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Saturday, October 1, 2011

MORE FOOT NOTES from Carly

Happy October to all and a big welcome to Fall! Always happy to say good-bye to summer...less hairballs for me and less messes for you humans to clean up.

Today's blog we're going to explain a bit about this amazing foot surgery done on our canine friend's human. In a nutshell her foot is now full of metal plates, screws, nuts, bolts. We never saw the 'before' x-rays but we sure got to see the 'after' ones. If I was more technical I'd add them to this blog but that's not gonna happen. Besides, I don't think you'd believe it even if you saw it.

Picturing the top of the foot, imagine metal plates running the length of each toe. So in the x-ray it looks almost as though she has metal instead of toes. Now that was freaky enough but then you see the side view and we're talking a pile of screws, long screws in a heap under the skin. Meet the new arch! Holy crap, no wonder she kept needing stronger pain killers. Seeing those x-rays curled my paws right up.

She is not exactly sure what will happen with all this metal just yet. The doctor hasn't mentioned removing it and the hardware is mainly in there to hold together broken bits or dysfunctional joints until they fuse together. She tells us that a mended fusion in a bone is the strongest part of a healthy bone so after that happens it will be the fusion that holds the bones together, not the metal. The doctor also took bone from the back of her heel to pack into the fractured areas to fuse them.

I might also note that Carly's Mom is a nurse so she has a better understanding of what's going on here than us lay cats who are amazed at this stuff. She was aware that she had broken her foot before and knew there were misplaced bones that eventually caused the arch to fall, which caused her a lot of pain in walking. While it's quite painful post surgery, it's nothing like it was before. The arch of her foot feels like a pin cushion and the pain across the top of the foot feels like a hot poker. But on a good note she has hope that once it heals she'll be able to walk without that horrible ache or worry that the tissue covering the fallen arch will give way. In truth she was facing amputation without this surgical procedure. One podiatrist even told her that without correction she could just treat it indefinitely and just never walk on it again. She sure didn't see that as an option.

So yes, the x-rays made her foot look like a mass of metal. The long bones of the foot each have a little plate and a couple of screws. The bones were broken and healed crooked such that the second metatarsal fracture fragment was attempting escape. The mess of steel on the big side is a plate above and below with screws through all of the little bones of the mid foot to rebuild the arch which had completely fallen flat and produced what was called a rocker bottom foot or "Diabetic Charcot" foot. Can you imagine walking on that foot? The doctors that saw her couldn't believe she'd been walking on her foot and determined she must have a high tolerance of pain. Just writing this tells me that I do not!

Following surgery she was sent home with what Carly termed "rags" on her foot. The rags were actually bandages and a splint to hold her foot in place until time for it to be put in a cast.

Okay, that's all for tonight. Tomorrow we'll bring you up to date with the trip to the doctor to remove those "rags"!

Good Night!
Sister Very Catty

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