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Having non displaced tibial plateau fracture and on crutches. How long does it take to return soccer?

Dec 2012
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Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 1704 Questions
My 15 year old daughter has a non displaced tibial plateau fracture. She has been on crutches since August 2. Her doctor has instructed her to start using one crutch starting tomorrow. She begins PT next week for a month. How long before she can return to competitive soccer
Posted Tue, 17 Sep 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Nsah Bernard 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Such fractures can take about 6 months to heal

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for posting,

Given your daughter's age, her fracture could take a maximum of 6 months to completely heal and she can then get back to competitive soccer. If she seems to have healed completely before 6 months, I will not advise her to go back immediately to sports such as soccer with intense physical interactions. I usually advise my patients to allow atleast 6 months after fracture (especially for non complicated fractures as hers) for complete healing and recovery. By then the bone union would have been complete and little risk of reinjury of same fracture.
Physical therapy will help hasten the process of recovery (physical adaptability but not bone union). Some doctors will advise 3 - 6 months before competitive sporting but I you may say I am over cautious by saying you should let her wait for 6 months.

Hope this helps and wish you both the best.
Dr. Nsah
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having non displaced tibial plateau fracture and on crutches. How long does it take to return soccer? 4 hours later
Thank you Dr. Nsah! What timetable would she have as far as jogging and straight line running. I to want her to take her time getting back on the soccer field. She will be doing her PT exercises Monday through Friday for 1 hour each day with her trainer. Any help with a tentative time table would be great.
Answered by Dr. Nsah Bernard 38 minutes later
Brief Answer:
she could take about 1-2 hours of daily exercises

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for writing back.

Well as of now, she would first need to get out of the crutches completely, then after which she will go through her physical therapy while she may start daily walks (first to get her stamina-no hurry) for about 30minutes. As time goes on she can start more intense physical exercises like jogging for about 1 hour (her body will be guiding her through i.e pain) then she can increase until after the 6 month (that we may be sure for a full recovery), then she may involve into full flesh soccer.
She needs to keep the sporting/keep fit before the 6 months as her general body fitness will determine her return into soccer playing. As for an actual time table, that will depend on how well she healed and she can then arrange her own personal time table. The physical therapist might guide her better into full recovery and a better time table.

Hope this helps further.
Dr. Nsah
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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