Last summer, 17-year-old Logan was getting work experience – working away in rural Manitoba with heavy machinery. While on the job site he sustained what turned out to be a serious injury when his foot was caught and dragged under a piece of heavy equipment. Thankfully, shock set in and he didn’t really realize the extent of the accident – which essentially resulted in a softball-sized chunk of his foot being torn away around his ankle. He was taken to hospital in the nearest city which was Winnipeg. The wound was so full of rocks and tar and it was imperative to remove all the debris – and he actually had to have a surgery to clean between the layers of tissue and muscle. The wound was dressed and then Logan stayed in hospital for five more days as they decided what to do next. This was frustrating for Logan and his family – who made the decision to bring him home. Arrangements were made for Logan to meet with the Plastic Surgery Team at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary and that’s how Pediatric Plastic Surgeon Dr. Frankie Fraulin became Logan’s primary doctor. Dr. Fraulin was surprised that a wound of this magnitude was left for so long and booked Logan in for another cleaning surgery straight away. In fact, there was a total of four cleaning surgeries before repair work on Logan’s ankle could even begin.
Dr. Fraulin took time and care to explain the process to essentially reconstruct he outside of Logan’s ankle. First, he would take a piece of skin from Logan’s thigh, including a layer of fat (called a skin flap) – along with a working blood vessel which would become the graft’s blood source – and attach it to the ankle area. This was a huge success and today the ankle is healing up very well. The ankle is still quite thick because of the access fat, so Dr. Fraulin will use liposuction this fall to remove the access fat and Logan will be good as new.
Logan is grateful for Dr. Fraulin’s expertise – and is intrigued with what he did to reconstruct the outside of his ankle. Both Logan and his dad Kirk are relieved the ACH was here for them, or the outcome could have been quite different.