Vertebral Compression Fracture

Vertebral Compression Fractures can significantly impact the quality of life, especially among individuals dealing with osteoporosis or trauma. If you are experiencing the pain and discomfort associated with vertebral compression fractures, turn to Southern Pain Specialists in Birmingham, Alabama, for expert care. Led by the experienced pain management specialist, Dr. Kenneth Varley, MD, our team provides tailored and compassionate solutions for vertebral compression fractures. Whether through conservative methods or advanced interventional procedures, we aim to alleviate pain and restore mobility. Don't let vertebral compression fractures limit your daily activities – consult with Southern Pain Specialists to explore effective and personalized pain management strategies designed to improve your overall well-being.

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What Is a Vertebral Compression Fracture?

A vertebral compression fracture is a type of fracture that occurs when the inner layers of a bone in your spine break down and collapse. This results in the loss of height in the vertebrae and may also compress nerves or soft tissues in the surrounding area. Compression fractures require treatment to prevent further damage to the bone and soft tissues in the area.

What Are the Signs of a Vertebral Compression Fracture?

Vertebral compression fractures typically cause severe back pain when they occur. Other symptoms include:

  • Sudden onset of back pain.
  • Increased pain when standing or walking.
  • Decreased pain while lying flat on your back.
  • Decreased spinal mobility.
  • Eventual loss of height.
  • Eventual deformity and disability.

It’s possible to have more than one compression fracture at a time, especially in cases of trauma or severe osteoporosis. Not all compression fractures are painful, and other conditions can mimic fracture pain. Dr. Varley rules out other causes of back pain and confirms that the vertebra should be treated with diagnostic nerve blocks before proceeding with kyphoplasty. Multiple compression fractures can cause an obvious change to your posture called kyphosis, in addition to other symptoms.

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What Causes Vertebral Compression Fractures?

The most common cause of vertebral compression fractures is osteoporosis. Compression fractures are most likely to occur in the thoracic spine — or middle back — especially the lower half of the thoracic spine where your rib cage ends, although they can occur anywhere in your spine.

Other potential causes are trauma or metastatic cancer. Types of trauma that can cause compression fractures are car accidents, sports injuries, and falls. If you’ve experienced any trauma and have back pain, it’s best to be evaluated by Dr. Kenneth Varley to determine if you have a vertebral compression fracture.

How Are Vertebral Compression Fractures Treated?

Dr. Varley performs a procedure called kyphoplasty to repair vertebral compression fractures. During this procedure, he makes two small incisions in your skin and uses a drill to make space on the sides of the vertebrae to insert two deflated surgical balloons. The balloons are filled with a contrast medium until they expand to the desired size, which restores height to the vertebrae. Dr. Varley then injects surgical cement into the vertebrae to fill the space that has been compressed. The cement dries and restores strength and height to your spine and protects the nerves and soft tissues in the area from further damage.

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Ready to Take Control of Your Pain?

Experience personalized care at Southern Pain Specialists. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Kenneth Varley today.