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WARNING: Graphic Images…Part III

The following is an illustrated guide to my four options regarding the future of my left leg, under the caring and skilled hands of Doctor Jeffery “Kimo” Harpstrite of Orthopedics Associates in Honolulu, Hawaii. To find out how we arrived at these options, please read this blog first.

Since people tend to get queasy at the sight of blood, I have decided to use a cork to represent my leg while presenting a visual walk through of my four courses of action.

A representation of a healthy left leg.

A representation of a healthy left leg.

The first option is the simple one. Leave everything alone, touch nothing and let nature take its course.

The current version of my left leg with all the hardware installed.

The current version of my left leg with all the hardware installed. Three screws and one titanium rod.

I love this option, since it is the only one that does not have me being sliced open, however, I have lived this option for the last three years and it has led me to the point of researching alternatives to make my leg less painful.

The second option is to remove one of the screws. The single screw in question is the one located by my left ankle and is the one that has been bothering me of late. Removing this screw seems simple enough, the doctor numbs the skin and muscles around the screw, makes a small incision, removes the screw and slaps a band-aid on the cut and sends me on my way.

Single screw removal.

Single screw removal.

The only negative is that once the doctor puts the screwdriver on the screw to remove it, I will feel that in my bones. Every turn of the screw will be sent up through tibia until it has been removed from my body. I’m hoping he uses a power drill to get it our faster.

The third option is slightly more involved. It requires me to be put under anesthesia and all three screws in my leg would be removed. The one down by the ankle as well as two more just below my knee.

Three screws and they're out!

Three screws and they’re out!

The positive would be that I would not feel a thing, but the negative is that I would be out of it, which requires recovery time, which means more time spent in the surgical unit. After I wake up I would have three band-aids on my leg as I walk out the door.

The final option is the real deal. This would be major surgery to have all the hardware in my left leg completely removed. I would have to be put under anesthesia as the three screws and the titanium rod would be removed from my body. The titanium rod is inside my tibia, so removing that would be a major task for the surgeon.

Everybody out of my body.

Everybody out of my body.

I have seen an online video of doctors removing a rod from a patient’s tibia and it almost made me vomit. The rod was not coming out smoothly, so the surgeon was forced to use a hammer to bang the rod out slowly. The video I am referring to can be found with a simple online search (I believe it was also featured on Tosh .0’s video breakdown).

The recovery time for this last surgery would be substantially longer than the previous three choices.

And the winner is…
I am not looking forward to it, but I leave tomorrow for O’ahu and to undergo one of these four procedures. Can you guess which one I am going to choose?