that’s gotta hurt
Here’s one of those posts that medical and non-medical readers might find interesting out of the same morbid curiosity to see some extreme (-ly painful) medicine.
This wasn’t a patient of mine but rather one of those times where you see another group of doctors around a computer looking at an x-ray and collectively hear them say “DAAAAAAAMMMMMMMNNNNNNNN” so out of morbid curiosity you have to go over and see what the fuss is all about.
I present to you a patient who fell poorly on the right ankle and destroyed it. At least that’s the story. You question my skepticism? Look at that film–that’s pretty bad for a fall.
Anyway, you see all of those red arrows I added to show all of the different places where this patient’s ankle was broken? That’s not normal. That’s not even the typical ankle fracture. And I caught a glimpse of the patient. This patient was in a world of hurt. A world of hurt.
So this would be a comminuted tibia/fibula (tib/fib) fracture. It’s not an “open” fracture since the bone wasn’t sticking out of the skin but it was close. Like bone right under the skin close. But, I’m not an orthopedic surgeon so I won’t even pretend to know much about different fracture types, etc. so I will refer you to wikipedia… In any case, this patient’s ankle is a bag of bones at the moment and will be going to the OR in the very near future. And, will likely have a very difficult recovery ahead.
One thing I will say about medicine is that just when you think your day was about as bad as it could possibly get, you see something like this and you realize things can always be worse. Like having to manage 25 really sick patients, do 3 admissions and discharge 8 patients on a shattered ankle. Although, on a more serious note, I will say in hindsight that there were days in graduate school where if you had taken an x-ray of my dreams/hopes/desires/career prospects, it would have looked something like this. Who knows what I’m talking about? That’s right, everyone with a PhD should be raising their hand.