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Spinal Fractures in Osteoporosis

Spinal Fractures due to Osteoporosis Treated with Kyphoplasty

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, spinal fractures due to osteoporosis occur in more than 700,000 people annually. This number is 50 percent less than fractures of the hip. A trend is appearing in modern medicine: spinal fractures are on the rise. A surgeon from Oceanside California told Fox News that this is because osteoporosis is severe, and it does not take much to cause a spinal fracture. A patient could develop this type of injury from sneezing, coughing, or simply turning the wrong way.

Increasing Awareness of Spinal Fracture Occurrence

Orthopedic experts wish to raise awareness to the repercussions linked to osteoporosis and report on new treatment options. This chronic, debilitating condition affects more than 200 million older women worldwide. It causes weak bones that break easily, and is the most widespread degenerative disease in America.

In America, experts report that 10 million people live with osteoporosis, with 80 percent of these persons being female. Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) are the most common injury related to this disease, with 25 percent of postmenopausal women experiencing this type of injury each year. The cause of VCF is related to spinal collapse, which leads to deformity, loss of height, and severe pain. For people with severe osteoporosis, this could occur from severe trauma or simple activity.

Kyphyoplasty Useful for Treating Spinal Fractures

Many women (and some men) experience spinal fractures that go undiagnosed and untreated, according to experts. One lady reported that she suffered for years until her spinal fracture was diagnosed. This particular woman opted to have a minimally invasive procedure called balloon kyphoplasty, which is a new treatment.

With the kyphoplasty procedure, surgeons make two small incisions near the fracture and insert a needle that allows a small balloon to inflate near the fracture. Using aspecial cement, this sets the bone back into place when the balloon inflates. The total surgery time is only around 45 minutes and it is done on an outpatient basis.

Benefits of Balloon Kyphoplasty

The balloon kyphoplasty procedure can eliminate or reduce back pain from the spinal fracture. Also, it can restore vertebral body height and align your spine properly. This effective treatment reduces the incidence of further spinal fractures, especially when they are associated with prolonged bed rest or the use of medications for the pain.

Other benefits of balloon kyphoplasty include increased mobility, better quality of life, improvement in ability to perform activities of daily living, quicker recovery period, and less hospitalization time. This procedure has low adverse side effects, and there are few risks and complications associated with it.


According to the U.S. Surgeon General's report, 1 in 2 Americans over 50 will be at risk for osteoporosis-related fractures by the year 2020. This is due to the increasing age of the general population. Patients should be proactive in receiving screening. The bone density scan is a useful diagnostic test for osteoporosis, and it is not invasive or painful.


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