Thursday, August 19, 2010


It's been almost a week since my surgery, and as much as the big bulky cast drives me crazy, overall i feel pretty good. I asked Doc Jones to take some pics of the surgery, and he handed my camera off to one of his nurses who did a phenomenal job capturing the whole process. Although there's a lot of blood and gore, the whole thing is pretty interesting. i don't understand all the steps, but will try to provide some explanation of some of what i know.

Last message to my leg.

Reminder to Doc Jones to take lots of pics! The surgery team did a great job with that request!

Cutting through the bone. Yea, looks like a sawsall!

Starting to "fillet" the leg with the "amputation knife." They don't actually cut straight across, but rather fillet down the back to keep the calf muscles and skin on the back of the calf, which are then wrapped up to make the bottom of the stump.

Finishing the calf fillet.

Mr. Righty, now detached and hopefully all the cancer with it.

Getting a small piece of bone from the bottom of the tibia for the bone bridge.

Doc Jones then cut out a small piece of bone from the bottom of my tibia (i think it was the tibia anyway, but could have been the fibula), that he ground down to fit between the tibia and fibula still in my leg. Here he's marking it for size.

And here he's inserting it between the tibia and fibula at the bottom of the stump. This bone bridge adds stability to the stump so that the tibia and fibula aren't just free floating around at the bottom of the leg.

Fitting the bone bridge into place.

Drilling the bone bridge into place.

X-ray of the bone bridge and screws holding it in place between the tibia and fibula.

Here another piece of muscle is pulled from the calf and put at the base of the two bones, again to provide extra padding at the base of the stump.

And now the back of the calf is pulled up to make the bottom of the stump. Right now this feels really funny cuz if i touch the bottom of the stump, it feels like i'm touching down by my ankle.

With this technique of pulling the skin and muscle from the back of the calf up over the bottom and sewing it together on the front, there are no incisions or breaks on the bottom of the stump, which ultimately will help in the healing process and help me get up on a prosthetic more quickly.

Bandaging up the leg after the surgery.

My stump about five days after the amputation.


Courtney said...

These are gross but in an interesting way. Happy birthday.

Chiara said...

WOW!! These pics are very impressive but very interesting at the same time. Thanx for sharing!!:)

Ms. Fu-Daddy said...

Woooooow. Crazy!! I can't believe your leg was just chilling in the air. Wow. The body is amazing and so are some doctors!

Ski Bike Junkie said...

The most amazing thing to me was seeing you at ToU prologue acting as if nothing had happened. Heal quick!

Bart G said...

Matt- Looks like all went well. If you want to watch an online video of the type of surgery you had I have one.
I heard you spoke with SPOT, how did it go?
call me

Katie said...

wow! that was intense!

Jonnie J said...

Matt - That is unbelievable and so gross all at the same time. Glad you are feeling better and have such an optimistic attitude. Looking forward to seeing you out there for cross season.

Jake said...

Wonderful documentation! Thanks for sharing!

lizzie said...

So, after seeing all of those amazing photos, my only question is... why is your left foot all bundled up?

Happy Birthday/Amputation Day :)

Ms. Fu-Daddy said...

Whoa. Those new photos are GRAPHIC. Wow and WOW!! I can't believe that's your foot just chillin in a bucket. Weird.