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Minimally Invasive Procedure at Texas Health Southwest Fort Worth Helps Repair Spinal Fractures
02/12/2009

FORT WORTH, Texas — Giuliana Vural was in excruciating pain after she slipped and fell backward onto her bathroom floor, banging her head against the door jamb on the way down.

“I was unable to stand up straight or carry any of my upper body weight,” the 51-year-old Fort Worth resident said. “I had to walk in a bent-over ‘L’ shape, with support from other people.”

The trauma to Vural’s spine resulted in a painful vertebral compression fracture, or broken and collapsed vertebrae. The injury is most common among osteoporosis sufferers as a result of weakened bones, affecting 700,000 Americans each year.

Hours after undergoing a minimally invasive surgical procedure called balloon kyphoplasty, Vural was walking independently and painlessly.

Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth now offers balloon kyphoplasty for patients who have suffered compression fractures due to injury or weakened bones from osteoporosis. The procedure helps relieve back pain associated with the fracture, increases mobility and restores the shape of the spine.

“Balloon kyphoplasty is a great option for treating compression fractures as it often corrects the deformity of the spine that occurs with this type of injury,” said James Brezina, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon on the hospital’s medical staff who performs the procedure. “When the traditional management of bracing and physical therapy fails, this procedure is an attractive alternative.”

During the procedure, small balloons are inserted and inflated in the fractured area of the vertebra to help restore the height and shape of the bone. After the balloons are deflated and removed, the cavity that has been created is filled with bone cement, making an internal cast.

“As Dr. Brezina promised, the cement dried in just 15 minutes,” Vural said. “I was up and walking around that evening without any pain from the fracture.”

For more information on balloon kyphoplasty, call 1-877-THR-WELL or visit www.texashealth.org.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth
Texas Health Southwest Fort Worth has provided quality and compassionate care to the residents of southwest Tarrant County for more than two decades. A member of Texas Health Resources, Texas Health Southwest Fort Worth is licensed for 230 beds and provides a wide array of comprehensive services, including: surgical and imaging services, 24-hour emergency services, orthopedics and sports therapy, adult critical care and a level 3a neonatal intensive care unit, obstetrics and gynecology, cardiovascular services, cancer care, rehabilitation, and more.

Texas Health Southwest Fort Worth is home to 578 members of the medical staff, 992 employees and 120 volunteers. For more information, please call 1-877-THR-WELL.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospitals, Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital and Texas Health Presbyterian Healthcare System, and a medical research organization. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information about Texas Health, visit www.texashealth.org.

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