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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: radiation and broken leg causes problems, what to do?

 kitty3 - Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:44 am

Doctors Lounge-

Thank you so much for making this website available for people with questions regarding their conditions or questions. When I was very young, 2 years old to be exact, I was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma cancer in my left leg. I underwent chemotherapy, radiation, and a bone marrow transplant. I am now in remission at 17 years old. When I was about 7 years old, I broke my left femur (the same leg and area where I had cancer and had the radiation and BMT). I have many health problems that hold me back from things that I love, but one thing that is a major setback in my daily life is my left leg. It is extremely thin compared to the other one and very weak. I know that the radiation and breakage in that leg has caused it to definitely be a lot weaker than my other leg, but I have a very hard time walking without my left leg giving out on me. So, I was wondering is it possible for me to ever strengthen the muscle enough in that leg again so I can do things that I love to do?? And also, is there any kind of brace or something that I can wear around that leg to support it so maybe it won't give out on me as much?

Thanks again for your time.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:38 pm

User avatar Hello,
Thank you for writing to us.
I admire your courage and ambition.

To answer your question about strengthening the leg and using a brace: the answer to both is yes.

Strengthening will focus on both large and small leg muscles that cross the hip, knee and ankle. It will be good to consult a professional like a physical therapist who can teach you the appropriate exercise and how to gradually progress the intensity. The therapist can also recommend a specific brace. The brace will help protect the knee which is probably the area of poor control when the leg gives out. With bracing, it is a must to strengthen the muscle. Muscle power is the best way to guard the leg from giving out.

Make sure you check with your physician before starting the program to make sure the leg (i.e. the bone) is ready for strengthening.

A pool make be a good place to start as it provides buoyancy and you can use water as resistance.

Let us know how things go and if you have any more questions.
Take care.

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