Screw This

Surgical ScrewsA couple decades back I split my kneecap after wiping out on a luge run sledding hill.  As a result I was treated to my first encounter with surgical screws.  What amazed me at the time was how similar they were to the screws in my workshop.  Somehow it seemed they would be more special.

The recovery was bad enough, but about six months later I had to go back in and have the hardware removed.  Frankly, that was way worse (probably because it was only done under a local anesthetic), and the hole left behind took the better part of two years to heal.

That’s why I think this new development is very cool.  They’ve now developed a screw made of polylactic acid and hydroxylapatite, a ceramic that  is the main constituent of bone material.  That means that once the screw is inserted it is absorbed by the body as bone grows into it.  This should mean faster and better bone healing as well as no one having to suffer through having Home Depot reclaim its inventory from inside their body.

One thought on “Screw This

  1. Tim – abt 2 years ago I had spinal fusion surgery, which, was, ahem, quite intense. The procedure included use of stem cell material and those “screws’. The funny thing was that while in business research at Kodak, I had to take those same screws to market in a mock presentation. Very interesting stuff, to be sure. But in this case, a little learning was a dangerous thing. I knew of all the down sides of the screw!!! Surgery worked, so I can attest to their effectiveness!!

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