Healing The Finger That Would Not Fuse
The below case study is representative of an indicated use for EXOGEN outside the United States and may not be representative of a US FDA approved indication for the use of EXOGEN.
Retired teacher Mandy Gibbons was only 11 years old when it happened: she was helping her mother do laundry, running clothes through an electric mangle, and both her hands got caught in the machine. Before her mother could get to her, all eight fingers were broken. But her fractures were successfully treated and her fingers caused her no problems during the rest of her childhood and young adult life. Mandy went on to become a teacher working with children who were multisensory impaired. She used hand “signing” to communicate with the children, and with children who were both deaf and blind, applied pressure on the hands of the child to convey meaning. The trauma of her early accident faded in her memory.
“I am very, very thrilled as it worked so quickly and saved me having to have another op. Importantly, I felt a great sense of empowerment in being able to manage my recovery. I can’t thank my consultant and EXOGEN enough.”
But as the years passed, Mandy began to have extreme pain in her finger joints, as well as localised swelling in the finger joints spreading into the palm of her hand, and some clawing of both hands and fingers. Mandy consulted her GP, who referred her to the orthopaedic specialist at her local hospital in Chesterfield. X-rays showed her finger joints had become arthritic. The surgeon prescribed cortisone injections to reduce the swelling and ease the pain.
It was soon clear that injections alone were not a cure. Mandy began a series of operations, first on tendons in her wrist, then on the bones in her fingers to fuse the joints. The operations, spread over three or four years, were successful; with each one her pain decreased and her hand function improved.
Then a problem developed in her index finger. During an operation in May 2010, the bone fractured and had to be repaired with a metal plate. By this time Mandy was used to the normal healing process, so she could immediately tell that this joint was not healing. Scans and X-rays confirmed that fusion of the bone had not occurred, despite a metal plate with 4 fixing screws and immobilisation of the hand.
Mandy was extremely reluctant to undergo more surgery, so her consultant team suggested trying EXOGEN. Said Mandy, “Neither I nor my surgeon wanted to do the bone graft from my hip, but we were running out of options, so the thought of a device that avoided an operation and which I could use at home sounded too good to be true”. Mandy started to use the EXOGEN device in August 2010.
By early October 2010, X-rays revealed that the bone was completely healed. Said Mandy, “Almost immediately I got the feeling back and warmth back in my finger and the nail began to regrow. Within a few days the finger simply began to feel more comfortable and less inflamed. I am very, very thrilled as it worked so quickly and saved me having to have another op. Importantly, I felt a great sense of empowerment in being able to manage my recovery. I can’t thank my consultant and EXOGEN enough.”
Although she is now retired, the treatment to her hands has enabled her to sign again.
Disclaimer: Information presented in patient testimonials is representative of a specific patient experience only and is not medical advice.