If you’ve been diagnosed with a compression fracture in your back, you may have been suffering from intense pain. Our expert staff at Apollo Pain Management in Sun City Center, Florida, specializes in treating compression fractures with a minimally invasive procedure called a kyphoplasty.
Your spine is made of 24 vertebrae that have spongy discs between them to prevent each vertebra from rubbing against the ones next to it. Wear and tear on your body or progressive disease can lead to a crack or fracture in one or more vertebrae.
When you look at yourself in the mirror, do you look shorter than you used to? It’s probably not an optical illusion. When you have a vertebral fracture, you lose height because the vertebrae are no longer stacked on top of each other in a straight line; one or more is turned at an angle. The bones may be rubbing against one another, causing extreme pain.
What is a kyphoplasty?
If our double board-certified pain management specialist determines that you have a compression fracture, the likely recommendation is a kyphoplasty, also called vertebral augmentation.
A kyphoplasty expands the compressed space in your spine, thus relieving the pressure on your spinal cord and easing your pain. Your physician inserts a balloon device into the cracked vertebra to open up the space. He then fills it with a special cement to keep the vertebra in place so it won’t collapse. Vertebral augmentation is an aptly named description of the procedure, because the procedure augments and restores lost height from the fracture.
You experience no pain during the procedure. You receive local anesthetic, twilight sedation, or general anesthesia. Our staff reviews your medical history and condition and consults with you on your options for sedation.
Who is a candidate for a kyphoplasty?
If you have a vertebral compression fracture with significant back pain and poor mobility, you’re a likely candidate for a kyphoplasty. To determine if you have a compression fracture in your back, your doctor may need to order spinal X-rays, a bone scan, a CT scan, or other tests.
Apollo Pain Management staff members review the tests to see the type of fracture you have. A kyphoplasty is going to work best on a fracture on the front of the vertebra.
It’s important not to wait to see a specialist when having back pain. A kyphoplasty has best results when the procedure occurs soon after the fracture happens; eight weeks is the recommended limit. After 12 weeks, the bone has started to heal, and height can’t be restored.
Herniated discs, arthritis, or stenosis, a condition that narrows the spinal canal, are not treated with kyphoplasty; other procedures are available for those conditions.
Why do I have a compression fracture?
If you have osteoporosis, your bones have become thinner and more porous, making them weaker. Your bones are more likely to fracture. Bone scans can track the progression of osteoporosis.
In addition, if you’re being treated for cancer or have been a cancer patient in the past, your bones may be more fragile, which can lead to a compression fracture. A spinal tumor can also cause a compression fracture.
You don’t have to suffer from extreme back pain. Modern medicine has answers for you. Call Apollo Pain Management or request an appointment online. Our staff coordinates with your referring doctor.