WITTENSTEIN intens GmbH: “Limb lengthening with FITBONE® got me up and walking again”

Being severely wounded in action in Afghanistan on May 15, 2012 was certainly a turning point in the life of 31-year old Captain Ben Harrow. Although the Special Forces Detachment Commander in the 7th Special Forces Group, today a father of two young children and a keen sportsman, didn’t lose his life, he did lose something that made – and still makes – life worth living: his mobility. “The FITBONE® intramedullary limb lengthening nail from WITTENSTEIN intens made my femur grow again in a way that enabled lower limb prostheses to be fitted and let me walk around again”, he says.

Immediately after leaving hospital and starting his recovery, Ben decided that he did not want to live in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. To allow the two lower limb prostheses to be fixed later in identical knee positions, the shorter right femur had to be lengthened. Ben was introduced to a doctor at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore who was the American guru on limb lengthening using external fixators. He sent Ben’s X-rays to Dr. Mark Dahl, a member of the FITBONE® Center of Excellence (COE) network. COE members are specifically trained surgeons providing the highest possible competence, trust and safety when implanting FITBONE® intramedullary lengthening nails – proven in several thousand procedures worldwide. At least as important for Ben: “FITBONE® is the only nail that could be customized to a femur as short as mine”.

Once the distraction nail had been implanted, Ben was able to activate its growth on his own. Four times a day he used a small, lightweight remote Control Set to lengthen the nail in small steps and thus distract the bone at the recommended speed. Eleven months later the femur had grown again almost six inches.

Ben Harrow has no hesitation in recommending the FITBONE® treatment to anyone seeking to have a limb lengthened: “Without it, I would have never been able to restore my femur to the right size with such safe and pain-free treatment or get myself up and walking again”, he insists.

The technology story” of Captain Ben Harrow.

Limb lengthening – Specialists speak about the benefits of the FITBONE® method.

1. The FITBONE® intramedullary nail by WITTENSTEIN intens is only implanted by specially trained surgeons.
2. Thanks to the FITBONE®-method Ben Harrow is able to do sports again successfully.