Recovering from the Big Break: A Femur Fracture

They say everyone has one big crash.

One moment in your riding life that you remember oh so clearly. When much more than 1 second’s worth of thoughts seemed to go through your head in far less than a second. But, annoyingly, none of those thoughts, as quick as they were, were quite quick enough to stop it from happening…

“What the Hell Happened?!”

A Fractured Femur: Recovering From a Broken Leg

Fractured Femur with a 3 month old. Good timing pops.

Since then, I’ve been asked that more than once. I suppose it’s a bit ironic that after years of throwing myself off jumps, round berms and over drop-offs, that the biggest injury I’ve ever had would be caused by a frickin’ roundabout. Then again, at least drop-offs don’t move. Jumps tends to stay relatively still when you approach. And I’ve never seen a berm change lane when it wasn’t meant to….

Two minutes from the front door of my work, turning right on a round-about, an unwise lane change has cost me a year of running, over half that of biking, and about quarter of a year of any decent movement at all. A moment of mis-judgement saw me keeping too many eyes on the traffic around me, and not enough on where I was going.

Wheel meets kerb.

Ass leaves seat.

Leg meets lamp post…

And it’s never the lamp post that cracks. Especially not twice. My femur wrapped itself around the post, breaking just above the knee and about two thirds of the way up towards the hip. Mercifully, the bit I remember clearly is the half second between looking up to see the kerb in front of me and the jolt of hitting it. The few seconds following that have blanked themselves from my mind. The next thing I remember is sitting up and looking down at a right leg that definitely….. wasn’t… quite…. right….

In my memory, everything’s quite quiet and peaceful at this point. Dreamy even. A little puzzled, I moved my foot, just to make sure. The toe of my boot jerked upwards and the whole leg wobbled like a big bowl of jelly. Yep. Something wrong here.

At that point everything seemed to rush back to me. I knew right away what I’d done, and I knew how serious a fractured femur was. I started shouting like crazy, waving my arms like a madman. I didn’t have too much to do with the rest to be honest. Cars stopped, samaritans arrived, ambulances were called, and I was off to hospital, jabbering away, drunk as a skunk on gas and air.

How Long Does it Take To Recover from a Fractured Femur?

This is the story of what happened after the surgeon’s worked their magic, spending 5 hours cutting me up, pinning the bone together and stitching me back into one piece. I found it pretty hard to find any good info on recovery times and methods. Noone really talked about when exactly I’d be able to do the simple things. When would I be able to get into bed without help? When could I get off the painkillers? When the hell would I be able to sit on the toilet like a normal person again?

How to Get Back to Your Old Level of Fitness

On top of that, most of the recovery material you read is for your average person. And, not to put too fine a point on it, but it’s not very hard to be a bit fitter than average… If you’re into your biking you’re almost certainly fitter than average to start with. And if you break your leg, you’ll want to get back to that level of fitness. Well, I’m hoping to find out how to do that over the next 6 months (writing this, I’m 3.5 months post-break) and I’ll log it all here.

So, time for the long road back. Let’s get this leg moving.

Week 1 – Standing on My Own Two Feet. Just.

I fractured my femur on Monday the 14th of May. I actually stayed a night in hospital with a still-broken leg, the surgeons not ready to operate until the next day. So, Tuesday, they fixed my fractured femur and we moved on to the first day of the recovery. Here we go.

As a little side-note here – I hope none of this comes across as too melodramatic. If you’re reading this because you’ve gone through it and you’re looking for a bit more info, then you’ll understand. But if you haven’t…. It’s funny how I used to think it wasn’t such a big deal, breaking a leg. You just spend a few months in a stookie, then you’re fine. Yea? But, a leg. A femur especially. Honestly, you’ve no idea. I certainly hadn’t anyway….

So, in Hospital all week. My first encounter with the infamous Physio was Wednesday. At this point I couldn’t move in any real way. I needed someone to lift my leg for me if I was to even shift up the bed. My leg wouldn’t bend more than about 5 degrees, the knee was so swollen up. So, first job, get the leg bending. They put a pillow under the knee and asked me to try lifting it, to bed it very slightly. I couldn’t believe how much it hurt, even on morphine. I gave it a go though, probably not to any great extent. That’s enough for one day…

Getting Out of Bed

Much to my own surprise, I got up for my first ‘stand’ on Thursday, whipped along by the Physio. I could barely keep from keeling over with the lightheadedness that came over me though. I was encouraged into giving movement a go nonetheless. I ‘walked’ on two crutches to the front door of the ward – maybe 8 steps – Β and had to go back because I was knackered. Properly bone tired. They decided, based on that and my blood tests, that I needed a transfusion, which I got the next day.

On the ‘walking,’ I was pretty surprised to hear from the orthopaedic surgeon that the pin in my leg meant that I could put weight on it straight away. I’ll tell you though, no matter how many letters a guy has after his name, 3 days after breaking your leg, you’re not going to believe him. My walk to the door encouraged by the physio led me to put the tiniest bit of weight on my leg with each step. Well, it hurt, but not as much as I’d feared. Maybe he wasn’t talking complete rubbish. But hey, back to bed. 16 steps. Enough for another day.

At least the blood transfusion gave me a respite from the physio… All day in bed, not allowed to move. The pain killers were keeping it all mostly under control so I could enjoy the visiting hours.

Oh, to be Transfused

Tell you what, if you’re feeling a bit peaky, I thoroughly recommend a blood transfusion. Don’t listen to what they tell you about risks, dangers, blah blah blah. I felt amazing the next day! I walked out the hall to the lift on Friday, but turned back, still really tired. The slightest jerk to my leg was agony. Scuffing my foot on the ground was the worst risk, and prompted a cry of pain. And it happened a lot considering I still couldn’t bend my leg more than 5 degrees.

Re-visiting the Little Boy’s Room

To the less savoury bits – I managed to go to the toilet for the first time on Friday. That was literally one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life. A leg that wont bend, and is agony to move in any way. A bowel that hasn’t shifted in 5 days, full of hospital food. That’s not a good recipe for sitting upright on the pan. Cue at least 30 minutes of pain, squeezing and balancing a leg on a wheelchair in a space far too small for it. Lovely.

By Saturday, movement was looking a bit more possible. I was walking around very slowly and got a bit further that day – almost to the front door. I felt like I couldn’t remember what fresh air felt like. I doubt I’d been inside that long solidly since I was born. There was talk of getting out the next day though. I couldn’t wait.


Home on Sunday, at long last! I managed to fit in the back seat of the car, just, by sitting on one side and lying my leg along the seat, supported against the back of the front seat. It was a nerve wracking journey though, every jerk and wobble sending spasms of pain up my leg. It was worth every jolt though, crutching through the front door of my house and onto my own couch. Sitting next to my three month old son. Oh yea, I haven’t mentioned him, have I?

Three months old. Good time to break a leg, eh? What an idiot…

Don’t worry, things speed up from here on in. Read about the next month in the next post. Thanks for visiting!

Image Credit – Cracked Egg: spikeyhelen on Flickr


Colin started mountain biking in the early 2000s and has haphazardly, and with barely increasing skill, dragged his bike around the majority of Scotland's trail centres since then. Colin has oodles of hard earned experience in how NOT to do things - listen, be warned and don't repeat his mistakes...Β  Β More about Colin... Google+ Colin

577 Responses

  1. laban says:

    i broke my left femur 6 inches above knee and the bone broke in to two on may 2012,now am 10 month,walking on one crutch,last x-ray showed bone healing was slow 40%,i dont experience pains or weather change,a rod and 2 pins are intact ,knee bending back to normal angle on 4th month after thorough physciotherapy,i have a stationary bike,ankle weights,i walk about 1.5km daily.why should my bone heal slowly ?.am tall 6’3” weight 110 kg. i eat alot of greens and zedcal tabs for calcium twice a day. i dont take alcohol.i drive to work 40km daily.oh how should it take to heal completely ?

  2. Colin Gray says:

    Hi Laban,

    Really sorry to hear you’re having so much trouble.

    I’m no doctor obviously, but having talked with the consultant extensively about my own leg, it sounds like you’re just one of the unlucky ones that takes a little longer. I’m told that two breaks are so much worse than one, because the top break tends to interfere with the bottom. So, it takes until the top break heals before the bottom can properly get going. That’s me 10 months in too and I’m still a long way from fully healed. The bottom break still looks like a huge crack in the x-ray, but at least I don’t have to use a crutch any more.

    I’d say the biggest thing is getting the leg working – keep going with the weights and the static bike. That’ll get your strength up and get you off the crutch quicker.

    I’m told these types of injurys take at least a year to reach close to normal though, and probably more like 18 months to heal fully.

    Good luck with it and let me know how you get on,

    • Juliet Babodor says:

      Hi,my name is Juliet and I’m a Nigerian… Honestly I don’t know if you’ll ever get this or if I will ever get a reply but I hope I do.I broke my both femur bones in a car accident and my surgery was 11 months ago,my right leg has almost healed completely and I can use it really well but my left leg is still not cooperating,the bones are still pushing my flesh when I raise it and I still feel cracking whenever I move it. I really need a reply please I am going to do another x-ray tomorrow and I’m terrified about the results.

      • Ishdo says:

        Hi! I am also Nigerian, I broke my femur on a motorcycle accident on October 25th 2018, I am a basketball player (was/am/ maybe will be?). The accident was the worst thing to happen to me, I was unable to walk for about a month without crutches, but then the healing of the bone started speeding up, they told me that walking stimulated the healing so that is what I did. Well now October 12th 2019 my bone is fully healed, the rod and screws look good and they are all in place, but now my issue is that I am unable to run or do any heavy physical activity because they did not check my pelvis at the time of intake, or when I was complaining about having pain on the hip area. Turns out I tore my hip labrum at some point during the accident and rehab and now I am unable to do any thing I loved. So here I am watching another season go by with me being unable to play. I still cannot sit back on my heals, I believe my knee still has some scar tissue in there, it really bothers me.
        But I want to encourage you to keep on moving, I know how though this is, I know that you miss the way your legs used to work before the accident and they might not feel like that now, but keep on fighting and on hoping better days are only ahead of you! It might seem slow now but what does slow mean compared to the rest of your life? One day you will have two fully healed femurs and you will look back at it saying you did it! It takes long, every body is different but you can do it!

  3. Livio says:

    Hey Colin
    Thanks so much for this post. Like you say, there seems to be so little written about femur breaks to fit cyclists and it’s been so hard for me to guage how long the recovery will be.

    I broke the neck of my right femur on stage 6 of this year’s Absa Cape Epic. My partner and I had pretty bad luck this year with stomach bugs, dehydration, and a spider bite so, really, when I crashed, it was the veritable nail in the coffin.

    Mine was also a stupid crash. I’ve been riding trails since 2001 and am used to taking rocky, technical trails at speed. So to clip a branch coming down a section of singletrack at a snail’s pace because other riders were walking it, was embarrassing. I crossed the bars and went down, landing with all my weight on my hip, on a rock, still clipped in.

    After “worst case scenario” conversations where the doctor explained that if the bone had shifted I probably would need a hip replacement (at age 39?! Really?!), it looks as though three 120mm screws fixed it.

    Doesn’t seem like my break is nearly as bad as yours but after 10 days I’m still struggling to do many of the physio’s exercises; lifting and raising the leg is impossible. Also have very deep muscle pain in the thigh and quads which just never seems to go away. My resting heart rate has also jacked up from 44 to 70! And walking any further than about 100m on crutches results in exhaustion.

    Early recovery days though, I suppose. I’ll write back in a month, perhaps my recovery story is useful to others too?


  4. Colin Gray says:

    Hi Livio,

    Thanks so much for writing in – really useful to hear about other people’s experiences. I think quite a few people have found these articles helpful in gauging where they are with regards their own femur breaks, so your story is great to add to the mix. You’re right though, sounds like you had a horrendous run of bad luck!

    Glad to hear it didn’t revert to the ‘worst case’ scenario anyway. Hope those three screws are still holding up. The second screw at the bottom of my pin broke within the first month, but my other two are keeping it steady and have lasted 11 months so far!

    To honest with you, it sounds like you’re doing amazingly well. 10 days after breaking my femur I had only been home 3 days, and I was still in a huge amount of pain. I managed to walk about 20 metres down the street that week, on crutches of course, but managed to catch my shoe on the pavement at one point and almost collapsed with the pain. Suffice to say, turn back for home at that point.

    I was trying the exercises but it felt just I was getting nowhere. After years of proper training, managing a 1 inch lift of your leg with no weight attached feels a little pointless. But I discovered it was all vital, and the tiny little victories (even an inch…) were great in pushing you on. The one benefit is that because you’re starting off at such a low level, you see increases pretty quickly.

    It’d be great to hear back from you Livio – even a wee monthly update. Looking forward to it.


  5. Ann Douglas says:

    I had a compound fracture ofl left fumer.Hit tree in ridding accident in 1985. Then had it re broken,bone graft and plate put in. Bone would not mend.had elictric stimulation,witch did work in the end. All is well now and I just thank God for all the wonderfully people who helped me.there is hope bones do mend.Pain is far worse than childbirth.good luck to all you brave people.walking in water (sea,pool) helped,and try to keep leg moving as much as possible. Best wishes Ann

    • wanda says:

      i broke my femur in a car accident in 1978, it didn’t heal straight and now so many years later my knee wore out and I can’t get knee replacement until my femur is re broke and straightened. How bad was it getting it rebroke, did you get a nail? 1 am 59 years old.

      • trista-anne says:

        Did get a rod put in your leg in 1978

      • John says:

        Wanda, had 2 breaks in right femur after motorcycle accident 1975. Healed malunited and like you wore out inside of my knee. Had femur re-broken and straightened 2014. Healing started after 6 weeks, walking unaided after 5 months. No more bone on bone pain but muscles and soft tissue aches a bit from time to time. At 12 months surgeon very happy with result with result. Fixed with plate and screws which will stay in. This op does hurt a bit but needs to be done. P.S I am also 58

    • Colin says:

      Thanks for getting in touch Ann, and great to hear you got back to normal after the accident.

      That’s a great tip that also worked really well for me. I did a fair bit of swimming to keep myself active after about 3 months from the accident, and any exercises I could do in the pool always seemed to really help. Side to side leg sweeps really kept my muscles from atrophying and didn’t hurt half as much as anything I did outside of the pool.


  6. Livio says:

    Hey Colin
    I’m going into my 8th week now. Still on both crutches but I’m visibly seeing the improvement now. I’m starting to be able to lift my leg up and have far more mobility.
    A couple of weeks ago, when I saw the ortho for a follow up visit, he recommended I stay home and continue to take it very easy.

    I’ve been keeping up the physio exercises (which are painfully boring) and reading bike mags. I’ve realised how important it is to carry on doing the exercises – those micro movements really do count. It’s also been really important to stay positive and focussed on cycling in a way that lets you imagine you’re still riding, if you know what I mean.
    I read up reviews on new bikes, trails, follow some of my friends’ progress in local races and think about how I’d beat them. I know it sounds stupid but it does keep you going.
    As it looks like I may be hobbling around on the sticks for a while longer I’ve started working out my upper body – chin ups and push ups mainly – and that’s been really good mentally too.

    The pain is a lot less of an issue now than before but I do still have the bad days, which are usually characterised by those dull, deep aches, more than anything. And that’s usually accompanied by the sleepless nights due to the discomfort.

    On the whole though, progress is good and I continue holding thumbs that the blood supply to the top of the femur hasn’t been compromised.

    Looking forward to learning how to walk again in the pool soon. But now, back to the couch to watch the Giro.


    • Colin says:

      Good work on the Physio Livio – and even more so on the upper body workouts. I remember resolving to do the same when I got to about 2 or 3 months and the pain was a lot more manageable. I started on it, but it was soon after that that I discovered that I was in the category of people for whom healing was going to be a lot slower due to having two breaks. The second break wasn’t healing well at all, and the idea of this taking double the time it normally does just sapped my motivation.

      It took until around the 6 month mark before I realised that even though it was going to take longer than it should, it was going to take even longer still if I don’t get off my ass and do some work, so that’s when i stated to get on the turbo trainer.

      Do you have a turbo for at home? I found that it hurt like crazy, but even 5 minutes on the turbo totally helped my mental wellbeing, just like you and your imaginary races. Also the pain very quickly ebbed away the more I did it. Worth a purchase if you don’t have one!


  7. Delia says:

    I’m not a cyclist, I got my injury from falling off my pony ( only walking!) on 19.12.12, 2 days before I was going to Iceland to ride an Icelandic horse to see the Northern lights and to spend Christmas in that lovely country.

    I’m 60. My first surgery on my R leg was a Birmingham hip resurfacing in 2003. In 2009 I had a full hip replacement, keeping the acetabular cup. 5 weeks later I dislocated it. 4 attempts were made to put it back without success. So I had to have another replacement.
    I went home the next day as my husband was dying from pancreatic cancer.
    A year later I had another operation on the hip as there was a deep infection which meant the joint had to be scrubbed and I had 6 weeks of iv antibiotics and missed a holiday ( I don’t think I’ll book anymore holidays, I’ll go if someone else books perhaps!

    When I fell off I sustained a spiral peri-prosthetic fracture of my femur. I had a week on traction and was going to have my whole hip removed and an antibiotic spacer put in for 6 weeks followed by a new hip. Thank goodness the part for the operation didn’t arrive and a blood level came down so it was decided that I would have a new hip and cup and swabs and a frozen section taken in theatre. I’d already had a hip aspiration, that hurt!

    I had a new hip put in, some of my bone ground up as a graft, an extra long shaft through the femur with circulage wire around it and a screw at the cup end. A week later all the swabs etc came back positive for the same infection as I had had before – MRSE methicillin resistant staph epidermis.

    4 units of blood, a PICC line and 8 weeks of iv antibiotics twice a day followed by unlicensed French antibiotics orally 3 times a day. I’m still taking those.

    So now I want to know …. How long will it hurt like this? No physio at the moment as was ” doing too much” (not what you normally hear from a physio!)
    Still walking weight bearing with 2 crutches. Going to clinic in a couple of days so will ask questions like, why does it seem to be getting worse at times – well certainly no better.

    After all the previous ops I was back riding in no time, this time I’ve sat on one of my ponies once, realised how weak my right side is and had difficulty getting off.

    I’m back at work, I’m very part time, I’m a practice nurse. I don’t do much else really as I can’t rely on my leg cooperating.

    Would greatly appreciate any comments from someone who has had, is having, similar problems, thanks and good luck.

    • Christine says:

      Hi Delia. Sounds like you had a really rough time. I hope things have sorted themselves out now. I’ve just fractured my hip coming off my horse. It is screwed back at the moment, to see if it heals. Just wondering how long it will be before I can ride again. Are you back riding now?
      All the best, Christine

      • Iris Jacksonville says:

        Christine, how are you doing? I too broke me femur in two places falling off a horse August 2, 2014. I feel so dependent on me he such an active person and I am 60 tears old.

        • Autumn says:

          Guess I am the old one here. Been a rider (horse)most of my life before retiring and moving to Arizona. Anyway I am 71 was physically active. Moved to a new house and was carrying a microwave down the stairs and fell…yep broken femur (distal). Fortunately nothing else broken. Titanium rod and screws near knee and groin. Using walker. I have some rotator cuff injuries so think crutches would be out for me…besides kind of scary for someone my age. I am 4 weeks out and look the rest of you hurting some. Reading every blog I can find. I think the thing that bothers me the most is I feel shifting in my leg. Very unsettling and yet xrays okay. I did read on another site when someone mentioned this weird feeling. Anyway,right now I cant even imagine getting on a horse. Oh well. Just call me “grandma” femur.

        • Noel says:

          Hi, I am 69, still ride and broke my femur slipping on tile! I am worried – brought my tibial plateau 10 months ago. Had surgery on the femur and healing well. Will I ever be normal again?

  8. jake says:

    I’m just gonna weigh in a bit here as the weight can’t go on my leg.
    I fell about 25 feet off a roof while working and was able to turn my femur into a 3_mur. I was given the pin and promptly kicked out of the hospital due to not having insurance. I must agree going to the bathroom was one of the most uncomfortable things to due throughout the first 8 weeks. I’m on week 10 now and my leg finally feels like its settling into place. The good news is I’m walking without a cane , slowly and painfully but walking. I still use the cane most of the time though. The bad part is feeling the weather through my thigh. I’ve read most people don’t feel the weather, but I don’t fit into that category. I also have a dull nagging pain both through my thigh and lower back most days. All the pysio I’ve done has been on my own so I may push a little hard at times trying to get back to normal. My latest ortho appt showed new bonegrowth over both breaks, pretty good I think. I was wondering if anyone can tell me how long before they could drop the pain meds, and stand for more than an hour without agonizing pain? I try not to mask the pain before working out my leg so I know if I over do something, or what movements I’m not ready for. Pain is my main guide and unfortunatly when it speaks I tend to have to listen for a few days.
    I am an avid back packer, thru hiked the appalation trail (us, 2100 miles) and can’t wait to be able to lug myself up a mountain again. If I have more than 5 pounds of extra weight on my dynamic changes and I can’t walk without the cane. I believe I’m on the faster side of recovery , but, my fiance wants me to be more active at times. It’s hard for people who don’t realize how much weight a femur bears throughout the day until its broken I suppose. My work has always involved standing up so I’m not yet in a position to do so with any real regularity. So question 2 would be how long before you were back to work?

    This is a tough break. There is no question about that. And in America, without insurance , an over 100,000$ injury. I could rant about our terrible healthcare system but I believe its already been done. Hope everyone’s recovery is going well, any info is appreciated

  9. Narayan says:

    Hi, Colin I’m Narayan 25 yrs from India, I had a motorcycle accident on 27/07/2012 my find was riding, a car from the opposite direction hit us, my femur had broken n 6 inches of it had come out through my knee, and around 2 inches had scraped the pavement, plates were fixed and a graft was made, after one week my bone was infected, high fever chills etc., had to undergo antibiotics and after 4 debridements my plate n grafts were removed n again followed another 4 debridements, after 8 surgeries in a span of 2 months followed by a shortening of 2inches my femur has started to unite my range of motion is at 45 degrees n doctors are pretty confident of at leather 90 degrees n full weight bearing in 3 months time, my question is will I be normal cause I used to ride motocross here in India n plan riding superbikes.

    • Rohith Murthy says:

      Hi Narayan,

      I broke my femur bone in bus accident and its been 5 weeks now and bone is taking its time to heal and any advice for me for faster recovery.


  10. ldavis says:

    Hi Colin,

    Your column on your fractured femur is hilarious. However, while laughing I recalled my very own experience. On May 4 2010, I was struck by a driver of a SUV who was on the cell phone. She hit me at 45 mph and knocked me 12ft off my bike. My femur was shattered. Like you, my surgery occurred the next day as there were no orthopedic surgeons on call the day of the event. I recall the surgeon informing me to expect to live with the plate, pins and screws forever. Not me, I was a fit cyclist. I completed 2 years of grueling physical therapy. Finally, on May 8, 2012, the hardware was removed and all the pain ceased. I could fully bend my knee, walk, run and dance. I shipped the plate and pins to the surgeon.

    • Desmond says:

      Good day IDavis, my name is Desmond. I was going through internet and I found your write-up on your experience of femur fracture. I had a fracture on 30 April, 2016. I was treated in a native bone setter place after five months, I was limping I was taken to hospital for X-ray which should malunion. Then I saw a surgeon who recommended a surgery. I did d surgery three months ago. He operated on me and inserted plate and screws. But if I try to seat I notice my Neel levels are not equal in hight. My Neel only bends a little not upto half. And if I stand I notice my right leg to be longer with above 10cm. Am walking with clutches. The last X-ray I did showed the bone is joining . But am afraid I might limp. Please what can I do.

  11. mike b says:

    I’m 3 weeks post op, after fracturing the neck of my r femur, plus a comminuted fracture of the shaft.

    How did that happen? A speed bump. Yeah, i was speeding – 5 or 6 mph at least.

    Ive had a couple of nails inserted (call that a nail?! its nearly two foot long!!!) and some screws.

    The pain is the biggest thing. How the hell does anyone get any sleep?

    Anyone have any tips about positioning in bed? Use of heat pads or ice? Massage?

    • Colin says:

      Sorry, missed this one earlier MIke – sleep was a total pain in the… well, leg, for me. I hate sleeping on my back. You said you were at 7 weeks now – I’m guessing you’ve found ways, but I just choose a side and had a couple of pillows between my legs. Seemed to help a lot. I didn’t do any massage or heat pads, but they might well have helped!

    • Autumn says:

      Probably a little late for an answer but i found the recliner was my best new friend (power recliner). Cant imagine trying to get out of a regular recliner.

    • I found that Neroli essential oil mixed with jojoba applied topically actually works ,if only for 2 hrs, best 2 hrs.

  12. Rohith Murthy says:

    Hi Colin,

    I met with an accident on may 28, 2013 and had oblique femur fracture. Now i am on crunches. After 5 weeks x ray showed no improvement. your advice will be very
    useful for fast recovery.


    • Marc Eddolls says:

      Hi Colin,

      I compound fractured my left femur in a motocross crash a year ago today!
      I’m recovering pretty well now but healing didnt start like we had hoped. I had a rod and screws put in on July 5th and was told to get up and walk, yeah right. I eventually got to walking with a cane but still had alot of pain at the fracture site. After 8 1/2 months of very little healing my Dr. said I had a non-union and convinced me too go under the knife again to remove the first rod, drill the hole bigger, and insert a larger rod to spur growth. That was 10 weeks ago today.
      I went to see the Dr. yesterday and was released to go back to work! The xray shows nearly complete healing and my strength is getting better. The only problem i’m having now is that my inner quad was damaged by the bone coming through it. The quad muscle is weak and shuts down causing pain in the knee. I can walk without a limp but still cant run. The 2nd surgery did it for me. I’m expecting to be fully recovered and running again in the next 6-12 months.
      Its really crazy how one moment you’re riding having fun, in the next moment you’re in an entirely different world of pain, a year out of work, and hooked on Norco. Its been a long road, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Im on day 15 off of pain meds and the withdrawal almost seems to be worse than the fracture!
      For everyone who is going through something similar, dont give up! it will get better! Thanks Colin for starting this. I found alot of questions online but not many answers. I guess once people heal they must put it behind them and not share the story.

      • mike b says:

        thanks marc,

        i’m still at a much earlier stage in the process. still waiting for a surgical review to see whether the bone is uniting or not – a nerve wracking wait.

        in answer to my own question about pain control, in the last 2 weeks, ive found a TENS machine quite helpful (you can buy them over the counter for about Β£30 here in the UK, as well as get them on the NHS)

        I’ve just started hydrotherapy too – which has highlighted just what a weird shape my leg is now!)

        • Colin says:

          I never tried the TENS, but it was recommended to be by a few people. One of the few things that the doctors told me there was at least a little research behind too.

          The other thing the doctor told me wasn’t entirely quackery was magnetic therapy. He basically said that there wasn’t yet any conclusive evidence behind how effective it was, but it looked a little promising and a few good researchers are looking into. It was wasn’t going to harm it at any rate!

  13. mike b says:

    ^Good point Colin,

    Im now 7 weeks post op, and utterly fed up with the whole business.

    I was rushed into A&E again earlier this week as my doctor thought I had a pulmonary embolism – imagine the fun of that! I hadn’t, but now I seem to have some kind of viral infection with sickness and exhaustion.

    The point of posting this is to emphasize that my slightly too macho attitude to recovery wasnt helpful for me:

    1. I tried to kick the opioid pain killers (4 hourly codeine) too soon. Going straight onto paracetamol only was not adequate. I have now found a middle way using the TENS machine plus 2 doses per day of Zapain (30/500 codeine/paracetamol – like a stronger version of co-codamol)

    2. Anyone on this journey better be prepared for setbacks. You really need to stay connected to friends and loved ones to help you through the dark times.

    • Colin says:

      Thanks for sharing that Mike – really useful to others going through the same thing.

      You’re right, I did the same thing. I was totally averse to painkillers – didn’t want to get reliant and wanted to get off them as soon as I possibly could. But, after a few aborted attempts to cut it down I had a good chat with my doctor and was convinced that it wasn’t being a wimp to rely on them when the biggest bone in your body is in pieces and healing….

      And yep, setbacks will normally happen with something so serious. I’m beginning to realise that the ‘ideal’ recover from a femur fracture is actually not very common. Mine took way longer than normal, and is still healing, because the upper break interfered with the lower’s blood supply. Annoying… but makes sense.

      Mike, if it makes you feel any better, I remember a 2 month low point… it was when it really stated to hit me how long the whole thing would take, and 2 months of pain, immobility and, most of all, boredom, really really gets to you. But, I remember it getting better soon.

      I have an erratic log which I wrote milestones in – half way through the second month I wrote down: “Got into the car, and it was the first time my leg didn’t hurt when I lifted it in.” And at the end of that month I remember getting on buses, and going about daily life on crutches without too much trouble. It still hurt, often, but at least the boredom was abated a bit.

      I even got on the turbo trainer for 10 minutes at the end of the 3rd month – that hurt like hell but was worth every minute for the thought that I’d done a little exercise and turned the pedals a few times.

      It gets better dude!

  14. mike b says:

    Thanks very much for that Colin,

    Its amazing just how cheering it can be to hear that others have gone through similar experiences. Once you’re at home, on your own, its very easy to feel isolated and anxious.

    Just to emphasise the point made about not being too gung-ho about dropping meds, I have now developed severe gastritis (yes, just 4 days after the “pulmonary embolism” crisis!). As a result, I’ve had to go back onto the imeprazole that was prescribed for me on discharge – but which I didn’t take…….!

    • Colin says:

      Definitely agree with that Mike – I remember some pretty low points, sitting around during the day by myself. Glad that this post has been a bit cheering at least, even if it’s about a nasty subject!

      Sounds like you’re a good example on listening to the docs too – sorry you’ve had to go through some nasty stuff to show us it though!


  15. Tracy S says:

    I am so happy to have come across your blog today! I am at 8 months post head on collision that CRUSHED my right distal femur, broke the shaft above the knee, and broke the talus bone in my ankle. Lucky me! I broke BOTH the worst and most difficult bones. After 8 hours of surgery, the placement of a big metal plate, cadaver bone, numerous screws and cables and 2 units of blood, they had put me back together as well as they could. I have an area of nonunion in the medial femur which keeps me on one crutch. I am in Physical therapy 3 times a week, see a chiropractor at least once a week and due to all the pain it has caused the rest of my body, I am also having massage therapy once a week. I am still in quite a bit of pain with is the one thing that has really worn me down. Any advice on dealing with that. I do take Norco 5/325 as needed, which seems to be way more often than I would like but I also take care of 2 horses, 3 dogs, a cat, a pig, a 13 year old daughter and a husband that is a Family Practice MD. Which essentially means everything lies on my shoulders as far as house chores. What therapy do you feel was the biggest help to you?

    • Colin says:

      Hi Tracy,

      Very sorry for the slow reply here – managed to miss your message somehow.

      I think the biggest piece of advice I’d have is not to worry about taking pain killers at the maximum rate, especially at that stage. I was the same as you, trying to cut them down as soon as possible. I’m not sure why, but I just don’t like the idea of taking painkillers, or pills in general, but when you break the biggest bone in your body, I think you deserve it. I ended up giving up on the ‘cutting down’ idea, and just taking them when I needed them.

      I didn’t become reliant and I managed the pain ok. But it still took bloody ages, and I didn’t have half as much to look after as you. I’m very impressed you’re managing all of that!

      So, it’s been over a month since you wrote – I hope you’ll pop back and let us know how you’re getting on. How’s things now?


    • R Joslin says:

      Hey Tracy
      Motorcycle crash last May- crushed femur and shattered spine. At 6 months it was not healing . . as time went by lots of pain and it feeling “weird”. On Jan 14 they went in and removed the 12″ plate and 13 screws and did a bone graft and put in a smaller plate with 4 screws. Now on 2/9 it is still very sore and stiff but feels solid. As for
      the back, I am going in next week to have all the hardware removed due to pain. Good as new by Spring! RJ

  16. mike b says:

    Hello Tracy S,

    Ouch! Sounds like you have had a really rough time. For what its worth, here’s my answer to your question – so far (now just over 3 months post op with multiple femur fractures):

    – 2 Zapain (30mg codeine plus 500mg paracetamol) twice a day now keeps my pain well controlled when it really kicks in at the end of the day. My surgeon tells me that at this level, there is little risk of addiction or side effects long term. I still have quite a lot of pain at other times, but am trying to ignore it!

    – physiotherapy stretches have helped with pain from strained and disorted ligaments

    – hydrotherapy (physio in a specially heated pool) have been excellent both psychologically and with easing all the other aches and pains that come along with having to hop around on 2 crutches for months on end

    Hope that helps, and that you are feeling better soon.

  17. mike b says:

    I’m 4 1/2 months post op now,

    If anyone wants to compare progress, here’s my current situation in detail:

    On physio advice, I do about 20 minutes of exercises, three times a day, plus a 20 -30 minute walk twice a day.

    I’ve graduated to using just 1 crutch and, on a good day, can walk up to 1/2 mile before grinding to a halt.

    On the minus side, I still have nagging pain in my hip area and knee. The side effects are also annoying – an old back injury is playing up because of my physical inactivity, and I have bouts of gastritis for a similar reason.

    Psychologically, it’s still quite tough, especially when I’m feeling unwell on top of the actual injury itself.

    I tried to drive for the first time yesterday. Working the pedals was ok, but the seating position was painful. In any case, I may be back at work in a couple of weeks…

  18. alisondite says:

    Hi Colin – great posts here. I especially loved reading your hospital/toilet experiences – you captured it perfectly! I broke my left femur mid shaft (compound fracture) on 23rd July in a horse riding accident. I rolled into a ball (was going quite fast at the time) and rolled and rolled for several seconds, when I stopped, I went to stand up and my thigh bent in half. Phoned 999 and waited nearly an hour and a half for parameds to find me – I was in the middle of a woods. Anyway, it’s just over 12 weeks and I can walk without crutches, but am limping. I wasn’t allowed to put weight on it for the first 6 weeks as I’d lost a bit of bone in the break. Got x rayed a couple of days ago and ossification is going along ok and they said “keep on doing what you are doing” which is walking for 30-45 mins each day. At the moment, I take my crutch with me as it’s really difficult walking on uneven pavements round here, but we go to the park or cemetery where it’s flat and I can get going a bit better. Physio has been brilliant, and they have pushed me quite hard, confiscating one crutch just 10 days ago – progress isn’t quick enough for me, but have to remind myself that a week ago I was struggling with one crutch – now I don’t need it in the house, and can manage about 1/4 mile without it. Trying my best to stand up straight and not limp *too* much so I don’t give myself back problems.

    • alisondite says:

      Oh, yes – there was the immense fun of self injecting clexane for 6 weeks…. pretty standard after intramedullary nailing I think. I kept myself occupied by doing lots of embroidery and after a week at home was able to play the piano without too much pain from sitting upright. After the op, I had one lot of voltarol then just paracetamol and ibuprofen – this was mainly because before the op, it had been so painful in comparison to after the op, it already felt a lot better.

    • Christine says:

      Hi Alison, I’m a newby hip fracture following a riding accident. Are you back riding yet and if so, how long did it take to recover enough to do that? Hope things have improved for you. all the best.

  19. alisondite says:

    Hi Again. After trying really really hard, just over 3 months on, I can walk unaided and gave my one remaining crutch back to the hospital today at physio. Am limping a bit, but can drive ok and am mucking out my horse daily, which involves a lot of physical stuff – carrying, digging, squatting down to pick up crap etc.

    • Colin says:

      Sounds like you’re doing amazingly well Alisondite! Like Mike, I definitely wasn’t up to something like mucking out horses at 3 months – I think I’d got rid of the first crutch by that point, but was still on some painkillers and got tired really quickly.

      Great to hear you’re doing that well though after the injury – and what a way to do it too, not even realising what had happened until you stood up! What an image….

      Keep us updated πŸ™‚

  20. mike b says:

    Sounds like you’re doing really well, alisondite.

    I guess there’s a lot of variation in how people progress depending on the exact details of the injury(s). After 5 months, there’s no way that I could be mucking out horses! But I am walking with a stick – no crutches now, and I managed a stay in a hotel last week. 77 stairs to my room, and no lift! Pain is significantly improved too.

    Generally, the biggest frustration is lack of stamina in walking. 30 minutes and I’m done, and that’s how its been for a month.

    So today I bought a turbo trainer – an Elite Qubo Power – with the idea of building up stamina without impact. I’ll post my experiences with this in a while – provided I can work out how to get on the thing!

    • Colin says:

      Just like me Mike – I got so annoyed that I had to sit down so often after having been a fair bit above average fitness for my whole life. Takes you down a peg or two…

      I reckon turbo trainers are one of the best things for a femur fracture, so good work getting it. Obviously it’s no impact, so much better than walking for exercise, and it’s totally safe, unlike actually trying to get out for a real cycle. I developed a ton of silly games around turbo training that got me through some boring sessions. Have a look at this one for some ideas:

      Recovering from a femur fracture is definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, as I’m sure you’re finding, but sounds like you’re working hard at it, so you’ll get there!

      • alisondite says:

        Hi – thanks for the replies. Sometimes I feel as though I haven’t come far enough! It’s encouraging when others in the same position think I’m doing well. I have physio again on Thursday and am hoping for lots of congratulations. Last time I went a couple of weeks back, the physio had a mentor there and it was all a bit business like. Doing a lunchtime concert today (I’m a pianist) so am doing my best not to limp! I’m not getting any notifications through e mail when I get a reply, and am happy if any of you lot want to keep in touch with progress via facebook. I’m the only alison dite on there as far as I know!

      • Mike Nurse says:

        Would like some help please im 32 years old broke my femur in a motorcycle accident on june 11 2016 still having trouble walking for periods of time added by knee swelling an sharp pain in my hip area

  21. alisondite says:

    and ironically, it’s because my leg muscles were in such good shape before the accident that I have begun recovery fairly quickly I think. Also, the mucking out – it’s not just that, it’s the fetching and carrying heavy haynets, and wheeling a full wheel barrow – the yard is on a really steep hill in a little valley, so it’s really good for leg work!

  22. alisondite says:

    One thing I did when I was getting off the stick/one crutch/two crutches was going walking – we found that the local cemetery had a lovely flat surface (local pavements are surprisingly wonky – I never noticed till I had the bad leg!). I would say to myself “Right – will walk to that tree/gravestone and if I make that ok, I’ll do a bonus to the next one” then would walk with the stick again for a bit to rest the leg. I have to say I worked *really* hard to shed the support of the crutch. Working hard to shed the limp now….

  23. Alexei says:

    Hi, I broke my femur about 1 inch above the knee in a car accident also on the 24th August, so almost 3 months ago and I can relate to this article very well.

    I had surgery and put a plate in with four screws to keep it fixed, I was in a cast for 2 weeks, then into a strap on velcro brace with hinges so I could start to move it. As well for the first week with the brace I could only move it about 10 degrees, this made me feel sick knowing that I could not go back to any of my training(of which I use to train everyday for Parkour, Brazilian JJ and running) for a long time.
    Going from training everyday and being in perfect form to what feels like way below average fitness is horrible.

    After 4 weeks with the brace on they started to let me limp on both legs and by then I had about 90 degrees movement. After another 2 weeks I could almost walk normally and muscle started to come back, but with a lot of sharp pain mostly from the plate and some from the fracture.

    Now present day, I am pretty much walking normally with some minor pain sometimes(more pain when walking down stairs). I have regained quite a bit of muscle from starting back up with martial arts, but still nothing compared to my other leg. I can not fully lock my knee back when I straighten my leg and when I bend my leg in I just have about 5-10 degrees more movement to go which I can’t tell if I’m getting back, but I won’t stop until I do because theres no way I’m not going to be back to what I was again. I can only run for about a minute before quite a lot of pain, but getting better.

