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D12 compression fracture. Side effect of surgery?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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hi dector my mother is 62yrs old have a d12 copmression fracture
from fell down advised an operation to cement the bones what process it and side effect if she not process
is the opression important or she can Ignore it thanks
Posted Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 1 hour later
Hello Nawaf,

Thanks for the query. I can understand your concern for your mother’s symptoms considering her age and medical history. The vertebral column bones are very strong and tough and it requires a considerable amount of force to cause any compression fracture. But it is quite common in elderly people due to osteoporotic changes in the spine and this has happened in your mother’s case.

Treatment options for such a fracture includes decreasing activities which put a direct pressure on the fracture site, bracing or surgery like internal fixation for spinal compression. The procedure which you are mentioning is Percutaneous vertebroplasty which involves injecting acrylic cement into the collapsed vertebra to stabilize and strengthen the fracture. Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure and is usually done in the first eight weeks of vertebral compression fractures resulting from osteoporosis.

In bracing, othosis or a back brace is used which snugs the back nicely and holds the spine in hyperextension (straightening). But this depends on the degree of damage to the vertebral bone, the age of the patient (usually in young or middle age) and the x-ray findings of the fractured bones.

In XXXXXXX fixation surgery, it is done when there is sudden and serious instability of the spine. For instance, if the fracture leads to a loss of 50% of the vertebral body's height or there is too much pressure on the spinal cord.

However vertebroplasty is done under radiology or image guided by a trained specialist. In this procedure a hollow needle called a trocar is passed through the spinal muscles until its tip is precisely positioned within the fractured vertebra and then the orthopedic cement is injected. The side effects involved are risk of infection, leakage of the orthopedic cement in the spinal cord, bleeding, increased back pain and neurological symptoms such as numbness or tingling.

Before going in for any such procedure, you should get your mother’s MRI spine and bone density tests for evaluating the severity of osteoporosis done. Also discuss about this procedure in detail with a spine specialist or her orthopedic surgeon.
Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries

Wishing you good health.

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