What is vertebral augmentation?
Vertebral augmentation refers to two minimally invasive procedures — vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty — that strengthen collapsed vertebrae, stabilize your spine, and repair spinal deformity. Both procedures provide nearly immediate relief from the pain caused by vertebral compression fractures.
What causes a herniated disc?
Herniated discs develop due to several factors, but the top cause is natural aging. Over time, the discs dry out and harden, and the outer wall weakens. As a result, the disc begins to degenerate, and it only takes a little pressure to cause a herniated disc. You can also sustain a herniated disc due to an injury, from repetitive activities that stress your spine, or from lifting a heavy object.
What causes a vertebral compression fracture?
A vertebral compression fracture occurs when one or more vertebrae collapse. Compression fractures develop when vertebrae are subjected to more pressure than they can support, or when the bones are too weak to support normal pressure.
While the pressure from a fall or a car accident can collapse a healthy bone, osteoporosis is the top cause of vertebral compression fractures.
Once vertebrae are weakened by osteoporosis, they can collapse from normal movement. Simply bending over or walking can place enough pressure on your spine to cause a compression fracture.
What symptoms develop due to a vertebral compression fracture?
Vertebral compression fractures cause these key symptoms:
Pain and limited motion
Compressed vertebrae cause back pain that’s often severe, worsens when you move, and limits your mobility. Since these fractures typically occur in the thoracic spine, you’ll feel pain in the middle of your back.
When several adjoining thoracic vertebrae sustain compression fractures, you’ll develop a noticeable curve or rounded hump in your back, a condition called kyphosis.
Compression fractures make the front of the vertebra collapse, while the back of the bone remains at its normal height. As a result, the bone takes on a wedge-like shape that creates a spinal curvature when several adjacent bones collapse.
How do vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty repair vertebral compression fractures?
Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are similar procedures. They both strengthen the bone and stabilize the spine, but there’s one difference: Kyphoplasty also eliminates spinal curvature by restoring the bone’s height.
Using X-ray imaging to guide the procedure, the doctors at Florida Back Institute insert a thin needle containing bone cement through your skin and into the collapsed vertebra. When imaging shows the needle is properly placed, the doctors inject the cement into the bone.
Bone cement hardens within minutes, immediately strengthening the bone, stabilizing your spine, and relieving your pain.
Kyphoplasty begins by inserting a balloon into the vertebra, then inflating it to restore the bone’s normal height. Then your doctor at Florida Back Institute injects bone cement into the expanded space. As soon as the cement hardens, the treated vertebrae are back to their natural size and your spine is stabilized and straightened.
If you develop back pain, call the office or use online booking to schedule an appointment.