Medically fragile patients may benefit most from kyphoplasty
For older Americans, standing up can be a painful challenge after falling down, especially if they've suffered a fracture in their back.
“Pain was terrible," said an 81-year old patient. "It (the pain) went from an 8 to a 9. It was very bad."
He spent all day in his bed or a chair, hoping that time would heal whatever injury he had, but an X-ray later revealed two broken bones in his spine.
He had a very typical, common fracture.
Doctors see a lot of patients like this one with cracked bones in the vertebrae that start to compress and collapse. Some arrive at the office hunched over.
The pain can be intense. It leads to people staying home; not doing things. They don't take deep breaths as well. And it really can be a rapid downward spiral, not just in pain but in their health.
The patient was scheduled for a balloon kyphoplasty, a minimally invasive outpatient procedure to repair the fractures in his spine.
The concept of this procedure is to put a balloon inside the broken vertebrae. The balloon restores the height of the compressed bone and creates a space for the doctor to insert toothpaste-like bone cement so the previously collapsed vertebrae can remain restored
The balloon kyphoplasty procedure can take 30 minutes.
Patients are on their belly for a short time. And two weeks later, they don't even remember having the treatment done.
But for this particular patient, the procedure was something he'll never forget. He now moves around his house comfortably with a walker.
Often, medically fragile patients benefit the most from the procedure, which improves overall health.
For more information, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in South Kingstown, RI.
WCVB - Boston