I Have a Bone to Pick with You! New Concepts is Foot Surgery

I’m sure you’ve heard the term “bone on bone”, but never in this context! A product from Solana Surgical gives a whole new concept of internal fixation.

Bone healing generally takes 3-8 weeks (depending on procedure) and needs complete absence of motion to yield the best results.Traditionally, this motion is prevented bymetal hardware such as screws, staples, pins or plates. The biggest problem with the hardware has been that after those weeks it is no longer needed (as the bone is healed) and can become painful, requiring removal.

The newest concept uses pins made from actual human bone to hold the patients’ bone together as it heals.The TenFuse bone pin is a sterilized, engineered pin that is press-fit into a drill hole across a broken (by trauma or surgical technique) bone acting as a means of fixation. The bone pin helps in bone healing and limiting the amount of movement across the bone cut. Its best quality is that after the weeks of healing the bone pin is incorporated into the surrounding native bone. The pin will not provide the compression of a screw or the ability to cover as much bone as a plate, so it’s indications are limited. Also, the strength of human bone is far inferior to most surgical metal alloys. In Podiatric surgical practices today, TenFuse pins are mainly used in holding correction of hammertoe and bunion deformities. Rumors are that the next step is to engineer plates and screws from human bone.

X-ray of bone pin in toe joint

Although its use is far less common to traditional screws and plates, the bone pin offers another option for internal fixation of bone. So if I had a bone to pick, I’d pick Solana’s!

For more information on this matter or anything related to the foot or ankle contact Dr. Jeffrey N. Bowman of Houston Foot Specialists in Houston, Texas at 713-467-8886 or online for appointments and more information at www.houstonfootspecialists.com.

2013 Jeff Bowman., All Rights Reserved

Category: Surgery

Tags: Bone Pin, Broken Bone, Bunions, Foot Surgery, Hammertoes