Flutes and buckles

Six weeks ago today I had a slight mishap while ice skating in London, and managed to dislocate and fracture my ankle – both the tibia (shin bone) and fibula (calf bone).

The word tibia comes from the Latin tībia (shin bone, leg). It originally referred to a stalk, or reed pipe, and came to mean shin bone as flutes were originally made with shin bones. It is possibly connected to the Ancient Greek word σίφων (síphōn – siphon, tube) [source].

The word fibula comes from the Latin fībula (clasp, buckle, brooch), from fī(gō) (to fasten), and -bula (a suffix denoting instrument, vessel, place, or person) [source].

My bones should be healed by now – it usually takes about six weeks. I went to the local hospital a few weeks ago for a check-up. They x-rayed my ankle, took off the plaster cast, gave me a special orthopedic boot. They said that my ankle is healing well. I’ll be going back there in just over a week. In the meantime, I’ve started to experiment with putting more weight on my injured leg, using just one crutch, or walking without the crutches. I can does this quite well, though still need the crutches for stairs and steps.

I’ve adapted as best I can to having reduced mobility. It’s frustrating not being able to walk four or five miles a day, as I usually do, but I hope to be able to do that again soon. Some things, like grocery shopping, are difficult, so I order stuff online and had it delivered. I’ve noticed that many places are not very accessible, and that simple things like doors can be tricky to manage on crutches, especially if they have strong springs.

3 thoughts on “Flutes and buckles

  1. Glad to hear you are healing well. I broke my ankle (tri-malleolar fracture with OR/IF) 10 years ago. I remember that once out of the boot and walking I found slight uphills, cobblestones and walking on turf all very challenging for awhile. Do your physical therapy exercises diligently! Best wishes.

  2. Good to hear you’re improving. And after I followed that “special orthopedic boot” link I half expected you to do an exploration of the company’s name, “Össur”. The “os-” makes me think of “bone”, but I’ll be danged if I can come up with a consistent interpretation of the complete name. Probably just trademark-ese.

  3. When I saw Össur [ˈœsːʏr], I thought it might be a Swedish word, but discovered that it is in fact an Icelandic company and an Icelandic first name. It comes from the Old Norse Ǫzurr, probably from the Proto-Germanic *Andswaraz (“one who answers”) [source].

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