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.”
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
Three bedroom Acadian or a two bedroom town home
Ready to geaux in purple and gold
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
The recently established Downtown Lafayette Restaurant & Bar Association will host a special viewing of the upcoming New Orleans Saints taking on the Carolina Panthers in the open air of Parc Sans Souci on Thursday, Oct. 30.
Belief in a national outbreak of the Ebola zombie virus is becoming more of a threat every day, and The Hayride — Louisiana’s one true bastion for unrelentingly conservative political commentaries — thought it wise to share a certain special someone's “important message” with readers Tuesday on what to do when, not if, it comes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
JPMorgan Chase is giving $1 million to Louisiana's community and technical colleges, to help with workforce training efforts to match students to available jobs.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
WaPo Watergate editor Ben Bradlee dies; Clintons stump for Dems; Liberians stranded and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative
Lafayette-based emergency department staffing and management company raises $120 million in senior credit facilities through GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
High-rise apartment building, parking garage, hotel and retail part of new development.
A common thread runs through many of those we oppose: Enshrining in the Constitution protections on programs and their funding sources has had a disastrous effect on Louisiana’s most important economic development engine.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising.
Three bedroom cottage or three bedroom ranch
Sheer lace perfection
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana is drowning, quickly.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.