Revolutionary Treatment Brings Hope To Sufferers Of Osteoporosis
Related Spinal Fractures

Revolutionary Treatment Brings Hope To Sufferers Of Osteoporosis Related Spinal Fractures

May is​ National Osteoporosis Awareness and​ Prevention Month, yet for​ the​ 44 million Americans at​ risk for​ osteoporosis, many are often unaware that they have the​ disease until they fracture a​ bone.

Imagine experiencing back pain so severe that daily activities such as​ walking, climbing stairs or​ grocery shopping are no longer possible. for​ Nancy Zacherl and​ many of​ the​ 700,000 others suffering from spinal fractures each year, this is​ a​ reality.

After suffering a​ debilitating osteoporosis-related spinal fracture, the​ once-active grandmother was no longer able to​ enjoy weekend motorcycle rides with her husband, take daily walks or​ play with her granddaughter. Instead, Zacherl was confined to​ bed because of​ excruciating back pain. Feeling depressed and​ helpless, Zacherl knew she had to​ see a​ doctor.

"I thought the​ pain would go away, but it​ became progressively worse, making breathing difficult," said Zacherl. "I was desperate for​ help and​ knew I needed treatment."

Upon the​ advice of​ her doctor, Zacherl visited Jon Ledlie, M.D., a​ renowned neurosurgeon at​ Tyler Neurosurgical Associates in​ Tyler, Texas.

Like most patients, Zacherl was surprised to​ learn that her back pain was the​ result of​ a​ spinal fracture, which occurs when one of​ the​ bones in​ the​ spinal column (vertebra) weakens and​ collapses. Zacherl was excited to​ learn that a​ minimally invasive treatment called Balloon Kyphoplasty could reduce her back pain as​ well as​ restore the​ height of​ her fractured vertebra.

"Balloon Kyphoplasty has been shown to​ be an​ effective treatment for​ repairing spinal fractures and​ providing immediate and​ sustained improvements in​ pain and​ mobility," says Dr. Ledlie.

Furthermore, results of​ a​ first-ever, two-year study conducted by Dr. Ledlie and​ Dr. Mark Renfro found that after Balloon Kyphoplasty, a​ majority of​ patients experienced complete pain relief, required significantly fewer pain medications and​ showed improvement in​ their ability to​ walk independently and​ without difficulty. the​ study, published January 2018 in​ Spine, also showed that Balloon Kyphoplasty restored height and​ maintained the​ shape of​ the​ affected vertebra, results that were maintained for​ two years after treatment. According to​ the​ authors, such outcomes may have a​ positive effect on long-term health and​ survival.

Immediately following the​ procedure, Zacherl's improvements in​ pain and​ mobility were similar to​ those found in​ Dr. Ledlie's study.

"Balloon Kyphoplasty gave me back my life," said Zacherl. "The pain was gone and​ within days of​ the​ procedure, my husband and​ I took a​ long motorcycle ride and​ even went dancing."

With more than 44 million Americans at​ risk for​ osteoporosis, a​ disease that causes bone to​ become fragile, spinal fractures are a​ major health concern. Left untreated, multiple spinal fractures can result in​ kyphosis-a serious health condition marked by forward curvature of​ the​ upper back, often described as​ a​ "hunchback." Severe kyphosis can compress the​ abdominal cavity and​ elevate the​ risk for​ complications and​ death.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) estimates that half of​ American women and​ one-fourth of​ American men over the​ age of​ 50 will experience an​ osteoporotic fracture in​ their lifetime. to​ better understand your fracture risk, regular bone density screenings are recommended.

Note: Although the​ complication rate with Balloon Kyphoplasty has been demonstrated to​ be low, as​ with most surgical procedures, there are risks associated with Balloon Kyphoplasty, including serious complications. Consult with your doctor for​ a​ full discussion of​ risks.

While there are approximately 700,000 spinal fractures, also known as​ vertebral compression fractures (VCFs), occurring in​ the​ United States each year, only one-third are clinically diagnosed and​ treated, according to​ the​ National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF). More than 220,000 spinal fractures worldwide have been treated with Balloon Kyphoplasty since 1998.

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