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Glad to hear you're doing OK.   This gives a new meaning to having a hollow leg.:>))

Dick
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Leigh Daboll 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Monday, October 16, 2006 10:43 PM
  Subject: [SKIVT-L] Yanking the Big Rod


  Well, I'm back on crutches for a month or so.  And happily so. 

  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 at home. 

  Skiing by December,

  Leigh

  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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