Day 4 – Orthopedic Surgeon in Burbank

The appointment was early at 9:15am. It wasn’t the best time as my wife had to take the kids to school so it was the first time I drove myself since the injury. This wasn’t an issue as my injury is on my left foot and both of our cars are automatics. However, I won’t have the convenience of being dropped off the curb. It was also the first time I had to go at distance with the crutches. I actually had a handicap placard lent to me by a friend as I waited for mine to come from DMV so I thought I could at least park at the handicap spaces near the office. I arrived on time due to unusual traffic and to my dismay, all the handicap parking was taken. I guess it wasn’t that big of a surprise considering it was a relatively large medical office. I parked to the far end of the first floor parking. Hindsight, I should’ve went up another level and parked near the elevator. I gingerly made my way off the car and onto the crutches.

I struggled. I was out of breath and my armpit was tired from making my way from the parking lot to the medical building. As I entered the medical building, I realize the medical office was across the building! I then made my way for probably another 120-150 feet. Combine that with the parking, I probably traveled an industrial block on my crutches.

I signed into an office decked out with sports memorabilia such as signed jerseys and team photos of college and scattered professional sports players. Seems like this place had a high profile clientele. After about 20 min wait, I was called in by an intern probably from USC or UCLA. There were actually a number of interns staged in the back reviewing the patients for the day. I was asked basic questions about the injury, my current pain level, age, and general health questions. After about 10 min, the orthopedic doctor came in. He was a young Asian doctor who was probably the same age as myself. Maybe a bit more. Hard to tell with Asians. He was very emphatic and walked me through the available options. He was very honest about the conservative options to the most progressive treatment available at the moment. Conservative treatment was to not have surgery but set my foot at a steep angle so the tendon will fuse together. He said even for full ruptures, it can heal by itself although it will not be as strong. He also explained the most progressive option which was a new treatment where he opens a small incision to tie the tendons back together. However, it came with a comparatively high risk of nerve damage. The benefit would be a short recovery time. The most common treatment would be to make a large incision and tie the tendons back together. Without any pressure, he said he performs this operation the most and considers it very low risk with a high success rate. I agreed. I had to work with his surgery scheduler to see when I could be fit in. He led me to an in house x-ray room to ensure I didn’t have any structural damage. After x-rays, I was fitted into an adjustable Max Trax walking boot and off I went another city block back to my car.