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Monday, January 19, 2009

While being prepped for my big surgery, Dr. Carbonell stopped by and informed Doug and me of the challenges facing us in the surgery. 

First, he said that the talus bone sometimes breaks in two pieces during a major injury.  When this happens, they pin the two pieces back together and the patient has a very good chance at a complete recovery.  What made my injury so “catastrophic” was that—while the talus did indeed break in two pieces—one of the pieces was shattered into a gazillion pieces (my words—not his) making it almost impossible to pin anything of significance back into one piece of talus.

Second, there was a remarkable amount of debris inside the foot that was causing significant infection.  To avoid blood poisoning, bone death, and/or an inability for the body to heal, it was very important that they clean the wound well, take cultures from the inside of the foot to identify the specific type of bacteria growing in the foot, and then use the proper antibiotics to fight the infection.

Third, any kind of movement following surgery would take the bones out of alignment and make it impossible for the bones to heal properly.  Therefore, I would be fitted with the most beautiful foot accessory ever created—the external fixator.  J  Pins would be placed through the bones of my leg and foot and permanently attached to the fixator. 

As I was being wheeled into surgery, Doug and I both noticed that there were a lot of physicians hanging around.  Turns out they were all waiting for my surgery to start.  Dr. Carbonell later told me that many people wanted to see my surgery because it was very interesting and challenging, and had not been performed in a Miami hospital for at least two years.  You know—if you are going to destroy your ankle, you may as well go all the way and make yourself a superstar . . .

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