas, and also had severe swelling. The only thing that helped was elevating my leg as often as humanly possible. At home I'd lie on the couch with my leg up on the back of the couch, and that seemed to help a lot. I had stretchmarks on my leg/ankle after it was over from the swelling.
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:40 PM   #7
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He is a bit of an unptient patient...
Chris
Maybe he is spending too much time with the leg in a dependent position (hanging down) while he is sitting?

Also, have you tried putting ice packs/frozen pea packs on the leg while it is elevated? Those can help swelling due to sports injury, can't see that this is any different.
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Old 06-26-2009, 04:25 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input so far.
It seems that we are doing most things right and we will try some of your suggestions.
It takes more time than expected
Chris.
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Old 06-26-2009, 04:00 PM   #9
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Read in a magazine yesterday that Vitamin C helps with inflammation. Ask the doctor of course. I have been taking Vitamin C since I read the story two days ago so I am not 100% sure
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Old 06-27-2009, 11:41 AM   #10
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I had my ACL reconstructed last Jan and still the knee area is a bit swollen - especially after working out or standing a lot. Could take up to a year to get back to some semblance of normal....
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Old 06-27-2009, 06:00 PM   #11
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Keep it elevated, apply ice for 20 minutes on 20 minutes off, you can do gentle massage around the area and definitely behind the knee to activate the lymph nodes.
You can also look into lymphodema massage therapy which is phenomenal for situations like this.....and have a lot of patience
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:50 PM   #12
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2nd opinion maybe?
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:34 AM   #13
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Bad news this week:
Finally we went for a 2nd opinion.
A CT was made and it turned out that DH has developed osteoathritis. It seems not so rare after having broken a leg.

He is going to see another Dr. and might need surgery.
If this does not improve ER might come sooner than expected...

Chris
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:34 PM   #14
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Sorry to read about that. Life sucks,then you die. My experience with joints seems to be that any change of even half-a-millimeter in how bones/tendons/ligaments relate to one another messes you up.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:20 PM   #15
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I am sorry to hear that, Chris.

I am VERY glad you found out what it was.

I know nothing about osteoathritis. I hope there is no real risk of losing the limb.

With all of their education and experience, one doc can't know everything. Also remember, 50% of them graduated in the bottom half of their class.

When you can't get an answer from one, find another.

[I am being polite.]
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