A few people have asked what brought all this about. I’d forgot that the background and explanation to my leg issues had been lost when blog Mk1 went belly up without a backup so here is a quick summary:
Back in 1989 I had an accident whilst serving in HM Forces in Germany. Long and short of that was I ended up with a fractured spine, punctured lung and a snapped femur,
The back was fixed with some metal scaffolding which I still sport, lung hole had a puncture repair and my leg was repaired with a full length internal nail down the shaft of the femur that was removed a few years later.
However, the leg repair, having been done in haste (I was understandably very ill at the time) left me with a loss of 2.5cm of bone from the femur and a severe rotation such that my foot points outwards about 30 degrees. End result is hip, knee and back pain and a limp and an odd walking gait.
Fast forwards 20yrs and I resolved with increasing pain it was time I got it looked at properly rather than just treating the symptoms. After a few referrals I saw a specialist and was told the solution is an ‘Ilizarov’ frame, named after the Russian Doctor who invented it. Designed for complex fracture repair and most importantly limb length discrepancy i.e. to ‘grow’ bone and lengthen limbs.
The process is simple. The bone is broken, the ilizarov fixator affixed with numerous pins going through the skin and into the bone and then the two halves of the frame, separated by threaded bolts are wound apart at approximately 1mm a day. Once the required length has been achieved the frame is locked off and the bone is allowed to catch up, knit and heal. The frame is then removed and bob’s your uncle etc.
So Friday they will break the leg, point it in the right direction and affix frame. After a week in hospital I will be allowed home and then MrsG or me will begin winding the bolts four times a day for one month or however long it takes for my femur to grow the required length of 2.5cm. Then there is the healing and bone knitting phase and then finally it’s frame off, cast on for 6wks and I’ll be as good as new. Well that’s the plan.
It sounds nasty, is extremely painful and looks horrid but it’s not all bad. The main issues are pain management and keeping all the many pin/skin/bone interfaces clean and infection free. Many people actually continue to go to work with these things on and it will be worth it to sort the issue once and for all before arthritis sets in.
I’m not putting in my London Marathon application just yet though!