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Old 01-19-2013, 12:26 AM   #1
Jkneern
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Broken leg....help with questions

We have planned this vacation for our 3 yr old grandsons birthday. His dad has recently been in a serious accident resulting in several fractures to his leg. He has had 2 surgeries already and his Dr. Has said he can travel with wheelchair but totally non weight bearing. I know there will be lines and crowds which we need to be careful of since he has rods,plates and screws in the leg (close to a bionic leg). Canceling the trip was out of the question since the 3 yr old is to excited. Can anyone give us some advice on how to make the best of this vacation. Thanks for any help or input
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:51 AM   #2
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Can dad bend his knee? That will determine on whether or not he can go on several rides. Sounds like there will be enough adults to accompany your grandson on the kid rides while dad does as much as he can without over-doing things.

Dad can still join the family for meals, and just people-watching -- the masses of humanity can be quite entertaining. Chances are, your grandson wouldn't be going on the thrill rides that dad would be most interested in, so the family will "need" to plan a return trip when dad's leg is healed and your grandson is older. Then dad will have an opportunity to share his son's first experience with the Tower of Terror, Mt. Everest, and the Mission: Space, among others.

The key is not over-doing. Often when someone is recovering, he/she feels good and pushes and pushes and you don't realize you're over-doing things til you've really over-done, and the body is beyond exhausted, and/or in a whole lot of pain.

Good luck with dad's recovery and a fun b-day trip with your grandson.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:43 AM   #3
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You also need to watch for swelling and make sure he has plenty of time to elevate that leg to help keep the swelling down.

If his leg is in a cast (especially one from hip to toe), you probably need the elevated leg rests on his chair. Then everyone in the party needs to be kind of a buffer for him so that no one walks into his leg when it is sticking out.

Most of the rides that he would be able to take part in, he could stay right in the chair for.

If you look at the FAQ's section at the start of this forum, there is a list in there of rides that someone in a wheelchair could stay in and which ones would require him to transfer.

Rides like Splash Mountain, Test Track, Pirates of the Caribbean would be out since he would have to be able to step down and back up out of a vehicle.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:33 AM   #4
Jkneern
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Thanks for the replies!
No he does not have a cast but a full leg brace due to all the hardware and incisions. We certainly not planning on any of the "big rides" but hoping that he can be accommodated at shows and simpler rides..small world buzz light year, Peter Pan etc. we will enjoy anything we are able to do because we will be there as a family. We are greatful that the accident did not have a worse outcome to which we Thank God. Looking forward to a few days of no worries ....hakuna matata!
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkneern View Post
Thanks for the replies!
No he does not have a cast but a full leg brace due to all the hardware and incisions. We certainly not planning on any of the "big rides" but hoping that he can be accommodated at shows and simpler rides..small world buzz light year, Peter Pan etc. we will enjoy anything we are able to do because we will be there as a family. We are greatful that the accident did not have a worse outcome to which we Thank God. Looking forward to a few days of no worries ....hakuna matata!
Peter Pan could be a big issue even if he could bend his knee - you have to negotiate a moving walkway that cannot be slowed or stopped. Tough on crutches I would think.

Have a good trip!
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatsMom

Peter Pan could be a big issue even if he could bend his knee - you have to negotiate a moving walkway that cannot be slowed or stopped. Tough on crutches I would think.

Have a good trip!
I can attest to this. My 1st Disney trip took place the day after i had my cast removed from a broken leg - nowhere near as bad as the one in question - and I was not yet fully healed nor could I put weight on it. Peter Pan was a hassle. We did it, but a huge hassle.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkneern View Post
Thanks for the replies!
No he does not have a cast but a full leg brace due to all the hardware and incisions. We certainly not planning on any of the "big rides" but hoping that he can be accommodated at shows and simpler rides..small world buzz light year, Peter Pan etc. we will enjoy anything we are able to do because we will be there as a family. We are greatful that the accident did not have a worse outcome to which we Thank God. Looking forward to a few days of no worries ....hakuna matata!
There is going to be very little that he will be able to ride, seeing as he has a full leg brace and is non-weight bearing.
I would not automatically say you can't cancel because the 3 year old will be disappointed. I would suggest balancing his possible disappointment against his and dad's being disappointed that dad won't be able to ride much.

