Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Can I Borrow Your Drill?

The Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Center moved to a new building in Falls Church, VA this week, so we got a chance to check out the new digs. It's a great facility. We no longer sit in an exam room that once served as the janitor's closet.

Good news -- it's time to remove the external fixator. The pelvic bone is incorporating nicely into the tibia and the fibula has formed a very awkward but noticeable bridge.

You can make out the bridge in the fibula here. You can also see the pelvic piece sitting in the tibia.

I can't wait to walk on my pelvis. Good chance that's never been said before.

I can't tell if the holes in my fibula are healing. Check out how far the pelvic piece sticks out!

This angle has my leg slightly turned inward. This is about as normal as my ankle has looked since February.

Here's a close up of the bridge.

We asked if that crack was normal. Dr. Buchanan said it was and that we could expect it to be almost completely gone in a few months.

I really like this angle.

So what's the game plan? Originally we were going to do another surgery with light sedation. I asked Dr. Buchanan if we could remove the external fixator in the office. He contemplated it for a moment and agreed.

No surgery. No sedation. No local anesthetic.

It's just me, a drill, some pliers, elbow grease, and a video camera.

I'll take some Valium and Oxycontin before the procedure so I don't cry on camera. I'll be able to bear weight as soon as it's removed.

I'm a little curious as to how this procedure is going to feel. What if one of the pins is especially nasty to remove? Will there be some wiggling to loosen it out? Will it feel amazing?

I'm not concerned about the pain -- it cannot be worse than the initial injury or walking on a broken ankle for several weeks.

It should make for some great video.

We're staying in touch with Dr. Buchanan's office to figure out when the procedure will go down. We're tentatively planning on next Wednesday, but it depends on whether Dr. Buchanan can get all of the parts he needs -- like the drill.


  1. THAT IS AWESOME!!! Congrats on the great news and I'm looking forward to removal video. -otter

  2. I think you should make a lamp out of all the hardware when you're done (a reminder to stay away from trees). I'm very happy this chapter in your life is about to be over. Love, Mom

  3. I would say totally awesome but that doesn't come close to how I feel. Maybe mega-awesome. Just think no more dumb questions about you bear trap. My Dewalt cordless drill is ready for shipping. The x-rays look fantastic. I think you need to name your bridge. There's the Brooklyn Bridge how about the Brooke Bridge. Love Dad

  4. Such fantastic news!!!!!! So happy for you and Brooke to have "normal" lives again!

  5. We have a drill and pliers, too. How bout we come visit and we all bring our drills to the party...we'll have those suckers out in no time. I like the Brooke Bridge too. And Linsey, I'm not sure if a life with Tonio will ever be "normal". lol Happy healing!!