Bone osteoporosis commonly leads to vertebral compression fractures.
What are vertebral compression fractures?
Vertebral compression fractures occur when the bones in your spine collapse and are twice as common as hip fractures. When vertebral compression fractures occur, the usual rectangular shape of the bone becomes compressed, causing pain.
These compression fractures can involve the collapse of one or more vertebrae in the spine. The most common symptom of vertebral fracture is sudden onset of back pain, which can persist for weeks to months.
The diagnosis of a vertebral fracture can be made by an interventional radiologist through the use of appropriate imaging, such as MRI.
If left untreated, vertebral fractures frequently lead to chronic symptoms such as decreased mobility, decreased activity, back pain, or spinal deformity.
These fractures can be caused by osteoporosis, a disease that results in the loss of normal bone density, mass, and strength. Major consequences of compression fractures due to osteoporosis include back pain, hunchback and height loss.
Treatment for Bone Osteoporosis
Interventional radiologists deliver minimally invasive treatments with less risk, less pain and less recovery time than traditional surgery to treat conditions that impact a person’s quality of life, such as vertebral compression fractures.
Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive treatment developed to treat pain caused by vertebral compression fractures and has been safely performed since 1987. Using fluoroscopic (x-ray) imaging, an interventional radiologist precisely inserts a needle into the collapsed vertebral body through a small incision in the skin.
This image-guided technique (a technique guided by live x-rays) allows the doctor to accurately access the fracture while minimizing any trauma to surrounding tissue. A medical-grade liquid cement is then injected into the center of the vertebrae.
As the cement solidifies, the broken bone is stabilized. The treatment is performed with the patient face-down and sedated for their comfort. Afterwards, many patients feel immediate relief from pain, and can be discharged home the same day.