Bones in your spine can fracture or collapse due to bone loss. There are many causes of bone loss, including osteoporosis. When there is significant loss or collapse, a spinal fracture may occur. These spinal fractures may cause severe back pain and often cause the patient to hunch over. We usually start with conservative treatment, which can include rest and pain medication. If the pain continues or worsens, we will discuss other options for treating you.
Two minimally-invasive options are vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. 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.
Historically, these procedures have been done in a hospital setting but because of recent developments, including coverage by insurance companies and more sophisticated surgical kits, we are now able to perform both procedures in our office. We have been doing in-office vertebroplasties since 2008, and in-office kyphoplasties since 2012. 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 patient has the procedure finished and is on their way in less than two hours, as opposed to spending all day at a hospital.
– We do not utilize anesthesia, which is of great importance for the older population. 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.
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.