On March 1 Daryl Pogue was in so much pain he couldn’t get into the hospital bed in his room at Mercy Jefferson. After kyphoplasty on March 2 his nurses couldn’t keep him in that room.
The 78-year-old retiree and farmer from Redford, Missouri, had been experiencing progressively worsening pain since January, but diagnosing the issue had been difficult.
“I can’t begin to describe the pain. I couldn’t talk. I could hardly breathe,” Pogue said. “It just kept getting worse.”
The pain was centered in his right groin area, and at first it was attributed to kidney stones revealed in initial imaging tests. After weeks of waiting and increased pain, he came to Mercy Jefferson where urologist Rajen Doshi, MD, ruled out the kidney stone theory. Pogue had stones, but they were not causing his pain.
Pogue was referred to gastroenterologist Youssef Assioun, MD, to determine if the pain could have been due to blockage or other intestinal complication, but those examinations couldn’t find a cause for his pain either.
Hospitalist Aayushman Misra noticed something about the way Pogue walked and asked if the pain could be related to something in his spine. An abdominal and pelvic MRI was ordered, and Pogue told the doctors about a fall he had in January.
“I got off the tractor and was walking when I fell on my stomach. I didn’t think anything of it. I wasn’t hurt,” Pogue said.
The MRI discovered a fracture in his third lumbar vertebrae.
“They came in all excited. ‘We know what it is.’ I was excited too,” Pogue said.
Interventional radiologist Carlos Mahia, MD, was consulted to complete a procedure called Kyphoplasty, in which a cement-like substance is injected into the fracture to stabilize it and eliminate the patient’s pain.
“This is a new procedure available at Mercy Jefferson, which was not available as recently as six months ago,” Dr. Mahia said. “It is a very important procedure to provide pain relief for people who suffer with acute compression fractures of the thoracic and lumbar spine. With this treatment we can reduce the time patients spend in the hospital and reduce the amount of pain medication they need. Most patients can go right back to work or their activities of daily life.”
Pogue was ready to get moving and back to his farm almost immediately.
“After it was over, Dr. Carlos asked how I was doing, and I asked him if he wanted to dance. I think he was about to; everyone was so happy,” Pogue said.
Less than 12 hours after barely being able to move due to his pain, Pogue was making laps around the halls of the new patient tower at Mercy Jefferson. His daughter Tammy Harman brought him a walker to make sure he traveled safely, but Pogue insisted he didn’t need it.
“I may be sore tomorrow, but I feel great today,” Pogue said. He was anxious to get back to his farm outside of Annapolis in Reynolds County, and back to tending to his cattle and chickens without the pain.