Forums: Community: Skydivers with Disabilities:
Broken femur


chanti  (C 1687)

Jul 20, 2006, 4:59 AM
Post #1 of 19 (5882 views)
Broken femur Can't Post

I just want to know from all those unlucky enough to have played femur tennis with mother earth and lost, the following:
1. How long before you were allowed weight bearing on the broken leg?
2. How long before you were allowed to return to work?
3. How long on crutches?
4. What kind of physio exercises did u do?
5 AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: how long before you could skydive again?

I'm supposed to be on my back for 2 weeks but I feel I'm making good progress. My leg was operated on Saturday PM and already I'm scooting around the house on my crutches, so maybe sooner rather than later? It's also killing me being off work - I feel so guilty.

Advice, please, everyone! I want as much info as i can get! (And if anyone has a spare femur lying around..Laugh

mx757  (C License)

Jul 20, 2006, 6:11 AM
Post #2 of 19 (5846 views)
Re: [chanti] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post

be sure your Dr. puts you on blood thinning Rx. I got blood clots and they went to lung / heart nearly killed me

Blood clots are commom with broken femur I'm told...
I broke mine in 1980 so I can't remember how long till could bear weight etc....

freefalle  (D 27777)

Jul 20, 2006, 10:44 AM
Post #3 of 19 (5828 views)
Re: [chanti] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post

You are out for a minimum of 6 weeks, Maybe longer depending on the amount of hardward and additional trauma done to the bone structure the good this is that the blood supply to the femur is plentyful therefore it heals well, however it still takes time. The fact that you are up on your crutches is good, however, it is not an indication of healing. There is not much you can do along the lines of PT to heal a bone, ostoblast (bone forming cells) form at there own rate. Like I said, 6 weeks is a good rule of thumb as far as being healed up The Dr. may want you to wait a bit longer before getting back in the air to ensure your hardware is seated peoperly.

On a side note. what happened?

chanti  (C 1687)

Jul 21, 2006, 1:28 AM
Post #4 of 19 (5805 views)
Re: [freefalle] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for everybody's replies. I have been given clexane injections to thin my blood and these "really sexy" stocking things that supposedly prevent clots.

On a side note. what happened?

It was just a weird chain of events really. We were participating in a mini meet (we're a very junior 4 way team) and got put on load 1 (which i really hate),so i was stressed out before i even got into the plane. The run-in got switched 180 degrees to what it usually is and that ended up being a mistake as there was quite a strong tail-wind at altitude. Because we were the last group to exit our spot was WAAAYYYYY off. Freefall was uneventful. At 4000 ft I tracked from the group and pulled at 3000 ft only to have my canopy spinning like crazy. My first thought was "one toggle off" but I looked at the toggles and could see both were still stowed. I left them there (silly mistake) and cutaway.Crazy My CI later explained to me that the cat eye had slipped off the end of the toggle and the bottom part was still stowed. My reserve opened fine but I was at 1200 ft and over houses. I landed in somebody's back yard but turning like crazy to avoid telephone lines, power lines, fences and trees. I didn't even realise anything was broken until I sat up and saw that my thigh was at right angles to the rest of my leg Frown
Fortunately I got pumped full of morphine so the rest of the day is a complete blur! I have a titanium pin in my leg now and apparently the break is not so bad - nothing shattered, and it didn't break through the skin. The doc doesn't want any weight on my leg for 2 - 3 weeks so i'm pretty much laying around all day at the moment.

BASE864  (D 19721)

Aug 10, 2006, 7:13 AM
Post #5 of 19 (5695 views)
Re: [chanti] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post

I badly shattered my femur doing a silly hook turn. I didn't make another skydive until 14 months later. I was non-weight bearing for about 2 months - but that was too soon as I ended up breaking the two bottom screws that held the Ti rod and had to have them replaced. I also had to have bone graft as the bone wasn't healing. Eventaully all healed up and I am jumping again. I had the rod removed 2.5 years after the inital injury and haven't had any problems since with the leg.

