Thanks for inviting!
As most of you probably know, I recently had surgery to remove the plate and screws that were put in my ankle after I broke it in the opener. It’s not something we were expecting to be a part of this recovery process, but I’m happy to report that I’ll be back out there resuming rehab soon, with my sights set firmly on being back to my usual self for the start of next season.
I had been progressing really well. I had been doing cuts laterally. I was jumping. I hadn’t done anything that explosive and I wasn’t quite 100 percent with any of it, but I was slowly building up to that.
Problem was, I was also still having some pain on the outside of my ankle, kind of where the peroneal tendon is. I had been reporting back daily how I was feeling, and the team that I was working with in Indianapolis—along with the Celtics training staff—had surmised that it could be the hardware they put in during my initial surgery causing some irritation.
And all I knew was that I was experiencing pain, and something didn’t feel right.
So I called up Dr. Porter, who collaborated on my surgery and who’s advised us throughout this process, just to ask what he thought. I explained to him what was going on, and he said it could be a couple different things, so we should do a test to figure out what it is. He told me that it could just be that my muscles were sore, and it was a strength issue, and I just needed to continue to rehab and have it get stronger, and eventually, it would go away. Or it could be something different.
So I flew back to Indianapolis and did what is called a Cybex test. Essentially, they used it to test the strength in both my ankles. The first round that I did the test, my left ankle was significantly weaker than my right. It was approximately 70 percent of the strength of the right ankle. On a test like that, 30 percent is a pretty significant number, so that raised some red flags.
Then Dr. Porter injected my left ankle with some local anesthetic to numb the area, and I did the same test again. That time, not only was my left 100 percent of the strength of my right, it was actually slightly stronger. That let Dr. Porter know that it was not a strength issue, but a pain issue, and the pain was basically blocking my progression.
That revelation made it pretty clear that it was the hardware that was causing the issue. According to both doctors, it is something that is very rare. Usually, you don’t have to take out the hardware. I remember when I got the surgery done in the first place, they told me, “We are probably not going to have to take out the hardware, but you never know.”
So we got on a conference call with Dr. Porter, and the doctors and staff in Boston, and collectively decided that we should take the hardware out of my ankle.
The next night I was in surgery. Dr. Porter went in and took out everything that they had put in my ankle. There were two incisions made to take all the stuff out. They took the plate, the screws and the tightrope that was in there. So now, I basically have a normal ankle—just there are some holes in the bone where they had to put the screws in, and those are going to heal up.
Honestly, I look it as a good thing more than anything, because when you introduce foreign objects into your body, anything can happen at any time. Sometimes your body rejects it or things happen; you get infections, and it could happen a year or years down the road. So it’s nice to know that I’m done with the plate and screws now, and that is not something I am going to have to worry about in the future.
The surgery went really well, and the wound recovered great. I did more further movement training recently, now we move on.
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