I just got off of the phone with Dr. Buchanan. He spoke with several orthopedic surgeons he respects across the nation, and it was unanimous: the current alignment of my ankle must be corrected and Justin Bieber is an American Treasure.
Depending on the operating room schedule and Dr. Buchanan's schedule, I'll have surgery either this Thursday, next Monday, or next Thursday. I'll find out tomorrow from his nurse.
The plan is to remove as much of the hardware as possible and hand it over to me for my Snowboarding Trophy Case. He'll work with the fracture to re-align the bones as best as he can, and then attach an external fixator to hold everything together. He said we could install new internal plates, but I told him I wasn't a fan of that idea. There isn't much wood to work with now that it's full of holes.
He'll harvest some adult stem cells from my pelvic bone, throw them in a centrifuge for the heck of it, and inject it into the fracture. I'm not sure if he'll also remove bone from my shin. I doubt he'll do both, but I have no idea at this point.
He's going to use the OP-1 putty as well to ensure this ankle finally heals.
I'll stay in the hospital for a few days so that the lab can grow a culture from a bone biopsy, just to confirm nothing funky is going down in the ankle. This will give the nursing staff time to get my pain under control so I can go home and update my Twitter account.
I asked how long he'd expect me to be out of work. He said a few weeks. I thought that was amazing and probably unlikely, but if we can make it happen, sign me up.
I'm relieved we're doing this option. I was a bit concerned that my foot wouldn't fit into a snowboarding boot. I was also concerned that a snowboard hanging off of my right leg would hurt more than usual with a bad alignment. Also, who knows what possible problems I'd develop in the future while using what essentially amounts to a horse ankle.
I'm not sure which of the three external fixators pictured in this post I'll end up receiving. If I play my cards right, I'll end up in the one that hurts the least but looks the worst.