When you break your tibia, you will not only be in a lot of physical pain but you will also be faced with a long recovery time, averaging at least a year until full recovery. During the months when you are on crutches and have limited mobility, you will need to make adjustments to your life in order to make things as easy as possible for yourself. Here are five things you will need when recovering from a broken tibia:
A Knee Scooter
While you will probably spend a lot of time on crutches, a knee scooter can be a life saver when you have a broken tibia. It allows you to keep the broken bone completely off the ground and helps you get around your home and even down the sidewalk much more smoothly and quickly than crutches, and without as much physical exertion. Make sure your knee scooter has a basket so you can transport items around your home safely. Spending a little extra for all-terrain tires is a good option if you plan to take your knee scooter outside a lot.
Bathing with a broken leg is tricky until you get the hang of it, but there are things you can purchase to make this task much easier. First, you will need a shower chair that you can sit on, with your broken leg and cast positioned outside of the shower. Next, shower grab bars that stick to the wall will make getting into and out of the shower much easier and safer.
Finally, you will want to buy a cast cover from your local drugstore or online. These are plastic covers that fit over your entire cast and are snug at the top to avoid letting water get inside. This is very important because if water gets into your cast it won't have a chance to dry, which can lead to an uncomfortable skin infection.
A Healthy Diet
A broken tibia needs time to heal but you can help speed up the process a bit by providing your body with all the healing fuel it needs. Bones are made primarily from calcium and protein, so ensuring your diet is rich in both will help the new bone growth to develop properly. Milk, cheese, yogurt, dark leafy greens, fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats, nuts, and legumes are good staples in a calcium and protein-rich diet. Limiting or completely avoiding alcohol and cigarettes will also help your bone heal more quickly.
You may not be able to drive for months, especially if you broke your right tibia, but you will still need to get to doctor's appointments and work. Don't be shy about asking friends and family for rides at first when you are still adjusting to your crutches and knee scooter. Once you are more confident, taxis or ride share programs like Uber are convenient options since you can just slide your crutches into the back seat with you. Most public buses are equipped with lifts which lower to the ground so you can embark and disembark on the bus without climbing the stairs.
Recovering from a broken leg can be very isolating, and if you don't get any socialization you may quickly become depressed. You will probably not always be up for meeting friends out and about (especially when there are stairs and crowds to navigate), but you can be proactive and invite people to come to you instead. With the help of a grocery or meal delivery service, you can host get-togethers at home while your leg is broken. Many of your friends and family members will probably be happy to come to you, so don't be shy about asking.
Recovering from a broken tibia is challenging, but if you are armed with these five things your recovery will go smoothly. A medical orthopedic doctor will ensure your recovery stays on track and goes as quickly as possible.