Thursday, February 01, 2007

Surgery...2 for 1

01 February 2007

i hadn't made mention of why i was coming home till now. with as bad as my back was bothering me in oct and nov, i decided that it was time to have an mri and repairs, if necessary. back at the end of nov i made an appointment with my orthopedic doc to get an mri. all i had to do after that was make it home in one piece...which i almost didn't do!

Had my MRI on Friday the 19th,and heard back on the following monday from the doc's office. The mri tech said that it wasn't good...well, duh! But I told him that I knew that and that was why I came back when I did. I squeezed some info out of him, but I've got an appointment with the doc on Friday. Sounds like it isn't going to require fusing, but something up the line of a diskectomy (don't know if I spelled that corrrectly!) Anyway, when I asked how long till I could go back to work after something like that, he suggested 6-8 weeks!

got into the doc's office last fri, one week after the mri to discuss with him my options. He looked over the MRI pics and asked if I had taken another fall. He believed that he was seeing a hemotoma on my spine at L4L5. But when I told him no new falls other that at Christmas, he looked over the pics again and discovered that my herniated disk had not only herniated, but now has migrated down the spinal column, so it's L-shaped. Guess I know now why the sciatica has been giving me so much hell.

So we got to talking about what, when and how the diskectomy would be done and I brought up the tear in my bicep. I told him that the docs at the TMC didn't seem too worried about it, but I'd like him to have a look at it. He took one look at it and his eyes got big. You know you're in bad shape when an orthopedic's eyes get big! Supposedly he's seen it all, right? He then tells me to wait right there and promptly gets on the phone with their arm/shoulder associate. Both insisted that I go see the arm/shoulder orthopedic doc that afternoon.

Dr Saleem took a look and layed out all the options. The first was to leave it and deal with the 60% loss of strength in my right arm. That isn't an option. The TMC doc only said probably 10% loss of strength! Second option is to hopefully, cut an S-shape into the arm and pull the bicep back and reattach it. Unfortunately, with four weeks of scar tissue, that may be tough. His other option for repair is that if there is too much scar tissue to pull the bicep back into place, to reattach it to the existing muscle as far down as possible. At least I will get most of my strength back and it will look normal again instead of being bunched up at the top part of the arm.

Not good options, but I have to do it. The back doc will cut me in three weeks after I heal some with my arm. So I am in a real mess. Today, I had to go to my regular doc to get a pre-surgery check up. I caught this nasty head cold/cough thing in Kuwait on the way back and it is getting better, but I'm still coughing up a lung every so often. This visit with the doc also gave us the chance to talk about what to do with my BP. I'm just falling apart all at once here, aren't I?!!

surgery went well. dr saleem was able to make the repair as he described in his optimistic scenario. the whole arm is sore since the doc cut on the inside of the elbow, reached in and grabbed the retracted tendon down. then he cut under the forearm just below the elbow to stretch/reattached the bicep/torn tendon. my whole arm hurts, and the vicodin only gives so much relief.

first night wasn't bad since i had a nerve block going on. wednesday was all about vicodin. started on the motrin last night and am cutting back on the vic's today. feeling better, but still getting used to being a one-armed south-paw. more later.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?