Treatment of a spinal fracture caused by osteoporosis is usually two-pronged, including both treatment of the fracture, and treatment of the underlying osteoporosis that led to the fracture.
Treatment for the vertebral fracture will typically include non-surgical care, such as rest, pain medication, use of heat or ice for local pain, and slow return to mobility. Surgery may also be advisable. The two most common types of surgery for this type of fracture are vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. Both types of surgery can help the fracture heal.
Vertebroplasty. This minimally invasive treatment is designed to help reduce or eliminate pain caused by a fractured vertebra and stabilize the bone. Low viscosity cement is injected directly into the collapsed vertebral body under high pressure, with the goal of stabilizing the fracture and relieving the associated back pain.
Kyphoplasty. Similar to vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure designed to reduce or stop the pain caused by a spinal fracture, to stabilize the bone, and to restore some or all of the lost vertebral body height due to the compression fracture.
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Helping prevent future fractures by treating the osteoporosis
After sustaining one vertebral fracture, the patient is at risk for more fractures, so treatment of the patient’s underlying osteoporosis is an important part of the treatment plan.
Osteoporosis treatment will typically include one or a combination of the following: calcium supplements, increased vitamin D, weight-bearing exercises, and hormone replacement therapy for women.
Because of the significant health and deformity risks related to multiple vertebral fractures, it is advisable for patients who suspect their back pain may be from a fracture to get an accurate diagnosis and a pursue a comprehensive treatment plan.
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