Last Wednesday marked the 5 month point since the x-fix frame was fitted, and obviously that made me reflect on how progress has gone and on how well (or not) I’ve handled the length recovery process.
But first news of yesterday’s trip to hospital with more x-rays and meeting with the consultant. A summary of the latest situation is that I have to wait another month and then go back for further assessment end of February. It could be that at that assessment they give a date for frame removal and at the best that’s going to be early March. Maybe in time for my birthday!
The X-rays show that the bones continue to mend well and new bone growth at the top of my tibia explains the lump under my skin! The consultant felt things were progressing well and we spent some time discussing next steps and in particular timing for removal of the x-fix frame. According to Mr Doyle, the very nice irish consultant, this is an art and not a science. No two complex fractures mend in the same way and so the main worry remains that they could take off the frame too early and my leg won’t be strong enough. If it fractures again then we are not back to zero, we are back to -zero and serious complications.
I was really interested in some of the other information which he explained to me, and grateful that he took time to over lots of questions from me – including –
– because my injuries involved ‘segmented fractures’ (i.e. both bones broken badly in two places, top and bottom), the body has a tendency to put lots of energy and dedication into mending one of the breaks really well and then slows down or even stops because it thinks the mending is done!
– my fibula bone has never fused back together properly and I was worried about how that’s going to work in the long-term. He explained that fibula bones are not at all important and don’t help with weight-bearing at all. In fact they might even consider removing it altogether if its holding up the mending process in the tibia by acting as a splint and not allowing the bones to fuse well. In bone graft situations surgeons often remove a fibula bone to create a graft in another leg bone. Who knew!
– in most situations where an x-fix frame is fitted and a long recovery process is expected, patients should be offered psychiatric treatment and counselling support – and now they tell me!
Anyway, looking forward then I am going to try and increase my exercise routine over the next four weeks and lose some weight at the same time (and as much as I can!), so that with everything being positive on 22nd February they’ll set a date for frame removal and then (after a week in bed to rest) I can think about being much more active again, about going out for walk with the dog, about not flinching everytime someone bumps into my metal leg, and about riding, driving, swimming,…. having a bath! mmmmmmmm! yes please!