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Silk-Based Implants Could Offer A Better Way to Heal Broken Bones

Silk-Based Implants Could Offer A Better Way to Heal Broken Bones | Wound Care | Scoop.it

When a person suffers a broken bone, treatment calls for the surgeon to insert screws and plates to help bond the broken sections and enable the fracture to heal. These “fixation devices” are usually made of metal alloys.

But metal devices may have disadvantages: Because they are stiff and unyielding, they can cause stress to underlying bone. They also pose an increased risk of infection and poor wound healing. In some cases, the metal implants must be removed following fracture healing, necessitating a second surgery. Resorbable fixation devices, made of synthetic polymers, avoid some of these problems but may pose a risk of inflammatory reactions and are difficult to implant.


Now, using pure silk protein derived from silkworm cocoons, a team of investigators from Tufts University School of Engineering and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has developed surgical plates and screws that may not only offer improved bone remodeling following injury, but importantly, can also be absorbed by the body over time, eliminating the need for surgical removal of the devices.


The findings, demonstrated in vitro and in a rodent model, are described in the March 4 issue of Nature Communications. “Unlike metal, the composition of silk protein may be similar to bone composition,” says co-senior author Samuel Lin, MD, of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. “Silk materials are extremely robust. They maintain structural stability under very high temperatures and withstand other extreme conditions, and they can be readily sterilized.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Encompass HealthCare's insight:

At Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine, we treat a lot of patients with hardware-related infections following hip replacements, knee replacements, anklebone fusions, and more. There are several reasons that patients sometimes develop these infections.


One reason patients can develop hardware-related infections is due to an infection that develops during the time of the surgery. Even under the most sterile conditions, bacteria that normally sit on the skin can spread into the freshly made incision, causing an infection that tunnels its way down and attaches itself to the very hardware that has been put in place. If this occurs, the patient needs treatment. Usually, I.V. antibiotics are given to try to clear the infection. This works some of the time, however, on occasion, the hardware must be removed, the patient must then be treated with another course of I.V. antibiotics, and then new hardware can be re-inserted by the patient's surgeon.


A second reason patients can develop hardware-related infections is due to an infection that develops sometime after the hardware has been in place. The patient may incur an infection from a completely unrelated incident and the bacteria can attach itself to the hardware. Again, medical protocol most often is a course of I.V. antibiotics, with the possibility of needing to remove the hardware if unsuccessful. Once the body is completely clear of infection, new hardware may be reinserted.


Due to foreign nature of hardware in the human body, a team at Tufts University has tried to find a more body-friendly substance that reduces the risk of infection, while impacting the bones in a less stressful manner.  Scientific gains have been reported by this group, experimenting with silkworm-cocoon derived proteins that may achieve these goals. Consequently, their research suggests that surgical plates and screws made from this material may be better in the long-run for these populations of patients. 


In the meantime, should you suffer an infection, seek help right away. Hardware related infections can be serious.


EncompassHealthcare and Wound Medicine is an outpatient facility featuring advanced wound care, IV antibiotic therapies, hyperbaric oxygen treatment, stem cell and artificial skin grafts, nutritional assessment, wound debridement, wound vacs, venous ablation and other treatment modalities for serious, non-healing wounds and infections. Dr. Bruce Ruben, TheWoundDoc, is the Founder and Medical Director of Encompass HealthCare, located in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

www.encompasshealthcare.com

248-624-9800




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Rescooped by Encompass HealthCare from Amazing Science
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Silk-Based Implants Could Offer A Better Way to Heal Broken Bones

Silk-Based Implants Could Offer A Better Way to Heal Broken Bones | Wound Care | Scoop.it

When a person suffers a broken bone, treatment calls for the surgeon to insert screws and plates to help bond the broken sections and enable the fracture to heal. These “fixation devices” are usually made of metal alloys.

But metal devices may have disadvantages: Because they are stiff and unyielding, they can cause stress to underlying bone. They also pose an increased risk of infection and poor wound healing. In some cases, the metal implants must be removed following fracture healing, necessitating a second surgery. Resorbable fixation devices, made of synthetic polymers, avoid some of these problems but may pose a risk of inflammatory reactions and are difficult to implant.


Now, using pure silk protein derived from silkworm cocoons, a team of investigators from Tufts University School of Engineering and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has developed surgical plates and screws that may not only offer improved bone remodeling following injury, but importantly, can also be absorbed by the body over time, eliminating the need for surgical removal of the devices.


The findings, demonstrated in vitro and in a rodent model, are described in the March 4 issue of Nature Communications. “Unlike metal, the composition of silk protein may be similar to bone composition,” says co-senior author Samuel Lin, MD, of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. “Silk materials are extremely robust. They maintain structural stability under very high temperatures and withstand other extreme conditions, and they can be readily sterilized.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Encompass HealthCare's insight:

At Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine, we treat a lot of patients with hardware-related infections following hip replacements, knee replacements, anklebone fusions, and more. There are several reasons that patients sometimes develop these infections.


