Broken leg … what next?


Sorry to have been off-line for more than a week, as I have been working flat-out to recondition my injured right knee.

Believe-it-or-not … turns out I’d broken my leg!

Yep, major fracture right above where the femur joins the knee.

Broken Leg

Broke my leg after I broke my neck!

This plainly did not happen recently, as it had healed pretty well and without mis-alignment.

But it seems likely that the ligaments that hold my right knee together had been compromised by whatever caused such a major fracture.

I’d been able to stand okay here in Kunming, but once I started to “walk” the right knee gave way … and, as they say in boxing, I was down for the count.

The break was discovered after I stopped resisting the medical advice from the team here and agreed to an MRI.  Because getting into an MRI machine is always such a hassle for me, I can be really stubborn about all but essential MRIs.

So in recent weeks I’ve been working with a heat lamp and exercises to strengthen the knee, and yesterday I was able to stand again for 30 minutes, bearing 100% of my weight and without evident stress.

Next I’ll try two 30-minute standing sessions daily for a few days, and after that I’ll give walking another go.

Otherwise, I’ve been using the VitaGlide to strengthen my neck and shoulder muscles, and this has been going pretty well.  My neck is strong again.

On the pain front, not such great news yet.  I am still dealing with neuropathic pain, and recently my major challenge has been something called “allodynia” —

Allodynia feels like having glass ground into my arms and hands and has kept me away from my keyboard much of the time.  The pain gets worse in the afternoon, and at night it keeps me from sleeping.  In order to get some sleep, for now I use drugs – alternating Amitriptyline and Lorazepam.

I really don’t like using drugs, so this summer my Dad and I are digging into a wide range of clinical research related to pain management.

We are also investigating Traditional Chinese Medicine, which naturally has a huge following in Yunnan Province.    Indeed, here in Kunming we have on offer world-class acupuncture as well as a range of herbal remedies that proprietary pharmaceutical drugs mimic to varying degrees.

I am also investigating hypnosis, and hope to learn a lot about self-hypnosis.

Finally, on the lighter note, here’s my favorite photo of the week … talk about a “Kunming Walking” protocol … 🙂


Photo by Dad on his own country walk …

2 responses »

  1. Oh.My.God. Enough!!!! What else can bloody go wrong?! Wait, scratch that on the basis it might tempt the fates. Well, it’s fantastic that you are back standing – did the doctors say that the bone has healed in the correct position and all is well from that perspective? Re pain, we never tried Chinese medicine with Nick, but we did do cranial osteopathy which worked as a muscle relaxant. Not sure about using that in spinal cord injuries though. We’ve run the gamut in traditional pain treatments though, so if Uschi wants to call, please tell her do! but after July 21. Right now we’re in Delaware getting our daughter organised to start her Masters in college. Well, I can’t say ‘break a leg’ instead of good luck, because you’ve already done that! So, good luck, Ali. I’m thinking about you and saying a prayer (can’t hurt and might help)! xo

  2. I’m so sure you have a broken leg. That’s ridiculous! I’m glad you have still found a way to participate in the program!!

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