Thursday, June 23, 2011

Swiss Cheese Ankle

Dudes, what's happening? You're still on the Internet? Nice! My bad on not updating this blog. Turns out I wanted to act like I didn't have an ankle problem, so I stopped updating. If I'm not spending time on the computer, I'm out using the crap out of my ankle and enjoying having two working legs.

I finished physical therapy in March. While it was painful, I finished with more than 10 degrees of dorsiflexion and I could walk without a cane. While my activity level increased a little bit, the pain in my ankle has gotten worse, a little bit at a time, day by day. I rock the house cane on a daily basis. I have no dorsiflexion in my ankle. There are 78 year-olds out there that could dominate me at an Ankle-Off.

Last Wednesday, I finally decided to see Dr. Buchanan. I went into the visit with two ideas: 1) ankle arthrodesis (fusion), or 2) amputation (below the knee). The pain has been that bad, even with 800mg of Ibuprofen every 8 hours.

The X-Rays didn't reveal too much. They suggested I had bad arthritis in the ankle joint. Dr. Buchanan suggested ankle fusion with an arthroscopic procedure. He'd like to put in three screws to fuse the joint and fill the gaps with some bone and marrow from my pelvis or shin. I'd lose a few millimeters in the length of my leg, but it wouldn't be too noticeable. I'd have about a year recovery.

Dr. Buchanan was absolutely against amputation. He said 100 out of 100 orthopedic surgeons would not recommend it for me.

I plan on seeing a few other surgeons to get some other opinions.

This morning I had a CT scan. I wasn't sure what the ankle would look like. I'm no radiologist, but from my sweet Googling skills, I think I've got a case of osteochondral lesions -- possibly cystic. The CT scan videos are below. Notice the massive amount of Swiss cheese forming at the join. Those are possibly lesions or cysts.

I'm not sure how these lesions are treated. I don't know what it means for whether or not I'm a candidate for fusion.

Seriously, cut this thing off.