Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dr. Orthochick: Whoops!

I scrubbed in for bilateral knee multiligamentous reconstructions with Dr. New the other day. I figured he would appreciate having a more senior resident help him since his options were me or an intern and I'm better at holding the arthroscopy camera, I like to think.

In the first 5 minutes of the surgery, one of us broke both the patient's tibias and one of us broke sterility.

Alls I can say is, glad those two weren't reversed. Because whereas it was an accident, it would have been less of an accident had I been the one who broke the tibias.

I scrubbed in again. We then spent the next two hours putting plates on the proximal tibias.

Circulating nurse: Should I call the family [in the waiting room] and tell them what you're doing?
Dr. New: No...I don't think they'd understand.
Me: I bet they'd get it if we said "hey, sorry, we broke both your daughter's legs and now we need to fix them."
Dr. New: You should let me be the one to talk to the family when we're done.

So yeah. It added about 2 hours to the surgery, but I was so busy being relieved that I hadn't done it that I didn't really mind too much.


  1. wow - how do you break someone's tibia during arthroscopic surgery? twice?

  2. Was talking to a friend about how the attending made a mistake in the OR on a case he was scrubbed in for and about how the patient almost exsanguinated on the table, and how a) he was glad that it was the attending and not him, and b) how he was glad that the patient was probably going to die anyway, and that made him feel less bad about it. I still think he felt pretty bad though.

  3. manipulation under anesthesia before the arthroscopy part