Your spine consists of 33 bones called vertebrae, and they’re stacked on top of each other. This structure has a natural curve that functions like a spring, helping to absorb shock, maintain balance, and allow for movement throughout your torso. Unfortunately, these bones can also sustain damage, especially compression fractures, because of osteoporosis.
When you have osteoporosis, the bones in your body weaken, leaving them more vulnerable to fractures and collapse. If this occurs in your spine, you can experience significant pain and changes in your posture that can significantly impact function and daily life.
At Advanced Pain Management Center in Portland, Oregon, Vladimir Fiks, MD, uses kyphoplasty to treat compression fractures by restoring the height and strength of the affected vertebrae. If you have osteoporosis, here’s how Dr. Fiks can help.
Osteoporosis and compression fractures
The bones in your spinal column may be separate, but they work as a unit to handle the large amounts of stress placed on the spine. As a result, even one damaged or weakened vertebra can compromise the entire structure, which is a problem often seen with osteoporosis.
An estimated 1.5 million compression fractures occur each year in the United States. Not all are due to osteoporosis, but it is a leading cause and often a sign of the disease. These fractures happen when the weakened vertebra experiences too much pressure, causing the front of the structure to crack and lose at least 15% of its height.
Since osteoporosis causes bones to weaken, compression fractures can develop from any activity, from coughing, sneezing, or twisting to more traumatic events like falling. No matter the cause, they can trigger significant pain that often worsens with movement. They can also lead to visible changes in height and posture, including a rounded back or forward bend to the spine.
If you have osteoporosis, you have a higher risk for additional compression fractures in the future.
Kyphoplasty and osteoporosis
Dr. Fiks offers numerous interventions for a wide range of pain conditions, including nonsurgical and surgical solutions for compression fractures.
In many cases, compression fractures in the spine improve within three months with nonsurgical treatments, such as rest, medications, and bracing. However, while your pain may ease or disappear, that doesn’t mean the vertebra will return to its natural shape and height. That’s where kyphoplasty can help.
Dr. Fiks uses kyphoplasty to restore the original shape at the site of the compression fracture. During the procedure, he inserts a needle into the compression fracture. Then, Dr. Fiks slowly inflates a balloon inside the compressed vertebra to restore its height.
Finally, Dr. Fiks injects bone cement into the newly created space. This hardens quickly to solidify the vertebra, restoring height and strength in the area.
Benefits of kyphoplasty
Kyphoplasty can provide numerous benefits for people living with compression fractures and osteoporosis, including:
- Pain reduction
- Less need for medication
- Restored spinal function
- Corrected spinal structure
- Improved quality of life
- Low risk for complications
Plus, kyphoplasty usually takes less than an hour, requires no incisions, and you typically walk within an hour of your procedure. In most cases, people experience pain relief and improved mobility within 48 hours of treatment.
Do you have osteoporosis and compression fractures? Dr. Fiks can help. To learn more, call 971-233-4199 or book an appointment online with Advanced Pain Management Center today.