The Unfortunate Fusing of my right ankle

February 21, 2018

I wish to make sure we agree on certain facts. The review department of Hospital for Joint Diseases has left me with no opportunity to review the mistakes that have lead to my continual pain and imbalance  due to the over fusing of my right ankle.

I was not offered any alternative to the fusing.

The is a troubling violation of accepted medical  protocol.

A more typical  procedure is: discuss with the patient several alternative, with the risk and advantages of each.

I mentioned to Kenneth.  Here is an exact quote: “What do you think of fusion?”

I describe my right  side instability, mentioning  the tremor due to my extensive neurological damage in my left brain.
I only was warned about the possibility of arthritis.

I also emailed Dr. Egol before the surgery to clarify, he indicated that the metal rod place up my lower area of my right leg could possibly removed once the healing is complete. I can produce that email.

When Dr. Steven Flanagan heard this, the amount of of falls I have had since the fusion. He asked me to keep a list of the postoperative falls.

My specialist in Stroke rehab at RUSK (Estell Gallo) was quite surprised to hear about the fusion. She also noted the spasms in my right leg that caused me to fall in rehabilitation, and remains unstable after the operation.

I have a document created by The Hospital of Joint Diseases. I was printed before NYU expanded to take this site over.   It is a pamphlet disturbing how to deal with my type of spasticity. It discusses the similarity of Multiple Sclerosis to post stroke spasticity.
It is pretty clear that this type of spasticity should be examined  carefully before any major alteration of the patient’s balance and center of gravity.

At the single consultation before my surgery I offered several reference who knowledgeable about my personal defects:
One was the hand surgeon at U of Pennsylvania Medical Center, who I met with twice after my initial strike.    When I offered him as a reference Dr Egol said:“I know Scott Levin.”

I also named two specialists in Stroke rehab that I have worked with, they are both still associated with RUSK Institute:  Dr.  Robert Deporto, and Dr. Ira Rashbaum .

I don’t believe Dr. Egol ever contacted any of these.
How dysfunctional is this approach?
My assumption that I was seeing an NYU doctor (especially when surgery is the topic),  they would discuss a proper course of action; not just try something and see what happens.
I incorrectly assumed that my surgeon would discuss “post stroke spasticity” and weigh the risk of an irrevocable, irreversible  medical procedure.
No experiment should be undertaken without the patient being advised as to the risks.

I believe that Dr. Egol should take a more active role in trying to clean up this mess.
This might  include:
Reducing the newly created bone mass.

Removing the metal rod that remains in my lower leg..

Why remove these ?
Because it is quite clear to this layperson that the added weight twists  my frame and creates this imbalance..The twisting occurs when I walk; or lay in bad and try to change position, and occasionally when I am seated and just turn my head or try to get closer to a table or so place to place my cup or food plate. Or write on a paper.

At the present time, this operation had destroyed my ability to bend down without great pain. It is becoming so bad that I have to use devices to pick up anything that fall to the floor.
By bending down my trunk twists so severely that the spasm of pain  starts to throw my body on the floor.
And it takes a while until the spasm subsides.
.I have had to stand up in my aphasia workshop (at Hunter college speech lab on 25th St), because there is too much pain when it is time  to change position. You can confirm this by contacting Teran Malcolm ( who is the programs supervisor.

It has become severe lately, Thus the Dr. has created a badly degenerated condition
This is what Dr. Mary Keenan did to me at the University of Pennsylvania by fusing my right wrist and extending my fingers tendons. She told me this would make me much more comfortable!
Was she wrong. I believe she was forced into an early retirement at this Medical center.

I assume that accomplished technicians  such the two orthopedic Doctors that have caused me so much unnecessary pain (namely Dr. Keenan, and Dr. Egol). Are never supervised by any administrators in their Medical center. Perhaps because they generated so much money by such operation. Of course it is beyond my scope to make any sense of this large unsupervised bureaucracies.
In my case they have really cause great harm.

So right now, the pain is so bad that I am unable to stay lying down for more  than a few hours. I am constantly falling asleep in my classes and when I am with friends and such.

The pain shoots through my neck and leg and the toes on my right foot; and my right arm raises in a spasm as if I were a dysfunctional robot, who should be put out to pasture.

Why did NYU create this situation?
And what are you going to do about it?
Just continue to send me to a different physical therapist, who will tell me that the  they are stumped, and cannot help me???

NYU is completely irresponsible. Just look at  the NYS laws and my right under Medicare. Need I go on???

About Andy Polon

Long time professional guitarist. Currently a computer techie. I came of age in the 1960s. (Successfully avoided being drafted for the Vietnam War). Raised in a "left of center" cultural household. I was very lucky in that Manhattan was a true melting pot. Lost my use of my right hand and arm in late 2003, due to a TBI Still love singing and older songs.
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