Charlie Miller of Tupelo walked away from an accident March 5 but not completely unscathed. “I knew that I would be sore because of my age. I’m still very active, but I’m 73 years old,” says Charlie, a commercial pilot and flight instructor. “But there was one area of soreness that didn’t go away.” The next week he went to see orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Stephen Southworth at Orthopaedic Institute of North Mississippi, who determined Charlie had rib fractures. Because of the pain, Dr. Southworth put Charlie in a back brace and sent him to North Mississippi Medical Center for a CT scan, which confirmed a spinal fracture. Charlie sought treatment advice from Dr. Louis Rosa, a neurosurgeon with North Mississippi Neurosurgical Services. Dr. Rosa referred Charlie to interventional radiologist Dr. Richard Arriola at NMMC for kyphoplasty, a procedure in which special cement is injected into the vertebrae to restore height and relieve pain.
“Since then, I haven’t had much pain,” Charlie says. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, his follow-up office visit was rescheduled as a Virtual Video Visit.
“I examined his ability to walk, reviewed his wound for complications and checked for any respiratory issues,” Dr. Rosa said. “He remains doing well. We will continue to follow him remotely, sparing him and the staff any unnecessary exposure.”
While a Virtual Video Visit was new to Charlie, he said it worked well. “I liked the fact that there was not a wait,” Charlie says. “I could be seen and then go on about my business.”