Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Surgery Two: Dominated

Here I am in the pre-op room, resting in my fancy gown. This thing had a state-of-the-art, built-in central heating system to keep my body warm while I was under anesthesia. It was also purple.

I had not received any medications at this point.

Surgery two was very different from the first one 19 days ago. There was no time to think before the first surgery. I had the accident at 10AM and was under the knife by 2PM. In between those two points in time I had been subjected to numerous pain medications.

I went into the second surgery with plenty of time to think about it. We were a little more anxious as a result. Even though my tibia was destroyed, I thought I'd handle the pain much better this time around than I did in the first surgery.

As you can tell from this post-op picture, my prediction was inaccurate.

Originally I was scheduled to stay at the hospital for 23 hours. It wound up being twice that. Why? My surgeon beat me up.

The surgery was about 3 hours long. Dr. Buchanan had to make a much larger incision on the top of my ankle than originally planned. He removed approximately 20% of the tibia bone fragments. The large pieces were rotated 180 degrees around before they were secured to my second internal fixator. I was given bone graft to help replace the material removed during surgery. Apparently my soft tissue damage is minimal, so I might luck out with little to no tendon problems.

I also learned more about what happened during my accident. When I hit the tree, my right foot was bent backwards, toes toward shin. This force broke my fibula and crushed my tibia. It also stretched and severely bruised a nerve that runs along the backside of my ankle. This is the reason I have no feeling in the soul of my foot and first two toes. But since the nerve was not cut or pinched, I stand a chance of regaining some of that feeling.

Finally, I got to keep my external fixator! After a closer look, the bars are not made of titanium. They're probably some kind of carbon composite.

I thoroughly enjoyed having this metal bar threaded through the inside of my right heel bone.

These screws are wicked. They have a very sharp drill bit built into the tips. Look how far down this went into my shin!

Not sure what my plan is with the external fixator. Any ideas?


  1. I think you should mount the external fixator to the front of a brand new snowboard, to keep your speed down. Mike

  2. Or maybe make it into some cool jewelry for your wife. Stunning earrings, Mrs. Meehan, wherever did you get them? Rachel