Osteoporosis is a common side effect of aging characterized by the development of painful spine fractures. Highly skilled specialists at Balanced Pain Management, including Leslie DeLaney, MD, offer options like percutaneous balloon kyphoplasty procedure to fix spine fractures in Walnut Creek. This procedure is usually minimally invasive and is done in-office.
Causes of spine fractures
A spine fracture is a vertebra’s dislocation that causes bone fragments to break and damage the spinal nerves or spinal cord. Spine fractures can occur anywhere along your spine but are most likely to develop in your lumbar (lower back) and thoracic (mid-back) spine.
Trauma to the spine due to car accidents, falls, gunshot or sports-related injuries cause spine fractures. Degenerative changes that occur due to aging also makes you prone to spinal fractures. Conditions like arthritis, spine tumors, or osteoporosis weaken your bones and make them unable to support your spine. Because of this, your spine becomes highly vulnerable to fractures during low-impact activities.
Symptoms of spine fractures
The symptoms of spine fractures usually vary depending on the severity and location of the injury. Symptoms include pain in the areas of your back or neck, especially after movement, numbness, tingling in your arms and legs, muscle spasm, weakness, and bowel/bladder dysfunction. Sometimes fractures cause spinal cord injury that causes the spinal cord to be completely severed. This leads to paralysis (loss of movement in the arms or legs).
It is vital that you seek emergency medical attention at the nearest hospital as soon as possible whenever you go through a physically traumatic event and suspect you have had a spinal fracture. Most fractures usually heal with conservative treatment. However, mild fractures sometimes require surgery to realign the bones.
Treatment of spinal fractures
At Balanced Pain Management, Dr. DeLaney treats moderate to severe spine fractures using a minimally invasive procedure known as the percutaneous balloon kyphoplasty technique. She usually performs this procedure in-office. This technique helps in relieving painful spine fractures and improving the stability of your spine.
Things to expect during percutaneous balloon kyphoplasty
During the procedure, Dr. DeLaney will make a small incision over the fractured vertebrae in your spine. The procedure uses advanced imaging from ultrasound or fluoroscopy technology to guide a needle into the correct position. A small balloon is attached to the needle and Dr. DeLaney will inflate it to restore the height of the damaged vertebrae. After deflating the balloon, she injects a special bone cement, which quickly hardens to heal your fracture and stabilize your spine.
The benefits of balloon kyphoplasty for spine fractures
Balloon kyphoplasty effectively helps in treating vertebral compression fractures and requires minimal recovery time. Its quick recovery enables you to reduce reliance on pain medications and enables you to return to your usual activities without pain or disability.
Dr. DeLaney will suggest a few lifestyle and dietary changes and exercises that will improve your overall bone health and reduce your risk for future additional fractures.
If you need treatment for a diagnosed spine fracture and wish to learn more about spine fractures and the benefits of balloon kyphoplasty, call Balanced Pain Management or schedule an appointment online today.