Orthopedic Trauma Turns Tragedy into Innovation at Hadassah

Thursday, Nov 20 2014

Terrorism and other mass casualty events have been the mother of invention for the Hadassah Medical Organization’s orthopedic trauma teams.

With each mass casualty event, its specialists innovate and learn from the experience, crafting more effective treatment techniques and protocols for treating victims of orthopedic trauma. At the same time, Hadassah continues to pioneer a groundbreaking stem cell treatment— using the stem cells from a patient’s own bone marrow— to heal complex fractures faster and more successfully. Combining stem cells and growth factors to regenerate bone, Hadassah is also trailblazing a biological solution to severe bone loss.

Most recently, Prof. Rami Mosheiff, head of Orthopedic Trauma at Hadassah, achieved a patent for a “Mesenchymal Stem Cells Delivery System, Intended for Bone” and a “Tissue Regeneration Membrane,” with which he begins clinical trials in the near future. This Regenecure “Regenerative Membrane Implant” was invented by Prof. Mosheiff, along with Prof. Michael Friedman, a biomaterials expert at the Hebrew University School of Pharmacy. The expectation is that the implant will accelerate healing of severe fractures by 40 percent, with a single-stage procedure that just requires a minor modification to traditional surgical practice. The intent is for it also to be a stand-alone device, as well as used in conjunction with bone grafts.

The upcoming clinical trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the implant as a bone- stimulating aid for orthopedic trauma cases. Participants will be male and female patients who have sustained a fracture of their femur bone, where there is an increased risk of the bone not fusing successfully. While one of the trials will be at Hadassah, multi-center trials will also be initiated.

Hadassah is proud of the diversity of its staff and its patients, reflecting what peace would look like in the Middle East. Prof. Mosheiff recounts the story of a Palestinian boy who stepped on a landmine and suffered serious injuries to both his legs. Although Hadassah’s surgeons had to amputate his left leg, they were able to use tissue from the amputated leg to repair the badly torn up right one.

Eager to get his son home, Prof. Mosheiff relates, the father took the boy out of the hospital before doctors could provide him with a prosthesis. Not long afterwards, former Israeli President Ezer Weizman underwent some surgery at Hadassah and King Hussein of Jordan came to visit him.

When the monarch asked if there was anything he could do for Hadassah, Mosheiff says, “we asked him to find this boy.” King Hussein did so, and the young man was brought back to the hospital to be fitted with the artificial leg.

“I still believe, more than ever,” Prof. Mosheiff notes, “that medicine is a bridge to peace.”


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