I was released for sports when I skated again. Lots of people think that it was way too soon though. My advice is to be patient and wait a good long while before skating again. You want to be prepared mentally as well as physically.
I had conflicting reports from different doctors. I went with the one that was most convenient to what i wanted to do, which was skate as soon as possible.
I asked this same question on the facebook discussion board, found the response from Sarah helful:
Good luck with your recovery! Remember, give it time to heal!
I have a rod in my tibia, plus a plate on my fibula. I wasn't cleared for skating until 6 months, then 8 months I was cleared for contact. I'm no doctor, but I've heard it takes 3 months for bone to heal - and really a year until you are fully healed, muscles and tendons back to "normalcy". So in my opinion you probably just had another "accident" while your bones & muscles were still in a fragile state.
I took it really easy coming back, and I had knee issues due to the surgery (they opened my kneed to insert the rod in my tibia). So my transitions felt really awkward, muscles all stiff. Did you do PT after? Don't let your dr tell you that you don't need it. I had an excellent surgeon that said I didn't need more PT, since I played derby (what kind of reasoning is this??) ...but he had really no idea of the issues I was having and frankly, he's a surgeon, not a physical therapist. He's trained to put bones back together, not the movement of the body. I knew something wasn't right. So I opted for more PT with a facility that specializes in getting you back in shape for sports - not just walking around. Even after over a year (my injury happened Feb 22 2010), I am skating and bouting but still have some issues with my healed leg aching.
@PWN Jett - Glad to hear she is doing well. Unfortunately for me, injuries with rods are usually much more significant than plates and take longer to heal. :(
Yikes, I have a plate and 6 screws from ankle surgery but not a whole rod. Did you do rehab? I broke my left ankle Feb. 3rd, 2011, surgery Feb. 8th and it wasn't until May that I was back on skates (just doing the basics) after a month and half of rehab.
It sounds like you may have jumped the gun a bit - I'm not judging or anything as I know that you just wanted to skate - but I think it would be best to get a few opinions with the doctors/therapists and take it SLOW next time.
Yeah, i think i wasn't really aware of the severity of my injury and perhaps did jump the gun a little bit. I did some PT, but probably not enough. I was still walking with a limp, but I figured that didn't matter on skates. Probably didn't help that I was wearing brand new wheels on a wood floor either. That is what caused me to slip.
I'm just affraid that if I started skating again, I could just as easily slip in that same way, and that because the rod is there, my bone won't have the natural flex it used to and I will be more susceptible to breaking bones than someone without a rod in their leg. I don't know if that's the case. I haven't found any evidence to support this theory.
Well first thing is I guess talk to the docs about your theory with the rod. I don't have one so I'm not familiar but I think it would help your fears if you knew the facts from doctors who can assess your specific situation/needs first hand and let you know if what you are fearing is real or just in your head. I'm not minimizing it as it IS scary - I think it would just help to know the reality of the rod and it's affect on your bones/skating ability. I did a LOT of PT (6 weeks at 2-3 times a week) and I know my muscles were way better for it as they could see what I was doing and challenge me as needed.
After you figure out the physical reality and see what's going on, then assess if you want to try again. It will ALWAYS be scary (it gets less, but it is there and pops up at weird times) but it shouldn't be your foremost thought when you look at skates or I think it will just screw with you and you don't deserve that.