Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bad News, Team

I've been trying to figure out a funny way to tell you about what happened today. Unfortunately, there's no sugar coating this, so I'll get right to it.

My fracture has not healed. None of the bone fragments "unioned." It looks like the lower fibula fragment is in more pieces now. The plate over my fibula has snapped in half. A screw from my tibia plate has snapped in half. My tibia looks like it's lost quite a bit of density.

How did I walk on this for so long? Scar tissue. My foot is still "dangling" like it was the day I hit the tree, it's just not as wobbly.

Here are the X-Rays.

Imagine my surprise when Dr. Buchanan told me the news. I thought at worst I'd hear I have arthritis. Never did I think this would happen.

What's next?

The first step is to figure out why the bones never healed. It could be due to infection, or it could be something else. The cause needs to be known before we move forward.

After we know why this happened, it's time for more surgery. I have a CT scan next Tuesday and a visit with my family physician on Wednesday to do some lab work. On August 11th, I'll see Dr. Buchanan again so he can review my results. I imagine I'll have surgery the following week. The surgery will require bone be removed from another part of my skeleton -- likely the proximal part of right my shin.

I still have a lot of questions. My biggest concern is quality of life. To be honest, I'd seriously consider amputation . It's extreme, but even though I'm not a radiologist, I can see that my ankle is in terrible shape. Because of how the bones have deteriorated, I'm not a candidate for ankle replacement. I may not even be a candidate for a fusion -- the bones are mush.

So, needless to say, this delays my snowboarding trip quite a bit. I'm hoping I get to keep the hardware when Dr. Buchanan removes it. I'd like to see how strong this material is. I don't understand how it could break.


  1. Wow. That's some really harsh news. Feel for you.

    I'm worried that it really looks this is was caused by to too much pressure too early. Looks like there's been weight on the ankle before the bones had a chance to join up. Did they do a scan to check the healing process before you started weight bearing?

  2. Tony, you're still in all our prayers. We know you'll pull through this. If you need anything, don't hesitate to let us know. -otter

  3. Man, that sucks. Sorry to hear it. Hope and pray some good treatment can be done. :(

  4. I'm really sorry to hear the news, Tony. You've worked so hard and showed so much patience with your healing and progress. Thinking about you and praying for better news with the blood tests and scans. Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help you and Brooke.

  5. Tony, That news more than sucks!!!! Your Dad called me this am and I talked with your Mom this afternoon. Is your Orthopedist Matthew M. Buchanan from Virginia? Just trying to find him on the web....Love, MA

  6. Oh man, I'm so sorry, Tony! You know the news is bad when one of the funniest people I know (that's you) can't find a joke in there somewhere. We're thinking about you and praying for better news in the future. Hugs for you and weird European cheek kisses for Brooke. (Because that's NEVER awkward...) :)

  7. Tony, I'm so sorry to hear this! I have been praying that you'd make a full recovery...and that will happen just not as fast as we'd all like. Please let us know if there is anything you need- there's always fedex- they ship cookies, right?