Q: My son had broken his leg broken 3 weeks ago playing a winter sport (fibula and tibia) that night he had a titanium rod and screws put in. He has noticed that leg goes out more to the right than the other leg. We had it measured and the left leg was 21 degrees and the right is 29 – we don’t know what they were prior to the injury and were told that they could go back in and make an adjustment if we wanted. We do not know what to do at this point. He is a senior in high school and hope to play hockey in college. Looking for advice on what to do, what spread in degrees might be normal and any thoughts that could help us. Thanks.
-Ken N. from Cleveland, OH
Dr. Foreman: From what you are describing it sounds like the injured foot and ankle are rotated out more than on the uninsured side. The hip can compensate for this fairly easily but could fatigue a little with strenuous activity. I don’t think it would have much effect on skating or skating speed. It shouldn’t affect his knee much. While it is always best to try and restore anatomy to as close to normal as possible, doing another surgery to remove the distal screws, realign the tibia, and re-insert the screws may be a long run for a short slide. Of course, the final decision is his and yours.