Over the course of the past week and half I have been researching some surgical techniques on amputations and how the outcomes affect’s amputees. I have researched two types of amputations called the conventional (traditional) amputation and the Ertl procedure. Some of the steps that I have taken include finding articles by looking on databases, medical websites, and medical journals. Finding articles about comparing the Ertl procedure to the traditional amputation has been a little tricky. However, when I find the articles it explains in details the differences between each surgical technique.

    When I was researching I found the article, Ertl procedure gives amputees better limb function, by Indiana University Health. Indiana University Health talks about how the Ertl procedure reconstructs a limb to make it work like a typical leg or foot (Indiana University Health, 2014). The Ertl procedure has been performed on many patients all the way back to the 1920’s and has been passed down in the Ertl family since. Dr. Janos Von Ertl began performing this surgical technique after World War II on original amputations (Indiana University Health, 2014). Jan Ertl (Janos Von Ertl grandson) performed the Ertl procedure on me this past summer. This procedure provides stability by forming a bone bridge between the tibia and fibula (Indiana University of Health, 2014). This procedure also reconnects the muscles. Jan Ertl compares the attachment of the muscles by “… [comparing it] to the way a rubber band works: when you stretch it, it stores energy. Cut it, and it retracts, losing its ability to contract. ‘If we give muscles an attachment and reestablish a certain length, then the limb can generate power, and if it can generate power, then the muscle can get bigger’” (Ertl, qtd. in Indiana University of Health, 2014).  However in the conventional amputation, the surgeon just cuts the muscles and the limb is the used for the attachment of the prosthesis (Indiana University Health, 2014).

    After reading many articles and having the Ertl procedure done, I believe that the Ertl procedure is the best way for people to go if anyone is thinking about having an amputation.  I think that this surgical technique is great for mimicking the anatomy of having a foot or ankle again. Over the last couple days, I have been thinking about even including some surgical techniques on amputations around the world. I believe that the opportunities in different countries for amputees and the types of amputations have a drastic impact on the quality of life. Also in my research, I will include my own personal story of having the conventional amputation as my original surgery and having the Ertl procedure as a revision surgery this past summer. From different surgical techniques to the way a prosthesis fits really does impact an amputee’s life.

Works Cited:

Indiana University Health, Ertl procedure gives amputees better limb function. (2014, February, 7.) Retrieved from: http://iuhealth.org/news-hub/detail/ertl-procedure-gives-amputees-better-limb-function/#.WEDXdPkrKHt

CC BY-SA 4.0 Performing Amputations by Katie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

10 Comments
  1. Giselle 8 months ago

    Katie, this article gives a short and very informative explanation about amputations. Not only did you provide information about both methods but you included a personal experience. It helped make the issue more than just a medical article but an informative article that is easy to understand for someone who has never been exposed this topic. Great job!

  2. Mae 8 months ago

    Katie, this is a great research piece. It is informative, well written and you have good sources. I can tell this is a topic you care about, and you put in the effort to research it. Before reading I knew next to nothing about surgical amputations, and now you helped me become more educated on them. I look forward to reading more about your own experience, and I will make sure to read the next thing you write about this topic. Good job!

  3. Caroline 9 months ago

    Dear Katie, It is great to hear about a topic like this, especially from someone who has had a personal experience with this. It was also great that you included your research. I think it is so amazing that people who have limbs amputated and then a surgery seem to do so well with their new lifestyle so I think that in this domain the medical field is really progressing! Some people in the para Olympics are even better or faster than those in the regular Olympics because of how well their new limbs and recovery work for them!

  4. Dave 9 months ago

    Experiencing amputation can be a life changing experience. A fake limb is never the same as the original. I hope one day, we can achieve the creation of regeneration for lost limbs, which will be especially useful for many veterans of war.

  5. Ryan 9 months ago

    I think it’s really cool how deep of an interest you took in something that can be so important to others. All of the important and significant facts that you had were all very educational and I’m glad you got them from a reliable source so that I can count on them. Besides that I like how you included a little bit of history in the development of amputee’s.

  6. Sean 9 months ago

    This topic is cool, since if the Ertl method proves to be the best method for amputations then maybe amputations will no longer hinder people in their lives. It is very well written since it describes the background of the Ertl method and how it works, and you also connect to your own life which makes this post compelling.

  7. Heidi 9 months ago

    This was very educational. Prior to reading, I had no background knowledge of amputations. You wrote in an easy to understand way but also included detail about the procedure. It was also very interesting that you included a personal connection to this topic. Very well done.

  8. Alexa 9 months ago

    Katie, you picked an amazing topic to research and you yourself have first hand experience which will give your research paper something that most people can’t bring to theirs. I personally didn’t know that there was more than one amputation surgery. After reading your writing I would agree with you and say that the Ertl procedure is best. Great writing.

  9. Tom 9 months ago

    Katie, this post is really interesting and very educational on the idea of these types of amputations. I believe that your story for the traditional procedure will be a great addition to this post. This was really a great post.

  10. Vanessa 9 months ago

    Dear Katie, I love the research piece that you constructed above. The piece that you have written has educated me on the different types of surgical amputations that can be performed. I also can’t wait for you to share your story with having the traditional procedure and then getting the Earth procedure as a revision story. Thank you very much for educating me on this topic. nice work.

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