So Far, So Good
It's been just under 2 weeks since the surgery to repair my broken ankle. The first couple of days after the surgery were a little tough but it's been almost pain free since then. There have been some times of soreness and swelling but nothing significant. It's all part of the process, so the swelling and discomfort just come with the territory. One of the things that I decided to do as part of my recovery has been to change my diet a bit. I lowered my overall carbohydrate intake and increased the fresh raw vegetables, because more fiber and nutrients are always a good idea. I have also doubled up on my 1st Phorm Micro Factor vitamin multipack as a way to fill in any gaps with all the essential nutrients my body needs to aid in recovery.
Yesterday was my first follow up visit since the surgery. I went in to see Sean Townsend, who is a P.A. and has been working with Dr. Hanson for about 8 years. After removing the splint and revealing the multiple incision sites, he was pleased to see that everything was healing very well.
The plan was to take some X-rays, removed the sutures and put me in a hard cast for the next 4 weeks of the process.
The X-Rays revealed that everything was in a nearly perfect alignment and also how much hardware was actually used during the procedure. As you can see in the pre-operation x-ray, the fibula was completely broke and had fragments in and around the break. Dr. Hanson was able to remove the excess fragments and realign the fibula using a titanium plate and 9 screws. There was also a fracture of the tip of the medial malleolus, which was properly aligned and received 2 screws of its own. There was also a posterior malleolus fracture, which received 1 screw. One of the most unique features using in correcting the alignment was a "TightRope" system. The TightRope system anchors on either side of the tibia and fibula using a braided polyethylene cord, rather than with a rigid surgical screw, and is pulled tight to restore the original position of the bones to allow for proper healing. This cord stay in place and allows for a more natural malleable joint once healed. If you look closely in the x-ray, you can see the small plate on each side and a hollow chamber where the cord is passing through. In the end, Dr. Hanson did an amazing job of putting me back together, after having to work with what he called a 10 on the scale of damage.
After x-ray, I went back to the patient where I would get my sutures removed. I didn't really count them as they were being removed, but I'd say there were about 32 in total.
Once all of them were out and the incision sites were cleaned, a few pieces of butterfly tape were applied and off I went to get wrapped up in a hard cast.
I was surprised to see how many colors they had to offer for casts. There was literally a rainbow of colors to choose from. My first pick would have been the maroon but they were out at the time, so I went with red.
I'll be in the cast for about 4 weeks. I actually go back on October 23rd to see Dr. Hanson and get fitted for a walking boot. Once I have the boot, I'll be able to start recovery and physical therapy also, which I'm pretty excited about. I've been doing some research and looking for as much good information as I can find to start my rehab. From what I can tell, we already have most of the equipment commonly used so it's just a matter of time before getting started.
The worst part about all of this hasn't been the surgery or the swelling or the crutches or even being unable to ride. The part that has been tough is not being able to pick up and carry Gaia around or have her ride on my shoulders like we always do. I do pick her up and have even hopped around on one foot with her, which she loves by the way. I'm just not able to walk in the front door after getting home from work, grab her up as she runs up to me and carry her into the house. She's had her moments where she's been confused as to why I couldn't do it, but I think she understands now. She often pats my leg and says "Ouch", so I know she has developed some reasoning behind it.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
4 weeks and counting...