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Plastics market researcher pain-free thanks to PE medical application

If Hollywood ever gets around to making a Plastic Man movie, Jeremy Pafford should get an audition for the main role.

Pafford covered plastics markets for more than a decade for research firm ICIS. He recently posted a photo on LinkedIn about a medical procedure.

“So I had a little work done in the past few weeks to unwind what has been a two-years-long pinched nerve in my neck,” Pafford wrote. “What you see circled here is the result: rebuilt C3-4 and C5-6 discs with a little room for my spinal column to breathe.”

When Pafford asked his doctor what the new discs were made of, the doctor had a one-word reply: Plastic!

“Having dealt with plastic markets for years at ICIS coupled with some continuing education at University of Massachusetts Lowell, I had to see if he could go into further detail,” Pafford wrote.

“When he said, ‘It’s cross-linked polyethylene,’ I pretty much jumped out of my seat (not really a good idea when you’re recovering from neck surgery, but I digress) and yelled out, ‘I know exactly what that is!’ and had to ask further about its type.”

“Turns out I’ve got ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) holding me together and eventually making me a stronger version of myself.”

So Pafford — who’s now a strategic portfolio manager with Elsevier Engineering Solutions — is now pain-free, thanks to a plastic material.

“While it’s easy to focus on the challenges the plastic era has brought, we cannot deny the advances it has accelerated, not the least of which is in health care,” he wrote.

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