    All in all, It’s really annoying and depressing that with all the extreme sports I do and which I’ve never had a serious injury with except for a few sprains. I end up devastating my leg crossing the same small road I have done everyday of my life.

    Although I am healing very well I getting slowly back into routine so I must count myself lucky for that and that it wasn’t worse than it is.

    • Colin Gray says:

      Really interesting case there Alexei, thanks for sharing. Your last point there is the bit that gets me too. I throw myself down trails on my mountain bike all the time, falling off every now and again. But it was a routine commuting journey, flat tarmac and not that fast, that did my leg in. I think it’s the unpredictable nature of the road that does it – not often do you find a tree changing lane in front of you πŸ™‚

    • Mindy says:

      Your post gave me face I have the same break as you do I was in a car accident on December 10th is there any type of advice you could give me I’m not even walking yet I’m still in bed

      • Julia says:

        Hi Mindy
        I broke my femur on December 26th and had my surgery on the following day (nail and three screws).
        It’s been 10 weeks after my surgery and I am still using the walker but I can’t really say I am mobile. Most of the time I am on bed.
        The best advice is give yourself time for healing you can’t really force or push things to speed up the recovery. Femur is the major bone and it takes time for healing.
        For the first 8 weeks I was only moving around in a wheelchair. Just recently I was able to use the walker on my own. At week 9 I needed at least one person to hold me while walking and these days I can do it myself. I started slow movements at week 9 …bending the knee and sitting. As the time is passing by and the bone is healing you will be more able to move your leg without pain and than try to do more activities.
        It’s a long and painful recovery process but be faithful. Just remember where you started and where are you today.
        On the third day after the surgery I was able to stand 10 seconds while being held by 4 people and 10 weeks later I am getting up and using the walker on my own. I am positive and grateful that I can I least do things without being assisted by others.
        The best thing you can do right now is to get proper diet lots of proteins, minerals and vitamins (K, C & D) really makes a difference.
        All the best in your recovery

  24. JWW says:

    Colin I’ve been reading your comments for some time now and can very much relate to all you’ve been through nice to know ones that’s not alone in this situation any how
    Was accidently shot one to two inches above left knee cap July 11 2013
    Dr said it pretty much turned the bone in that area to broken egg shell/and had to remove all the cartilage in knee area it was pretty much gone due to all the velocity but any way went to dr last Wednesday now allowed to hobble around with no crutches or cane it’s been a long haul but beleive it’ll come back in time knee only bends at a 90Β°
    But thank everyone for their time and post y’all get well soon!

    • JWW says:

      11 21 13
      Had therapy yesterday they measured motion again up to 108Β° now
      Got home from therapy yesterday couldn’t hardly walk on it at all
      This morning it feels really good walking on it and all also can really tell its getting stronger beleive it’s really starting to come back sure is about time I tell ya

      • alisondite says:

        Hi JWW – looks like you did yours a couple of weeks before mine – so you crushed your knee as well? It sounds awful. So glad you are getting stronger. I’m still trying to shed the limp – it’s very gradually getting better and I can’t feel that I’m limping much, but when I see my shadow out walking, it looks quite noticeable. Good luck and keep us posted! I’m now at 16 weeks post op. Can do most stuff, though walking up and down hills taxes my leg = particularly downhill. I’m not quite up to running yet!

  25. mike b says:

    Had my 6 month review today, with a new consultant. He was relaxed and reassuring when he looked at today’s AP view x-ray. Then he looked at the lateral view x ray and went quiet. “Oh my,” he said eventually, “That is really nasty!” Luckily, it turned out he was talking about the original injuries rather than what’s happened since.

    He concluded that it will take another 6 months and that I will be left with a limp. “A limp what?” I asked. But I don’t think he got the joke.

    Meanwhile – it’s back to the turbo trainer!

    • alisondite says:

      ha ha, mike b! When I last went to the clinic a couple of months back, the doctor asked me if I could walk without crutches and asked me to demonstrate. He then said “What are you limping?”. I said “well, you see, I broke my leg”. I don’t think he got that either. I’ve got x rays/clinic again on the 10th Dec – crossing fingers and everything….. Still limping a bit. Physio managed to help me pull a muscle in my groin in last thursday’s session. Hopefully that will sort itself out in the next day or two. Really, really hoping I don’t have to have screws out etc. I really can’t face another general anaesthetic!

      • mike b says:

        Funny how these doctors need telling sometimes….

        Anyhow, re limping. My surgeon said I would limp long term because my broken leg would be shorter than the other one – and I’d need a wedge to put in my shoe too. My new consultant says my legs are about the same length, but he also thinks I will limp long term because of the extent of the soft tissue damage. A wedge would make no difference to this.

        I’m thinking about a career in panto. Treasure Island is always popular, after all. oooh aaarrrrr Jim lad.

        • alisondite says:

          That’s interesting, Mike – at physio the other week, they tried to make out my limp is because the bad leg is 1cm longer than the good one (the surgeon said it was probably this beforehand) – Anyway, I *told* the physio “I am limping because my muscles won’t hold me up” so they start talking about shoe inserts etc. Then they put a mat on the floor so I’m having my good leg raised by a centimetre or two and hey presto!! My limp is worse! I was *like* “I told you so” so they got me to do exercises and decided that I’m limping because my muscles are weak – the TFL ones. I’m a bit sick of physio now and wonder whether it’s worthwhile going – suppose I will just to get my weekly pat on the back, but the exercises are not that much use – daily walking for about half an hour is the key, I think as one leg is getting to rest for 50% of the time. oh yes – I looked this up – it’s reckoned that 7% of people have different leg lengths and that it has to be about 3cms difference to cause a problem.

          • mike b says:

            Thanks for that, Alison. Yes, the TFL damage/weakness seems to me to be the key, especially since it starts at the hip and runs down to attach to the tibia. Knee pain – where I have no bone damage, but swelling etc – is one of the things that causes me to limp.

          • Colin Gray says:

            Yep, same with me – I still find myself concentrating on how I’m walking, trying to do it as naturally as possible, and I’m 1.5 years on now.

            I’ve been slack though and keep meaning to get back to the physio to ask her for some exercises around particular muscle weaknesses.

            I find that my hip flexor on the broken side is super-tight now too and needs a lot more stretching than the other. I think that’s what gives me a bit of a funny gait.

            It’s definitely worth putting the effort into these things as soon as you can though – like I say, I’ve been a bit lax and I have a bit of trouble with my non-broken leg, in the knee, as a result. I’m compensating too much, even now. Need to get that sorted….

  26. Colin Gray says:

    PS. Really interesting on the leg length thing there Alison – that’s reassuring! I feel like my right leg is shorter now, because of the way I walk, but I think it’s the hip flexor tightness giving me a funny hitch to my walk that gives me that feeling.

  27. alisondite says:

    Have been doing the usual (almost) daily walking – yesterday I got my husband to follow behind and also look in front and comment on the way I am walking. He said it looked like my left shoulder was up (on the bad leg side) so I did my absolute best to push it down and put yet more pressure on the bad leg. Doing this makes me feel like I am leaning to the bad left side (but I think that’s because I have now over developed the right side in compensating) – this made me walk much better, though it was pretty uncomfortable. I did the same on the walk this morning and husband reckons it’s improved lots again. Also, as it was fairly sunny, I could see my shadow – not very much of a limp at all, though going downhill makes it much worse. Off to trauma clinic tomorrow morning, so am hoping, hoping and hoping they don’t want to take out screws etc. and that my femur is kntting together nicely Will report! Also, re hip flexor tightness – my left side has always been more flexible than the right due to getting on the horse from the near side (as is the tradition) – I can lift my knee right to my chest with my left and can’t quite get my right one so far up so my flexibility is pretty much the same as it was before the accident.

  28. alisondite says:

    Back from trauma clinic – slow but steady progress. Doctor was fairly amazed that I am able to muck out. No plans to remove screws (which is a great relief!!) so have to go back in 2 months for another x ray to see how it’s getting on – am very pleased, though was slightly hoping for them to say “it is completely healed – go away and we don’t want to see you again!”

  29. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
    I do not know who you are but certainly you are going
    to a famous blogger if you aren’t already πŸ˜‰ Cheers!

  30. alisondite says:

    Had another trip to physio on Thursday – physio got quite excited about diagnosing the pulled tendon from last time and gave me some theraband and some exercises to do bridges to strengthen TFLs and Glutes. Let’s hope it helps!

  31. alisondite says:

    Have been doing the theraband exercises and also pinched my horse’s yellow high density sponge ball (I’ve done quite a lot of clicker training with him and used it to play football with him before I broke the leg) – have been squeezing the ball between my knees to try to strengthen my weak adductors. Scar tissue in quad muscles getting quite tight the last couple of days, but a bit of stretching is sorting that.

    Anyway, all going well and Merry Christmas to Colin and everyone on here.

    • Colin gray says:

      Merry Christmas to you too Alison!

      I’m the same, even a year and a half on. It’s the scar tissue down the outside of my thigh that causes trouble, along with really tight hip joints, particularly the hip flexors. I think if I could go back I’d concentrate a lot more on the stretching. I’m doing a whole lot now – full leg work over every day – and it seems to be helping.

      Anyway, yep, have a good Christmas, and hope the recovery continues into the new year!


  32. alisondite says:

    Cheers, Colin. I’ve got all the hip movement I had before (had lots of flexibility from getting on and off horses I suppose, and all the bending and stretching involved in riding and horsey chores). Squeezing the foam ball is doing some good I think, as is the theraband. Just doing 10 mins or so a couple of times per day and carrying on walking. The physio told me to massage the scar tissue quite vigorously with my thumb/fingertips and that really helps, also if it gets tight when doing stuff, she says to stand on the good leg and lift the bad leg up behind, bending at the knee – she said so hold it up using the bottom of my trouser leg – that stretches it out and really helps. Physio again next thursday! I may start working on standing on the one leg again then if my muscles are up to it!!

  33. mike b says:

    You’re doing great, alisondite! I had a long chat with my physio today. My hip fractures are coming on ok – slowly but surely. Leg raises and walks around the block seem to have been the key exercises.

    The shaft fractures are a pain, as the new bone seems to be chafing against the TFL, which makes my thigh very sore. But I’m reasonably ok with stretches I have for this.

    The main barrier to rehab at the moment is the soft tissue damage around the knee. Unlike the fracture pains – mainly dull, nagging aches – this causes sharp, shooting pain whenever there is loading on the knee. its hard to “power through”. So I have new exercises for this now.

    Overall, it just emphasised how individual our experiences are – not all fractured femurs are the same!

    Anyway- Happy New Year to everyone and thanks again to Colin for this blog

  34. alisondite says:

    I’ve got physio tomorrow. As the days go on, I find I have discomfort in different places in my leg – I think it’s as I start reusing old muscles as I start to walk better, if you see what I mean. It’s a slow old process and I’m looking forward to walking normally and comfortably! It’s another 6 weeks till I get x rays again. I’d like to go out walking today but it’s absolutely pouring down! I don’t mind a bit of rain, but today is ghastly so will maybe do an extra set of exercises with the theraband and foam ball! Happy new year!

  35. alisondite says:

    Had physio this morning – all going well and she says my muscle tone is better etc. She made me do exercises with one of those big inflatable balls and I could really feel how it would benefit. However, the NHS don’t supply them. Afterwards, I went to Lidl and hey presto! They had those very inflatable balls in there along with resistance bands etc. ! Amazing. Just spend 20 minutes blowing up the ball – the adaptor thing doesn’t work with the foot pump! Gave my lungs a bit of a workout! Back for more physio in two weeks….

  36. alisondite says:

    went to physio again yesterday (after two weeks of being really diligent with new exercises with ball etc.) – she was really impressed with the strength I’d built up and has given me more and harder exercises to do. Had a few days of feeling a bit despondent, thinking I wasn’t getting anywhere and walking was very uncomfortable etc. Physio really cheered me up with encouragement and we talked about pain/psychology etc. which is very interesting – all that thinking around the pain and so on (which I was doing but had kind of lapsed lately). She also said “Look, you’ve had a life threatening injury and major operation and have only been walking unaided for 12 weeks – you are doing really well”. It made my day! I hope everyone else is getting on well!

    • Colin says:

      You know it’s funny how you forget how serious it is to break a femur! Your physio was right, and my surgeon kept reminding me how big a deal it was, and to expect the recovery to take a long long time.

      Good work on your quick strength building though – sounds like you were a lot more diligent with your exercises than me. I’m doing regular strength work now
      to try and iron out the imbalances I’ve got. One of them is causing a bit of trouble with my hip joint, but should be able to sort that pretty soon.


  37. alisondite says:

    cheers, Colin – today, in fact, about half an hour ago, I managed the stairs up and down twice without using the hand rail – the second time was to show my husband (who wasn’t excited enough and said I should use the hand rail anyway). Am so dead chuffed!! The exercises are a bit of a pain in the neck but they seem to be working. I think the stuff on the ball is quite good – well, all of the stuff. I’m doing them in the morning and again after lunch.

  38. Michael Jongejan says:

    Hi all I had a double anterior hip replacement 4 & 1/2 weeks ago,during the surgery they fractured my right I had to go and have surgery the day after in which the put 3 ties around the femur. The crack is about a inch long as a spiral fracture,couldn’t believe how much pain I went threw.i was on a walking frame for 3weeks,I’m now got cructhes,I still can’t weight bear or bend my right leg past 45 degrees,still lots of swelling in both legs ,but right leg has twice as much,how long will this take to heal,anyone had a similar experience I’m only 43 years old.

  39. alisondite says:

    Hi Michael – sorry to hear about your nasty experience. At 43 you are still medically very young – I’m 49 and that’s what they told me! It’s a bit “how long is a piece of string” I reckon. I couldn’t weight bear for 7 weeks and as soon as I could I started going out for walks – at first, just several yards were an immense effort, but gradually built that up and was going to physio too. When the physio confiscated my one crutch it was quite daunting and it took me a week or so to build back up to the amount of walking I could do with the two. At the next session physio told me to wean myself off the crutches, so I used a stick for a week, then shed that. It was really, really difficult, and very hard work – lots of discomfort, but I’ve done my best to try to ignore pain and get on with it. I had been extremely fit and active before my accident and I think that helped to get me moving (though being non weight bearing for 7 weeks meant I got a lot of muscle wastage and I had a lot of muscle damage from the compound fracture too). My left leg was really swollen and for the first week, so was my left foot – horribly puffy. It took a long time for my knee swelling to go down – it’s *almost* back to normal after almost 6 months – I can feel it’s still very slightly swollen, but my husband says he can’t see it. Just take it one day at a time and as soon as you are allowed to, do as much weight bearing and exercise as you can – using your muscles will help strengthen your bones. I’ve had loads of people saying to me “Of course, in the cold, it aches, and feels worse” but the winter weather hasn’t made a bit of difference – I know it hasn’t been that cold this year, but I do spend at least half an hour outside everyday – walking for 20 mins/30 mins and also mucking out my horse. You’ll probably be well on the way to recovery at 6 months – good luck and keep us all posted.

    • Michael j says:

      Hi Alison sorry for my very delayed now11 weeks after the double hip and cracked femur , I’m walking non aided but my legs still get very tired after about 15 minutes of standing .my cracked femur leg still swells up . I’m now riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes a wondering how long before my legs with feel normal again as in no swelling an being so fatigued so quickly. Thx mj

  40. alisondite says:

    p.s. once I was weight bearing it took me about 7 weeks to walk unaided completely, and I’ve been walking unaided now for about 12 or 13 weeks. I’m still limping but it’s improving very gradually – yesterday I managed the stairs without holding onto the hand rail. I’m told this is very good progress for the type of injury and surgery I had.

  41. mike b says:

    Hello Michael,
    My injury may be quite similar to yours, in that I had comminuted fractures of both neck and shaft of my femur. Three nails and four screws to hold it together.

    It took 3 months before I was allowed to weight bear. Returned to work (mainly desk based) and driving for up to about an hour after 5 months and walking without crutches after about 6 months. Its now nearly 8 months in, and my limits are walking (with a limp but without aids) for up to 30 minutes at a time, driving up to 90 minutes. It still feels painful and awkward, but it is doing most basic functions ok!

    I would stress that everybody’s injury is different, and just because you aren’t making as much progress as someone else, it doesnt mean you arent doing well.


  42. alisondite says:

    Well, it’s 6 months today I had my accident and I feel I’m doing well. As Mike says, everyone’s injuries are different and the recovery just takes time – different for everyone, depending on injury, previous fitness level and so on.

  43. alisondite says:

    I managed a limpy run for a few yards up a steep hill today! Really feeling the benefit of boring twice daily exercises now…. physio thursday, then x rays next week! fingers crossed!

  44. alisondite says:

    Went to physio yesterday and got another proverbial gold star. Now have more and more difficult exercises to do, including stepping up two steps and down on the bad leg, bridging on the one leg and so on. Have done them yesterday and twice today with no ill effects – might have even done some good already. It’s so difficult to get past the “&%(Β£%(* this really hurts” stage and go with it – physio says we have a pain memory etc. and positive thinking really helps. I agree. Have bought new riding chaps – 2p from ebay – in preparation for getting back in the saddle soon. My 20 year old chaps were cut off after the accident by the paramedics. Hope everyone is continuing to do well.

    • Colin Gray says:

      Congratulations on the progress Alison, sounds like you’re doing great! The pain memory thing is interesting – the effect sounds really familiar. I remember just being really scared to try new things because the broken leg always still felt so fragile in the first 6 months, and it was more about building up the confidence to try new exercises.

      I think the biggest problem I had with my femur fracture was the fact that I was always told it was going to take so long, so it almost made me not want to push it too hard. But, on the weeks I did loads of exercise, it always ended up feeling better at the end of it. Weeks in which I didn’t do much, it ached more after little things. It was almost as if making it hurt through physio and exercise made you more used to the pain, or made it hurt a bit less outside of that activity.

  45. alisondite says:

    Yes, it’s really interesting, the psychology of pain. When I come back from Physio I feel 10 times better already due to the encouragement I get there. I have trauma clinic tomorrow morning, so fingers crossed that the metal work will stay put!! Feel a bit uptight about the prospect of it all to say the least, but all was going well on the last x rays….including bone growth around the screws which would mean it’s more difficult to remove them I expect. Continuing to give the leg a caning and am able to walk almost without limping once I get going.

    • Colin says:

      Good work Alison, it took a lot longer than that for me to get rid of the limp. A year and a half down the road and I still have to think about my walking sometimes. Just back from my first ski trip since the femur fracture, though, and all was fine. That’s the sport I was afraid might be a bit out of reach for a while, but was no trouble at all!

  46. alisondite says:

    well, utter crap news in that I am having the screws out on thurs – the proximal ones (at the top) as the gap is not closing. They said there’s a 60% chance this will work and if it doesn’t I will need the whole rod thing done again in July. The doctors were quite surprised I’m not in pain and can walk really well though. Feeling quite numb and shocked at the moment. It’ll be done as a day case in a non emergency hospital so with any luck I will be home by the evening.

    • Colin Gray says:

      Really sorry to hear that Alison – the last thing you want is more operations!

      On the plus side, I felt like my lot were a little indecisive at times, and, while the top break in my femur wasn’t healing, they kept putting off any further work. That meant it took over a year and a half for full healing (I had my last x-ray in October – 1.5 years after the break – and it was still not fully healed), perhaps a lot longer than if they’d taken the pin out and put another back in, as they had proposed at the 6 month mark. To the credit of my doc, he did ask me which option I’d prefer, and I said I’d rather wait at the time, not wanting to risk putting things back. But, perhaps I’d have been better just going ahead with a re-pinning!

      • alisondite says:

        were they offering to replace the IM nail, Colin? or just re do screws?

        • Colin Gray says:

          It was the whole nail for me Alison. I broke a screw within the first month they said it didn’t really matter. Apparently the procedure was to remove the Β nail, bore out a little more bone, then put a new one back in. Didn’t sound pleasant to me! But it would stimulate new growth.

          I’m glad enough that I didn’t have to do it, but would have been happy to if it speeded up recovery.

          Hope you’re doing well!

          • alisondite says:

            ah – yes = not a nice prospect, but that’s what they’ll do to me if having taken the screws out and lots of walking over the next few months don’t do the trick – exactly what you said = the new nail (a bit thicker, they said) will stimulate bleeding/healing. By the way – is there anyway we can get notified when someone replies to our posts? Am doing ok and hope you are too. Just off out for another walk. Am going to try my best to ignore the pain – don’t really know whether it is more painful now that it was back in October when I first got off crutches, or whether my attitude is different now. Somehow, I feel more fragile now than I did before the screws came out- that could be psychological though.I was absolutely determined to get of the crutches and had the goal of mucking out to achieve at the end of Oct. Bad news this morning though – a friend of mine who had been mucking out for me tripped over a haynet in the barn yesterday and broke her ankle! Upshot is she’s not allowed to weight bear for 6 weeks! Luckily, the yard owner will do it for me, but I aim to get up there on Sunday and get back to the grindstone!!

  47. alisondite says:

    Cheers, Colin – I think in a couple of weeks I will bounce back even further – I have been in a lot more pain than I have let on, to be honest, and have got this far inspite of it all. I have ignored the tenderness on the site of the proximal screws, so on another plus side, I won’t have that anymore…. It’ll be nice not to have to keep having this constant mind over matter thing to override discomfort πŸ™‚
    can’t wait to get it over with now!!

  48. alisondite says:

    Yay!! Proximal screws out this morning under general anaesthetic. Now home = was home about 1pm, in pyjamas and chilling. No significant pain – wounds sting a little, but it’s nothing! They gave me tramadol, paracetamol and ibuprofen to take home – I won;t need the tramadol, I’m sure. So relieved that it’s done!! Also, the adductor pain I was having has changed – I am sure the long top screw was sticking into it – you could see it on the x ray. Onward and upward and fingers crossed this will bet the bone joiningup properly now. However, if it doesn’t and I have to go through the whole thing again, it’snot the end of the world – not a death sentence or anything. Feeling utterly knackered from not sleeping and a bit woozy still but v happy! Using one crutch today just to be on the safe side as not steady on my feet. Will be able to walk without it tomorrow I think.

  49. alisondite says:

    Hobbling around with no crutch this morning – not limping too badly on the scale of things, I think. The excruciating pain I was getting in the adductors in the groin area when I released the muscles seems to have gone (though it is sore there a bit – I think the end of the one screw was sticking into the muscle or something) – This pain was like a band right round the top of my thigh and physio said “there’s not a muscle that does that – it must be scar tissue”…. ANyway, off out to start walking today to get the femur to compress now that screws are out. Fingers crossed for next appointment with consultant in 6 weeks time!!

  50. mike b says:

    Y-you’re doing well, Alisondite! I have similar pain around the groin; also knee pain. One especial frustration for me is that I seem unable to do intensive exercise to push things along. For instance, yesterday I tried x2 walks of about 1 mile, plus 2 sets of exercises (about 30 minutes per set). So far, so good…

    But today, not only do I have unsurprising rebound pain and stiffness, I also have a migraine and a lack of energy that borders on coma. So I’m physically unable to do anything beyond lie about moaning. This seems an invariable pattern for me. Slow, slow, slow…..!

    • alisondite says:

      Sounds like you’re doing stacks of exercise, Mike! I’m back to daily walking – quite hard going at the moment, but my husband reckons it’s looking quite good. Before this op, I would think I was walking without a limp and my husband would say I was limping, but this morning, I felt like I was limping terribly, but he said it looked quite good (he will be honest!). Keep up the good work, mike. 5 weeks till my next appointment with the consultant. He did say that as the bone compresses, the nail might poke through the top of my femur and cause irritation -eek! What a prospect!!

  51. alisondite says:

    Had physio on Thursday – she was slightly appalled that I’m mucking out (again) but husband is fetching and carrying stuff so the actual mucking out is ok. The hills at the farm are really steep – that’s the hardest part! Physio said “see you next week – don’t go crazy – I know what you’re like” – wondered if that was a first from physio!! Been walking about 20 mins daily but taking it v slowly and using a stick for extra balance. Slight achiness at site of break and the other night in orchestra when I was conducting, my left foot (with the bad leg) had gone to sleep as I am putting more weight on the good leg (I stand to conduct) so I put as much weight onto my bad leg as possible to bring life back to the good foot – anyway, felt a great clunk kind of feeling…. **Β£*%&Q painful – but ok after sitting down for 10 mins. I think I compressed πŸ™‚

    • mike b says:

      Thanks for the wishes, alisondite. I had my 9 month review today, with bonus x rays. All nails are in the right place, with no intrusion into the joints (phew).

      Groin pain is likely ligament strain and knee pain is probably down to muscle weakness around the knee, plus the change in walking action = referral for othotics.

      Main concern is that the long fracture (i had the whole set) that runs the length of the femur is slow in closing at the distal end. But no action. Just keep on with the physio…

      • alisondite says:

        Hi Mike – I can actually see on the x rays where the screw was poking out the other side of my femur into the muscle – I was in denial about it before and was putting up with the pain as I didn’t want another op!! My leg is aching a bit at the site of the break where the big gap is – am hoping that’s a good thing!! Got physio tomorrow again….

  52. alisondite says:

    Had physio (yet again) today and got a gold star – am walking lots and lots better since the second op. Still using a stick outside the house and to get me down the hill to the yard to muck out though, but physio said I am walking the best she has seen without the stick this morning. I have a slight information where the adductor longus joins at the knee (she said probably from all the walking etc. – and probably using muscles in a different way now that the screw isn’t causing immense pain in my groin area). Am dead chuffed. She said I am doing everything right in order to help the bone heal – weight bearing, muscle usage etc. and I now have some more difficult exercises to do – back to bridging and lifting one leg, standing on one leg and so on. Fingers crossed for xrays on 28th march…. Hope everyone else is doing well!

  53. alisondite says:

    Only a couple of days to go till x rays on Friday – argh!! Am pretty preoccupied with the thought! (plus have to be the other side of the city for 8.45am!) – feeling very stiff round top of thigh and knee is still a bit stiff, but a lot better. Managing to walk half a mile or so without too much difficulty but need the walking stick to help me balance. Will report on Friday – hoping for compression and a little bit of healing – just *some* healing will do!!

    • Colin says:

      I’m sure there’ll be a bit of healing at least Alison!

      Good work on the walking anyway – I wasn’t doing half a mile until a fair bit later than you!

      • alisondite says:

        thanks Colin. I have to admit, that many times when I’ve been walking (and indeed, last op on 13th Feb, the Thursday, was out walking on the Sunday) it’s been as much as I can stand painwise! Haven’t done as many squats etc. as I’d hope for as my knee has been quite puffy and painful – that is much better now, so if indeed there is some healing evident on friday I will be able to up the exercises again as Iwill feel more confident. Will post and let you know as soon as I can on Friday!

  54. mike b says:

    keep it up, alisondite! it does seem to take a ridiculous amount of time and effort to get walking again. i have managed some walks at last; up the graig above cwmyoy church last weekend (do you know it?). I had a wobbly moment on the way up when it all seemed TOO MUCH, but managed it and felt quite boosted by the end. I still havent found any magic exercises – it seems to be just gritted teeth and persistence.

    • alisondite says:

      Hi Mike – I don’t know cwmyoy church – looks interesting – will update what happened this morning in a sec…

  55. alisondite says:

    Rather an anticlimax this morning at the hospital…. Got seen on time. Doctor asked if I had pain at the break (which I don’t) so he said there’s no point in x raying today as there wouldn’t be any growth worth seeing at this stage and to come back in 4 months. He said carry on walking etc. Now shattered as didn’t sleep well as was worried sick about appointment and woke at 6.30. Gah!! Oh well – could be a hell of a lot worse!!

  56. mike b says:

    Frustrating! One of those times you probably have to think “no news is good news” and just carry on. I do think the psychological aspects of care post Big Break arent really addressed very well. Its such a long process, with so many ups and downs…

  57. alisondite says:

    Hi Mike – yes, – also I think it is underestimated how much positive thinking can help us all – though it’s difficult at time. hey – I can just about stand on the one leg for a bit without exruciating pain now!! (not for long, but am really getting there now I think!)

  58. alisondite says:

    Had physiotherapy (yet again) this morning. Back to more difficult exercises to get my left glute into proper action – had to lay off the difficult exercises after the second op, but it’s back to it now with a vengeance. Am also doing sit ups because I can’t ride and don’t want to get a flabby tummy! Did a good 10-15 minute session of stuff after lunch today and there are no ill effects – think it may have strengthened things already πŸ™‚

  59. alisondite says:

    Still a long time to wait till next x rays at end of July….. Have been really diligent with physio exercises and walking this last week and feel it’s really paying off! I can walk much better and am in a lot less pain now. I think I could walk quite some distance on the flat now, but am using the stick as I can walk completely without a limp with it and don’t want to end up doing my back in or whatever by limping without it. I don’t need the stick in the house though. Hope all is well with everyone on here!

  60. mike b says:

    Good point about the knock-on effect of not using a stick, alison. It’s not been raised at all with me, but I’m waiting to see the orthotic people. See what they think.

    Meanwhile, it was a big day for me as I went on a bike ride for the first time since the accdent. I even rode past the spot where I had the fall. I got pretty nervous, but all went ok. The people at the cafe said they’d been wondering where I had got to….

    • alisondite says:

      Excellent, Mike – well done!! One day in the future, I hope to be able to report that I’ve ridden my horse past the spot where the accident happened! Keep it up – it sounds fab progress!

      • mike b says:

        i’m sure you will, alison.

        As i’m walking more, i’m finding an old shoulder/back problem is really playing up. Must be the wonkiness kicking in.

        • alisondite says:

          OOh dear – maybe some old injuries (nothing serious) of mine will reoccur! Accidently missed physio on Thurs as looked at appointment card and found it was supposed to be Weds! Was really annoyed and disappointed so phoned, apologized and rearranged for a few weeks time. I’ve been inventing more exercises to strengthen the leg now. After trying really hard for two weeks I can lift the good leg without holding onto anything up to kind of 90 degrees – standing on my bad leg!!! Am dead chuffed with that!!

  61. Ehi says:

    I had an accident in November 29th 2013 …It’s been 5months now my Doc told me to use a cane at 3months but today after d x-ray he said I should stop weight bearing nd use two crutches till next month I am so confused .
    Pls did any of you start full weight bearing at 5months?

    • mike b says:

      Hi Ehi, One thing I have learnt is that breaking your femur is a BIG DEAL! Its sometimes confusing and there are always unexpected hurdles that no-one warns you about! At 5 months, I was technically full weight-bearing but actually still using one crutch to move around most f the time. I had multiple fracture sites, and different fractures have taken different times to heal, so thats another variable that is hard to compare between people- or even in the same person!

      If you are confused, is there any way you can contact someone involved in your care who you could discuss your concerns with?

  62. Ehi says:

    I broke my left femur ….it was a spiral fracture from an auto crash

  63. Ehi says:

    Thanks at Mike… My surgeon is never straight with me that’s my big problem. Anyway I will always post here. For advice

    • alisondite says:

      Hi Ehi – hope you’re doing ok. Like you, I never realised what a big deal breaking a femur is. I’m 8 months post break and 2 months or so post second op. My leg has been feeling really really stiff the last couple of days so have not done physio yesterday or today but am going on hols so will be doing lots of walking – using a stick to help when I’m out and about. Was so stiff yesterday I used the stick in the house (I don’t normally need it in the house). Good luck!

  64. Ehi says:

    Thanks alisondite….I’m trying to see the reality now I guess I need to be more patient …The big break is really big I guess.. I will post here frequently as updates come…

  65. mike b says:

    Two steps forward, one step back. First, a big day of (very slow and gentle) cycling left me feeling really good. So much so that I didnt take my co-codamol for virtually the first time in 10 months. Next morning – a two day long migraine!
    I figure that maybe I had got addicted to the codeine after all?
    Stayed off it this week nonetheless, but leg pain bad, especially at nights.
    Today, dared another 20k cycle. Feeling good again – so far!

    • alisondite says:

      Hi Mike and Ehi – Iknow what you mean. I did loads of walking on hols including climbing (slowly….) castle steps and visiting NT houses which have quite a walk up to them and so on – some days I was on my feet for 3 hours. Am suffering now…. feeling very stiff indeed. Didn’t do my physio exercises all hols as had to pace myself, but am back to them now. I did too much walking without the stick on hols and now feel worse than before I went. Hopefully I will be back to how I was soon. The only pain killers I take are one paracetamol and one ibuprofen which take the edge of it when it gets unbearable. I don’t like codeine based drugs because of the constipation effect which I find worse than the bad leg effect… lol. It’s difficult striking a balance between doing way to much and suffering and resting too much and not increasing muscle strength… gah – it’s getting rather boring now!! My horse has gone out 24/7 now till end of October so I won’t need to muck out anymore now apart from clearing out the stable later today. Hoping to get walking enough to walk across the fields to see my horse soon.

  66. Ehi says:

    Good thing u’re fine Alisondite and Mike. I am in my 6th month but not weight bearing my ortho stop me because my pins pulled a bit back… I feel heavy in d leg and I also stopped physio …

  67. Ehi says:

    Yea , school… but can’t go now

  68. mike b says:

    Funnily enough, i have just loaned my turbo trainer to a friend who, 4 months ago, came off his bike and broke his neck of femur!

    He seems to be healing much quicker than I did, walking without aid already. But he also finds that the biggest problem is knee pain.

    • alisondite says:

      If you google knee pain and IM nailing of femur there is quite a lot about it but most of it is inconclusive. The studies are usually made from around 50 patients – that’s not really enough of a cross section statistics wise.

  69. Ehi says:

    Which do you think heals better the IM nailing or plate and screws method?

  70. mike b says:

    i wouldn’t have a worthwhile opinion on that, ehi, but googling the question led me to a “research Gate” site, with lots of authoritative-looking views. In genereal, it looks like nailing is prefered, but it does depend on individual circumstances.

    thanks to alison, too. I see that anterior knee pain is one of the commonest side effects of nailing

    • alisondite says:

      I read that IM nailing was introduced in the 1930s – was surprised it had been around so long! The other option is traction for about 9 months, on your back in a hospital bed, so you’d get terrible muscle wastage. I think IM nailing is still in its infancy really and it’s the best method they have at the moment – the break is immediately stable (unless you shattered bits off etc.) so you can often weight bear within a couple of months, if not immediately (again, depending on the type of break). When they are doing the IM nail, they have a radiographer on hand to see what’s going on, but as we know to our cost, it’s not without problems…. Still, before the IM nailing, we probably would have had to have the leg amputated with compound fractures so we have to count ourselves lucky!

  71. Ehi says:

    OK, thanks mike and Alison

  72. alisondite says:

    On facebook there is a Broken Femur Victims Unite group which I have found to be really good. There are people on there who are much, much worse off than I am. It’s been quite sobering seeing some of the x rays etc.!

  73. Ehi says:

    Alison the group is great….Especially the X-rays of co-victims there…

    • alisondite says:

      The facebook group is great, yes – but Colin’s blog is amazing – there is so little on the internet about recovering from a broken femur. The best thing about the FB group is that there are people on there with much, much worse injuries than me and that has made me feel a lot better – I was beginning to feel a bit hard done by. Also, found on there someone who lives fairly near and also had a riding accident and we met up and are meeting up again soon πŸ™‚

  74. jane says:

    I have just found this site, YAHOOOOO! I broke my femur Dec 4th 2013, spiral break, so had a nice pointy bit of bone sticking out of my thigh, fortunately not through the skin. I did it ON my horse, she stepped sideways and the power of her shoulder was greater than my leg, then I fell off and broke 5 ribs.
    To cut a long story short, I have been so worried that my recovery appears to be so slow compared with everything that I have found on internet…people talking about walking in 2 weeks, back to work in 3 etc. So finding this site is so reassuring and amazing.
    I am just over 5 months post accident, I have not used crutches or a stick for 6 weeks, can go up and down stairs (slowly), feel as though I can do nearly everything (slowly), apart from walk! Obviously I can walk, painfully slowly, and for such short distances. My morning dog walk (about 2 miles) used to take me 25-30 minutes, now takes me 1.5 hours. Dogs love it, I could weep. I started driving as soon as I dared, short distances, but now am back to normal, driving long distances when necessary. I can muck out and feed the horses, but I can’t lead them. I am not steady or fast enough. I can’t push or empty a wheelbarrow, but I can fill it! I think it is really important to just keep pushing yourself, even though you want to shout at other people how amazing you think you are when they take what you are doing for granted (ie husbands and children).
    For anyone just starting out on the recovery process I can strongly recommend swimming. As soon as my wounds were healed (surgery for rod and pins top and bottom) I started to swim. My local pool has a small pool with chest height water and proper stairs down. They were happy for me to go down into the water with my crutches and bob. I have swum now 3 times a week since then, took me a while to do breast stroke, did lots of bending and stretching in the water. Now I am swimming 40-50 lengths then go into the small pool to go for a walk! They must think I am mad walking and running and bouncing around but I can really feel the strength coming back. I was also very lucky to have 1 hr of physio 2 times a week, on the NHS. They really pushed us and said that you can’t do too much exercise, the more you do the faster the healing. I have now been discharged but referred to local gym for 12 week rehab programme. I am so impressed by this, had no idea that I could get all this support on NHS. By the time I finish I will be fitter than I have ever been (gym, me? YUK), but I have a horrible feeling that walking properly is going to take years.
    I am also back at yoga, bit lopsided but really amazed at how much I can do, and how good it is for regaining strength and balance.
    I think it all depends on your expectations. I expect to get back to how I was, but some days I wonder whether I ever will. I know it is a huge break, but I have broken loads of bones before, and to be honest it is my ribs that have caused the most pain and continue to do so.
    I am also still very very tired, don’t know whether anyone else is. I feel as though I should be totally back to normal, if slow, but I am not. I am back at work but fortunately my work is very flexible and at home mostly, I know I could not go to work by public transport,do a full day then come home. This shocks me. How do other people cope, how do you cope with the loss of earnings, potential loss of job?
    OOoo that was a therapeutic unload, thank you. I am now going to join the facebook group.
    Good luck to everyone out there slowly getting better.

  75. alisondite says:

    Hi Jane – glad you found this site – Colin’s story is great and tells it like it is. My accident was horse related so no doubt will see you on the FB group – there are a few riders on there with broken femurs including one with a spiral break – I have met up with one who happened to live near me and that was brilliantly therapeutic. We’re doing lunch next week too! I’m self employed and most of my work is from home. I only get physically tired in the bad leg at the end of the day – mentally I’m as fit as ever….lol….. I know exactly what you mean about being able to muck out but not lead – same here! Before I had the second op in feb, I could push a wheelbarrow full of muck and do stairs, but the op put me back 3 months and I’m just about back where I was, though my leg is much stronger now with all the exercises I’ve been doing. Agree about physio on NHS – fantastic treatment/service.

  76. alisondite says:

    p.s. sounds like you are doing amazingly, Jane – I would love to go swimming (and have a pool more or less at the end of my road) but (apart from not owning a bathing costume of any kind) I don’t feel happy with walking across a wet floor in bare feet – getting in and out of the pool would be ok I guess – also am appalled to find out it costs Β£3.80 a go!

  77. Colin says:

    Hey folks, sorry to have been offline for a while! Busy times in real life unfortunately. Great to hear people connecting and working through all the femur fracture stuff together here though – I never quite realised how many comments I’d get on this post when I first wrote it!

    Jane, Alison’s right, it sounds like you’re doing great – recovering faster than I did anyway. And Alison, thanks for being a host here, you keep answering posts quicker than I can πŸ™‚

    That community on Facebook sounds great – wish I’d found it when I was still recovering. It always helps to chat to people in the same situation.

    Alrighty, hope the recoveries continue apace – talk soon folks!

  78. alisondite says:

    Colin: You are a star in having put this blog on!

