Magazine article National Defense

Putty May Put Soldiers on Fast-Track to Recovery

Magazine article National Defense

Putty May Put Soldiers on Fast-Track to Recovery

Article excerpt

A soldier's leg is shattered by a roadside bomb blast A doctor injects a special dough-like material into his leg, and he is running around again in a few days.

The victim avoids the multiple surgeries, lengthy rehabs and amputations that many troops today face in the same situation.

This scenario seems impossible, but researchers are making big strides toward developing a putty that can regenerate bone and allow the injured to function normally during the healing process. If this "fracture putty" proves successful, the benefits will be revolutionary, said Mauro Ferrari, president of the Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Houston.

The body can heal itself after cuts, burns and minor fractures. But there is a dimension of bone injuries so severe that the body cannot fix itself, Ferrari said. The putty would be used in these cases to allow the patient complete mobility while bone, blood vessels and nerves are regenerated. …

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