Archbold's Minimally Invasive Treatment for Spinal Fractures

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Archbold’s Minimally Invasive Treatment for Spinal Fractures

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ten million Americans, 80% of which are women, suffer from osteoporosis— a disease that causes bones to become weak and susceptible to fracture. Low bone mineral density coupled with one or more other risk factors puts one at increased risk of having an osteoporosis-related fracture over the next 10 years. These risk factors include a previous fracture, a parent who has had a hip fracture, smoking, taking steroid medications, drinking three or more glasses of alcohol daily and suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or from a disorder strongly associated with osteoporosis.

Thomasville’s Maurice Chandler, 81, knows these risks all too well. Chandler has suffered from osteoporosis and arthritis for many years. Over the past 24 months Chandler has been treated for hip fractures (which led to two hip replacements), broken bones in both of her shoulders and a broken wrist.

Chandler found it increasingly more difficult to walk. She couldn’t bend and experienced excruciating pain when standing or trying to get out of bed.

Chandler’s granddaughter encouraged her to make an appointment with Archbold neurosurgeon Gerald Kadis, MD.

With x-rays in hand, Chandler visited Kadis. Kadis took one look at Chandler’s x-rays and immediately discovered the source of her pain. Osteoporosis and arthritis had lead to another fracture—this time in her spine.

Like Chandler, an estimated 44 million Americans are at risk for osteoporosis. However, most patients are often unaware that they have the disease until they break a bone, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF).

Less was known about osteoporosis years ago when Chandler was prescribed medication and bed rest to manage her osteoporosis. Treatments are now available to help strengthen bones, and new procedures have been developed to repair spinal fractures.

Kadis recommended balloon kyphoplasty as treatment for Chandler’s spinal fracture.

Balloon kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that can reduce back pain and correct the deformity caused by a spinal fracture. Small balloons are inserted and inflated in the fractured area of the spine to restore it back to its normal shape. After the balloons are deflated and removed, the cavity that has been created is filled with special bone cement, creating an internal cast.

Chandler decided to take action so she could once again enjoy her active role as a mother and grandparent. She took Kadis’ advice and had her fracture repaired with balloon kyphoplasty in July. She now takes prescription drugs and calcium supplements to prevent more bone loss.

Chandler—wife, mother of three, grandmother of six and great grandmother of 12—is exceedingly close to her family.

“We have always enjoyed large family gatherings,” said Chandler. “I enjoy cooking and spending time with my family, and osteoporosis has kept me from being as mobile as I was years ago.”

“Kyphoplasty was the easiest surgery that I’ve ever had,” said Chandler. “I had immediate relief from the pain. I’m getting stronger every day, and I look forward to being able to cook and enjoy my family again.”

“The world is beginning to gradually wake up and see that osteoporosis is a problem and that the best way to treat it is to stay ahead of it,” said Kadis.

For more information about spinal fractures and balloon kyphoplasty, call the South Georgia Neurological Institute, (229) 226-8880.