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Vertebral Compression Fractures Specialist

Lynx Healthcare

Pain Management Practice located in Spokane Valley, Kennewick, & Richland, WA

If you suspect you have a vertebral compression fracture, don’t put off scheduling an appointment with the team at Lynx Healthcare. They specialize in kyphoplasty that repairs the vertebra, restores spinal stability, and relieves your pain — but you can’t have kyphoplasty after the bone heals, and that only takes 8-10 weeks. To schedule your appointment, call the office in Spokane Valley, Kennewick, or Richland, Washington, or use the online booking feature to request an appointment today.

Vertebral Compression Fractures Q & A

What is a vertebral compression fracture?

Vertebral compression fractures occur when one or more vertebrae collapse because they’re too weak to support the typical amount of stress sustained by your spine. Vertebral compression fractures most often occur in your thoracic spine, which is the upper or mid-part of your back.

It only takes a small amount of force to cause a vertebral compression fracture. Simply twisting, bending over, or even sneezing can cause weak vertebrae to collapse.

What causes a vertebral compression fracture?

Osteoporosis most often causes compression fractures, but a bone infection or a tumor can also weaken the vertebrae enough to lead to the same problem. 

Though rare, young adults can sustain a vertebral compression fracture from a high-energy injury, such as falling from a significant height or during a car accident.

What symptoms develop due to a vertebral compression fracture?

In most cases, you experience sudden pain when the vertebra collapses. However, vertebral compression fractures can develop gradually, causing back pain that’s mild at first and gets worse over time.

Any of these symptoms signal a vertebral compression fracture:

  • Sudden, severe mid-back pain
  • Limited spinal movement
  • Pain that gets worse when walking
  • Pain that feels better when lying down
  • Round-back deformity
  • Loss of height

Compression fractures force the front side of the vertebra to collapse, while the backside stays the same height, resulting in a wedge-shaped bone. When several adjoining vertebrae have a wedge-shape, they cause a curvature in your spine and create a noticeably rounded shape.

How are vertebral compression fractures treated?

The team at Lynx Healthcare specializes in two minimally invasive procedures that effectively treat compression fractures:

Vertebroplasty

To perform vertebroplasty, your Lynx Healthcare provider inserts a hollow needle into the affected vertebra. During the procedure, they use fluoroscopy, which is a real-time X-ray that shows your spine and the movement of the needle.

Using this imaging technique, your provider precisely places the needle into the center of the vertebra and injects bone cement into the compression fracture. The bone cement quickly hardens, which stabilizes your spine and alleviates your pain.

Kyphoplasty

Kyphoplasty is similar to the vertebroplasty procedure, with one change. After inserting the needle, your provider inflates a balloon inside the fractured vertebra.

After the balloon restores the bone’s natural height and shape, your provider removes the balloon and injects bone cement. The cement restores the bone’s natural shape, strength, and stability.

Don’t wait to get help for a vertebral compression fracture. Call the office nearest you, or book an appointment online today.