Proven Treatment for Common Cause
of Back Pain
Seniors with osteoporosis often suffer compression fractures — hairline spinal fractures that can cause months of debilitating back pain. According to Sean Tutton, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin interventional radiologist, an outpatient procedure known as vertebroplasty has proven effective at bringing quick relief.
Vertebroplasty takes place on an outpatient basis. During the procedure, a specially trained physician injects acrylic cement into the vertebrae to repair the fracture and strengthen the spine. Typically, patients are up and walking in one hour. “Some patients have immediate relief from pain,” Dr.Tutton says. “The vast majority experience significant relief within three to five days.”
Approximately 700,000 Americans suffer compression fractures every year. Dr.Tutton, who teaches vertebroplasty techniques nationally and internationally, says treating these patients is a rewarding experience. “Most are able to get back to activities they love,” he says. “A person may be unable to enjoy gardening or play golf and suddenly they can enjoy those things again.”