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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    21

    Derotational osteotomy tomorrow morning

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    Has anyone else been through one and have advice to share?

    I broke my femur a year and a half ago, got an intramedullary nail put in. From the morning after my surgery, the lower half of my leg was rotated inwards, and my surgeon said over and over it was nothing to worry about. I had severe hip pain from trying to point my foot straight while walking, and a pronounced toe-in limp, and it just got worse and worse, so I finally went to see another surgeon. I have a 45 degree malrotation (got put back together wrong), and tomorrow morning I'm going in for a derotational osteotomy. This means they will take out the rod and pins from my femur, cut it in half below the original break, and put a new rod in. I'll be going through a broken femur all over again, but I'm not sure if/how it will differ from when I broke it the first time.

    I'm hoping to be back on a bike by summer, but I don't know. I was still using a cane 4 months after my original break, and it was still longer before I could walk "fairly well." It was my broken femur that got me into biking - I had to use a stationary bike in my PT, and after that I wanted a "real" bike. I guess good came of it, but I hate to sacrifice my second summer of biking

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,856
    My goodness, it sounds like you've had a difficult experience so far. I'm really surprised by the first surgeon's insistence that your leg would be fine with such rotation. I hope the surgery to correct it goes well.

    I have no personal experience with this sort of thing but I suspect your recovery from this surgery should go more smoothly in the sense that you won't have the problems caused by the rotation -- hopefully that will speed things up for you.

    I know everyone's situation is different, but for what it's worth, one of my friends broke her femur last March and was actually back to riding her bike outside within a few months. She was still using a cane to walk, and she couldn't swing her leg over the top tube to get on and off the bike unless there was something nearby (a car or fence, for example) to lean on for support. When nothing was available she would lay the bike on the ground, step over it and then pick it up, or do the reverse to get off the bike.

    She was very determined to get back to cycling as soon as possible after her surgery. She is retired so she was able to really focus on her rehab without having to worry about things like work or caring for young children. She went for walks twice a day starting the day she got home from the rehab facility. At first she used a walker and only went to the corner and back, but she gradually increased her distance and graduated from the walker to using two quad canes, then one quad cane, then a regular cane. She bought a nice (decorated) cane that could be folded when not in use, and was able to fit that in a bike bag. Someone lent her a stationary bike for her house and she started out riding it 4 minutes twice a day, and gradually increased that, and as she got better she was able to switch to her regular bike on an indoor trainer. When she was able to ride outside again, she started on a flat rail trail and gradually added hills and worked up to longer distances. Of course all of this was with the approval and assistance of her physical therapist.

    I hope your recovery goes well also and that you're back on the bike soon.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,473
    Netskyblue, wishing you VERY well tomorrow.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Columbus, IN
    Posts
    221
    Good luck Netskyblue! Sounds like a lot to go through. I broke my tibia in 2012 and had the rod placed in it - I remember it was an ordeal and felt like a good year before I was 100% functional and strong again so I totally wish you luck! The good thing is that I could ride a bike before I could walk well and it sounds like that was your experience as well so hopefully you won't have to sacrifice your whole summer!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    21
    I made it through my surgery, though I got pretty sick in the hospital on the pain meds, and got super anemic and had to be given blood. Today I'm 11 days post-op and it's the first day I could use the exercise bike. I tried yesterday and couldn't bend my knee far enough to go through a full pedal rotation, but I worked on it a lot with stretching and using a hand-held electric massager to help relax the muscles, and today I could do it! Only for a couple of minutes before I got tired, but I'm feeling positive.

    And AWESOMELY I can now sit flush on the bike and not knee-in because of a malrotated femur!!!! I'm imagining a summer of NOT knocking my knee on my water bottle every 10 minutes!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    Congratulations on your progress, sounds great! I had a hell osteotomy, errrrr HEEL osteotomy in 2004 and it was pretty close to 2 years before I could walk without thinking about it (related to a congenital foot problem . It was very much needed however and I've never regretted it once I was well on the road to surgery recovery. You will really enjoy being able to move properly, may good luck continue on your recovery!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,473
    Oh, good to hear, netskyblue. Been wondering.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    I just found this thread. What a trial for you, I'm glad the surgery went well and it's obvious to you that it's been set correctly, this time.

    Make sure you get a very thorough bike fitting before you ride your bike anywhere, even on a trainer. And not all bike fitters are equal, I'd look for one that is also a physical therapist to make sure everything is optimal. I think one type is called a Mckensie Fit. Depends what is in your area, though.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 01-16-2016 at 05:15 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Wow. That's a lot to go through - glad things are looking up.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,856
    Yay for not knocking your knee! Best of luck with your recovery.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    21
    So, update. I'd been walking pretty well, using just one crutch around the house most of the time, but taking both out in public, especially because we've had snow and ice. Last Saturday I got a sports massage on the knee and thigh muscles, and that helped, I was able to bend my knee a lot further. Before that, all the thigh muscles right above the knee were soooo tight.

    I had raised my "step goal" from 3000 to 4000 steps a day this week. Yesterday, though, I woke up with my knee hurting really badly - not sure if I slept wrong or what, but it is so tender and sore and weak. I want to work the thigh muscles with stretches, but not sure how to do that without aggravating the knee. This isn't "new" though...when I broke my leg the first time, the knee hurt really badly for a good 3 months, long after the femur had started fusing well.

    I ordered a compression brace/sleeve for the knee today on Amazon that had outstanding reviews. Even paid the extra $9 shipping to get it tomorrow. Hopefully that will make it a little easier and support the weak muscles. It's a soft sleeve, not a hard brace.

    I go see my orthopedic surgeon on Tuesday, it will be 6 weeks out from surgery, so I'm really really hoping for some degree of union. He wasn't seeing any growth yet at my 2-week X-rays.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    Hang in there, sounds like things are improving!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    21
    So a few days ago two things happened - my knee pain went away, and the temps went above freezing, and I walked around our block for the first time since surgery, on one crutch. Wow, sore back and ab muscles! I guess I ought to have been doing planks during these past 6 weeks (ugh!)

    Today I took my first outdoor ride, a mile and a half. And sadly, I must admit, I didn't stop due to leg weakness, but rather feeling winded and cold. It was 50, with a wind chill of 45, so I guess I've turned into a wimp. Maybe tomorrow I'll make it 2 miles, and then a little more and a little more. Right around my house is a false flat, so I actually have to pedal, instead of the coasting I'm fond of :P

    I've been using a cane all day today, and I think I feel like I'm done with the crutches.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Woot! Welcome back to the road.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    Congratulations! AND you are NOT a wimp! It's winter, and you've not been able to ride for some time. It's great that you didn't need to stop due to your leg - your body will get used to exercising outside again. Welcome back to riding!

 

 

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