Thursday, November 22, 2007

Mr X-Ray

I had an appointment at the rehab clinic today to see my Rehab Doc and the Prostheticist. I took them through my progress since getting my new leg (Schooner) 4 weeks ago. They had a look at my stump, Schooner and his associated bits. Then I got up and did a little walk for them to show them how I was going.

The look on their faces sort of said it all - as far as they're concerned, I am going great guns. Excellent progress, they were a little amazed in fact. My stump has shrunk somewhat (it's meant to) and so I will be in to see my prostheticist again next week to make some adjustments to my fitting to make Schooner sit more snugly onto my stump.

The only down side due to the improvement is the up 'n' down motion of my stump inside the leg fitting has rubbed a bit more skin off the shin. It needs to toughen up a little but really I shouldn't be able to move much inside the fitting.

Doc also thinks it won't be too long before I can move to the next type of prosthetic fitting (a silicon sheath version) that will enable a cycling leg to be made up. I still think it may take a couple of months.

While at the hospital, I decided to pop into Radiology to see if they could give me a copy of the x-ray images of my leg. Apart from 'grumpy pants' behind the counter, it wasn't too painful to get organised and a little while later I walked out with a CD with images of my knee, including before my first operation, after operation to insert the plate and screws and again after amputation. Thought I'd share a few with you.

First the original fracture of tibial plateau and the fibula. You can click or right click on any image to see the full size version.

On the left is the front on shot and you can see the multiple fracture of the tibial plateau (the top section of the bone below the knee) with the main displacement running diagonally from bottom left to top right.

On the right is the side on shot, with the fracture being at the top of the tibia bone on the right.

Here's what they put inside to pull it all back together. Again front and side on shots.

The plate runs across the tibial plateau and down the tibia with six screws running through the plate into the bone.

There is an extra screw through the two separated sections of the tibial plateau to hold them together. You can also see the staples holding my skin together after the operation.

And here are the shots after my amputation.

You can clearly see the shortened tibia and fibula, where they have been cut/sawn or whatever it is they do.

At the bottom of the image on the left, you'll see a dark patch. That was where I had a stubbon hole in my closure would that wasn't healing. It was about 2 inches (5cm) deep and took about 10-12 weeks to heal properly.

So that's what it looks like from the inside. All those screws and plate are still inside. I'll spare you the real life shots!

The other bit of good news is it looks like my scans from last week (a white cell scan and a sulphur colloid scan) show an improvement, which is great since I've been off the antibiotics for a month now. Looks like I have the all clear from the infection.


Anonymous said...

Hey, that is freaking awesome news.

Not long before you'll be slapping on new cycling leg, hopefully made of carbon fiber ;-) and back on the bike.

Alex said...

Hi Alex,

I am looking for ways to promote my sport drinks online business and found your story.

It is trully inspirational to see how you still plan not only on going back to riding but also
competing and winning. True example of determination.

I wish you all the best. You will get there.

Good Luck


Anonymous said...

Hi, just found your blog via the cycling forums via the wattage list-server. Amazing first post for me to read. I'm also an ER doc. Great for you to be so optimistic. How did your accident happen? (havn't had time to read the rest of yoru blog)

Alex Simmons said...

Thanks guys

Sure looking forward to getting back on the bike. Another post soon.

Alex - good luck with the business.

Suzanne - see the post here:

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear of the progress Alex. Nice pics too. Puts things in perspective.