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Kyphoplasty May Be Your Solution for a Spinal Compression Fracture

compression fracture, spine, back pain, kyphoplasty

After your first spinal compression fracture occurs, you have five times the risk of sustaining a second compression fracture. The reason is simple: Osteoporosis doesn’t stop at just one bone.

Additionally, osteoporosis weakens the bones so severely that you can easily end up with a compression fracture by simply laughing or or sitting down abruptly on a hard chair.

At Florida Pain Medicine our team of skilled doctors can restore your spine and relieve your pain following a spinal compression fracture. You’ll regain strength and mobility when we perform a minimally invasive procedure called kyphoplasty.

Spinal compression fractures take years to develop.

Spinal compression fractures occur when vertebrae collapse because osteoporosis made the bones too weak to support normal pressure and activity. Osteoporosis occurs gradually over years of losing bone more quickly than it’s replaced by new bone.

Throughout your lifetime, your bones stay strong and healthy by slowly but continuously eliminating old or damaged bone and replacing it with new bone. However, it’s easy for this remodeling process to get out of balance.

It only takes a few weeks for your body to resorb old bone, yet it takes months to produce new bone. Any variable that increases the rate of bone loss or slows down bone production leads to a net loss of bone and osteoporosis.

Many health issues affect remodeling. Loss of estrogen after menopause significantly boosts bone loss, while bone production generally declines in everyone as they get older. Certain medications, a variety of health conditions, a sedentary lifestyle, and a deficiency of calcium or vitamin D can all tip the scales in favor of bone loss.

You won’t feel the change as osteoporosis progresses and your vertebrae become increasingly weak. But one day, the bones will finally be too weak to support your body. Then you’ll bend over to tie your shoes (or perform some other simple movement), a vertebra will suddenly collapse, and you’ll have a compression fracture.

Symptoms associated with a spinal compression fracture

Spinal compression fractures typically occur in your thoracic spine, which is the middle portion of your back. When the vertebrae collapse, you’ll experience sudden and usually severe back pain, as well as limited spinal movement. For most patients, the pain is worse while standing or walking and better when lying down.

The complications caused by a compression fracture include:

These complications can all be treated with kyphoplasty.

Details about kyphosis

When you suffer a compression fracture, the front of the vertebra collapses, while the back part retains its normal height. When several adjacent vertebrae suffer compression fractures and several bones in a row collapse at the front of the bone, they create a curvature or rounded back called kyphosis.   

How kyphoplasty restores a spinal compression fracture

Kyphoplasty is an exceptional solution for compression fractures. For starters, it’s a minimally invasive procedure that’s normally done in the office with a local anesthetic. Using real-time X-ray imaging to view your spine and to see the hollow needle used to perform the procedure, we start the procedure by inserting the needle into the collapsed vertebra.

For the next step, we insert a balloon through the needle and inflate the balloon until it restores the natural height of the vertebra. After deflating and removing the balloon, we inject bone cement into the space created by the balloon. You’ll stay on the operating table until the bone cement hardens, which doesn’t take long.

After every vertebra with a compression fracture is treated, your spine is stabilized, you regain spinal strength and mobility, and your pain is significantly relieved.

Why you shouldn’t wait to seek help for a spinal compression fracture

Kyphoplasty is a great option for treating a spinal compression fracture, but there’s a catch: You can’t undergo kyphoplasty if the bone has completely healed. Although it can take several months for a vertebral fracture to heal, getting an early examination gives us plenty of time to verify your diagnosis and plan the optimal time for your kyphoplasty.

If you develop sudden pain, schedule an appointment at Florida Pain Medicine by calling the office or using the online booking feature.

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