Boater who hit limb on Current River recovering from facial surgery

Thursday, June 18, 2009

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- A Poplar Bluff man is recovering at home today from the extensive facial injuries he suffered in a boating accident on Current River.

Hershel "Butch" Knuckles, 49, was released Tuesday from Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, where he was taken after he was injured when he was struck by a limb hanging over the water.

Knuckles was struck Saturday afternoon as he turned the boat he was piloting around to head downriver toward Doniphan.

Knuckles, who suffered skull and maxilla fractures, underwent surgery Sunday.

"He was in surgery for four hours to repair a crushed cheek bone (and) orbital bone" on the right side of his face, explained a source close to the family. "(His) vision is questionable in (his right) eye."

Doctors, she said, also had to reconstruct Knuckles' nose.

She said doctors knew Knuckles' injuries were bad. "Once they got in to do the surgery, they found the damage was more extensive than they anticipated," she said.

Knuckles' prognosis is good, and he is expected to make a full recovery, she said.

Doctors, she said, do not know at this time whether further surgeries will be needed.

The blow knocked Knuckles "out for just a moment, but he was conscious the rest of the time," she said. " ... He does remember up to a point, but he doesn't remember all the details" about what happened.

Pertinent addresses:

Doniphan, Mo.

Poplar Bluff, Mo.

Related links

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: