Vertebral compression fractures are common in older people with osteoporosis, which weakens the bones. If you’re affected by painful vertebral compression fractures, the experienced team at AABP Integrative Pain Care in New York can help. They offer specialized treatments like vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty to strengthen your spine and resolve your pain. To see if you’re a good candidate for vertebral compression fracture treatment, call the AABP Integrative Pain Care office in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn, or in White Plains, New York, or book an appointment online today.
Vertebral compression fractures are a particular kind of spinal injury. Vertebrae are the bones that form your spinal column. If they suffer a trauma like a fall from a height where you land on your feet, the vertebrae can fracture from the force of the impact. However, the most common cause of vertebral compression fractures is osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a disease that in most cases develops in later life, typically in women after menopause. It’s due to a weakening of the bones throughout your body as they lose density. A lack of calcium in the diet and the effects of lower levels of the female sex hormone estrogen are the most common causes.
The result is that your bones fracture under far less strain than healthy bones. In your spine, the front of the vertebra gives way, but the back usually stays as it was. This means the bone becomes wedge-shaped.
People with advanced osteoporosis often develop a series of vertebral compression fractures in their upper back that causes abnormal spinal curvature known as a dowager’s hump.
You might need medications to manage any pain caused by your vertebral compression fractures. It’s also essential to take supplementary calcium and vitamin D and have specialized physical therapy to prevent your condition from worsening.
Treating the pain vertebral compression fractures cause could also involve undergoing vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. Vertebroplasty is an injection of bone cement into the affected vertebrae. Kyphoplasty involves using bone cement too, but your provider also raises the compressed part of the vertebra.
To undergo vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty for vertebral compression fractures, you need to have a sedative plus a local anesthetic injection at the treatment site.
Your provider inserts a trocar (hollow needle) through your skin and into the fractured vertebra. They use image guidance technology (ultrasound or fluoroscopy) to see where the needle’s going. If they’re performing kyphoplasty, they insert a small balloon into the vertebra and gently inflate it to restore some height before injecting bone cement.
Both kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty typically relieve back pain and improve patient mobility within a few days of the procedure. Some patients benefit from instant relief following vertebral compression fracture treatment.
If you have vertebral compression fractures and want to find out if vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty could help, call AABP Integrative Pain Care or book an appointment online today.