Vertebral compression fractures are a common complication of osteoporosis, which weakens the bones. If you develop upper back pain from compression fractures, SEPA Pain and Spine performs kyphoplasty at the practice’s Horsham, Langhorne, Meadowbrook, and Chalfont offices in Pennsylvania. Kyphoplasty restores height and strength to damaged vertebrae using minimally invasive nonsurgical techniques. Call the nearest SEPA Pain and Spine office to discuss kyphoplasty and compression fractures, or book an appointment online today.
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure for restoring height to vertebrae (spinal bones) affected by compression fractures.
Compression fractures are crush injuries affecting the vertebrae. They sometimes occur when the bone comes under excessive force, like falling on your feet from a significant height. However, by far the most common cause is osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis develops when the bones throughout your body weaken, making them vulnerable to breaks. It usually worsens over the years as the bones gradually lose density, a problem that’s especially common in women after menopause because of falling levels of estrogen (a female sex hormone).
Osteoporosis significantly increases your fracture risk as bones snap far more easily — twisting, coughing, sneezing, or lifting could all result in a fracture. Older people often suffer from hip fractures after falls because of osteoporosis.
In the spine, vertebrae weakened by osteoporosis collapse at the front, leaving the back higher and forming a wedge shape. The vertebrae in your thoracic spine (upper back) might suffer a series of compression fractures that creates an abnormal curvature (kyphosis) known as a dowager’s hump.
The first stage of kyphoplasty involves inserting a tiny balloon into the damaged vertebra. Your SEPA Pain and Spine provider inflates the balloon, which raises the crushed part of the vertebra. Then they inject bone cement to secure the raised area.
If inflating a kyphoplasty balloon in your spine isn’t possible, your provider can just inject bone cement to stabilize the area. This procedure is called vertebroplasty.
Kyphoplasty is an outpatient procedure. You have a sedative, so you feel calm and sleepy, and a local anesthetic injection at the treatment site. When kyphoplasty is complete, you wait in the recovery area for the sedative to wear off, then you can go home.
You might feel sore for a few days, but this soon disappears. You should avoid vigorous physical activities for a while so the area heals properly. Many patients enjoy an immediate reduction in pain, while for others it takes a couple of days to feel the full benefits.
Call SEPA Pain and Spine today or book an appointment online to see if kyphoplasty is the right approach to treating your vertebral compression fractures.