Helping older Canadians manage spinal pain

Older Canadians remain bright and vibrant, but many are trapped in bodies that do not cooperate and backs that give out. Many seniors suffer chronic, debilitating conditions of the spine that can only be managed through pain medication and other therapies. Some patients will receive very little relief, and others have no relief at all.

To help alleviate this problem, The Joyce Family Foundation has donated $2.5 million to fund the Centre for Image-Guided Spine Therapy. Led by UHN Interventional Radiologist Dr. Kieran Murphy, the Centre will help Canadians manage their spinal pain through minimally invasive procedures.

Founded by legendary Canadian entrepreneur Ron Joyce, The Joyce Family Foundation is committed to improving the public good through philanthropy. As one of Dr. Murphy’s grateful patients, Ron knows firsthand the incredible impact this work will have.

“Operating on older patients is tricky because they are high-risk surgical candidates,” said Dr. Murphy. “But minimally invasive surgeries can transform their lives. One of my patients is a grandmother who after her procedure was able to sit at the table with her family and enjoy Christmas with her grandchildren for the first instead of lying on the couch.”

Interventional radiologists are doctors trained in radiology and in minimally invasive procedures. They are experts in reading X-rays, ultrasounds, CT and other medical imaging techniques. This expertise combined with advances in imaging technology enables them to guide small catheters (tubes) and guidewires through blood vessels or other organ pathways to treat many diseases.

Dr. Murphy has developed an international reputation as a prolific inventor of medical devices and new treatments. He holds 64 patents and his procedures are used across the globe: from China, to Ireland, to Canada.

The Centre for Image-Guided Spine Therapy will accomplish three goals:

  • Investing in research to the development of new tools and procedures.
  • Launching clinical trials across the country to help Canadians in geographic isolation.
  • Providing patients with access to minimally invasive surgeries designed to improve their spinal degeneration.

“Dr. Murphy’s procedures are life-changing.  We are pleased to help make these procedures available to all Canadians. ” said Ron Joyce.

The Centre for Image-Guided Spine Therapy will have meaningful impact on the lives of thousands of Canadians who suffer from spinal degeneration. Thanks to the Joyce Foundation’s generosity and Dr. Murphy’s leadership, we will be able to help older Canadians stay mobile and joyful.

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