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Benefits of Vertebroplasty

Benefits of Vertebroplasty

A compression fracture is a type of break in the bones of your spine. Compression fractures are more common as you age. In fact, osteoporosis is the most common cause of compression fractures. Other causes of compression fractures include injuries to the spine from sports or car accidents.

At aCELLerated Interventional Orthopedics, our board-certified orthopedic and pain management specialist, Brian K. Rich, MD, provides comprehensive spine and pain management care to adults in Southlake, Texas, and Lawton, Oklahoma. Vertebroplasty is a treatment for chronic back pain caused by vertebral compression fractures.

Understanding a compression fracture

Compression fractures tend to develop in the upper back but can happen anywhere in the spine. The cracks may develop gradually or suddenly. When cracks develop slowly over time, you may not experience any symptoms. However, acute fractures tend to cause sudden back pain that can become chronic.

Additionally, compression fractures can cause the bones in the spine to collapse. When this happens, you may develop an outward curvature of the upper back (thoracic kyphosis) causing a humped appearance. In some cases, pieces of bone can press against the spinal cord.

The following are common symptoms of a compression fracture:

Compression fractures are typically stable, as the cracks tend to develop at the front of the vertebral column. However, by the time patients see Dr. Rich, they’re often in significant pain and have reduced mobility because of compression fractures.

What is vertebroplasty?

Vertebroplasty is an outpatient procedure that involves injecting a medical sealant into the fractured vertebra to relieve pain and restore mobility. During the procedure, Dr. Rich uses imaging guidance and carefully injects the medical cement into the vertebra. You may experience immediate pain relief, or it may take a few days for you to feel an improvement in pain.

Who is at risk for a compression fracture?

Low bone density is a major risk factor for compression fractures. Preventing and treating bone loss is the best way to cut your risk for compression fractures. If you’re diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia, treatment is essential. 

In women, the risk for compression fractures rises after menopause. Older men are also at risk of developing compression fractures. If you’ve had a compression fracture in the past related to weak bones, you’re at a higher risk for having another compression fracture.

If you’re struggling with chronic back pain related to a compression fracture, it’s wise to visit an orthopedic specialist to discuss treatment options. After vertebroplasty, most patients are able to return to the activities they enjoyed before the compression fracture.

To learn more about compression fracture treatment options call our office nearest you or book online to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rich. 

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