Vertebral compression fractures are relatively common and most often occur in older patients with decreased bone density (osteoporosis). They can also be associated with certain bone tumors. Spinal compression fractures usually are the result of a fall or other trauma however, not infrequently, they may result simply from bending over to pick something up or twisting.
Vertebral compression fractures can be very painful. Often, the spine pain is so severe that patients find it difficult to move or perform their daily activities. This can be particularly dangerous in elderly patients who become weak from inactivity (de conditioning) leaving them vulnerable to pneumonia and other complications. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that mortality (risk of death) is increased in elderly patients with un-treated vertebral compression fractures. If you are having back pain or think you have a vertebral compression fracture, give us a call today! We offer same day appointments at our Fort Collins clinic.
The history of events, symptoms and physical exam findings are often sufficient for your doctor to suspect a compression fracture. Confirmation comes by way of Xray, CT or MRI.
In patients with mild pain, conservative management with a back brace and pain medications is usually appropriate as, in most cases, the body will heal the fractured vertebra on its own. and their spine health will return to normal. For those with moderate to severe pain, a safe, minimally invasive procedure called Kyphoplasty can be performed to significantly reduce pain and improve mobility.
As with most of our procedures, kyphoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis through a tiny nick in the skin. The procedure requires only minimal “twilight” sedation, not general anesthesia. During the procedure, a small tube is advanced into the fractured vertebral body and bone cement is injected through the tube. The cement moves through the broken bone and seals the fractured pieces together.
The procedure takes about an hour and patients go home a few hours later. Kyphoplasty has been shown to be extremely safe and effective with thousands of procedures performed around the world.
The vast majority of patients report significantly decreased pain immediately after the procedure and are able to return to normal activities the next day. In addition to significantly decreasing immediate pain and the need for narcotic pain medication, kyphoplasty has also been shown to decrease the risk of hospitalization and decrease mortality (risk of death) in the elderly population.
With resurgence of dangerous COVID variants and other drug resistant bugs, we at APEX Endovascular feel strongly that routine procedures should not be performed in hospitals where the risk of exposure and illness is very high.
At APEX Endovascular, we are focused on individual service and maintain the highest infection control measures to ensure your safety in Fort Collins.
All of our staff are immunized
We only treat one patient at a time
Apex Endovascular is conveniently located near you in Northern Colorado serving Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Windsor, Timnath, Longmont and Cheyenne.