The Angry Corrie 22: Mar-Apr 1995


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THE BOLT-ON FRACTURED PATELLA KIT

A Message from the BOLT-ON(TM) CORPORATION: We are dedicated to the continuing revision and expansion of our Bolt-On(TM) product range, in response to the wishes and comments of our customers. Many of you have written describing hill days spoiled by an inconvenient broken knee-cap. We are therefore pleased to announce the latest addition to our range:

THE BOLT-ON FRACTURED PATELLA KIT

Here's how to use it:

Check the fracture site. If the knee-cap is broken, you should be able to feel a distinct groove running across the front of the knee, beneath the skin. To reassure yourself that this is really a fracture, indent the skin at this point and (gently!) try push your finger into the knee joint from the front. If the finger does not go easily to a depth of an inch or so, try wiggling a little. (Caution: Some users have reported feelings of nausea or faintness at this point.)

Begin the repair. Find the battery-powered drill and the stainless steel wire. Lay out the scalpel for later use. Press the lower fragment of knee-cap firmly against the front of the leg with one thumb, and drill a single hole widthways through the bone. (As with all Bolt-On(tm) drilling procedures, we recommend that you advance the drill as briskly as possible, to minimise discomfort, and therefore reduce the risk of an inconvenient period of unconsciousness.) Once you have drilled through the bone, do not attempt to drill outwards through the skin on the other side. Knee skin is quite elastic, and may just twist around the drill bit, perhaps leading to overheating or jamming of the drill motor. Instead, pass the wire through the hole you have just drilled. You will see the skin tenting up over the end of the wire. Just make a small nick with the scalpel at the top of this tent, and then push the wire through with a swift, decisive screwing motion. (Hint: Keep fingers well clear to avoid an unpleasant jab!)

Find the upper part of the knee-cap. This is attached to the large muscle on the front of the thigh. If the muscle has gone into spasm, you may be quite surprised at how far up your leg this bit of bone has travelled! Just stay calm and keep searching and you're bound to find it. But be careful! It's important not to drill through the bone while it is high up in the leg, since several quite important blood vessels and nerves are nearby. Grip the bone between thumb and forefinger, and push it firmly downwards, working against the muscle spasm. Don't worry if you can't get it all the way back to where it should be; we'll fix that later. Now hold the upper part of the knee- cap in position with your thumb, and repeat the drilling process. Then loop the wire and pass it back through this new hole.

Repair the fracture. Even up the ends of the wire and twist them loosely around each other two or three times. Find the Bolt-On(tm) Turnbuckle attachment, and thread it onto both wires. Fold them over so that you can grip the Turnbuckle comfortably in the palm of your hand, and turn! Keep tightening the wire loop with the Turnbuckle and you will see the two pieces of knee-cap gradually being drawn together. Use the little Bolt-On(tm) Skin-Ease Spatula to prevent folds of skin being pinched into the wires. If at any time your lower leg goes white or numb, stop tightening immediately. You may have caught a nerve or blood vessel inside the wire loop. Remove the wire and start again. A distinct grating feeling will let you know that the fracture has come together. Make one more turn to firmly locate the bones. (Never overtighten, or cheese-wiring may occur.)

Tidy up. Snip off the wires just below the Turnbuckle, and fold them over against the front of the knee. To prevent damage to breeches or other leg-wear, cover the cut ends with the protective cork provided. Hey-presto! Your leg is as good as new!


And write for details of our new Fractured Nose Kit! It comes with mirror, pliers, and the Bolt-On(tm) Tear-Absorbent Eyelid Guards, to keep your vision crystal-clear during that all-important disimpaction and manipulation phase!


TAC 22 Index