Vertebral (Spine) Compression Fractures & Treatment

When spinal bones and vertebrae become soft and weak, compression fractures can occur. They can be quite painful, causing severe back pain that comes on suddenly or worsens gradually over time. Fortunately, the neurointerventionalists at ARA Health are able to repair compression fractures and improve patients' symptoms and mobility through minimally invasive outpatient procedures.


About Compression Fractures

Compression fractures often are caused by osteoporosis, a disease defined by weakened and brittle bones that's common in older patients, particularly women. Osteoporosis typically results in spine curvature and loss of height, which in turn cause the painful compression fractures and further collapse of the bones. Without treatment, patients can experience permanent damage and long-lasting pain.


Physicians typically perform a physical exam to check for tenderness, followed by X-ray imaging to confirm a suspected compression fracture.

Compression Fracture Treatment

When severe pain persists and healing doesn't happen naturally, our physicians use image guidance to perform minimally invasive procedures to mend the fracture and relieve pain.

Neurointerventionalists use fluoroscopy to visualize the fractured vertebra and inject a medical bone cement to stabilize the affected area. Kyphoplasty is used when physicians must create space for this internal cast. They insert a balloon device that reduces the spinal collapse and mimics the original shape of the spine so that the cement can effectively be injected into the fractured bone. Similar to kyphoplasty, vertebroplasty is used when physicians are able to inject the cement directly into the fractured bone without aid of a balloon device.

You have questions. We have answers.

Below is a list of some of the questions we get asked most frequently from our patients. If you have additional questions, feel free to reach out to our ARA Cares Coordinator at (828) 436-5500.

How do I prepare for kyphoplasty/vertebroplasty?
Plan to bring all current medications to your appointment and notify our staff of any allergies, particularly to local anesthesia, general anesthesia, or contrast materials. You may be advised to stop taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or anticoagulants prior to the procedure. You will be asked to fast for six hours leading up to the procedure. Please arrange to have a friend or family member drive you home afterwards.