is a vibrant, active 63-year-old woman who has been living with osteoporosis for over 10 years. With her bone density compromised, Carol suffered from a fracture in her spine when she was involved in a car accident earlier this year.
(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110524/NY07697 )
While conservative treatments were initially recommended, Carol found herself in excruciating pain every day for more than four weeks after the accident. She was confined to a back brace in an effort to stabilize the fracture. She could barely walk. She was depressed, sleepless and began feeling claustrophobic.
"I was miserable, I could not take care of myself. Being so strictly confined, I had to depend on everyone else," she said.
After a review of her CT scan, Ryan C. Chen, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon with Resurgens Orthopaedics, referred Carol to Piedmont Radiology, where she was told she was a candidate for a new breakthrough treatment to repair the crushed bone in her back.
Osteoporosis, the "Silent Disease"
Osteoporosis is a major health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans. It is known as the "silent disease" because many do not know they have it until they suffer a broken bone due to a fall or accident. A common injury involves a fracture in the back, also known as a vertebral compression fracture, or VCF. Osteoporosis is the most common cause of VCFs, and osteoporosis-related disability confines patients to more immobile days in bed than stroke, heart attack or breast cancer.
While conventional medical treatments, including bed rest, stabilization (or bracing) and pain medications are prescribed in hopes the fracture will heal on its own; it does not work for all patients. In Carol's case, conventional medical treatments were a slow, painful process, and her body did not respond.
Many patients are not aware that there are new treatment options that offer immediate relief.
"The last decade has brought about innovative minimally invasive surgical options for treating VCFs," said Piedmont Radiology's Michael T. Bosley, M.D., an interventional radiologist at Piedmont Hospital. "I have seen exciting results with a new technology known as radio frequency targeted vertebral augmentation (RF-TVA), which delivers immediate relief to patients who have previously been told there is no option beyond bed rest in hopes that the bone will heal on its own."
During the RF-TVA procedure using the StabiliT® system, a small tube is placed into the fractured vertebra and a cavity is created. StabiliT® ER2 Bone Cementfills the cavity and permeates the surrounding bone to stabilize the fracture. Physicians are able to navigate within the vertebral body to target the fracture with greater precision and control, while also sparing the bone - two unique benefits of RF-TVA over older, conventional therapies such as balloon kyphoplasty. Piedmont Hospital was the first facility in Atlanta to offer the RF-TVA procedure.
"Patients report significant and lasting back pain relief, significant improvement in mobility and quality of life, and often return to daily activities soon after the procedure," Bosley said. "RF-TVA is a safe, proven and effective procedure that presents low-risk and a serious benefit for the patient. Most of my patients go home the same day or the following day."
A "Glorious" Ending
On Thursday, May 5, almost five weeks after her car accident, Carol made an appointment to see Dr. Bosley. The outpatient procedure took 30-40 minutes, and Carol found herself walking out on her own, without the aid of her back brace, less than four hours later.
"I was substantially better and the intense pain was gone. The procedure was quick, painless and immediately after I felt better! It's phenomenal how different I feel," Carol said. "After a couple of days, I was progressing toward normal daily activities without around the clock support from my loved ones, and even taking short walks with my dogs. I am now able to get the physical therapy I need for my other injuries, and soon I will get back to my active life. I would definitely recommend StabiliT to anyone suffering from a vertebral compression fracture, as it certainly improved my state of health."
For more information regarding the treatment of VCFs using StabiliT and RF-TVA, call 404-352-1409, or visit http://www.raadocs.com/
About Piedmont Radiology
Founded in 1969 as Radiology Associates of Atlanta (RAA), Piedmont Radiology was established to be the exclusive provider of radiology services at Atlanta's Piedmont Hospital, a relationship that continues to thrive nearly half a century later. From its inception, Piedmont Radiology's growth has been driven by anticipation and response to patient needs and a commitment to excellence. Piedmont patients have always expected and received the best of care. Piedmont physicians in all specialties have continuously stayed abreast of the latest medical developments in response to a highly educated patient base with high expectations, and the physicians of Piedmont Radiology are no exception. For more information, visit http://www.raadocs.com/
About DFINE, Inc.
DFINE is dedicated to relieving pain and improving the quality of life for patients suffering from vertebral pathologies through innovative, minimally invasive therapies. DFINE's devices are built upon an extensible radio frequency (RF) platform that presently covers two procedural applications. The first application, the StabiliT® Vertebral Augmentation System and StabiliT® ER2 Bone Cement, harnesses the power of radio frequency targeted vertebral augmentation (RF-TVA) to repair fractures in the vertebrae. The company has received FDA 510(k) clearance for a second application, the STAR Ablation System, for the treatment of spinal tumors. The STAR system will be commercially available later this year. DFINE is based in San Jose, Calif. and is privately held. For more information, call 1-866-963-3463 or visit www.dfineinc.com
SOURCE DFINE, Inc.