Ok, here's my story. I am 55 years old.
In my line of work, sometimes I have to climb up on the roofs of buildings to install, and maintain communications antennas. On July 22, this was my first time on the roof of this building.There were two different levels of the roof, one was about 4 feet lower than the other. On both levels, there was white highly reflective cover, when in combination of a bright sunny day, made it real hard for me to see. I needed to get down to the lower level, but the conditions made it very difficult to properly judge how far down the lower level was. In short, I stepped off the ledge thinking it was about 1 1/2 feet instead of 4.
I came down on my right foot, and although I had felt sharper, more intense pain from banging my shin or stubbing my toe, this was a type of pain that I never felt before. My co-worker (not knowing how bad I was hurt, and admittedly, neither did I) helped me to my feet, and I'm hobbling around on it, waiting for the pain to subside, thinking it's nothing but a bad sprain and such. I limped back to the side of the building, and climbed back down a 30 foot ladder, hobbled about 50 feel to my truck, and drove 70 miles back home. But I'm noticing a searing pain each time I pressed on the accelerator or the brake. (Thank God I didn't have to slam on the brake) I called the wife and told her that was going to the ER before I came home. As luck would have it, the hospital's ER was a construction zone. So I had to drive around and hobble through the main entrance. I just fell in through the front doors, the pain was excruciating. Someone helped me into a wheelchair and rolled me to the ER, where they took X-rays. They found the 2nd metatarsal fractured, but they suspected more damage and referred me to an ortho-surgeon the following day. They sent me home in a boot, with no compression bandage to keep down the swelling.
Since I was injured on the job, I had to jump through the Workman's Comp hoops, and it took me two days to get to see an ortho. They told me to get a CT scan and bring both the films and the radiologist's report right back. Curiosity got the the better of me and I read it while my wife was driving me back to the doctor.
I almost had to roll down the window and throw up.
It said I had a "Divergent Lisfranc fracture-dislocation". The base of my 2nd metatarsal (the longest bone of the arch, or mid-foot) was "comminuted", meaning shattered into many pieces. In addition, there were "avulsion fractures" of the cuneiform and cuboid bones, meaning that ligaments have torn away, taking pieces of bone with them.
The first ortho (referred by my Workman's Comp) didn't cheer me up. He was holding up a foot model and showing me where he was going to "fire a pin" here, and "fire a pin" there, in order to stablize the foot. But he says, "I want you to be aware that you're going to have a bad foot regardless. You're probably are going to feel pain from here on out. How much, will remain to be determined. But this is a very serious injury, a very high energy type of injury that I see from auto-accident victims, parachute jumpers, falling thru ceilings, etc. Don't rule out the possibilty that you'll walk with a limp after I've done all I can do. If the pain gets too unbearable, I might have to do a bone fusion. But right now, I have to get in there and try to reduce the amount of arthritis that will set in." But he says, "it will be a couple of weeks before I can operate until the swelling comes down." But they sent me home without my foot wrapped, and didn't tell me to put my foot up or anything.
Well, something didn't feel right about this ortho, so I called a family friend who is a physician and explained what this ortho wanted to do. He investigated and came back and said that for my injury, I needed a foot and ankle specialist, not someone who just 'dabbles' in it, while doing knee reconstructions and shoulder replacements.
He referred me to a foot/ankle doc who he said specializes in Lisfranc injuries. I got an appointment with him on the day two weeks after the injury. He said he needed a new CT scan because the previous one ordered by the original doc didn't have the all the views, but that he couldn't do surgery anyway because my foot was swollen up like a balloon. He sent me home and told me to come back a week later, and this time they finally
wrapped my foot up and told me to keep my foot higher than my heart, and ice it down to bring down the swelling. I go back a week later, and he saw that the swelling had come down enough for him to do surgery the following week.
So, 4 weeks after the injury, I undergo surgery. He put in a plate with 4 screws to line back up the 1st metatarsal. He found the base of the 2nd metatarsal blown into little 'chicklets'. He extracts them all and mixes them together with 2 bone grafts that he takes out of my heel, and packs it into the area where the 2nd metatarsal base used to be. He installs a second plate with 5 more screws, and along with 3 more long screws laterally to create a "scaffold" for the new bone to grow. He then fused the entire Lisfranc joint between the 2 plates. Thank God they put a nerve block behind my knee!
I went back last Thursday (two weeks post-op) to get that splint off and the stitches removed. That's when he showed me those post-op medieval looking x-rays. Most of the pain, except for pretty bad twinging, has gone away, but I still need Vicodin to sleep. They put on a new fiberglass cast, and told me to keep my foot up in air for the next 4 weeks. Whenever I have to get up and hobble to the bathroom on my crutches, or go out to the kitchen to get a drink of water, my foot instantly inflates like a balloon like someone's using a bicycle pump, and turns deep purple. I'll feel a lot better mentally when it stops doing that.
I'll keep posting as it seems from reading others' stories, that this is going to be one long journey.