November 10 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets Year: 2008 Rating: 1
An 81-year-old man had his femur bone replaced with a titanium alternative in a surgery that bypasses his need for an amputation.
The surgery happened just outside of Chicago at Weiss Memorial Hospital on Gene Johnson, an elderly man whose femur bone had broken during surgery to repair his artificial hip. The efforts to mend his broken bone proved futile — despite 20 screws and two metal plates his leg gave way yet again. It was then they decided to replace the bone with a titanium one.
Bone replacement surgery has been around for almost four decades though it is “more typically used in patients who suffer from rare bone cancers.” This surgery is unique due to its level of complexity during the surgery which alone took over five hours in arranging the muscles, tendons and veins around the replacement bone.
With people living longer and longer, these kind of drastic actions in order to improve the life of the elderly will become more commonplace, especially as the Baby Boomer generation starts to hit their 60’s and 70’s. The ability to keep people mobile is out there, we just need to start experimenting more with the implementation of such technology. This way when all of us get past our golden age we can still enjoy a stroll around town.
Image: The Kozy Shack (Flickr, CC-Attribution)