Monday, October 17, 2011

How to Freak Out My Mom

Everyone has a Mom.  As you know, a Mom's primary job is to be concerned.

Tomorrow at 11:00 AM I'll be getting at least one Kirschner wire holding the most proximal Ilizarov external fixator ring to my tibia removed.  As Dr. Jeng put it, he wants to get rid of my "soupy pin."  

The plan is to get fresh x-rays of the pin sites to see if there are any issues with the tibia bone and the pins.  If the images reveal any issues, there's a chance we'll remove more k-wires or just take the whole apparatus off since we're close to having this thing on for twelve weeks.

This is Step One to freaking out my Mom.  She's far away and won't know what's happening until after it's already happened.  In other words, she's worried about not being able to worry about what's specifically happening to me.

Step Two is showing my Mom new developments with my ankle without first running it by her on the phone.

Last night, Brooke and I discovered something interesting I can do with my new Achilles tendon.  During my August surgery, my Achilles tendon was lengthened with three cuts.  These cuts left three dark marks along the tendon.

When I flex my calf muscle, it appears that the skin, muscle, and fat all pull along the sites where the tendon was cut.  In other words, I've now got awesome calf muscle definition that most people dream of.  My definition just so happens to be severely deformed.

We'll talk to Dr. Jeng about what's going on here tomorrow, but I suspect it's scar tissue that's formed around the incisions made in August to lengthen the tendon.  With physical therapy, this odd deformity will probably go away.  This deformity might also be due to the fact that the joint is pulled apart by 5mm.  This might also go away once the ankle is no longer distracted.

Step Three is to show more cross leaking pictures, including a new leaking pin site, and note that pain has become an increasing issue in the last few days.

This is the original soupy pin that will be removed tomorrow.  Nothing new here -- it's still leaking.

Unfortunately, the lateral side of the second-most proximal k-wire is also leaking now.  There's a chance that both of these k-wires get removed tomorrow.

But if those two wires are removed, then the argument for keeping the external fixator on the leg becomes harder to defend -- particularly with November 3rd just around the corner.

We'll let you all -- especially you, Mom -- know how it goes tomorrow!


  1. oy, so how will our leg be stabilised without the ex-fix if it's removed ?

    ps found your blog recently and have an ex-fix.. thanks, barbs

  2. I think your new dimples are kinda cute. But seeing you move around in the ex fix freaked me out... Gross...and ouch!!! Love you. Rach

  3. Barbs,

    With one small wire removed, it would still be stable but questionable for walking/bearing weight.

    How long have you had your ex-fix? What issues are you dealing with?

    Thanks for the comment!