How I spent my summer vacation

Whether I want to believe it or not, and I don’t, summer vacation is officially over. With Princess Girl’s surgery keeping us house bound for several weeks and having experienced the coldest July on record it hardly seems like we have had a summer at all. But cheer practice starts this week. School starts next week. Of course, that means that the temperatures are finally rising.

This past weekend was our last hurrah. On Saturday we went swimming at a friend’s house. Swimming is normally a common summer activity for us, but this was the first time either of us had gotten to swim this year. Princess girl was in a cast and then physically unable to enjoy this common pass time until this week. I felt guilty even thinking of swimming when I knew she could not go. We both love the sun and the water; the lack of water activities was a major disappointment this year. It makes the prospect of Princess Girl having to have surgery on the other leg next year depressing on so many levels.

 I need to remember this week to ask her surgeon if he is going to write about her for a journal article. She was the first case of her kind he had ever seen. She had spent an entire year in pain with the peroneal tendon of her left ankle popping up over the ankle bone every time she moved her foot.

We went the least invasive route of treatment first with a cortisone shot in the tendon and an immobilizing boot for four weeks. I was not entirely happy with this option, but if it would allow us to avoid surgery I could not turn it down. Unfortunately, it did not solve the problem. The orthopedic doctor was amazed that the tendon continued to pop over the ankle bone while wearing the boot. The next option was surgery.

fibularis_longusWe all thought he was going in to do a surgical repair on an injured tendon. When he opened the incision, he did not find a tendon issue. What he found was a calf muscle that extended abnormally all the way down to the lower tip of her ankle bone. This additional muscle was in the way of the tendon and not allowing it to function properly. He removed approximately three inches of muscle. The tendon then fell naturally into its expected position.

Princess Girl spent the next three weeks in a non-weight bearing cast. The first of those weeks was spent almost totally immobilized with her leg elevated over her heart. I have never seen someone so inept at crutches. She never did get her balance. After getting the cast off, she was put back into the immobilizing boot. Thankfully we had that several week reprieve. The boot had begun to smell very ripe after the first go-round. She had taken to spraying it down with Febreze on a daily basis. Once the boot was on she was able to bear weight, and start physical therapy. Except for the horrid oozing rash that covered her entire lower leg the day after her cast came off, lasting a week, her physical recovery has been astounding. She has had almost no pain while working on regaining the strength in her ankle and calf. And last week she was released for normal activity as tolerated. YAY!

The tendon on her right ankle is visibly bulging out of position. It is starting to pop over the ankle bone on occasion. I’m afraid I know how we are going to spend next summer…

image, http://www.saifeehospital.com/DSports_S.html ; Fibularis longus is the muscle at issue.
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