Friday, September 4, 2009

Doc Greenlights Weight-bearing


The surgeon who performed my ankle fusion is happy with the healing and has given approval for physical therapy to wean -- the word he used -- me off the Knee Scooter and, presumably, onto two both feet.

The x-rays pleased him greatly. He pointed out various features which indicated how solidly the site has pasted itself together.

I've been babying the ankle and foot, keeping them well-protected from any weight or leverage which might cause things to pull apart.

So there I was, sitting on the examination table and Dr. Askew unexpected grabbed my foot and bent it about to show how the other joints in it will be taking up the slack for the now-fused joint. "See?" he said. "Your heel can bend and rotate like this, and these joints in the foot will bend like this!"

My heart just about stopped. Mrs Elliott went pale.

The fused ankle didn't move a whit, the other feety bones and articulations did. I expected pain. There was none.

Outcome studies on ankle fusions show a high rate of osteoarthritis in the foot years down the road, this due to the other joints having to compensate for an ankle that no longer flexes. So to minimize that danger I'll be wearing funny "rocker" shoes and orthotics from now on.

Bend's Fleet Feet and North Sole Footwear (no website?) both carry the special shoes. They're spendy, but a prosthetic foot is even more expensive. Ickier, too.

Time to call the folk at Rebound Physical Therapy and get the ball rolling.

My First First Friday


Tonight will probably be the last First Friday that isn't very cold. It will also be the first First Friday that I am mobile enough to be out and about. So Mrs Elliott will visit the shops and kick some tires and I will be poking around on my rented Bantex Knee Scooter.

It's a clunky device. You kneel on it with the bad leg. If either front wheel gets snagged, by and cracks in the pavement, pebbles.... heck, painted lines are almost sufficient to snag a wheel, the steering instantly heaves over in the direction of the snag without warning, threatening to pitch one off the scooter. So despite the apparent speediness that the wheels suggest, one moves carefully on all but the smoothest of surfaces.

BUT the Knee Scooter provides far more mobility than crutches or wheel chairs. All it needs is a backup beeper, some tassles on the handlebars, two tiny mudflaps with naked girls on them, a flower on the basket, and a squeeze-bulb horn and I'll be cruisin'.

$600 retail, $100 a month to rent, not covered by my insurance. Norco has 'em.
 
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