14 Mar Collapsed Spinal Vertebrae – Causes & Treatment Options
Collapsed vertebrae in the spine can happen to anyone, and should be addressed right away to avoid pain and serious complications. This patient education article is focused on the topic of collapsed vertebrae in the spine – how they happen, who is at risk, and how to best treat them when they arise.
How Do Spinal Vertebrae Collapse?
The most common culprit of collapsed vertebrae in the spine is osteoarthritis. Also known as OA, osteoarthritis is a very common degenerative condition that impacts patients as they age. Specifically, OA weakens the bones by lowering a patient’s bone density. This means the bones are weaker and more likely to break. When it comes to the spine, loss of bone density can make the spinal vertebrae more susceptible to breaking during car accidents, falls, or everyday activities.
Collapsed spinal vertebrae can also be caused by acute injuries and other conditions, but OA is by far the most common. A patient who experiences a collapsed vertebra may experience no symptoms at all, or they may present with any of the following:
- Back pain
- Loss of height
- Development of kyphosis (a hunched back)
Treatment Options for Collapsed Vertebrae
Treating a collapsed vertebra first requires an accurate diagnosis. Since some of the symptoms of a collapsed vertebra overlap with other conditions (such as bulging discs, spinal stenosis, etc.), it’s important to make sure your symptoms stem from a collapsed vertebra before proceeding. Once you have been diagnosed, your doctor will make recommendations for treatment. Depending on the extent of the collapse and your individual circumstances, your back pain may be best treated with conservative methods like pain medication, injections, and physical therapy. If the collapsed vertebra is severe and interferes with the structures surrounding the spine, a minimally invasive spine surgery procedure (a vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty) may be necessary.
At Inspired Spine we have developed cutting edge spine surgery procedures and techniques that offer reduced levels of pain, and quicker recovery times. Even if you have not been a candidate for back surgery in the past, these revolutionary procedures may be your ticket to a pain free life. Contact us today to learn more about our minimally invasive procedures.