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    Spinal Repair in About an Hour:
    SDMC Delivers Revolutionary Procedure to
    East County

    Balloon Kyphoplasty ImagesDownload Image Showing ProcedureDownload Image of Incision Site
    Painful back braces and traction therapy are replaced by a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that provides immediate relief from pain and restores the bone's shape and stength.

    News Facts

    • Balloon kyphoplasty is a surgical procedure used to correct compressed spinal fractures, which lead to debilitating pain requiring high doses of pain medication and often restrict patients to wheelchairs. It can be used to treat patients with fractures caused by osteoporosis, trauma and even certain types of cancer.
    • The minimally invasive procedure is typically performed under local sedation as a 60-minute outpatient service, alleviating severe pain immediately.
    • The procedure reinforces the bone to provide structural support, improve posture, and even restore height (patients often have stooped posture due to the spinal compression).
    • Helen Kilbourn, 82, of Pittsburg, Calif., was the first person to undergo the balloon kyphoplasty procedure in east Contra Costa County. The procedure was performed by Spine Specialist David Chow M.D., a Sutter-affilaited physian.

    Additional Media

    Photos and a patient story are available upon request. Contact Angela Juarez-Lombardi (information below) to obtain additional media.


    Helen Kilbourne, 82 (Pittsburg, Calif.)
    "The doctor told me that when I woke up from the surgery I would have no pain in the spot where I was injured. He was right! I was pain-free immediately and have been on the mend ever since. I am so grateful and thankful to Dr. Chow and the staff at Sutter. I'm feeling better every day."

    Kilbourne was the first patient to undergo the balloon kyphoplasty procedure in east Contra Costa County. She is recovering well and maintains her independence.

    David Chow M.D., Spine Specialist (Antioch, Calif.)
    My specialty is in minimally invasive spinal procedures, which is fairly uncommon in this area. I am pleased to be able to bring this procedure to East County residents and improve their quality of life immediately.

    Dr. Chow performed Kilbourne's kyphoplasty procedure. He is a Sutter-affiliated physician and considered an expert in balloon kyphoplasty.

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    Media Contact

    Angela Juarez-Lombardi: or 925-303-6104 (cell)