By Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare
A car accident, a slip on an icy sidewalk, a fall from a ladder – it only takes one mishap to cause a painful spinal fracture.
Karen Clark of Elmwood Park learned that the hard way. In October 2014, Clark fell while she was walking her dog. The vertebral compression fracture she sustained caused “excruciating” pain.
“We ran into a skunk. It was pouring rain. I hit the concrete,” said Clark, 56.
She crawled, then limped home. The next day, she couldn’t sit or stand. Her primary care physician sent her for X-rays and an MRI, which confirmed the fracture. Clark was referred to Dr. Ryon Hennessy, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Elmhurst Hospital and with Orthopedic Specialists.
Dr. Hennessy used a relatively new implant to treat Clark – the Kiva VCF Treatment System, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in January 2014 to treat vertebral compression fractures. Dr. Hennessy has placed more than 50 Kiva implants since May 2014, the highest volume in Illinois and among the top five orthopedic surgeons nationally.
A Kiva implant is a loop of plastic that is inserted into the spine and used, along with a small amount of cement, to set and support the spine while the fracture heals. The minimally invasive procedure is done on an outpatient basis, requiring only a single, small incision to place the Kiva implant.