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KDMC Neurosurgeon Performs Nation's First Compression Fracture Operation Using Newly Approved Bone Augmentation Material

Bernard Cortoss 1A physician at the Center for Advanced NeuroMedicine at King's Daughters Medical Center performed a national first Tuesday morning, July 7, with the successful use of a new treatment for vertebral compression fractures. Neurosurgeon Clark Bernard, M.D., utilized the new Cortoss bone augmentation material from Orthovita, Inc., after the material received FDA clearance Monday, July 6. Representatives from Orthovita, based in Malvern, Pa., confirmed Dr. Bernard is the first physician to use Cortoss after receiving FDA approval.

"When I came to KDMC last year, I wanted to bring world-class neurosurgery to Ashland," Bernard said. "Being the first in the nation to use a next-generation material to help patients recover from spine fractures is a privilege for me, and a great benefit for our patients."

Bernard performed a vertebroplasty, which is a common procedure for compression fractures. What made the procedure unique is the newly available Cortoss material, which is significantly different from traditional bone cement. Bernard said Cortoss is a composite that mimics the physiological properties of human cortical bone and is the first FDA-approved alternative to traditional medical-grade cement. Where traditional cement bonds over top of bone and has been an effective treatment, Cortoss actually bonds with the bone itself and interlocks with the trabecula, or inner bone matter. When Cortoss was in clinical trials in the U.S., patients reported less pain, better improvement in long-term fuction, and a lower incidence of subsequent, adjacent fractures. Orthovita tested the material for several years in the U.S. with the largest, randomized controlled clinical trial in vertebral augmentation performed to date.

Patients who undergo vertebroplasty usually go home the same day or the day after, and experience almost immediate relief from back pain.

According to Orthovita, the maker of the new material, approximately 250,000 people annually in the United States undergo augmentation procedures such as vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty for painful fractures in the spine. Since the inception of the vertebroplasty procedure in the mid-1980s, medical-grade bone cement has been the only viable implant for vertebral augmentation.

The Center for Advanced NeuroMedicine is the newly rebranded section of KDMC's neurosurgical and neurological departments. It includes the Spine and Pain Center, neurosurgery, and neurologic treatment for conditions such as stroke, Alzheimer's disease and more.

The neurosurgeons at King's Daughters include Clark Bernard, M.D.; Jerrel Boyer, D.O.; and James Powell, M.D.

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