Frances, MICRONAIL™ Intramedullary Distal Radius System Recipient
In November 2004, 63-year-old Frances lost her balance in her basement and fell. One minute, she was preparing a load of laundry at her washing machine and the next minute, she was on the ground.
Just a few weeks prior, she had been in an auto accident and, as a result, was fitted with a halo that left her slightly unsteady on her feet. In falling, she badly injured her left arm and had to be driven to the hospital immediately. In the emergency room, physicians took an x-ray of Frances’ injury, wrapped her wrist in bandages to hold the wrist in place, and recommended surgery the following morning to stabilize the break. The x-ray showed the ends of Frances’ wrist bone were shattered. She was so fearful that surgery would not be enough to fix her wrist and even assumed the worst – that her wrist was beyond repair.
Dr. Virak Tan, Assistant Professor of Orthopedics at New Jersey Medical School, recommended the MICRONAIL™ Intramedullary Distal Radius System.
Dr. Tan operated and inserted the MICRONAIL™ device in Frances’ left wrist the following morning. After the surgery, she was pleasantly surprised to find that she could already move her fingers. Her wrist took about 3 ½ weeks to heal and for this, Frances was completely stunned. She had previously broken her left wrist. Whereas, that injury had been less severe, she had been in a cast for six weeks and once the cast was removed, her wrist had swollen to three times the normal size.
“The first time I broke my wrist it was excruciatingly painful for at least a month after that.” Frances says her wrist healed remarkably well. She experienced almost no pain with the MICRONAIL™ device, in sharp contrast to her first fracture experience – “it doesn’t hurt at all.”
Whereas Frances is still recovering from her auto accident, she is able to perform everyday chores around the house such as loading and unloading the dishwasher and picking up objects with great ease. She doesn’t have full strength in her hand, but she exercises every day to increase her mobility.
“When I saw the x-ray, I thought he (Dr. Tan) would never be able to put my hand back together. But, it was fixed and it’s almost perfect. This is a terrific device.”