BOSTON, MA ( Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Their bones snap with little or no cause and they can suffer hundreds of breaks in their lifetime. It’s what some people with a painful bone condition can expect, and it can be even more excruciating for kids whose brittle bones are still growing. Now, there’s a new device helping make their lives a lot less painful.
Not one, not five but ten to 15 bone breaks every year! That’s what Sydney Pardi has averaged since she was one year old.
"It’s kind of hard to do anything when I have a broken bone," Sydney Pardi told Ivanhoe.
"We would go into the emergency room at least once a month," Andrea Pardi, Sydney’s mother, said.
She suffers from a condition that makes her bones very brittle called osteogenesis imperfecta. It’s believed up to 50,000 people in the U.S. have it.
The breaks happen mostly in Sydney’s thighs and upper arms. Doctor Samantha Spencer inserted rods in those areas to help reinforce the bones.
"The trouble is the child would grow off the rod and there would be a section of bone that would have no protection," Samantha Spencer, M.D., a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital, said.
Now new telescoping rods grow as Sydney grows.
"The rods are inserted through multiple very small incisions; usually each around an inch long," Dr. Spencer said.
The stainless steel rod lowers the risk of Sydney needing additional surgeries.
"It gives her a chance to build up her muscles and get walking and not have to go through another recovery," Dr. Spencer said
So far they’re working for Sydney.
"I really like having these rods because it heals my bones faster," Sydney said.
Today her breaks are few and far between and a lot less painful all thanks to this growing gadget. Sydney’s mom says she’s had just one break since January. Doctor Spencer tells us the telescoping rods are more expensive than the traditional rods. They cost about one thousand dollars, but since they lower the need for additional surgeries it can save money in the long run. MORE
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Click here for Ivanhoe's full-length interview with Dr. Samantha Spencer
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