Sun shine 11:08pm May 19 2017
I thought I would pop in and give a long overdue update.
My external fixator came off at the end of May 2016. I have spent the last year learning how to walk again. For the most part, this is has gone very well.
I also returned to school last fall to complete the program I was enrolled in. I will be receiving my diploma in nursing next month. I write my certification exam in two weeks and will be starting a new job as a nurse on an oncology unit at some point during the summer. I am super excited about this XD
In January I has minor surgery to remove one of the screws holding my IM nail in place. It had partially backed out and was causing quite a bit of discomfort. That incision was extremely small and healed well.
Over the past few months I have been having an increasing amount of pain throughout my right leg, from ankle through my leg and into my knee. This include bone, muscle, tissue and occasionally nerve pain. I also have a bit of tightness in the muscles running along the back of my leg. The muscle tightness was caused by the bone transport/regrowing my tibia process and is most likely permanent.
I had x-rays taken and an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon on May 19th . Unfortunately, I have been diagnosed with a hypertrophic nonunion. Basically my tibia has produced lots of lovely new bone but that bone has failed to knit together and heal. There is also a section of my tibia that is missing a section of bone. You can see my x-rays on my blog (link in my signature below). All of my weight is being supported by the IM nail holding my leg together. This results in a lot of pain every time I walk. There is also a lot of inflammation and that causes pain even when i am not walking.
For now my surgeon and I have a wait and see approach. I will see him again at the end of September to get new x-rays and reassess the situation. We suspect that surgery will be needed at some point but want to give my tibia some more time to try to fix itself. Surgical options include a bone graft and/or replacing my current IM nail with a slightly smaller one that will allow my tibia to do something called dynamization (compress the ends of my tibia together in order to promote bone formation and healing). In the meantime, I will just continue to walk on my leg as normal. It will continue to hurt like crazy and I will continue to limp when I walk. This is unfortunate, but we want to give as much time for my leg to try to heal as possible before we decide to go the surgical route.
This is not where I expected to find myself at this point, but it is what it is. As unfortunate as the nonunion is, the new bone at the top of my tibia looks fantastic and I remain infection free! These are both excellent things that I am super excited about. I hope that within another year or two that everything else heals up nicely as well.
I hope everyone else has been doing well. It's lovely weather at the moment. Hoping we can all soak up the sun over the next few days and wishing everyone a speedy recovery!
Tib/fib compound fracture 2006
Chronic osteomyelitis diagnosed 2011
Infection free Jan. 2013
Infection relapse 2014
Huge mess, external fixator 2015
Nonunion May 2017