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Hello, First I would like to introduce myself. My name is Michael Kammer (47). On February 6, 2005 I was involved in a high speed T-Bone MVA. I was driving a Buick LeSabre and was struck on the driver’s side by a full size Ram Pickup truck traveling at a high rate of speed.
My resulting injuries were 10 broken ribs (1-10), a hemothorax and a pneumothorax. Over the 11 days that I spent in Harborview hospital (6 days in ICU), I was given 10 units of plasma. Needless to say the initial healing process was lengthy. One and a half years later, I still had 4 non-union rib fractures that were still causing excruciating pain.
One year after the auto accident it was necessary for me to undergo open heart surgery to repair a mitral valve. The cardiac surgeon was kind enough during the heart surgery to do a nerve block on the rib area that was still causing extreme pain. The nerve block provided some temporary relief, however it was clear within 6 months after the heart surgery that the nerve block was not going to be all that was required for me to achieve a pain free life.
My local GP stated that I would have to “live with it”. I was referred to a Pain Clinic who actually recommended MORE pain medications than what I was currently taking. I was referred to a specialist in chest trauma in Seattle and I was told that due to my chronic atrial fibrillation, there was no chance of an implantable “pain pump”. I had to live with the pain.
After doing some research I found the website that described the U-Plate system. It appeared that I would be a very good candidate for this procedure. I immediately contacted Dr. Mayberry’s office and arranged to have my medical records forwarded down to him. An appointment was set up for the O.H.S.U. Pain Clinic and a 3d CAT scan. A surgery date was set for November 14 2006 to implant two of the U-Plates.
It is now May 11, 2007 and I am 90% pain free. My mobility is completely restored. I still have some minor residual aching near the incision. Based on my history of healing from previous surgeries, I fully expect that within one year or less, I will no longer be aware that I had undergone such an invasive procedure as the U-Plate
I wish to pass on my highest thanks to Dr. Mayberry who truly cares about his patients. His participation in the U-Plate system truly points to his desire to help people. Without the two U-Plates that I received, I can honestly say that right now I would be on permanent disability and I would be completely unable to work. How does one adequately thank someone for truly “giving them their life back”? I hope that this email will help in some small way to express my deepest thanks.
Update as of July 18, 2010
Hello, I am just posting a status report on my 2 RibLoc Rib Fracture Plating System implants. I have no pain whatsoever! I am enjoying life without the agony of my previously broken ribs. I just wanted to pass on a very large “THANK YOU” for your product and you dedication to restoring people’s lives.
– Michael Kammer
To ACUTE Innovations:
Thank you for your product, RibLoc® Rib Fracture Plating System. Last November, before Thanksgiving, I was riding bareback, without a helmet or chest protection, on a horse who had not been out of his stall in several weeks, when he bolted at a gallop toward the pipe corral that enclosed the arena we were in.
He chose to turn quickly rather than stop and I was pitched, right side of my back first, into the railing, the force of which broke multiple ribs (to this day I don’t think they know how many fractures) and punctured a lung. The doctors at my hospital told me they hadn’t seen such bad trauma outside of a major car accident.
I had one rib that was displaced with a large gap and another that was crossed over itself. It was horribly painful to breathe, stand up straight, and use my right arm. They told me I would not be able to be active for 4-6 months, and as someone who runs three marathons a year, dabbles in triathlons, and teaches dance in my spare time, I was devastated. Then someone mentioned that I might be a candidate for a new procedure where the ribs are plated back together so that they could heal more quickly, less painfully, and straighter. I was thrilled. The only catch was that the hospital didn’t have the hardware, so I would be discharged for a few days to wait. Those were some of the most painful days of my life. I did everything left handed, with my right arm cradled protectively around myself.
I barely slept and had to have someone help me out of bed in the morning. There were lots of tears, which is unusual for me!
When I went in for my surgery, I didn’t really know what to expect, even though I had combed your website very thoroughly. But when I woke up the next morning after a good night’s sleep, and my chest tube had been pulled, things were immediately better. Both of those displaced fractures had been plated, and the range of motion in my right arm was much improved because there was less pain. That day I was up walking laps around the ward for 20 minutes. I was released the next day and began my real recovery. I walked every day for longer and longer and was up to 60 minutes within the week. The next week I was hiking in the state parks around San Jose for 90 minutes. I have multiple other fractures that are not plated, but with the stabilization provided by those two, I was immediately able to find some semblance of normalcy in my life. Prior to the surgery, I could not stand straight, walk normally, or use my arm. Three weeks out from surgery I started jogging a little, a few weeks after that I was back to running 60 minutes at a time.
I know that I will make it through the Boston Marathon in April simply because I have been able to get back to training so quickly. (I received my acceptance into the field shortly after I was injured in November.) Without the surgery, I have no idea where I would be — probably with lumpy criss-crossed ribs and a shoulder that was bent to the side, sitting on the couch, I guess.
I really thank you for developing such an ingenuous product, and I hope many more people like me are able to take advantage of it.