GRAPEVINE, TX -- (02/08/2018) -- Here’s a remarkable story about a woman, who was crushed in a car accident with multiple broken ribs. Every breath was painful, but she was able to return to work in just eight weeks, thanks to an innovative technical and surgical advancement.
Barbara Werley is a master sommelier, a trained wine steward, but a hit and run traffic accident nearly killed her and almost ended her career.
“I had a crushed chest so the back rib here sort of went this way. And from reading my reports, I had no less than 17 fractures down the ribcage,” Werley told Ivanhoe.
Her chest was crushed so badly it took two surgeons to physically move her ribs back into place, and they used titanium plates to hold the rib cage together so she could breathe without pain.
Bradley Putty, MD, Trauma Medical Director at Baylor Grapevine explained, “I think that the recent development and advent of rib fixation technology is quite a breakthrough. For decades the medical community has struggled with how to treat these patients.”
Doctor Putty developed his techniques in the Air Force. New biomaterials are sturdy, flexible and promote healing, making ventilators less necessary.
“Then you fix it to the different ends of the ribs by drilling and then screwing these screws in place. Barbara has enjoyed quite a recovery. Patients do enjoy an earlier return to work and at times a return to work where they otherwise would’ve had to give up their livelihood,” Doctor Putty stated.
The titanium rib plates should not set off a metal detector. They are MRI- compatible and the TSA will see them when patients walk through the X-ray machine at the airport.