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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.

Listen to a National Public Radio interview with a patient who participated in this trial. (MP3)


About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the eighth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2017-2018). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. The global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. People from all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries travelled to receive care at HSS. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Global Innovation Institute was formed in 2016 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The culture of innovation is accelerating at HSS as 130 new idea submissions were made to the Global Innovation Institute in 2017 (almost 3x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute is the world’s leading provider of education on the topic on musculoskeletal health, with its online learning platform offering more than 600 courses to more than 21,000 medical professional members worldwide. Through HSS Global Ventures, the institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.


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