Saturday, June 27, 2009

Random Thoughts - Busted Up Edition

So, I'm here on the floor in my home leg-bending machine, and thought I share some items regarding my broken leg.

My leg machine will be my best friend for much of the next three weeks. It's just a machine that I strap my leg into and it slowly bends it up and down to whatever degree I have it set to, which is currently 50. It is not painful and actually feels kinda good. The number one purpose is to keep me from getting a blood clot, but it will also help my mobility later and keep the soft tissue from adhering to the new hardware in my leg.

My orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Pittman, is very young and handsome (and married, sorry ladies). When people asked who did my surgery, they all would say, "Oh, Dr. Pittman!" with an undertone of, How did you get God to do your surgery? Even so, he said this severity of break was something he had never seen before and he had to put in bigger plates than expected and change strategies on the fly.

I had new x-rays done on Monday before surgery and a CT scan. On Tuesday before surgery, we brought him the DVD with the CT scan on it so he could put together a plan. He came into OR prep and told me he was going to stop taking pictures because it just kept getting worse with each new view.

Turns out I didn't just break my tibia and fibula. The knee sits on the tibia in what's called the tibial plateau. Which I crushed. There were dozens of breaks in the base of the plateau, and several in the fibula as well. On the pictures showing the hardware they put in, some areas look cloudy - it's because of the numerous breaks.

I don't have a cast. I have dressings over the incisions and a foam isolator, which velcros around my leg from mid-thigh to ankle and is effectively my cast. I am allowed to have the isolator open and/or off if I'm sleeping or in the leg machine or if there is no possibility of being bumped or knocked into - i.e. when the kids aren't here or are sleeping.

As far as pain, I'm not really in any. It's kinda nice. In the splint, I was constantly afraid of moving the wrong way or even protecting the leg the wrong way and hurting it. I had those dreams a couple of times where you are slipping or falling and you jerk yourself awake trying to stop yourself. Ow. Owie owie ouch ow. But now, not so much. It actually doesn't hurt any more.

Not that I'm not in any pain at all. The muscles in my leg are all very sore, like I worked out really hard and overdid it. They said it was from moving the muscles to get the plate on the bone and then moving the muscles into place. That even sounds painful. That's the real reason for being immobile for two weeks as well - let the muscles and soft tissue calm down and let the bone start healing up around the screws behind the plate.

And yes, I did get cadaver bone put in. The fall crushed my cartilage too, so he plumped up the cartilage and put in some cadaver bone as a scaffolding for more cartilage to build up around it. They said it would work it's way out of my system in about a year, but Kashka assures me if I have a hankering for brains in the mean time, she'll help me corner some bad people. On the Robin Hood theory, you know. And I need help, since I can't really outrun them. In exchange, I promised not to eat Kashka's brains. The rest of you are on your own...


Allknowingjen said...

Oh my hell! And 3 things:
1) I am so glad you are in less pain
2) I am so relieved that you finally got good competent medical care
3) I looked it up on Google for better visuals and there is no possible way that was only an '8' on the pain scale, Bob. No way you lying liar pants on fire.

Kashka said...

The "tibial plateau" sounds like a place in one of the Dune novels.

Do I really want to know about how the cadaver-bits "work their way out" of your system? Is it remotely like that joke my Mom always used to tell about the constipated mathematician? 'Cause, ew.

And, yes, very good with the less pain.

Ms. Huis Herself said...

"Oh, Dr. Pittman!" (Tee hee!)

Man, good thing they didn't mess around with it up north. 'Cuz that way complicated. And bad. "Crushed" = very much not good.

Glad to hear you aren't in much pain at all. That is good. "Moving muscles around" = very glad you were out, I'd say.

Mmmm... brains...

DiploWhat said...

Ok - for those of us on the other side of the world, plese do share how you managed such a feat of breakage? I'm hoping there is at least a good story here if you had to go through all that.
Glad to hear they were able to put you back together again and that you're comfortable.