Realizing the email had gone out to members of the media, the state's top lawyer sent out a follow-up email.
"Oops. You all now know of my surgery," Shurtleff wrote. "Paul Murphy suggests that I also have the doctor examine my 'Reply All' thumb."
The miscue isn't a first for Shurtleff.
In 2009, he inadvertently announced his intention to run for the U.S. Senate in a series of garbled tweets while on a trade mission to Israel. He later pulled down the tweets, saying he thought he was responding privately to one individual.
In May 2011 while in the hospital being treated for cancer, Shurtleff tweeted an emotionally-driven, 140-character outburst that said his office would not appeal the exoneration of Debra Brown, a Utah woman who had originally been sentenced to life in prison for murder.
Days later, Shurtleff changed his mind explaining "there was a lot of sentiment, a lot of feeling. A lot of people thought maybe enough was enough. I was one of those."
Shurtleff, a prolific tweeter at the time, began to ratchet back on his Twitter posts.
Murphy, Shurtleff's spokesman, said the attorney general dislocated his artificial knee Saturday night after slipping in the rain. It was the same knee he'd destroyed in a motorcycle accident in 2007.
After the inadvertent release of the email, Shurtleff explained "it was a 10 on the pain scale" and said the surgery was going to repair ligament damage.
"I plan on walking on it by the weekend," Shurtleff said.