Vertebral Compression fractures represent the most frequent complication of osteoporosis during the third age. They can occur in any location, but the most relevant are the vertebral, proximal femur and distal radius.
How do vertebral fractures occur?
The vertebral fracture can occur spontaneously, or as a consequence of mild trauma, causing acute pain that is located in a certain area of the back. It may get worse when standing or walking.
Generally, the pain disappears gradually after a few weeks or months. If several vertebrae fracture, an abnormal curvature of the spine may occur, causing kyphosis (abnormal curvature of the spine) and chronic pain.
Treatment of acute pain
During the acute episode, the prescribing of orthoses may be indicated, which should be used with caution to avoid excessive spinal immobility, which can cause a decrease in bone mass. The indicated drugs include the common analgesics: paracetamol, codeine or a combination of both. NSAIDs control both pain and inflammation and are also indicated in these cases.
Treatment of osteoporosis in vertebral fracture
It should start as soon as possible to reduce pain, but also prevent the emergence of new fractures. You should maintain adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, exercise, and prevent falls. In order to avoid falls, the reduction of muscle strength, alterations in balance, low body mass and alterations in visual function must be corrected.
Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty
Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are procedures to treat painful vertebral compression fractures in the spine, which are a common consequence of osteoporosis. Your doctor can use the imaging guide to inject a cement mixture into the fractured bone (vertebroplasty) or insert a balloon into the fractured bone to create a space and then fill it with cement (kyphoplasty). After vertebroplasty, approximately 75% of patients recover lost mobility and become more active.
At The London Spine Unit, The Harley Street Hospital, we have some of the best specialists to perform these procedures. Book an appointment to get a check up.