80-year-old Marland T. has faced many challenges in his eventful life. The retired Navy pilot and former commander of the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk faced one of his biggest challenges recently when he slipped and fell, suffering a vertebral compression fracture. The otherwise healthy and active senior citizen was surprised to be suddenly bedridden by his fracture.
"The pain was excruciating and I could barely move. I could only walk a few feet," he said.
Common in senior adults and especially in older women with osteoporosis, vertebral compression fractures are painful conditions that occur when the spine essentially breaks under its own weight. The fractures lead to severe pain, deformity, and loss of height.
While his situation appeared grim, Marland saw Dr. Slosar and was relieved to hear that there was a promising treatment for him.
Dr. Slosar performed a minimally-invasive procedure called the StabiliT™ Vertebral Augmentation on Marland. By using two small incisions and an automated injection system, Dr. Slosar was able to inject bone cement into the affected area that had collapsed. The hardened cement essentially filled in the collapsed vertebral cavity. The procedure is unique because it uses a radio frequency energy-responsive system which increases the bone cement's thickness on demand by the surgeon as he is delivering the cement into the affected vertebral cavity.
The surgery took less than an hour and Marland went home from the hospital the next day with no pain. "This is a safer, faster, and less invasive surgery to alleviate this debilitating condition. My patients have healed very quickly and enjoy getting back to their daily activities," says Dr. Slosar.
Marland is thrilled to be back at work again and enjoying life with family and friends. "I lead an active life again," he says. "I can do everything I was doing. I can go to the office, walk, bend over, turn, twist, garden, and go out socially again."
"Marland is just a fantastic gentleman and a testimony to the power of minimally invasive fracture stabilization. It was only a few years ago that we had nothing to offer patients with these debilitating injuries. Now, most are pain-free soon after the fracture stabilization." - Paul Slosar, M.D.