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Physicians Use Orthopedic Balloon to Mend Spinal Fractures


BANGOR - Osteoporosis contributes to more than 700,000 spinal fractures in the US each year, that's double the amount of hip fractures. But local physicians are using a unique process to correct spinal fractures in area seniors.


It all started when 70-year-old Elizabeth Atwood missed a step on the ladder while washing windows.


Normally a very active individual, Atwood spent several weeks bed ridden, and in complete agony. An MRI showed a fracture in her thoracic vertebrae. Her primary care doctor said she'd be a prefect candidate for balloon kyphoplasty, and that's when she met with the doctors at Northeast Pain Management.


It's a minimally invasive procedure that takes about an hour to complete. Dr. Zolper says it's covered by most insurances including medicare, and the risk involved is relatively low.


It takes a few months to fully recover, and requires a few follow-up appointments, but for Elizabeth Atwood who's less than 2 weeks out from surgery, the relief was instantaneous.

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