Nomad (nomadicwriter) wrote in little_details,

Permanently disabling leg injury in a teenage boy

I want my lead character (sixteen at the time the story begins) to have suffered some kind of severe leg injury that has, after a lengthy recovery period, left him with a permanent limp. (I can work with him walking with a cane/crutches if necessary, but just the limp will do.) The main catch is that this story is set in the near-ish future and he has access to extremely high quality medical care, so the simplest solution of having an injury not heal properly is not necessarily viable.

I was thinking a badly shattered kneecap, but I'm having trouble figuring out the prognosis on that with the best possible healthcare. (Most of the personal accounts I can find online seem to be people with extra problems caused by limited access to PT and/or delays getting surgery or seeing doctors.) Is it reasonable, even with near-future technology and excellent aftercare, for a shattered kneecap to leave a teenager with a permanent limp? If not, what kind of extra or alternative injury would I need to throw in there?

A ballpark estimate of how long he might spend in the various stages of recovery - bedridden, using walking aids, undergoing PT - would also be fantastically useful.

I've tried Googling "permanent limp" with many permutations on 'leg/knee injury', 'shattered kneecap', 'fractured patella', but that's netted mostly personal injury lawyers and stuff about animal injuries. Had a bit of a poke around on and too, but I think I need more of an idea what I'm looking for first.

Any help and/or suggestions greatly appreciated!
Tags: ~medicine: injuries to order

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