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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Israel: A New Way To Fix Broken Leg Bones?

Traditionally when leg bones are severely broken, doctors would need to open up the patient's leg and insert a rod with screws--a painful process as far as the patient is concerned.

But now it looks as if an Israeli doctor has come up with an alternative that may not only be less painful, but easier on their bodies as well.

(Israel 21st Century) Orthogon is developing a magnetically activated, telescopic, intramedullary (IM) orthopedic nail for treatment of long bones. Traditionally, IM nails are inert rods inserted into the bone marrow to align and stabilize fractures in the femur or tibia.

Orthogon's device magnetizes parts in the rod mechanism, so the nail can be manipulated via an external magnetic coil, allowing it to vibrate, compress or elongate the bone. [...]

Once the IM nail is implanted, patients are treated daily by placing their leg into a coil system that creates a magnetic pulse. The magnetic force inside the nail is amplified by mechanical means, in steps of 0.5 microns, to a distraction force of over 100k, forming a flexible callus tissue that is pulled incrementally.

Despite the fact that similar solutions already exist in Germany and the US, Orthogon's solution may actually be cheaper (and more effective) than its rivals (which could result in lower medical bills).

Note: Orthogon's solution is still in development (and awaiting FDA approval) although readers can check out a video explanation (flash required) of what their technology is all about.

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