Friday, August 03, 2012

A painful injury

I spoke about the sudden end of my last hiking tour (, here you can see the "result" of my accident: a spiral fracture of the shankbone / tibia, a split-off of the Volkmann's triangle and a regular fracture of the fibula just below the knee. All in all a really painful situation. I'd some fractures at the hand and also of the collarbone but it was nothing in terms of pain in comparison with this fractures... damn...

But back to that point when it happened. I'd some problems to make the emergency calls, so I called my wife to let her do it... and app. 30 minutes later the helicopter of the REGA ( was circling above me. I cannot describe the big relief I felt in this situation when I've been lying there... helpless and close to the point to pass out for about 3 times. Luckily I'd enough control to avoid it.

The helicopter had to land about 300 m away from the place where I was and a few moments later the emergency doctor arrived. A young lady who made a great job... as the two other guys of the crew did. Due to the situation they took me between them and we "walked" the way to the helicopter. Me, limping and filled to the brim with painkillers, feeling like travelling an endless distance.

The helicopter brought me to the hospital in Chur where the team of the pit took care of me. The treatment was perfect and it was great to see how they treated me to keep the pain as low as possible (I'd different experiences in the past in Germany).

Some x-ray pix were taken... there you can see the fractures.
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After all preparations, clarifications etc. the surgery started and in the end it took app. 2.5 hours to fix all the fractures. Now there's a nail and some screws in my left lower leg...

The next day I had to get outta the bed and had to walk with crutches. The first steps of the morning session were horrible, I didn't dare to put any weight on the foot, I was really afraid to feel this terrible pain again. My physiotherapist had to do a lot of convincing to make me put the foot on the ground... but she was right, it worked. On the same day I'd another session in the afternoon and it was slightly better. Two more sessions followed on Thursday and another two on Friday... and the progress was obvious every time. On Friday I was able to walk about 50 meters and also to walk staircases up and down. I'm a bit proud of myself but also very thankful to my therapist who helped me a lot!

She also put some tape on my legs to help me to get my knee moving. It's hard to move because the band which goes from the upper to the lower leg (over the knee) has been splitted. On Wednesday I could bend the knee about 10 or 15°. On Friday it was about 90 to 95°, now I'm close to 100°, which is a really big success after this short time.

Tape artwork - believe it or not: it helps a lot

Bending the knee with a special machinery

On Sunday I left the hospital, it's great to be at home again where everything has been prepared by my wonderful wife.

The swelling is getting less every day, in the meantime - on day 7 after the accident - I can see again the shape of my knee.

Physiotherapy will start within the next days and I hope that I'll be back to normal soon... the only thing I've to accept is that "soon" means about 3 months in this particular case...

I'm having some ups and downs right now. It's hard to lie in bed the whole day and keeping the leg high... but I learned my lesson after standing for a while and talking with our neighbors. Pain in the leg due to the bruise gave me a horrible night even though the leg was in a higher position then. I've to accept that I've to stay in bed until the bruise is gone completely and it's not longer swollen. It's not worth the consequences to ignore that fact.

On Monday or Tuesday the doc will pull the strings of the wounds. Another step on the long way...