Here’s a formal farewell to Nick’s fever: Good riddance!
We found out why Nick’s right hip is so painful and swollen. They took bone from his hip and used it in the spinal fusion. And I’m not so sure we were going to find out about it unless Nick complained of the pain. They re-fused his vertebrae from L3 to S1, installing two small rods and two screws. The surgeons took Nick’s active lifestyle into account when making this in-operative decision to add more hardware. They could have just used the bone from his hip and hoped for the best, but instead decided to give him every possible chance of fully healing with no complications or future weakness. Two screws are better than twelve.
He has a dimpled indentation where the old screw was sticking out. The surgeon said, “the bolt was eating away at the skin from the inside.” No wonder it was constantly inflamed and swollen. Yuck! He also said that the original fusion only healed about half way, if that. Despite our best attempts to create a healing environment for Nick, his spine just wouldn’t cooperate. It could potentially take up to another year for the bones to fully fuse. But maybe not. I guess we’ll see.
While digging around in his back, the doc noticed some bone scraping against nerve fibers in his spinal column and cleaned it up. There’s a good chance that by releasing those nerves he will have less pain in his back and legs. I don’t want to jinx anything, but Nick told me he hasn’t had a single twinge of phantom pain since his surgery. Not once. But this is the only time we’re going to talk about it. Despite my glee, we’re not going to have a party over this; there’s no sense in putting any thought or energy into something gone, especially when we want to keep it that way.
We’re going home tomorrow. Now that’s something to celebrate!