/ Climbing after a broken leg and recovery!

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See no beta, hear no beta on 21 Dec 2012 -
Hi, I had a fall when bouldering and ended up with a nasty open spiral fracture of the tibia and fibula in September. I now have a lovely tibial nail and just wondering if anyone else has had a similar injury and what it's like climbing for them now, especially for ladies!

I'm partial weight bearing at the moment and have a long way to go. 3 more months and I should be doing most things, but no climbing until the bone is fully healed which should take 12-18mths is what I've been told! And don't worry I'll do as I'm told, but hoping the doc will let me do indoor traversing sooner! I discovered climbing late, have only been doing it for 2 years, so was never that great at it but I can't imagine life without it!
koalapie - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to See no beta, hear no beta: I wouldn't think you would have to wait that long to start climbing. You should be able to do easy traversing a week or so after you are full weight bearing and happily off crutches walking around. Once you are jogging you should be able to sport climb with care, it's the slams into the wall and falling off boulderfs you will take the most time. This should be a gradual process and all feel quite natural and comfortable.
Tiernan - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to See no beta, hear no beta:

I had an upper Femur spiral fracture in January of this year which also needed to be pinned and plated. I would say if you were to wait the whole 13 months, you'll be driving yourself absolutely crazy!

The moment I was off the crutches I was doing easy traversing, and about 8 months after my accident i was doing routes like Tower Ridge. I'm not saying this is the the way you should go about your recovery but just base your climbing around how you feel with the leg, obviously don't go jumping off some highball boulder problems but just take it easy to keep your psyche. I'd say one of the most important people to get advice from and listen to is your physio, see how they feel about you doing some easy traversing further down the line.

Take care

Mike Gee - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to See no beta, hear no beta:

I did almost exactly the same thing in January of this year, and now I'm back climbing harder than before the break.

I was top roping after about 5 months, because you don't take much impact at all. It took me longer to get back to bouldering or leading because I wanted to make sure everything was healed completely. As soon as I got the all clear from the doc to put all my weight on it I was back to it.

Make sure you go to the physio and get exercises for strengthening your leg up again, if you haven't used it for a while you'll have lost a lot.

Good luck!
malc - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to See no beta, hear no beta: fracture my femur in October 1982, after falling off The Mall at Milstone Edge. I had 12 weeks in traction in hospital. Started climbing again in June 1983, it has never stopped me but my head has always been shakey especially above runners.

string arms - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to See no beta, hear no beta: Hi. I had a spiral fracture in the tib and fib (and broke the ankle joint at the same time)about 18mths ago. i too have a nail and various screws in the ankle. i was using the finger board whilst in the cast after 4-6weeks and back bouldering at the wall after 10 weeks or so. Back fell running after 6mths but was running on the road after 3mths. Its really important to do the excercises and look after your nutrition needs. It feels a long time out of action but it isnt really. One other point. It can effect your confidence back on the rock at first so dont be alarmed it you dont want to do any highballs for a while. hang in there and just enjoy christmas. Once the better weather arrives you will be back! hope this helps.
Will Wykes - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to See no beta, hear no beta:

I broke my femur rather messily a couple of years ago and while I was climbing (badly) after 6 months, its taken till now to get back to some kind of form.

One thing I would advise is to not neglect your flexibility while you are recovering. I still can't sit cross legged and a lot of moves like mantel shelves cause me huge problems if they are on my bad side.

If anything try snd take something positive from the accident - take the time to recover fully and maybe try and enjoy working your way back through the grades, or really work on your technique as you get back into it.

Have fun!

See no beta, hear no beta on 21 Dec 2012 -
Thanks guys, you have all reassured me that I'll be climbing again in the not so far future. Tiernan, you are right I would go crazy waiting that long!

I’m going to be scared sh*tless, but know the sooner I can get climbing in any shape or form the better it will be. I love the idea that I could be top roping in the spring. You’ve helped inspired me out of a lazy rut. I’ll be working on my upper body and my diet tomorrow! I’ve been eating lots of bone friendly broccoli, fish etc but also a lot of Xmas dinners and treats. I’ll need an elephant to belay me if I’m not careful!
Neil Amos - on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to See no beta, hear no beta: I had a motorbike accident in 2003 where I fractured both shoulders and had a compound fracture of the tibia. I also had a tibial nail inserted which did not take so a removal was needed to do a spot or reaming then a new one inserted. Altogether I had about 20 months before I could trust the leg on landings but now have no problems whatsoever. I have in climbed harder since the accident than before it.

The only thing holding me back now is creeping age!!! Good luck with the recovery

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