Arrrr! Scurgery...

Surgery hath been decided upon.

"Open reduction and internal fixation of right patella, with bone graft taken from right hip."

He's going to ream the inner, proximal end of my femur/hip with the Synthes reamer-irrigator-aspirator (RIA) and take the juicy bone graft from there. Then, he's going to scrape off the recalcification on the insides of the two broken pieces of my patella, put the bone graft between the two pieces, then use three tension screws to mush it all together.

I can't believe I've agreed for him to use the RIA. I watch them just dig the sh** out of peoples' legs with this thing on a daily basis, and it's a TAD INTIMIDATING!!!, especially if you actually know what's happening, but it's hellacool how it works. Overall, it's decidedly less painful than taking a graft from my pelvis, although a bit more involved than just screwing the two broken pieces together. He said if he were just screwing the two pieces of "already healed" bone together, it would take slightly longer to heal, than if he adds the graft.

Here's what the RIA looks like:

It's actually killer-cool to see it in action, if you had a percentage of my nerdiness and enjoyed this kind of stuff.

This was a grant that was awarded this year, so that makes me feel a little better:

James Stannard (Surgery) The Use of the Reamer-Irrigator-Aspirator (RIA) to Harvest Bone Graft for Treatment of Nonunions and Fractures Synthes USA $40,310, 2/1/2007-1/31/2009


Anyway, I got all my pre-op done today, so I'm lined up and ready to go for Monday. At 5:30. In the morning. I really think I will stay overnight at the hospital. *rolls eyes* I might see if Amy and Shelb will stay the night at my house on Sunday. I'm just a little shaky, but it will all pass once that ativan hits my veins.

I told him that I put in for 4 weeks off work, but he said depending on how I do, I could come back in as little as 2 with a knee immobilizer on; or as people around here like to say it, "immobulizer". That's actually better than I expected! I'm really hoping he'll put me in one of those TROM (total range of motion) ones, so I'm able to get around easier. Those straight ones are hell.

But he said since the fracture/whatever was vertical instead of horizontal, he's not incredibly worried about me fugging that up. If it was horizontal, he would make me be non-weightbearing for some extended period of time. And, all I have to say to say to that is *phew*!

I asked him WHY it was hurting, and he said that on a minimally displaced fracture (or whatever) like this, the two pieces are scrubbing together, and the scrubbing is what causes the pain. That explains why it only hurts when I move it around, but not when I keep it still. I just always sort of assumed the patella was like some giant sesamoid, floating out in the middle of your leg. It's only since this that I realize what an incredible PAIN IN THE KNEE it can be. Thankfully, he doesn't see a reason to scope or do any extra hanging around in there.

Here's a bipartite patella, btw. My fracture-piece-whatever is almost a third of my patella, though. If I had a frigging scanner, I could scan my xray, but *pft*:

He started apologizing about how there was no other way to go about this other than taking a straight approach, and that he promised that he would use good closing techniques, so I wouldn't have a horrible scar. I laughed and said, "Dr. Stannard, I promise you, a scar is the least of my worries!"

Although, now that I think about it, I think I may see if he can make it in the shape of a lightning bolt....

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