Vertebral Compression Fracture (VCF) is the most common fracture caused by osteoporosis. Physicians and patients alike under recognize and under diagnose VCFs.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation indicates that 50% of women and 25% of men older than 50 will have an osteoporosis related fracture in their lifetime. Women over age 65, with prevalent Vertebral Compression Fractures, have a 23 - 34% increase in mortality, compared to similar aged women without VCFs.
Conventional treatment consists mainly of bed rest, narcotic analgesics, back braces, etc., but does not generally provide long-term pain relief. Over time, this alteration in posture can have a compression-like effect on your internal organs, causing medical complications seemingly unrelated to your spine. Some of the complications associated with Vertebral Compression Fractures include:
- Reduced activity and alteration in mobility
- Decreased appetite and sleep disorders
- Impaired pulmonary (lung) function]
- Increased risk for future fracture
- Decreased quality of life; feelings of isolation and sadness
Gaston Radiology specializes in the Minimally Invasive treatment of spinal disorders including the treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures (VCF). We are currently utilizing two exciting advancements in VCF treatment. Both are covered by Medicare and Private Insurance companies in most cases.
Vertebroplasty is when the interventional radiologist guides a needle through the spine and injects cement into the affected vertebra.
Kyphoplasty is when balloons are utilized to potentially reduce the vertebra and cement is used to stabilize the fracture.
The benefits of the Confidence System include: 1) Safety due to control of gelatinous or putty-like cement delivery in a self contained system. 2) a Unilateral Approach that is less invasive; 3) Local Anesthesia can be used; and 4) a Significant Institutional Cost Savings.
A complete physical exam, together with an X-ray and MRI, can help distinguish between pain caused by a vertebral compression fracture or something else.