Fractured Vertebrae Treatment
Fractures of the vertebrae that are mild to moderate in nature tend to respond very well to conservative (non-surgical) treatments such as over the counter pain medications, back braces and physical therapy. If you have a severe fracture you may need to have surgery to repair the injury so that you do not damage the nerves or spinal cord in your back.
The two surgeries that can be used to treat those who are suffering from this type of injury are a Vertebroplasty or a Kyphoplasty; both of these procedures are minimally invasive, that is they only require a small incision.
A Vertebroplasty is a surgical procedure where your surgeon would inject bone cement through your skin and into the vertebrae that is fractured. By doing this the hope is that it will stabilize the fracture and help to alleviate any pain or symptoms you may be experiencing. This type of surgery is best uses on those who have mild to moderate pain and symptoms and conservative treatments are failing to address the problem. It is also helpful in patients who are elderly or in poor health and an open back surgery would not be possible or there is a history of osteoporosis.
Since this surgery is minimally invasive patients are often only given a local anesthesia and would be able to go home the same day as the surgery. There are of course risks involved but no more so then any other typical surgery. Complications are not common but they may include infection, bleeding, numbness and tingling in various areas of the body, headaches, and extremely rarely paralysis if the needle is not placed in the proper area.
Another type of surgical procedure that can be used to reduce pain and other symptoms associated with fractured vertebrae is a kyphoplasty; this type of surgery would be used on those with severe pain or spinal deformities due to spinal fractures. Like the surgery above it is minimally invasive and would only require a local anesthetic.
During this surgery a device called a balloon tamp would be used to help restore the height and shape of your vertebrae that is damaged. Once the balloon tamp is in place and has been inflated your surgeon would then apply bone cement to help strengthen and stabilize the vertebrae as it heals.
For those with severe pain this can be a safe and effect treatment to help relieve pain and correct a deformity that is a result of a fracture to the spine. There are risks and complications with this surgery also but like with a Vertebroplasty these are not common and the success rate for this surgery tends to run as high as 95%.