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Thread: 7 severed fingers reattached through microsurgery

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    Default 7 severed fingers reattached through microsurgery

    7 severed fingers reattached through microsurgery

    16 Apr 2009, 1651 hrs IST, PTI

    COIMBATORE: A printing press operator in Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu got a new lease of life, when his seven severed fingers were reattached through a 14-hour microsurgery at a city hospital.

    The 30-year-old operator, Rajaram was brought to the Ganga Medical Centre and Hospital on March 26, after his hands got caught while working on a paper-cutting machine accidentally and the fingers got severed, Dr S Raja Sabapathy, director and surgeon of the Hospital, said in a release here today.

    He was immediately bought here from Sivakasi, a distance of over 300 km from here, on the advice of a surgeon from Madurai. The severed fingers were packed properly and also brought along with the patient, he said.

    The surgery started around 6pm, on Rajaram's arrival and completed at 8am the next day, under local anesthesia, Sabapathy said.

    The surgery involved joining 33 blood vessels, each of about one millimeter in diameter, 14 nerves, 14 tendons and seven bones. The index, middle, ring and little fingers of the left and the index, middle and ring fingers of the right hand were reattached. The tip of the left thumb was badly damaged, Sabapathy said.

    Rajaram has now been discharged and would undergo physiotherapy for a few months and the pins which hold the bone would be removed in about four weeks after the bones unite, Sabapathy said.

    'The injury happened 325 km away and Rajaram took eight hours to come to the hospital. Still the hospital managed to put all the fingers back and give him a chance of normal life,' Sabapathy said.



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    Osteoporosis drug can mend hard-to-heal elderly fractures

    15 Apr 2009, 2032 hrs IST, ANI

    WASHINGTON: A drug commonly used to treat severe osteoporosis can mend hard-to-heal broken bones of elderly patients at a rate typically seen when they were young kids, say researchers.

    The study led by Dr J. Edward Puzas, who heads orthopaedic bone research at the University of Rochester Medical Centre showed that the drug teriparatide, or Forteo can significantly boost our bodies' bone stem cell production.
    The researchers may have discovered a new, in-the-body stem cell therapy that can jumpstart the body's natural healing process in bones.

    In the study involving 145 patients who had an unhealed bone fracture, the researchers found that 93 percent showed significant healing and pain control after being on teriparatide for only eight to 12 weeks.
    "In many people, as they get older, their skeleton loses the ability to heal fractures and repair itself," said Puzas.

    "With careful application of teriparatide, we believe we've found a way to turn back the clock on fracture healing through a simple, in-body stem cell therapy," Puzas added.

    Dr Susan V. Bukata, medical director of the Center for Bone Health at the University of Rochester Medical Center Bukata revealed that elderly confined to nursing homes or require additional medical attention because of non-healing fractures might be able to live an independent life.

    The impetus for the research began in Bukata's clinic, where she saw painful bone fractures in osteoporotic patients quickly heal within a few months of taking teriparatide.

    "I had patients with severe osteoporosis, in tremendous pain from multiple fractures throughout their spine and pelvis, who I would put on teriparatide," said Bukata.

    "When they would come back for their follow-up visits three months later, it was amazing to see not just the significant healing in their fractures, but to realize they were pain-free - a new and welcome experience for many of these patients," she added.

    When a fracture occurs, a bone becomes unstable and can move back and forth creating a painful phenomenon known as micromotion. As the bone begins healing it must progress through specific, well-defined stages.

    First, osteoclasts - cells that can break down bone - clean up any fragments or debris produced during the break. Next, a layer of cartilage - called a callus - forms around the fracture that ultimately calcifies, preventing the bony ends from moving, providing relief from the significant pain brought on by micromotion.

    Only after the callus is calcified do the bone forming cells - osteoblasts - begin their work. They replace the cartilage with true bone, and eventually reform the fracture to match the shape and structure of the bone into what it was before the break.

    According to Puzas, teriparatide significantly speeds up fracture healing by changing the behaviours and number of the cartilage and the bone stem cells involved in the process.

    "Teriparatide dramatically stimulates the bone's stem cells into action. As a result, the callus forms quicker and stronger," said Puzas.

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