Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Elbow EC

In the computing business, a fix to the hardware is an Engineering Change, or "EC". Tomorrow I go in for an EC on my elbow. I wonder if it would have ever been attempted without a CAT scan, since it really just looked "suspicious" on the x-rays, but on the CAT scan it was obvious. The view that the Dr showed me was a series of "slices" looking straight on at the bones in the forearm. As the plate came into view, it was very visible at the bottom, the bones are crystal clear, and the marrow and hard outside of the bone are just like you were inside the arm looking at them.

As each screw came into view, I learned that all the screws go all the way through the bone because the bone is structurally hollow (the center is soft), they want to get all the anchor force and stability that they can, so they go all the way through. They intended to go all the way through, but the last screw is either too long, mispositioned, or both ... it goes all the way through and right into the radius bone (the ulna was the one I broke). Apparently, having a large titanium screw linking the two bones in your forearm really reduces their ability to move independently, and thus the palm will no longer rotate up.

So, I call Mayo tonight and will get the specifics on arrival time for the AM, but it sounds like 6:30 AM is likely. They intend to pull out all 7 screws and the plate, and put in a single screw to insure that it holds together. In theory it is supposed to be a "one day down", and other than some slight care of the incision, I ought to be "pretty much OK and able to work" on Friday they say.

Close followers of the blog will no doubt know how correct that is by how fast I am able to return to action on the web.

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