Tuesday, August 25, 2009

7 weeks ... 7 screws



"Damn, screwed again!"

Today was my 7 week follow-up appointment with Dr. Mayo -- the first time I've seen him since I left the hospital. X-rays look good with not 3,not 4 or 5, but SEVEN screws holding my right leg on. In this view it's hard to see more than 6, but believe me, there are 7 in there. I had no idea there was that much screwage in my pelvis. (Everyone insert their best rude/lewd comment here.)

Dr. Mayo says I am free to drive now, which is a good thing since I drove myself to and from the appointment (6 hours roundtrip). My coverage angle has gone from 5 to 30 (anything >25 is normal). The pelvic bones that were cut apart are now fused together enough that I can put all my weight on my right leg without damaging anything. However, he doesn't really want me walking unassisted yet; he wants me to wait until I see the physical therapist next week because otherwise I'll have more difficulty getting rid of my limp. My PT appointment is Tuesday and I am looking forward to learning how to walk again.

I have a long list of things I am not supposed to do for a month or two or three, and other things that I am never ever ever supposed to do for the rest of my life. The never evers include stairmaster, lunges, squats, and running. Dr. Mayo also frowns on yoga, and doesn't want me to ever do it, a bummer. Using extrapolation to ice, the never evers means I won't be doing sitspins (one of the few things I do/did well, oh well), lunges, hydroblades (ah, another thing I did well) or jumps of any kind for the rest of my life. There are a lot of dance spin and lift positions that will also now be out of the question. While I am allowed to bend my knees, anything that gets down very low and stays there would be considered a squat. I am not really sure how this will play out. This is likely to impact choctaws and my ability to generate power, not to mention how I look. I may be able to technically do the steps, but they won't look good (and they will be more difficult) if I can't fully bend my knees.

But now back to reality: walking. Must walk before I can skate. I did try walking with just one crutch and even took some steps with no crutches just to see how bad it would be. Well ... it's bad. It's beyond a limp; it's a lurch, and there is no strength at all in my right leg. It is going to be fun times in physical therapy, that's for sure.

Dr. Mayo thinks I'm doing very well so I must agree that I am. I am not discouraged, just realizing yet again what a long uphill climb this will be. Today we discussed timing for my left PAO. He thinks we may be able to do it in December, which is sooner than I thought (I was thinking February). December is great because I'd like to get it over with. I am going back in 2 months so they can evaluate my progress toward PAO#2 and then we can decide on a date in December. Oh boy, surgery just in time for the holidays!

4 comments:

Tiff-dysplasia said...

You are doing AWESOME I am scheduled for my left PAO September 24th I am nervous and sooo ready at the same time I really dont know what to expect but your blog has helped me prepare myself ALOT. What are some things that you recommend while in the hospital?!?!?!?!

Tiffany

Kianoosh said...

You are amazing, and I am very proud of you. With all the restrictions placed on you, now you have been reduced to one of us mere mortals who try hard, but could never skate as well as you did. But knowing you I wouldn't be surprised if after your next procedure and recovery you prove to the world that you will son be as good as you have always been, if not better. in the meantime, who gives a ^&*$ that you shouldn't jump, squat, or do certain lifts and spins. that is not what ice dancing is all about! ,,,Kianoosh

Matt said...

Wow, that's a big improvement in coverage!

What's going on with that part that looks shattered, on the inside of the pelvic ring an inch or so to the right of your femoral head? Is that a byproduct of the PAO? If so, is it common for that to happen? Is that why you're not supposed to lunge, etc?

Matt

TnT said...

Matt -
That part is one of the cuts that was made in the pelvis, and the fuzzy part is new bone that is filling in. It has only been 7 weeks so it is a bit messy in there. Healing continues for months.

Dr. Mayo gives these restrictions to everyone because doing these things puts extra stress on the hip joint. The goal of PAO is to preserve the hip, so you want to minimize activities that put stress on the hip afterwards. Some patients choose to do some of these things after PAO - such as running or yoga - but it's just Dr. Mayo's opinion that those who do risk having a hip replacement sooner.

He may be more strict with me because I am older than most PAO patients. If you are young and in good shape you may not have the same restrictions.

In my case, I can live without stairmaster, running and yoga. I may occasionally hit a lunge or squat position when skating, but I will certainly be aware of my limitations and try to be careful. That's how I plan to deal with these restrictions and keep my hip healthy for as long as possible. Terri