Posted by Katie on December 3, 2016
https://www.youthvoices.live/2016/12/03/19298/

Performing Amputations

   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