Vertebral fractures are caused by trauma to the vertebrae of the spine or by crumbling of the vertebrae resulting from osteoporosis. This causes mostly mechanical back pain, but it may also put pressure on the nerves, creating leg pain. Back surgery options for osteoporotic fractures include:
When back pain is caused by a compression fracture of a vertebra due to osteoporosis or trauma, a doctor generally makes a small incision in the skin over the affected area. The doctor will then inject a cement-like mixture called polymethyacrylate into the fractured vertebra to relieve pain and stabilize the spine. This back surgery is generally performed on an outpatient basis under a mild anesthetic.
Much like vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty is used to relieve pain and stabilize the spine following fractures due to osteoporosis. Kyphoplasty is a two-step process. In the first step, the doctor will insert a balloon device to help restore the height and shape of the spine. In the second step, the doctor will inject polymethyacrylate to repair the fractured vertebra. This back surgery is done under anesthesia, and in some cases it is performed on an outpatient basis.
Back Surgery for Discogenic Low Back Pain
Most people's discs degenerate over a lifetime, but in some, this aging process can become chronically painful, severely interfering with their quality of life. Back surgery options for discogenic low back pain (also called degenerative disc disease) include:
- Intradiscal electrothermal therapy
- Spinal fusion
- Disc replacement.