Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Most Awesome Post Ever (#NSFT)

Before you scroll down, I have to warn you.  These pictures of my June 14th amputation are extremely graphic.  And totally awesome.

As Dr. Attinger described these pictures, here are steps one through a thousand on how to perform an Ertl amputation.

My sweet epidural. 

Go TU! 

Measure twice, cut once. 

It's like we're dissecting something in biology class. 

Please tie off that artery before I bleed out.

Bonesaw!  Aubrey, if you made it this far, I am proud of you.

Another artery worth saving.

Measuring the length for the fibula bone bridge.

Just a quick game of tic-tac-toe.  Inside my leg.

It looks like a trauma. 

I like how they're treating my foot like a chunk of freshly caught fish with that massive hook in my fibula.

Peace out, dude. 

I'm being filleted.

My leg is starting to swell.

The med student that did this is awesome.  He tried to show us what my ankle looked like.  Read my mind. 

If they dug deeper they'd find some broken screws sticking out down there. 

Cutting off the remaining fibula to form the bone bridge.

The fibula bridge keeps all of its blood vessels to keep it alive.

Perfectly beveled edge for a smooth and comfortable contour.

My leg is starting to look like a stuffed sausage.

I will be framing this picture.  Amazing.


Securing the headless screw to hold the bridge together.

Reattaching the functional muscles underneath the bones to form additional padding.

This JP drain is gigantic! 

If you made it this far, I must say I am impressed.  Of all of the pictures I've ever posted on this blog, these are the most gnarly.  Congratulations on making it all the way.

These pictures make me appreciate the work surgeons like Dr. Attinger do.  This surgery gave me my life back.  I'm so thrilled it was all captured with such amazing pictures!


  1. this was both awesome and gruesome at the same time! Thanks for the share!

  2. You should post this on reddit.

  3. have succeeded in making me hurl my morning coffee all over my computer screen.

    Wow. How did you convince your doc to get those pics? Looks pretty involved!

  4. I'm drinking champagne at the beach in South Korea and catching up on blogs. What's that fork thing do?

    1. It's actually more like a slotted spatula as the tines are connected across the top, where it bends back to hold the skin and muscle away from the open surgical site.

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  6. Man, you're really brave, it too me three attempts to go through them! :)

  7. Glad you got your life back. Pretty amazing journey. Interested in if you will have phantom limb pain. Guess you had to go through all of the surgeries and pain before you could make your decision for amputation. Your wife must offer great support.

  8. Wow! Thanks for sharing. Modern medicine is truly amazing! I cannot even imagine how hard all of this has been on you and your family! All downhill from here...

  9. Awesome dude, that was both horrifying and engrossing!!

  10. THIS IS EASILY THE COOLEST THING IVE EVER SEEN OH MY SWEET FUZZY LORD THAT WAS AWESOME. Some of those pics should be framed, they are fantastic. At one point, right before they start closing you up it looks like they turned your leg into an ood (doctor who character, look it up youll laugh real hard). And. I loved foot just hanging out in his little basket like hes in timeout...forever. Its so amazing to see the whole process and how their hands move so amazingly and every little step that goes into somethinglike this, really makes me think about everything they did to me and how utterly awesome it all is. Its very inspirational. I would also like to add that le stump looks like a baseball and that makes me think this was all just an elaborate rouse so you could go down in history as the biggest baseball fan of all time. Which, if true, would be epic. But alas i feel you will just have to go down as the most determined snow sport enthusiast in recent memory, and thats pretty cool too.

  11. Wow! How did you get those pics? I just had my left leg amputated below the kneww on Sept. 3, 2013 and I imagine it ent very similarly to that. You have quite the stones to post those pics (and look at them. Keep up the fight on the road back to "normal" life. I know I can't wait to get back too!

    Best of luck,

  12. Now that it's been a couple years, how are you doing?? Great I would guess, any phantom pain??

  13. Wow, that was amazing! I came across this blog, when I was googling "fib tib wound", cuz the wound nurse is coming to visit me in two days, because my wound from my fracture was healing nicely, and they said I could be up and around, and a couple days later, the wound had doubled again! Darn! I have diabetes also, which makes matters worse.......They have been putting calcium alginate (?) into the wound, then wrapping it......but we will have to see what the visit on Friday tells me. They are thinking I may need a wound vac also......didn't know what that all entailed either.......oh dear! Well, I will be back to read more of your blog tomorrow. But love all the pictures, and the honesty, hope you are continuing to do well! Diane (Vruwink) Carlson, Saint Joseph, MI

  14. I really like your post good blog on site,Thanks for your sharing.