Monday, November 14, 2011

Leg Holes

The leg is looking good.  Here you can see the 11 day old holes are healing up nicely.

This got me wondering: how many holes, incisions, and pins/screws have I had since my accident?  Time to add it up.

Surgery 1 on February 13th, 2010

Three external pins.

One plate.  Eight internal screws.  Seventeen staples.

One incision.

Surgery 2 on March 1st, 2010

One plate.  Eleven internal screws.  Twenty staples.

One incision.  Two holes for two internal screws in the medial malleolus.

Another hole due to infection in the top incision.

Surgery 3 on August 16th, 2010

Eight external pins.

Three new incisions.  Fourteen staples.

Surgery 4 on August 15th, 2011

Eight external pins (nine if you count the temporary pin to find my ankle axis).

Two arthroscopic holes.  Three tendo-lengthening holes.

Grand Totals
  • 2 plates have come and gone
  • 5 incisions
  • 8 holes from screws, arthroscopy, or tendo-lengthening
  • 19 internal screws (4 broken screws left)
  • 19 external pins
  • 34 holes from external pin sites
  • 37 staples
  • 39 holes drilled in my bone
  • 44 holes in my skin and bone if you add the external pin site holes


  1. Definitely shouldn't have clicked on this post whilst eating Greek yogurt for breakfast...

  2. Holy crap. How do you even still have a tibia left with that many hole in such a short amount of time?

    Oh, and something cool if you still have either of your removed plates in your possession -- I made a pendant necklace out of mine. Could be a nice gift for the wife this Christmas... Every girl loves jewelry, right? :)

    How are you feeling?


  3. Kate,

    I actually did have the plates and screws in my possession after they were removed.

    Here's what we did with them:

    Feeling pretty good! So far I haven't had much pain in the ankle joint -- all of the pain has been isolated to the foot stretching out. I have way better ROM than before my surgery, and the pain I'm feeling now, while it sucks, is far less than before the surgery.

    The only time I get some ankle joint pain is when I overdo my physical therapy (too much stretching or biking).

  4. I just had the distraction done for my knee. Some gross pictures here

    They put the fixator on in June and took it off in August. Still in pain, but he said it would take about 6 months until I would be glad I had id done.

    Have you had any relief from your pain?


  5. Wow -- that looks epic. How'd you end up with arthritis? Did you have a trauma?

    So far my ankle feels way better than before my surgery and I have more ROM. I have a lot of pain in my foot and some neuropathy, but hopefully that will go away.

    I'm still holding out judgement, though, until about February/March 2012 after I've finished rehabbing it.

  6. Tony, not sure if you have alredy seen this reference, but it is very encouraging:

    Which frame was the worse? For some reason I find the delta frame with that bar going through the calcaneous the most intimidating. It might be the blister.


  7. Here's another encouraging study. One of the doctors was the one that did my surgery.

    My saga began with a torn acl. Oftentimes when you tear your acl, you begin the process of degenerative arthritis. Mine progressed very quickly. And then I had to have part of my meniscus removed because it was torn.

    I went doctor shopping -- some said to get an high tibial osteotomy, others said just wait 5 years for a knee replacement. Knee joint distraction seemed like the best option. Like you, I'm withholding judgment -- he says it will take a year until I finally feel happy that I did it.

    And in retrospect, it wasn't so bad. A lot of Dilaudid helped. And if it works as well as he says it will, I'd do it again.

  8. Paul,

    Was that Dr. Rizbrouch? I am actually going to see him next Tuesday for assessment of my ankle for distraction. Unfortunately, the procedure is still a novelty here in Texas. After Tony's inspiring and educational experience I considered to go to Mercy as well , but Rizbrouch's frame looks less agressive than the Illizarov, and it never became clear to me if Mercy does the biological fluid part (stem cell, HGH, or PRP) with the microfracturing. Tony's results look great though.

    Sorry Tony for highjacking your blog! Carlos

  9. I went to see Dr. Fragomen. They're in the same practice. But I think it was Rozbruch that is really the specialist for ankles. I see so many of them when I'm in their waiting room.

    For my knee, Dr. Fragomen used the Taylor Spatial Frame, which I guess is the new improved version of Ilizarov. And Dr. Fragomen took some stem cells from my hip and placed them just where they needed to be arthoscopically. But I don't think they offer it, you just have to be aggressive and ask for it. I'm also getting some viscosupplementation next week.

    So far I have an additional 1mm separation between my tibia and femur, just after 5 months. He can't say that it's cartilage, though until the baseline MRI is compared to the 1-year MRI.


  10. You have to worship Dr. Elizarov - inventor of these rings. You wouldn't have this lag at all without this technology.

  11. Increible, muy buen informe!!! medico y cirujanos !! que realizan estas cirujias!! yo pase por un tema parecido de mis tobillos, gracias por tan completo informe & imagenes,

    Griselda D" Alessandro: