Vertebral Compression Fracture
Acute onset of back pain in the elderly is often the result of a vertebral compression fracture. It is sometimes due to a minor fall, but often times normal everyday activities can cause it. Osteoporosis makes the bones brittle and it does not take much to end up with a painful fracture. An MRI of the part of the spine that is hurting is usually needed to diagnose an acute compression fracture. The treatment options include bracing, pain medications, and if this is unsuccessful, balloon vertebral augmentation, or Kyphoplasty, can be offered. For this procedure the doctor makes a small incision in the area of the affected discs. A balloon device is inserted between the fractured vertebrae and is inflated. The doctor then puts a cement substance into the space created by the balloon. This minimally invasive procedure is proven to relieve pain, increase mobility, and improve quality of life without open surgery.