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Compression Fractures

Advanced Pain Solutions -  - Interventional Pain Management Specialist

Advanced Pain Solutions

Interventional Pain Management Specialists Located in Grand Rapids and Ionia, MI

Vertebral compression fractures affect 12-20% of adults over the age of 50, often causing ongoing pain and disability. Adam Camp, MD, at Advanced Pain Solutions in Ionia and at the Surgery Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has extensive experience performing minimally invasive procedures that repair compression fractures and alleviate your pain so you can return to a more active life. If you have questions or you’d like to schedule an appointment, call the office or use the online booking feature today.

Compression Fractures Q & A


What causes a compression fracture of the spine?

A compression fracture occurs when a bone collapses because it’s too weak to function. Though compression fractures could affect any bone, they’re usually a type of spinal fracture called a vertebral compression fracture (VCF). A traumatic injury or spinal tumor may result in a VCF, but osteoporosis is most often the cause.


What is a sacral insufficiency fracture?

A sacral insufficiency fracture is another type of spinal fracture that develops in the sacrum, the wedge-shaped vertebra at the bottom of your spine. Sacral insufficiency is a stress fracture that occurs when the sacrum isn’t strong enough to support normal daily stress.

Osteoporosis is the most common cause of an insufficiency fracture. However, the spinal fracture can also occur from prolonged use of steroids, chronic diseases such as diabetes, and following radiation therapy for gynecologic cancers.


What symptoms develop due to spine fractures?

Spinal compression fractures usually affect your thoracic spine, which lies between your neck and lower back. When several adjacent thoracic vertebrae all collapse, they create a rounded hump in your spine, a condition called kyphosis.

In addition to kyphosis, compression fractures cause symptoms such as:

  • Sudden, severe back pain
  • Limited spinal movement
  • Spinal instability
  • Height loss
  • Nerve damage

In severe cases of kyphosis, you may also have difficulty breathing, develop digestive problems, or lose mobility due to weakened muscles.

A sacral insufficiency fracture causes low back pain, pain in your buttocks or groin, and swelling in your lower back.


How do you treat compression and insufficiency fractures?

Advanced Pain Solutions can relieve your pain and repair compression fractures using two possible procedures: kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty. Sacroplasty treats Insufficiency fractures. All three are minimally invasive procedures.


Your provider performs vertebroplasty using real-time imaging to guide a needle into the collapsed vertebra. After the needle is in place, they inject acrylic bone cement. The cement hardens quickly, strengthening the bone, stabilizing your spine, and relieving your pain.  

Balloon kyphoplasty

Balloon kyphoplasty is like vertebroplasty, but after your provider inserts the needle, they inflate a balloon. The balloon restores the normal height of the vertebra, then your provider removes the balloon and injects acrylic bone cement to fill in the newly created space. Kyphoplasty restores the normal size and shape of the vertebra while also stabilizing your spine. 


Your Advanced Pain Solutions provider treats a sacral insufficiency fracture by injecting acrylic bone cement into the sacrum.   


Why should I choose a procedure to treat my fracture instead of only rest?

Multiple studies have shown that people with untreated fractures have increased risk of mortality due to causes including limited mobility, respiratory issues, and blood clots. Also, irreversible structural complications can result and chronic pain can develop at the site.  


How long can I wait prior to treatment?  

Studies have shown that early interventional treatment after the fracture is first diagnosed results in better patient outcomes. Medical insurance carriers also have very specific guidelines and typically cover these treatments in the first 4-6 weeks from time of diagnosis, so it is extremely important to not delay obtaining appropriate treatment.  

If you develop sudden back pain or have a compression fracture, Advanced Pain Solutions performs a complete examination and offers the best treatment. To schedule an appointment, call or book an appointment online.