New spine surgery technology is faster and radiation free

After a car accident with a tractor trailer in 2019, Melina Pedraza was in pain every day.

The 46-year-old Bridgeport resident said she’d have pain and weakness throughout the lower part of her body, including her hip and her toes. “At random points of day, it felt like someone was lighting my foot on fire,” Pedraza said.

She had nerve damage, and was losing feeling in part of her left leg. She also had weakness in her legs. “(When standing up), I’ve had to catch my balance,” Pedraza said. “For somebody in their 40s to have a hard time walking isn’t a good thing.”

When other treatments didn’t help, she opted for spinal surgery, which she had on March 18. Pedraza is one of roughly 10 patients operated on using the new 7D technology at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport.

The hospital, which started using 7D at the beginning of this year, is one of the few facilities in the state using the technology, said Dr. Gerard Girasole, co-director of the CT Orthopaedic Institute at Hartford HealthCare and St. Vincent’s.

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