Stopping Dowager’s Hump with Kyphoplasty

While most people associate osteoporosis with hip fractures, the most common fracture caused by osteoporosis occurs in the spine. Over 700,000 spine fractures occur each year in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. These fractures can be very painful and can have serious long-term consequences.

If not treated, a vertebral fracture in the spine changes the alignment of the spine and increases the risk of a future fracture fivefold. As more fractures occur, the spine shortens and falls forward, resulting in kyphosis. Commonly known as dowager’s hump, kyphosis causes the chest and abdomen to become compressed. This makes normal activities painful or difficult. It also can cause problems breathing, which then decreases your activity level, contributing to further bone loss and development of obesity and chronic health conditions like diabetes.

How is a Spine Fracture Treated?

Vertebral fractures should not go untreated. Our back doctors, specially trained spine neurosurgeons, treat spine fractures with a procedure called kyphoplasty. This is a minimally invasive procedure with little downtime and a low complication rate. Kyphoplasty relieves the pain caused by the fracture and helps prevent further problems, including future fractures.

Kyphoplasty is a 20-minute procedure. Our spine specialists, Dr. Ghassan Bejjani and Dr. Zafar Chowdhry, with Penn Highlands Neurosurgery, both perform kyphoplasty. To perform kyphoplasty, the neurosurgeon injects a small balloon into the vertebra. Methacrylate, a type of polymer plastic, is then injected into the space created by the balloon to stabilize the spine and relieve pain.

We can see most patients within a week!
Call today to make an appointment at the clinic nearest you: 814-503-4433.

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