It was after 5 p.m. Thursday when Bonnie called to say we'd finallly gotten the surgical clearance from the pulmonologist. Josh and I got up at 4:40 a.m. Friday morning and went to Beaumont and checked in. Bonnie swung by as they were sedating him then headed off to court and I stayed in the waiting room.
They said the surgery would be three to four hours. It started at 8:20 and at 11:10 the doctor came out to talk to us. He was very happy with the surgery. He'd been concerned from the x-rays and scans that there might not be much vascularity in the diseased bone to help the new bone engraft. Once he got in, he cleaned up the diseased area of the talus and there was still a large area of bone with good vascularity that will really benefit the graft. There is just one small area of dead bone left in one corner.
The operation consisted of laying open the ankle joint then place an extendor in there. With the ankle extended, they cleaned up the diseased area of the top the talus where the tibia rests. They then secured a small section of the cadaver bone to the top of the talus with a couple of small screws, released the extendor and closed it up. It's secured with a molded splint, packed with cotton and wrapped in an ace bandage. New nickname is 'Big Foot.'
One thing Dr. F noted during the operation was that the front of the talus facing the foot has more necrosis than had been indicated on all his scans and that's an area that can't be corrected. He doesn't think it's an area that will bother him as much and he won't have much pain from that.
Technology saves the pain. During the operation they inserted a small catheter into the leg just above the knee and hooked it to a pump which continually pushes a local anasthetic creating a pain block for his leg. It's worked great. As his leg woke up and feeling came back, he's begun to supplement it with Vicodin. He's doing great and we're packing up now to go home.