My interest in hand surgery goes far beyond procedure. With the economic pressures of health care rising, I believe that it is more important than ever that cost-effective new products and services be created in order to improve the quality of care delivered by medical professionals.
The experience that I had while collaboratively creating the Apex device (a device that improves the healing time and comfort of burned hand patients) helped to spark my interest in this development. Inspired by my work as a plastic surgeon at the Oregon Burn Center, I encountered numerous patients with recurring problems due to exposed extensor tendons in the fingers. At the time, the methods available for arthrodesis of the proximal interphalangeal joint included plates and screws that were susceptible to exposure and percutaneous pins that were susceptible to pin tract infections and unstable fixation leading to malunion. After a thorough evaluation of arthrodesis devices on the market, I found that Extremity Medical developed multiple arthrodesis devices for the foot and ankle joints. I approached Extremity Medical with my clinical problem. Within a few weeks I found myself sitting down with the Extremity Medical device development team, as we worked together to find a solution that solved my clinical needs with the design skills of the Extremity Medical team. We came up with a device that avoided all of the clinical problems that tormented patients with badly burned hands. The APEX device was approved by the FDA and is now commonly used for the intra osseous fixation of the proximal interphalangeal joint.
I want to bring my clinical experience as a hand surgeon directly to designers so that innovative products and services can change the way hand surgery is performed today.
– Dr. Vangelisti