  79. mike b says:

    yes, this blog has been a lifesaver! Good to hear Jane’s story – you certainly do seem to be doing well.
    I was told by the consultant that, long term, he expected me to regain “up to 90%” of my strength and mobility. I’m just coming up to the first anniversary of my break, and would say that the tiredness part has resolved ( but only in the last two months or so!). Activity-wise, I can cycle at around the 90% target, but walking is still problematic. I’d call it maybe 50% – after an hour of walking and I am almost literally dragging my bad leg after me. My physio seems to have been a bit haphazard – they do a staff rotation system so that I’ve had about 6 different physios so far, and Im not sure that they are all working with the same mindset – some are more aggressive, others more targetted, others pain-oriented etc. My best period has been the most recent, where I’ve insisted on cycling a bit every day. But I still dont feel like I know much that would be helpful to anyone else. Other than – try not to break your effin femur.

  80. alisondite says:

    Good advice, Mike! I’ve had the same physiotherapist each visit since September – she is really great. She pushes me physically and is really good on the psychological impacts of pain and so on. Have to go for physio this friday. Am walking at least half a mile a day (it takes me about half an hour at the moment….) – yesterday walked in the pouring rain round the local cemetery. My husband wimped out and went back to the car. I got soaked. Have (re) started pulling up on the first step of the stairs and trying to do one legged squats on bad leg. Really hard going, but I *need* to strengthen the knee area!! Going to lunch with fellow broken femur new friend on Tuesday – her break was much worse than mine. Keep at it, Mike – you are doing brilliantly to be able to cycle again – even if not 100% of your previous abiility. You will get there. You had bad break(s) and it’s *only* been a year for you πŸ™‚

  81. Ehi says:

    I can’t wait for all this to be over…. I’m just 6months old…not weight bearing and getting really bored… Reading all your post keeps me going @Mike,Collin and Alison …nice post Jane..

  82. Ehi says:

    How did it feel standing on the injured leg with full weight… For the first time? …I can’t stop thinking about it…

    • mike b says:

      for me, it was strange, but in a good way. I was sure that I was going to fall over – but suddenly, I didnt.

  83. mike b says:

    Alison – sounds like it’s like second time round for you. You’re certainly having to put out a lot of energy and determination – but also that you have it?

  84. Ehi says:

    I’m having the same thought Mike…. I’m looking forward to it though my healing is pretty slow..

  85. alisondite says:

    Standing on the one leg….. I started by raising the good leg up on my toe holding onto the back of a chair sideways to chair. It took me two weeks of effort trying it twice a day. I can now hold and balance on it, but I still can’t walk properly!! Feeling a bit cheesed off today – especially thinking about when I asked the surgeon “how long will this 2nd op put me out of action?” and he said “You might need crutches for about a week”. Yeah, right… Walking without the stick makes me sprain muscles in my knee and groin as I’ve forgotten how to walk naturally! Oh well, physio tomorrow – am hoping for encouragement. Have certainly built up a lot of muscles in my glutes from all the exercises! At the moment it all seems never ending and also feel like am in limbo till I get x rayed again, as there’s still the prospect of IM nail replacement if healing hasn’t started. Pretty grim really.

  86. alisondite says:

    The most irritating thing is that before the 2nd op I was doing brilliantly and could go upstairs normally, though I was fighting through pain, I suppose. I could walk a mile without the stick or crutch, though it was an effort to say the least. I think I’m limping less than before the 2nd op, but it doesn’t feel like it!

  87. alisondite says:

    Having said all that depressing stuff, before I had the second op, If I stood on the bad leg, that was kind of ok, but when I released it and put it back on the floor I had excruciating from where one of the screws was sticking in the adductor muscles (or possibly both screws) – that has gone, so that’s something!

  88. Ehi says:

    My leg is swollen and funny looking….Is that how yours are guys?

    • mike b says:

      my knee was swollen for the first few months. otherwise, the “funny looking” part was mainly how it moved – whenever i lifted my bad foot from the ground, it went off to one side. that’s nearly completely gone now, so i guess it was due to some muscle weakness or tendon stiffness

  89. alisondite says:

    My leg looks normal apart from the scars – two where screws were taken out (they are larger scars on top of the smaller ones where screws were put in so have been subsumed), scar on front from suture where bone came through quad, two small scars where lower screws were put in, long fading scar down side where they went in to take out piece of loose bone. Knee was very swollen for a long time, but is almost normal now. On another note, went to physio yesterday – she said she was flumoxed as although my muscles are getting much stronger due to all the exercise, my walking isn’t catching up, so have to go for an hour appointment in a month with her and also a lower limb specialist. She thinks it could be nerve damage from the op or from rotation (it doesn’t show rotation…). I can’t walk properly because my adductor kept getting nipped by the screws fro 6 months, and I couldn’t use it properly!! It doesn’t always kick in when I do stuff so have invented a couple of exercises with theraband round chair to give it a right caning, pulling it towards the other on standing up and also sitting down with bent legs – it’s really kicking in already and this morning I was walking much, much better without the stick for short bursts – husband watches and says “put your left shoulder down” etc. Most helpful. I intend to show the physiotherapist that I am aware of what’s going on and intend to be walking normally in 4 weeks time. Pah!! The physios can obviously only see the way you walk and not feel what I’m feeling and knowing what won’t work and why. lol

  90. Ehi says:

    Yea…My parents always say I should put the shoulder down too. I think you are doing fine Alison. Can’t wait to start walking.
    Like to also know the shape of others.

  91. alisondite says:

    Have decided to lay off the physio exercises for a couple of days as am feeling so stiff and overworked. Going to concentrate on “just” walking unaided again like I did when I first got of crutches back in the autumn….

  92. mike b says:

    Wow alison, you are very determined.

    Its a year yesterday that i had my accident. Overall, I haven’t made the progress I had hoped for. Walking and sleeping is still problematic. Biking is – ironically – my best thing. My physio says that’s because once my leg is in position on the pedal, there’s no work necessary to keep it aligned, so there’s no stability issue.

    You’re right about the divergence between how it looks and how it feels – i have only a trace of a limp – but it feels VERY awkward and uncomfortable whatever i am doing. I suspect that I have some screw chafing going on too, but I dont want to admit this, as I dread the thought of further surgery. But I take heart from your fortitude – and maybe its time for me to invent my own exercises too!

  93. alisondite says:

    Mike – yeah – hardware removal, described as a “simple operation” and “you may need crutches for a week” yeah right – wrenched to kingdom come, more like! However, for me it was the only thing to do in the long run, and I will recover soon from it…. she says over 3 months on!! I didn’t do the physio exercises yesterday and leg feels much easier today. I was in denial about the screw thing too – but they had to take them out due to the not healing and the 1cm gap. I suppose it’s like shortening a pair of trousers – if they set it too close the leg will likely shorten then they can’t lengthen it, but by taking the screws out, they can shorten it again (mine was 1cm longer after the initial op…). They do their best., bless ’em!

  94. alisondite says:

    Still haven’t being doing physio exercises, but trying very hard on the walking front and getting improvement – still very gradual, but am in quite a bit less pain. Can do the stairs today holding the rail with one hand and not grabbing the wall as well on way up. On way down stairs, a little less good as I’m afraid of falling, but can do them “properly”. Did quite a stretch unaided today walking and pushed the leg quite hard so though it’s only just gone lunchtime, leg is tired, but not too painful or anything. Fingers crossed that I am finally making proper improvement. I hope this means I’m healing! Am vaguely aware of fleeting aches at break site now – haven’t really felt this before. It’s not painful and only fleeting – hoping that this too is a good thing and means stuff is healing! How’s everyone else doing?

  95. mike b says:

    hope things are continuing to improve, alison.

    My knee exercises have done some good, and i find i am just starting to be able to do things like skip up a kerb and hook my pants off the floor with my bad foot!

    On the minus side, i’ve had a bad weekend with pain. There’s always been a patch of skin about 6 inches in diameter where the sensation is altered – its kind of hypersensitive to touch yet insensitive to pressure. Its around a screw scar. Its got a lot more tender and my knee and groin are also more painful.

    I hope its purely exercise related and will pass, but i am concerned that it might be the screw chaffing the TLF.

  96. alisondite says:

    Hi Mike – sorry to hear you have been in pain – maybe the exercises are moving things about a bit or something. I’m improving my walking, though not fast enough. Am going to phone the hospital to find out when my appointment is going to be as the suspense is killing me. Felt very down yesterday at the prospect of having it all done again if this dynamization doesn’t work….Have a new sensation around the break – don’t know if it’s muscular or bone, but it feels a bit tweaky and weird. Am hoping this is a good sign….. Hope your pain improves, Mike!

  97. mike b says:

    uurgh, i’m not surprised you felt down, alison.

    one thing i’ve really had reinforced lately is that it is worth doing a bit of searching on physio exercises. Yesterday, for instance, i found an article in a biking magazine which explained squats technique in a much more thorough a way than any physios have done to date – including one of the points that i now know i have consistently been getting wrong (but not been picked up on)

  98. alisondite says:

    That sounds really interesting, Mike, about squats – have you got a link to that site, please? I still haven’t done any physio (for a couple of weeks or so) and am getting more improvement each day with walking – that’s physio in itself, I guess – my husband watches me walk from the front and the back and assesses stuff like my shoulder is up etc. – it’s really helpful.

  99. mike b says:

    the article was in an old biking mag which i cant find on line. But the first bit of this clip on youtube is the same thing

    Its a bit frustrating that a youtuber puts more care into doing a clip for an anonymous public than the professionals who are being paid to provide me with personalised physiotherapy.

    Meanwhile, i had an almost pain free day yesterday! (thanks to ibuprofen) Its back to the usual today, but it makes a huge difference when you havent half your mind on “how can I make this go away?”.

    Hope things are ok for you.

  100. alisondite says:

    Wow – mike – that is so helpful! My physiotherapist has said about sticking my bum out when I squat but not explained it in such detail as that clip (which I just watched) – it makes a lot of sense. I did a fair bit of ballet as a youngster and always think of keeping my knees over my toes and my pelvis upright which is the complete opposite of proper squatting – the squats I’d been doing *had* been causing pain in the knee of my good leg… so thanks…. a great help. Glad you are having some painfree time, Mike! My knee on the bad leg feels quite stiff today in a grinding screws sort of way, but nothing too serious.

  101. alisondite says:

    p.s. got my husband to video me walking yesterday and I’m fairly pleased with the way things are going. Am managing to walk with less of a hitch up of the bad leg and getting smoother. Plan to keep a video diary of my walking – will get my husband to video it every couple of days so I can see the progress properly.

  102. Mike R says:

    Wow.. Some great war story’s here I broke my hip Dec 26th 2004, I was (21) when it happened. I was told from the very start pins and you might heal or a hip replacement with more to come in the future. I was so scared, The doctor only gave me the pins option because I was under 25 he said.. He is a good surgeon but has no bedside manner’s. I shattered the ball playing football with two guys falling on me one wieghed 300 pounds so. This doctor told me in the Hospital right after the morphine didn’t work 2 days in.. He told me don’t Walk, don’t drive, don’t have sex. Since I was a young party animal and the same mindset of most you guys. I thought i would be walking in 2-3 months. I ended up going back in 3 days after my release with a collapsed lung.. Long story short it sucked for 13 month’s and still to this day. I was on crutchs for about 11 months and worked my way to a cane once I knew my daughter was going to be born. But to this day I have had mix results on what to do. I’m 31 years old now and I have half the doctors tell me deal with the pain till you can get a hip replacement, while no doctor dares to stretch me or actually do an M.r.I. since i have no Insurance.. All I know is the last x-ray i saw the pins are in place but there is so much Arthritis in not just the broken side but in my other side from the impact and the wear of over compensating from my leftside it seems. There Is very little Information and timlines on these kind of injury’s.. Just think less than 100 years ago we would all be dead from the accident’s. So all i can say is keep your spirit up because I have been living in agony since this happened and I just had somone T-bone me in a car accident 14 months ago.. So just try and stay flexable and take it easy on your joint’s because I know I can’t run of do squats unless I want to be bed bound the next few days.

  103. Lora says:

    Colin, thanks for sharing your experience.

    I’m 56 years old and broke the upper part of my right femur in a bicycle accident on 5/15/14. The surgeon said that he picked out 15 pieces of bone fragments and that the femur was broken in several places. He ended up having to do a partial hip replacement.

    I’m doing pretty well now. Walking with a cane, and practicing walking without it around the kitchen, where I can keep a hand on the counter for balance. I’ve been having a lot of problems finding info about recovery for people who aren’t elderly and who were in pretty good shape prior to their accident, but haven’t had much luck. At any rate, not having been a serious bike rider, I can’t stand the thoughts of getting back on mine, and probably won’t . I just want to be able to drive again and walk unassisted.

    I hope you’re doing well, and thanks again for sharing your story.

    • Colin says:

      Sorry to hear you’ve joined our ranks Lora – never a good thing. Sounds like a particularly nasty one too…

      Good to hear you’re up and about quite well already though, only a month and a bit in. I was starting to get around ok by that point, but certainly wasn’t easy, and I was still on a crutch rather than a cane.

      Hope the recover continues apace and keep us updated if you can!

  104. Colin says:

    Oh and great video Mike – I’m trying to set a regular squatting regime at the moment. I’m sure I still have strength imbalances which are contributing to dodgy knees when I run.

    Alison, good work on the video too – I never though to do that, always just asked my physio. Perhaps it’s worth a ‘2 years in’ video to make sure I’m walking straight!

  105. Ehi says:

    Hello everyone… I went for an X-ray today and behold my femur was bent with the screws pulling out from the bone…My ortho says there is no need for a second op… I’m kind of uncomfortable with it..

    Won’t I have a limb? He said since ur leg is still equal to the other then it will be fine… Guys what do u think? it’s almost like this “>” in the X-ray but my ortho feels it will remodel itself…
    Pls say something I’m freaking out here…
    He said I should bear weight partially after seven months… I was treated with plate nd screws

  106. alisondite says:

    Ehi – look up misalignment on google – it’s quite common and nothing to worry about if you surgeon thinks it’s ok. If you have a rod in there, it can’t bend too much, and if it’s healed slightly bent, it’ll be fine πŸ™‚

  107. Ehi says:

    –Thanks Alis

  108. Ehi says:

    –Thanks Alis
    I’m hoping it won’t be a problem in the future.

  109. alisondite says:

    I hope so too, Ehi! Good luck with the recovery!

  110. Ehi says:

    Thanks. And you too -Alison

  111. alisondite says:

    I suppose it’s a good thing that the surgeons give a huge underestimate of the healing time…….I think I would have been a lot less positive if I’d known just how long it takes to recover from such an injury.

  112. Steve says:

    Hey guys, just wanted to chime in with how my left distal femur fracture recovery is going so far (car backed up into my leg and snapped it between the bumper and a parked car’s bumper). I’m 27 years old and about 8.5 weeks post-op with an intramedullary rod inserted retrograde through the knee and four cross screws by the knee and hip. Physical therapy had been helping with the overall recovery. I noted a lot of pain and a curious small bump where the end of one of the screws seemed to be by the knee (medial femoral condyle). At my 6 week follow-up, the ortho surgeon said it was most likely the end of the screw causing irritation/inflammation and if it was still bothering me by my next follow-up (at 12 weeks post-op), then he would remove it. So other than the intense pain at the location, I was doing relatively well with walking and was able to bend my knee about 105 degrees actively.. I was excited that I was able to make full revolutions on the stationary bike.
    About a few days after the ortho follow-up and a morning after a physical therapy session, I awoke with severe pain on the other side of the knee (presumably where the screw head is) and there was a large nodule right where a screw incision scar was that became very pronounced with extension of the knee. This severely debilitated my progress up to that point. It was extremely painful to the touch, to get up from a seated position, extend my knee, do leg presses, and my antalgic gait returned that was almost gone before the new nodule and pain appeared. Today (8.5 weeks) I still have that huge bump and I would say the pain has gone down minimally. The surgeon’s PA told me to just take an extra percocet and basically wait until my next follow-up. I’m just concerned what the bump is and why it hasn’t gone down in almost 2 weeks. At least the pain is tolerable now, but something is “popping” as it rubs over the bump with knee motion.

    I do have a question for anyone that is further along with their recovery than my 2 months.. when did you regain full range of motion in the knee and without pain? I would say my knee range went from 60-70 degrees active flexion to ~110 since I began therapy, which is huge, but I feel like I have hit a plateau over the past couple of weeks. It is extremely painful when the physical therapists attempts to passively bend my knee past the 120-something degree point that I have achieved thus far. It feels like a deep pain in the upper outer thigh and IT band, as well as the gluts, and it radiates to the low back as well. I have tried massage and warmth to relax the muscles, stretching exercises, flexing equipment, ice and stimulation, but the pain is still there even with the percocet. It just sucks feeling that no matter what I try I can’t get past through this pain and not sure how to get past this point.
    Great thread.. it helps reading about other people’s experiences and just talking about the struggles.. Thanks!

  113. mike b says:

    Hi Steve,

    I am 13 months post op now. I can’t offer any great insights or experience beyond my own. Which is that my knee and groin remain painful, all the time, but that the level of pain has slowly but steadily declined. My knee flexing is about 95% of its old range. So by my standards, you are doing really well!

    Like alison implies, I have found that clinicians seems to start off with very optimistic timeframes for full recovery. It might be that they are wanting to be encouraging, or maybe their idea of what constitutes “recovery” is more limited than the person whose femur it is?

    My other thought is that – aside from the purely technical question of what to do about the screw – you might find that your pain and flexibility will return “en bloc”. The whole thing is such a complex, interlinked system that there is always an some unsuspected element that is holding up the progress of recovery. Physiotherapy is essential, of course, but maybe the only way of getting full function back is by steadily returning to using the whole system as it is designed to be used, every day, for months and months.

  114. alisondite says:

    I recovered use of bending my knee quite quickly (though I was non weight bearing), but being a horse rider my left knee (the one on the leg I broke) was really supple from getting on the horse, so maybe that helped a great deal. Since I had the two proximal screws out, my knee has felt a bit “funny” and grinding at times, and I am assuming that that is from the pressure of the top of my femur compressing on the bottom bit. (it was a midshaft compound fracture). Although I was doing stacks of physio exercises twice per day, I found that that was seeming to make the muscle pain/knee strain worse, so have laid off them for a couple of weeks. Have a physio appointment tomorrow afternoon. In the last four weeks since last physio visit, I have totally concentrated on walking technique. I am 11 months and a bit post accident and need to use the stick when outside otherwise I tend to “overdo it” – I set myself a goal of walking to some landmark then I am inclined to do more and the next day I am too disabled to walk without the stick in the house! It’s a fine line between doing enough and too much. If at all possible, I don’t want the screws removed from my knee as the last screw removal knocked me for 6 (nearly 5 months ago and am still getting over that)

  115. mike b says:

    i am still struggling with the physio exercises, too. All i have to do is a few single leg squats, but the resulting pain lasts for over 24 hours. I have found some ways of making it less painful – mainly NOT to do them late in the evening, followed by a hot bath! I guess this is why athletes ice injuries rather than heat them?

    Second, like you, alison, I am defying orders and replacing them wherever possible with some serious walking practice. In fact, last weekend, I climbed a hill. Its signposted as a 4 mile, 2 hour hike, and has some very steep slopes. It hurt doing it, and both my legs were trembling by the time I got down. But soon afterwards, my leg was feeling fine, and I was really chuffed. Surely that has got to be more therapeutic than 10 minutes of squats???

  116. alisondite says:

    Mike – I absolutely agree!! Had a total waste of time visit to physio yesterday with the “lower limb specialist” as well as usual physio girl. It took the “specialist” a while to work out which leg was the bad one when I showed her my walking, then when I lay on the couch thing and bridged and she got me to do stuff with my legs, she said “it’s still a bit weak” so I said “that’s my good leg….”. She only told me what I knew anyway – that my adductors are weak and so is my knee. My husband is saying don’t bother going again – oh yes – now this made me totally angry – I said that the best exercise would be riding so she was asking why I’m not riding and that I ought to give it a go – ffs as they say – I asked her if she rode, to which she answered “no” – they have absolutely no idea how difficult it is to deal with horses when you can’t even walk properly – my god – if I fell off, or injured myself getting on or off (which I have done in the past) and hurt my good leg – even sprained my ankle, I’d be screwed good and proper. I am so cross about this stupid suggestion. I said there’s no way I’m riding till I know I have healed (which I think is the right decision as no top screws to keep it in the same position should I fall on it – and of course, being weak legged, I am more likely to fall, aren’t I?).

    Anyway, Mike – sounds like you are doing totally the right thing – oh yes – they were trying to get me to walk swinging my arms (which I don’t do as I find it weird) and said “oh that looks much better and you should do that” – now, call me silly, but I’ve been walking the same way for 50 years and I’m not going to change it now, and besides, I need to walk what is normally for me…… OOh, am still so cross with them for being so stupid. Am going for a walk this morning to get over it…… Keep going with the hills, Mike – on the farm where my horse is the hill to the yard is really, really steep and I think that’s the best exercise of all!! Yes – squats suck – they even hurt my other knee!!

  117. alisondite says:

    p.s. someone is very kindly giving me a cross trainer/exercise bike tomorrow so am going to go for it on that….

  118. amit says:

    Hi Colin,
    For all the guys that are in need of hope. I had a similar as Colin while my bike crashed my leg in the street lamp post. Do not worry.. evthin will be normal again .. all u need is a will to get it back .. I had the accident 4 years ago in 2010… october..
    I am an average healthy person should say neither a cylcist nor played any kind of sports throughout my life.. There is a alongside my future. in exact medical terms its a supporting plate with 12 screws.. I am just putting my schedule of back to cycling and a 400 m run that I can do now at my full throttle..

    1 month on crutches
    3 month crutch…
    5 months .. without crutches but limping continued till about another year..
    24 months.. jogging and cycling..

  119. alisondite says:

    Hey – well done amit! Did you do exercises or what?

  120. Mike says:

    I think we need to start telling our age..some of these posts are scaring me. I broke my femur in half in the middle of the bone as well as my knee cap. Im 32. The first two weeks sucked pretty much bed rest. I started physical therapy 20 days after my leg bent 70 degrees on the first day. After doing physical therapy 3x a week after the 9th session my leg was at 133 degrees. It’s been just over a month and I’m walking with one crutch. I can walk without a crutch but with a limp and I heard it’s better to walk normal with a crutch then without and a limp. I’m GOING to work again as a bartender before 3 months..dr said I would be out atleast 3 months but I believe hard work will pay off!

    • Colin Gray says:

      You’re right Mike, it does seem to depend a fair bit on age, although Alison and Mike b on here seem to be at least as quick as me and I’m 35!

  121. mike b says:

    Hello Mike, Isn’t it inevitable that the people who post on the internet are more likely to be the ones with something that’s worrying them, rather than the ones who make an unproblematic recovery? I think I am the oldest here (54), and definitely in Grumpy Old Man territory, so bear that in mind!.

    Anyway, I was also told that crutch support was better than doing without and limping heavily, and that makes sense, as I found I got back pain from walking with a big limp.

    Otherwise, I have found my physio useful in two general senses 1) to motivate me to actually DO something every day 2) to give me some starting points. Beyond that, my experience suggests that I should listen to my own body and do what it wants, rather than blindly following instructions. BUT that’s just me – I wouldn’t dream of advising anyone else.

    Right – I’m off to climb a hill!

  122. alisondite says:

    Hi Mike(s) – I’m 50 – was 49 when had the accident last year. Mike b – that’s exactly what I said to my husband the other day – that people who don’t have any problems are unlikely to be posting on such forums and are probably out mountain biking/horse riding or whatever….. Also, Mike b – spot on with the physio experience!!

  123. Lora says:

    Mike b, I’m 56 so I have you by 2 years. πŸ™‚ Broke the upper part of my right femur this year on 3/15. I’m using a cane most of the time, but practicing walking without it around the house. I feel like my progress has been really good since I basically shattered the femur and had to have a partial hip replacement. Good luck with that hill!

  124. Mike says:

    Sorry Mike b.. I’m Mike h.. ummm I just searched everywhere for recovery times and where I should be right now and next month… something to motivate me and get me out of this rut that I was in. It’s been just over a month for me from being hit on a motorcycle.. My Dr says I’ll miss atleast 3 months of work. I’m trying to get back after two.. But after reading all my searches it seems like nobody as done that which saddens me :(… I’ve had nothing but bad news since I was hit by this young lady.. Just searching for something good…. I hope all your recoveries are speedy. And that you all find motivation and inspiration to beat this recovery! Hard work will pay off no matter what my doctor says… No pain no gain

  125. Mike says:

    Oh and about my comment about posting age… that was just so I could find a comparable to my age.. maybe that would give me a better time line then someone who is 18 or 67

  126. alisondite says:

    Hi Mike – it’s worth looking on facebook under “Broken femur victims unite” – there are people on there who have had dreadful injuries – one lady was hit off her motorbike (she’s 60ish now) a few years ago, – she broke both femurs, tibia and fibula in one leg and crushed her foot which had to be rebuilt, and she also broke the humerus of one arm. It’s amazing she survived – she’s full of metal. Reading her stuff made me stop feeling hard done by with “just” a mid shaft compound femur fracture. Right – out for a walk and more practice without the stick for about half of it – my accident was end July 2013 by the way. So hoping I am healing (will get x rayed end of month) otherwise will be out of action (yet again) for quite some time!

  127. alisondite says:

    p.s. met up with some from the facebook group (she happened to be the same age and had similar accident riding horses). She lives not too far from me and her horse is related to mine. Very weird. It was absolutely great to meet in person someone who really understands.

  128. mike b says:

    Yes, I think that talking to other people with similar experiences is really helpful, partly because it seems like a ‘two steps forwards, one step back’ kind of thing. For instance, after my successful hill climb last week, I was feeling very optimistic. Then, a couple of days later, I did nothing other than walk round the block, and found myself really struggling – the pain didnt ease for a good 24 hours. And then, the following morning, my leg felt ok again, so I walked up another hill. It was very tough, but my leg felt really good afterwards.There’s no logic to it – which I think makes the psychology of it all quite hard to handle.

    Anyway, my physiotherapist was impressed this morning and I am feeling like I am making progress at last.

  129. alisondite says:

    I must say, Mikeb that you keep hitting the nail right on the head – it’s good days, better days, worse days, bad days and there is no logic to it as you say! Keep up the good work. Very good to “meet” you on here and find someone with a similar attitude!

  130. alisondite says:

    Did about 20 minutes of my 30 minute walk without the stick yesterday and am going to try to match that this morning…. Still not doing any physio exercises, just concentrating on the walking. Muscles get a bit crampy (adductors where the screw was and where I was strained horribly from the last op I think). The muscle cramp thing (which can be quite a sharp pain) tends to go when I have warmed up a bit after about 5 mins.

  131. Patricia says:

    God must of been on your shoulder. I broke my femur bone 7 weeks ago. They had to put a rod in my leg from the knee to the hip and wrapped it all in a wire mesh. Here I sit in a wheel chair still not allowed to put any weight on it or walk and have therpy 3 times a week. I would love to be walking and able to go back to work.

  132. mike b says:

    Cheers, Alison. Your posts have been a real tonic for me. I’m currently avoiding my physio exercises, after feeling that the squats I did on Monday were in danger of overstraining my good knee – let alone the bad one! Instead, I went for a good walk today, up Pen-y-Fan. It was fantastic to be out on the hill again, even though teeth clenching and resting featured heavily.

    Patricia – it was 3 months before I was allowed to weight bear, even “touch” weight bearing. It seemed like an age, and I couldn’t wait to get back to work. I finally did go back after 5 months off, but in retrospect, I wish I had taken the extra month I could have had.

  133. alisondite says:

    Patricia – you will get there. It just takes a long time.

    Mike: – your posts have been a tonic for me too!! I’m not up to Pen y Fan but climbing up there is on the long list of things I intend to do when I am better. Probably will do the Garth first – not for a couple of months though, I think. When I get x rayed end of the month (still waiting for the appointment) and hopefully get told that there is at least *some* healing, it will help me feel more positive and motivated even more. I feel slightly in limbo at the moment with the threat of having it all redone hanging over me.

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  135. Iain sewell says:

    Hi everyone.

    On the 25th of june I was in a fatal car crash involving a tractor. I fractured my femur and don’t know how long it will take till I can walk, run, drive and go back to work. So I am just wondering if anyone could help me…

    • Mike says:

      Lain- how old are you? What part of your femur? Was it a clean break? For starters ice your leg as much as you can during the day. Eat protein and lots of healthy calories. Put in hard work. I broke my femur in half in the middle of the bone 6 weeks ago. I’m going back to work August 1st as a bartender two months after surgery. I’m 32 years old and I’m currently walking with a cane.. I hope you the best

    • Diane says:

      On St Patricks Day, of this year..I fell coming thru my back door and got two spiral breaks in my right femur. I had surgery and had a rod and screws put in. Was sent home from hospital too soon and injured my leg again and had to have a ‘re-do’ (a week after the original surgery)….adding additional screws and bolts. Was told NO weight bearing for four months. Have followed rules but bone growth is not up to par. At four month check up, was told NO weight bearing for an additional two months. I will be 65 next month. This is not the way I expected to start retirement. My left leg is definately stronger from the hopping I do to get around and my arms are stronger from using the walker. I have to keep telling myself that this too, will pass. I’m thankful for my husband who has been a wonderful caregiver, thankful for friends for visits and encouragement and thankful for websites like this, to let me know that I am not fighting this battle alone.

      • Autumn says:

        Hi diane
        I think i am not grandma of the site. I am 71 and was active. Fell carrying a microwave down to the basement. My right leg was totally twisted under me. I have a spiral distal femur repaired with a rod and screws. I am 4 weeks into this. I am in a wheelchair and walker 50percent weight bearing. Lots of knee pain where apparentlt the rod was inserted but not where screws are. I showedsome callus formation a week ago and told to weight bare as tolerated but i am going to go real slow. So many people are no weight bearing or only toe touch so scared to do too much. Know your frustration.

  136. alisondite says:

    Iain: Sorry to hear about your accident. I think, as you will have seen from the posts here, we’re all different and unique and your recovery depends on a number of things, including how fit and active you were before the accident, how determined you are, the type of break/surgery you had, and your attitude – keep positive – it’s the only way forward. Just keep trying πŸ™‚

  137. alisondite says:

    Have been getting my husband to video my walking every week using my phone when we are out walking. Dead chuffed looking at today’s – a real improvement on 2 weeks ago – it’s difficult to judge without seeing it, and only feeling it. Highly recommend getting a video progress record – it’s really encouraging!!

  138. alisondite says:

    Went to physio this morning. Didn’t let on I hadn’t done any of the exercises. She thought my walking was *much* better :). She got me doing stuff on a wobble board (I have one here at home as it happened) – might be ok, those exercises. I’m still not convinced that if exercises leave you so stiff you can’t walk, that it’s a good thing….. Anyway, yesterday walked loads without the stick so am chuffed about that. Back to physio in 2 weeks. Oh yeah – I said I was tense about the scary prospect of x rays in a couple of weeks and she said “don;t worry, you;ve have loads and they don’t hurt” so I explained I am worried about the prospect of having it all done again and she said when she saw me last, she looked at the x rays in Feb and said there was a lot of callous formation then so that’s good I guess. Also talked to a policemen (randomly) who broke his femur 20 yrs ago – he said he has no problems at all now – he had all the hardware removed about 5 yrs after the break.

  139. mike b says:

    That’s good news, alison. Seems like your customised physiotherapy regime is working, then. Maybe you could offer them training in your new methods?
    Over the last couple of weeks I have found it possible to sleep lying on my bad side at last, so I am determined to stick to my own version of rehab too.

  140. alisondite says:

    Great news for you too Mike b – being able to sleep on your side. I’ve been able to do that for a long time – I could do it about 3 months after the initial op and about 4 weeks after second one. Mind you, I have one of those mattress toppers which helps a lot. Perhaps we should get together and compile our methods then make it a bestseller! πŸ™‚

  141. Melissa says:

    Hi there,

    I must say I’ve found this thread and post very helpful and keep coming back to it with all my Googling.

    I had a cycling accident 6 weeks ago in the alps and broke my right femur. As the surgery was in France, the docs here are delaying my weight bearing until they know its calcifying.

    I had a massive haematoma swelling which has now been drained but my leg still looks deformed. Does anyone have a similar experience and does the deformity look less further down the track? The doc said that due to the force of the impact, he can’t definitely be sure it will get back to looking normal and that I may have a permanent dent.

    Also at 6 weeks, I can barely bend my knee. Did anyone have this?

    Thanks and hoping for some positive advice from others who have been through this very frustrating injury.


    • Colin says:

      Yep, I couldn’t bend my leg fully for probably around 6 months Melissa. I remember thinking how lovely it would be to do something as simple as kneel down! Don’t worry, though, it does come back – and the first time you can kneel down on the floor again feels great πŸ™‚

  142. alisondite says:

    Haematomas take ages to go down – a friend of mine, who had an accident the same time but didn’t break anything, landed on her hip and it took about 3 or 4 months to go down. Where is the dent? Is it from a compound fracture? I had a massive dent in the middle of my thigh where the bone came through and could fit two finger knuckles in it quite comfortably – it’s much less of a dent now, but will always be there as my bone cut through my quad. I wasn’t allowed to weight bear for 7 weeks due to the type of break. It’s really hard moving around on crutches with only one leg!! I think a lot of the knee swelling can be from where they put you in the jig/brace for the surgery – mine was swollen for ages from that (plus there is now a dent at the bottom of my femur from that, I think – I’m sure it wasn’t there before!) – there was a red mark there and the same on my ankle from being clamped in during surgery – the ankle thing lasted about 3 or 4 months too. I’m sure you will be able to bend your knee more as the swelling goes down πŸ™‚

  143. mike b says:

    Another thought for when walking and such is not feasible maybe to copy Lance Armstrong. Get sponsorship under false pretences.
    Only joking.
    Seriously, though, when he came back to win the TdF after cancer, I think he did it by compensating for his lost muscle power by boosting his aerobic and cardio capacity. This enabled him to increase his pedalling cadence, effectively doing lots of fast, little steps instead of fewer long, powerful ones.
    Which suggests that cardio workouts can be useful preparation even before you’re able to walk?
    Anyone who actually knows something about this want to correct me?! Or suggest useful exercises when bedbound!???!

  144. mike b says:

    ooo, my avatar changed!

  145. alisondite says:

    Had an interesting chat with the mother of one of my students yesterday (she chipped her femur about 3 years ago) – anyway, she pointed out that stuff like squeezing a sponge ball between your knees, or bridging etc. might be ok, but that the good leg compensates and you can’t get the good leg to fake, so the bad leg is always behind the other one, but with walking, we gradually sort out our posture and stop compensating. Very interesting thoughts! Hoping to shed my stick in the next couple of weeks. Love the new avatar, Mike b!!

  146. alisondite says:

    Did a mile yesterday without the stick! Yay!! (took it with me “just in case”). Went out to do a gig in the evening and didn’t take the stick. Today will leave it behind when I go walking :). Definitely on the up! (at long last!!)

  147. Melissa says:

    Thanks @alisondite helps to hear they go down. The dent is almost like a big ridge near the top of the femur. Makes me look like I have one big hip. Even after the draining of the haematoma. The doctor said it could stay as its muscle damage from where i hit the crash barrier. Glad to hear everyone’s recovery stories. Congratulations for walking a mile without a stick.

  148. alisondite says:

    Thanks, Melissa – have you seen the facebook group “Broken femur victims unite”? There are lots of people with broken femurs from everything ranging from attempted suicide to paragliding, to hit and run. There’s very good support there – I found it brilliant, especially finding people who are much worse off than I am :). I think the advice for haemotoma is plenty of walking/movement to get blood flowing/muscles around it working πŸ™‚

  149. mike b says:

    I’ve joined the FB group now. Fascinating to see the diversity of people’s experiences. I will try and get pix of my xrays next time I have a check-up. Sounds like you’re doing brilliantly, alison.

  150. Melissa says:

    Thanks Alison, yes I’ve joined now too. Really interesting to read about other people’s experiences.

  151. alisondite says:

    Excellent – will see you both on the FB group πŸ™‚ It’s my one year anniversary today – feeling lucky to still be here.

  152. alisondite says:

    So, Colin – how are you doing now? πŸ™‚

    • Colin says:

      Good question Alison! I keep meaning to go back and write a ‘2 years later’ post since this one has proved so popular, but, to be honest, as you probably know, it’s not something I particularly enjoy thinking about. Well, here’s the summary:

      It’s 2 years and 2 months now since I broke my femur and, on the whole, I think I’m pretty lucky. I managed my goal of completing a triathlon again in September last year, so that was 1.5 years in, and, at that point I felt pretty much normal again. I’d been doing fine for a few months before that too.

      Since then, I’m mostly good, but still get niggles in a few places. My hip is crazy-stiff – the tendon right in front of my hip flexors feels like a cable compared to my other side, and no amount of stretching seems to loosen it off. That’s probably the area I get the most trouble with – it can hurt a fair bit when I run, but strangely only every once in a while.

      The most troublesome thing at the moment is my knee actually. I was doing intervals a couple of months back – hill sprints mostly – and I managed to strain something pretty badly. The back of my knee hurts like crazy, and it’s definitely something to do with the tendon damage I suffered. My knee has a tendency to overextend or just pop out every now and again, so I think some of the supporting tendons are either still weak, or gone altogether. I really should go get it checked out…! The physios thought that I’d done in my posterior cruciate ligaments at the time, but couldn’t be sure because of the swelling, so I suspect perhaps they did suffer some kind of mishap.

      Anyway, when I complain about these relatively minor things I always think about the fact that if I’d come off my bike and flown over the bars just a bit either left or right then my head would have connected with the signposts rather than my leg, and I wouldn’t be here to write about it. Plus, plenty of people in these comments have had far more complicated breaks and might not recover so well. So, I just grin and bear it πŸ™‚

      Anyway, I haven’t said it before but I really appreciate your and Mike B’s input here – you’re really helping to reassure all of the folk that come in with concerns and questions. Plus, your progress spurred me along too! Thanks again, and I hope the recovery continues at speed!

  153. alisondite says:

    Hi Colin – that all sounds pretty good! As plenty of us have said on here – there is very little advice/real help for broken femur sufferers on the net, so yours has been brilliant, and your story is so real. I phoned the hospital to find out when my x rays are going to be and apparently there is a backlog so it may not be “for some months”…… toying with the idea of going privately for x ray/consultant (we have insurance scheme thingy) but don’t want to jeopardise my position with the NHS. Will ask the physio on Thursday if she can recommend I get seen sooner – it doesn’t help psychologically with improvement when I don’t know what’s happening inside, but on the other hand, if there’s no healing and I need it all done again I will be cr*pping myself!! πŸ™‚ So great to hear you did a triatholon. People keep asking me when I’m going to get back on my horse, but I think it would be really silly to do that before I know there is a great deal of healing – a knock on a fence/gate post could throw the whole thing out! πŸ™‚

  154. Colin says:

    That’s the big I always found so hard – the waiting inbetween consults where you don’t really know if you’re improving or not. It’s just soooo slooooooooow……

    Oh yea, don’t worry though, you’ll be back on the horse! I really do think it’s a lot about determination. I find if I don’t do much exercise for a while then when I start again my leg does hurt a fair bit. But then even on the 2nd run, or the 3rd at least, the pain’s gone. For me activity makes it better, but I can see why people would give up before getting to that stage because it can hurt when you start back for the first time!

  155. mike b says:

    Yeah, exercise is what helps my leg the most too, Colin. Although it’s been quite a tricky business walking the fine line between overdoing it, risking damage or delayed healing on the one hand, and strengthening muscles etc on the other. My physios haven’t been terribly helpful with that – I’ve learnt instead to listen to my body to judge when I’ve gone too far.

    One surprising thing is how often the main problem after a femur fracture seems to be a wonky knee. I wouldnt’ have guessed that.

