The Pain in Your Back that Starts with a Crack

Lots of people suffer from back pain, and the causes are numerous, with osteoporosis and improper strain on the spinal column leading the pack.  For approximately 200,000 Americans seeking treatment for back pain every year, the pain is caused by tiny fractures in the vertebrae of the spine.  Compression fractures are often not caused by a single injury, but through a progression of misuse, overuse, and bone loss.  The radiologists at Advanced Radiology offer a procedure called kyphoplasty as a minimally invasive treatment for compression fractures.

Because of its gradual development, many people don’t even realize that they have fractures in their spine until they start experiencing the more exaggerated symptoms such as trouble breathing, hunched back, hip pain, stomach pain, or loss of height.  Some simple yes or no questions can help you determine if it is time to see a doctor about your back pain:

    • Do you have pain when lifting a back of groceries?
    • Do you have pain when bending to lift an object off of the floor?
    • Do you experience pain when lifting the mattress to change the sheets on a bed?
    • Do you experience pain when lifting luggage out of the trunk of a car?
    • Does your pain subside when you lay down?

A yes answer to any of these questions is a good indication that it is time to see your doctor about your back pain and see if kyphoplasty is right for you.

Kyphoplasty is a relatively common outpatient procedure, although some patients who are older or who have more severe spinal damage may require an overnight hospital stay.  The procedure takes place under a local anesthetic with the patient fully awake.  Using x-ray as a guide, an interventional radiologist guides a balloon into the fractured part of the spine and inflates it to create a space in the softer bony tissue, the balloon is deflated and removed.  The radiologist then fills the newly created space with a biocompatible cement that seals the fracture and surrounding cavity and promotes bone growth. 

To request a consultation, call our office at 855-201-1519.