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Chronic Back Pain: How It Might Be Related To A Compression Fracture

by Caitlin Obara

Spinal fractures suffered by the elderly are not often diagnosed as fractures. There is a general feeling that older people may only be suffering from a muscle strain or a soft tissue condition. However, there is a real possibility that your back pain might be caused by a compression fracture in your spine that's related to your osteoporosis condition. Be aware of symptoms that could mean you've suffered a compression fracture. Consult with a spine specialist for diagnosis about your chronic back pain that may be related to a compression fracture.

Compression Fracture Symptoms

Compression fractures are also called vertebral fractures, and you'll experience acute back pain that materializes into chronic pain. Pain causes you to lose mobility, which results in muscle loss due to lack of exercise and activity. You'll begin to lose height as thoracic kyphosis deformity develops. Thoracic kyphosis triggers height loss because of your dowager's hump and bowed shoulder posture. Osteoporosis may already be at work in your body.

The Osteoporosis Factor

Since compression fractures are so closely related to osteoporosis, you should not delay seeing a spine specialist when you suffer fracture symptoms. You may not even be aware that you have osteoporosis, since this disease silently occurs without warning symptoms. By the time you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, the disease may already be well-entrenched in your now-thinned bones. You then become susceptible to multiple compression fractures. Early diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis wards off multiple compression fractures.

Treatment Of Compression Fractures

Your treatment initially begins with nonsurgical care such as ice or heat to decrease local pain. Rest and analgesic pain medication may be a part of your therapy as well. You may have to wear a back brace. When nonsurgical treatments offer you no relief, you could be scheduled for either of two surgical treatment procedures to heal your compression fracture. 

Vertebroplasty Surgical Procedure

When you undergo vertebroplasty, the goal is to get rid of pain associated with the fractured vertebra. The surgical plan is also designed to stabilize the fractured bone. The surgeon will inject acrylic bone cement directly into your injured vertebral body. The cement mixture hardens in approximately ten minutes. Your spine becomes immediately stabilized. You may be discharged home the same day or remain overnight and be discharged the next day.

Kyphoplasty Procedure

The aim of kyphoplasty is to also stabilize the fractured bone. The procedure lessens and even end the pain you've endured for so long. It will restore most and possibly all of your vertebral body height loss created by the compression fracture. Your surgeon inserts a catheter tube with a balloon tip into the damaged vertebra. The balloon tip is inflated and provides an opening for entry of the injected bone cement. Like vertebroplasty, the bone cement hardens in about ten minutes, and you may be discharged the same day.

Contact a company like Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates if you want ot know more.