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olyclimber

Broken Bones

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There are indeed bio-absorbable materials being used in surgical repairs :)

 

Used mostly in non-load bearing/torsional applications.

 

They have been used in craniofacial surgery for some time. Good in peds where bone is still growing and solid plates cause some 'issues'.

 

More and more are being used every day as the formulations get better and FDA approval opens up the market. Did a single level cervical fusion the other day with one of the neurosurgeons where we used bio-absorbable plate and screws. There are anchor systems in use now for rotator cuff and ACL repairs.

 

How many bones have you broken climbing (or hell, non-climbing breaks too), which bones were broken, and how long till you were climbing again?

 

Other than this current situation, I broke my femur when I was 5 (my brother rode me back to the house on the handlebars of his bike), and they are telling me 6 weeks before I can wieght my leg...I'm just trying to understand how long. Anyone climbing with pins or pieces of metal in their shin bones (or other bones?)

 

So are they still using metal these days? I thought they now have screws that disolve over several years and are replace by bone as they disolve. Maybe they are not used for breaks?

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I broke my fibia and chipped my talus a couple years ago. I have a plate and seven screws still down there. I was able to weight it to 25 lbs after 4 weeks or so with an air cast. I was on crutches till about 7 weeks. I actually climbed at the gym once at about 6 weeks, just didn't use that leg. I was in Yosemite about 3 months after the accident and managed to get back to climbing speed pretty quickly. It only bugged me much on the day we did Snake Dike, too much damn hiking.

 

Interesting discussion about having the hardware removed. Mine has never bothered me in the slightest, you can feel the screws through my skin but I can't even tell they are there. The doc said I'd have to be on crutches for another 7-8 weeks if I got them removed while the bone filled in the holes or I was at high risk to rebreak with the weakened bone. Is there any clinical evidence about rebreaks with hardware in place? Is it that much of a bigger chance of screwing things up worse?

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Yes, bones can and do re-break. I am having four screws taken out of my ulna week after next and am having to take the full six weeks off of work to let it heal because there is apparently a very real possibility of a rebreak if I don't completely leave it alone while it heals.

 

You're pretty lucky the hardware doesn't bother you. I can totally feel the resistance of the screws in my ulna just by rotating my hand, and the screws in my talus (now gone) affected how the bone flexed. Plus all the pain when the barometric pressure drops suddenly.

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Plus all the pain when the barometric pressure drops suddenly.

 

I heard that - not to mention explaining why you set off the alarm at the airport and courthouse. :noway:

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Porter, i know how you feel, i am just coming off my recent broken foot and ankle from my fall on prusik 7 weeks ago. got back out climbing for the first time last friday. still a bit weak though. just hang in there, I broke my tibia playing football 4 years ago, it took a long time for me to be back at it again like 3 months, but you will be back!!!

good luck man.

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