A medical breakthrough is saving limbs and saving lives for obese, diabetic patients. A device that looks like a halo, is giving hope to people with “Charcot Foot” who face a terrible choice. It’s a step toward avoiding amputation. 
For years, it was certainly no ‘walk in the park’ for Richard Hamiel Jr. to tak a walk in the park or anywhere else. 
Richard Hamiel, Jr., Charcot Foot Patient said, “I started to stumble, and I crisscross my feet, and I couldn’t catch up and I fell down.” 
By 2013, Richards diabetes, combined with obesity, had given him “Charcot Foot.” That’s nerve damage so severe, he couldn’t tell when there was pain in his foot. 
Michael Pinzur, MD Orthopedic Surgeon, Loyola University Medical Center said,  “Because it doesn’t hurt, uh, they keep walking on it and they don’t get the feedback that they’ve got a problem.” 
Dr. Michael Pinzur offered Richard a stark choice. Amputate his foot, or roll the dice to try to save it. 
Dr. Pinzur used a device called the “Ilizarov Circular External Fixator.” It looks like a halo neck brace. Doctors attach the device to the ends of the bones during surgery and during daily adjustments, tension pulls the bone slightly allowing new bone to gradually grow in.
Saving a foot means possibly saving a life, because obese amputees are often relegated to life in a wheelchair. 
Patients wear the Ilizarov device for 10 to 12 weeks, before eventually moving on to diabetic shoes. Dr. Pinzur is believed to have successfully performed this procedure on more people than anyone else in the world, more than 400 diabetics.