Back braces, pain medication, and bed rest are traditional methods of treating vertebral compression fractures, but they do not address the root cause of the problem, nor do they provide lasting pain relief. 

A new, minimally invasive treatment called Kyphoplasty is now available. It simultaneously repairs the fracture and restores height to the fractured vertebrae, providing immediate relief of pain and other symptoms.

Kyphoplasty (also called balloon kyphoplasty) is performed on an outpatient basis. During the procedure, you are placed under local anesthesia. A cannula is placed directly in the fractured vertebrae. A balloon is then inserted into the disc and inflated to correct the loss of height suffered during the fracture. The cavity made by the balloon is then filled with a fast-drying bone cement.

The procedure typically takes about 30 minutes for each fracture, and you are usually able to return home the same day. The vast majority of patients have reported that kyphoplasty provides immediate pain relief and has improved their quality of life. 

Spine fractures/vertebral compression fractures

A spine fracture—or vertebral compression fracture—occurs when one of the bones within the spinal column weakens and collapses. Then can be a cause of great pain, and left untreated, can lead to more serious health problems and/or permanent deformity.

Osteoporosis is often the cause of spine fractures. Because osteoporosis is a disease that affects bone density, those with this condition can more easily develop spine fractures. Spine fractures can also occur in patients on steroid therapy, in patients with bone metastasis in the spine or multiple myeloma, and in accident victims.

Spine Fractures Icon

Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Back pain, and possibly additional pain in the hip, abdomen or thigh
  • Numbness, tingling and weakness
  • Loss of height/hunched appearance
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Urinary incontinence

How are these fractures diagnosed?

Only a physician can properly diagnose a spine fracture. This is typically done with diagnostic imaging, such as MRI, CT or X-ray.

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