Vertebral Compression Fractures may be treated by several methods including
- Conservative measures
- Instrumented Fusion
For Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty please see the specific sections.
Conservative measures are employed when no evidence of fracture or tissue reaction in the vertebra (oedema) is seen. The doctors will observe progress of the presenting pain on a regular basis and refer the patient for muscle balance physiotherapy and postural rehabilitation. Corsets may be used but as these weaken the supporting muscles, these are not advocated in this unit. At the same time the underlying osteoporosis is treated by medication or self-help means.
Instrumented fusion is usually reserved for the treatment of traumatic Vertebral Compression Fractures or in some cases where the underlying cause of the collapse is a tumour deposit where the use of Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty is deemed unlikely to be sufficiently successful. For further information on Instrumented Fusion please see the specific sections devoted to Spinal Fusion (PLIF, ALIF)