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11 Year Old with Fractured Fibula - Recovery time?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My son was racing in the British Dryslope Champs at Hillend last weekend. After skiing the best he has done in a while and securing a podium place, he went up the hill with a friend to watch the older kids racing. As they were coming down the steepest part of the hill they decided to start sliding. The result? A lateral malleolus fracture of the fibula. At first it looked like he'd need surgery but once they got it cast and secure the injury looked much better. A visit to the fracture clinic yesterday confirmed everything was where it should be so he has to keep the cast on for another 3 weeks.

We've had to cancel a training week in Tux at the end of October but he keeps asking when he will be able to ski, climb and boulder again. I'm not prepared to rush anything so trying to manage his expectations. I've read a few of the threads about tib and fib fractures but these were adults and much more serious than my sons injury.

Does anyone have experience of a child suffering a similar injury and can give me an idea of rehab time? He has read about Marcel Hirscher's recovery and he thinks he can do the same! Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Gaza, sorry know nothing about recovery times but wish him a speedy one.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
What did the fracture clinic say about recovery? I'd also listen/ask the physio when he starts that.
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What did the fracture clinic say about recovery? I'd also listen/ask the physio when he starts that.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks @Jonny996

@kitenski, our visit to the Fracture Clinic yesterday was unplanned and I wasn't prepared for asking questions. On Saturday we were told to return yesterday to have the cast changed as the swelling would have gone down and risked the stability of the joint. When we got there the Orthopaedic Technician said we should have waited until our Fracture Clinic appointment this coming Friday. This was contrary to what we had been told but once they checked the notes they confirmed I wasn't going mad and as there was fracture clinic running at the time they slotted us in.! Very Happy

When we saw the Consultant I wasn't prepared as my mind was elsewhere. One of our neighbours is a Physio so I will be seeking her advise. We also have physio cover through my Axa PPP policy so we'll utilise that if the NHS offering is restricted.
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@Gaza, Sorry to hear about your son. It always amazes me how many accidents occur when "just messing about" rather than doing the apparently dangerous activity. At least it happened after he raced.

As to the recovery time it will vary a lot. No two people seem to recover at the same rate and I suppose it depends on things such as just how much bone has to grow over the gap, how much muscle wastage there has been and just when your son thinks the pain has eased sufficiently. A long long time ago I broke my ankle. I was discharged from medical care after 6 weeks (nobody bothered with physio back then) and the muscle recovered after a further 6 weeks, but it was over 6 months before it stopped hurting. I would not plan anything until Christmas. See how it goes
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Oh dear, hope that he is OK in himself. One of mine fractured her ankle when she was younger, after spraining it numerous times. It was on the cards really I was told, as the ligaments had stretched. We were told she could probably recreational ski within 4/6 weeks as the boot would hold it, but when we got with the physios, they said no ballet, netball, gymnastics for a few months as the ligaments needed to heal. I think that while the bone might heal fast, you need the physios to talk about the general health of the ligaments etc, as that will impact on future mobility far more. For our girl the ligaments healed but she has never gone back to netball competitively, as she worries about the twisting and turning, but she does ski race and plays hockey. Good luck. Just need to keep him from pushing it.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Gaza, What age is he. Bone should be back to full strength in about 10 weeks. 6ish weeks for light work and getting the cast off but obviously depends on the xrays. Could be a lot sooner but shouldn't be much longer.

On the bright side - If I had to choose a bone to break I would choose the fibula. Ankles, wrists and knees are complicated and can take months or years to be put right. A stable fib fracture mostly won't involve tendons and ligaments and the muscles won't suffer too much. He probably won't be fit to race this season but should be able to have a gentle ski by the time most resorts open.
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Thanks All

@johnE, In the past I've watched lots of the kids going down the hill doing what he was doing; a sort of sliding manoeuvre on their hip and leading with the foot. I've told them that one of them would do themselves a serious injury but to no avail. Ironically it was my son who was the first to suffer a serious injury. Mad

@Thornyhill, he's 11 next month.

I was contemplating an early season long weekend in mid-December but that might be pushing it. We do have a trip booked to Bormio in February for the English Alpine Champs so hoping that he will be able to do that.
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Gaza wrote:


@Thornyhill, he's 11 next month.

I was contemplating an early season long weekend in mid-December but that might be pushing it. We do have a trip booked to Bormio in February for the English Alpine Champs so hoping that he will be able to do that.


He should be OK to ski in mid December but he won't be as fit as he used to be for Feb race. Probably won't do any damage but he won't win. Young bones are bendy and heal quickly but too much stress can lead to a lot of grief later in life. If it was me I'd do the December trip but skip the racing.


This is an entirely personal view. Winning is important. If you can't win you are wasting your time IMHO. snowHead snowHead Ask the doc or physio if racing in Feb is realistic?
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@Thornyhill, he already knows he doesn't have much chance of winning in Bormio. His age group is very competitive. He is up against Emma Carrick-Anderson's twin boys (living in Tignes/Bourg does provide a wee bit of an advantage Very Happy ) as well as the kids who live-in/partly live-in with Kandahar, Ambition, BSA, etc.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Didn't have to google Emma Carrick-Anderson....time to try a different sport*? I've never skied on snow with her but she taught me to water ski years before I even discovered snow. I think she was about 12 at the time. Also the only girl ever to outpace me on a rowing machine.

*It is gonna be difficult enough without a break and one unfit leg.
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If the cast is intended for a total of three weeks they must feel that the fracture is stable and unlikely to easily displace.
The ankle will stiff and uncomfortable to walk for a few weeks. It may take upto a couple of months to run comfortably. The bone may be tender for a few months.the time back into a ski boot will depend on how tough your lad is and how cautious you want to be. Probably somewhere between 6 and 12 weeks. The people seeing him are better placed than me to give a more accurate answer but hope this gives you a steer in the right direction
Jonathan Bell
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@Jonathan Bell, many thanks. I was hoping you'd pop by. Very Happy

He is quite cautious in himself and doesn't like pain so I suspect it will be a longer rather than shorter time. The swelling has gone down quite a bit and he now feels the cast is loose. He is back at the fracture clinic on 16th October and the consultant suggested that the cast would be off that day. We are hoping it does come off as we've booked to go to Dubai the following day!
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quick update on my son. The progress he has made this week is surprising. At the weekend he was walking with the aid of only one crutch but as the week has gone on he's almost ditched the crutch and is walking as well as can be expected with a cast on one leg. He even managed a fast hobble yesterday to get to the front door when Amazon we delivering a package he'd been waiting for. I'm hoping this bodes well for his recovery. The cast comes off next Tuesday and as he will be off school I'm looking for him to spend a bit of time in the swimming pool (not ours I hasten to add) getting some mobility back in to the joint.
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@Gaza, great news, just make sure his keenness doesn't over do it. BTW do you know anything about LSRA?
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thanks @Jonny996

Yes, my son trains with LSR (the 'A' was dropped a year or son ago as they were no longer an 'association'). If you wnat to know anything then dropped me a PM.
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