Posted on October 21, 2022
People over 70, women in particular, are susceptible to spine fractures, especially after falls.
Patients with vertebral compression fractures typically experience severe, unrelenting spine pain. If it’s in the thoracic (middle and upper) spine, then deep breathing, coughing, and especially sneezing can cause severe pain that radiates into the midback, ribs and some times the abdomen as well.
Fractures in the lumbar spine will cause severe lower to midback pain that worsens with nearly all movements.
It is natural for women’s bones to become thinner, weaker and more brittle after menopause due to loss of the estrogen hormone. By the age of 70, women are at significant risk for compression fractures. Therefore, it is important to get DEXA scans every 2 years to diagnose osteoporosis and treat it proactively.
Although Xrayscan hint at a spine fracture, an MRI is needed to definitively deter‐ mine whether a fracture is new and acute or not.
At Advanced Pain Management & Spine Specialists (APMSS), we place a priority on the treatment of acute compression fractures. Without treatment, such fractures can take six weeks to heal.
Initially, treatment typically includes oral medication (including narcotics) along with bracing. Despite this, many people still have severe, unrelenting pain and an inability to do their usual chores and tasks. After under standing their options, this motivates many individuals choose to undergo the Kyphoplasty procedure, which can repair the fracture and stop the pain.
During Kyphoplasty, with the patient comfortably asleep, a needle is placed into the fractured vertebral body through a small incision. A cavity is created in the vertebrae, which is filled with a medical form of liquid cement.
After being injected, the liquid material hardens quickly, stabilizing the fractured bone and reducing the pain.
The Kyphoplasty procedure takes about 15 minutes. After observation for 45 minutes or so, the patient is discharged to return home.
We expect patients to be 80% improved by the day fol lowing their procedure. We advise patients to continue wearing their back brace for at least one week after the procedure.
At the patient’s two week postop visit, we typically address the status of existing osteoporosis. This is be cause a patient who has had a fracture is at a 50% risk of developing another fracture within 2 years. The worse the bone density, the higher the risk. During this time, we discuss medication to help in the prevention of subsequent compression fractures.
Kyphoplasty is safely performed in our accredited Park Center for Procedures. This outpatient surgical center is conveniently located on the first floor of the APMSS facility.
Learn more about advanced options for the relief of pain by calling APMSS at 239-437-8000.