Bobbie's Story: Cancer Survivor Finds Relief from Painful Fractures
Soon after Bobbie DiBattista was treated for endometrial cancer, she began to feel excruciating lower back pain. Learn how she found relief through minimally invasive, image-guided procedures to repair the fractures causing her pain.
Bobbie DiBattista was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in 2015. After undergoing treatment at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, she looked forward to returning to her active lifestyle enjoying the outdoors. Then, the low back pain began.
“At first I didn't know what it was,” she said. “But it got to the point where I couldn't manage it anymore.” She knew she needed help when every morning started with excruciating pain as soon as her feet hit the floor. She tried several conventional approaches to pain management, but nothing worked. That’s when she met with neurointerventional radiologist Josh Hirsch, MD at the Interventional Spine Program.
It was just very relieving to find out that I had fractures, because then there was a reason for this horrible pain...And there weren't answers until I went to see Dr. Hirsch.
Cement Augmentation Patient
Imaging Shows Multiple Bone Fractures
An MRI showed fractures in Bobbie's lower back related to her previous cancer.
“It was just very relieving to find out that I had fractures, because then there was a reason for this horrible pain...And there weren't answers until I went to see Dr. Hirsch.
Minimally Invasive Procedures Provide Relief
Dr. Hirsch and his team used a minimally invasive approach to pain relief called cement augmentation. Under image guidance, he injected a cement-like substance into the fractures, which acted as an internal cast.
After the procedures, Bobbie was free of pain. She began exercising on the treadmill and returned to hiking and swimming again. She and her husband planned a trip to the beach to celebrate her recovery.
Bobbie still stays in touch with her care team, including Nurse Practitioners Teresa Vanderboom and Marion Growney. “They were just wonderful people. The hospital is blessed to have them, and I was blessed to have them come into my life that way,” she said.
“Bobbie’s circumstance is symbolic of the important roles our nurse practitioners play in the care of these complex spine patients,” said Dr. Hirsch. “Our NPs often see our patients before any other providers and continue to stay involved with their care well past discharge.”
Bobbie was so appreciative of her care that she wrote Dr. Hirsch a thank you card. “How do you thank someone that's giving you your life back?” she asked. "It was just wonderful.”
Bobbie's Story: A Video
Cancer Survivor Finds Relief from Painful Fractures
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