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Altru doctor invents jaw fracture device

A Grand Forks doctor has invented a device he says will help heal fractured jaws that will cut back on application time. Dr. Alan Johnson, a head and neck surgeon with Altru Health System, completed his five years of work on Minne Ties, a self-lo...

 

A Grand Forks doctor has invented a device he says will help heal fractured jaws that will cut back on application time.

Dr. Alan Johnson, a head and neck surgeon with Altru Health System, completed his five years of work on Minne Ties, a self-locking suture tie that looks like a zip tie and mimics the wire application technique, according to the Minne Ties website.

The product was developed at the University of Minnesota’s Medical Devices Center with a group of eight medical fellows, according to a news release. Minne Ties has gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The website boasts the product as a safer, simpler and more efficient product than wire application, adding Minne Ties reduces the application time from an hour to 12 minutes. Johnson tested the product on his own teeth multiple times, according to the release.

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“The first seven patients treated with Minne Ties were my patients at Altru and all had good outcomes,” he said in the release. “Now there are other studies and clinical applications happening in different states across the country.”

Johnson received his education at University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

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