A spinal fracture happens when a bone in your spine collapses as the result of too much pressure on a weakened vertebra. The bone typically collapses at least 15% from its normal height in the front of the spine and causes a wedge-shaped vertebra.
Spinal fractures can occur as the result of osteoporosis, a degenerative bone disease in which your body loses too much bone or fails to make enough new bone as it ages. The effects reduce the quality and density of your bones and make them more susceptible to fractures during normal activities. A spinal fracture can also occur as the result of trauma to the vertebrae from a car accident, a forceful jump, or a fall.
Some spinal fractures may heal on their own or improve with medication, physical therapy, and/or bracing. However, some spinal fractures persist and cause debilitating pain that worsens when you move or change positions.
Since the affected vertebrae collapse in the front, your spine may develop a curvature, forcing you to stoop forward. Each fractured vertebra also results in a slight loss of height.
If you have pain or deformity from a persistent spinal fracture, you may benefit from surgical intervention with kyphoplasty. This procedure uses bone cement to stabilize your spine.
Getting an accurate diagnosis of your back pain is the first step in finding the right treatment. Interventional pain management specialist, Shoeb Mohiuddin, MD, at Regenerative Pain & Spine in Chicago, Illinois, provides comprehensive care for spinal fractures, including kyphoplasty for severe cases. With their extensive training and experience, Dr. Mohiuddin and the pain management team can help you achieve optimal results with this innovative therapy.
How kyphoplasty works
Kyphoplasty involves the use of X-ray equipment to insert surgical tools into the collapsed vertebrae.
It is typically is performed according to the following steps, and the procedure is done under local or general anesthesia:
- During the procedure, you lie face down on the operating table.
- A narrow tube is placed into a small incision in your back.
- X-ray guidance is used to place the tube in the correct position so it creates a path to the affected vertebra.
- A special balloon is inserted through a needle and into the damaged vertebra.
- The balloon is inflated to help restore the height of the affected vertebra to a more normal position.
- When the balloon is removed, it leaves an open space.
- Acrylic bone cement is injected into the space to stabilize the vertebra and prevent it from collapsing again.
- The bone cement quickly hardens to stabilize the vertebra.
Kyphoplasty typically takes about an hour to treat each affected vertebra. Stitches usually aren’t used to close the incision.
What to expect after kyphoplasty
You can expect to spend time in a recovery room after your kyphoplasty. Depending on the results of your procedure and your medical condition, you may be discharged the same day. If appropriate, Dr. Mohiuddin may recommend that you stay overnight in the hospital.
You may be able to start walking an hour after your procedure. While you may experience some soreness at the incision site, this typically subsides within a few days.
Some patients experience immediate pain reduction or relief as a result of kyphoplasty. While most patients can return to normal activities after kyphoplasty, Dr. Mohiuddin gives you instructions specific to your condition.
Results of kyphoplasty
Most patients experience less pain and increased mobility after kyphoplasty, which can contribute to a better quality of life. You may need less pain-relieving medication after the procedure too.
Studies indicate that the procedure can be successful in restoring lost vertebral body height and correcting spinal deformities caused by spinal fractures.
If you’re experiencing back pain from a spinal fracture, find out whether you can benefit from kyphoplasty. Just phone one of our offices in the West Ridge area of Chicago to arrange a consultation.