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Hairline fracture on upper crest of tibia. How long will it take to cure?

DOCTOR OF THE MONTH - Feb 2014
Feb 2014
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 2004
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Question
I fractured the upper crest of my tibia (hairline fracture) on December 30th and need to be off of my leg until January 30th (on crutches for 4.5 weeks). My wedding is on February 2nd, so I want to know what to expect in terms of walking. Will I be limping or walking strangely because I've been off the leg for so long?
I'm allowed (as of yesterday) to put 10-15 lbs of pressure on it - will it help if I actively do this every day? Thanks.
Posted Wed, 6 Feb 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
 
 
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 1 hour later
Hello.
Thanks for posting your query.

Congratulations for your wedding in Feb. Do not worry , with good physiotherapy there will be no any limping or walking strangely .

Normally it takes 4-6 weeks for hairline fracture of tibia to unite. Non weight bearing is required for this period for fracture to heal properly.

If you do non weight bearing exercises every day to strengthen the muscles around the knee, leg and ankle you will be free of limping or walking strangely at the time of your wedding.

I hope I have answered your query to your satisfaction. Please feel free to revert back in case you need any clarifications.

Good luck -- I hope things go well.

Wishing you speedy recovery...

Warm regards.
Dr Saurabh Gupta.
Orthopaedic Surgeon.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Hairline fracture on upper crest of tibia. How long will it take to cure? 8 minutes later
Thank you. Just to be clear I will have only 3 days to get used to walking again after being on crutches and off of my leg for 4.5 weeks. My concern is that there might be some muscle atrophy and I won't be able to walk normally within 3 days.

Are you saying if I do some non-weight bearing exercises over the next 2.5 weeks (the time left I have on the crutches) that I should be able to walk normally immediately?

If so, do you have examples of these types of exercises?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 7 hours later
Hello.
Thanks for posting your query again.

If you doing exercises muscle atrophy will not occur and you will be able to walk normally. Examples of these type of exercises are-

Foot and Ankle Up and Down
Move your foot and ankle up and down as far as you can go without pain and provided you feel no more than a mild to moderate stretch . Repeat 10 - 20 times provided there is no increase in symptoms

Foot and Ankle In and Out
Move your foot and ankle in and out as far as you can go without pain and provided you feel no more than a mild to moderate stretch . Repeat 10 - 20 times provided there is no increase in symptoms

Foot and Ankle Circles
Move your foot and ankle in a circle as far as you can go without pain and provided you feel no more than a mild to moderate stretch . Repeat 10 times in each direction provided there is no increase in symptoms.

Hope this information helps you. If you do not have any clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer.

Wishing you good health...
Regards.
Dr Saurabh Gupta.
Orthopaedic Surgeon.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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