For almost 12 years, family man Stephen Augustyn has been a civilian meteorologist in the US Air Force at one of the largest bases in the world, located near Omaha, Nebraska. Born and raised in Omaha, Stephen spends most of his time with his wife and two young daughters, reading, watching sports, and of course keeping a close eye on the weather!
He was not always limited to being a sports spectator. Stephen grew up playing basketball through grade school and into high school. However, his high school basketball career came to an end at age 17 after several cartilage and bone fragments dislodged from both knees. After eight knee surgeries and numerous X-rays from 1998 through 2013, physicians eventually confirmed that Stephen had a very rare genetic, metabolic bone disease called hypophosphatasia. To date, he has undergone 15 orthopedic surgeries associated with the disease.
“In one of the surgeries the doctors had to insert a cadaver graft to fill in an enormous chunk of cartilage and bone that cracked off of the femur in my left knee,” said Stephen.
After the last surgery failed to repair his knee, he consulted another orthopedic surgeon, Dr. David Brown. Dr. Brown decided to save the graft by realigning his knee via a distal femoral osteotomy in May of 2011. The procedure involved cutting 90% of the way through Stephen’s femur on his left knee and inserting a cadaver bone wedge to straighten the knee and eliminate most of its hyperextension.
This prevented Stephen from putting any weight on his leg, left him on crutches for six months, and made everyday living a challenge.
“I was able to work, but it was extremely difficult because everything I do involves sitting at my desk dealing with computers and it was difficult to find places to elevate my leg. I missed a lot of work and wasn’t able to play with my kids due to the pain,” said Stephen.
Nearly six months later in follow-up X-rays, Stephen’s doctor confirmed that a significant portion of the osteotomy site was not healing as it should. This was only the second time his surgeon had observed a nonunion associated with a distal femoral osteotomy in 30 years of practice.
A later bone biopsy revealed that his bone metabolism was nonexistent, a condition called adynamic bone disease that had never before been observed in a patient with hypophosphatasia. Zero bone healing coupled with the fact that he kept having severe pain several months after the operation prompted Dr. Brown to prescribe EXOGEN.
“I had never heard of EXOGEN until my doctor told me about a form of ultrasonic therapy he wanted me to try,” said Stephen.
An EXOGEN representative met Stephen at his doctor’s office to go over how to use the device and answer his questions.
“I used the EXOGEN unit every night before bed for the recommended 20 minutes. It was very user friendly and so simple and it just became part of my nightly routine,” said Stephen.
After almost three months of compliant EXOGEN use, multiple X-rays showed the osteotomy portion of Stephen’s knee had healed to full union.
Stephen’s doctor was quite impressed with the results. “He was stunned at how rapidly I achieved union. I made him a firm believer in the device and he has been using it with other patients ever since.”
Stephen calls EXOGEN remarkable. “The fact that the device was able to accelerate bone healing to a point where I could avoid another surgery was a huge deal. It was able to stimulate bone healing in someone whose bones were dead. It brought my leg and myself back to life!”
Information presented in patient testimonials is representative of a specific patient experience only and is not medical advice. Patients are compensated for providing testimonials.