Vertebral compression fractures are far from uncommon among Americans. In fact, there are generally up to 1.5 million such fractures each year, with women far outpacing men. For example, about 25% of postmenopausal women have at least one vertebral compression fracture (VCF).
If you're dealing with a compression fracture in your back, there’s some good news: We have an excellent solution for relieving your pain and restoring your spine to its natural position.
Below, we review why we turn to kyphoplasty, what it accomplishes, and why it's so successful.
When we say compression fracture, we’re referring to a process in your vertebrae in which a bone weakens and collapses. Usually caused by osteoporosis and bone loss, small cracks and fissures develop in the bone and cause the vertebrae to collapse down and in.
This usually happens in the thoracic vertebrae in the mid back, though it can also affect the lumbar vertebrae in the lower back.
As a result of a compression fracture, you can develop kyphosis, which, in layman’s terms, is a hunchback. In addition to the spinal collapse, you can also experience pain, which typically increases as the compression worsens.
Kyphoplasty is a procedure in which we inject a special cement into the damaged vertebra to restore the bony structure to its original height (or close to it).
To accomplish this, we use minimally invasive techniques to insert a balloon into your collapsed vertebra. We then inflate the balloon to restore the shape of your vertebra. After removing the balloon, we use a long needle to fill the space with a special cement that will help maintain the strength and shape of the bone.
While we can’t say here what would be best for your particular situation, we can speak to the many reasons why our patients have found success with kyphoplasty. These reasons include the following:
After we perform kyphoplasty, our patients often experience near immediate pain relief.
Compression fractures are often progressive and, once one forms, surrounding vertebrae are more vulnerable to damage. With kyphoplasty, we can put a halt to this cascading degeneration.
As we mentioned, we use minimally invasive techniques to perform this procedure. As a result, kyphoplasty is an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home the same day.
After a day or two of taking it easy, you should be able to resume your regular activities after kyphoplasty, though we may ask you to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities for a little while longer.
Again, we can’t say whether kyphoplasty is right for you in this blog, but we can perform an evaluation in our office.
To get started, schedule a visit with Apex Pain Specialists by calling 480-820-7246 or booking an appointment online. Our office is located in Chandler, Arizona.