Sequoia offers minimally invasive procedures to treat painful spine fractures
Have you ever known someone with back pain from a fractured spine? If so, you know how debilitating compression fractures of the spine can be. Whether caused by osteoporosis, metastatic cancer or tumor in the bone, these fractures not only cause unbearable pain but over time can bend the spine.
Compression fractures of the vertebrae, or spine, have traditionally been treated with immobilization through wearing a back brace and pain medication taking weeks to months to heal. “A back brace is hard to live with, and pain medication frequently doesn’t work that well,” said Paul Cipriano, MD. Enter the new techniques vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty. “With these procedures relieve of back pain is 90% in properly selected patients and usually immediate – within a day of the procedure.”
Vetebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are both minimally invasive procedures done in the radiology department and take about one hour. They are done using local anesthetic and intravenous sedation. “Using fluoroscopy (an imaging technology that displays a patient’s spine on a monitor) we are able to inject acrylic cement through a needle into the fractured vertebra. The cement hardens and stabilizes the area,” said Dr. Cipriano, “This provides pain relief and an increased ability to move around.”
Kyphoplasty is different from vertebroplasty in that it involves inflating balloons in the compressed vertebra before injecting the cement. The balloons restore the body height lost from the compression fracture and offer the same long term result – pain relief and increased mobility.
The location and size of the vertebrae determines whether vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty is selected for a given patient. Multiple fractured vertebras can be treated at one time, and the procedure is often done as an outpatient procedure or an overnight stay. As with any procedure, there are potential risks, which can be explained by your doctor. But for those patients who qualify, the procedure can offer mobility and freedom from pain so they can resume the active live they once enjoyed – often in just a few days.
Physicians specializing in Vetebroplasty and Kyphoplasty:
Paul R. Cipriano, MD
Kevin S. Finnesey, MD
Reza Malek, MD
Duc M. Nguyen, MD
Arash M. Padidar, MD