It is gone. The cold, jagged mess of metal plates and pins has officially come off. Yes dear friends, the day has finally come. This past Tuesday I met with the Orthopedic team managing the reconstruction of my arm, and after examining X-rays and a CT scan, they determined it was time to remove the frame. The external fixator was put on October 5th of last year. In what I can only describe as a very excruciating process, we successfully regrew 22 centimeters of bone and later fused the elbow in order to bear weight on the limb. This was a result of a bad infection last year which nearly required amputation of my right arm. As the months passed, the doubts grew in my mind as to whether or not I had made the right choice to endure such a painful process, versus amputation and working with a prosthetic. And while the answer will still wait to present itself in the years ahead, today it feels great to still have my arm.
The procedure Thursday morning was quick and relatively painless. I was heavily sedated, and when I awoke my arm was free… at last. The next few months are CRUCIAL to the success or failure of this process to save my arm. Without the frame holding the bone together, and holes in the bone where the pins were anchored, the arm is in a highly fragile state. That means strictly no weight bearing at all for a month or more. Unfortunately, my walking rehab still relies heavily on using canes for support, so for the foreseeable future, my walking will be on hold. Even rolling on it in my sleep could potentially break the arm, so I will be wearing a brace for 4-6 months. Any break at this critical stage will require Read more