Radical surgery saves limb
TOOWOOMBA man Hosea Eising's strong faith has helped him through his darkest days.
The 24-year-old shattered his left leg in a dirt bike accident in February 2008.
Surgeons at the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PA) fitted Mr Eising's leg with a special frame, known as an Illizarov frame, to help his body re-grow a 12-centimetre section of bone.
“I was riding at night and hit a cement table at speed,” Mr Eising said.
“I had very extensive injuries. I broke my fibula (calf bone) and smashed my tibia (shin bone) into about five pieces.
“I also cracked my ankle in my right foot, broke my femur (thigh bone) and lost a lot of skin and muscle in the impact.”
Mr Eising was faced with the option of either amputating his leg or attempting to re-grow the shin bone.
“I had this large, metal frame around my leg for a total of 448 days,” Mr Eising said.
From the outside, it was a garish sight.
Metal bars, wire and pins were suspended around Mr Eising's leg.
Pins and metal penetrated his skin, holding the growing bone inside.
“A gap of 12 centimetres would normally be much too large for the body to heal naturally,” PA orthopaedics director Dr Cameron Cooke said.
“A section of floating bone was attached to the Illizarov frame, which was used to gradually wind it one millimetre a day towards the other broken end, leaving a trail for new bone to grow in its path.
“This method allowed us to gradually close the gap between the two broken ends of Hosea's tibia and heal it successfully.”
Mr Eising's last operation to remove the frame was on May 12.
He started physiotherapy to re-gain normal movement in his ankle two weeks ago.
“You would have to live with an Illizarov frame to fully understand what it was like,” Mr Eising said.
“I had to change my lifestyle and habits to suit the care and maintenance of the frame. There was wire around my ankles so I obviously couldn't wear shoes or long pants. I had to stay indoors so I didn't get sick or infections.
“I couldn't drink alcohol because that slows down the healing. I couldn't sleep properly because the metal was awkward.”
But through all the trials and tribulations, Mr Eising had his family by his side.
“I had my family to look after me,” he said.
“My faith has helped me over the past 12 months. It has given me strength to focus on the future.
“There has been a lot of prayer.”
Mr Eising vows he will, one day, get back on his dirt bike.
“Once I fix it, one day I will get back on it,” he said.