Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Going Under the Knife


I have been focusing on my ankle problem for nearly a month now, for good reason: it's horribly painful. And crutches are a poor form of locomotion.

Mrs Elliott and I saw another orthopedist yesterday: Dr. Aaron Askew of Desert Orthopedics. Askew got an emphatic recommendation by Dr. Biggler, MD, at High Lakes Health Care. Desert Orthopedics is an Official Medical Provider to the US Ski & Snowboard Teams. Which puts them pretty much at the cutting edge of medical paste-em-up technology.

Askew does ankles and feet and that's about it.

We liked him a lot.

He'll be doing my ankle arthroscopically, using a Dremel tool to roughen up the bone surfaces to make the bones think they are broken; re-shaping them for straighter alignment (the 1980 open reduction left my ankle pretty crooked; packing in magic healing pixie dust to help the bones fuse (actually he'll be using ground up bone taken from my right knee (ground up bone is packed with baby bone cells that are just itching to grow into new bone); and running a couple of stainless steel deck screws down through my tibia and fibula to clamp everything together.

It will be outpatient surgery, not three nights in the ho$pital like a certain other doctor whose name I will not mention here though it starts with an "H" and who has been mentioned previously, and whose cold "it sucks to be you" bedside manner totally annoyed me.

The plan then is to send me home with little drug pump gadget plugged into my leg which works like an epidural block, keeping a nerve center behind my knee infused with a numbing agent on a timed basis. It also has this cool "I hurt now" button for an extra jolt of numbing goodness. This pump is good for four days. I'll have on an ankle-support boot to spend a couple days in bed followed by 6 to 8 weeks on crutches, then on to physical therapy.

I like this plan a lot more. I've been in casts before. I don't recommend it.

Askew sent me home with a different kind of painkiller, Lyrica, which works just peachy, and a topical anti-inflammatory gel for my ankle. It's called Voltaren.

(I forgot to ask if it was the best of all possible gels.

Candide? Voltaire?

Forget it. If you have to explain a joke, it's not funny.)

So I'm going under the knife tomorrow morning at 7:30 am. I'm not looking forward to it, I've had plenty of surgeries. They are never as much fun as one would hope.

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