DENVER (CBS4) – There’s a group of doctors in Denver that specializes in treating extremities at risk. That can include attaching a metal frame to save deformed or severely injured legs. It can be a long and painful process, but the doctors make sure patients have the support of other patients.

(credit: CBS)

In February, Kylan Bessire, 16, met with another teenager at the Denver Clinic for Extremities at Risk at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center. Kylan’s leg looks like it’s in a cage.

“I get a lot of stares,” Kylan told CBS4.

The metal frame screwed into his bone is actually a medical device. It allows Kylan to walk while his bowed leg is being straightened.

According to his orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Polousky, “We stretch out the bone slowly and then new bone grows in behind it.”

Spencer Hayward can relate. He spent four months in a frame.

Ky asked him “Are you just like 100 percent now, again?”

Spencer told him, “Yes, pretty much.”

Spencer met with Kylan to offer him advice and a positive outlook.

And right next door, adults commiserated.

“I know I shredded a couple pairs of sheet when I first put it on,” Dennis Heaton told Greg Edwards.

Heaton wore the apparatus to fix complications from a broken ankle. In 13 months, he re-grew 4 inches of bone.

Edwards’ leg was shattered in a motorcycle accident. He got framed in November.

“Changing your clothes, that’s my biggest problem, finding stuff to go over this fixture,” said Edwards.

This session was all about support.

“There are so many of these patients who think they’re alone,” said orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Hahn.

That’s why Hahn and Polousky hold these “frame camps.”

“We’ve had a lot of patients that just kind of share tips about daily living with these things,” said Polousky.

At “frame camp” they learn tips to take away some of the worry. And they see proof that the frame can lead to a better future.


Kathy Walsh


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