  156. alisondite says:

    There’s quite a lot about unexplained knee pain if you google it – medical studies on it which dont really reveal anything – this seems to persist after IM nail removal too. Weird. I reckon some of my knee pain which feels muscular strain, is from where they had me in traction of some sort during the second op – it feels like I was wrenched. I’ve got a dent in it at the bottom of my femur (nail insertion was done from the top) – the knee is something that feels really strained if I do loads of stuff, but as Mike B says, walking seems not to exacerbate it! Got physio tomorrow – hope she is impressed that I’ve shed the stick since I last saw her!

  157. alisondite says:

    Satisfying visit to physiotherapist this morning – she was really excited about how much progress I’ve made since she saw me two weeks ago. She made me do the wobble board and was amazed at how much better I am with it now (didn’t let on that most of this is because of the hills at the yard and lots of hard work concentrating on trying to walk better) :). Am dead chuffed. Am going to have a go on a friend’s very quiet horse in a couple of weeks….. I think I will probably go all girly and cry when that happens πŸ˜›

  158. mike b says:

    That’s excellent news, alison. Getting back on a horse should be a great boost; good luck with that.

  159. alisondite says:

    Cheers mike – it won’t be for a week or so but I’ll keep you posted πŸ™‚

  160. Alan says:

    Great thread guys, very nice to hear from real people and not medical references.
    I’m just over 10 weeks out from a femor break.
    Went over the handle bars going down a decent and landed square on a rock.
    Broke the greater trochanter aka, a broken hip. Otherwise known as a “nana fracture” as they are generally something your nana inflicts upon herself after falling off the last stair.

    Funny about the toilet story. I had the same thing. 5 days of hospital food. That’s 15 meals and a bowel parrilized by morphine. I had to sit on a bed pan, as the toilet was still only a dream at this stage. Curtain pulled I had to squeeze to the point thet I felt my thigh was going to burst. I eventually gave birth and breathed a sigh of relief after experiencing the most embarrising moment of my life :-).

    In a nut shell. I needed constant care from my missus for a month.
    Off morphine after 5 days (see above). Off tramadol after 7 days. Off paracetamol and ibuprofn after 3 weeks.
    I got off the crutches after 7 weeks, still had a limp though.
    Now the limp has improved about 60/70% and should be gone in a matter of weeks I’d say.
    I have been doing my prescribed excercises every day sometimes twice. Walking about 2-3 hours a day.
    I went back to the gym when I got off the crutches as they wouldn’t let me inside with them.
    My leg is still very weak, probably only 20% as strong as it was. The strenght I imagine will take the longest to return to pre break.
    If I was to give any advice, it would be. Keep positive, keep active even if only general moving around. Keep remembering how you moved prior to the accident and eat well.
    Make sure you take plenty of silica, magnesium and plant biased calcium as these are the 3 most needed minerals for bone repair, take supra doses. And do your excercises every day. Also incase it wasn’t obvious see a private physio and not just the I house hospital physio.
    The body is a wonderful thing and can heal miracously well providing you give it what it needs, lots of rest, the correct nutrition and stimulation of the damaged tissue.

    • tony says:

      Hi Alan,
      Thank you and Colin and Mike and others who contribute to this helpful blog.
      I fell off the bike on 3rd of Sep.2014. I was a highly trained and fit cyclist. Where I fall was a 2% downhill section of the road, turning left with an angle about 70 degrees. I was riding on my average speed for that section (regarding my earlier passes) which was about 25 km/h. But this time some guy had been washed his car (or a lady washed the porch) with a good amunt of soap and let the soapy water got the whole road surface wet waiting for me to pass. When both wheels lost the grip in an instant I was only amazed. I can’t forget that moment. There were no bruises on my body or any harm to my jersey/short but just a broken femur! Seemed that I could not slide on the surface because I’ve hit an uneven part of the tarmac (which was opened and closed for fixing something). I lived the accident many thousand times again in my head starting after surgery. My broken part of femur is the same as yours, the greater trochanter… Till this case I’ve fallen off the bike may be hundred times in 40 years (riding since age of 6) with lots of injuries but without any broken bones. I had a surgery 5 hours after the accident. A single rod with the same angle of head and body of the femur having a big pin on its top part to fix the trochanter, 3 pins on lower part to fix the upper part of femur drilled into its place. An extra pin for the head also mounted during the surgery. My first attempt to walk (with help of two canes) on the second day shocked me. Because my thought as “this is a broken bone, how bad it can be, it will be OK in a few months” proved wrong. I could move my leg in all directions if it is in just a few degrees. More than a few degrees was causing pain in the joint edges (inner and outer). Flexing my knee more than some angle was not possible. Bearing weight on my left leg was not allowed for three months. I had some serious problem with paracetamol which was underestimated for three days. When I hit the wall because of the diarrea that paracetamol caused I had to cut painkillers. Now I am on 9th day after the operation. My pain reduced considerably but still very strong. I can tell that since I am not taking any painkillers. There has been a progress of my movement capability but not very encouraging. I now understand that this is a period I have to live about one year, shortening it may be possible but I should not expect a miracle. I’ll try to share my progress in following weeks.
      Take care and get well soon…

  161. alisondite says:

    Hi Alan – lol at the toilet stories – it’s something people don’t mention when in hospital! I did without morphine/tramadol post op for that very reason – I saw it coming (or not as it happens). I got placed on a commode behind the cubicle curtains the following day, but no chance…. impossible to relax. Didn’t “go” for 5 days!! I think it took about 10 days to get back to normal! Yeah, keeping occupied is essential – it’s all too easy to dwell on it all and get down. Sounds like you are doing brilliantly, Alan! Keep up the good work.

  162. exitcode0 says:

    hey everyone, I want to thank everyone who posted for sharing. I know as Colin says it can be difficult to discuss. I am a 22 year old guy and had an accident on a dirt bike 7 weeks ago where I had a displace femoral neck fracture (2 clean pieces) and was operated on within 6 hours. I am currently on crutches and sit and stand with mild aching. The doctors told me it would be a 50% chance that I would have to have a hip replacement which depresses me.

    I have a few questions. Is it common to have the screws removed, and as far as you guys know is it better to? I know there is a risk of another break from what I saw on pubmed. Another thing I read is that mild AVN is common and can be overcome – did any of you have anything like this?

    I will be finishing up my last year of college starting with the fall semester in 2 weeks and am very nervous about 1 hour car rides and navigating around the city on crutches – would you say this is too much?


  163. exitcode0 says:

    I just went to the ortho doctor and it seems the gap in the bones is increasing. He tells me this is part of healing but in 4 weeks it should actually be fusing. Any similar experiences?

  164. mike b says:

    @exitcodeo – judging from the posts on the FB group, it looks like there is a variety of experiences regarding screw removal. And you can see Alisonditesexperience from the posts above. Me, I am 54, and had a large number of bone fragments. Muy surgeon said he would not be taking any of my metalwork out (i think its partly an age thing). He also said he was going to do a hip replacement for me when I was in casualty, owing to the amount of damage, but obviously changed his mind in theatre. I am happy about that!

    I dont have a worthwhile opinion on your bone healing, but it sounds like very early to be getting too worried. As you are probably discovering, this whole business creates worries about things that you never thought of before. Most of them turn out to be nothing to worry about after all…

  165. alisondite says:

    Hi exitcode – just looked up AVN and apparently it’s quite rare, but don’t know anything much about it. Very sorry to hear about your accident. As far as your college stuff goes, I’d say take it as it comes – if it feels like too much, then it is too much, if you see what I mean. I haven’t heard of the gap in bones increasing, but then I’m not an orthopaedic surgeon – usually gaps tend to decrease with weight bearing due to your weight pushing the gap together. I initially had 4 screws – 2 at the top and 2 at the bottom. They took the top 2 out mid Feb this year as I had a centimetre gap at the break and this was to allow it to close – I was told to do loads of walking, which is what I have been doing. Won’t know if this has worked till I get x rayed when they eventually send for me. I went through a lot of pain post screw removal (partly healing, I hope, and partly being wrenched around during the removal). I’m glad they have gone now, as the area where they were was always very tender and at least one of them was sticking in my muscle in my groin, causing excruciating pain when I released my leg after standing on it. Personally, I found walking on crutches quite exhausting, but I still did it on flat, even ground to help healing. Good luck and keep us all posted πŸ™‚

  166. Stephen Saville says:


    Ok, my turn. On June 18th I broke my femur about halfway up the bone as a result of a motor cycle accident (collision with a car). I was whisked to hospital and they nailed it two days later. My reaction to the operation wasn’t flash – I had to have two blood transfusions two days after the op – but then it was a case of looking forward. My thigh and knee resembled a zeppelin but the hospital discharged me 8 days after admittance, on 26th June.

    I was given some basic stretching exercises to do but I was told that I wouldn’t be having any physio until after fracture clinic a couple of weeks later. It was hard going initially, it still is to be honest, but I see the stretching exercises as part of well-needed recouperation, so I just pressed ahead. Little improvements over time, not noticable day by day, but certainly week by week.

    I had fracture clinic 5 weeks after the accident. The x-rays showed calcifying on the break areas but the break was still there. The consultant checked the break area on my thigh by pressing down, and it was a bit bruised but not shout-out-painful. He was fairly happy with the whole thing, and told me to book another check-up 6 weeks later (in a week and a half’s time now). I was also given instruction to increase weight-bearing on the leg to a point that I can handle, but that I would n’t be getting any physio until after the next check-up…..

    So, where am I now? 8.5 weeks after the accident. I’ve still not had any physio (as per the above) but I am still stretching three times a day. The swelling has gone down significantly, although the muscle 3-4 inches above and below the inside of my knee is still a bit swollen and tender to touch. I can extend my leg pretty well and when sitting pull my lower leg back a fair way under a chair, so yes, I think the exercises are working. I’m on one crutch around the house but rely on two still for adventures outside. I have started trying to walk unaided but this is a stupid idea really the strength still isn’t in the muscles so I’ll wait until I’ve seen my consultable in a couple of weeks time for an update on what I can and can’t do. Pain-wise, I went from co-codamol to paracetamol about 10 days ago. It’s ok, a bit sore from time to time – especially when I’ve overdone it – but I’m no longer clock-watching for the next dose of analgesics, which I’m taking to be a good thing!

    I’m finding it all incredibly frustrating, to be honest. I feel like I’m in limbo. I’ve not been given any direction on how long recovery should take, what the stages of recovery are, whether or not I can expect a full recovery (and if not, how good will it get), when I can start riding again… I’m also worried that the Consultant will find something disastrous next week. I have no reason to believe that he should, but that’s just how I think! My wife and friends have been brilliant but it’s all feeling a bit much. I’m so pleased I found this site though, it’s given me real perspective and guidance!

  167. alisondite says:

    Hi Stephen – you have my sympathies! I had a mid shaft compound fracture (horse riding). I started having physio about 9 weeks post accident (before that, sounds pretty much like you – a couple of visits, bit of callous starting and so on) then told to weight bear. Got off crutches completely about 13 weeks, managed to muck out my horse, and was walking (albeit with a limp) for good distances, doing stairs properly, driving etc. but nowhere near ready to get on horse (you have to be able to side step quickly when dealing with them). Told mid Feb it wasn’t healing fast enough, so had top screws out (surprised surgeon by being able to walk so well and not being in immense pain like I should have been, apparently). It’s now 7 months since second op and just over a year since accident – am getting there again, walking every day – not riding again yet, but am going to ride a friend’s very quiet horse in an indoor arena at the end of the week – will probably need help getting on and so on…. anyway…. As everyone keeps saying, we’re all individual, and recovery time depends on your previous level of fitness, weight, determination and positive attitude (as well, as obviously, our ability to actually heal) – Personally, I am determined to make a full recovery and will accept nothing less! Keep at it! πŸ™‚ You will get there πŸ™‚

  168. Stephen Saville says:

    Hi alisondite, thank you! Well I got on my bike – attached to a turbo trainer – today and managed to spin for 10 minutes. There was no pain from the break area although the muscles around my knee were tight so I packed it in after 10 as I want to try and do it every day, building up time on the bike. I even managed to walk the length of the house without my crutches, albeit holding on to walls and limping heavily. I’m taking that as two little victories today!

    I am nervous about the healing process and things not going to plan – I really don’t want another op, but then who does?! – but then as you say, we’re all different and heal at different rates & in different ways. What will be next week will be. I just want “normal” again! Ah well, que sera sera!

  169. mike b says:

    Yep, different injuries, different healing, different timescales. Pretty much the only Iron Rule is “You will worry”!

  170. alisondite says:

    Ah yes – I remember the hanging onto walls and furniture – had to do that fairly recently (about a month or so ago) by the end of the day if I’d done loads of stuff. Going to get my husband to video my walking again tomorrow. I don’t feel as though I have improved this week, but the video will prove what’s happening – it’s very gratifying seeing the actual progress.

  171. Stephen Saville says:

    Thanks Mike, Alison.

    This really is an excellent forum – I’m getting more support from here than anywhere else at the moment. I really appreciate that!

  172. alisondite says:

    Yes, this is great, isn’t is Stephen – have you looked at the Broken Femur Victims Unite group on facebook? It’s very active and there are loads of people on there to answer questions/share sob stories etc :

  173. alisondite says:

    Hi Colin and everyone else – rode this morning for the first time since the accident nearly 13 months ago. Was dead anxious and full of adrenalin last night thinking about it all, but all went well and it wasn’t horribly traumatic or anything like that. It’s amazing how muscles long forgotten about start working again…. It was a little uncomfortable going downhill at the hip flexors in my broken leg, but that’s all. I now have a slightly stiff lower back, but that’s absolutely nothing and perfectly normal. I rode, just walking (obviously) with someone on foot walking next to me but not leading me for about 20 minutes up a lane and back πŸ™‚ Delighted and very encouraged. Going to do it again next week. I was riding a friend’s very quiet horse, not my own – he will have to wait a couple of months till I get a bit of strength back. πŸ™‚

    • Colin Gray says:

      Amazing news Alison, really well done! It’s great how those milestones put such a smile on your face isn’t it? I remember the first time I got out on my bike again – just a wee pootle along the road really, but it felt really strange and quite scary, despite the fact I’ve been cycling most of my life.

      Great stuff!

  174. alisondite says:

    Thanks Colin πŸ™‚ Think I have pulled muscles in my face from smiling so much!

  175. mike b says:

    fantastic! well done alison.

  176. alisondite says:

    Thanks, Mike – still feeling a bit stiff from the experience…. it was well worth it and am hoping to do it again soon πŸ™‚

  177. Stephen Saville says:

    Ah, that’s great news! I got in the pool for the first time today, did 400m + 200m, mostly arm work with a bit of gentle foot-based leg kicking for balance. It felt a bit odd and occasionally uncomfortable (I’m a triathlete used to pounding up and down the pool) but I’m pleased I did it. Two days of medicals and Consultant appointments starting tomorrow. Feel like this week could be make or break (s’cuse the pun) for me mentally. Fingers crossed…

  178. alisondite says:

    Well done, Stephen – as I’ve said above somewhere, I think – imagine how difficult it must be for pre-break unfit people to recover! We’re used to pushing ourselves with our activities – I don’t think a couch potato type would ever recover! Keep up the good work:)

  179. Mark Hadley says:

    Hi, Colin & others.

    I’m a 39 year old UK citizen and I’m in a weird situation. I was to start a TEFL job in Jerez, Spain. I came out a week early to check the place out and get a flat etc.

    A week ago I was hit by a taxi, taken to a hospital in El Puerto Santa Maria. My femur was snapped at the top, near my hip. It was 6 days before they could operate, had to drag bone through into alignment all that time.

    The daily bedsheet changes are hell, even after the op.

    I am on day 2 post operation, a rod put through the femur and nailed to the knee. They say it was a success but the very next day they had me on a chair bending my knee. The pain was worse than anything I have ever known.

    *l do not speak Spanish (it is useful, but not essential for my job) and very few people here speak any English at all.! My mum is here now, but cannot speak Spanish either.
    I can only communicate through Google Translate.

    – There is a big problem : a visiting physiotherapist who spoke some English, took me through basic and fairly painful exercises (but manageable). She stated explicitly that it was too early to leave the bed (2 days). I trusted her instinctively.

    20 mins after she left, 2 burley orderlies came in, took me off the bed and left my leg hanging of a chair, they wanted 2 hours! The doctor who has ordered this very aggressive therapy is a sadistic b#ch and is over riding the visiting physiotherapist’s advice.

    I could only stand one hour and they eventually (roughly) chucked me back on the bed.

    They are getting really aggro with me and saying I am overreacting and a wimp (one auxiliary nurse even told me “Spanish men are stronger”)

    My question is this : am I right in assuming that this aggressive approach is wrong? I simply cannot stand the agony and am worried it will ruin my leg /give me a heart attack and/or mental scars.

    I am no wimp, an active weight lifter and runner. I have also experienced considerable pain and suffering in the past due to chronic ezema. So I know pain – but this is a tidal wave!

    Any advice gratefully received!

    • Colin says:

      I agree with Alison, Mark, sounds like you just need to get home ASAP. I realise it’s not quite as easy at that though…! I’m afraid neither I, nor the others on this thread really have the medical knowledge to give you proper advice on what’s right and wrong, but it certainly doesn’t sound great. Saying that, the physio was pretty hard with me, but not in an unkind way, just firm. They had me up on day 2 or 3 and standing for a while, then walking a bit the next day, on crutches of course. So there is a move to get you up and going as soon as possible if you’ve got a pin in. They always reassured me that it was solid as a rock and wouldn’t damage the leg by using it – rather you’d ward off degeneration of the muscles. I remember it was just unbeleviably painful though and I didn’t want to do it at all, so I know how you feel… Sounds to me like you need to get back to your local hospital any way you can. I hope your situation improves soon!

  180. alisondite says:

    Crikey, Mark – that sounds absolutely dreadful! Can you get flown home to the UK asap?

    On another note, I wrote a song about having a broken femur which is on youtube. If you look up Broken Femur Song you’ll find it on youtube – just a bit of fun.

  181. mike b says:

    That’s a horrible situation, Mark. You must feel very isolated. This is a useful forum, but the Facebook group has a lot more people on it – reading other people’s experiences can help give some sense of not being alone with it all. And things will get better, honest.

  182. Dave L says:

    Hi found this web page 3 weeks after my new sport of all in car wrestling went horribly wrong and left me with a non displaced fracture i my left femur and right femur sticking out 6 inches above my knee lol tearing a considerable hole in my muscle ouch ( p.s push bike v car the bike loses!!).
    Glad i did because wouldn’t of been able to sleep with out the pillow tip so a big thanks.
    So now 3.5 months in and looking at a possible non union (will know better in 6 weeks) doctor not being to forth coming with information but no change in x rays so far so what joy thinking whats next.
    Was really chuffed in beginning never needed much in way of pain killers after the op not even morphine (2 coden and paracetamol at night to sleep), out after off hospital in 4 days and seeing the physio after 2 weeks even though he was shocked to see me,he had never seen any one after only 2 weeks post op before lol. Doing as instructed and exercising and going back on regular basis at about 9 weeks got my self in the local swimming baths and wow so good to feel free of the crutches an hour in the water then an hour on exercise bike/cross trainer .Then home to feel like been hit by a taser lol . So no longer chuffed pushing my self before hospital and physio, doing stuff slightly faster than they say working hard,16 weeks on can only manage a few steps with limp, the consultant looks says push yourself!! am on 1 crutch just going on 1 walking stick unless am having bad day and back at work light duties /part time so finding it hard to find the time to get to pool and gym,bought a exercise bike and still doing exercises though so off to flying start and feel like am now lagging don’t help with work college making comments that its ONLY a broken leg joking or other wise.

    Am i expecting too much ?

    As for advice best i can give is get the pool as soon as possible within first couple of weeks if possible i found that just sitting round may protect you from pain in the damaged leg but causes pain in the other muscles use em or lose em lol and use the pillows at night, rest is very important and don’t let it get you down and always be aware there’s always some 1 worse of as the documentary about prince harry’s birthday proved for me when i saw the service men without limbs.

  183. alisondite says:

    Hi Dave L – on the facebook group I think we have come to the conclusion that walking again reasonably well can take anything form 3 months to 2 years or more – hang in there, – it sounds like you are trying very hard! Keep at it. You’ve got a good attitude which can only help your recovery!

  184. Kimberly says:

    I’m new too this,I’ve never had a broke bone before. I also don’t feel or deal with pain like most people. I was thrown off a Segway and broke the neck of my femur. I thought maybe I dislocated it at first. When I put wieght on it or moved it a certain way it hurt. If I didn’t move it a certain way or put wieght on it, there was no pain. X-rays revealed it was broke and I had three pins put in. I’m now six weeks into my recovery and I’m on a cane trying to limit my activities but my problem is, I don’t feel any pain until I wear myself out and over do it and I’m so afraid I’m going to damage my hip unintentionally. I’m a very active person and sometimes my will is stronger than the reality of my physical health. Any Advice would be appreciated.

  185. alisondite says:

    Hi Kimberly – sorry to hear about your accident. Are you getting physiotherapy? I’m sure a physio would give the best advice as to what you should be doing to help yourself. What advice have you had from your orthopaedic surgeon? Good luck πŸ™‚

  186. Cassandra says:

    Hi Colin!

    I just came across your blog and am so thankful it popped up in my search (I live in the U.S.). I’m six months out from an intercondylar fracture of my femur in April 2014. I’m 26, and have played sports competitively since I was 3 (gymnastics, softball, volleyball). I was in some of the best shape of my life, running 5-6 times a week (ran my first half marathon in Dec. 2013), doing yoga 3-4 times a week and playing on coed intramural softball and volleyball teams when I broke my leg in a softball game.

    I now have a plate and seven screws around my knee and lower femur. I was on crutches for 13 weeks, non-weight bearing, before I walked with crutches for one month. I’ve done yoga since, but am struggling now because I’ve hit my first major setback with intense pain creeping back in, forcing me to halt everything.

    Although every road to recovery is different, what would recommend as far as beginning to swim (sets, exercises, distance, reps), bike or weight train? My quad is weak and my doctor just said to avoid leg extensions because of where my break was. Running used to be my go-to outlet but I don’t see that in my foreseeable future for a few years (if ever).

    Any exercise help would be appreciated! And again, thankful I’m able to read through you and everyone else’s recoveries. Thanks!

  187. alisondite says:

    Hi Cassandra – sorry to hear about your accident! Lots of people say about swimming, or at least being in the pool. I didn’t do the pool myself because I didn’t feel stable enough to walk, even with a stick, on a wet floor, but then again, maybe I was making excuses as I don’t enjoy the pool experience anyway! There’s quite a lot about physio exercises on the internet – some better than others. Are you going to physiotherapy?

  188. Lloyd13 says:

    Just found this after randomly searching google for ‘dead leg feeling after breaking hip’,which I managed to do 4weeks ago today!Stupidly went out for a run when I knew I was worn out from working too many 6/7 days a week,being self employed I can’t turn work down,tho’ I’ve had loads of practice the last few weeks..
    So atm I’m non weight bearing for at least the next 3weeks when I go back for an X-ray to check if the bones healing or not,if not will be a partial hip replacement at the grand old age of 46.
    Had an uncomfortable five days in hospital with the same toilet experience as most people on here,there’s nothing like being questioned about ‘bowel movements’ every 20mins is there?I mean it was verging on the obsessional after a couple of days,sure I heard a cheer go up from outside the toilet door when I finally managed to go.
    Will keep checking back here regularly to see how everyone’s getting on,anyway dead leg feeling, is that normal?

  189. alisondite says:

    Hi Lloyd – yes the toilet experience is awful!! They kept offering me senna in hospital but I said “It’ll come whenit’s ready”. I didn’t “go” till I got home on the Saturday afternoon (accident was a Tuesday) and even then it took me about 10 days to get back to normal. Good luck with it all. Don’t know about the dead leg feeling, but maybe it’s from the bruising/manhandling you get during such an op. I felt bruised for months and months after my screw removal – infact, if I press the hip where they were, it’s still a little tender there 8 months on!

  190. Eusebia says:

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  191. alisondite says:

    Yes, the page does seem to be taking much longer to load than it used to – I guess it’s because it’s quite a big site. Fantastic forum on here πŸ™‚ – there is little information available on the net.

  192. tristaanne says:

    I had shattered my femur and fractured my pelvis nov. 13th 2010 I had a rod and two screws put in. It is now oct. 2014 almost four years later. I am awaiting surgery to get the screws removed. I was wondering is anyone had there screws removed and if it helped a lot?

  193. alisondite says:

    Hi tristanne – I had the two top screws removed from the IM nail as myleg wasn’t healing very much. They said there was a huge gap in the femur and if I didn’t have them out and walk on it to allow my weight to compress the gap that the rod would eventually snap. I was in a lot of pain for a long time – had this op in feb this year (2014) original accident was July 2013. I’m finally getting much better. The one screw was sticking right into the muscle at the top of my groin so walking before the op was painful in a different way, but I was copingok and getting about really well, albeit limping. I had no optionto have them out and I’m pretty hopeful that it has worked (they said there was only a 60% chance it would work). Waiting for x rays to confirm it has. Why are you having your screws out?

  194. Lori says:

    HI All,

    I am among the newest members of femur breaks. I am an avid cyclist and during a ride of 20 + my front tire flatted and I went down HARD. Immediately, I knew somethings was wrong as my right leg was flayed to the right and no movement was possible. Ambulance arrived and they made their deposit at the hospital. After 2 extremely rough bed transfers I waited for surgery. The next morning I was taken to the OR and woke up later with a rod, pin and screw. The next day they announced I was to be discharged with catheter yet to be removed and a measly 3 nauseating steps the day before.

    So, I am home. I have take myself off the pain meds, side effects were awful. Been soaking the bed every night with sweat. Have conquered trips to the bathroom by self. Using walker and doing pt twice a day. Biggest frustration: I am exhausted. I am a high energy, extremely fit person and I find myself utterly fatigued. I am a week and a half out from surgery and it’s all I can do to get up, take shower with help from hubby, do pt and collapse for the rest of the day.

    I am thankful for all the shared stories that give reasonableness to my expectations and that I am not alone! I hope to incorporate the pool and stationary bike as well. I have deep pain in leg and have definitely lost flexibility. Nights are the worst! Thanks for sharing.

  195. alisondite says:

    Hi Lori. You’re still really early days – the anaesthetic itself leaves you wiped out for a time, not to mention the emotional and physical trauma of the injury itself, as well as the physical trauma of what is a very rough operation. Listen to you body and take it very easy (apart from the necessary PT etc.). I think people underestimate the emotional exhaustion that we get after such a ghastly experience.

  196. Pete says:

    This is a very motivational place to browse. Without waffling on too much I enjoy riding my push bikes and up until 6th March 2013 I was an enthusiastic motorcyclists. In a nut shell a car pulled across me at a cross road and sent me into orbit. I broke my left tibia, pelvis, right femur, right upper arm, right thumb along with a collapsed lung and damaged bowels, but I did get a lift to hospital in a helicopter so it’s not all bad.
    It took 4 weeks for my digestive system to get going again now that was a bit of a wait. Along with other operations I had an intramedullary nail inserted into my right femur. I was allowed to fully weight bear on it. I managed to regain some level of fitness and went for daily walks, however when I returned for a check up the femur was not healing. So I had a further op the replace the femur nail with a thicker one to stimulate the bone to heal. Again I slowly started to increase my fitness and activities. When I went back for a check up my femur was now diagnosed as non Union the fracture was still clearly visible. I then had another op this time to put a thicker nail in together with a bone graft from my left femur.
    Being a motivated grumpy old git I am determined not to let this mishap stop me so over the next few months I have been visiting the gym every other day being mindful that I do have broken leg. My overall fitness is very good I actually cycle 8 miles to the gym. The bummer came on my last check up. The bone graft has formed really well only not across the fracture the screws either end on my nail have broken.
    Still I am Captain Scarlet so 2 weeks ago I underwent operation number 8 this time the surgeons have basically slid my along the nail roughed the ends of the bone and crammed them together they have bridged the fracture site with a big plate held in place with several screws the material from drill holes has been formed into a further bone graft.
    Inspire of this set back I remain extremely motivated it is crucial that when you have big injuries you do not sit sucking a lemon feeling sorry for yourself. I went through a very black spell last summer I was in the proverbial with extreme mood swings and temper tantrums. The other parties insurers sent me for EDT therapy I think that’s what it’s called it was brilliant. Do not bottle things up especially you blokes just ask for help.
    Just before my last op I set my bike up on my turbo trainer in the shed heater in place all set to go, just my look I’m only allowed to toe touch weight bear for 12 weeks still ho hum.

  197. alisondite says:

    Pete – what a terrible time you have had!! I had to have the proximal screws out of my femur as it wasn’t healing and was told that there was a 60% chance of that working, and if not, it’ll mean replacing the nail, then same as you, bone graft etc. Still waiting for x rays to see if it’s working (though I did have a fair bit of callous formation before screw removal, there was a big gap which hadn’t filled). You’re right,though, keeping positive is the only way forward. Keep at it, Pete – have you seen the facebook group? There are a couple of people on there who had multiple injuries like you, along with the femur business. πŸ™‚

  198. Pete says:

    Alison you are absolutely right about keeping positive. I know last year I went through a really grumpy spell I found myself telling the dog off for being a dog, throwing my crutches down the garden then having to slither along the fence to retrieve them so I could get back into the house. At the scene of my accident the doctor gave me ketamine so I could be arranged back into the shape of person and out in the helicopter. This experience leaves me totally dumbfounded as to why people would take ketamine as a recreational drug, the hallucinations I had stayed with me for twelve months and I ended up having EDT therapy a real strange thing that was. The therapy was brilliant in that unblocked the I’m so unlucky poor me mind set, it has totally reprogrammed me back to being a glass half full sort of bloke.
    I’m off to the cast replaced on my thumb today now what colour should I ask for? Purple is nice but black is more practical mmmm?
    As for Facebook im afraid it’s a place I do not visit my remarks would probably upset some one some where.

  199. alisondite says:

    I had morphine at the scene of the accident (and a ride in the RAF helicopter)- was rather hoping for a fun legal high, but morphine just made me feel sick. If that’s what heroine is like – don’t know why people take that either!! Gas and air was fab though and made me laugh and joke (used it in childbirth 29 years ago so knew what to expect). The facebook bunch are very helpful – all sorts of accident victims there – skiing, bikes, motorbikes, horse riding, even suicide attempts! Maybe you should go for a sort of dirty beige cast then not have to worry about it looking grubby.

  200. Pete says:

    Cast dilemma solved I had black. On an even more positive note I discovered that the latest op on my leg was sealed up with very neat dissolvable stitchs I am starting to look like an AA road map, plus no stitches to be removed and even more positive the other drivers insurers have provided me with an Exogen bone growing machine. These have no side effect but have been proven to encourage bone growth so have to see how it goes.

    I might dip my toe into the Face blah page and have a look?

    Thanks for the tip.


  201. alisondite says:

    I have 7 scars – most faded really well now – two screws at knee (barely visible now), two screws at hip – much bigger scars where they took them out, suture scar from where bone came through quad and long line on side of leg where they went in to remove bit of loose bone. Lush. lol

  202. Ivan R says:

    I was very happy that I found this site today. I need advice. I fell off a bike on September 8, broke the neck of my femur and had surgery the next day which included the insertion of a rod from the entire length of the femur with two fixation screws, one on my hip and one above my knee. I’ve been undergoing rehab first acute rehab at the hospital twice a day and later at home twice a week with a physical therapist. His visits were short and only twice a week for a month. Now I wish to make the transition from home to out-patient physical therapy in the hospital. My problem is a persistent pain in my knee, which seems to be getting worse as time goes by. The pain is laterally and localized, but very sharp. I’m expected to do home exercises 3x a day but can only do them once a day because the pain becomes more acute by the time I finish the exercises. I already went back to my orthopedic team two weeks ago complaining about the pain. They took conventional x-rays of the femur from the hip to the knee and they tell me the fracture is healing very well, there is bong growth around the hardware, etc. As for the pain, the doctors kind of brushed it off. Oh they said, it will go away eventually… keep doing the exercises, etc. They surmised that maybe the proximity of the screw, which is a couple of inches above the knee joint, may be indirectly responsible but they really didn’t know what to make of it. However, it seems to be getting worse. Next week I have an appointment with the head of rehab who will examine me preliminary to out-patient physical therapy. My problem is that I am not sure that the pain will in fact go away with the PT or get worse. Has anyone experienced this kind of knee pain? the kind that is so localized that you can actually put your finger right on the spot? If so, did the PT ultimately alleviate the pain or did it get worse? I honestly don’t know what to do, whether to go back to my ortho team and ask them to take an MRI or CT scan, or simply meet with the director of rehab and begin the out-patient PT. Please counsel me. Thanks so much.

  203. alisondite says:

    Hi Ivan – knee pain of all kinds is really common after having a femur break/IM nail/screws. Is your rod inserted through the knee or the hip? There will be a lot of swelling still, either way, and bruising from the op. It’s possible that the screw is interfering with the muscle(s) – I had that in my groin from one of my two upper screws which are now out – I could not do some of the prescribed physio exercises because of that (standing on one leg was ok but once I released the muscle, it really hurt as the muscle was scraping on the screw). On my x ray, you can actually see the screw end sticking out the other side of my femur. Regarding your exercises and it exacerbating the pain, try keeping the regularity, but reducing the number of repetitions – say you are supposed to do 10 each 3 times per day, start with 2 repetitions and leave it at that, then next day, if all is ok, do 3 repetitions. Lots of us on the facebook group have had bad knee pain. I had knee pain until very recently (I am 15 months on from my break) but I have more or less cured mine now by making sure I tense my quad properly when I walk etc. Are you weight bearing? I think the orthopaedic surgeons don’t really consider muscle damage – they just look at bone healing and leave everything else to the physios. Do you have your x rays? Maybe see if you can line up the pain with the screw. Some of us on the FB group imagined all sorts of things were causing our pain – there are so many pain issues to begin with with a broken femur, it’s a job to know what’s coming from where. I think there’s a fine line between pushing yourself to build up muscle and that excruciating pain from something being wrong – as a cyclist you will know what sore muscles feel like (I’m a horse rider so know aching legs/back etc. from overuse very well!). Keep us posted πŸ™‚

  204. alisondite says:

    p.s. when I had the knee pain it was where my quad joined my knee and I could put my finger on a spot about the size of a 10 pence and wondered if it was the screw, but it didn’t match up on the x ray.

  205. mike b says:

    yes, the knee pain was the worst for ages – i had fractures at neck and mid-shaft and IM nailing and two further nails to secure the head.

    17 months on, my knee pain has almost disappeared.

    I’m not sure how or why this happened, but the process was that I did a prolonged period of PT work to stabilise and strengthen the muscles around the knee, starting in earnest after about 8 months post-op. This was quite painful and I did only the amount of exercises that i could reasonably tolerate. After about 12 months, I was able to do a lot more walking, including up and down little hills – the downhill bit was especially helpful in stimulating knee stability, I think.

    The pain went after about 3 months of up-and-down hills work.

  206. mike b says:

    @lloyd13 – dead leg. what sort of dead leg feeling is it? it seems to be quite usual to have some numbness or altered sensation after surgery, which might be permanent.: both the injury and the surgery is highly likely to cause nerve damage. But if it’s severe or extensive, maybe it needs investigating?

  207. Pete says:

    From the information I have trawled through and from my own experience knee pain is a usual symptom following femur surgery. When I first started to mobilise after a long bed rest period I had a stabbing pain in the groin and knee pain and a very concerning pain at the fracture site. I was told that I probably had bits of bone floating around. As I grew stronger the knee pain and groin pain subsided. I was a fit person at the time of my motorbike accident. The combination of being really ill in hospital together with total bed red rest led to me looking like I had had the arms and legs of a little old lady grafted on. My legs could not support my weight and my arms could not hold me up on crutches.
    I have total trust in the physiotherapists and follow their advice just before my latest op I was within 10lbs of my ideal fighting weight. I’ve lost some fitness due to my latest op but so what I’m still breathing and talking dribble.
    The pain does go away follow the medical advice do not gloat and feel sorry for yourself think positive you are still here and will bounce back (probably not bounce). You know what I mean, just going to hop into the kitchen to wash up one handed a new skill I have learnt so it’s not all bad.

  208. Ehi says:

    I’m 11months now …was fixed with plate nd screws
    Walked with both crutches for 10months +..
    Yep…can’t believe it either..plate nd bottom screws pulled out and femur
    was angulated at about d fifth month about 15Β° anterior view …but it’s barely noticed now on d X-ray… Ortho made me use the crutches till there was massive callous formed..
    I’m painless… can’t bend my knee under a chair..
    Walking with a cane…slowly but surely…
    was getting exhausted in the first two weeks but now almost three and feeling good
    Ortho says I can drop d cane whenever I can..
    Can do stairs alot easier now..
    Still scared sometimes.. but staying positive.
    Hope to drop d cane soon.
    Thanking Alison ..Mike b. nd Collin for all the support we get here ..
    Anyone bearing full weight… has your bones callous completely filled d break gap? mine is about 80% anterior nd 50% lateral view .
    my fear is actually increase in angulation.. don’t want a 2nd op…
    p.s was a spiral fracture

  209. alisondite says:

    Hi Ehi – Sounds like you’re doing great!. I just got my appointment (for 4 weeks time) so am now really scared – I’ll then know whether the screw removal/dynamization op I had in Feb has worked. The thought of facing more major surgery if it hasn’t is really, really scary and depressing. No point in getting depressed though….. trying to remain positive and doing stacks of physio.

  210. Ehi says:

    I agree with you Alison… no point in been scared…
    just hope for the best… wish you well when you go for the X-ray…

  211. alisondite says:

    Cheers, Ehi – have decided to put it out of my mind now. I have done pretty much everything I can to promote healing – loads of walking and physio, sometimes despite lots and lots of pain.

  212. mike b says:

    one thing about ging through all this is that it can help you to appreciate what amazing, self-repairing, resilient creatures we are! It has certainly helped me to face other difficulties in life thinking, “It looks tough, but I can do this too”

  213. Pete says:

    Well said Mike B. It’s not until you suffer a big injury that you appreciate the simple things in life and realise what you take for granted. During my stays in hospital I met some amazingly positive people some of whom were worse off than me, at least I can still move about.

    As for facing further surgery try not to dwell on it, if you need it just look on it as another step on the road to recovery.

    When I went through my lemon sucking period I was thinking oh whoe is me two steps forward one step back, then it occurred to me I was still one step forward how brilliant is that?

  214. mike b says:

    ^cheers, pete. In case its of interest to anyone, its 18 months since my comminuted breaks at femoral neck and mid shaft, and IM nailing. The knee pain that plagued me for a year has now almost vanished, I think as a result of general strengtheningof the knee supporting structures through exercise and walking. I still have pain around the hip. Sleeping on my bad side can be a problem if I have done a long walk that day – the mid shaft break site tends to ache then.Butits execptional for me to need analgesics. Functionally, my bad leg is slightly, but noticeably, weaker than the other. I can do the same mountain walking routes as ever, but it takes about 20% longer. This might be partly because I’ve put on about a stone in weight since the break πŸ™‚

  215. Pete says:

    Mike, it’s interesting about you mentioning gaining weight. When I was in hospital after my accident my digestive system just closed down for three weeks, literally nothing happening at all. I swelled up like Jabba the Hut. I was only allowed to drink water. Eventually when everything started to wake up again and all the gasses went away (sorry about that image) I had my weight checked I had shed 15kg I looked like skin stretched over a skeleton. The hospital nutritionist told me that broken bones require 6000 calories a day I was encouraged to just shovel calories in.
    This was a good lesson to learn before my latest op I was regularly in the gym cycling and upper body workouts my weight was stable. However now I’m back on crutches following my latest op im not allowed to weight bear on my leg and I can feel I’m getting fatter by the week. I’m not overly bothered though because I nowrealise my sulky leg needs the nutrition to grow new bone.
    The fat can always be worked off when I get back on my feet better than digesting myself like I did last year.
    I miss being on two wheels though, my wife and daughter sold all my motorbikes whilst I was in intensive care off my head on morphine. So I am falling back in love with my pushbike i felt like a 12 year old again bobbing about everywhere on my racer in the summer. I’m deliberating whether to rush out and buy an electric push bike or just wait a few month and get back on a real bike mmmmmm decisions. Must rush off to scoff my 6000 calorie breakfast, what shall I have for lunch? Then there’s tea. Keep your chins up everyone.

