As you age, your risk of osteoporosis and compression fractures in your spine increases. Fortunately, the team at Source Healthcare in Santa Monica, California specializes in problems affecting the spine and offers state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment for compression fractures. If you have back pain and want expert relief, call Source Healthcare or make an appointment online today to get started.
Keeping Spinal Health at its Best
What is a Compression Fracture?
Your spine bears a lot of pressure; over time, this can cause tiny cracks in your vertebrae that eventually lead to a compression fracture. When you have a compression fracture, your weakened vertebra collapses. Compression fractures occur most often in the lower and middle back.
Compression fractures cause debilitating pain and reduced mobility, which eventually lead to impaired overall health. Compression fractures can also lead to spinal deformities.
For example, a compression fracture can cause your spine to hunch forward, leading to a humped back. You may also lose height because of a compression fracture.
This is a collapse of vertebral bone. It can affect one or more vertebrae. Compression fractures typically develop in your mid or lower back. This can change the shape of your spine.
Kyphoplasty (Balloon Vertebroplasty)
This minimally-invasive procedure repairs a vertebral compression fracture. It helps restore the spine’s natural shape. Some patients experience rapid pain relief after the procedure.
What Causes Compression Fractures?
Compression fractures are usually caused by a combination of pressure and consistent bending. Conditions such as osteoporosis, which thins and weakens your bones, also contribute to your risk of compression fractures. You may also develop a compression fracture following a traumatic injury to your back.
How are Compression Fractures Diagnosed?
At Source Healthcare, your doctor provides a comprehensive exam to confirm the cause of your back pain. The physician will talk to you about your symptoms, overall health, and lifestyle and feel your spine for abnormalities or deformities. Your doctor may ask you to walk around the office or bend and twist so s/he can see how your movement is impaired.
Your doctor may also order a diagnostic imaging test such as an X-ray or MRI to assess the severity of your injury and pinpoint the location of your compression fracture.
How Are Compression Fractures Treated?
Source Healthcare offers minimally invasive kyphoplasty procedures to repair compression fractures. During the kyphoplasty, while you are sedated, your doctor uses X-rays to see your spine and locate the compression fracture. Then, s/he makes a small incision in your back and pass a catheter into your damaged vertebra.
Depending on the severity of your fracture, s/he may insert and inflate a balloon to restore the shape of your vertebra and create space. Then, when there is sufficient space in your vertebra, your doctor injects a special bone cement to fill, strengthen, and secure your spine.
You may be back up on your feet within an hour of your surgery, although your doctor gives you specific aftercare instructions including activity restrictions.
Call Source Healthcare or make an appointment online today for expert diagnosis of back pain and state-of-the-art treatments.