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What the what?! Mark Ellis was a few hours from having his leg amputated

May 21, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

ellis getty Getty Images

Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis had to undergo an emergency fasciotomy Saturday to relieve pressure in his left leg after suffering an injury while turning one at the bag on Friday night. He’ll miss several weeks, and that’s not good, but get this:

Whoa. Not the sort of thing you hear about very often in baseball circles.

  1. l0yalr0yal - May 21, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    Pssh. I lost an arm AND a leg at Harrah’s this weekend. And my pants.

    • anythingbutyanks - May 21, 2012 at 10:14 AM

      This would be sorta funny if the context wasn’t so genuinely scary.

    • number42is1 - May 21, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      Well if it isnt my good friend mr. mcGreg…..

    • bigleagues - May 21, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      No, it’s actually pretty damn funny.

      It’s not like Ellis is a combat victim. I’d probably draw the line there.

      Shit happens. I nearly lost my right leg to something similar (along with a touch bureaucratic incompetence).

      • lostsok - May 22, 2012 at 2:24 AM

        Were you saved by having your sense of empathy surgically removed?

      • bigleagues - May 22, 2012 at 11:05 AM

        I have plenty of empathy for Ellis as I duly noted in my previous comment (below).

        I don’t, however, pander to the humorless. If I did, I’d be hopelessly depressed.

        Do I wish ill health on anyone? Never.

        Do I enjoy dark humor, counter-culture, non-mainstream ascerbic wit? You bet.

        Is it a coping mechanism? Absolutely.

        I have chronic pain down my entire right side due to the knee injury and a subsequent medical issue.

        I don’t ask for anyone to feel sorry for me, but I also don’t apologize for finding humor in things we can’t control about life.

  2. Lukehart80 - May 21, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    Yikes, that is some terrifying news. Ellis had been playing really well so far, I hope he’s able to make a speedy and complete recovery.

  3. sdelmonte - May 21, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    I will note that when Joba suffered his recent injury, there were even more alarming reports that turned out to be exaggerated. This isn’t to say that the current news item isn’t true. Just that we need to take this with a grain of salt.

    As well as being glad that in the end, Ellis should be okay.

    • cur68 - May 21, 2012 at 10:08 PM

      He had a fasciotomy. That procedure is expressly to relieve high pressure swelling (known as compartment syndrome) which is preventing blood from circulating to the rest of a limb. Its not done EXCEPT to prevent amputation below the pressure compartment.

      • sdelmonte - May 22, 2012 at 9:06 AM

        Thanks for the info. Guess it WAS that serious. Ow.

  4. bigleagues - May 21, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Pro athletes, apparently, are among those who most often receive a fasciotomy.

    Anyway I had something similar 20 years ago. I was playing on a club soccer team for my school in the UK when I landed on a small stone near the mouth of the goal. It traumatized my knee which filled up with fluid. My US Doctor believes the draining of the knee that the UK did caused a MRSA infection during my 4 visits over 10 days to the local national health care hospital. Only during that final visit did they finally show some urgency and offer a diagnosis but I had already booked a flight home. To say that i was in agony would be an understatement.

    Within 14 hours I was back in the US and had a Frank Jobe disciple literally save my leg as the fluid pressure and trauma to the joint from the infection had reached a critical stage. I was within 24 hours of amputation and 48 hours of death as the infection had begun to spread out. My fever was 104 degrees when I was admitted.

    I can sympathize with the thoughts and emotions Ellis must be going through.

  5. wlschneider09 - May 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Hold on a sec, is this another Joba-type report?

  6. weaselpuppy - May 21, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Government operated healthcare was negligent, disinterested, incompetent and dirty? Shocking!

    but its FREE!

    • mgflolox - May 21, 2012 at 2:46 PM

      Yeah, because incorrect/incomplete diagnoses NEVER happen in the U.S. healthcare system.

      • bigleagues - May 22, 2012 at 11:29 AM

        Yes, incorrect/incomplete/incompetent diagnosis absolutely do happen in the US healthcare system.

        And as I just stated I believe that a Single Payer system is needed to reign in insurance and pharmaceutical industry exploitation of our healthcare system. Obamacare is a joke of a solution and States are struggling to find ways to implement it without enormous deficits. But then you would expect that from legislation that was dictated by the industry to the Administration behind closed doors.

        But my experience with UK national health care was night and day when compared against the care I received upon return to the US.

        As my US orthopedic surgeon had noted, a honeydew melon sized knee cap requires immediate specialist attention. Not 3 drainings, some Tylenol 3 and elevating the knee while waiting days between appointments.

        If I was allowed to see a specialist within even the first 3 days of my injury I almost certainly would not have required any invasive surgery, and I probably would have avoided MRSA.

        As it turned out, two emergency procedures in 24 hours was required, 6 weeks of IV antibiotics, 2 months of physical rehab to take steps without a crutches, another month to walk without a cane. I missed an entire semester of school. Thankfully my school understood and refunded a pro-rated portion of tuition.

        Virtually all of that could have been avoided with a less restrictive, less micro-managed health care system.

        But ZERO legal recourse for the utterly incompetent treatment.

    • bigleagues - May 22, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      It was all of those things.

      In fact, a specialist wasn’t involved until that final visit before I flew home.

      I have followed news about the UK health system since, and from what i understand of it, it isn’t much better now. Some hospitals and regions are better than others.

      There is, of course, private health care available there as well. And that’s where the people with the means and resources to do so go to get treatment. So, despite having public health care – there are actually two distinct classes of health care treatment available.

      Having said all of that, I do not support Obamacare because it was written behind closed doors and by most accounts dictated by the insurance industry to the Obama Administration.

      I do, however, support a true Single Payer system as proposed by Ralph Nader.

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