But now - I've just got blood clots in the same leg and in my lungs - so I'm done jumping again while on blood thinners (caumadin) for 6 months.

dynamite  (D 102531)

Feb 16, 2007, 2:01 AM
Post #6 of 19 (5410 views)
Re: [chanti] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post

Hook turn and broken femur for me.

I was putting weight on the leg the day after the operation and had crutches for about 6-8 weeks. Fully weight bearing after that.

I was in work 1 week after the accident but then i have an office job.

I was jumping again after 6 months.

Lots of physio mainly consisting of lunge type exercises to build up the quads and the VMO (muscles around the knee) as my metal work went in through the knee.

I was recommended to do a lot of cycling but my gym wouldn't let me in until i was fully fit and signed off by a doctor so i missed that.

I was advised that the sooner i get weight back on the leg, the sooner the muscles builds up again and it promotes bone growth.

It does get better and it takes lots of time and patience. it's 3 years and 400 jumps later now and i still feel it in the winter! However, in the 6 months i was out i made a fortune packing and didn't pay for a jump for months afterwards!


Feb 24, 2007, 1:55 PM
Post #7 of 19 (5359 views)
Re: [dynamite] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post

i think it depends if they nail the bone or have it heal naturally.

i've broken far far too much stuff...

both arms, left twice, both legs, right leg 3 times (including femur), pelvis and neck Mad. the secondmost recent i was in traction for 5 weeks a wheelchair for another 6. Crazy

haha. better now! if they nail the bone you can almost immediately put some weight on it as the nail takes the weight at first until the callus (check spelling) builds up.

i couldn't be nailed for the first few breaks as i was still growing, and as they were not nice simple jobs i had to spend weeks in traction before i could even be put into plaster.

but, yeah, as said above... it's about 6 weeks. it goes quick! at least it's not summer!


i just realised how old the initial post is. D'oh.

(This post was edited by MortalWombat on Feb 24, 2007, 1:56 PM)

wes.  (C 106209)

Mar 1, 2007, 3:28 PM
Post #8 of 19 (5308 views)
Re: [MortalWombat] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post

when i broke my i spent 6 weeks in hospital folud by 6 weeks in a fully cast then a nothr 6-8 on crutches i was only 11 at he time though i dont know how much it differs for adults

chanti  (C 1687)

Mar 3, 2007, 6:01 AM
Post #9 of 19 (5292 views)
Re: [MortalWombat] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post


i just realised how old the initial post is. D'oh

He he! LaughLaugh

Yes, it's THAT old! I've been back in the air for 5 months already and done 23 jumps since breaking myself. My metal is due to come out in May ... can't wait! Smile

chanti  (C 1687)

May 29, 2007, 9:14 AM
Post #10 of 19 (5102 views)
Re: [chanti] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post

Pin's coming out on Friday! Yipee! Smile Can't wait to be metal-free ...

repcool  (D 30916)

May 30, 2007, 3:50 PM
Post #11 of 19 (5078 views)
Re: [chanti] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post

I trashed into a tree Snowboarding in 2002. I shattered my femur, broke both wrists and a few ribs. I was happy to be alive so no complaints.

I got emergency surgery and a rod was placed inside my feumr. Because it was shattered (an inch or so missing) I couldn't bear weight for 6 weeks, I just hopped a lot.

I was told I wouldn't walk without a limp, would never run again and skydiving was out of the question.

I think they tell you that stuff to make you mad and work hard against them. I was walking in 6 weeks and crossed the Grand Canyon in 12 hours within 5 months. Running ain't what it used to be but I can still get the miles in. I was snowboarding again next season.

The theory about not jumping was that I *could* bend the rod and might need amputation. Well I figure anything that's going to bend that rod is going to do some other damage so I took up jumping again last year.

