I'm writing a story where a character is thrown from a horse. In the fall he breaks his leg and his collar bone.

Normally when someone breaks their leg they walk on crutches, however with a broken collar bone that would be incredibly painful. How traditionally is someone treated (and given mobility) with both a broken collarbone and leg?

  • 4
    Without going into your collar bone assertion, usually a wheelchair, to be honest. Before wheelchairs, bedrest was common. And now you've got me curious as to what injury mechanism would cause both a broken collar bone and leg, but it's your story! :-) May 29, 2015 at 14:54
  • if you have him break his ankle, he can use a crutch that straps on to your knee - you kneel on it basically and walk like a peg-leg but with the lower leg sticking out behind you. May 29, 2015 at 20:22
  • I edited your title and question, as you reference the arm and leg, but state that he breaks his collarbone. If this is incorrect, the edit can be rolled back.
    – JohnP
    May 29, 2015 at 20:44
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    @anongoodnurse - That's what happens when you get diagonal train tracks across the road at 53 mph on a road bike. :) I still have several road rash scars left over from that. :| (I was not the broken bone sufferer).
    – JohnP
    May 29, 2015 at 23:13
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    Having been there, I agree that bedrest, followed by a wheelchair, then a walker, may be the best course of action. A kind caretaker, who you can literally lean on, is invaluable. The way the bones are set-sling, cast, position, etc. are also determining factors when making a treatment plan. May 30, 2015 at 19:21

3 Answers 3


Bones should be maximally immobilized. It is very painful and dangerous to move otherwise.

It is possible to walk, using only one crutch (I know this by practice).

Probably it is possible to use it on the side opposite to broken collar bone.

Most probably, if we have complex fracture, it will be recommended to use carriage, especially on initial stages of recovery.


Walking cast, if the leg break is amenable to same. Lots of examples if you search on that term.


May need a cane to steady himself, so might matter if the breaks are ipsilateral or contralateral.


A knee walker (http://www.amazon.com/Drive-Medical-Aluminum-Steerable-Alternative/dp/B003VMAKVS) would allow him to ambulate without a wheelchair or crutches. But as JohnP points out, the nature of the lower extremity fracture might make this suggestion impractical.

  • 4
    A broken leg and a significant upper extremity injury together is tricky. I don't think anyone I know would put someone with both on that knee walker without two good arms. I certainly wouldn't recommend it. May 29, 2015 at 23:21

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