A New Treatment for a Painful Problem
Osteoporosis is most common in women over 60. And they suffer a lot as a result. In fact, every year the data shows that women in this age group suffer approximately 700,000 vertebral fractures. For most of these women – more than 80%– these fractures cause severe back pain that may last for months.
Until recently the only treatment was narcotic pain medicines, bed rest and even braces. But now St. Elizabeth is offering vetebroplasty, a safe, nonsurgical remedy that involves injection of a medical cement called poly-methylmethacrylate into the fractured vertebra.
The procedure is performed under X-ray guidance by an interventional radiologist. Only conscious sedation is required and patients are discharged the following morning. Major complications occur in only less than one percent of patients.
The treatment works because the injection of the cement into the fractured vertebra results in stabilization of the fracture. About 90 percent of patients experience near complete or complete relief of their pain within one or two days.
While the majority of patients who undergo vetebroplasty have spinal fractures related to postmenopausal osteoporosis, any patients with osteoporosis and a vertebral fracture is a candidate. Patients with malignant vertebral compression fractures can also be treated.
If you’re interested in this groundbreaking new treatment or wish to arrange a referral, please call the St. Elizabeth Vetebroplasty Service at (859) 341-4842 or go on-line