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Procedure reduces recovery time for osteoporosis patients

Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 9:14 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -

A less-invasive treatment for those with osteoporosis of the spine is available. In this week’s Medical Monday, Kathy McCarty has more on the procedure and how it stabilizes damaged bones.

If you’re a senior citizen, that back ache might be a more serious condition associated with osteoporosis.

“The vertebral body is like a block or a square and they’re stacked on top of each other. That’s kind of an elementary approach to understanding how the spine is aligned. But with osteoporosis, that square turns into more of a trapezoid or wedge shape. And it can cause a deformity that results over time, like scoliosis, which would be age-related scoliosis, and that can cause pain. The fracture itself is painful,” says Dr. Wendy Boucher, an orthopedic surgeon at Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital.

Dr. Wendy Boucher says if it’s a fracture, there’s a less-invasive form of treatment available that can have you back on the road to recovery more quickly.

“Kyphoplasty is a technique where we use a trocar - little catheter type metal catheter that goes into the bone through a very, very minimally invasive approach,” she says.

A wire with a balloon on it is threaded into the broken portion of the bone.

“When we inflate the balloon, the balloon will help open the bone back up, restoring it back to its normal height, or improving on the wedge shape. Then we deflate the balloon and fill it with cement. So it’s a way of putting an internal cath in the bone,” says Dr. Boucher.

Dr. Boucher says the procedure can greatly reduce recovery time to weeks instead of months. For more information, contact your health care provider. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

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