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The Ongoing Saga of My Right Ankle

If you are a Constant Reader of this site, you know I broke my right ankle last June. Badly. Snapped my leg in half. Burst my fibula. Surgery. Plate and seven screws and all that. Blah, blah, blah.

You may also remember that I said that I may need more surgery. Yesterday, I had that surgery and I sit here now talking to you with my right leg elevated and a pair of crutches at my side.

The surgery I had removed a bone spur that developed on the distal end of my tibia (shin bone). The spur would catch, stop my ankle from bending, and zing a painful hell deep in the joint.

The spur is gone, but my problems aren’t.

Without going into the complex anatomy of the ankle joint, there is a bone that sits in the middle of the ankle. It’s in between the leg bones and the foot bones. It’s called the talus.

The talus, though seldom mentioned, is a very important bone. It’s the bone that hinges the ankle and is very important in stability and balance. It bears all the weight of your body when you stand. When you walk or run, the forces on the talus are up to five times your body weight.

The top (“dome”) of my talus has an osteochondral lesion—a cyst—right below where it meets the aforementioned tibia. My orthopedic surgeon believes that this, not the spur, is the source of my pain, and as I read what little literature there is on the web, I’m starting to think he’s right.

He went into my ankle yesterday prepared to drill into the lesion, suck out the bad juices, and replace it with some bone glue (“bone in a bottle”). The lesion, he told the Wife-beast after the surgery, was so bad that it couldn’t be done. Instead I’m going to need another, more invasive, more intensive surgery.

He’s going to have to cut a bone window out of the talus, scoop out the bad goo, and replace it with fresh bone—most likely harvested from my tibia (if I read the literature correctly). I’ll know more Monday when I have my follow-up appointment.

The doc says that if it were him, he’d have the surgery right away. I’m not looking forward to this one because I won’t be able to put any weight on it for eight weeks afterward—online literature recommends that I’d have to keep my ankle “above the level of (my) heart” for a week.

But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself …

Comments

Lisa said:

Jesus. When you break something, you really break it!

I've got my fingers crossed for you! Healing thoughts being sent your way!

Posted on Feb 08, 2006 11:27 AM

Natalie said:

Ouch.
OUCH. A year from now I hope all of this will be only a memory. The sucky part is everything that you have to experience between now and then. Good luck.

Posted on Feb 08, 2006 01:48 PM

donato said:

3 times huh?

Posted on Feb 08, 2006 08:43 PM

BWG said:

Better your ankle than Mr. Happy, because keeping that above the level of your heart would be tricky.

And painful.

Posted on Feb 09, 2006 12:01 AM

EvelynRedtree said:

I feel for you, my friend. This is where all the goodness and love you've given to the other people in your life gets returned in a concentrated dose. Sending you loving thoughts for a successful journey on this one. Evelyn

Posted on Feb 12, 2006 08:54 AM

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