/ fractured talus and bouldering

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rob sykes - on 14 Feb 2013
afternoon all

i was wondering if ukc'ers could offer me any advice?

back in mid june i fractured my talus. i had surgery to put it back together and had a pin inserted. i was in plaster cast for eight weeks then a fetching plastic boot. after i was discharged in the autumn i did some very brief gentle running before deciding that the impact of running wasn't a good idea so soon. reluctantly i went to the dark side and joined a gym to do some low impact cardio work: cross trainer, bike, rowing etc.

now, my ankle is still a little stiff until i stretch it off but it feels ok. so, i've been considering doing some low level (in both grade and altitude) bouldering again. i'm a bit concerned that this could be tempting fate as the talus area could be permanently weak and any impact whether falling or dropping off could result in another fracture in this area.

i appreciate that it's impossible to give an exact answer as all injuries differ but from a forum search i know that there are other ukc'ers who've experienced similar fractures. all and any advice would be greatly appreciated.


cariva - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to rob sykes:
Hi there man....I know it does not help, but you have all my sympathy...
First of all, I am no MD, so my input has not the intention to function as a medical advise, whatsoever....but I have been there, and I remember that it cheered me up quite a bit when ukc folks answered my post with their own experiences.
I broke my Talus on early December 2011 at Arco...did not need surgery, however my plaster time was a little longer (75 days)I still rememmber thos freaking injections on my belly...f**k.
What I understood from my ordeal was that that least you have to worry about is fracturing the same spot again...The main issues in that area will be "arterial/venous suffering" since it is a less vascularized area and it takes much longer to get back to "normal". And the other issue would be an eventual post-traumatic arthritis, which I believe in your case is still early even for MD'S to tell for sure.
My first activity was hillwalking around April and although it would get huge and quite painfull after a 3/4-hour walk (ice and rest for a few days before going to another walk), it visibly improved, especialy the stiffness. By June I was going for strolls around the Breithorn area and it was still hurting on the way down. By June I also started climbing on the bouldering wall.
Now it feels like almost 100% even though I haven't had any busy multi-day trips so as to fully evaluate my situation.
Although I do not think you would have problems bouldering, be aware that psychologically it has affected me even while leading even on easy sport routes, so it may affect your willingness to take a fall while bouldering, which IMHO can hurt you ability to fall unharmfully. But who knows man.
I hope I was of any help, even though I insist that nothing substitutes a competent and interested MD, who is also willing to look at your case as an individual one and not as just another number in a mass production system(which was not that easy to find in my whereabouts).
p.s.- altitude bouldering may help your cardio, but it will be the same for the injury as sea-level bouldering ;-)

rob sykes - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to cariva:

hi mate - thanks for the advice! i may leave it for a while but i understand your point about how it could affect how you fall. i may just stick to roped stuff for a while
had forgotten all about the ani coagulant injections - i felt like a sodding pin cushion by the time the cast came off!!

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