SPINAL SURGERY

in Hull and East Yorkshire

GEORGE SPINK FRCS (Neurosurg.) BSc Hons

 

HOME SPINAL CONDITIONS SPINAL SURGERY MINIMAL ACCESS SURGERY INVESTIGATIONS POST OP RECOVERY INFORMATION FOR GPS CONTACT/APPOINTMENTS ABOUT ME LINKS

OSTEOPOROTIC FRACTURE

-      In some patients the bones become weaker with age. This is called osteoporosis. It can also occur in patients who have an excess of steroid, either due to medication or a hormonal imbalance.

-      These weakened bones in the spine can collapse with relatively minor injuries.

-      This will cause pain, tenderness and a bend in the spine or hunched back ('kyphosis').

-      In addition to an outpatient assessment and examination you may require an MRI scan if your symptoms persist. It is a very good technique for showing if the fracture remains unhealed ('hot') or healed ('cold'). An MRI scan uses a powerful magnet to create a picture of your spine. It does not involve any radiation exposure. The scanner itself is a long narrow tunnel, which some patients may find a bit claustrophobic. It is also fairly noisy during the scan.

-      It may also be necessary to consider a CT scan or radio-isotope imaging to get a clearer picture of any abnormal vertebrae.

*** If you have a history of a malignancy or cancer elsewhere in your body and you develop worsening back or neck pain which keeps you awake at night then you should contact your GP as a matter of urgency.***

 

Treatments

-      Referral to osteoporosis specialist for calcium therapy.

-      Simple analgesics.

-      Vertebral body augmentation - vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty, spinal stent. (minimal invasive techniques performed by Radiologist).

-      Instrumented fusion (minimal invasive technique rarely needed).

 

Outcome

-      With combined therapy in terms of calcium management, simple pain killers and vertebral body augmentation, 80-90% of patients will see a significant improvement in their spinal pain.

-      Some patients will have a collapsed vertebra, which has healed in that position, and will therefore not benefit from vertebral body augmentation.