The vertebrae that form your spinal column are typically strong enough to resist breaking in most circumstances, but as you age, spinal fractures are more likely to occur. Wadid Zaky, MD, at Delmarva Spine & Pain in Berlin, Maryland, and Ocean View, Delaware has extensive experience in treating vertebral compression fractures, which commonly affect older people with osteoporosis. Dr. Zaky uses advanced techniques like kyphoplasty to restore height and stability to fractured vertebrae and relieve your pain. To see if you're a good candidate for these treatments, call Delmarva Spine & Pain or book an appointment online today.
Spinal fractures are breaks in your vertebrae — the bones that make up your spinal column. While these can occur from severe trauma, like falling from a height or being in a severe auto accident, the most common cause of spinal fractures is osteoporosis.
This bone disease typically develops in later life. It most often affects postmenopausal women but can occur in younger women and men as well. Osteoporosis is due to a loss of bone density, which makes your bones weaker and vulnerable to breaking.
Fractures are a common problem when you have osteoporosis because the bones break under minimal pressure. In your spine, osteoporosis weakens the vertebrae so they collapse at the front, causing a vertebral compression fracture.
Multiple vertebral compression fractures cause the top of your back to hunch over, a problem commonly known as a dowager's hump. Vertebral compression fractures frequently indicate that osteoporosis is entering an advanced stage.
Traumatic spinal fractures might require urgent surgery to repair the damage, plus immobilization and physical therapy to help the bones heal.
Vertebral compression fractures are sometimes manageable with pain medications, and you may benefit from calcium and vitamin D supplements to slow the progression of osteoporosis.
Dr. Zaky also offers two minimally invasive procedures that help stabilize your vertebrae:
With vertebroplasty, Dr. Zaky inserts a hollow needle (trocar) and injects special bone cement into the fractured vertebra. He uses fluoroscopy, a type of moving X-ray, to guide the needle into position. The cement stabilizes your spine and prevents the fractures from worsening.
Kyphoplasty uses the same technique as vertebroplasty but includes an additional step. Before injecting any bone cement, Dr. Zaky inserts a medical balloon. He inflates the balloon, which gently raises the compressed area of bone to restore height.
Both vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty offer relief from spinal fracture pain, and you should see an improvement in your mobility within a few days. Dr. Zaky goes over each procedure with you and advises you which one offers the best solution for your condition.
To find out more about treatment for spinal fractures and see if vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty could relieve your symptoms, call Delmarva Spine & Pain today or book an appointment online.