Before carbon fiber became popular, “Ti” (titanium) was the material that cyclists drooled over. If you wanted to make your bike crazy-light, you looked to replace as much as possible with Ti.
And if you happened to know someone who had some kind of surgical repair for a broken bone, or hip replacement, you jokingly asked with wonder, “oooh, is it Ti?”
I said that to my doctor today, at my first visit post-femur-surgery. He didn’t get it.
“Stainless steel”, he said.
Hmmm. Well, I have to admit that my old hand-made Waterford frame (Reynolds tubing) is perhaps my favorite bike. I still have it, hanging in the basement.
A steel frame is in general stiffer than a Ti frame. Which is probably a benefit in my case too: I got to look at the X-rays of my leg with my new stainless steel plate and screws.
The plate runs along the outside of my leg, from up near the hip to about 6″ above the knee. That’s much more than I had envisioned. There are long screws at the top going into the hip and smaller screws towards the bottom, where the bone was intact.
I say “intact” because the upper part of the femur was, essentially, “crushed” (to use the doctor’s term) into small pieces. He also said, “yeah you really did a number on that”.
Knowing this now, I have an even greater appreciation for the source of the pain that Sunday in Hell — something I wouldn’t wish on anyone, ever.
The good news is that evidence of healing can already be seen on the x-rays. And that my staples (all 50 or so of them) were removed so I can take a shower soon.
The overall timeline is still likely the same — 9 more weeks of no weight bearing on the injured leg, which still seems like forever. But I guess that’s 3 weeks less than the original forever.