Ivanhoe Newswire has a video report about an experimental prosthetic implanted into a child with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that often leads to amputations. The device can be lengthened with an external magnetic field, and so does not require frequent surgeries as the child grows.
Sorry, we couldn’t find any info on the manufacturer of the device. Any leads from our readers?
More from Ivanhoe Newswire…
Update: Thanks to a reader, we find this is the REPIPHYSIS® line of prosthesis from Wright Medical.
Here’s more info from the technology page:
The REPIPHYSIS® Expandable Technology is an expandable Endoprosthesis that will allow the operated limb to maintain limb equality through a noninvasive procedure. Since it is noninvasive, it allows children to have their "replacement bone" grow with them without repetitive and traumatic surgeries, hospital stays, and rehabilitations. If the child has more than 4 centimeters of growth remaining, the REPIPHYSIS® Implant is the best endoprosthesis to use. These children are typically under 12 for girls and under 14 for boys, but this technology has been used in patients ranging from ages 5 to adult.
Although there are several recognized and proven methods of limb salvage surgery, REPIPHYSIS® Expandable Implant is the only endoprosthesis designed especially for people whose bones have not reached maturity. For young bone cancer patients, this is revolutionary. Before REPIPHYSIS® Expandable Implant, children undergoing limb salvage surgery usually faced either a modular or expandable endoprosthesis. These work great for skeletally mature patients, but when used on children they require annual invasive surgeries to increase limb length. Each time surgery is performed, there is always a risk of infection and a painful period of rehabilitation for the child. The multiple surgeries and cost of the implant can be as expensive as $300,000.
The REPIPHYSIS® Expandable Implant, on the other hand, provides noninvasive expansions. When exposed to periodic treatments of electromagnetic fields, a compressed spring is allowed to expand, lengthening the "bone" in small increments. Each expansion takes about 10 minutes to perform, and the child has good range of motion immediately following the procedure. REPIPHYSIS® Expandable Implant effectively eliminates the risks of additional expansion surgeries, limits the painful three-month rehabilitation process, and provides the child with two matching limbs for a better quality of life. The total cost (including expansion procedures) is approximately $90,000.
Info page: REPIPHYSIS® Expandable Technology