Spinal compression fractures, which can collapse your vertebrae, are quite common in people with osteoporosis, a condition associated with low bone density. Your bones weaken naturally with age, leaving you increasingly vulnerable to spinal fractures that cause back pain and can impact your posture. They can even shorten your height.
Compression fractures are quite common, with over 700,000 occurrences each year in the United States alone. Most of these occur among postmenopausal women as they have high rates of osteoporosis. If you visit Pain Management Associates LLC in Greenbelt, Maryland, with a spinal fracture, Haddis T. Hagos, MD, and Brent Earls, MD, may recommend a treatment called kyphoplasty to restore your spinal structure.
Kyphoplasty is minimally invasive and effective for restoring your height and reducing back pain from compression fractures. Let’s look at how it works and what you can expect during the recovery.
As with other complex treatments, our experts decide whether to provide kyphoplasty on a case-by-case basis. Starting with a detailed evaluation, including imaging tests to assess your fracture or fractures, they plan your kyphoplasty and discuss your options for anesthesia.
Our team uses X-ray guidance to ensure complete precision while performing kyphoplasty. Viewing your spine through an X-ray, they insert a hollow needle through your skin and muscles and into the fractured vertebrae.
To restore the height of your compressed vertebrae, your provider gently inflates a small balloon through the needle. Next, they inject bone cement into the area so your vertebrae can retain its natural shape permanently. They refer to the X-ray image throughout the process to make sure the cement goes into the correct area.
Treating a vertebra with kyphoplasty takes about an hour from start to finish, but you can anticipate more time if you have several fractures needing treatment.
Back pain may not be your only symptom after a vertebral fracture. Because of where your vertebrae are in proximity to your spinal cord and the many nerve roots around it, you might experience nerve compression symptoms like numbness, weakness, or tingling. Many people find that their symptoms go away either immediately or within days of treatment.
Kyphoplasty may also improve your functional abilities without any physical therapy or rehabilitation if you experience any reduction in them due to your compression fracture.
One benefit of kyphoplasty is its relatively simple recovery. Since the treatment uses a needle instead of a scalpel, you won’t need any stitches. While you’ll spend a little time in a recovery room immediately after your kyphoplasty, you won’t need to stay overnight.
Any soreness in your back should only last for a few days, and you can start walking within hours of your procedure. Our experts might have a few tips for you to follow in the days or weeks after kyphoplasty, such as:
As for the preparation, kyphoplasty doesn’t require much. Aside from your initial consultation with our team and imaging tests, you’ll need to take bone-strengthening medication, get a blood draw, and avoid drinking specific beverages the day of your treatment.
If you have back pain, a spinal compression fracture is just one of many possible causes. For more information about kyphoplasty and other advanced pain management services, schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Pain Management Associates LLC.