November 18, 2016: On the road to recovery begins

Post-op rest and elevation surrounded by the thoughtful gifts from friends and the company of family.

The nerve block wore off after about 12 hours at which point the pain in her foot was intense and she definitely needed the percocet that the doctor had prescribed. While she was grateful for the pain relief she really did not enjoy the way it dulled her thinking or made her queasy so she was anxious to get off of it as soon as possible. Thankfully she only needed to take them consistently for three days.

She spent a lot of time in her dad’s recliner with her foot propped up an lots of pillows which helped to keep the pain and swelling controlled. Cuddles from her kitties and lots of good books were her preferred distractions though there was plenty of television in the mix too.

Friends and family were incredibly sweet and supportive, she had lots of visitors, cards and phone calls which really helped to get her through.

November 17, 2016: Surgery Day

The pillow with well wishes from the gymnasts and coaches was a huge comfort to her during the long wait in pre-op. She held it tight until the moment they took her back to the operating room.

November 17 was surgery day. The surgery lasted about 90 minutes though we were at the hospital for about 9 hours because of a 4 hour delay getting her into the OR.  She had not been able to eat after midnight…so it was a very long and hungry day for her. The surgery went well and the surgeon was able to get all of the bones properly aligned which is the most important thing for proper healing. The anesthesia made Mia Rose rather sick, so getting through that was rough. But once she stopped vomiting and had a short nap in the car on the way home, she was feeling pretty good and was ravenous. They did a nerve block to numb her leg from the knee down during surgery, so once she was awake she had no pain and thoroughly enjoyed  her dinner.

November 10, 2016: Diagnosis: Lisfranc injury

We saw the first orthopedist on November 10th and she was immediately suspicious that 20161110_094514Mia Rose had sustained a lisfranc injury. She ordered a weight bearing x-ray, meaning that Mia Rose had to stand on her injured foot while they took the x-ray (not fun). Ten minutes later the doctor showed us the x-ray you see here and explained that it indicated an unstable lisfranc injury with a 2 mm separation and that surgery was required.  She said that the lisfranc ligament was torn which was what allowed the bones to dislocate and that in order for the ligament to heal the bones had to be put back in perfect alignment and kept that way with screws. This was devastating news for Mia Rose who was getting ready to head into her competition season with the expectation of a great season.

We saw two additional orthopedic surgeons over the next few days to make sure that the diagnosis was correct and surgery was truly necessary. All three shared the same diagnosis and need for surgery with us. We opted to go with a surgeon who had the most experience with this injury and with treating gymnasts including Olympians and national team members.

The doctor we selected, explained that during the surgery he would remove any bone fragments that were in the area and insert anywhere from 1-5 screws as needed to stabilize all of the joints that were unstable from the injury. He said that during surgery he would be able to determine exactly which joints were injured so that everything could be put back in perfect alignment in order for the ligaments to heal. He explained that after surgery Mia Rose would need to be 100% non-weight bearing in a hard cast for at least 6 weeks and then immobilized in an orthopedic boot with progressive weight bearing for an additional 4-6 weeks. He also explained that after 3 months she would need to have a second surgery to remove the screws and that she would not be able to do any impact activities such as running or jumping until after the screws were removed because of the risk of the screws breaking from impact.

We scheduled the surgery for later that week so that she could get on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.

November 9, 2016: the Injury

Elevating her foot, gymnast style. You can see the extensive bruising on her left foot.

During the beam rotation on November 9th, while practicing “timed warm-up” to prepare for Mia Rose says that she was rushing a bit and didn’t set up quite right before for her back tuck. That unfortunately meant that when she landed her right foot missed the beam entirely and her left foot landed partially off the beam with her full weight on in in a deep squat. She experienced intense pain and the top of her foot swelled up immediately (a classic symptom of a lisfranc injury). Her coach called me to pick her up and take her to have it looked at by a doctor. We were all hoping that nothing was broken, little did we know that broken bones would have been much easier and faster to recover from than the injury that she had actually sustained!

We went straight to the local urgent care for x-rays and were relieved when the doctor told us that there were no fractures and wrapped her foot in a bandage with instructions to follow up with an orthopedist if it wasn’t better in a week.

We went home and elevated and iced her foot, but with the amount of pain and swelling she was experiencing I decided to make an appointment with an orthopedist the next day just to be sure. As it turns out we are very glad that we did that since lisfranc injuries are often missed initially and delayed diagnosis and treatment can make recovery even more difficult and uncertain.