Pain Development After Compression Fracture Treatment
Compression fractures of the spine can happen at any time. But they are especially common in seniors. When a patient suffers from osteoporosis, the vertebrae of the spine may weaken, and this can lead to the development of fractures in the spine that put pressure on nerves and cause chronic back, leg, and neck pain.
No matter the cause of the compression fracture, one treatment that many patients consider is known as Vertebroplasty. It is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the injection of a bone-like cement directly into the fractured vertebrae in order to give the spine greater levels of stability and support.
While Vertebroplasty may be effective in treating some compression fractures, some patients find that their pain returns – either right away or gradually over time. Some patients may also develop new pain. If pain develops in any form, it is possible that you suffer from failed Vertebroplasty.
What Does it Mean to Have Vertebroplasty Fail?
Failed vertebroplasty means that the treatment did not successfully eliminate your back or neck pain in a way that was sufficient in the short or long term. Any number of different issues may have caused the pain to develop, including:
- Surgical Error
- Leak of Acrylic Cement
- Development of New Fractures
- Infectious Spondylitis
- Cement Dislodgment
Poor patient selection may also be common with failed vertebroplasty, as not all patients that receive the treatment will experience any medical benefits, even if the procedure was considered surgically successful. In addition, vertebroplasty does not treat osteoporosis, or any underlying conditions that may have led to the development of compression fractures. More fracture may occur at any time.
These are only a small sample of the possible causes of failed vertebroplasty in patients that underwent this elective procedure.
How is Failed Vertebroplasty Treated?
When a patient suffers from failed vertebroplasty, treatment most address the cause of the pain. As evidenced by the wide number of potential causes of vertebroplasty failure, this requires an extensive evaluation and diagnosis, in order to spot any possible structural issues that would respond well to a revision surgery of some kind.
If no structural issues are found, a focus on conservative approaches may be recommended. These include physical therapy, back strengthening exercises, braces and spine support, pain medications, and other treatments that are known to be effective for managing compression pain and reducing the risk for future fractures. Medications that prevent bone fracture may also be useful, especially if the compression fracture is due to osteoporosis and related conditions.
Here at Spine Center Atlanta, where we have become a nationally recognized resource and destination for patients with moderate to severe pain after back surgery, including vertebroplasty. Led by Dr. James L. Chappuis and Dr. Julio Petilon, our staff is available to successfully diagnose and treat any issues with spine surgery failure. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call today at 404-351-5812.