Compression fractures are amazingly common, with 1-1.5 million reported every year in the United States. As an expert in interventional procedures, double board-certified pain specialist Daniel Loder, MD, and his team in Beverly Hills, Torrance, and Manhattan Beach, California, have years of experience treating compression fractures with a minimally invasive procedure called kyphoplasty. Kyphoplasty restores the bone and allows you to get back to your normal activities. To learn more about treatment for compression fractures, call one of the Los Angeles area offices or book an appointment online.
A compression fracture is different from a typical fracture. When you suffer a compression fracture, one or more vertebrae in your upper or middle back (the thoracic spine) collapse because they’re too weak to support the normal amount of stress.
You must sustain a significant force to cause a typical fracture. By comparison, a compression fracture can occur with minimal force. Normal daily movements or a strong sneeze can result in a vertebral compression fracture.
Compression fractures occur when osteoporosis, a bone infection, or a benign or malignant tumor weaken bones. Prolonged corticosteroid therapy that results in osteoporosis can also lead to a compression fracture.
Osteoporosis is the most common cause, which means your risk increases as you get older. Though rare, young adults can sustain a vertebral compression fracture from a high-energy injury, such as falling from a height or a motor vehicle accident.
Most people experience sudden, severe pain when the vertebra collapses. But if your compression fracture develops gradually, you may initially have mild back pain that slowly gets worse.
Multiple compression fractures in adjacent vertebrae cause a forward curvature of your spine, causing a noticeable hump.
This problem occurs because the vertebrae only collapse on the front side, while the back side stays the same height, creating a wedge-shaped bone. Several wedge-shaped bones in a row create a rounded spine.
The standard treatment for a compression fracture involves bracing to immobilize your back while the fracture heals.
As experts in interventional medicine, the Daniel Loder, MD, team offers another option, a minimally invasive procedure called kyphoplasty.
During kyphoplasty, your provider uses real-time imaging to see your spine and guide a hollow needle into the collapsed vertebra. Then they insert a balloon through the needle and inflate the balloon, which restores the bone’s shape.
Once the vertebra is back to its normal height, your provider deflates and removes the balloon, but leaves the needle in place so they can inject bone cement into the vertebra.
The cement dries quickly, fully restoring the bone’s natural shape and strength. You need to avoid intense activities for about six weeks so the bone can heal. Ultimately, your pain is relieved, and spinal stability and movement restored.
If you develop pain in your upper or middle back or have a compression fracture, call Daniel Loder, MD, or schedule an appointment online.