Years ago, even the best of orthopedic surgeons couldn’t lengthen someone’s leg or fix a crooked bone, leaving patients disabled or sometimes requiring amputation. Today, P/SL’s Dr. David Hahn does both, sometimes at the same time, with the use of an advanced “fixator” called a Taylor Spatial Frame. With this complex technology, Hahn can correct these previously untouched bone deformities with absolute precision.
“The most common use is for a bone that doesn’t heal correctly, either because of an infection or because patients aren’t as healthy as they should be,” says Hahn, who notes that the frame requires a huge commitment and lifestyle disruption, so is never prescribed lightly. “We also use it to get ankle bones to fuse or to lengthen bones. And the nice thing about this device is you can do lots of things at the same time.”
The device looks like a spherical cage or drum, with rings encircling the leg and connected by adjustable struts. Pins and wire, which pierce the patient’s skin, connect the rings with the bone. The struts are then methodically adjusted to manipulate the bone. Using complicated mathematical software programs, the computer-based technology determines treatment plans based on the doctor’s input. “It’s kind of cool,” Hahn says. “I just put these things into the hopper and out comes a program that says how to, in three months (for instance), have the patient straightened out.” Because of the intensity of the treatment, P/SL holds a monthly support meeting called “Frame Camp” that includes patients and prospective patients.
For more information: www.thedenverclinic.com
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