In hospital, with blood. February 13, 2005
The device on my leg is
an "external fixator," consisting of a 3/4" carbon fiber tube
with elaborate clamping devices on each end. The fixator is clamped to two 1/4"
stainless steel pins (with blue caps) screwed through my tibia at the upper end (see
next X-rays), and clamped to two more pins (with yellow caps) screwed into the
calcaneus bone below the ankle at the lower end. This maintains rigid traction and
alignment of the lower leg. The fixator pin wounds leaked quite a bit initially, but
the major visible blood stain in this image is from a wound caused by the bone fragment
that penetrated the skin during the accident. Chair-maker Tim Hintz and I decided
that you might find a clamping jig very similar to this in the Lee Valley Tools catalog,
with identical materials and craftsmanship, selling for a maximum of $250. On the
itemized hospital bill, the total parts cost for the fixator was $2400.
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