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The Broken Leg Survival Guide

Updated on April 30, 2011

Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends

Breaking a leg can be a very traumatic experience, but something people fail to realise is just how difficult it can be to function in the following weeks, and months, with a cast on. This is a guide designed to help and educate people who have broken their leg or know someone who has broken their leg on difficulties to expect and how to get by.

A person who has broken their leg is going to need a lot of help. A partner, friends and family, are going to be invaluable during this time because trivial things such as going to the shops, preparing food, and washing are no longer as easy as they were before.

People who live alone should consider moving in with a family member or friend, and if a hospital offers to send a carer around, don’t be too proud. Accept the help because you need it. Driving with a cast on can be dangerous and potentially painful or harmful during recovery. Its impossible to do shopping using crutches. Hopping around trying to make food is also hazardous.


Taking a shower your probably going to need a chair because balancing on one leg is tiring and can lead to slipping in the shower. You’ll also need to cover a cast with a plastic bag and you’ll definitely have to after receiving surgery.

If one has the choice of choosing a type of crutches do not select the type that that rest under the armpit. These crutches cause pain and irritation quickly. There are crutches you can hold with your hand and support the top of your arm with a plastic loop. If you can get this type and are strong enough to support yourself do so.

Take care if having to negotiate stairs. Always have someone with you if you have to go up or down stairs. Use a friend to support one side of you and use the banister or arm rail so both sides are supported. After breaking a leg your body is always tired. Its easy to overexert yourself and get dizzy. Take everything slowly.

What To Do

Find a comfortable chair to relax in. After breaking a leg the body needs lots of rest and recovery time. This chair is going to be your best friend for the next few weeks or months. Keep busy by reading books, playing games, watching TV or movies. With all the free time a person can still be productive. Try writing articles or a blog, it’s a good way to stay busy, make friends and potentially a little extra income.

If feeling isolated hop on the Internet and Facebook for some much deserved sympathy. Or call friends on your mobile. Don’t get too down. Stay positive as this will speed up ones recovery. Eat well and try to smoke less or stop if a smoker. Smoking decreases circulation and potentially slows recovery time.

When sitting for long periods remember to exercise your good leg regularly by wiggling toes and performing ankle rotations, keep that blood pumping. Also try wiggling just the toes of your feet on the broken leg unless advised not to do so.

Once the cast comes off be prepared for a shock. Your leg is likely to be tiny now as all the muscle has wasted away, but be happy it’s finally off! It will take time, exercise and physiotherapy to recover. Do listen to the physiotherapist and do exercise at home to regain full flexibility and range of motion.

Breaking a leg is a fairly common occurrence but for the victim it certainly isn’t. I understand the pain of what a person can experience. You’re not alone! Keep that chin up and stay active. You now have plenty of free time for education, writing, entertainment and more. Good luck!


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