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Minimally invasive, maximally effective treatment for spinal compression fractures

Bookmark and Share Zorah Kittle may have been born in 1909, but she didn't start having trouble with her bones until just two years ago. "At that time, my ribs starting breaking, but they healed nicely," she says. "It was my fractured vertebra that had my doctor worried." Kittle was referred to Orin Atlas, MD, a Virtua fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon. "As we age," explains Dr. Atlas, "our bones become porous, fragile and prone to fractures due to osteoporosis. Even something as simple as bending the wrong way can fracture the vertebrae or spinal bones, causing severe back pain. Mrs. Kittle was a good candidate for kyphoplasty because her spinal fractures were causing debilitating pain." Kyphoplasty is an advanced, minimally invasive procedure that can stabilize a fracture and significantly reduce pain. Larry Deutsch, MD, a Virtua fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon used kypthoplasty to rescue Alice Pleviak from the excruciating pain of four fractured vertebrae. Dr. Deutsch explains: "In this procedure, I insert a catheter (narrow tube) with a balloon into the collapsed vertebra. I expand the balloon, which returns the bone to its normal height. Then I fill the space with bone cement to strengthen and restore each vertebra." Back into action with rehab
"After a procedure, our goal is to reduce pain and help patients regain function and mobility," explains Maria Franchio, PT, assistant director of Virtua Rehabilitation Services. We offer customized exercise and pain relief programs at all Virtua hospitals, through outpatient sites at Lumberton, Berlin, Delran, Camden and the Center for HealthFitness in Voorhees, and through Virtua Home Care. Learn if you are a candidate for kyphoplasty. To make an appointment with a Virtua orthopaedic surgeon or for information on the Virtua Rehabilitation Network, call 1-888-Virtua-3.