16 Nov Osteoporosis Vertebral Compression Fracture By Pain Management Doctors
With age, bones tend to lose strength and gradually become thinner. This takes place asymptomatically over a period of many years until the patient suffers from fractures in these bones which results in a painful condition. Fractures in osteoporosis often involve the spine where the fractures are referred to as osteoporosis vertebral compression fractures. These fractures affect a large number of people and are more common that osteoporosis linked fractures of the hips and wrists.
What are the symptoms and causes of vertebral compression fractures?
Pain management doctors like the pain management doctors of San Antonio treat patients who present symptoms of osteoporosis related fractures.
The following symptoms may accompany vertebral compression fractures caused by osteoporosis:
- Pain in the back typically in the area where the fracture occurs
- Spread of pain from area of fracture to surrounding areas
- Pain worsens with standing or sitting and wanes when resting or lying down
- Difficulty in bending
Osteoporosis results in narrowing of the bones of the vertebrae. This may result in a humped or round back with a shorter height. The vertebral bones become extremely susceptible to fracture and may break due to any of these reasons:
- A fall or other physical injury
- Simple everyday movements like twisting, stretching or reaching out for something
- A strong cough or sneeze may also fracture the weakened bones
How do pain management doctors detect an osteoporosis induced vertebral compression fracture?
Doctors like the pain management doctors are trained to treat vertebral compression fractures. They will first physically examine you for symptoms and signs of a fracture after taking a note of your case history.
The doctor may also examine you for any injuries to the nerve roots by testing your reflexes and muscle strength.
- To confirm the diagnosis, a number of medical tests can be performed. These studies help to locate the exact position of a fracture and detect its nature and complexity. They are as follows:
- MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- CT scan or computed tomograhpy scan
- Bone scan
- Bone density testing to confirm if osteoporosis is the underlying cause of the compression fracture.
Treatment of osteoporosis induced vertebral compression fracture
Seek treatment for osteoporosis induced vertebral compression fractures only from well-established doctors like the best pain management doctors of San Antonio. Improper treatment may worsen your situation or create further complexities and hence it is important to be assured about the ability and expertise of the doctor treating you. The following treatment options are available for vertebral compression fractures:
- Non Surgical Treatments:
- Pain medications
- Plenty of rest
- Wearing a brace to restrict motion in the damaged area to allow the fracture to heal
- Bone density improvement techniques
- Surgical Procedures:
If the pain and other problems associated with a vertebral compression fracture does not heal naturally within the span of a few weeks, surgical procedures may need to be implemented. Earlier, surgery involved extensive invasive procedures but with modern advancements it has been possible to treat fractures with minimally invasive vertebral augmentation procedures. Two types of surgical procedures involved are:
- Kyphoplasty: Here a ballon shaped tamp is inserted in the fractured vertebra which is then inflated to restore height in the damaged area. After restoration of height and space, the balloon tamp is removed and the space is filled with bone cement.
- Vertebroplasty: Here instead of using a balloon tamp, the bone cement is directly injected into the fractured area.