Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013
|Photo by Robin May|
One day at her office, local receptionist Vicki Habbit felt a sharp pain cascade through her right leg. After a few days of enduring this sting, Habbit saw her doctor who told her that one of her spinal fusions had given way.
“I did some exercise that I guess I wasn’t supposed to do and one of the fusions had come undone,” explains Habbit.
Habbit’s spinal problems began back in college when she was diagnosed with scoliosis, or an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine, and needed to have a part of her upper spine fused.
After her initial visit with her doctor, Habbit, 68, wanted a second opinion, which is how she was referred to Dr. Neil Romero, an orthopedic surgeon who confirmed her biggest concern.
“He told me what I expected, that I was going to need surgery,” says Habbit.
Romero’s recommendation was exactly what Habbit feared — her first spinal fusion surgery had been difficult — given how distorted Habbit’s anatomy had become after the first fusion and the subsequent degradation to her spine.
“What happened was they fused her in her upper spine, and then the lower spine degenerated and collapsed to the point where it disfigured itself,” explains Romero, who practices at Lafayette General Medical Center, Louisiana Orthopaedic Specialists and Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center. “So that’s what we call a degenerative scoliosis. It’s not like she was born with it; she developed it over time.”
|Photo by Wynce Nolley|
|Donovan Brandon, a surgical radiology technician at Lourdes, begins a
diagnostics test on the SpineNav 3D.
However, Romero told Habbit that Lourdes had recently acquired SpineMap 3D spine navigation software, which utilizes a portable X-Ray camera called a C-Arm that gives surgeons a much more accurate image of the patient’s spine.
“So when you’re placing instrumentation, instead of just having a fluoroscopic or an X-ray, which gives you just one plane, you can actually see it in three dimensions,” says Romero. “It helps place instrumentation in patients who have very distorted anatomy.
“We usually use anatomic landmarks to place screws in the spine, but we usually use X-rays as well,” continues Romero. “What this does is it allows us to use the landmarks, X-rays and the 3D imaging, so it’ll speed up time in the operating room and hopefully help place the instrumentation more accurately.”
Romero says that this new technology allows surgeons to more accurately place screws in patients who may have distorted anatomy due to a previous surgery where landmarks are difficult to perceive, as was the case with Habbit.
“You’re mainly just going on X-ray, and sometimes that’s just not good enough, so this really gives you an extra tool,” says Romero.
“The navigation also helps with time and efficiencies in the OR,” adds Kate Oliver, director of surgical services at Lourdes. “You know, less anesthesia or being under anesthesia, but also you have the anatomical landmarks, so when you’re looking at the image right there it just kind of hones into your placement.”
According to Romero, the aid of this equipment helped shave about an hour off Habbit’s surgery time, as well as reduce blood loss and unnecessary exposure to radiation.
“We’d have probably had a difficult time doing her,” says Romero. “It probably would’ve taken her a lot longer. At her age, you kind of have to make the decision of whether you want to keep her on the table for that long versus not doing the surgery.”
According to Habbit, going through with the surgery, despite its potential trauma, was the right call; she’s had no need for physical therapy and absolutely no leg pain.
“I’ve started back working full time. I’m doing what I’m supposed to do,” says Habbit. “I was so apprehensive on doing this one because I had been through so much. Now I’m just glad I had it done.”
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Two bedroom in Lafayette or two bedroom in Kaplan
Sennond trunk show at kiki
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thursday’s explosion aboard an oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico is now under investigation by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Four hours after inviting supporters to a rally with Sen. Marco Rubio, Bill Cassidy claimed that Mary Landrieu “voted against stopping executive amnesty.”
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.
Money from the first and only settlement so far in a Louisiana flood board's lawsuit against dozens of energy companies will be placed in a special account dedicated to coastal restoration.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Ten departing CEOs rake in $430 million; profile of FSU gunman emerges; Buffalo's weather woes and more national and international news for Friday, November 21, 2014.
The Ethics Board gives the lame duck Youngsville mayor permission to offer a sweet parting gift to the community he’s presided over for three terms.
Carencro ranch style home or three bedroom traditional in St. Martinville
The money came through a general obligation bond sale Thursday.
A legend in the Acadiana Oil Patch, Comeaux died Monday, Nov. 17.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
With a growing number of alleged sexual assault victims coming out against Bill Cosby in recent weeks, upcoming projects have been canned by NBC and Netflix, but that won’t affect the once-loved comedian and actor’s scheduled performance in Lafayette.
The Baltimore Ravens' retooled secondary had no trouble against a rookie quarterback at home. This week, however, their task is far more challenging: stopping Drew Brees on the road in New Orleans.
Add Texas Gov. Rick Perry's name to the list of possible Republican presidential candidates flooding the campaign trail for GOP Senate candidate Bill Cassidy.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is in Florida this week with his fellow Republican governors for another gripe session aimed at their favorite target, the president, this time taking aim at his immigration plans.
Early voting for the runoff is shortened by two days because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Coach Don” Gagnard is running for school board. Today he offers his critique of the socioeconomic relationship between government subsidies and obesity.
BP is heading to a federal appeals court in its effort to oust the administrator of damage settlement claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Former Le Rosier chef who cooked at the James Beard House and was named one of the “Best New Chefs in America” by Food & Wine magazine in 1995 was 48.
It was only a few months ago when the LPSB held the school system’s purse strings with a death grip, but oh how board President Hunter Beasley's demeanor seems to be changing with the ouster of Superintendent Pat Cooper.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.