Broken Bone But Not Broke

6 Jul

Well I’ve managed to break my right tibia and fibula again (a minimally displaced transverse fracture), this time in the pleasant surroundings of a pub.  It’d be fair to say the pain was mitigated by a few pints, but thankfully I was also wearing the plastic splint at the time, a safety precaution after previous fractures, which kept the leg stable and safe until the NHS staff plastered it up.  The upshot is that I am finally employed, alas not in the archaeological sector, but in this environment I am very happy to have the job that I do.


I always choose green for the cast colour as it reminds me of the verdant grasses of summer and of nature; plus it is a bright colour so people will hopefully avoid running or bashing into the leg accidentally.  Take note of the bend in the tibia and fibula, and of the offset angle of the foot.  This represents a natural deformity, enhanced by several fractures of the tibia.

The break has also reminded me primarily why I started this blog in the first place, to focus on human osteology and the skeleton.  It gave me a jolt of joy to once again see my own skeleton lit up on the computer screen, to recognise one’s own skeletal idiosyncrasies.  If I manage to get a picture or a copy of the X-ray for this fracture I shall put it up as well, as it is quite informative on the effect of Polyostotic Fibrous Dysplasia, as part of McCune-Albright Syndrome, on the deformity of the long bones.  It has also highlighted the fact that the Skeletal Series posts have somewhat stalled in the last year due to the completion of the MSc and the subsequent time consuming job search.  So you should soon be seeing Skeletal Series entry 11 on the human foot.


An admittedly poor quality camera phone shot of the an X-ray of the right lower leg, ankle is bottom left. Note the location of the fracture on the mid shaft of the tibia in the red box. The tibia and fibula both exhibit a medial bowing at the mid shaft, with areas of translucence on the bone highlighting the polyostotic fibrous dysplasia lesions. The angle and location of the break indicate a failure of the tibia as a weight loading bone due to the porous quality of both the cortical and trabecular bone, particularly at the angle highlighted.

In the meantime I’ll shortly have a post up on the new facet of education that is drastically widening participation at the university level education level, the indefatigable rise of the MOOC.  I also aim to write up a quick review of a fascinating book by historian Joel F. Harrington entitled The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honour and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century, detailing the life of Nuremberg executioner Meister Franz Schmidt, who kept a detailed record of his 40 plus years in the role.  It is a fascinating book and an excellent view into the legal and cultural context of the role of the executioner in Germany and Europe in this fascinating period, as well as detailing the personal crusade that Schmidt himself took in gaining acceptance into respectable society.

So until then, auf Wiedersehen!

9 Responses to “Broken Bone But Not Broke”

  1. ioannismamouzelos December 5, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    hello i’m ioannis never done before… as bloger so im a bit comfused
    starting reading your articles found them really interesting welldone to you and your team
    red-point now- having a daughter 21 years old with MAS i would like to share her clinic story and perhaps treatments just before she starts a surge in Tibiae
    best regards ioannis

    • maegen williams June 17, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

      I have the same disease as well. I’m over in the US though.

      Treatments are very different dependent how the disease effects you and who your doctor is.

      • These Bones Of Mine June 17, 2014 at 11:52 pm #

        This is very true, always pays to remember that MAS is a spectrum disease and can effect people in different ways.

  2. ioannismamouzelos December 5, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    wish you the best

    • These Bones Of Mine December 5, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

      I wish you the very best, please feel free to keep in touch and thank you for your comments Ioannis!

      • ioannis December 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

        yes sure feel free in writing..

  3. ioannis December 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    can i post it here ??
    it includes photoes also

    • These Bones Of Mine December 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      Hi Ioannis,
      Are you reading a cached version of the blog? My email address changed to what it is now in the ‘About Me’ tab – feel free to email me there!


  1. Future Steps? | These Bones Of Mine - October 15, 2013

    […] have recently had surgery on my lower right leg following the transverse fracture of the tibia and fibula a few months ago, so I haven’t posted for a while.  The surgery, in which osteotomies were […]

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