First-time procedure eases patient’s pain

| 23/04/2018
CNS Local Life

(L-R) Karie Bergstrom with student nurses Reanna Hydes and Kadian Riley

(CNS Local Life): Karie Bergstrom, deputy chairperson of the Health Services Authority (HSA) board, who has been struggling with the pain of rheumatoid disease for 15 years, has found relief after undergoing a minimally invasive procedure at the Cayman Islands Hospital. This marked the first time the technique has been performed in Cayman and, with the exception of Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean.

The procedure performed is known as a sacroiliac fusion and is specifically done for patients with sacroiliac joint (SIJ) problems, explained an HSA press release. SIJ problems can occur as a result of arthritis, injury, previous back fusion and, not infrequently, after childbirth. The diagnosis is made with a combination of examination tests and specific diagnostic injections.

Consultant neurosurgeon Dr Lowell Stanley performed the procedure on Bergstrom through a minimally invasive surgical option known as percutaneous sacroiliac fusion, using the iFuse system.

“Prior to minimally invasive technology, the sacroiliac fusion was performed using open surgery with a large incision, a lot of muscle damage and significant blood loss,” Dr Stanley said. “Recovery required long procedures, extended hospital stays, painful post-operative course with extensive rehabilitation. For these reasons, the procedure was not frequently performed.

“This minimally invasive technique offers the possibility of relief to many suffering from SI joint problems who were not able or willing to undergo the previous extensive, open surgical operation.”

The iFuse System is the most studied and most used minimally invasive system in the world with more than 30,000 procedures already performed worldwide. It also has the best-proven record in effectiveness, the press release said.

Just hours after her surgery, Bergstrom said she began feeling a reduction in pain and was able to return home the day after the procedure, which she decided to undergo when she could no longer bear the leftover pain from hip surgeries in 2014 and 2017.

“Pain relievers through the form of injections and physiotherapy weren’t working,” Bergstrom said. “When all else failed, Dr Stanley found a solution and suggested the minimally invasive procedure. When it was completed I was very pleased to see that the scar was minor, a significant improvement in comparison to the scar left behind from my previous surgeries.

“The care and staff at the hospital have been wonderful from the moment I arrived at the ambulatory care unit to my experience in the operating theatre and surgical unit. I hope to get back to a relatively normal life very soon,” she said.


Caption: (L-R) Karie Bergstrom with student nurses Reanna Hydes and Kadian Riley  

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Category: Medical and Health

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Did she know that medicinal marijuana is a known treatment or would she rather go under the knife than to try an alternative non invasive treatment?