Iraq War Veteran is the first to receive an innovative medical treatment

Posted at 5:57 PM, Jul 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-07 22:53:41-04

“Eventually I knew that amputation would have to take place,” said Iraq War Veteran Justin Anderson.

In June of 2003 Justin Anderson was injured by the enemy while fighting for our country in Iraq. 

“I suffered a gunshot wound to my left knee,” said Anderson.

Anderson underwent 14 surgeries in 10 years in an effort to save his limb.  Two years ago his left leg had to be amputated above the knee. 

“I had to relearn how to walk, I had to relearn how to go up and down stairs,” said Anderson.

Anderson also had to get used to the pain and discomfort that comes with wearing a prosthetic limb. 

“Of course in the summertime you sweat, you get sores, it hurts,” said Anderson. 

Anderson’s socket was painful and time consuming to put on.  Until recently he had no idea he had options. 

“He had mentioned something to me about Osseointegration and of course I'm like I have no idea what this is,” said Anderson.  Coincidentally, the doctor behind the breakthrough technology is an Iraqi refugee.

Dr. Munjed Al Muderis’ Osseointegration surgery is not yet approved in the U.S.  Five weeks ago Anderson went to Australia for surgery. 

“Everything was a success,” said Anderson.

During the procedure a titanium rod was implanted into Anderson’s femur and acts as an adaptor for his prosthetic leg. 

“Things are going great and I’m starting to load weight for a longer period of time," said Anderson.  

It will be a few months until Anderson can bare all his weight on his prosthetic leg without the help of crutches, but he is already noticing a difference.  He’s regaining his natural posture and enjoys the ease of putting on his prosthetic leg.  Now it’s just snap, screw and go.

“Obviously it makes life much easier,” said Anderson.

Anderson says the possibilities are endless after surgery and can’t wait for the future.  His hope is to bring awareness to the innovative surgery and one day get it FDA approved.