Tag Archives: surgery

Removing A Bone

Wednesday I went back to the podiatrist I have been seeing about my foot pain, ankle pain, and the burning pain where my leg meets my foot. I found out I need an ankle replacement, which is major surgery.

My ankle bone will be removed. The whole thing. It has huge lesions, so the doctor doesn’t think it is salvageable. It will be replaced with a synthetic bone substitute around which my natural bone is supposed to grow. Additionally, he said that the pain where my leg meets my foot, that burning pain I’ve had for years, is likely because the bottom of my leg bone (and I forget which one), also has lesions on it where it meets the ankle. That will likely have to be filled in.

I really like this doctor and he seems very knowledgeable, catching several problems that the doctors I saw in Virginia did not catch. He gave me a copy of the MRI results and showed me on a model of the bone what he was talking about and how big the lesions were. They really do take up pretty much the whole bone. It’s possible that some of the bone is even dead. I am still getting second opinion from another doctor, an orthopaedic surgeon, just to make sure there are no other options that maybe my doctor didn’t think of. This doctor has a different specialty, he’s an orthopedic surgeon, so he may have a different perspective. But looking at the MRI paperwork and having been shown on a model of the bone what’s going on, I really don’t think that the other doctor is going to have a different opinion. If he does have a different opinion I don’t think it will be drastically different.

If in fact his opinion is drastically different I won’t even know what to do. They’re both doctors. They both do Foot and Ankle surgeries. The doctor I’m currently seeing has tons of good reviews and the doctor on getting a second opinion from doesn’t really have any reviews. On a bright note that means he doesn’t have any bad reviews, at least not that I was able to find, but he doesn’t have any good ones either to let me know that he’s reliable. If he tells me my phone is salvageable and that I don’t need to do the surgery, will I believe him? I would like to believe him because the surgery is going to be agonizing, but I’m being cautious too. For years I have tried to get this foot fixed. I’ve had two surgeries on it already. I had a bone infection in my foot to go with it all. I want whatever I do to be the last surgery on my foot. If that means going through a terrible surgery as opposed to a milder one, it’s probably worth doing just to make sure that I can go back to living my life the way I used to and taking long walks. I just want this to be over. So if the doctor giving me a second opinion suggests not doing surgery or suggests a drastically different surgery, I’m really going to have to weigh my options and think about the different explanations both of them gave. I would rather do a terrible surgery now and have it over with then try a milder surgery and find out it didn’t really work and then have to do the terrible surgery. I don’t want to be laid up any longer than I have to be. So what I need is either for the doctors to be on the same page, or for this doctor giving me the second opinion to have a really good explanation of a better alternative. I so hope there is another way. Having an entire bone of my body literally just removed sounds terrible, and it probably doesn’t sound half as terrible as it actually is.

I have been asking people on Foot and Ankle pages how bad the pain for the surgery is. Very few people have had the surgery as drastically as the first doctor says I need to do it. Of those who have done it or have done something similar, it’s unanimous that the pain is so bad that you don’t sleep for days. One person compared the pain to having been put through a meat grinder. If you know me, you know I am a total sissy. I feel like running at the very thought of doing this. I just don’t know what else to do. I’ve got to fix my foot.

Foot

After 2 foot surgeries and a bone infection treated with 6 weeks of intravenous antibiotics over a year ago, I still have pain in my foot. I finally took the plunge and went to a doctor here in Colorado. He sent me to get an MRI done after seeing nothing on the X-ray he took at the office, and they found another bone lesion just like last time in Virginia. I have to go back Monday night for an MRI with contrast so that they can take a look and get a better idea of what it is. They have to make sure it’s not malignant. Hopefully they don’t have to remove it and biopsy it for that, although I think that may be wishful thinking on my part because the chances they will just leave it in there either way is probably infinitesimally small. It’s also possible that the bone infection is still there in which case I will probably need antibiotics again. I don’t know how they will handle that though.

The first time I had to have a PICC line was for the initial bone infection. It hurt and was uncomfortable, but it wasn’t a problem to get it in there. On the other hand, when they tried to get one in me last fall a few months after the bone infection, when I was in the hospital for two weeks with diverticulitis and they had to remove 8 inches of intestines, it simply didn’t work. I wasn’t doing well and they wanted to keep me in the hospital, but my veils weren’t accepting anymore IVs and they had to do a PICC line – It was a nightmare. There was a team of five people trying to give me a PICC line because one couldn’t get it in. They tried different places on both arms. They tried over and over again. In the end, there was blood all over me, the bed, the floor, the wall, the railing, everything. And there was still no PICC line in me. I got discharged because if the hospital isn’t administering something to you the insurance won’t pay, and no one could get anything in me. Needless to say, if they need another PICC line in me I want to be under anesthesia. I don’t know how you can get them to do that, but I do not want to be awake for that mess again. So I’m really, really hoping it isn’t still a bone infection. I don’t want to face that again. And at this point the infection would have been in there so long that it may have spread (my pain has spread) and I don’t know how long I’d be on IV antibiotics.

The doctor also says that he likely wants to go into my foot anyway to clear out the bone filler that the first doctor used (the one that screwed up my first foot surgery so bad I had shards of bone filler in my foot, and I got infected from the first surgeon’s very poor post op care. A second surgeon had to operate on me a month later and fix the first surgeon’s mess the best he could.) He said it may be causing further problems and probably wasn’t the best substance to use, that there should have been something that would help bone grow again naturally. He may dig that out of my foot and put something else in. At any rate, they have to see what this lesion really is and fix it – and see why this has been happening to me for years. Essentially, I don’t think I can get out of this without surgery. I am really hoping to avoid surgery, but it just doesn’t sound likely between the lesion, the possible infection, the wrong bone filler, and the pain that has continued on and spread for years now.

Foot surgery hurts badly. After one of my foot surgeries I cried for days. I’d sit on the sofa with my foot propped up, on plenty of pain killer and with an ice pack on my foot and wrapped for compression, and I would just cry. I’ve had my gallbladder removed, two intestinal surgeries, and a C section. None of them hurt as bad as that first foot surgery. I definitely felt the worst after the first intestinal surgery, but for pain the foot surgery topped them all. The second foot surgery wasn’t as bad, but the second doctor was doing more cleanup work than anything else. The surgery with the cutting was horrendous. Maybe I am a wimp, but I dread the thought of doing that again. I really hope I can get out of this, especially now that I’m in a two story house. Not being mobile sucks in a one story. In a two story it would be awful.  Praying there’s a way out of surgery.