DENVER (CBS4) – A woman from South Dakota is thrilled to be walking again and without pain. She credits two Denver doctors who repaired her badly damaged pelvis. They used screws, cement and a cutting edge procedure.

“Looking good,” said a nurse.

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Norma Kraemer (credit: CBS)

Norma Kraemer was feeling good, too. Using a walker, she took a lap around the orthopedic floor of Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center. This was one day after surgery to repair her pelvis.

“The pelvis collapsed completely on Thanksgiving Day,” Kraemer told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.

The 72 year old lives near Nemo, South Dakota. She’s a busy woman, a pilot and a weaver.
Uterine cancer and radiation treatment 10 years ago caused permanent damage to her pelvic bones.

“They looked rotted, like they were just sort of falling apart,” said Kraemer. “I couldn’t walk.”

(credit: Norma Kraemer)

She searched for relief with no solution. Then she was referred to orthopedic oncologist Dr. Daniel Lerman and interventional radiologist Dr. Tony Brown.

“Her treatment has caused the bone in her pelvis to be eaten away and eroded,” explained Lerman at the Institute for Limb Preservation at PSL.

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“We had to stabilize the entire right side of her pelvis,” said Brown with Radiology Imaging Associates (RIA).

The two have pioneered an innovative, minimally invasive procedure called percutaneous pelvic fixation. Through four small incisions and using high tech imaging, they reconstructed Kraemer’s right pelvis using four orthopedic screws and bone cement.

credit: CBS)

“This works because it’s collaborative,” said Brown.

“I would expect this to last indefinitely,” said Lerman.

“I just feel fantastic,” said Kraemer.

She said, just since the surgery, her pain level had gone from a seven to a one. She was delighted to be on her feet instead of in assisted living.

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“All of a sudden now, it’s like, I’m a kid again,” she said.

Kathy Walsh