Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Have you hugged your Orthopedic Physician today?

It has been exactly 7 days since my MTB accident and I finally got to see the orthopedic doctor today. I went in prepared for the worst case scenario but came out with the best.

The official diagnosis is a transverse fracture of the right lateral malleolus or as my friend John likes to call it...broke ass ankle.

The first thing they did was remove the Chinese torture device the urgent care calls a splint. It was a hard piece of plaster that basically ended right in the middle of my foot. When they took it off they said "they did not even put any padding in there did they?" Um no, no they did not.

When they took off the splint I got my first look at my foot since the accident. Holy crap, there is something to be said about the mind body connection. I swear my leg hurts more now that I have seen the bruising. It looks like it should hurt so it just does. It could also be that he did some manipulation of the ankle during the exam.

The other surprising thing was the atrophy after only 7 days of non-use. It may be hard to tell in this photo, looking at it the injured leg is on the left look at the difference on the inside of the legs. It is really evident in person. I am going to look like a peg legged retard by the time my leg is healed.

The doctor reviewed my films and said that it is a simple injury and should heal with no complications. In fact he said if he were to have a crash like I did, this is the outcome he would hope for his own ankle. The ligaments on my ankle held on so tight that the ankle fractured rather than them tearing away from the bone. That means faster healing and most importantly no surgery!

I am happy to report that he put me in an Aircast walking splint. This means that I can remove it to shower! The first thing I did when I came home was to wash and shave my right leg. He said I can walk as the pain permits. I tried a couple of times and pain does NOT yet permit. I can stand on it with a little weight but that is about it so far. I can ride my bike in 6 weeks but not run just yet he says I should wait longer for that. I go back in 2 weeks for more x-rays and follow up. I still can not drive, it is too bulky and not safe. I am cleared to ride my bike on a trainer with the boot on and can do the Bowflex. The only possible complication is what is called a non-union which would require "intervention". That is so not going to happen.

If all goes as planned, my return to mountain biking will be on January 9th...the bike gods have smiled upon me!

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