Compression fractures occur in the spine when bones and vertebrae become soft and weak. Quite often the cause is osteoporosis, a disease that affects more than 10 million Americans. Osteoporosis is marked by weakened and brittle bones and typically results in height loss and spine curvature. This kind of stress on the bones can cause painful compression fractures and further collapse of the bones. Using minimally invasive image-guided techniques, cement can be inserted directly into the fracture, creating an internal cast. The goal of such a procedure is pain relief.
Kyphoplasty / Vertebroplasty
When compression fractures result in significant pain, physicians generally treat this medical condition with kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty. Both are minimally invasive, image-guided procedures that utilize bone cement to create internal casts. KYPHOPLASTY involves placement of a balloon device into the fractured vertebra, which creates space for the internal cast of cement. VERTEBROPLASTY also utilizes X-ray fluoroscopy guidance, enabling radiologists to inject medical bone cement directly into the injured bone.