Spine Fracture Treatment Options
A variety of spine fracture treatments for collapsed vertebrae and kyphosis are available, including non-operative care, invasive spine surgery and minimally invasive procedures such as vertebroplasty and conventional balloon kyphoplasty (vertebral augmentation).
A non-operative spine fracture treatment aims to reduce the overall pain of a spine fracture. Typically, non-operative care requires that you take an over-the-counter pain relief medicine or in some instances, a physician-prescribed medication, get adequate bed rest, wear a back brace or spine support, and participate in some type of physical therapy program.
Invasive back surgery options are generally considered as a last resort. Back surgery options provide pain relief by fusing, or joining together, two vertebrae to eliminate pain-causing motion. Typically, metal screws are inserted into the vertebrae and then attached to metal plates or rods at the back of the spine.
Vertebroplasty, used as a spine fracture treatment, kyphosis treatment, or collapsed vertebrae treatment, is a procedure in which liquid bone cement is injected into the affected vertebra to stabilize the fracture and relieve pain. Cement leaking from the injection site and/or areas of the vertebra before the fracture is stabilized can be problematic, resulting in nerve irritation and potential embolism, or blood clots.
Kyphoplasty, now referred to as vertebral augmentation, involves the creation of a cavity using either a balloon or other instrument prior to delivering cement into the fractured vertebra. A conventional balloon kyphoplasty procedure, developed in 1998, involves first creating a cavity in the affected vertebra by inflating a balloon, pushing bone aside, and then filling it with bone cement. The bone that is crushed by the balloon as it is expanded may act as a barrier to help contain the cement and in some cases can help minimize leakage. Radiofrequency-Targeted Vertebral Augmentation (RF-TVA) involves the use of targeted cavity creation and the controlled injection of cement. RF-TVA marginalizes vertebroplasty-related risks and minimizes damage to native bone during balloon kyphoplasty.
Talk to your physician about which spine fracture treatment is right for you.