A “broken back” doesn’t automatically lead to paralysis. In fact, there are many types of spinal fractures—and treatments. Integrated Pain Consultants counts with a team of experts, many of whom are double board-certified in anesthesiology and pain management, that work with patients suffering from a variety of spinal fractures to determine the best solution for pain management. Kyphoplasty is a possible treatment for compression fractures and uses “balloons and cement” for potential relief and avoidance of a more invasive surgery. But first, let’s review what exactly a “broken back” means.
A spinal fracture is very different than a broken leg or arm, often causing bone fragments to damage the spinal cord or nerves. These injuries can range from mild to severe and even fatal. The reality is that most spinal fractures are actually a good match for more conservative treatments like kyphoplasty (compared to extensive surgery). Your spine is comprised of 33 vertebrae and is the primary framework for your body, letting you twist, bend, stand up straight, and much more. At the core of every vertebra is a hollow spinal canal that safeguards the spinal cord—and that spinal cord is in charge of relaying messages between the body and brain.
A spinal fracture might compress, pinch, and sometimes tear the spinal cord. The best treatment for you will depend on the type of fracture and severity of the resulting instability. Only 5 – 10 percent of spinal fractures happen in the neck, but 64 percent happen in the lower back. There are also different kinds of spinal fractures. When a bone experiences more pressure than it can handle, it usually breaks causing a compression fracture. If you have osteoporosis, certain kinds of cancers, or tumors, you’re at a higher risk of a compression fracture. Those with multiple compression fractures often have a forward spinal hunch called kyphosis.
Kyphoplasty is a possible treatment for spinal compression fractures. Also called balloon-assisted vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty is an outpatient procedure that reinforces a fractured vertebra using a special acrylic cement. Our board-certified anesthesiologist uses an IV medication during the procedure, then the doctor uses a needle to insert a balloon into the fractured vertebra to make room for the cement. This type of procedure usually takes under 30 minutes. Find out more about kyphoplasty offered at Integrated Pain Consultants by calling (480) 626-2552 today.