Well, I'm back on crutches for a month or so. And
On Friday I had the 18" interstitial rod removed from my left
leg (Yep, the one that was inserted at Valhalla II after I struck the
buried stump). Tonight, there's surprisingly little pain
considering the method required to remove that thing and the fact
that I took my last Tylenol 3 at noon today.
Actually, it's kind of a neat procedure.
1. First the Doc makes three small incisions to
provide access for an electric screwdriver to the three screws in
the tibia that are used to bolt the rod into place.
2. Next, the Doc slices a slot down through your
patellar tendon through and under the kneecap. Then they use a special
pair of spreader pliers to reef the tendon apart and expose the top of the rod,
which is lying right at the surface at the end of the tibia.
3. Next, the Doc takes the screwdriver and zips out a
kind of taper-lock bolt screwed down through the top of the rod and pries off a
tapered cap lying underneath the bolt.
4. Next, a double ended threaded stud is screwed partway
into the end of the rod.
5. Then comes the fun part. The Doc grabs what
looks (to me) exactly like an autobody sheet metal slide puller (sometimes
called a slide hammer). The one used on me was about a yard long with
about a 2 pound slide weight on the shaft. He threads the puller onto the
threads sticking out the top of the rod. Then, Bang Bang Bang, he slams
the puller away from your leg and out inches the rod.
I now have a nifty vacuum-sealed souvenir in a bag
Skiing by December,
BTW, I apologize to any medical personnel on the list for any
inaccuracies in the above lay-person description of events.
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