Vertebral compression fractures are a painful and disabling consequence of trauma to your spine or osteoporosis. If you experience a vertebral compression fracture, the board-certified pain management specialists at Lynx Healthcare in Albuquerque, New Mexico, can help. They offer minimally invasive vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty procedures to stabilize the fractured vertebrae and relieve your pain. To find out more, call or use the online booking tool today.
Vertebrae are bones that make up your spinal column. Sometimes they weaken and fracture, resulting in chronic back pain, a hunched posture, and loss of height. This usually occurs when one side of the vertebra becomes compressed due to trauma or disease.
There are several reasons why you might have vertebral compression fractures, but the most common cause is having osteoporosis. This is a disease that typically develops in later life, most often in postmenopausal women.
Osteoporosis causes the bones throughout your body to lose their density, so they gradually become weaker and more brittle. Fractures become a common problem for people with osteoporosis, with vertebral compression fractures being a typical sign of the disease as it enters a more advanced stage.
Medications to manage pain, supplementary calcium and vitamin D, and physical therapy can help with the underlying osteoporosis responsible for many vertebral compression fractures.
To restore height to the vertebrae, you need to undergo one of two minimally invasive procedures available at Lynx Healthcare:
Vertebroplasty involves injecting bone cement into the fractured vertebrae. This prevents the fracture from worsening and stabilizes your spine.
Kyphoplasty is a very similar technique with one critical difference: Before injecting the bone cement, the team inserts a medical balloon into the vertebra and inflates it. This gently raises the collapsed part of the bone to restore more height.
After inflating the balloon, the team then deflates it and fills the space with bone cement, which takes about 10 minutes to harden.
The choice between these two procedures is one the Lynx Healthcare team discusses with you to ensure you receive the most appropriate surgery for your unique needs.
You need to have a sedative and a local anesthetic (or possibly a general anesthetic) before the procedure begins. You then lie on your stomach on the treatment table.
The team inserts a hollow needle called a trocar through your skin and into the fractured vertebra. They use fluoroscopy — a type of moving X-ray — to ensure that the needle is in exactly the right place.
Both kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty provide relief from spinal pain and improved mobility within a couple of days. Some patients even feel instant relief immediately after their vertebral compression fracture treatment.
To find out more about treatment for vertebral compression fractures and see if you're a good candidate for vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty, call Lynx Healthcare or book an appointment online today.