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Study to Heal Wrist Fractures More Rapidly Looks at Frequent Cold Weather Injuries

Winter is the Season for FOOSHes

New York, NY—February 23, 2006

The most common kind of wrist fracture is often caused by a fall onto an outstretched hand.  Dubbed a FOOSH by orthopedic surgeons, these fractures may result from slipping on ice, as well as skiing and snowboarding injuries.  Accounting for 17 percent of all emergency room visits, they can put anyone who braves the elements in harm’s way. 

An innovative approach to treat these wrist fractures using a new biological compound called Chrysalin®, developed by OrthoLogic Corp., is now being studied in a randomized placebo-controlled multi-center trial underway at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in Manhattan. 

“When injected into the fracture, Chrysalin, a novel synthetic peptide, is thought to speed the process of bony healing and reduce the time that patients are required to wear casts or bulky fixation devices,” said Dr. Scott W. Wolfe, Attending Orthopedic Surgeon and Chief of the Hand Service at HSS.  This new approach for fracture repair may offer patients a procedure that would enhance the rate of bone healing and minimize the need for prolonged immobilization.

“Traditionally, the time for healing of a wrist fracture averages six to eight weeks, and a bulky cast or external fixation device can inhibit mobility of the patient,” said Dr. Wolfe.  “In the ideal candidate, Chrysalin may shorten the need for casting and allow an earlier return to function.  Studies to date with Chrysalin have shown it to be a safe and effective product that restores bone strength and hand function.  It has the potential to dramatically change the way orthopedists treat fractures,” said Dr. Wolfe.

Although there are no specific risks or diseases that increase the chance of  getting a fracture, studies have shown that they frequently occur during sports activities.  The use of protective gear such as wrist guards during activities like inline skating and snowboarding can decrease the chance of breaking a bone around the wrist.

“The wrist is a complex, unique and important joint,” said Dr. Wolfe. “Many fractures may go undetected and remain ununited for weeks or months.”

Without the hallmarks of injury such as pain or swelling, a seemingly invisible injury can turn into a debilitating one. Because of the potential for hidden dangers, extra vigilance should be paid to every wrist injury.  Diagnostic tools such as physical examination and imaging techniques like X-ray, bone scan and MRI will help hand specialists determine the extent of injury. 

Chrysalin is made by OrthoLogic, of Tempe, Ariz., which is funding the clinical trial.

National Public Radio conducted an interview with a patient who participated in this trial.



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