3 year olds are pretty resilient and if you need to cancel in order to wait and have a better trip, he will get over it.

My youngest DD uses a wheelchair, so I am very familiar with all the wheelchair accessible ride cars and how much space they have. My older sister also had a serious car accident just before Christmas and has similar leg braces to his, but on both legs.

He will need a wheelchair with an elevating footrest so he can keep his leg out. If he is able to change the angle at the hip, he will be able to do more (I.e. the leg is still straight at the knee, but the hip is at a different angle). A smaller angle will make his total length in the wheelchair shorter, because the foot is closer yo the floor). He will probably have to alternate the angle because having it down too much will cause swelling.

If he has a wheelchair at home, he will be able to bring it along if you are traveling by airplane. It can be gate checked at no cost and will not count toward your baggage allowance. The last post on page 1 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread has information about air travel that will be helpful to you. That thread is near the top of this board or you can follow the link in my signature.

Since he is non weight bearing on that leg, he may need an aisle chair (picture in that post) and you will want to request the bulkhead seats, which have more leg room.

This is posted on page 3 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread, but I copied it here for you.
If it is a rigid cast, that is a little different and harder to get into things than full leg brace (braces have at least some flexibility.

Someone who is not able to bend the leg at all might have very few attractions they can ride and may have to settle for shows. The wheelchair space In most of the wheelchair accessible ride cars is around 48 inches long.
So, if someone is using a wheelchair and has their leg extended out in front of them, they are likely to be longer than 48 inches.
My DD's personal wheelchair from the tips of her toes to the back of the push handles is almost 40 inches ( and she has little feet). Add a packed backpack, and her wheelchair is about 46 inches. Someone with longer feet or an extended leg might be longer than 48 inches in a wheelchair.
The attractions listed below might have room for someone out of a wheelchair in a regular seat.
Wheelchairs can be brought all the way to the boarding area of most attractions.

Peter Pan and Tomorrowland Transit Authority have moving walkways which can't be slowed or stopped, so would not be accessible to someone with a long leg cast.

Disney used to have a FAQs on their website where they did list the attractions that had more room for a leg cast.
Besides size, you would need to check with the doctor for some - like Tower of Terror. Don't want to risk damage by jostling the leg too much. I removed the things that no longer exist, added the replacement in its place, if the ride car is the same/similar and added some notes about ride cars.

The following attractions have additional space on aisle ways or next to the seating areas and should be able to accommodate a full leg cast. Please speak with a Cast Member at each of these locations for additional information.

Magic Kingdom
  • Walt Disney World Railroad (has a wheelchair space in the front car and should fit)
  • The Jungle Cruise (has a wheelchair boat and should fit)
  • Liberty Belle Riverboat (permanent ramp to get in and open space for parking, so will fit)
  • "it's a small world" (has a wheelchair boat and should fit)
  • Cinderella's Golden Carrousel - would be difficult to get on because of several steps
  • Stitch's Great Escape (has wheelchair spots and should fit)
  • Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor - show
  • Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress -show
  • Tiki Room -show
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin -has a wheelchair car, but it is quite tight. Some wheelchairs do not fit even with out elevating footrests.
  • Country Bear Jamboree -show
  • The Hall of Presidents -show
  • Laugh Floor -show
  • Mickey's Philharmagic -show
  • Winnie the Pooh has a wheelchair car and a wheelchair should fit with a full leg cast. You may want to ask them to turn the motion off to avoid being jostled.
  • Little Mermaid ride in be Fantasyland has a wheelchair car and someone with an extended leg may fit, especially if the are able to angle their leg down.
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle - show

Epcot
  • Ellen's Energy Adventure (Universe of Energy - has a wheelchair car, but kind of tight and wheelchair with elevated footrest probably will not fit)
  • 3 Cabelleros (Mexico - wheelchair boat should not be a problem.
  • Wonders of China - 360 movie
  • The American Adventure - show
  • America Gardens Theater - outdoor theater with periodic shows
  • Impressions de France - theater
  • O Canada! - 360 movie
  • Captain EO - 3D movie. Wheelchair space is not very deep, so he may have to angle himself
  • Turtle Talk - interactive show (children interact with Crush who appears in a window in front of the theater)
  • The Living Seas with Nemo and Friends - does have a wheelchair car, but it's kind of tight and someone with an extended leg will probably not fit
  • Attractions at Living Seas
  • Living with the Land (The Land) - has a wheelchair boat and should be no problem.
  • Circle of Life movie (The Land) -movie

