Left foot overhauled

Autumn is everywhere, in deep forests, supermarkets, and cozy hospital rooms.

Typically mid August to September is the time to get hospitalized for me for some unknown reason, and it happened this year again, for about 10th time or so and after two years since the last. I walked in mid September, stayed three weeks, and hobbled out on crutches last week.

Just like the last time it’s not for any fresh injury but to treat an old, lingering one. There was this new hope to fix my left foot that’s basically been in an unwalkable condition since the injury three year ago, so I just went all in for the new plan.

Previously the doctor said the main issue was necrosis in the talus bone and there was no easy rectification, but this other doctor I saw this time shed a different light on it. He instantly saw I had flexible joints, then proceeded to point out a few ligaments were missing and the joint was very loose, which he said could be fixed by ligament reconstruction and fibular osteotomy to make the joint tighter. It all happened during this one visit at the end of August along with normal x-ray, stress x-ray, and reservation for hospitalization. Light speed.

As for ligaments, I had long sensed the absence of the anterior talofibular ligament on the outside, but never suspected the triangular ligament on the inside to have failed since the seemingly successful reconstruction many years ago. I’ve always been pretty flexible, like flexible enough to do leg splits, which can contribute to severe looseness when damages like torn ligaments and crushed cartilages pile up in the joint. They say “flexibility helps keep injuries away” (at least in Japan) but you just can’t seem to construe it as “the more flexible, the less injury.” Too bad I didn’t know.

Triple surgery update

The surgery went well last Tuesday. The only real trouble was that I reached the 7GB limit on my cell phone on the first day of hospitalization and had to bear with the super slow internet connection after that. It was partially solved when I remembered wired LAN connection was available for the PC instead of tethering on my cell, and was completely over when the new month kicked in.

It’s been about a week since then, and I’m living in comfort without notable pain. The hospital offers big and super big serving sizes so I went for the super, though the fixed amount of all courses other than rice or bread is a bit troublesome. You can also choose between bread and rice for breakfast so I chose bread so as to avoid getting bored.

And today, the date was set for me to walk out of here, that is to be this Saturday. Less than two weeks in hospital to do three parts scattered over both legs seems quite handsome. It seems to me that, in present day Japan, the higher awareness and more knowledge in sports medicine an orthopedic hospital has, the shorter the periods of hospitalization and to stay in casts will get. This isn’t an accurate indicator, but may provide some hints if you get injured, doctor shop, and compare treatment plans.

As an athlete, however, you’d instinctively want to go further and faster. Stitches were removed today, but it was only natural that I acted in advance. Air conditioning was slightly too warm last night, which resulted in me rolling around in my sleep to lose not just the bandaid over one of the stitches but also the thread itself. I pulled the magical trick, the extreme stitch removal. I was all squirrelly in the morning, but was saved to hear that my doctor was going to remove the threads today anywise.

So, all remaining stitches, five in total, were removed to give me some more sense of freedom. Due to it being an endoscopic surgery, each part has just two small, one-stitch cuts. Not a huge operation at all. Now it’s time to hope and discover how much improvement each part will see.

Comfortable hospital life started

As roughly determined a few weeks back, I’m here, in the hospital now. I’ll have the meniscus currently locking the knee trimmed, and also give the left ankle that’s kept me from even walking normally in the last 13 months some drilling.

Cool update is that I’ve negotiated successfully to include the right ankle that’s had narrower range of movement in this party. It’s like scraping off shell creatures off a boat’s bottom face to regain original performance. All these operations happen at once tomorrow.

Sad part this time is I’ll be under general anesthesia, as opposed to local one on lower body that I prefer. I enjoy hearing the instruments chatter, bones being hit, listening to my heartbeat on the monitor, and watching the live stream of endoscope with the doctor. This time, however, I wasn’t given much choice due to technical reasons such as the duration of the procedure. Just as well, I’m not one to push my ideas against what’s deemed best suited by the experienced professional that is the doctor I’m with.

I’ve had a decent career when it comes to being in hospitals, and I’m stoked to see the technological advancements that have taken place over the years. I’m on my PC now, connected to the Internet via my smartphone on tethering, which would totally provide enough infrastructure for some lines of business. Some hospitals, as I would guess, should have WiFi connections as well, making it a more comfortable environment than average nomad offices in that balanced diet is a given, and without any effort from you.

However, physical limitations apply to businesses involving physical goods. I was expecting a week in here initially, which turns out to be about 2-3 weeks due to the amount of work getting done on my legs. So for that period, our business involving physical transport of goods will be affected. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and I promise to make up for it by riding well and hard and based on which creating more fun products when I’m recovered.

Knee locked!

My knee popped the other day as I was casually riding. Now I can’t fully extend it.

Seems like the meniscus, a component in the knee joint between the thigh and shin bones, is pinched in a strange location. My right knee has gone through ACL and PCL rupture and reconstruction, and it is rather common to have knee locking problems if your meniscus have damages from such incidents. In a societal context, the Japanese style toilet is nothing but horror for people with such an issue, where deep bending and full body weight load can lead to risks such as dislocation. Although, this time, it’s got more to do with my knee condition than the bending angle.

So, I will be hospitalized on the 28th to have a surgery, which is required this time to get out of the locked state. And as I’d be anesthetized anyway, I’ve asked the doctors to cut this and that and grind off this and that to be as good looking as a Hollywood star. Can’t wait to see the results. The only worry I have is my baby tomato trees, which are the non-industrial, super slow growing type. Been months since I got them from a friend and I’m still babying these babies, and need to find someone to take care of them while I’m in the hospital.

Ankle mystery solved

My left ankle has been weird since last August. And I haven’t done much about it as there were enough things to keep me busy besides bike riding.

But the lingering pain finally made me revisit the hospital to get it sorted. The worst case scenario I had in my mind was that an immediate surgery would be ideal due to some major damage to the bone or ligament, which would mean I’ve let the past half year completely go to waste.

After MRI, it turns out that my ankle bone has necrosis in part. I got injured riding my bike, where a fail bail led to a harsh landing on foot and the impact load against tibia crushed the talus bone, along with its cartilage layer. No wonder it hurts. The area of necrosis seems as large as half a quail egg. Bone graft is an option, but not before giving a shot at natural healing for a year or so.

Now I’m glad. At least no time was wasted in the process, and it doesn’t hurt that much when I ride. It may be common knowledge, but bikes are far easier for your body than walking or running, even if you are talking about bikes for street actions.

For walking and riding, I got prescription ankle braces. For some reason I don’t know, I ended up ordering two to cover both sides. Seriously don’t know why I did it but my ankles must be happy.

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