Treating Osteoporosis with Kyphoplasty for Older Adults

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is administered to stop pain caused by spinal fractures. Other reasons for doing the same can include stabilizing damaged bones or restoring height lost as a result of compression fracture.

Osteoporosis, on the other hand, is a condition where individuals experience low bone mass and the gradual weakening of bones often leads to fractures. Tying the two together, the condition and the treatment become relevant to older adults.

Treating Osteoporosis Osteoporosis in older adults

This happens because as individuals age, they lose bone mass; women more so than men given their decline in estrogen levels. Estrogen plays a very important role in maintaining bone density in women. Advancing age also brings forth certain deficiencies such as calcium and vitamin D, which also impact bone health.

When symptoms of osteoporosis are caught earlier on, timely treatment can offer pain management and relief and perhaps even prevent the spine from collapsing any further.

Kyphoplasty for older adults

Kyphoplasty is typically administered as an outpatient procedure but may also require an overnight stay at the hospital in some cases.

The procedure involves inserting a cement-like material into spinal compression fractures, a common problem among the elderly.  “No other fracture would be left alone to heal on its own, but the traditional therapy has been rest, pain medication and maybe a brace,” says Dr. Vershuyl of South Sound Radiology. “For older patients, that’s one of the worst things you can do. The side effects include blood clots in their legs or pneumonia.”

Instead, kyphoplasty relieves the pain almost immediately and allows patients much greater mobility. This is exactly how practitioners of regenerative medicine in Maryland at the All Star Pain Management clinic offer their services.

With kyphoplasty, the All Star Pain Management clinic helps older patients by fixing the problem if they get to the clinic early enough. Timely intervention can help them have a better quality of life without pain and without narcotics.

Patients can often walk out after the procedure and feel an immediate improvement. Plus, it provides an immediate fix with no bracing or medication needed.

Who else can benefit from the procedure?

However, a kyphoplasty may not be for everyone.  The procedure is not offered to patients with longstanding or chronic fractures. Neither is it recommended for seeking pain relief associated with degenerative disc or joint diseases of the spine.

People who may have severely fractured vertebrae are also not good candidates since the filling may leak making it too risky to perform the procedure.

While it is a procedure that is primarily recommended for treating osteoporosis, it can also benefit others who may have bone cancer. Cancer patients receiving kyphoplasty treatment demonstrate less pain and disability than other receiving non-surgical treatment.

Recommended approaches to treating osteoporosis

Most recommended approaches to treating the condition involve the following:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Exercise
  • A balanced diet
  • Eating more calcium-rich foods
  • Vitamin D and calcium supplementation
  • Medications to stop bone loss or improve bone formation
  • Bracing