Best advice is work hard at rehab but DON'T get excited and come back too fast, you will injure yourself. That being said everyone comes back to quick and relapses. Cool

Good luck. I always enjoyed

repcool  (D 30916)

May 30, 2007, 3:53 PM
Post #12 of 19 (5077 views)
Re: [chanti] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post

I would be interested to know how that goes. I opted to leave mine for the last 5 years because I was fearful of the downtime of rehab after the surgery.


chanti  (C 1687)

Jun 3, 2007, 2:43 AM
Post #13 of 19 (5029 views)
Re: [repcool] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post

So it went surprisingly ok. On friday I was miserable but that was mostly due to the anaesthetic. Yesterday I walked around with a crutch and today I'm crutchless! Going back to work tomorrow. Doc reckons I'll be up in the air in about 4 weeks! I'm glad I did it. Smile

repcool  (D 30916)

Jul 22, 2007, 10:02 PM
Post #14 of 19 (4753 views)
Re: [chanti] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post

Back up yet? Hope it went well.

I have mine set for August 9th.

chanti  (C 1687)

Jul 23, 2007, 8:14 AM
Post #15 of 19 (4747 views)
Re: [repcool] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post

Yep - I did my first jumps back on 15 July. It would have been sooner if we didn't have 2 weekends of 20 knot gusts Mad

All good. I'm glad I did it. Painful but worth it! Good luck with your op!

skyhpp  (C 840)

Jul 25, 2007, 12:55 AM
Post #16 of 19 (4720 views)
Re: [chanti] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post

Welcome to the school of hard landings and broken femurs....PirateWink

I was on back at work and getting around on crutches after 3 weeks - bearing weight on the leg resumed gradually, without much pain or discomfort. I was on crutches for a total of +/- three months, but was using them less and less as the leg got stronger.

I would recommend physio as early as possible, as without it you lose a lot of muscle flexibility. The forced inactivity causes muscle loss, and you have to build your muscle strength up again.

After six months I started running and going to gym. Pretty soon I felt strong enough to jump again, but elected to wait until the pin was removed -I knew I could easily handle a normal jump, but in the event of another break on the same leg, the results would be catastrophic if the pin was still in.

So, +/- 13 months later and after the pin was removed I resumed jumping again - getting back into it was easy and there were absolutely no problems with the leg.

Waiting those extra few months before jumping was frustrating, but I was reminded of major problems experienced by other jumpers who had resumed jumping too soon after a major injury.

Good luck with your recovery - the body heals amazingly well if given enough time - the biggest problem is being patient and waiting it out.....

Melissa76  (Student)

Aug 8, 2007, 3:34 PM
Post #17 of 19 (4659 views)
Re: [skyhpp] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post

I sustained an extremely nasty femoral fracture due to a car accident when I was 15 y/o. Obviously didn't acquire it skydiving but I don't think that part matters given your questions and concerns. After 6 surgeries, hardware, leg lengthening, etc. here's my advice:

Make damn sure you have an excellent doc with a decent bedside manner who understands your drive (they do exist). My first doc was incompetent and I spent 6 more months on crutches because of it. If you have a good doc, do what they say and seriously think of long-term implications if you start jumping again too early. Skydiving, while a big part of our lives, should not be life itself.

Good luck and best wishes for a speedy recovery. I know it's frustrating but I thank my surgeon (the good one) for the fact I can run marathons, skydive, or do whatever I want except for winning a "best legs" contest due to the scars Smile

repcool  (D 30916)

Oct 8, 2007, 9:55 PM
Post #18 of 19 (4447 views)
Re: [chanti] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post

I had my nail (rod) out 3 months ago and have been jumping just fine. The original injury from from Snowboarding.

I developed a bad habit whilst I had the nail in my leg, I always favored my right leg, even in a PLF. That bit me last weeked and I fractured my right fibula! It is really quite minor, I will am already walking and will be skiing this season. It is kind of funny really in comparison to the femur but it goes to show what happens if you don't keep things balanced!

pope  (D 19947)

Oct 9, 2007, 11:43 AM
Post #19 of 19 (4440 views)
Re: [chanti] Broken femur [In reply to] Can't Post

I was BASE jumping again in 3.5 mos. skydiving after four. Mine was a spiral fracture (7 pieces) just below the hip.
don't push it...

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