Physician, Heal Thyself
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.
“I had recently returned from a biking holiday to the Spanish Moto Grand Prix and I was retaking my advanced motorcycle test,” recalled Dr. Jones. “As I approached a bend at the end of the run with the examiner following, my Honda Hornet went from under me and I collided with an oncoming car.”
In that split second, her years of planning for a retirement enjoying whole winters skiing in the Alps would be thrown into doubt, along with her passion for high energy sports like sailing and triathlons. Dr. Jones’ right leg was broken in four places below and in one place above the knee.
“I dare not yet picture myself doing all the things I used to, but just to feel confident in my leg again is an enormous boost.”
She was rushed to Royal United Hospital in Bath, then transferred three days later to the specialist unit at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol. After an exploratory operation, Dr. Jones spent 12 hours on the operating table with orthopaedic and plastic surgeons working side by side on the injuries to her lower leg. Following surgery, she was admitted to Bristol Royal Infirmary to be fitted with an external fixator frame, which needs daily adjustment.
Six months with a leg in the frame is a challenge for anyone. However, the long-term problem for Dr. Jones lay above the knee in her thigh bone (femur), which had been shattered in the accident and had lost 7 cm of its length at the point of the fracture. The femur had been stabilised by the fixing of a steel plate to the bone during the first surgery. But a plan for its permanent healing had to wait until the treatment to her lower leg was well underway.
Three months after the accident, Dr. Jones underwent her third operation, this time to graft bone from her pelvis into her femur. Then 15 months after the accident, the plate that had been attached to her bone was bending and had to be removed. Throughout this time, Dr. Jones was on two crutches and managing daily pain, combined with a steady stream of appointments for X-rays and outpatient clinics.
“You are used to having a lot to do, so suddenly not having that pressure affects you. Even now, I’m not 100% sure of the sequence of events, months seemed to go by,” said Dr. Jones. “Although I was eventually able to put a little weight on the leg, every day was a struggle. I became quite good at hopping about the house on one crutch after a while but you and your family are living with the constant fear that you will hurt yourself.”
Almost three years after her accident, things began to progress rapidly when she was referred to Professor Roger Atkins. Professor Atkins is a specialist in treating patients who have completely lost sections of bone in so-called high-energy fractures, where the bone has been reduced in part to fragments that need to be removed surgically.
He lengthened her femur by operating on the bone above the fracture to insert a telescopic rod into the bone that was then gradually extended by performing knee movements. The bone naturally fills the gap created, restoring it to its natural length.
Alongside the bone lengthening procedure, Professor Atkins prescribed an EXOGEN device to speed up the repair of the fracture itself.
Several months later, X-rays indicated that her femur was finally healing. Said Dr. Jones, “The evidence of the latest X-rays is very encouraging after all this time, and although I have just had an operation to relieve some pain caused by the telescopic rod, I was already walking with confidence and I had got back into the gym, which was a big moment.”
Both Dr Jones and Professor Atkins were hopeful that her next consultation would be her last, marking the end of a four-year journey that began with a mystery unlikely ever to be solved. “I dare not yet picture myself doing all the things I used to, but just to feel confident in my leg again is an enormous boost.”
Disclaimer: Information presented in patient testimonials is representative of a specific patient experience only and is not medical advice.