After years of study, doctors have found a safer, less invasive method of treating broken bones that have a hard time healing. The wave of the future is called injectable bone grafting.
Chris Wagner is back on her feet again after being run over by a car. Her leg was shattered in the accident.
Chris Wagner, Bone Graft Patient:
“It was a compound fracture where the bone actually broke through the skin… both the tibia and fibula were broken.”
Despite months of treatment, Chris’ injury didn’t heal, so she and her doctors decided to try a relatively new procedure called an injectable bone graft.
Robert Pierron, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon, St. Louis Univ. Med Ctr.:
“Injectable bone grafting is a technique of putting bone marrow into a fracture site to restart the healing. In the classic technique the patient would have to have an open incision at the pelvis. The bone would be chiseled from the pelvis… another open incision at the fracture site… the bone from the pelvis packed into the fracture site and both incisions closed. The injectable technique, we use a needle to draw the marrow from the pelvis into a syringe and place needles into the fracture site so there’s really no incision in either place.”
Chris’ injury before the injectable bone graft hadn’t healed after six months in a cast. After two injectable bone grafts, it was as good as new.
“I think this technique is a lot less painful for the patients and it’s a lot quicker as far as time spent in the hospital The patient can go home the same day. Now I’ve been released to do anything I want. I’m not hindered from anything. I think it’s the best way to go. Something from your body into your body.”
With injectable bone grafts, doctors have seen new bone on x-rays in as little as six weeks and more than 80% of patients are re-healed in the normal six month time frame.