Saturday, April 20All That Matters

I broke my ankle and the surgeon left his toothbrush in my leg

I broke my ankle and the surgeon left his toothbrush in my leg

View Reddit by MrAdamLernerView Source


  • RoadDesigner

    You don’t want that plaque buildup on your tibia. This provides good brushing action while you walk. They are an innovator.

  • Joran_Dax

    Dude Mcguyvered the hell out of you.

    Doctor: Okay, this guys ankle is broken. I need a toothbrush and a couple of Philips head screws.

  • OtherBluesBrother

    The surgeon was brushing his teeth while operating?

    Ok, we get it, you’re the master of multitasking, very impressive.

  • jasonreid1976

    I had the exact same thing a bit over two years ago. The plate used on my fibula is a little smaller and has a total of 6 screws more evenly spaced out and have two screws going into the base of the tibula.

    One thing that took me by surprise the most was how much atrophy my muscles had while I was both in the cast and the boot. My advice, make sure you get some PT when you can. It took me longer to rebuild the muscle strength because I didn’t get any, largely in part to not being able to afford it.

  • silenttomato581

    I had the exact some break and repair. I know the pain you are going through. Beware OxyContin pain killers and do not get hooked.

    If you wear high boots like hiking boots the metal support on your fibula will rub and be painful. I had mine removed 8 months after the break because it rubbed on my hiking boots and was painful. The doctors left the bolts in my tibia which was fine. This was 9 years ago.

    I know the X-ray is funny but if you have any questions or need any info regarding this injury send me a message. I feel your pain!

  • mghvk

    1. Do not take this comment as any real medical knowledge as for all your know I’m just a random dude on the internet

    For what its worth, the surgeon did a terrible job at your reduction and this one XRAY shows poor technique throughout the case. I know this is just one view, but he did not restore your fibula length. This is one of the most important things we try to do in addition to an anatomical reduction and stable fixation.

    It looks like you probably have on the fibula side 3-4 fragments / fracture lines. What we typically do as your bone looks quite good and you’re probably relatively young is to try to piece up those bones perfectly using a combination of small clamps and sometimes small screws prior to putting the plate. I could see the doc thinking it was not a viable option but with the nice oblique distal fragment I would have definitely at least tried to attempt and and most times get it perfect in terms of lining up the pieces.

    Instead of piecing the bones nicely on the fibula, he used a bridge plate technique where he used what appears to be a Stryker locking plate. The problem is that when we do this we at least get the length of the fibula back down. You’re is high riding because he did not reduce the fracture. This will likely cause no problems but typically that is bad form.

    He undersized the screw lengths in the distal fibula which are all likely locking screws. But tough to say as I don’t see more views. He used 2 locking screws at the top end of the plate which is overkill and should have been cortical or cancellous screws

    He used a plate way too long as you can see there are two holes above your last screw that he didn’t put screws in and didn’t need to. Could have used a plate 2 holes less.

    I can’t comment too much on the medial malleous fixation with just this one view but it looks like standard partially threaded 40×4.0 cannulated screw technique.

    Again don’t take my word for it. I have had 3 drinks in me and I’m a random guy in the internet.

    If my 2nd year residents (5 years of ortho training) showed me this at our fracture conference the next day. I would likely tell them in a nicer political way that it looks terrible.

    What does this all mean to you ? Probably nothing. Bones heal regardless. Will likely have no problems at all long term.

    But in terms of most of us in my profession, we are perfectionists even when it’s not that important so you can see why I am holding off on my 3rd drink to post this over complicated lengthy comment to your post

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