  216. mike b says:

    Heh. Yes, I struggeld to eat anything for the first few weeks post-op. Had to force down high calorie and high protein drinks etc. But then I overcompensated and spent the rest of my recouperation time, when I couldnt exercise energetically, feeling miserable and eating chocolate…

  217. alisondite says:

    I well remember the mid morning snacks of an apple and three or four dried apricots or figs and a glass of orange juice (50% water with it) to get my system moving again… I think it took about 3 weeks to get back to “normal”…. Don’t think I’ve put on any weight since the break though. I don’t eat chocolate apart from a choccy biscuit once a week during the tea break at the orchestra I conduct. Stuff like stews/curry/chilli is ideal and easy for you loving partner to prepare earlier in the day lol

  218. alisondite says:

    had physio (yet again – been going for over a year now – NHS) and she was really pleased with my progress. Next step will be x rays first week of December….

  219. AlisonA says:

    I’ve just read through lots of the comments on this thread and how helpful they’ve been. 6 weeks ago I fell on a wet pavement and my right leg slid beneath my left very awkwardly, leaving me with a broken neck of femur. I’ve been gobsmacked at how little real info there is on the internet about every aspect and every question that my mind has raised during the last 6 weeks. The vast majority is technical info designed for the medical profession, instead of answers to day to day queries re rehab. I had 3 screws inserted. For the first few weeks the pain was horrendous and I took all kinds of painkillers. The toilet issues resonate wholeheartedly for me too and codeine was off the menu after 4 weeks. Since then I take paracetamol when I need it. I saw the consultant for the 6 week follow up last Friday and came face to face with the cruel realisation that it’s a very long haul. I am starting partial weight bearing tomorrow with the physio. In my desperate rush to get back to walking, I tried on my own yesterday to partially weight bear, which lead to some horrible sharp pains in my thigh. I am now waiting until tomorrow to be shown properly how to do it by the physio. I have no pain today. It often comes on late afternoon. I guess I’m wondering how long I’m likely to be partially weight bearing with crutches and when I might be able to ditch one of them. But reading your posts, there is clearly no average. Any thoughts or advice (apart from ‘be patient’ which I know I must be) gratefully received!

  220. alisondite says:

    Hi AlisonA – sorry to hear about your fall. I guess the main advice is to keep trying – do the physio stuff as much as you can bear (though you may have seen above that a couple of us were saying some things actually made it hard to walk at all, and weight bearing is a major factor in producing new bone growth). Yes,it’s a long haul, and the doctors seem to underestimate the time it takes to recover fully. Keeping positive is the most important thing – don’t get bored and dwell on it. You WILL get better eventually πŸ™‚

  221. Pete says:

    Alison, as you have already discovered there is reams of info for the medical profession I have trawled through stacks of complicated reports and am still none the wiser. When I first had my surgeries on my right femur I was allowed to fully weight bear. It did take a few weeks to get confident enough to put weight through my leg. Unfortunately I lost about an inch or so out of my femur as a result of the accident,in my enthusiasm to get going I broke the pins holding me up and have under gone several more re visionary surgeries. I now have a plate that resembles the Humber bridge holding me up and I am not allowed to fully weight bear. I find out next Monday if the latest op has worked so fingers crossed.
    What you have to accept is that the femur is the strongest bone in your body I read some where that it can withstand loads of a ton, that very fact means it takes a while to heal. My experience is that you have to learn to hurry up and wait. You just have to try and remain positive this can be very difficult more than once I have had paddies like a two year old child in the supermarket I damaged crutches and bent a walking stick it made me feel slightly better for a nano second.
    It’s easy to say but you can not rush the healing it is very important to do the homework excersises given to you by the Pysio,s. I am 20 months along the path to recovery hopefully you will recover quicker than me I did show off at my accident and poke my femur out for everyone to see, got a ride in a helicopter though.
    I have dabbled in and out of a book covering Mindfulness basically it’s about living in the moment and not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future it has helped me because I found myself slipping into self pity and convincing myself I was living in Groundhog Day. Now I think happy thoughts and imagine skipping through the tulips, well more sort of hobbling really. Eat well sleep well and keep moving.

    • AlisonA says:

      Thanks Alison and Pete. I really appreciate the replies. It’s so good to be able to ‘talk’ to others who’ve experienced something similar. I have found this experience so isolating. However much my friends and family sympathise, I don’t think for a second they understand the severity of the break. It has affected everything and like I’m sure everyone here has experienced, I’ve gone from being a very fit, independent woman, running round at 100mph, involved in so many different things, to a very dependent wife and mother – which I hate having to be. I am seeing the physio in an hour, so waiting for her advice re how to partially weight bear correctly and what exercises I should now be doing. Sounds as though It’s a fine balance between really wanting to get moving/helping to encourage the bone together and being careful not to push too hard and cause further damage. I do have my low moments Pete, when I start feeling very sorry for myself and wondering just how long I’m going to be so incapacitated and whether I’ll ever truly get my life back. Those moments are few, because I am very stern with myself and I make sure I do something, however small, to get back on track. I have also flirted with mindfulness, may go back to reading about/practicing that. I have found some really useful info here regarding calorie intake as well. Would be very useful to have been given some guidance from the medics re the need to eat more calories to produce the fuel to assist the bone to mend. I have lost loads of weight during this experience (that I didn’t need to lose), due to the cocktail of drugs – I am someone who usually never takes any pills at all, so they’ve had a massive effect on my system. Having read this, I am now trying to eat more calories, though it’s so hard because I am essentially a very healthy eater… I almost wish I could say I have had a major biking or riding accident. I feel so foolish having tripped awkwardly on a pavement and caused all this! One final thing – the consultant indicated to us last week that all is in line, but the fracture is still there. I now understand that this is quite normal. But she also said we might never be able to see on an X-ray that it has gone back together – is that right? Or if there is union, is it obvious on an X-ray? I’m slightly confused and don’t see her again until January…Also is there an ‘average’ time after which there is union of the femur, albeit it varies for different people. So many questions…..!

  222. alisondite says:

    Hmm – depends what the consultant means about seeing whether it has gone back together – maybe she is talking about alignment, or perhaps the break is in a difficult position to see on the x ray all the way round the bone (with me they usually take an x ray from the inside and the front). I think just eat plenty as usual – like you , Alison, I’ve gone from being very very fit and active and doing stacks of stuff to being disabled and relying on people (which I hate!!) . I think union can take anything from 3 months to 2 years – with some people it never fully heals, I believe, especially if you have lost some bone in the process of shattering etc. It’s worth joining the Broken Femurs Units page on Facebook – you will get immediate replies from people on there – many of the people on ithave “just” fallen an broken their femur – actually about the same number who broke it skiing or horseriding! And, you’re right – no one understands what we go through with the big break!

  223. AlisonA says:

    Thanks Alison. Have just had physio and was able to push 50% of my weight down on scales with my bad leg, which seemed a lot! Good to know how much weight to push through leg whilst walking. Although I am in pain now (par for the course I believe) I am pleased to be able to put my foot flat on the floor and attempt to walk normally again, if only partially weight bearing. The physio also said some very positive things. I do feel the consultants distinctly err on the side of caution, which for somebody like me isn’t great. I like cup half full people and find negativity just brings me down. So now I know what I need to be doing, I’ll be trying hard to do it and remaining hopeful. Very very hard at the moment to straighten my knee and bring it back into line with the good knee. Hate the fact that I’ve been non weight bearing all these weeks and have so much atrophy. My legs were my best asset! I have joined the FB page on your suggestion Alison. So probably ‘see’ you there!

  224. alisondite says:

    Great – see you on the FB page no doubt!! Physios are really good at encouraging I find!

  225. Mizhar Albasha says:

    It felt really good and bad as well. Some people recovering quickly some very late. Actually i broke my Femur just 7 days ago and i am on bed rest only. I hope i would get recover soon. Can someone guide me about any vehicle or supporting device which i can use for walk???
    I wish all get well soon, May God Bless all

  226. Pete says:

    Hello Mizhar. I started out with a walking frame and then crutches. You have to listen to your body and the medics. Good luck

  227. mike b says:

    yes, i had a Zimmer frame for a few days, while i was still in hospital. This was for the few days when I was going from bed/chair to getting used to standing up (though not weight-bearing). They discharged me after 3 weeks, once they had seen me walking with 2 crutches (but still not weight bearing).
    A couple of other people on the same ward with less severe injuries tried Zimmer frames and others went straight to crutches. How they got on seemed to depend on what suited their style of mental/physical coordination rather than the injury, per se. The ones who always got into trouble were the ones who rushed at it, whatever it was!

  228. mike b says:

    Hello AlisonA. You might have a perfect recovery! Although mine isn’t (!), my psychological strategy is based on the thought that despite a serious injury (which would have been life threatening not long ago, or in a less privileged country), this experience has brought out what a tough, resilient, and generally cool person I am!

  229. alisondite says:

    A broken femur is still a life threatening situation – two inches over with my compound break and it would have got my femoral artery. Also, I was on meltdown with extremely low blood pressure. Feel damned lucky I didn’t get Adult Respiratory Distress syndrome, fat embolisms or blood clots :). 5 more sleeps till the x rays – well, 4 probably, as can’t imagine I’m going to get much sleep the night before them…..

  230. Pete says:

    Alison, you are correct about life threatening injuries I received around 9 pints of blood during my surgeries. I asked about donating blood to pay something back but for some reason if you receive blood you are disqualified from becoming a donor.
    Well I had follow up x Rays today following my latest surgery and guess what 21 months after smashing my femur it has finally come out of grump and started to lay callous down across the fracture site.
    To celebrate I spent half an hour on the turbo trainer, I now have to gradually start to weight bear for six weeks and hope that indeed the bone is growing back.
    So there is light at the end of the tunnel and no it’s naot always an oncoming train.
    Keep thinking happy thoughts and try not to dwell on the past or future.
    Eat well and relax, having said that I’m off to the gym later I’ve been given the okay to do some excercise but I must protect the fledgling leg????

  231. alisondite says:

    Well done, Pete!! I’m getting slightly sick of people asking me “does it hurt” (no I limp for fun) and the “this is as good as it will get” sort of attitude and acceptance of things not being perfect. I’m going to keep striving for perfection….. 3 more sleeps to go….

  232. Pete says:

    Exactly, good luck with the xrays

  233. Hi, refreshing to hear so many tales of recovery for my injury. I am a week out of surgery after a nasty compound fracture of my right femur. I did it out mountain biking in an isolated forestry, and had a couple of testing hours to wait until my friend could get help. Unfortunately I had broken the same femur ten years ago in a sports bike accident (nail removed after 18 months because I was racing dh regularly and it was also aching a lot) when they fitted the new nail last week the surgeon put a 4mm pin straight through my knee to make sure the new nail is in the right place. Anyone else experience this kind of surgery? I’m hoping to recover pretty fast, as soon as I get full weight bearing I’m going all out!

  234. alisondite says:

    Hi Nathan – what a blow to do that a second time. I guess you know what’s in store for you recovery-wise. I hope you recover quickly πŸ™‚

  235. mike b says:

    18 months after my Big Break, I have been discharged from Orthopaedic care. Functionally, I’m not bad at all. Biking is fine, I have climbed Snowdon and am walking up hills every weekend. It takes me 20% longer and I notice the extra effort it takes. I have slight soreness at the break sites all the time and can’t sit cross-legged. But as the surgeon said, “You can’t have an injury as serious as yours without some souvenirs”

  236. Pete says:

    Hello Nathan, bad luck with the repeat injury. I am 21 months into my injury I have had the intramedullary nail op. I had it following admission to hospital then it was upgraded to a thicker rod because I bent the screws holding me up. Be very careful when you say I’m going all out when full weight bearing. My experience is this does not mean back to normal.
    I was told full weight bearing from getting off bed rest. Like you I thought happy days and built up my fitness and strength over a few months. I feel great I thought. However you can not speed up the bone healing process by pushing yourself fitness wise.
    I have had multiple surgery on my right femur because of non Union of the fracture site.
    The last surgery revealed that the non Union was caused by movement at the fracture thus I was breaking down the new bone callous as it formed.
    I now have a plate like the Forth bridge held in place by enough screws to open a hard wear store holding my femur rigidly in place.
    In addition I have been using an Exogen bone growth stimulator on my leg. All the latest treatment appears to be working.
    Try not to fall into the trap of thinking lots of training will get you fitter faster.
    I now use a turbo trainer and visit the gym again but only to use machines which do not stress my leg.
    Good luck and keep thinking positively.

  237. alisondite says:

    After I had the screws removed, the consultant said I must “walk and walk and walk” which is what I have done. I had already been weight bearing for about 5 months or so when they did the screw removal and some callous was forming. They said the friction of walking would help the bone to heal, so I guess it depends on how stable everything is. They said there was a 60% chance this would work for me and tomorrow is the follow up appointment … 10 months later…. feeling much better and walking quite well, and can now *almost* do upstairs without holding on, and quad feeling much stronger. Feeling hopeful one minute, then despairing the next, and certainly feeling very, very scared about tomorrow…..

  238. Pete says:

    Alison good luck, your right about the weight bearing I can’t remember the medical term for the micro movement at the fracture site which stimulates the bone. Mine was obviously too much movement.

  239. alisondite says:

    It’s called “wolff’s law” I think – the walking/healing thing. Went to see orthopaedic surgeon/had x rays this morning. Quite a bit of healing – plenty of callous in the hideous gap and bone formation on the edges but not fully healed. The young doctor was talking about re reaming/re doing the IM nail etc., or possibly leaving it as I don’t have pain at the site of the break. He had to go out and talk to the consultant whilst I waited – I was so so terrified…. but consultant said, fine, leave it as it is and come back for another x ray in 6 months as healing is on its way. Am very relieved. I can’t remember when I was ever so scared!! No rotation, shortening or misalignment. Bone looks really straight. New still sinking in….

  240. Pete says:

    You must be relieved ,excited at your progress. I know I was chuffed when I saw signs of recovery on my X-ray On Monday. Keep up the good work well done for hanging in there.

  241. alisondite says:

    cheers Pete – am knackered now after a most traumatic but mostly successful day…. 6 months time I will have put yet more work into the femur recovery πŸ™‚

  242. Marnitz says:

    Hi, I had a motorcycle accident on 12th January 2012, and broken my right femur, snaped clean like a toothpick in half middle, luckily bone did not stick out my leg. I’m fully recovered except still weak in the knee going up on stairs and damadged nerves from impact as the copper drove into my leg with his car. I’m finally trying to sort out my loss of earning claim with solicitors and was hoping someone has kept a log of progress as I can’t remember what level of care my Fiance has giving me over the months that I was unable to bath and dress myself or making food ect. My solocitors have asked me to do a care questionaire which I’m stuck on filling out, I think I’ve develop a mental block as it was to painfull to recall everyday chores. Please if anyone can help me that would be greatly appreciated. Cheers

  243. Ehi says:

    That’s good Alison …Cheers… going for an X-ray gives me alot of fright too.. good to hear yours was fine

  244. alisondite says:

    Hi Marnitz – sounds like a nightmare accident, but great that you are fully recovered. It is difficult to recall exact details, think. ALso horrid having to totally rely on someone for 24 hour care. Hope you get your claim sorted. There are one or two law people on the facebook femur group who might be able to help

  245. Marnitz says:

    Hi, Alison,
    I’m glad that your nearly there and things are looking up, thank you for pointing me in the right direction. I really do have feel for anyone that has to live through an broken femur and you just can’t begin to explain to someone how it feel if they havn’t been through it themselves, but never the less life goes on and you just can’t give up no matter what and stay possitive, thats what pulled me through it. Good luck to everyone on here. Regards

  246. alisondite says:

    Yes, Marnitz, I think that is the key thing – staying positive. I was reading something a while ago about depression actually doing something detrimental to body cells, so perhaps it follows that feeling positive does good things to our bodies. It’s worth believing and doing anyway – getting down about it doesn’t help anyone, although we’re all going to feel peed off, frustrated and in pain from time to time. It’s a true battle getting better. we all have a lot to be thankful for – still being alive being the main thing πŸ™‚

  247. Pete says:

    Alison, still being alive. In amongst all the worry and pain being alive is overlooked. I vividly remember thinking my time was up when I was lying in the road only able to move my left arm. Visions of the reaper coming for me were heightened by the Ketamine the Air Ambulance Dr gave me.
    Trying to remain positive is vital to recovery, it’s not always easy as we all no doubt know.
    When I have a bit of a wobble and feel sorry for myself I think back to my period in hospital when I could not move, and lived off only water for three weeks, along with people I met in hospital that face the rest of their lives in wheelchairs.
    It’s not easy but you are absolutely right about thanking the fact we are alive. Look at where we are now recovery wise compared to those first few days following injury.
    I find it’s no good looking back to the period before being injured as this is a sort of grief for what has gone.likewise it’s no good worrying about what’s to come as it probably won’t be as bad as ones worried mind thinks.

  248. Jackie says:

    hi, it’s been good to read other people’s stories, I fractured my left femur at 2.39 am whilst asleep in bed! So no biking/riding/ falling stories to tell. I’d twisted my knee slightly about three weeks before whilst walking the dog, and had increasing knee pain since then. X-rays and Mri scans had shown nothing until I woke up screaming in agony on 19th November and paramedics eventually got me to hospital where another X-ray showed my femur was fractured in the middle, with another potential fracture nearer the knee joint. Surgery followed four days later when a steel plate was screwed to the whole length of my femur. It’s now 16 days later, the Velcro brace and staples all 51 of them are gone and I now need to exercise my leg and learn to bend my knee again. Progress so far: I can lift my leg a few inches off the bed and can very slightly bend my knee. I have been using a Zimmer frame to hop to the bathroom on my good leg. Going down and upstairs is a nightmare. Good news so far is that all the tests to find out why it happened are so far negative, so question remains, how can a normally healthy person, ie me, manage to fracture the strongest bone in their body whilst sleeping? Anyone have any ideas?

  249. alisondite says:

    Jackie: – maybe you’d broken it when you twisted your knee and didn’t realise. I’ve heard of stuff like that happening. What an awful shock though! When I couldn’t weight bear, I went up and downstairs on my bum using my good leg to guide me – all fine, apart from getting up from the top step which was impossible with one leg and crutches (even though I am pretty strong etc.) so we put a sturdy footstool/pouffe which is about 18 inches high and I used that as the last “big” step then was able to get up from that. Thankfully we have a downstairs toilet so I once I was downstairs, I stayed downstairs all day till I went to bed.

    Pete: You’re absolutely right about the grief thing about what it was like “before” – no point thinking about it though. I’ve learned to have to do things slowly and if someone knocks the door and I’m upstairs, it doesn’t get answered. It’s actually been quite a good lesson in not getting stressed out about minor trivialities for me!

  250. Jen says:

    Hi read a lot of stories on here. Wish something like this would have been around when my accident happened. I was in a car accident back in Sept 2006 I was 25 yrs old. I was thrown 60 ft from my car and broke my femoral shaft about 6 inches above the knee. Crazy but i can still remember everything from the time I woke up on the ground and sat up i knew that my leg was broke. It didn’t hurt It just felt like my leg was dangling even tho it was straight out in front of me. I’m from Colorado so it was extremely cold and my accident was in the middle of the country about a half mile from my house. I knew i had to stay warm somehow so as not to get hypothermia. I dragged myself back to my car and managed to get back into it and sat there for 3 hrs till someone finally found me. I had a nail and 3 screws put in. I had the surgery that night and was out of the hosp by the next night on crutches bearing some weight. It took me about three months to be able to walk fully again with out the help of both or one of the crutches. very painful indeed. lots of sleepless nights. Now this is where it gets fun lol. In Oct 2008 I was visiting family, was walking around in Walmart with my family when all of a sudden I couldn’t walk on my leg. It hurt so bad. I was out of state and had no insurance went to the nearest ER and they did an x-ray. Somehow I had snapped the screw in the top part of my femoral shaft clean in half. I couldn’t get in to see an orthopedic unless i had 1500 dollars up front. So needless to say I had to walk around like that for almost a yr. I had surgery to remove part of the screw in which they didn’t put a new one in just left the two in by my knee and they did a nail exchange(now they do have different size nails) up to the next size because they found that i had a nonunion. It took me about a month and half to get off my crutches the second time around. and everything seemed to be going okay my leg felt good and the Dr said it was looking good. Then around Feb of 2009 I started to have a lot of pain with the same leg. So i went back to the ortho. I still had a nonunion and they found that i had an infection in the bone, was told that it would never go away. The Dr. decided to surgery for the third. They went up another size with the nail and did another nail exchange and also putting another screw back in the upper part of my femoral shaft, as well as having a pic-line for three months that i had to give my self antibiotics and i also did the electric shock therapy to stimulate bone growth. As the second time it took me about a month and half to get of the crutches. This time around it felt good bone growth was finally happening and i could actually jog again which i hadn’t been able to do in years. Now lets fast forward to Sept of 2013 I had been having problems for well over a year with my knee giving out and having pain in that leg again!!!! But this time i was stubborn. Tired of the surgeries tired of the crutches and tired of the pain. So i suffered through it until i couldn’t take it anymore and i finally went in and seen an ortho for the 4th time. Mind you i am 32 years old now and am a single mother a 6 year old daughter. She doesn’t understand why i cant go chasing her around and do the things most normal 32 year old adults can do. I shouldn’t be having these problems but i did. So in Aug of 2013 I went back in to see an ortho to figure out what was going on. I still had a non union after 7 years of breaking this bone and 3 years. I just couldn’t comprehend what was going on while have i still not healed. I only had one option left to let them bone graph it or do nothing and end up in a wheelchair. I’m to young for the wheelchair so i agree to let them do it. It was a 2 surgery process. in Sept 2013 they went in and sawed off the dead bone and put a cement spacer in which hold antibiotics. This surgery required them to pretty much open the whole side of my leg this time unlike the one incision on the knee two above the knee for screws and one in the upper thigh for a screw. Needless to say that didn’t feel so hot. lol they also did another nail exchange to the biggest one they have in the same surgery. Then I had to wait a month. So in October of 2013 I went back to surgery they removed bone from my right femoral shaft and mixed it with cadaver bone and opened my left leg again bone graphed it. I was out of the hosp the next day on all these surgeries. I went to stay with friends to help. A week later I was in so much pain that i couldn’t even stand up my blood pressure was sky high and when i was able to get up my friend said i would turn white as a ghost. So i had her take me to the local ER. They sent me back to the hosp where i had the surgeries because i had to have a blood transfusion. The DR didn’t ever find out why or how i had lost the blood. I was released two days later. I was on my crutches this time from Oct till mid November then went to a cane, until Jan of 2014. I have had x-rays done and the bone graph took i finally have a non union. But because of all the damage that had been done I am now back on crutches for a femoral neck fracture. Due to that infection in the bone I don’t think I will ever have a normal life again. I do as best as I can and deal with the pain. I just wanted to share my story and am happy to see so many success stories out there. πŸ™‚

  251. alisondite says:

    Hi Jen – sounds like you’ve a real ordeal!! Really hope you are managing a good quality of life now πŸ™‚

  252. Julia says:

    Hi everyone. It’s been really useful reading your stories. I slipped in a car park on October 1st and broke my right femur (mid shaft). Repaired with an IM nailing. The doctors in hospital identified the possibility that a drug I’ve been taking for 9 years to counteract the bone thinning effects of steroids that I’d had to take had actually stopped my bones from laying down new bone material. Apparently this is fairly rare and only effects the femur. So follow up X-Rays showed a crack developing in my left femur. So I opted to avoid a further accident and agreed to a planned osteotomy and IM nailing of my left femur on 26th November.
    It’s really helpful to see the issues with pain, sleep position and toileting are common factors. I’ve just started to reduce pain meds but haven’t managed to work out how to sleep on my side yet, which is my natural sleep position. I can manage the stairs, but have to go down backwards. Otherwise, progress is slow – much slower than I expected so I’m relieved to see that everyone else seems to struggle with that aspect of the whole recovery process.

  253. alisondite says:

    Hi Julia – sounds like you’re very early days and doing well. I’ve heard about that drug – fosimax and similar and the side effects. On the facebook group, I think the general consensus is that it takes anything from 6 months to 2 years or more to get back to normal, which sounds really grim, but having had a life threatening accident (and a femur fracture always is) it’s worth the long uphill struggle, though it may not feel like it at the time!! Keep at it πŸ™‚

  254. Pete says:

    Hello Julia, regarding sleeping on your side it’s not easy. I always preferred to sleep on my right before my incident.Because most of my injuries were on the right side I still can not lay on my right side. My incident was 21 months ago. I hate sleeping on my left I am slowly adapting to it but I some how manage to put myself in some sort of wrestling arm lock and keeping waking up. It’s really annoying but in the great scheme of things it’s not all bad. ????

  255. Laura says:

    Hi everyone,

    It’s been both comforting to me, and a bit discouraging, to read your stories above. I found myself completely relating to and empathising with your plight in hospital, Colin; my hospital stay was similar.

    I severely fractured my right femur on September 21 this year. Not in any of the usual ways. It’s an embarrassingly mundane story — I was just walking down the street and slipped in vomit on the pavement… Proceeded to fly through the air and just landed wrong, very wrong. I’m 33, and vegan so initially my doctors presumed I had osteoporosis, as this type of injury is just not seen in people my age from a simple fall. But bone density scans have shown I have normal bone density, so I guess it was just majorly bad luck. Only I could snap a femur walking down Bourke Street, Melbourne. πŸ˜›

    The pain was mind blowing. I have no idea how I didn’t pass out. My pain threshold is high but this was out-of-this- world, on-another-level type sh!t. Paramedic administered morphine did nothing. In emergency they couldn’t even xray me without administering a nerve blocker, such was the agony of moving an inch. The xray showed a diagonal snap from the knee more than halfway up the thigh. I already had a knee injury, running related, and had been limping for a week before the fall. So that was compounded shockingly and withh the snappage of bone, combined to make me see stars.

    Spent a day in traction sweating and shaking and spewing from agony while the surgeons decided on how to operate. The following day, they went with plates and screws because apparently my bones are too narrow for rods. A rod was apparently preferable, but plate surgery it was. I lost a lot of blood in the four or five hour surgery and came down quite ill after blood transfusion the next day. I spent a week with the pain not getting better but exponentially worse, and with a mysterious fever that came on like clockwork every night at about 6 pm. And yet the physiotherapists wanted me to actually take more than one shaking step at a time. I wanted to tell them to please go jump in the lake, you crazy people, but I’m a mild mannered person and refrained from telling them to kindly fuck off. But I reallyyyy wanted to. Every step I hopped with crutches had me shaking, sweating and spewing with the exquisite agony and exhaustion of it all.

    My leg was literally double the size of my left one and seemingly getting worse. Every day there was talk of sending me home the next and the idea terrified me. Aa ghastly as hospital is, I couldn’t fathom the idea of being away from a hospital, gjven the agony. They were writing me off as a pain wimp, I could tell. I knew my pain was worse than they realised, and it was only a week and a half later it finally dawned on them something was very wrong aside from the broken bone. They diagnosed compartment syndrome and in retrospect, I can’t believe they missed it for that long. Knowing now what it is, I am at a loss as to how they overlooked it.

    It is basically huge pressure within the thigh compartment, haematoma pressure with nowhere to go, which presses on every nerve. It’s basically the worst pain imaginable and had me asking to be euthanized or amputated. I had zero idea a limb has that capacity for pain, NO idea. But it does.

    They performed a second surgery and removed huge haematomas and basically WRUNG out my poor quadricep like a dish towel… The effects of this are still being very felt right now, three months later. But the surgery was a success and the relief provided almost made me weep. I was left with the standard fracture pain I should have had all along. This time I was given a drainage tube and they seemed very sheepish that they’d neglected to do this after the first surgery, which doubtless didn’t help with my developing compartment syndrome.

    I stayed in hospital an extra week and the physio was so much more bearable. But man oh man, that first week…. Omg it doesn’t bear thinking about. The pain was such that I could not even pee in a bedpan without half an hour of blood, sweat and tears and a shot of morphine in advance. Even raising my hips a couple inches of the bed wasn’t possible. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t even breathe such was the unrelenting paaaiinnn. All I could do that week was sweat and shake and cry, mind utterly blown by level of pain. Showers were out of the question, even the sponge bathing was torture.

    Three months later, I still have a lot of pain. πŸ™ It was a triple injury I guess. Knee, fracture and compartment syndrome, plus two major surgeries. I’ve only just had the green light to partially weight bear a few weeks ago, but the pain levels have increased a lot for doing so. Finally able to lose one crutch so yay for that! But still a long way to go, I can tell. My poor right leg is not even close to okay again. The swelling is still bad, my knee is still not bending to 180Β°…maybe 160 though which is a huge improvement from like 15 when I was discharged.

    I’m incredulous, absolutely amazed at the severity of this injury and by how long the road to recovery is. All because I didn’t see the gross vomit and slipped in it on a day I wasn’t even planning to be in that street. Amazing how much a life can be altered by a simple change of restaurant plans. Shaking my head in sheer WTFness haha.

    It’s been a massive setback but there is always a silver lining in adversity. The time out has been good for the soul. πŸ™‚ Can’t deny a degree of cabin fever though, am really starting to get anxious to just be able to simply WALK again, yanno? But it feels like that won’t happen for a while longer, sigh.

    I wish everyone here the very best for their recoveries. Thank you so much for sharing your tales, fellows Femur Fracture Society brethren. πŸ™‚

    Was devastated to be told I won’t run for a year, at least. So I’m wanting to take up cycling. But a little apprehensive about potential for falls in cycling, arghhh! I’ll check out the other articles pertaining to mountain biking however, Colin. Hope you’re back on yours and loving life again. πŸ™‚ All the very best!!


  256. Laura says:

    Oh! Addendum. I meant to mention how concerned I am that after three months, my muscle just doesn’t seem to be coming back despite lots of physio. My doctors don’t seem too concerned and tell me it simply takes time, but I just can’t believe how weak and sore the thigh muscle and knee is. πŸ™

    Bit down about sporting a very impressive scar running up my whole thigh now too.

  257. alisondite says:

    Hi Laura – don’t worry about the scars – they are battle scars to be proud of! I have 7…. 2 extra large ones where they went into the same place to get two of the screws out from my hip. I\m nearly 17 months on and still battling with muscle weakness in my injured leg – believe me, I have tried and tried and tried and will keep on trying till I get back to where I was. Apart from the screw removal and slow healing, I have had no complications like you, Laura, so even my fairly straightforward compound, skin breaking, quad piercing mid shaft femur break is taking a long, long time to get there – it will though, as I\m sure yours will too. Unfortunately, it’s a long, difficult journey, but don’t give up trying. Just going to do my second lot of physio exercises for the day – lunges, one legged squats and step ups before going to muck out my horse (it will be a while before I’m riding again, though I did have a little 20 minute walk on a friends horse back in august – nearly killed my back due to lack of use of those muscles, though my leg was more or less ok – getting on and off was the hardest bit!!)

  258. Pete says:

    Alison, getting back on a horse how did sell that one. I still daydream that one day I will have another motorbike. However the very suggestion leads to an icy blast from my family.
    I’ve been riding bikes for donkeys years and this is my first non fault crash, I’m reduced to watching on board bike videos on you tube and day dreaming, perhaps you tube is safer than the real thing although I still run the risk of dropping the lap top on my foot?
    Motor biking is a bit like having a crack habit I suppose it can be just as smelly.

  259. alisondite says:

    Hi Pete – yes, it’s the same with horses – like a crack habit. I have my own horse and will probably ride him again in the spring, all things being well. I was looking through some photos of me riding etc. yesterday and felt quite upset and nostalgic and thought about the grief thing you said, but I will get back to normal eventually. I’m glad I still want to ride and be with horses as my first thought after breaking my femur was that I didn’t want anything to do with the b*stards ever again….. There’s such a wonderful feeling about generally pottering around with them, brushing them and having a relationship with them. Oh well, onto the physio exercises….

  260. alisondite says:

    p.s. I’m sure my husband and my mum would be delighted if I gave up the whole horse thing but they know I’m not going to so they just have to grit their teeth and let me get on with it. As they say, “You could get run over by a bus” – I have a couple of friends who’ve tripped over stuff or slipped on leaves innocently out walking their dogs and broken ankles…. everything is potentially dangerous, as I think MikeB said a while ago.

  261. Pete says:

    Everything is dangerous, my daughters friend broke her leg falling over a quilt cover.

  262. mike b says:

    i have been back on my bike, and even gone over the very same speed bump that threw me off. But the memory of pain is quite a persistent one, so I’m enjoying rediscovering the joys of hill walking now! Laura – I vividly remember lying in my hospital bed and asking, “If I have the whole thing amputated, will it stop the pain?” ! Hard to imagine how bad it must have been with compartment syndrome.

  263. alisondite says:

    Another friend of mine broke her hip falling over a laundry basket at home.

  264. Pete says:

    Mike, you have reminded me about lying the hospital bed. When I was first admitted the surgeons operated on my legs only. This meant that during my weeks of digestive shutdown I was lying in bed with a broken pelvis and shattered arm.
    I used to love it when the three nurses used to come and role me over to change the bedding and check for bed sores twice a day. Oh how I laughed.
    Looking back although it was agony in the great scheme of things I’m glad they didn’t chop any bits off.
    It certainly is a long rocky road to recovery but worth bobbing along, congratulations on getting back on the bike. I know from breaking things in the past once you regain fitness it’s easy to forget the grief of broken bones. Keep up the good work.

  265. alisondite says:

    I don’t remember being in a lot of pain after IM nail op. I was in some pain, obviously, but given the agony I’d been in before – accident about 11am on the Tues, operation about 9am on the Weds so was lying on a trolley in A&E till about 4.30, then put in a “proper” hospital bed which was utter luxury compared to the trolley. Every couple of hours, a nurse would appear and roll me onto my good side to relieve pressure. Yeah, I was in a heck of a lot of pain and had morphine. I couldn’t wait to be put under the GA!! They made me have some oxygen first with the face mask and I took it off after about 30 seconds and said “please will you hurry up and put me out!!”. When I woke up after the op, my leg already felt much better having been “fixed” and I didn’t need to use the self controlled morphine drip but had some voltarol (I was already actually thinking of the constipating effect of the morphine I’d had :)). I managed ok painwise after – I’ve always felt ok if I was lying still :). It’ll be 17 months tomorrow that I broke my leg and today, my leg actually feels the best yet!!

  266. Pete says:

    I went for a stroll earlier I’m down to just a walking stick. I have to use that because I lost a chunk of femur and now I have one shorter leg. Still ho hum I was chuffed at being able to move at a normal speed. It’s not till you look back that you appreciate the actual progress being made. Keep your chins up here’s to a happier new year for everyone. Just 12 more sleeps to next X-ray has it grown back!? Exciting

  267. alisondite says:

    Hi Pete – well done for getting down to just the walking stick! Good luck with the next x ray! It’s a horrid time waiting for such things…. I’m off the hook for at least 6 months so am forgetting about it for the time being. However, I know when I get called in the summer I will be worried about it, even if I feel totally back to normal — you know how it is! πŸ™‚

    Yesterday I found myself doing a few things inadvertently.. – I’d crossed my bad leg over the good one without even thinking about it, reached for something in the kitchen sideways, taking most of the weight on my bad leg – that sort of thing, so things are on the up!

  268. alisondite says:

    and on another note – was thinking yesterday, that although the screw removal/dynamization knocked me for six mobility wise, I’m glad I had them out as one of them was sticking in my adductors/groin, and was always sore on my hip – that wouldn’t have gone away, and I would probably have had to pester the surgeon to take them out at some point in the future.

  269. Pete says:

    Ah the screws, mine all bent or snapped. Probably from me being too keen to get going again. Hurry up and wait is my new outlook.

  270. alisondite says:

    I certainly obeyed with the non weight bearing for 7 weeks. After that I was told to do as much as I could stand painwise. I did loads. When the screws came out, I was told to do loads of walking, and I did – every day – rain or shine, agony etc. I was half expecting the remaining knee screws to have snapped. The rod has moved, or should I say, my leg has compressed to it’s original length (they’d made it longer by about 1cm) and the rod now has less room, but still enough, at the top of my femur. Did a much longer walk this morning and leg beginning to feel much better. The waiting game is awful andthere’s a fine line between doing as much as you can and doing yourself in so you can’t walk at all.

  271. Pete says:

    Had my latest X-ray yesterday, still looks the same to me but what do I know? The surgeon is pleased and told me to keep up the walking I walk 3 miles most days. The fact the metal work still looks in tact on the X-ray indicates that the bone is mending itself. I can now consider rejoining normal life although I’m not allowed to climb ladders or do any lifting or jumping. That’s dancing classes out then. The glass is half full again.

  272. alisondite says:

    Well done, Pete – great news!! Hoping to be able to do ladders in the next year so I can do some decorating!

  273. Clair says:

    I fell off a roof Christmas morning and fractured my left femur.

    It’s incredibly difficult to find any information on recovery times for a fractured femur and now I understand why- Everyone’s different. Thank you for this post but I’m not going to lie, some of your stories have freaked me out. I guess I just didn’t realise the severity of it all or quite how long it’ll take to heal.

    I just think I’m impatient and want it all better now. 3 weeks in and I’m practicing walking round the house with one crutch but I’m terrified to leave the house, how do you get over that fear?

  274. Pete says:

    Hello Clair sorry to hear about yor accident. The big lesson I have learnt is the importance of paying attention to what your body is telling you. I understand that the femur is the strongest bone in your body and it takes its own time to heal. You need to follow the medical advice and try not to rush it. It is natural to have down days but keep your chin up it does get better.
    I know I felt great last summer and was a real busy bum moving around loads and pushing things along. All I ended up doing is bending the metal work in my leg and having another Op. Good luck I personally found it useful reading other people’s stories as you have said everyone’s injury is different.

  275. alisondite says:

    Clair – glad you have found the site. It’s about the only useful thing about femur breaks for lay people on the net! You’re doing great if you’re only on one crutch at 3 weeks. Many of us weren’t allowed to weight bear for quite a long time. I didn’t go out for weeks as couldn’t weight bear for 7 weeks and it all felt too dangerous (apart from the necessary trauma clinic visits). I was (quite rightly) worried about being in the car and going over bumps/emergency stops and stuff like that, and also it was so difficult to get into the car/down the kerb and so on, I just stayed in till I was allowed to weight bear. It was wonderful going outside again. I still hate walking about in crowded places as don’t feel stable enough to withstand people’s pushing and shoving (which they seem to do all the time – when I was using a stick, I had it kicked from under me 3 times within the space of 20 minutes in the town centre). You’ve probably already seen there’s a facebook group and if you join that you’ll find lots of immediate answers to stuff. πŸ™‚

  276. Laura says:

    Hi Fellow Femur Clubbers!

    Great to hear some feedback, thanks for your support, guys.

    Clair, sorry to hear! I too was freaked out to read of some people still struggling so far down the track, but I’m encouraged for you. I didn’t progress onto just one crutch until about the three month mark…and almost four months later, I’m still struggling with the one. I have been wincing with every step for the last couple of days. It seems to have become worse. πŸ™ We’ll see what my next Xray says, I guess.

    Keep being awesomely supportive to each other, folks πŸ™‚ xo

  277. Laura says:

    Hmm, my avatar thingy is a different pic, but I’m the same Laura who posted above, hehe. I must have used a different email account πŸ˜›

  278. Gabe says:

    Thank you for your stories. I’m currently going through recovery of a femur fracture and reading everything I could find about the injury online.

