The spine plays an important role in our lives, as it protects the spinal cord, the main component of the nervous system. Also, it is essential for supporting the body, maintaining posture, and enabling mobility. The spine can also get hurt just like the rest of the body. These injuries can result in painful and debilitating conditions. Vertebral compression fracture (VCF) is a common spinal injury. This occurs when a spine bone dislocates. This condition sometimes referred to as a spinal compression fracture, can lead to severe back pain, height loss, and other health-related problems. Fortunately, treatments are available that stabilize the area and eliminate symptoms. Let’s discuss vertebral compression fractures and their treatment methods.
SPINAL COMPRESSION FRACTURE
Each vertebra in the spine absorbs pressure during everyday movement. Sometimes, this pressure can be too much. Sudden shocks such as falls or car accidents result in vertebrae fractures. The front part of the vertebra may collapse if the spine is unable to handle this excessive force, which results in a wedge-shaped vertebral body.
Compression fractures can occur to anyone, but those with osteoporosis are at a higher risk. Bones are living, regenerating tissues. Osteoporosis sufferers are unable to effectively replace old bone with new bone. As a result, bones lose strength and density. It is possible for people suffering from severe osteoporosis to suffer a compression fracture even when lifting a light object or sneezing vigorously. Usually, significantly greater force or damage is required to cause these fractures.
Individuals with bone cancer and other spinal tumors are at higher risk of compression fractures due to weakened vertebrae.
VCFs can develop at several places along the spine. The most prevalent type, thoracic compression fracture, typically affects the lower region of the upper back. The injury may also affect the lower back, known as a lumbar compression fracture.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF VERTEBRAL COMPRESSION FRACTURE?
- Suddenly developing backache
- Pain while moving or standing
- Less discomfort when lying on the back.
- Difficulty twisting or bending
- Specific areas of the spine feel sore
- Pain while laughing, coughing, sneezing, or taking a deep breath
You may develop spinal deformities if VCFs don’t heal properly or worsen. Moreover, compression fractures may narrow the spinal canal, which can damage the nerves. This can result in pain, numbness, and tingling sensations in the extremities.
VERTEBRAL COMPRESSION FRACTURE TREATMENT
Initially, your doctor recommends non-surgical treatments. A short period of bed rest is usually advised to reduce the area’s stress and promote bone healing. Excessive bed rest can cause adjacent muscles to weaken and bone mineral density to decline.
A back brace is used to maintain spinal stability, which can reduce pain, promote healing, and prevent spinal deformities.
Your doctor may prescribe medication to reduce pain. Physical therapy can help you build stronger muscles surrounding your spine to stabilize the area.
Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are the two main surgical treatments doctors prefer for treating compression fractures.
The VCF is stabilized and any painful movements are stopped by this minimally invasive technique. This method uses a small puncture in the skin, unlike open back surgery. This procedure takes an hour.
A needle is inserted into the back with the camera which helps to find the compression fracture. Then, PMMA special bone cement is injected into the fractured vertebra. The cement fills the crack and usually dries in ten minutes. You can go home the same day after the surgery.
This procedure is similar to vertebroplasty. The difference, however, is the use of a special balloon to partially or completely restore the spine’s lost height.
In this procedure, a small incision is made and a needle is inserted with a camera to find the fracture. The balloon is then inserted through the tube. The doctor inflates it gradually after it reaches the compressed vertebrae. This places fractured pieces of bone back in their correct place. The surgeon will then fill the region with special cement after removing the balloon. For each damaged vertebra, balloon kyphoplasty usually takes one hour and you can go home the same day.
The Specialty Care Clinics can help if you’re tired of dealing with the pain and suffering associated with your VCF. Our doctors are experienced to treat spinal issues. Schedule an appointment with us today.