Revolutionary surgery changes quality of life for Toledo area woman

Revolutionary surgery changes quality of life for Toledo area woman

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - "I came to. I walked out of the hospital one hour later," said Virginia Sturgill of Perrysburg after going into St. Luke's Hospital in the worst pain she's ever felt, including having her four children.

The medical technology used in this procedure is called Balloon Kyphoplasty. Dr. Thomas Andreshak performed the noninvasive outpatient procedure on Sturgill, who found out her Osteoporosis caused a fracture of her spine.

The procedure uses balloons and cement to decompress the fracture through two small punctures in the back which gives patients a new lease on life in one short hour.

Sturgill had nothing but wonderful things to say about how big of a difference procedure has made in her life.

"This was the absolute worst. It was excruciating, but this medical technology, it was just, I call him my hero. Dr. Andreshak is my hero," explained Sturgill.

Like many women her age, Sturgill was enjoying her senior years, full of Zumba classes and line dancing events until she suddenly started feeling extreme back pain, despite the fact that she hadn't fallen or done anything out of the ordinary to hurt herself. The pain started small, but within a few days she could barely move and lost her appetite along with 16 pounds in just two weeks.

Dr. Thomas Andreshak is a staff orthopedic surgeon at St. Luke's. He explained more about the procedure and how he has seen it help those in need.

"Through the little canual or tube that we have into the vertebrae, the bone cement, the acrylic polymer glue, sets in 10 minutes, casts the vertebrae on the inside, so they don't have to wear a brace or cast on the outside, then the pain is usually, in my experience, 50 to 70 percent better right away. So, the sharp pain of getting up and down, moving that we call transitional pain, is gone," explained Andreshak.

Not long ago, Sturgill would have been given a prescription of opioids, possibly a back brace, and would have had to live out her life in constant pain.

"But today? I'm back to normal. Just, it's wonderful!" Sturgill said.

More information about the signs and symptoms of what causes fractures like Sturgill's and how Dr. Kyphoplasty can be found here.

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