    It happened on December 19th 2014. I was skiing, having a blast as usual. It was supposed to be my last run for the day. There are two ways down from the peak: an easy, broad run most people take and a more challenging, narrow one which joins the easy run further down. This is the one I usually take. I say usually, because I know the skiing area: I had been there in previous years and I had done this run a few times that day. I had noticed throughout the day that the wind was stripping the snow and leaving the icy base behind. I still decided to go down this way. At some point I felt that I was no longer skiing, but skating: there was only ice left. I stopped to think how I should continue down safely. I was at the edge of the narrow way, short before an almost 180Β° curve and on the edge of a cliff. While I was looking around, I saw some guy heading towards me fast. He couldn’t stop and crashed into me, pushing me down the cliff. I flew for a while and landed on the only giant stone in the snow field. My left knie hit the stone, I bounced off and fell next to it. I’ve never felt such a strong hit. I immediately tried to get up, but it was impossible: things were moving, but not like they were supposed to. My thigh felt very warm all of a sudden. My left leg was in a very weird position: twisted almost 90Β° to the side above the knee… I tried to move my toes. At least that worked. Next, I adjusted my leg to look normal: I lifted myself up and set it straight. The pain was surprisingly bearable. I shouted for help. Within a few minutes the piste service people came along, saw what had happened and called a helicopter. The pain started to set in, but they only had oxygen, no pain meds. I was holding my upper thigh from below with both arms to keep it from collapsing and causing even more excruciating pain. 15 minutes later, the helicopter landed. The doctor put an IV in my arm and gave me something “a thousand times more potent than morphium”. I woke up in the helicopter. They flew me to the nearest hospital and took x-rays. Then, one of the surgeons cut my knee open and felt inside (the bone, under the skin) to determine if I needed immediate surgery. Local anaesthetic, so I felt it slightly. Weird sensation. They put traction weights on my leg, gave me drugs, and operated me first thing in the morning. The night was not nice even with all the drugs and with the now straight leg. On every movement, the upper part of my leg moved along while the lower remained still. A very weird sensation.

    The result of my fall was a fracture of the femoral shaft, hairline fissure of one of the epicondyles, hairline fissure on the patella. They put a long nail inside my femur, one screw above to lock it, and two screws below to lock the nail and the hairline fractures. I remained in the hospital for a week, because I had lost 1.5 liters of blood. They gave me infusions, iron banks and what not. The first days were rather unpleasant, but I was mostly sleeping, because I felt exhausted. My hemoglobin had dropped dramatically and even after simple actions eating or sitting in the bed I felt tired. Moving the injured leg was impossible. It was swollen, felt heavy and pretty much useless. So I basically could only lie on my back. Morphine was my best friend in the first days. They gave me all kinds of pain meds, but nothing worked and I rejoiced every time they brought some of the good stuff lol.

    I got up for the first time two days after the operation and moved around the bed with a walker a bit. That was enough for one day. I was exhausted. Next day, the crutches came in. I was so afraid to walk with them, even with two physiotherapists supporting me. They gave me a splint to keep my knee straight, because bending it even slightly caused unbearable pain.

    At the end of my week long hospital stay, things were starting to look up: I could get up on my own, I could go to the toilet alone and move around a bit. I also gained some confidence on the crutches. All that with the splint keeping my leg straight, because bending the knee was still impossible. I was also off the pain meds. Yay! Then, it was time to get home: ambulance to the airport, three “business” seats on the plain for me (more leg room and I keept my leg straight on the two extra seats) and one for my mother who accompanied me, taxi from the airport to a hospital in my home town, because my insurance wouldn’t let me go straight home. In the hospital, they did more X-rays, blood tests, computer tomography… PT was on every day. On the CT, they saw that one of the fissures hadn’t been fixed properly and put another screw in the epicondyle. I was home for New Year’s Eve.

    Now, 29 days after the sugery, I notice improvements day to day: my range of motion is getting better and better, I can lift my leg on my own and move it around, I can bend my knee up to 100Β° and it’s getting more every day. In fact, when sitting or standing still, I don’t notice any difference between both legs which is kinda dangerous, because I can’t put any weight on the injured leg yet. I had CT of my knee taken three days ago and the fissures on the epicondyles are GONE! Yay! In 1.5 weeks they’ll make x-rays of the femoral shaft and again of the knee to see how things are going and I’ll be able to put 20kg on the leg. Later 40kg and then full weight bearing. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be skiing again in the summer!

    So if you’re reading this because your femur is broken, chin up. The first weeks suck, but then you start seeing the improvements. It takes time, but it will pass.

  279. alisondite says:

    Hi Gabe. Sounds like a similarly traumatic incident to mine (only it sounds like your injury was worse). Isn’t it amazing how many of us reset our legs. I didn’t even feel a thing when I broke mine, or when I reset it. Pain started seeping in about half an hour after I think. Our bodies and minds are amazing things. Keep us posted. It’s my 18 month break anniversary this week on wednesday….. I’m doing ok with less and less pain. Mostly I feel just stiff rather than pain, but it’s so easy to tense up against the muscular pain and make it worse. Never mind, it’s not stopping me doing anything apart from running and stuff (not that I ran much anyway). Keep positive – that’s the key and it certainly sounds like you are!

  280. Pete says:

    Keeping positive, very important. I’ve just been for a 3 mile spin on my new pushbike its a Dutch style nice and upright helps with my frozen shoulder. Would you believe it about 300 yards into my ride some silly trout in a VW van nearly clattered me with her mirror as she went past.
    Because I’m a chilled sort of chap these days I resisted the urge to react. I’ve only just literally put the bike together out the box.
    I best not mention this or my family will ground me again they sold my remaining motor bikes whilst I was away with the fairies on morphine in hospital.
    Perhaps I should wrap my self in cotton wool and sit dribbling at Jeremy Kyle all day. Other than that my leg loved the bike ride it’s all warm and showing off to my other leg how great it is. I’m just getting into the box my bike was in to keep safe…..?

  281. Pete says:

    Got out the box today for another go on my new bike, guess what I managed to cover 20 miles and can still walk. Bones are amazing when I look back at my early xrays showing shattered bits and pieces I’m amazed I can move around at all. Always looking forward from now on. Good luck everyone.

  282. alisondite says:

    well done pete – good for you. Have seen people on the FB group who have broken femurs falling on ice, slippery floors etc – just normal stuff that isn’t “dangerous” . Sitting round and doing nothing is bad for you anyway!

  283. Richard Sims says:

    Wow. Very nice site. Dec 14, 2015 I was playing basketball at 24 Hour Fitness (on my own). I started to take off for a lay up, tripped, and put my left leg way out in front. I recovered from the trip at full extension and “pop.” Femur broke and I fell flat like a giant gumby jello. I didn’t know it was broke because there was no pain, but I was afraid to move it. The thigh was swelling up, nearly twice its normal size. When the ambulance came they rolled me off my side. The left leg moved up and the left knee stayed flat. When I saw the look on the faces of the folks exercising, I knew it was broke. And then they stretched it onto the stretcher and put me flat. That hurt. And every single movement for the next few hours until surgery hurt like H. But the surgery was quick. My surgeon, in Grapevine Texas, was excellent. He put the flexible titanium nail in the thigh and screwed it in place. The fracture was about five inches above the knee. The hospital stay was great because the morphine masked the pain. However, when I went home, any lateral movement was devastating. Quickly, however, it got better every day. After four weeks I started going back to 24 Hour fitness, using real light leg weights, walking backwards in the pool, then following up with the sauna. I saw Taylor Fedun (hockey player) rehab video. Well, everything seems to be working. I have a knot that is always painful (scar tissue) near the screws above the knee. That won’t seem to go away. I’m 6’2″ tall and 51 years old. Will I have a full recovery ? Anyone know ? I like to play basketball and walk a lot. I live in Costa Rica where everything is within walking distance. It seems really strange to keep the titanium nail and those screws in place, but I have seen a few hockey players make a full recovery and even one football player. Henderson for the Vikings. Just curious to see if anyone knows if a real, 100% recovery is possible. What a hassle, but just so glad the injury happened here instead of Nicaragua or rural Costa Rica. Appreciate your thoughts… Richard

  284. Gabe says:

    Hi Richard. My accident/surgery was six weeks ago and from what I can tell so far, recovery speed and results are highly individual. For instance, I wasn’t allowed to put any weight on my injured leg until last week. After a X-Ray last Friday, my doc gave me directly the go ahead for full weight bearing which took my by surprise. Yesterday, I finally got over my fear and walked without crutches. Unlike many people whose stories I’ve read, I haven’t felt any pain in my injured leg. I was off the pain meds at the end of the first week post-surgery and I haven’t needed them since. The only difference between my injured leg and my healthy leg now is the lack of power and stability, because of the muscle atrophy. But this is getting better every day.
    From what I’ve read and heard, full recovery is possible. But your mileage may vary: complications, non-union, chronic pain and many other nasty things can occur. Listen to your doctors and physiotherapists, and be happy about every small success. If you’re lucky and diligent enough, you’ll make a full recovery.

  285. mike b says:

    Richard – my breaks were at femural neck and mid shaft. My surgeon predicted a 90% recovery, based on 1) it was a severe, comminuted break, with a fair amount of soft tissue damage around the hip joint BUT 2) i am reasonably physically active, well motivated and not overweight. 19 months on, I feel that I am around that level. The main residual problems are some loss of stability and a vague but constant discomfort, probably mainly due to chafing and scarring around the parts of the metalwork that stand proud of the bone and stick into the soft tissues around

  286. ashwin says:

    I hav fracture of femur I struck bye bike in accident on 16 nov 2013 I had surgery bt Its nt heal even today doctors said u want surgery depressed plz give me sughestion

  287. Pete says:

    Hello ashwin. Unfortunately breaking your femur is a serious injury I broke mine along with several bones two years ago. I have had 8 operations to get me sorted.
    You can not rush your bones to grow, it’s very important that you follow your medical advice and not things you read on the Internet there is no magic cure. It is natural that you will have periods of feeling down about your injury.
    The good thing to consider is that as every day passes your body is getting stronger again it’s just when your living with the injury it feels like nothing is happening. It’s a good idea to read the other posts on this site it may help you to come to terms with your injury, it’s easy to say but try not to look back and feel sorry for yourself and what you feel you have lost and missing out on. Look forward and try to be positive. Good luck, things will get better I’m two years into this journey but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

  288. alisondite says:

    I’ve met a couple of people who have made 100% recoveries – for some it takes 6 months, others 2 yrs, or even 4 yrs, but some have said they are now back to where they were. As MikeB says – it really depends on the break and complications that go with it. They told me I would be back to normal in 3-6 months as I’m healthy, fit and (was) extremely active. I’m 18 and a half months on and gradually getting there. It feels like it’s taking for ever, and I’m starting to feel slightly frustrated… but that’s probably a good thing as I will try harder with stuff πŸ™‚

  289. mike b says:

    EDIT – after another week of tests, I think I was/am at 90% of pre-break levels over short-medium distances, but find my performance drops sharply after a few hours. EG I can do a 5 mile walk in the hills as well as ever, but if I add another 3 miles, I start to struggle. Dunno what that means for anyone else, though – maybe nothing.

  290. alisondite says:

    MikeB – that sounds really great. You had a worse break(s) than mine, I think, and around the same time, so you’re doing amazingly. I reckon if you carry on doing what you’re doing, you’ll get back to more or less normal. If you gradually build that up, your leg will be able to stand more and more πŸ™‚

  291. Wendy says:

    Great information on here. I broke my right hip – trochanter 13 months ago – came off a horse. I am 51 and had a PFN down the femur. I am back riding horse and it feels great infact better when I am on the horse than off. In the summer the surgeon wants to remove the nail. Has anyone had similar, I need to time it in with work – school teacher – but don’t want to miss the summer riding. I am wondering how long before I can walk and ride again. Surgeon says” it’s only soft tissue damage…with a smile…. I’m thinking he knows more than he’s letting on!

  292. Gabe says:

    It’s been 58 days since my accident and today (16. Feb) is my fourth day of walking completely unaided again! Around the house at least. When I go out, I still carry one crutch for support and as a sign to the people that something is not quite right yet, so that they’re more careful if possible. The limp is almost gone, the knee is almost fully flexible: only a few degrees are missing. I’m walking at least 2km each day and even did 6km on Saturday. But this was apparently too much, because my injured leg was pretty tired afterwards. It felt like massively overdoing it with sports, but it’s been only walking. I also went swimming for the first time since the accident yesterday. I’m having my next X-Ray somewhen at the end of February or at the beginning of March. By then my doc expects the femur to be whole again (as of 30/01 it was bridged completely only on one side; the other side was not completely closed, if that makes sense), otherwise he wants to remove the upper screw to help it along. I dread another surgery and hope that everything will be fine. But being partially mobile again is a huge relief.

  293. alisondite says:

    Wendy: as you will have seen, I did my midshaft snap falling off a horse…. nearly 19 months on and a second operation to remove screws a year ago (that 2nd op left me worse painwise that I was before – much worse infact, but it’s all for the good as I doubt it would have started healing otherwise, plus the screws were sticking out and affecting my muscles at top of leg). Anyway, I only rode once on a friend’s quite horse, back in august, for about 20 minutes. I’m not physically stable enough to act quickly in spooks and so on, but hope to ride my own horse again in the summer. I have read that after rod removal, you can’t do “normal” stuff such as lifting and so on for about 3 months, but that might be wrong – it’s just what I found when I googled. My stuff is staying put unless I’m told it’s life threatening!! Gabe – sounds like you’re doing brilliantly!

  294. Gabe says:

    Alright, 10 weeks in. I’m walking completely unaided since last Friday (27th Feb). Even outside. The crutches are now with the walker in the basement; hopefully I’ll never have to use them again. The limp is almost gone. My doc says it’s all in my head. There’s no physical reason for me to limp at all, so I guess I just have to work on it. The surgeon said that I can even run, but I won’t do that just yet lol. The bone is healed as in there’s no gap any more, so I won’t need an additional surgery. But it will be a while before it is as strong as before, so no heavy duty activities yet. I’m back in the gym since yesterday. My injured leg very weak. πŸ™ But I’m taking it easy. The knee flexes and extends all the way, like the other one. It is still not entirely without pain at the final few degrees, but the pain is decreasing with continued exercise and physiotherapy, of which I still have a few sessions yet. I suppose that the gym and swimming will help it along too. So if all goes well, I’ll have another X-Ray at the end of April and one more surgery to get the hardware out at some point.

  295. alisondite says:

    well done, Gabe – what hardware have you got and why are you having it out?

  296. Gabe says:

    I have a large Reconstruction Nail almost as long as the femur itself, one fixating screw at the very top of the femur shaft, one at the very bottom and two screws in the epicondyles. My injury was a fracture in the middle of the femoral shaft, fissures of one of the epicondyles with a small crack right between the epicondyles and fissures of the patella. I don’t know exactly when I’ll have them taken out. My on-site emergency surgeon said 6-12 months. The one at home initially said two years, then it was 12 months and the last time he said 10 months. It all depends on how well the bone remodelling goes I guess.

  297. Big buddy says:

    I want to thank everyone for posting huge mentally knowing others are facing similar challenges.
    3 weeks ago today my 12 year old 137lb son fractured his proximal femur playing basketball. It was repaired the following day with 8 screws and 2 plates.. Post operative instructions were simply weight bearing as tolerated. Motion as tolerated. He was diagnosed with a benign bone tumor in the fracture area 18 months prior to this injury. The tumor site was filled with a bone graft and was completely healed we were told at the time of injury.

    I have 17 years of experience in physical therapy and specialized in knee injuries when I practiced. I would like to share some things I have discovered caring and treating for my son in hopes that it may help someone else. Consult with your doc or therapist before trying anything you read online.

    My son spent one night in the hospital. At day 6 he was off all medication. At 2 weeks post op he had full rom in his hip and knee. Tonight he walk 30 minutes on a treadmill holding onto the rails. Using a bathroom scale he can put 121 lbs of 137lbs of wt on his leg. He stretches and stregthens his leg almost every waking hour. The restriction I gave him was not to let his pain go above a 5 out 10 on his pain scale with anything he does.
    The tools he has access to daily are: a pool, a piece of equipment called a total gym yes chuck Norris, stationary bike, tens or muscle stimulator, real ice cube ice pack, stretching for one and hip rom, treadmill, short arc exercises for quad, quad sets or squeezes.

    Keys in order:
    Manage pain with ice and ibuprofen/ Motrin for inflammation not pain medicine
    Squeeze quad as much as possible
    Regain knee and hip rom asap
    Stationary bike
    Pool walking and tread water holding floatation device
    Total gym level 1 single leg squats
    Walk normal or normal gait pattern using crutches or when in pool
    Use crutches until you can walk without a limp!!!!! Practice practice walking normal with crutches!
    Primary goal walk without a limp asap
    Do not limp do not use a cane you are prolonging recovery can lead to back pain other problems
    Work out!
    Understand it will take 1000 hours of exercise to walk normal, you can choose to do that in 6 weeks or 12 months. Just be sure to stay within your doctors restrictions at all times. Understand that all cases are different based on severity of injury and age of patient. Good luck I hope this can help someone.

  298. alisondite says:

    Hi Big Buddy – sorry to hear about your son’s accident and thanks for the tips. THere is evidence to suggest that ibuprofen or similar can actually slow healing as inflammation is part of healing – however, I was given ibuprofen in hospital and more to take at home (which I did). I had to walk unaided, limping in order to get as much weight on my femur as possible to promote healing. I’ve been as careful as possible to have as good a posture as possible with the limp (I’m no 19 months on and haven’t had any back problems – was very fit before the accident so that no doubt helped = my lower back was very strong due to horse riding and all the lugging about chores that entails). If I waited till I could walk without limping, I’d still be using 2 crutches, I’m sure. My physio and doc wanted me off them asap – so we’re all different.

  299. Pete says:

    Yes I agree about striving to get off walking aids asap. I routinely took a walking stick out with me, more of a comfort blanket if I’m honest. Then after a few trips to the local shops without the stick and I find I am now able to walk around 3-4 miles without a stick. I have to really concentrate on not limping.
    I pushed myself really hard the other week on a cross trainer in the gym it felt great at the time. However on a cautionary note it took about a week to recover my leg really hurt I was convinced I had dislodged something. Good news though the latest x-Ray yesterday shows all my metal work is in tact and the bone is finally filling in the gap 2 years on from breaking it. I have been given consent to pursue a new career so exciting times, hopefully my 8th operation will be my last and I can rejoin the normal world. I’m still cycling around like a 12 year old kid it’s a hoot.
    Good luck everyone to those at the start of the journey keep your chin up try not to wallow in I’m so unlucky, why me mind sets, easier said than done but it does help.

  300. alisondite says:

    yeah – I find very often I do so much I can barely walk for a couple of days or so – recently, badly strained my groin/adductors and *almost* had to use a stick to go out, but resisted the temptation as I can’t stand the comments etc. Have to say, though, I think-I-am-making-major-improvement!!! Doing the hill at the farm every day is great exercise. Am very pleased for you, Pete, too!! Onwards and upwards, the lot of us!! I’m really looking forward to my new range of activities in the near future too. I showed my x ray pics to a retired GP friend of mine last night and she said “Oh, that;s really good! You’ll be fine in a few months by the look of that!” – normally she;s a bit of a downer with recovery so I took that as really positive encouragement.

  301. Ed says:

    I am glad I found this (but also a little dismayed to read about how long the recovery might take). 4 weeks ago I was in a climbing accident where I slide approx. 700 feet down a steep ice shoot and received multiple compound fractures on my upper right femur. I sat in the snow in the sunless north facing gully for about 6 hours before a rescue helicopter came. Because where we came to rest was pretty precipitous, the only way I could be rescued was to be winched up into the helicopter in a body harness, my leg dangling and me screaming at the top of my lungs. Fortunately the accident happened at 9:00 in the morning and we where able to be rescued, flown to the trauma center and I was able to receive surgery that evening (titanium rod inserted into the length of the bone secured with 4 screws). I was in the hospital for two more nights following the operation because I didn’t pass their PT test of being able to crutch around sufficiently enough. Initially, I was in a lot of pain, was very swollen and had very little mobility and ability to use the muscles around the femur. By day 4 I was able to endure the 2.5 hour car ride back home to Seattle from the hospital.
    By day 9 I was riding the bus all by myself and going into my office to work half days. At a little less than 4 weeks now I am able lift my knee above my hip, bend my knee about 120(?) degrees and pedal on a stationary bike (without resistance) for 15 minutes just get some blood flowing and the range of motion increasing. My first follow-up appointment is still a month out and the surgeon does not want me to weight the leg or go to PT at all until I see him and he sees sufficient bone growth. The reason for the 2 month non-weight bearing is the angle of the upper fracture is pretty oblique and it would wear out the hardware before the bone heals.
    Now at 4 weeks, I am relatively pain free and able to move around with crutches pretty well sans putting weight on the leg (I do try to emulate walking by heel striking pushing off with my toe). It is still really difficult to get a full nights rest. I bought an orthopedic leg pillow to sleep with which puts minimal stress on the leg but I struggle to sleep on my back and up tossing and turning most of the night trying to find a pain free position on my side to not much avail.
    I am a pretty active and competitive person and running, biking, climbing, and hiking were huge parts of my life. I just turned 29 and it is a little disheartening to know I will have to endure a hiatus from these activities at a high level for 1,2,3? years while I am in my prime. I guess this is just a new challenge though and staying positive about the future is best medicine I have right now.

  302. alisondite says:

    He Ed – crikey what a horrible experience, but it sounds like your doing great, and you’re still very young. Make sure you listen to the surgeons re weight bearing!! Keep us posted – have you seen the facebook group? It’s really useful.

  303. Gabe says:

    >I will have to endure a hiatus from these activities at a high level for 1,2,3? years…

    well, I wouldn’t go that far. I’m now 13 weeks in. I can walk normally, that is without a limp, since last week. It just happened. One day I was limping, the other day, I wasn’t. I can also run, even though I’m not trying to beat Usain Bolt at 100m just yet. I handle the stationary bike with full resistance, going hard with both legs. I’m at 40kg with the leg press. From 100kg before injury, but it’s something lol. Full range of motion of the knee joint is back since 9 weeks in. It’s still with some pain when doing squats, or extending from fully flexed position after a few minutes, but it is decreasing.

    My doc says I’ll be back to full ability until the summer.

  304. norlyn says:

    Hi everyone..I been reading some of your comments and stories here and im really getting many info.
    I had an accident in the Philippines last August 14..the doctor said my femur was badly fractured and might take at least a year to recover. The following day he explained to me my situation and said I needed an operation. But the operation happened after 10 days. They put titanium plating just above my right knee..I had a commuted distal femur fracture. My problem was I can’t be able to bend my knee anymore. The doctor told me about it already after my operation that I might not be able to bend my knee anymore but I’ve been always positive to be able to bend it after having therapy but sadly I cant. Im here in Italy now and I went to the hospital last week to know if they can do something about it here that they might give me another possible options to do with regards to my knee flexion that they haven’t told me in the Philippines but the doctor said its already impossible to recover the movements of my knee..
    I started walking without crutches December last yr but since I can’t fold my knee..I cant walk normally..though my therapist in the Philippines told me I can still walk normal in the future because walking doesn’t really need full flexion of the knee I have this feeling that I’ll be like this for life now..walking as if my other leg was a little shorter than the other but its not…
    how I really wish and pray that at least I can have a 90Β° flexion to be at least sit and walk normally.

  305. Gabe says:

    Hey norlin.

    Use It Or Lose It. This is the principle for our body parts. The longer you take to give your knee full range of motion the less likely it is to get the way it used to be. After my injury, I couldn’t bend my knee at all. It was swollen to twice its normal size and even the tiniest flexing hurt like hell. A few days after the surgery, I started shoving pillows underneath to keep it bent a bit. But it was painful. After 1.5 weeks, my doctor told me that I should get to 90deg asap, because otherwise the damage will be permanent. This scared me. I got a motor flexor which provided continuous movement In a preset degree range. I made 4-5 sessions per day, each 30-40min. I started out at 20deg, inching my way toward the set 90. I always worked a few degrees into the pain, because if it doesn’t hurt, you’re not challenging it to do more than it can atm. I needed two weeks with the machine to get to 90. After 3.5 weeks, I had maxed out the machine at 120. About eight weeks in, I had full range of motion, but with severe pain at the final few degrees. The pain has been decreasing steadily and is now (13 weeks after the surgery) almost gone. Almost. It’s getting less and less. All this is for one week in a fully stretched position with complete lack of movement and another week with barely any movement and flexing. The sad truth is that joints decay quickly when not used. Recovery is then a long way.

  306. mike b says:

    Norlyn – what is the reason for the loss of knee flexion? Is it tissue damage, or the metalwork or other surgical work you had done? As others have done, I would recommend that you join the Facebook group “Broken Femur Victims Unite”, where there are a huge range of other people facing lots of difficulties. Someone there is sure to have been through something similar and might have an informed view.

  307. anson says: name is anson 19 years old..I also got an accident on dec 17 left leg femur break and doctor put the plate inside my leg…after 2month I fall down at home Feb 19 2015when using crutches and my plate was bone also break..after that second operation on Feb 20 2015 doctor put the nails inside …after 1 month I can walk with crutches…can I know what will feeling when the bone in the recoverry process…physio people ask me can walk without crutches…but when I walk every one step …I feel like something stucking inside my knee…u guys also got this feeling?and now I also feel like not comfortable at it recovering?so that I feeling different?what excercise I can do to make my femur fracture recovery fast?

  308. Alec says:

    Hi Guys, I was looking for info regarding discomfort from Femoral Nail surgery and wow look what i found.

    I feel very lucky for my situation after reading a lot on here, My accident was 1 month 4 days ago, I was also cycling, doing 70 plus downhill on the road and missed a corner for a few reasons and here i was lying down off the road looking at my left foot not doing what i wanted, luckily there were people close who helped me and approx half an hour later ambulance arrived and took me to hospital, by the end of day i had surgery for what the surgeon described as a shattered femur, it was approx 3 quarters of the way up to the hip joint ad there was several tiny pieces of bone and one section approx 2cm long broken out, i spent 4 days in hospital, i was not allowed to put any weight on it at all not even touching the ground so i had to lift it before i was allowed to move.
    I pushed myself with the physios to be able to get out of bed alone and push knee from 90 degree to approx 45 degree while sitting as well as just being able to get foot off ground in vertical lift while sitting,
    I left hospital on crutches and have pushed myself since to now have approx 80 to 90 % rom in all joints, i have also allready done several rides indoor and 2 outside the longest being 20 mins which felt amazing.
    I am still on crutches but can hobble a bit with out but only limited as doctor still hasnt said i can.
    I have had max 2 pain the whole time when shifting in bed or twisting etc, other than some maybe 3 to 5 on the first day in emergency ward and havnt taken and pain meds other than a few times to get to sleep.
    I am experiencing discomfort from the nail when i lie directly on it at night but i hope this eventually passes over time.
    I am hoping to start riding to work and back 3 times a week 40km a day in 2 weeks time.
    Im not sure why my experience while being bloody annoying is generally good but i believe my absolute stubbornness and will to beat anything to hold me back helps.
    I also hope the people that are struggling and having a hard time do get through it and back to comfort.

  309. alisondite says:

    HI Alec – maybe it’s the screws in your hip causing the pain. Normally, as long as the nail is kind of self contained in the femur (i.e. not protruding out of either knee or hip) it shouldn’t cause problems as I don’t think you can feel the nail inside the bone marrow cavity – just as well or we’d all be in agony really. It used to hurt me to lie on the bad side but I had the top screws out and it’s fine now. Sounds like you’re doing well – when was your accident?

  310. Lulu7757 says:

    At last! A site with real comments from real people experiencing real pain and fractures. I tripped over some fresh air 4 weeks ago. I am able to walk using just one crutch indoors, but prefer two when I go outside. I am now able to walk a short distance, although I have some pain when I get home. My problem has been that I had incredible care from the hospital, surgeons, doctors and nurses whilst in hospital – but since coming home I’ve been left on my own. I have a set of 4 exercises to do , which I do religiously, but no one has been to see me since my first week at home. And it’s another 3 weeks until I see my surgeon. So I had no idea if my discomfort was normal… until I found this site. Thank you all for sharing your problems. It’s made me feel as if I CAN cope! By the way – I am approaching my ‘prime’ – I’m 72 – and have found that people assume that I’m elderly, deaf, and need to be spoken to in slow, slow childish voices!!! In fact, I’m a cyclist, have a dog I walk for miles, I still work…..

  311. Karan Labra says:

    Wow! After reading this, I’m sure I’ll be more careful when riding trails. :O

  312. Alec says:

    Hi Alison,
    I had my accident on the 7th of March.
    I didnt think of the screws, i am getting better every day, just trying not to get to excited yet but feeling great.
    I went for two fourty minute road rides on the weekend and felt great and more comfortable every minute, averaged 22.5km/h on Saturday then 26.5km/h on Sunday so hopefully before long il be enjoying 30 averages and finding any hill i can to go up.

  313. Pete says:

    For all of you with newly fractured bones, please try and look forward resist the temptation to wallow in self pity I am 2 years and one month along the road to recovery. I still walk as though I have a marble in my shoe, however I can walk and push it hard in the gym. I try to walk and cycle as much as my leg will allow. There is now definitely a bright light at the end of the tunnel and I no longer think it’s an oncoming train.

    The early days were crap and there seemed no end insight to a continual round of Operation, recover, operation, recover operation bone graft recover etc etc etc. apart from recovering from the breaks I slowly turned into a very angry man. Its can be tough but you will recover good luck.

  314. alisondite says:

    Pete: thanks for those words. You have actually saved my day. It’ll be 21 months for me next week. I had a crap visit to the physiotherapist. I was totally knackered as slept really badly so wasn’t at my best physically. She thinks my muscle strength is getting much better (I reckon my hamstrings are about 75% ish now) – anyway, I KNOW I am improving every day. There are things I can do now, that would have been *unthinkable* even two weeks ago – for instance, I just spent over an hour going through a massive pile of clean washing that’s been building up for the last 21 months… tugging, pulling, standing the whole time, made my bed including turning the mattress, I can now get in and out of the car “normally” instead of swivelling. Anyway, physio said today stuff like “you may well always limp as it’s not progressing” etc. If you lot weren’t such a nice bunch of people I would tell you the swear words that were going through my head – I am so angry (first I was really upset) as if she’d said this to any less a person than me, they would probably give up. Physio seems to have forgotten that I had the dynamization thing and was walking round in agony with a loose bone/gap for months before healing started, and also, last summer, when I was in a lot of pain, she was nagging me to get back on my horse!!! I could barely walk at the time without leaning heavily on a walking stick. Sorry am ranting a bit, but at the moment, I don’t think I’m going back to physio, as when I left I thought I may as well get Stannah Stair lifts to give me a quote, and perhaps invest in one of those single boot slippers.

  315. Pete says:

    Ah the comments and advice, one of the surgeons that operated on my pelvis told me I would have restricted movement. I saw him 3 months post op he was twisting my hip around like a wrestler,”thats strange, you have an full range of movement you should not be able to move like that?” Said the surgeon. I told home I like a challenge, he also told me I would have a frozen shoulder I’m so determined to prove him wrong again that I make my eyes water moving my arm.

    As for a stair lift, in the early days I was told not to tackle the stairs, of course I just ignored this and went up the stairs backwards, however it was not a pretty sight once I got to the landing I used to wriggle around like a salted slug trying to get up I solved this by just wriggling across the floor to bed.

    Alison please be careful with the giant slipper I fell over and broke my nose in mine.

    Keep moving and keep your chin(s) up.

  316. Sue says:

    What a great find this site is. Not an athlete just a 60 year old charity worker who fell over a chair and broke her femur very high up and ended up with dynamic screw. That was August 2014 and went back to work April 1st. All too much, in so much pain and back to walking with one crutch. GP has put me off for another 8 weeks and changed meds. I don’t sleep well so have just purchased adjustable bed and still not used it yet wrong headboard delivered. has anyone tried a Tens machine? have Physio and Hydrotherapy at least once a week paid for by my employer and must say this has been the best help with my recovery. Have joined a gym and lost over 4 stone and climbing. Having Dexa Scan on Friday so hoping this will be good news. Cannot believe how long this whole thing is taking, going through the weepy sorry for myself period at the moment but the positivity on this site is amazing.

  317. Pete says:

    Sue from my experience and from what others have said, I think the feeling sorry is a normal reaction. It’s natural to focus on what you can not do. It’s more important to focus on what you can do and look forward.

    I have used a TENS machine but this was a few years ago for a shoulder injury I found it helped a little bit with pain relief, the one I had used various settings from a gentle tingle all the way up to firing the muscles in my shoulder to the point I looked like a chimp climbing a tree, very strange. The TENS is aimed at pain relief.

    The other machine I have used and still am is Exogen bone healing system. Exogen does not target pain it uses ultrasound to stimulate the bone growth things in the bone funny enough. I can say that my femur has been healing since I have been using the Exogen although my leg may have healed anyway following my latest surgery which included extra metal work and a bone graft. who knows? Congratulations on the weight loss simple sense suggest less weight is good for your leg keep at it. Keep moving look forward.

  318. alisondite says:

    Pete – I did try to post from my phone on hols to say thanks for your brilliant, encouraging and funny words. Now back from hols with horrendously stiff leg from all the walking. A couple of days taking it easy (apart from the usual mucking out) should see me on the way again. Feeling knackered. Scar tissue feels ridiculously tight.

  319. Simar Kaur says:

    God Colin you made me laugh for the first time in weeks!!!!!! How fabulous you are. Truly cheered up this hallucinating femur fracture- 2 weeks in- survived a car crash! and have spent years helping widows and survivors of genocide, through TARAN, with my salary, wondering what on earth am I doing lying down now! you cheered me up. God you made me laugh. Thanks

  320. Big buddy says:

    I just want to update on my 12 year old son now 2 days short of 10 weeks post proximal femur fx with internal fixation. As a whole he is doing great. He has been completely off crutches since week 8. Off crutches around the house week since week 6. Started working out at a gym at week 8. His routine consists of bike 10 min, ecliptic 20 min, treadmill 20 min, rowing machine 10. He is able to walk pain free with no limp to the avg eye walks “normal” . We will attempt a light jog at the soft grass soccer fields this weekend. Still experiences temporary pain with exertion. Still has very weak abductors . Overall slow steady progress almost daily. Continues swimming 3 x per week. Gym 3x per week. Plus therapy specific exercises. Typically works on his leg 2-3 hours per day. If we go 3 days without progress we rest for a day or two. Make sure pain does not exceed 5 out of 10 on pain scale. We just take what the leg gives us each day trying to add reps or resistance each day. Have not needed ibuprofin in weeks. Pain from weeks 6-9 has been flash like at the fracture site especially with new stress. This was the periostium healing.

    Keys: swimming early and often. Stress walking normal with the crutches from the start. Use home scale to measure how much weight can be tolerated and as motivation. Early stationary bike. Everything as tolerated with pain under 5 out of 10. No pain no gain will NOT work with this.
    Patience. Ibuprofin as with everything in life in moderation is fine. Stick with over the counter. There is conflicting data on ibuprofin and bone healing. Typically the amount used in studies is many times greater then what the avg person would take. Bottom line nothing has been provin conclusively. Ibuprofin helped my son be more active early on to get him over the hump. Good luck to all.

  321. mike b says:

    Sue – to add my TENS experience. I found it helpful in the first few months, when I had severe knee pain (although the fractures were mid shaft and neck). It felt like a burst of 30-45 minutes of TENS helped jolt me out of a pain ‘habit’, so that the relief lasted longer than the TENS was on. I can imagine going back to it, although I haven’t used it recently. This is out of laziness (all that faff with the pads and gel and stuff) – which suggests that the pain isn’t so bad now!

    Otherwise, I recommend ice-ing.

  322. alisondite says:

    My pain seems to be located to pretty much a single spot most of the time – the scar tissue where my bone came through my leg. It feels tight, but walking and doing stuff loosens it up once I’ve warmed into it and bitten the bullet.

  323. Pete says:

    Bio oil is very good on external scarring I used to get terrible itching fro my scars.

  324. Pete says:

    At last, the latest xrays show that my femur is definately United and new bone is remodelling itself. It has taken two and a bit years to get to this stage. For those at the start with fresh femur fractures try to look forward. To celebrate I have been looking at nice shiny Ducati bikes (don’t tell the family though). Good luck everyone

  325. alisondite says:

    That’s great news, Pete!! I’m supposed to get seen in June, but I expect it will be more like December. It’ll be 2 years for me in July. Won’t rest mentally till I get the same news as you!! Very pleased for you! πŸ™‚

  326. Sara says:

    Fabulous site, and blog.
    Thanks for your encouragement.
    Can’t wait to get away from this femur fracture stuff

    going bonkers…..

  327. Gary says:

    Broke my femur at the neck 6 weeks ago had four screws inserted, and was expecting to get rid of the crutches of this week only to be told I need another 6 weeks, the chance of compromising the blood supply hadn’t been explained to me, have a look online and have heard people talking about getting back to pedalling, but has anybody got back,to full on downhill, thinking of keeping my all mountain and selling my downhill rig, great thread was good to find a bit more info on the injury

  328. alisondite says:

    Gary – just keep at it. It takes as long as it takes. Keep taking it one day at a time and keeping positive. We’ll all get there. Sometimes we might feel we’re going backwards again, but then we’ll be on the up again. πŸ™‚

  329. Can says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    I am 26 years old. I am running for 7 years , completed two marathons and started training for an half Ironman race.

    I fell off my bike 10 days ago in a foreign country(1h30 flight back to my hometown) and broke my left femmur.

    I was taken to a surgery in 1 and a half hour and two rods were inserted.

    I am non weight bearing and I can walk around with a walker. I try walking for 4-5 times a days for a total of 20 mins. I can bend my knee 90 degrees when sitting and about 45 when laying on bed.

    I am hoping to fly back to my hometown in two days (12 days following the opp). I will consult with other doctors and physios in my hometown.

    Hoping for the best

    • Ally says:

      What exercises are you doing to help you bend your knee? I am a month after surgery and I am only reaching 90 degrees now.

  330. mike b says:

    sounds like you are doing very well, Can. And you’ve got youth on your side!
    Gary – I was never a “full-on” downhill biker, more a casual MTBer. It took me about 10 months before I graduated from a turbo trainer to getting back on my bike.

  331. Lulu7757 says:

    3 months in from my femur break – and I can walk unaided, although I use a Nordic Pole to walk my dog ( more a comfort blanket!) But oh! boy! I still hurt a lot , and sleeping is a thing of the past. The site of the operation hurts still, and I swear I can feel the screw when I lie on my side. My doctor said I wasn’t to take sleeping tablets as I may fall – but to take 2 paracetamol and one ibuprofen tablet 4 times daily. I have an appointment for a Dexa Scan at the end of this month, and really hope for good news. I do get frustrated when I see people with hip replacements walking easily after only a few weeks. But reading the posts on this site, I realise that a femur break is a different kettle of fish ( or bones!)

  332. Ally says:

    My post has nothing to do with cycling either. I was diagnosed with a chondrosarcoma (Malignant tumour) in my left distal femur. I am 22. I had surgery on may 11th 2015 to remove the tumor and have it filled with a bone graft and a metal plate with 8 screws. Im just wondering how long it took for you to be able to bend you knee again?

    Im doing my exercises from physio but I find I have to “warm-up” my knee by bending it a couple of times and then i can reach the 90 degree mark. but then if i go at the same exercise again an hour later its back to being really stiff again and I have to “warm” it up again? did this happen you too?

    I feel like my progress it really slow?


