Medicine: Making Bones As Good As New

A delicate surgical procedure is saving damaged limbs

The last thing Robert Labollita remembers about the night of May 17, 1983, is driving from a restaurant toward his home in Dumont, N.J. The next morning Labollita found himself in a hospital in nearby Englewood. He had fallen asleep at the wheel, flipped his car and, in the resulting crash, knocked out a 4-in. segment of his upper arm bone, the humerus. The lower part of his arm dangled precariously from torn muscle and tendons. Labollita, now 27, recalls, "When I came to, they had already performed emergency surgery to remove the remaining pieces of bone." There was no hope...

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