Vertebral Compression Fractures
Vertebral compression fractures are usually the result of a trauma, fall or a weakening of the bone due to osteoporosis or another underlying metabolic condition. Patients with multiple myeloma or patients whose cancer has spread to the spine are also subject to vertebral compression fractures. The pain is often severe and debilitating.
Pain medication, bed rest, physical therapy, and bracing are standard frontline treatments for vertebral compression fractures. However, if your pain continues, your doctor may recommend vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty.
In vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, your doctor injects a specially formulated cement directly into the damaged vertebra(e) to destroy painful nerve fibers and strengthen the fractured or diseased bone.
In vertebroplasty, your doctor uses a needle to inject the cement. In kyphoplasty, your doctor uses minimally invasive neuroendoscopy to inflate a tiny balloon near the vertebra to create an opening for the cement.
Besides relieving pain, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty may be used along with chemo- or radiation therapy to stabilize bone that is diseased by cancer. We work closely with oncologists and orthopedists to coordinate this aspect of your care.