His Ankles Will Never Be the Same.
Updated: Sep 15, 2019
Imagine not being able to return to work for months.
Or to never be able to walk the same ever again. Imagine not being able to provide for your family. All because of a freak accident.
This is the story of a 54-year-old construction worker, who I had a chance to hear about his story this week at Dr. Levy's office. For the sake of confidentiality, the patient will be referred to as Jorge.
Jorge had entered the construction force at the age of 22, where he now has 23 years of experience under his belt. About six months ago, he had experienced an unfortunate accident. Falling from 10 feet of scaffolding, Jorge fell from the collapsing scaffolding and directly hit the ground on his two feet, with 242 Joules of force at his ankles' mercy. The shattering impact permanently damaged the bones of his heels, as a shock wave forced his ankle joints into the tibula and fibula. Jorge had fractured his right fibula and his second metatarsal, in addition to disfiguring the bones of his heels. The damage was permanent, leaving his ankle joints and bones in a moth-eaten, jagged shape.
Jorge came in on Tuesday about six months post-surgery, where he still had significant inflammation, post-traumatic osteoarthritis, and pain while walking with his crutches. He just wasn't getting better. Dr. Levy tested for pain in his feet with various instruments, including the use of a needle to test for sensation in his feet. In his diagnosis, Dr. Levy concluded that the right foot was healed enough and could be stabilized with a gauntlet brace, which is a brace that completely prevents movement of the ankle. On the other hand, the left foot is likely to require surgery, with a CT and an MRI required to assess the need for surgery. In the mean time, Jorge was given shoe inserts to accommodate the bone loss that Jorge suffered from the accident. Jorge had actually lost some height from the accident, and the inserts were used to balance the height of his two legs, which would alleviate the stress on his hip. Whenever Jorge moves his left ankle, his left knee clicks, indicating the permanent joint deterioration. Unfortunately for Jorge, he will never be able to walk the same ever again.