  333. Raj says:

    Hi Colin
    I am 29yrs old recently met with an accident on 31st March 2015. I had a fracture in my right femur shaft it’s a single transverse cut.I had a rod operation on April 2nd’s only 10 weeks i want to know the recovery time.Now I am walking with help of walker.I have one screw at hip and two screws at doctor suggested me for hip screw removal.Is it really necessary for me to remove the hip screw my fracture is recovering fast.with out hip screw how rod will support my bone and after how many months I can put weight on my right leg and walk normally.Please reply me.I need ur input……:-

  334. mike b says:

    Hello Ally,

    That all sounds like it must have been a traumatic business. But rehab-wise, you are still very early in the process. As I understand it, the knee ligaments and TFL have to learn new positions after they’ve been interfered with – for instance, they might have to lengthen a bit to get round the metalwork. So it wouldn’t be suprising if they can do that bending after a warm-up loosens them up but then, after a rest, they go back to their old length/positioning. They will probably lengthen after some months of PT exercises. I would also think that after bone grafting etc, there would be some tendency to inflame after a bit of exercise, so it will then stiffen up until you have worked the fluid away again. Again, this should settle in time.

  335. Angel says:

    I broke my femur May. 2 and i can relate so well to your story it’s crazy has I was reading your blog I could relate to everything you wrote, with the exception that I didn’t need w blood transfusion.

  336. Rev says:

    So glad I found this post. I broke my femur about 2″ above the knee last august at a Tough Mudder, I experienced pain in my knee about 2 weeks before but GP told me was nothing to worry about probably just aching from all the training I had been doing (10 miles a night on roads). Needless to say my leg was buckling about 3 miles into the race. So I walked the remaining 8 on a splintering bone. Half a mile from the end when I hit an incline it just snapped. It was a relief compared to the pain I had been having, realisation set in when my kneecap was 4″ higher than it should be with the bones overlapping.

    I was 100 miles from home, not allowed my mates to sit with me and surrounded by old people. And it was the funniest 2 days of my life!

    I was admitted on the Saturday, operated on Sunday, home on Monday… Surgeons did a great job aside from the below par stitching that left me with a secondary infection (which seriously hampered recovery) But I was walking long distances by Christmas and riding bikes and hiking now. I attribute a speedy recovery to the physical condition I was in when I did it, but also remaining positive throughout the process and pushing myself. I still cannot run properly, I think this is caused by the screw holding the rod at the side of my knee, feels like all the muscles rub against it.

    Sorry for the long post but this is the first time I have been able to vent since I did it and nice to know I am not the only one struggling with the recovery process.

  337. mike b says:

    You are doing well, Rev. it’s an odd story, mind. And the first time I’ve heard anyone describing their femur breaking as being a relief! The rubbing of screws on the TFL seems an especially common problem later in the recovery process. Some people have the screw removed – as Alison has described. It seems to be my biggest problem, 2 years on, witht he screws running into the neck of my femur and holding it together, being the culprits. Looking at my x-ray, they seem to stand proud of the bone by miles!

  338. alisondite says:

    Having my two screws at the hip (still have two at knee) put me back months and months as my leg wasn’t healed (don’t know if it is know and am waiting for x ray appointment which is likely to be autumn/winter due to backlog). Very glad have had the screws out now though as one was definitely causing problems with my groin/adductor and it was tender to touch on the one of them on the TFLs area, and not that comfortable to lie on, though I could manage it as I have one of those mattress toppers and v comfy mattress underneath. Am 23 months post break now and doing loads of stuff including weight lifting 5lbs with the injured leg. This is really strengthening my quad, but making me feel very stiff more than anything – not like the pain I used to get, so hopefully, with everything crossed…. it’ll be from strength to strength. I’m having fewer days when I have to hang onto the walls by the end of the day and am planning to ride my horse again in a few weeks… 2 yrs on then. What a journey!

    • Wendy says:

      I posted a while back asking for thoughts on removal of PFN used to fix my broken femur/ hip. Came off spooking young horse 18 months ago I am 52 yrs old. So I thought I would update you that I had it removed Wednesday last week, home the day after, used 2 crutches for a couple of days, down to one for a day went for it and coping with a limp now. Lots of bruising and wouldn’t want to do to many side leg lifts! But really happy with the amount of movement after 5 days . Hand on bannister up and down stairs can sleep on side etc. Glad it is over! Hope to be back on horse in 4 weeks?? I’ll let you know!

  339. Mike Lievano says:

    I love this post. I compounded (shattered) my femur May 17, 2015 in a forklift accident. I don’t want to ever be cocky but I was one badass Lift Driver always out performing everyone around. Until a little over a month ago. I spun into position and noticed how close I was to the wine table behind me. I kneeled and braced for impact, my leg came out and was pinned between my 10k pound lift and a equally heavy wine table. The table entered my leg though the front pushing bone out the back. No pain, just shock and survival. My friend and fellow driver lifted the wine table with his lift off of me braking me free. They put a rod and pins same day. I lost a lot of blood during surgery and had to have two transfusions after the 2-3 day of recovery. After a week in the hospital I was moved to inpatient rehab for a 1 1/2 weeks. Finally free, I came home and go to rehab 3 times a week. I have a 2nd appointment with my surgeon on July 3. Hopefully he will say I can get on my feet a little more since I’m still 50% weight baring. I’ve got my knee to bend 115-120 degrees. I just have issues with a tendon right above my foot, painful! The craziest thing is we had a huge baby shower the night of the accident and had our daughter June 16. Crazy times.

  340. Mike Lievano says:

    BTW I left out a couple points for my fellow compounders. I was 33 at the time of my accident and had my 34 Bday in the hospital. I had muscle damage due to the table entering my leg. I’m still swollen. I have 2 hematomas which have greatly subsided (one on the inside of my leg just above my knee and one on my upper, outer, rear thigh close to the exit wound). I compounded my femur in 3 places. My rod extends the length of my leg and I have four pins. I walk with crutches. I put a bit of pressure on my bad leg and mimic waking heal to toe. As I said can’t wait to see the Doc on Friday. I’m going to ask him if the swelling is normal and if my leg is the same length it once was? Wish me luck, can’t wait to start walking again. I’m sure this will be a long road. Good luck to you guys as well:)

  341. alisondite says:

    Hi Mike Lievano – what a traumatic sounding accident! Good luck today at the docs – hope it’s all good news!!

  342. Richard D says:

    I think that I was unlucky. I came off my bike a fortnight ago. No car or other vehicle was involved. I was participating in the Solihull Cycle Club audax, 160km option, on Sunday 28th June, and managed to make a proper mess of my femur.

    The organiser was already having an incredibly bad weekend, with the tragic news about one of the leading lights of their club having been knocked off his bike and killed the evening before – and I don’t imagine that it helped one iota when the call came in that one of us had crashed during the ride that morning, to be shipped off by ambulance to hospital, condition unknown.

    I was riding with two friends from the North Birmingham CTC, with whom I cycle regularly, and two or three others from Solihull. I never got names – I’m not sure how lucid I was, lying there in the road, but whoever they are, they have my thanks.

    I would regard myself as an experienced cyclist. Up to this point, I had logged around 3,500 miles during 2015, and this was my fourth 160k of the year. I was commuting to work by bike (13 miles daily), participating in regular club rides as well as the longer audaxes. Club rides average 16+ mph, though on an audax I like to go more slowly (because there’s a greater distance to cover; I’m built for comfort, not for speed).

    Until Easter 2015, I’d spent over 20 years self-employed in a demanding, stressful job that I’d come to hate. It’s one of those jobs where everybody believes that we earn Β£200 per hour and Β£100k p/a, but the reality is, after 20 years with only cuts to our rates of pay (never raises), more and more being demanded (usually alongside the argument that we were paid so much, the new extras would have to be done for free), and various other issues, it had triggered burnout then depression in me. Which I finally did something about by taking a small job with a local housing charity. Best move ever. As well as being a great place to work (which will make getting back there faster and easier) for the first time in my life I discover “sick pay” – not for long, as I’m new, but in my old job right now I’d have zero income AND huge professional bills that would need to be kept up.

    Anyway, It had been raining since the start, at 0830 in Solihull. Rather ironic, that I’d spent the winter, spring and start of the summer riding into the wind and rain, and as soon as I go off the bike and into hospital, it gets hot. Real hot!

    We were approaching Cropredy, near Banbury, and the first cake stop (about 28 miles into the ride) at 1030/45ish. I have yet to make it home to upload the full details from my bike’s GPS computer, so I’m going from memory here.

    We came through the village of Avon Dassett, which lies between Bishops Itchington and Cropredy. This was also the first sharp, steep descent of day. The road is wide enough for a car each way (just), and I was on my side. Came down hill, which includes sweep to left. Was already on brakes (not working terribly well, due to the wet; my next bike has disc brakes). Sweeping round the bend to left. Then SUDDENLY, hard and fast, my front wheel flicked out from under me (to the right), dumping me hard and fast on my left side. I hoped that I was bruised, winded or dead-legged (by the bike frame). Sadly, it was not to be.

    I was really impressed by the way that everyone swung into action. Two people tried (sensibly) to move me from where I was in the centre of the road, but as I was helped up I felt the bones grate together and knew that the femur was gone, and I also knew from old First Aid training that this was Very Bad Indeed. I have no idea if I screamed, but I’m glad nobody tried to move me further; the lack of too much manhandling meant that the fracture remained closed and there doesn’t appear to be too much blood vessels damage or nerve trauma.

    While I lay in the gutter, an ambulance was summoned immediately. I don’t know if I was able to ask for it, but it was the right decision. I thought “this’ll take about 45 minutes, I can hang in that long”, and I was right on both counts.

    While a friend took charge of bike and luggage, one of the Solihull chaps whipped up a few rain jackets for me; they were never going to keep me warm, but every little helped. Similarly, everyone else on that ride slowed down or stopped to enquire after my health. What I don’t remember were any car drivers stopping, to offer coats or blankets or to park up in such a way as topartially block off the road, hazard lights on. But I’m not sure how with it I was.

    My greatest thanks go to the rider who stood in the road by my head. Getting cold and wet (although perhaps not quite as cold and wet as me). That simple gesture gave me so much peace of mind, that I wasn’t in danger of being run over by a careless motorist thinking I was a dead badger. I only felt like one.

    Why did wheel suddenly wash out? Well road was wet, and I was fast, but it really ought to have held – I’m not a fast cyclist or a risk-taking rider (Bradley Wiggins’ phrase, “descends like a girl”, fits me fine).

    Three possible explanations. Either I misjudged my speed and braked too hard on the front (only time I ever did that before was when alternative was to hit a car, so I know not to do this, and this therefore seems unlikely as the reason). Second, the brand of tyres on the bike were new to me and have a reputation for being hopeless in the wet. Indeed, the son of a chap I was riding with that day had taken the same type of tyres off his bike after having a couple of scares in the wet. The third explanation for the crash is the presence Of a manhole cover on that bend, and the chap following me on the corner thinks I was on it when my wheel lost all grip (there being bugger all grip from bike tyres on wet metal, as I know having fallen on a cattle grid in past). I favour that manhole cover explanation, esp. as I have a witness who says that’s what happened, and I’ve seen how fast you can lose it on wet metal.

    Why did my femur go pop, when cyclists have such crashes rgularly and the energy involved shouldn’t normally be enough to break a femur? Not normally, but it depends on angles, bike position, whether manhole had a raised edge etc etc. It was “just unlucky” according to my orthopaedic surgeon.

    Oh yes, the surgery.

    The ambulance scraped me up and took me to The Horton in Banbury. It wasn’t a pain-free experience, but two things helped. Firstly their skill (especially in the lift into the van, and the strapping for the journey in the absence of a proper splint). Secondly their gas and air supply. Apparently we cyclists must have impressive lung capacities, because I drank the bag bottle dry (and remained clutching the mouthpiece, like a teddy bear, long after admission to A&E).

    Thereafter some details are hazy. All my cycling gear was cut from me – inevitable; I’d resigned myself to such, although the A&E nurse said that I was remarkably insistent on keeping my underpants on. For what it’s worth, not one shred of dignity survived the next ten days anyway, what with having my bum wiped for me and my gentleman’s zone poked and prodded.

    I had all sorts of painkillers – Pethedine (trippy), ketamine (made me forget lots), including that they’d given it to me), a nerve block and LOTS of gas & air. My leg was properly splinted in A&E (hurt? Oh yes. Didn’t hurt afterwards though), I was admitted to a ward (where they nearly dropped me, and undid the good of the splinting), and was operated on during Monday afternoon.

    I’ve yet to see the x-Rays, but apparently it’s a complicated spiral fracture of the femoral shaft. Treated in theatre by driving a rod through the centre of my femur, top to bottom. With much traction being applied. That, by the way, is a horrible process that would have anyone with a y-chromosome wincing in sympathy. Each leg goes on opposite sides of a post (”it’s padded” said the surgeon). Then the legs are pulled, hard, at various points during the op. Guess what gets badly battered against that post?

    The op took 6.5 hours instead of the planned 1.5 (I guess the leg was a bit of a mess inside), and I woke up in Critical Care (the new “intensive care”) opthe next day. Why critical care? I’ve no idea. But there must have been some work being done, some treatment benne administered, based on things mentioned to me later.

    And that was where my luck changed. The care I received in that unit was off the chart in terms of care, professionalism and skill shown by the nurses (doctors were rarely seen, and it was usually a bad sign). Bed blocking downstream meant that I had to stay in Critical Care until my release 9 days later, and I think that has made a big difference to my current status – at home, in pain, wobbling on crutches but alive and making progress.

    I have no idea when I will next ride. The femur is a big bone, and breaking one a huge deal. The wound hasn’t closed yet (the 18″ slice along my leg, opened to hammer a titanium rod down through the bone). Bones take six weeks to knit, right, and six months to heal? Not femurs. 6 months to knit, 18 months to two years to heal. And the surgeon wants me nowhere near a bike for at least six months. In the meantime, the purpose of the physios torturing me last week in hospital (and forcing my knee to 90 degrees was torture) was to try to prevent too much scar tissue preventing too much permanent loss of motion, though I fear that some is enevitable. And if I fall heavily on a leg that is currently held together with blood clots, toothpaste and bogies it’ll be really bad.

    My right thigh lost half its size in just one week. The left one remains enormous, but that’s just swelling; doing no work, it’s going to end up far weedier than the right one. The toilet issues in hospital were horrendous. Plus I foolishly insisted on the catheter coming out two days too soon, so that had to go back in (this time while I was conscious). The “toilet issues” when it came to bowel movements five or six days oust-op will live in my memory for the rest of my life; truly, truly horrific.

    But lots of good will come out of this anyway. I learned many valuable life lessons (eg avoid metal in the wet, morphine makes you feel funny and blood transfusions make you feel not so hot). I also have more of a clue if disaster strikes out on a ride, as by and large things were handled well. I also have some fantastic friends and family.

    Where am I now? Well, they made me get out of bed on the day after the op, moving swiftly through a Zimmer frame to crutches. But I’ve been told by the surgeon to out no weight at all through that leg for the next six weeks. Going back down to Oxfordshire (bit of a trek for me, but I wanted to stay with the same surgical team for follow-up) next Fri for new x-Rays and the first review. Surgeon was also insistent that I work, work, work the knee. Which is what I’m doing. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain and boredom, and determination in spades, so while my new colleagues think that I’m slob bing in front of the TV, watching the Tour De France, I’m actually running through repetitions of the physio exercises, knee flexes and extensions, crutch mobilisations etc, leaving my half watching the Tour through gritted teeth (if the work and painkillers and lack of sleep hasn’t out me back in bed, of course).

    I love cycling (and my new job), so I’m pushing as hard as I dare to get back to both as fast as possible. The physio told me that I’d know when I was overdoing it (though I think she thought that I was a bit if a slacker, judging by the motivational comments in that first week), and I’ve found out what she meant.

  343. Richard D says:

    45 years old, btw, and although I’ve suffered from severe depression at two points in my life (the most recent being Dec 14 to Feb 15), I’m finding this whole experience overwhelmingly positive. Sodding painful, ruddy scary, but positive.

    I don’t dwell on the negatives, and **** regrets. What’s done is done – you can’t change it, you can’t go back, all you can do is obey Rule 5 (MTFU) and move forwards. Some days that is a small step forwards, some days a bigger one. Heck, there may even be days in my future when I go backwards. But life’s too shot for regrets and negativity (as I saw while I was in Critical Care – they brought a young woman into the bay next to mine one night, and she was crashing hard; despite all that the best trained medics could do, the next day the mortuary attendant wheeled her out). I’m still alive. Still breathing. And at some point in the future, I will be back on my bike.

    In the meantime, I had fun showing various nurses my “party trick”. Despite the fact that I am somewhat hairy, they (or I) could cheerfully rip Surgical tape, dressings and other stuff adhered to my skin with barely a grimace (no matter how many hairs came with them). Though even I was defeated by one of the monitoring pads put on for theatre; no matter how hard I tugged, it wouldn’t come off without scissors!

    No idea when I’ll be ready for work, or ready for my bike. But both are in my future, and I concentrate on looking toward towards it, rather than looking backwards feeling down.

    I bet some of my ex-colleagues, who’d listened to my moans and whines for five years, think I must have hit my head pretty hard too!

  344. alisondite says:

    Richard D – great story and well told. Brought it all back to me. Keep us posted on your recovery πŸ™‚ Loads of us on facebook Broken Femur Victims Unite if you fancy joining us.

  345. Richard D says:

    My haemoglobin level got very low post-op, so even though they don’t like giving blood transfusions, I had three units. Not my favourite procedure, and didn’t feel any better afterwards (my HB levels were good enough,but still not good). And although I was fit to be released, I can tell that I’m still anaemic – very drowsy, a bit light-headed, a bit pale and regulating my own temperature is completely impossible for my body right now. Not one minute, cold the next. Except the afford leg. That’s pretty much always cold, numb, and swollen (except if I can keep it above nose level overnight, the swelling goes away for a few hours).

    No longer scared witless by the prospect of falling on crutches – though I’ve been told absolutely no weight-bearing for 6 weeks.

  346. Richard D says:

    Oh, yes, and although the pain levels are quite low when not exercising (some of the knee work rates 9-10 on my pain scale), my concentration levels are pretty poor. Hence the rubbish typing.

    And that’s even after reducing the Tramadol dose to 1x every 24 hours, instead of 4x.

  347. Patricia says:

    I just found this post and have only begun to read the stories. I am grateful to have company on this broken femur journey.

    A note about leg length: It was a few months after my injury before I made it to my chiropractor, where he discovered that my broken leg was 1.5 inches longer than the other leg. Because of the way I fell, I knocked my pelvis out of whack. The chiropractor quickly adjusted the pelvis and my legs were back to the same length, but I had been diligently walking and doing physical therapy for months so my muscles screamed at the re-adjustment. It took a few more painful months to sort this out.

    A note about persistent pain: When I broke my leg, I had to inch my body along the floor for four hours before I reached a place where I could call for help. It was another hour before the IV and painkillers were started. The surgery was delayed for an additional 20 hours. I too tried to get off the painkillers far too soon. I later learned that these situations created persistent pain, which sticks around long after the bone and muscles are healed and actually increases the pain level and makes it chronic. Eventually, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a physical therapist who was knowledgeable about persistent pain and who explained it to me. With his guidance, the pain level began dropping immediately till it is almost gone now, and the leg is growing stronger. I still walk with a cane but the limp is going away. My PT reassures me that soon I will walk without a limp, will bicycle again, and will be able to kneel in my garden.

  348. JAMWJC says:

    I just got into an accident July 18th, I broke my left femur just above my knee. They put in a special nail. I’m no weight bearing right now. Two days ago i lifted my leg by myself, and today too. Not perfectly straight but i did it. Today i went out on crutches alone about a block away. However now my leg feels really tired is it because ive been in bed for 8 days without getting up hardly any? How long do y’all think it will take to get back to playing sports or running? im 21 years old

    • Steve C says:

      Hello Jamwjc: I had my injury on July 10th a week before you… see my post below for particulars. Hope your recovery goes smoothly, and I will be truly interested since we are practically injured within a week of each other. I’m beginning to think that the process will be slower than expected, though you being only 21 and I at 63, you most likely will be at a greater advantage of a more speedier recovery! I have my first x-ray of my injuries on Sept. 2, and will find out than if I can finally place weight onto my leg, right now I’m non-weight bearing. Best of luck, Steve

  349. Cathy Winsor says:

    Where is the next episode? I broke my femur neck 2 weeks ago following the Tour de France down after watching Chris Froome etc reach a summit on Stage 12 in Ariege. Plate and pins through femur and hip to join it together. I have waterproof bandages so swim every day. (Crawl, with little leg movement) I can only bend my leg to 90 degrees and not allowed to put any weight on the foot for 6 weeks. I want to hear from someone who has started cycling again with this injury.

  350. mike b says:

    Cathy – I had comminuted breaks of both neck and mid shaft. I think it took me about 3 months to start on a static bike in physio . Back on the bike properly myself after about 6-7 months. I’ve never been a serious biker, more of a gentle leisure cyclist but since then, I havent had any problems with the biking. On thing to bear in mind is that biking is good for some things, but I found it didnt help with my knee stability. Because there isnt enough free lateral movement of the knee when you have your feet in the pedals, you have to do some walking too!

  351. Richard D says:

    7 weeks in and I’m off the Tramadol (evil stuff, stopped me up almost as badly as morphine), off the Ibuprofen and have really cut back on the Paracetamol in the last few days.

    My surgeon has finally cleared me to be partial weight- bearing, moving to full weight-bearing over the next six weeks. It makes a HUGE difference. My oversized “elephants foot” is much smaller, the pain much reduced, the mobility far better and my good leg says “yay – a bit of a rest!” And I can now walk – using the crutches for 80% of the weight bearing – 250 metres. My sleep patterns is still rubbish – 90 minutes or so at the start of the night, 90 minutes at the end, none in between – but hopefully that will Come back soon.

    A friend is delivering a static recumbent bike to me at the weekend. I’m looking forward to that, as it will allow some cardio work (RHR has gone from 60 to over 90). Managed to avoid putting too much weight on, which is good. At this stage, though, good nutrition is MUCH more important than fretting about weight gain or loss.

    Im still some way off getting up/down stairs though.

  352. Steve C says:

    I’m like most joining this discussion… 63 year old male, who experienced a roundabout on a bicycle, and ended up with breaking the femur, tibia, and fibula…. might as well take all three out at once! One week in hospital, two weeks in care center, and now at home. Crash occurred six weeks ago. Currently, I’m home bound, and a therapist has visited twice a week, and for a couple more weeks. Use a brace on leg when getting about on crutches or a walker, not much activity really to speak of, other than strength building exercises daily. Still on Oxy at night, (10 mg.) to cut down discomfort and pain late at night. My interest interest is sharing with similar victims, who have gone through the episode, and understanding the long term implications and recovery I should be prepared for…. Thanks!

  353. mike b says:

    Hi Steve C,

    No matter what happens, you can expect to spend many hours worrying – should my knee really be THIS painful? Am I doing this exercise right? Could the screw be coming out? Is this normal? It comes with the territory πŸ™‚

  354. Ira Cornelius says:


    I am 7 weeks out of my surgery from breaking my leg femur doing the exact same thing. This story hits way to close to home. I was up in Whistler BC and went over the bars doing something stupid. Well my story could not be more identical to yours all the way down to my first bowel movement lol. Is like to here from you now since it has been a few years. Please send me an email id love to chat when you get a chance! [email protected]

    Thanks for sharing!

  355. alisondite says:

    Haven’t posted for a little while as my computer was finding it difficult to cope as it’s getting a bit old – anyway just updated with new software and am chuffed to find it’s all running nicely. After 2 yrs going to physio, I have finally graduated to the “intensive lower limb rehabilitation class” which is weekly for an hour and starts in a couple of weeks. Worst thing is it starts at 9.30 and you’re supposed to wear shorts, T shirt and trainers…. I have a T shirt… A femur friend said these classes eradicated her limp so here’s hoping…. Also, have X rays again in a couple of weeks – first time for 9 months so am beginning to crap myself incase they want to clamp me down into that terrible contraption and do some “tapping” again :). I hope everyone is doing well.

  356. Andrew says:

    He never give up. This has happened with me as well. I met with an accident while climbing a steep mountain and it took my 3 years to recover. I am now going to climb that mountain again. No matter what happens never give up !

  357. alisondite says:

    Good stuff Andrew – when are you going to climb that mountain again?

  358. rocky bike says:

    wow, That’s why I never climb mountain, it’s so dangerous.

  359. Mike Lievano says:

    Hey guys, just wanted to give an update for everyone going through this process. My accident was on May 17th, I went to the Dr yesterday for a follow up and had some X-rays done. Everything seems to be healing great. The bone was in pieces before and has now calcified into one solid bone. There is still a small amount of bone forming. It seems like it needs a few more weeks. I’ve been going to therapy and went back to the gym to build strength. I’m walking well but I limp around in the morning. Due to the severity of the accident I noticed that my leg is slightly shorter which will cause a limp but nothing severe and barely noticeable. I’ll be going to have a custom made insole for my shoe. Other than that just some swelling and soreness in my knee, groin and leg area. Not to bad. My only concern is my liver level went up. Apparently it’s been working overtime to produce bone. Hopefully levels are now returning back to normal. I’ll have to get another blood test. Other than that I’ll be heading back to work in 6 weeks.

  360. asylemm says:

    Hey guys ..

    Well this is my first time in this site … I guess somewhere around the beginning of August I was at a Walmart Gas station to get gas and I either tripped or slipped ( I’m still not sure what happened not sure I ever will .. All I know is i screamed for help and I heard a few ppl coming over to me and I went into shock .. All I remember is talking to the Parametric for a sec telling him I was allergic to Morphine and Demerol..The only other thing I remember is the Parametric said something about giving me 5 x the amount of Benadryl cuz they only had Morphine and Demerol on the rig ) One the gas hose that was on the ..ground and I broke my femur in 4 places … So they got me to the Hospital and I went in for emergency surgery I woke up the next day. .. Well I spent about 2 1/2 wks in the Hospital till I got pissed off ( cuz they wouldn’t let me smoke ) so I left. .So then after that I went to a Skilled Nursing Center for almost 2 wks till I kept telling em that I thought I had a Kidney Infection and they kept blowing me off ( in 2011 I went into acute kidney failure, not sure if it was the BP Meds or the couple of Ibuprofen I took a few weeks before ) So one night and nurse found me in the bathroom , my kidneys were shutting down and they had OD’ed me on my pain medication. . I woke up this time 2 days later in ICU and I was almost septic cuz of my kidneys .. I had to have 4 units of blood. . And they kept asking me if I felt comfortable to go back to that Skilled Nursing Center and I told em sure … Then a few days later they let me out of the Hospital and sent me dd back to the Skilled Nursing Center … Then things started to get really weird there so I left … So I have been trying to do this all on my own. . No PT cuz doctors don’t want to take someone else’s patient. .. So if u can’t tell I’m really fed up about the whole situation. .. I started putting pressure on the leg last week and can walk about 10 feet without any kind of aid …. But I guess I do need to get back into the Doc’s. ..

  361. Emma says:

    I suffered a complete displaced fracture of my right mid femur on 30th April this year after a horse reared over backwards & landed upside down on my leg. After 4 1/2 months there is no none healing & it is still painful at the site of fracture. I had come off crutches,still limping badly though,after 10 weeks,only using one if going out the house. I went back for 3rd X rays 2 weeks ago. Now I have been told not to completely weight bear on my bad leg & get back on crutches for 4 weeks until further X rays. I had been doing lots of physio & putting full weight on the bad leg a lot everyday. I also was on my feet for much of the day. The more I did the worse it got,I knew there was something wrong. Now I’m scared & confused about what to do. I am going for a second opinion as I think the NHS will take such a long time it may never heal. When it was fixed there seemed to be too big a gap between the 2 parts of the femur. I thought ‘how can this ever heal’ & sure enough it hasn’t! I still don’t know if they are going to re fix it though. Has anyone else had a similar experience? I had also tried to wean off drugs,but have had to start taking more again,I’ve decided I’m bored of being in pain. I’ve broken several bones before,but this femur has been something else!

  362. alisondite says:

    Emma – sounds like your injury is quite like mine. I had a huge gap as well (also horse riding accident) – it’s 26 months for me in a couple of days and I am healing – filling up nicely, though had 2nd operation at 6/7months to remove hip screws to promote healing – it’s taken absolutely ages. Feel free to contact me, Emma πŸ™‚ I’m on facebook and google and stuff

  363. Emma says:

    Oh my goodness,that’s ages,I’m going mad already! Reading these blogs I feel like I’m going to take ages to heal too,unfortunately. It was a very bad break,when I was lying on the floor on my left side after the accident,I looked down & it looked like I had a knee coming out of the side of my leg. Luckily I wear thick Lycra legging under my riding trousers,as I get pinches from the saddle,apparently this is what held it together enough not to break the skin-hurrah for spandex! I want to know when I’ll stop limping? Not before the bone heals I guess? I’m also,wondering how much damage I’m doing to my knee with all the weight directly on it through the rod? I can hear the rod when I really bend my knee ( took me 3m to bend it again,probably still only 95% at 4.5m), not sure if that’s normal either?!

  364. alisondite says:

    Hi again Emma – my full length chaps over leggings held my leg together too (I straightened the leg myself and it was exactly like that – another knee developed!!). You shouldn’t be able to feel the rod unless it’s too long though – have you got x rays you’ve seen? I always take photos of them in hospital appiontments using my phone – the surgeons don’t seem to mind at all. They seem quite pleased I’m interested! They said if I hadn’t straightened mine I would have lost circulation and maybe lost my leg.

  365. Emma says:

    Luckily it was at an event,so people were there fairly quick to stabilise it. I had all day on my feet yesterday & it’s very painful today. The last 3-4 weeks have been as painful as it was initially. I don’t know why it’s getting worse,2 months ago I was getting around better than i am now,what does that mean? I’m going to see a private specialist on the 8th oct & back to NHS on 9th. I have X-rays,not that im no expert on reading them! The rod may well be too long.which would explain why there is such a gap in the bone. Has anyone else had it deteriorate after 4m or so? It still seems like ages until I see a specialist again.

  366. Emma says:

    Luckily it was at an event,so people were there fairly quick to stabilise it. I had all day on my feet yesterday & it’s very painful today. The last 3-4 weeks have been as painful as it was initially. I don’t know why it’s getting worse,2 months ago I was getting around better than i am now,what does that mean? I’m going to see a private specialist on the 8th oct & back to NHS on 9th. I have X-rays,not that im no expert on reading them! The rod may well be too long.which would explain why there is such a gap in the bone. Has anyone else had it deteriorate after 4m or so? It still seems like ages until I see a specialist again!

  367. alisondite says:

    Maybe the pain is the healing, Emma! After I had the hips screws out to let the gap close and compress with weight I was in more pain than before and it took me 5 months after 2nd op to walk completely unaided outdoors,though before that I had been able to do stacks of stuff like climbing stairs properly without holding on!

  368. Emma says:

    Yes,maybe. My Dr is hoping the increased pain may be the bone healing kicking in. Doesn’t sound like further ops all go to plan,so not looking forward to that being a probable option. I have to wait until 20th October for 2nd opinion now,still NHS X-rays on 9th though. Hopefully there will be some more going on on the X-rays,if I need a bone graft will it be keyhole?

  369. AnnS says:

    Thanks everyone for posting! It has been a blessing to find out how so many folks are doing.

    I am 56 and I fractured by hip in a car accident on June 1st. I had 1 week in the hospital, then 2 weeks inpatient rehab followed by 3 weeks of out patient treatment. The fracture was in the upper portion of the femur (the x-rays showed my hip bone at a 90 degree angle before surgery) and severe enough that I was restricted on weight bearing until the end of August.

    Now I am walking with a walker and sometimes a cane. I have started another round of therapy and the therapist told me not to use the cane too much or I could get a bursitis of my hip.

    I get really frustrated at times because I still have so many limitations. Sometimes it’s a struggle to avoid being depressed. I am also anxious in traffic and afraid to go back to driving yet. After listening to the stories here, I guess I just need to be patient but it is so hard to go from being an active woman running my own business to being dependent on others for many of my basic daily activities. Sometimes I sit on the edge of my bed in the morning almost too overwhelmed to try to get up. Somehow I always make it up and get around but the urge to give up as to be beaten into submission first.

    I am having sciatic pain- an electrical pain that runs down the back of my thigh. It comes on suddenly and irregularly but it seems worse when I sit for a long time. It is worse with hard chairs but the most difficult part of it is sitting on toilet seats. My therapist is fairly certain that the symptoms are caused by pressure from muscles on the sciatic nerve and it will improve as I move around more. Has anyone else been through this? Do you have any hints that might help me get past this?

    I am also having weird sensations in my hip. They are not painful but they are hard to describe. It feels like one of the muscles is moving over a bump. It occurs in several different locations as I move around and it is not consistent in what causes it.

    I also have knee pain. It is probably related to uneven loading on my knee. It is better when I use the walker and not the cane. My therapist thinks it is muscle related- my hip adductors are very tight but the abductors are weak from the injury. This imbalance may be a big cause of the knee pain. Massage seems to help.

    I might also mention that my therapist has me walking doing 10 to 20 side steps in each direction. I think this is helping me walk better when I walk forward later on.

    Thanks again and best wishes to everyone in their recovery!

    • Autumn says:

      Hi ann
      I am the oldster in the group…female71, was healthy…fell down the stairs while carrying a microwave, dumb, eh? Anyway, right (driving foot, darn, if i even had the energy to do it) distal femur titanium rod with screws. I am 5 weeks from fall. Spent 4 days in Hospital, then a week in rehab. Using a walker. Not much pain in “the” leg but some pain in left ankle (maybe a sprain from pivoting but will bring up with next doctor visit). Another thing bothering me is i feel like everything in that leg is shifting…no pain, and last xray showed some callus formation but still a very freaky feeling. I, like you, or maybe even more so based on my age and all the doom and gloom i read for someone my age, is depression. Sometimes i am fine, other times i am in the pits. Also, i sure am tired easily, not at all my usual self. Hope someone reads this as it is one of the few active sites. I have tried the facebook page but states closed…i have ask d to join but “pending”.

  370. alisondite says:

    Hi Ann – sorry to hear about your accident. I know exactly what you mean about going from being completely independent then having to rely on others. That’s one of the hardest things for me πŸ™‚

  371. Aashiq says:

    i got a bike accident my ferum have fracture n i have to dosurgery aftr 6 month i can walk but it pan … how much time it will take me to feel like before

  372. CyclingRabbi says:

    Great start. But where’s the link to the rest of the story?

  373. Autumn says:

    Autumn November 1, 2015 at 1:02 am
    Hi ann
    I am the oldster in the group…female71, was healthy…fell down the stairs while carrying a microwave, dumb, eh? Anyway, right (driving foot, darn, if i even had the energy to do it) distal femur titanium rod with screws. I am 5 weeks from fall. Spent 4 days in Hospital, then a week in rehab. Using a walker. Not much pain in β€œthe” leg but some pain in left ankle (maybe a sprain from pivoting but will bring up with next doctor visit). Another thing bothering me is i feel like everything in that leg is shifting…no pain, and last xray showed some callus formation but still a very freaky feeling. I, like you, or maybe even more so based on my age and all the doom and gloom i read for someone my age, is depression. Sometimes i am fine, other times i am in the pits. Also, i sure am tired easily, not at all my usual self. Hope someone reads this as it is one of the few active sites. I have tried the facebook page but states closed…i have ask d to join but β€œpending”.


  374. Bob says:

    I fractured my femur quite a while ago but didn’t know. Before that I fractured my knee before so I thought my knee so I thought this pain when I walked was due to this not healing properly and got an appointment with my doctor. A few days later at the appointment he suggests an mri scan and once I had that another 3 days later I gotta wait a week for the results! But the pain is way too much when I walk so I go A an E have an x Ray and they find a cut on my femur. The doctors are shocker cuz I can walk limply and it’s closed in itself so I don’t need surgery! Now yesterday they put a cask on me presumably for 6 weeks but I got a check up in 3. Some weird life I know.

  375. lonelygirl says:


  376. Chazk says:

    So glad I found this website, it has been most helpful.

  377. MRosario says:

    Hi, just wanted to ask, what’s the longest anyone has taken to recover from a fracture to the femur? I fractured mine in June 2014, I’m 17 months post op and it’s still not healed. Still getting pain in my knee even though the screws have been removed. Will the pain ever go??

  378. alisondite says:

    Hi MRosario. I broke mine July 2013 – had x rays a couple of months agoand it’s still not fullyhealed. Had screws out Feb 2014. It’s on the way but not there yet. Pain is gradually getting less and less. Yes pain will go evenutally I reckon. πŸ™‚ Have you found teh facebook broup yet?

  379. MRosairo says:

    Hi Alison thanks for responding I can’t seem to post from my laptop so at my daughters using her phone I have gone through everything you have I hope you heal completely soon I was still 51 when the fracture happened mine was from a drug which someone else said they had but wasn’t picked up & bone snapped 4 weeks later whilst on holiday I think that’s why it’s taken so long back on Tuesday to hospital but still can’t do steps without pain so I don’t think has healed Just wondering what exercises you did with ball that might be helpful Don’t belong to face book may look at joining

  380. DAVE L says:

    Back again! good news bones finally healing. though muscle still giving me pain from time to time with that and the cartilage problems from my left knee I look like Quasimodo whilst climbing stairs lmao. Main problem now is that I can’t kneel down its way to painful, they think the nail maybe to close to the surface of the femur behind the knee, they say if it continues they may look at removing it. some swelling which they say will probably be with me for rest of my life as lymph nodes are damaged but otherwise going good. Has anyone else had the kneeling problem bearing in mind that am 18 months in.?

    • MRosario says:

      Hi Dave my leg has only just healed after 17 months and each week I see a difference in climbing the stairs as the muscle gets stronger. I still have a limp but was told that might go as well. I tried kneeling at 6 months and every day I try I can kneel for short periods and can almost go back on my heals now a year later I hope if I keep trying each day for a few minutes I will get there

  381. alisondite says:

    MRosaire – the facebook group is really great and very helpful and fantastic to find people who really understand what’s going on. Have done just about every exercise in the book but best one to get quad going it sit properly on a dining chair with knee firmly on edge and work the injured leg with an ankle weight – start with 0.5kg and work up – I can do 2 and a half now easily – very difficult not to start compensating with adductors/groin/hip flexors though but I find this really wakes the quad and hamstrings up.

  382. Christian says:

    Hi all,

    My name is Christian, I’m 29 and I was in a motorcycle accident this Saturday gone. I cleanly broke both femur’s right in the middle of each ( bonus breaks were 3 left ribs, shoulder blade, right foot and left collar bone) I was lying in the road with my helmet on thinking that I had my legs in the air. Everyone ran up to me and told me to lay still, I was mostly confused as the driver that had pulled out in me, had not got out of his car and there were people taking photos on their mobile phones with only a couple actually speaking to me.

    They lifted my helmet off and I could see the sole of my right boot on my chest, pointing towards my face and I asked why is my boot on my chest. No one answered thank god and after some gas and air, ketemin and air ambulance I made it to hospital.

    I spent the rest of the night in traction and a lot of pain, they operated on Sunday, inserting a titanium rod into both legs and started me on the morphine PCA. Probably one of the worst experiences so far as I had a huge allergic reaction to morphine and broke out in full body irritation and itching, very fun.

    I was switched to tramadrol, paracetamol and ibuprofen following this discovery on Monday and we worked on whether I could stand. The pain was immense but my 8 month old daughter needs me and this empowered me to try and I stood up, on crutches but I was standing.

    Tuesday we were in a similar situation, painkillers still going and I was practicing standing more and more, pain is only in the mind and I knew the legs I had been given were weight supporting so, in order to preserve the muscles that I currently had, I have kept on trying and I even managed to crutch my way outside.

    Today is Wednesday and my mother has now arrived from the States (I live and was born in the UK) they arrived at 4pm and in that time, I had managed to walk without crutches, tackles stairs assisted and even had a shower on my own and went to the toilet with causing a fuss.

    I am expectionally positive about all if this and I know that I won’t give up. I will be back to normal before I know it and will return to work before the year is out.

