RIA Endovascular’s interventional radiologists provide a variety of image-guided, minimally invasive spinal procedures for patients who have compression fractures. The National Osteoporosis Foundation reports that osteoporosis affects 10 million Americans and is responsible for 700,000 vertebral fractures each year.
The following topics are covered below:
- What is osteoporosis?
- What are the risk factor for spinal compression factors ? Which ones can you control?
- How can I get pain relief? Can the underlying problem be helped?
- How do spine patients come to RIA Endovascular?
- Comprehensive compression fracture care
- Consults. Referrals. Scheduling. Appointments.
Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of the bone; this results in an increased susceptibility to compression fractures. These can be extremely painful. If your bones are brittle, daily activities, such as bending to lift an object, missing a step or tripping on a carpet, can trigger a spinal compression fracture. In severe cases, even coughing or sneezing can cause a fracture.
You are at increased risk for subsequent fractures as you age and if you have already had a compression fracture. One vertebral compression fracture puts you at five times the risk of having a second one.
Risk factors you can’t control
- Age 50 and above
- Thin, low body weight or small frame
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Certain diseases
Risk factors you can control
- Eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D
- Do weight-bearing and muscle-building exercises
- Don’t smoke.
- Limit alcohol intake
- Follow your physician’s medical treatments as prescribed
In the past, patients with painful compression fractures had the option of using pain medications, wearing a brace, getting bed rest, or undergoing surgery with varying results. Today, many patients are opting for image-guided procedures which offer minimally invasive non-surgical treatment that can alleviate the pain caused by compression fractures of the spine. Multiple studies have demonstrated that procedures such as kyphoplasty, sacroplasty and vertebroplasty dramatically improves back pain within hours of the procedure, provides long-term pain relief and has a low complication rate.
Since we focus on image-guided procedures and diagnostics, we do not see patients who are looking to figure out what their specific spine issues are. Generally, patients having kyphoplasty, sacroplasty and vertebroplasty procedures have been referred to us. The patient has already had MRI imaging (or in the alternative with a patient with a pacemaker, a bone scan and/or CT) and are candidates for the procedure (i.e., it’s a new compression fracture).
For patients that we’ve already seen or where we are working with a doctor (such as an oncology patient) and the discussion comes up – or it’s something likely, we will order the proper scans and if appropriate, treat the patient with kyphoplasty, sacroplasty and vertebroplasty.
Post procedure, we routinely discuss using a bone-building agent to treat the underlying condition. Our educational classes on osteoporosis help support patients with information about how they can best manage their condition.
Likewise, we will perform spinal pain management procedures for patients in our care. We do not take new patients for spinal pain management.