I went to my surgeon today for my 3-month followup appointment. Got my xrays taken and then went in to wait for the doc.
Doctor comes in with a warm greeting and asks how I am. Well...that's a good question. Over the past month I have had increasing pain in the area of my bone graft. This has been rather discouraging since I had finally returned to a pretty normal life and had thought for a couple of months that the operation had been a complete success. The new pain was not the same as I had had the surgery for, and so I let myself be in complete denial for a couple of weeks before even mentioning it to The Papa.
I explained all this to the doctor. He spent a couple of minutes maneuvering and mashing my leg trying to reproduce the pain and, being very successful, just about made me fly through the ceiling at one point. Then he left the room and said he was going to look at the xrays.
After what seemed like a very long time, he popped his head back in the door and said, "Come across the hall. I have some xrays I want you to see." I gladly followed, thinking he just wanted to show me what a beautiful job he had done on the bone graft and how well it was faring. (Orthopedic surgeons tend to use xrays like artists use portfolios.)
On two screens across the hall sat two xrays: the immediate post-op and today's. My eyes aren't great, especially at reading xrays, but there, clear as day, was today's picture...with a horizontal crack running right through the middle of the graft. I was stunned.
More stunning still was the doctor's concern that the fracture was running through the adjacent part of my femur. His next question was wondering whether the fracture had been there before the graft and had then cracked the graft at the point of stress, or whether the graft had given way first and then transferred stress back to the bone, allowing it to crack.
It became clear in the next half hour how concerned he was. He sent me straight up for lab work to rule out infection, then down to radiology for a CT scan. Stat CT scans are rare at this hospital, but there it was. I went back to his office with John and he explained it all in detail to both of us, driving home the point that I was facing another surgery and fast. He wants a nuclear bone scan first, and then perhaps an indium scan, and then he and the other doctors will do the surgical planning. Depending on how fast we can get the nuclear scan done (by Wednesday at the latest) I could be back on the operating table next week.
This will be a more complicated procedure than last time. They will open up the hip on the opposite side and harvest some of my pelvic bone to fashion two pieces to graft onto my femur. Whether this will all be done in one session I'm not clear. And right now that's all I want to think or write about that part.
I'm trying to stay away from the emotions connected with all this today. I came home and promptly went to sleep, always my escape of choice. There are so many things to be considered right now, not the least of which is being very careful not to, as the doctor euphemistically phrased it, "complete the fracture." A gentle way of saying we don't want to crack it all the way through.
So...my adventures aren't over yet.
At least I'm never bored.