It’s that time of year again – Winter – and despite the dreaded cold, Connecticut residents are dealing with icy, slippery, snow and freezing rain coupled with plummeting temperatures. Many are forced into ice skating lessons they never signed up for just to make it from their front door to their car door. Conditions are perfect! – for falling. These falls can cause painful fractures in the spine called vertebral compression fractures.
What is a compression fracture? A compression fracture is a break in the vertebrae – the bony structures that stack like building blocks making up the framework for your spine. These fractures occur most commonly in the Thoracic Spine – mid back – and the Lumbar Spine – low back. OUCH! – That’s right, they can be quite painful, some would describe them as “incapacitating” resulting in limited mobility and a decline in overall health.
Who is at risk? Anyone can develop a compression fracture if the conditions are right. However, men and women with Osteoporosis are at high risk. When bone is already weakened, any force exerted upon them will result in collapse.
What causes a compression fracture? Trauma – such as a fall, or motor vehicle accident. Osteoporosis – As stated above, when bones are already weakened, simply bending over, or twisting can push these vertebrae to their breaking point. Metastatic Disease – Cancer cells can weaken the vertebrae causing them to fracture.
What are the treatments? Often, compression fractures can heal on their own. Here at Connecticut Back Center we will evaluate the severity of your fracture using an X-ray image, and develop a treatment plan based on your diagnosis. Often we will prescribe pain medication and a back brace for comfort. You will follow up with us every 2-4 weeks with new X-rays where we will evaluate the progression of the fracture and ensure adequate and timely healing.
There are times that surgical intervention is warranted. This may be based on the severity of the fracture, or it may be based on the lack of healing over time. Surgical intervention with a Kyphoplasty can be accomplished right here in our office procedure suite at Connecticut Back Center. That’s right! There is no need to travel into a hospital, and spend half the day there. Here at CBC we pride ourselves on expert, comprehensive spinal care that is safe and convenient for you – the patient.
What is a Kyphoplasty? A minimally invasive procedure that stabilizes the fractured bone within the vertebrae. This intervention enables the patient to recover faster and prevents future fractures.
What Happens During the Procedure? You will be positioned on our procedure table. We will use local anesthesia to numb the area. Under Fluoroscopic (x-ray) guidance, Dr. Eisler will visualize your fracture. The fractured vertebrae will then be injected with a material called Bone Cement. The Bone cement acts as a cast to the fracture area. The procedure will take about a half hour. You will be taken into our recovery room where you will rest for about 15 minutes, and proceed home thereafter.
Please visit our website at ctbackcenter.com to obtain more information, or call the office at 860.872.6229 we are here to answer any questions you may have!