Non-Surgical Treatment For Spinal Compression Fracture

Oct 28, 2022

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A Guide to Non-Surgical Management of Spinal Compression Fractures

Spinal compression fractures occur when the bones of the spine (vertebrae) break or collapse, often leading to a reduction in the height of the vertebrae. These fractures can compress nerves and the spinal cord, affecting spinal cord blood and oxygen supply. Common causes include injuries, tumors, and osteoporosis.

While the treatment approach depends on the cause and severity of the fracture, many patients can recover without the need for invasive surgery. Non-surgical treatments are aimed at relieving pain, supporting bone healing, and restoring mobility.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

  1. Pain Management: Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen can alleviate mild pain, while prescription painkillers may be necessary for more severe discomfort. It’s important to follow your doctor’s guidance on medication to avoid potential side effects.
  2. Rest and Activity Modification: Initially, your doctor might advise resting in bed for a brief period to alleviate pain and prevent further damage. Gradually, you’ll be encouraged to resume activities, avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for several weeks or months.
  3. Physical Therapy: A crucial part of recovery, physical therapy helps strengthen the muscles supporting your spine, improves flexibility, and can enhance pain management. Therapists tailor exercises to your specific needs and recovery stage.
  4. Spinal Bracing: Wearing a back brace can provide support, reduce pain, and limit movement to allow your spine to heal. The type and duration of bracing depend on the fracture’s severity and location.
  5. Bone Strengthening: Especially in cases related to osteoporosis, treatments to strengthen bones might be recommended. This can include calcium and vitamin D supplements, and possibly medications to increase bone density.
  6. Lifestyle Modifications: Dietary changes, smoking cessation, and gentle exercises like walking can improve bone health and overall recovery.

When to Consider Minimally Invasive Procedures

In cases where these treatments are insufficient, or the pain persists, minimally invasive procedures like kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty might be recommended. These involve injecting bone cement into the fractured vertebrae to stabilize the spine and alleviate pain.

Consulting Your Healthcare Provider

It’s essential to work closely with your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan. This includes regular follow-ups to monitor your progress and adjust the treatment as needed.

Non-surgical treatments for spinal compression fractures can effectively manage pain and promote healing. It’s crucial to understand each option and actively participate in your recovery process. Always discuss your symptoms, concerns, and progress with your vascular surgeon in Kansas City area for optimal recovery.