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Jocelyn : Part 1: Medial Tibial Plateau Fracture, Fibular Head Fracture, ACL Tear
Diary entry posted Wed 7:14am 10 November 2010

PART 1: Beware of jogging at night in an unfamiliar place in flip-flops.

PERSONAL INFO
Female
39 Years Old
5’6”
140 pounds

DIAGNOSIS 9/21/2010
Medial Tibial Plateau Fracture
Fibular Head Fracture
Partial ACL Tear

HOW IT HAPPENED 9/19/2010
My husband and I were on our 5th year anniversary vacation in New Orleans. We were on our way back to the hotel and were jogging across the street. I stepped off the curb and into a pothole. My body tried to keep going but my right leg did not. TWIST! CRACK! POP!

I fell to the ground wondering what the hell just happened. I attempted to stand, experienced excruciating pain and fell back to the ground. Repeated 3 times, same result, began crying.

Husband attempted to help me walk by being my crutch but putting even the slightest bit of pressure on the leg was unbearable and the leg was totally unstable anyway.

Flagged down a cab and went to the Emergency Room. Thought about it for a minute and decided to leave. Emergency Room visits are expensive. We were flying home in the morning anyway and we “knew” (because, you know, we are doctors - NOT) nothing was broken.

Another cab dropped us off in front of the hotel and again my husband tried to be my crutch. Wasn’t working so luckily my husband is a big man. He picked me up and slung me over his shoulder like I was a sack of freaking potatoes and he carried me to the elevator and then to the room. You should have seen the looks we got along the way.

My leg, from my knee to my toes, was severely swollen although there wasn’t much pain as long as I didn’t put pressure on it. We poked at it and moved it around and decided it definitely was not broken. (I can’t remember where we got our medical degrees.)

My husband ran to Walgreen’s early the next morning and bought me a knee brace and some crutches. The hotel called us a cab and we headed to the airport. At that point, I still wasn’t in a lot of pain. The airport folks brought a wheelchair out for me and I had fun going through security. They first put me in a glass enclosure to wait for a female security officer to make sure I wasn’t a terrorist sneaking bombs into the airport under my knee brace. Then, she wiped an unknown substance around my knee brace, ran her hands over my back and under my butt. I guess that was enough proof I was bomb-free.

Once back home, I called my doctor’s office and tried to get an appointment for that afternoon. No dice, but they were able to take me in the next morning. They poked my leg a few times and then sent me downstairs for x-rays.

Shortly thereafter, they informed me it was broken in two places and they needed to send me for an MRI and then send me to an orthopedist. Somewhere in there, the word surgery was mentioned. That was when my husband and I realized we do not have medical degrees.

I was in shock. I had never broken a bone and had never had surgery.

After the MRI, we drove to the orthopedists office where he reviewed the x-rays and MRI images. That’s when I learned what a medial tibial plateau and fibular head were. I had no clue those items existed until that day. (Further proof of my not being a doctor.) I also learned what an ACL was and that it is not good to tear it.

The orthopedist wanted to do a CAT scan when swelling in the knee/leg/foot went down a little. He was pretty sure surgery would be necessary as the Medial Tibial Plateau fracture looked displaced.

I was then sent to another doctor who performed an ultrasound on various veins in my leg to make sure I did not have any blood clots. Luckily, I did not.

CAT SCAN 9/25/2010

SURGERIES RECOMMENDED 9/27/2010
The orthopedic surgeon called me 9/27/2010 and let me know the CAT scan confirmed the medial tibial plateau fracture was 2mm displaced. He recommended TWO surgeries. WHAT? HELLO? TWO SURGERIES? WTF?

Woo Hoo! Man, when I do something, I do it RIGHT! :-(

He recommended one surgery for the Medial Tibial Plateau fracture and another surgery for the torn ACL. He said the fibular head fracture would heal well on its own.

So, that is when I learned that I was totally terrified of having surgery. I’m not talking your garden-variety anxiety. I’m talking full on &%R^@ FEAR! On top of that, 10 weeks or more of not being able to walk or drive? Holy sh*t! Ah yes, let the crying and feelings of helplessness begin.

He also mentioned that he thought once he "got in there" he would find a meniscus tear too.

My husband was distressed at the two-surgery-diagnosis. He wanted to know why they didn’t fix it all at once. So, he grilled the surgeon and the reason the surgeon was not comfortable doing all-in-one surgery was because of the nature of my fracture. He called it "abnormal". (Not what you want to hear.) And he thought the healing process would be impeded by the "all at once" approach. He and the other surgeons spent "a considerable amount of time" going over my case.

He thought he could fix the fracture arthroscopically but he wanted to make sure I was prepared for "maybe not - might have to slice your knee open". Um hellluuurrrr, I did NOT feel prepared for any of that! Eeeeek!

TO BE CONTINUED...



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