Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pictures of The Strongest Ankle Known to Man

Warning: the following images may be too gruesome for some of you. For others, this is probably the only reason you're here.

These are pictures of my right leg while I was receiving a new dressing on February 15th, two days after my first surgery. The minute we saw what was hiding underneath, Brooke leaped for a camera and grabbed some amazing photos. I also threw in some post-op x-rays for kicks.

In this image you can start to see the two metal titanium bars holding my leg together. The marking on my foot is where the nurses were able to get a reliable pulse.

Check out that hematoma (blood blister)! Apparently, this is a common occurrence with ankle fractures. This dude was huge! You can also see one of the nurses in the background doing the redress. I think her body language is saying, "this patient is loud and annoying."

Here you can see the incision site where they placed a semi-tubular plate to fix my fractured fibula. Since this bone was cleanly broken all the way through, it was the easiest to fix. They used eight screws to secure the plate. On my way into surgery, I may or may not have asked my doctor that I get the plate engraved with the words, "Big Rig."

Here's a good view of the external fixators holding my leg together. I have three pins screwed into my leg. One long threaded pin through my calcaneous bone (the heel bone) and two on the upper part of my tibia. This leaves four external sites to clamp down two titanium bars on the lateral and medial sides of my leg. This gives me the length of my foot back and holds the remaining broken mash of bones in place.

A fun quote from my Operative Procedure Report reads, "the distal-most proximal pin could not be placed into the back cortex, either by hand or by drill, due to the density" of the bone. This means I have super-human bone strength. I could probably punch through cement walls if I wanted.

Another line from the report says, "pre-drilling at a slow speed," was used to "avoid burning the bone." Thanks, guys!

Here's a close up of my blood blister. This was taken on February 15th. It grew quite a bit when we looked at it again four days later. Unfortunately, my new doctor in DC decided to drain it. I was hoping we could let it grow to about the same size of my head.

While we're on this picture, I guess I should mention I have nerve damage. The trauma to two nerves in my foot prevents me from feeling most sensations in my big toe and the bottom of my foot. This was due in part to the injury and in part to the titanium bars stretching my leg so tightly. We're hopeful the nerves will heal on their own and return some feeling. No worries, though. I can still walk if the feeling doesn't come back.

Here's a post-operation x-ray of my fixed fibula. You can see the staples used on the incision site. That's going to be an awesome scar! You can also barely make out the eight screws. The one at the bottom is difficult to see.

Here's a different angle on the plate and screws on the fibula. You can also see the fun times happening in the distal tibia just above.


  1. Seriously? Your ankle looks like Troys after I dunked on him.

  2. Regarding blood clot: W-R-O-N-G !!
    Regarding Super Strong Bones: Must ask Aunt Fran what she fed you when you were a kid!!!