Beth Israsel Deaconess Hospital - Plymouth


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A patient comes to Beth Israel Deaconess - Plymouth with a crushed or cracked vertebra, in extreme pain, barely able to walk or move and perhaps is hunched over. The patient leaves the hospital the next day, virtually pain-free, walking, moving and standing as straight as they did before. The difference: A relatively new type of minimally invasive neurosurgery known as kyphoplasty.

Alan Murphy, MD, began offering the procedure here in 2003. Kyphoplasty involves two tiny incisions in the back, one on each side of the affected vertebra, while the patient is under general anesthesia. Assisted by an x-ray technician and using fluoroscopy as a guide, Dr. Murphy uses a needle to precisely enter the vertebra. Working closely with the certified surgical technologist, there is a series of tool exchanges to widen the opening into the vertebra, and then a balloon is inserted.

The balloon is carefully positioned and inflated, restoring the broken vertebra as closely as possible to its original height. The entire procedure is repeated on the other side of the same vertebra.

The balloons are deflated and a special type of medical resin, similar to epoxy, is injected into the space left by the balloons. The tiny incisions are closed with butterfly bandages, no stitches! By the time the patient is back in the recovery room and awake, the resin has hardened and the intense pain is gone. The patient stays overnight and goes home the next day to resume their lives.

“The benefits to our patients are immense. The procedure can treat fractures caused by trauma, neoplasm or osteoporosis,” said Dr. Murphy. “Kyphoplasty gives them the opportunity to get back to the activities they have enjoyed relatively quickly.”

Spinal Surgery

Kyphoplasty is one type of spinal surgery. Another type involves a bone graft to help relieve pain caused by a spinal fracture or chronic condition. 

Back Problems?

Article featuring Alan Murphy, MD and David Dubuisson, MD two surgeons at Beth Israel Deaconess - Plymouth.



10 Cordage Park Circle, Suite 227
Plymouth, MA
(508) 830-6991

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