Monday, December 12, 2011

One leg surgery. Two titanium plates. 11 Screws. And, the road to recovery.

This guest post is written by Kathilyn Solomon, a writer/editor and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) practitioner and a Mobilegs user in week seven of recovery. Reach her at

A Cat. A Skateboard. A Sunny Day. Recipe For Disaster? 

It started innocently enough. With a skateboard. A sunny autumn day. And a cat. But when you take all three and add a middle-aged woman who has only occasionally skateboarded, these three things are a recipe for disaster.

Yes, in answer to your question, I fell. And caught the cat instead of catching my fall. My leg. Ouch. Broke two bones, one with many broken pieces. One surgery, two titanium plates and 11 screws later, I am in recovery.

No Weight Six Weeks.

You don’t just get a walking cast after breaking a tibia and fibula, I learned. You get a warning to avoid putting any weight whatsoever on the leg for the first six weeks.

The first weeks were the hardest.

First, there was the surgical pain. Incisions four inches long on either side of my right calf starting at the ankle. I keep thinking – how did they do it. How did they cut into me? Was there a lot of blood? What side did they start the knife on?

How to Get to the Bathroom.

There were the practical questions, like when I woke in the middle of the night, not only once but several times (full disclosure, I am an intimate friend of menopause, which means that I waken in the night with steam pouring off my chest… they should use the hot flashes – aka power surges – of menopausal women as a power source to heat the nation.) – how do I get from here to the bathroom without peeing in my pants? Yes, if you have broken leg or ankle bones, you are probably dealing with that, too, initially.

Crawl – It Works!

The pain was so intense that I didn’t want to move, but I had to go. Crawling helped. A lot. I used my son’s soccer pads as kneepads as cushion.

CAM Boot Issue

After the splint was taken off and I was given an Air boot, a CAM boot, I believe they call it. I was given this instruction only:

Stay off it and don’t put yarrow in the cast. Come back in one month to see me.

Drugged with painkillers as I was, I nodded.

Once home, my ankle, which heretofore had felt pretty darn good, started hurting. By evening? Excruciating. What El Doctor and his assistant did not tell but what I found online after researching is that unlike the splint, which is custom fit, the boot is one size fits all – and not for everyone, at least initially.

It was heavy enough to pull my hip out of joint and it caused a bunch of bruising on my foot where there had been none before.

It had pushed on the ankle causing internal bruising and somehow, the entire area where the boot covered my foot began swelling and was bruised now.

I decided no more boot for now. Got a lightweight splint. None of the doctors believed that the boot had caused this problem, but then, so what?

Mobilegs Helped Me Land – And Cruise

In addition to crawling, I began using Mobilegs. This was after the regular crutches started giving me problems under the arms and also they were very jarring. Mobilegs have shock absorbers like my old maroon interior leather Cadillac – nice. It feels good to land. I love them.

Massages Helped With the Water Swelling

To help alleviate the pain from the water swelling – I did not like to have my son see me crying too much from pain, I got a massage – on the foot – not on the broken bones, but the foot where the swelling was.

And the edema (water stuck in there) began to go down and drain. Then I got another massage, and it got even better. And so on. Or, and so it goes, as Mr. Kurt Vonnegut (RIP) would say.

It still is slightly swollen some weeks later, but I am wholly on the mend – and just started Physical Therapy!


  1. I'm not sure if it was mobilegs but I saw someone use something very similar during therapy and said it was comfortable AND he was on a manual treadmill. Is there a side by side comparison between the ultra and universal?

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