Dr. David Shelley Participated in Clinical Study


BLACKFOOT, Idaho – April 9, 2018 – David Shelley, MD, board-certified vascular and interventional radiologist, and a national leading authority in the treatment of vertebral compression fractures, was a participating physician in a recently published multi-center clinical study.

The study was the largest of its kind and investigated the safety and quality of life improvements after a minimally invasive procedure called balloon kyphoplasty—for painful vertebral compression fractures (VCF’s). Dr. Shelley was the Principal Investigator for the study at Bingham Memorial Hospital (BMH) where patients were enrolled in the 12-month study. He was a significant contributor of data for the study, which was published in the ©Congress of Neurological Surgeons 2018.

When the vertebral body in the spine collapses, this is called a vertebral compression fracture. This can cause significant pain which can greatly diminish a patient’s daily quality of life, and result in social withdrawal and lack of mobility in addition to long-term medical complications like kyphosis—a hunchback or forward rounding of the back. Balloon kyphoplasty restores the vertebral body’s height back to normal, stabilizing the vertebral body so that it doesn’t collapse back down after the procedure, which relieves a person’s back pain, and, if present, kyphosis.

“Using real-time X-ray imaging to guide the procedure, a kyphoplasty procedure involves placing a needle into the collapsed vertebral body,” explains Dr. Shelley. “A balloon is then placed through the needle and inflated inside the vertebral body, which restores the vertebra’s height and leaves behind a small cavity. Bone cement is then slowly injected into the vertebral body to prevent it from collapsing back down which prevents the fracture from moving and thus alleviating the pain.”

The highly successful, 12-month study included 350 Medicare-eligible patients who underwent balloon kyphoplasty due to painful acute or subacute VCF’s associated with osteoporosis or cancer. The results of the study indicated that balloon kyphoplasty significantly decreased back pain and disability, improved mobility and self-care abilities, and greatly improved their quality of life. In addition, narcotic medication usage was reduced as were days of bed rest and limited activity.

“I can confidentially report that the results of this study support the use of minimally invasive balloon kyphoplasty to be a safe and highly effective treatment for painful, vertebral compression fractures in patients,” says Dr. Shelley. “The procedure has exceptional outcomes in the correction of vertebral deformity, significantly improving debilitating pain and enhancing quality of life for patients.”

About David Shelley, MD

Dr. Shelley, board-certified vascular and interventional radiologist at BMH, is board certified and fellowship trained in vascular and interventional radiology. He sees patients in Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, and Soda Springs.

For more information on Dr. Shelley, please call (208) 233-4938, or click here.

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