Aging and conditions like osteoporosis can take a toll on the health of your spine. When chronic back pain and limited mobility are hampering your life, you may have undiagnosed vertebral compression fractures. At his office in Jupiter, Florida, skilled pain management physician Louis J. Raso, MD, PA, offers on-site diagnostics to quickly identify fractures in the spine, so treatment can begin as soon as possible. Dr. Raso focuses on relieving your pain and preventing permanent disability. Find out more about treating pain from vertebral compression fractures by calling the office or by booking an evaluation online today.
Your spine is made of vertebrae that stabilize your musculoskeletal system and allow you to move in a variety of ways. As you get older or due to underlying medical issues, your vertebrae can wear down and undergo changes that lead to bone weakness and loss. When your vertebrae are no longer as strong as they used to be, you’re at increased risk for compression fractures.
One of the most common causes of weakened and lost bone is a progressive condition known as osteoporosis. Ultimately, osteoporosis can lead to multiple fractures, severe pain, and even deformities in your spine. People often lose height as a result of the damage to spinal vertebrae.
Initially, you may develop small compression fractures in your vertebrae without any symptoms. However, as your condition worsens, back pain can become intense and make it difficult to stand or sit for any period of time.
You may also notice that the range of motion in your spine is limited and you’re no longer able to bend over or stretch without pain.
Without treatment, vertebral compression fractures can lead to the collapse of your spine and continued degeneration in the vertebrae. Once this occurs, your pain can increase as the vertebrae press on the nerves that travel through your spinal canal. Without relief, chronic nerve compression can result in permanent nerve damage.
Because back pain and other symptoms of vertebral compression fractures are similar to many conditions, Dr. Raso orders imaging tests, like X-rays or an MRI, to evaluate the structure of your spine. He may also request a bone density test to determine if osteoporosis is the root cause of your condition.
During your evaluation, Dr. Raso assesses your range of motion and may ask you to walk or sit to assess the severity of your pain and disability.
Initially, Dr. Raso may recommend prescription medications to control pain and help you stay comfortable.
When fractures are more serious, Dr. Raso might suggest vertebroplasty, a minimally invasive procedure where cement is injected into your affected vertebrae. The cement quickly hardens to stabilize your spine. Dr. Raso may also recommend kyphoplasty, a procedure completed before adding cement to the vertebrae.
In kyphoplasty, Dr. Raso inserts a small balloon through a needle into the affected vertebrae. He inflates the balloon to increase space in the spinal canal and restore the spine to its normal height.
If you suspect chronic back pain is the result of a vertebral compression fracture, don’t delay a diagnosis. Call the office today or book a consultation with Dr. Raso online now.