6 weeks without using leg, how to minimise fitness loss?

About a week ago I broke my tibial plateau in a car vs bike accident. This means 6 weeks without putting weight on one leg. It’s a shitty situation and I’d like to minimise my fitness losses. I was thinking of one legged exercices (on the good leg) or some kind of core strength exercices. Would you have any suggestions?

I had the same injury many years ago…hyperextended my knee backwards while skiing and fractured the tibial plateau.

Not really an injury you want to mess with…if the fracture gets any worse, you can end up having to get surgery and putting screws in to hold the bone together. What sucks is that you can actually feel OK pretty quickly, but you still need to be non-weight bearing. It is a disconnect that is very frutrating for active people.

As for exercises, the short answer is to just suck it up. You are going to lose fitness, but you’ll bounce back quickly. Accept the loss of fitness vs. the risk of further injury. You may actually come back stronger after an extended break once you get rolling again. If you really need to do something, clear it with your doc first…but you may be able to so some swimming or core work as long as you aren’t loading your leg. Don’t do any one-legged stuff with your good leg because you will just casue a greater muscle imbalance once you get the all-clear to resume training.


Also seems like you need to be really careful at the begining to make sure the parts are joined together:

After they are joined together keeping from weigh bearing is important so you don’t break the weak link that holds the parts together but if they aren’t even together healing is really hard to do well

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Could you swim with a pool bouy? If you don’t already know how to swim a little, it’d be a hard place to start.

That’d keep your lungs in shape, but you’re gonna lose leg fitness/strength… No way around that. And no sense in trying to build one really strong leg in the meantime.

Good suggestion…using a pull buoy allows you to swim farther at the beginning since it takes your legs out of it (which also would not be a bad thing given the injury).

First thing with such an injury is to fully focus on recovery. Do you have a physio assigning exercises for you? Once recovery complete then turn yourself towards recovering fitness.


Bingo. Ask your doctor. Also, hand cycle. It isn’t fun, but I managed to keep my fitness on it for several months when I couldn’t run.

Think long/hard about training the good leg in isolation… the injured leg is going to decondition big time and that is unavoidable. training the good leg will magnify the good leg/bad leg conditioning differences. this could be a recipe for trouble once you go back to R/L leg training such as cycling. Arm cranking sounds good as you keep the heart/lungs working training and burn some calories. No matter what you do discuss with your medical team.


Sudden movements and peak loads can cause massive setbacks. Are you going to go out to the pool on crutches? What if the crutches slip? Are you willing to risk a sudden movements trying to catch yourself. Talk to medical professionals and learn when the risks for different things change. Healing is a gradual curve