I have received so many sweet emails and texts with well wishes and kind inquiries on how the surgery went, so I thought I would give you an update. Thanks to a wonderful team of very gifted and skilled orthopedic surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists, the surgery went very, very well and the Iilizarov Frame was attached and the tibial fractures cleaned out, re-energized and perfectly aligned and immobilized. Thanks to the wonders of digital photography and x-rays, for the very curious, I am posting photos.
WARNING - some of the pictures may cause the squeamish some discomfort.
As you can see, four rings were anchored on solid, healthy parts of my tibia, and then "spokes" or wires were placed through the tibia in several locations and then everything was aligned with external adjusting rods and screws. In the x-rays below, you can see where the rings are anchored and the wires criss-cross through the bone. You'll see a few holes where the stainless steel plate was removed from the tibia, and one or two screws left in the bone when the other plate that broke off was removed several months ago. In the one x-ray, you can see part of my metal artificial knee, which made it impossible to repair the tibia last September with a "nail" or rod which would have been the desired repair. Isn't it fascinating what can be done when someone (like Gavriel “The Magician from Kurgan” Ilizarov) has and idea and the persistence and tenacity to bring it to fruition.
I was discharged from the hospital today and am now resting comfortably at home, with my leg elevated in my La-Z-Boy. "Comfortably because I still have a nerve block that deadens my entire lower leg. When that wears off, thankfully I have some narcotics to get me through for a while. I have been told to start walking as soon as possible (with crutches at first) because weight bearing helps stimulate bone growth. The beauty of the Ilizarov technique is that the bones are held so rigid by the spokes that they will not move even when walking. Hopefully, like Steve Austin, I'll be "Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster!"
The only trouble I will have is crafting a pant leg that will fit over the crazy contraption. Maybe I'll stimulate the resurgence of bell-bottom trousers for men.
Thanks again for all the prayers and kind thoughts! They are truly appreciated.