Chiropractors/Physical Injury Question


Note:  I posed this question to another DC; however, it was rejected.  You are my second try :).

Hello from a fellow expert on All-Experts (I'm in the Microsoft Excel category).

I injured my leg on October 27th. I had a pretty severe fall on a sharp metal object.  The point of contact, bearing nearly all 170 pounds of my weight because my clothes were tangled on the metal object, was my shin bone about 3 inches below the knee.

The wound was fairly deep and swelling ensued.  Just about my entire left leg went through stages of bruising (including the sole of my foot where everything drained).

Initially I visited a CareNow facility and they performed an X-Ray.  No visible fracture.  They recommended elevating the leg and taking it easy.  I performed a revisit about 2 weeks later and they said all looked pretty normal and they didn't recommend a return visit. The diagnosis was a possible compression fracture of the shin bone with soft tissue damage.  I did not receive any stitches.

After 6 weeks I'm having a small amount of concern on the speed of the healing and I just want to make sure all is good.  I could make another visit to CareNow, but it takes about 3 hours every time I visit :).  Thus, you are hopefully my less time intensive avenue.

The swelling is almost completely gone.  I still have pitting edema the full length of my shin; however, just looking at the leg you cannot see the swelling.  All bruising is gone; however, where the cut was deepest, I still have a deep red line on my leg.  It is almost like a very thin scab - if I wash it too rough during my morning shower, it will bleed.  I have no pain and I have resumed normal exercise (which is fairly strenuous - a couple hours of racquetball three times a week).

So, on to my question - is the edema and easy to bleed wound still within normal expectations at 6 weeks?  How long would you guess these 2 symptoms might go away?  UPDATE - Edema has gone down quite a bit more (but not 100%) in the past week since I first posted this question... so it does still look like I'm healing.  The "scab" where I was cut is still there.. and it will still bleed if I rub it too hard.  I'm wondering if some of this is caused by the fact I didn't get stiches to close up the wound better.

Thanks for the advice!

P.S.  I selected a D.C. for this question because I tend to trust Chiropractors more when it comes to physical injuries.

Hi Nathan,

First, if you're playing racquetball, I'm going to guess you are middle aged at the least. Yes?  Healing takes time, especially a deep wound like you had.   While bone heals well in six weeks, connective tissues do not.   Some, like ligaments, can continue to change, or "remodel," for a year or more.   Adhesions that form around the injury site can also wreak havoc by tugging and pulling on sensitive tissue, entrapping nerves terminals, and causing odd reactions like loss of fine motor (muscle) control or changes in temperature sensation.   At only six weeks, I'd suggest you be a little more patient, especially since it's been healing up consistently.   Good old fashioned rubbing and massaging the area can't hurt, just be careful of the scab.   It's typical for surgical scars to bleed and scap if rubbed or scratched (I'm assuming you are not a diabetic; that makes healing ever more difficult). Exercising the knee (standing/connected to the ground) is also good medicine.  See how things are at about week 12.  Some people develop Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and let's pray this diagnosis never makes it onto your list!  Think positive and slowly continue to heal.

'Hope this was helpful.

Dr. G


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Scott F. Gillman, DC, DACBSP


21 Years in practice: I can answer any question regarding chiropractic and sports medicine treatment. Mostly, I can help the unknowing public understand what is safe, valid, reasonable and evidence-based, and what kinds of unscrupulous chiropractors and fraudulent methods to stay away from. I have an advanced specialty degree in Chiropractic Sports Medicine. I have experience treating elite and Olympic athletes.



Publications: Education/Credentials:

Doctor of Chiropractic Diplomate: American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians International Chiropractic Sports Science Diploma

©2016 All rights reserved.