Fractured Tibia and Fibula Repair: Martha’s Story
My name is Martha Thompson. I am 59 years old, and I am a patient of Dr. James Halloran at Dickson-Divelely Orthopaedics. Last August, I was having a dinner party. I went downstairs to light my grill and slipped on the last step. At that moment, my life forever changed. I realized very quickly that I had severely broken my leg.
They had to transport me via ambulance to Saint Luke’s Hospital on the plaza. I saw the senior resident who did a closed reduction, and then they sent me home for a couple of days, whereupon I got to see Dr. Halloran in the office the following Monday, two days later.
I saw Dr. Halloran in the office on Monday, and he told me that he wanted to perform the surgery on Friday. I said to him, “I don’t like the look on your face.” And he said, “Well I wouldn’t like the look on my face either because you have a very severe injury.” I started to well up with tears and thought, “I live alone. How am I going to do this?” And he said, “I feel very confident that I can fix your leg, but I also need to tell you that we have to be a team, and if you don’t comply with the things that I tell you that you need to do, you’re not going to get a good result.” As I have gotten to know Dr. Halloran, I now see very clearly that was a strategy of his for getting his patients to really pay attention.
I had a four hour surgery whereupon he put in two plates and 12 screws on each side of my leg. My fibula, which is the little bone on the outside of your leg, was in so many pieces. He said there was no way he could put it back together, but the plate and the screws would hold it. Then on the other side—the tibia side—I had a few hairline fractures there. So he put in a plate and 12 screws there, as well.
With the kind of injury I had, I was not allowed to do any weight-bearing at all for 12 weeks. My physical therapy did not begin for three months afterwards, and then it was three times a week for several weeks.
I can do everything, as far as my mobility and flexibility. I am so grateful that I am healed.