Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Latest on Ankle Surgery Technology

Katie Wey brought an interesting article to our attention earlier today. Appearing in the Washington Post yesterday, this article, discusses the author's struggles with her severe ankle osteoarthritis she developed from years of lacrosse.

It's a very interesting read and, obviously, it's relevant to the apple saucing I did to my ankle by hitting that tree. Fortunately, right now, I haven't been diagnosed with osteoarthritis. During the second surgery, however, The Closer warned I was on track to developing it rather quickly if he had not rotated the tibia bone fragments 180 degrees.

Sounds painful. It was painful. But hopefully I avoided the osteoarthritis.

The article warns that of all the parts in our body where we could get a prosthetic replacement, the ankle is the worst one. Almost every other joint has a simple job. The ankle is complex, making replacements awful.

As it stands now, the goal for my right ankle is to reach that 90% level of usefulness. This ankle needs to get me around, help me drive my car, and most of all, get me back to snowboarding!

Our second surgeon, The Closer, did give us some good news about the soft tissue situation in the ankle. He said it was in pretty good shape, so hopefully I'll still have some cartilage to burn on the slopes.

But I suppose the most important thing I need to do is maintain and take care of my reconstructed ankle for about 15 to 20 years. The more time I get on this amazing new ankle, thanks to two awesome surgeons, the more time I get for research and development to improve ankle replacement technology.

And, of course, I get more time to dominate the slopes snowboarding!

I took away some other things from the article. Maybe I should start taking some supplements, such as glucosamine sulfate. I used to take that for my knees back in college and it seemed to help. I also really liked the idea of an orthopedic massage!

The author mentioned she also tried acupuncture.

It's funny, one of my friends suggested this to me several weeks ago. I'm still not sold on the idea. I hate needles. I don't know how needles -- several needles -- are going to relax me and relieve my pain. I'm just not seeing it, Eastern Medicine.

The article was great and it gave me hope for that moment 20 years from now when my doctor tells me, "it's time for a new ankle." Thanks, Katie, for sending it our way.

1 comment:

  1. I take glucosamine daily for my knee. That and losing weight has helped.The acupuncture picture looks like the guy might have a severe headache. There must be a thousand needles in him. I wonder how many it would take for a severely smashed,apple sauced,mash potato, Humpty Dumpty ankle? Probably more the that. Glad to hear your roaming the halls. Love ya boy Dad