Spinal or vertebral fractures can happen anywhere along the spine, but they are most common in the lower back. Such fractures can be described as stable or unstable. The latter type is characterized by excessive movement between the vertebrae caused by broken bone and stretched or torn ligaments. The resultant slipping and rubbing between the vertebrae can damage the spinal cord and/or associated nerves. It can also cause a lot of pain. Such fractures usually require surgery to prevent damage to the spinal cord.
In a stable fracture, there is no abnormal movement between the vertebrae. Consequently, the pain and other symptoms are markedly less severe, and the patient may not need surgery. More conservative and less invasive treatments can be used on a patient with a stable fracture.
Our conservative treatments for treating vertebral fractures center around stabilizing the patient’s back and relieving pain. In many cases, our doctor will prescribe some type of brace or orthotic. This will do three things: 1) keep the vertebrae correctly aligned with each other, 2) keep the spine still during healing, and 3) limit pain.
There are different types of braces that can be used on different parts of the spine. Braces can be soft or rigid, depending on the type of spinal injury being treated.
Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty
Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are minimally invasive procedures used to treat patients with compression fractures caused by tumors or osteoporosis. In a compression fracture, a downward force collapses and crushes a weakened vertebra so it becomes wedge-shaped. The two procedures are designed to strengthen the damaged vertebra, restore it to its proper shape and height, reduce pain, and prevent the vertebra from getting compressed again.
Vertebroplasty consists of injecting a type of bone cement called polymethylmethacrylate directly into the fractured bone. In kyphoplasty, the doctor injects a balloon into the fractured bone and uses the balloon to reposition the fractured bone into its proper alignment. Bone cement is then injected into the damaged vertebra.
Learn More During a Consultation
These are just a few of the conservative treatments offered for vertebral fractures at The NeuroMedical Institute. If you are ready to receive comprehensive and caring treatment, contact our office in Panama City today to schedule your consultation.