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Old School Orthopedics – Angola Day 10

Ankle Fracture


Abel, this young man, was riding his bicycle when he veered off the road to avoid an oncoming truck. Abel’s bike struck a embankment, throwing him head first over the handle bars. The only fortunate outcome of this accident was that Abel landed on his leg rather than his head! I’m holding up the X-ray of his ankle to the window, demonstrating a very complex fracture. In the US, Able would undergo extensive surgical repair, with a plate and multiple screws to realign the the broken bones. But we have no such hardware here at the Kalukembe Hospital in Angola. So Able will instead be wearing a cast for many weeks. And what do we have available to treat his severe pain? Nothing more than Ibuprofen.

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