Cementing Your Spine To Its Sticking Place: Bizarre Spinal Compression Treatments That Work
Spinal compression fractures are more common with elderly patients who have osteoporosis, but they can occur in younger patients too. Regardless of your age and the reason for your fractured vertebra(e), there are lots of ways to treat it. If the primary ways to treat your spine are unsuccessful or they leave you with ongoing pain, your doctor may decide that cement is the answer for your fractured backbones. Here is more on the two procedures that use cement as the primary substance for spinal compression fractures.
Kyphoplasty uses a quick-set cement in a syringe and an inflatable surgical balloon to "harden" the fractured vertebra(e). It is typically used when the fractured areas on your vertebra(e) are not on the surface, but underneath, behind, or between the other bones in your back. The balloon very gently inflates to create a better access point for the surgeon. Then the surgeon injects the cement into this space, coating the revealed fracture and cementing that vertebra(e) in place.
The procedure is often done with a very small incision in your back. However, the surgeon may decide to make the incision slightly larger to give the cement more air so that it can harden faster. The result is a vertebral bone that is only breakable if something exceptionally heavy hits you in that exact spot or you fall backwards and land on your post-surgical site.
Vertebroplasty is very similar to kyphoplasty, except that the cement is used to stabilize the fractured vertebra(e) by pushing the cement into the spine both above and below the fractured bone(s). Unlike other bones in the body that can be splinted and rendered immobile to heal, the spinal column cannot be stabilized that way. Instead, the surgeon/doctor utilizes vertebroplasty and the cement to stabilize fractured back bones and keep them from moving.
The cement may be left in place after the bones in your back have sufficiently healed. Otherwise, you can opt for a second surgery to have the cement removed. Usually people avoid a second surgery when they know and understand that removing the cement could cause more vertebral fractures and that the cement is unlikely to come loose in their bodies.
When a surgeon cements your vertebrae, he/she is not fusing it. This is often confusing for patients to understand, since parts of their backs become somewhat immobile. However, fusing vertebrae involves removing the discs and using pins to bolt two or more vertebrae together. A fused back disallows the flexibility that still (to an extent) remains with a cemented back.
For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like http://swfna.com.