    My story has only just began but if I can do this with both legs broken, I know other’s of any age or gender can do the same.

    I will return in a while to update everyone of my progress. Apologies if there isn’t much detail, it’s 11.55pm now and I’m going to get some rest in my very comfortable hospital bed lol.

    Good night.

  383. MRosario says:

    Hi Alison thanks for that. I have healed at last just need to build the muscel strength back as I can,t do steps or get on and off busses without pain back at the gym so will start using leg weights. . My knee is better since I have been making sure my posture is correct just got the limp which I hope will go with time. I do hope you have some good news soon thanks for your help

  384. alisondite says:

    I bought an exercise bike a few days ago and have built up to 6k in 12 minutes over a few days being careful not to overdo it so I can’t walk! I think it’s really helping. The first go, I could feel my scar tissue from where the bone came through sort of tearing and stretching feeling, but did my best to relax through it. I think this is going to sort it for me.

    • MRosario says:

      Hi Alison I have a bike it helped when I fractured my knee 17 years ago and it has definitely helped this time. Now the leg has actually healed I am really seeing an improvement. good luck with yours. Doing the cross trainer at the gym which is helping the quad muscles

  385. alisondite says:

    Hi Christian – what a terrible ordeal and a whole load of injuries. Your attitude will see you through this πŸ™‚

  386. Binary options are generally known as all-or-nothing” choices
    because you either obtain the entire payoff or nothing in any respect.

  387. Teresa says:

    My accident was on October 23rd this year, unfortunately I was in a single car accident with 5 others, we rolled 5 times down a 45 ft embankment, and I was ejected from the ford f350 crew cab. My husband and 2other friends had to lift the truck off me. I was nine responsive for about a minute when I woke up, I was pretty messed up. Ended up at the hospital with a broken femur, 3 fractured ribs, 3 fractured vertebrae. I am now using a walker, hoping to go to a cane next week. I am extremely frustrated not really sleeping, 3 hours at the most anyone have any ides?

  388. Richard D says:

    I only slept for 90 – 150 minutes a night for three months after my accident & op. Triedseveral different strong drugs, tried relaxation chinquapin, tried exhausting myself – nothing worked. Then in the space of just a week I went from waking at midnight to waking at 3am then waking at 4am, then 5, then 6. And I was back to normal.

    I have no idea what the underlying cause was – physical, physiological or even psychological. But resigning myself to the lack of sleep helped, and it just fixed itself eventually.

    Have Alison invite you to the FB group – it’s a real help as there is always someone on the group who has already made it through the same issue and will have something useful to say.

  389. Mike Lievano says:

    Wow you guys have been through a lot! I’m glad to hear everyone is working hard. Recovery takes time but it will happen. Christan, you are lucky to be standing let alone anything else. Did you have a compound femur fracture? Either way you will recover quick. About 6 months you will be good. Another 6 you will be 99%, witch is damn good. I’m 8 months in now, I went back to work 5 1/2 month after the accident. From what I can tell I have a slight limp (which no one would notice but myself) and some pain in my hip (same side as my injury). Some motion loss also because of my muscle, not the end of the world. Also I noticed some of my veins going Varicose on me. Everything seems to be going well. Just give it time guys. I know the hospital stays suck. We all were in horrific accidents and we are all getting better!

  390. Lois Hess says:

    I was standing in my kitchen June 21 close to midnight and I heard a cracking sound and in the next instant I was on the floor.I didn’t have on my alert button so I had to wiggle on the floor untill I could get near to where the phone was. I was able to reach my hand up and luckly I hit the right button. The doctor is telling me a year to heal I’m still using either a walker or. a cane. My left leg is now also 1/2in. shorter than my right leg.My leg is very weak. I’m trying not to get depressed but this seems like I’m not seeing very much improvement at all. Guess I just keep praying, ,I am somewhat old, mid 80’s I still hate to give up

  391. Al says:

    This was the first real information I could find the day I came home from the hospital. I broke my right femur 2/3 up from the knee. I too took the walk down the hall the day after surgery. After 5 days I was home able to bend my knee about 45 degrees but the quadriceps muscle was completely unresponsive. 3 weeks after surgery I had the worst pain ever in my 47 yrs whenever I stood there was immense pressure and pain in my right lower leg. I went in for following up and after a sonogram discovered 5 clots in my calf. 3 days in hospital and on Zaralto twice a day for 3 months. The bad is that I finished my first year of competing in NPC Masters Physique with a first place and Overall win which meant I only needed to win or take 2nd place in two competitions in 2016 to earn my Pro card. I generally walk around at 205lbs and compete at 168 and 5% bodyfat right now I’m at 170 and I watched my muscle disappear almost daily. The good news is that the clots are under control, I quit all pain meds outside Tylenol and I can bend my knee almost to where the calf touches the hamstring. They had me on a walker but I’ve put myself on a cane and I scoot around quite well and even do stairs. I haven’t even been scheduled yet for PT. Back to the Surgeon on the 4th and I’m planning on doing deep knee bends as he walks in. ( I think we both have an Alpha male problem ) Anyhoo, I think I’ll exceed the 12 month prognosis by a longshot and start my road to a Pro Card in Mens Physique for 2017. Thanks to everyone who posted you all gave me some drive.

  392. Shirley says:

    My situation seems slightly different to most posted on this site however It’s been really helpful to read how you’ve recovered from situations much worse than mine. My story is that I’m a 67 year old active female…I fell on my hip at the beginning of December 2015 and immediately visited minor injuries who diagnosed muscle injury. The next day I went to see chiropractor who felt I should visit GP for opinion but was again diagnosed with muscle strain (no x-rays done). After 4 weeks back to GP as no improvement who then decided X-Ray necessary which identified broken neck of femur. Immediately sent to hospital where full hip replacement recommended. Consultant and Surgeon then decided that as the fracture had impacted and I’d been walking (albeit with the aid of crutches) there was a chance the hip would heal without intervention. Left hospital and told to rest for 4 weeks. Have now seen consultant again who has told me there has been no deterioration so must now start to use the hip to see what happens!! At the moment I’m not feeling a lot better although I am managing to walk with one crutch though not very elegantly! Any positive messages you can give me will be so appreciated…I’ve lost my confidence and independence and I hate it!

  393. Bionic Nana! says:

    3 weeks into a Left IM femoral nail + ORIF distal radius fracture of left wrist. Great to have found you guys.
    I will post soon, just saying hello


  394. Tish says:

    Wow some good post on here, I have enjoyed reading them. I was on my motorcycle and a guy hit me then left me on the side of the road. I have a fractured femur obviously I’ve had surgery, 6 fractured ribs, fractured foot, torn ligaments in Ankle, numb shin, fractured L3-5 end plates all right sided and bad left hand. I’m 4 1/2 wks post accident, i get around the house on crutches, everywhere else by wheelchair as it hurts my ribs.
    Here i was thinking I’ll be good (not running) but good to go in 6/12 but going off what everyone else is saying it’s going to take 1-2yrs. Kinda need to be good within less than 1yr otherwise I’m going to loose my job/career. How long until most of you could walk without a crutch? I’m 34 yrs old fairly fit.

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  396. Andrew says:

    Great read Colon. Thank you for sharing this with us. I’ve been where you’ve been, well at least vicariously through my brother who shattered his forearm, not once, not twice but thrice; broke it right in two. They had to pin bone from his hip to hold in place with a rod. It took him a lot longer to get back to the way things were, but he did it. I wish you luck on your journey to recovery and fitness.

  397. rupsa mitra says:

    my mother is 58 years old women and her left leg’s femur had broken 2nd time,operation held last week of sep,2015,bone grafting also done,now almost 6month running,but showing very slow progress,though she ate healthy food,every day she does exercise. She is able to stand on her feet,and also she is trying to walk without walker,during this time she is not facing any problem,but her doctor,he is not satisfied on her progress,he suggested using walker,can you tell me what is the proper way to quick recovery,and usually how much time will taken for full recovery,and now can she take pressure on her leg while she is walking without using walker?

  398. Ed says:

    Mentally good to read the stories of other femur fx victims. I am 3 weeks post shattering the distal femur following a dog attacking my front wheel and bringing me and my bike down. Surgical repair and a week in rehab, now home. Pain is decreasing and exercises are starting to help with range of motion . Unfortunately this is my second go around with a femur fx as 11 years ago oil on the road took me down resulting in a proximal fx of the other femur. That one was about 10 months until no crutches, fully weight bearing and back cycling. Hoping this one is a little faster healing. Keep mentally and physically active as much as possible. Make sure your vitamin D levels are normal for all the calcium in the world will not help build bone without adequate vitamin D. Above all be positive for it will heal at some point. Ed

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  400. Reason says:

    Wish you felas all the best, keep at it and dont give up. I broke my femur neck early August laid in bed for around 2 months minimal movement shower eat etc. After that full blown therapy. I used to hit the trails almost everyday missed it alot.

    Hit the therapy hard, always tried more and told my therapist I was a cyclist, they steared me in a good way. They saw my muscles come back to life on my left leg.

    Early jan. I was back hitting the trails, after every ride I still feel some minor muscle pain. But Ive talked to them and they say its all good.

    By the way I am 34yr old. Doctors where telling me my femur neck part may die because of the blood loss because of the fracture. But all has been there, if the time comes (hip replacement in my older years) I will be ready to show that hip the trails πŸ™‚

    Dont give up life is beautiful. See this as a test in life, when your back running,walking,jogging, or biking. Just Smile!

    Cheers and stay strong minded.
    Heber A.

  401. Unclebunt says:

    Some great stories and tips on here,I shattered the right femur at the very top so I have a bolt screwed into the head which meets the rod from the knee below the trochanter, this is in for life,a freak fall at work caused this.
    I am 49,pretty fit,I ride enduro motorcycles as well as sports motorcycles,I sea kayak and walk the mountains and my biggest fear 7 weeks in is that my motorcycle riding is over.
    I,over the years have broken my ankles 3 times,a wrist,a pelvis,a shoulder blade,seven ribs, 3 fingers and a toe and I underestimated this by a long way.
    This injury as you know is one that can break you,I’m nearly broken and I am tough,the whole package of this break is nearly too much for me at times and I have over dosed on sleeping pills and opiate type pain killers just to catch more than two hours sleep and even taken with whiskey I still didn’t sleep.
    If it wasn’t for my wife I would have given up,I have found this experience to be one of the worst in my life and not knowing the final outcome doesn’t help, if I can still kick up a dirt bike at the end of this and ride the mountains forest and streams I will be a happy man and that’s all I care about.
    Fuck the mortgage,work and all that other stuff,without my motorcycles there is no life for me.
    So I have a exercise bike coming,and I will do what I have to do to get this useless piece of half dead meat working again- even a starving dog wouldn’t eat it!- I think for me being useless,the pain and lack of sleep are the three biggest downers here, I wonder what the next six weeks will be like?
    At ten weeks do you feel on top of the world?
    Why do I feel do weak?
    When do I start to feel like a man again?
    Why don’t sleeping pills work?
    Anyway I have been reading all of your stories and would like to thank you all for giving we hope..thankyou.

  402. Unclebunt says:

    Seven weeks post operation and yesterday I limped up to a Suzuki 1200 and managed to throw my leg over and complete a five mile ride without problems- except for the usual aches and pains and weakness, and for me it was a question of knowing now rather than later if one of the biggest things in my life would still be possible to enjoy again,and about my own fears, have I lost my nerve?
    Is this the break to that broke the camels back????
    Well it ain’t!
    I’ m getting stronger everyday, I may only ride the roads this summer and wait a season for the femur to fully heal, but I look up at that mountain now and know next year I will be back up there tearing up soil..

  403. Ernie says:

    Hi name is Ernie crashed motorcycle 21 days before Christmas. Broke hip in six places. Had to have THR still having trouble loosing my limp. After following this tread , I see I am right where I should be with my recovery. Hope everyone is healing well. Thank you from California.

  404. Ernie says:

    Forgot to mention 53 yrs old.?

  405. Garrett Griner says:

    I broke my femur in a four wheeler accident where I was going about 50 and hit a tree and broke it a little above my knee. Is it good to be walking without crutches or anything after 3 weeks?

  406. I am really inspired by this blog. I am 64 – broken femur in freak accident. It feels very isolating and lonely. reading all these experiences has been awesome and given me hope, Thank you all for speaking out of your pain and frustration and success. I am motivated by your strength and couraGE.
    I tried to find the 2nd installment of Colin’s recovery but cant see it. Is anyone able to point me in the right direction.

  407. alisond says:

    Hi all – haven’t posted on here for quite some time. It’s 2 years 10 months for me next week. I’m doing ok though still limping. Any pain I have now is from tensing up due to anticipating pain. If you newbies haven’t already seen this above, there is a very very useful facebook group called “Broken Femur Victims Unite” – all sorts of people on there, all ages, all types of accident from stress fractures to compound ones.

  408. Lynette Kingipotiki says:

    I was very happy to read everyones different stories and yours. I am 62 and broke the neck of my fermer after falling over. It is nice to know the pain I feel when I do the exercises is normal. Im 2.4 days after the opereation. My greatest fair is not being able to do normal things, bending, gardening, again. And the fear of falling again is very high. would love to know how you are doing now and if you got back to doing normal every day things. I live in New Zealand and there is not help really. I do the physcio by myself and no physcio visits. Took a while to find a comfortable place to sleep. I love to know when you were able to lay on your side? Thank you Lyn.

  409. Carson says:

    Hey guys Carson here I broke my femur this year was roofing a house and fell 50 ft to concrete. Been two months Doctor said bones fully healed, I’m 18 and a track/football athlete I had scholarship to schools for track. I’m going into my junior year in high school with goals set high and not letting this set back hold me back. I’m grateful for how fast I’m healing. It’s hard seeing other people running, jumping, having a happy life but setbacks like these only makes a person stronger. People say I won’t run as fast or anything as good as I did before, but come on people just say that to make themselves feel better. I’ll get back to you guys on my return and record setting year in track.

  410. Bk12 says:

    Hi Colin. Nice writing , hope you are still taking comments years later. You mentioned that you were advised to put weight on your leg right away. I suffered a compound fracture or my femur just over 3 weeks ago, have had, by the sound of it, similar surgery, implants but have been ordered to do no weight bearing for 3 whole months. It’s so depressing. Understand you’re no doctor but do you think this is a doctor who is being over cautious? The injury happened during a soccer match, the doctors all mentioned their surprise that such an injury could happen in a game. I’m in very little pain relief, take paracetamol just in morning and night .

    • Rubi says:

      I had an open compound femur fracture. And they told me not to walk on it for 3 months
      I had a large rod placed inside the bone. If I had walked on it I risked breaking it again and that would mean another surgery.
      Definitely do therapy to strengthen it. Do you have a cast at all??
      I didn’t because they wanted me to still move it and bend my leg and be able to have full mobility (no weight)

  411. Rubi says:

    Wow. I had no idea fractures like these were so common. Im 21 years old and I was in a car accident exactly two years ago and I suffered an open compound femur fracture and a shattered wrist. I was no weight bearing for my leg for about 3 months and in followed the doctors orders religiously and after the 3 months I was 50% weight bearing and after the fourth month I was fully walking with a slight limp and after about 6 months that went away.
    Two years later I’m running 5 miles. I still get slight pain but nothing too horrible. I did all at home therapy through YouTube videos and also swimming
    This is me 2 years later!
    Just keep a positive attitude and listen to your surgeons instructions and don’t give up

  412. Rubi says:

    Wow. I had no idea fractures like these were so common. Im 21 years old and I was in a car accident exactly two years ago and I suffered an open compound femur fracture and a shattered wrist. I was no weight bearing for my leg for about 3 months and in followed the doctors orders religiously and after the 3 months I was 50% weight bearing and after the fourth month I was fully walking with a slight limp and after about 6 months that went away.
    Two years later I’m running 5 miles. I still get slight pain but nothing too horrible. I did all at home therapy through YouTube videos and also swimming

    This is me 2 years later!
    For all of those that are getting discouraged; just keep a positive attitude and listen to your surgeons instructions and don’t give up

  413. Jack Blake says:

    Very incredible and motivating comments here. I’m not sure why I did not find this site before. For serious fractures, pills can help. I’m not sure why, but I just don’t like the idea of taking painkillers, or pills in general, but when you break the biggest bone in your body, I think you deserve it. I’ve taken pills before and I did not become reliant on them. However, the healing took ages.

    • Andre Everett says:

      I too hate the pills but could imagine life without them. Hang in there Jack we’ll get through this.

  414. Oliver says:

    Seems you are doing well now Rubi. Can you share which youtube exercises you used for your therapy?

  415. Hello Everyone Just found this site – such encouraging comments and information. I would like to know if Colin still reads this blog and how his leg has recovered over the years. I am 64 active female and usually walked at least an hour every day. Freak accident resulted in comminuted femoral shaft fracture which was treated with a titanium rod and nails. I cannot believe the pain. I am trying to do all the right things but would also like to see the exercises you refer to Rubi. So if you have a moment please post a link. Good luck fellow trauma survivors and lets all stay in touch during recovery. Rehabilitation is a lonely process and just knowing someone else REALLY understands will help. Good Luck Odette

    • Andre Everett says:

      Good luck to Toni. I’m a very active 59 year old male. I m a road bike rider, avid golfer and photographer. While out shopping for mothers day gifts on my motorcycle I was hit by a car. I too have the rod and nails. It’s going on 8 weeks. I hope to start adding weight to my broken leg in a few weeks. God speed with you recovery.

  416. Dale says:

    Wow – Glad everything worked out for you in the recovery. Never a good thing to break your femur

  417. Nicole says:

    This post has been a great help to me on recovery time etc. Thank you ! Although I have not had a bike accident I was involved in a car crash on impact it broke both my tibia, fibia and femur. I am pinned and roses from hip to ankle,saying that. I suppose I have been quite lucky in my recovery time, probably due to age (22) am now 6 weeks post op and down to one crutch, having physio once a week which includes standing on my bad leg. I have an X-ray in three weeks to see if there has been bone growth. Last year my dad also sustained a femur fracture and due his age and how it broke. his early milestones took longer than mine to achieve and he still can’t put his socks on

  418. Andre Everett says:

    Great read Collin,I can so related to so much of your story. My furmer was fractured at the very top and about 3,4 inches above my knee on my right leg courtesy of a hit and run black Pontiac. I was on my Victory King pin out for a morning ride. In 2009 I few in love with road biking. Each season my biking was become more a part of my life. When I wasn’t biking I was on the golf course or my local gym. My children and wife knew and accepted my love for riding and golf. It was a balancing act to keep the family happy and my activities fed.
    This happens May 8 2016. After a week in the hospital and a week in a rehab center I was, as you, in the comfort of my home. Unlike you my broken leg is a non weight bearing, NWB, break. It’s been 7 weeks now with non weight bearing, NWB, on the leg. I’ll be visiting surgeon in a few days at which point I hope he gives me the ok to start adding weight to my damage leg. I do have a degree of anxiety with this. I’m sure that the pain with increased. Keep my mind focused on my recovery, at times is difficult, however I try to see myself back on my bike and on the golf course. Lastly, be active and very fit is a blessing during this injury. At 59 my surgent and physical therapy specialist were very impressed at my degree of total fitness. I’ve been a gym rat since the late 80″s. I never trained or worked out to prepare my body to take on a Pontiac, however it definitely helped. Again great story, one I can totally relate to.
    Thank you!

  419. Andre Everett says:

    Great read Collin,I can so related to so much of your story. My furmer was fractured at the very top and about 3,4 inches above my knee on my right leg courtesy of a hit and run black Pontiac. I was on my Victory King pin out for a morning ride. In 2009 I fell in love with road biking. Each season my biking was become more a part of my life. When I wasn’t biking I was on the golf course or my local gym. My children and wife knew and accepted my love for riding and golf. It was a balancing act to keep the family happy and my activities fed.
    This happens May 8 2016. After a week in the hospital and a week in a rehab center I was, as you, in the comfort of my home. Unlike you my broken leg is a non weight bearing, NWB, break. It’s been 7 weeks now with NWB, on the leg. I’ll be visiting my surgeon in a few days at which point I hope he gives me the ok to start adding weight to my damage leg. I do have a degree of anxiety with this. I’m sure that the pain with increased. Keeping my mind focused on my recovery, at times is difficult, however I try to see myself back on my bike and on the golf course. Lastly, being active and very fit was a blessing during this injury. At 59 my surgent and physical therapy specialist were very impressed at my degree of total fitness. I’ve been a gym rat since the late 80″s. I never trained or worked out to prepare my body to take on a Pontiac, however it definitely helped. Again great story, one I can totally relate to.
    Thank you!

  420. Alex says:

    This is something amazing to me. I had never ride on any bike or cycle.But Now i and super excited to try at once.Thank you for that.

  421. Aris says:

    My gosh exactly what happened to you in the hospital happened to me from the transfusion to the lightheaded week in the hospital augh!! I’m a month in after surgery broke it while playing soccer was very much into weights and squatting it hurts my heart not being able to do my regular routines.. I walk with out crutches now not even one that I used for 1 week.. I’m back at work and trying to walk the most I can.. I can’t believe how painful and long this process is taking

  422. Elaine says:

    I am so pleased to have found this blog. I had a fall on 5th February 2016 and broke my femur in three places – across the neck near the ball that goes into your hip, at the top, and a spiralized fracture down the middle which pushed the splintered bone out of alignment. A few days later I had an intramedullary titanium nail which goes down the bone cavity from the top all the way to my knee, where it is bolted in. I was in hospital for two weeks and came out with two crutches. From 1st April for five weeks I went from two crutches, to one, to a walking stick which I am still using. I can walk without it but I feel wonky and I am currently working on rebuilding my thigh muscles. I am also back driving. I still get hugely tired but on the whole I don’t get much pain so I consider myself to be really lucky. I also have no bone density issues, or problems with the bend / flexion in my knee. it will be six months on 6th August but the physiotherapist told me it could be 9 – 12 months until I felt back to normal. It has been good to read other people’s stories and journeys

  423. Walt says:

    Well, I’m recovering from my Left trochanter break (May), after the R hip break in 2008. So, now I have matching rods and screws in both hips. Being 67yrs, I didn’t expect walking without pain too quickly, as this other surgeon had me up the next day, full weight bearing as could be pain tolerated. 8 yrs ago, the surgeon had me on the gradual WB schedule over the first month. But this go around, I am 10 weeks in and still gimping and need the stick. I’m going thru a new round of PT, to see if they can get me over the plateau. I do see from this blog that there is a considerable range in recovery times. I looked back at my 2008 PT calendar and found I was discharged at 7 weeks. And I recall wielding my chain saw in my ravine and lifting broken limbs(tree) at 8 weeks, which seemed like a miracle for a 61yr old. So, my body is no model for recovery time.

  424. Sharon says:

    Hi everyone! I have found this blog to be very informative. I broke my right femur on June 21st 2015 after tripping in my house. But the actual cause was taking Reclast, an osteoporosis medication that was supposed make my bones stronger. But the opposite happened. My femurs became hollow. I had surgery where a rod and screw were placed . Then 5 weeks after the first break,my left femur fractured and again I had a rod and screw placed. After several infections involving other parts of my body and being given antibiotics, I came down with c.different, a severe intestinal infection. I seemed to be improving when in January I twisted my left leg and tore muscle. Then because my right femur was not healing completely I had to have the bottm screw removed from my right femur. Now, after 13 months, I am feeling better but still have pain in both legs. My gait is peculiar. The doctors don’t really tell tell you whenjoy one will feel normal again. I’m glad to be alive, but frustrated about still having pain. Thank you for sharing your stories. I don’t feel like I am alone.

  425. Louisiana says:


    So happy to have bumped into this blog. Will be sharing my experience shortly.

    Just saying hello.

    Keep the positivity going!!

  426. Naman says:

    I broke my right femur on 29 January this year while I was riding motorbike.It broke 5 inches above knee.My kneecap was also broken,so it was removed by surgery.Without kneecap bending knee was a problem, but physio gave me a few exercises which helped.About 20 days after surgery I started bending knee through exercises, in 3 months I was able to again about 95% movement which is as far as I got.But X ray showed the bone was not healing due to large gap between broken parts.Another surgery was performed and upper two screws were removed, then the healing process began.Now I can walk on single crutch, earlier I needed two crutches. I am also able to give load on the leg.I don’t know how much more time it will take to walk properly.

  427. Phil says:

    This one may be unusual. Stage 4 prostate cancer (I’m 70) and the cancer metastised to an old running injury in my right knee, resulting in a weakened bone and a pathological fracture of the lateral part of the distal femur. 6 months and 6 rounds of chemo later, with absolutely no sign of the fracture healing, early July I was finally able to go on a program of significant supplementation for bone repair, including lots of Vit C and lysene for collagen development – an absolutely necessary precursor to bone growth. Thankfully a bone scan late July showed no cancer in my knee at all so maybe my knee will start to heal now. The swelling is going down slowly and I can bend my knee without pain almost a full range of motion. Only real downside (other than staying on crutches to avoid possibly damaging any pre-bone growth of th collagen matrix) is the swelling I get in my lower leg and foot, which by the late afternoon is quite uncomfortable. But given some of the other stories on this site, my problems seem quite trivial (hm, that’s an interesting perspective on stage 4 prostate cancer – which is terminal, but maybe not for another 10 or 15 years…). Of course there’s little information to be found about how long weight-bearing can start after a fracture. For those people who have had surgery, and whose bones are still good, maybe it’s a matter of whether pain can be handled, but for us older folks who may have lost bone density (despite running 10 km 2 or 3 times a week prior to the cancer diagnosis) the incentive to stay off the leg still outweighs (no pun intended) the desire to get out of a wheelchair and stop using crutches. I’m going to give it to the end of August – if healing hasn’t progress d much by then it likely never will, in which case a knee replacement is the next option.

  428. Kate says:

    Hi Colin, per everyone else’s comments this is one of the only femur rehab posts I’ve been able to find. I smashed myself on my road bike on some cable car lines in SF. Full titanium rod treatment for my leg. I could have written your post op account word for word (except for the walking on the leg part). I’m on month 4…off crutches finally…they had me be non weight bearing for 12 weeks. Question for you: what was the best thing you did for yourself? I feel like I’ve plateaued on progress and it effing hurts to walk still…which is why I’m sitting here googling femur breaks and recovery. I think I thought it was going to be all magical and rapidly get better when I started walking (so they told me). All lies! πŸ˜‰ anyhow, don’t know if you wrote more blog posts that I haven’t uncovered but this one was at least nice to read for the sake of solidarity. Cheers, Kate

  429. Mick Busdriver says:

    Hi folks, found this blog the other day and agree with many of you regarding its value in providing great insights and perspectives on broken femur rehab that do not seem to be available in official literature. It also seems a little cathartic in writing this stuff down to people who are living through the same thing. It was the “mountain bike” reference in the URL that led me here as that is how I broke my right femur just over 7 weeks ago at age 52. Botched the landing on a high (for me) drop, lost control of the bike at speed, and started to tilt wildly over to the right as I left the trail into some low ferns. I expected just to take a big embarrassing tumble into the greenery when “WHACK!” I felt like someone hit me with sledgehammer on my upper thigh and I somersaulted off the bike (cannot have helped things!) and ended up on my back, yelling quite involuntarily “ow ow ow ow ow!” for about 10 seconds, I assume from the shock.. Clearly there was a big rock lurking in the foliage. My riding buddy called an ambulance after first asking if I was sure I had broken my leg; as I said, the crash zone looked quite benign at first glance. After the initial yelling, I found if I lay still I was not in too much discomfort – I actually started probing at the thigh with my fingertips (hoping against hope it was perhaps a just bad muscle cork, ha ha). That delusion dissipated when the paramedics rolled my up to slide the board under me (I had to be carried about 50m to the vehicle). That really hurt….

    Upshot was a bad break high on the femur shaft, including a largish chunk of bone that separated from both end sof the break, and some cracks up near the neck. At first I was told I would walk out of hospital in a week, but by the time I got to surgery I was told it would need to be non-weight-bearing for at least 6 and most likely 12 weeks. The lead surgeon also said his team would “do their best” to get me back to the same condition as I was prior to the injury, but that may not happen. So encouraging! Similar to a lot of you, I now have a titanium rod down the length of my femur, two long nails into the head of my femur and some wire wound around the shaft to hold that piece of bone in place. I spent two weeks in hospital as I was quite weak due to blood loss, my haemoglobin count was down in the 70s when it should be about 140 but for some reason the elected not to transfuse as “I was fit”, experienced all the toileting joys people have mentioned previously, lots of pain initially, progressed from walker to crutches and was finally sent home with only 3 basic exercises to do (knee raises, standing abductor side “swings” and just pushing my leg backwards as far as possible, as well as flexing my quads as often as possible to minimise wastage. Luckily for me, I usually work from home and am a project manager (as opposed to say, a builder or landscape gardener) so that aspect of my life was not greatly impacted and I only had the two weeks in hospital off work. I went off the low dose Targin within a week of getting home and now only take some ibuprofin and panadol at night, not for my leg but for my lower back of all things as it was crap before the crash anyway and sleeping on my back aggravates it.

    Had my 6 weeks x-ray and consult last week. The surgeon (not the one who operated on me) came into the room, looked at the scans and said, “ooooh, that’s a bad one.” More encouragement πŸ˜‰ I was sent home for 6 more weeks of non-weight bearing, banned from driving, but left wondering what else I could be doing. Then I found this forum. After reading about all of the therapies that some of you non-weight bearing guys have been doing (pool work, exercise bikes, etc etc) I thought it was odd I was not being provided with a more comprehensive exercise routine so called the hospital back and they agreed so I go back tomorrow to see a physiotherapist and hopefully come away with a decent program of activities to prepare me for when I can start “proper” rehab by putting weight on it again. Will send an update when I see the physio.

    I do have a question – a lot of you mention strong pain persisting, where as I go most days and some nights without taking needing any pain relief. It can ache from time to time, and I have a largish numb patch at the incision site from nerve damage from the injury and the surgery, but apart from that it does not give me much grief at all. That said, I am not putting any stress on it either. Does the pain start again when I start loading up the leg, and this is a honeymoon period? Appreciate any insights on that from the collective… sorry this was so long too…

  430. Nikki says:

    Oh wow, so glad to have come across this post. I’ve been searching for some time, with no luck, for some advice.
    I fractured my left hip (at the neck of the femur) in December last year, it’s now approx. 9 months post op. I am 30 years old, female. Have had 4 screws inserted. I was on crutches, no weight bearing for 3 months. Immediately after I started walking with no problems. Took it easy and gradually eased my way back into exercise, but nothing major. About 6 weeks ago I started having bad pain in the leg. It almost feel as if the screws are moving. Especially when getting up from a sitting position and then wanting to walk. I need to straighten and swing my leg to let it “hook” bck in place, I can hear and feel the “click”. This has now passed, and now it is just a sharp stinging pain when I put my left leg forward too fast. Have been to my orthopedic surgeon, he had an MRI done. It showed a small patch of what might start to be AVN, but he isn’t too sure and have requested a second opinion. He thought it might also be the light of the MRI reflecting on the screws casting a shadow or dark patch.
    The other thing is that I am about 7 weeks pregnant. He wanted to operate to have the screws removed, however, now he can’t. I am very frustrated, because everything was going fine and now it feels like I am back to square one. Also, am scared of how much I will struggle throughout the next 7 months with pregnancy.
    any advice or help ?

  431. Jim says:

    Hello. I was riding my road bike on Sept 12 of this year on a nice asphalt trail. When I got to the beginning of the trail, there was a turnaround, where the surface switched from asphalt to concrete. When I got to the circle I slowed down because it was a tight turn. One of my tires got caught in a seam in the concrete and I was thrown to the left. The impact was concentrated almost completely on my left femur, which broke near where it connects to the hip. I had surgery the next day, in which a titanium rod was inserted. I’m almost five weeks into recovery and doing OK. Prior to my accident I had been riding for decades and in recent years was averaging about 12,000 miles per year. I am almost 60 years old and, at least before the accident, I was in good shape. The surgeon told me to stay off my bike for at least six months. Right now, I am having a hard time imagining riding again. At the time of the accident, I wasn’t riding fast or recklessly; the recovery is slow and painful. How do you get back on your bike again after a freaky accident the upends your life for many months?

  432. RichardD says:

    “Carefully, and with some popping of the hip when getting back off” in my case!

    Do check out that FB group AlisonD mentioned – it’s a constant stream of useful information and encouragement, and it has the added advantage of being a private group.

  433. shona says:

    On a positive note I fractured my femur 14 weeks ago, they called it a stable fracture not quite all the way through, on holiday in France had the op there with 2 pins inserted told to weight bear immediately, 6 x 15 min intense physio per day since week 3 walking without crutches since 9 weeks post op, started back at work 1 week ago whilst I stiffen up a little after sitting I can move without limping. It has been a painful hard slog (no painkillers) but I feel I am getting closer to how I was day by day. Have been told will make a complete recovery I am 72 years old. I am getting on with it. ‘No pain no gain’ I wish you all a speedy recovery.

  434. Peter Rooney says:

    Hello all, and am I ever glad to have found this site. I am a Stage IV cancer patient who is now coping with a broken femur. I began feeling pain in my lower-to mid-thigh during the early summer, but still maintained my fairly high level of activity, which included cycling, hiking, swimming and sailing. I mentioned the pain to the nurse during my biweekly infusions. I have been in a clinical trial and receiving immunotherapy (you can read some of my story at that has done a great job in clearing up numerous tumors in my lungs and lymph nodes. When I was originally diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer in early March 2011 it had already spread to my left humerus and right femur. Later that month during the same hospital stay my right kidney containing a 7 cm tumor was removed, and a rod was inserted into my left humerus to stabilize the bone, where a sizable lesion had developed. After surgery, both the left humerus and right femur received radiation (the lesion in the femur was not as large, and did not require surgery).
    Fast forward more than five years later. I am beating the odds, enjoying life, but have this nagging pain in my thigh. An x-ray reveals that the spot in my right femur has grown over the past few years, and that the lesion growing in the center of the bone has thinned out the edges of the femur. The orthopedic surgeon recommends that I receive a steel plate with six screws in the distal femur to shore up the bone and protect it from fractures. The tumor within the bone is scraped out and bone cement is injected into the cavity. That surgery is done on July 23 of this year. Recovery is slow but steady and the doc says she’s impressed with my healing ability. I am allowed to put full weight on the leg pretty much from the get-go. Swimming is allowed after 2 weeks. After a 2-month checkup I’m cleared to resume full activity . I ease into that, not thinking I’m overdoing it — a sail in my small boat on a windy day and a walk/trot around a pond that takes about an hour. I can’t pinpoint a specific action that triggers pain and the adrenaline surge seems to mask it anyway, but fairly significant pain results the next day, and I have a noticeable limp. Instead of listening to my body I go for another sail and another walk. My leg hurts even worse. I call in to the docs and they say ‘give it a week and call if it doesn’t get better.” I give it 10 days and it doesn’t really get better. Interestingly, cycling doesn’t hurt so I take a daily ride on a trail of about an hour to 2 hours. . I go in about a two weeks after that and x-rays reveal no fracture. The ortho nurse gives me PT (physio) exercises which I do diligently. I continue riding my bike. I continue limping and feeling pain. I feel slight improvement and go for a medium walk. That brings on intense pain. On Oct. 27 I head in for an MRI. I get the news one day later, on my 52nd birthday — I have a “non-displaced fracture” on my femur, in the center, slightly above where the steel plate was installed. I’m told to get on crutches, no weight bearing, at least until I see the ortho surgeon again on Nov. 21.

    “No more bike riding either,” she says.

    “What about range of motion exercises, or cycling on a roller?”

    “You can try that I guess, but not anything that gives you pain.”

    The news is very difficult to bear, and this is from a guy who’s had to absorb some pretty grim medical news over the last few years including a cancer diagnosis, 4 brain tumors, and cancer progression. (Right now I should add, I am cancer free as far as I know. That’s the good news!) I think that’s partly because getting around on crutches is so difficult, and my mobility is so limited and I won’t get the endorphin rush of cardio exercise that I’m somewhat addicted to for a while, but also because I worry that I may be facing the end of an active lifestyle that I think has contributed so much to keeping me healthy and positive over the past 5 plus years. Also, I ask myself — “I thought the plate was supposed to protect the leg from breaking? Can I ever trust my leg again? Will it ever heal?”

    Now, two weeks into crutches, I don’t see much improvement and I’m a bit discouraged. I have gotten more used to my lack of mobility and the fact that it takes longer to do everything from going to the bathroom to showering to navigating stairs. I also have quite a lot of swelling in the middle thigh muscle (the MRI report calls it edema) that does not go away. Sometimes it goes down a bit, but it’s still quite swollen. The docs are not very helpful in telling me whether this is normal or not. I do some stretching exercises and range of motion pedaling on the turbo roller but I can’t do much, bend very much or lift very much without triggering pain. Is this normal? I have a hard time taking it easy, and find that doing exercises or pedaling doesn’t seem to help improve range of motion of strength. I ice and heat and elevate several times a day after doing a few minutes of exercises. I don;t think I’m overdoing it but I do wonder. The pin is not just in the fracture area, but also in the knee, in the swollen muscles and in ligaments and tendons, even though the MRI doesn’t note any broken tendons.

    From reading posts here I realize that it may be and I’m in for a long rehab. But it seems odd that improvement is taking so long. Sorry to vent here but I guess I’m just wondering if this is normal and if I’m on the right track. I realize being a cancer patient with bone mets and previous radiation complicates the prognosis but I’d still appreciate any advice or encouragement.

    Thanks so much, and best wishes to everyone for health and healing.


  435. Vaughan Davies says:

    What an amazing blog. Thanks to Colin. It has really given me comfort to know I’m not alone and helped me manage my expectations going forward. I came off my mountain bike on 24th Nov 2016 (just over a week ago). It was close to home (Johannesburg, South Africa), on a downhill, I turned a corner and realised i was encroaching on the oncoming lane with a car approaching. I braked and the bike literally disappeared from underneath me and I fell hard on my left side. It had been raining lightly and the only thing i can think of is that the bike lost traction as I crossed the solid white painted line and put the brakes on. I hardly have any grazes so the fall was instant! Anyway – people stopped and assisted me, calling an ambulance, pulling me out of the centre of the road and harms way (incredibly painful!) , and covering me with a blanket. I’ve ridden bicycles since was kid (I’m now 48)- fallen often and never experienced anything like this. When I tried to move my left leg it just wouldn’t move. i do remember my head hitting the tarmac – thank goodness for cycling helmets. When they took it off it was cracked but my head had been well cushioned! The next day at hospital i was operated on and pins and screws inserted in my leg – it at messy fracture at the top near the hip joint. Two days later I had another op for pins into my broken collar bone. The broken collar bone means I can’t use crutches and mobility is difficult. And pain is a constant companion! I can now get from the bed into a wheelchair almost unaided, and since yesterday I’ve been able to bend my knee enough to rest my left leg on the wheelchair footrest. It was such a joy to propel myself with the wheelchair along the hospital corridors. Getting back into bed is tough with only one arm to lift my body out the chair…! Each day gets better. Small victories are made. The pain continues as one barrier is replaced by another! And yes – dealing with a bed pan in bed instead of a toilet – more important to have healthy bowel movements than worry about dignity. That said the nursing staff at the hospital I’m at are amazing. It is a mind game. Sometimes at the end of the day when i’m tired and sore and aching, and haven’t quite achieved the movement goals I wanted you ask why me – I’m fit, I wasn’t being reckless – WHY?! All my plans for my December holiday are ruined. Thing is …I had to let all that go and this blog certainly helped, as well as all the support from family and friends. I have my work laptop with me so have been able to deal with urgent issues and keep myself occupied, and i’m discovering the joy of reading again!

    Anyway – the journey to full recovery has began. It has been hard, but it has been interesting in ways I didn’t expect. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this blog…I hope my contribution helps others too.

  436. Daryl Ortiz says: