As a child, Sant Lal Taneja loved to fly kites and has many cherished memories of the sport. But the much-familiar kite string, which he handled with ease all his life, sliced his ankle as the 70-year-old’s leg got entangled while crossing the road.The unfortunate incident occurred when Taneja was out on his evening walk.His left leg was snared by a kite string caught between the park’s fence on one side and a vehicle on the other. When he tried freeing his leg, he suffered severe pain along with heavy bleeding. “I was just crossing the road and didn’t see the string there. I never knew the string would affect my foot so badly. Initially, I thought it was just a deep cut, but after a few seconds my foot started to bleed profusely. I couldn’t feel my foot. What we saw later was unbelievable. My ankle was almost hanging on a single bone. My family got worried and rushed me to the nearest hospital,” said Taneja, who is now perfectly fine and walking with full confidence.Kite flying is a popular activity amidst children and young adults in the months of June, July, August and September. The sporting activity, though, is known to cause many injuries including serious accidents that occur during the preparation of the threads, electrical injuries from high-tension currents, falls during the game, injuries caused to bystanders, especially those riding motorcycles or bicycles.A resident of Hari Nagar, Taneja was initially taken to a government hospital. After initial investigation and treatment, his family took him to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital where he was operated on.advertisementSEVERITY OF INJURY”All his nerves and blood vessels were destroyed. The ankle was hanging through a single bone. We were surprised to know that a kite string caused such an injury. His foot was pale and there was no blood circulation.The case was quite complex as we had to work on each and every nerve,” said Dr Vivek Kumar, consultant, department of plastic surgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.KITE STRING HAZARDSThe case has been published in the Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery highlighting the harmful materials which are used in making kite strings.”Previously, kite flyers mainly used a string that was made with 3-9 layers of variously treated cotton thread. To make the competition more challenging, kite fighters started using metallic, chemical and glass powder coated string (manja), in the recent past. This made the simple traditional fun of kite flying deadlier,” the report published in the journal said. To make the competition more challenging, kite fighters have started to use metallic, chemical and glass powder coated strings.The surgery lasted for almost seven hours. “Nowadays people are using sharper and stronger metals to make the strings used in kite flying,” added Dr Kumar.Taneja was advised complete bed rest for six weeks. “We had to repair everything.Kite-related injuries are most common on the neck but an injury of this extent was not so common. He is now able to walk properly,” said Dr Lalit Chaudhary, senior consultant, department of Plastic surgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.