Your spine becomes weaker and more brittle as you age, resulting to osteoporosis in later life. Osteoporosis can affect any bone in your body, but unfortunately the most vulnerable area is your spine. In fact, up to 700,000 elderly individuals experience spinal fractures or vertebral compression annually.
Let us first understand what spinal compression fracture is and the risk it involves:
Your spine has 24 vertebrae separated by intervertebral discs. These discs that are held by the spinal cord serve as cushions and shock absorbers. While we are young, this flexible system remains straight. As we age, it gradually bends as our vertebrae weakens and flattens. When its weak, our spine is at a much higher risk of fracture if ever we get injured. Even everyday activities such as reaching, bending, or even sneezing and coughing can be dangerous in this weakened stage.
There are a number of solutions that your orthopedic physician may recommend if you experience severe back pain or have been previously diagnosed with osteoporosis. A common surgical solution for a spinal fracture is vertebroplasty. Through a relatively simple outpatient surgery, a specialized bone cement is injected into the weakened vertebrae as a preventative measure against fractures and/or for the purpose of stabilizing existing fractures. Vertebroplasty is an effective solution with high rates of successful results. Most patients experience immediate pain relief and improved mobility, allowing them to return to their regular daily activities soon after completion of the procedure.
Why let your age dictate what you can or cannot do when a spine specialist could help you find a solution for your back pain? If you are ready to discuss your concerns and available treatment options, please do not hesitate to contact the spine specialists at Spine Center of Texas.