When orthopaedic surgeon Chris Phoon sent someone to a local hardware store in Bega, NSW, to buy bolt cutters mid-operation, his admin bosses weren’t impressed.
But I was.
Dr Phoon’s hospital-supplied bolt cutters snapped mid-operation and his attempt to source a pair from Canberra Hospital failed. Time for plan C.
Staring at a stubborn steel pin needing urgent removal means only one thing to a red-blooded Aussie male…Bunnings!
Quite unreasonably, in my view, the surgeon’s heroic attempt at pulling the pin was frowned upon by the hospital administrators, whose lawyers pulled the pin instead. The plan was abandoned mid-operation and the patient may be still, for all we know, languishing somewhere on the hospital’s 247-day-average surgical waiting list.
Now, I’m as guilty of poking fun at my orthopaedic friends as the next bloke—guiltier, because I put it in writing. Like when the orthopod took six days to solve a simple jigsaw puzzle and was proud, because it said “From 4-6 years” on the box.
But these bone grinders aren’t hired to lead group discussions around whether psychological therapy helps healing after a fall out of bed.
If I have a thick metal shaft poking out of my leg and the fella with big hands tells me I’m better off without it, I want to wake up with it cleaved in twain and in the bin. Keep subtlety for the soft tissues. Continue reading