Spine Care

Treatment Options for Spinal Compression Fractures

Share

Minimally invasive surgical procedures can be used to treat spinal compression fractures. These procedures reduce severe pain, stabilize the fracture itself, and restore the lost height or shape of the broken vertebral body. These procedures are known as:

  • Balloon kyphoplasty
  • Vertebroplasty
  • Vertebral body augmentation

A vertebral compression fracture is a type of spinal fracture caused by osteoporosis. This metabolic disease weakens bone density and increases the risk of fracture/s in the spine, wrist, and hip. Osteopenia and osteoporosis affect millions, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. If left untreated, it can progress without an individual knowing and painlessly until the bone/s fracture. A vertebral compression fracture is more frequent than hip fractures and can lead to extended disability.

Vertebroplasty

Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive treatment done through the skin for painful vertebral compression fractures. It also helps strengthen the surrounding vertebral bodies at risk of fracturing. Orthopedic bone cement is injected into the fractured vertebral body.

How is it performed?

Under general anesthesia, a specialized needle for bone is slowly inserted through the soft tissues of the back towards the vertebral compression fracture. The surgeon sees the position of the needle at all times through a real-time x-ray. Once reached, a small amount of orthopedic bone cement, polymethylmethacrylate, is injected into the vertebral body. Polymethylmethacrylate is a medical-grade bone cement used for years for various orthopedic procedures.

The cement can sometimes be combined with an antibiotic to reduce the risk of infection and a powder with barium or tantalum. This allows it to be seen on the x-ray. The cement is a thick paste that hardens quickly. The fractured body is injected on the right and left sides, the midline of the back. After a few hours, the patient is up and moving. Most go home on the same day.

Balloon kyphoplasty

Balloon Kyphoplasty is another newer minimally invasive surgery for vertebral compression fractures that can be associated with osteoporosis. Kyphoplasty utilizes a balloon that expands the compressed bone to help restore lost vertebral height while creating a space where bone cement is injected. Kyphoplasty stabilizes fractures, restores lost vertebral height, and reduces deformities.

How it is performed?

Balloon kyphoplasty is performed under local or general anesthesia. Using real-time x-ray, two small incisions are made, and a probe is inserted into the vertebral body. The bone is drilled and balloon/s, called a bone tamp, a pump inserted on each side.

These balloons are inflated with contrast medium, so the surgeon can see on the real-time x-ray until each balloon expands to the correct height, and then are taken out. The balloon creates a space for the bone cement and helps expand the compressed vertebral body bone. The cement binds and stabilizes the fracture. The cement provides:

  • Strength
  • Stability
  • Hardens rapidly
  • Restores height
  • Relieves pain

Vertebral augmentation implant

A vertebral augmentation implant is different from vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. This minimally invasive procedure for middle and lower back spinal compression fractures utilizes a flexible loop spring-style spinal implant. It is performed under local or general anesthesia. A real-time x-ray is used to visualize the spinal anatomy and guide the placement of the device. The implant is delivered through a small incision. Once the implant is in place, the bone cement is injected, and the implant is removed.

Potential benefits include:

  • Reduction of new fractures above or below the existing fracture
  • Improves the spine’s angle
  • Reduced spinal deformity
  • Reduces bone cement leakage
  • Reduces the amount of bone cement

Benefits of all

Vertebral compression fractures and the limited abilities of traditional surgical options led to the refinement of these surgical systems. Each procedure provides options for how the treatment helps relieve pain, reduce and stabilize fractures, reduce spinal deformity, and stop the progressive worsening of untreated osteoporosis.

Added benefits:

  • Surgical time is minimal
  • Local or general anesthesia is all that is needed
  • Hospital stay is a day or only a few hours
  • Patients can quickly return to normal activities
  • No bracing required

A spine surgeon will explain the purpose and aims of the recommended procedure, including the benefits and risks, to help make an informed decision.

 


The Difference Using Custom Foot Orthotics

 

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Treatment Options for Spinal Compression Fractures" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card

Recent Posts

Managing Holiday Eating: Chiropractic Functional Nutrition Clinic

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends and celebrate. However,… Read More

November 18, 2022

Issues In Your Calves? It Might Be Trigger Points In The Soleus Muscles

Introduction The calves are extremely important to the lower portions of the legs as they allow the… Read More

November 18, 2022

Fatigue and Exhaustion: Injury Medical Chiropractic

Preparing for the holidays is exciting but can generate intense stress and anxiety. This can… Read More

November 17, 2022

Muscle Cramps In The Calves? Might Be Trigger Point Pain

Introduction Various muscles help support the lower legs in the body and allow movement to… Read More

November 17, 2022

Back Discomfort After Eating: Injury Medical Chiropractic

Back pain after eating is often the result of conditions and/or disorders in other areas… Read More

November 16, 2022

Peroneal Muscles, Weak Ankles, & Trigger Points

Introduction The ankles and the lower legs have a casual relationship by allowing movement to… Read More

November 16, 2022