Disney-MGM Studios
  • Star Tours (check with doctor) - would need to transfer to a ride seat
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (check with doctor)
  • Muppet*Vision 4D - movie
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • Lights, Motors, Action - car stunt show
  • American Idol Experience
  • Backlot Tour (has wheelchair car and may fit)
  • Great Movie Ride (has wheelchair car and may fit. There is a tight turn to get into the wheelchair accessible ride car. There is one ride car the holds more than one wheelchair - someone with a long cast might fit better in that ride car)
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid - show
  • Playhouse Disney, Live on Stage - show
  • The Magic of Disney Animation - show and wheelchair accessible walk thru displays
  • Walt Disney, One Man's Dream - museum like attraction
  • Toy Story Mania - has a wheelchair accessible car, but it is fairly tight and wheelchair with leg extended may not fit. If able to get on, beware of the bar that holds the pop gun used during the ride; my daughter has ended up with it crashed into her knee while it was being secured.

Animal Kingdom
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris - wheelchair accessible ride car which is very similar to the Backstage Tour tram. Someone whose wheelchair fits in one should fit in the other)
  • Pangani Forest Exploration Trail
  • Wildlife Express to Conservation Station
  • Conservation Station
  • It's Tough to be a Bug
  • Safari Village Trails
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • Flights of Wonder
  • Nemo, the Musical


For MKSomeone with a long leg cast may not be able to get into Splash Mountain or possibly Pirates because the ride cars are pretty tight. Pirates, possibly is not an easy step in, but might be doable with a long leg cast or brace.
Splash has a very high step over the side, so would probably not work.
Haunted Mansion would probably not work - possibly would work in his own ride car.

Buzz Lightyear and Aladdin have wheelchair cars, but both a tight and the regular car does not have much leg room, although someone with a long leg cast might fit in a row by himself, sitting partly sideways.
The Great Goofini is a small short roller coaster and does not look like it would have space.

For Epcot, Mission Space ride car is fairly tight, so he may not fit and would not have the option of a ride car for himself, but maybe it would work if there were less than 4 in the ride car and if OK with his doctor (even green version can move you around).
Spaceship Earth is also fairly tight, although the walk in is flat.
Maelstrom in Norway is about the same to get into as Splash Mountain - tight and high step over the side.

For the Studio, Toy Story Midway Mania has a wheelchair car, but someone may not fit with a long leg cast. My DD's wheelchair is a fairly tight fit.
They may or may not fit if transferring to the regular ride car, but would have to use the accessible boarding area anyway to avoid the stairs in the regular line.

For AK, if he gets the OK from his doctor and has a waterproof cast, a person with a long leg cast may be able to ride Kali River Rpids. It won't be easy in or out, but they have a special boarding area for guests with disabilities where they trap a boat so it stays still. I would not recommend it though - the water in the boat makes things slippery and the chance of getting totally soaked is great.

Expedition Everest is another one to ask the doctor about. The ride car is pretty tight, but there is a practice car guests can try to see if they would fit.
Dinosaur is very rough and fairly tight.

I would highly recommend skipping Primeval Whirl. It is rough and jostles riders around a lot. Without binging able to use the leg, the rider would not be able to brace very well and would be jostled more than usual.

For most of the rides that require a transfer, the person will be getting in and out on the same side. So, if they are stepping in with the 'bad' leg going in last, they will step out with the bad leg coming out first. This is important to keep in mind because getting in may be easier than getting out (or vice versa). Some of those listed above might be doable for someone with a long leg cast/brace who is weight bearing, but not if they can't put weight on it especially Pirates and Splash Mountain).
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:14 PM   #8
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OP, I second the PP on the possibility of postponing Disney until *dad* is feeling better. A 3 year old can absorb a disappointment a lot better than you may think. A shorter trip (even a day trip) nearer home would be a lot of excitement for a child that age.

