Mark Shurtleff, Utah Attorney General's Office
A series of photographs posted on Mark Shurtleff's blog show the Ilizarov frame and X-rays of his bone alignment.

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is recovering at home after undergoing an unusual surgical procedure to save his badly broken leg.

Shurtleff posted photographs of his leg and an update on his recovery on his personal blog on the Utah Attorney General's Office Web site, attorneygeneral.utah.gov.

"Thanks to a wonderful team of very gifted and skilled orthopedic surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists, the surgery went very, very well and the Ilizarov frame was attached and the tibial fractures cleaned out, re-energized and perfectly aligned and immobilized," he wrote.

The photographs and X-rays show four rings anchored around his leg, with wires piercing his leg and criss-crossing through the bone. Shurtleff said

he is now resting "comfortably" at home, with his leg elevated in a La-Z-Boy recliner.

"Comfortably because I still have a nerve block that deadens my entire lower leg. When that wears off, thankfully I have some narcotics to get me through for a while," he wrote. "I have been told to start walking as soon as possible (with crutches at first) because weight bearing helps stimulate bone growth. The beauty of the Ilizarov technique is that the bones are held so rigid by the spokes that they will not move even when walking. Hopefully, like Steve Austin, I'll be 'Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster!"'

Shurtleff underwent this latest surgery to repair his left leg after he shattered it in a motorcycle accident last year. In an interview last week with the Deseret News, the attorney general revealed that if this latest surgery does not work, his doctors are considering amputation.

In his blog post, Shurtleff joked that the only trouble he will have is finding pants that fit over the contraption around his leg.

"Maybe I'll stimulate the resurgence of bell-bottom trousers for men," he wrote. "Thanks again for all the prayers and kind thoughts! They are truly appreciated."


E-mail: bwinlsow@desnews.com