One reason patients can develop hardware-related infections is due to an infection that develops during the time of the surgery. Even under the most sterile conditions, bacteria that normally sit on the skin can spread into the freshly made incision, causing an infection that tunnels its way down and attaches itself to the very hardware that has been put in place. If this occurs, the patient needs treatment. Usually, I.V. antibiotics are given to try to clear the infection. This works some of the time, however, on occasion, the hardware must be removed, the patient must then be treated with another course of I.V. antibiotics, and then new hardware can be re-inserted by the patient's surgeon.


A second reason patients can develop hardware-related infections is due to an infection that develops sometime after the hardware has been in place. The patient may incur an infection from a completely unrelated incident and the bacteria can attach itself to the hardware. Again, medical protocol most often is a course of I.V. antibiotics, with the possibility of needing to remove the hardware if unsuccessful. Once the body is completely clear of infection, new hardware may be reinserted.


Due to foreign nature of hardware in the human body, a team at Tufts University has tried to find a more body-friendly substance that reduces the risk of infection, while impacting the bones in a less stressful manner.  Scientific gains have been reported by this group, experimenting with silkworm-cocoon derived proteins that may achieve these goals. Consequently, their research suggests that surgical plates and screws made from this material may be better in the long-run for these populations of patients. 


In the meantime, should you suffer an infection, seek help right away. Hardware related infections can be serious.


EncompassHealthcare and Wound Medicine is an outpatient facility featuring advanced wound care, IV antibiotic therapies, hyperbaric oxygen treatment, stem cell and artificial skin grafts, nutritional assessment, wound debridement, wound vacs, venous ablation and other treatment modalities for serious, non-healing wounds and infections. Dr. Bruce Ruben, TheWoundDoc, is the Founder and Medical Director of Encompass HealthCare, located in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

www.encompasshealthcare.com

248-624-9800




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Rescooped by Encompass HealthCare from Pressure Sores
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What You Ought To Know About Bed Sores

What You Ought To Know About Bed Sores | Wound Care | Scoop.it

Bed sores are a very painful condition that affects many elderly or bed ridden people. Bed sores, or pressure sores, are tissue damage to the skin caused by prolonged pressure to one area of the body. They are especially prone to spots that are bony, like the knees, hips, buttocks and heels.

There are four different stages of pressure sores. Stage one the skin is still intact. The skin becomes red and is painful to the touch, sometimes the skin texture or temperature changes as well. Stage two is where the spot becomes an open wound. Sometimes it appears as a blister. Stage three occurs once the ulcer has become a deep wound, often times yellow in color due to the dying skin. Other layers of skin may also be affected at this stage. Stage four begins when there is massive tissue loss. Bone, muscle or tendons may become exposed.

Encompass HealthCare's insight:

Quadriplegics and paraplegics often acquire bed sores, due to the constant pressure of sitting in a wheelchair or lying in the same position in bed. Prevention is key.  However, if pressure sores have already developed, the patient needs thorough, comprehensive, and expert wound management attention. Remedies may involve wound debridement, IV antibiotics, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, skin grafts and flaps, and other wound-healing modalities. 

 

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Encompass HealthCare's curator insight, January 21, 2014 11:16 AM

Quadriplegics and paraplegics often acquire bed sores, due to the constant pressure of sitting in a wheelchair or lying in the same position in bed. Prevention is key.  However, if pressure sores have already developed, the patient needs thorough, comprehensive, and expert wound management attention. Remedies may involve wound debridement, IV antibiotics, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, skin grafts and flaps, and other wound-healing modalities. 

 

Rescooped by Encompass HealthCare from Inequality, Poverty, and Corruption: Effects and Solutions
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5 Major Hospital-Acquired Infections That Cost The US $10B Each Year

5 Major Hospital-Acquired Infections That Cost The US $10B Each Year | Wound Care | Scoop.it
A new study finds annual costs for five major hospital-acquired infections to total $9.8 billion in the United States.

Via Jocelyn Stoller
Encompass HealthCare's insight:

So about 1 in every 20 patients gets a hospital-acquired infection. What if you knew your mechanic screwed up every 20th car he touched? Would you still take your car there? Probably not.


Is it such a radical idea to publicize the number of HAI's from every hospital? And if they were publicized, how fast do you think hospital management would respond with better and more frequent education on proper hygiene and infection control? 


Pretty darn fast, I'd imagine.


Any hospitals game for putting their money where their infections are?

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Telehealth Can Give Patients Better Care | Support Solutions

Telehealth Can Give Patients Better Care | Support Solutions | Wound Care | Scoop.it
Telehealth is more likely to achieve better and faster health outcomes, and gives patients more responsibility over their health.

Via Telemedicine Today, Encompass HealthCare
Encompass HealthCare's insight:

Telehealth and telemedicine are hot topics and they are creating quite a stir.  Telehealth is the delivery of health-related services and information via telecommunications technologies. Telehealth could be as simple as two health professionals discussing a case over a video chat or as sophisticated as doing robotic surgery between facilities at different ends of the globe.


