Duke Cerebrovascular Center offers comprehensive care for patients with vertebral compression fractures (VCF). VCF are fractures in the vertebra, the small bones that make up the spinal column.
When a vertebra fractures, the usual shape of the bone becomes compressed, causing pain.
These compression fractures are a common symptom and result of osteoporosis which is a disease that results in a loss of normal bone density. Occasionally, the vertebral bodies can become weakened by cancer.
When VCF is suspected, our specialists do a thorough evaluation of the patient to determine if the fracture can be treated with vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty.
Our clinical evaluations include diagnostic imaging, blood tests, a physical exam, spine x-rays, and a radio-isotope bone scan or magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Once the compression fracture has been located, our doctors determine whether a vertebroplasty or a kyphoplasty is the most suitable form of treatment.
We offer vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty as minimally invasive treatments for vertebral compression fractures.
In vertebroplasty, our physicians use image guidance to inject a special cement mixture through a hollow needle into the fractured bone.
In kyphohplasty, a balloon is first inserted through the needle into the fractured bone to restore the height and shape of the vertebra. Once the balloon is removed, the cement mixture is injected.
For information about scheduling an appointment with a specific doctor, visit the Contact Us page.
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