Posted on: June 2, 2015
The Road Ahead: What Treatment and Rehab Options Might Look Like for Secretary Kerry
Dr. Victor Khabie, Chief of the Department of Surgery and Chief of Sports Medicine at
Northern Westchester Hospital in Hospital in Mount Kisco, NY explains the likely treatment and physical rehabilitation that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will receive after breaking his right femur in a bicycling accident.
Dr. Khabie says, “While it might take a full year for Secretary Kerry to completely heal, with advances in surgical procedures, he should be up and walking with crutches the same day as the surgery to repair his broken leg.”
Options to fix the femur
“While there are two options, it really only comes down to one option, and that is surgery. The other option would be to remain bedridden for six weeks as the broken bone heals, but that is not a good idea. People can develop bed sores, blood clots, and even pneumonia if they stay in bed that long. This should be fixed surgically by stabilizing the bone with a rod, plates, or screws, depending on the pattern of the fracture,” says Dr. Khabie.
How long will it take to heal?
Dr. Khabie says, “Typically, the broken bone will take six to eight weeks to heal, and a year for a full recovery.”
What is to be expected when it is time for physical rehabilitation?
“This injury will require months of physical rehabilitation,” says Dr. Khabie. “The muscles in the leg will atrophy, meaning they will wither and shrink in size. When the bone is healed, he will begin a more aggressive rehabilitation to include strength training. It’s a good thing he likes bicycling. He will start rehab using a stationary bike in about six weeks.”
Are there added concerns since Secretary Kerry had hip surgery on his right side as well?
“That previous surgery on his right hip makes this surgery more delicate,” says Dr. Khabie. “Care must be taken that the rods and screws used to fix his femur fracture do not interfere with his prior procedure. It is wise that he is having the same team of doctors perform both surgeries.”
Dr. Victor Khabie, MD, FAAOS, FACS is a member of the Somers Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Group. Dr. Khabie received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed his fellowship in sports medicine at the world-renowned Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, California, where he served as assistant team physician to professional sports teams including the LA Lakers, Dodgers, Kings, Mighty Ducks, LA Sparks, and the USC Trojan football team.