Friday, August 26, 2011

Pediatric Endoprosthesis Surgery

Each year in this country, 448 children receive a devastating diagnosis. They are told that they have bone cancer. In most cases, the recommended treatment involves amputation and chemotherapy. We see these young patients in our practice and are continually amazed by their ability to accept, adapt and participate in life.

A pioneering implanted prosthesis is giving hope to these children and their families. In some cases the infected bone is removed and replaced with an expandable chrome and titanium implant. This prosthetic "bone" can be adjusted with specialized magnets to accommodate for the growth of the child.

The endoprosthesis surgery is both expensive and painful, but when successful, the child emerges from bone cancer with only a scar and memories. The limb is saved, sparing the youngster from a lifetime of standard prosthetic care. Once recovered, the child is able to resume an active lifestyle by participating in sports, swimming and even horseback riding.

September marks Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. We thought that this was an appropriate time to bring light to this exciting development. We remain optimistic that we will see a marked decrease in the number of pediatric cancer patients requiring our care.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Family Picnic

At OPC we have the privilege of being chosen to provide prosthetic care to some amazing individuals. Whereas each patient is unique, some populations encounter common obstacles. We appreciate that our patients benefit from both networking and exchanging stories and ideas. During the past few years we have been striving to provide opportunities for these imperative interactions to occur.

Friday evening OPC hosted a picnic for the families of our youngest patients. Being a child with a limb loss can pose unique obstacles, and we wanted to provide these families with a chance to meet and to talk about issues that are unique to raising a child with a prosthetic.

Several families attended the picnic with children ranging in age from 15 months to 12 years old. Activities for the kids, including a Moon Bounce and pinata, were enjoyed. A babysitter was provided to help lead the activities and to keep the children engaged so their parents were able to sit down, relax and simply talk.

Although a wide variety of topics were discussed, inevitably the conversation always led back to the unique issues involved with raising a child with a prosthetic. It was heartwarming to watch the free exchange of support, ideas and insights among the parents. Ben and Elliot were able to answer questions in a relaxed environment. (Incidentally, both enjoyed watching the prosthetics which they crafted being put through their paces as the kids ran around the yard and hopped on the Moon Bounce.)

At OPC, we realize that our patients' needs extend beyond prosthetics. We will continue to strive to provide social opportunities for our patients. Let us know if you have an activity that you would like OPC to host. We are always trying to find unique and fun opportunities for our patients.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Genium in Action

Below is a video featuring the first OPC patient to be fitted with the new Otto Bock Genium Knee. As you can see, this revolutionary knee allows the above knee amputee to walk up stairs leg over leg. The patient in this video has not received any special training on the knee and has been using the device for approximately two weeks before this video was recorded.

We are excited to provide cutting edge technology to our patients. If you think that you might benefit from this knee, please give us a call.