DALLAS -- In combat, former Navy Marine Force Medic Sean Hensler saw firsthand what a bullet does to bone.
"The bullet would shatter the bones," Hensler said, "And a lot of times what would happen is, those bones and limbs would have to be amputated."
At home, as a physician's assistant, his frustration grew as he watched beneficial bone being discarded in the operating room.
"Knowing the importance of the patient's own bone, I wanted to have the patient get all that bone back," Hensler said. "Which was very important to me."
That's why he invented a bone press.
Using suction, the Hensler Bone Press vacuums up bone fragments during surgery. Then, like a coffee french press, bone bits are strained and compressed.
"What you get is a semi-dry, mold-able, malleable bone matrix that you can put into the implant," Hensler said.
The bone "biscuit" can be used in spinal fusions or other instances where cadaver bones or implants might be needed, but comes without many of the serious risks.
"There's no chance of rejection by using their own bone," Hensler said. "So by using this device, it allows that patient to get their own bone back."
Hensler showed his invention to doctors and medical center during the recent North American Spine Society convention in Dallas. He hopes his Hensler Bone Press will help transform orthopedic surgery, save money for patients and doctors, and save bone.