Saint Agnes Medical Center

Winter 2018

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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"I have no idea how it happened, I didn't feel anything when it happened," she says. For the past year, Joyce has been undergoing treatment for osteoporosis. After experiencing significant pain for some time, her primary care physician ordered an X-ray that revealed a fracture in her spine and referred her to Dr. Grossman for kyphoplasty. "The procedure went very well and I was able to go home after about 3 to 4 hours," she says. "It's still a process and I feel relief in certain positions and continue to improve. I look forward to getting back to gardening when I can." Patients who have acute and recent-onset symptomatic fractures generally feel better immediately after the procedure and can return to their normal activities. Patients who have sustained one or multiple fractures over long periods of time typically feel pain relief several weeks after the procedure. When combined with regular visits to a physical therapist, function and mobility are further enhanced by rehabilitating core and back muscle strength, stability and flexibility. "Of all the varied interventional procedures I've performed, this one is the single most effective and gratifying – patients respond very well and quickly, pain is reduced, and function is restored," Dr. Grossman says. patients with certain types of cancer, patients who are diabetic, or individuals who have experienced trauma from a car accident or sports injuries. Fortunately, Dr. Grossman and the Saint Agnes Care Brain & Spine Institute offer the balloon kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty procedures, which are quick, minimally invasive outpatient procedures to repair compression fractures. "With the vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty procedure, patients can undergo a 15-30 minute outpatient procedure and return home the same day," Dr. Grossman says. "The vast majority of patients feel significant pain relief that day." During the balloon kyphoplasty procedure, a narrow pathway is made into the fractured bone for the balloon instrument to enter. A small balloon is then guided through the instrument and inflated to alleviate the fractured vertebrae while also creating a safe space for bone cement to fill the fracture. Dr. Grossman explains that candidates for this procedure are those who experience significant pain that is limiting their daily function, mobility and quality of life as defined by Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities Daily Living (IADLs). "If it hurts for a patient to get out of bed, walk around the house or dress themselves, then their quality of life diminishes rapidly," he says. "Painful vertebral compression fractures should not be accepted as a normal consequence of aging." That was the case for retired teacher Joyce Fisher of Fresno who suffered from debilitating back pain caused by a spinal compression fracture. get back your quality of life Saint Agnes Care Brain & Spine Institute 4770 W. Herndon Ave., Suite 105, Fresno (559) 450-BACK (2225) • saintagnescare.com 5 w w w . s a m c . c o m W I N T E R 2 0 1 8 H E A LT H Y S P I R I T Joyce Fisher, of Fresno, who suffered from debilitating back pain caused by a spinal compression fracture, consults with Dr. Jonathan Grossman. If you're at risk for spinal fractures, Dr. Grossman says there are simple things you can do to build a healthier back: 1 Maintain good posture. 2 Perform physical activity on a regular basis to stay active. 3 Practice core strengthening positional exercises to train the body to be more stable while performing daily tasks (e.g. bending over to put shoes on, vacuuming or cleaning). Two good body mechanics exercises are planks and bridges for the core, for example. 4 Take calcium and vitamin D supplements. If you have osteoporosis, supplement with an osteoporosis-specific medication to help build back bone integrity.

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