Ilizarov Procedure

Contrary to what it says on Wikipedia I was not "born with [my] left leg nearly two inches shorter than [my] right. When I was born, there was no difference in length observed in my legs. As I grew, the difference gradually appeared. At full height my right leg was nearly 2 inches shorter than my left.

By the way, isn't it interesting that it's always been framed as a "short" leg? One leg is "shorter" than the other. Why not say I had a "long" leg? One leg was 2 inches "longer" than the other.

Or maybe one leg was a little too long and the other leg was a little too short.

The procedure I had in 1995-1996 to correct my unequal leg length.

The first operation was in April of 95. They cut my femur in half and put my leg in a steel-frame;There were two concentric circles embedded in my femur and separated by 4 or 5 inches, with rods between them. I believe the initial surgery took 6 hours. When I first came out of anesthesia, the surgeon quipped, "looks like you got hit by a bicycle."

each day I would turn some screws on the rods so that they would extend and increase the space in the break in my bone. After 6 months, the bone was supposed to be totally filled in and they would take off the metal frame. Two months in I was back out on the road with Weezer, stumbling around with a cane.

(from my mom, Beverly) "Of all the many concerts I have been to, the one that moved me the most was in London, when you had the Ilizarov . . . I wasn't sure you would even make it through the concert, you were in such pain. At one point you paused, Karl brought you water and a chair. You couldn't even sit properly on the chair due to the cage around your thigh. The room went completely silent. Every one was so with you . . .and when you began to sing and everyone joined in, it felt like we were sharing something way beyond a concert."

By December, the team finally accepted that the bone was not filling in as planned so they decided to do a second operation in January 96 (on winter break before Final exams at Harvard). I was quite bummed about this.

They took out some bone marrow from my hip, ground it up, and packed it into the space between the two halves of my split femur.

Chiba came to stay with me at my parents place in Newington to help me recover.

My recovery from the procedure, including the extended period I used a cane to get around, served as part of the inspiration for The Good Life.

I've always felt the incredible sweetness and vulnerability in my voice on PINKERTON was a side effect of the physical pain I had experienced during that time.

( Last edited by Rivers at )