Orthopedic surgeon Amr Abdelgawad, MD, a physician at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, is developing a new internal bone lengthening device for children.
Here are five key notes:
1. The new device sidesteps the traditional device's bulky frame and avoids skin penetration with pins that can cause infection. The lack of pins could mean less pain and scarring for patients as well.
2. Surgeons can use the device in children who still have growing plates, the first device of its kind.
3. The device is entirely internal and requires a single implantation of a thin metal plate attaching alongside bone with screws. Patients can then use a handheld remote control to adjust the rod extension for slow growth over time.
4. Dr. Abdelgawad displayed the lengthener at the Children's National Health system's annual symposium for pediatric surgery. The device was among the top eight innovations at the conference.
5. The device is still in the development phase. Dr. Abdelgawad is working with Associate Professor of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University Noe Vargas Hernandez.