Michigan Interventional Pain Associates (MIPA) perform kyphoplasty, a cutting-edge non-invasive surgical procedure designed to stop pain caused by vertebral compression fractures. It involves creating a small incision, inserting and inflating a small balloon to create a cavity inside the vertebrae, and injecting the area with a cement-like material that hardens quickly, stabilizing the bone.

What are Vertebral Compression Fractures (VCFs)?

Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) occur when vertebrae in the spine collapse causing fractures which can lead to severe pain, deformity and loss of height. It is caused by thinning bones and other complications and is a serious and growing problem for older adults.

Acute and chronic pain in the elderly is commonly attributed to VCFs, often leading to further health deterioration in a “downward spiral” and a loss of independence. Because there is a substantial risk of subsequent fractures, it’s important that you diagnose and treat VCFs early. Early diagnoses make all the difference!

Common causes of VCFs

  • Osteoporosis
  • Kyphosis
  • Hemangiomas
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Metastatic bone disease

Contributing risk factors for VCFs

  • Increasing age
  • Caucasian or Asian ethnicity
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Diet low in calcium and vitamin D
  • Cigarette smoking

Treatment for VCFs

VCFs cause acute pain, morbidity, develop kyphosis, decrease pulmonary function, limit the ability to stand upright, and can have additional negative effects. Often times, these patients are instructed to follow conservative methods such as:

  • Opioid prescription
  • Back bracing
  • Bed rest
  • Physical therapy

While these are commonly viewed as acceptable patient care pathways, kyphoplasty offers a more effective method that involves a safe, 20-minute procedure that patients do exceptionally well with and are typically near pain-free within 24 hours of intervention. Clinical research heavily supports this procedure over conservative management methods.