Osteoporosis Diagnosis, Treatment & Research Center
Margaret Burns lost four inches of height because of osteoporosis. Last year she experienced seven vertebral fractures; sometimes waiting six to eight weeks to heal. "Some were really bad, and I couldn't move or even turn my back," she explained. "I suffered, not knowing there were options out there to help me."
Offering the most comprehensive and advanced approaches to detection and treatment of osteoporosis, Winthrop's Osteoporosis Diagnosis, Treatment and Research Center (ODTRC) is well-known for its groundbreaking research.
The facility utilizes the most sophisticated bone density technology and medications, and offers patients specially tailored exercise and educational programs, as well as access to the Winthrop Osteoporosis Network (WON), a patient support group that meets regularly with assistance from the professional staff.
Winthrop Osteoporosis Network (WON)
Osteoporosis Diagnosis, Treatment & Research Center222 Station Plaza North, Suite 350A, Mineola
Considered the "silent epidemic," osteoporosis causes bone fragility and results in the loss of bone mass, crippling men and women alike--especially those older than 50.
"Bone density tends to decrease as people enter mid-life," explained renowned osteoporosis expert John Aloia, MD, Chief Academic Officer and Director of the Osteoporosis Diagnosis, Treatment and Research Center. "The weakening of bone tissue increases the risk of fractures that, in turn, can cause severe pain."
For the past five years, Winthrop has offered two procedures providing relief to those affected by University Hospital has offered two procedures providing relief to those affected by the results of osteoporosis: fractures and bone compression.
A minimally invasive therapy, vertebroplasty is performed to stabilize a broken vertebrae weakened over time. The goal is to return patients to their previous mobility and alleviate the pain experienced by the compression fracture.
Performed on an outpatient basis, interventional radiologists, such as Orlando Ortiz, MD, MBA, Chairman of Winthrop's Department of Radiology and authority on vertebroplasty, use a very fine needle to inject acrylic cement into the collapsed bone to strengthen it while the patient is sedated. Within 20 minutes or less, the medical-grade cement not only fills gaps created by the fracture, but also other areas of the vertebrae made porous by osteoporosis.
"Vertebroplasty is considered when a patient has fractures that are not responding to conservative management such as pain medication and/or bed rest," explained Dr. Ortiz.
Life Regained without Pain
For Mrs. Burns, hope and help were found. ""ound. "nd. "Dr. Ortiz is a beautiful doctor; I knew I was in the right hands," she explained. "And I couldn't have asked for nicer or better nurses than he has on staff."
After undergoing several vertebroplasty procedures, it took several weeks for Mrs. Burns to realize and accept that there was no longer going to be pain in her life. She's a whole new person now.
"Definitely just do it," she said. Mrs. Burns' advice to others: "Don't suffer, there's no reason for it."
Kyphoplasty is another option that spells relief for those experiencing debilitating pain due to a spinal bone fracture afflicting a patient for less than six months. A minimally invasive procedure, kyphoplasty also involves inserting a needle into the fracture. However, in this case, a balloon is placed into the area, inflated and removed to create a pocket where medical-grade cement is injected.
"Kyphoplasty helps reduce pain resulting from non-healing fractures, and may restore lost height," explained Man Hon, MD, Chief of Vascular and Interventional Radiology at Winthrop. "After the procedure, the vast majority of patients feel better within 24-72 hours. For some, relief is immediate. And patients may resume normal activities soon after."
Dr. Ortiz recently used kyphoplasty to help a 91-year-old freelance artist regain her ability to paint without pain. Just hours after her procedure, she told him she "no longer felt an ounce of pain."
Dr. Ortiz, a nationally and internationally recognized expert on both procedures, added that during the past five years of performing these procedures, Winthrop has had a 90% success rate with respect to complete pain relief.
"We make sure the patient's osteoporosis is continually managed after the procedure because they are still at risk of other fractures," added Dr. Ortiz. "Winthrop ensures a complete spectrum of care--it's critical."
For more information regarding either procedure, call (516) 663-3809.
Dear Mr. Walsh,
How does a family begin to say thank you to a surgeon, who saved the life of our beloved husband and father? Mere words will never be able to convey the depth of gratitude....Simply said, what remarkable people you have associated with your hospital.