PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We’re talking about broken bones. It’s a common injury, and when they don’t heal properly, there can be constant pain, and additional surgeries. 3 On Your Side Medical Reporter Stephanie Stahl tells us about a high tech way to help re-generate bones.
Kathleen Lunz-Gewirtz is glad to be walking again. She broke her leg in two places and had surgery to repair it with a plate and several screws.
“The pain was excruciating. I’ve had three children. I’ve had a c-section and this pain was worse,” said Kathleen.
But after a year on crutches, the bone was not healing properly. She was facing the possibility of another major surgery when doctors decided to try this device.
“To me it was like a last resort before trying more surgery,” said Kathleen.
The device gives off ultrasound waves and studies show the pulses of sound can significantly speed up the healing of broken bones. Doctors say the sound waves stimulate cells causing them to regenerate.
“We have found that 20 minutes a day will stimulate the bone cell just enough that it will heal even the most difficult fracture,” said Dr. Elton Strauss, an Orthopedic Specialist.
And a recent study shows that patients who use ultrasound build up more bone density in the fracture area.
“The statistics showed that we healed our fracture considerably faster than the patients that didn’t have the ultrasound,” said Dr. Strauss.
Kathleen’s been using ultrasound treatment at home for five months, and she sees a big improvement.
“I feel that my leg’s healing faster,” said Kathleen. She’s not 100 percent yet, but she’s back at work and doctors think she’ll be able to avoid another surgery.
The at home ultrasound device has to be prescribed by a doctor. Some insurance companies do cover the cost.
For more information contact the maker of the device, Smith & Nephew, at http://global.smith-nephew.com/us/patients/Contact_Us_3350.htm.
Reported By: Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3