What is REPIPHYSIS® Expandable Technology?
Bone cancer is commonly treated with removal of the segment of affected bone and reconstructed with an endoprosthesis. Bone cancer is primarily found in the ends of long bones like those found in the knee, hip, and shoulder. The end of these long bones also contain the growth plate or the epiphysis which allows that bone to grow. Therefore, when a skeletally immature child has a bone cancer that necessitates the removal of the growth plate, the unaffected limb will continue to grow and create a limb length discrepancy.
The REPIPHYSIS® Expandable Technology is an expandable endoprosthesis that will allow the operated limb to maintain limb equality through a noninvasive procedure. Since it is noninvasive, it allows children to have their "replacement bone" grow with them without repetitive and traumatic surgeries, hospital stays, and rehabilitations. If the child has more than 4 centimeters of growth remaining, the REPIPHYSIS® Implant may be the best endoprosthesis to use. These children are typically under 12 for girls and under 14 for boys, but this technology has been used in patients ranging from ages 5 to adult.
Although there are several recognized and proven methods of limb salvage surgery, REPIPHYSIS® Expandable Implant is one of the only endoprostheses designed especially for people whose bones have not reached maturity. For young bone cancer patients, this is revolutionary. Before the REPIPHYSIS® Expandable Implant, children undergoing limb salvage surgery usually received a modular endoprosthesis. These work great for skeletally mature patients, but when used on children they require periodic invasive surgeries to increase limb length. Each time surgery is performed, there is always a risk of infection and a painful period of rehabilitation for the child. The multiple surgeries and cost of the implant can be as expensive as $300,000.
The REPIPHYSIS® Expandable Implant, on the other hand, provides noninvasive expansions. When exposed to periodic treatments of electromagnetic fields, a compressed spring is allowed to expand, lengthening the "bone" in small increments. Each expansion takes about 10 minutes to perform, and the child has good range of motion immediately following the procedure. REPIPHYSIS® Expandable Implant effectively eliminates the risks of additional expansion surgeries, limits the painful three-month rehabilitation process, and provides the child with two matching limbs for a better quality of life. The total cost (including expansion procedures) is approximately $90,000.
REPIPHYSIS® Expandable Technology is the only noninvasive expandable endoprosthesis available to patients today. Each implant is custom designed, taking 1 week to design and 4-6 weeks to manufacture. The Distal Femur, Proximal Tibia, Proximal Femur and Total Femur are cleared by the FDA. Currently the Humerus REPIPHYSIS® Implants (for the upper arm) require Compassionate Use approval.