The Doctors: Balloon Kyphoplasty
Do you suffer from back pain? If so, you may want to learn more about a revolutionary new treatment called balloon kyphoplasty. The Doctors met with spine surgeon Dr. Bill Tontz and his patient, Olga, to find out more.
Olga was visiting friends and family in Ireland when she tripped backwards and landed on the bottom of her spine. This injury caused severe pain and never really healed. After returning home and meeting with Dr. Tontz, she learned that she suffered from osteoporosis, which was the main cause of the injury. Dr. Tontz suggested that Olga try a balloon kyphoplasty procedure in order to repair her fractured vertebra.
The Doctors’ cameras joined Olga and Dr. Tontz in the OR for a demonstration on balloon kyphoplasty. The surgery involves doctors “mixing cement” and injecting it to fill the bone. A small incision is made in the spine, after which a balloon is employed into the broken bone. The balloon is then deflated and replaced with cement. It works much like a cavity filling does, and is (almost) as simple and painless. The very next day after surgery, Olga was already back to work.
The Doctors: Osteoporosis
As Dr. Tontz said, osteoporosis is often a “silent disease.” Often, people don’t even know they have osteoporosis until they break their back or suffer some other serious injury. That’s why if you have pain, it’s important to visit your doctor and get evaluated. You just may be a candidate for balloon kyphoplasty, too.
Warning Signs Of Arthritis
We got to meet one last time with the fabulous group of baby boomer friends from California. After a tennis tournament, Jan began to notice big bumps on her fingers. In fact, Trudy had noticed the same thing on her own hands, which are sometimes painful. Are these the first warning signs of arthritis?
Dr. Andrew Ordon – who has a finger bump of his own – said that these little lumps can in fact be the start of arthritis. They are known as heberden’s nodes. Arthritis can often begin with painful, stiff joints, as well as inflammation and swelling. If you’re noticing heberden’s nodes, or any of these other signs, definitely get checked out by your doctor.