We can treat back pain and fractures in a number of ways, including stabilizing the bone through techniques like kyphoplasty, vertebroplasty and sacroplasty and through pain-relieving epidural steroid injections.
Inova vascular and interventional radiologists use vertebroplasty to stabilize compression fractures in the spine caused by osteoporosis. They physician inserts a needle about the size of a cocktail straw through the skin and into the fractured vertebra, using X-ray imaging to guide it to the correct spot.
Special bone cement called poly-methylmethacrylate is injected into the bone to stabilize the fracture and prevent further collapse. This stops the pain caused by bone rubbing against bone. Vertebroplasty is most effective for acute fractures, some bone cancers and can often treat more than one vertebra at a time. The outpatient procedure takes one to two hours, depending on the number of bones treated.