When you lose a significant amount of bone, it can result in vertebral fracture or collapse. Bone loss is caused by: osteoporosis, cancer, chemotherapy, menopause, radiation therapy, and hyperthyroidism. Spinal fractures can be extremely painful and the pain can last for several days or more. For pain lasting more than a week, a visit with an OSC Orthopaedist can determine what is causing the discomfort. In most cases, conservative treatment is tried first, including rest and medication for pain. If conservative treatment is not successful, other options will be considered.
Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are similar, minimally-invasive options used to stabilize compression fractures in the spine. Both are procedures for stabilizing compression fractures in the spine and are similar.
Vertebroplasty allows physicians to literally cement a compression fracture. A cement-like substance is injected into the compromised areas of the spine. When the cement hardens, the fractures are stabilized and your spine has new support.
Kyphoplasty is a bit different in that the physician inserts a balloon into the compromised areas, and gently inflates the balloon to restore the height and shape to the fractured bone. Cement is then injected to hold the height and shape in place, thereby improving the patient’s stature.
Both of these procedures can greatly reduce pain and allow you to return to your normal activities. This “cement” quickly hardens and provides a stable framework for the fractured bone to heal, relieving pain and restoring function.
Recent developments, including coverage by insurance companies and improved surgical kits are now making it able to do the procedures in our office, instead of in hospital. Surgically, special blocks for anesthetizing the area and significantly smaller needles have eliminated (for most people) the need for anesthesia, paving the way for the procedure to be done in an office setting. OSC has two sterile fluoroscopy procedure rooms where our physicians perform these procedures. We started doing in-office vertebroplasties in 2008, and in July 2012, we began in-office kyphoplasties. At OSC, Dr. Raj Sureja and Dr. Mark McFarland both do these procedures in the office.
There are significant benefits to having this procedure done in our office:
– The procedure takes less than 30 minutes; 90 minutes is approximately the total time the patient is in our office. Compare this to spending 4-6 hours, or more, in the hospital.
– We do not utilize anesthesia, which is of great importance for the older population. Elderly patients or people who have negative reactions to anesthesia do not need to fear this procedure. We use local numbing agent to make a small incision in the back.
– Having the procedure done in the office saves approximately $10,000 per procedure. If a patient has co-insurance, this is a large amount of money out of pocket if done at the hospital.
– Medicare and other insurers are covering these in-office procedures. The patient may have some financial responsibility, but it will be less than if the patient went to the hospital for the same procedure.
If you think you may have a compression fracture, please call 757-596-1900 to make an appointment so you can explore treatment options with us. Our location is close to Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and Richmond, VA.