What are the implications of telemedicine? In some cases, the ability to send images quickly over the internet sidesteps the time-lag that older technological modes presented. Waiting for a fax can now seem eternal as compared to one physician emailing a report or Face-timing in order to discuss a patient's case.


Is it all beneficial, however? Time may be saved, but patient-to-patient contact may be lost, as some physician's offices are, for instance, entertaining "office visits" via Face-time, Skype, and other video chat services. And this is just the beginning.


To what lengths is telemedicine beneficial? And who gets to weigh in on this? Each patient? Or just the doctors running the offices?  And what, if any, protocol will become the standard of patient treatment?


These questions knock on the already-fragile door of compromised service across most industries, especially in healthcare. In a field where patients are sick, vulnerable, and often scared, what is needed is more patient-centered focus. More handholding. 


This issue begs the question of balance.  How much technology is the "right" amount, as to not compromise patient care? How far is too far? These questions have yet to be answered.


What do you think? Respond by clicking "reply" and feel free to share this.

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Encompass HealthCare's curator insight, May 1, 2014 3:56 PM

Telehealth and telemedicine are hot topics and they are creating quite a stir.  Telehealth is the delivery of health-related services and information via telecommunications technologies. Telehealth could be as simple as two health professionals discussing a case over a video chat or as sophisticated as doing robotic surgery between facilities at different ends of the globe.


What are the implications of telemedicine? In some cases, the ability to send images quickly over the internet sidesteps the time-lag that older technological modes presented. Waiting for a fax can now seem eternal as compared to one physician emailing a report or Face-timing in order to discuss a patient's case.


Is it all beneficial, however? Time may be saved, but patient-to-patient contact may be lost, as some physician's offices are, for instance, entertaining "office visits" via Face-time, Skype, and other video chat services. And this is just the beginning.


To what lengths is telemedicine beneficial? And who gets to weigh in on this? Each patient? Or just the doctors running the offices?  And what, if any, protocol will become the standard of patient treatment?


These questions knock on the already-fragile door of compromised service across most industries, especially in healthcare. In a field where patients are sick, vulnerable, and often scared, what is needed is more patient-centered focus. More handholding. 


This issue begs the question of balance.  How much technology is the "right" amount, as to not compromise patient care? How far is too far? These questions have yet to be answered.


What do you think? Respond by clicking "reply" and feel free to share this.


Rescooped by Encompass HealthCare from Dog Health Advocacy
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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helps Speed Up Healing in Animals

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helps Speed Up Healing in Animals | Wound Care | Scoop.it
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps treat various conditions, including air bubbles in blood vessels, crushing injuries, gangrene, burns, and severe anemia.

Via jana rade
Encompass HealthCare's insight:

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment for pets? Apparently, that's what they are exploring in Florida and a few other states. It may make sense, if you think about it.


Hyperbaric oxygen chambers are pressurized with 100% pure oxygen to get high levels of oxygen into your body. This high concentration exceeds by as much as ten times the level of oxygen that can be carried to a non-healing wound by blood alone. When utilized as a medical therapy, oxygen in high doses can help heal damaged organs, promote the healing of chronic wounds and save lives.


So it makes sense that if humans can heal non-healing wounds with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, so, too, might animals.  


Some unanswered questions come to mind, however.bIn human hyperbaric oxygen therapy dives, people are taught how to equalize pressure that occurs during the descent of the dive such as plugging one's nose and blowing out gently...the same type of maneuver we might do when ascending in an airplane.  So, how does the animal equalize pressure within its eardrum?  And what other signs of feedback are reliable other than barks and whimpers which may occur simply because of the unfamiliar environment?  What if the animal suffers a stroke and becomes unconscious, yet is perceived as sleeping?  So many unanswered questions remain.  


In any case, it is interesting to explore the theory of pet hyperbaric oxygen treatment and the possible positive outcomes that may ensue for not only the animals, but for their owners as well!

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Reading Food Nutrition Labels

Reading Food Nutrition Labels | Wound Care | Scoop.it
Learn how to read and understand food nutrition labels. (Know your food! Learning to read food #nutrition labels can help you make healthier choices.

Via Luwalaga
Encompass HealthCare's insight:

Healthy nutrition is critical for wound healing.  In fact, increased protein is one of the most important factors in aiding nonhealing wounds.  Sometimes up to 3 times the daily protein total may be recommended in order to achieve the optimal levels for proper wound healing.  Good protein sources include lean meats like turkey, chicken and some meats, fish, legumes (beans, edamame,) nuts and seeds, and nondairy sources such as almond milk, flax milk, and soy milk.  For more information on wound healing nutrition, visit http://www.encompasshealthcare.com/determining-nutritional-needs/


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Melanie Darter's curator insight, July 23, 2013 9:54 PM

useful tool..color blocking helps highlight elements of label