Limb-Saving Injury Surgery - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Limb-Saving Injury Surgery

Posted: Updated:
  • Wendy Damonte's Health Watch ReportsMore>>

  • Request Remind Me 2 Kit

    Request a Remind Me 2 Kit

         More >>
  • USDA Overhauls Decades-Old Poultry Inspections

    USDA Overhauls Decades-Old Poultry Inspections

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:05 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:05:08 GMT
    The Obama administration is overhauling poultry plant inspections for the first time in more than 50 years, a move it says could result in 5,000 fewer foodborne illnesses each year.More >>
    The Obama administration is overhauling poultry plant inspections for the first time in more than 50 years, a move it says could result in 5,000 fewer foodborne illnesses each year.More >>
  • Health Officials Report Whooping Cough Cases Up in Nevada

    Health Officials Report Whooping Cough Cases Up in Nevada

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:30 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:30:56 GMT
    Nevada health officials say the Silver State has seen a rise in pertussis cases over recent years. As of last month, Nevada has had 60 cases of pertussis reported, more than this time last year, hinting towards another year of elevated pertussis cases in the state.More >>
    Nevada health officials say the Silver State has seen a rise in pertussis cases over recent years. As of last month, Nevada has had 60 cases of pertussis reported, more than this time last year, hinting towards another year of elevated pertussis cases in the state.More >>

Most people do not notice Edward Bonfiglio's slight limp. The former Navy medic was shot in his left leg in Afghanistan in 2009.

"My leg just completely fell out from underneath me. And just felt like the worst excruciating pain I've ever felt in my life."

The bullet missed his bone but tore about five centimeters of his sciatic nerve. Doctors at Walter Reed Medical Center told him they could either amputate below the knee or use cadaver nerve tubing to try to regrow his severed nerve.

"It's used as scaffolding to regrow a new nerve for your body," says Lt. Commander Patrick Basile.

Traditional nerve grafts take a piece of nerve from another part of the patient's body, but some soldiers have injuries so large, they don't have that option.

"Where he had his injury, the sciatic nerve has the diameter of roughly a quarter. Usually the nerves we use to repair one's own body using one's own nerve, usually they are very small almost the size of a piece of linguini."

Bonfiglio's recovery was long and grueling. No one knew how much sensation or function he would get back.

"I started out in a wheelchair for a very long time then I moved to crutches and then from crutches I moved to one crutch and then I moved to a leg brace with a cane. And now I just walk with a leg brace."

Nearly four years after his injury Bonfiglio is training to be a paralympian and doctors say his success will pave the way for similar surgeries in the civilian world.

Surgeons can also use synthetic nerve tubes instead of the cadaver tubes but those are also for smaller repairs.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Sarkes Tarzian, Inc. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.