Minimally Invasive Treatment Option for Spinal Fractures Available at Silver Cross Hospital
The human spine is a miraculous structure made up of 33 bones (vertebrae) stacked on top of one another that allow us to move, bend, twist and walk upright. As with all bones in our body – the spine can experience trauma either in the form of injury or disease.
One type of spinal trauma is a vertebral compression fracture. This kind of fracture is a painful condition where the block-like portion of the vertebra collapses. This can happen in normal bone through severe trauma such as a car accident, but is much more common when the bone is previously weakened. Bone can be weakened by tumors or cancer, but in most cases the culprit is a degenerative bone disease called osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis occurs in over 10 million Americans, 80 percent of whom are women. As the disease progresses, bones decrease in density and become fragile and brittle. This degenerative process increases the risk of bone fractures with falls and minor trauma. In severe cases the bones can become so fragile that mild stresses such as bending over to pick up an object; or sneezing or coughing could cause a fracture.
“Over 750,000 osteoporosis patients a year experience a vertebral compression fracture. The elderly suffer the most from this type of fracture. It’s a painful condition that limits mobility and can decrease a patient’s lifespan. Fortunately, advancements in medical technology and imaging have produced new minimally invasive treatment options,” said Feraz Rahman, M.D., interventional radiologist with Advanced Midwest Radiology in New Lenox. An interventional radiologist uses medical imaging to guide minimally invasive procedures.
Interventional radiologists have been performing the vertebroplasty procedure in the United States since the 1990s. In this procedure, cement is injected into the affected vertebra to stabilize the fractured fragments and reduce pain. In the balloon kyphoplasty procedure, a balloon is first inflated to create a cavity for the cement and attempt to restore some of the height lost in the fracture. In 2018, the SpineJack® implantable fracture reduction system was made available in the United States to perform a new type of kyphoplasty. SpineJack® is an implantable titanium device that resembles a diamond-shaped carjack that lifts a car to change a tire.
“Using specialized tools and x-ray guidance, the SpineJack® implant is inserted into the fractured vertebral body and expanded to restore the bone closer to its normal height. Once the implants are in position, the jacks are left behind and bone cement is injected to stabilize the vertebra. The combination of the SpineJack® and bone cement provides strength to the structure of the affected bone. Patients can experience pain relief within just a few days,” stated Dr. Rahman.
SpineJack® has been available as a treatment option in Europe for over 10 years and data is showing beneficial outcomes. This is attributed to getting people back on their feet and moving again. Patients treated with an implantable SpineJack® were found less likely to experience future vertebral compression fractures above or below the original fracture. This is good news for those at high risk.
Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox offers treatment of spinal compression fractures using the SpineJack® technology at the Interventional Suites at Silver Cross. This full-service department provides the latest technologies to diagnose and treat your condition. Dr. Rahman and the Advanced Midwest Interventional Radiology Vein and Vascular Clinic can be reached at 815-900-9060.