Thank you for all the messages wishing me well via e-mail, Bloomberg, SMS and facebook over the past few weeks.
I had another flare up of an old osteomyelitis issue with my right tibia, a real mess. Back on Feb 15th I woke up with an inflamed leg and a bit of pain. I went to work and my wife made an appointment for me to see the doctor that evening. Although they took an x-ray and MRI, all knew that we were headed for another debridement operation with some kind of "leave behind" as a preventative solution.
This pic is from back on February 16th - I had gone back to work that day after a check with the doctor on the 15th that things were bad and would need operating room time to resolve. I understood that the operation was imminent, but didn't think that another day in the office would hurt before checking into the hospital.
This recurring infection is the result of an extreme compound break of the right tibia and fibula just above my ankle joint in 2000. I fell off of a house in an emergency clearing of the chimney for the master bedroom.
That happens to be the worst place on our bodies for circulation, thus a tiny bacteria, which you would also be exposed to on any other compound break, causes infection and a real problem. I've had five or six corrective surgeries with every one of them including a warning: you are likely to have to endure these over the course of your life or amputate the leg mid calf.
I'm keeping my foot!!!!!!! Thus I'm resigned to having a very long (it was actually 2 operation this time with one at 2 hours and one at 7 1/2 hours a week apart) procedure as the need arises.
The last procedure was good for more than 4 years without trouble. The team of doctors that performed this series of procedures have a higher expectation for results of these operation.
Previously, after removing a large section of the tibia, the doctors (3 in the US and 2 in Hong Kong) would leave a paste of phosphorous and antibiotic in the cavity with the idea being the body would re-grow bone through the paste and the antibiotic would prevent the bacteria from living in the area of new bone.
This time, a new plan was agreed upon.
The first procedure on Feb 21st took 2 hours and removed about 4 inches of the interior 2/3rd of the tibia from just above the ankle up, leaving the interior third alone as it was healthy and has no sign of the bacteria.
I was in the hospital for 4 days for that procedure, one day prior to the operation plus two days post op. I was fitted with a vacuum dressing over the 6 1/2 inch opening and allowed to return home for three days before step 2.
Sunday the 27th I checked back in and was prepared for the first slot in the operating theater on Monday the 28th.
This second procedure lasted 7 1/2 hours and included bone, muscle and skin grafts to close the debridement and provide for circulation where our body does not naturally have circulation.
The bone graft was executed borrowing bone from my hip to fill the cavity left by the first procedure. The removal of a piece of hip bone was/is the most painful part of all 4 of the procedures. It hurts to cough, laugh, sneeze, any movement.
Next, a 5 inch piece of muscle from next to my rib cage and the blood vessel which feeds it was removed from my left side through about a 40 centimeter opening and plumbed into my calf to cover the bone and create the new circulatory system avenue. It took dozens of stitches to close the entry point for the donor muscle extraction on my left side.
About 20 square centimeters of skin was removed from my right calf and grafted on top of the muscle to cover the works. That area is just about healed.
The problem spot is healing quickly. Fingers crossed that this lasts longer than the last "solution".