What is vertebroplasty?
Vertebroplasty is a pain treatment offered at California Imaging Institute for compression fractures of the spinal column that fail to respond to conventional medical therapy, such as minimal or no pain relief with analgesics or narcotic doses that are intolerable.
Vertebroplasty stabilizes the collapsed vertebra with the injection of medical-grade bone cement into the spine. This improves pain, and can prevent further collapse of the vertebra, thereby preventing the height loss and spine curvature commonly seen as a result of osteoporosis.
Vertebroplasty dramatically improves back pain within hours of the procedure, provides long-term pain relief and has a low complication rate as demonstrated in multiple studies.
It is very important for someone with persistent spinal pain lasting more than three months to consult an Interventional Radiologist, and people who require constant pain relief with narcotics should seek help immediately.
What causes compression fractures?
Osteoporosis is the predominant cause of compression fractures of the spine. Osteoporosis is called a “silent disease,” because bone loss occurs without symptoms. People may not know why they have osteoporosis until their bones become so weak that a simple strain, twist of the body, bump or fall causes a bone fracture. Fractures may occur in the hip, wrist, ribs or elsewhere, but the most common site of fracture is in the vertebrae, the bones that make up the spinal column.
Who is at risk?
Factors that increase the likelihood of developing osteoporosis include:
- Being female
- Being thin or having a small frame
- Advanced age
- A family history of osteoporosis
- Being postmenopausal
- Abnormal absence of menstrual periods
- Anorexia or bulimia
- A diet low in calcium
- Long-term use of medications such as cortico-steroids or anticonvulsants
- Lack of exercise
- Excessive use of alcohol
For more information please call California Imaging Institute at 559.325.5800.
To learn more about Vascular and Interventional Radiology visit www.SIRweb.org.