Last week, I got a call from my orthopedic surgeon. The one that is so cute and sweet and funny, that I would totally have a crush on, had he not cut off my leg, my toes, and part of my heel. Sorry Doc, but that was a deal breaker.
The purpose of his call was to update me on the results of my most recent MRI. I was experiencing significant pain and swelling in my residual leg and we were trying to figure out what was causing it.
A little background here: in order to create a more sturdy and balanced area to stand on, doctors often use a screw to connect the tibia and fibula bones. With time, the bone naturally grows around the screw and creates one big tree trunk rather than two little twigs to stand on. Pretty amazing, right? The procedure is called an Ertl (named after the surgeon who developed it).
Sometimes the screw no longer becomes necessary, which was my case. However, it got jarred loose and then started stabbing around in my leg when I walked, creating (obviously) significant pain. About a month ago, he removed the screw, hoping that's all we needed to do to relieve the pain. When it didn't, he ordered the MRI.
In the call, the surgeon finally explained what the recent MRI revealed: the screw had essentially torn up the nearby muscle and likely torn it off the bone.
"Ouch!" he said when he saw all the swelling on my MRI.
That's what I've been saying!
Now for the solution:
Later today, my surgeon is going to "revise my BKA," which to us laypeople means to open up my Below Knee Amputation again, sew up my muscle, and repair any damaged nerves and bone. He really won't know what he's going to do until he gets in there.
I keep telling myself that, after all I've endured; this is not a big deal. And it's not; but; at the very least, I'll have to stay off of that foot while everything heals - for at least three weeks anyway. Then, since my leg will change shape, we will have to start over with prosthetic fitting and building. Ugh.
This is a setback, to be sure. But one that we (meaning all you guys and me) will tackle just like all the other ones: with a smile (even if those teeth are gritted) determination, and optimism. This time, you are gonna have to help me with that last one... Prayers accepted (and encouraged). 😀 Thanks everyone, Kristan.