Giant Cell Tumor – 17 Months Post-Op

Another 4 months another x-ray, and another bout of scanxiety as I wait for the disc of images to arrive and be analyzed by my doc on the east coast.  The ortho here who diagnosed me took a glance and thinks it looks no different from the last scan, so that’s somewhat of a relief.  I never feel full relief until I hear from the experts though.

Well, honestly, I never feel full relief.  There’s a reason for recurring x-rays far out into the future.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’ve been having pain on the outside of my knee, down the outside of my lower leg.  I’d been chalking it up to IT band soreness from overcompensation, but I spoke to the local ortho here and he has another theory.  He said that it may be pain from my fibula. He explained that our bones have a certain amount of flex, of give, and that both the bone cement that makes up the majority of the top of my tibia and the hardware are harder than bone and have no give.  It’s possible that my fibula is under more stress, especially during activities like mountain biking, due to this.  He went so far as to look for stress fractures in my fibula, and made a note in my chart to check the fibula in future visits.

So that’s just another scary thing to worry about.  Not to second guess him, but I intend to ask my surgeon the plausibility of this theory once my latest scans are received.  As it currently stands it makes me wonder if I will ever be able to safely run again (I’m leaning towards no).  I’ve already changed up my mountain biking habits, moving from fast downhills with drops to cross-country, substituting drops with rock gardens and other technical bits to pick through.  I could definitely feel drop landings in my leg, even on a full suspension bike.   It makes me sad, having to either give up on my favorite trails or ride them much slower, but the idea of hurting myself 10 miles out in the woods is sufficient to change my habits.

The other disappointment, if this theory turns out to be plausible, is that I’d hoped to one day get the hardware out to alleviate both the rigidity and irritation it causes.  That the bone cement is also problematic means that hardware removal might not be a full solution.  Truthfully, I’ve looked on removal with more than a little trepidation, as I’m not keen on another surgery.


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