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 During COVID, bus service in Guatemala was basically shut down.  To move around, many people bought small motorcycles (motos).  As a result, there has been an increase in injuries by cyclists over the past few years.  Abner, a 21-year-old father of a young daughter, is one of these victims.  Ten months ago, he was hit by a car and suffered a fracture of the femur and a compound fracture of the tibia.  After the accident, Abner was fitted with an external fixator, an apparatus that stabilizes the broken bone with pins attached to the bone which stick out of the skin.  Rods on the outside of the leg attach to the pins.  It is cumbersome and is meant to be a temporary fix until the bone can be surgically repaired.  The part of the tibia sticking out of the skin was treated with lycopodium powder, an herbal remedy to prevent infection.  
     Monday, Abner had the surgery he should have had ten months ago.  The doctor removed the pins, removed the external fixator, and repaired the femur, which was still broken.  It was stabilized with a metal plate and 11 screws and will heal in 6-12 weeks.  His tibia was cleaned out, and the part of the exposed bone was removed.  It has not healed and will require surgery at another time.  When he is discharged this week from the Obras Hospital in Antigua, Abner will have the use of a brand-new heavy-duty wheelchair outfitted with mountain bike tires.  He is relieved not to have the metal fixator on his leg, but he is still unable to walk.  Abner is very anxious to get back to a normal life where he can walk on his own and work to support his family.

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