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Patient Stories - Erin McCabe

Erin McCabe, Foxboro, MA — leg surgery

I broke my leg at a Patriots game on black ice in 2004. When I went in for the initial surgery, they thought the best option for me was to rod my tibia. After 9 months of continued pain, I went for a second opinion. I was told that I had a non-union tibia fracture that could be easily fixed by removing the initial rod and replacing it with a new rod, to stimulate the healing process.

Photo of Erin's legs after surgeryBut 2 years out, I continued to have constant pain and found myself on and off crutches. During this time, I had two small babies and life became very difficult. I went to seek a third opinion from one of the top doctors in Boston. He said there was some healing at the fracture site and that I should not rush to have another major surgery. less

After a third year with a broken leg I started to really push for my next surgery so that I could plan ahead for work and help with the children. I soon realized I was pregnant again and would have to wait another year. At year four, I finally decided to go in for what I hoped would be my last surgery. I went to my local hospital to have the second rod removed and we decided my next best option was to have screws, plates and a bone graft put in to heal my nonunion tibia fracture. While they were in surgery, they realized my issue was much more serious than they had expected. They found that 2.5 inches of my tibia bone had died. I was sent home that day with a full leg cast. I needed to research what my options were and realized they were very limited. That was the scariest day of my life.

Because I work in orthopedics, I was able to find the best doctor to deal with my particular issue. I was so lucky and thankful to find Dr. Rozbruch in Manhattan. I contacted him immediately and was in New York before I knew it. Dr. Rozbruch looked at me and my x-rays and said, "we can fix this." It was one of the happiest days of my life. Shortly after this visit, I was back for surgery where Dr. Rozbruch put an external frame on my lower leg and transported my tibia 1 mm a day for 4 months. It’s been over 2.5 years since this process and I am happy to say that I am 100%. I feel great and I am doing everything I ever dreamed of. I recently ran a 7 mile road race and it felt great. Thank you Dr. Rozbruch for everything you did for me and my family. I will never forget you.

Photo of Erin during treatment
Erin McCabe during treatment