Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shake your boot!

Getting a jump on ski-season fashion, this cow-orker has joined the ranks of The Booted.

He was going down stairs, slipped on the last two and landed hard, snapping his fibula.

"Did it hurt?"

"Like a mother(mumble)."

Luckily for him, the break was clean and the bone stayed where it was supposed to, so he was just on crutches for five days and is in the boot for six weeks, able to walk.

I was looking up fibula facts and found it is named for a kind of Roman clasp. If you think of the tibia as a brooch, the fibula is the pin behind it. (Thanks to Anatomy Word of the Day for that fact.)

I also discovered that the fibula is often used in reconstructive surgery, particularly of the jaw. I'm not really clear on how they go about removing part of it because all the articles I found were of the medical abstract variety (i.e. not in layman's terms). But apparently it's possible to pull a flap of it outside the skin while leaving it still attached to the leg, wrap it with a skin graft and six weeks later take the whole thing off and attach it to your face.

Can anyone explain how the fibular flap is made, or where?


  1. um, how it's made... sort of. They basically remove a football shaped piece of skin, muscles and a layer of bone. They use this because the fibula is very slender and the skin on that area (under calf) is already curved like a jaw so minimal work needs to be done recontouring. Since it is just a bone graph, the donor site can be taken care of and the bone will repair itself. This is still a pretty serious procedure, but the success percentage is getting better and better. Now this is just a run down since I am a bio major, not pre-med. Thanks. This was fun!

  2. Wow. That's fascinating. Thanks for filling me in!