Life happens, disappointments come, and children can take some of that as well as adults. It would be terrible if in the *enjoyment* of Disney that *dad* would somehow injure his leg and have a setback. Also, he would be able to do very little with his son. I know I could talk to my children at that age and they could understand a lot. He can understand that his dad is hurt and "we promise we will go to Disney later when dad is well and can play with you". Then distract him with something you can do *right now* on his birthday.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:10 PM   #9
Jkneern
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Thank You everyone,there is a lot of good information. As for postponing, it is dad that insists on going. We are just going to go with the flow...what ever works will be fine. This info.will certainly help us plan better.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:53 PM   #10
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We spent a week at Disney in early Dec 2012 while I was in a knee immobilizer due to a tibal plateau fracture. I had just progressed from NWB (non weight bearing) to WBAT (weight bearing as tolerated) so I was able to put some weight on my leg. I rented a scooter and was able to navigate the parks without issue and had an enjoyable week. One tip - if he can do a scooter make sure he enters and exists the scooter from the side of the non injured leg. It was really tough to enter/exit from the left as I had the immobilizer on my right leg. I actually ended up bending the immobilizer

As far as rides go, rides with a big step down (Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, normal boat for Small World, etc) were very rough. I found myself "stuck" a couple of times and had to remove the brace for the duration of the ride because I was very uncomfortable with it on. Rides with a lot of sideways motion, Big Thunder Railroad, were also not comfortable and after trying a few I simply avoided them the remainder of the week.

Overall, I found that I could ride most rides, if.....I rode alone and put my right leg stright out on the seat. Since I was WBAT, I was able to navigate Peter Pan with my husband on one side and a cast member on another...just had to remember to exit with my good leg (left) first

With a little patience and a good attitude I don't see any reason why your son cannot have a great time. There will be some rides that he may not be able to ride with your grandson but it won't be the majority.

I'm heading back in late Feb for the Princess Half Marathon that I was training for when I injured my leg (my sister and nieces are running - so now I am part of the squad) and have just been "freed" from the immobilizer and starting phyical therapy today. I am a bit worried about walking the miles and miles that Disney entails so I'm thinking scooter rental again and skipping many of the same rides ...but I will be at Disney!!
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:01 PM   #11
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DD just broke her leg. She will be in a walking cast when we go, but there is some good information here to help us during our visit.

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Old 04-22-2013, 10:47 PM   #12
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Bring crutches and bungee cords to attach the crutches to the wheelchair or ECV. These can be used to get between the chair and the ride vehicles.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:22 PM   #13
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I am going to echo what PPers have said. I have *just* come off of 11 weeks of zero weight bearing (but I could bend my knee) and I am a WDW veteran. Other than shows and dining, there will be very little he can do. I cannot fathom trying to get in and out of cars at HM, Nemo, Peter Pan, etc. on crutches and w/o bending the knee. No way do I see that he can get up/down in/out of boats, Backlot tour, etc.

What PP said about your family forming a Human Force Field around him is VERY important. Getting bumped or jostled would be terrible. If you go through with this, please consider being at RD.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cindy0519 View Post
I'm heading back in late Feb for the Princess Half Marathon that I was training for when I injured my leg (my sister and nieces are running - so now I am part of the squad) and have just been "freed" from the immobilizer and starting phyical therapy today. I am a bit worried about walking the miles and miles that Disney entails so I'm thinking scooter rental again and skipping many of the same rides ...but I will be at Disney!!
Hi! I just wanted to introduce myself and my quandary! I am 15 weeks post op for Achilles (full) rupture. I had 11, LONG weeks casted w/ZERO weight bearing, followed by 3 FWB in a walking boot and just 8 days ago I got out of the boot for as much walking as can be tolerated indoors or on pavement. I can bear full weight but I am SLOW and I limp. I leave for WDW in 8 days!

I have rented a wheelchair--GF going w/me volunteered to push. I hope to be able to park it and do a good bit of walking as that is my PT Rx. What I am most concerned about is distance of buses to the park; I'm afraid of being exhausted before I get there. Looking forward to PT in the pools!

I would love to compare notes after our trips!
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