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Compression Fractures Specialist

The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas

Orthopedic Surgeons located in Pearland, TX & Lake Jackson, TX

Compression fractures are fractures of the vertebral bodies (spinal column bones) that are caused often when someone has a loss of bone mass (osteoporosis). Often, these can occur without trauma, or they can be secondary to a fall, cough, or lifting of a heavy object.

Spinal compression fractures that occur as a result of osteoporosis are quite common, occurring in approximately 700,000 people in the U.S. each year. The most common symptom is sudden onset of back pain.

Compression fractures can occur anywhere in the spine, but they tend to occur most commonly in the thoracic and lumbar spine.

Treatment options can vary, but in general, patients are treated with either a brace that provides support and prevents the fracture from getting worse or with a procedure called kyphoplasty.

Kyphoplasty is a twenty-minute procedure that can be performed without general anesthesia. It is performed by placing one or two needles into the vertebral body and then using a balloon to create a cavity and restore height to the fractured vertebrae. Once the cavity is created, cement is injected into the cavity and the needles are removed. 

The benefits of kyphoplasty are that oftentimes, the pain is immediately relieved and there is minimal recovery time and no restrictions during the post-procedure period. 

Vertebral fractures left untreated may lead to chronic pain, deformity (kyphosis) and loss of muscle and aerobic conditioning due to lack of activity and exercise.