Hop to it.  Outpacing the pack.

So. You’ve got your buzz words.  Fancy jargon.  Nifty taglines.  Pithy mantras. Take your darn pick.  In any field there are plenty of those, and healthcare is by far, not immune. 

At NOMS we are often caught shamelessly rambling on about what?  Well, more often than not – our highly advanced practices.  But as I like to bore my colleagues senseless by saying: marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  Say it all you want, but that ain’t gonna make it true. 

With over 200 of the region’s finest providers, to be sure, NOMS docs are pulling off novel ways to craft minor, and not-so-minor miracles daily.  Monday was certainly no exception; with all of his 33 years under his belt, Peter Highlander, DPM performed the state’s first-ever successful custom total (talus) ankle replacement. 

His seemingly unlucky patient - a healthy 31-year old woman who had been living with a deformed ankle after a severe fracture from car accident rendered the bone tissue necrotic, became in fact, very lucky.

The Bellevue, Ohio woman came to Highlander after several Cleveland surgeons determined amputation inevitable.  Highlander, known for highly advanced work in ankle trauma and reconstruction, told her, “Until recently, I would have agreed with those physicians.  Your ankle is so heavily eroded reconstruction isn’t an option.”  But six months earlier, he’d become aware of, and involved, with a new process involving 3D printing.

Doc Highlander sent an X-ray and CT image of both the woman’s healthy and compromised ankles to a company and had them make 3D imagery of the good ankle in mirror reverse.  They used that imagery to create a cobalt chromium prosthetic talus. 

Until recently, talus replacements were “off the shelf” at best in “small, medium and large” type options.  So getting a viable, perfect fit fell into the impossible column. 

What’s really impressive is, that according to the manufacturer, to date, 30 total custom ankle replacements have been attempted in the U.S. with success by only 10 surgeons to include Highlander.  Dr. Highlander shared with me, “People are surprised when they find out the type of work I am doing here in North Central Ohio.” He sees patients in Clyde, Tiffin and Sandusky.  And even accepts same-day appointments!

And the best part?  He expects his patient, now casted and discharged from the hospital to be in a boot in three weeks, and walking normally and keeping up with her 4-year-old daughter in three months.  He said, if it weren’t for the severe deformity and the extensive surgery required to complete the procedure, both the surgery (four hours) and recovery time would be half.

And being “that kinda good,” isn’t even good enough; Highlander is a founding member of American Orthopaedic Society of 3D Printing.  Always thinking ahead of the curve, Highlander, a podiatric surgeon aspires to expand this technology throughout the entire skeletal system to benefit patients head to toe.

So.  True.  Dat.

Lisa Mayles

Director of Marketing

1/12/18