Working with a broken leg

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Forum topic by cowboyup3371 posted 05-28-2019 10:42 PM 525 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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114 posts in 680 days

05-28-2019 10:42 PM

A few weeks ago I busted both of the bones in my lower left leg and had a plate surgically installed. I have been on no weight bearing for that leg since and thanks to the doctor’s attitude, I still have another month to go of toe-touch only pressure. I really need to get back into the shop and pick up on a couple of projects but am a bit hesitant. Although I have a stool I can use for any planer, drill press, band saw, and bench work, I need to take care of a couple things on the jointer and table saw.

Has anyone been in this situation and still gotten out into their shop? If so, what advice would you give? Or should I just suck it up until my next visit to the doctor in four fricking long weeks?

-- Cowboy Up or Quit - If you are going to quit than get out of my way

20 replies so far

View EugdOT's profile


297 posts in 1038 days

#1 posted 05-28-2019 11:00 PM

I am a occupational therapist who used to do adult rehabilitation and I honestly would stay off it. Your on no weight barring or toe touch not on wight barring as tolerated. Since you had plates put in to stabilize the bone the bone needs to heal. You could end up with another fracture on the site and it can delay your healing. You can also have excessive swelling resulting with a compartment syndrome. Besides being on one leg can result with balance issues that will no doubt impact safety in the shop. That’s just my two cents. Best of luck healing and recovery.

View diverlloyd's profile


3598 posts in 2340 days

#2 posted 05-28-2019 11:04 PM

You what’ve to heal right follow the doctors orders, you want it screwed up then don’t follow them. There is a reason why they are doctors.

View Aj2's profile


2431 posts in 2281 days

#3 posted 05-28-2019 11:14 PM

I agree stay out of the shop. Esp if your taking pain meds. You’ll have to woodwork vicariously through cyber space.

-- Aj

View Knockonit's profile


603 posts in 685 days

#4 posted 05-28-2019 11:21 PM

I”ve been in a ortho boot for about three weeks, as i tore a couple tendons and ripped a ligament in my left ankle, they are gonna cut in a couple weeks and fix it, supposedly gonna be no weight bearing for up to two months. so a knee scooter,
now whilst bumbling around with a huge boot, and it being about an inch and half taller than normal shoe, i’m constantly off balance.
I’m in shop, but had to re organize some pass areas so i could maneuver some better, and have to pay a whole lot more attention when at the table saw or band saw due to instabillity, but am still getting out doing some stuff. better than setting around or fretting about what i could or should be doing, best of luck, being off the nut is ugly for sure
Rj in az

View cowboyup3371's profile


114 posts in 680 days

#5 posted 05-29-2019 12:12 AM

I’m not on pain meds though they want me to still finish the muscle relaxer. But as much as it’s not what I want to hear I know you guys are right and I need to stay off of it. It just sucks as I’m not one to sit on my arse.

-- Cowboy Up or Quit - If you are going to quit than get out of my way

View HokieKen's profile


10757 posts in 1621 days

#6 posted 05-29-2019 12:52 PM

May I suggest some wood carving? I know it’s not the same thing but, over the past couple of years I’ve started taking a small tool box with some carving tools and some basswood blanks whenever we go on vacation so I can get a woodworking “fix” when I can’t get in the shop. There are lots of fun project ideas and tutorials online. Spoon carving is a popular one. Personally, I prefer “whittling” projects. I made this on our last trip in April:

It’s not the same as being in the shop but, it does occupy your time and your brain :-)

Best of luck and I hope you heal well and quickly!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View MrRon's profile


5666 posts in 3726 days

#7 posted 05-29-2019 01:20 PM

I know it sucks to not be able to do the things that you like to do. I am having all sorts of physical problems with my back and easily can fall. That keeps me from shop time, especially when the temperature here is close to the hundreds mark. During that time away from the shop, I occupy myself at my computer planning my next projects using Autocad. I design all my projects and make detailed drawings of the parts and any jigs I need. To me, at least, that is a most enjoyable part of my woodworking; must be my engineering background. I like to do a project from start to finish, starting with drawings and ending with the finishing touches. Of course your woodworking may be a lot different from mine as I make large scale train models, something that requires much pre-planning. Anyway, stay off the leg and hope you get better soon.

View Robert's profile


3516 posts in 1963 days

#8 posted 05-29-2019 01:22 PM

Cowboy down…................& use your head~

IOW Relax dude!! its not forever and not worth screwing something up.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Madmark2's profile


488 posts in 1071 days

#9 posted 05-29-2019 09:37 PM

Do what the Dr’s & nurses tell you!

This time last year I had a L leg BKA (below knee amputation) and was back in the shop 6 mo later as good as ever.


View Redoak49's profile


4143 posts in 2471 days

#10 posted 05-29-2019 09:56 PM

Take care and let it heal properly.

View cowboyup3371's profile


114 posts in 680 days

#11 posted 05-29-2019 10:16 PM

May I suggest some wood carving?

Best of luck and I hope you heal well and quickly!

- HokieKen

I love the picture.

That’s a great idea and I talked to the wife about doing it here in the house at the kitchen table. She’s okay with it as I already messed it up years ago when I did some motorcycle brake work in the house as long as I clean up after myself. :O

Although I already have a Flexcut V-tool and gouge, what else would you suggest I get? Is there anything wrong with the Flexcut tools?

I’ll actually cowboy up and force myself to be more patient; it’s just aggravating knowing I’m usually as active as I am.

-- Cowboy Up or Quit - If you are going to quit than get out of my way

View BFamous's profile


322 posts in 603 days

#12 posted 05-29-2019 10:18 PM

I ruptured my Achilles tendon 14 days ago, had surgery 12 days ago. I’m 100% non weight bearing for 2 more days, then I get to start at 20 lbs, and go up by 20 lbs every 2 days – if everything keeps progressing right.

I have a knee scooter, but my shop is down the steps, so getting the scooter out there requires some assistance… Needless to say, I haven’t really done anything out there (or much at all around the house) for these last two weeks.

Ps cowboyup, my wife’s cousin had a similar break a few years ago from a 4ft scaffolding collapsing under him. He didn’t take care of it and let it heal. After over a YEAR in the cast, they determined it wasn’t going to heal and wound up amputating it right below the knee. Do what the doctors tell you and rest up. It sucks, but it’s only a few more weeks. I’ve got 4-6 weeks in a boot, and maybe 6 months of therapy ahead of me. One day at a time.

@knockonit – you can get a shoe lift for your other shoe. I highly recommend it, or you’ll wind up throwing your hips out of alignment. I got one that is about an inch tall, and when I put it on my shoe and line it up to my boot, they sit about equal. Granted, I haven’t used it yet because I can’t put weight on my foot in the boot yet… But everyone I know who has been in a boot swears by them.

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC ::

View Knockonit's profile


603 posts in 685 days

#13 posted 05-29-2019 10:51 PM

now why didn’t i think of a shoe lift, thanks BF

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5339 posts in 2792 days

#14 posted 05-29-2019 11:22 PM

What is the sense in going to a doctor if you don’t follow his advice. You or or insurance in paying big bucks for that advice.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Smirak's profile


99 posts in 1001 days

#15 posted 05-30-2019 01:53 AM

I don’t have broken bones, but I did have complete knee reconstruction in Jan (ruptured ACL, near rupture of MCL, torn lateral meniscus, fractured tibia) thanks to a skiing accident. I was weight bearing within about a month, but I never realized how many things I did in the shop that made me bend down. So, for me, it’s been about a 6 month journey to get back out there…maybe pick up hand cut dovetails?

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