Friday, May 11, 2012

Joe 1 step backwards 3 steps forwards

At last some really good news for Joe
The last look at the two wounds encased in the Plaster of Paris cast.
We didn't really know what the outcome of todays visit would be, we weren't sure whether the potential infection situation was going to escalate and become serious and to be honest I was going down the amputation scenario in my head and really worrying about it. Fortunately that aspect of the recovery took a back seat and it seemed as though we were reading far too much into it and that it was a only a mild infection and that re-introduction of the duo of pencilin drugs was enough to render it no longer an issue. The puffiness of the swelling was still there, but the consultant said that it was part and parcel of the natural recovery process.
A slightly worried Joe waiting to have his heavy cast cut off.
The decision was made having seen the Xray that the cast could come off and some other alternative support would be put in place. We were hoping that this would be the case, and we figured that if they did remove the big cast would they then replace it with a light-weight full length resin cast? The Bank Holiday Nurse seemed to think that was unlikely as that type of cast wouldn't be able to have the window cut in it in the same way so that the wounds could be accessed, so we were part prepared for another full weight Plater cast.

Joe having been encased in the cast for the last 5 weeks was a little concerned at the prospect of having it removed and no longer having that sensation of total support. He also caught a glance of the big split wound lower on his leg near his ankle and this upset him a bit as he hadn't seen it previously.
Xray #1 Side view showing the still wayward Fibia and the starting to fuse together Tibia + the two Titanium Rods
Again as a layman this still looks very sketchy, but we're assured that everything is going along really well and that the Fibia will join together in time and fully recover. The pins are staying it seems. They will fuse together with the bone and become as one and being Titanium they wont be an issue at the airpport which everyone else seems to be concerned about!
This is the lower wound where the skin spilt open as the leg bent before it snapped in half.
The image above is the bigger lower wound which was exceptionally deep at one point. This is the wound that they suspected had become infected. Despite how gruesome it looks, it is doing exceptionally well and the tissue is all growing back. They've now stopped for the moment using the seaweed fibre stuff to pack it and they're using a gel that prevents the wound fron scabbing up.

The image above shows the half cast removed revealing some of the stuff that till now has been invisible to us/Joe. Either side of the Knee and just below it are tow small plasters, these are the entry wounds for the Titanium rods. Beneath the plaster were stitches and these were removed with some discomfort for Joe, saying that the pain levels this time were 6 out of 10 as they were removed.
Here's the leg free at last showing the extent of the swelling and the positions of the wounds that we've been watching slowly heal over the last 5 weeks. 

This is another addition to the list of wounds that I'd forgotten about. It was probably mentioned at the very start of the process, but being tied up in the emotion of everything and knowing that they didn't consider it as a important as some of the other wounds it was forgotten about. This is the impact wound on the opposite side of the tear/split wound. This has a big scab as you can see, but they don't go a bundle on scabs these days and it may be the case that when they have a look at it on Monday at the clinic, they'll put some kind of scab removing Jelly on it? We'll have to wait and see.

So with the massively reduced stability which was offered with the big PP cast, Joe was nervous understandably with the prospect of his knee bending and his leg being so free. Here he is in his wheelchair with the new replacement for the massive cast - a below the knee, removable plastic support! Probably 1/20th of the weight of PP cast so Joe was freaked out initially by the lack of support and was really nervous about every aspect of the change, but with every new challenge in the cast he faced going home, the more he realised the benefits of this new cast and the more sure he became of it as would be expected. From my point of view knowing that his Fibia is still floating loose and aware that the Tibia can't be that fully fixed surely - I was nervous for him and empathised with his situation! It would just seem that if he was to put any weight on it - surely bones and joins would be compromised? Similarly if he was to lift his foot off the ground from the hip - you'd imagine that the weight of his own leg and foot, combined with the weight of this boot would weigh down and pull the join in the tibia apart? Seemingly not though, otherwise they wouldn't have taken this action - it just goes to show how amazing the body is at repairing itself in these situations! .
Joe at home points at the entry wounds for the titanium rods.

So, from Joe's point of view and ours' a massive leap forwards, way beyond our expectations, as I said earlier I kind of expected to see him walk out with a new cast possibly the same as his red one or in a best case scenario a full length but lighter resin type. So this is a massive advance in his progress.
2015 Sept what's Joe doing now? Did he recover fully?

Half way through the process of removing the cast.

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