Brooke Shields is giving us a new look at what her recovery process has been like following an accident at the gym that led to a broken femur.
On Friday, the 55-year-old actress shared a series of photos to Instagram showing herself dressed in a hospital gown, bandaged, and hooked up to monitors during her stay in the hospital after the fracture. "I've come a long way since this, but the journey is just beginning," Shields captioned the Flashback Friday post.
Shields fractured her right femur at a New York City gym back in January. It happened when she suddenly fell off the balance board she had been using, flew in the air, and landed heavily on her femur, she told People in a new interview. "It felt like it was all in slow motion. And then I just started screaming," she explained. "Sounds came out that I've never heard before. The pain was so excruciating."
After being rushed to the hospital, Shields immediately had surgery so that two metal rods could be put near her hip. She then had a second surgery, after a broken part of her right femur popped out, with five more rods and a metal plate to anchor the femur in place, per People.
As Health previously reported, Shields had to relearn how to walk following the surgeries. It was a process that she documented on her Instagram, captioning one video with: "Broke my femur. Beginning to mend. No matter what your challenge is, make a positive choice, for yourself, to move forward." At the time, she was only allowed to put about 20% of her full body weight on her broken bone.
After two and a half weeks, Shields returned home, only then to develop a severe staph infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, staph infections are caused by germs on people's skin. The infection can lead to sepsis or death if it gets into a person's blood. And so, Shields returned to the hospital for emergency surgery and three blood infusions.
Shields is now home and continuing physical therapy. "For the first time in my entire life, I thought, 'I can't power through this,'" she said of the healing process, per People. "I can't even stand on my leg or go up a step. I need to relearn how to even walk. The feeling of helplessness is shocking."
The photos that she most recently posted serve as a reminder of everything she's been through over the past couple months. But like she said herself in the caption, her healing process continues. As Taylor Dunphy, MD, surgeon and sports medicine specialist with Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Orange County, California, previously told Health, the recovery period length for a broken femur depends on several factors, including the type of fracture and the type of implant used to fix the fracture. Typically, though, Dr. Dunphy says that a near full recovery—meaning the fracture has healed and the leg has been strengthened with rehab—"often takes six to 12 months, depending on the age of the patient."
But we're sure she'll be able to use her own mantra that she told Health about to help get her through the road ahead: "Do everything in your power to stay positive."
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