The ankle feels great! I'm off the crutches and on a cane now. I don't have any pain in the joint (yet). I'm continuing to take 200mg of Celebrex a day, which probably helps.
Today we had our post-op x-rays taken of the ankle. Before we see the images, here's what the ankle looked like around this time last year.
X-Ray taken on 8 December 2010
Here are today's pictures.
X-Rays taken on 18 November 2011 (Side View)
There is more space in the joint. However, the ceiling of the tibia in the front of the ankle -- which is actually my pelvis from last year -- is collapsed into the joint. The X-Rays couldn't tell us if there was any joint space in this area. While I have no ankle pain now, this spot could end up becoming arthritic over time.
X-Rays taken on 18 November 2011 (Front Angled View)
X-Rays taken on 18 November 2011 (Front View)
Another noticeable difference is the bone is not as bright as the X-Ray from last year. This is because the bone is no longer sclerotic or as hard and dense. The distraction allowed the bones to develop osteopenia. While this is bad when it occurs on its own, it's actually very good for arthritic joints. Walking on soft bone is much easier on the joint than hard bone.
Also -- you should check out the comments from my last post. Two fellow arthritis sufferers, Carlos and Paul, discovered that they were seeing doctors from the same practice. Small world!
Paul recently had a similar distraction procedure performed on his knee (more awesomely gory pictures located here).
Carlos is considering ankle distraction and has found several other very promising research papers.
- Prolonged clinical benefit from joint distraction in the treatment of ankle osteoarthritis (2005)
- Joint preservation of the osteoarthritic ankle using distraction arthroplasty (2009)
Finally, here are the flouroscopic images taken during the November 3rd surgery. You can see that there appears to be much more joint space than what we saw today. I suspect it's due to the fact that I hadn't started bearing weight.