Today I went to see the surgeon in Denver for his opinion. My doctor in Colorado Springs recommended that I do that since the problem with my ankle bone is uncommon and pretty severe. This doctor reiterated that the problem was severe, and that I would never have a normal joint again, but he gave me a brace to wear and the name of a special kind of shoe to buy. The doctor said that I may have no choice but to do surgery right now, and I definitely will not be able to avoid surgery in the future. However, every surgical option I have has a very low success rate. Sometimes people even get worse. And on top of that they are not permanent. There is nothing that can be done, from taking out a piece of bone from my hip and grafting it into my ankle bone, to finding me a cadaver match, to fusing the ankle and getting rid of the joint and the movement all together, that has a high likelihood of success. Of the three, fusing the joint and getting rid of it has the highest likelihood of success. However the downside is that when you do an ankle fusion you have a good chance of getting arthritis in your foot from having to use the middle of your foot too much. Then you can end up having to get your foot fused. If that happens you have no movement anymore. That’s not good. So he said that fusing the ankle should be a last resort.
He also said that a good section of my cartilage is pretty bad. My leg bone is also damaged and deteriorated. There’s evidence that the first surgeon in Virginia drilled into my leg bone for some reason. There is appears to be a drill hole going through the bone diagonally. He didn’t say that that’s what has caused my leg bone to be damaged. He wants to see the notes from that original surgery see what exactly was going on. But he cannot fathom why that drill hole is there. I doubt it’s exactly helpful, but we will see if there was a good reason for it. But part of the leg bone is damaged, and that connects to the cartilage that’s pretty much shot, and that connects to a damaged ankle bone actually missing a chunk of itself.
The doctor was very kind and patient and he also made it clear that it was my choice. If the bone proves to be infected I don’t know what I have to do. I have to get blood work done this week to determine that. If it’s infected that might throw a wrench in things. Beyond that he said that surgery is my choice and that I could give some thought into which kind of surgery I would want to do. I highly want to avoid surgery for as long as possible, so I’m going to be giving this brace a chance for a few weeks and get those special shoes. If there was an option for surgery that had good odds for success and would last at least a decent amount of time I honestly would prefer to just have surgery and get it over with. Suffer now to have my thirties and forties be pain free, or almost pain free, and be able to walk long distances like I used to and take the stairs without worrying. But since my chances are not good with any of these surgeries I don’t want to take that plunge if I don’t have to. If the brace and special shoes can give me enough relief for at least a couple of years, I would like to hold off. I really hope I will get some relief.